We're in the grips of winter, with a low this morning of nine degrees; the wonderful sunshine has warmed us up to thirty nine degrees this afternoon. Don't we wish spring could come sooner? We're already getting seed catalogs in the mail, but it's hard to visualize flower gardens when there is snow covering the beds. I don't have as much luck growing pretty flowers as I did back before the trees grew so tall; they sap all the moisture from the beds in the summer. By the time the ground warms up in the spring and I plant seeds, dry spells come and the tiny plants shrivel up. We use our wells for the chickens so I don't do much watering. I have better luck with flowers grown from bulbs: irises, Asiatic lilies, and daylilies, and of course they don't bloom all summer.
So, can we take a look at this quilt of mine, and pretend it's spring? This picture was made before it was quilted but I did finish it and called it my "Garden Pathway". I think the real name for it is "Boston Commons". I first saw this pattern on an antique quilt for sale on eBay; the white strips were left free of applique, only quilted. It took me a while to figure out how to draft the pattern, so I began with a doll quilt, then paper pieced the squares (since I'm not too good with 1/4" seam allowances on my machine). The flowers, leaves, and vines are hand appliqued.
I wanted to add more than flowers, so I cut the butterflies and birds from another piece of fabric and appliqued them. This method is called broderie perse. Of course every flower garden has ladybugs, bees, spiders, and spider webs, so I included some for a little bit of whimsey in the quilt.
Now this quilt comes with a little story: it won a purple ribbon at the county fair and I was asked if I would like to send it on to a larger fair. I agreed to do so, and added a hanging sleeve to the back which is a requirement at the fair; however, it wasn't hung, but rather spread out over a table with all sorts of other fair entries set on top of it. To say the least I was upset, fearing it would return home with dirty spots on all that white area, but it came back looking none the worse for the way it was displayed. But, I didn't send my quilt this year; I don't want a hanging sleeve on my bed quilts, nor do I want to use them as table toppers.