Leaving the Dungeon

I work in my basement. It’s a very nice basement. It has finished walls, and carpeting, lots of lighting, even a fireplace (which has only been used once since we’ve lived here). It’s definately not a dungeon. Not at all like Grandpa’s dungeon in the basement from the old ‘Munsters’ show (although it does have a few cobwebs. Well, maybe more than a few. Okay, lets be honest here – it’s a fly’s worst nightmare! Hey, they act as insulation!).

But at times I felt like I was in a dungeon. It’s cold. Even in the summer, when the A/C is running upstairs, I will run a space heater. And it just has little windows. I can’t even tell what’s going on outside most of the time. Like the time the neighbor’s horses got loose………but that’s a story for another time. 

Anyway, I have longed for a long time to leave my basement. I wouldn’t have ever survived as a coal miner. I don’t like being below ground, I don’t like cold, I don’t like dark. (And I don’t like dust!) I need sun and warmth to thrive. So I have been looking for a place to move my business to.

I found it a few weeks ago:


A Love/Hate Affair with Scallops

So how’s that for a catchy title? I do love scallops – bay scallops or sea scallops, the kind you eat with melted butter and garlic and lemon wedges. I grew up on the east coast, just a few miles from the ocean, and the next town over from mine had waterfront docks where you could buy fish from the boats when they returned. Yummy fresh fish and seafood!

Now I live in the midwest. Hard to find good seafood when you’re landlocked. So I don’t eat much seafood anymore. I miss it.

I started to not like scallops so well this past week. But a different kind of scallops. These were the ones on the outer edge of a quilt! My customer wanted me not only to quilt her embroidered quilt, but to add the binding, which had 28 scallops. (Thank goodness it wasn’t a whole boatload full of them!) The twenty eight gently curving scallops were not the problem, it was the 28 cleavages in between two scallops that I wasn’t too fond of! I found that in order for the cleavage to look nice, you need to take a small curved ‘dart’ in the binding at the place where they fall in the ‘decollatage’ – like this:

Then when you roll the binding to the back to do the hand finishing, a nice reverse miter is formed:

Now that it’s done, my friends in the MQR chat room won’t have to listen to me whine about the binding anymore. Guess I’ll have to find something different to whine about next week! LOL

Here are a few more pics of the quilt:

The scalloped binding was worth it though – I think it adds a lot to the quilt.

Parties and Contests

Suzanne is having a party on her blog. Since there are already lots of sweets, I decided to bring my Fresh Cucumber Salsa and chips, and frozen margaritas. Hope they don’t melt by the time I get there. Congratulations, Suzanne!

Carla is having a contest. She does the most amazing things with yarn and fibers and beads and bling (well, and with quilting too!). You must check them out here

A Rescue Mission

We have an ornamental milkweed plant growing in our garden. Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies. You can learn all about monarchs here. The caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed. I like butterflies, so I don’t mind if they eat my plant. We even mow around the wild milkweeds to provide food for them.

Last week I counted at least 15 caterpillars on the one plant. The caterpillars have been growing fat and happy, the plant isn’t faring as well. When I checked it tonight, there were only a few scrawny leaves left. I was afraid the 8 caterpillars that I found on there would starve. So I rescued them. Here is their life raft:



I moved them to some of the wild milkweeds out in our prairie garden. Don’t they look happier in their new home?

New Home

New Home

Oh, look what I found on the plant they were on originally:




 That is a chrysalis. The caterpillar forms this around itself, then in about 10 – 14 days the butterfly will emerge – magic! It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is a line and some spots on the chrysalis which are gold. Actual shiny, 14 carat looking gold. Nature really is quite amazing.


 We started the prairie garden about 4 years ago. I don’t like lawns much. You water them and fertilize them so they will grow, then you have to mow them. Does that make sense??? I don’t mind a bit of lawn around the house, but I don’t like 3 acres of it. So we are trying to turn part of the yard back into native prairie. Right now some of the coneflowers are blooming:



Aren’t they prettier than grass?

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