Monday

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!

Thursday

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.