Sunday, April 11, 2021

I Just Want To Hand Quilt ❣

Good Morning lovely lovelies❣ 'Tis a sunny, with a little-bit-of-a-nip-in-the-air kinda day, here today. A perfect day for snuggling under a very big....and heavy quilt, enjoying a little hand quilting. Or perhaps a perfect day for quilting in the fernery where the sunshine embraces me with a warm hug. thinks that is how I will enjoy this lovely Sunday morning❣

But before I chat about all things quilting, I was wondering, how are you all?? Life down here has been rather pleasant of late. It is school holiday time so me and my good husband have been out and about; and entertaining some guests who we have not seen 'hide nor hair' for twenty years. My friend was our next door neighbour in Sydney, for many years.....until she sold her house to 'the neighbours from hell'.....but that is a whole other sordid story for another day. Actually, it is a dossier filled with many unbelievable and strange stories. Stuff worthy of a good crime novel.....indeed stranger than fiction.....but true. But enough about the illegal world of  chicane and devious people, let's just say we escaped (actually..... we flew out of there quicker than a bat out of hell) and headed way down to the bottom of the world, where ghastly neighbours are but a dreadful, distant memory. It was fun catching up with my friend though; all the family toings and froings that have gone down in twenty years. Isn't it funny, how when you don't see people for yonks, it really only seems like yesterday that we were sharing a cuppa (yes.....even in those days tea was enjoyed in a pretty fine bone teacup) and chatting about all things life.

The weather here in this far rural outpost has been lovely. Surely for those of you way up there north of the Equator, spring has sprung.....hasn't it???? Here, we have had beautiful sunny, Indian Summer kinda days, punctuated with enjoyable moments with the hand quilting of my pretty applique flower garden. BUT.....there is definitely a nip in the air, so I just know Jack Frost is not too far away.

Now.....about the border and backing fabrics. I purchased a beautiful fabric called Vibrant Garden a year ago, with the thought that I might use it for the border of this quilt. It is an all over print with hydrangeas flourishing all over. Perfect!! So, so happy that hydrangeas are dancing around my applique garden. It was just meant to be. You have seen it before as it has been the backdrop of many a flowery photo shoot. =) For the backing I have used a fabric with spring flowers smiling happily.......LOVE the daffodils❣ This fabric too, has popped up in many a photo shoot over the last year. When I saw all those happy flowers, I knew it would be perfect for the backing of my flower garden quilt.

Now to the quilting. I am quilting with Gutermann Sulky 100% cotton, size 30, variegated threads. As these threads are not coated, before I stitch I run them through a thread conditioner and protectant, (Thread Heaven) to prevent the thread from knotting. I am loving the variance of colours. Normally I use a plain coloured quilting thread but I decided to live precariously this time. I do not care one iota that my imperfect quilting stitches will be laid bare for the world to see. =)

For the flower section of the garden I am quilting leaves here, there and everywhere. No templates, just drawing the leaves as I go. I must say I am having the best fun making it up as I go. The leaves are giving the quilt the most fabulous texture and they seem to cause the flowers to pop. The leaves growing wherever they will are adding beautiful dimension and depth. The hand quilting is breathing life into my little applique flower garden. Love, love, LOVE the texture thus far. I have used a 60% wool 40% polyester batting which is giving this quilt a softer and warmer feel.

Sitting here in the sunshine-filled fernery I am going to enjoy more quilting of the leaves. As I look out to my little world beyond, to the distant hills kissing the blue sky, to the verdant my little autumnal garden, I cannot but smile at the beauty of the landscape which surrounds me; hugs me. Getting into the groove and quilting for a couple of hours will indeed be bliss. Hand quilted stitch, after hand quilted stitch; leaf after relaxing. Yes indeed, I just want to hand quilt on this sunny Sunday morning. I just want to sit here, drink in all that is before me, giving thanks to God, that I am able to enjoy the beauty of His amazing handiwork beyond the windows of the little fernery. So thankful, too, for the gift of your beautiful visit. I hope I have sprinkled little smiles into your day. May your day be a lovely one, a blessed one; where a little sunshine and beauty causes you to smile.

