Pigs in a blanket

A few weeks back, one of Mom’s coworkers brought her in a garbage bag full of fabric. His mother was a quilter, but can no longer do it, and she wanted her stash to have a good home. Mom decided to give most of it to Rowan and Paisley for their quilting endeavours. But before she took it to them, she asked me to go through it and see if there was anything I wanted.  Inside were four rail fence blocks that were obviously intended to be made into a baby blanket.
While there are no babies in the making around here, I knew it wouldn’t take me long to put it all together, so I got to it.IMG_8210The yellow sashing was from my stash, and it was the perfect shade to match one of the fabrics in the block. There was still a chunk of the purple batik from the blocks in the bag, so I added it as a four inch border, and voila – instant baby blanket! (Well… it took about an hour, so no quite instant, but close!)
Since there are no babies on the way in these parts, I decided to donate it to Natalie and Bee Meadow Farm to raffle off as a fundraiser. It wasn’t until after I contacted her about it that I realized that that yellow fabric in the blocks…IMG_8211Has piglets! You may not know it, but Natalie’s adventure as a rescue farm more or less began with pigs! It couldn’t be more perfect!
And that little floral fabric beside it…. there was enough of that in the bag for the backing!
So this little top is up with Mom. As soon as she’s finished quilting her current quilt, this one will be done, and then I can get it off to Natalie!

 

Whipping through Longbranch

IMG_8282The first Longbranch sock is done! (And the second is underway!) On the foot you can see the lace pattern much better… delicate eyelet branches reaching out left and right.IMG_8283

The pattern is on both front and back, flanked by long eyelet columns which give it a nice stretchy fit.
I really do love this pattern so much… I’m thinking it may end up as my sock entry in the fair this year!

 

Winnie isn’t quite as mini..

IMG_E3490.JPGShe’s still all kitten, but she’s lost her little round belly, and everything is getting longer… just look at how much her face has changed

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She is still an absolute ball of fire though… full of kitten antics that just make you giggle.

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But she’s starting to get too big for her favourite snuggle spots. They just don’t stay kittens forever…

 

 

Garden land

I’ve had many people ask me what the secret to my beautiful gardens is… and really, there isn’t one. I barely weed, I don’t use fertilizers or pesticides… other than topping up the gardens with black soil and mulch every spring, I don’t do anything special.

Well, except water. Unless it’s rained, I go out every evening just before supper and give all the gardens a good drink.

And I love it because there always something new to see.

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My pink Speedwell has bloomed. I have purple in the front garden, but it gets less sun than the pink one (which is in the side garden), so it hasn’t bloomed yet.

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The pink Bee Balm has stopped blooming for now, but the Purple is putting on quite a show.

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The Lavender is lovely as always.

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Cupid’s Dart continues to delight me year after year. It was bought for 50 cents in a clearance sale the first year we were here. One of my best buys ever!

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And another great steal was these Crocosmia, which I got from the dollar store.  This is the first year they’ve bloomed, and they are stunning!

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This Cherry Brandy Black-Eyed Susan just has me in awe! It’s out front with all the coneflowers.

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Also out front is this pretty yellow/maroon lily…

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And this orange/maroon one. They were planted this spring, but sadly, as nice as they are.. they  are not the lilies I ordered. The bulbs must have got mixed up, but the place I ordered them from gave me a credit, so it’s not all bad.

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My Casablanca Lilies out back are big and beautiful and white – just as they  should be.

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And while the squirrels ran off with all the sunflowers, I purposely planted… this surprise one showed up in the Little Bee garden. I don’t think it will be a Mammoth Sunflower, but I’ll enjoy it all the same.

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And last but not least… it’s raspberry season again!

 

Welcome to Longbranch

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Holy crap! Where did that come from? It’s almost a full sock! I don’t know what it is, but this new design (called Longbranch) is knitting like the wind.

Maybe it’s the combination of beautiful yarn (Twisted Top Cat …. ooooh cashmere!), my favourite stitches (lace, lace, lace) and my favourite colour (GREEN!!!)

And let’s take a closer look at that yarn…

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The colourway is called Spriggand, and it’s a lovely mix of sage green with touches of blue and grey. It’s really making me want to play in the dye pots again… maybe this weekend.

A bump in the country road

Before we get into today’s post… the wonderful Natalie over at Bee Meadow Farms has taken in a sweet little stray who’s going to need a tail amputation…

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if you’d like to help out, there’s a GoFundMe page set up to cover his vet bill. Full details of his situation are on the fundraising page. Once he’s all healed up he’ll be up for adoption. We appreciate any help you can give!

Now… to business.

A while back, I bought a jelly roll of these beautiful fabrics…

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with the intention of making a lap quilt for the living room. Since I had an empty box and needed a new project, I went searching for a new quilt pattern for said jellyroll. I settled on Summer in the Park, and at first everything went swimmingly.

I sewed my strips together and then sewed them into tubes with no problems. Then I got cutting. And somehow, with I opened the triangles and ironed them into squares…

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Well that doesn’t look quite square… does it?

So… I set to squaring them all up. An hour or so later, they looked like proper squares… but then I realized… about half were 8″… and the other half 7 3/4″…

Sigh…

Once I got them all the same size, it was time to layout…

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But I made a bit of a miscalculation here. In the tutorial, they pair a pattern jelly roll with plain fabric. I decided to just split my jelly roll into colours and neutral and used what I had. But as you can see – that leads to trouble with the layout… i.e: colours side by side instead of mixed up.

After a little time wracking my brain, I was able to come up with a layout that worked…

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It’s not quite like the quilt in the tutorial, but I can live with it! Though I think I’ll wait a bit to sew it all together… make sure all the bad luck on this one has run out!