Monday, June 28, 2010

Lawn Swing part II and seasonal salads

First job is to hit the garden. I picked a lovely bouquet of daisies, black eyed susans, phlox and lilies. Harvested a head of lettuce (mmm, Boston lettuce - my absolute favorite), four small beets and my first zucchini of the season. My new seasonal thing is to bring in the lettuce, disassemble and wash it, then put the leaves in my Tupperware lettuce keeper (I looove my Tupperware). I (ok, ok, it is usually DH) make a LARGE batch of salad 'guts'. You know, the peppers, celery, cucumber, carrots, etc. These go in their own Tupperware. The guts are usually enough for three or four salads, so I make a fresh salad each evening by tearing up three or four lettuce leaves and adding guts, feta cheese, nuts or sunflower seeds, maybe some strawberries or blueberries, and dress it with a homemade dressing. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

On to the swing... much progress today. The seat cushion:
When I make the boxing strip with the zipper, I include a little pocket that the zipper tab hides under. This stops it from wearing a hole in the seat BACK which is behind the seat.
I had to put fresh padding and 'underpants' on the arms.
Then little slipcovers.
Looking pretty nice...
All that is left to make are the skirt pieces and the pillows. The poor old gal is in desperate need of paint so later this week I'll take it all apart, wirebrush it, prime the rusty spots and paint it black. There are so many layers of paint on this thing it's actually funny.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Refreshing the Lawn Swings

I have two lawn swings - one is a cute little cedar love seat. The chair pads are hand-me-downs in purple & blue that don't really match anything. Seriously, nothing in the world.
The other is Mom's antique that she bought used when my oldest brother (who is now... 66?) was a baby. I did the cushions on this for her about 15 years ago. The fabric is quite hole-ey and leaves fabric crumbles on you when you sit on it.
Fabricland had their outdoor fabric on sale last month so I chose a blue/green floral. When you are doing upholstery/cushions use a T-square to get a nice 45 degree edge. You'll need to square up again periodically, since this is fabric after all, and it shifts & shimmies.
A long straight edge is what you want for marking your cutting lines.
Before you make a single cut, draw a picture with all of your required pieces, the cut sizes, and then plot it on paper. You may discover that moving your pieces around will make better use of the fabric and you'll have leftovers for pillows.
Fifteen years ago I was afraid of welting. Seriously. I make tons of the stuff now, since cushions, slipcovers, and light upholstery are things I do for a living. This is 26 yards - it took me 1 hour 15 minutes.
Day 1 - all pieces measured & cut, the welting is made, two cushions for the love seat are finished, and the welting is stitched to the seat pieces for the big swing.
Hopefully I will have a Day 2 update for you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mermaid Quilt, Annie Dillard book

This was such fun to work on. The stitching doesn't show too well, but I included a seahorse and a crab in the background quilting.I've recently finished reading The Maytrees by Annie Dillard. It took forever to read - I was constantly going back to reread passages that I couldn't make sense of. However, one page in particular caught my brain on fire (figuratively speaking).
Lou hoped scandalously to live her own life. A subnormal calling, since civilization means cities and cities mean social norms. She wanted only to hear herself think.
.... ....The one-room ever-sparer dune shack was her chief dwelling from which only hurricane or frost exiled her. Over decades, she had reclaimed what she had forfeited of her own mind, if any. She took pains to keep outside the world's acceleration. .... ....In the past few years she had let go her ties to people she did not like, to ironing, to dining out in town, and to buying things not necessary and that themselves needed care. She ignored whatever did not interest her. With those blows she opened her days like a pinata. A hundred freedoms fell on her. She hitched free years to her lifespan like a kite tail. Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I love my garden. I always run a week or two late on quilting jobs in June, forgetting how much time I need to allow for outdoor work. The yard is 1 1/2 acres and I have several flowerbeds that are always full of grass. This will be another many-truck-loads-of-mulch year.

The cutting garden is in the front half of the bed. Only the left half is in the photo. Right now I have peonies, coreopsis, dianthus, and California poppies. Just finished are the Siberian Iris, although I love the leftover seed pods - very alien looking. Almost ready to bloom are the huge Black Eyed Susans and the large pink poppies.

