Coming Up...Spring!

Smitty, do you want to go outside? You never have to ask him twice. He's always up for a good meal of mouse. Since building the catio, he's mostly limited to going outside when we are out with him, and he's not very happy about it. Also, he hates our weather. He wanders around whining and crying and looking for the door that leads into summer.

The past week's deluge stopped for a while yesterday morning, and so the two of us went out to fill the bird feeders. While we were out, we saw definite signs of spring. There are tulips growing in the whiskey barrels.

Also, the first white daffodils are beginning to open. I've been seeing them in the valley for at least a week, but ours are just getting started.

Also, the heather started blooming this past week. It was looking pretty scraggly after its rough winter, but it's a hardy thing.

The poor daphne has lost most of its leaves, but it is covered in blooms right now. When these open all the way, they are very fragrant. This was a gift from my daughter-in-law, Mae.

Even the potted Asiatic lily is making a comeback. This might have been the biggest surprise of all. 

Mike brought this orphan home last year. He saw it in a grocery store for $2. It had already finished blooming and was on its way to the trash heap. He picked it up thinking he would plant it and hope for the best. Right, I thought at the time. As you might guess (since it's still in a pot), it never got planted (as expected), but there it is...ready for this year's bloom. With retirement looming, maybe someone will actually stick it in the ground this year.

Oh yes, and the catnip in the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden. The catnip doesn't always come back, and so I'm happy this has survived the hard winter.

Before getting outside yesterday morning, I moved the hoop on the Hocuspocusville block. At this point, I've actually stitched quite a bit beyond what you see here.

This one should be finished in the next couple of days.

After the birds were fed, I got back to work in the sewing room. My goal for the day was to make the next Solstice block, and catch up with those. This next block is called "Honey Bee." The center was supposed to be a 9-patch, but I left it whole so that I could use the lighthouse fabric. It marks our trip last weekend to Cape Disappointment, Washington, and the North Head Lighthouse. The yellow and blue petals represent the blue skies and sunshine we enjoyed. North Head Lighthouse wasn't pictured on the fabric, so I picked the Yaquina Head and Haceta Head lighthouses in Oregon. They kind of look like the North Head Lighthouse.

As I was finishing up the top-stitching, Mike came downstairs carrying an extension table for my ironing board. He was planning to build one for me when he retires next month. This item has been on his honey-do list for about six months. Then, I saw this one on Massdrop, and so I showed it to him. "Buy it!" He practically ordered me to do it, and so I committed at the lowest price. You gotta love a man who knows what he wants. Even more, you gotta love a man who knows what you want.

So it arrived last week, and it's been sitting at the front door all that time. It was too heavy for me to carry downstairs by myself. It folds in the middle and has a handy carrying handle...not that I could actually carry it. It also came with a pad and cover, and it works great! I worried that it might be wobbly or not fit over my regular ironing board. No complaints, and it was great for getting to work on the next section of "And On that Farm." So that's one honey-do item crossed off his list, and he hasn't even retired yet. He's very efficient that way.

Next up, he cut the riveted buttons off the little OshKosh overalls I'm parting out to use in the Snips and Snails quilt. We studied the buttons together and decided that cutting them off was the best approach.

There's really no way to reuse them with riveting, and they don't have holes, so they can't be sewn on. He used a rubber mallet to pound them flat after cutting them off. I'll use a hot glue gun to glue them onto my quilt when it's finished.

Also, I considered using the actual fasteners on the quilt, but I've kind of decided against that. Instead, I'm going to use them as models and then use some metallic thread to quilt them onto the quilt. That will be a better option, I think. I'm afraid these would be too bulky and distracting.

Finally, there's this label from the back. I'll probably use that somewhere on the back of the quilt, most likely in the quilt label. For now I'm leaving it attached to the overalls. These labels aren't hemmed or finished in any way at the edges, and so it'll probably be safest to leave it attached until I'm ready to sew it someplace else.

When that's removed, there won't be much left except the denim. I figure I got my money's worth out of this purchase. 

Next up, I was ready to get started on And on that Farm. Section 2 is a Triptych of three roosters.

The first step was to cut the three backgrounds. Each is 8 1/2-inches square.

Say, thanks! Don't mind if I do!

From there it took me about an hour to trace, cut, and fuse the pieces for "Rooster A."

The pieces were a little tedious to cut with so many little nooks and crannies, but take a look at the scale of the eye. I've laid my tweezers there in the image below so that you can see how tiny the little black section is.

Not small enough for you? Well, don't worry because another of the roosters has a piece even smaller.

So that was my sewing day. I'm hoping to get the other two roosters finished today. If not, then tomorrow for sure. This is my goal for OMG this month, and I didn't think I was going to get it finished. Now, it looks as if it will be smooth sailing.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

How nice to see flowers! When I recently visited my sister, a hundred or so miles south, I saw a few hyacinths just starting to bud, but haven't seen any such yet here in my bit of the state. I can't wait. Your quilty stuff is looking fabulous, as always. :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love that you are using the OshKosh to it's fullest on this sweet piece. Could the straps/hardware be used for tab hangers? Or too bulky even for that? Glad to see Smitty is keeping to his duties even if pining for Spring. My furkids have become such slugs!

quiltzyx said...

Oh boy! Time for Every Bloomin' Thing photos! Maybe I will take a shot of my Star Jasmine - it's just beginning to bloom now & it's right outside my bedroom window. I love the fragrance of it. Ahhhh...

Those are very cool roosters, with some very small pieces - good luck!

claudia said...

Hurray for flowers!!! Some of mine have started coming up. I think they are nervous. We had sun in the morning yesterday and then about 1:15 in the afternoon the clouds opened up and shot down fifteen minutes of pure hail! Oh! My! Goodness! it was loud. It made the dogs all bark! Then it looked like it had snowed. But the flowers that were out survived, and I was happy about that!
No sewing in my sewing room today. I slept restlessly last night so today I am vegging out.
I just have to get the pattern for And On That Farm. It is so cute!

allthingzsewn said...

Asiatic Lilies are so pretty, Post your bloom, or do you know what color it is. Hope you don't get a freeze. Maggie is like Smitty right now wanting out but too cold, she wants to just stick her nose out and for us just to leave the door cracker for her. Right, like that going to happen. Then she huffs off and cries at a closet door. It was pretty today and she went out but did not get off the porch.

Brown Family said...

I have white Iris blooming. These are the ones my Grandfather set out on the home farm. The ones out there bloomed this year, too. I had not realized neither my sisters or mind bloomed in 2016! I also have a rose bush that is full of buds. I cut that sucker way back this year and it is already paying off! I love my Big Board. My husband and I made one for me and one for my daughter - in - law. I have had to recover mine twice and it needs it again now. I might have been tempted to use a black nail head for those eyes!

Dana Gaffney said...

The flowers are beautiful, Cori and I both buy the "dead" plants and try to bring them back, stores are ruthless.

Wendy Tuma said...

Thanks for taking us on your walk -- your flowers are looking lovely! I'm sure Smitty was delighted to be out roaming once again. Those fasteners, could you use them to make a cute quilt hanger for the quilt? I like the little embellishments you're going to use!

Kate said...

It's always fun to see the spring flowers come out. Thanks for sharing your walk. Congrats on all the progress in the sewing room.