Spring Blooms and Budding Ideas

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Everything is blooming in Portland. The daffodils are actually on their way out, and the tulips are just beginning to show their bright colors. The flowering quince in our backyard is full of bright pink petals, and the neighborhood is awash in the soft snow of cherry blossoms.

Wow. I’m really sorry for anyone from the Midwest or Canada who just had to read that. In the PNW, Spring seems to come extra early. I was just saying to Rob the other day how I always thought I hated Spring. Slushy dirty snow, gray skies and mud was all I ever seemed to see in Indiana. Out here though, we’ve had plenty of sunshine and warmth, which I tease my mother with by texting her photos of flowers. It’s a wonder she doesn’t just block my number.


I’ve been laid low for the past two weeks with a pretty terrible cold. Thankfully, it finally let up a bit last week, so I could get back to teaching. The daily nap habit I started will be hard to break. Dax watches me carefully if I come downstairs around 2:00pm, eyeing the couch, hopeful for a cuddle session.

Speaking of Dax, did I tell you he had a third knee surgery? This time it was on his other leg. He snapped a delicate ligament while running like a maniac after a ball at the park. He is now part robot.


He’s healing really well and the vet said he should be back to normal in a few weeks. I’m glad, because the very short daily walks are doing nothing for his “must tell everyone what to do all the times” mentality. Usually he gets an hour of exercise a day. We’ve worked our way up to 20 minutes, but GOOD HEAVENS. He needs his treadmill back!


Duncan’s also doing well, but I think he’s addicted to Cat TV. For fun one day, I pulled a video of birds up on my computer when he was sitting on my desk. He watched them intently, and even tried to bite them. Now he often sits directly in my way when I’m working, until I pull up a video for him to watch for about 10 minutes.

Duncan-fishI’m creating monsters over here.

In between naps and vet appointments, I have been drawing a bit more and collecting ideas for things I’d like to make. I shared this on Instagram a while ago, but I haven’t picked up the fabric for the blocks yet. I have the plane colors planned out, but I can’t quite decide on a background color.

AirplaneQuiltOf course, the baby who this is intended for has already been born, but I don’t think his mom and dad will mind. I’m hoping to turn the block into an downloadable file for you to print off and use for yourself. I’ll share more about the block and its inspiration with you later, when I finish the quilt.

I didn’t get as much reading done when I was sick as I had hoped. Mostly I just slept, but I am making my way thru this hefty stack. I finished The Luminaries last night, and next I’m starting The Goldfinch. I’ve read half of Salt Sugar Fat and I now I have a nice big list of things I’ll never eat again. I’ll spare you the details and tell you to read it. Shocking!

MarchBooksI am starting back up on my Hexagon Illusions quilt, and I have a perfect gingham set aside for another Archer. Plus I have to… ehh…. finish Rob’s Christmas shirt? Whoops!

What are you working on or reading right now?

  • Oh man. I AM in Canada, and I AM jealous! It was -20c today (wait, google says that is -4f), and ugh. That’s really all I can say about that… Your plane quilt looks cute!

    • I’m so sorry! That’s awful that it’s still so cold there. I know I’m very spoiled by the early Spring here. I don’t think I could go back to longer winters. I hope you get a reprieve very soon! And thanks for the encouragement on the quilt. I hope it turns out like the picture in my head!

  • Cat TV?! Amazing! I hope little Dax heals up quickly and gets back to his usual exercise routine, too. And you, too- feel better soon!

    I’m jealous of your spring! It looks so beautiful! Nothing blooming yet here, but the springs are a little nicer here in NYC than they were back home in Indiana (I didn’t know that’s where you were from!). At least there’s some sunshine, even if it’s cold!

    • Yes! Cat TV! It is so funny to see how intently he watches it. Of course, I had a friend who’s pug loved to watch TV too, so maybe you could get some entertainment out of showing them a video of squirrels or something. 😉

      Thanks for the well-wishes. We’re all doing much better over here. I think the sunshine helps a lot. I’m so sad nothing’s blooming for you yet! You’ve had a really rough winter.

      Where are you from in Indiana?! I didn’t know you were from there!

      • Oh man, Doug loses his mind if he sees any animals on tv! Horses, cats, other dogs…He barks like crazy and jumps up trying to scratch the tv! He loved the animated intro to Archer, though. What a weirdo! Peggy doesn’t notice the tv. 🙂

        I’m from Valpo, in the Northwest corner. How about you?

        • In college, my roommate had a black pug, and she hated horses on TV. She’d go nuts and I thought it was so funny!

          I’m from just south of Fort Wayne, in a teeny tiny town, and went to school in Muncie before moving to Indy. Do you get back very often?

  • Angie M

    Yes, I’m in Canada too! And envious of your early spring and FLOWERS! The best I can say is I keep hearing a cardinal or two in the morning when I put the dog out in the ice and snow. You are an excellent fur-baby momma. They are loves, but can be a p.i.t.a. as well – I say as I work my way through varieties of dog food to prevent barfing and s.b.ds from my Sam! I have had a cold since the day we left for Disney so I have sympathy for you. I’m on day 31 with just an irritating cough left over. You are working on a lot and I can’t wait to see the results. When I get my next 2 of 3 quilts quilted I must get to those serger projects or you will give me an F in class! 🙁

    • Oh, I’m so sorry! ;P Birds are a good sign though! Perhaps you need to buy some bright spring flowers to will Spring to come your way.

      Yes, I love my fuzz butts so much, but GOSH! They are expensive! Don’t they know I’d rather spend money on fabric and not vet bills?

      Sorry to hear you’ve been sick for so long. That’s terrible! And no, I won’t give you an F. 😉 Take your time and get well first!

  • Let me tell you, if you were texting me images of springtime right now, like my dad does, I would block your number too! 🙂

    • I bet your Dad’s photos are way better than mine! I’m sure there are lots more things blooming in Florida than in Portland. It might make you feel better to know that today is really cold and gray and dark. I hope you get some Spring colors popping up soon!

  • Debbie

    Amy, I love your pictures! In Eastern Oregon we are still waiting, but Spring is on its way. I grew up in a small town near Portland and love the early Spring.

    • Thanks, Debbie! 🙂 It’s so interesting to me how the areas of Oregon are so vastly different from each other. I bet that Bend has had Spring for longer than either of us. I hope it comes for you soon!

  • Sandy Bartu

    Beautiful photo of the quince in your backyard. I have the same habit of texting pictures of flowers to my mom too. Difference is she is in California and can out text my flower love any month of the year. Glad to hear your feeling better! Sandy

    • Thank you, dear! It’s good to hear from you! I hope you are doing well. I bet that your mom has so many beautiful blooms in her yard! I can’t believe that our cherry trees and quince are almost done blooming. It feels like they just started! At least I know that brighter bulbs are on their way up.