Great news – due to the overwhelming response of hand quilters Amy from the Quilt Festival has added the hand quilting category back into the festival  – make sure to keep an eye out for it next month and enter a hand quilted quilt in the hand quilting category to make sure she keeps it in the festival.  Just goes to show that by bringing attention to something like this we were able to change her mind!  Smile

Then quilting on Patchwork of the Crosses that I did on Sunday night:


Back to work Monday night for a couple hours maybe I can get this row almost complete.


I am linking to Freemotion by the River for “Linky Tuesday

Would you all believe that Sunday night we lost our power once again!  That’s right for the 5 or 6th time in the past 6 months or less due to storms of one nature or another – ice being the main one we have lost power – Sunday night was due to a very bad thunderstorm that came through our area around 10 PM.  I had been on the computer checking the weather before going to bed and just as I was reading – Severe Thunderstorm Warning winds may reach 70mph – the wind was the loudest I have heard it in years, I actually thought maybe the news people had missed a tornado in the area it was that loud – I reached over to shut the window (in the 70’s at that time) because of the rain and the power went out – the phone rang and our daughter who lives 2 miles from us – directly down the highway west of us inquired did you loose power too – and listen to that wind – they didn’t say a tornado warning – no they hadn’t. We wouldn’t have had time to get to the storm shelter – it came that fast.   It was over as quickly as it began although it rained off and on most of the night.  It calmed down – we all went to bed thinking the power would be back on sometime in the middle of the night – well it didn’t – it didn’t come back on until after 10 AM.  Right across the road from where our daughter lives three houses in a row at least have major tree damage – trees just snapped – some of them quite large.  Then no damage – then damage – skipped our place and neighbors and then down the road  more trees down – it was not a tornado – but possibly straight line winds – we were lucky once again.

Now of course all day Monday the temperature dropped — a major cold front coming through – freeze warnings!  So after supper last night Mike went out to help me cover up my plants that I want to make sure are protected – at the last minute – I almost forgot – I remembered my apple tree I planted just a couple months ago – it has leaves on it now!  Out came some pillow cases – I was out of sheets by then!  Three pillow cases – I hope it saves it just fine and keeps it warm enough Smile


Draped a sheet over the hydrangea and put some rocks around it to hold it down so it won’t fly away.


All I had left for the roses climbing up the deck that have blossoms on it already was a fitted sheet – managed to cover most of it – let’s see how it works.  We have leaves on the trees already too – it might get below freezing for an hour or two – lets hope it won’t be bad.


Two mint plants and the box of flowers that I got a couple days ago to plant – I had heard we might get some cold weather so I held off planting – glad I did.  The two big pots of sweet mint and chocolate mint are from last year that I wintered over under piles of leaves in the garden – I repotted as I don’t want them to take over the garden space – I didn’t know if the cold weather could cause them damage without being covered up so thought I might just as well take them in too.  Glad I hadn’t picked up many bedding plants yet.



Due to rain off and on all day yesterday and windy – I decided that the power washing could wait on the deck until late in the week when the temperatures will warm back up again!  I was lazy – for me that is – vacuumed the house and did laundry.  I wandered outside before the rain came to take a couple photos -

The dogwood in full bloom


Up close


I just love the Bleeding Hearts and had to take another photos of them, both of the plants have two stems of flowers now – well they survive the low temperatures early Tuesday morning? Don’t know – right now the only plant I thought I would cover is the hydrangea that has suffered so much – there are just too many plants out here to try to cover – it will be for about 2 hours below freezing according the weather channel – we will see – I will decide later today.  The roses even have buds on them – tiny though so they might be ok.  The clematis have buds but haven’t opened.


