Nantucket is stealthy – she tiptoes into your heart and soul, she changes you. The magic begins in the harbor, as soon as you step from the ferry. You are met by September’s abundant roses, still tumbling and climbing over fences and rooftops. Every day is a beach day. I could not decide which of the five spots I loved most. Each has its own charm.Town or wharf – the charm never ends.
Synergy is the name of this quilt that I made for our Friends Helping Friends 2014 charity event. Synergism is what happens with this group – they come together and do good work, quietly, without fanfare. I feel profoundly grateful to be involved.
The echinacea borders seemed so perfect – a flower with healing properties. The people that our event helps sincerely need all of the comfort and healing that we can offer. Once again this year Kristin of Under The Rainbow Quilting generously provided the machine quilting. She is an extraordinarily generous soul and she has a boatload of talent! I am very honored to be able to call her my friend and have the opportunity to work with her. She is very patient with me as I inevitably run close to deadline. I need to work on that.Raffles for this piece are five dollars, or six for twenty. If you live nearby and would like to take a chance, let me know. We raffle this beauty off on Saturday.
And I am off to Nantucket.
Today’s Buzz; Remember to keep clean water in your bee ‘spas’ daily. In the northeast we are experiencing a very dry late summer and the bees especially need hydrating.
Can you imagine? My dog chased a woodchuck up into the apple tree! I saw the entire event with my own eyes. Woodchucks can climb trees! This fellow realized (with horror, I’m sure) that it was either up, or over, as the dog was hot on his heels. I think he surprised himself more than anyone else. It took nearly 30 minutes for the poor soul to regain enough composure to begin the slow descent down the tree. When he hit the ground he sprinted for his burrow. I didn’t see him again for a few days. Imagine the story he will have to share with his grandhogs!I wanted to show what my work area looked like this past weekend. While there were wanderings of the woodchuck sort outdoors, a very different wandering story was being created indoors. I had an order for a baby quilt using the Wee Wandering line. Love it. Juicy stuff. Making the insert panel ‘fit’ with the blocks was not so easy for my mathematically-challenged brain, but I finally nailed it. It’s off to Kristin next (Under The Rainbow Quilting) for her brilliant machine work. Credit goes to Sarah Jane, the designer of the fabric line and quilt. All piecing done on my 40 year old Bernina ….
If deserves a round of applause. What a workhorse this machine has been over the years. Chipped and yellowing, it plows through anything that I ask it to do and it does it better than my newer version which is on the fritz AGAIN. I wish that I had a walking foot for this model.
My daughter’s good friend is marrying later this month. I think that this St Louis 16 patch says ‘congratulations and much happiness’, would you agree? My embroidery skills are lacking, but I mean well! I admire those who can shape perfect letters and forms very much, but know, without a doubt, that mine will always be on the ‘primitive’ end of the scale! And it’s all ok. I am learning new things that I needed to know. I am learning that if the work makes me happy, then that is enough. I am enough. Repeat after me ….. lol
Today’s Buzz; Honey bees inherited stings from their wasp-like ancestors who sting to attack, to kill, to paralyze. Honey bees only sting in defense and as a last resort. If you brush them away and the stinger remains embedded, the bee will become disemboweled and die.
July is the month when the day lily border shines. Although unweeded, it is still spectacular. One learns to look beyond the wild raspberry canes to the gorgeous shades of Africa, of Sunday Gloves, of Bela Lugosi and all of the hyperions. Most of these plants came from my mother’s original garden, divided and carefully transported to create a stunning display, like clockwork, each mid July. I am learning to appreciate the beauty and let the weeds fade into the background … maybe next week … maybe not. I have become what I dislike most in a gardener – lazy!
My LYS has a tent sale each summer and I try to put some of my small fabric needle cases in the shop. Everyone wants one of Ayumi’s lunch baskets! I make them as fast as I can, but cannot meet the demand. When I grow weary of this pattern I remind myself that it funds my fabric addiction. I sew, and the weeds flourish!
Today’s Buzz; ‘The bee is considered an emblem of Christ: his mildness and mercy on one side (honey) and his justice on the other (sting).’ – from The Beekeepers Bible
We knew to expect heavy rain and stormy conditions for the 4th of July. The roses must have known as well – they gave us their all just before the buckets of water fell. And continued to fall ALL. DAY. LONG. Farewell barbecue picnic!
This New Dawn climber is only two years old. She certainly knows how to turn on the charm. Could it be that those chopped banana peels had some influence on all of this beauty? I’m pretty faithful about digging them into the soil around the roots of my roses. The above mentioned buckets of water completely shattered this glory, but I was happy to have taken the image before that occurred.There are poppies everywhere I look – I’ll be able to send lots of promised seed to my friend Pratima this season! They somehow survived the damaging storms.Quilts were aired out before the storm and dogs brushed . . .And I got busy working on a sweet garter stitch cardigan for Adeline -I also prepared and consumed far too much holiday food. I’ve spent the day being unfocused and downright lazy. No weeding, no planting or pruning, no housework or cooking … unfamiliar territory for me to be so unmotivated! I think I’ll go to bed early.
