July Inspiration



















What a glorious July we’ve had – beautiful weather has meant lots of time spent outdoors walking, swimming and just sitting quietly reading. Now, on the cusp of a heatwave with high humidity, I’m happy to be indoors for awhile, appreciating the AC.

Today I dragged out a box of quilt tops my mother made. We have several more – grandma’s flower garden, postage stamp and log cabin, but these are the ones I had tucked in a box in my closet.
She loved piecing her quilts together by hand and some of them actually had over a thousand pieces. I’m afraid my experience with quilting involves sewing a few squares together. When I took a look at these quilt tops today I thought I’d try my hand at a few pillows for the patio and deck. Of course, my squares are being sewn together on my sewing machine and many of the squares don’t match up perfectly in the corners, but that’s okay with me – perfect, I’m not. I’m just happy to be working with these bright summery fabrics. If I decide to quilt them, however, I will do that by hand. I love sitting and sewing. It’s almost meditative, very calming. Thanks, Mom, for the inspiration.

Hot days call for cold salads and that’s what was on the menu today. We had spinach and a beautiful tomato from the farmer’s market and with the addition of crisp turkey bacon, hard boiled eggs, grated cheese and croutons made from half a leftover croissant, we had a delicious and healthy spinach salad. The only thing missing was the mushrooms, but it was tasty just as it was. I love the light and easy meals of summer – there’s another farmer’s market in a nearby town tomorrow so I’ll have to stop by for more summer meal inspiration.

How about you? What are you cooking on the these long, hot summer days? I’m always looking for new ideas so feel free to share.

I hope you have a beautiful and inspired week!

Love to you,



    • says

      Hi Susan!

      I love how you put together this post with the arrangements of photos first. I hear you on staying indoors…we are in the 90’s with tons of humidity. It’s a bit nice to sort of cozy up, even if it’s with the a/c. on!

      It must feel so great to have your mother’s quilt pieces. My mom taught us how to sew by hand and I think that’s been nice. I can make small repairs and hem things. Most of all I love to cross stich. I usually spend time with that in the winter, I make samplers and have a little collection f muslin tree ornaments. I should probably get going on my new patterns now!

      I love salads in the summer and I love all the additions we now throw in to the old leafy green standbys. Spinach is always great and I love how all sorts of cheeses compliment it.

      Stay cool…

      Jane x

      • says

        Hi Jane – my mother taught me how to sew by hand as well, and I’m so glad she did. It’s something I really enjoy.
        This is definitely the week for salads – we’re having them every which way during this heat wave.

  1. says

    Your food photography is always wonderful … and I envy you having east coast tomatoes at this time of year. Happy salad hunting tomorrow!

  2. says

    How special it must be to be making a pillows or whatever with squares your Mom had. I’ve never done any quilting, even though I took a class one time a long time ago. Keep us posted on your progress.

    Your salad sounds really yummy. We love salad lunches and/or dinners also. We have a farmers market in our area every Saturday. Last Saturday we didn’t go until later in the morning and the picking was slim. Did come home with cauliflower, tomatoes, yellow pepper and fresh eggs. So we’ve been eating salads. Too hot to cook this time of year.

    • says

      You know, Darlene, we ladies are all alike. We find it too hot to cook but not too hot to work with wool in our knitting and crocheting!

    • says

      Oh, Tandy, I know exactly how you’re feeling. We had record breaking snow last winter which is the reason I’m enjoying this summer so much. Be patient – it will be spring before you know it.

  3. says

    Susan the quilt tops your mum made are so very beautiful, what a marvellous legacy, a real treasure trove. I am taking a short quilting course in a few weeks and so looking forward to it. I’m afraid our Scottish summer has been cold and wet so far, so it has been warming soups etc recently for lunch, and the fire lit!! X

  4. says

    I try to do batches to survive the heat…we too are having hot sweltering weather right now. I’m a morning person so by 7 a.m. I have meatloaves and potatoes with peppers roasting in the oven …most will go to my mom’s house either later today or tomorrow. Other than something like that….heating up the kitchen very early…I want whatever is quick and not going to make me hotter than I already am, lol. Corn, tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, summer fruit, salads….

    Right now I wish that I had your salad for breakfast, it looks so good.

    Your mom’s quilt tops are gorgeous and I enjoyed seeing all of your pretty fabrics as well! I like to hand quilt, though it’s quite slow going :)

    • says

      It is slow going, but something I always enjoyed. I can’t believe how early you get up to cook! It’s a very good idea though, with the temps so high.