Then it started to rain and was windy – I decided to get the back ready for the red/black quilt, I then pin basted and got to work on big stitch quilting – nothing fancy for this little table topper – I want it done.  Two of the flower blocks quilted around and on the flower and two of the checkerboard blocks finished also.  I will carry the grid into the red blocks for the background and the border.  This is going to go fast as you can see – the top is 45 x 45.  It was a rainy afternoon and I just sat on the couch and watched a movie while big stitching quilting.


this is the back – I didn’t have enough red so I added the black to the sides – once the quilting is done and the top trimmed I will have a couple inches of black on both sides.  It looks wrinkly on the back but I pull it tight in the hoop as I go.


and more on the Patchwork of the Crosses like usual!



I am so glad I decided to wait until the beginning of May before I planted any tomato plants or seeds – I just knew with as weird as this past winter was that we just might continue to get some cold weather – glad it will be a short spell and sure hope it will be the last.

I am linking up to Judy at Patchwork Times today.


Friday afternoon and Saturday I was  power washing my porch and decking – and I’m not done yet – I’m either very slow and/or this thing was just plain dirty – and large!!  I hope to do some more of it today but it depends on when the rain starts and really I might just need a break and finish it sometime later in the week!  It’s not like I need it for anything right now and it is just us using it.

This much done!


And here you can really see where I stopped yesterday.


this much left to do


And the walk way around this garden spot.


I’ve got way too big of space around here!!  I’m getting too old to keep up with it all.  This is what happens when you live in the country and have a little space around you!

On Friday night I got Patchwork of the Crosses rolled down and now I will work all the way across to finish up row 5 of the Crosses.  I am linking to Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday today.  It is going to rain so I will be quilting or sewing something today.


While watching the evening news the last couple of days I got a little more applique done on Floral Fantasy:


This is the fabric ready for the backing on the red and black checkerboard quilt with the applique flowers.  I just need to sit down and sew it – I will have time this week – Monday and Tuesday we have a cold front coming through – possibly down to freezing or below both nights – glad I didn’t plant anything yet.  I did buy some bedding plants but I have not planted them and will hold off so I can bring them in the house if I need to.


This is how much I have had to cut my hydrangea down to – this is smallest it has been since I planted it 25 or so years ago.  I hope it grows back this spring.


this is the size the same hydrangea was last year the same month.  I have never had to cut so much off of the plant as I did this year – the ice and cold winter sure did a number on it.  Last year I see I had a little garden planted – not this year!  I’m waiting until May Smile



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Since I showed the Floral Fantasy the other day being glue basted in place I have had time to applique one part of a flower in place – it is a start! Next is the yellow part and the gray – on to the stem and the leaves and one out of eight will be done – this is going to take awhile!


A book arrived yesterday – I actually do not care for most of the photos of quilts in this book Sad smile I don’t like the colors selected to make the quilts so I am glad they also show a computer photo of each quilt in solids so you can get a better idea of how you would want to make it.   The quilt on the cover is the main one that I do like!  I am linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict today.


A small batting arrived today for the Red and Black checkerboard table topper – I usually do not use this brand but it was on sale so I got it – right now I think I will machine quilt it – I hope to get the backing together this weekend – I need to piece it as I didn’t have one piece large enough.  Anyone use this batting for hand quilting? How do you like it?


I have been trying to keep up with my scraps as I said I planned to – these were all left over from the applique border on Floral Fantasy – now I just need to put them in the boxes.


More photos from the Gardens on Wednesday:

a Japanese Maple all leafed out – they have a lot of these here – I always say I’m going to get one and never have.


Another little brook of water.



I am not sure what this plant is – a very large bush or a small tree – covered with these balls of green – something like a “snowball” tree but green?


Bamboo growing next to a pine tree – bamboo does grow here in Arkansas and you see it often.


This one is a “peony” tulip – I didn’t know there was a variety that looked so much like the regular peonies – they are about half the size though.



Thankfully there are plenty of benches along the way to sit and rest if you wish to and bathrooms on each end of the park.  A Café towards the front of the park with various sandwiches and ice cream.

