Tag 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.

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!!

What I’m Working On

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Beautiful weather here in the Piedmont of NC! Where I live, we were very fortunate – only some much needed rain from Hurricane Matthew, no flooding or downed trees. The clear sunny skies and high 60’s moved me outdoors to do some much needed yard work. Ughhh! For years I spent sunup to sundown digging, planting and weeding. That passion has been replaced with sewing! After a few hours of that and a bit of housework ( double Ughhh!), I headed for the sewing studio.

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Both design walls now have something on them. The first is a postage stamp wall hanging that I’ve wanted to do for some time using Kaffe fabrics. And yes, the squares are one inch finished. It looks pretty skihawed because the rows are not sewn together and it’s on the wall a bit crooked. More neutral squares need to be added to the end of all the rows and then the rows sewn together. This one is done in more of a colorburst style, grouping like colors. I have a pretty cool border planned but the math needs to be done first. “Oh Hubby – you are needed for quilt math detail!”

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The second is a background for a wall hanging. I have an applique in mind but haven’t gotten it designed yet. It too will have a border. This project was started years ago and every time I pulled it out, back into it’s project box it went. Not sure why, but it spoke to me this week and have been sewing on it quite a bit. Still no empty project boxes, but projects have been completed and progress is being made.

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Spring Table Runner

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On sale precut hexies led to this quick project. I did not want to English paper piece, so I cut a hexie from card stock and pressed each fabric hexie around it. Using a bit of steam helped each hold it’s shape. I then placed the hexies on the background and held in place with dots of Elmer’s white glue. I’ve wanted to practice with my new Sashiko and this was perfect! I am pleased to say that I can now wind bobbins and thread the Sashiko like a big girl!

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And, I love Spring in the south. The daffodils never disappoint and the Hellebores have been blooming for about a month now; beautiful week, it’s in the 70’s. It does, however, get into the 80’s much too soon so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! Please know that as a transplanted Yankee, I’m not really complaining!!