Saturday, April 29, 2023

Week in Review

Monday I drove to the clinic in town for blood work and a chest X-ray prior to my annual physical next week.  On Tuesday I went to the clinic in the Glade for that annual procedure every woman looks forward to.  I spent most of Wednesday working on a church project.  I did a little yardwork one of those days and my aching back let me know it was a bit much.  Thursday was a free day so I sewed!

I managed to finish all my squirrel blocks for what I am calling Diamond Duo (in-progress photo below). 

I fired up EQ-7 on the old laptop and, after it finally ground to life, I worked up several setting options based on the photo I was working from.  Since I am making my version a little smaller, none of my settings looked quite as dynamic as the original, so I have put the blocks in time-out until I have design wall space large enough to lay it all out.  That could very well be at the next retreat in November!

Friday was a comfort quilt sew day with the guild.  We were divided into groups of 4, each group given a kit that had been assembled by the committee.  Our little group was first to get started and the only group with a finished quilt top.

We used fusible interfacing to create the 16-patch and 9-patch units.  Not my preferred method, but when you have 20 sewers, each with their on PPM (Personal Private Measurement, according to Mary Ellen Hopkins), it helped standardize the finished product.  We still have two shoeboxes full of 2-1/2" squares; I hope the next project is a little easier!

Grocery shopping early today and watching golf on the deck in a little while.  What an exciting life I have!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Life on the Hill

 Or, more accurately, on the bluff.  Anyway, life in general is returning to normal, for the most part.

I made good progress on my new squirrel project.

Diann (Little Penguin) wisely observed that two 4Ps and two HSTs would make a block.  So that's what I've been making.  SEW much easier than spreading 4-inch blocks across the design wall!  Looking at that picture I see one block turned the wrong way ...

In the kitchen I made a couple of our favorites for dinner tonight.  Lemon-dill salmon and steamed asparagus with an herb pasta on the side.

In the garden I'm thrilled to report that the rhododendron survived the deep freeze, though it is not as full of blooms as it usually is.  

Mother Goose apparently chose another nesting spot, so the bluff is gooseless, so sad.  But we have had plenty of activity at the bird feeder, including a redwing blackbird and a gray catbird.

No meetings this week, but several annual health exams are on my schedule, plus I'm waiting to hear from a specialist about further tests for my back pain so I hope I'll have enough time to make more progress on my as-yet nameless squirrel project.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


 And yet another batik quilt.  No matter how much I try to use it up, I just seem to generate more scraps!

I was auditioning the dark batik in the HSTs.  It is husband-approved so I will proceed.  All the 4Ps are made; only 148 more HSTs to go ...  I'm hoping to make a lot of progress over the weekend when I'm not working in the yard.

The Christmas freeze was extremely devastating to our shrubs but the azaleas are doing their best to show us they still have some life left in them.

I will wait to see how much green shows up before I trim.  We have one huge holly (behind the dogwood) that is toast, as are the acubas next to the house.  

The holly had really gotten to be too big for the location at the corner of the house, so I'm working on a plan to re-do the entire front bed, hopefully something low-maintenance.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Devo Day!

Yay!  I actually sewed today!  I made 42 4Ps from stripsets and a dozen HSTs from squares.  It's another squirrel project that I hope to show progress on later this week.  

I'm sure I've explained before, but if you are new to my blog, Devo and Sew is a mission at a nearby church that provides "encouragement" quilts to anyone identified by a member who needs comfort or encouragement.  We meet twice a month and a couple of times a year we work as a group on the quilt inventory; otherwise we are free to work on our own projects.  

Take a look at the show-and-tell from today's meeting:

Two of those quilts were tops that I had contributed to the inventory that were recently quilted by another.  This first one I think was a Meadow Mist mystery a couple of years ago.

The second one is a strippy I made from reproduction fabrics.  I may be doing a lecture on strippies later this year so I asked if I could temporarily reclaim this quilt if I offer to bind it.  No problem.

It was a GOOD day!  

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Losing the Verve

I never could pronounce "vivre" (as in joie de vivre)!  Well, apparently I've lost it -- at least temporarily.  As chairman of the worship committee at church managing all the Holy Week activities, the wind definitely went out of my sails.  

BUT, I had a birthday last week so DH and I made a romantic getaway to the mountains of North Georgia for a few days of R'n'R.  We visited three state parks and one national forest, hiked a few miles at each, saw lots of waterfalls ...

... tasted wine at two wineries, got back to the inn in time to watch women's college gymnastics and golf on the communal big screen TV, slept like rocks in the mountain air ... I think I am revived and ready to get back in the groove.  

Third week of the month is always a busy one, lots of meetings, but I hope -- no PLAN -- to get some sewing done.  

Monday, April 3, 2023

In, Out, and About

 IN the kitchen, I have a Rachel Wray tip to share:  an asparagus greenhouse!

As soon as I bring fresh asparagus home from the grocery, I trim off about an inch from the bottom and put the bunch into a highball glass with about a half inch of water, making sure all stems are in the water.  I use the baggie I brought them home in to create a little greenhouse, using the rubber band to hold it in place at the base of the glass.  They stay fresh for at least a week (they don't stick around much longer than that here).  Before I steam it I break off any woody stems.  Butter and salt is all it needs.

I also tried something new today:  Lamb chops.  It's hard to find anything but ground lamb around here which we love as minty-garlicky lamburgers.  But I needed lamb bones for a Seder experience at our church this week.  Chops were the best I could get.  

Cooked on the stovetop, pretty tasty.

OUT of town, I went to a quilt study group event over the weekend in middle Ohio.  So nice to see old friends but, unfortunately, due to high winds the power went out around noon on Saturday so we had presentations by window-light.  When the power had not come back on by 4, DH and I decided to pack out.  Good thing since the power did not come back on till near midnight!

While ABOUT one day last week, I popped into our local quilt shop, Little Blessings, hoping they would have more of a shell pink blender I'm using for the flying geese in this strippy.

Unfortunately, they were out.  But I did find this lovely digital print:

The stripe is from my stash.  Isn't it a perfect match?  My eye seems to be drawn to more pastel shades recently.  Funny how our tastes change.