I have enough photos of the park for a couple more days so will spread it out a little – off to quilt group this morning – I skipped last week for some reason although it escapes me know why I didn’t go – possibly I just didn’t feel like it.  We got up to 84 degrees yesterday and near the same today I think.  I doing some outside stuff today – spray washing the porch is my number one job today for the afternoon – one side is getting a little bit of green mossy like stuff growing on it from the winter and around the flower bed too – so the spray washer will be put into action – I do hope to quilt some too though so hope I have new progress on Patchwork of the Crosses to show – I skipped two days – I better crack the whip and get myself busy!

If any of you are having neck/shoulder pains and stiffness from quilting – you know how we all seem to hunch over our sewing – we create a lot of tension in our necks and shoulders from poor posture – well anyhow I mentioned last week that I was getting a upper body massage and it worked wonders – the next day I hurt a lot but that is because of all work she did on me – within two days I was feeling a lot better – I had another one yesterday and plan on another in two weeks.  It is amazing to me how much a neck/shoulder massage helped my upper body muscles.  If you have a lot of pain in those areas you might want to think about getting one.  I get a 30 minute $30.00 massage.  I think I might continue this for a couple months, once every two weeks and see how it works – if it gets rid of my pain it will be well worth it. (this is Arkansas prices – your area might be higher/lower).  The lady that I go to says that a lot of people will have a monthly or twice monthly massage on their upper body and that it really seems to help relax those muscles.  This person is licensed massage therapist and does not work at a beauty shop as some do – she has her own business.  I have heard that some really don’t know what they are doing – she does.

================================================ class on sale at Craftsy right now that might be fun for some of you that want to do applique but are afraid to start!  Fun with Fusible Applique with Debby Luttrell is $19.99 at Craftsy right now. Chevron Squares Quilt Kit is on sale for $79.99 – fabric included to make a quilt that is 66 x 66 inches.  This is made with Riley Blake fabric.


My sewing room was a disaster Friday morning – things tossed here and there hanging over the quilting frame as though it was a clothes rack.  I am working on too many things at once!  I did get the seam ripper out and picked the border off of the quilt – stitched the white sashing to it as I should have done to begin with and got it all put back together again by early afternoon.


Even the table had begun to overflow as I had been working on the applique over there!  The humidity left overnight as Thursday night when we went to bed it had been 75 in the house – 64 outside – we left the windows open as the storm passed us by and woke up to 42 outside and 66 in the house – what a difference an evening made.  The freezer paper cooperated with lower humidity and progress was made on the applique.  Weather is back to normal now – low 60’s daytime and 40’s at night.  The trees are beginning to leaf out and the dogwood tree is covered in buds but not open.


The deck dried out ( we didn’t really get much rain) and though it was windy I was able to get a photo of the 3rd border on Granny’s Got Style– the quilt measures 105 inch square (well be when the 4th border gets added on.  Plenty of room in the corners to add some more circles to finish off that area – maybe a scattering?  Not sure.  Maybe a big circle with one on each side of it the same size as the rest are – well play with it and see – shade over one corner but couldn’t be helped.


Four sets of the blue flowers and leaves are now pinned temporally somewhat in place on Floral Fantasy.  They will be glue basted in place when I get the next set of 4 flowers ready to join them.  Some of you might just baste one flower set at a time or individual pieces and stitch and add more – I like to get them all on and get my spacing right as I “guesstamate” and do not use a plastic overlay.  I will lay this out on my kitchen table and put a cutting mat underneath the fabric so no glue gets on the table and then I glue baste .  While I’m working if I think something needs to be moved it gets moved – if my chalk marks rub off and I need them again I just draw them back on – my applique is not precise.


Patches of the Crosses is now ready to be rolled down again.  Thursday night I worked for awhile until I finished that area.  I have already washed that ironing board cover once since I got it and it is all stained up again!  next to impossible to get it clean it seems.


