Alternate blocks...........

My littlest great-grandson and his mom visited me yesterday morning.  The little guy is a confident walker now and he moves fast!  I think he enjoyed playing with the toys without his big brother being here.  Later in the day I cut some 10.5" and 5.5" blocks to alternate with the triangle blocks that I have been sewing the last few nights.  Now the quilt should be closer to 60" x 80".
It was too dark and gloomy to take a photo of the first cactus bloom 2 days ago.  Today the sun came out for awhile so I had plenty of light.  This is one of my very favorite plants.  I love the pale pink.

I have moved all of my shipping boxes, tape, etc. out of the living room now that the first pop-up shop is closed.  I will be doing the photography for the second one for the next few weeks, lots of detail shots.  I will still have plenty of time to play with my fabric and design walls.  The only question is what to work on first.......I have about 5 that I want to work on.

Playing with stash.........

Yesterday I pulled out my black and white batiks.  Most of them are from the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Here is the photo on the pattern I showed Saturday on my blog post.  The size I am making takes 10 black and white horizontal bars.

Here are the 10 I pulled as possible choices.  I am wondering if the white on top will work for the little background squares.

By tonight or tomorrow this bud should be fully opened on my cactus.  This plant has 7 buds and I have another that has smaller buds and they will be white blooms.

Borders on.........

I had enough of the leaf batik to cut 3.25" borders so now the top is somewhere near 61" x 76".  The stars are floating now with the border sewn on.  I pulled out another project and did some sewing on it.  I will give it to someone who does service projects.  It was a sample when I was teaching the disappearing 9 patch I don't care for the fabrics.  I also found a bunch of floral blocks in the box, some 9 patches not sliced yet as well as many strips ready to make more blocks.  I may finish that one some day.

My burning bush is not at all pretty this year.  It is usually a brilliant red.  The long dry spell we had at the end of summer has dried up some of the leaves already.  I'm hoping after the frost (predicted for Tuesday night) that maybe it will turn more red before the leaves all fall off.

A walk around the garden.........

I thought I might get to the design wall yesterday but didn't.  We walked around the yard and checked out the gardens.  The bees and butterflies are still all over the aster blooms.

At first I thought the butterflies were small Monarchs but then decided they must be Painted Ladies.

I think this is the last Goldenrod to bloom.  All of the rest of them have gone to seed.

The Sedum has changed from its pink hue to a soft red.  

Now we are supposed to get 3 days in the 80s after some gloriously cool days.  

More fun sewing.......

There were 2 more new shows on TV last night so I sewed more blocks like I showed yesterday.  When I run out of one fabric I just substitute one that is similar.  The cross bars are the same in both blocks, the verticals are different.
I end up with three of the square blocks and one rectangular block with the number of strips I am using.

This is the variety so far.  I don't know what I am making so I'll keep making more of them and then eventually get to a design wall and play.

The bees and butterflies are still flocking to the aster blooms.

This shot shows the two different colors of blooms and how full the plants are now.  I have never had luck wintering over chrysanthemums so Asters are the next best plant to have lots of blooms in the fall.

Fun sewing........

I found enough flannel scrap pieces to cut the last 4 tumbler shapes.  I sewed the last 4 rows onto the quilt top yesterday morning.  I will press it later.  Since I can't do any machine quilting right now there is no hurry.
Last night I was looking for something and came across a bag of scraps from this quilt that I basted right before my pacemaker surgery.  I paired the scraps and sewed these little wonky blocks.  I'm not sure what they will turn into.  They are small, about 4" x 6".  They haven't been pressed yet.

I decided I need a mug rug for my living room in lavender shades.  I took two 1.5" strips and sewed and cut and sewed and cut until I had this little 7 rows by 8 rows checkerboard.  Fun sewing!

