Thursday, March 30, 2017

Flowers and Birds

It's such a great time of the year for walks around the gardens.  The rains this year have made such a difference for all of the plants.  Everything just seems to be bigger and better with water from the skies rather than a faucet.

As promised, I grabbed the camera and headed down the road to my BIL's home.  His little hobby of cross pollinating clivia has become a bit of an obsession for him.  He currently has over 6000 plants!!!!  I thought it was about 3500, but I guess I underestimated.  They are growing everywhere in his yard and then he has a HUGE shade cloth covered area for a double level of others. 

Most of us are familiar with the orange ones.  I have a number of those that once belonged to my father, who loved his gardens.  Just look at the wonderful colors and different shaped blooms that we enjoyed.

This is what greets us at the front door.

Some of the petals appear to be shaped more like a lily. we're talkin'!

Practically red!  It looks like Christmas.

This was such a prolific bloomer.

Around the pool area.

Loved the hint of peach on the petals of these.

More around the pool.

The classic orange.

This is the shaded area.  Clivia for as far as you can see and this is only the top level of them.  There is another whole level below these that is just as full.
I couldn't leave without him "forcing" me to load a few in my car!  I wish I had more shady areas in my yard as I could have helped him unload a lot more.  I may have to make a shad cloth area so I can bring all of the ones I loved home with me.  It was the perfect time of the year to go see them in bloom. 

Meanwhile, my own garden is in bloom as well.  I was able to pick the first bouquet of roses - always a welcomed day.

The citrus is in bloom throughout the area and the smell is absolutely intoxicating - especially in the early morning and evening hours.

As well, the jasmine vine and cymbidium orchids are each vying for their own moment to shine.

We had a couple of new visitors to the yard this week.  I was drawn outside by the rat-a-tat-tat I was hearing.  Look what I discovered in the palm trees.

I am assuming they are a pair. 

Next post will be back to stitching...........

Monday, March 27, 2017

A VW Moment

Some time ago I saw a pattern for a throw pillow called Coastal Cruiser.  It featured a VW "bus" and I knew that I would eventually have to make it.  If you have ever had a VW you will understand.  My first car was an aqua colored 1961 VW bug.  I named it Quaddle since the license was QDL400.  I loved that little thing and did all my own engine work on it.  Of course, that was when engines were simple and no computers were involved.  It didn't even have a gas gauge - only a lever that you kicked over to give you one extra gallon of gas when you ran out! 

We still had it when we were first married, but had to sell it when we moved overseas with the Navy.  It was a sad day.

Once we returned home - with several children in tow - a new bug was not an option.  We upgraded to the "bus".  Traveling up mountainous roads was slow going, but it loved going down.  ;-)  I made cute little floral curtains for it.  Every well loved bus had curtains!!!  Our very good Navy friends also had a bus.  Theirs was orange and for years the two buses would head up to the Sierras for our annual camping/fishing trips.  Such wonderful memories! 

This past week was my friends birthday and I decided it was time to make that bus for her.  Rather than doing a pillow, I resized the image to a postcard size.  These pieces were tiny!  I still think I may do a pillow sized one someday.  Maybe I will do one of a bug too.

A little spring sewing also went on around here this week.  Our son and DIL always host the family Easter party.  They have a large farmhouse table and it was calling for a table runner.  This one measures at 20x60".

The egg fabric that I used is a piece that is at least 15 years old, but it worked perfectly with the colored rabbits.  The pantograph, Morning Song, is a cute spring one with flowers, birds and butterflies.  The bunny pattern is from The Objects of Design.

Yesterday we took two of the grandchildren to Santa Barbara to see the stage show of Peppa Pig.  It was quite cute and we had a fun time with the girls.

Later this week I will share photos of some amazing Clivia flowers.  We stopped by my BIL's home yesterday on the way home from church to take some pictures of his flowers.  He breeds them as a hobby.  Last time we were there he had over 3500 plants, but it is now closer to 6000!!!!  You will be amazed at some of the colors he has created with his cross pollination.  Of course, he wouldn't let me leave without helping him reduce his collection somewhat!  My gain......

Linking up with Midweek Makers this week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring

Isn't it a great time of the year?  I love spring with its promise of longer and warmer days ahead.  As well, the flowers are stunning this year with all of the rains we have enjoyed.  The clivia are blooming in the yard and the hills are filled with wild mustard. 

