Saturday, February 15, 2020

Flowers and Foliage

My "Mother's Flower Garden" quilt is coming along. I am just finishing up appliqueing the last block to the background on the fourth row. Two more rows to go--you can see the sashing and cornerstones are cut and waiting for those last two rows. The border fabric is on the left. It is a Kim Diehl print fabric in a slightly lighter shade than the cornerstones.

I think I am going to take a big chance (for me) and start stitching the rows from the blocks I have already made. I have never stitched up my rows before without having all of the blocks completed and having spent the requisite days (or weeks) switching blocks around until I have either found the arrangement I like, or have thrown my hands in the air and given up.

Though the fabrics in my flowers are from the 80s and 90s, I still wanted to use 30s colors in the sashing and cornerstones. It just has that feel to me.There was a day when I didn't know if I could face this quilt again, but I am glad I finally pulled it out of the deep, dark closet. I am surprised at how much I like it now.

Other flowers I have been enjoying include this Amaryllis. This photo shows it when 6 of its 8 buds were open.


And the Valentine's Day bouquet hubby brought me is a gorgeous bundle of two-toned roses.

Did you celebrate Valentine's Day? Aside from my favorite Fresh Salmon Friday lunch at a local eatery, I spent much of my time making and delivering these. This was one of three trays.
It started a couple of years ago as something I wanted to do for some of the widows or home bound in my community on Valentine's Day. It was so fun--I really enjoy making them, and seeing the surprised faces of the recipients. But when I tried to do it again last year, there was not a strawberry to be found in the local grocery stores. This year I made up for it! 


As to the foliage in my post title, I am finally back to the hand quilting of another old UFO, but this one is only 10 years old. I finished assembling this Tree of Life medallion quilt in 2011. It was to commemorate my youngest son's two years as a missionary in Brazil. Each design has significance to his experiences there.

It sat idle for years until I had it machine basted by a long-arm quilter so I could start the hand quilting in 2016. With all of the shoulder problems I have had over the last several years, I just rarely felt like working on it. It remained as you see it here for longer than I care to admit.
Just this month I have actually been able to move the quilt in the hoop a couple of times. 

I struggled with what to quilt in the yellow setting triangles. Though they scream for feathers, I didn't want it to look feminine. 
I finally decided on the curved cross-hatching, but needed to order a larger curved ruler in order to do the marking. I have never hand quilted curved cross-hatching before. I find I like it. I finished up the first yellow corner this weekend.

And the last bit of foliage comes from this tiny Tree of Life.
I made that center block on a dare from Karen (logcabinquilter blog)--I don't even recall how many years ago. Do you, Karen?  She just sent me a photo she had seen on Pinterest, with the block dimension. I think she said it was a 4" unfinished block. I tried to make it with just that much to go on. It is kind of wonky, but I am finally making a little quilt out of it. It has been pinned to the side of my design wall ever since I finished it.
I am easily amused and I get a kick out of seeing how much tiny pieces shrink as they are sewn together. On the left are 14 1" unfinished HSTs (I miscounted somehow--I only need 13). On the right are 13 1/2" finished HSTs . I don't know yet if I will add any other rounds to this little medallion. This is as far as my brain has taken me.

Surprisingly, I didn't have to draw more than one name for the soap bundle I promised in my last post. Usually the first name or two belong to "no reply" profiles and I can't contact them, so I have to draw another name. This time I got a winner right out of the gate, and I am thrilled to say it is Wendy of The Constant Quilter blog. I link with her each month for the Monthly Mini. I'll get that sent out to you on Monday, Wendy.

Until next time,
Janet O.


  1. You know how happy your grandmothers flower garden makes me!! It is so beautiful!!! I’ve never seen an amaryllis that color; how beautiful! The Tree quilt is beautiful and I love seeing it in your hoop. The tiny tree block???? You are amazing! I can’t even imagine how small those leaves are!!

  2. wow janet that tiny tree is awesome! wonky? i don't see it at all...but if it were mine, it would be....and love the curved cross hatching...great idea and perfect for your project!

  3. I love your "Mother's Flower Garden"! It's so pretty! Those strawberries made some ladies feel extra special; how sweet! Your Tree of Life quilt is stunning. I hope your shoulders are feeling better now? Funny how we've both had that experience, eh? Your hand quilting is stunning. I've never thought about taking a quilt to a longarm quilter be basted. That's pretty clever. Happy Weekend!!! :)

  4. Lucky Ladies to get a visit and pretty Strawberries! Nice of you to remember them. Happy to see your progress on the Hexie Flowers and Tree of Life. 4" tree will be sew cute as a mini! Congrats to the Winner. I'll have to ration my soap, lol

  5. I love the old fashion feel to the Grandmother's flower garden quilt. It is soft and dreamy, so yes, start those rows. I bet it will work wonderful! Still again your tiny minis amaze me. Glad you are able to do some hand work on your son's quilt. It is beautiful..

  6. The FG looks really great. I commend you for stepping out of the box and sewing the rows.
    Beautiful red and white flowers. just gorgeous.
    What a sweet kindness to make strawberries for others.
    All things come in good time, like getting to the quilting. I really like the curved cross hatching. I've experimented with a similar design with my fan stencil.
    hooray for wendy!
    I too am amazed how much piecing shrinks with sewing.

