Making a Gabion

When we were in Europe I saw these cool rock filled dividers all over. They were mostly walls that separated pedestrians from car and bicycle traffic but some were decorative. All I know is that I wanted to make one of my own once I returned. And now that my landscaping projects are close to the finish line, I thought I would take an afternoon to make one. They are called gabions.

All that I needed was some wire mesh fencing of some sort and rocks. Lots of rocks. Those were two things easy to come by. First of all, I have lots of wire fencing in various sizes that get used in my vegetable garden. Years of trying to keep bunnies out have left me with a bunch of the stuff.

Then the rocks; when we removed our deck to prep for the new cement patio, we had lots of nice round river rock under the deck. It was holding down a plastic weed barrier we installed 30 years ago when we built the deck. It was amazing to see how little was left of the plastic. I spent the better part of an afternoon picking up each and every rock. I wanted only the smooth, rounded ones, not the pointy ones so that was the best way of doing it.  It was very therapeutic. 

Once I knew where I wanted to put the gabion, I got right to work. It is something that would be difficult to move so I had to make sure I knew where I wanted it. I cut the wire fencing leaving a nice long wire where I made the cut. That way I could fold the wire over to where it would meet the other size of the fencing. It made a nice cylinder and I'm pretty sure it won't come apart. I pinched each piece down as hard as I could. 

When I finished, I thought about using stacked coffee cans inside of the cylinder, like I do in large planters so I don't have to use a lot of soil. After looking at the rest of the wire fencing, it occurred to me to just make another smaller cylinder to place inside the bigger one. Then just fill the space between the two with the rocks - genius! It took a lot of wire wrapping but it was worth it. 

I placed my cylinders in the spot where I wanted it and started filling it with rocks. It was so easy. Once I had it filled all I needed was something to put on top. I thought I had a very large pretty plant saucer somewhere but I just can't find it. I really wanted to make this into a birdbath. But for now, it will be a plant stand. That is, until I get to an art fair to find something cool to make into a birdbath!


What's on the design board?

I'm in-between quilt projects right now. It's generally part of my summer ritual as I go from staying indoors to outdoor projects like gardening and my patio project.  So I've turned to my donation bin for inspiration. There are so many fat quarters in there that I needed to find a fat quarter friendly pattern and along comes the Perfect Ten pattern. It uses a little yardage and 10 fat quarters.

I pulled out 10 prints in bright primary colors. I numbered them from 1 through 10 and followed the sample layout found in the pattern. In an evening I had the blocks sewn together in three sections. All that's left is to sew the sections together. Considering the magnitude of my outdoor projects, that might take a while. 


Kevin Burgey Benefit Quilt

Our friend, Kevin was injured in a motorcycle accident on May 3rd. The back tire on his bike blew out while he was riding down the highway somewhere near La Crosse.  He was taken by Flight for Life to the nearest trauma center where he was in dire condition. Of course the medical bills are mounting and his family decided to throw a fundraiser party to help alleviate some of that.

I was approached by a close friend of Kevin's to help out with a quilt to auction at the fundraiser. Naturally, I made a Harley t-shirt quilt for the auction. I was happy to help.


The quilt measured 70' x 100" - a good size for a nice event.

I quilted it with a simple meander and used wool batting for a nice drapey feel.

After the event was over I got a nice text thanking me for my contribution along with this photo.  The family on the left won the quilt with a winning bid of $350 and the two people on the right are Kevin's kids. The winning bidders donated the quilt to Kevin as a keepsake of the event. What a wonderful family!

By the way, Kevin is doing great. He was released from the hospital two days before the event so he got to attend for a little while. What great news.


June Client Quilts

This month I quilted a quilt for my daughter. She made a dinosaur quilt for my granddaughter and I used a dinosaur pantograph to quilt it.

I also quilted two quilts for the quilt shop. One is for Halloween and the other for Christmas. I can't believe I'm quilting these now - it wasn't even the first day of summer yet - ha!


Animal Print Quilt

I had a bunch of animal prints in my donated fabric bin. I decided to get rid of it all by incorporating it into one quilt. There was one large piece of fabric and quite a few smaller ones.

I chose a pattern that would suit the large piece of fabric but I was sure I would have to do some creative piecing to incorporate the rest of the fabrics. I used solids to border the prints and all the leftover fabrics from the borders were used up on the back. This is definitely a no waste project.

It turned out better than I had expected even though I do think the whole thing is a bit much. I guess that's why I don't work with animal prints - haha!

This quilt will go to church to be given away at their discretion.


My June Project

My big June project happens to be going on in the back yard. I designed a new patio and hired a contractor to get the work done. 

I wanted the new patio to have a much larger footprint than our deck. And I wanted it to have curves. It was lots of cement.

I also wanted to add a brick seat wall to make a nice separation from the patio to the yard. Along with the seat wall, I asked for a custom step from the sliding door to the patio. We agreed on a brick and cement step that complemented the brick in the seat wall. 

We are not done yet. We are also adding a pergola. Unfortunately the 6x6 cedar posts are on backorder so that won't be completed for a while.


What's on the design board?

 I used my hex n' more tool to make a few hexies out of some fat quarters that were in my 'donated fabric' bin.  The fat quarters must have been in a bundle because they matched so very well.

The only problem was that there were 8 fat quarters - certainly not enough to make an entire quilt. So on one of my work days at the quilt shop I found two fabrics that paired nicely. I bought 1 yard of each.

Now I have to trim the edges and add borders. I am so happy to start working my way through my donated fabrics. Sometimes I let them weight heavy on my mind. I guess I really want to do something positive with the stuff.

I have a 3 yard quilt kit to make in such cheery fabrics and I can't to get started on it. I'm hoping the pattern is quick and easy where I can use it again on some more donated fabrics. We shall see.


May Client Quilts

This month I quilted 4 projects for others.

This was a piece of fabric quilted and bound for a friend of a friend.

This is a Minion quilt I quilted for a friend. She has two Minion quilt kits and she finished the top for one of them so I imagine I will see another one of these sometime soon.

This quilt is for a client's granddaughter who is graduation from UW-LaCrosse. These are the school colors.

This is for the quilt shop. It's a table runner using the Wisconsin Shop Hop fabric which will be available in quilt shops this June.

This is a panel that can be a pillow cover or a table topper. I quilted the panels before cutting them apart. This is also for the quilt shop where I work.