Archive for April, 2012

Sweet Angel Ginger

Nina and I would like to dedicate this Flowers on Friday post to a new  Angel, Ginger from the Dachsies With Moxie, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge suddenly yesterday. Please take a moment to visit their blog to leave some comforting words.

This latest batch of blooms is a beautiful bouquet in memory of Angel Ginger. There are lots of pictures so I hope you can sit back and enjoy. As always you can click on the pictures to make them bigger if you want to see them better.

After the previous Flowers on Friday post our weather turned cold for a while so many of the flowers in bud held off blooming for a while. Recent warm temperatures have created a burst of flowers so without further ado here they are.

Bleeding Heart - Dicentra spectabilis

The Bleeding Heart is the first perennial to bloom in our garden and it often signals the return of the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds.  Our feeder is out and waiting for the first arrival.

Double Center Yellow daffodil

Green Center White Daffodil

Petite Yellow daffodils

White Daffodil with Yellow center

The daffodils continue to open. We still have a few bunches of daffodils that have not opened yet, but should soon.

Our flowering trees and shrubs are full of blooms too. These cherry trees are at the end of our driveway.

Cherry trees along driveway

In a short while they will be filled with cherries and lots of birds will be snacking on them.  They are a favorite of the American Robin and the Baltimore Oriole among others. The honey bees particularly enjoy them this time of year as well.

Honey bee on Cherry tree

Another flowering tree that we have are a couple of Serviceberry trees (Amelanchier canadensis). Here is one of them.

Amelanchier canadensis - Serviceberry tree

These delicate flowers will transform into a feast of berries that the birds go crazy for.

Amelanchier canadensis - Serviceberry tree blossoms

We also have Serviceberry in a shrub form (Amelanchier stolonifera) that performs just as well.

Amelanchier stolonifera - Serviceberry shrub blossoms

The last of our currently flowering shrubs in the garden is the Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x juddii).

Viburnum x juddii shrubs

Not only are these beautiful, but the flowers have the most delicate sweet scent similar to lilac.  I am trying something new to see if you can smell them.

Viburnum x juddii flowers Scratch-N-Sniff

Just put your nose right up to the monitor, give a little scratch, and inhale deeply. Isn’t that just heavenly?

Here is a small peek at a part of the garden where you can see the serviceberry shrubs on the left and the Judd Viburnum in the back.

Xanthocyparis nootkatensis - Pendula

This shot also includes one of our favorite features in our garden the Xanthocyparis nootkatensis – ‘Pendula’. That’s the tall, feathery evergreen to the right in the picture. We also have some beautiful yellow barberry (Berberis thunbergii) in the center front.

One of our favorite of the many Japanese Maple trees that are planted in our yard the  Acer Palmatum-‘Chishio Improved’ has its new flush of foliage.

Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum-'Chishio Improved') in border

This beauty has flame red foliage when it first comes out and fades to a nice green with red highlights throughout the summer.  It has fantastic fall color as well. Charlie has planted this with a variety of conifers around it.  The birds enjoy hanging out in this tree waiting for turns at the bath and niger feeder.

And finally here is a shot of the mushrooms that have sprouted up under out white pine tree.

Mushrooms Under White Pine

I hope you enjoyed this tour around our garden and stay tuned for the next installment.


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WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This week I thought I would join in on Work In Progress Wednesday and show what I have been wrestling with lately.

I have started the quilting on my king sized quilt this past week.  Here is a picture of it laying on my living room floor before it was basted.

Dragonfly Summer Quilt before basting

It is a huge 114″ x 114″ and I am quilting it on my Pfaff Creative 4.0.  It took me a while to figure out what to quilt where, and I still don’t have a complete plan for the entire quilt yet, but I am figuring it out as I go.

Quilting the Star

I started in the center and have been working my way outward. I decided on doing mostly feather motifs with a few leaf/petal style patterns as well.

Detail of Star Center

If you click on the image you can see a larger view and see that I quilted some petals in the very center purple area.  Outside of that are three different feather motifs.  I used Photoshop to create the exact designs I wanted and then traced them to a sturdy plastic and cut out the plastic so there would be room to slide my chalk pencil between the feathers. Here are the three templates I created to use in this area.

Corner Feather Template

Feather Template

Small Feather Template

Using some quilt bloggers as inspiration I tried to think outside the star and not quilt by just stitching in the ditch.

Detail of Star Feathers

As you can see in the above picture (click to biggefy if you need to) I added an arc to the quilting to define where my feathers would end.  Between the corner feather quilting and the arc I added straight lines up to the inside arc line.

Detail of ripple quilting

Outside of the arc I did what I am calling ripple quilting where you quilt in ever-increasing partial concentric circles for three or four passes and then start a new one by changing direction. This pattern is similar to the Echo Shell pattern found on The Free Motion Quilting Project site.

The white and tan areas will be quilted with a leaf like pattern. You may be able to see the chalk marks I have made for that quilting in the above picture. I have since finished that quilting, but haven’t taken a picture yet.  The points of the star will be finished with more ripple quilting.

My next task for this quilt is to design the feather motif for the eight setting squares around the star.  I plan on also using the same quilting pattern for the corner squares since the blocks are the same size.  There will be more feathers and variations on that theme in the borders, but I am not quite sure what I will be putting in the diamonds around the outside of the star or in the large corners that are inside the borders.  I am hoping inspiration will hit me before I get there.

Other than that I have been designing some new bags that I have orders for and working on the 2013 Genesee Valley Quilt Club Raffle quilt design with my mother.  I think that should keep me out of trouble for a while.  What do you think?