I'm always surprised by the color of the asters each year.  I thought they were a darker shade last year.  Maybe our lack of rain has affected them.  The bees are loving them.  They look pink here but they are a pinky-purple.
The volunteer plants along the driveway are in full bloom now.  I cut down quite a few of the plants early in the summer but there are still a lot of them blooming there.

The back garden...........

The back garden is really showing signs of fall.  The Rudbeckia which was so huge and full of flowers is dying back.  The birds will love all of the seed heads.  Now I can see the Cannas better.  I won't be digging up the bulbs this year so I'll find out if they can survive our winter.  I have 2 pots with them that I will bring inside and plant again next year.  I'm glad I worked on the back garden as much as I did because I won't be doing much to it now.
The leaves on the walnut trees are turning yellow and it looks they have already dropped the walnuts.  The Redbud trees have some yellow leaves too.  They usually lose almost all of their leaves in just a day or two but I don't think they are ready yet.  We got 3/4" of rain Monday night and it really is the most we have had for almost 3 weeks.

Some sewing, some nature.........

I sewed a little bit yesterday.  I have 8 more pieces to add onto each row to finish the bottom half.

I spent a few hours reading finishing a murder mystery.  Now I need to look for another book to read.  There are plenty of them waiting to be re-shelved.

The asters are just starting to bloom.  They are so much darker than this though.  Sunlight washes out the color.

This little group is in the shade and they look bluer but are still lighter than looking at them with the naked eye.

I'm not sure if these are petunias or if they had a different name.  They were a really deep intense purple all summer and now have started fading.

My friends shared some compost with me and she mentioned they had tomato plants coming up in their flower pots.  Lo and behold I have one too.  It looks like the Roma variety.

A few days ago I got a card from my friend Julie.  She uses her scraps and makes her own note cards.  I don't have any of those fabrics; maybe I should save them for a crazy pieced block...or maybe I'll just save the card and enjoy them that way.  Thanks Julie!


Sewing a little..........

My daughter-in-law stopped yesterday afternoon with an elephant ear from the fair for me.  It was still warm!  Yum!!  Deep fried bread dough, butter, sugar and cinnamon, what could be better.
While she was here I asked if we could make a path to my sewing machine.  She moved the dining room chairs out and rearranged the bookshelves on wheels.

Next I needed to clean off the top of the cabinet.  Most of it was just shifted over to a shelf on the rolling cart.

Remember the little 2" pinwheels made of the Australian fabrics?  The fabric I thought I was going to use as alternate squares didn't work so I used this yellow one.  The squares are 2" finished so you can do the math to see how little it is.  I will have more fabric to cut the little triangles from when I cut the rest of the Hunter Star blocks so I may add on to this later.

In the spring and summer I pull out all of the Goldenrod that I see but there are always a few plants that I miss.  This one is out by the raised tomato plant bed.

Big day............

Today was the big day to take the bandage off my pacemaker surgery site.  I was nervous.  My daughter-in-law came over to do it for me.  The good news: it looks OK, no infection or any of the other gross things they mentioned I might find.  My son mowed my grass, DIL watered all of the pots of flowers, more than 20 of them.  Then I finally was able to shower and wash my hair......after 5 days I needed that.
I went out to check on the Dahlias and the yellow one is finally blooming and has one more bud.  I cut off the last of the burgundy color flowers too.  See how tiny the burgundy one is.  It is more like teacup size than dinner plate as the package said it was.

Today the big Sandwich Fair (DeKalb County, IL) opens and will run through Sunday, the largest and cleanest county fair in IL.  It is usually really hot for the fair, almost unbearable in the center of the buildings on the grounds and this year it is in the high 60s and low 70s for the first time in many years.

Today also the carpet gets laid and I'm looking forward to that.  I had my DIL bring up from the basement 2 boxes of 1.5" batik strips that I cut many years ago and I will play with them while they guys lay the carpet. 

Thanks everyone for all of your comments and emails.  I'm not up to answering them yet, but I really, really appreciate them.