Serene Sunday

Mike and I haven't done anything more stressful than getting out of bed this morning.  It's been nice just to laze around doing what we want when we want to.  It's not as if we are such stress-ridden people on our best days, but the past week was stressful with all that needed to get done for our floor exercises.  

It's been quite a while since I've had a quiet enough morning to work on embroidery, and I have really missed it.  I never feel as if the day gets off to a very good start if I don't get to do some hand work first.  It occurs to me that it doesn't really have anything to do with the hand work; rather, a day too busy for hand work is a day too busy.  Period.  So to make up for lost time, I spent quite a bit of time with my little Quilting Snow Lady this morning.  Here's what I have so far:

The last time I wrote about her, I was considering giving her a little kitty like the other Quilting Snow Lady had.  The vote was unanimous, and so I added a kitty on the left side.  From now on, I'll make sure there's a kitty in every block.  And I'm going to link this post to Slow Sunday Stitching (emphasis on the slow).

After that, I suited up and went outside to take care of a few things.  I filled the bird feeders, and then went into the greenhouse to check things out in there.  Tomorrow I'm going to repot some more tomatoes.  The largest ones are ready to go into their largest pots of the season, while the one small one remaining in a tiny pot, needs to go into a medium-sized pot for now.  The remaining tomatoes already in medium-sized pots will be ready for larger pots in a week or two as well.  I'm so happy with how they have perked up.  Several are blooming now.

Also, I gave up and replanted the red leaf lettuce (for the second time, now).  Only one of the seeds germinated.  I'm suspicious that when I planted the other seeds, they may not have actually stayed in the soil. The seeds are so tiny that I use the moistened tip of a bamboo skewer to pick them up.  The very first seed planted was the only one that germinated, and it think it's possible that the others stuck to the skewer and that I just didn't realize it.  This time, I made sure they stayed in the dirt where they belonged.  This has been the most challenging year for the red leaf lettuce, which is our favorite, of course.  The butterhead is ready for  picking now, and so I'm going to make sure we have some nice green salads on next week's menu.

After that, I took some pictures of the iris that have opened.  There are still some colors that have yet to bloom, and a yellow one, in particular, that I've never seen before.  It must have been planted with the original group, but for some reason, has been hiding its light under the proverbial bushel.  Maybe tomorrow it will open completely and I can show it to you.  For now, here's a peek at a couple of them.

My favorite changes all the time, but if I were put under the lights, given sodium pentothal, and forced to choose, I think I would say this next one is my favorite.

However, I'm very partial to this one as well.

And this one.

And check out these chive blossoms!  They were next on my agenda.

I only picked about one quarter of them, and that was plenty to make a batch of chive blossom vinegar.

I like to cut off the green stems, although I don't think you really need to.  Then I wash them really well and put them in an air tight container.  Then I pour white vinegar over them, just enough so that they are all submerged in the vinegar.

Pretty huh?

Now they just need to sit for two weeks.  Then I'll strain the blossoms out of them, and I'll have the most wonderfully fragrant chive vinegar.  By then, it will have turned a lovely shade of pink.  (I looked in on it just before I sat down to write this post, and the vinegar was already turning pink.)  I love it in vinaigrettes, but it makes a nice gift too.  When two weeks are up, I'll show you how pretty it is.

After that, I finished quilting and binding the Divine Promises quilt.  

This is the largest quilt I've ever quilted on a domestic sewing machine.  It's about 45 x 47 inches.  (I know some of you have been brave enough to do much larger quilts, but this is the biggest one I've done to date.)  I'm thrilled with how well the new sewing machine is working for this application.  It does beautiful free motion quilting, and that was why I wanted it.

I stippled the embroidered blocks,

added a little flare in a few places,

and then did a meandering heart, flower, loop design over the borders and sashings.  

Here's how the back looks, pieced with the leftover fabric from the front.

All that's left now is to hand sew the binding, and it will be finished!

So that's about all I know for today.  Here's a gratuitous cat picture for you.  

Gracie...still camera shy after all these years.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dora, the Quilter said...

Your iris are absolutely heavenly! Do you happen to have any of the ones with the really wonderful sweet fragrance. (My grandmother in Illinois grew some like that.)

Marei said...

sounds like a perfect Sunday. :)

Rose said...

Lovin' your Snow Lady block--I agree there should be a cat in each block. The iris are beautiful!

Betty said...

Beautiful iris! I noticed that your 'favorite' is purple. I have only one iris and it is purple also.
Love the cat in the block and sweet Gracie too!

Quilter Kathy said...

What a wonderful post to read! Gorgeous photos to enjoy, lots of stitching by hand and machine, and a finished quilt!

Brown Family said...

I like the quilting on this one. I hope I can start learning soon. I got my machine back on Friday but I still need parts from Grace to get mine going.

I got lone tomato set out and this morning I had a crop of mushrooms in the pot with it! They dried up fairly quickly when the sun hit them!


Sarah said...

Beautiful flowers! My favourite, Irises. The chive blossoms are so pretty too.

beaquilter said...

love the bible quilt

Laura said...

how beautiful!

Leisa B said...

The chive blossom vinegar looks amazing--what a great idea! I wish I had thought of that when I had tons of chives in my garden... Lovely photo of Gracie--we don't see enough of her sweet little face :-)

Cath said...

Great blog post as always Barbara and boy that Chive Vinegar does look pretty!

quiltzyx said...

I like the kitty you put in with the snow lady! yay!

Yep, much too hard to pick one favorite Iris, I agree whole-heartedly.

Do the chive blossoms still look as pretty when it's time to strain them out?