Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Going in Circles

I wanted so much to share a finished quilt...but as I was about to pull the quilt off the frame I spied a bad area of tension on the backside. Quilting with black thread on black fabric is very tough on the eyes. It was so frustrating to not notice the problem until I thought I was done!!! It was an area of small circles...or pebbling. It took me 6 hours over three days to carefully rip out the bad areas.

Done venting.

I do have a tip. With regular blackboard chalk I sharpened in a manual pencil sharpener,  I drew a white chalk outline around the remaining good areas quilted in black thread so I know where to fill in with my pebbling.

Mostly, I've been working on my landscaping project. 

I have planted the blueberry bushes and three currants, red, black and white. Lots of new leaves on all the plants. So happy! I pulled all the flower buds off as advised by the University of Alaska Fairbanks agricultural program. No berries for the first year...just getting established.

 I have one span of ground left to fill... 

more metal bins. 

This has to be my signature landscape prop. 
I am planning to fill the metal bins with perennials like bleeding hearts, ferns, astilbe, hostas, ligularia, and columbine. Mostly a shady area but it does get some sun.

Below is my metal bin retaining wall...still looking great after three years. We had a really cold start to our winter with no snow cover...very tough on perennials and shrubs. I replaced five of the shrubs that looked pretty bad this spring, which means I might give a little more attention this fall to mulching the plants to give them some added protection. 

And a set of free-standing tubs. Annual flowers love these metal bins. This set of metal bins have been in use every summer for over 15 years. Love them. Recently, I have only been able to find nice large bins sturdy enough to sit outside at Home Depot. They sell for just under $20 locally. Some of my older metal bins came from Walmart and Lowes giving me a bit of variety in sizes. FYI,  I drill four holes in the bottom for drainage. 

I have been so sparse in posting on my blog this summer.
Since I use my blog to help me keep track of my progress I need to say that I had to get another 12,000 pounds of fractured rock for my landscaping project...

 and now I am needing another load of gravel. 
I have one more area I want to tackle before closing up the 2018 growing season. 
It's a pretty small long as I don't get carried away...

Monday, July 9, 2018

Five Days of Summer

We may have had our allotment of summer weather for this season...and it only lasted 5 days. Very nice that it coincided with the 4th of July. We are back to cloudy skies and rain showers dominating the forecast. 

I am harvesting food from my garden: broccoli, lettuce, kale, strawberries and cherry tomatoes. 
Here's an early morning shot of part of my garden from several days ago. This is the view from my dining room window which is one story above the garden. Lots of cabbage plants...might swap some out for cauliflower next summer. 

Another early morning pic, this time of my landscaping project. I pulled out some black plastic sheeting to put on the ground and give me a better idea of what I've got left to do this summer. The outlining rocks are just holding the black plastic in place. And I'm killing some grass at the same time that won't be needed anymore. I hit a little mental road block deciding what to do next in the landscape design so I took a break. I will have to get another load of fractured granite to finish off this project. 

The best news is I have actually spent two days working on quilting a top. 
After basting it all together, I stitched the flower motifs with a pastel variegated thread. 
The rest of the quilting will be done in black thread.  

I'm a little behind on posting pics of finished projects. I sliced my left thumb when I was working with my rotary cutter three weeks ago. That limited my stitching in the evening to cross stitch. a good time manager...I just embraced the opportunity to finish a set of Santa ornaments.

I am really getting close (as in getting all of the vintage kits done in two more years) to completing all my Sandra Cozzolino cross stitch kits. I aim to finish 10 cross stitch ornaments a year. So far this year I have finished 11 ornaments. I have three more kits organized and ready to start stitching. I started stitching Cozzolino Santa ornaments in 2008 and have completed 129. I should count how many kits I have left to make.