Reading, growing, and sewing

What We’ve Read So Far, three years and almost nine months

We’ve continued the Ramona series; we’ve finished Beezus and Ramona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, and Ramona and Her Father, and we’re almost done with Ramona and Her Mother. We’ve also made it more than halfway through Ribsy (Neil Patrick Harris narrates the Henry Huggins audiobooks, and he’s excellent).

But our love for picture books is abiding. Here’s a snapshot of our library bookshelf from mid-June:

Picture books on shelf

We’ve been reading more about the natural world lately, especially fireflies (we saw some!), the Northern Lights, and thunderstorms.

In the Garden

The shelling peas and sugar snap peas have come and gone; we ate a couple small bowlfuls but next year I could plant even more, crowd them more, and stake them even better. The sweet peas are still blooming.

I got two new shade perennials, an astilbe (“Visions in Pink”) and a brunnera (“King’s Ransom”) to plant in the backyard.

The tomatoes are coming along. I’m keeping them upright with stakes and twine, and gave them a serious haircut today to encourage them to put more energy into making fruit.

The pumpkin plants look big and healthy! No flowers yet.

The wildflowers have started blooming and they are gorgeous.

Indoors: Our ficus benjamina, which had been thriving, up and died out of the blue. (The ficus lyrata has lost all of its lower leaves but still has four or five at the top, so it looks strange but it’s hanging in there.) I got a ZZ plant (real name) to replace the dead ficus. This one “thrives on neglect,” but neglect wasn’t the issue before, so fingers crossed, I guess. The aloes are happy, and the philodendron seems the same.

Quilt #3: Baby Quilt!

I haven’t written about this one at all yet, but now that it’s been finished and given to my friends and is hanging on the wall in their baby room, I can finally show pictures! This is a crazy-quilt style baby quilt, approximately 30×30, with nine blocks. Family and friends of the expecting parents sent finished blocks, or fabric and design ideas, or just ideas, and I made the remaining blocks and put it all together. (One key takeaway: use interfacing for t-shirt material, or just don’t use t-shirt material.)

I hadn’t done a proper binding on a quilt before, but my teacher gave me a quick demo, and I found these two step-by-step tutorials helpful:

I had enough fabric left over from the backing and one of the blocks to make a pillowcase to match, and used this tutorial again:

Crazy quilt

Quilt in daylight

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