Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stopping By Woods...

Whose woods these are

I think I know
  She leaves her paw prints in the snow.

She decides she will be stopping here
To watch the woods fill up with snow.

My little dog must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods

and frozen lake
The darkest morning of the year.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But she has promises to keep,
And miles to go before she eats
And miles to go before she sleeps.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
~by Robert Frost
rewritten in fun

~Piecefully, Stephanie

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ladies of the Garden

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent

Bound with love

Custom quilted by the amazingly talented and fabulous Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works

Surrounded by flowers

Relaxing in the hammock

Enjoying the fruits of their labor

Yesterday was their photo shoot.  These fine ladies of the Polka Dot Village Garden Club were asked to become calendar girls (fully clothed, of course).  Although they'd rather toil in the soil each and every lady is thrilled to participate in this charity event; each to have a month dedicated to her.

Together Forever

* * * * *


*All are actual ladies from my life or a fusion thereof
*Almost 18 months in the making
*Inner flange suggestion by dear friend Nonnie helped me "get it together"
*Each lady dressed, created and machine pieced by me
*Machine Quilted by Longarm artist Jackie (I can't wait to get the next quilt finished and sent her way)
*To read the garden ladies' stories please click HERE
A final thank you to each and every reader who so enthusiastically followed along on my Garden Ladies journey. 
~Piecefully, Stephanie

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Final Chapter

All good things must come to an end.  I've received immense joy creating my garden ladies and am thrilled they've given you a smile too.  As I started dressing the ladies their stories came to me as I sewed.  No preconceived names or stories.  Just happy things, things I like.  While continuing to create these delights I started reminiscing about wonderful ladies in my life.  Sadly most of them are in Garden Heaven. 

Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Some of the names are real.  Some characteristics and personalities are true and some I've taken creative license.  Some are a fusion of people I know.  Certainly I would love to live in a village with each and everyone. 

These ladies are all very special to me.  If I could create my own village I would certainly love to visit a quilt shop called Polka Dots on the Prairie, a tea house called Tea for Two, a florist called Please Don't Eat the Daisies. 

Eliza Mae is actual family.  Trips to Arizona were special as a child.  Quesadillas at Cortines, boat rides, shell collecting, marionettes, and eating fresh picked cantaloupe straight from the warm fields.  I admit to sleepless nights in the room with the deer head hanging on the wall above the bed.  Thank goodness I slept with my sister.

Flossie may or may not be a pseudonym but she really is Edna's sister.  They were my neighbors growing up, attended my wedding, and lived next to my folks until the day they passed away.

Edna drove a mustang and really did have a wonderful Siamese cat named Sweetie Pie.

Madge was our next door neighbor when my children were little.  She was like their surrogate grandmother and boy could she make the very best homemade taquitos.  Yes to pink flamingoes and astroturf.  She was an animal lover and spoiled our kitty rotten.  Madge would bring him indoors to watch tv with her.                           

Shizuko taught me to make Okonomiyaki (vegetable pancakes).  She and her husband, Tsutomu, were surrogate grandparents to my children while we lived in Japan.  Our meeting was happenstance and the friendship unforgettable.  Tom, as he was known, loved America.  We had many wonderful experiences in Japan that we would not have had otherwise had we not met Tom and Shizuko.

What a delightful lady.  Rose is Mr. Creations very favorite aunt.  A delicious cook and bakes THE best blueberry pie ever, made from blueberries fresh  picked from the bushes in her backyard.  The hoosier cabinet I now have was hers.  Yes to chickens.

Alice is a nurse with a wonderful accent who cared for my grandmother for 10 years.  She was like family and attended my wedding.  Her daughter caught my bouquet.  As for natural remedies--it's the first and only time I've ever heard of Gripe Water for collicky babies.

Mrs. Steve is my grandmother.  Her husband immigrated to the United States from Austria.  Last name began with a "K" and ended in a -zich.  Everything I wrote about her is true.  She is the most special Garden Lady.  Sadly, I never knew my grandfather.

Similarities between Dot and me you think?  I'll keep you guessing.

Spot?  Although I'm not sure "Spot" will ever be a candidate for an official therapy dog she certainly is my therapy.  Not a day goes by she doesn't make me smile.

Once the Garden Ladies are all together, stitched and bound with love, I'll share them one last time, hopefully this year.  I'm very thankful to have had such wonderful ladies in my life. 
*To Rhea if you're reading--Rhea had trouble making the ladies fit together when sewing the block.  My advice is cut accurate, sew slowly, and you will still have edges that do not meet.  After 12 ladies none of them ever came out even.  There was trimming involved.  I managed to be able to "square" up each block to measure 15" x 12". 
~Piecefully, Stephanie

P.S.  Blogger is being very weird about the arrangement and spacing of this post. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Dot has a thing for polka dots.  Her closet is filled with dotty dresses.

She has shoes to match every dress and yes, they're polka dotty too.

