Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Catching up with myself .. or trying to!

Good grief, where has August gone?! Seems like summer has barely started and here we are knee deep in ripe tomatoes and green beans whining to be processed every day. Actually, except for the fact that they take away from my precious quilting moments, I love the harvest season and putting up all manner of goodies for the long, cold winter months. So for now, we have put up 8 or 9 jars of mango chutney, about 30 quarts of blueberries from our 6 bushes(!) are in the freezer, a lesser amount of green beans so far, and I'm about to attack the tomato challenge tomorrow. The peppers are finally beginning to perform, and hopefully by next week we will have enough along with the tomatoes to make up a winter's supply of salsa. There's also a luscious sounding tomato jam recipe I'm hankering to make, thanks to some rave reviews by my Oregon quilting buddy Barbara at Cat Patches who posted a link to the recipe she found here.

We've also had lots of overnight guests and kids and grandkids around this summer, plus a wedding in Canada earlier this month, and it's been a good time all around, with the exception of an emergency room visit a couple weeks ago and a couple follow-up appointments now scheduled for the near future. Nothing too serious, thankfully, but it will be good when the offending kidney stone is safely removed and hubby is out of pain and back to his usual cheerful self.

A tiny bit of quilting has even been accomplished in the midst of all the chaos!

I seem to be awash in a flurry of baby quilts these days. First off, our little quilting ministry group has been working on four baby quilts for the newest tiny members of our congregation and one missionary baby recently born in Guatemala. This is the quilt I've been working on, and with only about 5 minutes more stitching the label will be attached and it can be placed in the 'finished' pile. This quilt started with a cut-apart soft book that one of our members began to turn into quilt blocks nearly 13 years ago and then set aside. I offered to take on this project and finish it up, adding borders and machine quilting it with ditch quilting along the blocks and border strips, and some fairly sparse free motion quilting to outline the figures in the blocks. I had planned to take the quilt outside and hang it on the garage door in the morning for some outside photos, but rain is in tomorrow's forecast so tonight it's pinned to the design wall for this make-do shot of the overall quilt.
Quilting should always be fun, don't you think? So just for fun and to keep from being bored to tears while quilting this, I added free motion carrots and onions in the background fabric alongside the book blocks. A little hard to see in the photos, but these were quick and easy to free motion, and I think add a bit of interest to the plain linear design of the top, while adding some nice texture.

It's not densely quilted so it is nice and soft after an initial washing, and hopefully the little guy who receives it will love to drag it around with him for a few years.

Grandbaby number 8 is on the way for us, and my daughter spent a few days visiting earlier this month, taking care of our aging dog while we attended the wedding in Canada. Though she had chosen fabrics for a baby quilt that I had already begun from this recent collection I won a couple months back ...
she also fell in love with a sweet focus fabric a quilty friend had recently given me, and we went through my stash to pick some coordinating fabrics for a second baby quilt!
Since the little guy's nursery will have a woodland theme, I'm betting the second quilt will receive the most use!  She chose a fairly simple whirling square block pattern from a recent Quilters Newsletter "Best Kids Quilts" publication for this quilt and I think there is just enough of the focus fabric for the four wide border panels. The challenge for me will be making her chosen coordinating fabrics play nicely in the pattern - not an easy task for this artistically challenged and spatially dyslexic quilter!

So, that's my August, and needless to say I'm looking forward to the cooler and hopefully slower days of fall and some more time to quilt! Whoever said retirement would be boring anyway?!


  1. You have a very full life! So much going on and you still make time for canning. I hate to admit that it has taken a backseat for me. What I can't use fresh from my garden I just have to pass to others.
    Clever quilting on that sweet quilt for your ministry.
    Good luck with the designs on the baby quilts for #8. It is challenging to work with colors outside your norm, but kind of refreshing, too. : )

  2. It sounds like you've had a wonderful summer, isn't it nice when it flies by because we're busy doing fun stuff? Except for that kidney stone, so painful. You can never have too many baby quilts, babies do such icky things to them, LOL.

  3. Busy life sounds great. All your canning makes year round goodness. the fabrics for the baby quilt are wonderful!

  4. Oh gosh...several people I know have suffered with kidney stones. Makes you never want to get one of your very own to hear how painful they are. Your quilt is adorable. I hope the tomato jam lives up to the raving. I happen to love it, and so I hope you will too.

  5. Oh ouch!!!! Poor guy! Your summer has flown by as quickly as mine. Doesn't it seem to get faster every year?

    Have a fun time sewing up that quilt for the newest grandbaby.

  6. It was great to get caught up with all of your August activities. Hope your guy is feeling better and in between harvesting the garden you find time to play with those great fabrics for the new baby. You met the challenge with the Peter Rabbit fabric. It turned out sweet.

  7. Your life is a whirlwind lately! I hope your hubby get rid of that kidney stone quickly!
    The harvest and canning and freezing all sound so wonderful. I had to laugh that you free motion quilted veggies onto the Peter Rabbit quilt. :)
    Best wishes for grandchild #8 and mommy!


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