Saturday, April 12, 2014

piecing, flowers, and POWER

Friday was the meeting of a sewing group I have recently joined. The women are very friendly and doing a variety of different crafts. They are generous in sharing their knowledge and passions with others in the group. I only wish I had a bit of room to host the meeting, though I'm not certain the group would enjoy traipsing out into the boonies for a meeting.

I took along another try at the + blocks.

Though I really do not like the fact that I have to get all the blocks lined up to begin with, I rather like the scrappy look.

(And, I still had cut pieces that needed to be used).

I went out to the meeting wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans, and within minutes I was covered with colorful little threads.

(and I thought white dog hair was bad)!

I have a coffee jar full of these colorful little threads. In the spring I put them in the tree with a clip so the birds can use them for nesting material, but all these one inch pieces are contributing thread faster than any bird can use.

I am thinking of naming this little quilt "Irene". Not for my granddaughter, but for my blogging friend in Texas whose blog is named "Hilachas", because I always think of her when I am picking thread from my clothing and table and floor.

I don't think this will end up as a very large piece but might make a colorful runner for a table. Once the arrangement is decided and the rows are pinned in order, it does make a great take-along project (If I don't wear black).  The available space for laying pieces out is really too small to see more than eight rows at a time but maybe a design wall would make better arrangement of color or blocks stand out from their neighbors better. Anyway, I shall see where this takes me.

We have had a few warmer and sunnier days and I am enjoying the discovery of flowers among the planters.

When my neighbor's house and garden were torn down, I raced out in the rain to rescue some things from her garden.

She had a varied collection of Hostas. My brother.s wife has such beautiful Hostas in her garden and I have always admired them.  I dug up a small clump from each little patch, not really knowing what I was getting but wanting to save them from the bulldozer.

I had no place to put them but the rice-store-lady has some in planters, so I knew they would be OK there until I found them a better place. I just stuck those planters under the bushes and was happy a few days ago to see leaves coming up from the soil. Today I noticed I got more than Hostas. I don't know what this plant is but it has dainty white flowers and lacy leaves. I wonder if I dare separate it to a pot of its own.

My hanging pots along the wall are happily decorated with petunias.

Two of the hanging pots in the garden have volunteer violets.

I don't know how these violets got here. The pots are on the north side of the wall and get little sun except what is reflected from our windows (which isn't much because of the three-story house a foot away from the wall on the other side.

The Keria is kind of leggy in this poorly lit space but never discouraged from showing off its pretty yellow blossoms.

Do I really need two pots of violets?

I wonder if they are pot-hopping and will take over another pot by next spring.

I just don't have the heart to pull them out.

Nikko and I walked up the street to take a picture of the peach tree in bloom. It was so beautiful when we walked past it yesterday but I didn't have my camera along.

I was shocked to see that tree had been severely pruned.

Now, why couldn't they wait until it was finished blooming?

We walked past the cherry trees too. The very gusty weather this past week has pretty well finished them off. As it happened, what was left was not going to make much of a picture. In fact, there were so many electric wires ... even behind the peach ... that it wouldn't be much of a scene.

Last night on the way home from my scout meeting, there was a beautiful cherry blooming in front of the night-lit Tokyo Tower, very pretty but crossed every which way by power lines.
I began thinking it might be fun to see how many lines I could get in just one picture.

This is just outside my front gate! (not much more than a narrow path).

Maybe I could turn the best shot into a quilt design.

Isn't there something called an "Electric Quilt"?

Well, enjoy the blue sky while it lasts ... even divided into segments by all those dark lines.


  1. With such a good collection of fabric for your new quilt there is no wonder your black clothes get coloured by the various threads.
    While I was away no one looked after my planters so my balcony is a garden of weeds and dry plants, When I find the energy I will clear it out.
    How anyone could prune a blossoming tree is a mystery to me! It reminds me of Morticia Adams of The Adams Family, who cut off the heads of all her roses so she could arrange the stems in a vase.
    Those power lines look like the safety net at a circus! Although if you fell on these you might not be so safe!

  2. the one time I offered to host the meeting I was turned down - no one wanted to drive 15 miles to my house! "you live so far away" was the most often used phrase- I guess I never thought 15 miles was that far - with the highway it takes me about 15 minutes to get to the town meeting place - I guess it is ok for me to always drive but no one in town wants to drive it to me! I have peace and solitude, deer in the woods to look at, birds all over the place, rabbits eating the backyard grass - I always find it odd that people in town think it is so far to drive to go just a little way out in the country

  3. We have hosta's in our flowerbeds. Ours are less than an inch tall at the moment. It's just now starting to get warm here.

  4. The flowers are all so pretty. No flowers here yet, although hubby has been out searching for the first crocuses. I do like the look of the plus blocks all together like that. Maybe I'll try one of those one day. So much to finish though - I am loathe to start anything new.

  5. Hello, Julie :))
    LOVÉ your + quilt as well as those beautiful spring flowers! Our garden is flourishing also, and it feels so good. Easter will soon be there, and we're hoping for a lovely, sunny celebration...


  6. Aw, Julie. You brought a big smile to my face today reading about why you might name your quilt "Irene." Yes, those little threads all over your clothes were certainly "Hilachas." I love all the pretty flowers in your blog post today. The electric lines are "something else," right? Seems like something we hate to live with but can't live without. Hugs, my friend.

  7. Julie
    Love the electric quilt idea! How fun!! lol

    We are still winterish here. I'd love to get a cherry tree because I miss the blossoms so much. Not sure it would do well here in the winter!!

    Take Care!

  8. I love designs with cross variations and love using scraps, sometimes I think I have too much fabric and it confuses me, lol. Did I mention most of my clothes are black, lol. I like comfy clothes, so my new love is stretch jeans;)


  9. I often wear fuzzy slipper socks when I sew. The soles of those socks become absolutely covered in thread! I love seeing all your flowers. We're expecting more snow tomorrow and the next day. I may even have a snow day from school on Monday!

  10. I love your idea of saving bits of string for the birds - what a lovely idea. Beautiful flowers - my grandma loved petunias and I think of her when I see them.

  11. Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers with us! It has brightened my day. :) :)

  12. Your scrappy + quilt is looking great. I've thought about making one of those, but need to wait until I feel I have the patience to deal with the layout. Love your idea of using the strings for bird nests. I'll bet the nests are colorful near your home!

  13. My daughter was delighted when she was first covered in bits of thread and fluff, she declared herself a "proper quilter"!!

  14. You make me smile Julie! Your flower with the lacy leaves looks like it might be a form of shamrock....I've never seen one with those leaves but it surely is similar. And the violets were probably carried by the birds. Electric Quilt is a software but what a great quilt that would be! Happy Easter! :) blessings, marlene

  15. In my neighborhood too (which was once called Sakura Heights but had to change its name after most of the cherry trees got cut down) there was one of the last cherry trees blooming and wouldn't you know they cut it down just during the cherry blossom season.... Okay, so it was getting old and a bit buggy... They could have waited two more weeks...