Last fall I wrote a post to explain our family’s thoughts about raising show pigs. I had received a number of questions and comments about how hard it must be for Julia to raise these cute animals and then give them up at auction when fair time rolled around. The post generated a lot of comments and generally reader’s liked it. Janine of Quilts From the Little House, suggested I submit it to be published. (Thank you Janine!) I thought about it for a bit and decided to give it a go.
In November sent it in to Country Extra which is a smaller supplement to the magazine, Country. But I didn’t hear back from them so I assumed it was not something they wanted to use. Then in April I received an email asking to use the story in their June/July issue. Success!
Yesterday I received a print copy. It is a fun experience to see my story in print. There’s my girl and Olive!
I very much appreciated how careful the editors were to retain the feeling of the essay while having to shorten it. They sent me the proof to check for any errors or changes that were needed. The woman I worked with was so friendly. It makes me feel good about the whole process and certainly willing to do it again should any idea come up worth writing about.
As for the sewing room, I have been working on the memory quilt for my friend Susie. Her husband passed away last September and in the spring she asked me to make a quilt using his shirts. It is really coming along nicely. Today I will finish sashing it. She gave me his red plaid robe that I plan to cut up for the outermost border. I think the red is going to look great. She is happy with the progress and I am honored to make this for her.
Today is the last day of the sale on Art Gallery Fabric in my shop. Be sure to come check it out – tons of gorgeous yardage is 20% off. Happy Sewing!
Linking up with my usuals and also with Em’s Scrapbag, Moving It Forward Monday – check out the projects in this link up for some fun inspiration.
The pieces to this quilt top have been stacked up for such a long time! I am so excited to have pieced the top together – finally!! In 2018 I had the best of intentions to sew along with Mari and her Squared Away BOM. Who knows what happened though? I only got about 1/2 way through and set it aside, never completing all of the blocks.
When I was moaning and groaning to Mari about my lack of fortitude and asking her what the heck would I do with these pretty blocks, she said to put them together with some solid blocks and make a top. It is very clear she is the teacher and I am the student, and I am forever grateful. Being an obedient but not timely student, I did as she suggested. Back in February I cut lots of 10 1/2″ squares of a piece of yardage I had from Pat Bravo’s Dare line. Then it sat for a while. I stitched the squares and the pieced blocks together soon after. Then….. it sat for a while. See my pattern? It is not very efficient.
I started to look around in the shop wondering what would work for borders and found the perfect combination!
I love the celery green textured solid with this floral from BariJ’s Sage line. Don’t they look great? There are quite a few green blocks as well as purples and this pulled it all together.
I couldn’t be more pleased. (Well, that isn’t exactly true. If a quilting fairy would come slip into the sewing room tonight, prepare the backing and pin baste this baby, then I would be absolutely thrilled.) That isn’t likely to happen though so the backing choice will be decided upon soon.
It is really a pretty quilt top though. I am motivated to finish this one up now.
I did press it and hang it in the closet for now though. Julia has high school graduation next week. We have a family reunion on Saturday and …. guess who is coming in on Saturday night???
I can’t wait!! They will be here for ten days which is lots of Grammy time. I will be off-line for much of that time because, you know, I have lots of important things to do.
July was one of those non-stop months. We were on vacation from the 1st to the 12th. Came home and got caught up on household and gardening chores and then hosted a bridal shower last weekend. Of course amidst all of this there was the usual number of migraines. Because of all of this, I did very little sewing and not a whole lot of blogging.
Yesterday I found a little bit of time and did the July piecing for Tish’s Fireburst Mystery Quilt. Fortunately, the piecing for July consisted of a number of flying geese blocks in different combinations and one little square in a square block. I like the fabric combinations and look forward to the instructions for August. I chose to make the baby size quilt and these fabrics will be so sweet when assembled.
Speaking of which, hurray for August! I am really determined to get back on track. I think this is doable as we have very little planned for this month. I am eager to get back to my routine and spend some time in the sewing room.
I just basted my Twisted quilt. The dining room table had the extra leaf in it so I took advantage of that space and got the layers pinned. I am vacillating between a few ideas for quilting it though. I need to do some doodling and make a few decisions.
