Over the last several months I’ve been looking through my archives for posts that deserve a second look. The posts that I have chosen, all of which come from the garden category on my blog, share photos of the gardens surrounding my home. These photos, although taken five years ago, are timeless. The beauty of nature never gets old in my eyes.
The beauty of flowers never ceases to amaze me! I enjoy taking photos of flowers and adding them to my library. Every now and then I look through my folders just to admire the specimens once again.
I’ve been sharing a series of oldie but goodie blog posts all focused on my love of flowers. These posts are timeless and well-worth the second look. Below is another one taken from the garden category on my blog. Please enjoy!
May 1, 2015
Spring, one of my favorite seasons, brings with it the anticipation of abundant sunshine and balmy temperatures. Anyone living in Wisconsin knows that Spring is unpredictable; the thermometer is far from steady, temperatures swing wildly from frigid cold to pleasantly warm, and the much craved sunshine often lies hidden behind layers of clouds.
But in amongst the disappointing, unpredictable weather comes the beauty and wonder of the slowly emerging tiny plants. Peeking from the buds on every single branch are hundreds of tiny leaves. These small glimpses of new life remind us of the beauty yet to come.
On one recent balmy day I snatched my camera, slipped on a pair of flip-flops and headed outside to capture a piece of Spring. As I circled my environment I documented as many signs of Spring as I could uncover. Shown here is what I captured from behind my camera’s lens.
From time to time I resurrect or rewind some of my oldies but goodies. With spring just around the corner I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I first shared on May 17, 2013. This post is one of several filed under the category I call Gardening.
May 17, 2013
I was very remiss at cleaning out my gardens last fall; there’s plenty of debris just waiting for my attention. While working in my studio recently, I detected movement outside my window, in my peripheral vision. Being curious about the origin, I stopped what I was doing to investigate. Carefully I moved toward the window. As I got closer I could see a big fat robin. The robin was tugging at the leftovers of last year’s Black Eyed Susans.
I stood as still as I could; not wanting to scare the robin away. The bird paused for a moment then tugged once again at the decayed stems. His efforts eventually were successful. As he flew away I could see the new-found items nestled within his beak. The male robin returned numerous times to gather more items. Seeing this robin actively gathering stems and leaves reminded me that YES indeed spring is here! Yippee!
Take A Look
I took advantage of a rainy day recently to pause and take a few photos in my gardens. This is the fruit of my labors. Enjoy!
While this post certainly has nothing to do with quilting it does bring you a small taste of the environment that surrounds me. My home, garden and landscape bring me great joy. I hope you found today’s tour to be a pleasant one.
If you are joining me for the very first time or have been away for a while, I’ve been sharing my latest adventures at my Little Cabin In The Woods (LCITW). This is the fifth posting in the series. If you would like to read the other four I will have links to them at the bottom of this page. Welcome!
I awoke this morning to another absolutely gorgeous day in the north woods. The sun is filtering through the trees creating a dappled light that gently illuminates my work area. I feel so blessed to have this space.
Last night, when I crawled beneath my covers, I took with me Cindy Grisdela’s book “Artful Improv.” After finishing the quilt top for the commissioned project yesterday I wasn’t quite sure what to tackle next. By reading Cindy’s book I thought perhaps it might be the spark to lead me in my next direction. Unfortunately my overwhelming fatigue allowed me to only briefly browse the many colorful and interesting pages.
Even though the quick tour was not really enough time to glean a lot of information it did bring back memories of the class I took a year ago this last May. It was a class led by Rayna Gillman called Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts. I wrote about the retreat in several posts. This is a link to one of the posts. I enjoy creating art through patterns as well as improvisational methods or improv. Since my stay so far had been focused on a pattern I decided today it seemed only natural to turn toward the improv direction.
While packing for this adventure I included, in my project box, the blocks I had created from a previous block swap. The blocks I received were not at all to my liking. Rather than leave them as they were I cut them up and turned them into smaller improv pieces. The new inventions were surrounded by white fabric and stitched together to form a quilt top. To let the quilt’s appearance solidify in my mind I set the quilt top aside to stew.
There currently are 24 blocks that have not been re-purposed and three that obviously have. Big decision now! Do I play with the three or do I focus on the 24?
The 24 blocks, although a much larger undertaking, is the direction I went.
There were many of the 24 blocks I really liked and the rest not-so-much. I decided to sort them into two piles, yes & no.
