The Placemat Project

It started with the notion that one of the granddaughters who likes to sew might want to make more placemats. She had made some and had a good time, and the family loves using what she made. So they made the suggestion that my granddaughter and I make more placemats.

So I started researching simple ways to carry out such a project with a new sewer so she wouldn’t get frustrated. That meant NOT using binding methods, for starters.

The first idea was to perhaps use the 3 1/2-inch Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society squares I had already cut up. AND, to use the method she already knew. Along the way of this placemat journey of recent weeks, I also researched and found an easy way to make single-layer napkins with beautiful mitered corners. Thus the napkins you see in the following pictures. Paige Handmade had a method I really like:

Tara Reid, “The Fastest Way To Sew A Placemat without binding,” is where I started, which was a good refresher for me.

That produced this placemat. It’s ok, but I wanted…something more…something that didn’t need to be sewn AFTER the placemat was turned and ironed.

Next I found Kim Jameson Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, whose video teaches how to make a placemat where the backing comes forward to the front AFTER using her method to make nifty mitered corners before turning. These placemats were the result–and this method works best with a front that is not pieced with squares as they would be partially covered on the front.

Before turning the backing to the front, you can go back and add a line or two of quilting to hold the back down firmly. Note that these added lines would just show double on the front, as you can see with the cats.

This link should work if you click on it: quilted placemats without binding

Geta Grama, a Romanian quilter, gave me the best method to use with my squares I think, because I could maintain the integrity of the squares–as in not cutting off any of the outside squares AND creating an opening in the center back of the placemat so I didn’t need to worry about turning the placemat and closing up the hole on the side in a way that didn’t make a straight line.

These placemats were made with that method. For the top one I sewed over two lines so the back would be anchored to the front. And on the bottom I just sewed two extra lines alongside existing lines, about 1/4 inch apart. I was careful to start and stop my seams along the outside sewing line and to tack them down well so I could trim off the threads easily.

Finally, along the journey I did make a placemat with a binding–which allowed me to quilt all three layers at one time, of course. And of all of the placemats, I do prefer this one for myself. I tried something one of you suggested when I was playing around with potholders–I used 1/4 inch fusible tape to glue down the binding on the back–then I sewed (with my walking foot) the binding down from the front. I should have put on the binding with the fold coming to the front–that would have worked really well too, as long as the binding is held very stable with the fusible tape.

And, here is the back of one of the napkins–it’s a print, so the back is not as attractive as the front, as it would be with a solid fabric or a batik. But, you can see how nice Paige Handmaid’s method is–and it’s easy.

The placemats all look really cool on my dining room table. Surprisingly so.

They look so much better than they did on my design wall, LOL. I ordered some wooden napkin rings to go with them–having failed to find any napkin rings locally.

You’d think I’d be done, right? Oh no. In the middle of quilting on the longarm, sewing together the Churn Dash quilt on the design wall, and now hand sewing the binding on “Wyoming Stars,” I pulled out the stack of Maine blueberry fabrics that has been sitting in my stash for 18 years. And I cut another placemat and napkin out.

I’m clearly crazy.

I Was Out of Veggies

So there was a quick trip to the grocery store first thing this morning.

I wanted to grill a whole cut-up chicken for dinner (noon for me), and I needed veggies to go with the chicken.

I came home with full sacks, and set about grilling the chicken and prepping the veggies (more of the little gold potatoes boiled and set into raw butter and fresh dill and sautéed rainbow chard).

While cooking the chicken (low and slow), I made fresh blender drinks (celery, red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, apple, peaches, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and a tiny bit of maple syrup). Now I’ll have a healthy dessert after supper tonight. I forgot the ginger, but the drinks are still delicious. Note: Most of the mixture is veggie, not fruit. I just use bits of fruit–maybe 1/4 of the mixture. Too much fruit sugar causes inflammation and sends the body into an energy pattern that goes up and down rather than holding long and steady.

I took my full plate to the outdoor room with my book. I didn’t eat all these potatoes I cut up–too much–so they went into the roasted veggie container alongside the rest of the rainbow chard–and I’ll have that container with some chicken for supper.

I made a nice dinner yesterday too: Baked haddock, okra (yes!), a medley of roasted veggies, sliced cucumber, and a glass of local raw milk.

“Wyoming Stars” is off the long arm, trimmed, bound, and is downstairs in the tv room where I am sewing on its binding at night. Here it is fresh off of Innova.

I am still marveling at the beautiful, beautiful stitch Innova makes–front and back.

