I will continue my previous thread at a later date. I can’t believe it has been several weeks since my last post. Where does time go? I remember as a child hearing older people say, time goes faster as you get older. Thought that was a strange saying but it is true. However, when I retired I thought things might slow down a little and nope, still waiting for that to happen.
I just finished the blocks of my red, white and blue quilt. Each block has 29 pieces — two sizes of squares and half square triangles and quarter square triangles. If I had a little bit bigger than fat quarter sized fabric, I could have skipped the two quarter square triangles and save myself putting 12 per square together. LOTS of little pieces and lots of short seams, pressing, squaring up. I still need to square up the 12 1/2 (with seam allowances) blocks, then will work on deciding layout. I was originally going to make the quilt 5 rows wide and 7 rows long but have decided to make it 5 x 6, which means I will have a few left over blocks, which I am probably going to use for the next donated quilt (along with either nine patch, or four patch) to make up a 12 inch block). So I have 3 colors of background fabric (red, white and blue) and there are 4 different fabrics in each background fabric and 3 that are exactly the same. I will be using 10 from each background and then deciding which blocks (6) not to use. I will have the daunting task of matching 2 points on each side of each square and I think I figured out a relatively easy way to do that (LOL!).
To continue……On Saturday, I decided to change gears and started working on my jelly roll rug. This will be made with a Clover Hollow jelly roll and will compliment my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt which will hopefully be finished before the end of the year, but could take most of 2020 to finish (since I am hand quilting. There will be 35 hexagon flowers put together using EPP and then appliqued on 9 1/2 inch blocks (four patch blocks). Anyway, I did my first ever chain piecing to make one lllloooonnnngggg strip 2 and 1/2 inches wide —- 42 approximately 42 inches long each. I still wasn’t as quick as I imagine some would be, I did pin each joint but didn’t mark the diagonal seam, I eyeballed it. I imagine it was about 1/2 as quick to do it this way and the next time I get ready to put together a binding, I will use this technique. Then pressing, added the batting (I am lazy and bought rolls already cut to the 2-1/2 inch width. I have the fabric ready to sew together in an oval and will probably try to do that tomorrow. This requires me getting my older machine ready because my new machine does not do zigzag. Today I took a break from all sewing and went to church followed by a daughter and mom’s day out to go see my Mom’s favorite movie, the Wizard of Oz on the big screen for the 80th anniversary. Next month they are doing a limited engagement of My Fair Lady (an anniversary but not nearly 80 years) and we will probably check that out too. My mom loves musicals and I know the music in combination of fantasy is what attracted her to this movie. Most of her life has been lived in a somewhat dream state.
I’m out of steam and am going to move this from the draft column to the published column. So are always, Life is like a quilt, take one stitch at a time and I will be back in a few days to add some more to the story.
I just finished my sixth quilt since retirement. To clarify, one of those quilts was already a quilt top and I just machine quilted it. Further clarification, I retired the end of February 2018, however the first quilt of my retirement was not started until early August. So six in six months isn’t too shabby. I was thinking about the number and the time and was a little sad that I didn’t complete this last one before the end of 2018 and then thought, I need to be realistic about how many quilts I can get done in a given period of time. Here are pictures of the newest quilt completion.
I will deliver this to my friend this evening. When I saw the fabric at MSQ in September, it screamed her name and I knew that I had to make a quilt for her out of the fabric. Hope she likes it!
Long ago, long, long, long ago (almost 63 years) I was born. I am the oldest of twin girls and we have a younger (not quite 2 years) sister. So three girls. My husband had two brothers and he also is the oldest. There are some similarities between our two families and some big differences. My folks met at a youth group joint meeting. The churches where my folks went when they were growing up were several miles apart but both United Methodist (not United then) and shared a pastor. Since they shared a pastor, occasionally the youth groups from both churches would have joint meetings and that was where my folks met. My Mom grew up in the tiny burb of Wilbur (Incorporated) and my Dad was a few miles from the church he attended and a few miles outside of Martinsville. They met, dated, married and for the first 6 or 7 years of my life, we attended the church at Wilbur. We lived in the house where my mom grew up for the first couple of years and then moved to Mooresville where we lived until we almost ready to start school. My paternal grandfather had Emphysema and they left Indiana for Arizona where my grandfather didn’t have to struggle to breath. They gave him 7 years to live when he moved out west and he lived 17 before he finally left his mortal husk. When they moved to AZ, my family moved into the “old Foster homeplace”. My grandfather built that house after raising the house that he grew up in. My Mom still lives in that house. I frequently am asked about my first memory and I tell everyone that I’m not sure what my first “memory” is. My M & D purchased a old 8mm video camera (silent movies) and so, some of memories are most likely glimpses of those old home movies. I do remember going to church every Sunday (except if we had the chicken pox or the measles) and thought that we had a “normal” childhood, at least my normal. Looking back now, we were fed, clothed, loved*, and encouraged to pursue art, music and the things that my mom loved. My mom was for the biggest part of my childhood a stay a home mom and my daddy worked at least 6 days a week and often 7 days a week to support the family. My mother was NOT a nurturing mom and even though we knew we were loved (and wanted) she wasn’t a really warm parent. My dad was to a certain extent, but always seemed a little reserved with his affection. I didn’t find out why until I was in my late 40’s or early 50’s. I will talk about this later, as this is really my story not one that happened long before I was born. My mom was an artist, played the piano like a professional and is still a “dreamer”. She had not so happy of a childhood and her teen years were really rough. She had an older sister who ruled the roost and even my grandmother was afraid of my Aunt Marie. My grandmother (Mildred) was killed in a car wreck when my mom was 17. It was Christmas day and they were heading to Mildred’s parent’s house when the wreck occurred. My grandfather was badly hurt in the accident and was not able to attend my grandmother’s funeral. Did that have an impact on the kind of mother she became, possibly, but I have often heard her say that her death didn’t seem real.
