WIP Wednesday: leaves, leaves, and more leaves

The deadline for finishing this quilt is looming, so I spent nearly all of my crafting time last weekend working on it. Of course my plans for this quilt mean that there are a TON of leaves to attach, and of course I decided to do them all by hand, which takes longer than if I did them with a fusable product or by machine.

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

I started out by placing the leaves where I wanted them, just arranging without fastening anything in place.

ALL THE PINS #artquilt

Then I pinned everything in place. USE ALL THE PINS!

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

Then I started sewing them on. Thank goodness for the Ott Light I got on a super deal at Joann last year – the light was awful this weekend as it was snowing, sleeting, and raining pretty much the whole time.

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

Many hours of podcasts later, all the leaves were stitched in place! I finished off the weekend by cutting out the batting and backing fabric. I will hopefully grab a few minutes each weeknight this week to make the quilt sandwich and start quilting!



Late last week we finally did the inevitable: had a bunch of trees cut down. I was a bit sad to lose the two Box Elders, because they were super craggy and Grimm-esque, but they were both rotten and it had to be done. We also had a sad, sickly Spruce and a previously-damaged and now bug-infested Maple that had to go. I hate to get rid of such old, established trees, but when people and property are in potentially in danger, I have to admit that it’s for the best.

Firefly Cottage

Here you can see the canopies of the Box Elder on the left and the Maple on the right. I apparently neglected to take any really good wide shots from across the street that capture both of these big trees.

The crew made short work of the Maple:
Maple tree removal

Pretty quickly (less than 30 minutes), all that was left was the trunk:

Bug-infested, damaged maple is no more

Then they started in on the Box Elder out front:

South Box Elder underway

This one took a lot longer. The growth habit of the Box Elder is a lot more branchy, it seems, and this tree was also WAY larger than the Maple.

South Box Elder coming along

They did a nice job of tackling a little at a time and avoiding the power lines. And then it was completely down:

South Box Elder removal

It left a very large stump:

This stump is large

Some of the pieces of trunk were just gigantic! I could imagine someone making a table out of one of these if there hadn’t been so much rot and insect damage. Here’s K for scale:

Remains of the South Box Elder

After that, they moved to the Box Elder back by the garage:

North Box Elder removal

This one was not quite as extensive as the first in terms of branches, but it had more contact with the power lines and was very close to the garage in some places. Pretty soon it was mostly down:

North Box Elder removal

We knew that some of the large limbs were rotten, but we had no idea that it was THIS hollow inside:

This tree was just slightly rotted out inside

YIPES! I am so glad that it didn’t fall down on the garage before we could get rid of it. I feel like we really dodged a bullet!

After that tree was done, the Spruce was nothing in comparison. They made a couple of quick cuts, threw a rope around it, and yanked the whole thing down in one:

Spruce removal

The crew chipped everything they could that day, and then returned the following two days to grind the stumps and haul away all the very large pieces. I feel like getting the project mostly done in one day is really impressive, and the crew worked really hard. We were quite pleased with their work!

Post tree-removal view

It is going to take us awhile to get used to how much sun there is everywhere now! The large pine that was next to the Box Elder out front is now visibly uneven – it’s more robust on the alley side and pretty scrawny on the side that was shaded and touching the Box Elder. Hopefully given some time it will recover:

Trees removed (stumps not ground yet)

We are going to seed the areas where the stumps were ground, just to keep weeds at bay until I’m ready for garden planting. I am still working on the master garden plan and now I can move forward knowing better where the sun/shade will be. Hooray, though, as the trees are one more major project down!

Post tree-removal view


WIP Wednesday: trees

I started in on the trees on my current art quilt WIP this week.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I picked out a grey fabric with a texture that reminded me a little bit of tree bark. These trees are inspired by Michigan’s White Pine trees, the bark of which often appears more grey than brown. I free-handed a paper pattern roughly the right shape and size and cut out a few trunks.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I also cut out a few freehand so that not every one was the same. I played with the placement a bit until I had a satisfactory spread of trees. As I will be adding some branches and foliage I didn’t want them too close together – but I do want to give the look of an overlapping forest, so I didn’t want too much space between, either. I chose to use seven trees as that number is commonly thought of as lucky and because an odd number pleases the eye.

WIP #modernvenus #quilting #artquilt #wip
I pinned all the tree pieces and then sewed each trunk down individually. I left a bit of room for the edges to fray a little and included the already frayed edge of the fabric at the base of each tree. I’m happy with how it looks so far – looking forward to adding the rest of the trees soon!


Seeing Trees

Seeing Trees I’m a total sucker for books with color photographs, but this one is a real stand-out, even among the many lovely ones I’ve seen. The high-resolution photos are so detailed, and Llewellyn has captured such amazing details in them – things it’s easy to overlook until someone (or some book) has pointed them out. Not only did I learn a bunch about trees from this book, I’m also inspired to try my hand at photographing the details of the trees on our property. Check out my post at CPL for more on this book.



Yet another volunteer has proved itself to be lovely in my garden.

volunteer something in the front garden

Looks like some kind of daisy. If past experience is any indicator, it’s something that most people would consider a weed.

The pollinators are LOVING it, though! There are a ton of honeybees hanging around it, and I’m not really seeing them on anything else these days.

volunteer something in the front garden

While we’re down here, check out the lovely changing trees in the background!

volunteer something in the front garden