A Triple Double IC


What is not a basketball term , a surgery procedure, or a specialty coffee of some sort?  An experiment in quilting, of course!

dsc_0282-2

What to do with way too many brown and red 2 1/2″ squares?  I’ve always wanted to construct an Irish Chain.  Straight forward is not my style.  The idea formed to combine a double and a triple Irish Chain. The result was some interesting secondary patterns.  dsc_0282-3

The use of a so many colours makes the contrast  a little difficult to discern.  On the right is a grey scale copy that shows the pattern a little better.  If you squint to look will be even more noticeable.  It give me the urge to make another one.  Bigger, better.

There are many of my favourite fabrics in this project.  Upon completion it found a permanent home on my bed.  It makes me happy.  Mood adjustment, I fall asleep feeling better, and wake up comforted by loveliness.

    But come on, all of you, try again!
    I will not find a wise man among you.
     My days have passed, my plans are shattered.  Job 17:10-11

Advertisements

It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

DSC_0698DSC_0749

The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
DSC_0708
I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

Those Were the Days


There are previous manifestations of my life recalled with fondness and a sad wishfulness to return.  I miss being a homemaker.  It was a good moment in time.  This photo of chokecherries amidst frost transformed leaves reminded me of then.

DSC_0437‘Then’ were days of harvest, late summer gathering of berries and fruit destined to fill mason jars with jewel bright jellies and jams.

‘Then’ was stewing tomatos, skins split with heat, acid scented steam rising, clinging to window panes as droplets swelling pregnant to burst in transparent rivulets coursing down to pool on dusty sills.  The tomatos became the the starting point for pasta sauces, chili con carne, soups and stews.  Harvest preserving gave way to Christmas baking, concoctions with butter, sugar, cherries and almonds.  Potatos emerged from the root cellar, moisture content reduced in the cool darkess, perfect for perogies and potato pancakes.

Evenings were spent knitting, stitching, creating, reading and dreaming.  Learning math and geography and history all over again at the diningroom table with boys yearning to be young men.

‘Then’ were days of planning and planting, growing and gathering, sewing and simmering.  The day’s effort could be measured in a glance, rows of jars on the counter, the glass clear cookie jar filled to the brim, cross-stitch framed on the walls.  Those were the days.

Ezekiel 16:19  Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with choice flour and oil and honey—you set it before them as a pleasing odor; and so it was, says the Lord God.

A Fist Full of Flowers


DSC_0351

Wild Chickweed and Violets

I’ve always loved flowers.  Always.  Earlier this summer I was reminded of some of my first childhood memories of flowers.  As a very young child I soon learned as my father’s shadow, what flowers were in season.  We would go to the poplar forest as the leaves were just emerging from winter rest, the sun having warmed last autumn’s carpet, coaxing hepaticas to speckle the brown and gray with white, blue and mauve.  Usually that was consistently around Mother’s Day so we would return, fists full of tiny flowers, stems barely crossing the width of a palm.  Mom would find a shot glass to hold the crushed bouquets.  We never picked enough to fill it, our efforts always seemed so diminished by the empty spaces. I learned early that for flowers were best displayed and stayed fresh longer the longer the stems were.

The next offering of spring would be the marsh marigolds, then violets blue and white, followed by lilacs, buttercups, bluebells, wild anemone, something Dad labeled Kentucky Bluegrass, red clover, brown eyed susans, asters and goldenrods.  A bouquet would be barely wilted and I would be bringing Mom another from the fields and the woods.  Before I was taught to know better, I would bring bunches of daisies.  Dad held them in low regard because they were a weed, spoiling the hay harvest.  Plus they stunk, and brought tiny crawly bugs with them into the house that fell and littered any surface the vase holding those sunny faces set off with pure white petals sat on.  He loves me, he loves me not.  I spent hours trying to teach myself the art of daisy chains and consistently unsatisfying attempts at flower crowns to set on my white blond head.

Dad would take us to the spruce forests to search for Calypso Ladyslippers and the blueberry hills for Pink Moccasins and Indian Pipe.  There were excursions into the bog to seek out swamp laurel and pitcher plants.  We observed trout lilies, mayflowers, and never picked wood lilies, or irises.  Dad recalls seeing trilliums blooming just over the crest of the hill, on the east side of the field where we entered the bush to look for hepaticas weeks earlier, but I never managed to locate any on our place.  I enjoyed watching the bees visit the blueberry and raspberry and strawberry and chokecherry blossoms, leaving them alone in anticipation of sweet fruit and berries.  We would beg Dad to guide the boat into the lily pads to collect brilliant white water lilies and butter yellow spatterdock.

I was intoxicated by the scents of twin lilies and lilacs and goldenrods.  I’d search out Canada Thistle and whittle it down with my pocket knife because I had heard once that if you were ever lost in the woods you could survive on its pithy stems.

Flowers are perfect.

Luke 12:27  “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Thwarted Thursday


verb
past tense: thwarted; past participle: thwarted
  1. prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

I am prevented from quilting.  I am going through withdrawal.  I miss my stuff.  If you have been following along, you will know that I have a new job in a new city.  Our house in British Columbia has not sold.  God willing it will soon.  We packed most of our belongings and put them into storage.  All that remains in the house are the largest pieces of furniture so it will show well.  We just brought what we thought we might need until Advent.  At some point soon we will return to move everything here since I have no inclination to drive across the country with a moving truck in the winter.  Yes, you may have guess it, my sewing machine, my stash, all my notions are 1800 kilometres away, waiting, while I am here, missing them.

Before we moved, I managed to complete the top I introducted to you here.  I didn’t care for the layout provided.  Here is my spin.

DSC_0348

Job 5:12  He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.

Christmas/Easter/Communion/All Saints’/Transfiguration/Baptism Banners


48

48″ x60″

This is how far behind I am.  We did manage to get ten banners completed in time for Christmas.  We hung and dedicated them the first Sunday following the celebration of Christ’s birth.  That would be January 29th!  They have been hanging in the sanctuary up until last Sunday when they were replaced with the Lent banners.  I know it was a week past the beginning of Lent but we celebrated Holy Communion on March 9th, white and gold being appropriate in that case.

They were all a variation of log cabin blocks done in yellow and set in white.

 

DSC_0332DSC_0326DSC_0324Eight of them were 36″ x 48″ and two were 48″x 60″.  Each quilter could place the star and quilt their banner as they pleased.  When it came time to switch them out I finally got out the camera to take and post the pictures as I promised I would.

Of course for at least one of my banners I had to do something entirely different.  I wanted a project with more of a modern feel.  I absolutely love it.  There are a few people in the congregation that aren’t as impressed with it as I am.  After all, breaking with tradition is a difficult thing to do in the church. 😉  Resistance to change seems to be a defining characteristic of Christians.  There are lots of jokes about it.

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb? — We don’t change!

Although, my favourite is, because I am — How many Calvinists does it take to change a lightbulb? — None, the lights will go on and off at predestined times.

And my second favourite, because I am — How many Presbyterians does it take to change a lightbulb? — Well, it requires a least five committees to study and review the need and procedure behind changing the lightbulb, each committee represented by at least half a dozen people, so — 30?

I wonder when the Christ returns and there is a new heaven and a new earth if any one will want to be part of it because they have never ‘done’ it that way before …

The ‘modern’ banner is still my favourite.

DSC_0325

Isaiah 43:19  I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.