While making dinner, a knock on the door. Unusual.
Opening the door I find my neighbor from across the street who had stopped to talk with me last week while I was shoveling snow. She left me for a little bit and came back with 1/2 a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread and explained “this is the way we make it.” This time she smiled ear to ear and handed me an aluminum foil covered gift. “A whole loaf of pumpkin bread for you ~ still warm” she said.
A few years back, I received a free quilt pattern that came with its own fabric. I can’t remember why it was sent to me.
For some reason though, I did not like the fabric nor the design of the quilt so I laid it aside until I had absolutely nothing to do ~ which is never.
Last year though, my brother asked if I could make him a quilt and I said yes. I wondered if he would like the Tea For Two Dutch Garden pattern and fabric and he checked with his wife and said yes.
So ~ I started piecing the front of the quilt together. However, they have a queen bed and the measurements for the quilt are for a twin bed. I searched high and low for the fabric and, unfortunately, was not able to find the same fabric. I did find something similar and used it as the outside yellow dot border.
(This is one reason why I feel that one should buy a fabric if they absolutely like it as they may not find it again.)
Around the time I finished the top, my brother asked if I would be able to add fabric to the quilt which was from a bed jacket that my sister-in-law had from her deceased mother. I told him it would be hard for me to add it to the front but that I could improvise and use it on the back of the quilt with different fabric. They loved that idea.
And so, this quilt is really two different designs. The top is the Tea For two Dutch Garden II with an added dotted yellow border by Monique Jacobs that featured the Boundless Dutch Garden II fabric, and the back is fabric that I used to improvise a different design. Although it doesn’t quite “match” I think it came out quite well.
I always wash the quilt fabric before I start piecing it together so that when the quilt is finished and I wash it, I get the vintage (crinkly) look.
Having moved to a new house with a sunny southern exposure, I’ve been on the hunt for plants that will survive full sun.
It’s quite different from the mostly shady acre property where we lived in Minnesota. I’m almost giddy with all the selections I now have.
In Minnesota, we were able to plant bee balm because we had some sun in a corner of our property. Did we attract hummingbirds, bees or butterflies?
We mainly attracted large butterflies and hummingbirds. It was rare when we saw a bee on our mostly shaded lot.
After planting this one bee balm plant, I was surprised that it did so well in its first year.
After being in the ground for about a month, the flowers started withering so I headed online to see if I should “deadhead” them. Deadheading is when you remove the withered flowers so that new buds can grow ~ I usually just use my hands and twist the dead ones off.
Online, this is what I found:
“If you want a bushier plant, pinch off the stem tips as new growth appears in the early spring. In late fall, cut the bee balm down to just a few inches tall. In cold areas, it may die completely to the ground during the winter, but will reappear in the spring.” This was from the “gardening knowhow” website.
Isn’t this one of the prettiest pink bee balms? Next year I’m hoping to plant several of these.
Do you have any bee balm photos you’d like to share?
Being home most of the day now, I’ve been looking for easier recipes to make. Call it laziness ~ although, I am looking for NEW recipes to make during this coronavirus pandemic.
Seeing as I had purchased tuna in bulk (shouldn’t we be prepared for food shortages, after all?), I needed tuna recipes.
This recipe was quite easy to make and tasty.
It does require chickpeas. Chickpeas?!!! Yes, this is the first pasta recipe I’ve tried with chickpeas. And it came out quite good.
I did cut back on the dressing though as I thought it would be a little strong and was wise to do that. I also didn’t use cucumbers. Maybe next time … Since I had olive I decided to toss a few in there. So daring I am! Ha!
I decided to use Farfelle pasta for no other reason than it was on sale at the store plus I like the cute bows.
As I mentioned before, I cut the dressing in half using about 1/8 of the red wine vinegar and olive oil. I also used 1 tablespoon of the Dijon Mustard as I didn’t want it to taste too mustard-y.
This recipe was easy and quite good. I served it with toasted garlic bread.
So ~ here’s the link to where you can find the whole recipe. And, enjoy!
Early summer, my nephew who is in his 30’s, asked if I could make him a quilt.
I was surprised as he rarely shows much emotion about things but he was serious.
So I had him go through some of my quilt books and he picked a pattern called Hoodwink from the Charm School quilt book.
This book has quilt designs that you can make using 5″ squares of fabric. But my goal was to use up scrap fabric that I had. In actuality though, I used scrap fabric and material that I had purchased at JoAnn’s store awhile ago but hadn’t used yet. I just happened to walk by it one day and fell in love with the fabric and thought I could add it to the stash I already had at home.
It actually worked quite well for what I wanted.
When I asked my nephew what color fabric he wanted he said “I don’t know. Maybe navy blue?” Well, that left me open to use whatever I wanted with blue as my dominant color.
This quilt came together quickly (well, once I had time to work on it). I did have to add material since my nephew has a queen quilt and the design is for a 69″x69″ quilt which is quite smaller.
After I made the blocks, I laid them out on the floor to see how I should lay them out on the final design. It takes me awhile to do this since I like to leave them on the floor for a day or so and come back to look at them from every angle. Since we moved to a smaller home recently, I have very limited space.
After putting the top together, including the sashing, I thought I could do the quilting myself so purchased the backing along with Quilters Dream Cotton batting to get ready. For this project, I decided to use the Request which is the lightest batting that Quilters Dream Cotton has. This was my first time using it. It’s a lighter batting and so the quilt can be used year round.
Here’s a picture of the quilt on the table after I had pieced the top together.
Unfortunately, after I spent the time preparing it by pinning it together and started to quilt it, I noticed that it was puffing up in the back. I had to rip out the sewing I had completed.
Since we have a laminate floor, it was very difficult to pin the quilt without damaging the floor with the safety pins so, although I had done a good job, it was not good enough.
I would up taking the quilt to a local long arm quilter to have it completed.
One thing I did was wash the fabric before cutting it so I could have a crinkly look which I really like and that the quilt in the book shows.
But after looking at the picture above and the finished product, I’m not sure if that was the right decision as I think the crinkly look takes away from the beautiful blocks. It still looks beautiful though!
Tell me what you think by comparing the picture above (well it’s not quilted yet so you’ll have to use your imagination) and the pictures below.
Patience. I purchased this amaryllis in early December and thought it was dead as it was not growing. But I watered it once a week and, although I was ready to give up, my mother said “wait.” Then it started getting “leggy” and a bulb started to grow. It’s a beauty now. Just goes to show everything has its own journey even if it seems slow to us.
There are so many lessons I learn from God in nature.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV