Plodding along

Some times each day seems full to the brim with activity, the sun shines, and everything just seems to hum along.

My Plum tree is now abloom. No bees in sight, but from memory Plum's are wind pollinated. Last year the crop was poor, for the first time, so this year should be a bumper crop.
My Plum tree is now abloom. No bees in sight, but from memory Plum’s are wind pollinated. Last year the crop was poor, for the first time, so this year should be a bumper crop.

At the end of Winter however, life seems to slow. We catch occasional glimpses of the promise of Spring, followed by damp, cold days that drain you of creative energy. Emotions flare up in hope of end to Winter, then crash down again as the temperatures plummet with another southerly blowing through.

The Winter clean-up has begun. The potato patch is cleaned out, wood ash, sheep pellets and lime added. All I need is a load of good compost.
The Winter clean-up has begun. The potato patch is cleaned out, wood ash, sheep pellets and lime added. All I need is a load of good compost.

Spring for us this year is a little special. 25 years of marital bliss (ahem!) will be celebrated this Spring, with an overseas trip somewhere sunnier and warmer. We shall leave the kids behind in the company of the Grandparents, and spend a week mixing Conference attendance and a holiday.

Over the fence, at the neighbours.
Over the fence, at the neighbours.

Until then, I am trying to push Spring along. Clearing out the potato patch, taking time to examine my Daffodils as they emerge, and visiting our Botanical Gardens to catch the annual parade of Magnolia, Rhododendron and Camellia flowers. The one thing I am not doing is rushing into Spring cleaning.

This past week, quilting has been fit between car repairs, licensing and registration. Sound easy? Well it took over a week and a half, taking three trips each to the garage and licensing centre, and two trips to Tony’s Tyre Centre. By the end of the week I was pretty strung out, so we took to the coastline this past weekend for some RNR.

A NZ  Fur Seal making a quick get away. It turns out we were trespassing down a private road, but the sign signalling the road end had faller over.
A NZ Fur Seal making a quick get away. It turns out we were trespassing down a private road, but the sign signalling the road end had fallen over.

The highlight was a New Zealand Fur Sean we disturbed out of a sand dune at Porangahau Beach, since he paused halfway to the surf, and stared at us for a while. Whangaehu Beach further down the coast came a close second, the mudstone boulders sparking all sorts of creative free-motion quilting ideas, which I may re-visit one day.P1070078

En route we had to stop at the site of the World’s Longest Place Name at Porangahau. The name translates as “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.” I have no idea what a nose flute is.

Two of the four centre pieces of the Midnight at the Oasis quilt are now done. I am getting faster, and only sewed one piece on backwards today.
Two of the four centre pieces of the Midnight at the Oasis quilt are now done. I am getting faster, and only sewed one piece on backwards today.

No FMQ today though, despite my earlier enthusiasm. Instead I have re-lit the fire, and will sit with some hand-stitching for a while, just concentrating on keeping warm. I did do a little paper piecing this morning, and will also start printing out my 1930’s Farmers Wife pattern this afternoon. The QAL hosted by verykerryberry starts next month, so I am reading the book in preparation.The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt - jacket art

I am also contemplating making a wedding quilt, after the baby of the family (32 years old?) got engaged over the weekend. Apparently a long engagement is on the books, so I should have time. I don’t necessarily want to involve them in the process too much though. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the pressure of a “commissioned” quilt. I just want to play with fabric, and create them something beautiful. Something simple, classic and in “safe” colours (blue and neutrals?). Just a personal gift, not “The Wedding Quilt”.

Any suggestions, given I haven’t tried curved piecing yet, so a Double Wedding Ring quilt isn’t on the cards?

Have a good week.

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