All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Traditions

Making butter (for the fourth year in a row)...

... and coloring eggs, of course!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter to Me

Doesn't the title of this post sound totally narcissistic??!  I think you'll understand and give me grace after I explain myself.  So here goes.

I LOVED Easter as a kid.  I loved getting up on Easter morning and racing downstairs to see what might be in our Easter baskets.  Without fail, all four baskets would be neatly lined up on the top of the bookshelf in the living room with little Easter treasures inside.  We did not have any extra money when I was growing up, and there was never anything fancy or expensive in our baskets, but to this day I have such fond memories of those little Easter gifts and candies.  So, in recent years, I decided to recreate that tradition myself using the very same Easter basket I used as a child, and it's been terribly enjoyable and nostalgic.

In addition to those wonderful hollow chocolate Easter bunnies, this year's treasures include...

an Easter-colored ratchet pruner I picked up at the Philadelphia Flower Show earlier this month,

some Clover Wonder Clips that I've been wanting to try;  I picked them up at the AQS quilt show in Lancaster just two weekends ago,
along with these "Quilters Tips".
Happy Easter, Everyone!

Friday, March 29, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again!

My neighbor up the street was kind enough to aerate my yard today, along with his lawn.  The timing of the year was perfect - the soil was soft enough to get plenty of plugs.  And, it was a steal of a deal - I simply needed to cover the cost of the aerator rental.  I usually aerate in the fall, but am happy to do both spring and fall whenever I get a chance.
Thanks Dave!!

Gardening Procrastination

I had a terrible time getting my butt in gear to start my spring vegetable planting this year.  I had put it on the "to-do" list for three weekends in a row, but was terribly unmotivated and didn't do squat  So much so, that it made me wonder if I should take a break from the vegetable gardening thing.  (GASP - seriously??!!).  Yes, seriously.  (After all, isn't that what the Year of Jubilee is all about??)  Seriously....  (Although, I have to admit, I did wonder, What will my neighbors think - they've watched me faithfully tend my vegetable beds for over 15 years now - they probably will think I need some sort of intervention, like when I don't get my Christmas decorations taken down on time....

Vegetable gardening is so stressful for me.  (Stressful??  That's not what gardeners admit, do they?!)  But for me it is.  Bottom line, it feels like it runs/orders/dictates my life from the day those seedlings get started indoors to the final cleanup in the fall.  (Maybe that's what mothers feel like 24/7??)  And while I thoroughly believe in sustainable living and healthful eating, my heart sometimes isn't in it.  Like today.  I've been on a major quilting streak since before Christmas, and I just DO NOT feel like abandoning my quilting for the gardening season.  I haven't even cooked or washed my dishes all week; in fact, I bought macaroni & cheese from the deli last week so I didn't have to cook - double gasp!!  Today is damp and cold, even though the sun is out, and I'd much rather be indoors reading some amazing quilting blogs (such as this one or this one), quilting, reorganizing my fabric stash or going fabric shopping.  It's a dilemma.... 

So, what did I do?

I was a good girl, dragged myself out to the garden (after contemplating it all morning and typing the above paragraphs first!) and got my spring things in, even though my winter-weight gain meant I could barely zip up or bend my knees in my way-too-tight garden jeans from last season.  My reward for getting my planting chores done today will be some fabric shopping tomorrow - I need to get the backing and binding for my Scrappy Trip quilt.  Yea!!  :)

This is what I would have missed if I hadn't made it outside:



And, I got my onions, fingerling potatoes and peas in the ground:




Sunday, March 24, 2013

La Traviata

I took my dad to see La Traviata at the Forum in Harrisburg this afternoon.  It was my Christmas present to him, and an enjoyable way to spend the day together.  And, the highlight was knowing one of the members of the Susquehanna Chorale personally.
Alan, Dad said to be sure to tell you that you did a good job!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

30's Pink

I was having a terrible time finding the right shade of pink to go with the yo yo's I'd been stitching out of 30's fabrics for a yo-yo block quilt I've been working on.  I would see a shade of fabric that would look fine in the store, but after I'd have a bunch of yo yo's made, I'd realize something wasn't quite right.
It wasn't until I compared the pink fabric yardage to some vintage yo yo blocks that I had picked up at the antique shop three years ago...
... that I realized how off the pink was.  I was needing more of a salmon pink instead of the candy pink that I had started with,

but where in the world was I supposed to find it??!!  I had searched every fabric store in Lancaster County and looked on line, but nothing was quite right.  And, I had bought 5 yards of the wrong shade of pink and/or salmon for the 3rd time now!  (Anyone need some pink fabric??!)
But, I finally discovered a bolt of older fabric tucked in behind the current fabrics at a quilt shop in Intercourse that was the perfect shade - yea!!  The price was dirt cheap; in fact, the clerk asked me, "Where did you find this bolt of fabric?".  It was almost if the bolt was hiding out, waiting for me to discover it for this specific project!
There was barely enough fabric on the bolt; in fact, I had to piece some of it,  

just to be able to cut out all 324 circles of the pink fabric for my project. 
Luckily the seam isn't too obvious, so I think I'm finally on my way!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Favorite Store at This Time of Year

Nothing beats a trip to Rohrer Seeds in Smoketown at this time of year!

"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday in  the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer."

- Rainer Maria Rilke,
quoted in Wide Open Spaces, by Jim Palmer

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Philadelphia Flower Show

It's always a ton of fun to go the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This year we went via a bus trip led by local gardening expert George Weigel vs. taking the train. 


I especially enjoyed the British theme,

including the homage to Queen Elizabeth.  :)

But, I have to confess,
I enjoy the vendors even more than the show itself!
I was especially encouraged to discover a local organic soil vendor.

Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Making Progress!

I'm having so much fun with this "Scrappy Trip Around the World" quilt!  It's a little more time consuming that I anticipated, but a ton of fun, nonetheless.  I just have two more blocks to complete - I didn't cut enough strips, so I'll have to dig back through my stash and cut the remaining strips needed to finish the blocks.  When I'm finished, I'll take a better picture and post some tips I learned along the way, but for now, here's the link to the directions

Standing on a step stool to take this photo helped me see the contrast and design of the quilt a lot better - at first I wasn't sure if I had enough contrast of lights and darks to get the effect.

If you're on Pinterest, be sure to check out all the Scrappy Trip photos - there's a LOT of quilters out there having as much fun as I am!  In fact, I already started cutting strips for a second version!!