First of all, we've had 2 days of glorious weather, and the bulbs I planted last fall have begun to bloom in my new front yard flower bed. Yay! I was so afraid the squirrels would dig them up and replant them all over my yard as well as all around the neighborhood. If they did any digging, at least they left a few for me, and I'm happy about that. Below is the side of the bed that I see from the house . . .
and this is the side that's seen from the street.
The dead brushy things in there are the gorgeous mums I planted last fall. I don't know if they'll come back this year or if the winter is too harsh for them. Only time will tell. I also planted some winterberry bushes around the rocks--that's a winter hardy holly that grows well here--and there are some day lilies, irises and monarda coming up as well. I'll fill in the bed with more perennials later in the season, as well as some annuals for year long color, I think.
One of the problems I foresee this summer and every summer to come, is DEER! And RABBITS! A few days ago I checked on the crocuses that I'd planted along with the daffys and tulips and discovered that someone had been nibbling on them! We have multiple herds of deer that roam through our neighborhood on a nightly basis, and I thought at first that Bambi had been snacking on the crocuses and a couple of tulips, but later on I saw a big fat rabbit in the back yard and realized that Peter Cottontail could also have done the damage. Either way, I sprinkled some dried blood all over the flower bed and have seen no further damage. Go have lunch in someone else's garden, you scoundrels!
Dried blood--sounds awful, doesn't it?--is the only thing that we've found effective in keeping deer and rabbits from eating our gardens. We get it at the discount store or hardware store in the gardening section and it really works--as long as you keep reapplying it after every rain. The rain dissolves it into the soil, which is good since it's a fertilizer, and if we skip a day or two, sure as shooting, we'll have nibblers in the garden.
In the quilty/sewing/crafting section of my life, I am so proud to show you 4 doll sweaters that I finished up the other day. I'd made 3 of them over the winter but put them aside before sewing the seams and putting on the buttons. I got so tired of looking at them that I finished off the most recent one that I'd knit on my train trip back from Washington, and immediately got to work on the unfinished ones. Right now I have about 10 of these sweaters made up but don't have the dresses or other clothes to go with them. When I have the entire outfits made--sweater, dress, pants, and shirt--I'll put them up for sale in my Etsy shop and hopefully, they'll sell before Christmas comes this year.
I've also been working on an embroidered wall hanging called "Bless My Garden" from the Gail Pan book, Patchwork Loves Embroidery. It's a rather small wall hanging--the embroidered blocks are only about 5" so the entire thing will measure 25" by 31." I'm doing my embroidery with 12 wt Sulky variegated thread (the other day I'd said it was Superior Thread, but it's actually Sulky) in a gold/green/rust colorway and I'll find fabrics that are in those same colors to make up the rest of the piece. I plan on hanging it in my TV room where those colors will work very well, I think.
Here are some closeups of some of the blocks that are stitched but as you can see, not pressed.
I'm liking the effect of using this thread instead of floss, but I'm having difficulty with it twisting and knotting more than I'm used to. What I like is that the stitching looks much more delicate than it would had I been working with floss. No hurry on this one--I'll just stitch it as I watch a movie or listen to an audio book.
Yesterday I spent at the library for the 3 bed turnings we offered to the public. The turnout was smaller than I'd hoped, but the people who came were pleased and impressed, I think, at the quality of quilting we had to show. This was the first time we've done anything like this, so if we repeat it again in the future, maybe more people will stop by. What the librarians told us was that the individual quilts that we have on display at the book checkout are attracting a lot of comments. People really like them! We can only display one or two quilts at a time so we change them out every 2 or 3 days. I'll go over there later this afternoon and put up a new quilt for the next few days.
That's what I've been up to these past couple of days. Today, I am determined to get back in the sewing room and finish the quilting on my commision quilt so I can stitch the binding on tonight and get it delivered in a day or two. I have all the ditch quilting done and about half of the decorative stitching in the colored blocks, so I should be able to get it done, if not today, then tomorrow for sure.
I hope you're having a very pleasant spring Palm Sunday wherever you are, and have flowers blooming in your garden or at least the hint of flowers to come.