Remember I mentioned I was hosting a bridal shower over the weekend? It was a lot of fun and I think the bride-to-be enjoyed it. Four of my sisters were able to come to the shower which was so nice.
One of my sisters, Cathy, brought me a big bag of fabric scraps! I have talked about my sisters’ shop, 6 Monkeys and Co, where they offer handmade children’s clothing. Because neither of my sisters do any quilting, they tend to throw away any remaining scraps after cutting out their project. (While I am talking about my sisters, I need to do a little shameless promotion! Their sewing skills are amazing and it really shows in the sweet dresses, shorts, shirts and hats they make. If you have kids or grandchildren, you need to check out their shop!)
Cathy offered to start saving scraps for me and now I have all sorts of fun children’s prints to play with!
I am itching to cut these into usable pieces but for now they are going to be organized by color and then they will have to wait just a bit.
Finally, Julia is getting ready for the fair which is next week. Saturday morning Julia gave Olive a bath because she needed a picture of herself and Olive to hang on a sign above Olive’s pen. It was rather comical trying to get a decent shot because Olive wasn’t having any of it. Finally, bribed with an extra meal, she cooperated. Silly pig.
I have made progress on my Twisted quilt — I have a finished quilt top! Do you remember this project? I started it a long while back when my local quilt guild hosted a class taught by the pattern designer, Dorie Javier. (Pattern is available in my shop. Click here to see.) It was in June of last year that I began the quilt. I pulled it out once or twice since then and made a few more blocks for it. Then it would sit. Here we are, a year later, and I had hardly made any progress on it.About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sewing with my friend, Sophia. I decided this was the project to work on. Making the rest of the blocks went quickly. Playing with the layout took a little bit of time. At first I was sewing the four blocks together and then laying out the 12″ blocks but I realized I needed to play with colors and sprinkle the darker values out across the quilt. It worked better to layout some of the six inch blocks so I had more flexibility. I unpicked the seams on a number of the 12″ blocks to allow for this.
After settling on the layout and getting the design sewn together, I played with fabrics for the border. My first thought was to use a dark purple and a narrow strip of green. I posted the picture above on Instagram and asked for opinions. I love hearing from others because it often spurs me into another direction.
After looking at others’ feedback, I thought I would introduce a floral into the border. I looked at two from my shop. One was the High Meadow Floral from Amy Gibson’s Meriwether line and the other was Cat in the Flowers from Paint the Town.
It was a tough choice and I actually think either would work, but I went with Cat in the Flowers and a narrow purple border. I liked the deeper color of the High Meadow floral but I didn’t like the red tones in some of the flowers. Cat in the Flowers has a softer palette and it seemed to work a little bit better. Because it is directional, with the kitties all oriented in the same direction, I decided to attach the borders so that the cats were all looking out and away from the quilt’s center.
What do you think? I am so happy with the colors and the feminine, flowery vibe of the quilt top. We had some breezy weather and a comical quilt holder when trying to take pictures.
Now that the whole top is assembled, I am moving on to the next phase – time to decide how to quilt it! Like many of you, this is always a tough decision for me. At this point, I am thinking I will separate the quilting into three logical sections. The center of each set of four blocks, the lattice-like pattern created by the florals, and , of course, the borders.
Once I figure out how to quilt it, I will do it at home. Also, I have not yet decided on a backing for the quilt. I don’t have tons of yardage in my stash (well, if we don’t consider the shop fabric my stash!!). But it would be nice if I could use some stash up. Maybe I will piece a backing together or I could use a vintage sheet if I have one in a good color. Decisions, decisions
If you are interested in the Twisted quilt pattern, I carry it in my shop. There are also some of Dorie’s other patterns available too.
Feels good to have the quilt top done, some twelve months after starting it. How about you? Lots of UFO’s languishing? Do you have many quilt tops needing to be finished? Hopefully I will get this top basted over the weekend. It is supposed to be quite warm out so planning for an indoor project is a good idea. Have a great weekend everyone! I am linking up with the Friday favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
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I am so happy with the finish of my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt. I loved making the blocks along with the billions of other quilters that followed along with this QAL hosted earlier this year by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I posted progress shots along the way as I made the blocks, but just in case you didn’t know, the QAL included 25 blocks but I stopped after making 20. This quilt is a comfortable size for a lap quilt and I felt like if I went for the full twenty-five blocks, this would just be set aside and not finished. The colors of the quilt are so pretty and I was anxious to finish it and use it.
