Friday, November 25, 2011

Advent Calendar with Let it Snow


This is the view I have while working on a little Christmas gift project.  The 2 colors of trim on the shed are me testing paint colors, we will be painting our house this spring and we all know that picking colors is the hardest part.  I love this view especially with the colors on the leaves that are soon to drop, giving me something else to do the next nice day we have.

IMG_0348I am making a couple advent calendars that I thought up in my own little head which means that sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as when you can just follow someone else's directions and there are a few back to the drawing board moments, but this project is making me happy.  I bought a stack of fat quarters of Me & My Sisters fabric line called Ready, Set, Snow and it is such a fun fabric to work with.  I am loving the cheerful colors.

I am also working on a few more of those scarves from my last post and I just keep thinking of more people who would enjoy these so I think I need to make about 6 of them.  I bought 2 yards of Minkee so I might be able to squeeze that many out of them.  I can’t seem to find the directions on the scarf so that I can give credit here, but the original had a zippered pocket to keep your cell phone in and I chose to not do zippers and made a pocket on each end because I found that a 60” scarf put those pockets at just the right spot to put cold hands in.  I lined the pockets in minkee so they were soft to boot.  I have a few more sewing projects for the holidays that I would like to get to, but we will have to see how it goes…everyone knows how the holidays get busy and homemade gifts don’t always get done, but I have some good intentions and if the weather stays like this I will have a lot of time inside for sewing…

IMG_0349Let the count down begin!

Enjoy the process…



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Piecing with Minkee Tips


A few months ago I bought a bag of scraps at a local quilt shop and it had several pieces of  Minkee in it.  I saw this cute scarf pattern that I thought would be perfect for giving it a try, but I was not prepared for how difficult it could be to sew small pieces of Minkee together.  Suddenly I was having flash backs of sewing some bridesmaids dresses years ago from velvet…not fun.  So I am going to share some tips that I learned as I played around with this project. 

IMG_03401.  Look closely at the nap.  You need to know which direction it is going and make sure that when you put your pieces together the nap is going the same direction in each piece. I did this by rubbing it and seeing which way was smooth and which way resisted my touch.  No amount of pins will hold it in place if the nap is not going the same direction on each piece.

2.  Use pins.  I don’t use pins very often and when I do I tend to only pin at crucial meeting points because I find I can ease the rest of the fabric in easier this way, but on this project I was sewing a mere 8 inches across and I used 3 pins the first one right in the center and then 2 about 1/2 inch in on each end.  You could do even more, but this worked for me as long as I first made sure the nap was right.

3.  Cut your project larger than you will need it to be by an inch or two.  It is so hard to get this precise so you will want to have room for a fudge factor.  I could have made things easier on myself and just used one solid piece of Minkee, but I really wanted to use those scraps and the colors all went well with my front fabrics.

IMG_0338 I am also working on a table topper for the holidays that I bought at the quilt show in Iowa.  The project came in a metal cup with all the fabric, very cute.  I somehow couldn’t wrap my mind around the directions though and it was a simple log cabin, must have been all the excitement of the trip.  I made it at night in my hotel room.  I am playing around with the quilting on this and having some fun.  I need a lot more practice on my free  motion quilting so this is adding to that.  I quilted ear muffs on the snowmen and I will add some buttons fIMG_0339or the eyes later.  I have a pattern for free motion that I am practicing drawing first, it has mittens and snowflakes in the design so after I draw them a few more times and practice on my practice piece I will add them in.  I am using a yellow variegated thread because I like the way it shows up on these dark colors, but that also shows mistakes.  I am finding though, that after I wash my pieces the quilting always looks good like it washes out the mistakes and the long stitches.  I am having fun learning this technique and it is helping me to get my quilts done.  This will be the third project I have finished this month and I have 3 more sitting waiting to be quilted.  It would be nice to have everything I have pieced this year finished for the new year and all done by me!  I have a problem sending my tops out to be quilted by someone else, I just want to be able to say I made it all the way from beginning to end.

I ordered some Christmas fabric from the Fat Quarter shop that is coming tomorrow so I will be busy with some holiday sewing that want to share next week I hope.  I have an advent calendar idea that I have been working on in my mind and paper and I can’t wait to share it.

