Category Archives: garden

More Than Quilting #2

Not a lot of time spent in the garden, just every now and then I get inspired to go out and do some work. We had this cutie with us for a week so much of my time was concentrated on her. She is a Cock-a-Poo puppy. Sweet, playful, smart and obedient and cute, cute, cute! Don’t think, however, I have it in me to go the puppy route again.

 

Finally the rains came and gave the ground a good soaking. The hardy amaryllis loved it. The leaves come up in spring, die back and then stalks appear what seems like overnight and these beautiful flowers bloom in just a few days. I love surprise flowers in the garden!

 

Here’s an even bigger surprise – I had NO idea that Elephant Ears have a bloom! This year I had four bulbs that I wintered in the house and two were planted in a large pot. The one is gigantic! The second was a baby bulb and is being dwarfed by the bigger. The leaves are huge and it must be really, really happy because there it was – a bloom! And a second one a week later! Now I’ll be wanting one every year!

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One by one the hostas are blooming and thankfully, the few I have planted in the ground are not being devoured by voles. Years ago I planted most of my hostas in pots after losing about 40 plants to voles. The last indoor/outdoor cat we had left us in the spring some years ago and was the greatest vole hunter of all time. We actually kept count and when she left us that spring, she had already gotten 60.  Yikes! What we really need are a couple of black snakes to reside in the garden.

Not a clue what these pretty red flowers are called.  I think they’re some kind of spider lily.  They too pop up overnight and have such an intense red bloom.  Fun to see one in bloom in the compost pile! I’ll be relocating that one as soon as the bloom is done.

 

The temps are beginning to cool and the acorns, still green, are hitting the ground. It will be leaf blowing season before I know it. I’ll try to embrace it!

 

 

 

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Farm Quilted Banner

 

My cousin Sal has a small farm at the lovely Bed and Breakfast he and his partner Beverly have in the Hudson Valley of New York.  He began the farm portion a couple of years ago and sells garlic and veggies at his farm stand. He asked if I would make a banner type quilt for the stand and I gladly said “yes.”  Originally, I sketched a fairly easy design that would have been quick to make. I planned to use vegetable fabrics and batiks. Those fabrics did get used, however, the design changed drastically when I found patterns for paper pieced veggies that I blogged about here.

The quilt began to come to life on the design board and I needed to put the name of the quilt in a prominent position. Oh why, oh why, did he have to name the farm “Patchwork Quilt Farm?!”  That’s a long name! The actual reason is that the previous owner of the property sold quilts from the barn.  I did not want to paper piece all those letters nor did I want to applique and stitch around all those letters.  The perfect answer was iron on vinyl! It shows up so well and this is, after all, a banner that will hang outside, not a cuddle quilt!

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Leftover fabrics were used in the backing. I proudly sent it off to him and his reaction upon receipt was everything I wished for. I look forward to seeing a picture of the quilt hanging at his stand (and yes, I put a sleeve on the back to help that along.)

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Linky Tuesday,   (too) Cute Tuesday,       WIPs on Wednesdays

Needle and Thread Thursday

 

More Than Quilting

This past week the weather has been glorious. The heavy rains have finally passed, morning temps are in the 60’s and afternoons in high 70’s and I have been compelled to be outside and once again work in the garden.  The gardens have been neglected by me for a couple of years now and I am definitely paying the price. There are more weeds than I ever imagined! So first thing, rather than tackle what is to be a year-long chore, I built a planter!

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I really am quite tickled with myself and am so pleased the way it turned out. There are two more flowering plants I will be adding to it for color. Best of all, it’s at my drive and front walk so I see it every day.

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My “grove” of ferns has loved all the rain – I think they are bigger and fuller this year than ever before!

The major azalea bloom has passed and the day lilies are just beginning to show off.  I thought a freeze had gotten my hydrangeas but much to my delight I do have pretty blue flowers. The window box is so delightful – I can enjoy it looking out a window of my living room! The cute little welcome sign was a gift from a friend.

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Now, it’s back to those weeds.  The pile of quilting waiting for me will just have to wait a little longer.

Linking up with Naps on the Porch

Where Did April GO?

