Roses in my yard…

Our climate is hot and humid enough that the roses I've planted succumb to black spot pretty quickly. It doesn't help that I expect them to make it without a lot of help from me. The one exception is a miniature rose that I got years ago because it was so cute in it's little pot. It was supposed to be a house plants but it wasn't long before it looked pitiful and I stuck it in the ground out front and told it to sink or swim. It swam.

MiniRoses-02 

The dark bush covered with red flowers is my former 'miniature' rose. I did try to remove it once… which only made it spread more. Every now and then I whack it back, knowing that it will come back with a vengeance. I've decided to love it, which is pretty easy to do this time of year.

MiniRoses-01

Flower power three…

I grow perennials as much as I can. Replanting flowers every year just takes too much time. I think this red flowering plant is a variety of Lemon Balm. It flowers twice a year. I whack it way back when it gets leggy and it always rebounds. The stems have a distinctive smell when cut.

LemonBalm-01 

That's Oxalis in the background. It, too, flowers twice a year. Each plant looks like a big mound of clover. When it gets shaggy I cut off as much as I can, leaving a mound of short stems. New leaves grow back quickly in warm months.

Oxalis-04_2010-01

Color progressions…

Did you see this cover on the May issue of Martha Stewart Living? Those are paint swatches on the wall! What a good idea. With all the cool things you can do with paint swatches I hope the day doesn't come when we have to pay for them. You can click a link to read the whole story.

MSL-ColorCover-04_2010 

What I like the most about this cover is the smooth progression of color, from green through yellow into orange and finally ending in red, in both the paint chips and in the pillows on the sofa. This sort of color progression is both eye-catching and soothing. And If you pay attention, you'll see lots of color progressions used in magazines and store displays.

I use this sort of color progression often in my quilts. In fact the quilt that I have just finished is based on this very thing…

GreenToBlue

Flower power two…

Columbine grows from seed in my yard as well. The yellow variety tolerates full sun. It pops up all over the place but it isn't as troublesome as some wildflowers that re-seed themselves.

YellowColumbine-04_2010-01 

The red and yellow columbine sticks to the shade. The shape of the columbine flower, from the bud through the full blooms, captivates me. I know that many people see shooting stars when they look at these flowers, but I am more often reminded of the monster from the Alien movies – the one that chased Sigourney Weaver from planet to planet. But I see a prettier, friendlier alien…

RedColumbine-04_2010-01 

RedColumbine-04_2010-02

Flower power…

We are well into spring in north Texas. The days are warmer and sunnier, and the flowers are blooming. My front yard, which no longer has grass, is looking better every day! I thought it would be nice to share some of the colors of north Texas spring with you…

Bluebonnet-04_2010-01 

The Texas Bluebonnets are thriving. I have some in my yard. They are a lupine and they grow from seed. I'll let mine go to seed in the yard. They don't look great at that stage, but the plants that grow from the scattered seeds are better than the ones I've bought at the nursery.

Bluebonnet-04_2010-02 

We use very little in the way of herbicides – only Round-Up on the weeds that I just can't dig up – and no insecticides. We have ladybugs now. Bees and butterflies will be here soon.

When you just don’t have enough binding fabric…

I finished quilting the quilt for the new book that I've been working on for weeks. Oh happy day! I knew I might not have enough of the right fabric for binding as I was working on the quilt. I don't know what I was thinking… maybe that the bit of fabric I did have would somehow make more of itself when I wasn't looking? It didn't.

I needed a 33" square of deep turquoise binding for this quilt. I had bits of a few fabrics that looked like they would work so I sewed them together into a square…

PiecedBinding-01 copy 

… and I made a 2 1/2" wide strip of continuous binding from this square. (FYI – the instructions for this are in just about all of our books.) Below is the puddle of binding that formed on the floor as I cut the continuous strip.

PiecedBinding-03 copy 

This worked like a charm! The binding looks great on the quilt (wish I could show you, but it's too far from our publication date) and I can move on to the next thing.

When you just don’t have enough binding fabric…

I finished quilting the quilt for the new book that I've been working on for weeks. Oh happy day! I knew I might not have enough of the right fabric for binding as I was working on the quilt. I don't know what I was thinking… maybe that the bit of fabric I did have would somehow make more of itself when I wasn't looking? It didn't.

I needed a 33" square of deep turquoise binding for this quilt. I had bits of a few fabrics that looked like they would work so I sewed them together into a square…

PiecedBinding-01 copy 

… and I made a 2 1/2" wide strip of continuous binding from this square. (FYI – the instructions for this are in just about all of our books.) Below is the puddle of binding that formed on the floor as I cut the continuous strip.

PiecedBinding-03 copy 

This worked like a charm! The binding looks great on the quilt (wish I could show you, but it's too far from our publication date) and I can move on to the next thing.