The big sneeze

It really is too windy and cold to do anything outside.  At least for us.  And, it's cedar allergy season and it blows in from the hill country on the wind.  The days are beautiful outside and I'd love to be out there with a shovel. But, I know better than to be fooled.  I went out yesterday to water in the greenhouses and I've had trouble since. 

Cedar allergies have their own name; Cedar fever.  And, it's a real thing, showing many of the symptoms of the flu and many people go to the doctor, thinking they have the flu.  I was fooled a couple of years, but then I got used to it and I'm not nearly as affected now.  Just some sneezing and a scratchy throat. 

I focused on two different projects this weekend.  On Saturday, I put the rows of red bordered vintage squares together.  This is a 13x13 block setting and uses all but 20 of my red blocks.  Those 20 were going into a second quilt...or the back of this one.

It came out exactly like I wanted.  But, the border I had chosen was not going to work, so we went to JoAnn's and I found a red and a yellow that are such close matches that I'm going to use them to make the 8 blocks I'm short and go to a 15x15 block setting.  I have plenty of vintage fabric to make the little four patch centers and it's a shame not to use those other 20 squares with these, when I can add more blocks so easily that will be such a close match.  I'll add one more row, all the way around, as though I were adding a border and put my 8 new blocks in the corners and centers of those outside rows.  But, I haven't started that next part of the project yet. 

I also made the last blocks and added them around the center of the half square triangle quilt. 

That's another one that is coming out just like I expected.  Well, almost.  Remember that a lot of the smallest center squares were made by cutting scraps that were not on the straight of grain.  And, in assembling the center, they stretched.  So, there was a good bit of easing pieces together so the seams would match.  And, I've starched it within an inch of it's life to hopefully prevent any more of that.  I'm working on 2.5" squares that will finish at 2" for the next round of blocks.  And, paying closer attention to my grainlines. 

I've started a project.  I need a baby quilt and have chosen a Dresden plate block, surrounded by pieced borders in 30's reproduction fabrics.  The pattern is one I tore out of a magazine and I somehow managed to miss the page with the templates on it.  So, handy wedge ruler to the rescue, right?  Except not so much.  The flyer that came with that doesn't really say what width strip of fabric will yield what diameter of plate.  So, I'm doing it the old trial and error way.  The first try is on the bottom.  No, that's not going to work.  That's all center circle.  The ones on the top started at 6.75" and then were cut to 6.25" and I'm going to take them apart and cut them to 6" and try again.  I'll figure it out.  I need a 14" plate and I've hit 16" and 15".  Third try is the charm, right?

I've been playing with the camera a little.  We have a small flock of small finches and sparrows living in the plants during the cold weather.  They roost in the evergreen shrubs, ferns and grasses where they're protected from the wind.  And, when we go out and get too close, they fly off in a flutter and it gives us a start.  This little guy wasn't afraid.  I sat in the swing and took a half dozen shots of him, looking at me and wondering what I was up to.  And, when I was going to refill the feeder.  You can see he's getting plenty of birdseed. 

I went a little nuts on the cooking yesterday.  One of the things I made was a big pot of gumbo.  Gumbo is a Cajun soup that starts by making a dark brown gravy.  I haven't made gumbo in years.  It tastes great.  But, wow, what a lot of work. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  I'm watching Central Texas Gardener on PBS.  They're talking about summer color combinations for shade areas.  I sure need help with that.  But right now, I'm enjoying the brown and the bare soil and the restful colors of winter in the garden.  It can't be the same all year long.  There has to be change.  And mystery.  What will come back next year? 

And, what size will that next set of wedges come out? 

Tune in next time.  Same quilt time, same quilt station.