Keep on Truckin'

My plan today was to get my hair trimmed and then go to the grocery store. Since I was already going to be on the other side of town, I had planned to shop at a strange grocery store. And since you know how I feel about grocery shopping, then you won't be surprised to know that it was easy to change my mind and go tomorrow when I can go to my regular store. With that in mind, I had some more time for sewing today.

First, though, I paid a visit to the tomatoes. Mike has been monitoring them lately. Somehow our automatic sprinkler system magically reset itself to water them four times per day. They were way too wet, which would explain their measly growth and dearth of flowers. He turned down the water supply and eventually turned it completely off to allow their soil to dry out some. He hasn't been touching the flowers though, and since these are greenhouse tomatoes, they require regular doses of fondling in order to pollinate them. We use a soft make-up brush for that purpose.

While I was molesting the flowers, I noticed the first tomatoes have appeared:

This year, I planted only sauce tomatoes, and these Super Marzanos are a meaty and nearly seedless tomato that ends up long and thin when it's fully ripe.

Meanwhile, the outdoor cherry tomatoes are doing well and a few are very nearly ripe. These will go straight into my mouth as soon as they are ready.

After I got home from getting my hair trimmed, I finished up the top-stitching on the fire hat and fire truck for the "To the Rescue" baby quilt I started a few days ago.

Then I was ready to sew this section together.

I started with this section because I wanted to see if the ladder was going to fit. It did, but I ended up fixing the one side that was too short. It only took about 20 minutes to fix it, and I'm sure I would have ended up fussing with it a lot more than that if I'd left it as is.

That section is in the middle on the right side of the finished quilt. Next, I turned my attention to the section on the upper left.

I have the applique fused down for the two applique sections. Is that spotted dog too cute, or what? I'll give him a French knot for an eye and another French knot for a nose.

Also, there is a fire hydrant. The whole piece is cut and then the details will be stitched in where I've drawn those lines.

That's as far as I got for today. I'll pick it up again tomorrow after I get my grocery shopping finished. I knew this was going to be a fun project.

So...time to get on with dinner. I hope you've had a good day at your end.

July Goals and Progress Report

Time to confess my sins. By that I mean time to admit to all that I didn't finish during the month of June. It turned out to be an extremely busy month and I had a lot more non-sewing days than I anticipated. Not sewing does not make me happy.

Quilting and Flimsies

1. At the tippy top of my list for June is to quilt the Doors of Ireland quilt. I want this one finished so that I can enter it in the Oregon State Fair at the end of summer. No Progress.

No regrets about this one because my priorities changed mid-month. I realized I can only enter four quilts in the Oregon State Fair, and my dance card is already full with these four quilts:

Instead, I did this little flimsy in the Over the Moon table runner when I took a class on inset circles.

So...I get some points for at least doing something.

Swaps and Monthly Challenges

2. I'd like to finish two blocks for that. I need to make the green block for May and then whatever color is planned for June. Complete!

3. I'll need to make two blocks for my block bee, and I believe this is the final month for this year's bee. Complete!

4. I always like participating in the Block Lotto, and I'll try to get a block made for June. Complete!

This month's block was made in pairs.


5. I'm still wanting to finish up the section I've started for a Quiltmaker's Garden (pictured above), and so I'm going to continue eating that elephant one bite at a time. Thankfully, Complete!

6. I want to stay on track with the Live, Love, Teach quilt for my friend Lisa. My goal is to finish blocks 19 and 20. Complete!

Finally, I need a project for

and I have absolutely no expectation of getting this far. That won't stop me from setting a goal of at least getting a start on a new baby quilt I'm making for my friend Carol in Colorado and her new little grandson. Grayson's quilt is this "To the Rescue" quilt: I said I would "get a start" on it, and so I can call this goal Complete! It's all cut out, and I've got a good start on the applique.

So let's get on with plans for:

July is always a busy month for us here in the good old USA. Our 4th of July independence day celebration just happens to be one of my favorite holidays. We always spend ours watching fireworks on the east bank of the Willamette River with our family, and it is one of the best days of the year.

With that in mind, I'm going to switch things up a little with my goals for the month. Instead of planning quilting, flimsies, blocks, etc., I have some special projects I'd like to work on in the time's a-wastin' category.

Quilting and Flimsies

1.  Quilt and bind the Over the Moon table runner so that I can show it off at the July guild meeting on July 20th. (Pictured above.)

2.  Sew into a flimsy the "To the Rescue" baby quilt for my friend Carol's first grandson. If I get it finished, it will look something like this:

3. At least get a start on sewing together the "Vintage Tin" quilt I'm making for Erik's October birthday. It will look something like this when it's finished.