Here it is last night ready to quilt the aqua sashing and begin on the 5th row of the 7 rows of Crosses.  Granny’s Got Style is folded nicely over the edge of the quilting frame once again after the mess it began the day with.  I have too many things on the frame still – I was looking for fabric to use for the back of the red/black checkerboard table topper and found that I have almost enough red but not enough, but I had some of the black print left over too so I will put a strip of black on each side and have a pieced backing.  And yes I never did get around to cleaning under the quilting frame when I was going to at the beginning of the year!


So how was your Friday? As busy as mine?  LOL – needless to say I was home all day and did not do any yard work.  Have a great weekend – me I will try to be lazy and do nothing but I can tell you right now it isn’t going to happen – I can not sit around and do nothing!! :)


I started out Monday deciding what to do with the scrappy pillow – as I mentioned in yesterdays post I didn’t like that aqua strip in the middle of the pillow top and needed to change it – one of my readers suggested that I first I put it by the design wall to see if the cutting matt (basically the same color) wasn’t distorting my image of it.  – Nope it still seemed to cut the pillow cover in half to me.


Next I tried out different strips of fabric to see what I would like and this one won out.  I just liked it.  Almost all of these color strips are leftovers that I had from a packet of fabric that I had won several years ago – so I knew even if a little wild they did go together.


So I got the pillow done – I sewed the strip over the other one and called it done.  Then quickly made a back for the pillow and here it is done – the pillow is actually a memory foam pillow that I had bought to sleep with as I have a bad neck – but this one didn’t have the neck support – I eventually bought one of the those funny shape pillows where part of it is flat and then it rounds out for the neck area – I thought this one would do for on the couch for back support.  And as I have two other patchwork pillows on the couch this does nicely.


Then the day warmed up so nicely – 68 degrees for a high – it was time to skip the fitness center again and do yard work – even though I cleared up leaves in the front yard last fall all of this had fallen since then – mostly into the landscaping on the right side – between a rake and a blower I got it all cleaned out.  Yes I don’t actually have real grass growing in my countryside yard – years ago it used to be a pine forest and we would have to have sod laid to have a “real yard” and we just never bothered with it but left it rustic instead.  When we first moved here this whole area was covered in pine trees!  Mike took out a heck of a lot of trees.


I got some of the moss off of the rocks in the swing area – so much had grown that it was really slippery when wet some of it needed to be cleaned off and all the leaves and things from here too was blown off.


I need to work on this area today – it is supposed to be even warmer before a cool front comes in on Wednesday dropping temperatures back to normal (50’s)


And look here I found my Wisconsin Rhubarb plant from my daughter’s patch growing.  I had bought 2 plants from a seed company and one of those I see some new growth also – the other one I’m not sure of.  But the Wisconsin plant is the best – Jessica told me to chop into a big portion of hers as she had way more plant than she wanted.  These will all be second year plants this year so I guess that means if I actually get some rhubarb I can twist off a couple pieces from each plant if I read the instructions right.


I had intended to finish attaching the strips to the Granny Square Quilt but I didn’t finish – I was too busy with the yard.  I have one more strip and sashing to add to the bottom and then the sashing on the sides – after that I will press it and measure and decide how big of strips I need for the border.  Maybe I will do that first thing this morning.


This much of the Patchwork of the Crosses got quilted on Sunday night – I have a little bit on the end of the border to finish before I roll it on down again to get busy on the last areas of this second row of Crosses.  Someone recently thought that I made this quilt using the English Paper Piecing Method — No I use Inklingo for a lot of hand piecing – try it – you will like it!!  No papers, no basting, just sew on the seam line with a simple running stitch – take a back stitch now and then and it gets done fast – you can machine stitch if you wish but I love hand piecing.


And even though I have enjoyed taking photos of the birds without the window screen up all winter it was time to put it back up – it just might get up to 75 or so today and I need to air this house out – windows will be coming open this afternoon – I didn’t want any birds flying in too!!


Sometimes I post recipes and I use the cups and tablespoon/teaspoon measurements as we all do here in the states – here is one cooking conversion chart at this link there are a lot more out there if this one doesn’t work for you.