This, That and the Other Thing

It's another beautiful day here, and even warmer than yesterday. Today's gardening task was to deadhead the hydrangeas. We have five, and four of them are done now. The fifth gets more shade than any of the others, although it is still the largest. It didn't have enough green buds showing for me to feel comfortable hacking away at it. I decided to give it another week and try again. Besides, my back was complaining by that time.

I noticed a few more things while walking around in the garden this morning. For one thing, a few of the star magnolia have opened completely. These are growing up over my head, but I can stand on the deck and see them there.

Also, one of the clematis is getting read to bloom. This will be covered with purple blossoms within the week.

There is another clematis around the corner of the house from this one that shows no signs of life at all. It struggled last year, and I'm afraid the November ice storm might have done it in. I told Mike that if it isn't showing signs of life within a month, we're going to replace it.

Before I went out to work in the garden, I got a start on the next Gingerbread Square stitchery. I just love all the colors in these.

One tree down, lots more to go.

After I came back inside this afternoon, I finished up the next block for Lisa's retirement quilt. This is the photographic image submitted by Lisa's student Zoey and her classroom helper mother, Samantha. If you've been reading along, you know that I wrote a little tutorial about how to do a reverse image search on Google. I needed to do that in order to come up with a template for this paper-pieced block.

The original block was created by Anna at Six White Horses and the link to her "Sun, Please" block can be found on Craftsy. The original block is a 12-inch block, and all of the blocks for this quilt need to finish up no larger than 6-1/2 inches. That meant reducing the pattern templates by 50%, but then I needed to add a border around the whole thing in order to accommodate Zoey and Samantha's signatures. This is how it looks now that I've finished it up.

Have I told you lately how much I hate paper-piecing?

I selected the next block I'll do...this one, simply because it was on the top of the stack. 

This one was created by Sonja the lunch lady. I'll have to interpret this one a little more creatively too. Since there's no way for me to reproduce the food pyramid in a meaningful way, I'm going to print that part onto fabric, and then applique it to the circle background. I'm thinking I'll probably attach the circle to another background of some vegetable or fruit fabric. Also, I have some leftover recipe card fabric from a project I made long ago. That would make a cute background too. I'll have to try some different ones and see which one works best.

I've had lots of help in my comings and goings today. Smitty has been nosing into the middle of things in the garden, and helping me keep things scrappy in the sewing room. You can't hope for better friends than that.

I've been putting off cleaning up until I finished the gardening today, and so it's probably time to do that. How is your day going?

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Brown Family said...

I think printed on fabric will be good for that block. I really like the sun block. I may have to get that one!

Kate said...

Looks like you had a productive day inside and out. Thanks for sharing your blooms, I'm so ready to see a few around here, but I'll borrow if necessary for my flower fix.

Junebug613 said...

You have been busy! Yes, paper piecing can be quite frustrating. I kind of like it, but have gotten a headache or two as well. The lunch lady block looks like a challenge, but it sounds like you have a good plan! We had nice weather today too after a weird little cold front. Sadly we worked all weekend, so I got no sewing in. Major bummer. I currently have a precious pewter princess in my lap, so the evening is off to a good start!

Renata A Little Bit County said...

Love the pictures. How is the greenhouse growing? Is the first picture a star magnolia?

Barbara said...

The greenhouse isn't even started yet this year...still full of dead stuff from last year. We never put anything out there prior to April 1st. Yes, star magnolia.

auntmeanie682 said...

Do you use muslin to back your Gingerbread house blocks or something else. I am just starting the quilt and I cannot decide if I want to use muslin or some thin batting. All the other "Red Work" I have done I have backed with batting.

Soapstone Quilts said...

Weather-wise, I'm living vicariously through your garden photos! We still have several feet of densly settled/packed snow from our 30+ days below freezing. We're all excited in upstate NY that we've had a couple of 33 degree days in a row. I actually forgot to grab my gloves the other day when we headed out to get groceries; it was 27 deg F and I thought it felt "warm." Sad but true, lol! Keep those beautiful garden pics coming. :)

Teresa in Music City said...

Smitty has grown into such a beautiful cat!!! I could hug his ears off - but I imagine his dignity would not like that very much :) It is beginning to get warmer here too - hurrah!!!!

gpc said...

Beautiful flowers, beautiful Smitty, beautiful quilting. :)

Dar said...

Your garden is starting to look promising. I think Smitty is such a handsome fellow. Love that he helps you so much with all your gardening and sewing.

quiltzyx said...

The magnolia blossoms look so soft! I'm looking forward to the garden pictures over the next month!
It would seem that I'm having a pj day today. I did drag the vacuum out, so hopefully will actually turn it on & use it today. Took a couple of food photos for a blog post I'm doing. Still have a few more to do, but have to figure out a place to do - the "ingredients" shot. THEN I have to learn WordPress. So far, so good!

Tami C said...

Your star magnolia blossoms are just beautiful! Is your clematis that's not showing signs of life need to be moved into a sunny location? Are your Gingerbread Square stitchery pieces pre-printed with the colors? I just love how they look! I am still unpacking boxes. I actually found one of my rotary cutters this morning!