Monday, August 26, 2013

Cathedral Window Pillow

I have been enamored with the Cathedral Window quilt pattern since I first got into quilting. I think it's amazing and lovely. I keep pinning more and more of them to Pinterest. Truth be told - it intimidated the crap out of me! 

I got some new furniture a couple of weeks ago and decided it was time to conquer my fear of the windows.

I was more successful at sewing it than at photographing it, I think!

Now that I've completed a project, I can see how this would be totally addicting. I like to have a hand sewing project going for those days when all I want to do is sit in front of the TV - but still be productive. It's sort of delicate, so it's hard to imagine using it as a quilt, but I'm contemplating a large wall hanging to go above my bedroom headboard.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In the Garden

The Hardy Hibiscus has finally made an appearance! I really thought it was dead. The woman at Linder's warned me that they come up really late - sometimes not until June. I had no reason to doubt her, but until last week, I was certain these things were dead. Must have faith. ;)

The poppies in the hellstrip are blooming, too. Based on how they seem to stretch for the afternoon sun,  it seems that they're not in a very good spot. The blossoms tend to flop onto the ground. I will collect the seed heads and try to seed them in some other spots this winter.

The Hope for Humanity is gorgeous right now. The pictures don't even come close to doing those roses justice. Work has been pretty difficult lately, and I often wonder about whether or not there is hope for humanity. Dramatic, I know.

The pink peonies are in their glory right now. The white ones will be opening soon. My living room and office both smell wonderful as I've brought many in to enjoy. I decided after they all got flattened in a storm last year that I should just cut them and enjoy them - I spend more time in my office than I do in the garden anyway.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I was at Dad's this weekend and happened to have my camera in the car to capture the action at the hummingbird feeder. The light wasn't great to get the colors on the bird (this one is red-throated), but the wings on this guy were amazing!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In the Garden

I'm so behind! I missed posting the tulip pictures - they were quite nice this year. Awfully late, but they were pretty. By this point in June, the leaves have usually withered to nothing and it's easy to plant around/on top of them. Not so this year. I've got a tomato planted smack in the middle of a tulip patch because I had no where else to put it!

I'm excited about the lovage this year. It finally appears to be reaching it's full height - almost as tall as me. And it looks like it's going to bloom. I'm planning on harvesting the seed for planting in other places around the garden and to make celery salt.

The baptisia is finally blooming! I planted this from seed 3-4 years ago and while it has always survived the winter, this year it's finally worthy of stopping to look at! It's still quite small, but the sweet pea-like blossoms are lovely. It's planted the hellstrip, so the soil (if you can call it that) isn't great, and it's usually hot and dry. I'm hoping next year it becomes the standout of the spring.

Grandma Z's rose bush has a couple of blossoms. I think it bloomed once all of last year, so it's already surpassed last year's performance. This is also planted in the hellstrip, but that's sort of where it got it's origins. It used to grow in the ditch by Grandma's house. We dug up a patch and planted it at Dad's house. He's done nothing with it for 20+ years and it has practically taken over the hill on which it was planted. I dug up a bit a few years ago for the boulevard. It's comforting to have a piece of Grandma just outside the front door. I don't really know what it is... some kind of rugosa. The hips are big and hopefully I'll have enough some day to make rosehip jelly or some other little treat.

If you look closely at the Jacruwhi rose leaves, you can see that the leaf cutter bees have been at work. They get all my rose bushes at some point, but do seem to prefer some to others. They don't really harm the rosebush and with all the news about declining bee populations, I'm happy to provide them with nesting material.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In the Garden

The early tulips are putting on a show, but the real extravaganza is yet to come. I planted a few dozen last fall (of course, I can't remember what they look like) and previous years' plantings look to have flowers on them, too.

