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A Sampler and a Storm

Along with the palms I showed you the other day, they did a huge trim on an Areca Palm in the NW corner of our back yard. To say that it had outgrown the area is a serious understatement. We tidied the area all up on Saturday, putting the old front porch chairs over there for an additional seating area.
Let's just say that you were hard pressed to see the fence before! I moved my little tomato plant over to this area as well.
Not bad for a volunteer, right? Hardly enough for a salad though...

The air plant is blooming, and isn't it so intriguing?
Remember the cardinals from the bird bath last week? It has been so interesting watching them run in a little pack. Look carefully and you will spot three.
The front bird feeder is right outside my kitchen window now, so I've got a great view, however, shooting through the window and screen does give every photograph a soft look. Nonetheless, I'm thinking the bedraggled look is because they are getting their new feathers? It is hard to tell if they are male or female at this point.
Have I told you that Pam's best friend Irene has moved to Orlando from Portland? Following a leisurely ten day drive across the country, she arrived on Saturday around noon. Pam and Glen flew to Omaha where they met up with Irene so Pam could be her driving buddy for the last five days. Along the way, they made a couple of quilting stops, first at Missouri Star Quilt Company, a mecca for anyone who loves to quilt, followed by the Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. MSQC is famous for Jenny, the Goddess of online quilting tutorials. As well, there are some links to another quilter, a man in fact, Rob Appell whose website is called Man Sewing. Occasionally Jenny and Rob do a video together, so it only makes sense that in one of the MSQC shops they sell Man Sewing t-shirts. Because Glen has become so fascinated with sewing, making his first quilt top, Pam brought one of those very same t-shirts home. I had to get a photograph!
The pretty dog belongs to Irene, one of two. I have to confess, I've yet to commit their names to memory.

I am only just getting to know Irene, but one thing I've quickly learned is that she is a generous woman. Receiving a gift from her, The Farmer's Wife 1930 Sampler Quilt, blew me away. The book includes letters written to the editor of the magazine of the same name. Reading a few to Bruce on the way to church, I kept chocking up, so much so that I had to quit, lest my mascara run before we got there! Because yesterday was slated to be stormy, I sat down with the book and my sewing machine, trying to approximate the size pieces I needed to cut. Using scraps from previous projects, (you will surely recognize one of them), I made the block called "Hope."
A CD with all the exact cutting directions is included, however, as much as I love my new computer, I do miss the CD drive! Because I've yet to give it away, I may just haul it out of the closet and check the CD out! The back of the book shows the diagrams, whereas the front has the letters. I was still in the back portion and came across a block she called Bonnie. Because I've had the good fortune to meet a delightful Bonnie, I decided to try that one. Actually I made two different sizes and color combinations to show how the fabric choice is so wildly important. Once I went to the letter associated with that block I realized it was not just chance that I'd made it because it was one of the letters I'd read to Bruce!
Next I decided to practice some quilting, specifically free motion and this circular pattern I'd seen that I'm just crazy about. Starting very slowly, I went round and round..
Whether or not I can replicate that on a large quilt is ytbd. Next up came another sort of sampler...the stitches available on my machine. I kept going until I ran out of bobbin thread.
Not the greatest photo, but you get my drift. When Bruce got home from work he asked what I'd done during the day. Home sewing class was my response!

Before he returned the promised storm finally hit with driving rain,
although it looks like a lot coming down our rain chain,
the total was really no more than an ordinary storm. The television weather people are having a heyday reporting on Tropical Storm Colin. Thankfully we were spared the worst of it. That said, rain is still coming down with occasional gusts. More than once we awoke during the night to rain and lightening.

We finally got up, because we were both awake, and anxious for an update on Carol's surgery. The last we heard before going to bed was that it was extensive;  sadly, that's still all we know. Keep both Carol and her sweet husband Hank in your prayers, will you?

Anxious,

Gail
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