Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Birthday rant - Building Blocks Tuesday

Prepare yourself for a short rant.

Today, I turned 40.  For some time now, I have not particularly enjoyed celebrating my own birthdays.  For the last decade, birthdays have been more about the kids, and that is fine.  I actually prefer it.  I've had plenty of birthdays to enjoy, and I don't always like being the center of attention.

THIS birthday, like other recent birthdays, has been a mix of good and bad.  My husband wanted to do something nice for me and give me a weekend away from the kids = good.  He flew in my sister/BFF, who I hadn't seen in a while, and we went away to the cabin for the weekend to relax and talk, etc. = good.  While away from home, my husband hosted a sleep over with my niece and nephew (normally a good thing because it means that my SIL will take my kids at some point so we can have a date night); however, this time, the kids rampaged through the house.  My husband cleaned up what he could see, but they had gotten into my studio and made a huge mess in there = bad.  This morning, my kids made me breakfast - eggs, chocolate chip muffins, AND chocolate chip pancakes (way too much food for someone who normally only has coffee).  As you can imagine, a giant mess was made of the kitchen and dining room = bad.  The kids promised they would clean up, but that never really happened.  I also found a big mess in the garage where my oldest decided that spray painting a bunch of paper cups would make a good gift for me = BAD.  So, instead of sewing like I planned for the morning, I have done nothing but clean for 4 hours, and there is still more to do.  I decided to walk away for a few minutes and write this post (and cool my temper).  Happy Birthday, Mommy!  Rant over.  (For now.)

Not much has been going on in the studio.  It seems everytime I think I will have time to sit and do some sewing, something more pressing comes up, or it is the perfect day to be outside doing yard work.  The perfect day this time of year is overcast and cool, and we have had a few days like that.

I have received several more blocks for my Ashley's Star quilt!  Here is my design wall at present.

Ashley's Star quilt in progress

I haven't yet started to rearrange the blocks to get a better balance of colors.  I figured I should wait until I have all the blocks done.

To me, this quilt looks fairly busy.  Of course, maybe it is because I accidently put one star block where an alternate block should be.  What do you think, too busy?  The thought of adding sashing to this quilt is making me groan, but maybe I need it??

Since I've been spending time out in the garden, I thought I would share a few pictures of what is going on out there too.

This is by far my most successful bed.

Veggie Bed 3

That monstrosity in the center there is a cherry tomato plant.  I have been pruning it like crazy but it is still growing out of control.  Those white things over toward the right are some onions that are bulbing up nicely.  I've also got some tomatillo plants, a lot of basil, and some various flowers in there.  Over on the left where all that straw is, are some potato plants.  I'm really excited about the possibility of potatoes.  Perhaps, I should check my enthusiasm since I won't know if we got a good yield until we dig them up.  But the plants look good.

This is another bed where things didn't start out that well, but now I have a few things doing better.

Veggie Bed 1

In the foreground are a bunch of sunflowers.  I had planted a few in this bed to start, but they got eaten by something, so I planted 3 times as many seeds as I should have for the space, and they all survived.  I've been digging some out periodically and putting them in other places.  On the left in front are some pumpkin plants.  I have really had trouble growing anything in the squash family.  They just don't seem to want to grow.  My nursery guy seemed to think I was overwatering them, but that theory is starting to not make much sense to me.  Squash and melons are supposed to need quite a bit of water, and there are other things in the bed that require much less water that seem to be doing fine.  I would think the plants that need less would be even more affected if I was watering too much.  In the back, there are some more vigorous potato plants and some freshly planted black bean plants.  I love black beans!  I hope we get some good ones.

Finally, I thought I would share this picture of my bed up by the house.

Weed gardening

This part of the bed needs some replanting, but I wanted to share the sign Olivia made me.  She is just finishing up Kindergarten, and has been practicing her writing and sounding out words.  She wanted to write, "We Are Gardening", but she wrote what looks like "Weed Gardening".  It cracks me up every time I see it.

OK, that's enough for this week.  I should get back to cleaning.  I hope you will join me next week as I host Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew next week.  I may have to stay up a few nights to finish up my project!

I'm still looking for guest hosts for Building Blocks Tuesday, but I know it is a busy time for a lot of you.  Because I haven't gotten as much interest as in past summers, I will likely just post some tidbits myself for the rest of June, and allow my guest hostesses take over for July.  If you are interested in guest hosting Building Blocks Tuesday, please don't delay letting me know!  Leave a comment below.
It is easy to host!  You just write a post with some blocks that you have made and I will send you some code to add to the bottom of your post for the linky.  You do NOT have to have your own linky account!  Then just publish your post on your reserved Tuesday!  The linky will stay open all summer, so there is a good chance you will get some increased traffic for both posters and linkers.
Celine at EspritPatch has also offered to take two weeks, and it is looking like she will fill in at the end of July.  So, if there is a particular week you would like to host, get your name in now!

What blocks have you been working on this week?  I would love to see.  Link up your fabulous blocks.  You put a lot of hard work into them - show them off!  This free linky will stay open until the first Monday of next month, but I will repost it every Tuesday until a new month starts.

Quilter in the Closet


1) Please link up only to the page on your blog showing your wonderful blocks, not just the blog homepage.  Flickr and Instagram pictures are also OK.
2) Make sure to put your blog name as the description so people know where they are going or the name of your block!
3) Please grab my button and post it in your blog post or sidebar.
4) Visit other linky participants!

Thanks for reading,


***This post may contain affiliate links.  If you purchase something after clicking on one of my links, I may be compensated, but at no additional cost to you!



    your quilt is looking awesome

  2. Oh Jen, I hope you feel better after your rant! The kids do grow up and it gets easier!!!! Husband was very brace to take on bring a single parent AND hosting a sleepover! Loving Ashley's quilt!

  3. Happy birthday Jen! It is the thought that counts right - they were trying.

  4. I can honestly say it took 25 years of marriage for my husband to grasp the concept of what he thought I'd like for my birthday wasn't what I'd actually like (ask me about the red leather cowboy boots), etc. Sometimes it's hard to accept "it's the thought that counts" when the bottom line is greater than the gift warrants. But the thought is important and looking at the bright side is the best thing -- even though sometimes looking at the bright side requires a LOT of effort! Happy Birthday! I just remembered - for at least three years my mother-in-law made me a German chocolate cake for my birthday. I don't like sweets and I hated cake. I suffered in silence and my husband ate it all (it was his favorite). Finally I got up enough nerve to tell her. She never made me another cake but at least I didn't have to lie!

  5. happy birthday Jen πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ glad you had a weekend break !! and your garden is looking great as is that quilt on your design wall :). I'm happy to do a building blocks post either 26 July or 2 August !

  6. happy birthday maybe a lock on your sewing room to keep the little monsters out would work mind you my room looks like your kids have attacked it at times and I live on my own. Garden looking good too

  7. Happy Birthday Jen. What a shame all of those good intentions came to grief, hopefully in a few years time you will look back on this birthday and laugh about it.

  8. Happy birthday! Garden looks fabulous! I too love potatoes and squash and am hoping for great things! Last year not so good. Will mail my 3 blocks to you as soon as I find a post box, I have been packing them around for over s week, so sorry!!!

  9. No! No sashing! I love the way your blocks create a secondary pattern of squares. If you add sashing you will lose that. It looks wonderful!

  10. Happy late B'day! You are a young chick. I have a B'day in a couple days. I am the same way about attention. Just give me a mint cupcake and a gift card to a quilt shop and I am happy. Your garden looks great!

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