After sashing the blocks and rows with Mesh Joy, a gorgeous low volume print from Sharon’s Gossamer line, I took the quilt over to the long arm shop where I rent a machine. For the backing, I used a piece of soft vintage gingham that I purchased at a thrift store over the summer. The light brown color is lovely and works well with the quilt top.
When I picked the binding, I was trying to choose between two fabrics, Terra Firma in deep yellow and Twinklestar Berry from the Garden Dreamer line by Maureen Cracknell. I couldn’t make up my mind so I asked Julia to choose between them and she immediately went to the Twinklestar fabric. It works well with the front and back.
I took it to the long arm shop a few weeks back and quilted it with a loose meander pattern. Because each block is different and the quilt is fairly busy, it made sense to keep the quilting simple. More importantly, I wanted to use this quilting time to practice my control on the long arm and by using such a basic quilt motif, I could focus on the speed and evenness of the stitches on the long arm. It was really helpful to practice like that. It amazed me how little time it took to quilt it!
I really like the loft the quilt has with the loose quilting. This quilt is so cozy.
The rich colors – cheddar yellow, the deep blues and the raspberry colors are my favorites. This was such a fun quilt to make. I know there are a lot of QAL’s popping up for the new year. I think I will look through them and choose one. I have two more quilts in process and I hope I can finish those up before starting another one. Tomorrow I plan to take my nephew’s jersey quilt to the long arm shop and quilt it. Hurray for finishing up some projects!!
Have a wonderful weekend all! Linking to some of my favorites. Please feel free to check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
This week didn’t go quite as planned. But I have learned to be flexible because my week rarely goes as planned. I had scheduled time to quilt Sam’s jersey quilt at the long arm shop but this plan was derailed by a migraine. Fortunately, the woman running the shop is very flexible and was able to reschedule me to Thursday of next week. Hopefully, that will work out for me as I am really looking forward to quilting it.
After a day of recuperating, I pulled out my blocks made with the Sewcial Bee Sampler during the spring and summer. I loved this QAL which was hosted by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland. For the majority of my blocks I used scraps of Fleet and Flourish (designed by Maureen) and solids from my stash. Toward the end though, I added in a bit of Garden Dreamer and one scrap from Alison Glass because I was really running out of Fleet and Flourish. Thankfully, these all worked well together.
Somehow time got away from me toward the end of the quilt along and I completed only 20 of the 25 blocks designed for the quilt. I pulled out the blocks, looked them over and decided that 20 blocks was plenty. These are 12 inch blocks and there is sashing, so the quilt makes a generous lap size. Even without the last five blocks, it finished at 58″ x 72″. I love these blocks and wanted to finish this one up.
I used Mesh Joy, from Sharon Holland’s Gossamer line for the sashing. This low value print is a huge favorite of mine. Actually, it is a favorite of many which was made clear by how quickly I sold out of two full bolts of it. The colors and grid like print are really soft and work with so many colors. I am please by the way it enhances my blocks. Between the colors, Maureen’s fabrics, the sashing and the block design, I am thrilled with this quilt top. Samplers are a favorite of mine, second only to basic, simple patchwork. It is fun to see the varied design of the blocks, some with large chunky shapes and others with smaller, detailed designs. Sashing is a life saver for me as I am not a precise quilter. With sashing, I know my less than perfectly pieced blocks won’t need to line up corner to corner.
I think I will try quilting this project at the long arm shop too. I want to do a loose all-over pattern so it is soft and cozy. It is second in line, after Sam’s jersey quilt.
Chemex cozies for my shop
Besides finishing up the Sewcial Bee quilt top, I have been making Chemex Cozies for my shop. It is getting to be the time of year for holiday shopping (I know, it is still 80 degrees outside and fall has barely begun!) so I need replenish stock in my shop. It has been fun to shop my own store for fabric to make these.
