May 2019 WIPs

I can’t believe we’re already in June, halfway through the year! May was definitely a busy month in hindsight. I’m very happy how productive I was in gardening, stitching, and quilting. I hope you look forward to reading about all my works in progress!

GARDENING

I would like to start with an update on my seedlings. The Chinese Cabbage seedlings have continued to grow in nicely. I’ve been struggling with some bugs eating them and I’ve been treating them, but we have received lots of rain this month and it’s a little hard to keep up with the bugs. Some challenges I faced early on in May, were my transplants wanting to flower too early. Some ideas that I have on why and what I can do next time is to fertilize my seedlings earlier on in their indoor growing to produce more height and foliage growth. I think the small peat moss pots and late fertilizing kept my seedlings on the short side. Once they were ready to go outside, they were too small and ready to flower. I trimmed off all of the flowers to encourage more outdoor growth and I am seeing improvements.

My tomatillos started to really take off in May too! One of the transplants is outgrowing the other and I was worried this would keep them from cross-pollinating, but luckily they are both producing little tomatillos. These too started flowering too short, but I didn’t want to trim down the already short plants. Luckily, with all the rain and mild temps, the tomatillo plant has really flourished, put on more growth, and has lots of little tomatillos! I can’t wait to harvest them. I’m so proud of these little plants. The stems are thick and strong and I’m amazed these came from the teeniest of seedlings.

My strawberry plant from last year is doing quite well. I had only a couple of leaves survive the winter, but as you can see it has come back strong. The birds don’t bother the fruit and I was able to eat these two beauties at the end of May. The tomatillo plants are in the same bed and taking over the space quickly. They may begin to shade the strawberry plant, so we’ll see if it continues to produce in June.

Garlic was harvested at the end of May and they are currently curing in the shed. I didn’t plant has many as I usually do, so this was a small harvest. Regardless of how small the harvest, the smell is still amazing! I love garlic!

I shared some growth from my oakleaf hydrangea last time and check out the blooms they produced in May! I planted this last year in the Fall and was so surprised to see them bloom for me this year. I am struggling with those little pesky green beetles and they have eaten all the flowers by now. I won’t get to see the flowers transition to the maroon fall colors, but happy to see the plant doing well overall.

The garden was full of blooms in May. The clematis was full with buds and slowly one by one they began to open. Look at those vibrant colors! They didn’t fill in as full as I have seen in the past, but I was late to trim the old growth down this spring. With all the rain, my ajuga is full of lush new growth and I’m loving the purple and variegated green colors on the foliage. My new pink guara also has been blooming all month and my zinnias that I started by seed are starting to bloom now too! Pictured below is a shorter variety. I’ve yet to see my California Giants bloom, but they are coming for June!

As I was cleaning one of my flower beds and trimming off the leaves of the faded Spring daffodils, I accidentally cut my gladiolus stalk down! I was so upset with myself!! I did not plant these, but they mysteriously sprouted for me last summer. Do you think the squirrels planted them? Or maybe from the previous owners, but we’ve been living here for 6 years now. Anyhow, I quickly took my stalk to a vase of water in hopes that I would still get to see it bloom. In about 4-5 days I was surprised to see that it did! Look how beautiful they are! These two blooms came in at the end of May. I now have 6 blooms.

Here’s Petey helping me out with the soaker hoses that I added to the flower bed. I hope to do better at keeping my flower beds watered in the summer. I have been postponing the chore since we’ve had so much rain. For some reason Petey was obsessed with the soaker hose material and he made himself a little nest ❤

STITCHING

I kicked of May with a staycation for stitching and quilting. Mom joined me for a couple of days and we accomplished some good hand sewing progress. Mom worked on some hand applique and I picked up The Ones You Love by Teresa Kogut. Look at that sweet face ❤ The fabric is 32 count linen by Colour and Cotton in the color Cornflower.

Next, I put some progress into Purple Martin Apiary by Shakespeare’s Peddler. I’m stitching this on 40 count Lakeside Linens. I took a good amount of time clearing the black fabric of kitty hair and as soon as I set down my project there was a furry foot on it. I was able to finish the red beehive this time around.

I picked up Pumpkins Thieves by Madame Chantilly at the end of the month and am still working on it now to finish the week. I will have more to share with you in my June update, but below I was able to finish the flag, witches broom, and the start of my little witch. I’m stitching this on 32 count Vintage Maritime White by Lakeside Linens.

During my lunchtime, I’ve been working on this Journey of the Ark embroidery. I finished up the trees and birds and will continue onto the sheep and bottom border.

On the sewing side of stitching, Mom and I took a class together and made our own leggings! The class was my mother’s day gift to her and we had a great time. The knit fabric we used was from Cotton and Steel.

QUILTING

Progress on this next project has been ongoing since the end of 2017! I was commissioned to make a king size quilt for a family member and it has been a huge wip. On May 1st, I finished the quilt top! The top measures 108″ x 90″ and consists of 1,080 squares, 2,430 half square triangles, and 540 quarter square triangles . Are you blown away yet!? Here she is, the Moving Mosaic quilt by Amy Ellis. I’m currently in search of the perfect backing fabric.

