Charm Pack Quilt – 1

A couple of weeks ago my physiotherapist handed me a Northcott charm pack with blue/turquoise fabrics – forty-two 5″ squares in 10 different coordinating colours. Not enough to make a quilt on it’s own. I went through my stash pulling out blues and turquoise fat quarters, half-yards, and scraps to cut another forty 5″ squares which would get me closer to what I’d need for a good-sized lap quilt. This quilt isn’t for me – she wants it to use in her new house.

Charm Pack with Quilt Backing Fabric

I thought about a lot of possibilities – finally decided to do a disappearing 9-patch. I didn’t want to invest a huge amount of time executing fine detail – setting up a 9-patch didn’t take long, cutting the blocks into quarters went quickly, arranging the resulting blocks is now my challenge. Because I didn’t think the blues/turquoises had enough life, I decided to use a golden yellow (with hints of blue) as an accent colour. I placed the yellow blocks at the centre of the 9-patch so they were all cut into quarters when I spliced the 9-patch blocks. Here is my current layout:

Disappearing 9-Patch using Charm Pack

Not big enough for a good size lap quilt – so far just a 5×7 array. The question I’m deliberating right now is whether to extend the quilt with a narrow border in light blue along with a wide dark border (I actually bought a second charm pack, in case I didn’t have enough for the quilt center – I could use the charm pack squares to piece an intermediate 2.5″ border then finish with a wider dark border). Or, I could add sashing between blocks/rows and space out these elements – but what colour to use for sashing?

I have to keep thinking about this – not sure what to do,  yet.

Oh, and I came across some appropriate backing fabric for half-price so I picked it up.

As I was leaving the physiotherapist’s office Tuesday, I noticed the additions to the tree in her yard. I think there’s a pottery studio in the garage – used by the previous owner – these faces bits of the potter’s work (top face missing it’s left eye).


Amaryllis 2 2018

I got a second amaryllis for Christmas – so far the first stalk has completely bloomed. There’s a second stalk well on the way and I think I’m seeing a possible third stalk peeking out….

Amaryllis 2 2018

Crazy weather – it snowed last night, then turned to rain, then the temperature dropped well below freezing leaving black ice patches. I haven’t been out yet today, but just about to venture forth.



Here is the  Amaryllis for this year (2017) – now fully in bloom (with a fifth flower still to come, it looks like). I picked up this bulb mid-November at the Superstore where I do most of my grocery shopping. I decided on a pale one for a change (I have mostly bought red ones). I love watching the flower stalk appear and grow so quickly and then the flowers begin opening – one by one.

Amaryillis (2017)

No second flower stalk from this bulb, it seems. Oh well, this one has lovely, happy blooms. I’ll enjoy them for the next week before they begin fading and then out it will go. I’ve never had any luck getting flowers for a second year.

And then I opened my Christmas bag of stuff from a friend yesterday and guess what – another amaryllis – this one a red/white blend. I can see the stalk already peeping out just the tiniest bit – another thing to look forward to.

It Is Spring Here After All!

OK, so I was wrong. Last year the coltsfoot didn’t appear, at least I didn’t see any, until April 27. On the way back from Peggy’s Cove, I saw a small stretch of coltsfoot along the highway. Must have been a spot sheltered from the wind and the ground had warmed enough to encourage the growth.


I saw a lone coltsfoot flower near the fence in my former neighbour’s back yard area this afternoon.

The crocuses I planted 20 years ago were peeking through the dead hosta debris – also much earlier than last year.


So I guess you could say it’s spring in Nova Scotia after all.

The Truth About Spring in Nova Scotia

I’ve heard nothing but griping about winter for the past week. I’m not among the gripers. That’s because I’ve been keeping records for 30+ years on the first appearance of Forsythia and Coltsfoot in Halifax.

We’re still in the grips of winter – two snow storms in the past ten days. Strong winds, freezing rain. I understand that the time has changed and the calendar has passed March 21 but guess what — we can expect at least another month of “winter” here!

First Coltsfoot – April 27 2016

When I started keeping track more than 30 years ago, the first Forsythia – those bright yellow shrub flowers, the first we see in spring in Halifax didn’t show up until close to the 20 of May – the earliest I recorded Forsythia up to 1992 was May 16. From 1997 to last year that date slowly shifted – from May 12 to around May 2. In 2015 I recorded some Coltsfoot and Forsythia on May 2. Last year I actually saw some Coltsfoot and Forsythia on April 27. That’s still a month to go.

First Dandelions – May 31 2016

We can’t expect to see Dandelions in bloom until around May 24 in Nova Scotia.

So there’s no point in griping – enjoy what sunshine we’re getting. Be sure to put on a warm jacket. The calendar may say “spring” but Spring won’t arrive in Nova Scotia until the very END of April – even with the changing climate.

“Victoria” Blue Salvia!

It turns out what I planted the other day isn’t Lavender but Victoria Blue Salvia.


Blue Salvia

Some friends came up with suggestions such as Indigo but the leaves were all wrong for Indigo. I finally searched for “purple flower spikes” and found the plant. That explains the lack of scent. There are auxiliary shoots in the leaf axils which will also produce flowers ending up with lots of purple spikes as the season advances.

The plants are looking happy in their new container homes. So the plant was a good choice.