With holiday shopping around the corner, my shop will become busier than usual. I need to look at the sewing I hope to accomplish during the last part of the year and prioritize. My personal sewing tends to be less during this time as my Etsy projects and holiday gift sewing increases. I had planned to take part in the Wayward Transparency QAL hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl. I love the pattern she created for the event, so much so that I am sponsoring the event with a giveaway prize. However, this isn’t the right time for me to begin another quilt. If you haven’t looked at this event yet, I highly recommend it. The pattern is really cool and the transparency effect is striking. The QAL for this striking lap size quilt has barely begun with fabric selection happening now.
Julia and I are heading up to Apple Hill this weekend. About an hour’s drive from here, there are lots of you-pick places, yummy Apple Cider donuts, pumpkins and all things autumnal. I am looking forward to spending the day with her out and about. I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend too!
Be sure to stop by next week. I have a fun post and giveaway to share on Tuesday!
Linking to my favorite places. Please check out the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. See you back here next week!
This week I finished my Harmony quilt. I will finally be able to send it off to my nephew and his wife as their wedding gift. Doesn’t some rule of etiquette say you can give a wedding present within the first year and it is still ‘proper’? According to this post on Manners Monday of the Huffington Post, I am still within the time frame. Though really, who would refuse a wedding gift because it was late? At least I am finally giving it to them!!
You might remember I made the quilt top a long time ago. I used a fat eighth set of Millie Fleur by BariJ for the centers and Moda solids, Fig Tree Cream and Stone. The pattern is one that alternates hourglass blocks and economy blocks, each of which finished at 9 1/2″. I love the look of this pattern and feel proud to have drawn it myself and figured it out without a pattern (I don’t do that too often.)
I wanted to quilt it on a long arm because there is lots of cool negative space and it would have been fun to play with it. However, that just never worked out and in the interest of time and wanting to complete this quilt, I opted to quilt it at home. It is fairly large at 74″ square so I decided against free motion quilting and settled for straight line with my walking foot. I did a diagonal line across the middle. For one side I did vertical lines all the way out and on the other side I quilted horizontal lines. I like the effect.
My favorite part of the quilt is the bottom border where I relief quilted their last name and the words EST. 2016. It is a sweet reminder of when they married and established their family of two (plus a couple of dogs!!) As with my other relief quilting projects, I fused stabilizer to the back of the border strip (before it was attached to the quilt) Once the letters were traced on to the border, I used my darning foot and created the design by free motion quilting around the shapes of the letters and numbers. After attaching the border strip and quilting the body of the quilt, I took the darning foot and FMQ’d the outline of each letter and number to quilt that section of the border and make the letters stand out and puff up a bit.
On the corners I used a four patch block as a cornerstone. On each of these I quilted a little flower. The borders were free motion quilted with a pattern of loops, alternating small and large ones.
To finish it off, I made a scrappy binding! I am such a fan of scrappy bindings. Luckily, I had just enough of the Millie Fleur fabric left to make the binding.
The backing is a green, floral wide back I purchased long ago and I couldn’t honestly say what it is. I can say I love the ease of a wide back for backing. Pieced backs are very cool and give you sort of a double sided quilt but wide backs (108″ wide) provide ease of use and a speedy finish. (Plus I have a large piece of it leftover which is kind of nice!) In fact, I recently bought the first bolt of wide back, a small gray polka dot by Red Rooster and it is listed in my shop. Just in case you need some. 🙂
I can’t wait for the kids to receive their quilt. I was really sad to have missed this wedding last year. From the pictures they shared, it was just a gorgeous day for my nephew and his new wife. I am sharing a picture of them dancing at their wedding. Breathtaking, aren’t they? I hope they love the quilt and use it happily for years to come.
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Linking to my favorites, each of which can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Here is an early morning update for you. This has been a crazy week. Last weekend we were up in Downieville working on the house while Julia traveled with the tenth grade class to Ashland, OR (about a five hour drive) to attend the Shakespeare festival. She had a great time up until early Sunday morning when she woke with a nasty stomach flu. After talking with the mom’s and her principal who were taking care of her, it was decided she really couldn’t do a long drive to come home. My husband drove up to Ashland and they hunkered down in a hotel until the worst was over. Then they drove home on Monday afternoon. She has been recuperating but it looks like she is going back to school today – luckily she has a light morning so she will just go for the afternoon classes.
