Category Archives: Could be anything

The Making of Things

Apparently I have just missed National Jelly Roll day. I had read that it was coming . . . like the infamous winter, but failed to plan accordingly. No matter. There has been a making-of-things going on, sometimes sporadic but still a slow march forward.

My daughter requested a couple of these as decorations for her shop. She had come across an older episode of the DIY dish from Season 4: “How to Make a Dress Form Mannequin Pin Cushion.” I made two but somehow neglected to get a photo of the second one. I sent over the barebones version of the forms for my daughter to embellish as she saw fit. I think she did a great job!

Dress form pincushion

I also finished a baby quilt as a gift for a co-worker. Another photography glitch it seems. I have an in-progress photo but not a finished photo. This is a disturbing trend.

Baby quilt

In progress at the moment is another quilt, this one a comfortable snuggle-up-with-a-book size. I know it’s a thing to name our quilts, but I have a devil of a time coming up with them. Maybe inspiration will strike by the time it is finished.

Here’s what the block parts look like before coming together—simple four patches and half-square triangles. According to Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns there seems to be several possible names for this block or its variations, including Buckeye Beauty (Practical Needlework, ca. 1906), The Sickle (Kansas City Star, 1936), and Double Four Patch (Birmingham News, 1939).

Block in progress

Here are a few completed blocks.

Finished blocks

And the first border on!

Quilt with first border

The garden has been making things, too.

Pepper from the garden

Late Winter to Spring

Despite the usual slogging through January and February (and it is a slog every year) March has nearly roared its way out. I catch myself questioning the same thing every year, “Where is all that wind coming from? Has it always gotten this windy?” I’ve yet to get a satisfactory answer. Probably because there isn’t one.

I also haven’t figured out the mystery of the robins. For about a week in February they visited our yard in droves. No one I talked to could remember ever seeing them in such numbers. They hungrily munched through cedar berries and all the scattered bird seed meant for the other birds that generally visit this time of year. I think some stale cereal disappeared as well. And, honestly, seeing them in such huge numbers was borderline creepy. Can you imagine thinking of robins and a Hitchcock movie in the same category? That’s just wrong.

No matter how stealthily I moved I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the phenomenon. They were simply too fast for me.

Robins in the snow

Squirrels also number among the usual visitors. What was unusual here was that there was just one. My folks go through bags and bags of peanuts feeding the little moochers. We open the back door with caution.

Squirrel in the snow

When not shoveling snow other things happened, like receiving this very nice chair for my 25-year anniversary of working for the college.

25 year chair

And hopeful harbingers of spring showed up (other than the creepy droves of robins that is).

Seed packets

So now I’m tending carefully to these wee bits.

San Marzano seedlings
San Marzano tomato seedlings.

Basil and Pink Popsicle Cosmos in the background.
Basil and Pink Popsicle Cosmos in the background.

Lemon Calendula seedlings.
Lemon Calendula seedlings.

I’ve more in the trays—some varieties just now peeping through the potting mix. I’ve got the seed trays under a mix of warm and cool fluorescent lights but the seedlings are still a bit leggier than I’d like. I’m thinking I probably need a span of four light tubes rather than the two I’ve got. I’ll know in a few weeks how well this is going to work out.