Happily I sew along…


Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival Entry


I am currently sewing the binding on a special little quilt that will be given to a special new addition to our family.  This little girl will be making the man in my life a Great Grandfather…not sure he will want to be called “Great Grandpa”, but I am sure that all his grandchildren think that he is exactly that A Great Grandpa.
IMG_0288 I had a lot of fun making this quilt because it gave me the opportunity to teach a young lady to sew.  The sister of the mother-to-be got to help me piece the half-square triangles that went into the center and she helped me pick out the fabrics.  I also got the opportunity to practice my free motion quilting a little more.  I am not sure just how many hours practice I need to meet my expectations, but my quilting is looking quite a bit better with every quilt I finish.  Working on this was so much fun that I immediately pulled out a quilt that I had put away last year because the quilting was getting too difficult and now I think I can tackle that and actually enjoy the process. 
I am linking this post up to the Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side.  Be sure to check out all the quilts that have been entered, there are some real beauties there!

Thanks Amy for giving us a place to share!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kalona a Friendly Quilting Community

 IMG_0187IMG_0190 Recently I spent a week in Iowa at the AQS Quilt show in Des Moines and visiting my relatives in Wellman and Kalona.  I really enjoyed everything about this trip especially walking the streets of Kalona and seeing how this little town has really refreshed itself.  I hadn’t been here in more than 15 years and there was a lot that was still the same, but yet fresh and new.  You could see how the community had gotten together to work on making their town unique and draw attention to a craft that so many there are truly gifted at ‘quilting’.  All up and down the main streets hang flags with quilt blocks on them and under your feetIMG_0221 there are quilt blocks embedded in the sidewalk with plaques stating the name of the block and who sponsored it.  As I read the pamphlet that I picked up with a map to where each block is and some other information about each one I realized that many had been designed by people in the community and 2 were done by my Aunt (the block at the right is one of them) who owned a quilt store there which is now being run by my cousins wife, Grace, called the Stitch N Sew Cottage.  It would be so easy for me to just move back here and feel at home, then they all started talking about the impending winter and cutting wood and I knew I would be going home to California very glad to have taken the trip. 

IMG_0139 As a child I spent most of  my summers here with my Grandparents, Aunt,Uncle and cousins and Great Aunt and learned a lot about life especially at the little church where I went to Sunday School and Bible School.  This church has not changed much at all, even a lot of the same people still attend.  The Wellman Mennonite Church has been for me, the ideal church, the one I compared every church I ever went to to and none of them ever measured up.  It made me see that you don’t need a big fancy building to reach out and teach the word of God, but kind people gathered in a simple building to open their hearts and soulsIMG_0144 to each other and God, singing lots of hymns and sharing food while being there for each other in good times and difficult times.  It is a wonderful place with a lot of good childhood memories for me.  The same church pews are still there and the simple altar is still standing and still simple as it should be.  I got to be there for communion and a feet washing ceremony which I had never participated in before and I really enjoyed being a part of it.

I arrived in Kalona on a Saturday evening after visiting with relatives.  Sunday morning I was awoke by the sound of horses clopping down the street as the Amish were all heading off to church and I knew I was in Kalona and felt like I had come home in a way.  The next day I saw the Amish children, not more than 19 years old driving the horse and buggies home from school with their siblings and some were walking on the dirt road barefoot.  It was so nice to see kids with a little different attitude living a lifestyle I thought was forgotten.

IMG_0244 My Uncle volunteers at the Kalona Historical Museum and gave me my own personal tour through the 2 quilt museums.  One is all about Amish quilts and the other had an exhibit by Thuy Nguyen both exhibits were really nicely displayed and kept in humidity and light controlled rooms.  I could take pictures as long as I didn’t use the IMG_0225flash and luckily they came out really nice.  Thuy’s applique is amazing, she does such precise work.  I enjoyed seeing this up close.  There were several thread cabinets in the displays that I was wishing I could have taken just one home with me though it would have been hard to choose which one.


IMG_0240 IMG_0234

I think Kalona is doing a wonderful job of showing off the talents of so many of its residences.  There is a big community of Amish and Mennonites and they all make some amazing quilts to share with so many in need.  It was a wonderful thing to see and would make a great destination if you are interested in quilting and the history of quilting all with a small town feel.

There were so many quilt blocks set in to the sidewalks I am thinking that it would be fun to make a Kalona quilt using all the blocks in a sampler quilt…future project.  Some of them are actually pretty complicated and I keep wondering how they ever got the bricks cut so precise and colored nicely too.  Here are just a few more…click on them to see up close just what I mean.

IMG_0201 IMG_0199

Each of these is about a 3 foot square and set into the sidewalk.  Quite a work of art!

