I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Mid-May / Spring 24 ~ Some Bramble Berries , Some other Quilts, Pansies, Asparagus.


Hi everyone! Another grey and dreary day, more November than May. [except November here is beautiful] I read a weather story and it said, if I got it right, we have had only 3 sunny days so far this year?! No wonder I crave bright colors!

25 mph gale blowing too. My pansies are struggling wind damages their delicate petals.

I remember the first year I lived here. I excitedly filled my then-extensive crock collection with red geraniums, rosemary and lavender. I had this very Med theme in my head. I planted in early May, on KY Derby Day, as my dad always did all my life in the Midwest. By June all the plants had rotted off and were done. This year my coreopsis is flourishing though. Years of experimenting and lucky choices of mixed seed packs have helped my little garden adapt and grow.

This week I worked diligently on Silent Night! I may make my deadline of June 1st! Tho prob not the backing. 

I find I am loving the deep blues again, inspired by the current curated group of quilts on Instagram's Flying Geese.  @_flying.geese_ 

 All her quilts are inspiring, as is her dedication to donating a portion of sale proceeds to charitable causes, focusing often on women's needs. Here is the Flying Geese website, for those who don't do IG. The sale is I believe this Thursday, May 23? click HERE 

and archive of beautiful ''sold'' quilts, for an enjoyable online quilt show: archive HERE

This fabulous stack [all hand washed!] makes me wish I had only bought indigo quilts all these years! Exquisite one at a time, stunningly beautiful in a stack.

This week I purchased Jan Patek's Noah's Ark Quilt pattern, on sale for around 5.oo. I've always wanted to make a red and white Noah's Ark quilt! But seeing these blues, I wonder if it should be blue and white instead? ...Or, realistically, made in Jan's original prim colors, as my vision is to reduce the size and display it with my wooden Noah's Ark, carved and painted by my parents, gifted over many years. [a new pair of creatures! maybe more!---every Christmas. 33 pairs!]
Anyway it will be one of my sit and sew projects for the coming summer when Mo and I have our outdoor hour together each afternoon. ( "rain stops July 1, Mo, I promise!")

                                                     pattern pic, below/ vintage original by Jan Patek


This week I had a huge positive breakthrough with Bramble Berries [Bramble Blooms1]. After losing out on wonderfully right vintage blocks 

a few weeks ago, persistence paid off and I won an auction from the same eBay seller @ebay.evintage. Only 12.50! Nice and clean, no musty smells or stains--always a bonus.

The Plan:

It arrived Monday after my medical treatment, but I couldn't wait to open it and I was so filled with joy. It is so perfect! 

Yes it's very bright and very wonky. Yes!  Wonky is so good! And improv-ish. The energy of a creative impulse. I love wonky. I rarely fix the oddities of the old quilt tops and blocks I use. 

Lizzy colors!

I even found, gasp! polyester doubleknit squares.

There's one damaged section but easily removed or reworked.

I hung it up to just look and enjoy. I love the wonkiness, the movement the exuberance. 

It took me until today to discern a pattern or plan. It seems to actually be a strip quilt. There are rows of Four Patch / Nine Patch blocks in an Old Italian Pavement setting; separated by bright solid sashing. Then alternating rows of wide sashing and Nine Patch blocks. I'll explore this in a future post, it's okay if you can't see that. And it's fine if you're horrified by the  wild colors and crazy piecing. Because...it is exactly what I imagined, even though BB1 is improv, I always just ''knew''.


Meanwhile, in the kitchen: this past week I ordered asparagus even though I never cook after an IV treatment, too groggy to cook safely.  A bundle of the oddest skinny stalks arrived, about the size of worsted weight yarn, I mean 3/16". Eeeew. Like eating grass trimmings! 
But I can't bear to waste food, and the fresh veggies don't keep forever, so I chopped the spears and sauteed them in butter and olive oil with sliced lemon and garlic, added a dollop of fat free Half and Half cream and some leftover bearnaise sauce I found on the fridge shelf. Lots of black pepper and tarragon. Tonight's dinner, tossed with pasta or fresh ravioli, perfect for yet another rainy night.