Until it came to an abrupt end, we were making good progress on the living room in Downieville. This room has been fun because it really only needed some paint, new trim and carpet. Friday last week was the day of the carpet install. I drove up in the morning to let the installer in. Remember the house is very tiny (approximately 700 square feet) and I knew I would be stuck either in the kitchen or bedroom while he was working on the living room. I brought my little sewing machine and set up shop in the kitchen. (Don’t you love the little kitchen table? I found it on Craigslist and I am crazy about it.)
It was nice to be able to sew while he was working in the living room but it was quite cozy in the kitchen! There was no other spot for the couch so he pushed it through to the kitchen. Of course because it almost didn’t fit, there are new scratches in the paint of the door trim, but that can be taken care of later.
Here is a before and after shot of the living room. The left side is how it looked when we bought the house and the right is current.
Here is another angle on the current living room. We primed and painted the paneling and Ray put new crown molding up around the walls. Ray also refinished a portion of the original hardwood flooring in front of the door so we don’t walk in right on the carpet. Hopefully this will lessen wear and dirt on that portion of the carpeting.
Since the picture was taken, Ray also got the baseboard installed and we hung some pictures. It looks so sweet now.
While I was trapped in the kitchen with only my sewing machine and a pot of coffee, I worked on the second quilt for the downstairs bedroom in Downieville. Remember this was the first one I made. I finished this one last February – you can check out this post for the details.
Downieville Quilt #1
It is a basic patchwork using 10″ blocks. I thought it would be fun to make this one with the same fabric but a different pattern. (For the first one, I was in a hurry to get it done for winter as it gets really chilly in that bedroom.) Since I have time to complete this one (the second twin bed isn’t used all that often) I changed it up a bit and made large half square triangles using the tan solid as half of each one. I have about 40 blocks done so I am almost half way to a quilt top.
The layout above mixes the green tones and the purple together in a scrappy fashion. Here is a shot with the colors separated out in a more orderly layout.
At this time, I have more purples completed than green. I love the green tones though and look forward to playing with this when I get a few more completed. I am leaning toward the layout with alternating colors. The rest of this should go together in no time at all. The little downstairs bedroom will then have warm, coordinating quilts.
Hope everyone is finding some time to sew and staying healthy!!
Reminder: next week is the Handmade Halloween event here at Needle and Foot. You are invited to link up new and old posts about all things spooky! Quilts, costumes, decorations that are for Halloween will create a fun source of inspiration for readers. The link up will open on Tuesday, October 4th and stay open through Friday, October 7th. I have tons of prizes from Craftsy, C&T Publishing (makers of your favorite craft and sewing books) as well as Sew Fresh Quilts. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!!
Linking up with Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop this week. Links to all three can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
We are down to the last week of summer. Julia, as is the desire of most teenagers, is trying to cram as many activities into it as possible. She has been to the movies, we went to the river last weekend, the fair yesterday (and will be there again on Sunday) etc. I think this is because she knows her precious free time will be given over to homework after school starts. She is also trying to get through her summer reading assignment which is a boring book on the evils of fast food. Probably not the her top choice in books.
Last weekend we were up in Downieville and it was the weekend of the Downieville Classic. This is a mountain biking competition that is well known for its grueling, technical course. The first competition involves riding 29 miles with a 4000 foot elevation ascent and then a 5,200 foot elevation descent into the town of Downieville. I can’t even imagine. (Especially since I don’t own a bike, but still…) Julia and I were walking around and watched several riders complete the course. They were covered in dust, head to toe, with little racoon masks on their faces where their glasses had been. Day two is the downhill race over rugged mountain trails where speed and technique are critical.
We certainly weren’t there to ride but it was a great weekend for people watching. The little town of Downieville is usually very quiet and it was nice to see so many people up there enjoying the river and all that the town offers. Especially the river jump, which is a tradition at the Downieville Classic each year. Riders sign up to ride down a ramp and jump into the river, bike and all. They use BMX bikes though, not their mountain bikes. It was crazy fun to watch. I kept thinking they were going to land on top of someone but that was just the angle that I was watching from. They had plenty of room.
