Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mid July

I really didn't plan on being away for two weeks.  Life just seems to have something new and exciting every day.  I feel out of the loop as I have been off of the computer much of the time as we entertained company, celebrated the 4th of July and started the busy season of canning.  Two peach trees are done and one to go.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was the recipient of the June blocks for the Gridster Bee.  They have all come in and I just love the way this is coming together.   I'll add a few more Confetti Stars and get this put together shortly.




Meanwhile, as we move on to the next month's Gridster Bee blocks I completed my August block for Debbie - IG littlebirdquilts.  I have seen this quilt popping up on the different blogs and think Debbie's bright colors will look so nice.


Our July 4th party was loads of fun.  I always feel so blessed that the children have been able to grow up together.  Their cousins are their best friends and they always have someone to join them in whatever they do.

Pre sparkler instructions.

Serious yearly Corn Hole tournament.


They just look mischievous with those water balloons.

Master chef!

For Father's Day the kids gave their dad a Sous Vide immersion cooker.  We finally had a chance to try it out over the weekend and loved it.  We did a pork loin on Saturday night that was so moist and tasty.  Sunday we did a steak and it was also fantastic.  It is an interesting concept in cooking as the meat and herbs are cooked in a sealed bag and placed into warmed water (thus the ping pong balls to reduce water evaporation).  It is then finished off by searing a few seconds in a hot skillet.  It is great for timing the meal to be done at a certain time.  We were both very impressed and will be using this often.



I recently was selected as a winner of this beautiful Mulberry Lane jelly roll from Cherry Blossoms Quilting.  I just love the colors in these fabrics and look forward to making a quilt with it.  I have followed Cherry for many years and love her creative pieces.  One of my favorite quilts that I hang each year is a pattern of hers - the Feathered Christmas.




Tomorrow the girls and I start the pickles.  I'm looking forward to the fun.




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Birthday Sewing

It has been another fun week of birthday celebrations in our family.  We had three birthdays on Tuesday alone!   Another one is tomorrow.  Of course that means I have an excuse for sewing - matching outfits.



We made a quick road trip over the weekend.  We were able to experience the tremendous heat that has been stalled over the West.  This was a photo of the start of the brush fire near Brian Head, Utah.  At the time it was 112*.  I cannot imagine those firefighters working in those conditions - even without the additional heat from the fire.


It was so nice to see such full lakes and streams throughout Utah and Wyoming.  It has been too many years without such sights. 

We arrived home on Monday just in time to bond a bit with this cutie in the emergency room for stitches.  (His mom and dad were out of town.)  The tape on his nose was from his wristband used to cover up his freckles that everyone thought were so cute!


Tuesday was jam day.  We have an annual tradition of making jam and bread during the summer months.  The girls have grown up from our first jamming adventures and now they do most of it themselves, but it's fabulous that they still want to keep up the tradition.


Tuesday night was a birthday party and we enjoyed watching the older children giving rides to the little ones.  I had a dear friend stay with us for a few days and she joined us for the party.  It was fun to have her meet so many of the grandchildren as she and I were neighbors when we were raising our own young families.  There were lots of memories to share.   



I am the Queen Bee this month in our Gridster Bee.  My block choice is the Confetti Star.  It has been such fun to have the blocks arrive in the mail.  What's not to love about colorful stars?  I think it will make a great quilt. 



Although my temperature quilt will be rather boring this month with our June Gloom weather pattern, I get to add another turtle to June 26th.  Our momma tortoise laid a second batch of eggs that day.  These won't hatch until the end of September - a late hatching.  The others should start hatching around the middle of August. 


I can't believe that we are ready to put June behind us already.  The summer will be gone before we know it at this rate.  I won't be posting again before the 4th of July as we will have houseguests and a big celebration.  I wish all of those in the U.S. a safe and wonderful Independence Day. 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gridster Bee Block

Since I am the bee queen in our Gridster Bee this month, I have had time to work on next month's block for Carol (IG carolanngillen).  She has such a fun block for July - all things patriotic.



My Temperature Quilt 2017 geese have been pretty boring this month.  We live in an area designated as a "microclimate" so we have not experienced the high heat that much of the West has been enduring.  Our warmest day only reached 87* so no reds so far this month.



