Monday, January 30, 2017

Lots of scraps and turkey chaps

I love picking flowers in January.

The camellias are beautiful, and the Lenten Roses, or Helleborus, are now in bloom.

Just like animals, flowers have distinct personalities.  Lenten roses are the Victorian ladies of my garden. They're shy and blushing, with faces bent toward the ground, but with delicately colored apparel meant to attract attention (in a modest way).  They last forever as a cut flower, too.  An all-around winner.

My favorite camellia bush is blooming right now, too.  I love it!

Richly-colored fungus has started to sprout all over our biggest tree stump.

Have you ever wondered why mushrooms sprout on tree trunks or trees, for that matter?  They're opportunists and look for entry points on wood.  They eat the tissue of a tree, so if you see a live tree with mushrooms sprouting on it, it's in trouble.  It's a good thing to see them on stumps, because they accelerate the decomposition.  People actually order spores to shake onto their's cheaper and easier (although not quicker!)  than digging them up.  

The sun is shining and the creatures are out and about!

The turkeys are out every day.

Beautiful feathers!

This turkey was separated from the group and slow to notice me.  When he did, he fled.  But look - because of his agitation, his head turned blue!

I started and finished a quick but satisfying project this week.  I have piles and piles of fabric scraps - wrinkled, balled up, trailing shreds.  I read somewhere that when you have scraps, you should immediately cut them into squares (2", 3", 3.5", 4", and 5") or strips (1.5", 2.5").  Then they're already in the most commonly-used sizes and when you accumulate enough, you can make a scrap quilt. 

I had two piles of scraps this size:

I set up a station and worked on cutting about 15 minutes a day.  Before too long, I had my nicely-organized group!

I am excited to see what kind of random combinations will show up!

I also practiced machine applique this week.  I am not very interested in applique, but I thought I ought to learn, especially since applique is used on my block-of-the-month quilt.  A few Youtube videos later...

My first try is on the left and second on the right.  I thought I'd improved enough to move on to my quilt square.  I decided against the snowman design given in the pattern and traced out a snow-covered branch.  I added a little bird and appliqued things into place.

I don't know...there's something not right about it.  It's just not appealing to me right now.  Until I have some inspiration, I'm going to put it aside and just think about what I might want to do with it.

Last week I was halfway through the work day when I realized that I had a headache.  I took some medicine and curled up on the couch with my quilt for about 30 minutes.  I was walking by it later that afternoon and had to take a picture.  It's going to get a lot of use!

Also, there's a cat under that quilt.  She curled up with me while I was resting and stayed there the rest of the day. 

Speaking of quilts, I've been feeling a little antsy lately.  I've been knitting at night, but have felt like something is missing.  I realized that I haven't done any sewing for a long time.  I finished my quilt blocks months ago, and the only real sewing I've done is the less-than-pleasant machine quilting needed to secure the quilt layers.  It's time to start a new quilt!  I pulled out my notes, but some of the fabric I'd chosen is now on backorder or discontinued.  This week, I'm going to try to pick the right fabric to go with my chosen quilt pattern, and hopefully make an order.  I can't wait to get started!

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