The Fruited Plain

It was a lovely morning walk with Sue yesterday. Now here's a riddle: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? In July, they bring fruit, and that's what we saw in abundance yesterday.

After climbing the initial steep hill, we headed downhill past this nut grove. That thick canopy and clean ground underneath makes it inviting on a warm day.

We've been speculating about what kind of nuts they are. Yesterday, we could see the walnuts.

As we passed the cemetery a little further on, we noticed this pear tree loaded with pears. 

We were trying to decide if these red pears were different from the green pears pictured below. Both colors were growing from the same tree. Are they at differing stages of ripeness? Or are they different pears grafted onto the same tree? Hard to tell, but Sue and I think the latter.

Oregon blackberries are starting to ripen, which is one of the best things about living in Oregon. One can drive down any rural road in the summer and find scads of blackberries ripe for the picking. They taste good, and they make excellent jam.

Toward the end of our walk, we saw these apples. Apple trees can be found growing wild by the side of the road all over, the offspring of an apple core tossed from a car window, no doubt. These happen to be in someone's yard, and so a little more domesticated.

Also, we saw amber waves of grain.


and I believe these are oats.

Back on the home front, Smitty's life goes from bad to worse. The squirrels are mocking him now.

Actually, I think he's beginning to appreciate both the pros and cons of the catio. He's kept in more during the day, but he has free run at night and while we're gone...even if we leave them for a weekend. Also, we've outfitted it with all his favorite toys. Yesterday, we added a scratching pad, and he went directly to it. Kitties love to scratch.

We've had some rain the past few days. Remember this downspout problem we had while building the catio?

We removed the downspout, and then once the roof was up, we hoped it would just drain onto the roof and off the end. You can see the hole there on the left side of the image, just below center.

As it turns out, this works just fine, and so we won't need to do any modifications to the gutter, beyond painting some of the raw surfaces. Good deal. Smitty and Sadie seem entertained watching the water droplets run down the roof, and I know they like being outside and staying dry.

The only sewing I did yesterday was to make a second practice piece for the McTavishing. I like this piece much better than my first. I added some spirals in the tighter areas to fill in, and I think that improved it quite a bit.

For comparison, below is my first practice piece.

There were some fun deliveries yesterday. My friend Lisa sent me this beautiful bouquet of flowers as a thank you for making the Live, Love, Teach quilt. This came as a complete surprise and I was thrilled to receive them. Pretty, huh? Thank you, Lisa.

Also, some of you who have been following for a long time might remember this quilt: A Day in the Life of Mr. Bear. It's one of my favorite quilts, and I think about my third hand embroidery project. I learned stem stitch on this quilt. You can see details of the blocks right here, and you can also see the beautiful quilting done by Marcia Wachuta.

While I was working on embroidery last week, I wondered why I'd never made any more of Tricia Cribbs' patterns, and so I went in search of others. What a delightful mistake that was. I walked away from that website considerably lighter in the wallet. These patterns arrived yesterday. Henfolk:

Love Covers. You absolutely must go to the website and read the little blurb about this quilt. As it turns out, her mother drew the little embroidery blocks and Tricia turned them into a quilt. They are adorable. You can see details if you click on that link I've given you.

And then this one...Sunday School Singers. And let me tell you, I had years of perfect attendance in Sunday School growing up. I even had one of those little pins with all the add-on bars for each year of perfect attendance. Anyway...I grew up with the Bible stories and songs included in these embroidery motifs. Like I said, you absolutely must go to the website and read the blurb and see the detailed images of this quilt as well. I've linked to it back there. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Adorable. It occurs to me that there is no way I'm ever going to live long enough to make all the quilts I want to make. Even if I never make them, having the pattern waiting in my sewing room makes me happy.

Today is going to be a sewing day. I have a few little housework chores to catch up on as well, but I'll intersperse those with those damnable paper-pieced flowers I'm working on. Hopefully I can finish the next seven and then start working on something more fun. Also, I'd like to make one more practice piece of McTavishing, and then commit that design to my sampler.

We're expecting rain today, and so it will be a good day for sewing.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Pam said...

The swirls in your practice fmq look good! I am also doing this sampler. I found the hardest part of this Mctavishing was the filler of teardrops-if they were not done just so the whole thing was a big flop. So you adding the swirls instead is very nice. i think it is more consistent as the swirls carry on the motif of activity if you see what i mean.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love seeing the fruit - the all blooming things do turn into some wonderful outcome. I lose track in Mctavishing, but it isn't really a motif I like. We have rain (and thunder and lightening) today - good thing I planned on a weekend of quilting.

Dana Gaffney said...

How cool, it looks like you could walk and be full by the end of it and not even feel guilty. The swirls really add a lot to the free motion, I thought it looked good before but this is better. I can't wait to see the picture when the deer find Smitty caged.

Teresa in Music City said...

I feel the same way about acquiring patterns Barbara! It makes me happy just knowing they are there waiting for me :*). And your McTavishing is coming along very nicely indeed - Brava!!!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your McTavishing looks very good - I like the addition of the spirals! And I love reading about Smitty and Sadie (and those nature shots - oh, my!)

Kate said...

Very fun embroidery patterns. You never know, you could live to be 120 and have time for more than you think. The Mctavishing looks great. Hope you got in lots of stitching time yesterday.