Quilts, family and friends…all beautiful pieces of my life!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Bag to Pack

I made this little bag to pack full of stuff I might need for a class and just to carry all the treasures I might find at the quilt show in Des Moines.  I leave in 9 days and I am excited to say the least.  Plans are all made for a little trip to Kalona and Wellman to see old friends and family.  I have not been here for more than 10 years so there is a lot of catching up to do.  My Aunt and Cousin own a quilt shop in Kalona so I will be surrounded by the loving arms of quilters.  We joke here about every meal there seems to have some sort of Jello salad so I will have to see just how many different forms of Jello salad I eat…maybe I could collect recipes and write a book…Hmmm!   It has probably been done!


I’ll be busy packing this bag between working extra hours for extra money for this trip!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Des Moines Here I come…

Is anyone else going to the AQS Quilt show in Des Moines or want to go, but can’t find a room?  I have a room at the Quality Inn, my plane ticket and am signed up for a few classes.  Unfortunately, the only rooms available were a master suite with a king sized bed and a living room…so sad.  I am taking my machine because why be around all that inspiration and not sew right?  Plus I have to practice what I learn in class.  I have taken a few sewing classes and I tend to be the slow sewer who never finishes the projects in class.  I do much better sewing at home with no distractions or the feeling of others watching and judging me…probably not happening, but it feels that way to me.  Anyway, if there are any quilters out there that would like to share a room drop me a line and we can discuss it.

I got an opportunity last week to teach a young lady how to sew and it was exciting.  We are making a baby blanket for her sister.  Once I got her going she was making HST faster than I could iron them and square them up.  We are making the quilt with the Broken Dishes pattern from the Broken Dishes Quilt Along at Ariane Quilts.  I think we are a little ahead at this point, but I only had her for a week so we had to get going on this.  Ariane just posted a wonderful tutorial for a Triangle in a Square block that she is going to use in the border, can’t wait to see what she does with it. We had a fun time picking out the fabrics.  The Mother-to-be’s favorite colors are black and white or zebra prints, not so babyish so we picked a gray for our background and two shades of each of 4 colors.  I am really liking the way it is turning out, though I think we are going to add a row to the side and the bottom.  We are going to make a narrow border out of black and a wider outer border out of a darker gray.  Hopefully the Mother-to-be will like our choices and now I have fulfilled a dream I have had of introducing a young lady to the world of sewing and quilting.  I must say she did a great job and was pretty proud of herself and we had fun in process!  Here is what we have done so far on the design wall…IMG_3365

Sharing my love for sewing…

sew rewarding!



Thursday, August 04, 2011

Farmers Wife or Elm Creek

I am thinking of starting a sampler quilt.  I have been inspired by the many bloggers doing Farmer’s Wife quilt blocks.  I have had the book for at least a year and didn’t get inspired to do the blocks until I saw others doing them with such bright and cheery fabrics.  Funny thing though is that every time I try to pick out some fabrics for the blocks I go to civil war fabrics or calicos.  I recently bought a Baby Go! cutter and one die that cuts 2-1/2 inch squares, triangles and a larger square.  I thought I would get the most use from this die and I think it was a wise choice.  Well, I didn’t realize that the cutter doesn’t come with a cutting mat so I ended up waiting another week for the mat to arrive then found that I ordered the wrong size for my die.  A trip to JoAnn’s is a 45 minute drive so I waited until I had a day off work and a grocery shopping list and errand list (with a trip to JoAnn’s on it), and finally I am in business.

IMG_3331 I noticed that the Contrary Wife block was done with 2-1/2 inch blocks so I got out the Baby Go! and went to work.  Every triangle matched up perfectly!  Now I will have to search for more blocks I can make with this die.

Another sampler quilt that I got a book for and not done anything with until recently is the Elm Creek book for Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt.  There are a few blocks that are also in Farmer’s Wife, but just a few and since each book has over 100 block patterns that is pretty amazing.  I IMG_3330 made the Flight Block from the book.  Both books use 6 inch blocks too so I am thinking that I will choose my favorites from both books and combine them into a sampler, but what would I call it?

The best part of doing a sampler is that you learn so many different methods in the process and you don’t get bored doing the same thing over and over.  A box of chocolates are pretty great because they are all different, so different blocks should really make a quilt fun and special.

