Monday, July 28, 2014

Cozy in Purple Quilted Finish

Last September I finished a quilt top made with a rich purple and lots of Dutch chintz.  You can read more about it HERE.

I finally got it quilted and bound!  If you look at the original finish you will see that it only had borders on one side.  Mr. Squash agreed with me that it needed borders all around.  Thank goodness I had enough leftover fabric!
I photographed this yesterday outside.  There was some unexpected cloud cover which made getting the color just right.
Here is the back taken inside.  It's Kaffe Ombre which as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect backing.  Even Mr. Squash agreed again.  What a guy.
If you click on the photo you can see the quilting.  I did an all over feather which is just right for this quilt.  It will be a gift to a friend who has been ill for some time.  She can snuggle up in it on days when she doesn't want to get off the couch.

Check out my new food dehydrator.  Looks like a space-age UFO, doesn't it.  Once again Mr. Squash came up with a way to use our enormous grape crop this year - make raisins!  I think I'll keep him (wink). I have my first batch going out on his work table in the garage because it generates a lot of heat.  On a 90+ degree day, that isn't good in the house.  If they turn out, I'll give you a peek.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Backyard Friend and Volunteers!

So many of you have commented to say that you enjoy seeing photos of our Squash House gardens.  Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I would take you on another tour.
The other day I was tending to this bed of peas when I noticed this lovely volunteer!  See the pink petunia in the back?  I only grew petunias once and that was several years ago on the opposite side of the yard.  Not sure where this one came from, but I'm happy to see her!
We have alyssum all along the back side of the Squash House beneath my tea roses.  Check out the snapdragon I saw the other evening!  It appears to have been there a while as there are quite a few spent buds to the right.  Something else I've never grown in our yard!
We also have a lot of "friends" this time of year.  See the honey bees on the bird bath getting a little sippa?  I see them every evening when I change the water in the bird bath.
Click on this photo to enlarge it.  Just where the three fences meet is Mr. Squirrel.  He comes over every morning to show us his peanut of the day!  He likes to chatter at Mr. Squash as he picks blueberries and tell him how proud he is to have a whole peanut!
Look at the birdhouse gourd!  There are actually three plants on this trellis and quite a few little gourd-lets!
Here is a closeup of one I took on Friday.  Three days later it is triple this size.
There is another trellis with one gourd and several cucumbers to the left.  This one gets more shade so there may or may not be gourds, but it's very pretty nevertheless.
The echinacea is in fine form!
Check out this hydrangea!  The blooms are not fully open yet, either.  To the right is a European Cranberry.  Soon the berries will be a bright red.
You can see how the berries are beginning their transformation.  After the leaves go, the berries will hang on until next spring when the Cedar Waxwings arrive to have them for dinner for several days.
I love this little garden of bits and bobs.  Oh, look - Mr. Elf has made an appearance!
Love this unusual clematis and the bee balm to the left is just getting ready to bloom.
Our Kiwi is coming through the other side of the fence to highlight the barn quilt!
Back of the house.
Back of the house at another angle.  Mr. Squash ripped up all the alyssum last year including roots as it had gotten too dense.   Didn't seem to phase it at all as it came back again all on its own.
The Autumn Splendor Sedum is getting ready for a Fall showcase with full blueberry bushes in the background.
We asked our lawn/trimming fellow to take off the lower branches of the Yew bushes on the left.  Stray cats have used it as a hiding place to catch birds while they're on the feeder.  I really like the artistic quality of the exposed branches!
We couldn't help ourselves and planted Alyssum under the Western Redbud this year.  
Even though summer has been here less than a month, we are in an unusual heat wave.  Check out the outside humidity on the upper right!  For a while it was even down to 6%.  Today and for up to a week we are supposed to be in triple digits.

Thanks for taking another stroll around the garden with me!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Paul Bunyon's Long Johns - Quilted Finish!

Can you believe it?  Another one off the longarm!  Gracie May was much more cooperative on this one - I made sure she was in morning sleep mode first.

You may remember that I Supreme tested this pattern for Stephanie over at Rummage (formerly Loft Creations) last year.  The original pattern does not have a border.  I added a small border to make just a little more room for Mr. Squash to use as a lap blanket in the winter.
The pattern is called Long Johns which you can get HERE.  I am calling it Paul Bunyon's Long Johns because I used a fabric called Twiggy by Sanae for Moda.  It's a line several years old that I happened to have in my stash.
I had some of the Twiggy burgundy fabric left over and another fabric from stash to make up enough for the backing.
I decided Paul Bunyon would have wanted leaves - and big ones - so I quilted it with a large leafy panto.
We're having August weather already.  Makes me wonder what August will be like!  This is the fourth year on my table grapes and I can't believe how many there are!  They're huge already so I think it's going to be a good and juicy crop!
My Honey Crisp is coming along.  Our lawn fellow said I should only have 2-3 apples per branch, but come on - these are Honey Crisps - I can't bear to sacrifice any of them!  So I used a spare tomato cage to support this one branch.
Had to show you Mr. Squash's marigolds in front of the tomatoes.  Aren't they goreous?
Finally, I wanted to share a little tidbit I discovered by accident.  We're having a bumper blueberry crop - Mr. Squash picks every other day right now.  I get maybe 2-3 quarts each time he picks, so I'm freezing them as fast as he can pick them (of course we save some for eating fresh).  Up until this year I would spread them on a bare sheet pan and freeze before placing them in ziplock bags.  They always would get hairy no matter what.  So I tried lining the pan with parchment - and no more hairy frost!  I now do this with all fresh fruit I freeze and it works perfectly every time!  I'm sure this varies from climate to climate but for us it works great.