“Wyoming Mountain Crossings” Quilt is Done

And is is so, so cute!

It just fits into the hallway, so I can get a good picture of it.

To remind, this quilt’s crosses and border are 99% Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics, and it is one of the last projects of the past three years now of cutting up these fabrics in my stash. The neutrals are more mixed with other fabric lines.

This pantograph is new to me, and it has such lovely texture. Plus it is swirly and girly, and this quilt is going to a great niece in Wyoming. The pantograph is “Lovely” by Denise Schillinger and is sold by Urban Elementz. This quilt is my 210th quilt.

The scrappy back has some really fun fabrics–which helped further clean out my fabric stash.

I was hoarding this fox print by Tula Pink and the one below which is Cotton+Steel.

The bright green below on the upper far right is not C+Steel, but all the rest of the blocks are.

Owls and ice cream cones and crosses–what I love about the C+Steel/Ruby Star Society is the sophisticated whimsy they create. And I like and appreciate their plain and neutral fabrics too.

AND, “Wyoming Stars,” meant for my Wyoming great nephew, went on the longarm yesterday and got basted. Two passes are done. I will do more today.

And the journey continues…


Odds and Ends

It’s a very pretty Sunday morning here.

And we had more rain in the night. My grass is finally coloring up to a deep and healthy looking apple green. Maybe it will start to spread into the few problem patches now. The scant fertilizer application is working. I’m just taking out the few glaring weeds by hand for the most part as I don’t like and won’t do grass herbicides and insecticides. Those products are NOT safe for humans, and especially not for children.

I am moving from one fun sewing project to another. Happily moving, too. And will likely post more pics later in the week.

I’ve been experimenting with making placemats and single-layer napkins with mitered borders. It’s astonishing what you can learn online. This project got started with my curiosity about the best way to work with a granddaughter who wants to sew placemats for the family. She’s so busy, but I got hooked on trying out different methods. There will be a post when I finish all 6 placemats–with links to the videos that helped me so much.

I finished one of the two Wyoming quilts I started back in Maine. The last stitch into the binding happened late last night. The other Wyoming quilt is all ironed and the back is on Innova–that will get sewn this coming week. For sure, as I love to work with my sweet longarm.

I’ve been hunting for pens with colored ink that stays put in the wash. I use them for quilt labels. The ink from these pens did well in the wash. I would iron whatever I wrote to make extra sure before washing. And look at all the colors. Note: some pens seemed a bit dry–so I’m storing them with the caps down to see if that helps. I just tested the bright colors I might use. These pens would work on garment labels really well–so ownership of clothes get marked, for instance. I’m alway leaving my raincoat behind, so I have my name on its label.

Slowly, the last Churn Dash–which is totally scrappy–from the last of the Cotton+Steel scraps–is coming together on the design wall. I like how the narrow sashings and small cornerstones are working. And I was surprised by how effective these blocks are when one just combines interesting colors and prints. It is so full of lovely energy. Note: the next row to be sewn is on the table next to my sewing machine. It will be 8 blocks wide and 9 rows long, and the blocks finish at 7 1/2 inches. AND, I’ve moved any leftover strips and squares into the appropriate bins that hold cut fabrics ready to be used.

So, I’m declaring the COTTON+STEEL and RUBY STAR SOCIETY project made with stash fabrics FINISHED. (I continue to love these designers, however, who are now Ruby Star Society.) I’m forgetting the two FULL bins of 3 1/2 inch squares separated into colors and neutrals however. And the blocks I’ve made from some of the small squares. Still…

Here’s the 6th and last placemat I’ll make–from the 3 1/2 inch squares.

The last of the fabrics for the Traverse block-of-the-month project came this past week. I have three more rows to make. Tara Faughnan designed Traverse, and Sewtopia hosted the project–though I can see from online comments that other quilt shops hosted this project as well. Traverse will go on the design wall when the Churn Dash (“Eye Candy 5”) comes down. To remind, here is a pic of where I am now:

I spent Friday day and night over at my older son’s house as they were away. I took the quilt from hell with me and got two of the 6 blocks needed for the 6th and final row done and sewn to rows 4 and 5. Later when I got home, I organized the 3rd block for that row. So…progress.

Whew! I’ve run on here way too long. I appreciate your patience.

Have a great day and a great week next week.

Creative Food Leftovers

Part of my cooking that I love is creating fun and enticing dishes from leftovers.

When my SIL visited recently from Boston, we cooked a BIG boneless leg of lamb roast. Sure we could have eaten it all in a few days, but I didn’t want either of us to spend her limited time together with just lamb. So, I chopped up the “leftover” piece and froze the chunks–including the juice.