Until the next time.........

Linking with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

And......just like that..........


.......the applique is done! Finally, the last applique stitch is in place and the flowers are all 'growed'.  The appliqueing of these flowers has taken what seems aeons, to do. I started appliqueing my fabric garden way back in September 2018! Oh my, that is an age ago. But of course, there were others quilts, other pretties stitched and finished within this time so that should count for something....shouldn't it?? For the sake of my sanity and to prevent myself from going stark raving mad I had to, at times, put this quilt aside  and stitch other such fripperies.

When I started this quilt I wanted to try something new to me. I wanted to push myself. I wanted to skip along my creative path and discover new things that challenged me along the way. I wanted to jump off the secure quilty precipice, hurtling down, down, down,  into the valley of the unknown; the valley where applique reigns supreme. I wanted to wander around with those luminaries who design and stitch the most amazing applique quilts. You know the ones. Those quilts which when you look upon them, you are rather nonplussed, your mouth drops open with drool uncontrollably dribbling from the corners and as you scratch your cranium, you wonder "how on earth did they make that?". Not that my little applique flower garden has that effect on others but I desired to fashion a quilt that was just a little out of my comfort zone.

I wanted to see if I could coerce fabric into anything that half resembled a flower, or a leaf.....a butterfly, a bird, a bee; and as I skipped and pirouetted along the flower-kissed applique path I discovered I could. I discovered that this applique caper was actually fun. I know.....who would've thunk it!! Not I!! The coaxing of teeny tiny smidgens of fabric into blossoms was actually enjoyable. As I designed, snippety snipped, glued, played, cajoled, teased, stitched, embroidered.....before my eyes magical flower seeds germinated, transforming into hydrangeas, pansies, water lilies, daffodils, tulips, cosmos, anemones, gladdies, foxgloves, irises, daisies.........even the dreaded wisteria. As if by magic my applique flower garden sprouted, growing day by day, month by month, year by year; into a pretty that is most pleasing to my eyes. Can you tell I am just a little enthused with my little fabric flower garden?? =) I am beside myself with great joy actually, that my little fabric garden which has been swirling around in my imagination for a very long time is now blooming floraliciously before me. All I wanted to do really, is to design and stitch a quilt that is reflective of the garden that surrounds my humble abode and hugs me every moment of every day. For the garden that my husband dreamed of and slowly designed and built, and now tills, inspires me moment by moment, day by day.

But....although the applique flower garden is blooming in all it's finished splendour, there is of course a little matter of the hand quilting to be done. There is too, a decision to be made re the border fabric, and whether or not I want a straight or a serpentine edge. For the quilting, I am not following any templates but am simply going to quilt various leaf designs rambling all over the garden, ripples swirling round and round in the pond and straight-ish lines dancing luminously across the sky. I want each flower, bird, leaf, stand out from the dense quilting. Again, just making it up as I go. Of course, it could all go belly-up and look a little  'how's your mother', but I will see where my muddly imagination takes me. There again, that precipice is looming before me. You never, never know if you don't give it a go; do you.

Thank you for popping by to read my stuff and nonsense and look at the happy snaps of my fabric flower garden. Thank you for visiting me and my little flower garden quilt each time, season after season, to see which flower happened to be flourishing and which real, ridgy-didge flowers happened to be blossoming in the garden at the time. Goodness, there has been a plethora of happy snaps, haven't there?? But that's okay, isn't it?? I don't think anyone would be  ho-hummish with the gazing upon a few 'hundred' happy flowers, would they?? =) It's not as if  anyone who visits my little place is not aware that each time my post pops up on their computer screen there will be the odd flowery happy snap or two. Why, flowers feed the soul and cause one to sing in one's heart. At least they do mine.