  5. Judy says

    I didn’t know you had these beautiful quilts stashed away. You will have fun working on them knowing your Mom and Grandmother also worked on them with love. Come quilt with me. Love ya, Jude

    • says

      I miss you, Jude. Your quilts are so perfect, you’d have a heart attack if you saw how mismatched my seams are. But, I’ll come quilt with you any day. xoxo

  6. says

    Aren’t you fortunate to have those treasures..I love how fabric photographs so well too..
    a perk!
    Your pillows will be so pretty..love the colors..
    very warm and humid here also..with quite the lightning/thunderstorm last night..
    Sooner than later it will seem we will be under the quilts..

  7. says

    what a treasure to have those quilt tops of your mom’s. That is wonderful, I bet you will come up with some nice pillows!! We are eating lots of salads since it’s hot out and I don’t feel like cooking :)

  8. says

    I’m on a quest to clear out my freezer so there has been some slow cooker experiments around here. So far so good. It is so nice to be able to make a sandwich from the tender steak, then later cook up some rice to go with the leftovers. I’m also on a quest to get friendly with my sewing machine which has been sitting in it’s box unopened for far too long. I have fabrics picked out for my daughter’s quilt. Thanks for the inspiration today with the quilt tops. It was a good boost to get me going!

    • says

      You definitely have to take your sewing machine out of the box, Manisha. Just think of all the beautiful things you can make – you are a creative soul and I know your daughter’s quilt is going to be beautiful.

  9. says

    Just dropped the last of the house guests off for the airport. % days getting ready for a beautiful wedding outdoors on Whidbey Island. All went well and it was a wonderful time. I made the bridal wreath of gorgeous flowers, salal and ferns. Now I am sitting back enjoying another wonderful post by you. I think I shall finish soke of my quilts as your pictures are fantastic. Another great idea for dinner. I served your soup recipe (tomato,chick broth, pasta,etc. ) to my guests for lunch one day and they loved it.

    • says

      I’m so glad you’re company liked the soup, Sharon. Now, it’s time for you to sit back and relax a bit after all the festivities.

  10. says

    I think I need to trim my nails as I kept hitting the wrong keys in the above post . That was 5 days, some of my quilts,chicken and chicken broth. Maybe I should take a nap. HA :-)

  11. says

    Ooooo, I love quilting! I have a quilt top given to me by mom that my great grandmother started but did not finish… I’ve been to intimidated to finish it. I can remember as a pre-teen belonging to the quilting bee at church… The old lady’s taught me how to quilt! LOL I guess I am one of those old lady’s now!

    My favorite summer time dish is a simple unadorned bowl of fresh cut cumber, tomatoes, olives, avocado with a bit of cold mozzarella balls Mmmmmm on a rare occasion I will add some fresh chopped bacon bits

    • says

      It is intimidating to work on someone else’s quilt, isn’t it? I haven’t done anything with these tops yet. I take them out and look at them and then fold them up and put them away. One of these days…..

  12. says

    I was thinking when I started looking at all the quilts that you had made all of them in July!! Phew!! :) I so wish I had the desire to sew…I brought fabric and the bits and pieces to make my daughter a skirt but it’s still sitting next to the sewing machine in the cupboard – 4 months later!!!! I will get to it….soon, just have too much yummy crochet to do first. You and your summer heat 😉 we are heading for a top of 11c or 51f so not much in the way of salads but I’ve been making lots of oven one pot slow cooked meals….last night was chicken drumsticks cooked in stock, risoni, home grown baby carrots and cauliflower – the stock gets nicely absorbed and it’s all mingled in together. I served it with shaved parmesan and steamed greens….enjoy the sewing :) Jan x

    • says

      Ah, you are such a wonderful cook, Jan. I think I might take out my slow cooker and make some spicy beef to make sandwiches with. Great way to cook without heating up the kitchen.

    • says

      Hi Claire – Well, you’re just so busy sharing incredible experiences with your family! The WW II train ride sounded just fabulous!

  13. says

    The quilt made out of triangles made me do a double take. The first quilt I ever pieced was that pattern and it was called the pyramid quilt. Some of the fabrics in your mother’s are like some in my quilt because my mother gave me some fabric for my quilt when I was making it. I will have to put the quilt on my blog sometime so you can see.

  14. says

    The colors of those squares are so pretty Sue! I’m with you about sewing…I can’t imagine the patience involved with sewing everything by hand. I suppose, like you said, it can be relaxing and even therapeutic, but nonetheless I just don’t think I could do it.

    I’m keeping my grill busy this summer, and rarely turn on the oven. We have definitely been blessed with good weather these last few weeks here in the northeast, but we deserve it after a cold winter and rainy spring.


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