Wednesday, May 9, 2018

It's in the hoop

Over the "Golden Week" holiday, I was able to get this quilt pin-basted.

Even after fastening it to the floor and laying out the thinsulate, piecing it to size,

I struggled to get the backing laid flat and lined up.

Then I put pins around the border and flipped the whole thing over for basting.

It sure would have helped to have three friends to lift the corners so I could lower the parts in place.

The tugging and smoothing flips seem allowances and bunches the batting and gets more and more frustrating as time goes on. I ended up just using the safety pins and have begun quilting from the center. I have switched to a larger hoop, making it easier to adjust the layers as I move the hoop and remove the pins.

The orchid cactus has bloomed a second flower.

I missed the first one while I was in the woods with the scouts.

The blooms only last a day or so, like the white ones that bloom at the end of summer just over night.

I moved my plants to other parts of the house while the leak in the roof is being tended to.

Trouble is, cacti don't need daily watering so are sometimes finished blooming by the time I notice the buds have opened.

I missed a few flowers on these three but I see there are more buds in progress.

This Easter cactus has been sitting outside for years and I had thought it had suffered this past cold and snowy winter.

Many other plants didn't make it through ...

But, though it may be a bit late for Easter, this one is going to get it's show time and recover.

This plant is along my morning walk with Nikko through the park.

It usually gets cut off before blooming by the weed-whackers,
so it is the first time I have seen it in bloom

I saw one in a pot a few days ago and asked the lady who keeps the pots if she knew the name, but she didn't know.

I have seen her moving bulbs from along the path into pots, so that may have come from that group recently. Maybe I can show the picture to the flower-shop lady and learn more.

Another curiosity is this small tree I see on my way home from school. It has been blooming quite a long time.

The paired leaves look like dogwood leaves, but I can't find this in any of my Japanese plant books. 

There are a few types of Japanese dogwoods.
The flowers come out after the leaves and last a lot longer. They tend to grow wild in the forests.

One kind has clustered flowers but more flat than these balls.

This one is growing in a planter along the street and seems to have been pruned so as to not disturb pedestrians walking along the street edge.

So, that is about all for Golden Week ....

except that Tuesday morning I had to say goodbye to my big "Son-On-Loan".

He has been staying here several months while doing research for an article he is writing.

I drove him into town so he could catch the first train out to the airport. (trains around here begin running too late)

No more big hugs ...

No more instant translations of bills and mail ...

Hopefully, he will make it back sometime ...

meanwhile, time to change the bedding and water the plants on the second floor. (or maybe I need to quilt a few more rows first)....


  1. You are so good at making flowers bloom. They, as well as your son-on-loan, and not to mention your quilts,thrive in your presence.

  2. The blue bulbs might be Scilla Peruvian, and the white one, Snowball Viburnam?? I ,too, have struggled to lay a backing flat and get it pinned without puckers and wrinkles. Tanya had a method once, using long flat slats of wood, and that seemed to work well.Maybe the larger hoop will do the job. With my old long arm frame, I do not have a room big enough either, so need to take out some shelves and top cupboards in a little office room, donate them to Hugh for his workshop, and think it will fit there with about 3 inches to spare!!! After all, the bedrooms and lounge have to remain as their dedicated titles!!!

  3. I hate pinning and usually cheat by pinning from the center and starting my quilting and working an area at a time, but when I use the machine, I will try the iron on and see how that goes. It must have been nice to have company, but also some time to yourself.


  4. The blue one looks like a miniature agapanthus. My sweet peas have emerged, the jonquils, hyacinth and freesias have popped their heads out of the ground. I also dislike pinning a quilt to get it ready for quilting. I hope you son-on-loan comes back soon.

  5. It is so hard basting a quilt when you do not have a big space. I think you have made a good compromise.
    You have so many wonderful plants blooming all around and looking lovely. And it is hard to catch the ones that only flower for such a short time. It is almost like having to constantly watch a toddler if you want to see what is happening. And who wants to do that with plants?
    Sad to see you special company leaving. But good memories.

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  7. That pretty plant with the white balls of flowers is the one we just bought this weekend. I don’t know what it’s called either. The same sort of tree with the flatter flowers is blooming profusely all around the countryside now. So pretty!

    Wish I could help you with basting!

  8. Quite house now, with him gone. It is hard to baste a quilt all by yourself. I can spray baste the baby quilts easily enough (table is big enough) but, anything larger needs at least 2 people. My son is great at helping me, but, he sleeps days and works nights now, so, he is usually asleep when I need his help.