Friday, March 22, 2019

Done with "ditching"

It is amazing how life seems to get in he way. I had always thought that as I got older, things would quiet down and I would have more time to work quietly on my projects. Well, either I was wrong or I am not old enough yet.

Spring is slowly moving in. We have had cold rainy days with windy sunny days mixed in.

The plum blossoms opened all the way to the tips of the branches and these days I am sweeping up the dark pink snow from out front.

As I walk to the station most days along this quiet street,
I have seen the magnolias open one by one ... starting on the left side toward the far end (where it gets most sun), and moving up the block to where I stand with my camera at the train crossing.

At the far end, in front of the apartment building, the tall square hedge of photinia has turned red on the south side facing the street and still has green on each end that is in the shade.

With today's wind, some of the magnolia flowers at the far end have been dropping petals, while at the end near the crossing, the blooms are just reaching full bloom.

I am so glad that this past winter the tree trimmers left the buds.
... well, they did manage to cut off all the buds on the dogwoods so we won't be seeing much there.

Along my narrow street, this small garden area which is usually all weeds, got a bit of cleaning over the winter and what were just a few daffodils has expanded. Now there is a whole row along the street.

Seeing these in bloom, I went around the house to check on mine. Yep, they are in bloom too. I hope they will multiply as generously as these have.

My neighbor to the north has camellias peeping over his wall. 
From last week I am sweeping up those petals blown into my front walk.

The pink sweet daphne is dropping it's flowers but the white ones are taking their turn in the flower bed.

I notice buds on the maples beginning to swell, and, though friends are posting pictures of cherry trees in bloom, our area is still far behind.

The star magnolia in the park is very pretty and the fuzzy bud casings are covering the ground.

The neighbor's hydrangea is getting ready to leaf out.
Today was warm enough to go out and sweep wearing just a light jacket. Soon dog hair will be wafting through the house.

Even with a very busy schedule, I have managed to complete all the in-the-ditch quilting on Phoebe's quilt. I am considering leaving the four-inch I-Spy squares un-quilted. The thinsulate I used for batting will not shift and I rather like those slightly puffy blocks. I will next be quilting the inner and outer borders. Then I want to add leaves to the tree and a flying phoebe in the larger space.

Yesterday began the spring break so I might have a wee bit more time ... however, last week I rescued some fabrics from the sewing room of a friend who needs to make room to care for an elderly relative. I must be out of my mind, as there was a lot more fabric than I can ever use. I have slowly been sorting, ironing the tangled mess, and folding into piles. I have cut some of the odd scraps into usable squares to sort into tins. I can see a feed-sack quilt in the future but dealing with this will be a continuing challenge. I am also thinking of making kits for a beginning quilting class. As I only buy fabric as needed, it blows my mind that someone would buy so much without a use other than to stack in piles.

Meanwhile, choir goes on with several small choir practices beyond the usual ones. Scout events continue and I have a coming OA Vigil to take part in. I am enjoying helping with a group quilt for Nishimachi International school.  Tomorrow is Leia's birthday. We had a nice gathering yesterday and I expect there will be a second gathering to celebrate my SIL's birthday early next month.
At least I am not likely to suffer from boredom!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A bit of sun at last

After a week of grey skies and off-and-on rain, it was nice to see the sun again.

Well, I shouldn't complain because the sun did come out for my nature hike on Saturday, a week ago.

Though this plum tree really needs some pruning, I'm glad I held off until later because the flower buds are marching all the way to the tips of those long branches.

The sweet daphne is also giving off a sweet scent. I'm sure were I to walk down my little street wearing a blindfold, my nose would tell me when I arrived at home.

The past week has also been one of hunting, and finally finding lost items.

For two years, an anniversary banner I made for the Women's Conference has been lost somewhere in the one of the many storage areas at the church.

A week ago, one of the church members was asking about the possibility of hanging a few of the past stewardship banners to liven up the walls of the fellowship hall.

I had seen a number of them rolled up on a back shelf in the basement furnace-room, but when we went to look, there was something else piled on that shelf where they had been.

That guy started looking around and though those were not found in that room, he found the rolled up WOCON banner at the back of one of the lower shelves.

Since our facility manager has changed fairly recently, and now is a young guy with no history of the church building, it is not surprising that stuff might get moved around without even knowing what it is.
The smaller hangings have yet to be found, but this one is now hanging on a large empty space. Too bad is was too late to make it to the conference.

Tonight two of my scouts will have an "Arrow of Light" ceremony and bridge over to the troop. I have a wooden candle-holder stand with the arrow symbol that I take to the meeting on those occasions, but though it always lives on top of one bookcase, I couldn't find it. I thought I might have left it in the scout storage area, as it is rather a problem to carry into town and back on a crowded train, but a friend checked and didn't find it there. Today I located it where it had fallen off the back of the shelf. Now the old candle-wax has been scraped off and the paint touched up and it is ready to go.

For the last week or so, I have been quilting around the tree on the baby quilt, starting at the bottom left and working around. I had cut out a Bluejay to add and pinned it to the top of the tree. When I got to those branches, it was not there, and I began looking around in my sewing area to see if it might have fallen off.

Today I moved the hoop down to the lower right branches, and there was that Bluejay holding a conversation with rather orange-colored Meadowlark. I guess there are times the right-brain doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

I have yet to mark and cut leaves to add to the tree. Maybe I will lose those before I get to it. Probably I will continue to quilt the borders and blocks in the ditch before moving into the detail.
At least the quilt is big and bright and not as likely to get lost.