March 20, 2013

Spring in my garden

I am almost sure this pink peeping out belongs to my beloved bleeding heart.

It's green! And it's pink on the tips. Nice touch.

March 18, 2013

Spring in my kitchen

Inspired a bit by this blogger's challenge to grow something, anything, delighted with this idea, and encouraged by both husband and enthusiastic four-year-old, we planted some sweet pepper seeds. After watering and waiting and watering and waiting I was secretly beginning to get nervous.

And then one day, in one egg shell planter, it appeared. A tiny bent "u" of a pale seedling stem lifting itself from the dark of the soil.

Since then, new sprouts, new leaves, new growth appears every day. An official count is taken and discussions of where to place so many plants this summer takes place over meals. I am still finding it difficult to imagine these tiny baby plants as sturdy stalks producing large, hollow peppers for our happy snacking. Such a miracle!

Nearby, we watch progress as caterpillars ordered from Insect Lore (thanks, Grandma!) crawl around, hang around, quadruple in size, experiment with their silk strings, and at last begin the magic of encasing themselves in their brown chrysalises, each accented by the glint of metallic gold. As soon as they've completed this stage, we'll pin them up inside our butterfly house and wait for our winged friends to emerge.

And if all that isn't enough, we're growing an onion that sprouted in the pantry. Just to see what happens (that's the crazy wild green thing on the right hand side of the above photo).

Perhaps these projects aren't exactly art – but the beauty of our natural world never fails to amaze and inspire me.

Happy spring!

March 1, 2013

Table runner in progress…

So I am following this tutorial and am super-excited to discover this 9-patch quilt trickery. The tutorial calls for three fabrics and you make one type of square, cut it apart, mix it up in a way you like and repeat.

Well, I had four fabrics to work with: a red, a mostly white, and two different teals. Let's call them "tile teal" and "big flower teal." So I decided I would make two kinds of patches instead of one. Every patch would have the red and white. Half the patches would use "tile teal" and the other half would use "big flower teal." Since my table is longer, I ended up doing three 9-patch squares of each mix.

When I got to the part where you cut them apart and mix them up, my thought was to still keep the pieces with their original partners. But then I thought, what if I swapped two of the four pieces from the "tile teal" 9-patch with two from the "big flower teal" 9-patch? It was more complicated to mix the two teals but it opened up way more design options.

First try: rotated so teals are together in center as block.
Not crazy about the 2 small red squares that end up next to each other.

Second try: I do like the little reds in the middle and the diagonal blocks.

Final choice: Put the "big flower teal" blocks in the center since they
are so much more dominant than the "tile teal."

So where am I at? Well, I have the top all together. I have the batting cut out. I need to quilt. And I need to make and attach the binding. A pleasant afternoon of work but one I am saving for the weekend. By the end of the day I feel like I am apt to make mistakes with my tired brain and eyes!