It's Summer So I'm Gardening More and Quilting Less!

It is Summer and I live in Zone 4
which gives me 4-5 months of gardening time. I am quilting less because I love my cottage garden with the whimsical artsy garden art that myself and my boyfriend have created through the years.



This is the front yard decked out for the Fourth of July-it gets a Northern Exposure so not a lot of sun and therefore all the hostas.

I am sewing two BOMs I found on Pinterest and Facebook. The one in the top photo is from Facebook and is from Michelle Foster and her Aiming for Accuracy II-Quilt Along called Mishka's Playground. It began in March and on the 7th and 21st of each month a new set of small (8"-9") blocks are emailed to me and I can make them anyway I want. There is a FB page where we can post our work as well as view all the fun and varied versions of this pattern. I chose a white background and colorful fabrics with white polka dots. Sometimes the I disagree with the instructions and do my own thing!!

This BOM is called Moccasin by Gen X Quilters and the designer is Ann Marie Chany. It is smaller than the first BOM I talked about at 67" square. The blocks are 9" in size and each pattern makes two of the same block but with different color ways. This BOM is more "modern" and I was totally enjoying it until June and July's blocks. The triangle block which is on the bottom of the photo was a huge problem using templates. I haven't used a temple since the 90s and it was still not a fun thing to do-not the most accurate triangles and I cut off the tips but I'm not re-doing it! There is a Facebook group but not many people post their work there. There is a Flickr group but I'm not into that. The BOM sample was in pinks, purples, orange, indigo, white and brown and I chose to do cooler colors plus lime green.

These blocks are from a book called Arcadia Avenue by Sassafras Lane Designs. Each block is 18" in diameter and there are 12 paper pieced blocks. This pattern appeared very fun because of the use of the color wheel and I intend to use it in my color theory teachings. Once I began I realized each block was very slow going because of the pre-cutting all the fabric and making 1 wedges that are difficult to put together. I planned to make 9 blocks but since they take so long to make I am leaning towards only 4 blocks!

Lastly, I am in an art quilt group formed through Facebook and every other month we create a small wall hanging based on a theme one of the members. The current theme is due July 31st and is called "snowflake." This photo is a sneak peek-I used sparkly plastic snowflakes from The Dollar Tree as a crown in the hair and a "statement" necklace on the clearance rack at Gordman's in Green Bay, WI and hand tacked it upside down. I used a few novelty snowflake fabrics, all cool colors with some shiny and some fuzzy fabrics. I will share the full photo on July 31st.
I have had a few ladies request I convert two of my quilts into patterns and I intend to but with the summer weather I just can;t be inside on the beautiful sunny days. It will happen!

Art Quilts Around The World: Macro Challenge

 I am involved in an online art quilt group called Art Quilts Around the World. www.aroundtheworldin20quilts.blogspot.com is the official site. We have a challenge every other month that one designated member selects. This challenge was called "macro" which means close up and the size of the finished quilt is 11.5' x 16.5." I chose to deviate from my normal portrait quilt style and I went out into my garden in late October. I live in gardening Zone 4 and I LOVE my castor bean plant which is an annual I purchase each year for my garden. I love this plant because it is huge at 10 feet by October and it gives a tropical vibe to my garden. I also love the reddish pink stems and leaf veins.

To make the quilt I photographed a leaf close up. I chose a green batik for the background and a magenta batik for the veins. I then thread painted the textured detail of the leaves with three colors of Sulky Blendables 30 weight thread. I used a pink color for the veins, a yellow green for the horizontal lines/borders and a medium green for the inner detail. The quilt kind looks like the inside of an umbrella or a spider web.

I selected a bright psychedelic print for the binding since the quilt was sort of boring to me. I thought about embellishing the quilt since it was plain but the actual leaf was not glittery or shiny so I left. Is this a favorite quilt of mine-no but it may fit into an abstract category in a quilt show. Maybe...
This photo is of the actual plant in my garden. I enjoy it's hugeness and am sad each fall when the frost takes it out.

The next challenge is "Art Nouveau" and I am again challenge not by the subject but by the limitations of the small size to show all the details of this style of art. This one is due Jan. 31, 2014.

Yes, I Do Other Things Besides Quilt-I Garden!!

Since it's May and my 2011 flowers are still babies I am showing you a photo of last yr's garden because I do other things beside quilt!! I love to garden and this is a photo of the awesome garden shed Ken made using recycled materials such as weathered wood, windows from an old milking barn, old rust hinges, old chair, old bear trap on the wall, old garden tools, old door, a rusty horse shoe to hook the door etc. I just found out the Landree/Ceesay Gardens are selected in the Marinette/Menominee area Garden Walk on July 15-16, 2011. We live on a quiet street and not a lot of people see my flowers, Ken's stained glass stepping stones and benches, the pond with fish and frogs, our many flea market/"American Picker" finds and my funky garden art. So here's our big chance! I'll post more about this in July when I get the details.

I have a gardening friend, Jennifer Larabbe,who manages the flower shed at Walter Brothers True Value, and she lent me this awesome gardening magazine "Flea Market Gardening" and I discovered they have a website, www.fleamarketgardening.com and a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fleamarketgardening. Very cool to see other people garden in the same style as Ken and I. Check out the magazine, blog and Facebook page!!