I pulled out the package the other day and thought to make a stir fry. But somehow, that didn’t feel quite right for this meat. So I dragged out the big Creuset cast iron pot and began sautéing all sorts of veggies. I’ve shown many times now that caramelizing veggies in a heavy pot is what gives a soup or stew its rich, lovely flavor. A good bone broth also helps, but a broth was not available for this endeavor.

I used beef tallow for the fat and started chopping veggies: onion, carrots, little potatoes quartered, cauliflower, orange bell pepper, cabbage, and garlic. I start with the heftier veggies (onion, carrots, potatoes) and add the others as the first veggies start to wilt down really well. The cabbage and garlic goes in last. I threw in salt early on and some dried herbs from a common “oregano” mixture, some fresh rosemary from the pot on the back porch, and fresh mint from my developing herb garden. The mint would add a very quiet sweet tone to my stew. The cooked meat gets added when the mixture in the pot needs cooling as the caramelization is starting to get too dark.

Next, I sprinkled rice flour (you could use flour) on the mixture and stirred it in well before adding some water to cover the mixture. I brought the pot to a hard simmer on the top of the oven and then popped it into the oven (350 degrees and in the middle of the oven) and cooked it for 40 minutes–at which point the smell clearly told me it was happy and ready to come out.

I had a lovely lunch on the porch. And when I remembered I had some very thin and tender asparagus in the refrigerator, I cut it all up and added a handful to my bowl of still-hot stew.

The flavor of my stew was so rich.

Now these leftovers went into a large bowl in the refrigerator–from which I’ll dip out portions I want when needed. I don’t reheat the whole stew as it would get really soft and gummy. The cauliflower, in particular, will disappear into the broth. I like the texture I have here.

My tummy was so happy afterwards, and the fat in this stew carried me well into the evening hours with steady energy.

When I got hungry again, I heated more of my “leftover” stew–a smaller bowl this time as I wasn’t as hungry as I was at noon.

To me, creative leftovers often have more flavor than the first time around. And having the meat frozen until I want it is an “asset” that I like to have.

Again, I can and do vary the stew by adding other ingredients when I reheat some: cream/milk, cheese on top, leftover other cooked veggies, fresh veggies or herbs chopped fine (spring onions, raw sweet onions, bell peppers, parsley, etc.). YOU could add HOT spicy ingredients. Or, some sour cream or yogurt.

You are only limited by your imagination.

Go for it!

Part 2: How I Make a Bias Binding and Install A Bias Or Straight Binding

Start by placing your strip with the pointed end you just cut on your quilt where you want the end join to happen. I usually do that on the right side of my project. And I start sewing about six inches BELOW the end, so that the end is free/loose.

If I’m putting binding on a big project, I just start sewing. If I realize that I’m going to have a join near a corner, I follow quilter Bonnie Hunter’s method of just cutting and sewing a new join of the strips well above the corner–using the method I showed in Part 1 of overlaying two strips and sewing on the diagonal..

If the project is smaller, I will pin the end to the quilt edge and walk the binding around the project to make sure I don’t have a seam join in a corner area.

Sew down your binding in the usual way that miters the binding on the corners. Stop sewing 6 to 8 inches from the start of your binding with its joining 45-degree cut point waiting for you. You need some space to work with to join the ends.

Lay your top strip, where you have just stopped sewing along the edge of the remaining bare edge, extending it below where your join will be and turning up the end to get it out of the way.

Lay your left had strip with its point over the strip you just laid out.

With a marking tool make two marks on the LOWER binding strip that YOU CAN EASILY SEE. One at the bottom of the LOWER strip and one at the TOP of the fold where the upper strip turns down. You can make these marks without unfolding the strips, but here is the bottom strip unfolded so you can see that you will establishing the 45-degree angle you need in the right direction/angle to work with the top, left strip. After you make these marks, push the left strip out of the way.

With the bottom strip UNFOLDED, Line up your ruler along the marks at the 1/2 inch line (IMPORTANT–1/2 INCH, not 1/4 inch) and with the 45 degree line straight across the bottom. You need the 1/2 inch to compensate for both sides of your seam. I don’t draw a line along my orientation marks and measure from that line as they would show on the binding. I just use the little marks I made.

Here are your marks, taken from the binding on the left–after I cut on the 1/2 inch line. This pic shows how these two angles are organized. Left points to the top; right to the bottom.

