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May 2020

Raining Again


This is a very much more cheerful view of rain falling than I am usually wont to take. :) You can click on the photo and go read the story. Myself, I tend to get bogged down in the gray skies and cold dank nature of spring rain before I see the rainbows that result. :)

Saturday was an interesting day. I got a phone call from an old friend/colleague in Wisconsin (another plant breeder, my friend Joe) around 12:30 p.m. Poor Joe was going stir crazy from not being able to work in his lab. He's working with a group that is trying to breed switchgrass with an eye toward higher ethanol production for cleaner combustion energy. He's also a confirmed supporter of President Trump which tends to yield a bit of heat in our discussions (I am NOT a Trump supporter). Sadly, our lengthy conversation made me completely forget the Zoom meeting that the Columbia Friends group of the Baltimore modern guild were holding Saturday afternoon. Sigh/shrug. 

Sunday was a glorious day, weather wise! Balmy breezes, temps in the mid 70s and hours of beautiful sunshine. :) I went out on our back deck and finally got my lounge chair washed off (and a bit of the deck with it:). Got to sit in the dappled sunlight and enjoy my labor for a while, too. Wonderful!

Today I managed to bring together all the variously sited book blocks I collected from the modern guild makers and count them. I had 29 all told so, of course, I sat right down and made a 30th block:


I can't tell you how cute all these book are! I have not yet considered what size I will trim them all to .. or exactly how I will set them into a quilt. I am thinking maybe some kind of book case or attic window style setting at the moment. :) With 30 blocks, I have an obvious five block by six block assortment which will likely yield a nice big lap sized quilt.

I also managed to cook dinner for us all today. Hugh and I did, really - I do so enjoy cooking with someone else. :) More fun, just like grocery shopping and many other 'chores' in life. We made Taco Casserole and it turned out quite tasty. :)

Tomorrow I hope to make the Yellow butterfly for my wreath and canvas my stash for fabrics to potentially use in sashing the book blocks.

:) Linda

Sunshine and Shadow


This is the traditional pattern Sunshine and Shadow - commonly seen in Amish-style quilts. This one was made by Ami Simms (click on the photo to go read the story:). Scads of years ago I went through a phase (like many quilt makers do) of being in love with so-called Amish quilts (most people mean the very old style Amish quilts from the nineteenth and early twentieth century). 

This weekend has been a study in meteorological sunshine and shadow, too - we've had bright sunshine with blue skies and fluffy white clouds with temperatures in the 70s AND thunderstorms with heavy rain. Never get bored of weather here in eastern MD (except me - I dislike the hot, sullen, heavy humidity of late summer). 

I went outside onto our back deck both yesterday and today. I managed to sweep off the entire deck (we have both maple and pine trees near the deck littering on it) ... and got my son to crawl up the stepladder to clean out our back gutters. The pine needles clustered there were turning into very pleasant smelling compost. :) I still need to clean off my lounge chair - maybe tomorrow?

While I was sweeping, my neighbor Larry came back from walking their dog Sam (a large, gentle, white sheepherding type of dog) and we got a chance to share (at a distance:). We have trees that need trimming and common areas together (between our houses) with branches down and such. Larry and I always manage to work things out easily - he's a real people person and is good at cooperative working. :)

I did manage to sew some today. First I made two small blocks for this month's Queen Bee in the Stash Bee (hive 4). 

Two pandas

I don't know why this photo is turned sideways - can't seem to get Typepad to rotate it. The Queen this month requested a kid's I Spy type of block in the 'polaroid' layout.

Panda picnic

Panda kite

Here are my two blocks, both featuring the same print. I had thought to fussy cut two different fabrics but this print was so cute I could not resist. :) It will trundle in that snail's mailpouch off to Washington state tomorrow.

I also took a look a the pieces of the Orange butterfly block I sewed yesterday. After carefully laying everything out according to the master diagram I figured out what was correct and managed to sew it together finally. I think my borderline dyslexia was acting up with this one!


Here is my project progress so far:


Tomorrow I will start on the lower right square - the yellow butterfly. :)

I took some quick snap shots of my sewing area as I have it set up right now - it is only just functional but I'm really happy with my progress. Lots of room for improvement (and this is only one half of the room) but I can SEW! :)

My room 2

My room 2

My room 2

:) Linda


Rain, Going


Happy May Day! If you click on the lovely flowers above you can go read all about Greek customs around this festival - ancient and mythic. We had rain yesterday and most of today here in eastern Maryland ... good for the flowers in the long run, bad for playing outdoors. :) Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm - I'm looking forward to the possibility of lunch on my new(ish) deck.

Speaking of which, I don't think I've ever shared photos of our finished project. Here are some quick and dirty shots from house-level:

Carport entrance to deck

Here is the approach to our deck from our driveway and carport (see that little corner of my Jeep parked there?). There are steps in the center and the gate opens onto the deck itself.

Left deck

This is the left side of our deck as you step onto it from the carport. As you can see, the rain brought a fair bit of wind with it. I need to get out and sweep it off as soon as the surface is dry. Can you see the ground down there, off the left side? The deck is a story above our back yard.

Right deck

Here is the right side of the deck, standing with the entrance gate at my back. There is a long stairway down to the yard beyond that you can just see the beginning of. The large window straight ahead looks into our dining nook (part of the kitchen). You might not be able to  tell by looking but I paid for Trek surfaces and railing tops on this deck - no warping, no wearing out for years and years. :)

It has been gray, gloomy and wet for three days and I have pretty much spent them sleeping, sewing or reading. Well, Hugh and I went grocery shopping yesterday. That went ok except that the electric cart I was riding (we were shopping at Bjs Wholesale Warehouse and the floors are hard concrete) died about halfway through the job. I managed to walk around the last half of the store ok but was a bit breathless afterwards. Not as tired as doing the entire place on foot, so some saving grace. :) The exercise is good for me.

Today I decided that we needed to order out for dinner (despite having lots of food) - we need to contribute to the local economy as we can. :) I had a hankering for Chinese food (haven't had any in six long weeks:) so we ordered from Hunan Diamond in Harper's Choice Village Center. They didn't list any delivery so I drove over to pick up our order (which was very tasty). I had chicken with cashews and pea pods. YUM! :)

My sewing has been going well. I am still making butterflies for the wreath - inertia, you know. I got Red Butterfly pieced two days ago and about half of Orange made today:

Red with boop

Almost the last of my precious Betty Boop fabric scraps. :) Don't know why I like her so much but I do ... she's quite a bit different (icon here) than me (very girly, loves to sing and dance and dress up) ... but I admire her spunk. I remember watching the original Boop comics on tv when I was a very little girl. :)

Orange partway

The upper wing is made with a Kaffe print with chrysanthemums on it ... the lower with a text print (I forget the designer) that I love. :) Tomorrow I will piece the side wedges and sew the entire unit together. That will complete five out of nine segments of my project - slightly more than halfway done. :)

The Columbia bee of the Baltimore modern group is having a zoom get together tomorrow afternoon. I have really come to look forward to this meeting. This time I can sew something while we chat. Yeah!

:) Linda