Sewing the Garden…..

Garden Quilt 013 (2)

Swept up and cast aside by the sparkle of Christmas and washed away by months of rain I slither and slide down the slippery path of the New Year into my waterlogged garden. Seeing all my sad and sodden potted Primulas and Cowslips, I gather them up lovingly and head for the greenhouse. Surely these poor, neglected plants must be wondering why I have allowed so much water to soak them day after day? Inside the pots their roots are tightly bound, their soil cold and wet and their leaves all gone. I settle myself in the greenhouse to re-pot each suffering fragment of sorry plant into dry soil.  I swear that I can almost feel their sense of relief and comfort, knowing that rescue is here at last.

Over- wintering plants or autumn sown hardy annuals suit a belt and braces kind of gal like me. I have plants in pots under glass, outside in cold frames, in the open ground, under cloches and under fleece. Every day I check that they are not too dry, too wet, or too cold. I cover them, uncover them, circulate the air around them, prevent slug attacks and try to prevent mildew and them rotting off. Ordinarily, plants like the Cowslips should have been fine outside in pots, but nothing about the excessive amounts of rain we have had this Winter have been ordinary.

So long as I can nurture and protect my plants and my hands can connect with the healing power of the soil, then I am content. But what is a garden-loving gal to do when it just rains and rains?  I just can’t wait for the rain to stop and for the sunshine to return to the garden, so that I, just like my flowers, can open up my petals towards the sun. But until then, I have an idea. Yes, I will sew my garden!

This work in progress is appliquéd and every little flower or detail is cut out of vintage fabric and Liberty prints. It is not until each piece is properly stitched on that a more three dimensional look is achieved. It is painstakingly slow work, but work that I love. Lastly, when the picture is complete I will add embroidered stems for each flower and finally turn the fabric picture into a quilt. It will include all the cats I have loved and lost: Sergei, Nina, Grey Cat, Ossie and Otto.  Like me, they will be so happy amongst the flowers….. would you like to take a look?



27 thoughts on “Sewing the Garden…..

  1. Hi, Karen! It’s good to see you back! Your appliqué looks amazing–I love seeing the process photos and imagining how wonderful it’s going to look as you progress! And it’s a great way to bring color and flowers into a dreary time of year.

  2. This quilt is so very lovely. Thanks for sharing your fine work. I’ve been looking at my deck pots and due to the severity of this winter I do believe that my sage and chives have called it a day. They usually start to prosper with the warm of spring but maybe not this year.

    • Hello Gretchen and Happy New Year. Thank you so much for liking my work. I often sew with my cat Josef on my knee. Sadly, he does not share my passion and gets quite annoyed when bits of fabric fall on him. Sewing with cats though equals bliss in my heart.
      Often plants surprise us and come back to life…but in pots they often get just too cold. Love Karen

  3. Hi Karen, good to hear from you. First of all I wish you a wonderful and artistic new year with a lot of joy, happyness, health and your lovely cat. Your work is so beautiful, really overwhelming and the best one could do on such cold and wet days. The way you care about your plants makes me smile because it’s so nice and I was nearly waiting to read that when it’s cold you take them into your bed. A little joke. But I am sure that plants feel your love and maybe you could play some concert of Rachmaninow for them, too, as I heard plants love music. I can’t wait to see your work when it’s ready and it gets a first price from me, kind regards from cold and snowy Hamburg, Mitza

    • Oh Mitza, what a joy to hear from you and to smile and laugh with you too. I have missed our contact. Josef has had many kisses from you recently, so the love from you is still flowing to him. It has been cold here too recently, but I am sure it must be so much colder there. It is so hard to get motivated in the winter. I hope that you keep warm and are well. I am making a New Year resolution and you will be surprised to hear what it is! 2016 is the year that I am going to buy a piece of your fabulous jewellery ( if and when you have some and if you would be happy to do that). Also I now have to add playing music to my plants……….and what about poetry? A little Rilke would go down very well. Love Karen x

