Monday, June 29, 2009

June Retreat

Back from the quilt guild's board retreat, and finally all caught up on my sleep too. ;) Here's the progress on couple of the projects I took to do.

This was started from a block of the month. I won the drawing, but I'd only gotten six of these blocks. So I connected them with sashing and made this center that I posted about last June. I still didn't like the quilt, though, and it had languished in a grocery bag ever since. Here it is after yesterday:

I did take out and replace one half square triangle that was too 'off' to suit me. Finally, this weekend, I decided to round out the shapes on the edges, by connecting them with border fabric, then I added a solid border fabric row. Now I like it much better. Maybe this week, I'll scrounge some backing fabric for it and get it quilted. A little one like this, I ought to be able to do myself, right?

And here's the status on the row quilt the guild is doing as block of the month this year. This weekend, I made the 80 half square triangles needed to go in the blocks of that friendship star row going across the top. The friendship star row will be row six of ten.

I went on and connected the star row to the houses and trees row, and then I really liked the looks of putting row one under the houses. I think I'm going to wait and connect the other rows later, though.

In other news, I'm enjoying my tomatoes - made a wonderfully sloppy sandwich today, with turkey deli meat and 4 big slices of homegrown tomato on it. Was so messy and drippy I had to change my shirt when I got done eating, but the flavor was so worth it. :)

I've about eaten the last of the Spring crop of snow peas, but early September, I plan on putting in a crop for Fall.

The tiger lilies are doing great this summer, that's the only flower I have growing now. Here's a couple of shots from the bed of lilies I have growing along my carport:

Some of the lilies look like two flowers nested in each other, some three... and the one below looks almost like there's four petals stacked up:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Square Dance Quilt Finished

I finally finished this quilt, with a center inspired by Martha Thompson's Square Dance book. If you look back on my blog in 2007, you can see some of the design process I went through.

Here's a closeup of it - you can possibly see the purple and blue fabric have the same pattern, just different colorways. I used many of the same fabrics from the inner pinwheels for the bigger pinwheels in the middle pieced border. This one ended up double bed sized.

Surprisingly, this quilt has been one of the most searched quilts in my blog - the book is more than 15 years old, out of print, and people are looking for instructions. I've received multiple e-mail requests for help. I actually e-mailed the publisher, and they say they have no plans to re-issue the book.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Navy Band Mid-South Quintet

Here's one of the things I look forward to every summer -- a visit from the Navy Band to the libraries I work at. I usually invite them to come out and play during our summer reading club activities. They always play a mix of music, from marches to patriotic, to jazz and classical. The songs most well received were the 'William Tell Overture' and the 'Pink Panther' but, I think the kids enjoyed them all! Some pix I took at the event:

I especially like the fact that the guys take the time to explain what the name of their instrument is, play a few bars so the kids can hear what they sound like. It's nice to expose these little ones to live music - and some styles they don't hear every day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rainbows and Tomatoes

We had quite a storm come thru Memphis this past weekend. I was without power for two days, and there are some 30,000 folks in the city who still don't have any. I took these photos immediately after the storm:

It was just before the sun went down, and there were still some pretty dark clouds in the sky. It was a lot prettier in person, really. ;)

And here's what I picked tonight from my little container garden:

I was going to save the snow peas to have in my salad, but *blushes* I crunched them raw while I was uploading the photos. Five to seven snowpeas each night seems to be my average, so it takes 3 to 4 days of resisting the temptation to gobble them up fresh in order to be able to save enough to cook. I just ate that reddest cherry tomato too... lol The other red one on the right, from the early girl plant, WILL make it to the salad tonight. :) The two bigger ones in the back, still orange, are from the better boy plant.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday 66

This Week's Ten Word Challenge was: swashbuckler, heads-up, dry martini, recovery, jungle gym, whiskers, bathing suit, spade, circular reasoning, abrasive

I had decided I didn't want the whiskers to belong to a cat, and didn't want any one-eyed sword-fighting pirates or anyone drinking the dry martini. ;) For the Wordzzle guidelines, and the words for next Saturday (if you wanted to try it yourself) go on over to Raven's blog. Thanks for hosting this Raven, it's been fun!

My fifteen year old son, Scott, came backing around the corner into the living room from the kitchen, brandishing a butter knife like a swashbuckler, and wearing nothing but his bathing suit. Rowf, our golden retriever, pranced right behind him, with his favorite throwing stick (the wooden handle from an old backpacking spade) in his mouth. I watched quietly from my recliner, realizing neither of the two knew I was observing their silliness.

I also knew that if I didn't stop the horseplay, something would probably end up broken, but in a weird kind of circular reasoning I was too glad to see his goofiness to want to put a stop to it. These last two years, my son's behavior had changed from a happy-go-lucky kid into an abrasive, mouthy teen. Having a conversation with him was like playing tag on a twisted jungle gym. If I were climbing up, then he'd be maneuvering away from me down the other side.

Now, with a 15 year old's bravado, he was dancing with his reflection in the sliding glass door, holding an empty cocktail glass from the bar in his hand. He tilted his head and admiringly stroked the four whiskers that had recently sprouted from his chin. I figured I'd better give him a heads-up before he did anything to embarrass himself further.

"Scott," I said quietly, getting up from my chair, "What are you doing?"
He jumped, spun around, and dropped the cocktail glass, narrowly missing the dog, but making a quick recovery.
"Nothing, Mom, I promise, there was nothing in it!"
"Why were you holding an empty martini glass?"
"Um... because it was a dry martini?
I laughed and gave him a quick hug while he was caught off-guard. Wonders never cease, he hugged me back.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Garden Update for Beginning of June

I'm baaaack. ;) and wow, am I glad to have internet at home again. On the right in the picture below, my new modem. Now to catch you up with my garden! This is my first little crop. One tomato (between ping pong ball and tennis ball size) and eleven snow peas, on top of that snack sized baggie there. I'm really trying to save them till I have enough to stir fry, but it's hard! I like them raw too.

Here's the tomatoes still on the vine, another Early Girl just starting to get orange. The Better Boy tomatoes are in the foreground, but I think they have some growing to do still.

And here's the status of the crookneck squash. The kitty litter trick has worked, and no more gobbled blooms.

Last, my snow peas. I almost wish I'd planted more of these, instead of just 20 plants, they're really delectable. I've eaten only four of them, so far. But the package directions say they don't do too well in the heat of the summer. Instead, I'll wait till August and put in a new crop for fall.

Anyone out there know when the squash blooms open? I'm worried that with fewer bees, I'm going to have more of a crop if I go pollinate with a q-tip. But every time I've been out there, the blooms are twisted shut. Healthy looking, but closed.
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