Not much to update everyone but I was able to finish applique’ing the hexis onto the background. I cut out the bat and my next step is to applique the bat. Then this block will be done. 🙂
Happy Tuesday! I started quilting Raining Cats and Dogs. And in the process, I found PUCKERS in my batting. Puckers! 😦 I found 2 very bad spots. The first pucker I found was in the middle lower part and it was REAL bad. I couldn’t leave it in. I figured I could still quilt the top half and then unbaste the lower half and smooth the pucker. But then I found a small pucker at the very top of the quilt. I was so frustrated last night and then CP3 got injured and my Clippers lost. It was a bad night. 😦 So very sad. I’d already quilted the top border and other parts but I hadn’t yet quilted all 4 borders so I picked out the basting for the top row of the quilt and then smoothed out the pucker and pinned. I’ll machine quilt all the straight lines with my walking foot. Then I”ll undo the 2nd row, smooth out the pucker that starts in the middle lower part of the 2nd row, pin and quilt. I believe I didn’t smooth out the batting very good when I loaded everything onto the frame to baste this. I guess I was rushing to get it done. In the meantime, here’s the status of my garden:
Strawberries are doing well. I thought I took a better picture but I didn’t. I was able to harvest 1 little sweet strawberry from above. I shared it with the hubby.
I’ll probably be able to harvest another one today. 🙂 It wasn’t very hot yesterday but I’m finding I have to water every day.
The Milk Thistle is growing well. They look pretty weird. Can you see the middle leaves. They are kind of pokey and rough looking.
The basil is not doing well. I guess the 2 days in the 90’s a week or so ago really killed off the little seedlings except the one growing above. I’m going to plant more seedlings when I get a chance.
Our tomatoes are looking good. It gets dry fast so I have to keep watching and watering it every day to make sure its getting enough water. I can’t wait to have my own garden grown tomatoes again. I forgot to take pictures of the potatoes but it’s overrun. I need to split them up. I hope to get to that sometime in the next week.
In the meantime, I’ll be quilting and unbasting. 🙂
Good morning! Happy Tuesday!
The temperature has been in the 90’s the last few days and our little basil plants are not doing well. Our strawberry plants are droopy too. I had been watering every 3-4 days but now I’ll have to increase that to every 2 days. I think I’ll move the basil plants to a more shaded area until they get more strength to them. Potatoes and tomatoes are doing well.
Yesterday I got happy mail from Massdrop…
I’ve been into thread lately. I like having a variety of colors and choices to have to play with. I also like having different weights to use for decorative stitching.
Since I’m watching as many games as I could catch during the NBA Playoffs, I’ve had a lot of hand work time. I knitted (YES!) and I got further along on my wool project.
And since it’s hot here again, the hubby shaved the boy’s hair… and it reminded me that he has two hair swirls on his head. Weird right?
And since today seems to be a bit scattered in the overall scheme of things, have you ever made Vanilla Extract? It’s so easy. Vanilla beans, mason jar (or any bottle) and vodka (or rum).
Anyway, you throw the vanilla beans into the bottle and cover them with vodka (or rum) and then let it sit for 6 weeks or so. You shake the jar a bit every day the first week or so and then periodically after that. After a few weeks, you strain the mixture to remove the beans and it’s ready to use. I made some last summer and I’m still using what I made. I know it’s easy to buy vanilla extract but I recently came across Chaste Berry Tincture as a natural way to balance hormones and reduce fibroids. (Obviously, this is not FDA approved or anything) I originally bought the tincture already made but with shipping and taxes, 1 oz of the tincture cost me $17! Way too much money to spend when I can buy dried Chaste Berries for $5 and then make my own tincture. Basically it’s made the same way vanilla extract is made. I fill a jar about a third full of the dried chaste berries, cover it with vodka and let it sit for 6 weeks. Shake it every day the first week and then periodically after that.
This will be ready mid-May.
I hope you guys get to play with fabric! I’ll continue to baste Raining Cats and Dogs. I hope to get that off the frame ASAP. The current plan is to machine quilt on my domestic along Stitch In The Ditch between each block and then hand quilt within the blocks. But that may change when I actually get it off and start.
The tomatoes are doing really well. It’s been raining so they’ve been growing strong.
The potatoes are doing well too. There are multiple kinds planted in this pot as you can see by the different leaves. I’ve never planted potatoes before and retrieved these from my compost bin when I saw that they were growing. I’ve read on the internet to toss more dirt on top as the leaves start to grow to help the potatoes grow. Do you know if this is accurate? I started tossing dirt on the side at the top of the picture but kind of stopped. I think I should continue to do it.
My strawberries are growing really nice. You can’t tell very clearly, I’ll have to remember to take a close up picture so you can see the strawberries clearly.
I’ve been reading up on some herbal/ home remedies to healthier lifestyles and started growing Milk Thistle from seed. This is supposed to be good for the liver and kidney and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. It was one of the suggestions made to help reduce fibroids. I thought it would be fun to grow them and see what happens. I planted these 4/1/2016 and you can already start to see the seeds sprouting.
