Friday, June 2, 2017

Start of summer

Hi everyone!  How was your week?  It's feeling a lot like summer here, but not quite as warm as it will be in a month or so, so I did a bit more gardening.  Nothing like the "big dig" of last weekend, but things keep blooming here, and it's always a surprise.  It looks like we'll have some day lilies shortly, and there are all kinds of other plants I can't identify or haven't seen in person before.  Yellow irises, for example.  I didn't know they came in yellow!

Of course, I also did some stitching, just for rehabilitation purposes, you know.  I finally finished up the string quilt!  Here she is:


Is that not a happy quilt?  This is the Scrap Happy Rails pattern from Amanda Jean Nyberg's book No Scrap Left Behind.  I made mine smaller than the pattern, mainly because this was all the scraps I had that I wanted to use up.  If you recall, I found a bag of coordinated floral scraps that I had saved, and I cut those up for this quilt.  My top is about 48 by 60, a decent lap size.


What could I call this beauty but Start of Summer?  I have really lost my taste for florals, but they look fresh and summery in this quilt.  And I used up every bit of those scraps.  I mean *every* bit:


Yep, that little pieced string in the center of the photo is about a half-inch wide.  Someday I will learn to keep and use only the larger scraps, but that day is not today, clearly.  Seriously, there is nothing left.  I was sweating out the last two blocks, but managed to eke them out. 


This quilt top was really easy, but it was seriously labor intensive.  All the strings!  I didn't have long enough pieces for more than a couple of short strip sets to cut into sections, so the vast majority of these strings were stitched one at a time.  I worked on two blocks at a time so I could always have something going through the machine, which worked out pretty well.  If I were a smart person I would have chopped all the strings to the correct length before I started stitching anything, but I didn't.  I just cut them as I added them to the sections.  That slowed me down a lot!


This little quilt is destined for great things!  I've signed up at a local quilt shop to take the required class so that I can rent time on their longarm, and this top will be one of the practice quilts.  After that it will likely be donated, but I expect it to teach me a lot first!

I also got a great surprise in the mail this week-- check out this beautiful little mini that Janine at Quilts from the Little House sent me:


Isn't that adorable?  It's already hanging on the wall in my sewing room.  Much too pretty to be setting lemonade on! Thanks so much Janine!

One more thing-- as I said above, there are a lot of plants here that I can't identify.  Does anyone know what this shrub is?


This is also shown in the second picture above, and it just bloomed this past week.  The flowers are lovely, but I don't know what it is or anything about it.  And just how do you get rid of pachysandra?  It's everywhere!  Any help appreciated!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

Sharing at crazymomquilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Oh Scrap!

24 comments:

  1. Love your scrappy quilt... I am doing a workshop in a couple of weeks and I plan on using the Xmas fabric you sent me. Can't wait to use it up. And I mean to use all of it too. Don't know what the flower is. We have just started using our heater. It was -1 this morning....

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  2. That's an azalea bush. Always lovely to have. If you need to cut it back at all, do it right after it's finished blooming. If you do it later in the summer or fall, you won't get as many blooms next year.

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  3. Yay hooray for the finished quilt top!

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  4. What a great way to use up fabric we longer have an attraction to! I have not had time yet to start on a project from that book.

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  5. That looks like an azalea to me. It should bloom each year and if you feed your plants, this one likes a fairly acidic mix. Normally the garden shop will carry an Azalea/Rhododendron feed so you could use that. Sprinkle it at the base of the plant after it blooms.

    Great finish Mari. You are going to have so much fun learning to use the long arm. Can't wait to hear about your class!!

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  6. Yes, it is a very happy quilt, indeed. I think I may be up for it next year :-) That mini is from Janine? Honestly, it looks like the hand dyed fabrics you showed me when we met earlier this year. In any case that is very happy too. See you soon. So excited!!!

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  7. I like it! It is a lovely burst of color

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  8. This quilt is truly beautiful and it make me want to buy the book. I love the way the strings get broken up by the solid fabric....much nicer than just strings on and on.

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  9. Hi Mari,
    I love your string quilt - very fitting for the start of summer. Those strawberries on the fabric - too cute. How cool that you will learn to long-arm it! I will look forward to hearing about that. ~smile~
    Roseanne

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  10. I came over from crazymomquilts because I liked your blog title. :-)

    I think your bush is a rhododendron instead of an azalea because of the leaves, but the flowers are very similar. I have both in my yard - we don't do anything to them and just let them go, and the blooms come back every year. They're great! I'm also a recent transplant to the Land of Pachysandra, and mostly, we've just let it be. It's a good ground cover where grass typically won't grow. Where we didn't want it, we got shovels and just dug it out. There was bare dirt for awhile, but grass grew in by the end of the season.

    The quilt is lovely. Good for you doing a project that you didn't like the fabric on. I probably would have just given the fabric away without doing anything with it.

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  11. That's an azalea. Pretty color! I have bought Amanda's book but have not had to sit down with it yet.

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  12. You've been quilting a summer garden! What gorgeous finishes the both of them :)

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  13. Your string quilt turned out beautifully! And you used up all those scraps. Definitely a great start to your summer.

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  14. Such a fresh, pretty quilt! And very exciting to be using it to learn on a longarm! The start of a new journey :)

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  15. Your quilt is so pretty! Just the right colors for this time of year. The plant looks like an azalea, but the leaves are a bit different than the ones I normally see. It is lovely!

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  16. OMG pachysandra? That's me! Patchy Sandra LOLOLOL...never heard of that plant. I agree with Alice on the azalea and that the leaves seem wrong. Julie (Pink Doxies) would know for sure-she's a wealth of knowledge on plants, both tame and wild, as well as bugs! I've asked her about many many that I, being a prairie girl, do not know. LOVE your quilt, and I TOTALLY know about the labour intensity you went through because I did too.

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    1. Okay googled both and yup that's an azalea as everyone is saying, and omg pachysandra? THAT's what I see around town here in several places, one entire yard is covered in it instead of grass! My husband and I thought it was some kind of vine. You learn new stuff every day!

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  17. That is a true, blue scrap quilt! It will be fun to learn to use a long arm on it! Enjoy all those pretty blossoms!

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  18. Such a pretty quilt, Mari! I love all the sweet, flowery fabrics. I can see why it was labor intensive, but hopefully you will feel it was worth it when it's all finished!

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  19. It is a happy quilt! I love that you used every last piece. This will make a great practice quilt for the long arm. It sounds like so much fun! Love the mini from Janine!

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  20. Great job making a lovely quilt from that bag of scraps. It will be a great quilt to practice on. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

    My first daylily bloomed yesterday. I have over 30 varieties so I hope to have flowers from now until fall!

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  21. A great flower quilt for a summer garden. You are lucky a learning process in gardening to live in azalea land, the mid Atlantic states. I miss the acid soil of WA state, Wisconsin is so different with all the lime here. It's all a learning process in gardening. Have fun learning to long arm.

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  22. A great way to use up all those scraps. Nice work.

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  23. Great job using all those scraps, and I totally understand the lesson of cutting the strips to length BEFORE you start - been there, done that, hope to remember for next time ;)

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