Here is the ruler properly lined up, but AFTER your cut. See the 45 degree line on the bottom?

The two ends can now be joined. I line them up and pin on the left end at 1/4 inch until I am sure that the seam is going to be even.

This part is fiddly. But you can see below that I’ve got a good join so the two sides will be even after being sewn. I don’t really worry about the right side,

Pin and sew the seam. Sewing this seam with the walking foot attached is tricky, so I use a leader/ender piece to get started.

I keep a wooden roller around for seams like this so I don’t have to go to the iron–as the iron is hard on bias edges and you have to take the whole quilt with you to the iron. You could also finger press this seam.

Then fold the piece in half again and trim off the point that is extending beyond the edge of the binding. The binding should fit into the remaining space on your project perfectly. *You can also see in this picture below the amount of space you want to leave on the side of your quilt to join the two edges and then to sew down the remaining piece of the now-joined binding: it’s 10 or 12 inches.


Part 1: How I Make A Bias Binding and Install a Bias Or Straight Binding

I always make bias bindings for my projects that require bindings. The only time I don’t cut bias bindings is when I don’t have enough fabric for a bias binding that I really want to use, but I can cobble out a straight-cut binding from that desired fabric.

Why bias binding? Bias binding wears better over the long haul. And, yes it is easier to install. Straight-cut bindings have only one to three strands at the fold line, whereas bias binding has cross-hatched threads at the binding fold.

I use the same method I use for bias binding to install a straight-cut binding on to a project. Why? The bias seams are less bulky. Way less bulky. Often you don’t even notice bias binding strip joins.

Note: I’m not going to talk about how to sew the binding to make nice corners on your quilt–but here’s a video from Jenny Doan of Missouri Star that covers everything, including how to do the corners. I learned several things I’ll try from watching the video. My method is a bit more “fiddly” than Jenny Doan’s but it works really well for me. Also, my final seam joining is different from hers, but maybe I’ll try it too.

To cut bias binding, press your fabric and place it on your cutting board–it doesn’t matter if it is right side or wrong side up. Line up your long ruler on the left side of the fabric on the 45-degree angle mark. (You will later cut off the points to join the fabric strips you cut–but make sure the 45-degree line does line up with the grid on your cutting mat. Or make sure you have a clear straight line on the left.) *Note that I just pulled this fabric to show you how to line it up and I didn’t iron it. I would not cut it without pressing it.)

Draw a marking line down the ruler if you are going to need to move the ruler further down to reach the right side of the fabric. Cut along that line–you will now have two pieces. Put one aside, remembering you can return to it for long strips if needed. The less strips, the less seams in the binding.

If you want a smaller, shorter cut, you can also line up the 45 degree line on your ruler at the TOP of your fabric. Again, make sure it is on a strait edge–the fabric or the lines on your cutting mat. Here’s a pic with a piece of paper to illustrate:

I cut my bindings at 2 1/4 inches as that makes a plump, tight binding for me with no loose floppy space at the binding fold.

Cut the points off of your strips before joining them right sides together. Line them up like this photo shows. Make sure the right sides of the two strips line up together. Mark the place on the top piece where the bottom piece ends and line up your ruler from that mark on the bottom to the top. Make sure the top of the ruler will let your pencil touch the point and is on the bottom the mark you have made. Draw a line and sew on it. I will pin the top right corner to keep it stable while I sew.

When you have all the strips sewn together, trim the seams at 1/4 inch and press them all to one side.

Then press the strips in half, lining up the raw edges. Note that in the pic below I have not yet ironed the left side of the strip.

On one end of your strips–the end you’re going to start to sew on to your quilt, open up your strip and cut a 45-degree angle–so that the point is at the TOP and when refolded the fold is at the bottom.

Now you are ready to install your binding. So go to Part 2.

Asian/Asiatic Jasmine

Son Mike suggested a ground cover plant for my rose bed the other day, but could not remember the name. He said he and Tami loved it in their old house. Tami knew the name: Asian or Asiatic Jasmine.

I found 11 plants at Loews Monday and bought them all: $3.48 each.

This plant is actually NOT a jasmine, though it makes a really fragrant little flower in the spring. It basically is a kind of vine, which will put up tendrils that go upwards about 10 inches in height (and ones that spread) and will cover the ground in sun or shade. One article noted that it can cover a bed in a year, two at the most, and will go right up your leg if you stand still long enough. BUT, that it is not hard to control if one pays attention.