It has been a beautiful Spring here in the Piedmont. A few really hot days, but mostly seventies with sunshine and just the right amount of rain. I have been more motivated than I have been in several years to work in the yard. There is a mighty lot to catch up on! The daffodils were spectacular, the azaleas were joyous and now we are awaiting the next blooms. I planted several annuals in pots – no longer do I plant masses of begonias or impatience in the ground (too much work!) And, what I used to spend on plants I now have allocated to quilting!

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I did manage to spend a good amount of time sewing and April certainly produced positive results. The above quilt for Hospice was made from bright random strips of batiks donated by Robert Kaufman. (I’m working on using the Ipad camera, so sorry it’s a little fuzzy.) To date this year, six donation quilts are completed. I also completed a top that is going to be a wedding present for a special couple (I’ll save that for another post). I’ve got some things ahead of it before I quilt it, but am planning on doing that in August. The wedding isn’t until October so I should be safe – hopefully!!

April Project List

How was your April? Did you spend it in the garden? Did you do sewing or work on a different hobby? Read some good books? I love to hear how others spend their creative and/or down time.

Reach For The Sun

ReachforSun heARTsCreations (Medium)

Sunflowers are one of my favorites. They are so big, sunny and cheerful. And in the midst of the beastly cold snap we’re experiencing in the NC Piedmont, they are a welcoming sight.  I’d wanted to do this wall hanging for some time and started it about 4 or 5 years ago. Thought I’d never finish it! The background is various sunflower fabrics sewn together in uneven strips. It was then quilted and bound. I wanted the sunflowers to make a BIG statement so I decided to do a dimensional applique.

ReachforSun on bench heARTsCreations (Medium)

All the petals and leaves were sewn right sides together then turned. The stems were cut on the bias, machine sewn down on one side then hand stitched on the other. The petals were put in place and machine quilted.

Reach4Sun Center heARTsCreations (Medium)

The centers of the flowers were fun to construct. Three quarter inch strips were sewn together, cross cut, then sewn together again to make a checkerboard. This project was definitely consuming me at this point! There was no way the centers could be sewn down by machine – too thick. I chose brown pearl cotton and a hefty needle, but still could not easily sew. Pliers to the rescue! This turned into work and made my hand ache, so I attacked it little by little each evening.

Beaded Bee heARTsCreations (Medium)BeeinFlight 2 heARTsCreations (Medium)

The centers still needed something so I added some beads. Then hubby suggested that the quilt needed a bee. I just stared at him for a moment and then declared, “you are so right!” A few sketches later and a trip to the store for yellow and black beads, the bee was taking shape in my head. It took a whole evening to stitch that li’l critter and I love him! Thanks hubby! After I added the bee’s “flight pattern” it was definitely time to celebrate – “Reach For The Sun” was complete!

ReachforSun hanging heARTsCreations (Medium)

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The date on the label should be February 2017 – when I made the label and quilted it in, I was SO sure the quilt would be done last November!!

 

Linking up with Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social, WIPS on Wednesdays, Super Mom No Cape and My Quilt Infatuation.

 

A Yard Full of Fabric

What to do once you’ve enjoyed a beautiful early Spring and are about to have freezing temps and snow? Get outside and cover precious blooms and young, tender leaves. This year I have enjoyed one of the best daffodil blooms ever. Add to that a spectacular Camelia and Helebores. My Hostas that are in pots are up several inches.

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Weather predictions for the next few nights, however, include freezing temperatures and about 2 inches of snow. I grabbed an old sheet and a bunch of large pieces of fabric and my bag of clothespins and went to work.

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I won’t be covering this white azalea in bloom that is out in the woods, although it does hold sweet memories. When my daughter was a little girl, this was her “Secret Garden.” She had it all cleared, several plants planted, a bench and a path lined with large rocks. And most precious of all, it was where her pets and bird rescues were laid to rest. She had even made a special grave marker. I just love it when this shrub blooms.

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There’s no way I can cover everything that has started to leaf out and set blooms, but right now these are the most precious to save. I have a feeling I might be doing this one or two more times before Spring sets in for good. It’s a pain, but pretty plants and blooms will make it all worth it. Thank goodness for my stash of fabrics!!