My father, Ralph, was the second son and the middle child of three — having an older brother and a younger sister. I don’t think he ever felt like he was good enough and certainly couldn’t hold a candle to Uncle Raymond in his parent’s eyes. Because of this, my dad was the fairest person I ever met and loved and treated the three of us girls as equally as possible.
More on that later…………………
In the meantime, with my Square Dance quilt done, I am moving on to a red, white and blue quilt that will be donated to Quilts of Valor AND am planning my version of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. I will keep you posted about my progress on both.
Since it is only the second day of 2019, it certainly isn’t too late to wish you a Happy New Year. The end of December FLEW by. I’m not sure where the week between Christmas and New Year’s went. We watched the youngest granddaughters two days, John’s brother, wife and their family came on Friday and stayed until the 1st when they headed back. Anyway, it isn’t too late —- not like the first of February or something.
Yesterday 9 of us from the local quilting guild traveled about an hour and a half (or 45 minutes you don’t really pay attention when you are not the one driving and fighting sleep) to two quilt shops in Washington, IN for New Year sales. I was surprised they were open, but they were and they had some really good sales. One had 25% off (even sale items) and the other had 20% (but regular prices lower). I bought several things at both places. I purchased the rest of the bolt at the first shop, which is a fabric that is getting really hard to find and one I really like to use as binding on quilts for young(ish) girls). I used the whole line on my youngest granddaughters quilt and ordered a couple of pre-cut packages because I wanted to have it in stock (even tho I may not use it until I start having great-grandkids). At some point, I will probably use it and donate the quilt, but not unless something else comes along that I really want to use for baby quilts.
Here is a picture of the quilt I made with GROW fabric. Also the newest one I made for her sister using the dotted fabric for the binding.
I was surprised to see the fabric at the shop, and even though there is another line that is similar, I like this one the best. I also bought a couple of small pieces of fabric that will most likely use for the blocks on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt, a charm pack of kid quilt fabric that I hadn’t seen in my virtual travels of quilt fabric, a matched piece of red fabric for the quilts of valor donation I am gearing up to make,plus milliner needles (for my EPP hexies) and a small package of wonder clips. I had been to this shop several years ago and while it is very well organized, there is a boat load of fabric and when you add a whole bunch of fabric hoarders, it was rather claustrophobic. Second stop was an Amish Quilt shop that I had never been to and really didn’t know what to expect. They probably had more fabric than the first place but it was spread out over several rooms and there wasn’t a crowd. They had a really good selection of 108″ fabric and their regular price was much lower than even a sale price elsewhere plus there was 20% off. I got a blue with white stars for the back of my donation quilt, a piece of 108 in purples for my twin sister who is going to eventually make a quilt in purples and a solid blue (for the donation quilt) which matched the fat quarters I bought for my red, white and blue quilt.
Today is my husband, John’s, favorite day — it’s the most wonderful time of the year, with today being the best day of all. I’m not sure exactly what it is that he dislikes about Christmas, and it might even be the let down of it being over (or the joy of it being over) for another year. I never feel like we do enough, laced with we need to do less. I recently told a friend that I would like to buy actual gifts for the littlest ones and then when we get together at Thanksgiving, decide what charity or cause we are going to support that year and instead of buying for our kids and the oldest grandkids (and then buying for us) I would like to pitch in the money we would have spent and send it all to that charity. Maybe I should start by just suggesting that they give money to the charity of their choice instead of getting us gift(s).
