Ferns and Things

knitting/crochet, Morning Glory

Back in mid November I brought my two Boston Ferns in the house wondering if I could keep them alive as I normally kill them if I bring them in the house – I’m happy to report that they are still alive.  They have been “shedding” and getting thinner then they were but they are still alive – can I keep them alive another 3 months? That is the question or will I have by then cut them off and hope they will regrow?

About twice a week I gently shake from under the plants to loosen all the stuff that is drying and sweep it all up – this is yesterdays mess. Some of it  doesn’t even look dry and it falls off!  They are getting misted frequently and sitting in deep bowls that can hold water to water from the roots up so they do not get too dry.


They still look good though – although on closer inspection as I know what they looked like I can tell they are not as full and bushy as they once were.


The pattern Morning Glory all traced out to use as a template now –   I don’t use a plastic overlay but will mark this paper and the  fabric – the fabric by pressing lines in it and the paper by dotting a line in the same areas for placement purposes.  I will make my freezer paper templates from this one as well for cutting out and number everything.  I will start with the tree and go from there.  I will show as I go like I normally do to show the way I do it – not saying it is the correct way by any means! just the way I do it.


Went through my fabric today and found a piece to use for the tree trunk and branches I really didn’t see a piece in the Wm Morris bundle that I had that I wanted to use for the tree.  This is a batik so did soak it and treat it with Retayne washed and dried it – it is now ready to press and cut. I was surprised there was barely any bleed of extra dye.


I reorganized my storage cupboard a little bit and placed half of the plastic shoe boxes of scrap fabrics on two shelves instead of one so that I can store the box with the Hertfordshire quilt and the Morning Glory quilt on the lower shelf as the boxes are kind of heavy and I will be getting them down more often then the scrap boxes.  I moved the blue box with the pink lid to the second shelf as well and the Morning Glory box is now there – the blue box holds some of the Round We Go project and it is lighter and smaller so higher is ok for it.


The shawl is still growing!  It is folded in half – and about half as long as it needs to be.


From Saturday night to Tuesday night it is to be below freezing mainly in the 20’s  with Sunday and Monday night around 8 degrees!! Too cold for central Arkansas. Five nights in the teens and the two in the single digits is too cold for me.  I have a feeling I will not be outside those two days – no reason to – the fitness center is closed for New Years – I have grocery’s in the house – I think I will be bringing the New Year in sewing, crocheting and reading.  Soup sounds good and maybe some fresh bread to help keep the house warm with the oven on.

End of the year Craftsy sale continues – clearance on some items and discounts on many things – up to 70% off on some things.

(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

20 comments… add one
  • Kate Dec 30, 2017

    Hello again Karen, just wondering if you could tell me what thread you use for your needle turn applique? Do you match thread to the colour of the pieces, or do you use the same colour throughout, like a neutral? I tried using a YLI silk thread and oh my goodness, such hard work.
    Perfect fabric for your tree trunk, that quilt is going to be gorgeous.

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      I use thread from my Gutermann Thread Cabinet – 100 spools of many colors to match – I use whatever I can find that matches the closest. I tried the YLI also and didn’t care for it as it slips off the needle so much but if I have nothing that will closely match I will use one of the neutrals that I have.

  • Wendy Dec 30, 2017

    I’ve never had good luck with ferns either. I love them, but I cannot seem to keep them alive. The colors in that shawl are lovely. Great fabric for the tree trunk too! Stay warm! It’s very bitterly cold here, with the temp at -14 this morning. It will be a good day to stay tucked in at home!
    Wendy recently posted…Quilty ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      I think I have tried to winter over ferns about 3 times now and never had luck but have stuck with it longer this time as I have a better place for them now – the other times was before the dining room and I had to clean up off of carpet which was a real pain. -14 is cold which of the many northern states are you from I have forgotten?

  • Diann Bottrell Dec 30, 2017

    We’re having weather like that here, too! 70’s yesterday, but woke up to snow on the ground and 10 degrees this morning. Your plans for the New Year sound just like mine! The batik fabric you’ve found for your tree applique tree looks perfect for it! I have some 2 1/2 inch batik jelly roll strips that I decided to make into a tote bag for a friend, and I wondered if I should wash or soak them in something to soften them up. Maybe Retayne is what I need?!

