Secret Garden – Finding the Key

This has not been the easiest block. Challenges and false starts abounded! I fathfully traced my media on the reversed image,cut my pieces and then happily proceeded to put my stems in without turning the template to the right side. Argh! That one went in the bin. Restart.

The stems cottectly assembled, now and I am testing my cross strips.

Then came the baskety cross pieces. They are narrow and this is a reduced size, making them even narrower. I also didn’t want to hide too much of the background basket fabric. After a few false starts, I simply ironed a rectangle of my burgundy with media and then cut 1/4” strips with my rotary cutter. Then I marked the distance to put the basket weaving strips, pinned them on one edge, and wove them. Bliss!

Setting my blanket stitch for stems.
Love all the greenery!

My next challenge were the flowers. I made a couple, but they didn’t feel right. i even stitched one down. Ugh, not resonating. This sent me thinking about flowers I had done in the past and loved. Queen’s Garden! Of course! More ripping…

Off to the printer to reduce a QG flower. Ahhh, now they feel right.

I found a variegated peach thread deep in my thread stash. That might be fun!

My next challenge was the rose bud. The first attempt was deep burgundy and I stitched it all down. But it didn’t have any contrast or punch. And I had sworn off yellow for this project. Why? Because I don’t like yellow and just decided to forego the yellow pop factor. But I needed a pop. The coral thread I found in a draw, long unused, reminded me of the coral I used in my Red Delicious a couple years back and I went rummaging through my fat quarter bin. Bingo!

Time to rip that burgundy out and put in a lowvely coral bud, which I accented with deep green. Now I had my “pop”! This coral fabric is not tightly woven like my batiks, so I turned the edges on this bright little bud. The lovely coral reflects the stamens in the flowers.

I have been amazed at the response when people hear that this project is based on The Secret Garden. It is a much loved book.

Life lessons!
The key to the Secret Garden, stitched in dark gold metallic thread. A deep blue batik gave the right contrast for the bow.
Phew! Sometimes it doesn’t come easy, but it’s very satisfying when it all comes together.

Why did I make my cornerstone blocks first? To be keep me honest. My attention can wander and lead me astray. This project is a long haul and I knew that using my main color family in the cornerstone blocks would help keep me on track.

Repeating colors/fabric from my cornerstone blocks.
Yes, this will have a two-toned background.

The Key? Persistence, stubborness, a willingness to change direction and entertain new ideas. A sharp seam ripper and tiny tweezers help, too!

Happy sewing! Lennea


  1. I love how you go about completing your projects. This one will no different fabulous, especially with your determination and foresight for things to be right x love it so far

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh Lennea, already drawing me in, waiting for each installation!!! i begin to understand why your work is so fabulous, it comes from you, inside, willingness to be right or wrong, but going on the journey nonetheless with joy and determination.

    Liked by 1 person

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