Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Got a Fever...

78in March.  In New Hampshire.  The snow has melted even in the darkest corners of our woods.  The birdsong through the open window woke me at dawn.  The dirt road is virtually impassable.  The only thing missing is the green.

So I decided to import a little and bought herbs and terra cotta pots to make a small garden on my kitchen windowsill. 

There's parsley,


and lemon thyme.

And look at this amazing basil!

And because I can't wait any longer for flowers, I decided to make a dozen flower quilt blocks.  Here's a sampling... 

Aren't they pretty?  The purple makes me think of crocuses.

You'll have to excuse me if I'm waxing a little poetic today, but I'm reading Cultivating Delight:  A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman and a Rosamunde Pilcher novel (for the 10th time) and they've gone to my head.

Yesterday I went for a walk with Casey and without a jacket for the first time in months.  As I walked with the heat of the sun on my skin, the smell of the warming earth around me, and the sound of the rushing brook in my ears, it was all a bit intoxicating.  I could feel my mind and body begin to relax and open up.  Head up, shoulders back, I wanted to move and play and create.  I didn't even mind when Casey decided to wade through a knee-deep mud puddle because she looked so happy.

When we strolled back into the yard, I noticed that the lawn could use a good raking, the deck needed staining, and the puppy definitely had to have a bath.  Walking into the house, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror and was reminded that I needed to do a serious amount of work on my arms before summer.  And the temperature is supposed to go back to normal on Friday -- coats again and closed windows.  But somehow it doesn't matter.  This taste of spring is enough to restore my hope, unearth my optimism, and fill me with a sense of possibility.

I got a fever and the only prescription...    is more spring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Think Spring!

Well hockey season is over (sigh), the stomach flu that plagued our family last week has passed (thank God), the 5 inches of snow that surprised us on Saturday morning has melted, and with 60 degree temperatures forecasted this week, spring is definitely in the air.

So I decided to celebrate by making another miniature quilt for my mother's quilt frame (see my posts 'Tis Better to Give:  Part 2 and Sew Sweet).

This is the palette I chose:

I was inspired by the St. Patrick's Day decorations I'm seeing everywhere and, of course, spring.

I wanted to make a tree of life block (on point) for the frame, but for the quilt to fit in the 6 1/2" wide opening, I knew the pieces of the block would have to be tiny.

I've made a couple of miniature quilts in the past.  This is my favorite:

This quilt is 5 1/4" x 8" with a lot of small pieces, but I used paper-piecing for the flying geese.  It was time-consuming, but not difficult.  Unfortunately the tree of life block doesn't exactly lend itself to paper-piecing, so I knew I would have to machine piece all 59 pieces the hard way and that it might be a bit, shall we say, challenging.  But the idea was firmly entrenched in my mind and, as my mother would attest, sometimes I'm a glutton for punishment.  I decided to try anyway.

This is the end result:

I love this little quilt!  It's only 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" and the finished size of the half-square triangles is only 1/2" -- about the size of my thumbnail.  Challenging, yes, but fun and well worth the effort.  Now I have a little bit of spring in the house to help me usher in a new season.

Think spring!