Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Block 14

Good day to you, m'ladies! How is everything in your world this lovely day? Most wondrous, I hope!

I've finished Block 14! WooHoo! ;0)
Block 14
This is the middle block on the top of the outer ring of blocks. Stitches used in this block are Pekinese, chevron, herringbone, cretan, buttonhole, feather, chain and back stitch. Threads used were #8 perle cotton, silk floss and variagated pima cotton (Caron Watercolours). None of the seam treatments are extra special, but they do continue the monochromatic theme I've been striving for across the top of this quilt. I am soooo close to finishing these outer blocks I can taste it! Just one more and then I get to do the moon block... I've been saving it for last! Kind of like I save the best bite of toast for last... the middle part with lots of butter. LOL!

We've also been getting started on our vegetable garden. Glenn has been sick so we haven't been able to get the fence up, which is what I wanted to do first. I was getting antsy though, so we started on the beds last weekend. We're trying lasagna gardening, since we are now a couple of old farts and double digging (and just plain digging in general) is not something we want to try in this clay soil. We put down a layer of cardboard first, then a thick layer of grass clippings we've been stockpiling for the past two years. We prepared 2 beds, the back one is maybe 12' (3.6 meters) and the front bed is maybe 15' (4.6 meters). We'll continue to extend them (when we get some more cardboard) until they are close to the concrete pad in front of the shed.
Lasagna beds - started
The stockpile of grass is in the rear of the photo, by the shed. It did extend out close to the back bed, so that area is grass free. After the layer of dried & slightly composted grass, we watered it well. This coming weekend we'll put down a couple more layers, probably some manure, then more grass clippings, and then some bagged soil. When the trees start to really lose their leaves, we'll add those to the top of the bed. We may try planting something this fall if we can get the fence in. If not, then it should really be in good shape for spring planting in February and March... that's spring planting time in Phoenix!

The giant green wall is an 8' (2.4 meters) block wall covered in trumpet creeper and catsclaw vines that extends the full length of the back yard. The walls along the side of the backyard are 6' (1.8 meters). We love having that big block wall there, especially covered so heavily in vines. It really gives us a feeling of protection and provides a great backdrop for the yard.

During a monsoon storm this summer we had a microburst right in the center of Phoenix. Luckily, we were only on the edge of it and it took out the top few feet of our fig tree (just a few blocks away it tore down power lines, knocked over brick walls and tore up trees by their roots), so last weekend we also cut the majority of the fig tree down.
Fig tree - cut down
The tree had two huge dead limbs on, too, so we cut it pretty low. It still needs to go a little lower, to get below the junction of the three big limbs, but it was getting dark so we decided using a chain saw at dusk wasn't such a good idea! We'll finish it this coming weekend, since the sun is pretty much down by the time we get home from work these days. All in all, it was a good start on getting the backyard in shape!

Well, I guess I've "talked" enough this evening... I'm getting a cold - from my sweet husband, thank you very much ;0)... so I'm going to put myself to bed. Take care, my lovelies!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ummm... HI!??!

Well, guess it's been awhile. Sorry, 'bout that. It's been a bad summer for me, my IBS has been kicking my butt big time and I just seem to get further behind all the time. Days seem to turn into weeks without me recognizing them. I have been getting around to my usual blogs but actually getting up enough energy to post on my own hasn't happened much this summer. I'm now on some medication that should help so hopefully I can get back on track.

In more pleasant news, here's block 13!!
Block 13
I like the way this block came out... I haven't looked at in a week and I'm rather pleasantly surprised.

Here are a couple of closeups of some of the nicer seam treatments:
Block 13 - Mirrored buttonhole stitch
On the top right is a mirrored buttonhole stitch done in #8 perle cotton and then some Caron Watercolours variegated pima cotton. Mirrored buttonhole stitch is a great stitch... it gives such a nice little swoosh at the bottom between the up and down parts!

Here's a really nice one... I like it a lot!
Block 13 - herringbone and cretan
On the left is a cretan stitch done in the same #8 perle cotton and variegated pima cotton and on the right is herringbone stitch (with extras). I'm really keeping my palette limited on these last few blocks. I really want them to blend together.

Back soon with more... thanks for hanging in there with me, ladies! Love ya's!