My dad took this picture of their rain lilies. I miss mine and I am looking into having some up here.
But I do have wild strawberries again. Quite a few, really. I ate one the other day but it had no flavor.
 Some pretty wildflowers growing nearby.


First new pair of shoes in three years.
I haven't worn them yet. They are in case my go-to sandals fail this summer. I was sure that the summer before last would see the end of them but I was wrong. I would have gotten another pair like them if I lived anywhere near a TARGET, but alas, I do not. This is the first pair of shoes I ever bought at a PayLess. I hope they serve as well as my Target Meronas.


 I finally did get the placemats put together and quilted. They only lack binding. Which would have been done if I had not made such a mess of the cutting.  Anyway, as much as I like the IDEA of tea and I like drinking it and I like all things tea related, my life blood is 50% coffee. I cannot imagine a SINGLE day without it. If I go some where and am served "half and half, you know, half-caf, half dec-caf. It's all we drink anymore. That other stuff is so bad for you. Why not let us convince you by letting you taste this delicious cup of dishwater masquerading as a palatable comestible." Well, it is not that bad but were you expecting anything else from ME? No, I am not a half-way anything that I can think of. I have strong opinions and I like strong coffee. If I thought it was bad for me I would not go half-half. I would go full-out decaf. How is that for a rant when all I really meant to do was show you my place mats?

 I love the prints, both back and front. I really enjoyed doing the machine quilting and I like how the brown thread looks on the black background. I imagine it to be the scent wafting. And those BEANS. Aren't they perfect?


I found this on Pinterest but tracked it to HERE. I like the gourd/leaf/tea combo. I did not even see le Petite Ecolier cookies until just now!

What a great idea! Tea and cookies! I think the English call them biscuits instead of cookies strictly for marketing purposes. Cookies sound like something we should not eat. Biscuits sound like part of a meal.



I grabbed this from FaceBook. I cannot even credit the source. It is here today to honor several wonderful young people in my life who have decided it is time for them to fly. They are Supermen and Superwomen. Taking big steps. Making big plans. Dreaming big dreams. Conquering big fears. 

I usually have some kind of something here on Mondays that keeps me focused and I hope, gives others something to think about. Flattering myself, I like to think it might even inspire others. 

But today, I want to say, "YOU inspire ME, Supermen and Superwomen. You are taking a chances. You are putting on the capes. I am happy for you." If you are reading this and wonder if I am talking about you, the answer is YES.


See the new items in the SIDEBAR? The one that says HOME and the the other two? I taught myself how to make new pages that are PDFs on a sharing service. I am so proud of myself. What else can I learn? I am looking around to see what else I can do! Nothing succeeds like success. I am full of confidence. Good thing, too.  
Friday I set out to make some placemats and made the first rotary cut wrong. Should have stopped there, but no, I did not. I made a lot of wasted fabric and then went on to sew 24 seams that needed to be ripped out.  
 Good thing I had bought myself this great new seam ripper. It has an eraser-ish thing on the cap. I found it did such a good job I did not really need the eraser.


Here are links to this week's Foundation Paper Piecing Summer Treats patterns by Jennifer Mathis at Ellison Lane.

Block 4 Soft Serve Ice Cream Soft serve is not my choice for ice cream but this looks cute in sherbet colors or Italian ice, or even sorbet. In fact, that looks like watermelon sorbet.

Block 5 Milk Shake I might want a straw and a cherry!

Block 6 is CAKE! Not that I like cake  but I DO like the way the dark chocolate is set off by the frosting.

One more week and then I think Jennifer will be putting these together as a pattern set for purchase, so if you like paper piecing, get yours now!


Gratuitous Hippo Carving Picture from Museum of Appalachia
No one at Guild made the Block of the Month I showed you in yesterday's post. It is a very busy month with graduations and such. I have four sample blocks and no project in mind for them. Several members were not in town at all and usually the spring and summer months bring back our snowbirds so our meetings are full. I wonder how many will make this month's Block of the Month? We have our Guild Retreat coming up next month and I know that is a busy time for everyone, too. 

I talked a little bit about the Mystery Table Runner. Lots of Guilds do a Mystery Quilt but our ladies are a busy bunch so I designed a Mystery Table Runner which has expansion possibilities if they want a wall-hanging or larger piece. I am going to experiment with posting it here on the blog. There should be a way I can make a link in the sidebar to another page on this blog. I have heard that this particular blog provider does not make it easy to do that.