Mo says Hi! and it's time for his walkies. 

Have a lovely week.



gone to the beach...

surfing beach, not this May.


  1. Oh yes, those wonky crazy blocks are definitely Lizzy and are perfectly at home among your beachball borders! So glad you persevered and found what your vision said was needed. Silent Night is looking wonderful too. We've had a lot of cloudy gray days but the sun broke through today and it's warm and humid now. The iris plants someone brought to church a couple years ago as orphans in need of a home are in full bloom in their new setting in the Rock garden next to the garage. I love spring flowers, we don't have pansies but the johnnie-jump‐ups are blooming in little patches here and there.

  2. I think Silent Night stars are perfect on those deliciously deep indigo blues!! If we ever get a clear night i hope to look up in wonder once again at the stars in that field of blue!! :)))
    Pansies are so lovely--I hope they survive the winds off the water--it's been very blustery here, too...
    BB1 will be just gorgeous with all those added blocks--what a rare and wonderful find!!
    Hope you enjoy those "walkies" with Mo more this upcoming--supposedly predicted to be--
    warm and sunny!! HAH--i will believe it when I see it, right??? Hugs for a great Sunday --

  3. That is a wild and delightful quilt top you have won. I am amazed at how well it goes with your BB center. Isn't it wonderful when you find exactly what you had imagined?

  4. ah beach photos...never too many of those! i had some fat asparagus this week which i promptly roasted with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan....deeelish! and blue and white quilts? never enough in my book

    1. Your beach photos are beautiiful too! [I looked at your blog.
      Yes! Your asparagus prep is the best method.
      Oddly I have only a couple blue and white quilts and no indigo. I always fall for the red or the cheddar, even tho my home is white w blue accents usually and blue quilts would be far more useful.

  5. Glad you won that one! Has your name all over it. A perfect match for your Brambles centre panel.

    I have just ordered (and received) the jelly roll for Gabby's quilt. I have put it upstairs before it gets sticky little fingers all over it, but can't wait to sew a couple of blocks.

    You would love the local Herefordshire asparagus - spears like small branches!

    1. I'm looking forward to seeing what you chose for Gabby's quilt! And pleased for you that you have found time to do a little sewing. [a lot, really!] Sewing is ''work'' but the needed focus takes one's mind off worry and anxiety, I find.

      I do love the large stemmed asparagus. My dad said the skinny kind are a different variety, he grew the thick ones. The skinnies I show had a label, Grown in Peru, kinda eeew---can't we get local asparagus in the spring at least? btw they tasted awful, a Fail.

  6. P.S. Love Silent Night, and those gorgeous indigo and white quilts. Stunners.

    1. Thank you! My friend had the self discipline to make an indigo and white HUGE quilt for their new house. Her first time not hand quilting tho. It is gorgeous and inspiring, I should do better, but color and white quilt is so hard to do.

  7. I really like the Improv Bramble Berry quilt! Nice score and if it makes you happy then that is fantastic! How were the skinny asparagus?

  8. Lizzy, I read this post a few days ago and actually thought I'd left a comment, but I guess not!
    Your flowers and plants look so great. You must have flowers on the coreopsis by now!
    I enjoyed looking at tje Flying Geese website. She has some beautiful quilts.
    I'm looking forward to some time in the future when you've finished Noah's Ark and take photos with some of the pairs of animals from your parents. They must be wonderful!
    Congrats on the quilt to use around your Bramble Blooms. It's such fun and looks perfect. Will you applique your BB center over it or remove blocks and stitch the BB center to the surrounding blocks?

  9. I had trouble moving past your delicious pansies. Such intense blue. The pink container is perfect for them.
    Your setting for the jug of tulips is inspired and so daring, but it's absolutely right. Stunning!
    Noah's Ark will be a lovely project to look forward to.


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