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When I posted a while ago about the bag I made for Cecilia, Madi’s mom, I also showed the catnip filled mouse I made for Madi.  My sister commented that my feline niece and nephew, Kip and Lafawndah, were a bit jealous because they hadn’t received a hand-made toy from me yet so of course I set about to rectify the situation.

I searched high and low on the internet for some pet toys that could be made using my embroidery machine and I hit the jackpot at My Embroidery Haven.  The set comes with three cat toys and three dog toys.  I made two sets of cat toys and a set of dog toys to start. It was a great way to use up some of the fabric scraps for the outside of the toys and batting scraps to stuff all of them.  I also made little bags that I filled with catnip and stuffed them into the cat toys with the batting.

The first toy I gave away was an orange fish to Maggie, a beautiful grey tortie who keeps my friend, Giles company.

Orange Fish Cat Toy

I forgot to bring my camera with me, but trust me, Maggie had a lot of fun throwing that fish all over her apartment.  When I went to visit a week later I was happy to see that Mr. Fish was still intact! There were only a couple of puncture wounds, but all the stuffing was still inside.

The next set I shipped out was to Kip and Lafawndah and their canine brother Cheese.  The cats received a mouse and a bird and Cheese got a fire hydrant and a shoe.

Bird Cat Toy

Fire Hydrant Dog Toy

Mouse Cat Toy

Shoe Dog Toy

My sister didn’t know the toys were coming so she was a bit surprised when a package showed up in the mail addressed to the family pets.

Another set of cat toys I made as an extra surprise and thank you to Junior, Orion and Sammy whose Meowm bought a drawstring bag from me recently.

Mouse Cat Toy

Bird Cat Toy

Fish Cat Toy

As you can see they received a full set of cat toys. One for each of them or they can share.  They are in the middle of a big move to a new home so their Meowm is saving the toys to give to the kitties as a house-warming gift.  I think it’s a great idea to make the kitties drunk on nip to help smooth out the move to their new home.

Last but not least I made a set of five personalized dog bones for the Dachsies With Moxie.

Personalized Dog Bones for the Dachsies With Moxie

I sent them along as a surprise with the two bags I recently made for Agnes ( a.k.a. What’s Her Name).  She decided to wait until Easter to give them to the dogs and by the looks of it they enjoyed the surprise too.

Well, all in all it appears that each of the toys was well received.  These were all given as gifts, but I plan on including them in my shop when I set it up.  If you are interested in buying one just let me know in a comment and I will contact you for details.

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Hi everyone!  I know it’s been a while since I posted last so I thought I would let you know what I have been up to.  Last week was all about quilt clubs.  I had meetings for both the clubs I belong to and a great class on Friday (I will tell all about that later).  I am currently working feverishly on quilting my king sized quilt that was basted this past November so I can have it ready for the Perinton Quilt Guild show on May 12th.

Before I started working on my quilting I made some more bags for customers.  First on the list were bags for Agnes, What’s Her Name from Dachsies With Moxie.  She has placed a large order that I will be working on over the next few months.  Most of her items are for friends and family, but the first few things I made were for her.  A sort of “thank you” for letting me help with the Fearless Five quilt. In case you didn’t know pink is Agnes’ favorite color.  She had requested a large drawstring bag with a cute dachshund embroidery and a clutch with a sewing motif on it.

Dachsie Stack Drawstring Bag

Dachsie Stack Drawstring Bag Interior

I knew as soon as I saw that dachshund embroidery that I had to put it on a bag for Agnes.  The interior includes a zippered pocket, a snap loop that you can hang your keys on and a large divided pocket.

Needle & Thread Spool Clutch

Needle & Thread Spool Clutch Interior

The clutch is about 10″ wide by 7″ tall and the interior has two open pockets.  This bag is a great size to hold just the right amount of things for a quick trip out.  You can put your wallet in it, a camera, or your phone and be able put some of the accessories in the pockets.  Agnes reports that she uses hers every day and loves it.  As an added surprise I included a personalized key fob/wristlet.

Key fob / Wristlet for Agnes

I embroidered “both” of her names on each side.  This can be attached to the tab on the outside of the clutch to use as a wrist strap or you can put your keys on it.

The next items on the order for Agnes were a pair of near matching clutches for a friend and her daughter that have a Bichon Frise.

Dark Purple Clutch - Bichon Frise Head

Light Purple Clutch - I Heart my Bichon Frise

Dark Purple Clutch - Interior

Light Purple Clutch - Interior

Both bags have the dog head on one side and the “I heart my Bichon Frise” on the other.  I enjoy picking out lining fabrics to enhance the look of the bags.  Agnes said it was okay to blog about these bags as her friend doesn’t read blogs.  Be sure to click on any of the images to see them at full size.

Another bag I made was a clutch for my sister for her birthday.

Knitting Motif Clutch

I used the same red fabric that I have for some other knitting bags for her so all of her bags would coordinate.  She is using it for a project bag for small knitting projects.

The most recent bag I shipped out was to the Meowm of Junior, Orion, and Sammy.  She saw the drawstring bags I made in an earlier post and wanted a medium-sized one with a polar bear on it.

Purple Polar Bear Drawstring Bag

Purple Polar Bear Drawstring Bag - Interior

The interior has two big pockets with one of them divided into two smaller ones.

I really enjoy making all these bags.  If you are interested in buying one just let me know in a comment and I will contact you for details.  I have a wide variety of embroidery motifs, or the bags can be done without any embroidery on them.  I will be setting up an Etsy shop soon to make selling the bags easier for me and you.

Stay tuned for more sewing and embroidery fun tomorrow.


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