Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mud season

It's here!  It's here!  The birds were right!  For the past couple of weeks we could hear the birds chirping like they knew we were close to spring.  It just didn't feel that way till this week.  We made a sharp hairpin curve right turn toward spring this week.  The snow is melting fast, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the temperatures are close to or in the 50's and people are going without coats and smiling!  We live on an unpaved dirt road and the mud is up to your ankles. 

The sure sign of spring is my daughter's maple syrup harvest from the tree in their backyard.  I was there yesterday afternoon and saw the buckets tapped onto the tree.  You can just see the line of sap  through the white bucket.
She said by this afternoon the buckets will be full and she can start cooking it down.
If you've never seen maple sap it's not sticky, it's the consistency of water, clear like water and tastes like water with just a tinge of outdoors.  Kind of like how the kids smell when they've come running in the house from outside and you give a quick hug.  I always wondered how the native Americans knew that tapping a tree for this liquid and cooking it down would yield sweet sugary syrup.  I wondered until I asked my daughter how she knew this tree would yield.  Well, it's pretty easy. In March when the sap is running in a big old maple tree like this, the sap literally oozes out at points where branches meet trunk. You can see the wet bark.  She noticed the squirrels lying on the branches licking the tree.  So she knew.  As did the native Americans.

While I was packing and purging and getting deep into closets I found this.  Totally forgot about it but remembered I threw it together to be a beach quilt.  I remember the day I grabbed scraps and put them together and bordered it.  There was never a grand plan for this. I even backed it with fabric I had used on occasion as a whimsical table cloth!   It was SO long ago.  But I went so far as to pin it then stuck it away. I think I stuck it in the closet because I dreaded the thought of hand quilting something that was going to get wet and sandy and dirty on the beach. I didn't know about perle cotton and big funky stitches then.  And now, there are many other things I need to be quilting.   So, yesterday Friend Jan and I went to a place called Inspirations of Art in Grand Rapids. She needed to use their AccuCut machine and I used the Sweet 16 to quilt this.  Quilt is the correct term but let me tell you, I HATE machines.  All of them.  Sewing machines and I especially are not friends.  I'm glad the thing will be relegated to the beach.  Anyway,  for $7.50 for a half day I ran straight lines through these strips and "quilted" it.  Ugh.   If those borders were gray it might be considered a modern quilt. 

1 comment:

  1. Now don't be too hard on yourself.....the quilt is lovely just the way it turned out! Love the idea of hiring a sweet sixteen. Glad Spring has found you, lovely as snow is to look at, living in it must be dreary and cold at times. I did not know maple syrup was so clear until cooked., must taste delicious in pancakes.