Thursday, April 21, 2011

Six weeks after the quake ... the new normal

One can not sing in a church choir and not know Easter is coming. That thought reminded me of Easters long past when the kids and I made batik eggs and I remembered a dish my daughter made in High School that we displayed those eggs in. I have few places to store such stuff and over the years things as delicate as eggs are easily broken but I was able to locate the dish and a few hardy eggs to set the mood.

I have yet to figure out how to arrange pictures and words on this blog other than last in means on top.

I wanted to show some quilting progress. The wedding quilt will soon be done. The binding is on and the outer border is finished. I was not happy with the spaces around the applique leaves. I quilted in extra leaves to fill some of the spaces but not all the empty places were big enough to hold a leaf so I decided to add tendrils in those spaces that look a bit too puffy. I think I an liking this inner border better now. One side down, four to go.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in my "garden".

I know this might not count as a garden for most but this is what I have squeezed between two three story buildings.

As you can see, even a one meter garden can look like a jungle, perhaps more so because of the lack of space. Somewhere beyond that greenery is my garden door. The bars on the right are for hanging laundry. The yellow thing is a guide wire for the electric pole outside the gate. (the city decides who gets those. I may get the whole pole next quake. There was another clock-stopper last night).

I got out the folding ladder, shears and saw and filled two garbage bags with trimmings.

The kerria is just too pretty to whack off. I brought a cutting here from my last house.

I tied it behind the wire and will trim it a bit after the flowers are finished.

The rest of the garden is hanging on the walls. A hardy cyclamen usually blooms all winter but was not too happy with this years weather and has saved the major blooming for spring. An early orchid also had a difficult winter and I was afraid it had given up but after all, it blooms too.

Primroses usually also bloom throughout the winter but only one made it through. This one is making up for lost time.

The forget-me-nots were given me by my number one son many years ago. I dug them up and moved them to my last home and when I moved back to where I am now, I dug them up again and put them in the hanging pot. During last summer when I was away doing Scouting things, they were not watered and I came home to find a pot of brown leaves too far gone to revive. Luckily they had seeded themselves because in the fall they began to put up sprouts. Even surviving snow piled high they are making me smile.


  1. The eggs are lovely and your garden though little looks great! I am really loving the quilting you are doing - it really adds to the quilt.

  2. Sweet memories... I never heard of those batik eggs before. Your quilt is coming along sooo nicely! Really LOVE it ;>)
    Aaaaah, gardens! No matter the size, it's the love you put in that makes it special, and yours is a square of heaven. Gorgeous flowers! You've got "the green hand", as we say here.
    THANKS for this lovely post, dear Julie!

  3. What a colourful post. I am loving what you are doing with the extra quilting. You will never regret the extra work. It is just right. (and hard work turning the quilt around to get those delicate tendrils - or can you quilt from any direction?)

  4. Your garden is lovely Julie. I have a lot of property and believe me having room doesn't make for a better garden. Mine is a wreck. The quilt is beautiful as well.

  5. That quilt is so beautiful! I love how people have signed the leaves!

    Your garden is very lovely! Somehow I think they look so beautiful squeezed into smaller spaces.

  6. I am totally amazed at your garden and what you have been able to grow in that small space. I'm sure it cannot get much sun because of the height of the buildings yet they truly do bloom where they are planted! They have gotten that trait from their owner. :) The wedding quilt is going to be so beautiful. You'll be pleased that I've decided to hand quilt a top I made at our retreat. It's a very simple one made from a jelly roll but hand quilting it will give me another take along project for our mission trip this summer. I'm fascinated by the batik eggs and particularly the colors. Easter egg dyes here are typically pastels but your colors are rich and deep. I understand the process of using wax to make the designs but how did you get the colors? blessings, marlene

  7. Absolutely love the quilt and the extra quilting is gorgeous!!

    We received your package on MOnday!! Thank you sooo much!! The girls are sooooo excited adn wanted to start sewing right away! The fabric is lovely! They have decided to use it to make little pillows for themselves. They love and miss Japan. I wish we could go back!

  8. I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures and explanations of your flowers. The batik eggs are such lovely soft colors and how nice they and the bowl have survived over the years.

    Your quilting looks perfect for the quilt to me. I admire anyone who handpieces and hand quilts - that is the way my mom did it.

  9. I loved seeing your garden and all of the flowers. Your quilting is beautiful as well.

  10. Hi Julie! I think this is one of the many reasons why I love Japan so much - all these little bursts of beauty! I truly love yr garden. I love these little yellow flowers too & never knew that they are called "keria". Reminds me of the sakura albeit yellow ones! Warm wishes from Singapore where I'm visiting with my kids as it's Easter break for them.

  11. You made batik easter egg? Wow... that's interesting. Nice pics of them.
    And your garden... I think it's nicer than mine. I have jungle on my garden :p

  12. I love the 'tendrils' you added to your quilting. Beautiful work.

  13. This post made my day--it's lovely all and forward-thinking. Onward! Beautiful quilting.

  14. That is a neat idea for adding leaves and tendrils to fill the empty spaces. I may have to borrow your idea, please?

    Lovely flowers and for such a tiny space, you sure do have lots blooming and a nice variety of plants.

  15. Your garden is beautiful and peaceful!