Not much happening here. I have been sick and just moving slowly. So, no sewing. But I will show you something that gives me great joy. A few years back I bought a salad bowl pot from the farmer’s market. I spent eight dollars and enjoyed it very much. I realized I could replicate this for the cost of seeds. So a few weeks ago, I planted some herbal seeds, some radish seeds, lettuce and peas. I am happy with how quickly it is growing.

September ufo – mending

So these are the two quilts I am mending for my September ufo.  I got these quilts about 15 years ago when my uncle moved away to Hawaii.  He gave me these and many other things he was getting rid of in the move.  These were my favorite things: two quilts from my grandmother.  I did use them for quite a while.

Now this first one is a real utility quilt.  My grandmother still did a nice job of mixing lights and darks.  I have already mended it before so it isn’t too difficult. I usually mend quilt by hand so it does take some time.

The neat thing is that inside this quilt is another worn out quilt used as batting. I think because the inner quilt was quilted there is very little quilting through the whole thing.

Now, this one is a beauty.  It is a double wedding ring done in a very traditional palette.  This one will be much more difficult to mend.  Next week I will take it to the fabric store and get a match of the pink, blue and white.  I think I can manage the scrappy part of the quilt.  I think I will have to trace off the pieces.  I tried picking a pattern off the internet and the size was all wrong.  I may be able to xerox it to the right size or perhaps I will just xerox a section of the quilt itself. All the damage is on the edge, so if it were my own quilt I may consider cutting off the damage. However, it has sentimental value for me so I will try to restore it.

I have a lot of work to do, but it is the perfect time for laying in bed watching tv with a warm quilt draped over my lap for mending.  I’m glad these didn’t come up in the summer.

garden update

So the gardens are full swing.  The one above is Eliott’s.  He is doing a great job of keeping it neat and well watered.

Here’s mine.  Not quite so neat, and pretty dry.

Here is our first little pumpkins, so cute!

Fourth of July Borscht

For the fourth of July, we had a completely vegetarian dinner.  The star of the show was borscht, french style.  It turned out super sweet  and with a beautiful ruby color.  Here is Steve’s recipe:

3 medium beets, peeled

6 new potatoes

3-4 small carrots

1 cup purple cabbage

beef stock

5-6 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of wine vinegar

sour cream

salt and pepper

Boil the vegetables until very tender. Discard the boiling liquid, put the vinegar and the vegetables including raw garlic into a food processor.  This is your base.  Taste it. Add salt and pepper. Pour the thick base into a sauce pan.  Add good beef stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock, to thin the vegetable puree to the consistency of a thick soup. Garnish with a tablespoon or two sour cream for each bowl.

It was delicious – enjoy!

how our garden grows

We are all gardening this year, except maybe Paul.  This is Eliott’s plot above and there are two tiny pumpkin seedlings already coming through.

This is Steve’s garden.  I laid down the messy rhubarb leaves, but  you can see Steve’s hand with the neatness.

Because I was a little burned out from last year, I didn’t get my garden plot ready until last weekend.  So, I planted some carrots in a pot about a month ago, and now the tops are about 3-4 inches.

Here is my raspberries.  It is going to be a super bountiful year for the raspberries.  I cut them way back a year and half ago, and then again last spring.  This year I have done nothing and they have come back with a vengeance.

Finally, this is my real surprise.  A bud on my peony!  I moved this struggling plant from the back yard to the front.  It really looked sad last year, but this year it has a blossom!

That is a quick tour of my garden.  I will try to get some pictures again in the summer.

slowly slowly the ant crawls over the quilt

I was thinking yesterday about one of Steve’s college professors who said that as a painter he tries to paint like an ant crawling on the surface.  Such is quilting.  I did get five more squares quilted.  It took me three hours.  Not that this was unpleasant, I spent most my time on the phone with my mom.  My mom has the awesome super power of always being awake when I am awake.  She must have learned it when I was a baby.  Anyway, if I wake up at 5:30 am in the morning and can’t get back to sleep, I can call my mom.  After I got off the phone,  I thought to myself, it took me 3 hours to quilt five squares, the quilt has 36 squares, (insert math here) : 21 hours for just the hand quilting part of the quilt.  Obviously, this is only a small part of how much I have worked on this quilt.  Now, making quilts is a great joy for me, so I obviously am not in it for the money or the fame. This is why I don’t sell my quilts, I could never make enough money to compensate me for my time and really make them the way I want them to be.

