Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Ends -- Progress on Most Fronts?

Just 5 days left of this puzzling month of April here in Northeast Ohio. 
If you read me regularly, you know I'm distracted from my studio in a big way during spring between birding and gardening.  Spring has been progressing at a breakneck pace here (thanks to global warming) and there have been moments of panic (that I won't get things done "in time") and dismay (that I'll miss something), but a Baltimore oriole just sang out in my back yard and in spite of the fact that he is almost two weeks early, I'm thrilled to hear his song!!

My enthusiastic white primroses are glorious right now!
The new garden trough is ready to plant -- I'm eager to see how this works for me!!
I appreciate not needing to bend over!! 
My son put new tubes in the tires and a new seat on my bike, so I'm ready to roll!! 
We organized the new rain barrel (more attractive than the big blue recycled one) by the back door and installed a rain chain -- hope that works well!! 
The dwarf crested iris came through another winter and are currently brightening the corner by the backyard sidewalk. 
The strawberry plants came through the winter in their boxes and are beginning to bloom -- we might have strawberries to eat by the end of May?? 
Check out the blue accents in these purple iris -- glorious! 
The pond is filled with American toad tadpoles (at least 300) and the marsh marigolds look brilliant in the mushy corner where the robins are harvesting mud for their nests. 
My trillium patch has escaped the notice of the local deer and giving me time to spray with repellant -- thank you!! 
I've forsaken my usual hand stitching/knitting in the evening to work at the machine in the studio the past week (something has to give, right?).

I finished this UFO to donate to a local group for their annual fundraiser in support of cancer research.  A set of 4 reversible placemats and coordinated napkins.
I started this as a demonstration sample using Marti Michell's Tesselating Windmill tool and a charm square pack -- love that tool as there is no wasted fabric!!  These blocks are 3" finished and the tool has a range of 2" to 9" with complete instructions. 
The backing is a wonderful Hoffman print I've been hoarding for who knows how long and isn't that stripe perfect!!  Just bought it!  Perfect example of merging 3 collections of fabric printed years apart together smoothly!! 
I also pieced the Plus a Star block for the Jen Kingwell Long Time Gone SAL. 
It took me most of two evenings to organize and cut the pieces?!?
I chain pieced the rows as always but when I started to get lost, I remembered a trick we figured out several years ago when piecing log cabin blocks and put it to use.  The bobbin is my "place marker" and indicates the next piece to be picked up for stitching.  As long as I remember to move the bobbin, it works like a charm.  (It helps that I had to move the bobbin to pick the piece up.)
Everything is in the right spot! 
And finished -- took less than an hour to stitch! 
Here's my progress so far!  3" Churn Dash blocks are up next! 
This morning, I loaded five boxes of "destashed" fabric and a box of quilt books into my SUV.  We are headed to my town's annual EcoFair Flea Market this Saturday morning (please no rain). It's in the parking lot in front of the Willoughby City Hall from 8 a.m. to noon -- lots of nice fabric so stop by if you are in the area.   
Now I can go bird the nearest woods for a bit before heading off to a 70th birthday lunch date (her's not mine yet) with a life long friend.
Looking forward to May!!



  1. your gardening is so lovely! I have thought of the raised bed up high like you have - no bending would be such a plus - but the bending forces more exercise for my legs. I like the rain barrel and have thought of one for when the dry times come - I should give it more thought and perhaps get one - I like the chains above it for the water to run down. I have the book for Long Time Gone but have not decided if I will make it - I'm not sure if such a variety of blocks in one quilt is my style or not - I do love your newsprint background that you are using for yours - that might be something for me to look at if I decided to make it.

  2. Come summer here when all is brown and gray, I'll come back to this post and enjoy again your lovely flowers. Loved your placemats - so colorful.

  3. You've been busy with color indoors and out. My trillium looks just like yours, but my dwarf Dutch iris are not showing any color yet. The fabrics in your version of Long Time Gone are the first that have made me consider making this quilt, or maybe just parts of it! Happy birding!

  4. Hi Mary, I sure do love all your flowers. I have raised beds on legs this sure and so far am loving them. Nancy at

  5. I love the rain chain. I hope it works too!
    Your Jen Keningwell is looking awesome!

  6. No wasted fabric in the windmills? That is good. The widget I use leaves a large square scrap, slightly off-kilter.