The ones on the left are the yes pile. There were seven blocks in the not-so-much or no pile. That left me with seventeen blocks.
Down to Seventeen
The seventeen were then sorted by color theme into a pile of nine somewhat subdued colors and the other eight slightly more vibrant colors. The stack of nine were shuffled through several arrangements until I found a color flow that I found appealing.
Next I had to decide if I wanted to leave them in their current size or shrink them down. Eventually I decided to leave the white border as is. The version with the larger white border gave the eye more room to rest. Here’s how they looked after being stitched together.
I’m calling them Art Quilt # 17: The Chosen 9.
The other eight blocks were divided into two groups of four. Each grouping was left as is. No changes were made in their dimensions. Here’s how the mini quilts looked after they were assembled.
This one is called Art Quilt # 18: Four Friends # 1
and this one is called Art Quilt # 19: Four Friends # 2.
One other small block was modified with the addition of a few fabrics and a striking yellow border. This sweet little gem, which I have named Art Quilt # 20: Rising Star, looked like this.
All four art pieces are awaiting the quilting process. I will update you when they are finished.
Before closing today I must share a brief account of my exciting afternoon. I discovered the presence of a winged insect, of the scary kind, inside my LCITW. This was the fourth one I had encountered. To explore where these creepy things might be coming into my cabin I went outside to take a look. Our air conditioners are located on the roof of the cabin. As I looked up at the one above my bedroom I noticed a fairly steady stream of critters flying in and out.
Multiple alarms (that’s putting it mildly) started sounding in my head. There was no way I could let that continue. After a few phone calls I found a local expert that could rectify my situation. Much to my delight he was able to make a service call within hours. Before the gentlemen left he knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to see the nest he had removed. Who wouldn’t want to? I grabbed my camera and went to see what he had found. I was absolutely shocked when I saw the nest. Take a look.
Isn’t it huge!! Thank goodness he took it with him! I was so glad he could remove the nest and not get stung.
Well this brings Day Five to a close. At the beginning of my post I told you I would share links to the first four days. Here they are: Day One, Day Two, Day Three and Day Four. I look forward to our next visit. If you like what you have read and are not currently a follower, why not join in. To sign up just enter your email address in the designated area. It’s location varies depending upon what type of a device your are reading this on.
Thanks for visiting! Until next time, Happy Quilting!
What quilter wouldn’t want days and days of non-stop sewing? I know I do! For Sadie and myself this is day four of our adventure, at our LCITW (little cabin in the woods).
Day four dawned with an absolutely beautiful blue sky and temps in the low 60’s.
A blue sky and sunshine always brings a smile to my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
This morning, while eating breakfast, I was entertained by the visitors at our bird feeder. From our dining table I have a clear view. Watching the birds fly in and out as well as observing their many antics was so delightful.
After breakfast I took time to listen to the sound of the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. Their melodious song provided a calming affect.
Accompanied by their rhythmic chant came the aroma of the woods. I filled my lungs with one deep breath. Mixed in that breath were the scents of pine, damp earth and the sweet perfume of nearby flowers.
This experience is what makes my time here so enjoyable, so special. The memories of these days, the sights, the sounds, the fragrances will stay with me long after I have returned home.
Feeling refreshed and exhilarated I returned to my sewing table to work. I kept my nose to the grindstone until mid day, stopping briefly for lunch and a stroll outdoors. The sunshine and warm breeze felt so pleasant. So much so that I almost changed my plans but my desire to finish the Circuit quilt proved to be stronger.
I am thrilled to report that I was able to complete the quilt top. Since the lap quilt is a gift I will refrain from sharing photos of the finished project until it’s ready for delivery. Sorry for the delay! Here’s a small look.
Now that the top has been finished it is ready to be quilted on my longarm machine. Obviously I don’t have one of those here because the machine measures 14′ from end-to-end. Providing housing for something that large would be impossible. The quilt top will just have to wait until we get home. Even then it will have to get in line behind the ten other quilts already waiting.
Who knows what I will choose to work on tomorrow. Decisions, decisions! There are so many items that have patiently been waiting for their turn at my machine. Then again there are some newly acquired items as well as my ongoing improv endeavors that seem to tug harder on my attention. Only time will tell.
That’s A Wrap
That’s all for Day Four in my current adventure at my LCITW. Interested in reading the first three installments? Follow these links: Day One, Day Two and Day Three.
Thank you so much for stopping by! Your visit as well as your comments means a lot to me! I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together.