I have been busy making tutorials. I completed the April Block of the Month for Pieceful Mountain Quilt Guild. You would think it is an easy thing to do, write up some directions for a simple block, and maybe it is but I like to have pictures and diagrams to go along with the samples I will show when I present it tonight.  
When I choose a block to feature as block of the month, I go for the 12" finished size.
If you had 4, you could do this.
I look for simple construction without many matching points. The ladies in our guild are excellent quilters but very, very busy. It is one thing to spend an afternoon, selecting fabric, cutting and sewing and another thing all together to devote two full days to something complex that one might give up at the block lottery anyway. 
Or, you could do this.

Didn't I tell you about the block lottery? I think some guilds call it blotto. If you turn a block in, your name goes in a basket and the winner takes all the blocks. You can make more than one block and put your name in once for each block. 

Would you like a sneak peak at tonight's? I call it Attic Windows with Stash variant. Here are all three varieties.
3 variations of PMQG MAY BOM
The first with Oreos, is the regular single window. The next shows four opportunities to use up stash, and the third one has narrow shelves. I like the idea of lots of different shelves next to each other with a theme. You can see I used snack food as my theme. Some of the ladies have lots of embroidery machine samples and may like to feature those. I will let you know how it goes.


They Fought Like Demons
This is what I have been reading lately, and I really am enjoying it. It is not my usual choice for books. It is actually more like a history book than the types of reading I have been doing lately. I knew about a few of the soldiers that Blanton and Cook wrote about but they have so many more details and documented stories of others I did not even know about. 

Instead of setting each chapter to detail one woman at a time, the authors put together topics and then related information from the women known to have served on one side or the other. For instance, I never gave a thought about why a woman would choose to enlist but many of them had more at stake than following sweetheart, husband, brother or father.
They Fought Like Demons

For some, it was the only way to make a living wage--living as men. Some may even have been the first women to vote in a national election since they were disguised as men!

Other chapters include details about their experiences in combat, time served as POWs, and the regard and esteem their fellow soldiers had for them. More than one or two became officers, though none, I think, above the rank of Captain or perhaps Major. A woman may go disguised as a male youth, but a young "man" in "his" twenties does not get promoted to general. Interestingly, some of the officers gave birth while at war, surprising their fellows. Well, maybe not ALL of their fellows.

It is not a quick read because it is not filled with fluff. It is a pleasure to find myself back into reading every night and I am glad to have come across this book in my local library.


Oh, my goodness! Lots of things I like! Miniatures for 1:12 scale dollhouses, a WHOLE TEA SHOP of treats and teas, tucked into a neat little closable box. The only thing missing is a hen or rooster tea cosy! Good thing I can't read Japanese or I would go to NUNU'S HOUSE and get into all kinds of trouble. I found this on Pinterest by searching "cute tea".


Monday Mantra
stolen from STUDIES WEEKLY 

Uh-huh. I have to get working on my "homework" this week.  Lots to do. One task at a time. You can do it.



Jennifer Mathis designed a cupcake for Friday's Summer Sampler. Go HERE to read about this third installment!

These FPP blocks are cute and collectable for the next two weeks. Then, they will be for sale.


 Summer Sampler Set Block 2!
The second block in the series I wrote about yesterday. This is Jennifer Mathis' block from Wednesday.She blogs over at ellison lane where for a LIMITED TIME ONLY her FPP (Foundation Paper Pieced) block patterns for the Summer Sampler Series are free. At a rate of three a week for three weeks, you could have enough for a mini quilt. Put alternate blocks in and you have doubled the size! Double your FPPs and change up the colors and add in alternate blocks and you have multiplied your blocks by four. It doesn't get any easier than that.

I can see that block above as pink lemonade, limeade, sweet tea, or any of those great summer punch colors.


Project of the Moment
There are free FPP (Foundation Paper Pieced) patterns, part of the Summer Sampler Sew Along, available at Ellison Lane for a limited time. The one above is one made by Jennifer, the blog author. It was block 1, Monday's pattern. She will be posting nine total over three weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a mini quilt of 6" blocks.
 By now there should be three. I am having company but if I get a moment I will borrow her pictures (she gives permission for that, some restrictions apply) and link you to the correct posts. Maybe I will even get to make a few but the next week or two will be fairly busy. I have added physical therapy to my weekly routine and the first day was not difficult but the fallout was trying.


