Sunday, July 23, 2017

The African Quilt, Today's Pet Peeve, and First Zucchini Report of 2017

OMG, this African Quilt is quite a work of art.

 Where to start, where to start?  Well, GOOGLE is where we all start today, I think.  Because the little corner of my brain where "African designs & motifs" is supposed to reside is apparently empty.

Lots and lots of s.i.d.

After s.i.d. then it's time to add in some African background quilting.

I have a great deal of admiration for quilters who are so adept at applique.  It also appears that she has an embroidery machine that (wait for it...) she knows how to use.


Passive-aggressive people.  link here
Seriously.  If you're going to be mad at me because I (apparently) hurt your feelings, maybe you could do me the courtesy of TELLING ME WHAT I DID/SAID.  You can even YELL at me, if that's the only way you can get it out.  Because quite likely, what you are hurt/angry/insulted/shocked about is a MISUNDERSTANDING.  Which, obviously, I cannot clear up IF YOU DON'T TALK TO ME.  If it's not a misunderstanding, if I actually DID something that hurt your feelings, I would like to apologize and not do it again.  Because in spite of how you are thinking right now - I do NOT want to hurt you.  You're one of my 'peeps' and I love you.
How do you think it makes ME feel, when you are supposed to be someone who LOVES ME, and you are walking around acting like I hurt your feelings on purpose?  C'mon.  You've known me for a zillion years and you should know that I don't go around intentionally hurting people's feelings.  If you REALLY think that's what I do, you should not be in my life because apparently you do not think I'm a very nice person.
You probably noticed a little bit of personal hurt feelings and anger here but there ya go... that is Today's Pet Peeve.  I apologize to any of you reading this if it gave you stress, but I had to get it out.  Have a martini, you'll feel better.  😁

Ooh, this first report covers three weeks.  I meant to take a few with me yesterday when I dropped off boxes to the Quilts of Valour rep in Hamilton.  But I'm gettin' old, and I forgot.  Stupid.

Picked so far:  23
Tossed in the compost:  0
Given away to customers:  3

Thankfully, these are all little ones.  The teeny ones get chopped up into salads, where it's pretty difficult to identify them.  There are six or seven plants in the garden in two separate clumps.  I seem to be getting about three per day in the 5" size.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Summer Hours and Garden Update

Summer hours.  If I were a normal person that would probably mean I was knocking off at noon on Friday and heading up to the cottage for a long Long Weekend.  But oh, nooo.  Not me.  Here was my Monday this week:

9:00 - 11:00
  • shower
  • strip bed
  • clean four bathrooms, remove shower curtains for laundering
  • put away a load of laundry from... several days ago.  Can't remember.
  • wash two loads of laundry
  • hang one load on the solar dryer
11:00 - 12:00
  • pick garden produce
  • rehang the washed shower curtains
  • put fresh sheets on the bed
  • put away last night's clean dishes
12:00 - 12:40
  • lunch - leftover orzo pasta salad, blueberry/banana loaf with almond butter
12:40 - 1:25
  • take down & put away load #1 of laundry
  • hang load #2 on solar dryer
1:25 - 2:00
  • take Sadie & DH for a walk
2:00 - 3:00
  • go down to my sweatshop & quilt
3:00 - 3:20
  • take down & put away load #2 of laundry
  • hang load #3 on solar dryer
3:20 - 5:40
  • surreptitiously eat 5 Twizzlers.  It's either that or a cocktail.  Did I make the right choice?
  • go back to sweatshop & quilt
5:40 - 6:00
  • eat supper.  Thank God DH cooks because it seems I ran out of time today.
6:00 - 6:10
  • bring in and put away laundry load #3
6:10 - 7:10
  • relax with the newspaper and the Sudoku puzzle
7:10 - 9:00
  • gardening.  Which is a euphemism for 'weeding' and 'swatting mosquitos' and 'crying'.  Pics follow.  I think I want a wife.

This was taken on June 11th

A similar view on July 3rd.  Wowza!!  Three weeks growth.
So, yeah, all the rain we had made my garden sooo happy!  Especially all the grass!  I could probably hide dead bodies in there and no one would find them.  I am resorting to my favorite mulch system - newspaper.
I have about 1/4 of the garden mulched with newspaper & compost.
I keep running out of newspapers.

Now, I'll leave you with a couple of 'pretty' pictures.
The left half of the cutting garden, which is in front of the veggie bed.
The evening sky on Canada Day, after the rain finally stopped.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Strippie Sampler Quilt and Dear Universe...Knock it Off Already

Oh.  Love, love, love the red.