Tuesday's forecast is calling for 94F! I'm sure soil temps will make a quick uptick this week - it will be interesting to see what else pops up. I'm anxiously awaiting the hardy hibiscus and hoping it made it through the winter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trillium at the Dog Park

Another bad cell phone pic, but Spring is just so exciting - now that it has finally arrived. Although looking at the weather forecast, one might think we've skipped spring and gone directly to summer - Tuesday's high is supposed to be in the 90sF!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Dutchman's Breeches

It's been snowing/raining/snowing/raining for what feels like weeks now, but there are definitely signs of spring out there. Hoku and I came across some Dutchman's Breeches in the woods at the dog park. I had to look it up when I got home - I knew it was some kind of Dicentra, but don't remember ever seeing it. I guess it's so fleeting that you have to catch it at the right moment. They're lovely - not that you can tell from the crappy cell phone pic.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Quick ... Before it Snows!

No, that's not a typo. And not an April Fool's joke, either. It's May 1, and the forecast calls for snow.

We had a glorious stretch of 70-80F days and now we're back to this. Before it gets covered up, here's what's popping up in the yard as of yesterday:

Of course, I'm thrilled to see all of them, but if I had to choose, I'd say I'm most excited about the Lupine. I've been trying for years to get lupine established somewhere on my property. I've tried sunny spots, shady spots, wet spots, dry spots ... they always just fizzles away on me. Last year when I did the boulevard project, I threw a couple of lupine in there - mostly because they had been sitting around and needed to get in the ground. There wasn't a lot of thinking involved - in fact, once I started thinking about it, I was pretty sure they would fry in that dry sunny hot spot. But it's the first time any have successfully made it through an entire season and the winter! Clearly I should think less when I garden!

Hopefully, they'll all still be there when today's snow melts!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Puppy Love!

These photos were taken on March 24 - based on this week's snowfall, they could have been taken yesterday. :(

Sunday, April 07, 2013

There is Life Out There!

The front of my house has brick about five feet up the wall, and with a southern exposure, it gets really warm out there. These little cuties popped up about a week ago, and started flowering about three days after that.

I also got around to doing some winter-sowing. It's not really winter anymore (although it kind of feels like it), so clearly I'm behind schedule. I did a few things like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers to keep in the house until it warms up a bit. I've heard that you can do them outside, but I wanted to guarantee germination. I'm trying to germinate some Hawaiian Chili Peppers - I started some a couple of weeks ago, and so far - nothing. I tried some more using the milk cartons - let's hope these take!

And I'm happy to report that my Hope for Humanity rose appears to have made it through winter. I do love this rose. It's not terribly fragrant, but it's a lovely color and seems to be a reliable bloomer in other people's gardens (I only planted it late last year, so can't really comment on how it does in my garden). If it proves to be a good performer, I'm considering getting another one to put on the other side of the front steps.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Another UFO Completed!

Well, after not touching my sewing machine for nearly a year, I've managed to make some good progress in the last couple of weeks!

This quilt is for a coworker who recently had a baby boy. Her shower is this week, so I had a good solid deadline to spur me along. It's not one of my greater masterpieces, but it turned out pretty cute considering it was started over a year ago with scraps of blue that couldn't seem to find a home.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Year Ago Today

Sadly, this is not the case in 2013. We're still measuring snow in the ground in feet. :( I'm thinking the crocus are still weeks away.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

UFO Finished!

Since bringing the puppy home over a year ago, my sewing machine has been languishing in the office, sad and unused (just like this blog!). But after returning home from Hawai'i, I was motivated to get a few things done. Hoku seems to be fine for an hour or so (and by fine, I mean he isn't whining his head off begging me to play) just laying by the gate.

I started this quilt sometime in Oct/Nov 2011 for a dear friend who was pregnant with her second daughter. Several pieces of the fabric in the star have special meaning - one is a scrap from a pair of PJs, one is part of my friend's dress from sometime in the 80s. The changing pad is made up of the same fabrics in one inch squares.

I used the backing fabric to guide the hand-quilting on the changing pad. The front seemed too busy to be bothered with quilting, so I focused on the back. It seemed an interesting way to tie the front/back together.

The design is based on a free pattern from Moda Bake Shop: