A bit excessive

45A6C815-9C8B-4254-A103-DFE905F3ABDE

I’m still spending a lot of time in the garden each day.  I am really loving the spiral vine anchors that the various vegetables are putting out.

But I have learned a lesson about not scouring under every leaf when harvesting. These zucchini grow fast!

30F5BB0B-8F1F-4929-9489-5E62DE552B81

These seem to have grown overnight!  So much for my plan to pick them when they are small.  I only turned my back for a minute!

And the summer squash have started as well.

70566E9B-2C22-4F36-B5FC-94658BBC34FA

We’ve made zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, and breaded zucchini fries.  It didn’t even make a dent.

And now the cucumbers are beginning. . .

002D8AF4-3E24-4B77-A6FF-937179E5173E

It is smaller than my pinky now, but there are at least 12 plants! I may not have thought out this out carefully enough.  I’m going to have to start sneaking veggies onto my neighbors’ front steps and running away.

When not out watching my vines grow, I managed to finish my caramel/papa sweater. After ripping it out three times, I finally got it right. (Switching to an entirely new pattern helped.)

C1BB408D-1104-46C2-837E-0AF87BB5AF5C

The second sleeve went quickly, and I really love the useful new stitch markers I got recently.  Usually I use coil-less safety pins, but they’ve been disappearing over time as all small things do, so I ordered this colorful set of bulb shaped pins.  I like to leave them in the sleeves to show where all the decreases are so that I can make sure I’m matching the sleeves as closely as possible.

C9579163-04FC-4E73-A60D-8CF8F6ED6C96

A715B751-2BAC-4FEF-851B-7213B20789D3

I’ve been auditioning red yarns for the duplicate stitch.

3428B259-6F61-4D32-A5C4-FCC5D76ACFDC

1D363D61-A704-4F05-B76B-8EAB25E3AF9A

It looks like a worsted yarn looks the best, so I’ve ordered a skein of dark red Cascade 220 to be sure I will have enough.  All the red I had in quantity were more of a fingering weight.  And I really didn’t want to get 2/3 of the way through the one small ball of worsted I had and run out and not know where to get more.

The duplicate stitching is going to be my evening TV watching project, so it probably won’t finish too quickly.  It is too hot for sweater wearing right now anyway, so no hurry.

Looking closer

The patio knitting continues.  I’ve gotten the first sleeve on my caramel sweater done since the pic below was taken and gotten the double points in for the second.  The yarn is Roslyn from Cascade, a wool/silk blend.  The plan is to duplicate stitch around the bottom in a red design once I’m done with the knitting.

2B15A80E-925C-44C9-B2B8-C03544901EF4

The knitting would go faster if I wasn’t distracted by the garden.  This time it started with trying to see how close up I could get with my phone and iPad cameras to various surfaces:

9F15FB4C-BA0B-4799-B43A-2B8BE7D43325

My jeans, the table top, a patio paver, and a slightly blurry zucchini.

Then I went for more zucchini elements.  (Honestly, the zucchini and I are absolutely bonded at this point.)

A1D3D03A-A40D-4DC8-9796-3E091BD4DE20

From there I was pretty much crawling around on the lawn and patio trying to get as close to various flowers as the camera focus would allow.

8E15DA70-7B3C-4875-8FCE-6517DA4607A0And sharing the scenery with the bees.

E53C33AA-F568-49F6-997C-AA839412EEC5

Meanwhile, no-longer-a-puppy Maxx kept watch.

BD99A617-F0FC-4510-8467-C9C25B6A339A

Well, when she wasn’t messing up my shots by barging in and trying to eat the bees.  That is a lesson soon to be learned.

Bountiful harvest

IMG_20200625_162722

The new raised bed soil must be incredibly fertile. The zucchinis have gone mad! They’re about 4 feet tall, and have completely smothered the beans, and the peas behind them have barely managed to escape upward.

And there are a lot of zucchinis starting in there!

IMG_20200625_162516

This morning’s harvest beside the bowl – I’ve been trying to pick them when they’re small, but if I let it go a couple of days they don’t wait for me.

IMG_20200711_093718

Luckily, my husband likes to bake. So today I’m going sit on the patio and eat chocolate zucchini bread and knit a sleeve on my sweater.

IMG_20200711_102318

And figure out a plan for when the late-planted summer squash and the cucumbers catch up!

IMG_20200711_092738

IMG_20200711_092729

Adding shade

MVIMG_20200627_194122

Around 20 years ago, my sister bought a hammock and frame at a garage sale for $25. When they moved she wasn’t able to take it with her, so she “stored” it at my place and I’ve had it ever since.  (I’m still obligated by the terms of the transaction to refer to it at all times as “my sister’s hammock.”)

It has survived four or five moves with me, being left in the rain, being abused by children who used it as a play structure, and it is still going strong. I love my sister’s hammock.

However, lately I haven’t used it as much, because there really isn’t much shade in our current backyard.  It just gets too hot lying there in the sun.

With our new patio area, there was potential for an improved hammock placement. I had a couple of shade sails that we used to use over the old patio. The equilateral triangle I tried first was too small and had the wrong angles for the posts, and the right triangle was way too big. But too big can be solved with scissors.

IMG_20200627_154908

A new hem on the longest side, and a pleat to shorten the opposite point, and we now have a hammock in the shade.

IMG_20200627_194107

That hexagon area is supposed to be our fire pit seating area, but since we haven’t purchased either the fire pit or the seating yet, it will make a great hammock spot in the meantime.

Sewing cute

My sister, who is one of the few people that I let inside of our isolation bubble, decided it would be a “fun project” to sew a baby quilt for one of her colleagues.  Actually, this time she turned out to be right. It really was fun.

