Friday, March 29, 2013

Twenty Years in the Garden....Finished!

Oh, how I have enjoyed this project.
It was a much needed interlude between finishing the book with Val and a new endeavor which will keep me quite busy until mid-May (when I can tell you about it; I'm quite excited!)

All the vegetable beds planted looks like this:

The corn is a little short.  But I didn't have enough ribbon to make it taller!
Such are the problems when gardening and embroidery meet.

As we all should do with our finished projects, I provided a label with some documentation.

It includes a photo that inspired my quilt too.

I made a simple binding from turning the backing fabric to the front in a fold, and appliqueing it down.  But I dressed it up with some couched cording.

This was a nice opportunity for me to get a little more warm color into the piece.

And now it is done and mailed off to the Quilt Alliance for their "Twenty" contest, exhibit, and fundraiser (though I'm not eligible for the contest as a serving board member, I love to participate each year.)

Happy Gardening, everyone.  Tis the season!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Twenty Years in the Garden...Tomatoes, Marigolds, and Corn

The beds are all planted!

Tomatoes are good companions to marigolds; we always grow them together.

But before planting, the posts have to go in.

Getting those vines going....

Can't forget the marigolds!

A few French knots on the French marigolds, of course...

The tomatoes were made the same way the squash leaves were: silk that that had its edges burned in a candle flame.  This time I used tweezers to hold those tiny tomatoes, though.

Now for the corn....To get the leaves shaped the way I wanted, I ended up using a second needle with fine thread to help fold the wide flat leaf over, like corn leaves do...

Like this...

Worked pretty well!

After I got it done and showed Robert, he said that the corn was too short and looked stunted.  Indeed!
So I added some height and of course he was right!

So here it is, just starting to tassle.  ;-)

Now I just need to do the finish work, backing and binding the quilt, so I will go do that and post a final picture when it is all done.
Thanks for following along!

The guidelines for the "Twenty" contest benefiting the Quilt Alliance are here.  Do enter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Twenty Years in the Garden...the Wildflower Bed

Always, the wildflowers are welcome in the garden!
Here is the bed "planted" to them in this quilt...

Click on the photo to see better...
They are kind of generic flowers, but I was thinking of California poppy, nicotiana, cosmos....and a few others whose names I forget!


In the comments for my last post Rebecca Grace asked:
I noticed you singed the silk ribbon cut into leaves for one plant, but not for the cauliflower. Did you do anything to prevent those little bits from fraying apart?

Also, do you do all of your embellishing embroidery by hand, or do you ever incorporate decorative machine stitches or embroidery into your work as well? 

As to the first ?, I didn't do anything to prevent the little leaves from fraying on the cauliflower.  If they fray, they fray...and I'll pretend it was those cabbage worms that did it!

And for the second?, in this quilt all the embroidery is by hand.  But I am definitely exploring the inclusion of decorative machine stitches in other work.....

Two more beds to go.....

****Remember to enter YOUR quilt for the "Twenty" fundraising contest for the Quilt Alliance.  Guidelines are here. Be sure and check out the amazing prizes and sponsors! The quilts will be exhibited all over the country this summer before they are auctioned in the fall on eBay.****

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Twenty Years in the Garden...Planting the Beds

Robert came over to my work table and said, "I wish it was that easy!"
Shaping and planting the garden beds in late spring is a ton of work.  But for me...I get to do it with velvet, silk, ribbon, and thread.  Ha!

I've gotten four beds "planted" and want to show you how that went.

The cauliflower was made from leaves cut from wide silk ribbon, and French knots in #3 cotton perle.

Next came the onions.  When working on this tiny scale, the nature of the supplies one chooses is critical. Susan Elliott is a master in this regard and quite inspiring!
So for the onions, a hand-dyed gimp seemed just perfect.

A simple straight stitch was all it took.

The next bed over is for salad greens.  4mm and 7mm silk ribbon was a natural choice here, but the colors were a tad flat.  So after my stitching was done, I touched up the ribbon--in place--with a fabric marker.

This is pretty forgiving so it was not scary.  But if I really screwed it up, I could have taken out that stitching and replanted, so to speak.

The fourth bed is for squash.  This was a little more involved, but tons of fun.

Burning the edges of silk seals it from fraying, and gives a nice dark outline around the shape.  You do have to be very careful though.  You just pass the edge over the top of the flame very quickly.

I cut out and singed a lot of the leaves, and then glued them into place.
A toothpick and fabric glue stick was just the way to go.

Here is a close up of one plant glued...

...and then with the stems and blossoms added.

So here is the vegetable garden so far...

I added some flowers along the edge of the cauliflower bed because I made the paths too dang wide.  (Robert always measures out his paths.)

Here is the quilt as of this morning.

It's coming along!

But for now I have to lay it aside, as I have an exciting new assignment that is going to occupy my time for the next month or so, and alas, I can't show or tell about it quite yet.  But I will be so excited to share my news in May!

****Remember to enter YOUR quilt for the "Twenty" fundraising contest for the Quilt Alliance.  Guidelines are here. Be sure and check out the amazing prizes and sponsors! The quilts will be exhibited all over the country this summer before they are auctioned in the fall on eBay.****

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Twenty Years in the Garden....Progress

Ohhhhh it has been fun!

The mid-ground area is about completed.  I brought the number of sunflowers up to twenty (people were counting them!)  Then I finished the hydrangeas, zinnias, and marigolds, and some tall grass.  Remodeled the little yellow house a bit too, but it needs more work...

About those grasses...

I love this ribbon by my friend Vicki Day.
But it was too poofy for how far back in the composition it is, so I just lightly stitched over it with clear thread and I think it worked.  ;-)

See, there it has been flattened, but not too much.

I've shown this to a few people and every single one of them counted the sunflowers, so now there are 20 of them.

We always leave them to go to seed for the birds in fall.  Doesn't take them long to eat everything!

The middle border has the annuals I always sneak into Robert's vegetable patch...

This year will be no different!

I gave the house a little more detail work, but it's not done yet.

But for now, it is time to decide which crops to plant.
Just like in real life!

**Remember, this quilt is for the "Twenty" contest to benefit the Quilt Alliancce.  You have plenty of time to create your entry! Guidelines are here.**

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Twenty Years in the Garden"

Val and I have sent in our manuscript!  There is much work left to do before it is published in May 2014...but almost all of it is C & T's job at this point.  ;-) Which means that after 15 months, I can turn my attention to something else. And blog about it!

So it has been so much fun to begin my quilt for this year's annual fundraiser/contest for the Quilt Alliance (formerly named The Alliance for American Quilts, but now it has gone international--hence the name change.)  The theme is "Twenty", to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Quilt Alliance.

The guidelines for entering are here.  I hope you will do it!

I've been itching to do an embroidered landscape, so I chose to depict "Twenty Years in the Garden".  We've actually lived here for 22 years now, but it's close enough...

I thought I would just post a series of photos showing the process...

I'm "planting" favorites that have recurred through the years: the sunflowers under the alder tree, hygrangeas that I love but Robert doesn't, always a border of zinnias....of course, the beds in the foreground are for our favorite vegetables....

Nice to be back here with you!