In my new business venture, Quilt Designs in the Yard, I have become acutely aware of the range in weather regions across Canada. I have lived in Saskatchewan Canada for over 6 decades. And here the normal length of winter is cold months for about 7-8 months of each year. The Winter of 2019 was brutal with the polar vortex clamping over us for 6 weeks. That meant -35-45 degrees every day and every night along with howling windchills to plummet the thermoter even lower. Yup. It was a good winter to have retired!! So with this yearly cycle of long cold winter days and nights, we dream and yearn for spring. The first green buds on the leaves, the feel of warm air, spring blossoms on the fruit trees, crocuses in the fields, and longer days of sunlight all teases the prairie people to prepare for upcoming new season.
Today I was planting my few pots for my patio and front step. And I was excited to get to this job. I felt the same anticipation as when planning a few hours at Faye, my Pfaff sewing machine. While mucking around in the dirt I was content and just plain happy deciding what plants would go where. The night before I arranged the pots with the plants sitting inside to see if the arrangement would be pleasing to the eye. Hmmm. It was like beginning a project viewing it on the design wall, or in my case the design bed or living room floor.
Obviously the creativity and beauty of both activities are the big connectors. Yet there's more. It's also about process. Neither of these activities are instant. The final product in both quilting and gardening takes time to plan and play and work. Color is also a huge part of both these hobbies. Look at my little patio.... obviously I'm crazy about blue! And then there's texture. I know I'm quite a tactile person so when I'm making a quilt it is very important how the material feels and the overall quilting texture. Same with the garden. Trees, shrubs, plants, grass, succulents, pots, borders, fence, siding, paths, decks all are part of the overall texture of the yard. And of course, the patterns. We think in terms of patterns so naturally make a garden bed of flowers into patterns. Quilters know how to create warmth and interest for the exterior of the home.
Finally there's the sharing of stories and techniques and just finding someone to use the overflow of stuff that is similar in both gardening and quilting. My neighbour was harvesting her ferns so graciously strolled over with a few in bag to plant by my privacy fence!! I have done the same with sharing my stash with other quilters. So really, it comes as no surprise that I would gravitate to this idea of a backyard barn quilt because it so perfectly merges both of my favourite activities. These backyard barn quilts are truly a fantastic and natural union of quilting in the outdoors. This is an expression of my heart and soul. This is the best version of me. Quilting + Gardening = Backyard Barn Quilts!
Remember.... A Quilt makes everything better! Brenda