You'll often find Dot sipping tea at the tea shop next door.  Dot is proprietor of the village quilt shop, Polka Dots on the Prairie.  She is also a member of the quilt guild and she chairs the guild outreach program.  The members make quilts for the new owners of Habitat for Humanity homes. 

You never see Dot without her faithful friend, Spot.  Spot is a certified therapy dog visiting the local assisted living facility as well as homebound seniors and is loved by all.

The mister is the gardener but Dot is the caretaker of her luscious herb garden, sharing with garden club members.  She loves to cook and bake scones and have her friends over for tea, using her fresh picked herbs.  Dot is also a proponent of natural remedies and is often sharing her herbs with Alice.  She is a strong believer in holistic healing for living a long and healthy life as well as a good sense of humor.  Dot's father is 90+ years old, physically strong, sharp minded and sharp witted.  Her plan is to follow his lead.
Dot is the final garden lady in the series of twelve.  Please stayed tuned if you'd like to read the final chapter coming soon.
~Piecefully, Stephanie

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mrs. Steve

The mister is from the old country with a complicated last name.  His fellow workers, being very polite gentlemen, would never call his wife by her first name.  So she's known as Mrs. Steve.

Mrs. Steve is never without her black shoes.  She doesn't drive and frequently walks to Howard's Grocer.  Her biggest delight is when her granddaughters come to visit.  She takes them for old-fashioned candy treats and giant pickles at Howards.

Mrs. Steve still has her original wringer washer and she still hangs her clothes on the line.  Her rose garden is the envy of every garden club member.  Mr. Lincoln is her favorite rose for it's lovely long stem and fragrant scent. 

Mrs. Steve is also a fabulous baker.  She's almost never seen without her apron!  She loves baking with her granddaughters.  Her sugar cookies are famous--the recipe kept a family secret.   Mrs. Steve still has a milkman.  Is there anything better than ice cold milk delivered to your door in the early morning?  Her granddaughters love to visit because she lets them drape sheets over the clothesline and play house.  She delivers fresh baked cookies and homemade lemonade and calls their "house" Shantytown.
~Piecefully, Stephanie

P.S.--for the vintage fabric enthusiasts--the dress and apron fabric are original from the 30s, not reproduction.  My mother gave me these precious scraps.  When using vintage fabric you must add a little vintage rick rack!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Please Meet Rose

Rose is a southern lady with a love of chickens.  She's also referred to as The Chicken Lady.

Rose raises the chickens and sells the eggs to the local baker, grocer, as well as the local community.  Everyone knows Rose.  Always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. 

Many of the ladies wear these sensible shoes, especially while working in the garden.  Rose is a member of the garden club, quilting club, and helps out at the local florist, Please Don't Eat the Daisies.  She also bakes the best blue ribbon blueberry pies in town and sells them to the local tea shop, Tea for Two.  The blueberries come from the bushes in her own garden.  Rose and the other ladies have been passing around the seed catalogs with great anticipation of Spring planting.

Rose was kind enough to stop by to announce the vintage giveaway winner.  Congratulations to Kaaren.  Thank you all for sharing your favorite vintage thingies with me.  Looks like we're all rescuers and keepers of lovely treasures.
Thank you to Melanie, Ulla, Candace, and Kaaren  for asking about and patiently awaiting the arrival of the latest garden lady.  For those of you new to my blog Rose is the 10th lady in my Garden Lady series.  Please check my side bar and click on the names and you can meet the other ladies.
Before you ask--this is not my original pattern.  If you read the about the other ladies you will get all of the information on the book and where you might find it.
~Piecefully, Stephanie

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Gift of Friendship

This is a very special blog post.  If you're a new reader since February or if you'd like to refresh your memory please read this blog post first and then this one second.  Then come back and continue reading.

Folk Art Wedding was Robyn Pandolph's first fabric line for Moda.  Of course after over 8+ years between the start and finish of this project I didn't have enough fabric to finish the borders, backing, and binding.  I stayed with Moda and found this lovely At Water's Edge that coordinated beautifully.  Vintage buttons from my mom's stash to help hold down the large prairie points.

The pattern is called Cinnamon Stitches by Piece 'o Cake Designs from a BOM in 1998.  It's now available as an epattern here.  I don't like copying exactly a pattern as I then feel it isn't mine.

When deciding the lay-out I wanted it to reflect the fabric colors and prints I chose.  Praire points were very obvious to me.  I did consult with dear Carrie along the path to completion.  Sorry, I was unable to capture a good photo of the entire quilt.

Except for the label which I will do, I now have my very first (and probably last) completed applique quilt.  The quilt has been named--Folk Art Friendship.  It's a collaborative quilt between Carrie and me.  She is also co-owner.  It's a truly special quilt that I will treasure always.  Thank you so very much Carrie.  May I consider this my first finished UFO of 2010, please?
~Piecefully, Stephanie