Thursday, May 30, 2013

Green Is My Garden

We've had so much rain and for the most part that's good. Everything is GREEN again. Now I need to spend time outdoors planting a bit to get some other colors in the gardens. We were able to plant a few flats of flowers in the front but when we were finished we had only one flat left for the back garden  - we need at least 3 - 5 more. Isn't that always the way it goes? Every year I miscalculate. I guess I'll have to make time for a garden center today or tomorrow. We definitely need more color in the backyard.

Everything is so lush.
Perennial geranium -  they say it needs full sun but mine grows wonderfully in my shady garden. The blooms only last a little while.


The annual geranium isn't blooming yet but I couldn't pass it up for 60 cents, LOL. What a bargain. It will flower soon. The garden club in the next suburb over is having a plant sale and I'll be there for some good deals too! 
This little sweetie is so old -  one of my first quilts - but still one of my favorites. Almost looks antique, doesn't it? You can easily make this on your own but I'm thinking of making up a few kits for it. E-mail me if you're interested in buying one and I'll see what I can do.

A few years ago I had gorgeous Hollyhocks in the front. They only lasted a few years. I thought they were supposed to reseed by themselves but they never came back. So I planted more last year and can't wait to see if they took.
I told my husband I had big garden plans for the awful, scraggly spaces in the back, our "wild" places we've left untended for a few years because we had no time (or in my case, no good knees) to dig or plant more gardens. The knee is better this year so keep a good thought.

Where my wild things are  . . .

Depending upon the heat this summer, this may just be the year to get it done. I always get optimistic at first and then burn out when it gets too hot and can't stand being outside so I told him not to hold me to it. The "wild" may have to be here for another year or two . . . .

Speaking of wild -  my favorite book this year so far (and I've read a LOT of books this year) is Wild  by Cheryl Strayed. I don't often like to recommend books to others because book choices are usually so personal.  Oh my goodness is all I can say. Read the reviews - some of you may like it too. I was very, very moved by this depiction of one woman's strength and her attempt to get her life back together. The subtitle is: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail. I've been complaining about my foot hurting me for the past 6 months. After reading this I'll never complain about my feet hurting again.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Fun Trip to Ohio

I had to leave the retreat early last weekend because I had a previously scheduled presentation and workshop in Springfield, Ohio, on Monday. I know I say this all the time but I meet the nicest quilters when I travel. Springfield is a great town and the ladies made me feel so at home. Mary M. had a wonderful sense of humor and kept telling us funny stories at the program. Some very sweet ladies.

After I finished my Show & Tell of quilts someone said they believed I brought more quilts than any other speaker had ever brought to their guild before.  That's because 30 of my quilts equals one large quilt of some other quilters, LOL.

See what I mean? This quilter hand pieced and totally hand quilted her beautiful quilt. It's probably equal to at least 30 of my little ones . . .

On the way home, as usual, we stopped at a quaint little town to check out the antiques -

Love these row houses
Shoot, I'm kicking myself -  I should have bought this doll cradle even though I already have several. I didn't buy it because I'm trying to get rid of stuff in my house, not acquire more things I really don't need. Sure is cute.
I'll be in Ankeny, Iowa, for a program next month. Contact the guild for more details if you live nearby and are interested in attending.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another Small Quilt Retreat

This past weekend some of my Illinois friends from my Yahoo group organized a small quilt retreat near Chicago. Quilters from several states and Canada attended and we all had a lot of fun.

The retreat was held at Techny Towers, a conference center and former seminary in Northbrook Illinois.
The grounds were lovely.
Since it was not my retreat and I wasn't teaching a workshop, quilters were allowed to bring anything they wanted to work on. Many, of course, brought small quilt projects, some from the challenges we have been doing this year and last.
I gave a demo on making the Orange Peel quilt that's in Remembering Adelia.


Karen made us all special quilted name tags. So sweet!

We had a Show & Tell of small quilts  -
And a few large quilts too . . .

Keep this small quilt retreat in mind for later this year. Heather in our group is planning on organizing another one for the fall and perhaps we will see some of you there there. We'd love it if you joined us.

I don't want to hear any excuses that you live too far away. Helen and Linda drove all the way from Canada to sew with us here in Chicago . . .