Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Porch Garden

I bought my house just nigh on 2 years ago and The Porch Garden was full of yellow Bearded Iris, Lilies, and Hosta (see pic below).  Everything was beautiful, until it wasn’t, if you know what I mean. The Hosta turned brown and none of the blooms lasted as long as I’d hoped they would. 

By the end of last summer, I decided to pull it all out. I gave some away and relocated some to the side and back yards.  Starting with a blank canvas and a goal to create year-round interest, I planted a few evergreens and perennials, then settled in to see what Spring would bring. 

Here is The Porch Garden today(below and the 1st pic above).   After an addition or two here, a division or three there, and no less than a few switcheroos, I think I’m about ready to watch the production unfold. 

Let me introduce the cast, some of which are wee babes: 


Gaillardia aka Blanket Flower 


Butterfly Flower

Common Juniper

Curly Wurly Grass

Creeping Phlox

Dianthus (short & tall)

Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Inkberry Holly

Lupine (from seed)

Monarda (short & tall) aka Bee Balm

Origanum (Ornamental Oregano) aka Drops of Jupiter

Red Twig Dogwood aka Arctic Fire Red

Becky Shasta Daisy

Sunsparkler Sedum

Tall Garden Phlox

Here's the garden at dusk.  I should've turned off the porch lights. But even so,  the Drops of Jupiter simply and night, honestly. I'm totally smitten!


Stay tuned for future episodes of As My Garden Grows.

A Thread for Life

Friday, May 3, 2024

A Gardened Passion

If you had told my younger self I would be a quilter in my 40s and a gardener in my 50s, I would’ve said “No way Jose!”   Yet, here I am, quilting and gardening.

The idea of gardening came to me last Spring after a couple of heavy snowstorms damaged a bunch of limbs on the trees leaving me with a lot of bare ground after I had them properly trimmed. 

I asked a few peeps for advice on what to plant and got busy. Shortly after getting several things in the ground, a friend found this little playhouse on a curb in her neighborhood. They brought it over and got it situated and gave me some ideas on what to do with it.  

I hit up the neighborhood Dollar Tree and garden center and before I knew it, I had an adorable garden house AND I had been bitten by the gardening bug!

When I lived in Missouri my daily commute took me by a yard that had a pair of gorgeous blue spruce. I had a good-sized yard and a beautiful lawn but no trees. I started googling trees and came across a couple of specimens that immediately had me smitten and I’ve been low-key obsessed ever since. I never planted any when I lived in Missouri but last year I planted 3 here in Milwaukee.

Allow me to introduce my weeping beauties. The first 2 were planted last Summer by a local landscape company. 

First up is Beast. He’s a Weeping Norway Spruce aka Picea abies Pendula.

Next up is Beauty. She’s a Weeping White Spruce aka Picea glauca Pendula. She is staked.

And last but not least is Chuck, another Weeping White who is not staked. I planted Chuck myself in honor of a dear friend who was battling cancer and has since passed. (We miss you, Chuck!)

The beautiful “berries” are immature cones. I read that the trees produce both male and female cones, though I’m not sure which ones look like berries.  I also learned that every part of these trees is edible, not that I plan on eating them, but you never know.

The house came with a ton of hostas, iris, and lilies in the gardens which are all beautiful in their own right but they don't provide year-round beauty.  Evergreens, especially conifers, have my heart. So last Fall I hired help and pulled and relocated everything (but the bulbs) and planted evergreen and conifer shrubs and some different perennials. These pics are what the gardens looked like before. 

You can see how the gardens currently look in the first pic of this post, but there will be more posts and pics to come! 

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy stitchin' and diggin'!

A Thread for Life

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6 NIV

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Friday, February 23, 2024

My First Finish of the Year!

Oh happy day, happy day!  

I'm singing because it's Friday and I have a finish to share! My first finish of the year!  This is my version of Cultural Fusion's Free-form Rail Fence. And it's a big one, finishing at 112" x 112".  

I made it for my king-size bed, but it is pictured on the queen bed in my guest room.

I pulled this project from My Quilty Bucket in October, which means it took me approximately 4 mos to complete. Of course, I'd like to produce a quilt a day, but I'll take a finish whenever I can get one!

