Monday, July 1, 2024

Tea Towel curtains and the next stitchery block...


July has arrived, and in our town it is a public holiday for the Annual Show. We've had loads of rain (finally) this past week so the first couple of days of this four day event was quite wet and gloomy, but yesterday was better, and today, being the final day, it's expected to be clear and blue skies. I'm sure the families with young children will be happy about that as this is the middle of our winter school holiday break. 

My garden is loving the water from heaven, and it makes me so happy to see things growing again, and the flowers glistening with raindrops. Of course, this all made me think about how important preparing, planting and tending a garden can be in any season - so seeds became the theme of the July "Joy in the Ordinary" stitchery block. 

When I picked some herbs, flowers and snow peas for this photo early this morning, we were shrouded in a deep fog, so even the tiny things glistened. 

Use the link below to download this month's free pattern.

If you missed any of the previous blocks in this project they are HERE

The Garden and Food...

I've really fallen in love with this pretty flowering Pentas, and after trialling it through our horrendously hot and humid wet season this past spring, summer and autumn, I will be planting it in many spots. It did surprisingly well through the worst of conditions, and that's what I am looking for in flowering plants now. It's a waste of soil, time, seeds, money and work to be tending plants that just can't cope with our tropical climate. 
I'll also plant more Vinca, Snapdragons, Calendula and Angelonia, along with Sunflowers again. Normally I have a lot of Marigolds but they did not like all the rain we had, so I'll have another think about that. 

I harvested our ginger, which was a surprise due it coping with all the rain. Every year I plant it and every year I harvest more than the year before. My husband laughs at how excited I get when pulling it out of the old worm farm tray that was repurposed just for ginger. The ginger corms, once trimmed from the stalks weighed 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds)...

...and because of the plentiful harvest I replanted about 200g (more than I usually replant each year) for the next growing season. 
After curing them in the open air for a week (undercover due to the rain) I scraped the skin away with a teaspoon (why have I not tried this before, it is SO easy!) and then sliced it evenly.

I ended up with around 1.2 kg of sliced ginger which I then dehydrated for herbal teas over the next year. 

Our kitchen garlic began to sprout and although our climate isn't known for growing garlic I decided to pop the cloves into another old worm farm tray with some marigolds to see what would happen. Hubby raised his eyebrows with that knowing expression of "this has never worked for us, Jennifer"...but...

...miracles do happen. Will they continue to grow? No idea, but I shall keep you updated on my little experiment. 

My precious man has been quite unwell this past week, succumbing to a bout of salmonella poisoning from seafood he had when we took a beautiful day trip to Mission Beach last Sunday week. It has knocked him hard but he's slowly, oh so slowly, beginning to recover. 
Yesterday I made a huge pot of chicken bone broth, as I figured this will be good for him. Last night he had a small bowl with egg noodles and has so far kept it down. Praise God. 

This past week I also made my own peanut butter. In the past I've made almond butter, but my family much prefer the peanut variety, so it's strange I have not thought to make that as it is by far the easiest nut butter to make yourself. Our state of Queensland is renowned for it's Kingaroy peanuts, and naturally that is what I used...

All I added was a little Celtic sea salt, and it is very yummy indeed. It's also much cheaper than buying jars of peanut butter off the shelf, or having it made by the health food shop. And we are tightening our belts now, more than ever, so making as much of our own favourites as we can is important. Even when you're only saving a couple of dollars, those dollars add up when you're saving on multiple food items made by your own hands. 


I showed you recently the tea towels I was going to use for a new set of kitchen curtains. The past week with hubby unwell and unable to eat barely a thing, I decided to put some time towards the curtain project, and just make small snacks for myself instead of meals for two.

There are four identical tea towels sewn together, and I used French seams to join them. Across the top back edge is a rod pocket made from a cream solid which has long been on my shelf, and then across the bottom (after hemming) I sewed blanket stitch along the edge with a Perle 8 cream thread. 

Next step was to crochet through the blanket stitch with a lovely coral coloured cotton yarn, with one row of single crochet, and then a more decorative row to finish. Honest, I am thrilled with my new kitchen curtains!!

The curtains are a deeper colour than shown in the photo above, and so cheery in our dark room. 

Next I had two more of the matching tea towels to complete as another curtain, but this time for the laundry window. The laundry is right off the kitchen and there's no closing door between them, so at first I was going to use the coral yarn again for the a crochet edge, but then decided to use a turquoise one instead. I'm so glad as it looks lovely.

Today I'll scrub the small laundry window and do a bit of shuffling around with the way I've stored things in the wire trays below the window, before hanging the curtain. Next post I'll have a photo to share. 


