Many quilters are also gardeners. Have you ever wondered why this is? I was pondering on it as I wandered round the garden taking photos of progress (or lack of) while thinking that I really ought to be getting on with the Block of the Month quilt and taking photos of its progress (or lack of) so that I could write up next month’s instructions as I suspect I still won’t be able to stand up in front of a class by then and we will have to do it online. But the weather the last few weeks has just been far too nice to be stuck indoors in front of a computer or the sewing machine.
So what earth-shattering conclusions did I come to? Well . . . my garden has a stash. Sort of. It’s in the greenhouse (or it was on the rather chilly and windy day I took the photo) and consists of trays of young plants grown from seed earlier in the year, pots of dahlias and pots of cannas that are awaiting the warmer weather, as well cuttings that have grown and await potting-on, or recently taken cuttings that I hope will grow. There are still trays of very new seedlings cluttering up the windowsills indoors, but that’s another story. Not quite the same as a fabric stash perhaps but there is still that element of panic that you either have too much or not enough of the right ones.
Then there’s the design element. What sort of quilt/garden will you make? How much time do you have to spend on it? There’s the shape to consider – square, long and thin, or something completely different? Gardens and quilts both have borders its true, but they are very different – garden borders are a riot of colour (soon, hopefully) against the green backdrop of a lawn or patio
while our quilt borders are quieter and calmer and frame the riot of colour in the centre (usually).
We carefully curate the colours of our quilts (does this blue go with that mauve or better with the orange? What about a monochrome quilt?) and also of our gardens (all white plants in one area, or just pastel shades perhaps); while some of us go for riotous scraps in our quilts and the cottage-garden clashes of colour in our flower borders.
In quilting we try to use a variety of scale of print – large prints, small prints, plains – and in the garden we try to aim for variety of leaf and/or flower and plant shape to add a bit of interest – think shrubs, ferns, hostas, evergreens and deciduous, perennial and annual.
Some of us make raggy quilts – raw edges fluffed up – while gardeners leave ‘wild’ areas and uncut grass to encourage the insects – more raggy edges.
We make quilts for different purposes – wall quilts, bed quilts, comfort quilts, cushions, bags (you get the idea) and our gardens are similar as we make seating areas, formal or informal;
wildlife ponds or reflective pools;
grass to play games on or formal lawns; flowers for cutting for the house or flowers to attract insects;
vegetable gardens; fruit gardens; wild gardens;
orchards (oh to have the space!) or just lots of pots
and plants climbing up the fences and walls because we only have limited space (row-by-row quilts?)
and we can embellish those fences too just as we sometimes embellish our quilts.
Last minute thought – visual illusion quilts; visual illusion in the garden too.
That is not a half-open gate leading to another part of the garden, it’s a mirror. I hate to tell you but there is a car park behind that lovely old wall.
I think that’s enough of my musings for today – just enjoy the photos! I’m off out into the garden again as the sun is shining.