Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy March!

Can you believe it's March already?  It is beginning to look more like Spring around here too.  The snow has melted off our front lawn and it's raining instead of snowing.  On my morning walk today I had to dodge a lot of worms.
March is supposed to be coming in "like a lion".  We were supposed to have high winds and a lot of rain.  I've only seen a little bit of rain, so it's a pretty tame lion so far!

I like to put up different quilts and small decorations on the first of each month, so here we go!  This is my little wool banner for March and below is a small piece I made using a Patrick Lose pattern.

These quilts made me think of Ireland!  We have been there twice now and I can hardly wait to go again!  They have an International Quilt Festival in Galway there each year now in June.  I was lucky enough to go to the first one :)  I think this year is the third.
After going to Ireland I learned some things about the legend of St. Patrick which you might find interesting.  He was abducted from his home in Great Britain when he was about 16 years old by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland where he was a slave for six years before he escaped and returned to his family in Great Britain.  After returning home he studied Christianity, became a cleric and eventually returned to Northern and Western Ireland as a missionary sometime in the latter half of the fifth century.  I read that he was successful as a missionary, due in large part to the fact that he spoke their language better than other missionaries who had gone to Ireland before him, because of the years he spent there in slavery.  By the seventh century he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.  St. Patrick's day is celebrated inside and outside Ireland, as a religious and cultural holiday, on March 17th, which was the day of his death.
Legend also has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is the reason the shamrock is a symbol of St. Patrick's Day.  The shamrock had been seen as sacred by the Irish already, due to its overall shape and green color representing rebirth and eternal life.
I also like the story about St. Patrick and the snakes. Wikipedia says the absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that St. Patrick banished them from Ireland by chasing them all into the sea after they attacked him during a 40 day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill.  The book "Ireland" goes into greater detail about this legend and says that he banished them all to England!  Wikipedia states that all evidence suggests that post glacial Ireland never had snakes.  "At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so there was nothing for St. Patrick to banish" says naturalist Nigel Monaghan, keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
Either way, the fact that there are no snakes in Ireland makes it a mighty fine place to visit :)  I'm ready to go back and do some "hill walking"!

I made this daffodil quilt in 2006.  Since daffodils are the first flowers to pop out in Spring, it's a great quilt to hang in March.  It is all paper pieced and machine quilted.

Maybe it's time to "Spring Clean" my sewing room and dig into some "new" old projects!  Have a fun day.

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