I planted it among the roses, and if it does not work well as an understory plant there, I’ll pull it out and put it along the shaded sides of the house. Facing the house, the long strip to the end of my long house is totally in shade. That bed is now covered with pine straw, which I will keep as grass would struggle in that dense shade as well.

Time will tell…

Happy Easter

My goodness!

I’ve been busy, busy these last few days. So, no blog posts.

Alex, my lawn guy, came Wednesday and put out fertilizer on the Centipede grass. He told me to be sure to water heavily three times–but to water at dusk as it has been about 80 degrees here over the past few days and the grass does not need to be fried by watering it in the full sun.

Everyone’s sodded grass is the promised apple green color now, but it now needs help to grow and spread. Here’s a view from the back of my house.

I have hoses on either side of the house–and went to Lowe’s to get two smaller sprinklers–the big one is harder to control in the back and part of the front so that the water does not go on to neighbors’ lawns. My back door neighbor, for instance, installed an underground system, so her grass does not need MORE water. And water here is not cheap–so I don’t need to be watering anything but my own grass.

The smaller sprinklers that will go in a circle are very tricky. I got totally soaked–TOTALLY–trying to get them to do what I wanted in the mostly narrow lawn spaces I have. Even I had to laugh, though, drenched as I was. And the grass did get watered, though I need some short hose extensions for both hoses–about 10-15 feet I think. And I will say, while laughing again, that I was, also, quite cool, which was welcome.

The master bedroom shower has had a leak under its doors–as the tiles on the ledge did not have the proper angle to make the water drain to the inside of the shower. In the end, the doors had to be removed, the tile redone, and the doors put back after the grout in the tiles dried. The doors went back on Thursday. And the shower no longer leaks! I had a lovely shower yesterday (Saturday).

The gutters were installed on Thursday as well, and now water does not drip off the roof on to my front walk right at the recessed door. And…I watered the grass.

On Friday I was a whirling dervish of energy. I went to Lowe’s to get a drain tube so the gutter drain near the roses did not put its water all on the end rose. A hydrangea hopped into my cart. Then I visited Carolina Lantern and Lights to start the process to get the 3 lights I need over the kitchen bar. Next, I visited a local quilt shop, Wild and Wooly, which is small but very sweet. On the way home I checked out Abide-A-While nursery and came home with plants: a Viburnum and herbs for the little herb garden I want to start.

I took a chance with the grass as we were clearly getting a BIG storm in the night which would provide me with adequate rain for the grass. And, the temps dropped into the 60s. So Saturday saw me outside early morning, between storms, digging holes, adding amendments, and planting the new plants. My soil here is all clay–it is like digging in cement when it is dry.

On the left, in the middle, is the viburnum. It will not get huge and dwarf the windows and will bloom in the spring. On the right is the Limelight hydrangea–a variety that will get about 8 feet tall, bloom white with blooms that turn red in the fall. It will be so pretty against that wall. And I can control it with trimming. The herbs are on the right.

From the upper left, clockwise: sage, chive, lavender, two kinds of lemon thyme, and oregano. The mint went in over by the roses–near the faucet, so it can be controlled better. I am wishing now that I had brought my grandmother’s mint from Maine as I’ve had it for over 50 years–but I thought that I’d likely never garden again. Who knew?

Anyway, I love cooking with fresh herbs, and now I’ll have some.

I had two lovely meals on Saturday. For lunch–I was so hungry after all that digging–I made scrambled eggs (local eggs that are soy and corn free from Local Jo’s Natural Foods ) with raw butter, fresh rosemary from the pot on the porch and fresh dill I bought, and some mozzarella cheese. It was quick, rich and delicious, and perfect.

Having been refueled, I made a quick trip to Loews for extensions to the two hoses. Three little pots of the little mondo grass, a groundcover plant, hopped into my cart as well. When I got home, I made an espresso and went upstairs to sew a little.

For supper I defrosted some cooked rice and made a rice salad, using the last of the roasted chicken, herbs, lots of fresh veggies, and I put it all on lettuce. The Organic Roots olive oil is so delicious in a salad like this one. (I have enough leftover for one more meal.)

I had also defrosted frozen blueberries and peaches, to which I added half of a Honey Crisp apple and a little maple syrup. So, dessert. And after I watched tv while I sewed down binding on the quilt I finished on the longarm.

It’s been a really good string of days.

And I’m grateful.