And I felt the same about basil. I love basil, especially fresh with balsamic vinegar and tomatoes and mozzarella. Of course, I shouldn’t have mozzarella anymore but I can use basil in a lot of stuff. I haven’t been successful growing basil so this is an experiment. I planted these on 4/1 too but they aren’t sprouting yet. I think it takes longer for basil to sprout.
On the quilty side of life…
One of my goals for 2016 is to finish 6 quilts. This has been on my goal list for the previous 2 years and I didn’t accomplish it.
In 2014, I finished 4 quilts.
In 2015, I finished 3 quilts.
I’ve always been happy to just finish something. This year, I’m on track to finish 6 quilts. I finished 2 already and there are 3 more that are ready to be quilted. So I’m working on piecing quilt #6 – Celtic Solstice. This is the only project I’m working on right now that’s in the piecing stage. The problem is, I get really tired working on 1 project at a time. Especially a project like Celtic Solstice with a hundred million little pieces. I’m now ready to put my next UFO back into rotation and that is Missing Ivy.
It’s really almost done too and may surpass Celtic Solstice to the finishing stage.
Yesterday was a wonderful day for eating. For his birthday, the boy had waffles for brunch and his favorite dinner, rib eye steak grilled by his dad. Me and the girl enjoyed ourselves too. The little ones are growing up fast. Despite the food and other errands ran, all the boy really wanted to do was play his favorite video game. He didn’t spend all day playing (we had errands) but he was able to get some good game time in. That allowed me to go to yoga, plant my tomatoes and start the binding on Scrapitude!
I had a hard time finding my binding supplies. I remembered seeing the little bag of stuff out and about and then me putting it away so I won’t lose it. That was last week. All weekend I kept looking for it and couldn’t find it. I was VERY frustrated. Finally, yesterday, I looked in a box, that I looked at a million times before but suddenly, my little binding supply bag was in that box. Of course, right? Well, thank goodness because I was finally able to get the binding started!
And here are some pics of the garden getting started. It felt good after 2 years of not gardening to play with dirt again. I can’t wait to see these start to come up.
I don’t want to put these in the ground so I’m keeping the tomatoes in the half barrell. I plan to put sticks all around and wrap string around them to keep them from going out. I’ll do that part as they start getting bigger.
And I started something new. We’ll see if it works. I’ve been seeing a bunch of different ways to grow strawberries on Pinterest and I always thought they looked cool. I’m never too sure they will work so we found some old closet hanger shelve thingies lying around (the official name for those things) and for this one I planted strawberries on the top and the third baskets. The plastics and boxes lining the baskets have holes in them. I don’t know what I’m doing so we’ll see how it turns out. I’ve only grown strawberries in the ground so I’m experimenting here. If it works, I may plant more stuff on the 2nd and the 4th shelf. I also have a second hanging closet thing that I’ll pull out and use for herbs or something. I’ll take any advice from gardeners! 🙂
And since we’re talking about gardening right now, here’s my lazy composting bins:
These were here when we moved in and the dirt inside the pots were dry and rocky and half full if memory serves. So, I dumped old coffee grinds in them every morning and the veggie pieces that get thrown away, egg shells, etc. The dirt is nicer now with worms and other insects. I toss the contents around and try to cover all the new stuff with the dirt. It’s my lazy way because I don’t want to buy real compost bins again only to leave them when we move again. I think I’ll dump new stuff in one container and let the other one compost completely so it will be ready to move into another barrel when I’m ready to plant again.
I spent a bit of time working on border #1 of raining cats and dogs.
I’m trying to be more precise and not do the hack and sew method. I don’t know if that’s what it’s called but I’m talking about the where you sew a long piece of border to a side and trim and then repeat at each border. I didn’t realize that this will distort the borders until I started quilting on Bailey, my mid arm. For some reason, I’ve been seeing and hearing long armers more and more talking about how to prep your quit if you send it off to long arm. Between a podcast (Daisy’s Lazy Daisy Quilts) and some bloggers I follow and even a recent Valley Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I keep getting information and each long armer has different preferences so it’s important to know what your long armer’s preferences are. I haven’t sent my quilts to a long armer before so they never had to deal with my quilts. But hearing what they had to say made me realize some of my issues when quilting. Anyway, now I’m trying to improve my technique in applying my borders onto my quilt and the first step is in the way I cut them. I cut strips for Raining Cats and Dogs’ border #1 and pieced each strip together. I measured one side of the quilt and cut the long strip of border to the measured side. Then I pinned and sewed. I’ve only got one side on but I’m hoping to get the other three on by the end of the week.
I was having trouble measuring the fabric so I could cut it accurately. I do not have a big enough space in my sewing room to be precise. Now that I write this, I guess I could have gone out and used the dining table. I’ll try that when I do the next 3 sides. But for the first side I measured it to be 46 1/8″ and I did my best to cut the border accurately. Like I said I need to be more precise. I pinned but it looked like I was about 1/8″ too long. I sewed it on and it was a bit too long. I still need to trim the bit of excess. Is that still considered hack and wack or whatever? I’m not sure. Let me know how you do it. I have a feeling I was trying to do this when I was tired and my brain wasn’t functioning right!