Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Quilt That Started It All

Amy's Creative Side

This is my entry in The Bloggers' Quilt Festival. My second son was just a few months old when I innocently picked up this magazine at the drugstore!  Who knew what a monster was about to emerge.

I knew how to sew and always wanted to make a quilt, but most of the patterns looked overwhelming and besides, I didn't know a soul who quilted. There were no quiltshops around and J. C. Penney was the only source of fabric in town.

This small project appealed to me immediately!  I had plenty of gingham in my stash.  First I had to enlarge the pattern.  The instructions on applique were one paragraph suggesting that I sew on the seam allowance around each piece before turning it under.  Many dogs and cats bit the dust as I taught myself to applique.

By the time I got the top together, I discovered Quilters' Newsletter Magazine and from their catalog I ordered a disappearing chalk to mark it.
I worked late into the night marking the quilt only to discover the next morning the quilting lines had disappeared due to the humidity.  My husband laughed and said I'd never finish it!  Now I was really determined and I marked it again with a pencil.  The batting was the old unbonded variety that made the quilt soft and cuddly.

Four c-clamps and some wood I found in the garage provided a frame.  I wasn't looking forward to the quilting part but when I sat down and started stitching, something happened at that frame. It was a sense of peace and serenity that I had never experienced before.  Quilting grounded me in the moment, connected me to the past and handwork has been my refuge ever since.

I wish you that same sense of peace, serentity and connection to the past in whatever you do!


Friday, May 18, 2012

16 Years At The Lake

We enjoyed the daffodils and tulips for a long time this spring. They welcomed everyone at the front of our home.

The Forget-me-nots bloomed in the back yard garden.  Most were blue, but I found one pink in the bunch.

My friend, Mrs. Schraml gave me this Columbine many years ago. The most precious flowers in my garden are the ones that come from my friends and family. 

This is the garden in the back.  Mostly full of creeping Charley and a lot of sedum.

My husband (despite the fact that we have a huge lake in our backyard) always wanted a pond.  So we had our neighbor (who also has a landscaping business, Creative Landscaping)
design a pond, patio with a fire pit and surround them with a beautiful garden
First, I dug up all my plants and put them into pots.

Then there was a whole lot of digging going on.  They tore out my garden, saving many of the plants.  These were the most amazing workers. They did an excellent job!

They brought in rocks and lovely black dirt (we live in Blue Earth County on top of clay).

One week later, on Mother's Day we had a pond with fish and the grand-daughters named them.    

They put in steps to a patio with a fire pit.

And by Wednesday of the following week it was finished.  Here is the layout without the landscaping.

Most of the plants are originally from the garden.  The sedum was tucked between the rocks.  It's breathtaking!

Here Mrs. Schraml's  Columbine sits next to some fieldstone.

And here are some of the Forget-me-nots.

And this is where I'm going to sit and enjoy it all...on the screened porch.

Today we celebrate 16 years from the day we moved into the garage where we lived while the house was built.  That's a story for another post!

This is how the backyard looked then.  The deck was quite high and now it's at ground level.

We are so grateful to have such a beautiful spot on this earth!  I hope we can enjoy it for many years to come!