Palmetto “Bugs” and the German Cockroach

Roaches are nocturnal. And there is nothing more disturbing than at night seeing a 2-inch dark brown bug fly up to a wall if you turn on a light in a dark room. In South Carolina, that would be a Palmetto Bug. Or, equally bad, to turn on a light in the kitchen to see a smaller light brown roach run across the floor or a countertop and duck into a crevice or under an appliance (the German cockroach). Or, in the kitchen, to see large dark brown roaches running very, very fast across the floor to hide (American cockroach)–a sight I remember vividly from my Georgia childhood at my grandparents. (And yes, they sprayed constantly.)

But first, let’s understand more about roaches, as they are a very, very, very old species. And that fact alone warrants my interest. (I probably should have been an entomologist or a zoologist.) The German cockroach, for instance, started out in caves in Asia. Here’s a quote from a 2020 Smithsonian magazine article documenting how old they are:

“Cockroaches—among the hardiest of insects—may be among the species guaranteed to outlive us all. But perhaps even more intriguing than the future of these persistent pests is their unusual past. A pair of 99-million-year-old roaches are now the oldest known animals that unambiguously adapted to life in caves, according to a study published this month in Gondwana Research.”

“The discovery earns the bugs the unique honor of being the only cave dwellers ever described from the Cretaceous, the period spanning 66 to 145 million years ago and the final era of the non-avian dinosaurs.”

When humans started trading spices around the world, these cave roaches went along for the ride. The result is roach history as roaches adapted and survived.

Roaches were not a problem for me in rural Maine. Maybe they are in crowded urban areas in Maine, but I never saw one in my house in Maine. But in South Carolina, roaches are part of the terrain. Roaches thrive here. Steps must be taken to prevent them from taking up abode in one’s house.

There are three major roaches that can be a problem for humans in South Carolina: Palmetto “Bugs” and German cockroaches. The American cockroach is often mistaken for the true Palmetto roach, though it does not really fly.

Palmetto “Bugs”–also known as “waterbugs” or as “smoky brown cockroaches”– are cockroaches, not some other kind of bug. Although closely related to the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, they are different. They are Periplaneta fuliginosa, and they are a kind of tropical cockroach. Palmetto Bugs come into a house seeking water–they dehydrate easily–and then while seeking water, they might take advantage of something like rotting organic matter in a garbage can or dirty dishes in a sink. American cockroaches, too, live outside normally, but clearly will come inside and stay if they find a habitat there that richly supports them.

The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is smaller, grows to adulthood much more quickly (60 days), and then breeds like crazy. This roach gets to be about an inch and ranges from a very light to a darker brown. It can sort of fly, perhaps gliding if threatened. It inhabits houses. These cockroaches can’t survive in the wild.

The Palmetto Bug can get as big as about 2 inches. They can fly short distances if needed. They have a TWO YEAR lifespan, but don’t breed until they are about a year old. From wikipedia: “P. fuliginosa can reproduce through sexual reproduction and in some cases through parthenogenesis, which is a form of asexual reproduction.[5]

And, “The smokybrown cockroach is a detritivore and can feed off a wide array of organic (including decaying) matter.[1] Like most cockroaches, it is a scavenger, whereby it feeds on many different types of foods including dry earthworms, pet food, pet waste such as feces and urine, paper, and many types of ripe fruits.[1]

In this way, in its natural habitat, Palmetto Bugs help break down organic matter in the woods, so they have a useful purpose. So, the “smokybrown cockroach may come indoors during daylight hours to look for food and even to live; generally, however, in warm weather, it will move outdoors.[3][2] They tend to lose moisture twice as fast as their relative, Periplaneta Americana, therefore requiring environmental conditions with constant moisture to avoid drying out.[4]?

So, about a month ago, I saw what was likely a German cockroach on my kitchen counter. It probably came in on a grocery bag, as they don’t really live in the wild.

I consulted my son Bryan and bought a really strong gel bait on Amazon with great reviews. It only takes a tiny, tiny bit of this gel in one spot, but one can’t put the bait in any place where it would get mopped or wiped, or near an appliance that gets hot (oven, dishwasher), or in any place where it would get disturbed and spread so that it could harm a human. So, I baited the very back of the cabinet area under the sink and way back of the garbage pull-out cabinet, around the garage door sides, and in an area adjacent to the back screen door.

I have never left dirty dishes in a sink, so that’s not a problem. And now that I’m not composting, I am not using my super nice composting pail. I don’t think a roach could get into it anyway, but… I do not allow any organic matter or bones to sit overnight in my garbage can: I take the whole bag out to the big cans in the garage. And I double bag all organic matter or meat bones.

I have not seen another roach–and I check at night frequently by turning on the kitchen light.

Time will tell…