Big Finish, Little Finish

It was a slow-stitching marathon yesterday. I had two projects so close to the finish line, and so most of my day was spent with those. First, I finished up the 11th of 12 blocks for Appalachian Memories:

With just one more block to finish on this quilt, I'm excited to get on to the next one. It will have to wait for its turn to come up again though. We are nothing if not disciplined about our sewing. Yep...cracking the whip...that's us. Except when it comes to big-stitch hand quilting...then we whine and complain and make all kinds of excuses and prolong the agony for as long as possible. But that's just me. You?

So anyway...it was time to get out and do some work in the garden. It had been neglected while we were gone, but not too badly. At this point, it's pretty self-sustaining. I just get out and check for anything that needs harvesting and hoe a few weeds and call it done for another couple of days. Yesterday, I harvested another boat load of beets. They've been trimmed of their greens and separated into baby bear, mama bear, and papa bear sizes now. I'll use the largest ones to try a new recipe for Red Root Relish. I've never tried it, and so I don't know. It's worth a try. The mama bear size will go into pickled beets, and the smallest will be eaten as is. 
Also, I found four zucchini. The one on the right tried to go rogue, but I caught it in a nick of time. Some of these will go into a second batch of relish, and then I have some new things I'd like to try.
When I wrote yesterday's post, I'd forgotten I needed to pick up a part for Big Bertha. Poor old gal had her hand-wheel cap broken by some overly-enthusiastic quilter who tried to ram the needle through a too-tick wad of fabric, elastic, and stablizer. I could use it, but every time I turned the hand wheel, it made a loud cracking sound. It was especially nervous-making while I was top-stitching applique last week.
But now, for the price of $12, there is a new unbroken one in place, and we're feeling much better about our sewing machine integrity. You might say the cracking is lacking now. 
We had lunch while we were out, and then naps when we got back, but then I got to work finishing off the fourth side of the Shop Hop quilt binding. The kitties worked in shifts for this project.
I love that backing fabric. As I've been stitching, I've been looking more closely at it. There are all sorts of little details in it. I'm glad I still have a good sized piece, and I'm considering making a mask with some of the cut-off sides from this quilt.
After about an hour, I had it finished. It's a very large quilt at 78 x 78 inches, but what fun to see all those fabrics and remember the stories behind them!
Here's a better look at the back. There are buttons, pincushions, rotary cutters, rulers, foxes, hedgehogs, dogs, and, of course, cats!
Later in the afternoon, I went out to check on the garden again. Aren't these pretty? They're in one of the pots up by the house. This is lentana.
Out in the vegetable garden, look at these eensy-weensie green beans! I'm so excited about this.
What had me out in the garden was seeing the giant sunflower from the living room window. It's about seven feet tall, and the flower is the size of a dinner plate.
Here's another new one that has bloomed. This one is only about knee high.
And look at this poor little fellow. I believe this one's name is Floristan. It looks like something happened to it as it was developing. Only a mother could love it, and I'm a mother, so it works.
There are lots more coming.
Including some with multiple buds.
Look how pretty the green beans look now that they are nearly covering their poles. I have to keep relocating their tendrils. They try to grab hold of the corn and one another. I'm trying to keep them from getting tangled together, and it's a daily battle.
Also, I love standing in among the corn now. It's nearly over my head and tassels are appearing on most. I'm really looking forward to some sweet corn straight from the plant.

Okay, so there's some housework on today's agenda, and then I'll get on with quilting Tuxedo Tales. It's been relaxing on my sewing chair for more than a week, while I mulled over what to do with it. I think I have a good plan in mind for it. 

I'm hoping to get three more quilts finished by the end of the month, but I don't know if I'll make it. My whiteboard list might need some rearranging.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Karrin Hurd said...

Beautiful quilt, I especially love the backing! I also love those sunflowers!

Lyndsey said...

A beautiful quilt and the backing is amazing. The sunflowers are very pretty. I must remember to plant some next year. I need to start a list of flowers to grow next year otherwise I'll just forget like I did this year.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I love the your finished barn block and your garden looks so happy!

CathieJ said...

Your garden bounty is wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing how you quilt Tuxedo Tales. Enjoy your stitching and cooking.

Cathy Smith said...

My poor garden looks like someone walked through with a blow torch! It's been so hot (106 - 108 degrees) that the plants can't take the water up fast enough. The leaves on my beans are crisp.

Becky said...

What a great memory quilt!

Jenny said...

Your Sop Hop quilt is wonderful, as you say, full of all those great memories of traveling and purchasing each piece of special fabric.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

OMG - the barn quilt is almost done! I've enjoyed each one in progress. Congratulations on the Shop Hop quilt finish. I enlarged the photo of the backing just to peek at all the little surprises. What a bounty of beets and how cute you seperate to baby, mama, and papa - before you chop them up! hahahahaha

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats on your Shop Hop quilt finish, Barbara (and that mighty green thumb!!)

Joan G said...

Love your background fabric on Shop Hop! Don’t you just love fabric that has so many little hidden details and surprises in it? Your sunflowers are gorgeous! How do you keep their leaves so healthy? Our sunflowers have bug damage on their leaves. Should we be spraying them with something? Also, if not too much trouble, would you mind sharing your recipe for your zucchini relish? My Mom used to make such good relish which my husband loved, but of course no one had the recipe when she passed. Thanks. Your garden is absolutely a stunner!

piecefulwendy said...

Congrats on the Shop Hop Quilt finish; that backing fabric is perfect for it. Glad the kitties helped out with the finish, for a quilt that size, it's all hands/paws on deck, right? Oh, that huge sunflower is so pretty! I'm wondering if I could find a spot for some sunflowers in my yard next year. I may have too much tree cover. Can't wait to see what you do with Tuxedo Tales!

MissPat said...

Congrats on finishing the Shop Hop quilt. I love the backing. Enjoy the rest of your summer harvest. Looks like you'll be eating well this winter.

Quilter said...

Ohhh my Iam sooo jealous of that beautiful garden and
all those wonderful veggies to come... love it
The backing on the quilt is so full of interesting things
what is the name of it and is there more out there
in the big world???

So enjoy you blog always.. have a good day..

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Like everyone else I am admiring your Shop Hop quilt. The backing is such a cheerful fabric! It's been forever since I have been in a fabric shop. Right now I would feel guilty buying anything until I get my stitching mojo back.
xx, Carol

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I like the idea of the quilt enjoying some relaxation time. Much better than a time out! And your shop hop quilt turned out wonderfully. The backing is perfect for it.

SJSM said...

Your days are so full. I enjoyed your trip to Ft Stevens. I’ve caught up on your blog and added recipes during the time I was gone. Mom died on July 27 from Covid so I was otherwise occupied. She had no pain and been in a nursing home for 8 years due to dementia. A nurse who has cared for her for years stayed the last hour with her.

Home again and a lot to catch up on. Today is clean up day. Also I need to mail 9 year old nieces piano books to her as she "left" them behind on her short visit here. It amazing how absent minded some people are. I hope she learns how to find/remember where she leaves things as she gets older. At this point she really needs a keeper. We did have fun together and bonded a little more.

Stitches said...

You are one of the busiest gals that I know..I don't know how you do it!! The backing on the ShopHop quilt is to die for. I tried to find some a year or so but no luck. However, I was able to get several yards of the border fabric that matches your backing. I wish they would re-print it. Keep up your good work!!

Kate said...

Congrats on finishing off the shop hop quilt. It turned out beautifully. The backing fabric on it is pretty cool, love all those bright colors.