Special Projects

Do you think taking classes is a hassle with all the packing up and keeping track of supplies one needs to do to participate? I sure do. With that in mind, I'm pulling out some old patterns I've been hanging onto for a while. 

4. Complete this Quilter's Tool Tote from Enchanted Valley Arts. I saw this in a quilt shop a while back and what a handy tote! It holds a half-sized cutting mat and a 6 x 24 inch ruler with pockets for smaller rulers as well. Aren't those things the hardest to pack along for a class? They're so awkward and, well, breakable.

5. Also, complete this "Chatelaine" around-the-neck tool belt. Did I ever tell you that I think men wearing tool belts are very sexy? No? Ahem. Anyhooo... Won't I be the envy of all my guildy friends sporting this fancy dancy thing? I purchased this as a kit when we were in Moab a couple of summers ago, and so I have all the fabrics and everything else I need to finish it.

6. I still want to keep up with my one block per week on Lisa's Live, Love, Teach retirement quilt. On the drawing board for this month are Blocks 21-24:

Utility Sewing

7. Sew sleeves on two of my quilts set to be entered in this year's Oregon State Fair. The Psycatdelic quilt:


8. The Shoot for the Moon quilt.

That's plenty for one month, but I always need something for

Quilt Sandwiches

9. Sandwich the remaining quilts on the to-be-quilted pile, including Dream Machines (my most hated quilt ever). Someone told me that when they see this quilt, they see big white whales. Do you see them?

10. Doors of Ireland, and

11. Assuming I actually get it sewn into a flimsy...To the Rescue (pictured above).

It's a tall order for July, but you know by now that I'm up for the challenge. 

What's on your list for July?


Time for Tuesday

Did you know that today we get a leap second? This is something that happens every once in a while to synchronize our clocks with the movement of the sun. It happens at 8:00 p.m. (ET), and so it's coming right up. What will you do with that extra second? Make up your mind now because time's a-wastin'. I think I'll give myself an extra heartbeat just then.

As for today, I didn't get as much time to sew as I'd hoped. I did, however, get a start on the "To the Rescue" baby quilt that I cut out yesterday. Here's how it will look when it's finished:

Today I fused all the applique and did the top-stitching for the fireman's hat. Interestingly, the designer stated that the applique templates were already reversed, but you can see that the "1" was not. Oh well. I decided to leave it as is.

Also, I did all of the fusing and most of the topstitching for the hook and ladder truck.

When I'd taken it that far, it was time for me to stop. I needed to write this post and get ready to pick up my CSA share.

So what else did I do today? Well...I hooped the Gingerbread square block for the last time. Just the upper left corner needs stitching now.

And there it is. When that's all stitched, the block will be finished.

After that, I baked some zucchini bread. It was something to do with my CSA zucchini.

And then I went outside and did some watering. I notice that the bluest of the blue hydrangea is blooming.

Also, I promised you a picture of the purple hydrangea. I've only given you close-ups, but I wanted to show you how pretty the whole bush is. It's still quite small, but it has been prolific with its blossoms.

Here's a lawn ornament.

He always follows me around when I'm outside.

Also, two more sunflowers have bloomed. So far, only three of the six varieties are blooming. I'm curious to see what the rest will look like.

So, it's been a pretty full day. I still need to pick up my CSA share, and there's still much to do before I'm ready to call it a day.

It's the final curtain on June. Where does the time go?


Marvelous Monday

It was a pretty low-key day. I was excited to see that two more of my sunflowers have bloomed.

I had an appointment for a pedicure this morning. Before I left, I made up my veggie stock from last week's veggie cuttings. I've used most everything from last week's share. There are still two sweet onions and the eggs are starting to stack up on me, but I'm still feeling as if I'm staying on top of it. We'll see what tomorrow's share brings.

When I got home, I started on the baby quilt I'm making for a friend from high school. Her son and daughter-in-law just presented her with her first grandchild. I offered to make a quilt for her, and she chose this "To the Rescue" quilt. Her son is a fireman.

Today I got it all cut out.

Then, I pieced together the ladder that you see kind of in the middle of the quilt. My ends didn't match up well there at the bottom. It'll be trimmed to fit, and I'm hopeful that it will work out. If not, I'm going to have to do something to fix it.

Oh yes, and today I received this via email:

I'm pretty stoked that my quilt was accepted...it's this Vintage Miniature Sewing Machines quilt.

It's quite thrilling to have been accepted, and I have absolutely no expectation of winning anything. Still, getting in feels like a win to me.

Mike managed to get the A/C back on this evening...just in time for the hottest weather so far this year. I'm hoping it'll be the hottest weather of the summer, and that the temperatures won't continue to climb. This is feeling like Phoenix weather, and we're not used to it.

Tomorrow I have a day at home, a little housework, and then I'm going to spend the day working on the baby quilt. It's always fun to start a new project.