  7. Your tiny tree is amazing, although I'm not surprised that you accepted Karen's challenge! I think the curved cross hatching is perfect for that corner--looks great. Also, those flowers are gorgeous--and those strawberries--wow! I'm sure it feels good to get back to those older projects. I sometimes have to force myself to work on a UFO, but once I get started it's kind of fun.

  8. Your "Mother's Flower Garden" is beautiful! So sweet of you to make those strawberries--what a great idea!

  9. I'm so glad you're able to hand quilt again. The curved grid is just perfect for that setting triangle and your quilting is very nice.

  10. What a pretty grandmother's flower garden quilt!! Lovely...please send me a strawberry, LOL! They look so good. Wonder if I could make them? Hugs!

  11. Chocolate covered strawberries is a lovely gift idea. Your mini tree of life is amazing and I am inspired to give one a go, but not that scale LOL!

  12. Wow Janet, so many wonderful pieces! The flower garden is lovely, and yes I too can drive myself crazy with block placement. Sometimes "blind random" can give some surprising and totally cool results. Go for it! Your tree of life medallion is beautiful as well, and I LOVE the curved cross-hatching! Would never have thought of that, but now I'm tempted to pick out some stitches on an old favorite I've never been 100% pleased with, and use that instead. I assume you shoulder is better? The mini tree of life is totally cute!

  13. Oh those strawberries look so LUSCIOUS!! What a great idea!
    And Wendy is the perfect recipient of your soap!! She'll love it!
    Your "mother's flower garden" (not grandmother's???) is great.
    I will frequently go ahead and sew rows together before I get all the blocks done.
    I want to see some progress. Some people only do that AFTER all the blocks are done.

    NOT ME!
    Happy Valentine's Day. Those flowers are fabulous! Your dh is a real sweetie!!

  14. You have resurrected some awesome quilts. Your FG is beautiful and does have the classic 30's feel. Quilting your son's mission quilt will be wonderful to complete. I really like the curved crosshatch. What a sweet Valentine treat for so many.

  15. Your "Mother's Flower Garden" is beautiful! I still haven't figured out how you are able to do those smaller trees with all those tiny pieces! Wish I had a tray of those pretty strawberries right now! ---"Love"

  16. I just think your Mothers Flower Garden is looking stunning Janet. I love those muted 1930's colourings. Oh MY ... I wish I could reach into my screen & just taste test one of those delicious looking strawberries of yours. How lovely of you to do that. Your amarillys looks beautiful - I have one in a pot but it has never flowered for me.

  17. Wow, everything is so amazing!! I love the quilting you are doing on the Tree of Life, your Flower Garden is lookin" goooood. But I think that you missed my house with some of those yummy strawberries. Well, it might be because we didn't have the light on out front!! My bad!! Oh, wait, we have no outdoor lights on the house or in the yard yet!! Maybe next year!! xoxoxo

  18. Oh Janet, I am so excited! No one loves your soap more than I do! It will be going to a good home. Thank you so much! I had an e-mail from Randy this morning telling me I was the lucky winner. I have not been online since Friday. Your Mother's Flower Garden is breathtaking. I am so very thankful that you took them out of their hiding place and put them on the front burner. It is going to be gorgeous! I am happy to see you are able to hand quilt again. That Tree of Life is beautiful!

  19. Am thankful your shoulder has improved and you are able to quite again. Don't over do it! You are so kind to make chocolate covered strawberries for the widows--am sure it is a real treat for them.

    Sometimes, when I have a project I am not liking I put it in time out. When I return to it I can be more objective about it.

  20. So much goodness in this post! The tree of life will be such a treasure for your son. The curved cross hatch is brilliant. Lucky Wendy getting your soaps! Your flower garden is coming along nicely! And last but not least, what a very sweet thing to do, delivering the strawberries. A lovely tradition! I have never (?!) dipped strawberries but I must try that - the strawberries in Japan are excellent and often in season.

  21. I know the chocolate covered strawberries made many smile! They are beautiful to look at!
    I think it is a great idea to start sewing the rows together!! I ADORE that last small tree block!! So stinkin' small!

  22. Your flower garden looks so wonderful! Yes, 30's fabrics are just the thing for a quilt like that. And 4" UF for that tree block?!?! Oh my word! Now that is a sweet little quilt -- almost Christmas-y given its colors!

  23. Your work always amazes me! I appreciate your care and attention to detail but being sane enough to throw up your hands and just go for it eventually on some projects! There is never enough time to work on everything. Your curved cross hatching looks great, and that tiny block and HSTs, oh my. Strawberry season is just about starting here--our favorite stand announced an early opening due to rain this past weekend. A few cloudbursts were all we got but every bit is appreciated.

  24. All of your flowers, quilt, amaryllis, and roses, look beautiful. I really like the creamy sashing and green cornerstones you've chosen for the flower garden quilt blocks. I agree they have a 1940s feel about them.
    I love the way you're quilting your son's quilt. The cross-hatched arcs are a perfect solution for those corners.
    Your tiny Tree of Life is adorable. And amazing!

  25. Your flowers are just beautiful! And What a great idea to take those pretty strawberries to people who may need a little pick-me-up. Love that! And...curved cross hatching is one of my favorite things. I guess it hasn't ever occurred to me to use it in hand quilting. What ruler did you use?


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