This is the first quilt she's ever made.  Nicely done!

Dear Universe!  Please!  Bugger off with the rain, already.
June 2016:  37 mm of rain.
June 2017:  67 mm of rain.
Thunderstorms forecast again for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Canada Quilts, Red Hats in the Rain...rain...rain, the Potty Incident

Three great Canada quilts for the kids in this gal's family.



This is (ahem) MINE.  When I was at Quilt Canada last week I bought the license plate panel, then came home and made up a quickie for the front door.  Now to get it bound and actually hang it on the front door.

Yesterday was Red Hat day.  Our outing was to Whistling Gardens.  Our admission included a tour and the water fountains choreographed to music.  What fun!  In the pouring rain!

It wasn't really pouring during the show.  But it was definitely raining.

We got in about an hour of the tour but gave up when it started to rain.  We decided to have our lunch early in the picnic area.  Do you see the rain pouring down?  Thank goodness for the tented picnic area.
It managed to stop raining in time for us to head over to Hewitts Dairy in Hagersville for ice cream.  A perfect finish to our day.

Aah, the Potty Incident.  That mirror, which used to hang above the sink, belonged to mom.  I kept it when she had to move into assisted living.  Why her spirit decided to fling it off the wall last night is beyond me, but I sure hope the "seven years of bad luck" thing is just a rumour.

Monday, June 12, 2017

That Crazy 365 Quilt, and garden update

This is the Crazy 365 Quilt.  (crazy is my word, not really the name of the quilt)  A block per day for a whole year.  The little ones are only 3" x 3".

Never in my life would I make a quilt like this.  Kudos to all the crazy quilters who did.

This gal likes blue, so here's number two quilt.

Those ice cream cones are too stinkin' cute.

Sigh.  The garden.
Here's a view from the east.  The cutting garden is on the left, with the veggie bed on the right.  Food seems to be creeping into the cutting garden though.  Last year it was the tomatoes & strawberries.  This year it's butternut squash & the same strawberries.

The zucchini seeds are up!!!

The beans are under chicken wire for a while to protect them from the stupid rabbits.  They were cavorting on the lawn - two of them - while I was taking these pics.  Little bastards.

Yes, look closely here and you will see TOILET PAPER ROLLS.  No.  Not in case I have an, um, emergency.  They are around celery plants, and will, I hope, keep the dirt out of the stalks.  We'll see.  This is an experiment.

Yippee, yippee, yippee - a red strawberry!!!

We've been eating more than our fair share of asparagus.  I pick a few stalks every day, which gives us enough for supper about every three days.  Step 1 - wash and trim off the bottom of the stalks.

Step 2 - put them in a container with some water in the bottom.  Cover with a baggie and store in the fridge.

We'll be getting plenty of lettuce now too.  This gets a fresh trim at the bottom stem.  Then I swaddle it gently in a damp paper towel, and then the plastic bag.  This is an old trick of mom's.  It keeps for an amazingly long time this way.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sampler in Black & White, Asparagus Recipe

I can't make up my mind what I love more - the Black & White part, or the Sampler part.

This quilt was interesting to work on because in spite of the "modern" appearance, the maker requested the quilting be done in a more "traditional" style.

I tried to accommodate her request for 1/4" outline quilting as much as possible.

 Many places required MORE quilting (in my opinion) so I used straight lines to continue the mood.

Some curves were needed too, to soften the hard, angular edges.

Yum.  I love curved piecing.

If I live to be one hundred I probably won't figure out how to effectively photograph black quilts, so hopefully you can see the quilting of borders, etc., on the grey backing.

I try to blog weekly, but that doesn't always pan out.  The last few weeks have, um, challenged my serenity.  DH and I took his truck to his brother's shop for some major repair work, which ended up taking three weeks due to some unforseen circumstances.  During that three weeks hubby and I were a one car family.  Working at home is great for such occurrences but my ZEN mentality requires a weekly reboot at my yoga class.  Which didn't happen.
Thankfully, the Universe provided me with a love of gardening, so I spent many hours out in the mud, and occasionally the rain, weeding and  planting... side dressing with the occasional curse word.
If you want the lowdown, I have planted:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 10 sweet peppers
  • 8 lettuce
  • 8 celery
  • 6 cabbage
  • 20 tomatoes (4 different varieties)
  • a dozen garlic plants transplanted, and six clumps given away
  • a lonely potato volunteer transplanted beside the other potato volunteer
  • beet seeds
  • bean seeds
  • pea seeds
  • zucchini seeds! 👍
  • butternut squash seeds
  • basil seeds
  • Thai basil seeds
  • flower seeds, several varieties
Planting asparagus a few years ago is paying off in such a wonderful way!  (mind you, I'll be sick of it by the end of June)  Try this... sooo good! 
If you are too lazy to click on the link, here is the recipe.

