Tuesday, May 31, 2011


 April 30th.

May 15th.

May 27th.

 It's been years and years since I've had a real vegetable garden.  The past few years we've grown tomatoes in bags of potting soil,  layed on top of the ground and covered with pine straw, which is great but requires lots of watering.  
Last year John bought 3 of those Topsy-Turvy bags which required even more watering.  One mocking bird thought it made a great place for a nest in May.  I know it was like a sauna in there once it really got hot outside. She moved out in June. 
We probably spent $50 for the few cucumbers we picked from one bag.  I think it was just too hot for the tomatoes.  We gave the bags to our SIL Jesse to try to grow flowers on their porch this year.   
This year I decided to put the plants in the ground under the clothesline posts (same place I put the bags of potting soil) so I have 2 mini gardens.  I planted tomatoes, zucchini squash, basil, cucumbers and summer squash. I saw a couple of tiny zucchini last night.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

We waited until evening to go out on the lake.  Evan (16) has had lots of experience sailing and he likes to drive the boat too! John and Emily are enjoying the ride.  We also had Tracey, Molly and her friend, Sarah.

Our cove gets pretty muddied up with all the boat and jet ski traffic on Holiday weekends so we went out in deep water to swim - -  well  mostly just jumping off the boat. It was just getting dark when we got back to the boathouse. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

He's a Believer

Our friends Joe & Dee have been visiting at the lake this week.
Joe caught this 4 pound, 24" catfish off the dock today using my homemade catfish bait.  (I made him pose with the jar of bait)
He has been an outdoors man all his life but he said he had never used hot dogs for fish bait!

John used to use a vile paste that looked like peanut butter but smelled absolutely horrid for catfish.  I used to tell him that I didn't think I wanted to eat anything that was ingesting that.  Thankfully he doesn't buy that stuff anymore.

BTW - The fish was released back to the lake.  - We went out for a seafood dinner in the evening.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I did at the lake..............

 I sewed this border on the Spiderweb II quilt top.  Not at all the fabric I had planned to use.  From a 1.25 yard piece (partially used) -  I had 4 pieces 3" x 4" and a strip 1.5 x 8" leftover.  It looks better in real life especially considering my photography skills.

I made a journal cover! I used the directions from the Exuberant Color blog.   I had jotted them down in one of my 'someday' notebooks  back before Christmas.  Her directions were very clear and easy to understand.  I used some of the leftover fabrics from the spiderweb quilt.  I sewed and quilted it with a Singer Featherweight which is what I sew on at the lake.  Very basic but I'm happy with my first attempt - Thank you Wanda from Exuberant Color!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Better View

This heron decided to get a better view of the water from the top of our neighbor's boathouse this morning.  I love watching them stroll up and down the water's edge.

The water is a little high today.  When we bought our property at Lake Gaston the water level was always constant. Around 2000 VEPCO (Virginia Elec. & Power) started selling water to the City of Norfolk, VA.  Now the water level varies some but not so much that it is a problem.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spiderweb II

I really like the sashing and inner border fabric that I picked out for the Spiderweb II Saturday (Stonehenge- Norcott).  I also bought a beautiful, silver gilded, multicolored dragonfly fabric with a dark blue background that I was planning to use for the outer border.  However, once I had sewn on the sashing it just looked out of place even though the colors were okay.  It made the quilt look overdressed- kinda like wearing a prom dress to a baseball game!
I did find 2 nice batiks at home that I can use - it is a scrap quilt after all - we'll see. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Homes

John made these cute little bird houses last week and put them out in the back yard.
Last year he had two large Leyland Cypress trees removed from this area.  We planted yellow knockout roses, hollies, and a Crepe Myrtle back there last fall.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Spiderweb

This spiderweb pattern is found on  The instructions are clear and you can easily download the patterns.

I haven't decided what color I want to use for the sashing and borders.  I used batik scraps.  With these 12 blocks the quilt will be about 55 x 68".

