Tag Archives: flowers

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.

PC 4 (Medium)

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!

PC 3

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.

PC 1 (Medium)PC 2 (Medium)

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!

Spring (Medium)

 

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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!

February & Another Finish!

It’s such a joy when many hands come together to make and finish a Hospice quilt. This quilt top was donated by a reader. I love the pieced border pattern! I prepared the backing and batting and then Judy (Goneaway Quilting) beautifully did the machine quilting. To finish it off I bound this pretty and peaceful lap quilt. May the recipient enjoy many hours of warmth with this quilt which was put together with love and caring.

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Lesson Learned:  When donations come in, I must put the donor’s info on a piece of paper and attach it to the donation. This will now happen with ALL future donations!  This quilt top was donated but I do not know by whom.  If you are the talented and generous donor, please let me know!

Mystery Solved – This quilt top had been sent to Jo’s Country Junction and Jo then sent it on to me. I do now know who the original donor is but do not yet have her permission to post her name. Our Hospice group is SO very grateful for this beautiful quilt!

February was not one of my more productive months. I did attend a retreat where I got a fair amount of sewing done. All the rain has made me want to curl up near the fire and read – not a bad thing. A huge bonus has been all the beautiful spring flowers!

 I also did a lot of cleaning up and reorganizing in the studio which is very important to me. Now I’m ready to storm through March!

Feb WIPs

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!

 

 

 

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!

planter

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

New to Me & Different Technique!

An Island Batik Adventure

Try a TechniqueFor the month of March we ambassadors were asked to try a new technique – something we had never done before. The list we made amongst ourselves was endless:  binding techniques, different types of applique, specialty rulers, clothing construction, art quilts, and the list went on and on. There were so many more things to consider, many of which I have done at least once. Maybe not perfected, maybe not well, but I had done it. Hmmmm. Then I saw a pic of a fabric vase type of structure. Okay! Here I go!

After sketching and cutting out a shape from paper, I played with it in a standing up position. I then cut that shape out of a heavy stabilizer. Having chosen several bright batiks, I began to cut them into random rectangular shapes, join them and place the piece onto the stabilizer securing it with basting spray. I also added another bright batik as the backing. I chose several of my Aurifil threads and quilted all the sections and then trimmed around the outer edge. I finished the edge with satin stitching and yes, this part was tedious.

Vase base heartscreations.com

Now the vase needed some life, some dimension. I covered a thin piece of rope with fabric and zig zagged it onto the base. I cut out a front and back for two random shaped flowers from a bright pink batik and sandwiched them with a leftover piece of some Thermore batting pieces I had, giving them dimension. This is a wonderful light weight batting to work with. I machine quilted each flower and added some beads in the center of each and then went on to make three leaves using the same method. After arranging the flower and leaves onto the base, I stitched each piece onto the base.

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I then put the piece on end, made it into a cylinder and hot glued it together. And there it is! A glass vase hides inside nicely tucked away. It’s perfect having a yard full of daffodils this week – in the vase they went. So much color and the promise of Spring!

Vase w flowers heARTsCreations.com

Linking up with: NTT, One Monthly Goal

 

 

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.