Sunday, May 31, 2015

Side One and Side Two

It's been so hot and humid lately but today was cool and breezy and overcast and perfect for walking.  I parked at 7th Street and walked to the levee and across the Purple People Bridge.  I could hear the fans cheering at the Reds stadium, so I decided to walk along the Cincinnati side of the river to the next bridge over.  

This was the view on the way back home, facing west and the stadium.  The Reds haven't had much to cheer about lately, but they were having a six-run inning and the cheers were loud.

On the other side of the bridge, facing east, was this barge, which had blown its whistle when it passed the ball park.  

It was a great Sunday afternoon walk.  Exactly the kind of thing I need to do more of.

The Newport Aquarium was super crowded, but I wanted to check out the new shark bridge before I took the grands.  Turns out that it was great fun, and I'm excited to take them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Clematis on the Railing

One of my goals for the year was to have lots of vines on the iron railings on my steps and porches.  Here is one cluster of clematis that is doing very well.  Another goal just didn't work out - at least not yet.  I wanted to sand and paint the railings but the clematis took over so quickly that I didn't get the painting done.  There is still a chance for the fall.

There is so much yard work to be done that I don't quite know what to do with myself.  Do I work outside or do I quilt?  And then there is jury duty.  I usually don't have to go in, but it's always lurking in the background.  Five more weeks.  One thing is sure:  the house work isn't getting done.

This weekend I did get half my mulch spread and half the flowers planted.  And, I got a long string of solar fairy lights for the ugly fence at the back of  yard.  It's just one length of fence that I'm thinking was put in years ago before there were houses behind mine.  It really doesn't serve any purpose.  A couple of years ago I started a bed across the back with ornamental grasses beside that fence and every year I expand a little.  It's starting to look better, and those fairy lights blink on and off like fire flies.

It could be worse.  In one of the neighboring communities the front yards are tiny and long ago the trend must have been to put cyclone fence around the little yards.  I noticed a sign that there are city grants available to have those fences removed.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lots of Cooking

Between fixing a meal for a family with a new baby and fixing a few sides for a dinner tonight, I've been busy cooking today.  When that happens, it's usually my favorite things.  

No pie this time, though, although I love to make pies.  Chicken noodle soup with those frozen noodles.  Chocolate chip cookies with just a little cornmeal for a sandy crunch, a big double batch.  Oatmeal bread from More With Less cookbook, four loaves because my freezer is always happier when it has oatmeal bread.  Potato salad, because it's a holiday weekend.  And applesauce, because my grand boy loves it.

There was also an early morning trip for bags of mulch, which I need to unload soon.  This weekend I want to get the mulching finished on my front beds.  Do some planting so there is nothing in nursery containers.  The weather looks perfect, so that may happen.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

That Kind of Day

Aaron has been sick for four days, sick belly, listless, low grade fever and finally earned himself a trip to Urgent Care last night.  They said he will probably be fine in a few more days, keep drinking fluids.

He started complaining on the ride home, was sick again when he got home, and promptly passed out for the night, saying that he usually doesn't go to bed when it's still light out.  I told him that if it were winter it would be dark and he pondered on that for a minute or so.

A few hours before, his mom had an unscheduled root canal and felt so much better that she too went to sleep when it was still light.  

Today is a new day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Early Zoo

How could I not know that pass holders can go to the zoo an hour early, at 9 a.m?  

And how could I not know that the 1/4" piecing foot with a guide for the Viking Interchangable Dual Feed Foot was exactly what I needed?  I should have bought one as soon as they came out.  The walking foot pretty much lives on my machine these days and this is perfect for me.

What I did know is that, when making a jelly roll quilt, the first two strip sets take forever to sew together.  I'm making one using scraps and the scrap set is sewn onto a set of white strips.  The pattern specifically says to not iron the piecing until the quilt is pieced, but I just HAVE to iron anyway.  Even though the pattern says that's OCID (obsessively compulsive ironing disorder.)  

This might sound strange, but you'll see it soon.  I have no idea what size this will be, but I do know that it will be larger than the baby quilt I'm making.  I'm using 2 1/4" strips instead of 2 1/2", just because I cut 2 1/4" for my bindings and had lots of leftover pieces.  

It's like one of life's lessons:  you don't always need to know when you'll come out as long as you know you're going in the right direction.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


My neighbor has a lovely pool and she invited the kids over yesterday.  It was their first time swimming this year (I think) and they had a lovely time.  

One of her daughters went out for Skyline Chili and the kids thoroughly enjoyed the hot dogs.  And then when we came home they ate chicken tenders and apple slices.  Goodness.  

They enjoyed the art box and watched several episodes of Sponge Bob.  Aaron actually said, "I feel creative," and propped up his feet and drew a picture.  Totally out of character for him.  Usually he concentrates on the paper punches and the paper crimper.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Star Wars Night

Last night was Star Wars night at Great American Ball Park.  Those are rolled up give-away posters the kids have, not light sabers.

The starting players for Cincinnati are on the score board, with their Star Wars hoods.

Unfortunately for us, the Reds lost 10 - 2, but there was extra excitement when there was a fire in the smoke stacks.  Notice the seats under and to the side of the smoke stacks where fans were evaculated.  And the diagonal lines going up to the stacks are ladders from the Cincinnati Fire Department.  A couple of firemen climbed up them.

Luckily, the Friday night fireworks were shot off a river barge and not from the stacks.  The fireworks with Star Wars music were pretty spectacular.