My mom's hummingbird nest from last year is back and filled again.  The first little one hatched today.  It's hard to see with that feathery nest the mother has created. 

This week has been about sewing curves.  I finished the last of the NY Beauty blocks and now it is a matter of arranging them into a quilt top. 

After all of that curve work I ventured into even more curves with the Sew All Around QAL hosted by Gosia at Quilts My Way.  She has an excellent tutorial of quilting curves.  Like Gosia, I have always been a heavy pinner when sewing curves.  However, after all of the curve sewing I have been doing lately I managed to sew these curves with only two pins each. 

We had a fun St. Patrick's Day celebration over the weekend.  Our daughter made the children such cute cupcakes complete with rainbows and pots of gold.

My Blogger problems persist.  Is anyone else experiencing the same problem of not being able to access their reading list?  Every once in awhile it will work, but for the most part I am unable to scroll down.  Bloglovin has been my go to for reading blogs, but I know that my full list is not on Bloglovin.  It is very frustrating.  If I have not been commenting on your blog, please understand why. 

Happy Spring to all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!  Are you going to be making a pie today?  Possibly stitching circles?  Eating a pizza?  Have fun with anything circular.

To acknowledge Pi day I am posting all of my completed circles in my NY Beauty project. 

These are the new pieces added this week.  Slowly, but surely, I am getting this UFO finished.  Why did I wait so long?  Once I finish all of the blocks I will arrange a layout.

My sister from Alaska (IG alaskanquilter) has been in town this week and we have shared some fabulous quilting hours together.  She brought some of her completed tops down to quilt.  First up was a top that her daughter made.  She is a brand new quilter and this is her first quilt top made in a class she took.  Isn't it lovely?

We then moved on to a dog quilt for one of my sister's furry friends.

Lastly, she brought along her En Provence mystery quilt.  It was fun to compare hers with mine before she got it quilted.  This turned out beautifully.  I need to get mine quilted next.

We celebrated her birthday with a trip to one of our favorite quilt shops.  She was able to take advantage of their 30% off birthday discount so significant stash building was accomplished. 

This was the birthday postcard that I made for her this year.  The cactus are in bloom in the desert so thought this fit the season. 

Our days have been glorious with temps in the 80s for the last week.  It has felt fabulous - especially with the longer daylight hours.  Spring is definitely here with the migrating birds back and the tortoises out of hibernation.  I'm ready for it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.  Corned beef with cabbage?????

Monday, March 6, 2017

Marching into March

Another month down in 2017 and now we march into March.  Spring is definitely in the air.  Although I have not spotted one yet, I have heard the orioles in the yard.  I love it when they return.  Their sunny yellow color brings back the memories of long summer days.  As well, the clock turns back next favorite time of the year.

Blogger has been frustrating me lately by not allowing me to access my reading list.  If I have not been visiting, please understand the reason.  I have been using Bloglovin, but my reading list is not complete and it will occasionally not allow me to comment.  Blogging is a love/hate relationship for me. 

.....BUT......I've had such fun stitching lately.  Several years ago I started making the NY Beauty blocks for the QAL.  Instead of doing one of each, I decided to do four of each!  I believe there were a total of twelve different patterns.  I just finished my 9th block of four.  Three more to go.


My bee blocks this month for our fabulous Gridster Bee were cute little piglets.  Elizabeth shared a fun pattern with us and I LOVED these little guys.  I really need to do some for myself.  Hmmmm.....I have wanted to make a quilt from each block I have made so far.  Do you think I might have a problem?????

The background for this little piggy is medical supplies chosen because Elizabeth is recovering from shoulder surgery.

My Temperature Quilt is growing too.  February saw some really warm as well as some quite chilly temperatures.  I am still hoping to have more oranges soon.  I am doing this quilt along with my little sister (IG alaskanquilter) who lives in Alaska.  Needless to say, her temperatures and colors are quite different from mine.

Is it possible to do some Christmas stitching in February?  Absolutely!!!  The kindergarten class was in need of a stitcher for their blocks they created.  This will be auctioned off at their annual school fundraiser on March 18th.  The little ones did such a good job on their Christmas trees.  I hope it brings in a lot of money for the school.  I'll update you later.

My youngest sister ( the quilter) is coming into town this week.  We both enter a new decade this year and she has been celebrating hers in Hawaii this week.  I am looking forward to some fabulous days of stitching together while she is here.  Life is good!!!!