Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wendell Wednesday: May Song and Weeds

Good afternoon, and
Welcome back for Wendell Wednesday!
This poem excerpt is from "May Song", which I found especially
apropos to think about while my own garden struggles with the weeds
I can no longer do battle with.  I do not use Round-up, but weed selectively,
taking all but a few kinds of native groundwort that are making a nice groundcover between my raised beds.  It is drought-tolerant and doesn't send up ugly seed stalks or sprawl in a disorderly way.
If mother nature is willing to help me green up the walkways,
I'm all for letting her.

In some of his other writings Berry muses on the importance of the law of the Sabbath, which the children of Israel were commanded to keep not only for themselves but also with respect to their land.  Every seven years, the land was to be given a chance to rest.  The farmer had to restrain himself, see nature and the so-called "weeds" take over for awhile.  He needed to marvel at the wonder of life and creation, that his part is so small compared with the eternal scheme.
Gardeners have for centuries fought this, and weeds become the symbol of our mastery or not, to some extent or another.  But looking at them for what they are, enjoy Berry's poetry and think a little on it yourself next time you grasp a wild geranium or dandelion at the base.  I won't say don't pluck it out of a disallowed place.  But I will say think.  Think about every aspect of what you do.

from "May Song" by Wendell Berry
For whatever is let go
there's a taker.
The living discovers itself

where no preparation
was made for it,
where its only privilege

is to live if it can.
The window flies from the dark
of the subway mouth

into the sunlight
stained with the green
of the spring weeds

that crown the improbable
black earth
of the embankment...

...seeing it send out weeds
to take back
whatever is left:

Proprietor, pasturing foliage
on the rubble,
making use

of the useless--a beauty
we have less than not
Join me next week, and in the meantime...
Be well, and enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May is for Makers Week 2: Happy Quilting Moroccan Lullaby & Summer Sampler 2016

My second #MayisforMakers pattern this month is
Moroccan Lullaby from Happy Quilting on Craftsy.
The openness of this pattern really appealed to me.
As much as I love blocks, sometimes a more flowing overall design
that is open and relaxing is just what I want.
A design with room to breathe...
Hey, I like my space.
Someone might argue that sometimes I need a few acres, to which
I would readily agree.  Sure, let's go! 
Somewhere in the hills of VA would be awfully nice. 
Wouldn't it be great to have a finished barn in the middle of your garden,
to do your quilting in when you were done with the morning's work?!
Anyone else?  Just me?
Oh come on, I'd have a utility sink to wash up in first...
With my current mission to end the fall-and-wintery quilt overabundance
and dearth of warm-weather quilts, Moroccan lullaby just fit the ticket perfectly.

I've also joined in the Freshly Pieced Summer Sampler QAL, and can't wait to get started.

Probably this summer, after baby H's arrival, my sewing will mostly
be on the Meadow Mystery QAL and the Freshly Pieced QAL,
but hopefully with my two helpers around we'll be able to manage just fine :).
They are SO excited for another brother.
Have a fantastic week and be well wherever you are,

Fabric Tuesday #276: Springweaver Quilt top

Here for a flimsy finish of my Springweaver quilt.
I've used Tula Pink's Dreamweaver pattern,
but my quilt top is wider and longer, so it will be either a low-hanging XL twin
or, turned sideways, a functional king coverlet.
I can't hang this top anywhere high enough by myself to show the entirety,
but you'll get the idea.
Please pardon my messy garden in the background.
This 32-week Work-in-Progress will
still have me slowed down until July!
Super bright light has washed out the pinks, aquas and mints.
This top is bright, not nearly so brown.
Linking up to Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday #276 this week.
Hopefully I'll be back soon with a bag finish for Jay, for him to use on his
extended "campout" with the GP's in a few weeks while I'll be a little busy.
Before you go, hop over to the Tula Pink book book giveaway.
Still open until this particular quilt is finished.
Be well and thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wendell Wedesday: Jefferson and The Mad Farmer Manifesto

Good afternoon, and
Welcome back for Wendell Wednesday!
Today I am going to share an excerpt from a poem
that should strike home for everyone who is living or planning the dream of
their own homestead and a sustainable lifestyle.
from "The Mad Farmer Manifesto: The First Amendment"
by Wendell Berry
1.  " is not too soon to provide by every
possible means that as few as possible shall be
without a little portion of land.  The small
landholders are the most precious part of a state."
Jefferson, to Reverend James Madison, October 28, 1785

That is the glimmering vein
of our sanity, dividing from us
from the start: land under us
to steady us where we stood,
free men in the great communion
of the free.  The vision keeps
lighting in my mind, a window
on the horizon in the dark.

To be sane in a mad time
is bad for the brain, worse
for the heart.  The world
is a holy vision, had we clarity
to see it--a clarity that men
depend on men to make.

So, is your dream like Jefferson's, like Berry's?  Do you have, plan to have, or dream of having your own small piece of land where you can practice the practical and deep art of true husbandry?
Wise management of resources in the physical sense cannot but help produce stronger character in people.  Jefferson understood this, and so can you.  There is a goodness in getting back to the earth.
Join me next week, and in the meantime...
Be well, and enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bloglovin' Setup

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Evenin' all... just getting a few things set up around here...

Cool Melon Mosaic Contest - by Gotham Quilts and Stitched in Color

I'm excited to participate in the Cool Melon Mosaic Contest at Stitched in Color
and sponsored by Gotham Quilts.
This inspiration photos are just too wonderful to resist:
So, with all that gorgeous inspiration to get the color ideas flowing,
here is my fabric mosaic.  It includes a botanical, of course, some very modern
fabric choices and even the neutral polkas, which were inspired by the melon balls
in the third photo :).
I've included favorite designers like Tula Pink (Chipper fox),
Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander, Alexia Abegg, Allison Glass,
Lotta Jansdotter, and Birch Organics.
What a lark through Gotham fabrics I had.
Making the mosaic (and I made a few) was almost as much fun
as putting real fabrics side-by-side in a shop...
except you can't get that wonderful feeling under your fingers.
While you're here, please take a quick moment to enter for my Tula Pink Book Giveaway;
the link is in the righthand sidebar for you!
Be well and enjoy the sunshine,

May is for Makers: Week 1 "Small Town Girl"

Good morning and a happy weekend to all!
I'm taking a break from some major house cleaning,
and wanted to share my first week's support for the
This week I purchased this delightful "Small Town Girl" pattern
from Pretty Little Quilts, an indie shop on Craftsy:

I really like the cheerfulness of this quilt, as I realized about March of this year
that I really didn't have very many quilts made for a fresh, springy look
to brighten up the rooms when it's finally time to throw the windows open
and let in the breeze.
I'm working on it, with my Mon Ami's Broken Dishes WIP
and my XL-twin sized Springweaver flimsy, which is now assembled and
just waiting for me to work up the nerve
to stuff it down the throat of my poor little Brother...
Dreams of wide-throated machines.... *sigh* !
So, have you read about the #MayisforMakers campaign yourself,
and are you joining in?  I know we all have a pattern wishlist, either from our
Pinterest boards or Craftsy favorites or elsewhere.
Why not support some of these beautiful professional creative this month?
And if you do, do tell!
Be well and enjoy the sunshine,