IMG_3311I think before I really take on either one of these projects though I had better finish up a few other projects first.  Meanwhile, it will be fun playing with a block or two once in a while to keep me entertained.  Right now I am spending more time in the garden than the sewing machine where I found this double daylily quite entertaining.  Today, though, I went fishing for a few hours and I caught 21 fish!  Now that was entertaining!!!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Generous and Talented Bloggers

IMG_3295Generous and talented and eager to share…there are many of you out there, but one lovely lady shared a wonderful mug rug with me and included 2 generous sized mugs to go with it.  Thelma of Cupcakes and Daisies was posting for a blog tour to promote the Fit to be Quarter ruler for Monique of Open Gate Quilts.  The mug rug I received has the most amazing piece work in the middle with the tiniest little star.  I was admiring the table topper when I visited her blog, but now seeing this mug rug up close and personal, well let’s just say I am amazed.  Talent and generosity are just a small part of what you can find on Thelma’s blog there is a lot of inspiration and even cupcakes!    Now that inspires me as to how to use this mug rug…IMG_3296

Thanks Thelma!


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Learning to See

IMG_3278 It is summer and I have not been doing as much sewing as I would like, but the activities I have been doing are definitely building some skills that I will use in future projects.  Yesterday I spent a little time with my fisherman at the local pond called Grace.  The fish were jumping and the people were lined up at the little bit of shore IMG_3276available to fish from.  Fish were being caught by young and old a like, but not by me so the search was on for the bait the fish would want to eat.  To find it I have found that have to look around you and boy did I see a lot.  I saw reeds where fish could hide to stay cool, the different colors in the water let you know where the deep sections are and this is a place fish like to hang out.  Someone thought the fish might like IMG_3284 Cherrios and I heard another person mentioning that she had been using Velveeta Cheese and that didn’t like that either.  I saw when I really looked that the fish were jumping up to catch a certain bug that must have just hatched and they were like little white mayflies.  Changing my lure to something that most resembled the bug got the fish biting my line and when other fishermen see that they all want to know what you are using, this is where fisherman learn to lie because in order to keep your status as the guy catching the fish you can’t give away your secret. IMG_3279

As the fish weren’t biting much I got bored and started looking around me and thinking about how fishing is not really about catching but more about taking in the environment where you are fishing.  Listening to the sounds of the  birds, the fisher people, the buzz of bees and mosquitoes, and so much more.  IMG_3280Butterflies don’t make any noise, but they are always there and so beautiful to observe, but hard to catch on film .  Being a gardener I am always admiring the flowers and plants and how nature is such a better gardener than me, she knows just what looks good together and grows well together, it always amazes me.

I also enjoy the movement on the water.  This was helping us see just where most of the active fish were which was also where the water was deep and cool and the bugs were hanging out.  So casting into just the right spot with just the right lure IMG_3286and dragging through this spot with just the right speed to look like one of the bugs and the fish were biting on my line.  I really don’t care if I catch a fish and we usually let them go anyway, but the thrill you get when one tugs on your line always gets my heart racing and wakes me up from the fishing trance.  Of course, I am always thinking this is the big IMG_3277one I have waited my whole fishing life for, but it usually is not and that is okay.  Fishing for me is not all about catching the big one though my oldest son totally disagrees with me, he claims that if he doesn’t catch fish and if they are not of a decent size he has wasted time.  I tell he to rethink that and take a look around him and soak in the environment around him.  That is what fishing is all about, but catching is always fun too, because the elusive fish is a beauty to behold and natures color combinations are always an inspiration to the artist side of me and could show up in a quilt or a painting project some where in the future.IMG_3289  

Catch a little inspiration by looking around you!


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Favorite Quilting Tools

IMG_3220 One of my favorite quilting tools was introduced to me by Harriet Hargrove at a class I took at a local quilt shop last year.  It is the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide by Perkins Dry Goods.  My picture is a bit fuzzy, but I think you can get the idea of how this works.  You place your needle in the hold on the guide and then I stuck a piece of thick sticky tape onto my bobbin case only so I can change my bobbin without loosing my place.  That combined with my new quarter inch foot for my Janome and I am getting really accurate quarter inch seams.  The foot I am using is not the one that came IMG_3217with my machine it is one I bought extra from my dealer and I love it.

  Another new tool that I just recently got was a new cutting mat.  I got a Gingher 36” mat from the recent JoAnn’s sale and they only had it available online.  It is so thick and I am loving the larger size.  I did have to get a new table though to accommodate the larger size, but got lucky when I found a nice sturdy plastic table on sale at Home Depot for only $39.99.  I love my new set up.  I spent all day yesterday working at it since it was rainy, foggy and cold outside.