With all that has been going on, I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in the sewing room. I did bring my pink stripes up to Downieville for hand stitching. This project is a bit of a lesson in patience. I love the look of the chunky stitches with Perle cotton but every once in a while I will wonder why I am doing this when it would take 10 minutes to machine quilt it. Patience isn’t a strong suit of mine, so this is a good lesson for me to work through.
I have made some progress on my nephew’s wedding quilt. I am thinking of calling it Harmony. It is a sweet name for a wedding quilt and I am really happy with the look of the colors that I am using. At one point, it came to me that the colors looked so harmonious, hence the name.
I have had a couple of migraines this week which is always annoying. Yesterday I was sort of between headaches and tried to get a bit of sewing done. It just never works out. I should know better by now. This is how things turn out while in headache mode. Not once, but twice!! At least the seams match up nicely. 😉
Playing with Quiltography is a better bet when I am in this state. At least I don’t have to pull out a seam ripper if things go south on me. Rachel over at Stitched in Color is hosting a challenge called 30 Days of Quilt Designs. She is encouraging all of us to either sketch, doodle or electronically create quilt designs. Just to get your creative juices flowing. I am having fun with it and it is a great way to play with the Quiltography app that I wrote about here. I have finished several designs so far.
I made one using hourglass blocks and court house step blocks with limited colors. I really like the movement in this design.
Here is another one using hourglass blocks and square in square blocks. With this design, I love that it appears to be set on point but isn’t. What do you think?
If this challenge is new to you, check it out here. There is plenty of time to join in. The 30 designs don’t have to happen in 30 consecutive days – I believe she is holding this through October. Giveaways are involved which is always fun. There are lots and lots of designs posted on Instagram, #30daysofquiltdesign.
Hope you are all enjoying this last bit of summer before school starts (at least those of you with kids at home!) Let me know if you are into the 30 days of quilt design challenge. I will go take a peek at your designs.
Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop. Find the links at the top of the page, under link ups.
It seems like I finished this quilt a while ago. You might remember that I made this as part of a quiltalong with Jennifer from Inquiring Quilter. Probably two weeks ago I finished up the quilting and got the binding stitched about 75% of the way. Then it sat there. I was distracted by purses and other fun projects. Yesterday afternoon I was able to stitch that last bit of binding down while Julia rested that poor pinkie toe of hers and it is now complete.
The movement caused by the diagonal placement of the charms and those cute little HST’s make this quilt. The black, white and cobalt blue also worked very well together. (Though if I were to do this again, I think I would bind it in black. )
All of the quilting is curved (rather than angular) which complements the angular structure of the charm squares, borders, and HST’s. As far as my FMQ goes, this looks reasonable but is still not where I want to be. The only way to get there is to continue practicing, which is the plan! I look forward to washing this and letting it crinkle because that will hide some of the jitters in my stitching.
Because I am lax in my use of quilt labels (meaning I label about 1 out of 12 projects) I stitched my initials on one of the HST’s. At least that will give someone a hint as to who made this.
I also put the month and year in. This was kind of funny though. I was stitching the binding down and saw that I had left one bit of blue border empty so I took it over to the machine and quickly filled it in. I like it!
For the backing I chose a print from the Good Neighbors line designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts. I am very happy with this fabric as it has a nice feel to it and the price is right (as it is with most of the fabric over at Connecting Threads.) It has a bright bit of color to it and the pattern hides some of the FMQ wiggles too.
Finally, as with Amish tradition, there is one mistake. Look at these HST’s! The block was stitched incorrectly but I didn’t notice this until I was quilting up to these HST’s. Ah, well, this is testament to the imperfection of our craft! Or, another way to look at it: ‘A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.’ (Chinese Proverb)
This was a fun experience, between the social aspects of the quiltalong, using these particular colors (which I have wanted to do for quite a while), and furthering my FMQ just a bit, it was very satisfying. Hopefully you are enjoying your projects too. If you are in the US, have a great Memorial weekend. We are supposed to have some hot weather over the next couple of days – here comes summer!
Linking to my usuals! Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.