Blooming Things: Indoors and Out

It was an NBS day yesterday. And, yes, Mike made it home with the new RV. Pictures to follow. It was late in the day when he arrived, and I was in the middle of making dinner. I figured he'd be ready for a home-cooked meal. Frankly, I was ready for one too. And all of that to say that the camera didn't make it out there until after dark. I'll get some better pictures by the light of day.

While I awaited his homecoming, I spent the day quilting the Quiltmaker's Garden. Happily, things are going pretty smoothly. There is a lot of variation in the quilt design, and it means I'm often referring to this picture of the quilt to decide what to do next and to plan my attack.

Right now I'm working on getting the areas in the middle and under the gazebo quilted. I've pretty much filled all the two patches under the gazebo with "terry twists," and this turned out to be a good choice.

They're fairly easy to do, and I love how they're looking on the back. It's a rare day when I'm as happy with the quilt back as I am with the quilt front.

Yesterday, I started quilting some of the flowers. Referring back to the image of the whole quilt, you can see that there are 8 of these "pinwheel" flowers with a square yellow center. I've rounded the center by quilting an octagon around the edge and then filling in with pebbling. From there I've made some curling "petals" that extend to the outer edges of the block.

This was the one area where I had a little snafu. It seemed as if my top tension was too tight, and so I loosened it halfway through stitching the "petals." When I looked at the back, it was too loose, and I ended up taking out about half of the stitching there. Fortunately, when the tension is that loose, it's easy to remove those threads.

It looked a lot better when I readjusted the tension.

And then I moved on to the next one. I think I've done about five of these so far.

Here's how it's looking from the back.

Some of my sewing time was spent perusing various free motion quilting books on my bookshelf, choosing different options for quilting the different flowers on the quilt. There are 11 of these smaller flowers with the appliqued center. I quilted a little spiral in the center and then some pointed petals extending our from there.

And here's how that looks from the back.

I think I've done four or five of those now.

By that time, I was getting kind of tired of sewing. Also, I have to be careful. Sitting too long at that machine can give me a stiff neck, and so I was moving around to keep my shoulders loosened up. It was close to day's end, and I was expecting Mike around 5:00. It seemed a good time to get outside and look at the flowers blooming there.

The dogwood is really beginning to thrill. It's always a guess when it's reached its peak. I still think it needs a couple of days.

The flowers on our tree are a darker pink and smaller in size to the ones I've seen blooming in the valley. Still...they're very pretty, and we're just happy to have this tree maturing so many years after we planted it.

The azaleas are starting to show their stuff. I actually have to back off on the saturation of color of this one when I edit my photos. The color is so bright, it's too much for digital photography.

This lighter shade of purple is starting to open as well.

Soon we'll have open flowers on the red one.

Also, the lilac has more flowers. They're still not quite open, but it's beautifully fragrant.

Also, our sad little apple tree is blooming. It has quite a few flowers on it this year, but it remains too small to bear fruit.

It was planted too deep in the beginning, and then the deer ate it down to practically nothing. We keep threatening to take it out, but then it blooms so pretty, and we feel sorry for it.

Anything that tries this hard deserves a spot in the garden, even if it never bears fruit.

Today we'll be spending some time in the RV. We aren't going to do much packing and unpacking for a bit because it's going to need to be towed hither and thither for modifications and repairs. One of the windows needs to be replaced to accommodate the catio (top priority). And then there are some "shake-down cruise" type repairs. Strangely, one of the blades on the ceiling fan broke off on the final leg of the journey. Looking at it, it appears to be a faulty metal casting of the bracket that held it in place. Mike tells me one of the lampshades on the fixture over the kitchen sink continues to fall off, and so he took it down until it can be repaired. Also, on this final leg, one of the hoses that delivers hydraulic fluid to the leveling jack burst, and hydraulic fluid was running down the jack. It sounds like a lot of stuff, but really, it's to be expected on a new rig. I'm just glad it got its shake-down cruise before we actually took a trip somewhere.

As for modifications, Mike has his work cut out for him. He wanted to put a satellite dish on the roof...something we had on the old RV as well. Also, he's installing solar panels. He did this on our slide-in truck camper and it saves us from running the generator when we're "dry camping." We want to switch out the mattress for the sleep number mattress we have in the old RV. We'll sell the old one with the new mattress from the new one. Oh yes, and I can't forget having disk brakes put on the trailer. Mike had hoped to do that as he passed through Indiana, but they couldn't take him until July. That will get done sometime soon, but we're not sure when or where. Possibly our first trip will be to Indiana to have that work done.

So, you can see, it's a lot of boring stuff that needs to happen before the RV is finished to our personal preferences. I'll get some pictures today and post them tomorrow. There's also more quilting on the horizon. It is as it always is with me and quilting...once I get started, it's hard to stop until it's finished.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have enjoyed seeing all your ventures in outdoor gardening and sharing all the blooming things. The quilting is looking wonderful and I know you will be doing the 'happy dance' when this one is done.

QuiltShopGal said...

Glad to hear Mike made it home safely. I hope his overall trip went smoothly. Funny how there are always things to find in shakedown adventures with RVs and boats. I certainly want to hear more as to which solar panel you get. That is something we also need to get, but we have zero experience.
Your garden quilt is beautiful - absolutely perfect for you too!

quiltzyx said...

All the bloomin' things in your yard are so lovely! Thanks for sharing with us.

Hope all the repairs to the new RV get taken care of easily. Lots of niggly little stuff to do. Glad Mike made it home A-OK and in time for your birthday too. :)

WoolenSails said...

I am sure you are happy to see Mike and your new camper. The quilting looks beautiful on your quilt.
I need you to landscape my yard, you have so many beautiful flowers. I like things natural and Bill wants to buy modern things, I am happy with rocks, lol. Happy Belated Birthday!


piecefulwendy said...

So glad to hear Mike made it home safely. All those details do sound like so much, but I'm sure you'll get them all taken care of in time. Your quilting is really looking nice! All the lovely blooms were fun to see. Our trees are just beginning to leaf out, finally. It has been a slow spring here!

Brown Family said...

The quilting is looking good! THe Dogwood is beautiful. Ours are white with pink edges.

Kate said...

Glad that Mike got home safely. The quilting is looking great. Love all the blooming things, so very pretty.