Monday, June 19, 2017

A Week-end Get Away

Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite movies.  One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Scarlett is feeling quite overwhelmed and says:  "I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow."  There was a time in my life when Scarlett's procrastination annoyed me.  I am older and wiser and realize there are times in life when a girl feels overwhelmed and needs a week-end get away.

AppleJack and I took a trip east to revisit some of our favorite places and discover some new ones.  One of our stops was to the University Gardens.  The gardens are located on the Agricultural Campus of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Some 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropical plants, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses grow in the gardens.  The plants are under constant study and evaluation.  New plant species are introduced and the gardens are a great way for home gardeners to learn about new varieties and let the experts do the trial and error.

The hydrangeas were in full bloom.  There was an evening wedding scheduled and the hydrangeas were especially beautiful.  I will be adding more of these beauties to my garden.

A red variety of coneflower!  It was beautiful.  Another must have to add to my garden.  The bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love this plant.  

A single red annual--zinna.  Grandmother Bessie called this annual Old Maid.  

A garden bench, a place to sit, relax and breathe in all the beauty of the gardens.

We took a trip down memory lane for lunch and ate a Hoagie sandwich from Sam and Andy's.  The sandwiches are steamed which softens the bread, heats the meats, and melts the cheese.  They are delicious!  Why doesn't anyone in Nashville steam the sandwiches?  Grrrr

Ham 'n Goody's is another favorite Knoxville eatery.  Founded in 1978 using old family recipes they are renown for their world famous lemon cookies and home made cakes.  These cookies are better than good, they are melt in your mouth delicious.  It was worth the trip just for a dozen of these cookies!

The last time I was with the Homespun stitch girls, one of them was talking about a new quilt shop in Greenback called MountainCraft Quilts.  Feeling adventurous and with the assistance of MapQuest we set out to find the shop.  WOW!  A gem of a quilt shop located on Hwy 411 just outside of Maryville.  The shop is owned and operated by a mother/daughter team and is everything this quilter dreams about in a quilt shop:  bolts and bolts of beautiful fabrics, wools, tools, fibers, models, classes.  Perhaps, if Scarlett had access to a quilt shop like MountainCraft, it would have helped with her feeling of being overwhelmed.  It sure helped with mine.

I highly recommend road trips.  Stay tuned there are more road trips in our immediate plans--Berea, Sauder Village, Paducah, Little Rock.





Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mastering the HST

Jo's Little Favorites II
Half Square Triangle Challenge
17 x 20 1/2
Fabric from Stash

In 1961 Julia Child released her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  If there is one thing I have learned about quilting it is the role and importance of the HST.  I believe early in her quilting career, Jo Morton must have recognized and learned the importance of the HST.  She has mastered the skill of making HST and she isn't afraid to use.

  One of the quilts in Little Favorites II is called the Half-Square Triangle Challenge.  Jo choose to use two colors in this quilt:  pink and brown.  Since pink is not one of my favorite colors, my stash is limited with this color.  I choose the next best thing--pinky reds.  Red while a bold color sometimes have a pink color or orange color.

Here are some of the things I learned while I am on my journey to Mastering the Art of the HST:
  • Triangle papers are a girls best friend.  It is amazing how accurate and fast HST can be sewn together using triangle papers
  • No matter how accurate I sew and press, HST always need to be measured and trimmed.  Yes, cutting off those dog ears does make a difference
  • Itty Bitty Rulers are also a girls best friend.  
Gardening work (pulling weeds) has cut into my sewing time, but has not stopped me from digging into my fabric stash and pulling fabric for my next HST challenge.

Meadow by Blackbird Designs
(Backing fabric)





Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Flowers

Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea.  Our neighbor intensely dislikes this shrub.  It is one of my favorites, big bold beautiful blooms.  it smells heavenly, the bees love it, the birds love it in the fall.

Purple coneflower.  They thrive here!  I transplant them, I neglect them and they continue to thrive.  Their big bold centers and brightly colored purple petals make me smile each time I walk past them.

The peonies are recovering from an injury.  A big old limb from the black walnut tree crash landed on them during a wind storm.  

More hydrangea.  Each time I see these big beautiful blooms which range in color from blue to pink to white I ask myself why I have never planted more.  

The day lilies are just beginning to bloom.  With any luck at all, they should be blooming for about the next month.  

I spent several hours weeding today, it is amazing how fast the weeds can grow.  As a gardener I always feel one step behind the weeds.  Am thinking of renaming my garden--The Wilderness seems more of an appropriate name than Next Year.  The flowers are worth the effort and I soldier on.  Weeding good for the flowers, exercise for the body and a time of thought for the mind.