Dark and Stormy Day

It was a wet, wet morning for my Friday walk with Sue yesterday. We had on our rain gear, but we were both soaked to the skin by the time we were finished. I can't speak for Sue, but I barely notice the rain when we're out walking. Yesterday's version was a bit cold, and for a time, we thought hail might be falling. Nevertheless, we walked our full distance and were rewarded for our persistence by seeing a bald eagle fly low across the field, causing a huge flock of Canada geese to take flight. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but this image of my favorite barn will have to do.

I've taken so many pictures of this same barn from different angles and at different times of the day

and different seasons, that I've sort of hatched a plan to give it its own quilt. Certainly it deserves its own folder in my media storage.

Ah, yes. A beautiful sunny spring morning. Sigh.

Speaking of spring, the daffodils are sprouting up in our yard, but they haven't opened yet. Subtract a couple thousand feet of elevation, and they are blooming in profusion.

Sue and I have determined that the name for the color of her jacket is "Daffodil Yellow".

I'm thinking coordinating gloves and hat would make this a divine outfit. Wouldn't you agree?

When I got home yesterday morning, I worked on my embroidery while I iced my knee. When I was finished for the morning I moved my hoop. I'm hurrying to get this finished so that I can get to work on the last February block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. It's getting close.

It was finished for the day when I rehooped it. This morning I made my way most of the way through that green tree. Possibly one more sitting and I'll have it finished.

Finally, yesterday I started on my newest project for:


Originally, my plan was to make this quilt:

But then last month, I picked up this Amy Bradley "Campers" pattern at the Stitches in Bloom quilt show. I think this one will be a lot more fun, and so I'm changing my mind. It's one of the great joys of procrastination.

On Thursday, I'd started pulling fabrics for the background and borders. I really liked this one for the sky background, but I didn't have enough for 12 backgrounds. It has been in my stash for quite some time, but I found some more at a website called "Bonanza". It's a new one on me, but it seems to be yet another place where folks can post stuff for sale, similar to Etsy or eBay. Anyway, I scored another yard and a half, so I have plenty now.

And then I liked this one for the grass. I have plenty of this.

And then, remember my Happy Campers quilt?

Well, I have plenty of this map "sky" background to use in my newest camper quilt. I'm sure I have enough for borders, but I might even have enough for a back.

And I have about half a yard of this one, but in bits and pieces. Perhaps some cornerstones?

And then remember this sign we saw on our neighbor's trailer in Hemet? It's the inspiration for the name of my newest quilt. I'm going to call it "Wheel Estate".

So, I'm starting with Block #1 for my January blue block.

First I cut all the background pieces and sewed two together (for January and February's blocks). And, um, I think you can see them well enough under Mr. Busy Britches there.

Happily, the white is light enough that I can see the placement diagram from underneath.

I'd taken it this far when I needed to stop for the day yesterday. You can just barely see where I've drawn in white chalk the line for the door and the banner. I'll use the triple stitch on my sewing machine for that, and that's where I'll pick it up today.

There are just a few more pieces to add once the machine stitched details are done, and I'll need to embroider "Home Sweet Home" on the sign there. The original pattern has buttons for the inner wheel, but I'm going to use a fun fabric. Also, there are buttons for the flowers. I'm going to do mine with both applique and buttons for some flare. When this one is finished, I'll get right on the February brown block. I'm hoping to have them both finished by the end of the month, and then I'll be keeping up with this month by month.

Is there anything better than soup for dinner on a stormy day? It's one of the positives of winter. I love starting a pot of soup early in the afternoon. Then, dinner is a snap. Yesterday I tried this recipe for Minestrone Alla Romagnola. It's made with all fresh veggies and a can of diced tomatoes and a can of cannellini beans. I used one of the jars of tomatoes from last year's CSA share and the homemade beef stock I made while cleaning out the refrigerator prior to starting our last trip. Yum.

It warms your innards. It's vegetarian, and so I served it with some crusty bread with some prosciutto draped over the top. A nice dinner at the end of a wet day.

And today the sun is shining! Absolutely amazing! Yesterday our local newspaper informed us that we'd set a winter rainfall record. I guess if you're going to have that much rain, you might as well celebrate it by setting a wetness record.

So, I can't miss out on a sunny day to get my tomato starts going. I'm trying a different tomato this year. Actually, I think I've grown it before, but it's been a long time. It's the Cordova Hybrid, which is a sauce and slicing tomato, but the plants are determinant, unlike the indeterminant San Marzanoes of past seasons. They grow so tall they outgrow the roof of the greenhouse. Besides, their yield has been less than satisfying, so we're trying something different this year. I'll start those today.

I'll wait a bit to start my lettuce and sunflowers, but the season is on its way.

So there you go...yesterday and today...and it's time to get going.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sally T said...

Hey! I have that same cat butt fabric! If you run out and need some more, let me know.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Cute pattern and great start to the campers. Soup sounds good - have some in the freezer and crusty bread is a big sell for me.

Peggyinno said...

You are off to a great start! Love all the bright fabrics you are using.

Dana Gaffney said...

I really love that camper pattern, it will be fun watching them come together.

gayle said...

Mmmm... soooooup... Yours looks luscious!
Your campers are going to be such a fun RSC project! I'll be looking forward to them all year long.

Jennie in GA said...

Oh what fun those little campers are going to be!! And I love your embroidery. Can't wait to see it finished.

Jenny L said...

Now the challenge with your Wheel Estate quilt is to add onto one of the caravans a catio....

Doreen Auger said...

Awesome/yummy post!!!! I, too, am in total love with Amy's pattern!!! Your fabric choices are so spot on! And "hooray" for getting that additional fabric! Your weather certainly has been 'something' (as has it's been for so many!). Keep those wonderful Daffodil photos coming! Love the Spring flowers!!!!! Hugs.................

Natureluvr57 said...

I joined this blog for the quilting but what fun! I love that barn on a rolling hillside. The flowers are gorgeous-our tulips are barely peeking out of the ground in Illinois. The campers are adorable.

PaulaB quilts said...

From cold and wet to hot soup and a full tummy, yum yum good. The campers are so cute, can't wait to see more.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Your new camper quilt is going to be SEW cute!!!

quiltzyx said...

Well, we had another 24 hour rain period...now it's back to the 80s & 90s. Yes, Sue's outfit would be quite stunning with matching daffodil yellow gloves & hat!
Looking forward to seeing the new camping trailers come alive via quilting!!

Susan said...

We have had enough days of rain and above freezing temps that our snow is gone, but it isn't warm enough yet for the crocuses or daffodils to start popping up. The soup looks good, but I am curious as to how it can be vegetarian if it is made with beef stock.

Barbara said...

You are correct. It is not vegetarian. I forgot about the beef stock. It would have been more accurate to say there was no meat in the soup, and it could be made vegetarian by using veggie stock. The recipe called for beef stock, and I had some, so I used it. I could easily give up meat and be a vegetarian, but my husband needs more protein than that, and so my clumsy sentence was more about adding the prosciutto to the bread so that he could get the protein he needs to give a meal staying power.

make.share.give said...

Good looking campers and soup!

Kate said...

That is going to be such a fun quilt!