Friday, April 25, 2008


Very, very slow work on Maude's garden. A little flowery vine appears on the rock wall.
We've been having lots and lots of rain here lately. So much rain that our ground is absolutely saturated and the water has begun seeping into my basement/garage area. No damage or anything -- just a little trail of water running to the garage door (I have no drain in my basement -- don't ask! I didn't build the house, just bought it very used). I need dirt around my foundation.

So after moving things around and wading through the mud, I have a very large order of dirt coming tomorrow. Saturday is the only day of the next 5 where there is no rain so I'll be slinging dirt like a mad woman (LOL). It's a lot more work building my own gardens then building Maude's.

Tiny silk flowers around the pond. Lots more work needed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Maybe Spring?

Maybe Spring has come? For more then one day? I sure hope so. When I got home last night, this is what I saw. So pretty. I built this rock garden with my father, one pickup truck full of rocks at a time. We would see a construction site and zip in with his truck and load it up until it couldn't hold anymore and then go to my house and lug these big rocks off. I like a wild, natural look to my gardens so I do a little weed control, but not much of anything else. The rock garden is about 60-65 feet long and used to be just a bank, full of weeds and a little gravel as the previous owners never took care of the yard.

The mossy stuff just moved in itself. Now there are a ton of wild violets. This is the first year since I've lived here (5 years now) that the violets are so thick.

Over the weekend, I got Block 5 done in the Birds of a Feather quilt and I've prepped Block 6. As you can see, its more of that bias stem -- all the rest of the blocks are just loaded with it. It's not that difficult to sew, it's just the ironing of it that gets to me. Later in the week, I'll have pics of Come Into the Garden Maud -- Maud's garden is starting to take shape, just like my own garden.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15th, Madeline History and Questions Answered

Does everyone in the U.S. have their taxes filled out? Well, enough of THAT subject.

The pic above is my little Madeline's "baby picture." The person holding her is the Animal Control Officer. Madeline was one of a litter of 5 taken to the Animal Shelter around October. I had lost my cat to the contaminated pet food about 3 months earlier. I was looking on the internet and realized my local pound now had pics on the web. I actually went to see another cat, not Madeline.

When I got to the pound and was taken back to the cat area, there were 4 little kitties all in one cage, screaming, climbing on each other, jumping up and down. They looked as wild as could be. I looked for a long time into the face of the one I had picked out on the internet and there just wasn't any connection. Then I looked into a cage on my left and there was little Madeline sitting there all alone, all curled up in a little ball just looking at me. And I told the Officer I wanted to hold her. And she was so sweet and cuddly. And then I brought her home and all my illusions were shattered (LOL).
She's a wild baby but we've had a lot of fun and I sometimes think about what would have happened if I'd left her there. Her sisters didn't make it. They were put to sleep. What if this sweet little kitty of mine had been put to sleep? I'd never know that a cat could fly through the air, jump from the floor to the ceiling, hang off the rungs of a ladder and twist swing herself around like a gymnist, love to eat walnuts. So if you want a pet, please go to a shelter. The price includes a certificate for a free spay/neuter. There are as many purebreeds in a shelter as a pet store that could be selling animals from breeding farms. And besides all that, you're just doing the right thing.
If you're still with me -- I want to thank everyone for their comments on Come into the Garden Maud and the Favorite Song block. If I don't reply to you it's because your comment/blogger setting is set to "no reply." Please change that on your blog (it's in the settings) as I'd love to reply back to everyone because I love getting comments. The title is from a Tennyson poem (one of the comments is from a poet and I'm sure the title is what captured their attention to this blog).
To answer some questions -- the flowers on Maud are fussy cut from fabric. I will add lots of dimensional embroidery, etc. onto them. In fact, everything on Maud is fussy cut from fabric or it's stamped and/or painted. I hope to get back to it real, real soon. We're going to have a couple of days of spring here (we only get 1 or 2 days every couple of weeks) so I have to take advantage of it. Last night was a hard freeze -- today it's going to be 70 degrees. Time to play outside! I have lots of gardening to take care of and I'm already a month behind.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Favorite Song Round Robin Block

In my CQForNewbies group, we had a Round Robin of Your Favorite Song. I chose Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds just for all the great imagery and also because I had this piece of Laurel Birch fabric I wanted to use. Sadly, in the middle of this Round Robin, Ms. Birch passed away. It's a great loss to all of us.

First, here's the whole block:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river -- everyone smiles as you drift past the
flowers that grow so incredibly high
(worked by Lauri)
-- with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. . . . (Lori -- great seam treatment
for marmalade skies)

Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes . . . .
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head
(Lucy and flowers worked by Flora)
Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain, where rocking horse people
eat marshmallow pies. . . . (Jaki -- the marshmallow pie has to be my favorite!)
Picture yourself on a train in a station. . . . (tracks by Linda)

My thanks to Fora, Lori, Lauri, Judi, Jaki, Rebecca and Linda. There is lots of other seam work and motifs done (particularly a fountain) but many were done in metallic threads, bead work, etc. that I could not get a clear picture of.

In particular, look at the little rocking horse. Those are sequins sewn on with several stitches making a little star pattern and/or like little shisha mirrors. Love it!!

Again, thank you all -- this is a great block!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Weekend Play Time

First you sew everything down. Then you start adding a little texture (left over crewel yarn from an old kit).

Then you add a little paint here and there (JK, do you like my owl?)

Then you add some more texture and keep building it up and it becomes a path.

Add some texture into the backgrounds. Hand dyed threads and outlining of leaves.
And you keep going. . . .

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Seam Embellishment No. 10

Here it is Tuesday again and time for another seam embellishment. The seam I have this week is a neat one for a curved seam. This seam was done on top of a very shiny brocade fabric and I hope you can see the details.
It's a butterfly made from detached chain stitches and straight stitches. Done in two colors and with a larger thread then regular DMC floss, it makes a nice seam treatment. For the butterfly body, you could also substitute a bugle bead. The top detached chain stitches are larger then the bottom ones. You could do satin stitches inside the "wings" or even add some beads. This is a nice big embellishment that would certainly fill in lots of room on a block.
That's 10 seam treatments and I think that will be the end of the weekly seam embellishments for a while. Hopefully warmer weather will be here soon (like right now!) and I have lots and lots of yard work to do.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at the different stitches and that it's helped some of you think about your own CQ work and seam treatments.