Asparagus/Tuna Pasta

100g dried pasta- we prefer bowties for this recipe
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2cm lengths
  • 425g can tuna in olive oil, drained, flaked
  • 1 cup thin cream or PHILADELPHIA cooking cream (low fat works too) 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • squeeze lemon juice as desired
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown or red onion- finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • fresh parmesan cheese for garnish

Cook pasta in a pot of salted water, until al-dente- and set aside.
In a separate pan- add oil, minced garlic, onion and chopped asparagus. Lightly fry for approx 5 minutes.
Add cream, lemon zest and tuna.
Toss pasta through the sauce
Add a small squeeze of lemon juice and a generous shaving of fresh parmesan cheese. Salt & pepper to taste.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Card Trick in Taupes & Gardening Update

Taupe quilts are very Japanese, and very restful.

Muted greens, blues & reds work beautifully to add some gentle colour.

It was quilted with lots of s.i.d. & feathers.

Mmm, nice definition on the back.


  • I've picked seven more spears of asparagus.
  • DH rototilled the garden last fall and that was the best thing, ever!  It's all ready for me now, except for the wee challenge of a zillion thistle plants.  Those horrid things spread by runners that are easily a foot or more deep.  Every time a root gets chopped apart (by, say, a rototiller) each little piece of root sends up a new plant.  I'm currently on thistle-digging duty now.  That's not a hard job but it is a tedious chore because they will all come back.  sigh.
  • Last year I tried to eliminate my problem of THE GARLIC THAT ATE MANHATTAN.  Well, hell.  I did not succeed.  Yesterday I dug up and transplanted 22 plants.  I dug up and heeled in seven huge clumps that are available to whoever wants them.  I tossed another zillion over my shoulder.  There are still many, many more little ones that will be haunting me again next year.
  • After the garlic was moved I found my strawberry plants.  Yay!  And we have flowers.  More yay!  Strawberries won't be too far behind.  I need to frame this strawberry bed with something, though.  The babies are starting to show up everywhere and need to be corralled. Removing overabundant garlic, only to replace it with overabundant strawberries, is not helpful.
  • I ripped out some raspberry runners that were trying to move into the cutting garden.  I put in a delineator row of bricks so I can stay diligent about where they are allowed to live.
  • On my way home from retreat in March I bought myself a pot of tulips.  I planted that out in the garden - hopefully they'll be so grateful I didn't leave them dried up in the pot that they'll bloom for a few more years outside.
  • I figured "what the hell" and planted a Sweet 100 tomato seedling under a cloche.  I have several more seedlings in case I've murdered this one.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Spring has Sprung

I was pretty bummed out last week when I realized this was the end of my raspberries from the freezer.  It will probably be another two months before I'll be picking new ones.  Several days later I was poking around to see if I had any frozen cake frosting (which is kind of funny, when you think about it) and discovered another tupperware full of raspberries.  Yay - lunch for another few weeks!

Last year's kale managed to overwinter.  I chopped up some of this to extend the Mixed Chinese Vegetables from leftover Chinese food on DH's birthday.  I would not make him eat kale on his birthday, but two days later all bets were off. 😊

Yesterday I harvested seven spears of asparagus!  Woo hoo!!

I have two lettuce plants growing under cloches.

Two more cloches have cabbage seedlings.

The peas have sprouted.  Now I need to get a little cage around these so the stupid rabbit doesn't eat them all.
Last night I transplanted 30 tomato seedlings into larger pots.  Well, not pots exactly.  Large Tim Hortons coffee cups.  DH likes to go for coffee with a couple of the neighbour-menfolk.  I'm sure they think I'm insane when they find out they have to SAVE their cups for me.  I poke a few drainage holes in the bottom, drop the seedling down in the bottom of the cup, then fill it up with potting mix.  The seedling will put out roots all along the length of it's stem.  When it comes time to plant in the garden  these will have huge deep roots on them.

Garden work will have to wait for a while.  The rain is starting today (it's already raining, actually) - the forecast is for 1" tonight and another 1" tomorrow night.  
Since we've already had a TON of rain the ground is totally saturated, and everything that comes down during this storm will be runoff.  Sploosh, sploosh, sploosh.  I must remember to ask DH to poke around in the garage to see if he has a raft out there for us... just in case.