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Summer goodness

It’s August!  I have to say, this summer has been good to me.  Quilting may be my number one {all consuming} hobby, but I also love to garden, cook and spend time with my family.  We just returned from a long weekend in Austin, Texas, visiting my daughter’s family.  We celebrated Amelia’s 3rd birthday, and Clara just turned 4 months.  Even though it was sweltering hot, we had the best time!  I’m telling you, I was born to quilt and I was born to be a grandma.  It just fits with me.

Our granddaughters, @ The Crafty Quilter

Amelia Cutbirth, age 3, @ The Crafty Quilter

Baby Clara at 4 months old on her heart quilt by @ The Crafty Quilter


We babysat for 24 hours while mom and dad got away for one night.  Even though Amelia had a cold, she was just as sweet as could be.  She kept Grandpa busy every second!   Clara is a happy baby and she slept all through the night.  She’s making all kinds of cute sounds and rolling over constantly.  I want to hit the pause button and keep them this way forever.

We’ve had beautiful weather in the Bay Area (Northern California). The only place that gets enough sun on our property for a decent vegetable garden is our front yard.  Mr. Crafty Quilter built me three raised beds many years ago and right now they are full of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, kale and beans.

Summer vegetable garden in raised beds @ The Crafty Quilter


Our tomatoes just started turning red a few weeks ago.  We can’t keep up with the lemon cucumbers and we’re being patient with the bell peppers.


Harvesting your own vegetables and adding them to your meal plan is a very gratifying thing.  I’m sure I eat healthier in the summer months than I do the rest of the year.  Of course, I tend to eat more, too!  So there’s that.

Summer vegetable @ The Crafty Quilter


We visit the local farmer’s market every weekend.  We are so fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best agricultural farms on the planet.  I love the fresh peaches, nectarines and corn right now.  I made an easy peach and veggie pizza using naan bread.  The recipe came from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, Love and Lemons.  So good!

Summer Peach and veggie pizza. A quick way to make a healthy pizza using naan bread. Adapted from Love & Lemons Cookbook. By Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


If you love bruschetta, but don’t have ripe tomatoes on hand, try these blackberry bruschetta appetizers.  Place a cup of blackberries in a bowl and crush them just a bit.  Add some balsamic vinegar and chopped basil and let sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice a baguette and drizzle each slice with a little olive oil.  Broil the bread in the oven for about 3 minutes.  Top each piece with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a spoonful of the blackberry mixture.  Drizzle with some honey and enjoy!

Summer Blackberry bruschetta from Julie @ The Crafty Quilter. An easy variation on a classic using blackberries instead of tomatoes.


I love to fill pots with colorful, summer flowers.  We will often open up our french doors to the backyard and eat breakfast on the patio or in the adjoining dining room.  It’s a beautiful view right now.

Summer morning view @ The Crafty Quilter

Summer Flowers @ The Crafty Quilter

Summer flower pot @ The Crafty Quilter


I have lots of catching up to do in my sewing room as I prepare to teach two block of the month classes this weekend at The Granary Quilt Shop.  Along with the online BOM’s and QAL’s  that I’m trying to keep up with and the many ongoing projects – I’m busy as a bee!

Thanks for visiting today and sharing in my summer-time enthusiasm.  I’ll be back this weekend for Sew Thankful Sunday – stay tuned!

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  1. That blackberry bruchetta looks AMAZING! I will absolutely try that. It’s great to see Clara on her quilt!

  2. I feel as though we have just had a lovely chat, Julie! Your Clara and I are birthday buddies! Your front yard garden is spectacular, great use for that sunny space. Your bell peppers are amazing, mine are just poking along here in SD. Girl #2 attended Stanford, and we saw the amazing agriculture as we drove in to Palo Alto. CA is an amazing place for fresh everything. Thanks again for these beautiful links, so many wonderful ideas, thanks for sharing them!