IMG_3214 On my new cutting board is my newest fabric purchase from Green Fairy Quilts sale.  I got some Moda Cotton Sateen and the colors are looking like fall to me.  I have been wanting to do a falling leaves quilt for a while now and these will be perfect for that.  What you can’t see in a picture is the way this fabric feels…wow!  It does feel like satin.

Having the right tools makes quilting easier and more accurate. 


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Little Quilting Going On

It has been a while since I posted to my blogs with summer trying to show itself here there is a lot to do outside away from the computer, but the last few days are feeling a bit like winter again.  I guess winter just doesn’t want to go away this year.  So I got a little unexpected time to sew.  I have been spending my lunches designing a border for my summer quilt and I am working on putting it together.  I had to go back to the drawing board a few times, but that is to be expected when you don’t follow a pattern.  I always seem to make things harder than they need to be first, but I did a little simplifying and it is getting there.  I will post pictures when I get a little further since there is not much to really look at yet, but I will say that it involves a few bird houses and more flowers and lots of soft pink fabrics.  I opted to keep the colors of the border muted because there is so much going on in the quilt and this is just a frame for all of that.

IMG_3159I did take some time a while ago to try this cute and complicated paper pieced cow I saw on a blog while blog hopping one day.  ( the blog was Piecemeal Quilts and the pattern was designed by SandyI don’t have the name of the blog on the pattern so if anyone reading this knows please feel free to let me know, the creator should get credit as it took a lot of thought to get this right.  Now just as often happens when I first attempt something complicated, there are a few mistakes.  Thinking all went pretty well I took a picture of the cow then started to wonder why he had such a pointed head.  Well, it seems I put a colored fabric where there should be white and I also didn’t get the fourth color in his snoot for more dimension.  I am going to try to remake this cow because it was a fun project.  I had no real project in mind for it and I still don’t, but sometimes I just do things for fun then it grows from there.  Today I saw a cute cowboy boot on a blog called Sew Take A Hike, she gave a link to a free pdf file with the pattern for a quilt using paper piecing.  Don’t you think they would really go together nicely for some special guy?  I don’t IMG_3178have a cowboy of my own, but if I did he would get a cow quilt for sure.

Besides gardening I also spent a day doing a little fishing with some fun guys.  This one had the right idea…kick your shoes off and sit a long the river with your pole in the water and enjoy!  This is my grandson, Nathan showing us the real way to fish.


Nathan and my son Andy came down and spent a week with us while my sons Andy and Rob added a IMG_3212shower to our tub and they did a fantastic job.  Now   when we have company they don’t have to use the shower in my room anymore.  They actually get a kind of spa treatment in the other bathroom.  It is so large and roomy in there and beautiful too!  Here is the tub before and after…amazing!  I am loving it!  Today I will take the first shower in it.

IMG_3144 My vegetable garden should be taking up more of my time and I should be harvesting things by now, but the weather isn’t letting that happen here.  My flower beds are looking nice however!  Some tomatoes are in, but they are not producing yet and are only about 2 feet tall.  We’ll be lucky to have fruit by winter.  I did get my melons, cucumbers and pumpkins planted and they are starting to grow by leaps and bounds.  Hopefully I will get to make more Zucchini Relish this year, we sure enjoyed it last year, but our supply is gone.  I am also wanting to try making Pickled Watermelon Rind like my Grandmother use to make.  My Dad brought me a box of memorabilia of my Grandmothers and in it were a few journals with lots of recipes.  I am hoping to put some to good use around here then put them together into a book for my sisters, but that will be a project for the winter or sooner if the weather doesn’t change.

I broke down the other day and ordered an Accuquilt Go Baby and one set of dies.  It is a neat tool to help you cut pieces quickly and accurately for quilting.  Now I am waiting patiently for it to come in the mail.  Amazon says it shipped so maybe today will be the day.  I saw it on sale and my sweet sister gave me a gift certificate for my birthday so I snatched one up.  The only thing is I am not sure if it comes with a cutting mat so I ordered one, but I might have to wait to use it till the mat comes.

 …the sun will come out tomorrow…I am hoping…


Monday, May 30, 2011

Where’s Summer? A Quilt Collage

I spent this holiday doing a little baking, some sewing and a little tiny bit of gardening.  It was so cold and windy that they gardening part of my day was cut short so I came in and looked at a quilt that I have been putting together with misc. blocks that remind me of summer and I just had to work on it.  I keep thinking how we are six months into this year and it is still feeling like winter.  Hopefully summer will last a little longer so our veggies get a chance to produce.

