Saturday, September 18, 2021

Simple Days reveal and the spring garden...


Today I finally basted my Simple Days quilt top, in preparation for hand quilting over coming weeks.

I've been very slow to get this process begun because after almost another year of designing I wanted to step away for a bit and spend some down-time sewing other projects from patterns I'd collected over the years, projects I've never had spare time to work on. However, it's time now to bring this lovely quilt to it's conclusion.

I took these photos of the quilt top pinned to the wire mesh which holds our passionfruit vine (recently  pruned back), and sitting just under the large guava tree with the bird house my husband made last year. This all really fitted the scene as these small things are a real part of our simple days. 

Here's a few photos of this morning's quilt basting. I use both pins and thread as I find that holds well. The thread basting is between the blocks and around the border, and the pins are used to secure inside the blocks.

I cleared everything off the dining table because it's the only large surface we have for such a task.

These curved basting pins are wonderful!

The more I pinned and thread basted in and around the blocks, the more excited I got about finally beginning to hand-quilt. 

We've just come into spring and the weather has already given us some really hot days (35c on Tuesday / 95f) so hand quilting Simple Days will be a real labour of love with a good dash of air conditioning and long glasses of iced ginger beer, but I do not mind at all. 

I did a video for Instagram this morning if you'd like to listen and see? Just pop over HERE to @homelifewithjennifer
I take you through the blocks and share some of what makes this quilt very personal to my life.

Missed any of the Simple Days patterns so far? The first 8 are HERE in my Etsy Shop and the final block will be there at the end of this month. 


As I have mentioned before we had a ghastly winter growing season. For those who are new to Elefantz, we live in the hot humid tropics of Northern Australia and our growing season for regular summer vegetables is winter, as the weather is very warm and usually 'perfect', but this winter was hot and humid and the bugs decimated a lot of what we planted. 

But funny thing. The last day of winter, August 31st, was the coldest day all season (22c - 71f) and suddenly everything settled down and the garden got a second wind. Even though the days have been heating up again quickly, the bugs have disappeared and we are finally seeing healthy produce in runner beans, five varieties of tomatoes, ten different herbs, capsicums, spring onions and so much rocket (arugula) that we can't keep up with it. Praise be to our God!
There's even pumpkins growing again in the front yard.

The elder tree I planted early in the year is coming in to flower and I'm so excited to make cordial...

...and the various blooms are popping up all over the place from cuttings, seeds which scattered on the wind, or were in hubby's compost. 
I dug some up and replanted them in pots or in the small raised beds, but some I have left where they are.

We always have loads of Pigeon Pea plants growing around the perimeter of the garden and as they dry out my husband shells them for us to store away. Dried pigeon peas are perfect for making an Indian Dhal, but I also grind them into flour and make biscuits (cookies) and other baked treats. 

My roses are blooming abundantly and there are always some budding blooms ready to pop in a vase for the living room, or to take over to Blossom. 

My husband celebrated his birthday on Friday, very low key, just how he likes it, and we are planning a very quiet weekend together as his long work hours have worn him out these past months, but we shall catch up on Tuesday with sweet Blossom and the children for a belated birthday meal. 

I have lots of things to talk about, to show you, but I'm going to slip back into regular blogging again so there's no need to rush things.

May your weekend be one of peaceful hours, joyous laughter, and praise for the Most High, who loves you more than you realise.



Joanne said...

Simple Days looks so beautiful Jennifer ! What a great way to display a quilt ! Hanging in a garden :)
All the Simple Days blocks have been a joy to make ! Looking forward to number 9 :)
Thanks for sharing all 33 photos ! Your garden is so colorful!
Enjoy your weekend !
hugs, take care,

Allie said...

Oh sweetheart that quilt is stunning - what a joy to look at! I know you'll enjoy the slow hours of hand quilting to come as well. Such a treat! Your garden looks amazing, I'm so glad that things have settled down out there and everything is growing again. God is so you girl!

