Friday, April 5, 2013

Flowers and fabric

The weather has been perfect this week. It has driven us outdoors every afternoon. On Wednesday, we met my friend and her son at the park to play for awhile. I forgot to bring a hat for myself and I got my first legitimate sunburn of the season, mostly on the left side of my face. I was sitting on a bench with her, chatting, while our children played, and the left side of my face was turned toward the intensifying late afternoon sun. I knew this was not a good idea, but it felt good all the same. The sunburn wasn't too bad but I have to get back into the hat habit.

I brought my camera to the LB's school a couple of times this week. Everything in the school's courtyard has suddenly burst into bloom in the past week. This wonderful courtyard is landscaped very carefully to depict the four biomes of New Mexico: shrub steppe, desert, grassland and conifer woodland. The school is built around the courtyard and all the classrooms open onto it. The courtyard also contains a goldfish pond, which is a major attraction for the GB.

Right now, all of the different plants throughout the courtyard are beginning to flower and leaf out. I photographed the ones I like best, including a breed of lavender I particularly like right in front of the LB's classroom, pansies in a big wooden planter, hyacinths near the goldfish pond, a mounding light-purple flowering plant whose name I don't know and a type of holly with yellow blooms. There are also tulips and daffodils and lots of other perennials too.

The courtyard was a hub of activity this week, as the students were preparing for a special event held this morning called Inquiry Fair. This is an annual event where every student presents his or her final "inquiry" project; "inquiry" is a major feature of the educational model at this school. Students come up with a question (an "inquiry") they want to find the answer to, and then carry out the necessary investigations and experiments to find the answer. All week, the older children (we go through eighth grade at our school) were practicing their presentations for one another in the courtyard.

The LB, madly in love with his Arduino, wanted to understand more about the changes in the temperature of our living room over the course of the day and set out to learn more for his project. He knew it got much warmer in the earlier part of the day when the sun streams into our south-facing living room windows. He wanted to chart the changes throughout the day as the sun moved.

So he (with minimal help, which is a great source of pride for us) designed and built a mini computer (with thermistor and data-logger) to gather the data and then analyzed his data by graphing the results. His classmates (and teacher) were duly impressed with his experiments and equipment. All he knows is that he had a really good time building a computer. It is evident more with each passing day that the LB is his father's son.

In the meantime, I've been sewing. My Scrappy Trip-Along project is nearly done. I finished the top early in the week and got the layers sandwiched; the backing is a re-purposed bedsheet I've been saving. It's soft and worn. It was one we used on our bed for over a decade until the matching fitted sheet was just too threadbare to keep. But the flat sheet is just perfect for a project like this.

I'm using cotton batting for the first time and I love it. I had only used polyester batting before. This is softer and easier to sandwich as well as to sew. I'm pretty sure I'll use it from now on. It was only a little bit more expensive than the polyester batting. Now I'm hand-quilting, which is so enjoyable. I'm really savoring this step.

I've had a change of heart about my Scrappy piece, though. I don't think I want to use it as a table decoration anymore. It's so big, and I'm putting so much time into it, especially with the hand-quilting, that I want to use it on our bed instead. That seems kind of crazy, given that I've planned it for the dining room all along...but I'm feeling waffle-y now.

It's only four feet square, so it's too small to really use as a blanket, but I tried it on the bed as a topper and I really like how it looks there. Our room is soft colors and light wood and this brings some pastel country charm to the room when it's on the bed. I think I'm going to use it there instead. Maybe if I get tired of it, I can move it to the dining room for awhile.

Tonight is our hot dog dinner! I've been craving hot dogs all week. The Bear will grill them and he knows I want my hot dogs as black as possible. As far as I'm concerned, that's how you eat a grilled hot dog. I'm thinking about having a bottle of hard apple cider later. The backyard beckons; small Bears are interested in bicycling. It's a beautiful Friday afternoon.


  1. I am duly impressed with LB's interest in Arduino! It sounds like you've had another lovely week. I enjoy your photos. Have a great weekend!
    Handmade Cuties!

  2. I love your quilt! I now have no excuse not to try one since I got my vintage sewing machine. I guess I need to collect some fabric.. oh dear, another expensive craft! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Love the flowers with the sun shining on the, beautiful pansies with cheeky faces.
    Your quilt is beautiful, gorgeous fabric.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Carol xx

  4. Your squint is stunning. Why I can not sew in straight lines is a complete. Mystery to me!

  5. Oh I do love to read your posts. The quilt is amazing, such nice fabric. I am itching to try to make a quilt next...but I am such a novice and not sure I am ready. Your son is so clever building a mini computer, well done LB. :-)

  6. Your quilt looks beautiful, gorgeous fabrics you have chosen there.
    M xxxx

  7. Your photographs breathe spring. Great job on the quilt!

  8. Gorgeous pictures - Spring is really here!!

    I love your quilt - as you know I envy any crafty talent. It is really beautiful.

    Leanne xx

  9. I adore your flower images, especially the Pansies,they remind me of the garden my grandmother put much love into - Pansies were her favourites.

    Your patchwork is beautiful - I love that you repurpose bedsheets as backing, my mother does that too.

    A nice cold cider does sound refreshing. I'm suddenly thirsty, although it's almost 11pm here in Wales, so I'll probabaly just head off to bed soon.

    I didn't intend to type quite so much - sorry.

    Have a wonderful saturday : )

  10. Lovely quilt and as usual the wonderful pictures.

  11. Love your quilt! And the flowers! So bright and colourful! We don't have many around at the moment.

  12. Gorgeous photos, and that quilt is so beautiful! I like the way you've mixed pastel shades with the odd bright pop of colour.

    Well done to the LB - you must be so proud of him. And sunburn, barbecues and hot you are just rubbing it in! ;-) x


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