After all the rain in April and May, June has bloomed. Although the weather remains cool, which I prefer, the outdoors is beginning to look like summer. The rose bush has had lots of buds and bloomed this week. The irises and peonies also bloomed over the week. The lilies are budding and should bloom in a week or so, depending on the weather. The flowers are fragrant and beautiful.
I've also been watching the birds, as they eat at the feeders. I have a feeder just off from our back deck, that is visible from the bathroom window. I can watch the birds without disturbing them, as happens when I sit outside. Looks like the feeders need filled again.
All this visual stimulation makes me think of quilting. I love to applique, and have a current project with an applique border of roses, tulips and bluebirds. Our guild is making a raffle quilt and several ladies from our Applique Club are stitching the borders. I began by tracing the applique shapes onto freezer paper. I like the freezer paper method to prepare the pieces, by pressing the freezer paper shapes onto the right side of the fabric, and adding the seam allowance as they are cut out. Then, I lightly trace around the shape with a pencil before removing the freezer paper. The shape is basted to the background and appliqued using the pencil mark as a guide.
I'm also progressing with my applique heart quilt, the 2011-12 guild project. You can read more about the progress of my heart quilt project here. I have so many projects going, that nothing gets done very quickly. I have been steadily working on this quilt, making quarter inch bias tape for the vine, preparing the applique leaf and berry shapes, and applying the vine. I started appliqueing the leaves a few weeks ago. Because of my shoulder surgery, I am unable to applique for very long, so I have only completed a few leaves. When finished, I plan to hire someone to hand quilt the top. I cannot imagine finishing this quilt on the machine, after all the handiwork that has been put into it.
Enjoy working on your hand project throughout the summer. They make great take-along projects and can easily be taken outdoors. Work in the flowerbeds a little, then settle down under a shade tree to applique, while watching the birds. That's my idea of a relaxing summer day.