As soon as the top was done, I picked up my next commission. This Rifle Paper Co. quilt is for my co-worker who’s been waiting for me to finish the king size quilt so I can work on hers. Made almost entirely by the Wildwood fabric line, we went with a simple patchwork design to show off the cute prints. I added two 1″ borders around the patchwork and finished the top with a final 5″ border. This was a very quick project. I’m ready to look for backing and get this quilt quilted asap!

That sums up my May! I hope June is just as productive. Until then, happy stitching and happy gardening!

Advertisements

April 2019 WIPs

We’re already half way into May and I realized I forgot to post my April WIP updates!

First, I’ll start with my seedling update. Gardening is a work in progress after all! Just before planting the last of my seedlings, I decided to start some basil and zinnia seeds indoors. These were quick to germinate. The zinnias took about 3 days to sprout and the basil was just under a week. I’m trying two different varieties of zinnia, a short one and a tall one. The basil is absolutely adorable and you could smell that sweet basil smell even at this stage of their growth!

The other seedlings were quickly growing and I finally planted them outdoors around mid April. I also shared a few with my mom.

The other exciting growth in the garden was from my Oakleaf Hydrangea. I planted this last Fall and the spring foliage came through quickly. The variety is a small one called Ruby Slippers. It will start with white flower plumes that turn a burgundy shade. I look forward to seeing it in full bloom and the transition into fall colors.

Mom and I also shopped a local plant sale and I was able to start a new flower bed in the front yard. While it looks a little sparse, I’m sure it will fill in nicely! The plants that went into this bed: gaura, hibiscus, gregg’s mist, clasping coneflower, oriental poppies (that I started indoors from seed), a wildflower, and portulaca.

Besides my Noah’s Christmas Ark Giraffes finish that I shared with you, I mostly worked on my Journey of the Ark embroidery project. Journey of the Ark is by Jan Speed and Julie Larsen. I am working on this project during my lunch break and I’m still making progress on the first block of sheep.

I also made some descent progress on Where there are Bees by The Prairie Schooler. I’m hoping for a finish in May or June. I’m almost there!

That sums up my April progress. I have some great quilting wips to share with you in May. But until then, I’ll leave you with this beautiful show of Bath’s Pink Dianthus, which is the first perennial to greet me that Spring is here!

March WIPs SAL Update 4.7

Unfortunately I did not get any stitching time on my full coverage piece. Instead of leaving you without an update, I thought I’d share my March WIPs instead!

I decided to try indoor seed starting this year. I read a couple of books in February and did some research on an indoor growing setup. I followed this DIY Grow Light Stand setup by The Creative Vegetable Gardener. I purchased my metal stand from Amazon and my fluorescent fixtures and bulbs from Lowes. I went with T8 bulbs, one warm light and one daylight in each fixture. I used peat Jiffy Pots and Fertilome seed starting mix. The seeds were sown before I actually setup the stand and lights as I didn’t anticipate anything to germinate within the week. To my surprise, the cabbage seedlings germinated in just 3 days! They were a little leggy as the were reaching for light that wasn’t there. I quickly setup the stand and put both trays under the lights in anticipation for more sprouts.

The Cabbage was a fast grower. The rest of my seeds germinated with time. Cilantro and peppers took about a week. Eggplant and tomatillos took 1-2 weeks.

The seedling have been doing very well. See their robust growth!

Towards the end of the month, I started to harden off the cabbage and cilantro for outdoor living. After a week of hardening, I put the cabbage in the raised bed and the cilantro in a patio container.

This week I’m hardening off the peppers, tomatillos, and scallions. Hope to plant them next weekend. Now for some stitching! Sorry, as you can see, I’ve been pretty busy with the Spring growth. I did manage to get some progress in on a couple of projects.

At the beginning of the month I added some progress to Madame Chantilly’s Pumpkins Thieves. My goal was to finish the balloon and I did manage to complete this. The balloon took me two full skeins of Barrel Cactus by Classic Colorworks.

About mid month, I worked on Where there are Bees by The Prairie Schooler for my #averyprairieyearSAL update. Neko also turned 10 years old this month! The bottom half of the chart is complete, working my way into the top half!

During the last week of the month, I prepared my new project start for April. This new project is an embroidery pattern called Journey of the Ark by Jan Speed and Julie Larsen. I picked it up at our local quilt show. The picture on the pattern doesn’t do it justice. The quilted model grabbed my attention and I had to buy it! At the quilt show I also grabbed Valdani Thread and Liberty Homestead fabric.

In preparation, I decided to try out Sulky Fabri-Solvi printable stabilizer. I copied the pattern onto this and adhered the designed to my fabric. Once I’m done with the embroidery, I can wash off the stabilizer. I also created a floral project bag for this. This project is my new lunchtime stitch for work. Looking forward to sharing progress with you next month!

Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the SAL group has progressed with their projects! Join me by clicking the blog links below:

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, and Sharon