Sunday, May 31, 2009

Waiting to bloom, and fully blooming

The peonies ae not ready for prime time around here. Some people are showing their beautiful peony blossums, but mine a little hard balls, without even a big, black ANT to show for themselves. More waiting required.

The big blossumed iris however ARE ready. They are coming into their own TODAY. The small iris are almost finished, but these beauties are the stars right now.

There are changes in the garden everyday.

And my cousin Andrew from Vermont is in town for a conference. The last time I saw him was 12 years ago. He is nine years younger than I, so we didn't get to know each other as kids. "Andrew" is a family name he shared with my father, and our great-grandfather. He and I share our birthday, which thrilled me when I was 9.
We shared stories about our families, churches, and interests--a good conversation over lunch and later sitting on the deck enjoying the sun on the lake.
Then DS Peter and DDIL Lynne came over for supper, also on the deck.
A lovely last day of May, family, sunshine and flowers.
Pentecost Sunday celebration at the Dominican Center--lots of red clothing
Tasty lunch at the Greek restaurant
Reconnecting with Andrew

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wild Phlox and Sox

When we bought this property sixteen years ago, I don't recall ANY wild phlox to be seen in the spring. Little by little they have moved in, and now we have this glorious spreading patch on the hillside down to the lake.

And there is even quite a bunch next to the garage.

The yearly changes are fascinating to watch--and require no work!

Another burgeoning growth pattern is in the "double file" vibernum I planted, maybe eight years ago. This year's blossums are very full.

Here is a less prolific "American cranberry vibernum". I have quite a few of these, acquired from the county agricultural extension as little sticks. They are now about eight feet tall.

I finished this set of grey striped sox for Charlie while we were travelling. My double pointed knitting needles are made of bamboo, and (therefore?) caused no problems with the airport security forces. [Next knitting sox project visible to the left.]
Decrescendo party for the Women's Chorus last night
A Saturday with no list of things to do
Zeke begging to munch our cantelope rinds

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lasagna and Robins

This "lasagna" quilt is just out of the washer and dryer, and is having its moment of glory on the wall behind the kitchen eating counter. As usual this is twin sized and will go to the Lakotah reservation in South Dakota.

Here you can see one of the four strips of pieced leftover squares and HSTs included in the mix.
And this is the progress of the robin's nest over the week we were gone.
Looks like all four eggs hatched and the babies have even grown out feathers so they look like robins.
I have some more quilting to do on the Double Delight, and then I can call it a Finish for this month as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lake Tahoe

We are back from our trip to visit friends in California and re-visit Lake Tahoe after 35 years.

We re-visited the seminary (CDSP) and took the Dean out to lunch. We enjoyed a jazz club in Berkeley, and a German restaurant the next day on the way to Tahoe. We rode the Tahoe Queen out into the lake, grilled steaks, and took life easy. We drove through the Donner Pass on our way to Sacramento. We saw the pear orchards around Courtland and had lunch with other friends. We drove into San Francisco on Memorial Day afternoon--and the traffic was NOT heavy. We walked along the Bay, then sat facing the Bay and airplanes landing for supper in a bar with the Laker/Nuggets game on the bar TV.
It took a whole day to get home from the west coast, but here we are, and the mail has been picked up from the post office.
Time to think about some more quilt construction!
Visit with Aunt Peggy, Bruce and Carol during layover in Minneapolis
Charlie Ramsden and Frances' hospitality
Conversation with Johanna & Jay
No travel difficulties

Monday, May 18, 2009

Purple Season

Chives in bloom in the herb garden.

Bluebells (purple-ish) under the saucer magnolia.

Lilacs that remain after mistaken trimming job.

And "my mother's" iris. Not really hers, but this was the only kind she had, so they are what I always thought Iris were supposed to be: PURPLE. I asked a neighbor for a piece when I saw that she had just the right kind. Thank you, my old neighbor. I moved it with me to our new house 16 years ago.
Exercise class
The rows of triangles are sewn and put away until I need them for a border sometime later.

Vacation from Women's Chorus rehearsals for three months--free Monday evenings!

Friday, May 15, 2009


This is my Four Letter Word for Tonya ( She is collecting words of JOY/HOPE that are in a 6.5" x 12.5" brick. I first got out my graph paper and plotted it out, then as I started cutting and sewing I made some changes. I had the idea that Tonya wanted block letters, not the craziest.

Here is a closeup of the background fabric.

When that was all done, I felt empowered to make My Name for Tonya. She requested these several months ago. This one I felt I could make any way I wanted. "Make it simple" was my thought.

HA! My name also has four letters!

After all that, I had some little snips and sewn together pieces, so I made letters of them. "N" and then "M", and then "E". Could I make a word with those letters? I needed a fourth letter for Tonya's challenge, but what should it be?

So these are both going to Tonya as soon as I find out her address.

[Why does Blogger sometimes refuse to go to the photo posting routine? I've been trying for three hours. I guess I'll try again tomorrow morning.]


Quiet, gray day good for sewing
Cleaning crew came and left
Actors' Theater tonight

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another "found" project

I saw a plastic box on a lower shelf, and found that it had a stack of triangles all cut out to be a kalidiescope (sp?) quilt.

I know I don't want to make that anymore.

