New Orleans House Project

Friday, June 18, 2021

Summer's Here

Summer has descended on New Orleans in classic fashion:  daytime high temperatures in the mid-90s with corresponding high humidity.  Cooling afternoon thunderstorms that may or may not reach your neighborhood.  Tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tomato season (see previous post) comes to an end when the weather gets too hot for the tomato plants to flourish.  Unfortunately for us, this year's tomato season has been a bust - and I haven't had a single tomato sandwich!

In less than 24 hours, Tomato Hornworms devoured the tomato plants we grow in pots here in town.  I had never heard of these guys until I spied them on the tomato plant remains and Googled them.  Not only did they eat the best tomatoes we had going, but they stripped the plants of all leaves, too.  Dear Hubby was so upset, he picked off every one of them and took great pleasure in squishing them underfoot!

A few days later, I found these guys eating my parsley - again, stripping the plants down to the nubs!  Turns out, these are Parsley Worms or Caterpillars.  They eventually turn into Swallowtail Butterflies, but I didn't want to see all my parsley destroyed just to meet their needs (there were about a half dozen of them).  Into a tin of soapy water they went.  I still have a little parsley left - hopefully it will grow back.

We also grow tomatoes at our camp in Mississippi.  Unfortunately, the mockingbirds made a fine feast of most of the tomatoes there!  

Even the Creole tomatoes from the Farmer's Market weren't all that good this year - too mushy and not much flavor.  Sigh.

Fortunately, there is always plenty of quilty stuff around the house to keep me happy.  A UFO had been calling out to me, so I pulled out the parts and pieces and proceeded to play.

I started making four inch Sawtooth Star blocks back in 2015 as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  After a year or so of making the blocks, I had a good-sized stash and a plan to use them in a medallion-style quilt with an appliqué center.  It took a few more years (!) to come up with a plan for the appliqué block, but I finally had my plan ready.

Fabric selection was fun...and messy!

Here's the final arrangement pinned in place.  The block is from the book Friendship's Garden, by Alma Allen and Cherie Ralston.

Now everything is all stitched up and I'm contemplating the next step.  I used machine appliqué for the center block.  The quilt measures 44 inches square at this point.  The quilt is telling me another border (maybe two?) is needed, but it's not saying what that border should be.  Back to playing with fabrics and scraps, I guess!



  1. Bummer on the tomato issues. Pesky bugs. Your quilt is stunning. I hope it tells you what it would like for a border soon.

  2. Yikes. This is the year of pests, we have gypsy moth caterpillars all over the buildings and the cicadas are coming. Along with plague comes pestilence this year I guess! So sorry you lost all your tomatoes. Your stars and appliqued medallion block look great, yes to borders for this beauty.

  3. The heat has claimed one of our four tomato plants - and just as it was about to yield a bucket full of cherry tomatoes. DH installed a sun shade like they use in the garden centers - the black mesh - but while it offers a bit of shade it can't help with the heat index. Fingers crossed we get at least a few tomatoes before July's oppressive heat arrives.

  4. Yuck! Those caterpillars are awful. I guess everything needs food, but not the summer garden. Sorry you haven't had your tomato sandwich. At least your beautiful UFO can give you positive vibes. The center applique is fabulous and the colors all work so well together. I just heard it thunder outside. It's been unseasonably hot here. Heard you had a tropical storm already in the Gulf.

  5. that sawtooth star piece is so pretty--love that setting for your vase of flowers...;))
    [Yucky hornworms!! Ugh!!] hugs, Julierose

  6. Sorry about those worms. I hope you find your sandwich one way or another! Quilting is cooler, and no chance of anything being ruined overnight;). Your medallion is so cheerful and is so great amid all the fabulous colorful stars.

  7. Hmmm... it might need another applique border. Sorry about the tomatoes. My son's tomato plants are still small (he grew them from seeds) and no tomatoes so far.

  8. Oh, those bugs! I hope you can find the tomato sandwich of your dreams soon!
    I adore your starry quilt - that's a gorgeous applique block!

  9. Those worms are HUGE! How disappointing about the tomatoes :(
    You were very creative with your playtime. A medallion quilt using your sawtooth blocks was a great idea and I love the applique' center.

  10. Beautiful quilt! I have some 3 inch churn dash blocks and stars I was working on about 3 years ago in Reproductions. I really need to get with the program on that also. I love the Medallion. Hugs