I promised some better photos of my Row by Row quilt.  I am so pleased with the great job that everyone did on their row.  It's a big quilt at 72x88"






The family all gathered on Sunday to celebrate Father's Day.  We had a delightful BBQ, but I never even took the camera out for photos.  The memories will remain in a photo album in my mind.  Our children gave DH a Sous Vide Cooker.  It sounds very interesting.  We had a steak done that way an it was amazing.  Has anyone used one before?  If so, what did you cook with it?  Recipes????

I watched these little cuties the other day and they had fun going through the girl's hair adornment box. 



Much of my time has been spent in the garden these days so will finish off with some photos from a stroll around the yard this morning.

Mandavilla poppy that is on a trellis going up the patio.


Plumerias just starting to bloom

Plumeria in red

Red Hibiscus


Yellow hibiscus

Pink hibiscus

Bee in the center of the hollyhock

One of my pineapple plants started from the cutting the top off of a store bought pineapple.  I am hoping to see a pineapple start on it soon. 

We had a great time with Bonnie Hunter at our quilt guild meeting last week.  He trunk show was so inspiring.  The backs of her quilts are as exciting as the fronts.  This is one of her backs.



The front.

LOVED this yellow and blue.

This is her hexie quilt that she has often blogged about.
Of course there were lots of En Provence finishes by guild members.  I found this one gorgeous with the extra border to make it king sized.




Fun to see so many together. 
Happy summer!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Row By Row Finish

Last year I was a member of a Row by Row swap with four other gals.  This past week I have had the chance to finish it and I am so pleased with the way it turned out. 


I used the signature blocks on the back.  I'll try to post better photos of it when the days are not so overcast. 



The weather has been cool, but it has not stopped the orchard from producing.  The first peaches have finished and the apricots are just starting.  This was today's haul - cherries, boysenberries and the first apricots. 


Now....I would appreciate some heat so the tomatoes will start ripening.

Driving down the street the other day, I saw these happy sunflowers and had to stop for a photograph of them.  They just say "summer" to me.


I'm looking forward to our quilt guild meeting in the morning as we have Bonnie Hunter as our guest.  I've done several of her mystery quilts so I will be glad to meet her in person. 

Linking up with Midweek MakersMama Sparks World and Quilts My Way

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May is in the Bag

May is now finished and "in the bag".  Welcome to June.

June means another 16th birthday for one of the granddaughters.  As I have said in the past, several of the girls have asked for a grown up quilt for their 16th birthdays.  I guess that means they want to tuck those baby quilts away.  As hard as I have tried to keep them little, they are not listening to one word of my begging.  ;-)

So....this is the newest 16th birthday quilt all finished except for the label.  I love the texture that the quilting adds to a fairly simple design.  I used a lavender thread and quilted a pantograph with birds, butterflies and flowers - perfect for a young lady.






We have slipped into our June Gloom weather pattern here which means overcast mornings and sunny afternoons with a very monotonous temperature - mid 70s.  My temperature quilt is reflecting the boredom.  We had a couple of warmer days mid month, but there is not a lot of excitement towards the end of the month.



I even added  a little turtle this month on the day when our momma tortoise laid her eggs. 


This is what the year looks like so far.  I hope the reds start to become more frequent visitors. 



I don't know about you, but I am always wondering the best technique for washing quilts where I worry about the dyes bleeding.  I recently came across a method that sounds really interesting and I think I am going to give it a try.  Here is a link to it.  Has anyone else tried it, and if so, what did you think? 

We spent a couple of days last week at the beach with my sister, brother and their spouses.  While there we took a walk around the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.  The gardens showcase all of the native plants and it was a great time to see so many in bloom. 





I loved this scalloped rock.



We also visited a local nursery and enjoyed seeing the orchids and begonias.



My sister and BIL brought along a box of the local chocolates.  Aren't the pieces fun?  They are all handmade on the premises and you can watch them making them.  Is life like a box of chocolates???  They say "you never know what you're gonna get".  I could make bets on a few of these. 


May was a crazy month and I welcome a, hopefully, quieter June.  Happy June to all!