  3. Thanks for sharing your summer photos. What beautiful, beautiful grandchildren!! I’m sure getting to visit with those grandbabies made up for the Texas heat. (It’s been REALLY hot here in Louisiana, too.) Thank you for your blog and all of your tips and ideas.

  4. Dear Julie,
    Your flowers are beautiful but the most wonderful of all are the sweet faces and smiles of two precious girls from Texas! Thank you for including them in your news.
    Diane in TN

  5. Oh, Julie! How beautiful are the works of thy hands!!!! Beautiful garden, beautiful grandbabies, so many blessings!!! Thanks for sharing with those of us who rarely get out and about!

  6. I forgot to ask, one of the girls on the last hop emailed me and said you made a post about not getting comments notification on email. I can’t seem to find anything about it. I’m just replying on my blog if I can’t find them through blogger, but that sure is time consuming. Any suggestions?

  7. How fortunate we are! My granddaughter just turned three and her brother is four months. What delightful little people they are! I am very happy for you!

  8. Clara is going to catch up with Amelia by her first birthday by the looks of her. Such pretty girls, aand such a pretty garden as well. Ours did nothing this year, a few cucumbers a couple of tomatoes and not a green pepper. W did get a few banana peppers though. Getting ready to go through scrap piles and make some houses. Looking for Bear and Lama fabric as I go, got four shows coming up this fall. So I had better get busy, busy, busy myself.

  9. Hello Julie; I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and seeing all of your fabulous photos. My Mother says that there is nothing better in life than being a GMA (that is what all of her Grand Kids call her) and a Great GG that is what her new title is! Number 2 Granddaughter is due to have the second Great Granddaughter this month and Mom is going to go and stay with the family for at least 2 weeks. I hope that you enjoy the remainder of the Summer and all of those fabulous vegies and fresh flowers also! Have a marvelous day!

  10. Looking at your pictures brings back memories of when we lived in the East Bay Area back in the 90’s. You have a lovely, productive yard! Enjoy your posts.

  11. Julie, everything about this post was beautiful, but the grands take the top prize!
    You’re going to laugh at this: when I first looked at the photo of the 4 of you I thought
    your husband was holding a toad in his other hand/arm! Then I realized it was the lawn.
    How silly is that? hahahaha

  12. There is nothing better….summer family time, fresh produce and wonderful gardens. It sounds like you have a full plate and are enjoying every bit of it…..life can be very good!

  13. I’m so glad you’re having a wonderful summer! It’s so hard to believe you were here a year ago already but remembering the great lecture and workshop and sightseeing! You have been ultra-busy with your beautiful grandchildren, quilting, and gardening! Keep the pictures coming – my deer were at the front porch yesterday nibbling bushes and what’s left of my potted geraniums – I give up and will enjoy seeing flowers through your pictures!

  14. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for sharing your pictures with us. They were all beautiful. InI need a pick me up today and your pictures were just what the doctor ordered.

  15. Love your garden!! I only grew one cucumber plant this year, but still I thought that would be enough for some summer cucumbers. We had a bad storm and all of the blooms fell off except one. I watched and tended that plant everyday. Then, the day came when I was ready to harvest my one and only cucumber. As I walked over to it, a squirrel hopped in front of me. He bit the cucumber off at the stem, grabbed the cucumber in his teeth and ran off with it. I sat down on the ground and had a good laugh. I sure hope he enjoyed it.

  16. You are amazing. I don’t know how you accomplish so much. The cookbook looks interesting. I think I need it

  17. Thank you for sharing your lovely family with all of us! Those grands are just so cute! You have a green thumb to boot! We have a tiny yard but I still manage to plant some tomatoes and of course basil! And nothing is sweeter than looking out the window and seeing beautiful flowers.
    We have family in the bay area too. Enjoy your summer and thanks for sharing all the great pictures and posts!

  18. What a fabulous bounty. I have found that kale seems to grow extra large here in British Columbia so I have cut down to one plant. There is nothing more wonderful than eating direct from the garden.

  19. This whole post is just filled with “Summer Goodness”! Thank you for sharing all the loveliness in your life this summer!

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