Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5, 2014

Saturday Morning Yard Work
April 5, 2014

Often while my house keeper is here, I work in the yard while she cleans my sewing room so I am not around the dust she stirs up as she cleans.  This morning I told her I was going to work in the yard and she could do the sewing room.  She could have had it spotless by the time I gave up working on the backyard.  I was out there for well over 2 hours, working hard all the time.  I think I am going to be sore.

First thing, I took care of the birdbaths, ponds, and bird feeders.  I have a couple of hanging baskets that have so much new growth in them that I decided to trim off most of the old growth.  That took a while.  I did weeding around the birdbaths, trimmed the bushes by the back door.  Next I tackled an area behind the garage that we call "the enclosure" because it used to be enclosed, but now it isn't enclosed, so I don't know what to call it.  Anyway I hauled about 10 carts of debris to the brush pile. 

The weather was perfect today for yard work.  It was cool and cloudy.  The birds were singing and chattering and fussing at me telling me to go away so they could enjoy the fresh seed I had put out for them.  The sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds were very active and would manage to go to some of the feeders even with me in the yard.  The doves were in and out of the feeder area.

One of my hearing limitations is one that many people suffer with and that is that when one ear doesn't hear (or doesn't hear well) and the other ear is fairly good, it is impossible to tell direction of sound.  When I hear a sound, I have no idea where it is coming from.  This morning there were workers at the house across the side street, and I would hear them talking and think someone was in the backyard.  It is frustrating not to be able to locate a sound. 

Back to the birds, of course the ducks were there: the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and a pair of Mallards.  There were two or three kinds of doves, and that white chicken from next door.
When I came in the house, the little visiting warbler - a Wilson's Warbler began to play on the waterfall, but I only got a photo through the glass window.  I couldn't get him to pose when I opened the window.
When I came in, I read for a while as I cooled off and regained my strength.  Around noon I made a quick trip to Harlingen to look for a couple of pieces of fabric for the quilt in progress, but it was a wasted trip.  I didn't find anything. 

Maybe it was not a completely wasted trip: one thing I did on the way home was to sing.  I avoid singing because of not being able to hear the pitch.  I decided to sing and see if I could tell what notes I was singing.  I can't in most cases.  It was frustrating, but in the end, I decided since I couldn't hear myself sing the songs I know, I would just make up my own.  I am so glad passing motorists couldn't hear me!

When I returned home, Ron was out and hadn't left me a note to say where he was going or when he would be back.  I knew of one errand he needed to run so I expected him back before long.  It turned out he was gone all afternoon running an assortment of errands.   I enjoyed watching the birds during the afternoon as I worked in the sewing room.

Most of my afternoon was spent on the quilt and on looking for additional fabric that I need.  I spent some time looking on line, but still didn't find what I need.  Oh, well, on to Plan 2.  The quilt I am working on is for our youngest son, Stephen who will be graduating with his Master's Degree from Criswell College next month.  I want to finish the quilt by then.  I was going to surprise him, but went ahead and showed him a photo of the work in progress so he could approve it. 

The quilt is from a pattern by Roxanne and Stephanie Prescott called It's Good to Be Square.  For several years, Stephen has met me in Houston when I would attend the International Quilt Festival so we could have a nice visit without him having to make the long drive from Dallas to Brownsville.  He would spend at least part of one day each time at the quilt show with me as I shopped.  I asked him the first time to show me what he liked as we walked around.  He said I didn't need to make him another quilt, but I told him I would still like to know what he liked.  He would point out a few things and tell me if it was the color or the pattern that appealed to him. 

We came to one booth (out of nearly 1,000) and he was totally struck by almost everything in the booth.  He loved the colors and the designs.  No other customers were in the booth at the time, so we began to talk to the young lady running the booth.  It turned out she was Stephanie Prescott one of the designers of the quilts on display.  The pattern It's Good to be Square was by far his favorite.  For three years we have collected fabrics for this quilt.  One of the problems is he wants the quilt larger than the pattern shows, so that means more fabric than it shows on the original pattern instructions.

The second year that he went with me, Stephanie was there and spent a long time with us trying to help us select fabric for the quilt and she figured the additional yardage we would need.  But a couple of the pieces we bought just don't look right in the quilt so that is what I am needing to replace.  After I had most of the fabric I had it laid out one day and it struck me that the colors were the same ones in most of the photos he took during the month he spent in Israel on an archaeological dig a couple of years ago.  At that time I decided to try to make it for his graduation from Criswell College since that is the group he went with on the Israel trip.  Their dig site was high on a bluff overlooking the Dead Sea and the browns of the dirt and rocks, and the blues of the Dead Sea and the sky, as well as the deep colors of the sunrises just seemed to be in the colors he selected.  It will be an enjoyable project if I can just come up with a couple more background fabrics for the squares.

Here is a photo of what I have currently laid out on the design wall.  This is 15 blocks.  When the quilt is finished it will have 25 blocks.  So you can see I still have a way to go.  The fabric pieces are just pressed against the flannel design wall and nothing is sewn into place.  This will give you an idea of what I am working on at this time. 


  1. What colors are you wanting? I just resorted all my fabric to move and it would be easy to check my stash. I could send pictures. Looks like you're using batiks, is that right?

    1. Thanks, Tiny for the offer. All batiks. Tans - a little toward the grays. Was trying to avoid ones that go too much to yellow, but put in one last night and it is OK. Light for backgrounds, but not too pale. It is hard to describe. I had originally thought a marbleized pale tan, but it was way too light. Needs to be on the edge of light - medium. If it isn't too hard, see what you have and email my photos, please. I have found some in my stash that will do, but are more yellow than I really want.

  2. Will try tomorrow. Just got back from Austin. Had an ECG in prep for annual cardiology check next week. Went to a large nursery where I got plants for a natural mosquito repellant pot to go on the deck. Ever heard of citronella geranium? Hope it works!

    1. No, haven't heard of it. Let me know if it works! That would be wonderful.
      Don't put yourself out on the fabric. Have a great evening.