Slightly to her dismay, she did most of the sewing. The baby decorating scheme is apparently forests and mountains.  I found examples of quilts with trees and mountains and she picked the birch tree look. Their school mascot is a hedgehog, so that definitely had to go into the forest.  Then we both cut and she sewed all the straight lines.  Fairly straight even!

C7FD45CF-BA43-4BB0-89E6-9EEC86C52DDD

This quilt was our inspiration.  We went with raw edge appliqué for the hedge hog, and strip sewed a bunch of black, white, gray and cream to speed up the trees.  A little slicing, reversing, and occasionally seam ripping a slice to insert more to mix up the lines made the tree part go very quickly.  I sliced up the background to insert the trees and she sewed them in.

A few sloping forest floor lines later, and there was only the hedgehog left to make.

C324D101-5C19-4334-A9FC-A567C9FF1724

EC9DAB81-8185-4BDC-AC4B-D6FD3B74C055

That is just pure adorable in my opinion.

The sandwiching, quilting and binding were all my jobs, though she did come back and learn how to bury thread ends.  I will make a quilter out of her yet!

25CD8847-715B-4A9F-81CC-936DAD2E7576

It was pretty simple quilting.  Mostly stitching in the ditch around the trees and the bark stripes – I occasionally lost the ditch, but it went well overall.  I outlined the hedgehog and added some internal stitching to really anchor it – we know the raw edges will fray a little over time, but that is supposed to make it more like hedgehog — Fur? Hair? Spikes?  At least that’s how we are going to explain it.

Here it is pre-washing machine:

401FAE1A-2F37-48E4-85FB-C68E5074AD4E

And straight from the dryer in full crinkle. The hedgehog survived!

FD5D11A9-97A6-44E8-958D-6653A2EF0B7E

It was off to the baby shower 5 minutes after it came out of the dryer.  Finished just in time.

673A5F6C-A799-4CF9-BECA-807076096D88

Maybe too much warm?

B7CC4A57-B081-4635-9CFB-87E58F10E9C5

I finished up the quilting and binding of the baby quilt I’m making for my teaching team member.

I also knit a colorful sweater for the soon-to-arrive baby boy.  As I was knitting and sewing from stash to avoid leaving the house, the colors of the two presents don’t go together, which sort of bothered me through the whole process.  But I doubt the baby will care.

16EF7749-2958-4271-B4E4-82A1C12EED20

Blankets and wool sweaters for a baby due to be born in the middle of the summer heat.  Maybe not my best decision making?

I did try to make the sweater a size for a slightly grown baby, hoping it will fit when winter rolls back around.  It was 91 degrees here yesterday, so the sweater is definitely going in a drawer for some months.

B3784562-F792-4316-ADA6-F202CB9D4411

But first it is going on their front porch, while I ring the bell and then dart away, masked, to avoid spreading viruses.   The world is so weird right now.

 

Top finished

8223546B-79FD-40A7-9CEE-1DF0EB6C6EA2
I’ve finished the baby quilt top for my friend who is due next month.

It’s definitely not traditional colors for babies, but she is very much a natural tones person. The baby’s room has pale gray walls and white furniture, So these colors will fit in. I was originally going to make it all neutrals, but I couldn’t stop myself from adding in the coral and gold. I love how it turned out!

It’s a little busy, which is part of why I love it, so I made the back just four big rectangles. They can flip it over if they need to rest their eyes.

48BDBF06-716C-4DAA-A5AF-C64F4FCFA0CF

I hope to get it quilted and in the mail this weekend. Normally I would just give it to her, but these are not normal times.  It’s weird to think that I may not even see this baby in person for months.

3DC0033E-9048-4F0F-8277-6C9DE9240E88

I have a couple of quilt tops now in the line to be quilted, but I’m hampered by a lack of a place to sandwich and pin them. I don’t like to do it on the hardwood floors for fear of scratching. Usually I do them at work on the concrete floors there but that isn’t an option now. Maybe the garage floor? During the stay at home isolation my son has really cleaned up the garage so that he could use it as a workout area. So the floor in there is probably clean enough to pin on now.

Approaching deadline

40C01AEF-007D-440C-BF79-D732160411F3

It suddenly dawned on me that if it’s almost the end of May, then logically that means it’s almost June, which means I need to get cranking on this baby quilt all of a sudden. The baby is due in mid June.  I went from feeling like I had all the time in the world to wondering how I could’ve wasted so much time!

So I am back to jigsawing pieces of fabric together. It’s rainy and quiet and my family members are all cocooning  in their rooms, so it gives a lot of time to think about Memorial Day as I sew.

D8D6D369-B9A3-47F4-889B-595F7E08A60E

There are a lot of veterans in my family, but we were lucky enough to not lose any during active duty. I’m so grateful for that, and I’m thinking a lot about people who weren’t so lucky today. It is a very grim situation that much of the country finds itself in this Memorial Day, which makes it hard for people who have to mourn alone.  And there is so much to mourn right now.

I hope everybody is staying safe, and healthy, and finding people who they can connect with.

 

No drama llamas

E58C4333-EA46-419B-A75C-2BAD1B9311A0
My sister’s new house needed kitchen curtains.  Searching thru the fabric possibilities, she liked some llama tea towels I had saved for a future project, so curtains they became.

The towels were a set, but one of them had just the mountains on it, and one had three rows of llamas.  A little slicing and ripping out of old seams and adding in others, and two curtains were created where towels once were.

2BE10880-2387-4E36-B8AB-74D369205BD8

They look pretty cute in place too.

123_1

123_1_01