The back of the bed is the veggie garden. I've been harvesting (hah!) lettuce and spinach at a constant rate. Something keeps eating my green bean seedlings, but they're coming. I think next week I can start pulling some beets... yum yum. I've started picking potato beetles off the plants and I'm stalking the tomatoes waiting for the nasty nasty hornworms. The birds are eating the cherries and the mice are eating the strawberries, so the foodbank is open, I guess.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On The Road Again

What's this??? It looks like someone left town again!

Well, yes, I had to pick up my winnings from the Circle Lord, after my big competition win.

Debbie & I got carried away, I guess, and ended up at Diane's in Grand Bend. Heh, heh, heh. We just happened to have our suitcases in the car.

How do four girls amuse themselves of an afternoon???

Somehow by the next day we had multiplied!I swear, there is nothing better than 24 hours with the girls to replenish the well. Thanks Diane - I love ya!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lovely Bathroom, Ugly Fabric Challenge

Here is my finished project made with fabric from the Ugly Fabric Challenge. The uglies are the purple print in the flying geese, and the puke green striped fabric on the sides/bottom of the bag. I didn't win a prize, but I now have a lovely handbag that goes with exactly one pair of capris. Well, ok, it goes with another pair of pants too, but they will only fit me if I lose five pounds. (note to self: update wardrobe with more puke green clothing).Now - here's the bathroom update. Bathfitters came on Monday with tubs for both of the bathrooms, however, one of the tubs does not fit. So, I only have one nice new bathtub, not two. I'll give you a progress report again in approximately two weeks. Jason, the installer, was friendly, cheerful, and whistled while he worked. Although I did hear him curse under his breath once or twice.

Step 1 is putting smelly double stick tape on the walls, then stick new walls on.
Step 2 is putting smelly black goo on the old tub, then placing the new tub over top of the old tub.
Step 3 - add some nice trim around the edges & caulk all seams. Wait 24 hours before using.
This is not 'fancy' but it is oh-so-nice to have clean & shiny.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sampler Quilt, Bathrooms, Sunday blocks

Sampler quilt - mostly quilted with a pantograph, but custom quilting in the center block.
I love light backings that show the quilting.
New bathtubs are coming tomorrow (yippee!!!!). DH is replumbing the main potty, via the closet in the guest room.
Tomorrow night we'll have a lovely new tub & surround - no more icky rust stains. I cannot wait.
I'm catching up on some blocks.
#1 - due last week for the quilt shop. This will cost me another $10 I think. Bad late quilter, bad! I remembered Tuesday at 8:45 pm that the first Tuesday of the month was the pickup time for my $10 quilt club. Why do I bother writing things on my calendar?

#2 - due last week for the Binbrook guild Block of the Month. Bad late quilter, bad! Before the meeting I was pretty sure I had committed to a BOM but I couldn't find it. The next day it was staring me right in the face, where I had been looking. Perhaps I should get my eyes checked?

#3 - due June 21st for the Binbrook guild Block of the Month. Early piecer - good! Now, watch me go and forget to bring it to the guild meeting.

#4 - no pic yet. Ugly Fabric Challenge project due Wednesday for the Caledonia Guild. There will be a $10 penalty if I don't have it finished, so I will get my butt in gear this afternoon and git'r-done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lantern Quilt & Spinach Salad

I was working on this quilt when I departed last week. This is a quilt from the Morning Out class.

First harvest of the season - fresh spinach. I added feta, sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, and dressing a la the newlyweds' blog. Yum yum yum.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Retreat Roundup

What a beautiful week at Margaret's in the Kawarthas. It was HOT and SUNNY and her deck looks out over a lake (of unknown name). The dock was installed but the boat was still in storage so we didn't make it as far as the water, but nevertheless...

The Buckhorn guild hosted me as the guest speaker. I presented a slide show of my trip to the Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2009. In the afternoon I taught a postcard workshop. You could entertain yourself for quite a while coming up with a caption for this photo.

I was on supper duty so I'm making sure the guests will enjoy their meal. Get 'em soused is my philosophy, then everything tastes good.

I was back at work on Monday. The first day back never goes quite as well as you'd like.