Archive for July, 2009

Sample Done!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

The last Coneflowers sample is finished and ready to be shipped off to GA today.


I HOPE it is the last one!! I don’t usually need to make this many samples, but this class HAS been popular! I just got word that the August Wichita one is filled. I am so ready to start a brand new project, but I don’t see that happening real soon.

I have been working on setting up the slide shows for the four guilds in GA in Sept and Oct. I much prefer to bring just the real quilts but with flying that is not an option. I will be able to bring one suitcase of quilts, so I think that plus the slides will suffice.

Even though I did get the sales tax figured and paid on time, I am no where near caught up on the rest of the bookwork and that is nagging me to get on with it. Yesterday it rained much of the day which always makes me want to go out and weed when it finishes and I did do that for an hour and would like to do some more today. But first I need to get the package ready for UPS and pay some bills. I feel like a juggler with too many balls in the air!

This afternoon when I go to town, I need to go by Lowes and see if we have “Coconut Lime” Coneflowers. Thanks for the heads up, Gwynette! I love how they get petals all up the center.

Quilting And Gardening

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Looking back over recent entries it is very apparent that gardening and quilting dominate my life and provide inspiration, one for the other.

This has been a week predominately given over to gardening.


The Mt Fugi phlox get better every year. I have never seen mildew on these!

This walk was so overgrown it seemed to be only one stone wide! Now it’s back to normal for awhile.


The Chaste Tree is in full bloom right now and that is my studio behind it.

After the marathon cleanup early in the week, Thursday I went to town to buy three Plumbago plants to fill the empty space between the Chaste Tree and the walk and ended up buying a whole flat of mixed perennials – 18 plants – all needing a space in which to live.

Some were able to squeeze into the shade garden – Bergenias, Astilbes, Foxgloves and something else who’s name escapes me right now. I had to move a Hosta that really wasn’t happy in the deep shade anyway to fit them all in. Unfortunately, in the process I dug up one of the Yellow Crown Imperials and might have damaged another.  I replanted the one and HOPE I got it right side up. Very hard to tell. A new low Campanela edger went in where it would get part sun.

The FIVE Plumbagos went into two places to see where they would do best. The sunny border got some Russian Sage, and Penstemon- which required that I dig it about 4 feet longer than it already was.

Yesterday we spent a good part of the day attending the once a year Open House at the K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center. I was hoping to learn more about Raspberries and Blackberries but they didn’t have a lot to show. Nothing as nice as the Raspberry that I already have but don’t know the name of! I did find some nice thornless Blackberries though!

There was extensive test trials on Annuals with a tour that was very interesting and a nice selection of Hostas but no Perennials other than Daylilies and Iris. There was a lot of veggy stuff and a trial garden of many different varieties of Sunflowers ranging from 12″ to 8′ tall. The thing about test gardens- they are not so pretty. The stuff is planted and watered enough to get started then left to it’s own devices to thrive or not. This has been an especially wet year for us that is good for some, not so much for others.

We attended a few of the seminars that were offered and I think I did learn quite a bit. The morning was cool and rainy but the afternoon sun made it uncomfortably humid.

I’ve fitted in a little quilting but the new Coneflowers piece is not yet finished.

Today I will take two pieces, “Lady Godiva” and “Myth In The Mist” to the Topeka Art Guild Gallery for the next exhibit, and collect the ones that they have now. It’s been a busy week!

Quilting The Coneflowers

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The most recent Coneflowers top is in the process of being quilted now, and here is a shot of it before I removed all of the freezer paper and layered it yesterday.


You may notice that I changed a few things. I usually do. It was hard to find a fabric in the stash to go with the strange piece I had selected for the sky. Once I settled on this one, I felt I needed to incorporate some of it somewhere else, so I unsewed two pieces and recut them in the new fabric. It only took a half an hour to change them out and I think it was well worth it. Don’t be scared to make changes even if you have already sewn something!

I’ll bet I auditioned 10 fabrics for the accent strip before settling on this one! It’s a batik that had good color and design for this piece I think. I believe I used it in “Bittersweet Memories” and only have a few scraps left! Luckily this process uses small bits well.