Bird Show, Day Two
 Mrs. Tanager, dressed in her best olive and gray.
 Coy, isn't she? If you want to know more, you could click this link that takes you to a wonderful National Geographic article and shows you a range map. You will see her range dips right down over my house all the way to Atlanta.
Scarlet Tanagers used to be part of the Tanager family but are now classified as part of the Cardinal family.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Passeroidea
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Piranga
Species: P. olivacea
The information above links to Wikipedia but basically all the "Passeri" prefixes refer to perching orders and song bird super and infra orders. Info like that above I used to enjoy memorizing for zoology class. At one time I wanted to be a malacologist--actually with a specialty in conchology but somehow that never came to pass. I still can not resist collecting shells.


Bird Show

 Here are some pictures of Mr. Tanager.
 He and his wife visited a lot last week.
 The day was overcast and he was almost NEON in his coloring.
I tried to find a sound to imbed so you could hear it but BLOGGER does not make this very easy and I never figured it out but since I DO know how to embed video, here is a youtube video I found that shows you another Mr. Tanager singing. WARNING The bird in the video is not shy about natural functions.



Isn't this a great piece of fabric? It is made by Sarah M of Third Half Studios. The link will take you to her Spoonflower Fabric site. She says she modeled it after the daffodils in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The REAL one, not the recent one. (My words, not hers)


Yesterday, I wrote a post while I thought of all of the people I know who might not be celebrating Mother's Day traditionally because they have no biologicals. (children) They are wonderful, supportive partners, sympathetic friends, and great human beings. Thank you for nuturing so many of us along the way. 

On to the Monday Mantra/Thought for the Week

There are not a lot of One Size Fits All quotes out there, but here is one of them. I think THIS links up to the JD HOUSTON being quoted above. 

I find the picture interesting to think about. Is the leaping goldfish aspiring to be on his own? Looking at the next bowl as a stepping stone to the next bowl/goal? Why not have one fish alone in the bowl on the right, leaping into the community instead of out of it? Whatever the picture means to you, the quote is valid. Think about what you have wanted in the past few months. Have you had to do something you have never done in order to attain it? Are you still hoping to reach the goal but not ready to make the leap? Read the quote again and change it to 

If I want something in my life, I will have to do something I have never done. 

I hope every one of you finds the courage to explore the thought and think about the next goal and what the next step will be.


If you have ever stroked a cat,  made someone soup, given advice, lent a shoulder to a teary friend, contributed to a charity, picked up trash you did not drop, driven a colleague to the airport, shared cookies, smiled at a stranger, given a dog a treat, put a penny in the cup at the counter, tenderly trimmed a bush, listened to the same stories over and over and still laughed at the funny parts, played patty-cake with a toddler, helped someone move to a new place, held the door for an elder, let your companion choose the movie, or offered your couch to a friend in need of shelter, you are a nurturer.



You may remember when I joined the Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild. I wrote about their choice of a block of the month to follow (they were using a Craftsy class). I had little enthusiasm for that. I was already taking a sampler class that focused on traditional blocks. (My Audrey Class) I was totally immersed in Audrey and I didn't have any motivation to duplicate the lessons with an online teacher. In fact, I was a little grumpy. 

Well, I decided to make my own Modern Block of the Month. Or, rather, choose a block every month from the panoply of FREE modern blocks available. I have decided to mostly make 12" blocks or variations that will fit well such as 24", 6", 4", 3". I have already chosen colors.
Kona Cotton Ash, Lime, Chartreuse, Kumquat.

I thought I was unique in my color palette but I must have seen it somewhere. Maybe here at the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild? It is likely that I was influenced by this. When I am about to embark on a new journey, I research everything to death. In the old days, that meant a lot of library time but since the internet, I am like a pig in slop.

So here I am, doing it MY way. MY Modern Block of the Month. Starting in May, not January. Using others'  ideas but linking you to them.  My version of the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild's January 2013 Block of the month. Thank you, OCMQG, you are so generous to share the directions.
The photograph distortion makes the seams look skewed but they are actually pretty much straight!