      • Oh Karen, thanks a lot for your kind words. I’m very happy to hear all your news and that you didn’t forget to give Josef my little kisses. I would be very happy if you would like to have a piece of my jewellery. I don’t know how we could manage this but maybe you know. You could use my email address stated in my about. By this I could send you some photos.It is a wonderful feeling that somebody who is so loveable like you would have a piece from me. It’s really getting more and more cold here. It’s no fun to bike with -7. Sometimes feel my thoughts are freezing in my forehead. (For the bad ones it doesn’t matter, hehe) Love Mitza

      • This will be a project for us both! And what a lovely one! I promise that tonight I will send an email and we can take it from there. I wheeled my wheelbarrow down the field the other day…it is so steep. On the way back my lungs filled up with cold air and it really hurt. you should be careful. Karen x

      • bad weeds grow tall, Karen. Just came back home, a bit cold, but still alive.. Hope you knitted a little pelerine for Josef and 4 little woollen shoes in fitting color. Mitza x

  4. Oh, Karen, where do you get such talents from? This is remarkable work.
    And what a brilliant idea: if you can’t work in the garden in good weather, work in the greenhouse, and if that doesn’t suffice, sew your garden. Wow! So good to hear from you again, dear Karen. Thanks for sharing your creation with us.

    • That is so kind Cynthia, thank you so much. My Grandma was very good at sewing. As a young woman she used to make nightshirts and the like for all the wealthy farmers. She was such a perfectionist. I carry her with me when I sew and feel so close to her then.

  5. So so very lovely! Just like you, dear, precious Karen! I have missed your posts and have been praying for you. Now I see what your solitude has birthed and it is majical and delightful!

    • What an absolute delight to be back in touch again! Thank you so much for your kind remarks about my garden sewing. I think your prayers worked for my neighbour and you inspired me to find a different way for me to reach out to her. Things have shifted in a way that I would never have thought was possible 🙂
      Christmas can be a challenging time for people who live alone. I took up my sewing and made things simple, almost basic, but honest and true.
      Happy New Year to you and your loved ones Jan. May we have a wonderful year of blessed communications!
      Karen x

      • Love it Karen!!! Love ALL if it! And especially hearing about answered prayer and hearts changing! God said no weapon formed against Him will succeed and I am convinced we are God’s weapon against Satan’s plans to rob, kill and destroy lives. As we channel His compassion, mercy, grace, joy, hope, humor, creativity and authority we can March right past his minions and unchain the lost and suffering. You go girl!!!♡♡♡

    • Thank you so much Joanne. I am still in a bit of a blogging wilderness because my computer seems to have destroyed all the email alerts which inform me when you and all the other lovely people I follow, post on your blogs 😟
      Some I have followed many times and it still does not work. This week I will have another go. So thank you for still being there despite my silence.
      Happy New Year and here’s to lots of lovely exchanges and communications!
      Karen x

      • I’ve only managed to blog once since Christmas. We moved Dec 30th and with Hubby overseas working since early December, I’m currently wearing quite a few caps with sadly, blogger not one of them. This week however I’ve begun catching up with everyone else’s blogs so am VERY glad our timing corresponded!😊

      • I have friends whose partners work overseas. I Know that you must have become accustomed to it now, but it is hard and you have to take a lot of strain. And moving house is quite stressful! I lose everything in a house which I have lived in for over 30 years, so, for you where all your things may not yet have found a new place, it must be really challenging.
        Thank you for being such a good blogging friend 😀

      • Yep, its a sad fact the children and I actually work together better as a team when he’s away (which sounds AWFUL as he’s really quite nice to have around😍). Hubby and I had been together five years, married and with children before we actually “lived” under the same roof and let me tell you, THAT was hardest year of my life! But we survived and here we are, or I am at least, sitting (im)patiently as the contractors create more space for us, lol! 😆

    • Thank you so much…it is not difficult, its like making a collage really. I did one as girl at infants school…only then I used glue! That was much easier!

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