Monday, April 27, 2009

Signs of Spring

My grandmother, who could quote reams of poetry by heart, always quoted Swinburne at this time of year: "The hounds of spring are on winter's traces."

Spring has been very slow coming this year, and April more like March. But in spite of continuing grey, rainy days, spring is winning. Here are some ferns poking up through the mulch:
And shy bleeding heart buds hiding their heads under the leaves:

The dear little wood violets:
And my mysterious anemone -- given to me many years ago by a friend to transplant to our woods, it disappeared after the first year, only to pop up this year:
I wonder about these little mysteries. One year a showy double white columbine came up near the path, literally from nowhere. We've never seen it again. And our patch of Dutchman's breeches, once as big across as a round dining table, has gradually shrunk to almost nothing. I don't know enough botany to know if this is natural or if we are losing our wildflowers to doubtful progress.

Wednesday I go to The Clearing in Door County for nine uninterrupted days of quilting (uninterrupted if you don't count taking the time for fabulous meals and even better fellowship). If not my favorite place in the world, it's definitely in the running. (There's a Smilebox slideshow in an earlier post of the magic of the place in January.) I'm going to finish all the pieced blocks for the Pieces of Time sampler quilt class I foolishly started in February of 2008; at least they're all cut. And I hope to get sashing around the blocks of a whimsical 4-Patch Posy I started in October.

Finally, if I finish all that, I'll make the 140 blocks for my contribution to the collaborative quilts (Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston) projects we started a year ago. In January 2008, thirteen of us made 130 blocks, divided them into packages of ten for one another. But most of us decided we need a lot more blocks. Another quilter has joined the project, hence the 140 blocks this year. Each of us makes a different block from brights and black & whites. If you haven't seen Freddie and Gwen's book "Collaborative Quilts" it's a treat. Just seeing Freddie's house is a treat. And I covet Gwen's fire engine red Featherweight.

MRI for shoulder over
going to The Clearing!
found my red raincoat


Kathy Whitt said...

Horay for the flowers. Here at last. Nice pictures. --Kathy

Leslie said...

Ahhh... time at The Clearing. Thanks for the link, I went and read up on Jens as well as the Class catalog. What a great adventure you seem to have before you! Do many people outside WI know about The Clearing and attend? Will you make another lovely smilebox of your days there when you return? Enjoy your retreat. =]

Finn said...

Hi Susan, my your retreat sounds wonderful. Years ago I used to attend a church retreat on an island off Fish Creek, in the Door. I remember it with fondness.
Have a wonderful time, 9 days! I can't even imagine. Hugs, Finn