Friday, August 24, 2018

State Fair Results

The Alaska State Fair opened yesterday. It was really the only afternoon I had free to run to the fair this year...and it was the worst weather. Good thing quilts are an "indoor" activity.

I was very excited to see my Radiant Zinnias quilt won its division. Love getting a division ribbon.

My Hawaiian Faux Applique quilt got an Honorable Mention and my other little wall hanging was nicely ribbon.

It is always so fun to see all the beautiful quilts. 

Though I have not attended Breakfast Club this summer, I immediately recognized one from the club. In May, the group took a set if flower panels designed by an Alaskan artist as the inspiration for their quilts. This is Marge's quilt. I have a special connection to her now...her grand daughter is marrying my son in November.

I really enjoy all the landscaping that is completely new every year at the fair. There is a large circular area that was very appropriate for our record-breaking rainy August...a water feature. Orca whales with a kayak adventurer. 

One of the longest lines at the State Fair was a coffee vendor. It was downright horrible weather.

Eli was nice and warm. He always has to be in the middle of any sewing room project. I am trying to get some blouses made.

Hoping to finish a few sewing projects this weekend. I'm traveling to Washington next week to visit my parents. I sure hope I see some sunshine on my travels.

Monday, August 13, 2018

I'm Working On It

Almost time for the state fair so I spent a few days last week blocking three quilts and making sure all the dog and cat hair was removed. My quilt, "Radiant Zinnias," has definitely been my favorite quilt I've made in the past year.  Hope she does well at the fair.

I used the insulation boards that are my design wall to get the blocking done. I laid two boards on my cutting table and pinned the quilt in place after spraying it with water on both sides. 

We have rain in the forecast for much of this week and boy do I need to spend some time attending to "inside chores." Big on my list is to update my blog banner. I'm taking part in a Blog Hop for all of September so I really need to address some issues!

I hope to get some sewing done but am not doing any quilting until I get some new tops sewn for myself. I have such pretty cuts of rayon batiks. They shouldn't "age" like most of my quilt fabrics. I need to make some muslin mock ups first...not fun but I already wasted one cut of fabric on a pattern that didn't work. 

Just a quick update. Need to get back to work.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Quilt and Garden Projects

Well...some quilts just demand more attention than others! I usually wash quilts before adding the binding...just in case I want my binding to be perfect if I enter it in the state fair. Entries are due next weekend. I am have a horrible time with the black dyes bleeding into the colors. I have soaked it in hot water with Dawn dishwashing detergent for six, 8 to 10 hour sessions. Three times I thought it was good and put it in the dryer and it was horrible!!! This time I am letting it air dry. 

This summer's  major rock project is done. I found a few plants drastically reduced in price at some nurseries so I was able to put some greenery in my tubs.

I still need to add edging all around my rock work. Yipes...will it ever end?

But just like any normal quilter...a lull in one project meant I moved onto another one.
 Last year's growing season I outlined a second raised perennial bed. In April my husband and I placed two pallets of bagged garden soil from Lowe's in the bed. 

There just weren't enough hours in the day after working on the rock in front of the house and my vegetable garden so the second perennial bed was ignored. No planting as I didn't have the soil in place. It was still in bags thrown into the bed in April with grass and weeds growing around them...not a pretty sight. I got all the bags of dirt dumped (67, water logged bags) and covered the new soil with black plastic. It is too late to plant the bed this summer and I don't want any more weeds or grass taking over so I am covering the soil with black plastic until the growing season in 2019. I made it halfway through the bed on Tuesday.

It was three days ago that I worked in the bed and since then I have a nasty rash on one arm which is very much like a bad burn. It is starting to blister. 

I was removing a lot of cow parsnip plants. I knew the plant can give people rashes but I was trying very hard to be careful. I had gloves on but only a sleeveless shirt as I was very hot working that day.

The plant is actually very pretty. Huge leaves with clusters of white flowers. The flowers on the one pictured below have already died .

It looks an awful lot like devil's club which has sharp spikes along the spines and red berries. I have it in my yard too but didn't run into any when weeding the perennial bed. 

I started working on the perennial bed today but got stung twice by wasps from a nest hanging in this little skinny birch tree. That was enough combat gardening for me today. I will try to take out the wasp nest later tonight or tomorrow morning. The back yard is looking pretty decent.

I still have a lot of rock to move and it is currently blocking entry to my front porch. I had another area on my wish list of rock work and that is around theses three trees and the stump, pictured below that are along our driveway. Just enough elevation and sparse sunlight to make grass a poor choice for ground cover. It would look so good with ferns and a few rocks.

Have to share a photo of an artichoke that is finally showing itself! When it gets another inch wider I am picking it. I was reading that this plant is a perennial...but not in Alaska.

As I rushed to my Jazzercise class one morning this week, I had to take a minute to snap a photo of this bull moose crossing the road. I was sitting at a stop sign. He wasn't bothered by me or my car at all.