On Gardening

The season has turned, we are on the cusp between spring and summer, and have had our first soaking rains. The vegetable seeds and seedlings planted in September are sprouting. Yesterday I noticed that the pumpkin seeds have sprouted, meanwhile the radish seeds have grown apace and are being harvested for salads and sandwiches. It lifts one’s spirits to see the garden grow. In anticipation of today’s post I raked four barrowfuls (or barrowsful) of leaves from the herb-and-vegetable garden, weeded it and neatened the edges for a photo-shoot.

This glimpse of my garden is to introduce a recently completed quilt (with apologies for the poor photograph).

Garden of Delights. 70 x 70 cm.

After stitching, gardening is one of my favourite activities, hence a quilt to depict this. Some of you may recognise the trowel, which appeared in a smaller format in one of the samplers I made for a Stitch Club exercise. I “cheated” and enlarged the drawing via a photocopier (from A4 to A3 size). It is intentionally oversized so that it stands out against the heavily hand stitched background. In real life the beautifully wrought forked trowel has a wooden handle and stainless steel prongs and these have been represented with hand dyed brown fabric and silver lamé. To accentuate the steel material the lamé has been heavily overstiched by machine. The trowel was appliquéd onto the quilt after it had been stitch-quilted and bound. For the hand stitching I used no. 12 perle thread in shades of green and brown and followed the patterning in the background fabric, which is an Amafu hand dyed block print. The leaf patterns, squares, triangles, and lines printed onto the fabric represent the foliage and structural elements of a garden and these patterns are subtly accentuated through the hand stitching.

23 thoughts on “On Gardening

  1. Beautiful garden and quilt! My two sisters take after our mother and are great gardeners. They have both floral and veggie gardens. My granddaughter has an herb garden that she tends. She proudly points out the homegrown herbs used in making meals. I, on the other hand, kill plants. I have tried my best, but I always mess up. I once was successful with growing tomatoes. However, the birds enjoyed them so much, and I didn’t want to shoo the birds away.

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      1. Sad to say, but true. I enjoy admiring other people’s gardens. This morning, I am venturing out to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Pre-covid, this was a frequent place I visited. My friend says the early mornings have little to no people there, and that safety precautions are in place. I cannot wait to see the garden again.

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      2. W🦠W
        I can hardly believe the colour and shine of that that fork — it looks like the actual implement is resting on top of the quilt!
        The background so beautiful — so intricate.
        Happy harvest….

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      1. But of course, my dear Mariss! I forgot to mention, I clicked on the fabric link…eye candy for sure (and even made out of ‘American’ quality cotton – Imagine that!
        But I forgot to ***ask*** about the binding fabric. Did you piece it or is it naturally striped/in square shapes? Did you use it as the backing fabric? I really like it – color palette adds punch to the entire piece.

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      2. That explains why Amafu fabrics are so nice to work with and quilt through — lovely soft cotton.
        And to answer your question, Laura, the binding fabric is a Kaffe Fassett stripe, which is unusually muted for him. Didn’t use it for the backing as I am a bit parsimonious with my Fassett stash. The backing is a local cotton, brownish with a bird pattern.

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    1. Oh what a wonderful comment. That garden abuts onto the patio which already has a table and chairs. Wish you could visit! You have made me realise that I don’t spend enough time in that space with a book and pot of tea. Will make a point of doing just that this weekend.

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  2. Your garden looks delightful – and so wonderful that you have had rain to help it all happen. Your quilt is so creative and most inspired. I agree with Asta that it looks like the actual trowel/fork is resting on the cloth. I hope you have indeed spent time in the garden with a pot of tea and a book this weekend. Here it so blisteringly hot today (high 30s earlier), we retreated indoors into the house with doors and curtains closed against the heat.

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  3. Thanks, Carol, I have enjoyed creating both the garden and the quilt and it’s nice to tie the two together with the representation of my trusty garden fork. I am delighted that both you and Asta notice the prominence of the fork. It was also hot here over the weekend. I did indeed spend time sitting next to the garden, but in the cool of the early evening with a G&T instead of a pot of tea.

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  4. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thought you’d put the real fork on the quilt as “set dressing” 😂 That’s some incredible work! It was also nice to see the lovely garden that inspired you, as it springs into life again.

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