Category Archives: garden

Gifts!

Gifts are fun – especially when given by someone special.  A friend recently came to stay for an overnight play date (yes, quilting of course!).  She brought me her farm fresh eggs – no picture as they didn’t last very long! If you’ve never had farm fresh eggs, let me tell you that they are the best! The shells are fun because they’re not plain white, the yolks are a deep yellow and denser, and the sizes are big, big, big!

My friend has a farm in South Carolina – Fox Trot Farm in Lancaster. Touring the farm is fun and a great time to spend in the country. As their website states, they have:

Grass Fed Lamb, Fresh Eggs, Honey, Soap, Tours, & Farm Fun!

Honey, oh my! Not only is it fresh and yummy, I love the bottle and label!

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Cord holders – I’ve been meaning to make these handy little things for some time now but somehow have never gotten around to it. I put them to use right away. Awesome!

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Knitted dishcloth – love these.  This one has now been used several times – didn’t even get a pic when it was brand new. Mine have a lot of wear and tear  so this is very welcomed.

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AND…I know, more – right?!  This beautiful embroidered towel. I do like dragonflies and have a few scattered about the house and she noticed!

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Thank you for these wonderful gifts that keep on giving!

Spring here in the NC Piedmont continues to delight. Temps have been perfect too! It’s also had me gardening and doing a bit less quilting.

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A Touch of Elegance

Retreat info

Several years ago I made a pretty set of pillowcases for our bed and hubby loved them. How disappointing when one met its demise. He asked for another set! What a nice break to do some easy and quick sewing. I did them on my Jazz because it sews really fast – 1,000 stitches a minute!  The first set I did is rather bold  and fancy and goes with our burgundy set of sheets.

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Next I chose a print to go with our turquoise set. It seemed a bit plain until they were all together and on the bed – a great look!

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For the third set, I chose this feather print. It goes with our gray set of sheets and is really quite elegant. Pillowcases are also a great way to use up yardage that you may not necessarily use in a quilt.

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Funny how the little things can make a difference. Now I’d like to make a few sets for our guest beds (but after I finish another quilt or two!)  (NOTE:  All the fabrics used in these pillowcases were prewashed)

Spring has definitely sprung here in the Piedmont. Every day there is an explosion of growth and color – absolutely my favorite time of year. The pollen is the downside, but so overshadowed by the wonderful goodness. Here for 34 years, and have not yet taken it all for granted!

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Leaders/Enders Progress

It’s amazing how quickly a quilt top goes together when using leaders and enders.  I placed this L/E project at my sewing machine the beginning of the year and now I have the main section together! I set aside all my 1 1/2″ green strips and sewed them all around the outside.

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Now I will continue to piece the L/E’s and make a border of two squares across and as many down as needed for the sides, top and bottom.

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Unfortunately, I haven’t made much progress on those because I have been doing  string quilt piecing on a foundation which is not L/E friendly and at another machine I have been paper piecing which is also not L/E friendly.  But that’s okay – there are many more projects in the wings!

Although, this happened today (it was scheduled, not a surprise) so now there is much neglected yard work to get to. I had been putting it off until the tree work was all done. It has been a glorious spring bloom this year, so I know it’s all worth it!

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!

 

 

 

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.