Today’s Buzz; In the herb garden be sure to plant heathers, lavender, rosemary and thyme. You will be providing your bees with some of their favorite blossoms.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Independence holiday weekend.
Today’s Buzz is first up because it is THAT important! Last time I mentioned that our busy bees get very thirsty and finding clean shallow water can be difficult for them. Shallow is the operative word here, because bees will drown quickly if they have nothing to anchor themselves on to. You can make a bee ‘cafe’ very easily using things that you probably have in the potting shed. A shallow wide bowl whose bottom is completely covered with clean stones, shells, moss, etc works perfectly. I add fresh flower blossoms and water each morning. The bees like to land on the moss and have a relaxing sip or two. Be sure to change the water daily and use bottled if yours has chlorine in it.The Go-To-Guy came home from a lengthy fishing trip this week and I told him that he looked like he had just wandered down from Crippled Creek! He was mildly amused.He is very overdue for a haircut because he is joining some friends in July who will have their heads shaven for the Friends Helping Friends charity that we support. I don’t know who will pledge money to observe this phenomenon, but I personally think he is both brave and dorky to agree to this. It’s all for charity, he explains. Go figure.
When we first moved to this little slice of heaven, I used to take my needlework outdoors every spare moment that I found – to sit quietly and take it all in, to dream, to make gardens in my mind, to unwind from the constant cleaning and unpacking. Early on, the neighbor’s chickens would stroll across the lawns to join me, scratching out a place to sit, taking individual dust baths, and pecking at the occasional unfortunate passing bug. I loved their quiet chatter and the clucking sounds, the comforting buck, buck, BUCK that I learned to imitate. I miss them. I entertained thoughts of chicken husbandry, but quickly found that they required more than I was willing to offer in terms of care and housing. Anyway.
I found a delightful blog while doing my chicken research. She calls herself Henhouse and celebrates all things vintage-quilty. She raises chickens. She’s my kind of broad. She created a Spider Web quilt which I really admired – so much so that I started my own version last night. Each quilt has its own journey. This one began with the remembrance of those lazy summer afternoons spent hanging out with chickens. The agapanthus that my sister left me is getting ready for the big reveal! I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, I have these … Yes, the plan is to paint the house when the New Dawn climber is finished with its show.
So much fun to be surrounded by quilts, but it gets even better – Kristin has an extraordinary pool with many gardens and lovely flowers, birdhouses unlike any other – I was in heaven as I’m sure all of our members were.
I’d like to talk about the extraordinary quilts that I saw, but everything was moving so fast! There were homemade cream puffs and gorgeous breads and chocolate dipped strawberries – all too delicious and enticing to ignore! Kristin took us inside and gave us the rundown on her long arm quilting business -
It’s so fascinating to see how she works her magic on our quilts! We had the best afternoon ever. Thank you Kristin, for your generosity and wonderful hospitality. I did not want to leave! But I did have to show this – my favorite aspect of your property .. This is a shed! Not the kind that you see very often! I love it – I loved my time with you – you are the BEST, thank you.
Today’s Buzz: Bees get very very thirsty and shallow clean water sources are hard for them to find. You can make a bee ‘cafe’. I’ll show you how next time.
White radishes are delicious – spicy with the right amount of heat, and none of the lingering after taste that the reds provide. And, speaking of white radishes, what do you think of these German “Radish” steins? They are very old and in mint condition and I’d love to learn of their value … can anyone help? The happy and sad faces keep me company in the kitchen where they grin/frown from a shelf above the sink.
I joined the Pink Chalk Kawaii club last month. It’s so much fun to receive the small fabrics – I immediately started piecing tiny blocks where the special fabrics can be featured. I am working completely from the tub that I keep under the cutting table for scraps – too small to fold, too big to toss. Sometimes you know before you know.
Josephine clematis is gorgeous this season – she never disappoints. The yellow tree peony is the last to bloom and the most lovely. An investment well made! I always hope for a cool spring so that they can be enjoyed a bit longer.
Oh! You saw the Anna Maria Horner fabric, didn’t you? I have been waiting for this line, ‘Pretty Potent’ since I first caught a glimpse. Anna Maria talks about the healing properties in the design work on her blog – it’s a good read.
Sunday morning with a finished quilt (or almost, there is a small bit of binding to go). I love this quilt, it just says summer and hammock time to me.
Today’s Buzz: Honey is the only natural food that will not spoil as long as it is kept airtight.