I quilted it with this lovely orange thread called Firestorm by Glide and the Malachite pantograph from Urban Elementz. 

Here is a close-up of my quilting. I'm still wobbly on the longarm but I am getting more confident in my abilities. 

I won this wide backing from Pineapple Fabrics on IG in June 2020. I was so excited to finally use it in something!  I did have to add to it to make it big enough though.

 Here are a few more pics to ogle. 

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Stitchin', and God Bless! 

A Thread for Life
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 NLT

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Sunday, January 21, 2024

Quilty Recap 2023

Hello Everyone! I hope you're having a great year so far.  Mine is busy and already passing quickly which prompted me to get this Quilty Recap 2023 published.  

It will be short and sweet since I only had five finishes for the year...and one of them wasn't even pieced by me.  

Without further ado...

My first finish of 2023 is one I started in Missouri in 2021 w/ Angela Walters’ Build A Quilt club. I chose the Holly Jolly colorway, which consists of Christmas/Holiday prints in nontraditional colors.   It was the first full-size quilt I quilted on my new APQS Lucey.  It has a lot of lazy and unplanned FMQ but I think it turned out great! I donated it to a silent auction at church to raise money for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Outreach. 

The next finish is an Arkansas Traveler quilt I made for one of my pastors in Missouri. I’m pretty sure I started it in 2021 too. It was meant to be gifted for Pastor Appreciation in October 2022 but was gifted in 2023.  Better late than never right? It's quilted with edge-to-edge organic wavy lines. My go-to, lazy and unplanned FMQ. 

This next one is a big one that was pieced for me by Quilty Bestie Madonna (@sunnybunnyquilts on IG).  She drove w/me to Milwaukee on Halloween 2022 to help me get settled in. She didn't bring any projects to work on while she was here but offered to work on something for me, which I jumped on! She got it all cut out while she was here and sent me the king-size flimsy around Mother's Day 2023.  It's a scrappilicious version of a Fons & Porter pattern called Cottage Square made w/a bunch of African prints. It's awesome! And I quilted it w/an Urban Elementz pantograph called African Samba. 

Up next is a lap quilt I made for my mom.  The initial block is a simple paper pieced number called "Ray" by Jessica Dayon that finished at 6".  I only had 36 sheets, which would make a very small lap quilt, so I kept adding to the blocks until they finished at 11".  Madonna visited me shortly after I finished this flimsy, and bless her heart, she quilted and bound it for me. 

The last finish is a Jellyroll Race Quilt that I made for a dear friend undergoing cancer treatment.  I pieced it on National Sew A Jellyroll Day.  

That's it for my 2023 finishes. My current quilt in progress is a scrappilicious free-form rail fence inspired by Sujata Shah's book Cultural Fusion Quilts. It's currently loaded on Lucey awaiting quilting.

I just finished listening to One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harrison. A great story of forgiveness that I enjoyed immensely. 

Until next time, Happy Stitchin', and God Bless.

A Thread for Life

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The Girl is Back on Blogger!

Hi Blogger! Long time, no see! 

When I finally got back in the blogging saddle after letting 11 months pass, Wordpress had become Jetpack or they were in some kind of cahoots and it threw me for a loop.  I muddled my way through posting my 2nd post of 2023, which was very challenging, all the while thinking, "Was it always this hard"?

I then visited some friends' blogs and had an "aha moment" after reading this post at Grace and Peace Quilting.  No doubt I was awestruck reading about Nancy's amazing year!  To say she's a prolific quilter doesn't quite hit the mark!  But the "aha moment" came when I realized she blogs on Blogger. I used to blog on Blogger too! And who's to say I can't go back to blogging on Blogger!?

However, it is definitely easier said than done. I'm still working on connecting my domain and importing all of my posts from Wordpress to Blogger. I've watched several YouTube videos and read several "How To" articles, to no avail.  I plan on reaching out to Wordpress Support chat soon but in the meantime, I decided to publish a "test post" on Blogger and see what happens.  

Happy New Year! God Bless You!

A Thread for Life
I will praise God’s name with song and exalt him with thanksgiving. Ps 69:30CSB