Tag Archives: garden

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!


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.)





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

Needle and Thread Thursday


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!


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


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.


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!”


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.



Spring Table Runner

full table runner

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!!

Bounty of Batiks

Batiks – I have six bins! They are all pieces, no yardage – some fat quarter size and just a few half yards. It seemed like another scrappy was in order. There are 3 different blocks. I chose the pieces randomly. With batiks this method just works. I did have the brown for the sashing and then had to buy the gold. I’ll admit, when it was finished I wasn’t in love with this quilt. However, when my son saw it he voiced how much he liked it and would love to have it. Yup – it now lives with him! Photographing this quilt helped me embrace it a little more.

Batik Beauty (Large)

Batik on bench (Large)

I love the way the shadows play on all the different colors and patterns. I really do like the pattern the long arm quilter chose. The curves work with all the squares.

Batik quilting (Large)

There was a lot of sewing done in this quilt, and I’m so glad it’s found a home where it’s really appreciated. And the six bins of batiks? Still full – can’t tell that anything was taken out.

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It has been a glorious spring in the garden. The ferns are in full and I am amazed that the hellebores are still in bloom. The Jack-in-the-Pulpits are the largest they have ever been! The azaleas bloom in various stages and it will be sad when they are all gone in a month.


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These are views from my back deck – am so glad you can’t see the weeds from this distance!

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Two Crossed the Finish Line!

It feels so good to have two finishes – and they’re both UFO’s for my guild’s challenge! That’s now six out of twenty. I should have empty project boxes now – not so. Projects that were in zip loc bags are now in the project boxes. It’s quite the cycle!

Charity quilt (Large)

The baby quilt has squares in it from a panel I purchased that was meant for a soft baby book. There are enough squares for two more quilts. It was fun to pull pieces of fun prints and put them all together. This is a charity quilt and will go to a child that is hospitalized.

100 patch on rail 1 (Large)
The center of this scrappy quilt has 100 patches. There are 492 pieces in the quilt – not as many as I originally planned. I was going to do a pieced border until I discovered the green with white polka dot fabric in my stash and fell in love. There are some duplicates in the 2 ½” squares. Once again I’m amazed that when these are pieced it becomes yardage, yet my scrap bins do not reduce in bulk at all!

100 patch full (Large)

Now I have two more quilts that just need binding. Oh how I want to cut out a new project but am resisting the temptation. May be this fall? But now it is glorious spring. I love these red rhododendrons. Temperatures have been perfect to get some much needed weeding and mulching done. The rewards, as in sewing, are great.

rhododendrons (Large)

Happy Easter!

Oh how I love spring in the South.  Just a few weeks ago it was bitterly cold.  The sea of daffodils in my yard struggled through it and gave their usual beautiful show.  When I went out of town two weeks ago, the daffodils were on their way out and things were looking a little bare.

Daffodils 1 (Large)

When I came back 3 days later – Wow!  The azaleas were beginning to bloom and perennials had shot out of the ground almost fully grown.  The ferns sprouted up, the trees were leafing out and now, for Easter, everything is just so beautiful!

Hosta w frog (Large)

azalea (Large)

A little bit of a switch on creativity – some Easter fun.  I stuck Peeps with skewers and placed them the little flower pot with Easter grass.  The colorful little strips at the base are fabric cutting when I squared up some blocks. Fun and colorful. I’m working on a batik scrap quilt. Blocks are done and I’m doing the piecing, but no pics yet. Monday is a holiday for me so I plan to finish it then.

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Wishing all of you a blessed Easter!


Hubbie is an avid reader. During the warmer months, he often takes the boat out for an overnighter or two. Last year he mentioned that the chair he sits in while reading on the boat could use a cushion. Aha! Christmas present! I purchased a piece of high density foam at the fabric store and cut it into a 14” square. Hint: An electric knife is the perfect tool for cutting foam.

foam square (Large)

I chose a sea worthy looking home dec fabric from my stash and then printed off one of our favorite lines from the TV show Big Bang Theory – Sheldon Cooper’s famous “You’re in my Spot.” The letters were easy. It was the elliptical shapes for the atomic symbol that were a bit of a challenge, but I am very happy with how that turned out.
Now the problem with trying to do a surprise gift for my man is…he’s always there!

Letters (Large)

atomic symbol (Large)

I’d get an hour here and there, but it was not done for Christmas. Yes, I gave it to him unfinished. Yesterday I finished it! AND, it will count as one of my UFO’s for my guild’s challenge. (Only 13 more to go!) And yes, the one corner is a bit wonky – I need to adjust the foam a bit more. I do know that I never want to do another box pillow!

Spot pillow (Large)