How do you decide on monetary amount for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. My mother gives the most to her children, less to grandchildren, even less to great-grandchildren and so on. John doesn’t agree with that, he thinks that everyone should get the same, however, as we are now both retired and our family is only going to grow, I suspect the amount that we give/spend for Christmas and birthdays may have to be adjusted to a lower amount at some point in the future.
I mentioned my mom in a recent post, and she has been the root of some stress recently and I have decided that her car is sold. She has a neighbor who wanted to have the car in exchange for doing work, but she can’t remember who she has talked to from one day to the next, let alone keep track of when that neighbor puts in his time to actually “earn” the car. I believe she is largely making up things that need to be done and I think she could easily be taken advantage of. This was all after another neighbor asked about buying and I told her this neighbor had first right of refusal. Then today I get a call from another friend of hers, who she sent to me because she couldn’t remember how much I thought she should ask for the car. So, I made a decision that since the “first right” neighbor definitely wanted the car, it has been sold. So now, when she mentions trying to get her license back (not that she could pass the tests) she can be told that her car has been sold. Called her friend back and told her the same thing and will try to get in touch with the neighbor to let them know that there is no car to be traded for work.
My mom enjoyed spending a little time with us on Christmas morning and she went with her best friend (family friend) to her daughter’s house yesterday evening. It was good for her not to be alone and I think she enjoyed herself. Like I said before, which there was an owner’s manual.
So, the day is almost at an end. Started early, not knowing for sure what time everyone was going to show up. One of our granddaughters wasn’t feeling well, so the two youngest didn’t come this year. Their dad, our youngest, was here for just a short time and then had to go pick up the girls so his soon to be ex-wife could spend Christmas with her new man’s family. Seemed like someone really was trying to dampen the spirit. Everyone else was here this morning including my mom, who caught a ride with my oldest. Of course, the real one missing (and missed) this morning was my Daddy. My Daddy, LOVED Christmas and even if this is seventh year he hasn’t been here, I still miss him and really wish he were here. This is only the second year John’s mom hasn’t been here. Last year, it was still real new and raw and I haven’t asked, but wonder if he is thinking about her. My in-laws gave up celebrating Christmas several years ago, so maybe this day doesn’t bring bittersweet memories for him. As for me, Mary Lou cut me out of their lives many years ago and that changed Christmas for me in ways that I still have some problems dealing with, even though all the kids are grown and out on their own.
I know the reason for the season and I just need to dwell on that on this day that we celebrate the birth of our Christ.
I think everyone was happy with their gifts and tomorrow we go to Bloomington to be with the youngest granddaughters while their dad has to work (a perk of being retired).
Again, Merry Christmas. The ramblings about quilting and my life in general will continue soon.
…….and so it continues. During the next few years, I kept thinking about working on that unfinished quilt. Fast forward a little more than 2 years and another granddaughter on the way, I began my next quilting project with a much larger, much simpler 5″ block quilt. Much easier to piece, that’s for sure but I did hand quilt this one also. I wasn’t quite finished when Aria was born, but had it finished before she was a month old. I used Grow fabric and stitched flowers, hearts and designs on the pattern of the fabric as well and appliqued her name on the 10″ blocks on the border.
My intention was to go back to the UFO and finish the quilt for the oldest granddaughter, but the thought of all those stitches and life kept getting in the way. My 25-35 minute commute to work had become a nightmare with the upgrade of my daily drive becoming an interstate. A two year project was has been three and a half years and still isn’t completely done. This along with a new boss who really didn’t appreciate someone who was as old as his parents and didn’t mind putting you in your place, really made my previously as fun as a job can be position into, I hate to get up and go to work position. So when I retired at the end of February this year, it was my intention to finish the UFO and make quilts for the other granddaughters. But first, Cora needed a larger quilt than the first 8 point star I made her. This was my first attempt at machine quilting and it really turned out much better than I imagined. I decided that while machine stitching isn’t as medicinal as little stiches made by hand, it certainly is quicker. So six months and four quilts (including the UFO) later, I am considering my next projects. I have another quilt cut out and am ready to start putting it together, I am going to a workshop in January to learn about English Paper Piecing which will be used for my next long-term hand quilted (keeping for myself) quilt.
On a really personal note, I am dealing with my widowed aging mother who has some form of dementia. She recently relinquished her driver’s license, so I am not only managing her finances, I am helping with the task of taking her places she needs to go. Nothing like having a pseudo child who is actually 84 years old and doesn’t have to do anything you ask. It certainly is an experience that while not unanticipated, doesn’t come with a handbook on how to operate either. Again, one stitch at a time…….