Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day U.S.

I need to get some patriotic quilt tops started. This is the closest to red, white, and blue I found.
My memories of Memorial Day include marching in parades (in our full black and white uniforms, no less, whew!), picnicking at Lake Michigan (both Muskegon State Park and Pioneer Park were great picnic spots), learning who won the Indy 500 (my dad listened to it on the radio and gave us a report), helping mom add plants to grave sites, riding bikes a half mile to Gov's Market for the one or two grocery items we forgot, among other warm weather things.

I come from a military family, so I have several people that I would like to thank for their service to our country and our freedoms in the U.S.: Thank you, dad (Army); Uncle Bud (Army); Aunt Pat (Army); sister Joyce (Army); sister Ginny (Navy); nephew Randy (National Guard); Randy's wife Jami (National Guard); nephew Jeff (National Guard); Uncle Walter (Navy); father-in-law Jack (Army). I hope I didn't forget anyone.

My grandmother Laura was also a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II, when women worked in the factory jobs while men were off to war.  Thank you everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hoochy tea cup parade

Here's a close-up view of the individual cups I received in Mary Lou Weidman's swap:
Sandi H, British Columbia, Canada

Leanne C, Washington
Mari L, California

Karen S, Tennessee
Allison D, Tennessee
Michalee S, California
Deb W, New Hampshire
Liz L, Mississippi

Linda A, Pennsylvania

Edie F, Connecticut

Dorothy M, Utah
My cup block

Aren't these too fun?  Got any favorites?
If you're not familiar with the hoochy method of putting blocks together, check out my original post about hoochy cups.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hoochy cups are here!

My swap cups arrived in today's mail.  I have two cups from Tennessee, two from California, one from Utah, New Hampshire, Washington, Connecticut, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and British Columbia, Canada.  Plus mine (bottom middle).

I didn't even think about a layout until I saw them all to decide! Should I add words? Tea bags? Cookies to dunk?  Hmm.....

p.s. I'll do a better shot of each cup tomorrow if the daylight cooperates.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun Garden Surprise

Look who was hiding under my flat of flowers this morning...Mr. Tree Frog! Love those suction cup feet!

Blue Mouse Ears hosta.  So cute and little (quarter on leaf to show size).

Rock garden view from the back door.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hoochy Cups

Here is one of 12 hoochy cups I made for a swap; they went in the mail early today. By late next week I should have 12 blocks back, all different (it's magic, I know).

What? Never heard of hoochy stitching? I took a class with Mary Lou Weidman in Grand Rapids about 2.5 years ago, and we all learned how to hoochy a block. We did basic hoochy blocks the first day, and the next day did "flower power" hoochying!  What does hoochy mean? It's a specific method that Mary Lou uses (you'll have to get her book or take a class from the master).  There is no pattern; you just start with a picture of what you want to do in your head or sketched on paper, then proceed to sew. A little too big? Cut it off. A little too small? Add more.  

My cups measure about 8 inches tall, 6 inches wide, with a 2 inch border of background for wiggle room (to help the recipient use it in a future quilt).

p.s. You know why I wanted to take a class from Mary Lou even though I had never met her? Because she has a huge smile in almost every photo I've seen of her.  I need more smilers in my life. Thanks, Mary Lou!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Self-seedy, sometimes weedy

As with any garden, you have to be willing to yank (or dig) out the plants that no longer suit you or that try to take over.  We spent at least an hour yesterday pulling forget-me-nots that were past their prime. Don't year's blooming plants are in place and plenty of seeds fell so we'll have lots of little blue blooms in a couple of years, too.

Entrance to our backyard.
Mystery columbine. Showed up a couple years ago next to the fence. I'm leaving it there.

Dames rocket. Was part of a wildflower mix we planted when we first moved in to the house quite a few years ago. It moves itself around (via seed) but I haven't had to pull much of it.

Second bloom on my freebie Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Yes, weedy. The last of the Forget-me-nots in the yard waste cart!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A little unstitching

I did a little switcheroo (top row blue basket traded for the right column blue guy, 4th square down -- I call him Mr. Tippy).  When Mr. Tippy was at the top, it just screamed at me how "off" it was.  The tippy-ness seems less obvious now. (Of course, I shouldn't have squared up my basket blocks in two sessions, late at night. Nothing like asking for inconsistencies!) Next step--quilting.

The columbine looks happy today (I like to assign feelings to my plants).