So the summer themed quilt collage is ready for a border and I have no idea what I will do with it.  I have a block I might use in the corners that is a bird house and I was thinking I could appliqué little birds in the border or maybe some flowers of some sort.  But, for now working on this quilt made my day a little brighter even though it was windy and gloomy outside.IMG_3117

Thinkin’ Summer ~


Friday, May 13, 2011

Blooming May

IMG_3058 What a long winter and from the sounds of the weather report there is still a cold snap on its’ way in a day or two, but hopefully it will be the last.  I don’t know if  it because of the cold, snowy, wet winter or because the plants were so grateful for the few warm days we have been having but, there are so many wonderful things blooming right now.  We are going into our second year and some things were in such sad shape last year that they didn’t really do much.  Things are really responding to our pruning, fertilizing and watering though and putting on quite a show for us this year.

IMG_3056My favorite surprise flower was this beautiful bi-color azalea that was under an overgrown camellia.  Last year I limbed up the camellia and pruned it back then fertilized the whole bed, added some acid planting mix and low and behold this beautiful little bush sent out the most lovely blooms this year.  I don’t know what it is called and have never seen anything like it, but I am calling it “Beautiful”.IMG_3054

This azalea is blooming in the same bed.  It seems a little late for azaieas to be blooming, but hey, it has felt like winter here for far too long so they may not know what time of year it is.  If they want to show me blooms like these at anytime I will totally enjoy every moment.

IMG_3090   I have been seeing Iris’ blooming everywhere, but they just started in my yard and boy are they ever putting on a show.  Deer and Gophers leave them alone so the previous owners had planted them everywhere and every color.  They are sure pretty and some of them even have wonderful fragrance.  I’m having trouble deciding which is my favorite, but I am leaning toward the bi-color yellow and they have the most wonderful bubble gum fragrance to them.   I have a light blue one that smells like baby powder, nice!IMG_3060

Speaking of flowers with smells I  planted some Chocolate Flowers last year from seed and they have come back and just started blooming.  They smell even more like Chocolate than a Chocolate Cosmos which is a surprise because there is no brown on the flower at all except for a little tiny center so Chocolate is the last thing you would expect to smell from this flower.

IMG_3044The birds have been happy with the sunny days too and are really lining up at the feeders.  We have 3 feeders in one little tree and the other day I noticed that every single hole had a bird feeding at it and more were waiting patiently in the tree for an opening.  They are very polite and even sing while they wait, we could all learn a thing or two from the birds.  

IMG_3063This Weigelia was another surprise for us.  Last year we were about to dig it out, but decided to give it a hard pruning and fertilizer and see what came of it.  It leafed out a little last year, but this year it is blooming it’s little heart out.  We planted it next to a dark leafed ninebark and they make quite a charming couple.  The pictures just really don’t do it justice, but in person you can’t take your eyes off them.

IMG_3073 I could really write a short novel about what all is blooming right now and every bloom is exciting to me to watch life spring from things we almost gave up for dead after such a long cold winter, but I will have to save some for a later post.  Probably though all the Ceanothus are my favorites right now.  I adore the shade of blue that the flowers open up into, but the one that have right outside my door has not only the little blue flowers, but a beautifully variegated leaf.

IMG_3084 The orchard is coming along nicely too.  We planted it only a few months ago and it is already looking like an orchard.  A young one though and it isn’t photographing well, but I am amazed at how each young tree is pushing out little shoots that will be branches and a few even made flowers that could potentially be fruit though we are suppose to remove them this year.  We will probably leave just a few though.IMG_3066

Our vegetable garden has not been planted yet and that is probably a good thing with the current weather report for this weekend.  I have been harvesting a lot of sugar snap peas though and eating them cooked and raw.  Yum!  The carrots are growing too and I finally put in potatoes that have started sprouting up, hope the frost doesn’t bother them.  I will be having lots of onions and garlic in a few months and am even pulling a few little baby onions to cook with and add to salad.   The greens in the front bed are Strawberries and they are loaded with flowers.  I actually ate the first strawberry yesterday, I picked it a little early so it wasn’t as sweet as it should have been.  I need to practice patience…

Patience is a virtue in the garden and life…


I am posting this same post on my other blog, Growing Thymes so if you read both no need to today!  I just haven’t had any time to sew lately so this is it!