Anyway, I am also making progress on my stockings.

One done!  Yes, it is mine.  I have learned to do mine first because if I usually make them better as I go. Anyway, I made a monograms, edged the monogram with fur and paint.  Then I attached it with a button.  I added lace around the cuff and (hard to see) little gold beads at each quilted seam.  They are turning out great. I’m having a hard time motivating myself because I have three projects that all need the same thing right now: hand work.  For that reason, I will be glad when these are done.  However, these stockings at least have the added bonus of being portable. However, I only have eight days to complete them.

On another more delicious note: for those of you who live in Minneapolis-St Paul, the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market is open! It technically doesn’t close but in the winter, there is only meat, eggs, and seafood and they only come every other week.  Now, they are open every Saturday, and there is more variety. Don from Heinel Farm  was there with spinach and green onions.  There were already some bedding plants, chocolate and, also, Joe of Caribbean Heat.  Anyway, the big surprise was morels!  Paul and I had picked another five on the parkway.  We were really excited to get a quarter pound at the Farmer’s Market, only slightly overpriced.  We had a delicious dinner last night of morels and pasta.

really delicious spring flowers

So we have had some pretty wonderful spring showers the last few days, but yesterday it cleared and warmed up a little bit. So yesterday we went down to the parkway.  We did a little intense searching for morels.  Even though we knew where to look, it still took us a while to see.  Then, sure enough, one popped into my view, then soon, Steve was finding them too.  This is probably about ten dollars worth.  They were delicious fried up with butter and a little bit of garlic!

Easter vigil

So like the women at the tomb, I am having a day of waiting, which always puts me at loose ends.  We always participate in a big Easter breakfast our church, so I am waiting and praying a little that it will all go off without a hitch ( and without too much of my personal craziness coming out at the seams).  I’ve done all that I can do.

I have several project at near finish including Paul’s quilt and Steve’s shorts but I don’t really have the presence of mind to finish them, so I am on a tangent today, just waiting out the day.  It’s raining, but besides that my bike is in the shop.

There, all my complaining out in the clear blue air.  As usual, I only have minor inconveniences to complain about. So, because I am a Christian, I will the say the one thing that is the beginning and the end, the irrefutable:

He is risen!

Happy Easter!

mushroom bonus

Remember last year when my mom gave me the mushroom log? Well, after it was spent I threw it out into the garden because the instructions said it was really good compost.  However, being a somewhat lazy gardener, I didn’t really break it up or anything.  Imagine my surprise when we came up to the house Friday and saw these beautiful huge oysters!  I took a picture in situ so you could see how they blended in.

Here is a close up. What a great dinner they made!

Then, finally a little spring preview.  Yes, here in Minnesota it is spring!  I know I should be more upset about the global warming thing, but when you have weather like this in Minnesota in March it is impossible to worry!

Happy Spring!

thankful and pinned

Happy Thanksgiving!  I only have Thursday off this year, but I had a great morning talking to my mom and pin basting this first small quilt.  I did a little hand stitching around the hexagon.  I tried tying some of it, but it didn’t seem right.  I will have to spend some time looking at it before I quilt it.  I have no ideas yet.

I hope you are having as lovely of a Thanksgiving.  Since my husband always cooks,  I pretty much just have to pick up a little.  He’s one of the things I am thankful for!  It’s hard not to feel blessed this year:  All my family is healthy and safe, from my parents down to my littlest nephew. Two boys that are doing great in school.  A solid roof and a new (to us) car. A new job that is still less stressful and more fun. Take care and have a turkeyful day!