the porch, so far

Porch sitting season is here, and I am doing some serious porch nesting right now. I love sitting on the porch and reading, and while the rocking chair is comfy, sometimes I just want to curl up with my book on a bed, but I don’t want to go inside. Ever since we moved here I imagined the perfect¬†vintage French daybed, piled with pillows. The problem, of course, is finding such a thing and having it not cost hundreds of dollars. After all, it is going to be left outside. So I needed something that was maybe not quite so precious. I also didn’t want to have to build something and then find a mattress or some other sort of padding. And then I remembered seeing a cot on Martha Stewart or some place similar. I liked the idea of an old

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, wooden army cot, but frankly, they didn’t look all that comfortable. After a little searching, I found this nice, substantial-looking number. It folds up nice and small, so I can stash it indoors during the winter. With the addition of a down comforter on top of the pad that came with the cot, it’s super comfortable and roomy, which is good, because if I’m out there laying on it, there’s a pretty good chance that there will be a dog or two on it too.¬†porch

Next up, I plan to add lots of pillows. I’ve got lots of inspiration to work from. I have pots to fill with plants and flowers, and a bird cage I filled with succulents (more on that in another post). This is just one corner of our porch, it continues all along the front and side of the house. I’ll be rearranging things, and sharing more soon.

While the cot was all made up I took the opportunity to spread out the second quilt I’ve finished from my mother-in-law’s collection. I am feeling all accomplished and stuff. This one is a classic double wedding ring. It was pieced by hand, and like the first quilt I finished, it was nowhere near flat enough to be quilted, so I tied it too(Actually, my mom and sister did most of the tying some time ago, but I added some more ties and then a binding). Still, I’m enormously impressed with the amount of work and care that went into it. A double wedding ring is a hard pattern under any circumstances, but like the previous quilt, it’s all hand pieced.

wedding ring quiltIt’s full of so many different scrappy bits. I had a hard time picking a good fabric for the binding, but I think this tiny geometric worked well with a lot of the patterns and colors in the quilt.

wedding ring quiltPixel especially likes curling up with me on the cot, so he watched longingly from the window, while I was taking pictures. I love his short little haircut, he looks like a little boy fresh from the barber shop like this.

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a project

I’ve been doing so many things, so I’m going to have to do a whole bunch of catching up. I thought I’d start small, with one of my favorite things that I’ve made lately, although I didn’t actually make it by myself.

Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a stack of quilt tops that had been handed down to her. She didn’t know exactly who in her family made them, but they came from Arkansas and West Virginia and were made in the 30’s and 40’s. I don’t know if they were made by the same person, or several different people. The fabrics are pretty amazing, but the workmanship is not the best.

quilt2

I started on this particular quilt top ages ago. I started to hand quilt it, but it wasn’t anything close to being flat, so I gave up on that idea, and it has just been languishing. I pulled it out again and decided to just tie it, and not worry about all the puckering and bunching.

quilt1

I kind of tied the crap out of it, but I absolutely love it. The fabrics are so fun to look at, and there are lots that I wish I had larger pieces of for my stash. I backed it with a 30’s inspired rose print and bound it with another stripe-y 30’s-like print, and I think they are just perfect with the colorful top.

quilt5

The maker of the quilt top may not have been the most skilled seamstress, but the whole thing is hand stitched, and I think she had a great eye for color. I hope she would be happy with what I did, and be pleased that it is being used and loved.

quilt4

There’s a certain¬†melancholy to an unfinished project, isn’t there? I think about all my half-finished things laying around, and wonder if years from now someone will find something I’ve started and value it enough to finish. Or maybe I should just get it together and finish what I start.

quilt7

quilt6

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music to quilt by

I have entered phase two of my new healthy living plan. That’s right…exercise. It wasn’t easy to find an activity that I enjoyed doing, that I could fit into my day, and that wouldn’t involve spending large quantities of money, but I finally figured it out. I’m going swimming a few times a week, on my lunch hour, at a nearby rec center pool. Before now there were occasional walks, and visits to the tiny gym at work to use the elliptical machine, and I even use the stairs rather than the  elevator a few times a day, but I knew it wasn’t nearly enough. So now I’ve gone to the swimming pool several times, and it feels really good. The only thing is that I am so very tired at the end of the day. I thought exercise was supposed to energize you, when does that start happening?

I’m going to pretend that these are my reward for exercising and eating better, even though I ordered them weeks ago, and they were on back order. They just arrived, and they’re just as cute as I thought they would be:

Shoes

See how big my feet are? Still, with art by Camilla on them, they look pretty cute.

Quilting continues in earnest, and I thought I’d share some of the music I’m enjoying right now, to get me through. I love the new Rogue Wave album, particularly this song (I couldn’t embed this one, so you have to click the link).

I can’t get enough of this song, and the video is so great too:

Here’s a conversation between me and my brother:
"Have you seen the video for (some random song, I don’t remember now)?
"Oh yeah, that was really good, I found it on youtube.
"Wouldn’t it be so cool if there was a TV channel that played nothing but music videos all day?
Melancholy silence as we remember what MTV used to be like.

This song is for all of you peeps who still have snow on the ground. I really, really hope Spring gets to you soon. "Hello blackbird, hello starling, winter’s over, be my darling!"

I think this is now my favorite Bright Eyes song. It was recommended to me by my 3 year old niece, who has the best taste in music. We should start a music column somewhere and call it "Mimi’s Picks". I’ll have to talk to her about that.

My favorite verse:

So the doc came with his black bag
I said you know doc I don’t feel swell
If you had a blue bag I think I’d get well
So he came right back with a blue sack
He said will this do?
I said why not, yeah

The whole thing is so clever, just watch it, please.

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