Searching through the stash is a good thing. I was reconnected to stuff I forgot I had, pulled some out for future projects in the planning stages, and got some more ideas!

Another Winner!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The call came yesterday- “This is Bonnie Browning calling from AQS Knoxville, congratulations!”


My entry “Just Dandy” won first place in the “On The Wall” division!! I LOVE those phone calls!

It rained all night so yesterday I took a break from the routines and spent the afternoon outside pulling weeds, trimming and deadheading. I had already gotten the sales tax mess finished and sent off BEFORE the deadline, two more entries sent off, and the latest Coneflowers top finished that morning. Maybe tomorrow I will show you, but right now I need to go layer and baste it for quilting. No rest for the weary!


Monday, July 20th, 2009

Busy weekend–not a lot of progress to report! Sales tax deadline is looming and the books are not done.


One Down, One To Go

Friday, July 17th, 2009

This morning I finished the hand sewing on the last coneflowers piece. It needs to be shipped out today to the East Cobb Quilters in GA where I will teach a two day workshop in September.

This one features commercial prints rather than the batiks that I love to use for these flowers, but I thought it was important to show that they should be considered as a viable option for this pattern. The pattern suggests using the accent fabric as the binding so I did, though I might prefer black on this one. You should always decide for yourself and dare to be different!

I have started the last sample that needs to go to GA., orange this time. There is not a lot of time left! The first day I got this much done:


I like that the stem shows up better in this one because there is better contrast behind it. Having nice darks behind the flower gives depth and makes the flowers stand out. But yesterday I had to go get a perm and do some other stuff, so I only made a little progress:


Bee Balm

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I’m so glad you are back Gwynette – who knows the ways of computers! Not me!! But I did miss you.

Rose, yes I DO have bee balm. I love it for being so robust and reliable and I’m sure it will also end up in the lower border eventually. I’m thinking combined with some Russian Sage which is also blooming now, but not close to the bee balm yet.


Mine is the variety “Raspberry Wine” shown here at the edge of the shade garden. It is in a couple of sunny locations too, doing equally well. I also have some of the wild lavender kind.

Speaking of wild, this wonderful very double daylily grows wild around here. Isn’t it lovely? I think it rivals some of the expensive new ones.

More Gardening

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

The lower border that I can see from the studio window is abloom with Black Eyed Susans right now with a few daylilies, in red and orange and some fuchsia Phlox and Lantana starting.

This fall when the weather cools I will dig it wider and add a swath of blue in the front. In preparation, Saturday I bought ten plants of Salvia and Veronica which for the time being are tucked in wherever they will fit to hopefully grow and multiply. I found a nice Tiarella and a silvery Brunnara to add to the shade garden along with a Pia Hydrangea, and a Crepe Myrtle for a sunnier spot. And some more annuals. So much stuff to plant all at once!

I ran out of black thread so had to stop quilting the coneflowers, but I got some more when we went to town so finally the quilting is done and maybe today I will get the binding on.

Nice Start & Good News

Friday, July 10th, 2009

I’ve gotten a nice start on the quilting of the new coneflowers piece and should be able, with a little luck, to finish it today.

Yesterday afternoon was my time to work at the Topeka Art Guild gallery where I have three pieces in the current show. I was very pleased to discover that one of them, “Refractions”, had been voted first place in the People’s Choice awards. It is certainly gratifying to have my work appreciated in a non-quilting venue!  And the check was nice, too!

Coneflowers Sample Finished

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

The light background wasn’t working for me. For one thing, it wasn’t repeated anywhere and it was boring. I like the large flowers better, positioning it so that lighter ones are near the top. This let me try the lightest fabric in the center. Too light.

coneflowers_5Too dark.


Uh, no. It does repeat a previously used fabric, and the value is better, but no. The design wall for auditioning is SO important!


This one is also not repeated anywhere but I like the movement it gives and it does sort of repeat the idea of polka dots elsewhere in the piece. I also tried several accent strips and this was the one I liked best. I think I am calling it done.