Quilt Gallery

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Flower Filled Spring

I've said before that spring is a wonderful time to be in central Texas. This year was no exception. In fact, it was the best wildflower year I think I have ever seen. Thanks to substantial and well-timed rains from winter through spring the flowers got just the right mix of water, sun and warmth for spectacular shows.

Texas Mountain Laurels, a small evergreen tree, bloomed in February. This one attracted dozens of Pipevine swallowtail butterflies.

Bluebonnets, or Lupinus texensis, the state flower of Texas provided the first no-holds barred show of meadow flowers.

I love how they glow in the late afternoon light.

These cactus were, for once, more flower than spine. I still wouldn't advise that you try to pick them.

Just as the bluebonnets were fading, these little yellow flowers, brown bitterweed, opened up.

And then came Indian blankets, acres and acres of orangey red.

Even the deer seem amazed.

Up close you can see how the petals vary from red with yellow tips to entirely red.

The other nice thing about being at home for a while this spring was that I made so much progress on my various projects. I finished knitting the Calza shawl I was working on during March's cruise. (The pattern is available through Webs here.) Manos del Uruguay Serena hand-dyed yarn (60% baby alpaca, 40% cotton) is a delight to work with and results in subtle color variations. The finished shawl is light, soft and drapes beautifully.

The simple short-row pattern is worked in garter-stitch with a ribbed cable on the long end so both sides look exactly the same. Ta da! Completely reversible! I have gotten lots of use from it already, finding it great for airplane rides (remember the days when they offered blankets for free?) and over-air-conditioned restaurants.

On the quilting front, I finished piecing and quilting my Cookie Tree quilt. It awaits a binding.

I also finished piecing and quilting this broken star quilt for my younger daughter. It too still needs a binding.

I quilted the star's diamonds using an orange peel design and the background in a radiating pattern of alternating wavy and squiggly lines. I added up my quilting time and was amazed that it came to over eight hours!

I made a set of placemats out of some blocks leftover from another quilt. They were a fun way to practice freehand quilting on my long arm machine before I attempted the star quilt above.

I finished enough sixteen-patch blocks for a quilt and started putting them all together.

And finally, I have kept up with the "Westering Women" block of the month. Month four, Lone Elm, has so many pieces that it is naturally a very busy looking block. I think my use of only three fabrics helps to alleviate that and makes the overall tree design stronger.

My next post or two will be about China so I hope you'll visit again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Love your pictures of the Texan flowers. your shawl is beautiful and I hope you've had a great time in China. Can't wit to see the pictures.