Patti said...

I enjoy your newsletters and photos! You peaked my curiosity about your method of basting and pinning your quilts. Would you explain? Thank you for your faithful prayers at the end of each newsletter.

Farm Quilter said...

Your quilt is beautiful as is your garden. I'm looking forward to seeing your hand quilting progress. I'm so glad your garden got a second wind after a wee bit of cold to knock down the bugs. More wonderful produce to look forward to - what a blessing!

Winifred said...

Lovely quilt & a gorgeous garden such a wonderful harvest. I love elderflower cordial but I but mine comes from Sainsburys!

My 22C for your last days of winter, lovely that's a nice summer day here in the UK. Have to say we're in autumn now but the weather has been goreous really warm & sunny we've been so lucky.

Enjoy your time with Blossom & family next week & a happy belated birthday to hubby! God bless.

Susan said...

What a lovely post! I love seeing how your garden is rewarding you for your care and attention, and seeing all the beauty God has brought forth in many places in your yard. What tender mercies he has bestowed on you. Happy birthday, Mr. E! Rest sounds like a wonderful gift, too. I love the final of the garden quilt and hope I get to make my own next year.

Ondrea said...

Ta daaaa! The quilt is gorgeous put together. I admire your keeness to hand quilt it and look forward to seeing your progress. Love your garden pics. Abundance is coming. Enjoy time with your family for hubby's birthday. Treasure it.

Deb E said...

What a gorgeous quilt! As I read your blog and looked (drooled) over your lovely embroidery patterns it was such a peaceful bit of time for me. So many projects I am looking forward to in the coming months, so I will be placing an order here & there to make use of some of your beautiful ideas. Thank you! Deb E

Tammy said...

Your simple days quilt is just gorgeous. Love the garden photos too. your herbs, flowers and veggies are all so healthy looking. I am hoping to plant some collard greens for a very small fall/ winter garden too. I haven't been online much lately due to loosing my precious oldest niece to ovarian cancer recently. It has taken such a toll on us all.

Emily Michael said...

I hope you are doing well today. I've been praying for you. Seeing your completed quilt top literally took my breath away. It is so beautiful! Mine is a long way off looking like that but I will finish it one day! I am so glad your garden is starting to recover from a hard winter. It must be hard when you are used to it growing so well at this time. Please do share how your elderflower cordial turns out! I have never heard of Pigeon Peas. I wonder if they would grow where I live or if it would be too cold for them? I hope your husband had a lovely time with the family for his birthday and he was very blessed. Thanks for a beautiful update. Blessings on you, Love Em. x

Christine M said...

Your quilt is beautiful Jennifer. The fabrics are very pretty. Love them! Happy birthday to Mr E! xx

Anonymous said...

Whenever I read your blog, I feel peace flood my heart and soul. I believe firmly God is speaking through you.
Love the quilt.

Val said...

Jennifer I love seeing your writing in my inbox. I have a big fat latte and enjoy settling into my chair with your blog. Your quilt is lovely and peaceful. I have started stitching after a 35 year absence. The slow, steady plying with a needle is slowing me down as I get ready for winter in Canada and another winter of no travel. However, we are safe, healthy and have everything we need or want. Enjoy your quilting.

Val said...

Jennifer I love seeing your writing in my inbox. I have a big fat latte and enjoy settling into my chair with your blog. Your quilt is lovely and peaceful. I have started stitching after a 35 year absence. The slow, steady plying with a needle is slowing me down as I get ready for winter in Canada and another winter of no travel. However, we are safe, healthy and have everything we need or want. Enjoy your quilting.

Farm Quilter said...

Your quilt is beautiful and a lovely way to show off your stitching! The flowers you grow are so beautiful - so glad your garden perked up and started producing for you. How do you grind your pigeon peas? I think I need to try this. Happy Birthday, Mr. E!