Nested Stars Progress

Almost halfway!

Another vertical column or two and this quilt will be halfway assembled!  I’m more than halfway done, of course, because quite a few of the left hand blocks are done.  I’ve got three more big pinwheel fabs to which I must add green.  I don’t have enough yellow (or green) wedges cut, but I’m getting there!

LouAnn and I are planning a trip to Portland.  Her electric lawn mower isn’t working and we both need backing, batting and border fabric.

While we’re in Portland I want to pick up 2 50 liter bags of hydroton for my aquaponic grow beds.  Oregon Organiks is about 4 miles south of the repair shop and Fabric Depot is between the two.

If we time it just right we can catch lunch at Chang’s Mongolian Grill (same area).  That’s what I call smart planning!

Ricinifolia Immense

Ricinifolia 'Immense'

It turns out the big begonia in my wall is Ricinifolia Immense, a rhizomatous variety.

I got a start for my ricinifolia Immense from a friend over 20 years ago.  I’ve propagated it, given friends starts, passed my plant on to someone else and just lately got a start back.  This plant LOVES being in the plant wall.  The growth is more lush than when it was potted.  The leaves are bigger, the stalks are longer.  The largest leaf on this new start is 17″ long and over 13″ wide.  The stem is a full 2 feet long.  This new start hasn’t bloomed yet.  I don’t expect to see a bloom stalk until this fall.

And I’ll be really glad when the weak chlorotic leaves age and fall off . . .

Fish aren’t everything

Chlorotic leaves

It’s important to note the plants in the wall aren’t going to get everything they need from the fish.  From this I’m going to extrapolate that the fish aren’t getting everything they need from the fish food.

If you look at the two leaves in the picture, you’ll see one is chlorotic (showing insufficient chlorophyll from deficiencies in nutrition aka splotchy color).  The leaf on the right, the chlorotic one, is the older leaf.  The leaf on the left is healthy with a much more even distribution of chlorophyll.  The leaf on the left is new, appearing after I sprayed the wall with worm casting tea.

So I extrapolate . . . if the plants are getting incomplete nutrition from the fish, the fish are getting incomplete nutrition from the food they are eating.

Planning ahead

Art deco stained glass window

The next quilt I’m planning to start is a big hand appliqué project, art deco thing based on a sliding stained glass window (separated the kitchen from the dining/living) I saw online.  I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while but got charmed away by the water color sunset and the obligation to finish the workshop quilt (nested stars).

An absolute jewel of a woman sent me a bunch of really good quality hand died fat quarters just perfect for this project.  I will use those to build the elements of the window on a champagne colored batik background.  I have all the material for this one (sans batting and backing), so it’s just a matter of execution.  It’s all hand appliqué and I may not be physically ready for it just yet.  I can get the machine basting of the layers done and work on the appliqué as my fingers and ability to sit still will let me.

Center of koi pond quilt

But my next-next quilt is in the planning stages.  I want to redo the koi pond center I did for the Guild web quilt using the sunset water color technique in 2″ square dance squares.  I’ve asked Charles (Brandy’s Quilt Products) for the new smaller template set.  I told him not to rush.  I’m still months away.  The art deco stained glass quilt has to get started first.  I may have to do them at the same time, pecking away at each.

I may change my mind and do this one in small honey comb blocks . . . you can see why I plan so far ahead.  By the time I get to the execution, I pretty much know what I’m doing and have all the fabrics collected.

Carhart warmth

Warm rice in a sock and a blanket and this boy's all set for chilly weather

We’re having a “cold” day.  It’s chilly out.  Not cold enough to run the heater but not warm enough to do without the basic comforts of warm bean bags.  Chuck feels the cold pretty quickly.  He looks pathetic and shivers.  Wadly kindly donated a Carhart sock to act as Chuck’s “stay warm” rice bag.  His pretty red one bit the dust a while back.  The sock makes a nice replacement.  I can dump the rice into another sock while this one’s being washed.

LouAnn’s Aquarium

I got the glass for LouAnn’s aquarium a couple days ago but didn’t get around to peeling the paper away until today.  It looks good.  The edges were really sharp so I used a foam sanding block to knock down the abrupt edges.

I need to make a frame for the bottom, so I’ll stop in at Home Depot and see what kind of corner molding I can find.  If I can’t find corner molding I can make a frame by cutting down some larger dimension lumber.  I’d like to use hard wood, if I can find something I like within my budget.  I used to have an iron wood 6×6 but I think Dan (brother) saw it and got wood envy.  Maybe I can find some maple . . .

Grow bed seedings

Cucumber and lettuce seedlings

Our weather has been really miserable this year.  Everyone’s gardens are in sad shape.  We just haven’t had warm enough weather for plants to grow.  We’re weeks behind on strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  It’s the middle of July and I’m just now getting local farm raspberries.  I’m still picking salmon berries!  In July!  <gasp>

The tomato seedlings I planted out in May got hammered flat by hail.  This year has been such a gardening bust I have lost most of my enthusiasm for trying to raise anything to eat.  Pretty sad.

Last week I threw a variety of seeds into the grow bed.  I’ll know what they are as they mature.  Until then I’ll take joy in the fact that something’s growing . . .

Next year I’ll be ahead of the game.  I’ll have my grow beds well started inside my sun porch until it’s warm enough to move them out.  I’ll have hydroton in the beds instead of gravel which will allow me to move them with growy bits intact.  That’s the plan, anyway.

New plants for Wadly’s pond

Added height and color dimension adds interest.

I picked up water plants for Wadly’s “pond” today. I happily spent every penny in my pocket! Jill Hartman at JMH Greenhouse and Water Garden was wonderful to work with as we picked through her stock, determining what would work and what would be questionable. I’ve got two hardy plants and two that will have to come in for the winter. I also got pennyroyal and fairy moss!

When winter gets close I’ll run over and refresh my knowledge on what will hold in the pond and what has to go indoors.

Wadly planted the big potted stuff in rock filled wire baskets.  I put the pennyroyal and one of the reeds in the particulate filter.  Everything else went in the bog filter.

I still have more to do, but this will hold for a bit.  I’m happy!