Wednesday, February 24, 2016

the simple pleasures

My indoor "garden" is responding to the lengthening daylight. Some of these are old friends paying repeat visits. Others are the result of cutting gifts from loved ones. All stir my soul and bring such gladness to my days.

Out of doors we're having a bit of a thaw and it's definitely mud season. Oh how the chickens love it. Thank heavens for my trusty old Muck boots.
I spotted daffodil tips breaking ground. The Lenten Rose is lovely and green. There are fat buds on my Meadowlark forsythias and though I am tempted to cut a few branches to bring along inside I will resist  and wait so they may bloom in earnest in the garden.
The spinach is now exposed and looking as if it's just had a bit of a nap, its snowy blanket gone. Just about everywhere there are signs of winter breaking. I know not to get too eager, but I am cheered knowing we are nearer than ever now.

Last Wednesday 10 of us from my quilt guild met to begin working on comfort quilts. We began by digging through mounds of donated fabric, each looking for fabrics we hoped would play well together.

Next came deciding on a block design. I chose Split Rail Fence as it is simple, quick, and would make it more likely that I would actually get the quilt completed this spring. Usually the fabrics are set to line up resulting in a sort of jagged "fence" but I was more intent on making each set of four bars a bit different than the one next to it, using as many bits as I could from the prints I liked best. By the time I left that afternoon I had all my fabrics ironed, cut and many blocks assembled.

Working at home all of the next day I was able to get the top put together. There should be enough fabric left to piece the back. I'll sandwich it and quilt it when at our guild's retreat March 7-9. It'll be easier to quilt it by machine on the large tables at the retreat house than in my tiny sewing nook here at the farm. Knowing it is destined to be given to a victim of abuse really keeps me motivated.

Meanwhile, I'm making some progress on my red, white and blue throw.

The finished blocks will actually be set with sashing between each but I couldn't resist laying them out to get an idea of the resultant pattern. My 2016 goal of using what I have on hand wherever possible gave me the chance to really study my stash, or inventory as some call it. The 16 blocks are actually two of each combination of fabrics. It's a paper pieced pineapple block 8inch finished.

I'll be sowing a few seeds this week for the 2016 garden. Each season I try to grow something I've never grown before.

I wonder just what it will be this year….