I missed the April meeting of the SAMQG and Thursday's meeting was shocking. They have taken on a TON of charity work. They have decided to have once a month charity sewing. They have two projects underway just to pay for their main charity focus. I have a copy of the bylaws to read over.  They don't seem to be doing their traditional block of the month anymore, either.

They passed out kits last night to make blocks for a raffle quilt but since I am booked with company and other things over the next month, I did not take any. To be completely honest, the raffle quilt looks like it might be modern. But charity work is not why I wanted to be part of a modern guild. I want to learn about the modern movement, instead of spend my time cranking out charity items and then sitting around selling geegaws or strong-arming people to buy raffle tickets. Which, ironically, is what I am doing right this minute while you are reading this--but for a different guild. Maybe the overlap factor is what is getting to me. 

Yeah, still grumpy. I know. You can't have a non profit that doesn't do SOME charity work but my goodness. They have REALLY got big plans. And I want to sew for ME.

WAH WAH WAH I didn't even get to show my modern quilt block. What a crybaby.


 A Little About Photo A Day

I found a photo game. It is from the Fatmumslim blog. She has a topic a day for you to respond with a photo. All devices and formats seem to be available. It is a no-pressure game meaning that if you skip some days, no problem. It might be fun to see how you can use all those devices that take and post photos and all those social media outlets that are available. If you scroll down and look at the links on the right side of her blog, it looks like she has some tips. I have to admit, I am not very good with the iPad yet but my mother has taught me a few things and I am getting there. My phone is not smart but hers is so maybe she will use her phone for some of these topics.

Today's topic is STARS. 

I recently wrote a tutorial on a three-fold, one-cut five point star. These are negative and positive images on a background of fabric I had intended to use as water. May still do so but I like the cosmic quality it has with the stars.


If you have an idea of what that little lady is in the above triptych, please let me know.
Montage of the mystery bird. HomeSon took these pictures and merged them. We only have the one house shaped bird seed snack. This little friend came to visit the other day. I think it could be Mrs. Tanager but Mr. was not around so it was difficult to say. It is the beak shape that makes me think so. I have some pictures of Mr. that I will have to get out of my camera for tomorrow.

Some of my readers have helped me identify flora and fauna in the area. Last week I was not sure a about a pair of birds and thought they were Orioles even though they were yellow and WestCoastBrother told me they were Goldfinches. I think I saw Orioles last year and ours were more orange. I looked at the link above and confirmed his identification.



My K-niece, Chicklet, sent me pictures for my tea paraphernalia collection from a recent trip to Boston. Isn't it a cute little set?
I think they bought this Stump pot to bring to their own home. Perfectly lovely little pot! I was so excited to add these to my virtual collection but a couple of days later, I received a package in the mail...
I apologize for the poor photo quality. I used my iPad and it was night but this is BOSTON TEA PARTY TEA! My in-laws were visiting and we had afternoon tea the very next day.  MMmmm. It was Earl Grey and perfect.


And I am okay with who I am, too. Today, take time to revel in your own existence and enjoy your attributes.


Yeah, I pretty much am, too. We have had a few days of rain which I don't mind but the eaves near my batting collection are making a weird drip-drip noise even though I can't find any damp spots. Still, I will need to move a lot of  stuff because SOMEONE needs to come up here and see what the hell is going on. Maybe  even a professional should look. From the outside in.  

My back hurts and I may not be on the blog for a few days. The next two days were written last week so if you do not hear from me on Wednesday, assume I am on the mend again.


Ummmmm. Yeah. That is true. Yesterday I finished preliminary work on a block that my applique teacher thinks is going to be a Rose of Sharon. Sorry, Connie Tackett. Mine is turning out to be something a little different. 

I think I will call it Bouquet of Sharon. I started out with good intentions. Then I got carried away a little. If you know me, you expected something like that. I have each piece "semi-finished" and basted to the backing. I even researched border treatment and have a rough idea of what I want to do. 

While I was thinking it over, I finished the quilt I am making for my SmallTalk exchange partner. I chose a favorite pattern by Kathleen Tracy and while I was cutting for my partner, cut a set for myself. Mine lacks only hand-catching the binding. All in all, a very satisfactory Friday. 

While you are reading this, I hope I am continuing industriously. I missed a lot of time recently and it is good to be holding the needle and thimble again.