Saturday, May 29, 2021

My Merry Month of May Mini

After dithering for years about the whats and hows of finishing this little very heavy and stiff batik pictorial piece, I finally bit the bullet and finished it this month.  After playing around with the broken dishes blocks idea for the border, I opted for this plain and simple surround for the batik. 

Quilting the batik was a bear to say the least!  Lots of tension issues.  Thankfully I didn't waste good fabric on the back and just used a plain white well-washed sheet.  Which ended up being a good choice since the back is a hot mess!  

The day was nice and I tried a few photos outside.  The grass was getting long and the quilt wouldn't lie flat but I kind of liked the wavy appearance and the deep green background.

Happy to finally have this finished, though no idea what I'll do with it!  I'll link up when Wendy at The Constant Quilter posts her monthly roundup of mini-makers at the end of the month.  

Rainy, cold weekend in store for us.  We need the rain, though the timing wasn't great for all the weekend warriors.  We'll stay off the roads and have soup for supper, maybe some hot biscuits to go with, and there are strawberries for shortcake if we don't snack on them beforehand.  Hope you're enjoying this holiday weekend and remembering all those real warriors who gave their lives for our freedoms.  May their sacrifice not be in vain.

Friday, May 21, 2021

A Simply Easy Friday Finish

 So, evenings I've begun the hand quilting on my Diamond Jubilee quilt, and there are four more flimsies awaiting machine quilting soon.  Needing something easy to work on at quilt ministry a couple weeks ago, I pulled two older donated fabrics from the church stash and cut some long strips.  Easy-peasy piecing on the Singer 201, and the next day I pulled three fabrics from my home stash, made a back, found leftovers from some 100% cotton batting who-knows-how-old, pieced a frankenbatt, fired up the Janome and this is the result.

This is destined for our nursing home ministry, likely for someone who is bedridden since its finished measurement after washing is 49x67 inches, too large for a wheelchair quilt.

Wondering if anyone has a clue as to the age of the printed fabric.  It was 40 inches selvedge to selvedge, no manufacturer identification in the selvedges.  The red solid is also older I think, measuring just 39 inches selvedge to selvedge. And it was a real lint magnet, catching every little bit of wayward batting. Even after washing and drying every red strip required the lint roller.  Hopefully it will behave itself now that it's completed.

I ditch quilted the seams between the strips, did a serpentine stitch within the red strips, then changed to my FMQ foot and followed the lines of tiny green flowers outlining the motifs.  The quilting shows up a little better on the back.

Quick and easy, and hopefully will bring comfort and some nostalgia to its eventual recipient.

We've had a couple days of mid-high 80s and sunshine and it's feeling like summer may be just around the corner.  I began setting out the zinnias started inside a few weeks ago, but had to quit before noon because of the intense heat.  Maybe next week we can get our tomato starts out into the garden.

While photographing the quilt I noticed these just beginning to bloom.
This "bush" is probably 30 feet high now, and its blooms are all above my head.  This variety doesn't have a heavy aroma like many lilacs, but we enjoy their blooms for the short period that we have them.
What is very disheartening this spring is the absence of honeybees in our immediate area.  I have literally seen none in my walks around the yard and hubby has only spotted one or two. We'll need to pay close attention when the tomatoes begin blooming, and may have to hand pollinate them with a little brush.  

The trail cam showed a black bear close to the house the other night, no doubt hoping the suet feeder would have been refilled after he made off with the previous block a week or so before (it wasn't).  It was around 2 a.m., thankfully he didn't arouse the dog with his presence nearby, and left without damaging the rail fence or pulling down the feeder post as he's done in prior years.  A huge porcupine was spotted in the woods beyond the creek a week or so ago when hubby and Gibbs were out on their daily hike. Thankfully Gibbs obeys perfectly when they are on the mountain, so he escaped any quill attack.  

That's about it from our little corner of the world.  Hoping to have my May mini finished by the end of next week.  

Hope the sun is shining where you are!

Monday, May 10, 2021


It all began with a set of twelve leftover basket blocks from my French Country Strippy quilt of a year or two ago (from Fons & Porter's Fat Quarter Friendly book).  

It's time to be thinking about donation quilts for the upcoming Labor Day church camp auction.  Basket quilts are good ones for this auction, so we set about finding something for the setting triangles that would coordinate with the baskets.  Hubby was convinced this tomato soup red was better than any of the other choices in my stash (mostly tan to brown prints).  Maybe, though it really began the long saga of finding something - anything - that would remotely go with ...  I had some border fabrics leftover from the previous quilt, and they really looked the best, but of course there was not enough.  Nor was there anything else in the stash that either had enough or even began to blend in with what was already on the design wall ... sigh.  This quilt was already angry, flat-out refusing anything I offered.  

So, rather than pitching it into the waste basket next to the sewing machine I figured if nothing was going to play nicely why not introduce something new and that's where we ended up.  I grabbed a piece of this older "Kashmir Style" by Hoffman fabric and some blue solids and introduced them, the Kashmir has both red and blue, even if none of the basket blocks has a speck of blue, and we went with that.

A semi-sunny day a couple weeks ago, in an attempt to get a couple photos that would somewhat capture the colors and sheen of the beautiful border fabric.  You guessed it, the quilt refused to cooperate, exhibiting its continuing fury thusly.

And of course the camera failed to pick up any of the gold highlights that make that border fabric so wonderful, even on the closer shots, which I won't bore you with.  

While watching this little quilty temper tantrum, the perfect name came to me.  There's an old country song called Ruby, are you Mad at your Man.  And here it is, as sung by Rhiannon Giddens.  See if you agree.  

Ruby it is.  And I can't decide whether I love it or hate it.  Lukewarm is probably a better descriptor of my feelings at this point.