Going to the game was a last-minute thing.  I had thought that if the Reds were out of town on the 4th that Star Wars night was off for that year.  Not so.  And, the night before there was a 50% chance of rain so getting tickets didn't sound like a good idea.  By morning, though, the rain chance was 20%, and even though there was thunder and showers at 4:00, things were great for the game.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Last of the Broom Plant

This is the last of my broom plant.  It had lovely little spring flowers and organic drooping branches and swayed nicely in the breeze.  Unfortunately, it had begun to list to one side, with the pretty branches on one side and brown twig branches on the other side.  Not a good look for a front yard bed, and it was too firm to stake.  Yesterday I dug it out, and the bed really does look better without it, much as I hated to get rid of it.

Pictures from Wednesday evening, when both grands had games.  It's so nice this year that they usually both play on the same fields.  Here's Aaron batting,

and here he is catching, which is his fave position of the three he plays:  pitcher for the pitching coach, right fielder, and catcher.  Since I was watching Aaron's game, I didn't get pictures from Nora's game.  Both teams won and everyone went home happy.

I was so proud of Aaron.  When he and another little boy were packing up, he said, "Good job on the game ball, Tyler."  I'm sure he'd love to have the game ball too, but he was genuinely happy for his team mate.  He has such a nice generosity of spirit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sunshine Quilt

The embroidery is on this baby gift quilt, with space on the bottom for name and birth date.  Of course I didn't want the whole verse, so it says "You Are My Sunshine, You Make Me Happy, How Much I Love You."  I mentioned before that the pattern is a disappearing nine patch.

Got to say that I love, love the design positioning on my Viking Diamond.  It makes placement so much easier, since each line took two hoopings.  I used a wash-away stabilizer, trimmed it closely, and gave the quilt a wash.  It turned out softly crinkly, which I like.

Maybe, in a perfect world, I would have done the embroidery before the quilting so it wouldn't show on the back.  I thought about that, then decided that I'd rather have the embroidery on top of the quilting so the quilting would be consistent.  I used the same gray thread on the bottom that I used on the top and the back looks neat, it's just that the lettering is reversed.  

Deep breath, and on to the next baby quilt.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Old Fabric Store, New Location

Last week I went to the dentist and didn't even notice that right beside that office is a recently moved fabric shop.  Banasch's, now on Beechmont Road.  Not as large as it used to be, but who needs large all the time?

They have a lovely small selection of designer cotton fabrics and I'd have liked to have taken home some of all of them.  I settled for a Riley Blake fabric, medium lime dots on white.  I know just how I'm going to use it.  

Sometimes it's fun to see the plants in older neighborhoods, like this spirea that I saw on my walk.  I do have to admit that I dug out a few spirea at my house, but they were planted too close to the porch and they didn't get the sun that they crave.  I'll just admire this one.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Last night Aaron and I planned to spend the evening together during Nora's game because he was just softball-ed out.  We went to Frisch's, his choice.  Chicken fingers and fries, his usual.

And then, it turned out that one of his friends was at the game so we picked up his glove and baseball and headed to Tealtown.

So, awesome for me, I got to watch the Wombats and got to watch Nora pitch.  And for the first time in Wombat history, there were no walks allowed by their two pitchers.  Nice.  And Aaron had a great time running around and playing with his friend.

Nora tells me that there is a sign on the cafeteria window telling how many school days are left.  Summer is on the way.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Car Trash Bag

Nobody ever accused my car of being pristine or anywhere close.  Maybe this car trash bag will help.  If you have the 2011 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts, you can find it on page 33.  There are lots of cute projects in that edition.

I always sort of hate to start in on yard work, much as I enjoy it.  I know that once I get going it will sort of take over the next two months.  On Monday, I got some topsoil to fill in the raised beds and today I got mulch.  Not too much because I'm limited by how much I can get in the back of my car, which fortunately is about six bags.  And RoundUp, lots of RoundUp.

Plus, whatever plants are marked down that day but still look good.  There is a lot of bargain shopping going on early in the morning.   If you aren't too fussy there are lots of good flowers to be had.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ball Park Hair Style

Normally, the rule according to Nora is no fussing with her hair, ever.  But tonight her little brother's baseball game was long and she was a captive audience for her beautician neighbor to spend a few minutes with her hair.  Nora really looks very pretty with her hair pulled back, but you'll rarely see it that way.

And in the back.

At lunch time my baby quilt group met at Blinker's in Covington.  It was a warm and breezy day, perfect for sitting out front.  Monday is $5.95 burger day too, so it was all the better.  There are a lot of not-very-good black bean burgers in this world, but theirs is great. 

Across the street from Blinker's is Keystone Bar and Grill, and their mac and cheese is half off on Mondays.  Their outside tables were filling up quickly.  Monday can be a great day. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Train Quilt

This newest baby quilt is an adaptation of a Jacquie Gering quilt.  Hers didn't have trains.

It has a ton of free motion, but here's the thing:  after washing it just got nice and crinkly but not stiff.  I'm not sure whether I will put this much free motion on baby quilts on a regular basis, but I wanted the practice and I wanted folks in my class to see that even imperfect quilting still looks nice.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Oh, Happy Day!

It was a huge and happy doctoral/masters graduation at University of Cincinnati today.  Congratulations, Ginger love your happy smile.  My heart was happy to be there.

And what fun to go to the zoo afterwards - it's just down the street after all.  And then to stop at the Reading Road Graeter's to wait for traffic to clear.  Love the 2015 bourbon pecan chocolate chip.  

But now - 

I need to get ready for my free motion class tomorrow.