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      70 one to to snow and 10 is too much – I never realized Colorado was like that although there has been times when we have traveled there in the late summer early fall that it has done that – but not to that extreme! I really thought this batik would bleed a lot and was surprised that it didn’t – Retayne doesn’t really soften the batiks up but it does get rid of excess dye. You might want to soak them in hot water before you use them to see what happens – if they are going to bled it usually happens fairly quickly once you put them in water. Seeing as they are pre-cut though you would need to be really careful – everything I ever see about precuts say not to pre wash as I guess they can fray a bit – I usually don’t unless they are going to be with a light color fabric then I do them very gently and lay out to dry not put in the dryer or the washer but to do it all by hand of course

  • Maryann Dec 30, 2017

    I have 3 potted hot pepper plants that I bring in every year in the fall. (The growing season in New England isn’t really long enough for a good harvest.) They shed leaves and aren’t really happy in the house, but once spring comes and I can place them outside again, they thrive once more. We keep them in the brightest window and have grow lights on them 12 hours a day. I harvest hot peppers off them all winter. It sounds like you are having similar results with your ferns. I think they will be fine come spring and start growing like crazy once the weather is warm enough to put them back outside.

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      it will be nice if they do – I didn’t really want to add any grow lights though if I don’t have to – they are “just” ferns and not expensive plants – that is nice that you can continue to harvest!

  • maxine lesline Dec 30, 2017

    Getting sewing rooms organized somewhat does make one feel good tho we know that piecing tops will create more messes.. but that is life for quilters. Your plans for cold weather … soup, bread, quilting…. certainly get a ‘whoop..whoop’…

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      I find it hard to work in a mess and like to put things away at the end of the day – so glad for my space I can do that

  • Dottie bishaw Dec 30, 2017

    Your ferns are so pretty and green. Ferns shed older leaves no matter if they are happy or not. I keep mine on the porch and they grow like crazy, but there’s always some shedding. My three ferns are still outside growing, but this weekend will be the end of them. I wish I had room for them but my house is full of my other houseplants, lol! Your shawl is lovely and your shelf is so well organized and pretty. Thank you for showing how you do your applique, stay warm. I made turkey rice soup from the bones of our Christmas turkey, so we are ready for the cold.

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      maybe you can bring your ferns in just for the couple cold days and put them back out? Stay warm – I will get my tree ready to applique later today I think and maybe get a round we go prepped circle star done too?

  • Carla Therrien Dec 30, 2017

    Oh your so organized!!!!! Your ferns look great! I used to keep them in the garage and cut them back in the spring and they would be fine. Although it takes awhile for the new growth. It’s a job cleaning up under them. Your new pattern is pretty. But, then I love nature and animals so what’s not to love!

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      thanks – I love this new pattern too it will take awhile to work it up though – I expect the whole quilt top will take two years. I will keep trying the ferns this winter but do not know if they are worth the bother when you can buy one for 10 or so in the spring!

  • Gail Dec 30, 2017

    Morning glory looks like an ambitious project! I look forward to seeing it grow. The tree trunk fabric is perfect..lots of texture! Sounds like a perfect way to ring in the new year. Happy new year to you!
    Gail recently posted…Christmas Gifts Revealed and some Slow StitchingMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      yes this quilt is ambitious – I did one of Michele’s patterns about 4 years ago and it was a good one as well – I think it took me about 2 years to do – it is hanging on my living room wall most of the time – I love it

  • Rebecca Grace Dec 30, 2017

    That Morning Glory is going to be a stunner! So will you transfer all of the markings to your background fabric at once, or just a few shapes at a time? I am finding that when I try to place the shapes as I go, things quickly begin not lining up quite right due to fabric drawing up from prior stitching. Was thinking maybe I’d have been wiser to trace the whole design onto the background fabric first, if I’m doing a prepared edge applique. I love your tree fabric.
    Rebecca Grace recently posted…Luxury DIY Christmas Tree Skirt for MomMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 30, 2017

      I don’t draw the design on my background fabric – I know some people do but I never have – I just wing it – I iron crease markings onto my background fabric and go from there — you are always aiming for perfection but that isn’t where I am at – I want it to look nice but it is ok if it isn’t perfect – I just want to have fun.

  • Hi, Karen, I’m getting caught up with blog reading as the holidays were filled with family and celebration. You make living in Arkansas seem so idyllic….sipping soup, bundled under a quilt, smelling freshly baked bread. Wishing you a happy New Year filled with fabric, fun, and friends.

    • Karen Jan 5, 2018

      well I guess in between hauling in firewood we had a couple of slow days in the house over a holiday weekend.

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