August, Actually, and a Reveal

Welcome to the last full month of summer. The year seems tediously slow, and surprisingly fast all at the same time. My mind has me stuck back in March when our winter trip grew weird with toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages, and folks giving one another a wide berth as the virus spread across the country. We ended up cutting our trip short and heading for home. The months since then have passed in a blur. Speaking of blur:

The weather cooled off some yesterday, and we were able to shut off the A/C and open some windows. I was reminded when we first looked at our house back in 2002, before making a decision to purchase it, I noticed these windows that span the front of the house. They have extra-wide sills, and I knew kitties would like them. It isn't the only reason we liked the place, but it was a good start.

Yesterday morning, I did some work in the vegetable garden. The beets are planted too close together, and some were ready for harvest. Weeding through the mass of greens, I harvested about a quarter of them. Many more are coming, but these were the largest ones I could find. They're a good size, but mainly, I was thinning the herd and giving everyone a little more elbow room.

This one has obviously been gnawed on by some critter. It was the only one I found like that. I hope they're not busy underground eating the entire crop.

My snoopervisor stood close by while I cut off the greens. And, yes, I know I can use the greens, but I'm not ready for them yet.

When I was finished, I had a gallon-sized bucket full. I separated out the largest ones for pickling, and the smallest for roasting and eating.

Insofar as canning and pickling go, zucchini relish was on the agenda for yesterday. My yield was just 3 pints, although there was another half-pint that went directly into the refrigerator. I was a little disappointed with my yield, and so I'm going to have to do this again as I collect more zucchini. And yes, there will be more...so much more, before the plants are finished for the year.

On the sewing front, I finished quilting the Shop Hop quilt. Now the binding strips are sewn together and pressed. I'll get that finished up today. The plan is to take it with us on our camping trip next week, and I'll work on the hand-stitching there.

In yesterday's mail, I received a swatch of fabric for the Teal Mini Swap. This will be my third time participating, and it is the final swap. It's a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research. My partner this time around is from North Carolina. I have a few ideas already percolating about how to make her mug rug. So far, only ideas. I haven't settled on anything.

By day's end, Smitty was pretty self-satisfied having claimed the best kitty seat in the house. We keep these two quilts in the living room all the time for warming up on cool mornings. Sometimes we move them out of the way for some reason, and he was quick to snag this snuggly seat.

It was a pretty evening, warm, and not too hot, and so I walked around and took a few pictures. The echinacea are especially pretty right now.

There are a few daylilies left, but they are on their last gasp for the year.

The cherry tomatoes are coming along, but so far, green as grass.

And how about these happy little flowers? They just make me smile.

As for the reveal, it's been so long since I made this quilt, you've probably forgotten all about it. This was my final tease when I finished it back in mid-June. It was for a new challenge group I've joined, called The Endeavourers. Today was the day for the big reveal on the blog.

This challenge was to make a quilt from an inspiration piece from another member. Some of the other members of the group received swatches of fabric from another member. I joined the group kind of late to the party, and so I was given a phrase from a Dolly Parton song: Love is Like a Butterfly. Here is my quilt:

With everything going on in the world (and the USA) right now, I was immediately reminded of the Jackie DeShannon song popular during the 60's: What the World Needs Now (is love, sweet love). I did the butterfly using a stained-glass technique. Basically you're cutting out the "leading" that goes into stained glass.

The butterfly is sitting on a stylized peace symbol, another throwback to the 60's.

The flower stem has heart-shaped leaves.

And I quilted the words to Jackie DeShannon's song in my own hand-writing.

The top-stitching for the applique served as the quilting. Here's the quilt back.

If you'd like to see the other challenge quilts for today's reveal, you can visit The Endeavourers blog right here.

Okay, so bright and early this morning, I was up boiling and skinning beets in preparation for making pickled beets today. If you've never skinned beets, then you're missing out on a very gratifying tactile experience. I love the way they feel...all slick, smooth, and firm. Only, I was kind of disappointed with the amount I had, even though I weighed them ahead of time. Once they were liberated from their greens and roots, there wasn't much left.

And with the low yield from yesterday's relish still fresh in my mind, I decided to boil and skin the rest of the beets I'd set aside for roasting. Now I have plenty, and I should get a good number of jars of these ruby delights. My family loves pickled beets. I'll show you what I end up with in tomorrow's post.

So there's plenty to do today with beets and bindings. Think I'll beet feet and get to it. (Did you see what I did there?) But before I go, it's time to link up to August's OMG goal setting party:

My goal for August is to quilt and bind Tuxedo's Tales. This quilt was on my list to finish in July, but then my machine was in the shop for repair, and so I wasn't able to even get a start, let alone a finish. It's first on the list for August. Right now, it's relaxing on my quilting chair, having been folded up waiting its turn for more than a year.

I probably won't get started on it until later next week. For now, the wheels are turning in my brain, deciding how to quilt it. Also, I'm aware I really don't have a good fabric for binding. I might have to make a trip to a quilt shop to look for something. Wouldn't that be just awful?

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

Oooh pickled beets--my Grand-mere made some really tasty ones I recall;
they seem to go well with everything;)) .
You are getting a lot done these days of harvesting and canning and
quilting too...
Hugs from afar Julierose

gpc said...

Your reveal is groovy, and that August finish is going to be a stunner.

Janis said...

Goodness, I like your Tuxedo's Tales quilt, it's very attractive. Hope the quilting and binding go smoothly for you.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Pickled beets are a hit here as well. Great challenge piece and like the theme. Oh, it will feel so good to get the Tuxies done - love that quilt.

Celtic Thistle said...

I am the only one in the family who likes pickled beetroot so we rarely have any in the house, think I should drop by yours :)
Great start to your quilting Endeavours Barbara, you certainly captured those lyrics in your quilt.

piecefulwendy said...

Those happy little flowers definitely bring a smile - so pretty! Fun to see your challenge quilt again, and I need to pull out Tuxedo Tales and start working on the blocks! Pickled beets - yum!

Lyndsey said...

That's a great challenge piece. I remember the song and your piece really captures the words.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I haven't had pickled beets in ages. Zucchini relish is a favourite here and we'll likely be making some later in the fall, provided we can get some zucchini to work with. I love your flutterbye piece - and the symbolism along with it.

Patty said...

Very nice. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly goal and good luck with your project.

Kate said...

Love that butterfly! Such a fun and pretty project. Love all the flower pictures. Not much blooming around here at the moment, so I'll just have to enjoy yours.