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..............

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Snapshots of Summer ❣

The loveliest of welcomes to you❣ It is a delight to have you visit my little place where the dance of summer has slowed noticeably. The garden is still awash with flowers, but the buds are less inclined to open. They are less willing to greet the early chilly mornings. The flowers seem to need warm, summery sunbeams to warm up the cells inside the petals to perk them up; as do I. The sun's happy beams are still warming the cockles of my li'l ol' heart, but very soon it will be thick, aran knitted woollies, piles of quilts and the crackling of open fires that will warm dem ol' bones of mine.

The seasons they are a-changing. There are signs that autumn is just around the bend of our winding country road. The leaves are ever so slightly beginning to think about transforming into those glorious hues that only autumn can gift. There is a crispness to the mornings and early evenings. The light too, is different, and the daylight hours are lessening. The sun's happy rays have begun to once again peek around the curtains, of the family room and creep across the room causing everything they touch to shine.

Summer was beautiful. Why, this summer the garden flowered more gloriously than in other years. It is as if Mother Nature sprinkled  happy dust over our little garden, causing the sweet peas to reach for the sky, the dahlias to flower in multitudinous blooms.....the hydrangeas to grow taller, and with the biggest of blooms, these mop-headed beauties have blossomed splendidly for months on end. Truly, the garden this summer has been astonishing. 

I have stitched more of my applique, flower garden quilt this week. More wisteria flowers have blossomed, more leaves have wound their way across the vine, and a little yellow birdie flew in to nestle among the leaves. Again, preparing the wisteria flower elements was a tad trying but I was determined to fashion a lot so I could then play with the placement of them. Gosh, some of the parts are itty bitty! The calyces of the wisteria buds are about half the size of my little finger nail.....impossible. I coloured parts of the wisteria petals with Inktense pencils. I must say I am more than happy with what has 'growed' on my quilt this week.

Soon, summer days will be but a memory down here but I am warmed by the thought that  they will knock on my door once more, later on in the year. For now I will but drink in the glorious hues of autumn as it slowly paints dazzling and magical hues everywhere. Thank you, lovely lovelies, for stopping by my little place. You have delighted my day. I am going to make myself a cup of tea, settle down for the evening and enjoy a little slow hand stitching with the band of merry hand stitchers over at Kathy's place. I hope all is well in your little corner of the world. Sprinkling a little summery, flowery love into your day❣

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