Perhaps I'll  look around for sashing and border fabric while I'm at Ladybug Cottage today for the second session of quilting class.

Happy Weekend!  After tomorrow, no commitments until Woman's Club on Wednesday.  I feel the lake beckoning!


This evening we went to The Mudcats Stadium for the Relay for Life Events. 

 Tom and Sharon head up the Relay Team for our church.  They held a yard sale in April and last Friday evening, the WUMM & WUMW had a Spaghetti supper and bake sale fundraiser.  It is wonderful to go out there and see all the area churches and other organizations supporting this cause. 

We arrived just in time for the survivor walk.  We didn't stay for the lighting of the luminaries - hopefully, they finished with them before the  thunderstorm that moved onto our area just after 9PM.

Friends from church!
Across the road neighbor and her daughter - her 1st year.
Quilting friend, Linda, her 2nd year!

I was surprised to see how many of the walkers I recognized.

Our family is no stranger to cancer either.  Our family survivor list John's sister Connie; his brother Al;  SIL,Pat; my BIL, Ken; our son, Gordon, 1st year and our niece, Kellie, 2nd year. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Turning Leaves & An Amusing Memory


I finished sewing the borders on this Turning Leaves quilt that I started back in March. It is now 56 x 73". 
The picture was taken outside in the sun so the color isn't really correct.
I sewed the backing (bright green with purple markings) and made the binding (purple batik, same fabric as outer border) also.  I think I will like it better once it's quilted.
I am still looking for a border fabric for my string quilt.  I have checked  through my fabric at here at home and am not happy with any that I've found. Guess I'll have to look at Whistle Stop Thursday when I meet with Connie, Cathy and Sally to sew.  
I bought a fabric I thought I might use at Ladybug when I was there to teach my quilting class on Saturday. But once I had it home I decided against it.

Oh! that reminds me of an amusing memory!

My Saturday student is a retired Home Ec teacher from Ithaca, NY.  ( She doesn't look old enough to be retired). I'll have to tell her this on Saturday when I see her again.

When I was in 7th or 8th grade in New York State, Home Economics was a mandatory class that all girls took.  We learned the basics of cooking and other useful knowledge such as how to make a bed properly.
One day, I think we may have been getting ready to start sewing classes, our teacher demonstrated the proper way to put on a bra.  Well you can imagine the amusement of a bunch of teenage girls watching an amply endowed middle aged lady putting on her bra (over her dress, of course). 
According to her, you were to put your arms through the straps, reach behind your back to fasten the bra and then bend over at the waist so that your breasts would  fall naturally into the cups. 
 Most of us barely needed bras - so we hooted about that all through high school.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Japanese Roof Iris?

Another prolific plant!  The lady I got this plant from out near Charlotte called it Japanese Roof Iris.  I havenever bothered to find out what the actual name is.  I have divided and shared this plant with many.  At the same time I bought the white variety but I'm not sure if I even saw any white ones this year - they are as scarce as hen's teeth as the old saying goes.

Monday, May 2, 2011


 Our Giant Solomon's Seal is so pretty right now.  We have two big clumps of it on the north end of John's workshop. They are about 18" to 24" high.

These pictures sure don't do it justice.  Of course I took the pictures right in the middle of the day. 

I bought this plant from Tony Avent's about 10 years ago.  I have moved it, divided it, shared it, planted it at church etc.
All in all, I'd say I got my money's worth for what I thought was a pretty expensive plant at the time I purchased it.

I have seen a few of the native Solomon's Seal plants up at the lake. They are 8 to 10" high at best.
Aren't all those greens just gorgeous?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Paper Pieced Flower Pots

This little quilt is 22 x 30". 
I quilted it with light turquoise thread and sewed on button centers. 
Emily and I took it over to Lady Bug Quilt Shop.  I picked out some fabrics to make another one with yellow butterfly border.
The paper piecing was fun.  We'll see how the class goes.