BUT they can be sewn together in strips. So that has been my mindless task during the last few days between the nervousness for the concert, sore, sore feet after the concert, and then a funeral trip taking most of the day on Tuesday.

No, I don't have any idea where these will be used. Right now I imagine them being BORDERS on some future creation. I now have four strips about 40" long, and more pieces still in the box. I aim to empty that box!
But I SHOULD get back to a close-to-finish UFO, so I have something completed this month.

Lilacs blooming in many yards
Georgette Heyer (author)
Charlie out hiking as "trail volunteer"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Nest

She, or the robin father, always flies away when I get near the window, so there is no parent on this nest, just the four blue eggs. The window ledge is about four feet from my back when I am sitting at the computer.
I wonder if having the light on in this room late a night will affect the health of the parents and eggs.
So, we are enjoying a closeness to motherhood this spring.
And I had a chipmunk in the kitchen! After I left the back door propped open for a couple of hours, I assumed he had found his wayout. Or had he invited his family to move in? I think Zeke would notice a whole family of chipmunks.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden before Concert

I took a walk around the garden this afternoon in order to calm my spirit.

The concert tonight has me very worried I will "let down the side" and make mistakes affecting all the basses and our performance.
So it is very good to see that the pink saucer magnolia doesn't care if I hit that interval correctly.

Nor do the late multi-bloom narcissus.

And I can see that the peonies are still coming up behind this group of daffodils.

The white "Snowdrift" crabapples are in full bloom and the dark rose crabapple is coming along.

And yesterday DS Peter invited us over for dinner on Sunday.....
Then the UPS truck drove in, to the dismay of Zeke. And the box contained.....

Roses from DD Martha and her family for Mother's Day.

So what's to worry about?
Mother Nature is still handling a lot of the world, and my family will love me even with mis-sung notes.


A LOT of right notes
The sturdiness of nature's processes

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Arrows" quilt top

I finished sewing the blocks together yesterday. It seems a little narrow for a twin bed. Today I added an old red stripe fabric as the first border to this 9-patch and hourglass top. Now that I can look at it from a distance, I see alot of "arrows".
And here is the current selection for the outer border, a navy blue with tan stars.
I am hung up at the moment about whether to add that border NOW, or try doing some quilting first, and then add the border later.
Really I have just run out of oomph.
Everything ready for the reception after the Womens' Chorus concert tomorrow
Symphony tonight
Have learned some of the Spanish!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

9-patch progress

The 9-patch and hourglass blocks blocks are done, or nearly done. I know I'll be under a few when I get to the end of putting them together. BUT I started the sewing together of the rows, and it's going pretty quickly.

These are all the "same" row, and there will be a different row in between each of them that has the oppposite 9-patch (four dark instead of five). I'm planning 17 rows of 11 blocks (4.5" finished) each.

I need a rather "thoughtless" project because I am listening to the last Womens' Chorus rehearsal on my MP3 player all the time. I hope that if I listen enough times I will pick up the Finnish and Polish language words that I need to go along with the notes that I already know. Plus I never studied Spanish. I've got the Arabic, and we are allowed to use our music for the Japanese. Concert this Saturday with 14 pieces. Woy, yoy! (That's Polish.)



Charlie is back from his retreat
MP3 player
"Am I Kin to Sorrow", words by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sew-In Mystery progress

Our SpoolSpinners Bee had a Sew-In today. Everyone worked on their own projects, but several of us worked on our monthly blocks for the "Your Way Mystery". These are the 6.5" blocks I made today, my wonky shoofly blocks. [Everyone chose their own block and fabrics, so these are going to be quite different quilts at the end.]

Eight of us worked away in the church meeting room from 10 until about 4. Naturally there was lots of chatter and commentary on each other's projects. A good time.

And here is my stack of 9-patches and hourglass blocks growing day by day. The challenge is to make ONE a day, but I am so far making four of each since my method makes two at a time, and I am working on reducing my pile of 6" and 6.5" squares. This gets twice as many used up.

After supper I got on the mowing tractor and did the lawn around the house for the first time this season. I did not go out to the meadow and do the paths because they are running in water still from all the rain recently. At this time of the year it is fun to mow and view the landscape at the same time. Our "bocce court" is just as bumpy as always.


Charlie had the mower ready to go
sewing progress

Friday, May 1, 2009

Garlic Mustard Removal

We did indeed go to pull garlic mustard yesterday. And here you can see the "pullers" gathering, and how wet the ground was. At least that made the plants come out of the ground pretty easily--they have a tap root, like a carrot.

The naturalist who instructed us said that the plant killed a necessary fungus or microbe in the ground which makes 90% of our native plants unable to grow nearby. That's the problem more than shading the ground. And it continues to grow and go to SEED even when pulled out of the ground, so we had to bag it all up and take it away.
Fifteen people showed up to do this work. Here is the Township Manager about to pounce on a large specimen.

And here is one more shot of the quilt I finished yesterday.

This shows the uneven circles that I free quilted in the inner border. Jusat another "liberated" look while I am learning to be more consistent. Oh, well, learning takes experience. And I think I might keep this for myself for a while.


Charlie & Peter off enjoying baseball together
Lots of help pulling garlic mustard on MY property
A little sunshine today