Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gone Green

Today is the last Rainbow Scrap Challenge link party for the month of May. I made a handful of blocks early in the month and thought I would surely be making more. I have plenty of green scraps after all! These are the only ones I made all month however.

Oh well, maybe I'll get back to piecing in June. In the meantime, I'm linking up with these few blocks for the RSC this one time in May.

Most of my efforts in green this month have involved digging out the buttercups and other weeds from my flower bed and planting the rose bushes I'd ordered from David Austin Roses. It took us two days to get the bed cleared and a third to move plants I wanted keep and put the roses in their new home. This will give you some idea of what we were up against:

We dug out a couple clumps of day lilies and set them aside for a friend's new flower bed. Two other clumps were simply relocated within our bed. We also moved lavender and a little low growing flower whose name I've forgotten. Whether it survives or not remains to be seen.

This is where the lavender was originally.

The bed sure looked naked once we'd cleared out the weeds! The rose bushes looked even smaller than they did in their pots too.

One of the rose bushes is in the middle of this bed, to the left of the day lily leaves.

I want to add some annuals to fill in the bare spots a bit and then mulch the bed thoroughly. Unfortunately, there's more smoke in the air than my body will tolerate. I don't know if it's drifting over from a neighbor's property (burning brush) or if folks have begun grilling outdoors prior to our holiday weekend. In either case I can't get back outside to finish the job until it rains well or we get some good breezes to clear the air around us. {sigh}

I've been making steady progress on the images I transferred to muslin a few days ago. The bluebird at the top of this section was all stitched in back stitch.

Well, except for that bit of his breast. That was mostly split stitch. I'm thinking I will put '2017' in the banner eventually.

The Virgin received gold braid (cross stitches) on her deep purple robe.

After I outlined her dress in pink I went back and did some detached buttonhole stitches in an attempt to give her a lacy collar and cuffs.

They're not very lacy but I'm content with the results. Now I'm considering options for decorating her dress a bit more.

I've had an interesting experience since picking up embroidery again. Some time ago I gave up on the stem or outline stitch when I couldn't get it to look the way I thought it ought to. So I've been doing a lot of back stitch to outline things. This week I acquired a copy of Christen Brown's book The Embroidery Book, a Visual Resource of Color & Design. It's a feast of inspiration.

More to the point, her directions for doing the stem stitch have made it possible for me to get the results I longed for in my work. I don't understand why exactly. They aren't that much different from other representations of the stitch process. Just enough so, I guess, for me to make the necessary connection or corrections. Now I can use that stitch more confidently and enjoy it more. :- )

Happy Memorial Day to my readers in the USA!


  1. You might not have had a lot of green blocks, but you surely made it a green post! Very clever. You have green all around you!

  2. The collar and cuffs, what a brilliant way to give her the finishing touch. Day lilies, they thrive down here, and multiply overnight. A friend came and dug up a whole ute tray load, and we couldn't even notice any gaps, probably at least 30 or so have gone to a new home, along with a lot of other plants that were in multiples as well. The little roses will grow, and I hope the vapours and smoke get washed away with rain.

  3. Your embroidery looks marvelous to me - glad the new book is of help.

  4. You have been playing with lots of green... just not fabric! Lots of progress on your flower beds. Hope you get some rain and/or wind to take away the smoke and give you some nice clean air to breathe.

  5. May truly is a green month whether in the sewing room or in the garden. Great work in both places.

  6. The dove is really lovely, my favorite. I love David Austin roses also. We planted one on the south side of our MV house. It got pretty tall. They are luscious roses, extravagant looking. But the red Knockout shrub roses are by far the best, blooming alll summer, need no pruning. Even here in WI they really thrive also, and this is not rose country. Good luck with your projects.

  7. I like what you have - and the springy colors of your plants!

  8. I'm so sorry the smoke is causing you illness, but I'm glad you accomplished so much before you had to stop!

  9. You've had a lovely creative time, it seems, both in the garden and in your sewing room. Love what you're doing with the the Virgin of Guadalupe, who can take any amount of decoration if you look at other representations! How about some skinny stars on her gown?

  10. Looks like most of your green was in the garden this month. Looks good though! Surely June will bring some time to getaway from the heat of summer and enjoy some fabric.

  11. I can see why you planted the roses in that bed. It will be wonderful to see the flowers from your deck -- once the smoke dissipates, of course. Enjoy them. ~hugs~

  12. I love the outline stitch and use it more than stem, but it depends on which way the curves go. I much prefer it to back stitch unless I'm doing letters or tight curves. Your work looks wonderful! Buttercups are weeds? Too bad we aren't next door neighbors as I'd love them! But I love dandelions, too, so you might be happy we aren't next door neighbors. LOL I hope the smoke dies down and allows you out to finish your pretty gardening. At my house, things have to survive on their own, because if they die, I don't replant that thing. LOL

  13. PS I didn't forget about James and the quilt - figuring how to juggle a few things. It will be this summer, though.

  14. I really enjoyed reading your interesting blog post. Not surprised you didn't have much time to sew RSC green blocks. However the ones you made are great and will eventually find their way into a quilt. Good work on the garden front. I've been tackling weeds too. Very hard work, I'd rather be sewing!

  15. I love David Austin roses! The deer around here love to eat them down in the winter, though.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I usually embroider in the summer when it's too hot to hand quilt...usually just dish towels for Christmas gifts but I have a lot of vintage transfers I want to put on pillowcases and crochet edgings. I have a couple of crazy quilt ufos I want to get back to now that I'm retired.

    Have fun!


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.