Summer's Here!

Is it just me, or does the first day of summer bring a little bit of a let-down with it? After all, we've been building up for the longest day of the year, only to have the days start getting shorter again tomorrow. Sigh. Before you know it, the sun will be setting at 4:30 and we'll be in the dark again. Just think of me as your Merry Sunshine of Summer...always looking on the bright side of things.

And just to remind you that summer is always followed by autumn, I've been working on my Aspen Tree with its turning leaves for the last couple of days. Here's where I left off yesterday afternoon:

This morning I went to the farmer's market with all of my kiddos...Erik, Mae, Matthew, and Valerie. What fun to have such a crowd along. We had breakfast and then made our rounds. I was on the hunt for clams and oysters for dinner. We'll have those along with some crusty bread for sopping up the broth from the steamed clams. It seems I've taken just about every picture there is to take at the farmer's market, but I still thought you'd get a kick out these eggs. They're ready for summer.

Also, I picked up a flat of raspberries. They're hard at work making some raspberry-infused vodka right now.

Erik was my pack mule today, lugging around the raspberries while we shopped the market. For his efforts, he gets a fifth of raspberry-infused vodka of his own. 

When I got home, I put the rest of the leaves on the Aspen Tree quilt and then trimmed the "portrait" to size.

Then I laid it out with its background fabrics to see how it was going to look. The green background fabric is one of Vicki Welsh's hand-dyed fabrics. I used some of it for some of the leaves, but many of the leaves are from a pack of her fabrics that I won in a giveaway some time ago. They were perfect for this project. Did you know she has a Customer Gallery on Flickr? When this is all finished, I'll post my project there.

The "portrait" binding will be from a batik I picked up several months ago. The instructions would have me top-stitch the applique now, then bind the "portrait", then sew it to the background fabric, then quilt the whole. I've decided to make the whole quilt first, then do the top-stitching once it's been sandwiched. That way, the top-stitching will be part of the quilting. When it's all finished, the whole quilt will be bound in black.

While it's tempting to continue on with this, I'm going to set it aside for now. Big Bertha is back. I have her set up and I tested things out to make sure she is really working properly again. She is, I'm happy to say. She's been out of commission for five full weeks, and she was pretty put out about all the poking, prodding, and lugging around she's had to endure over that time. As for me, I am determined to finish quilting "We are the World". I've been working on it since the beginning of May, and I really want to finish it up. I'll get that quilted and ready for binding, and then I'll come back to the Aspen Tree. There isn't much left to do before it too will be ready for quilting.

I've already determined that the month of July is going to be fully devoted to quilting some of the quilts that have stacked up while Big Bertha has been out of commission, and the sooner I can get started on that, the better I will feel.

Mike has been out mowing the field pretty much the whole day. His plan was to do it last weekend because it sorely needed it. Then, in true Oregon fashion, it rained the entire weekend. Now the grass is literally waist high, so it's been quite a job for him today. Thank goodness for Tractor Man.

How did you spend this first day of summer?

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

I love how that looks against the black background, really stunning. I need to put something together to work on, will be out most of the days so like to have something to stitch on. I do need a table mat for a small side one, so maybe that will be a good project to do.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I knew you would take off with the Aspen Tree. I need to dedicate some time to quilting too.

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, those are certainly spendy eggs!!!! We get ours directly from the farm for $3/dozen - beautiful jumbo browns - no faces, the chickens would disapprove. I do love your current project, and happy to hear Big Bertha is home! Worked on the big deck again today, all for the new owners. Hope they like it.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Sure love your tree. Fall is my very favorite time of the year. Can't wait....one day closer....giggle.

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow! Aspen Tree really packs a visual punch!!! Love the colors. And the eggs made me laugh :)

Cath said...

It's funny because we have had our Winter Solstice and I am despondent about that because Summer is on its way and I am not happy about that! I like the idea of the Raspberry vodka. A Ukranian friend of my brother makes a vodka infusion with fresh cranberries but we don't get those in Australia so I might give the raspberries a go. I love the colours for the tree portrait.

Dana Gaffney said...

You are such a little ray of sunshine ;). The colors are wonderful on the tree, the borders really brighten it up and make it pop.

Michele said...

I really love where the tree is going.

Diane Wild said...

I really like your Aspen Tree. What do you think about some sparkle? I mean, it sparkles on its own. I'm a sucker for glitz. I give my eggs faces when they're hard boiled to remind me of that fact. I'm fortunate enough not to live in a "river" town. Towns around me are surrounded by flood waters from overflowing rivers. More rain predicted for today, again.

Tami C said...

I love the black background! This is really turning out to be very beautiful! I also love the fabrics you picked for the portrait binding and background fabric!

quiltzyx said...

The Aspen tree is looking better & better. So you're not going to bind the "inner quilt" then? You might get a similar effect if you made that small border (binding?) into a flange instead, giving it a sort of 3D look. What ever you decide, it will look great!

Sounds like a fun time at the farmer's market! Since I'm lucky enough to have 2 friends with chickens & so an excess of eggs, I haven't had to buy any for quite a while now! Mine are all different sizes & shell colors, from light tan to chocolate brown, aqua to almost teal. :) But no smiley faces tho'!!

Hmmm, infused vodka - might have to look into that myself!

Brown Family said...

Cute eggs. Glad your machine is back and working beautifully. Mine got to come home for 24 hours and then went back. I had hoped it would be ready on Saturday evening, but alas, no!