Wednesday, June 21, 2017

majority rules

yikes - apply the brakes!!!

progress came to a screeching halt on the thistle quilt...

i twiddled my thumbs for a few days
 waiting for SOMEONE out there to agree with ME - ha ha ha!!!

it turns out that Melissa and Jennifer and Amy were the Majority and, 
keeping Samuel Adams* in mind, i listened to the People...

*It doesn't take a majority to prevail
but rather a tireless, irate minority,
keen to set brush fires in the people's minds.

no more peeper borders
no more cream background
one batik for the sashings, the other for the binding
and 
corner stones

big problem, though...

 of the two purple and green batik fabrics - which were supposed to be sashing and/or binding - exactly NONE of them played nicely with the thistles... 
this was supposed to be a From Stash quilt, so Melissa and i searched for ANYTHING in the Great Pile of Stuff that would work 
and found Not One Thing... 

unless...

maybe...

i had 14 inches left of a half-yard cut of my favorite purple from the thistle blossoms...
and it just happened to have the name of the fabric line in the selvage - Timeless Treasure The Reclaimed West by Judy & Judel Niemeyer - so i started searching for more of it...
neither of the nearby brick and mortar shops had it, but Over the Rainbow did... 
 so i placed an order...
put all of the bits and pieces away...
and waited...

and that's okay cuz there are puh-lenty of Other Things To Do around here...

anywho, when three yards of kinda bright purple fabric arrived a couple of days later, i thought it was gonna be too much purple and waaay too bright...

so i dragged my feet getting it pre-washed 
and dried 
and pressed
 and folded to cut...

i had to make corner stones anyway, right?!? 
the sashing and corner stones needed to be 3 inches wide - and 9 square inches of any one of those greens was gonna be about  5 square inches too much...

nine patches or square in a square?!?

there wasn't enough of most of the greens to cut more than a few little squares, so nine patches won out...

and after i put all of those little squares together into bigger squares, i was still not Feelin' the Love for the purple... 

having already gone through the first 22 letters of the alphabet
 i came up with Plan W - just in case - and started cutting a bunch more little green squares to sew into 8 inch strips for the middle of those purple 24-square-inch rectangles...

which was a Total Waste of Time cuz the purple actually looks pretty doggone good...
the blocks are sewn into rows...
and after the Oppressive Heat 
drops from the high 90's to the mid 70's tonight
i'm gonna press the seams...
Melissa, Melissa
little sistuh

how does your garden grow?
and see if the tireless, irate minority is keen to set more brush fires...


Untilled ground, however rich, will bring forth thistles and thorns;
 so also the mind of Man.
Teresa of Avila

p.s. - i'm linking up with Mama Spark's WIPs With Friends

Thursday, June 8, 2017

wwyd?

i had a plan for Melissa's thistle quilt 
and i thought it was pretty much a done deal till this...
wicked looking, aren't they?!?
1) i think that the peach inner border needs to lose an inch, and i was gonna do that by trimming it down and then adding a purple peeper border...
 but then i thought that maybe it should be a green peeper border... 
so i asked Melissa what she would do, and she said that it doesn't need a peeper border cuz it already has that little purple border around the center and another border would be redundant...

hmmm...

secondly) i had planned to use a purple/green batik for sashing around the thistle blocks, but when i saw the blocks next to the center, i thought that maybe the cream background fabric would be a better choice...
so i asked Melissa what she would do, and she said that there is puh-lenty of cream already and since it's gonna be a wall hanging it needs to be darker and not lighter so it doesn't always look dirty...

hmmmm...

c) i was not gonna use corner stones... 
but then i thought that maybe the thistle blocks need that extra definition...
so i asked Melissa what she would do by that time she was starting to get really annoyed with me, and she said of course it needs corner stones...

hmmmmm...

and lastly) i have a limited amount of the purple/green batik - well, actually i have a limited amount of TWO purple/green batiks, and there isn't enough of either of them for the sashings and the binding...
and i thought that maybe i should use the rest of the peach inner border fabric for the binding...
so i asked Melissa what she would do, and she told me that i didn't need to worry about the doggone 'cept she didn't say doggone binding till i have the doggone 'cept she didn't say doggone that time, either top together...

hmmmmmm...

and that is why the thistles are no further along now than they were two days ago...

well, that and the strawberry jam challenge...

i dunno ... what would YOU do?!?

It is easier to prevent thistles and habits
than to uproot them.
Austin O'Malley

p.s. -  i'm linking up with Mama Spark's WIPs With Friends

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

i said, she said


King Soopers had a sale on strawberries - $.99 per pound
woo hootie hoo!!!
so i left Melissa to pick out some berries whilst i chose a couple of lemons and limes...
when i met up with her, she had four big packs of juicy red goodness 
and i was totally okay with that many strawberries...

till we got back home and i realized that we were gonna hafta do something with them soon, or they would make both of us crazy with watery eyes and itchy noses...

so we decided to make strawberry jam - but i didn't want to use pectin, and she did... 

i cleaned the berries, quartered them, carried the hulls out to the backyard and tossed them for compost, 
and told Thumps* to enjoy himself with the scraps, but to get the h-e-double-hockey-sticks outta the garden, and take his girlfriend with him... 

