Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Bread Baking

I'm not sure why but I like baking bread more during the summer months than winter. Maybe the thought of spreading  homemade strawberry jam on a warm slice of spongy bread appeals to me just because.
A fresh fruit smoothie and a slice of that bread and my stomach does a little dance!
I spotted this recipe over @ where else, Pinterest!

You can also get an update about the prairie quilt at my soapmaker's blog.  What fun that machine quilting is! You really must give it a shot.

Busy day with product shots and pondering thoughts about minty garden soap wrappings.

Enjoy a crafty summer!

Jill 00

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Prairie Quilt

If you frequent Bittersweet blog then you'll know I recently painted the bedroom. After I completed painting the walls and some of the furniture in the color wind fresh white, (kind of a ecru), I pondered thoughts of a new bedspread or coverlet for my old iron bed.  
I looked around but didn't find anything that moved me.
So I began cutting and sewing 8 x 9 calico remnants of some of my favorite cotton and prints.
I'm not sure you would ever officially refer the prairie squared coverlet to a quilt and I'm sure a seasoned quilter might possibly take offense to my unmatched pieces of calico.
Having said that, I also am fond of the humble beginnings of the prairie coverlet.

If you've never "quilted" before I would encourage you to give it a try. It doesn't have to be perfect symmetrical lines that match. You don't even have to call it a quilt!
I'm going to finish this coverlet off with a coordinating binding and probably back it with muslin since I have an extra bolt on hand.
I'm going to line it with wool batting and tie it with silk embroidery thread.
I'm going to make some pillow cases from some of the fabric used to make the pieced cover.

It's draped across my great grandmothers furniture and every time I look at it I'm anxious to add just one more row!

I can't wait to finish it and wash it and place it on the bed!
I'll share a picture of it then!

Jill 00

Sunday, May 6, 2012

tiny seeds

photo courtesy of pinterest
I'm not sure what year it was or how old I was when the seed planting fever hit me. The idee of  planting flowers and veggies from seeds developed slowly and then germinated and sprouted into a huge passion.
Now I have a collection of precious seeds that each year transform into beautiful blooms and herbs.

I'm  grateful to our forefathers and particularly Lewis and Clark for their distant travels throughout the dense forests and countryside gathering and safe keeping tender new seedlings and plants. The seeds were then presented to Thomas Jefferson. I can only imagine their excitement  upon discovering the new plant life.
All of that is quite interesting by the way if you're interested in reading more.

   I met with a singular plant today in blume," wrote Meriwether Lewis on June 1, 1806, "of which I preserved a specemine. It grows on the steep sides of the fertile hills near this place." He described the root, stem, branches and leaves, and finally the parts of the delicate flower:

Mr. Jefferson I would imagine anxiously awaited the arrival of the newly discovered species the two pioneers presented to him upon their return from the long treacherous journeys. His excitement was beyond any anticipation I've ever encountered.
Well, possibly my feelings come close as I carefully pick and choose new plants from the many seed catalogs I study and research over and over and then await their postal arrival.

 There's nothing more soul satisfying then the feelings I get from planting, nurturing and cultivating plants from seeds. From beginning to end, it's a most rewarding life experience. Monitoring the tiny seed progress from the moment they push their tender bodies through the dirt until they embellish themselves with colorful blooms and bounty.

Recently during Bittersweets May day celebration we handed out little seed packets filled with butterfly and humming bird loving seeds. Sharing seeds with friends and family always puts smiles on faces.

While on a recent visit to my bank to deliver a jar of Peppermint foot creme to a bank representative she asked me about the seeds we had given her in her May day gift. What do I do with them? she asked. I told her to toss the seeds into a flower pot filled with rich potting soil and then give them a good watering. Sit the pot in a sunny location outside and continue watering lightly every day. After about 7 - 10 days you should see some tiny sprouts appear. Keep watering them as they are tender and new and require loving care.
The sprouts will quickly transform into a beautiful array of blooms. If you're blessed, a pretty butterfly or hummingbird will gracefully fly by and land upon your creation. 

 photo courtesy of pinterest

I must warn you... Seed cultivating is highly addictive and catches on quickly. Just remember each and every plant starts from one tiny seed. Isn't that amazing?

Jill oo


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