Is Gardening like Quilting?
Is it possible to Quilt in our Gardens?
Could Gardeners deep down inside have budding skills to become Quilters?
Or are Quilters really deep down inside budding skills to become Gardeners?
As quilters, we naturally use our quilting skills in our outdoor gardens to create warmth for the exteriors of our homes.
How I love to get in the outdoors, especially during the spring with drizzling rain, moist soil, to dig in the dirt, making the outside of our home warm to delightedly saunter by feeling welcome. In the spring there are many weeds to pull, soil nourished before planting can be done. It is kind of like the concept that we have regular pieces of fabric then we cut them up and stitch them together to be a quilt.
Well at least that is what I try to do…. Actually I completely doubt that any human being would gather warm fuzzies as they saunter by, let alone even notice my home. I really wouldn’t want to have a house that stands out too much for people to feel bad they don’t have that yard.
So I just simply have a house that is sort of…… unnoticeable. Not such a bad idea, right?
I mean let’s get real, at times we do things to just pathetically blend in, AND trying to keep my gardens half-way decent for the neighbor across the street that has their house for sale.
I don’t want to have the house that stands out with the weeds and unrecognizable things growing from the earth. The house that children cross the street before they walk by because they aren’t certain about what’s with that scary growing house that might have rats and snakes lurking in the growth. Well at least that is what I am trying to do – to be unnoticeable.
Gardening a bed of flowers or vegetables is all about patterns and that is exactly what quilting is all about. Patterns, colors, with interweaving of different threads and textures are things consistent in quilting and gardening.
Four things that have stuck consistently as basic skills to develop are cooking, cleaning, gardening and quilting. The pioneers that our nation grew from relied on both of these skills along with others so they must be a good skill to develop. At least that is how I convince myself.
Let’s get back to gardening, because we are not made to only have one skill set. Especially as women, we were made for multi-tasking the constant needs of a family, work, play. So… if you are a gardener secretly you might really be a budding quilter deep down inside – and it may not have crossed your mind. I believe the reverse of quilters being budding gardeners may also be true. What do you think?
Let’s get the real truth out about me and gardening. The honest label would be a “black” thumb. There hasn’t been much that stays growing around me. I dreaded getting plants as a gift or purchasing them to then feel bad about myself because shortly they would die. I admired gardeners and was determined to change this aspect about myself! So slowly I learned some basic gardening skills. My niece is a master gardener with gorgeous long red hair! In my younger years, I used to pay someone to manage my garden beds knowing I was probably saving money by not having everything die. Paying people money to do something that I so badly wanted to learn was absurd especially considering how frugal I am! Then my gifted gardening niece with the long red hair would come every year helping me.
My niece helped but we also replaced all the plastic sprinkler heads with brass heads so the 3 Labrador retrievers would no longer chew up the sprinkler heads with white lengths of pvc pipe through the grass. It also helped to have the sprinklers turn on during the early hours of the morning, when the 3 labs were asleep in the house.
Deep down I believe in self-sufficiency, there are not many things that I can’t figure out how to do.
Each year, my niece taught me and I would watch her carefully. She would explain things before she did them wanting my flower beds to grow into blankets of blooms. She would let me know my soil wasn’t nourishing enough…. that my sprinkler heads are not efficient giving coverage to that area…. That I can’t grow that kind of flower in that hot and sunny space. I would ask her “Where do I go get fertilizer?” She would answer, “The dump…. a whole pick up truck load for $30.” I would be puzzled and think, “Really? I don’t just go to Lowes or Home Depot….? Hmmm.”
With both us deeply valuing frugality and resourcefulness, she taught me and through the years I listened…….. and grew. The listening part can be the most important part of growing.
You can see how my garden is growing now. I do it now all by myself with my sons. You can see the patterns, colors of different plants I used to complement one another to connect the beds with threads to grow.
I would love to listen to you share some thoughts so we continue to grow in different ways. Living all around the world, we all have different kinds of garden. Below is a beautiful picture of a succulent garden I took in Cambria, California this summer. What types of gardens do you grow? Let’s not forget our vegetable and herb gardens too. Please share what you grow in your region, we are all different in around the world and so are our gardens.
To those of you that are gardeners…. you may not know it but deep down could you be a budding emerging quilter? If you have admire quilting maybe this post can encourage you to try.
To those quilters out there, could we be a budding gardener? Some of us may already be both! What are you?
A flower garden of a quilt that I have always wanted to make is A Trip Around the World, here is a picture of a quilt I daydream making similar to:
This my stash of fabric to make this quilt?
What do you think of my colors and fabrics so far?
I do need to pause from quilting and do some catch up summer weeding…. My neighbors did sell their house…. I am very happy for them.
What kind of beauty whether through gardening, sewing, quilting, parenting or more enriches your life for the better?
May the work of your hands delight the soul,