then i divided the berries into two bowls - half for me and half for Melissa - and started my jam...

which took for freakin' ever!!!
the stupid jam never did get to 220° - it topped out at 207° and refused to get any hotter - grrr!!!

in the meantime, Melissa took a shower and fluffed her hair and put on her makeup and got dressed and put on an apron
 and waited
 and waited
 and waited for me to vacate the stove...

when i finally gave up on the concoction EVER getting hot enough, i ladled the jam syrup into four pint-sized jars
floating fruit and lottsa foam
and started cleaning up my mess...

and before i had the red splatters wiped away
Melissa was ladling HER jam into jars - pointing out that HER jam was already getting thick 
and was a lovely color of red
no floating fruit, no foam, no fair
and tasted oh so DELICIOUS
it does, i'm not arguing that fact
and, look!!! there's no FOAM ... and the fruit isn't floating to the top!!!

 she ended up with three pint-sized jars of gorgeous, sweet, thick strawberry jam...

and i would be ever so jealous 
if i didn't know that my strawberry syrup will taste really, really good on ice cream and angel food cake and pancakes...

*i was not opposed to Thumps the Rabbit munching away - as long as he stayed away from the garden and the strawberry plants...

well...

last year i noticed that the strawberry plants had pretty much disappeared from the backyard, so i ordered $100 worth of Stark Brothers strawberries, and Melissa helped me plant them...

we planted twice as many as i thought we'd really need - half for us and half for the Wild Things...

the new plants were thriving...

till they weren't...

gone...

disappeared...

and not just the berries - entire plants disappeared
no berries, no leaves, no roots...

it was a mystery till i spotted Thumps munching strawberry leave
and chased his little cottontail outta the yard...

so, yeah, i may have given Thumps mixed signals when i took the strawberry hulls out for compost - i don't care if he eats them all and poops out strawberry seeds ... but he really needs to stay outta the garden...

i'm just sayin'...


If you ever find yourself in a jam, just take a moment to sit and think; calculate things, look at every angle, and then wonder where all that jam came from.
Melanie Kay Taylor

Thursday, June 1, 2017

blooming

winter finally gave us a reprieve

we haven't had frost or snow for a week or two

so i took a deep breath and planted the tomatoes and squash plants that have been sheltering in the garage... 

i dunno how they're gonna do, but the weeds are flourishing

when it was too cold or wet to work outside, i stitched on Crab-apple Hill's Susan's Dresden Garden... 
and i've actually made some progress...

there are three copies each 
of four different plates (A, B, C, and D) 
and each plate has twelve petals...
three of B
three of C
three of D
and three of A
i'm not terribly fond of those spirally flowers - they take a looooong time to fill in - but the little flowers are kinda fun...

of the 144 embroidery petals, i have 84 stitched...

i told myself that when i had half of the dresden petals stitched
 i could start on the fabric blocks...

but the fabric blocks are the "a" word... 
shudder

so i think i'm gonna keep on keepin' on with the embroidery 
and let the "a" word shudder wait...

and i know that if i get bored, there are thistles waiting for me in the Magick Shoppe and in the garden...


p.s. - i'm linking up with Mama Spark's WIPs with Friends ... she usually has the link on wednesday and i miss it cuz i don't get around to posting till thursday - but this week SHE didn't get around to posting till thursday, either - ha ha ha!!!

She was passionate about knitting because it allowed her to reach a state of peacefulness, and she loved to embroider because it let her express her creativity. Both activities were liberating. They allowed her to exist outside of time.
Laura Esquivel, Pierced by the Sun

Thursday, May 25, 2017

thistles

flowers 
or
 weeds?!?

Melissa loves thistles...
she's even been known to walk across Snarf's busy parking lot to take pictures of them
like my dad used to say
 pretty is as pretty does 
and she wouldn't think they're so pretty if she was the one trying to curb their enthusiasm in the garden...

don't tell her - and i will deny it if you do - but i think they are pretty, too
till one of them pokes me...

anywho...

when i was trying to find just the right linen tea towel 
i stumbled across a thistle tea towel 
and ordered it, just in case the really right towel didn't come along...

the really right towel did come along, so i put the thistles away...

still...
 she had to wait a year longer than her brothers and sister for her finished quilt 
and i felt a little guilty...
 so i planned to make another quilt for her, with the thistles...

but after five quilts
 i was so over linen tea towels 
and i dillydallied...

i've been saving scraps of purples and greens for the past three years...

i bought a paper-pieced thistle pattern about the same time that i found the paper-pieced rose pattern...

two years ago i bought 5 yards of a creamy batik for background fabric 
cuz paper-piecing always takes five times more fabric than i think i'm gonna need...

and saved all that Stuff in a box labelled 

come hither, heather

yeah, i have a name for it
 and all the Stuff that i need to make it
so no more excuses, right?!?

the towel is trimmed and bordered...
who knew there are so many different types of thistles?!?

the pattern is enlarged and tested...
had to do something about those top corners

and the bits and pieces are coming together...
scrappy leaves and scrappy blossoms - not my usual thing

but i'm sure i can come up with reasons to dillydally if i try hard enough...


Do not blame the thistle 
that you see no beauty.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie