Spring has Sprung back to Winter

My Goodness what is up with the crazy weather?

Yesterday was nearly 70 degrees, and we worked out in the yard in SHORT SLEEVES.  We also went over to the beach for dinner and only needed a lightweight jacket. At bedtime it was still above 60 degrees.  Friday I had a lot of errands to run, and I was going through town, I was very excited to see the first of the daffodils in bloom along a fence.  That was at noon.  By 6 pm, we were out again, and EVERYWHERE the daffs were up and blooming.  I was so excited to see them in my own yard.

first week of SPRING

first week of SPRING

Yes it is finally Spring, or it was on Friday and Saturday….not so much today, where we will only get to 51 degrees, and tomorrow where we will only get to 39 degrees and Tuesday the report is for SNOW….  It wouldn’t be so bad, but the lows are in the LOW 20 degrees…..

Next Friday it will be Spring again, so I guess I can maintain a little hope.  I had hoped for another warm day to get out in the yard and clear the leaves and winter mess from the flower bed.  I do hope MR. RABBIT is quite happy with his diet of TULIP greens. (I am on the hunt for that critter……)

Seriously, we rocked yesterday.  Got that darn bamboo out of the forsythia and lilac bushes; and also out of the bed of tiger lilies.  Hubby wants to divide that bed of tiger lilies up and relocate a large portion to a couple other places in the yard, along the driveway near his garage.

More daffs in the garden

More daffs in the garden

I don’t relish digging around the bamboo roots tho.  I think if we move the whole  bed, we can use some ground clear this year to get rid of the bamboo that will start growing in another two weeks.  Seems we spend our whole spring “whacking” bamboo. Our neighbor finally has taken control of some near the front of the property. We had been clearing for years along our chain link fence, and his side was pushing the fence over.  2 years ago he took a stand against the bamboo too.  At least along the driveway.    Now it is time to tackle what has started to grow out in our woods and try to control it from spreading.  I don’t know who thought it was a good idea 30 + years ago to plant it, but holy cow is it a huge problem.  We have 2.75 acres and 3/4 of it is wooded.  Bamboo is in about 1/4 of the woods. So, you must work around the trees clearing it out, and being careful with any spray product.  Then there is the lot line issue with the neighbor and his lack of interest in clearing his side.  Often we “cross the line” to keep it away, but it sends out shoots fast.   Maybe if he sees us out working with the chain saw, he will join the endeavor.

But today, too darn cold.  (I am joyful…really…as my lower back has forgotten what it means to garden……)

First week of Spring in Delaware!

First week of Spring in Delaware!

I shut the thermostat down to the off position Friday, but thinking this morning I may have to turn the heat back on. Toes are cold.  Planning for next winter…thinking we need a new heating system and the cellar of this house spray foamed insulated.  The problem with a 110 year old house is the drafts you get.  Maybe adding a modern heat pump (and associated duct work) would solve a few of our heating a cooling issues.  Wish Bob Vila would come by for lunch…..or one of those HGTV experts……

I have not done much sewing this week for my own projects.  I had Quilt Bee on Wednesday; and we worked on heart pillows for  breast cancer patients.  I stitched up one at home, and 3 or 4 at the bee, and had 2 more in a kit at home.  The hand stitching is time consuming, but you need to close that opening where you turn the pillow right side out.

I also worked on a foundation STRING piecing project. More about the project after it is delivered, big secret…..but I will show my 2 block contribution.

String piecing

String piecing

I was given 1 piece of fabric as a sample, and pulled the rest out of my “50 shades of blue basket” of fat quarters.  We were told blue, green and purple.  I only added a touch of the green, and most of it will get trimmed off.  I decided to stick to batiks, as that was what the sample fabric was, so I sliced off a strip or two from about 5 fat quarters. Yes, I know the foundation is showing at the bottom of the one on the right, but that is all in the area they will be cutting away.  They are rough cut at 9″ now, and someone else will trim to 8″ .  I really liked Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville’s instruction for String piecing: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/string-quilting-primer.html  .  In fact, I liked it so much I shared it with the ladies in our Bee.  I think I am an overachiever, because I did these two blocks on Friday afternoon, in less than an hour.  I like the method, and I must admit, I like to press with the iron after I add each piece.  I think it just gives a nice result.

Speaking of the quilt bee….guess who won the fat quarter game ???           🙂   🙂

wpid-20140319_165045.jpg

22 SPRING fat quarters

They were fun to fold and refold, and sort into colors~!!~   I showed up with 3 and brought home 22 !~!  Thanks Material Girls.  Into the stash you go!  This is the second time in less than a year I won our game.  We have about 12 ladies, and I feel a tad greedy. Thinking next month I should just contribute, but sit the round out….feels to me like that would be fair.

So, busy day today with church, and then TAXES…I must dig through my folder of stuff and get ready to see the Tax preparer tomorrow. Does not sound like much fun, but once it is in his capable hands, I can stop thinking about it.   On to more pleasant thoughts….

My friend Judy who has an embroidery machine posted a question to me about stabilizers and “crinkles” in the finished project.  Her thoughts were if you used a light fabric, you want a light stabilizer.  If you look at the picture below, you will see how the fabric crinkles around the design.   This is a 4×4 design; stitched on white cotton; stabilized with a lighter weight iron on stabilizer, and extends to the edges of the fabric. My machine only permits a 4 x 4 design, but the hoop is about 6×8; so I iron on the stabilizer on an 8×8 square, hoop it and stitch.  I like the iron on stabilizer the  best, because I don’t have to worry about the extra thickness shifting etc. when I am hooping the project.

crinkles

crinkles

I shared my limited knowledge with Judy (she is much more experienced than I); and then asked my other friend Debbie, who is VERY experienced.  The answer seems to be…change the needle.  Does anyone else offer any ideas why this would happen?  Is this just a cotton fabric issue? Is it a stabilizer issue?   How do you decide what weight stabilizer to use?  I have medium weight tear away; medium weight iron on; and several heavier pellon products that I have used.  Anybody with thoughts or ideas, please let me know.

Enough rambling; seems my blogging goes from one direction to the other.  Thanks for listening!!!

Keep stitching and pray for SPRING  to show back up in the Mid Atlantic.

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8 thoughts on “Spring has Sprung back to Winter

  1. That’s a wonderful bunch of fat quarters you won. Love the daffodils – have only seen a couple here in southwest Ohio and we’re also due some very cold weather and maybe snow on Tuesday. Ugh.
    Lillian

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    • Thanks for stopping in Lillian. Daffodils are my favorite. We have a storm in the forecast for Tuesday as well. Only the beginning of the daffodils, many more have come up but are not ready to bloom. By the weekend it will be spring once again. Hoping this is the last batch of cold weather and we have a LONG spring.

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  2. EVERYTHING is in bloom here, and it was a beautiful weekend. But more cold and rain are in the forecast, hubby says. Oh – and that bamboo? I guess it was such a problem here that it’s now illegal to plant it within the city limits, unless it’s in a container. It does go nuts. Love the string piecing blues – and congrats on the big win – lovely fabric!

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  3. Oh the west coast gets spring so early!! I guess that is what happens tho, you get the storm first, then send it to us. Bamboo is considered a nuisance weed here too. Even in a container, it will send runners out the bottom and over the top edges. I am sure who ever owned this property in the 70’s and 80’s thought it would be great to “dry out” a wet spot. I think when we are in OUR 70’s & 80’s we will still be fighting it. 😦 The string piecing is a great way to bust thru your scrap bin! Reuse an old phone book for foundation paper.

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  4. Hi Mary,

    Just want to stop by and let you know I have NOT forgotten about you – hope to respond to your email before I go to bed tonight. :o)

    You have certainly been busy – love your string quilt. 🙂

    Hugs.

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    • I see how busy you are! Just saw a class being advertised on DVD that you taught! Wonder how you find the time? The string quilt blocks are so pretty and inspire me to do some for myself. But first I have 2 other projects front and center to finish. No rush about the email…long range planning ! Take your time, because we are still waiting for one in the group to come back from her winter away in Florida. You are right about that weather!!

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