May 29, 2010

Rain, rambles and roses

It's one of those quiet, blissful Saturdays at home. The first weekend in many that we're just 'around', settled in, not packing or unpacking, enjoying. It's cold and rainy, and a perfect weekend for staying in with the fire crackling and something nice in the oven. Pottering, I think they call it.

Pic by Mr. Tacc. Morning misty. 
It's been a busy and stressful couple of weeks, so I didn't sleep well last night, my brain ticking over and wakeful. (I keep looking for the 'off' switch, no such luck yet.) So I got up, made a cup of coffee and sat in the window of the study, watching the ducks waddling one-by-one down the farm track past the window, the galahs scrubbing under the tree, and the misty rain falling. Pretty soon, the rain stopped and the dog was all too happy to go out with me (in my stompy-spotty galoshes) and wade through the long grass down to the other end of the farm.

When we got back, we found these beauties! Lettuce mix and coriander for seed. I'd cleared out this old barrel pretty soon after we moved in because I wanted to get a few things in before the cool weather. These are the first to grow, but there are twenty or so garlic plants shooting up from quiet spots tucked in under the roses, and broad beans just sprouting, to be the first home veggies in spring. They're up a good three or four centimetres and going well.

Lettuces and coriander for seed

So the day turned out well: some sewing, some baking (shortbread, and a lemon tarte), and a nice brunch out together at a gorgeous tucked-away local cafe that Mr Tacc discovered on Friday with the writers' group. We're definitely settling in, and weekends at home are grand.

I hope your weekend is shaping up to be sweetly relaxing too!

May 23, 2010

Hexagon update

Pic by Mr Tacc.

End of the weekend, and I thought I'd better drop in with an update on the progress of the hexagon quilt. It's been cold and sunny, misty mornings, and there has been a lot of sewing on the train recently.

Last weekend, I laid out all the squares with Karen's help, and we decided that they would look lovely and sunny if each one was surrounded by a white or off-white ring of hexagons. In for a penny, in for a pound, or a bushel, or an eyestrain or something (if a bunch of sheet is a 'flock' and a bunch of crows is a 'murder', then a bunch of hexagons should surely be 'an eyestrain of hexagons', right?)

Well. So I'm up to number 38. And one with a nice white surround.

But I've run into a little problem. Not the eyes, not the fingers, nor the scraps of fabric falling out of my bag onto the floor of the train. I've got to check my hexagon template and probably re-cut some of my recent-est pieces. (That's a word. Trust me, I'm an editor. Ha.) It seems I may have fallen into the age-old trap of letting the paper template get a little trimmed on one corner, and now the latest pieces don;t fit together so well, not without some jiggery-poggery.

So it's back to cutting paper templates, and re-sewing the pieces onto them, and then maybe I can finish the remainder of my May target of 45 hexagons towards a little quilt.

May 7, 2010

Hexagoning, humming and hawing

So, the hexagons were unearthed from somewhere third-drawer down. We've had a few visitors, and that meant that some of the recently unpacked stuff got hurled willy-nilly into drawers and suitcases, and ignomiously shoved under beds. I think this weekend, with showers forecast, is going to be the time to sort out the front room, aka the sewing room.

I've had a little fling with the hexagons on the train, and I think I've made another six. Idly mulling while I stitched, I worked out that if I can make 2.2 hexagon flowers per train journey, that would be 92 in a month. Of course, I've got reading and proof reading to do on the train too, not to mention a few nice little naps like this morning's cosy snooze (I do like these big comfy quiet country trains) -- so let's set a reasonable challenge of 45 by the end of May. Ha. Let's see!

(Image of an antique doll's quilt from Fiber Fantasies)

This all brings to mind pleasant consideration over what sort of layout to use. I'm thinking that once I have 50 flowers I may go back and add an outer ring: I really like the double-ring flower garden patterns I see out there on the web. But then again, maybe not: I also like this antique quilt style of layout, too.

(image from article about historical quilts)

Mine is definitely a scrappy unplanned colour scheme. There are pinks and dusty greens, shocking orange and some wild large prints. I didn't love the look when I laid the single florets side-by-side, so maybe they need the unifying influence of a second ring to each flower in a coordinating colour. I'm thinking of choosing a soft green or two, or a petrol blue and navy. We'll see. It's a work in progress!