Monday, February 28, 2011

Pumpkins and Spice

Tomorrow marks the end (for now) of my quilt hibernation. Last fall Peg and I decided to make this Pumpkins and Spice quilt together, beginning in March. Who knew that March would be here so quickly? But this gives us plenty of time to finish this before next fall.

We will start each week by chatting a bit about what we want to do - picking the block(s) for the week, and then we will sew our blocks and post progress on our blogs - so be sure and follow us both as we go on our quilting adventure.

These are my fabrics - I didn't go with the line that goes with the panel - just picked fabrics that coordinate with the panel, some I had and some I purchased. I probably won't use all of them, and mighty add in a couple more before it is all done - so this is what I have so far.

Here are two of the same pattern, done by two of my friends. Daisy made the one on the left and SueBee made the one on the right. Aren't they both fabulous? And it is so interesting to see the differences in the same pattern when different fabrics are chosen. I love them both!

SueBee made the first quilt and we all loved it so much when she brought it to show-and-tell at our monthly sew-in, that we just had to have the pattern. She was generous and gave away the pattern, since she was finished with it, but it was only one pattern so we began a Google search for the pattern and found that it was discontinued. But the good news was, that the company that made the pattern, though no longer selling it, was giving it away for free. If you would like to make this quilt - then go HERE and get the pattern for free.

The fabric panel you'll have to find on your own, I got mine from an seller and Peg's was from the quilt shop in Anacortes, WA, though I think they are now out of it. The fabric line is made by Whimsicals for Red Rooster. Perhaps your local quilt shop has the panel.

Got my sewing machine threaded, supplies on the sewing table - ready - set - GO (tomorrow).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mail call

I got the nicest gift in the mail - from one of the nicest people in blogland, maybe in all the land.

Lili - from Fearless Nesting - thought of me when she saw this pine cone bowl and sent it to me.

All wrapped up in this fabulous lobster fabric, tied with white cording. I was thinking the lobster fabric would be great in a tote bag for shopping, and I have big plans for the cording too - involving lampshades and wooden tv tables - be watching for posts about that too. (much later)

I have a "few" pinecone dishes - they are one of my favorites (shhhh, don't tell the other dishes - they will be jealous) - you can see a few of them here. The new bowl is the perfect piece to go with the others.

Thank you Lili - I just love the big serving bowl, and it goes so well with my other pine cone dishes.

Stop over and visit Lili and Henri - you'll spend an enjoyable week going back through her fabulous blog - she decorates, creates, photographs and makes a wonderful blog.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Something amazingly wonderful!!

Yesterday was cold - today is colder. Last night the temperature got down to 18 F (-8 C) and this morning many things were covered in frost - including our car. On the way to the car I noticed that the mole hills in our lawn looked different. And they certainly were different. They were all covered in needle frost.

This is caused when the air temperature is below freezing and the ground isn't. The moisture in the ground freezes and pushes upward in the shape of needles, starting a few inches below the surface of the soil, and twisting above. The soil has to be very damp - which our was - from previous weeks of rain and when the air is colder the needles of ice begin to form. There have been instances where needle ice grew to 16 inches (41 cm) - but mine is only about 1.5" (3.8 cm) to 2" (5.08 cm).

There are many names for needle ice - ice castles, frost castles, ice fringes, ice filaments, ice flowers, ice ribbons, frost flowers, and rabbit ice. I couldn't find any explanation as to why it might be called rabbit ice - but the other names are quite descriptive.

When I was growing up I was told this was hoar frost - but I see that it is not hoar frost at all, and I even taught my kids that it was hoar frost - and I shall have a hard time changing names - but I like the names ice castles and frost flowers, and I think of fairies when I see this kind of frost.

But whatever we call it, it is majestic and wonderously interesting. I had to get down close to the ground to get these photos - and it was very cold and the camera lens kept fogging up. What a glorious way to begin by seeing this fabulous ice in the mole hills.

Some ice needles were curved . . .

Wouldn't it have been great to watch it form?

Bits of gravel and grass clippings were on top of the ice . . .

Can you see the fairies dancing in the ice castles?

As the sun comes up, the fairies go back to their homes to wait for the next morning to see if there is more ice.

And a little boy comes along and crunches the ice - the most fun of all. I still like to walk on the ice and feel it crunch, crunch crunch beneath my shoes. In a few hours it was all melted and only soggy mole hills remained - waiting for another frosty cold night to come again.

What is your favorite wintery cold thing?