Sunday, May 6, 2012

April CQJP Block Done

Well, better late than never, right?  I finished my fourth (April) block for the CQ Journal Project, and this one was really fun. I am pleased with it.

As with the other blocks, the stitching is mostly on the seamlines, and in the colors of the central needlepoint panel.  I want a lot of the black to show and the surrounding blocks to complement, not compete with the needlepoint.

The block (above) had a large green piece which I felt was too strong, so I covered it with a black venise lace motif (available in my Etsy shop, by the way) and enhanced it with stitching.    Below is the fourth block in place.  Everything is just pinned.

I may end up switching blocks one and two. But until all of them are done, I will wait. I am not even sewing any blocks to each other yet.   And I am thinking that once the blocks are done, I may want to add some further stitching and bits of that aqua blue here and there.  Possibilities!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
This year I have so much to do in the garden. But now that I am retired, I can work early in the mornings for a couple hours, which I enjoy.  I tend to overdo things if I am not careful, and my back can always be counted on to let me know when that happens. So, I am pacing myself and tackling one area at a time.

One of my goals this year is to simplify things, and see if I can reduce the amount of overall maintenance.  I will always plant my front step flower pots (scheduled for this week) and tend to my roses; that is sheer joy. But weeding and removing grass is killing me. So this year, I am on the attack, with chemicals (Preen among them).  I have tried for years to avoid chemicals, plant groundcovers, and use other strategies. But no more. Weedkillers are my new best friends. Along with weed cloth and rocks.

Here is a before and after of one area.

Before: Weed City

After: Clean, neat and pruned. This bush will be overflowing with roses by the end of the month!

Below is my snowball bush; an unruly monster on the east side yard. I will prune it, like last year, after it blooms.  And that lavender is going bye-bye later this week. Then everything will be hoe-d nicely.

And this is the rest of that bed. What a mess!  The tulips are almost ready to be cut back, and the irises are coming on, as are the rose bushes. And just to the left of center (behind the irises) is my glorious poppy bush.  Right in front of the urn is a peony bush. A little weeding here (actually, removing grass) and this will look nice. But those ground covers are not working to keep out the weeds, so off they will go.  Then I will mulch, use Preen, and cover with landscape bark. Simplify.  Many of them need to be thinned out (poppy, irises). They’ll be transferred to the west side yard that we dug up last year.

Below is part of the west side yard, where I will plant lilies, irises and campanula. I have to wait for July to divide those, so for now I am hauling in more soil, mulching and treating it.

These irises on the side yard are about to bloom, so watch for more pictures soon!

Well, that’s all for now. I was going to show you some more problem areas and tell you my plans, but DH is pretending he is dying of hunger, LOL.   Backyard pix next time. Maybe I will have some progress photos on some of my other areas, too.

Tonight my plans are to piece a Snowball (4” round) and another project which I will share later in the week.

Take care!
Cathy maroon


Cat said...

Hi! Your CQ blocks are stitching up beautiful! So rich looking.

I hope the simplifying of the gardens work out well for you! The ground cover looks great. We have the same problem here - and need to "fix" a big flower bed! We went to raised vegie beds 3 years ago and they are wonderful - I can sit in a plastic yard chair and weed without bending my back!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
:) Cat

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Wow, I love that black/pink effect. Your blocks are so pretty.

I know that simplify desire in the garden, I just haven't learned how to do that yet ~lol~

Lorraine said...

A beautiful block Cathy! Like you, I am trying to lessen the work in the garden where I spent a good portion of today. Hopefully I will succeed.

Wendy said...

Oh Cathy, your blocks are just beautiful and I cannot wait to see it all come together! Your center block panel is just stunning and all your blocks picking up those colors are just fab. Looks like you are working hard in the flower beds as well. I know that rose bush/tree must smell heavenly when in bloom. Big hugs,Wendy

Karen said...

Cathy -- the blocks are stunning - I always love your work ! Thanks for sharing.

Great work & plans for the garden - I love that rose bush -- hope you can share a picture when it's in bloom !


CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Good Day Linda, Your CQ blocks are very gorgeous. I agree with you about gardening. I have reduce some beds because it has got to be too much. Your gardens are always so lovely to look at. Hugs Judy

Gina E. said...

Snap! I was a few days late finishing my April block too, and emailed my pic to CQJP tonight.
Your garden is fabulous! I've never been interested in gardening...too much like hard work, especially as I've got older and the arthritis makes it painful to pull out weeds. OK, use weedkiller, I know! Ken just mows over them to create a kind of weed-lawn.

Angela said...

I love the little yo-yos you used! The colors are beautifully complementing your center needlepoint. Thanks for sharing with us!

Melody said...

You are one busy gal! Love those blocks and your garden is gorgeous....weeds and all!!

Pam Kellogg said...

Gorgeous Cathy! I haven't done any black blocks in awhile. I'll have to add the idea to my list. My very long, long, long list! Hugs, Pam