I get requests every week to add older patterns to my shop, and it's only time that has prevented my doing so. Lately I have slept less due to hubby's illness, so in those wee small hours I decided to start way back in 2012 and choose some patterns to reformat and pop on my Etsy Shop shelves. I also added another section, also from many requests, which includes some of the patterns from my 2017 "The Love of Home" series. You'll find everything HERE
As I have time more will be added, and not because I've been asked to, but because I discovered there's a lot of enjoyment for me as I go through hundreds of patterns and choose specific favourites to reissue via the shop. How blessed am I that the Lord gave me the ability to do this in my later years (I did not design until I was 50) and made it an instrument to share His Word, express my love for hand embroidery, and contribute to the deposit on our very first home just a few months before my 60th birthday. We must always remember that while we have breath, God can use us, change our path, or give us a new talent to share with others. 

Drop back on Wednesday for a special post when I'll be chatting about my theme for July. In the meantime, be blessed in all you do, and remember that no matter what's going on in your life (and our family have a lot happening in the background right now) God has not deserted you or turned away. He is right there, working behind the scenes in ways you'd never expect or comprehend. His ways are so much higher than ours, and whereas we see less than a postage stamp glimpse of our lives, He has seen the panorama from beginning to end and knows what is better than our own idea of best. Trust Him. 


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Julie said...

Another wonderful newsy post dear Jennifer. I am so sorry to read of hubby's bout of illness & hope by now he is feeling much improved. I shall hope & pray that your garlic do grow - I like to try these small "experiments" too - you just never know!
I LOVE love your new kitchen curtains & I just knew - when you bought those tea towels - that they would turn into some extra special.💙 That small frilled type of curtain across the top of the window is what I call a "valance". Just so lovely - I'll bet you smile every time you look at them. Thank you for the sweet patterns that you share dear friend x0x

Tina Fulbright said...

Thank you so very much for another wonderful newsletter. I so enjoy them. It's like chatting with a dear friend. I will be keeping your husband in prayer. I am so very sorry to hear that he has been so very ill. Your curtains are beautiful. You keep me inspired and encouraged to keep making for my home. Grace and Peace to you my friend. It's so hot and dry here in Mt. Vernon, Missouri USA.

Lin said...

Another lovely little embroidery Jennifer, thank you. Lots of lovely ginger there and hopefully the garlic will be prolific too. Do hope your husband will recover soon, not a nice thing! My brother and his family spent 10 years in Africa and my sister-in-law made peanut butter from the local peanuts - no electric blender to help her out! Those curtains are so pretty. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Those new curtains look fantastic ! What a beautiful cheery way to start the day !
Your house must smell wonderful with all that fresh ginger :) Peeling with a teaspoon sure does leave more of the root to use :)
My brother is headed back home today. We had a great two week visit :) It was wonderful to catch up and learn about a few new places to visit in our area thanks to him :)
It's July ! When did that happen ? :)
Thanks for writing about your experience with a deep fog covering your garden. Sounds beautiful.
Hugs, take care,

Donna P. said...

I'm so sorry to hear of hubby's bout with Salmonella. Food poisoning is nothing to mess around with - The only thing I could have was tap water for awhile and then broth. Praying he recovers quickly and completely.
I love your new curtain - very clever!
Thank you for the new pattern - I do miss gardening.
Blessings to you and yours.

homesweethome said...

*) 'and remember that no matter what's going on in your life (and our family have a lot happening in the background right now) God has not deserted you or turned away. He is right there, working behind the scenes in ways you'd never expect or comprehend. His ways are so much higher than ours, and whereas we see less than a postage stamp glimpse of our lives, He has seen the panorama from beginning to end and knows what is better than our own idea of best. Trust Him.'

A lovely post. Thank you so much, Jennifer!
Especially thanks for the timely reminder*)!
Blessings to you and yours (and praying for your husband's recovery),

Susan said...

So sorry to hear about your hubby's illness. Praying he recovers well and quickly. Love your new curtains. Thanks for this month's embroidery block.

kiwimeskreations said...

Glad to hear that Hubby is on the mend - that must have been an exhausting few days for you both!
I do love your curtains - and what a great idea to use tea towels.
Talking of learning new skills as we get older - I did not start preaching until I was 69, 5 years ago. I don;'t preach often, but i do enjoy it .

Annabel said...

Dear Jennifer, I hope your husband is much better! I completely love the kitchen curtains, how you made them and the crochet edging. What a ginger harvest too! When it rains here the gum leaves glisten. I just watch them sparkle. Fortunately we had some rain. We are inches behind normal but it's a start. The peanut butter looks good. They sneak a lot of extras into some brands... I think making your own is way better. We both had rain so that makes me happy! xxx

Angie in SoCal said...

I'm so sorry Mr. E has that nasty infection! Prayers being said for his continual recovery. Cute curtains. You are so clever. It's so nice you got some rain. The plants just love rain. We're into a 100+ degrees of heat here. Just taking it slow because I get sick after it hits 95. Blessings

Marian said...

Hi Jennifer, sorry to hear Mr E has been unwell, salmonella, and other gastric illnesses are no joke, and I am glad he is making a good recovery.

I love teatowels for curtains, and your new curtains are lovely.

About your Peanut butter, do you lightly roast the nuts first?

Regards, Marian

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Hi Marian, yes I roasted them first. :-)