Each one of your visits has sprinkled a little joy into my autumnal day. 'Tis Sunday evening....again. Goodness me, March is blustering along and dancing upon falling leaves; and April is hurrying up my country road. I am going to pop into Kathy's place and see what all the other lovely ladies are up to. Have a beautiful day, lovely lovelies. May you, this fine day,  find a little beauty to make your heart smile.

Until the next time.....................

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Autumnal Hydrangeas; Springtime Wisterias ❣

A lovely hello to you, on this sunny, autumnal Sunday❣ 'Tis a beautiful day❣ Blue skies above, flower-filled gardens below......such bliss❣ As I wander around the garden, it is evident to me that autumn is nigh. It is amazing that only in a matter of weeks the hydrangeas have turned into the softest of hues. From the prettiest shades of blues, to disparate shades of plums. It is amazing to me that from blues so many shades magically appear. It is as if God, The Master Painter, has pulled out His artist palette and brushes, and dabbed touches of colour onto the petals, wherever He will. No petal is the same. Astonishing really❣

This week, I cut and gathered together what seems like truckloads of my favourite flowers, in order for them to dry out and provide splashes of muted colour in my home throughout the drab, colourless  winter months. Truly, I believe there is no other  flower quite like the hydrangea that gifts colour  month after month. For whatever reason some hydrangeas turn into gorgeous dried flowers and the others, well, they just die and metamorphose into a pongy mass of compost. There is no rhyme or reason why some transform into dried flowers and some do not. 'Tis one of life's mysteries. =) Of course, I could pick the flowers and hang them all upside down in a dark place, then I suppose all the flowers would dry out. BUT....I much prefer them to be in vases scattered throughout my home where they add happy colour. I adore to see the changes of colour day after day. It matters not that some may perish in the process.

The hydrangeas whisper to me that autumn is nigh but with each tiny stitch my applique wisterias nudge me, reminding  me that spring will come aknocking once again. As nothing shouts spring quite like wisterias. Every spring, here in this far rural outpost, the  wisteria vine cascades spectacularly in the prettiest of bluey, purple flowers, and never fails to delight. Both the flowers and the exquisite fragrance never fail to intoxicate the senses. 

This week there are more wisterias, leaves and birds to be seen on my applique garden. There have been a few comments re my little birdies. They are sweet, aren't they?? I found two fabrics a couple of years ago where painterly birds are dotted here and there. I purchased them for no other reason than I loved them and I knew I would use them one day. When one sees a fabric they love, it must be bought there and then because they disappear never to be seen again. From the beginning of this quilt it has been my intention to evoke a Monetesque aesthetic, so these painterly little birdies are perfect. Why, they look as if they could have flown from a Monet canvas and landed in my applique garden, nestling among the flowers. I have cut out each little birdie leaving a 1/4" seam allowance, applied fray stop around the edges (as the fabric frays dreadfully), then lightly clipped all the way round, turning under the seam allowance and stitched.  So, so very easy. 

After the stitching of the wisteria is finished that will be the end of appliqueing this quilt. YAY!! The appliqueing and then the embroidering of each flower, each leaf, has been a mammoth task. I cannot quite believe that this quilt top is nearly ready for the quilting. BUT.....not quite there yet, as there are a few more wisteria blossoms, leaves, birdies and perhaps some more butterflies, to be added to the garden. I cannot say I will miss preparing and stitching the itty bitty calyces of the wisterias! I will continue with the appliqueing this evening and some embroidering of the leaves; joining the other lovely hand stitchers who will gather together for a 'show and tell' at Kathy's lovely place. Thank you for popping by my little place where autumn is beginning it's gloriously-hued dance; beginning to show off. Meanwhile, I will just keep stitching wisterias, dreaming of spring days and the ridgy didge wisteria flowers. May your week be a lovely  one, where a little beauty kisses each day 

Until the next time..............