Quilt Gallery

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Good Time of Year to Stay Home

Spring is a wonderful time to be in central Texas!  The mornings are cool, the afternoons are mild, and the skies are mostly blue.  Best of all, it's wildflower season.  Bluebonnets, our state flower, are popping out all over town.  I see them in my neighbors' yards, along roadsides, and in open fields.  If you take a short drive in any direction out of town you can find truly spectacular displays.

We are fortunate to have some nice displays at our lake house.  The best one is just above the water's edge in a bed of red sandstone.  When Texas isn't in drought and Lake Travis has a normal amount of water this area is part of the lakebed, so it is clear that bluebonnet seeds are hardy enough to survive several years of being very wet.

They are especially pretty, as so many things are, at sunset and sunrise.

In shade they have a very blue cast.

In morning light they look more purple.  If you get up very close you can see that the petals are iridescent.

You can find beautiful color in central Texas in more than just the wildflowers. I love the Tiffany blue of these eastern bluebird eggs! Sadly, this nest was abandoned when its nest box was knocked down.  Fortunately, we have over a dozen other nest boxes, nearly all of which appear to have been used this year.

Eastern bluebird nest and eggs

If you've had enough of blue, here is a little relief in the form of a Hymenoxys flower.  There are dozens of other yellow flowers - Texas star, coreopsis, scrambled eggs, zexmania, and Huisache daisies to name just a few - but Hymenoxys are the most prolific at our place at the moment.  Such a wonderful sunny yellow!


Much as I enjoy being home at this time of year, I am still thinking of future travel adventures. Where in the world might I go next? Appropriately my current hand-stitching project is a quilt top that brings to mind indispensable tools for the traveler, maps and compasses.  The blue points of individual blocks look like compass markers and when the blocks are joined the yellow portions make a circle and look like the projection of lines of longitude on a globe.  

The pattern is from "The Quilter's Book of Blocks and Borders" by Jinny Beyer.  When I chose the pattern I didn't appreciate that sixteen pieces of fabric would intersect at the block corners.  They have been a challenge for me and really demonstrate the need for precise work from start to finish. 

These blocks, which finish at about nine inches square, will make only a 45 inch square top, so I still have a lot of work to do on borders to make it large enough for a bed.  Perhaps I'll make a plain white border with stars in the corners and then a strip of triangles repeating the blues and yellows from the center.

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