Keep on perseverin'
Have finished some blocks.

Gypsy block from the Free Block Saturday at Quilt Shop on Main. The sample in the directions was gray scale, so I was not sure where the green should go, or the gold or the print. 

OOPS. As originally designed.

I made the specified numbers of shapes from the specified colors, then arranged them the way I liked them. I really like the way it came out.

I also finished my Second Saturday Sampler block from the quilt Amish with a Twist, that I am doing at Bless My Stitches Quilt Shop. This was my favorite so far on the scale of how easy it was. Or maybe I am getting better with the seam matching. I think I only used the seam ripper once.

Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild block of the month was a study in half square triangles. We played with some manipulatives made in colored foam sheets and had contests for tangram type puzzles. 

This guild has WONDERFul programs and great leadership. They are involved on the national level and, basically, this type of guild is what I have been hoping to find. 
I like the emphasis on the education of the guild member. I love my other guilds but their interpretation of education is educating the community and charity work for the community. That is not what I pay my fee for. I've done my time educating the community.
Temecula's Circa 2016 block this week was Fox and Geese. My blocks really are square, just not flat at the time of taking the pictures. One of my geese was flying the wrong way in the blue square, so I had to take it apart and straighten it out. I guess the last press didn't take.

Splendid Sampler Block #29 is Scrappy Happy Heart, by Christa Watson. It was fun to do. I was able to use some pieces I had relegated to the scrap-for-dog beds pile. I felt thrifty.

Splendid Sampler block #30 by Amy Ellis, is called Simple Surprises. It was enjoyable.

Those of us involved in the Splendid Sampler got a letter from founder Pat Sloan the other day, where she told us, " The little Secret I want to share is that most of us ... yes... MOST of us are not making each block as it it comes out.
Life happens, you miss a few ... and then 'That Feeling' occurs. That one of 'feeling behind'. If you have been here more than 10 minutes you know this is a JOURNEY and not a Race, which is a huge relief right?
The next day, the block that showed up had INTENSE embroidery on it. I think she realized we all needed a peptalk. I started my block #31, but it will not be ready by the end of this post.


For my OregonBrother:

It's a NEW DAY!!!!!!
Wild strawberry, growing wherever it chooses.

There is a bird's nest in my fuchsia plant
because it looked like home to a pair of
wrens. There are three eggs at last count.


You know you are old when one of your former students is a headliner at an AARP event...


It has been a very weird, slow, week for me. Last weekend, I helped at the home of friends, clearing away and making new spaces from old. It was a bittersweet task. There were lots of memories, lots of tears, lots of laughter. This is the third time in less than two years I have lost someone and this task has been mine to do. 

The week went on to be slow and reflective, motivation-less. I couldn't puzzle it out. There were things I wanted to do, things I needed to do, but I couldn't get going. Then I realized I was grieving the loss of my longest-time best friend. Shouldn't I recognize grief by now?

Enough of that; I went back to the routines that helped me before. I made lists of three things to accomplish, allowed myself to be pleased if I could accomplish one. I'm getting more done and feeling more settled.

I didn't do much else last week, but I tried very hard to stay up to date with Splendid and Temecula:

Splendid Sampler block #27 was designed by Pat Sloan and is called Sewing Machine. I like the finished block, but this is where I got slowed down the most this week. Part of our work in making new space was clearing out a sewing room and this bock had me going back and revisiting those moments from the weekend. 

Splendid Sampler block #28 is by Charise Randall and is called Stitching Fashion. Mine is modified to retro-fit the dress to the 19th century, since I am using Civil War reproduction fabrics. Also, I didn't think I could handle that much foundation paper-piecing, so I appliquéd. Appliqué allows me the chance to zen in front of the television, needle in hand.

Temecula Circa 2016 for May 13, the designer called Rail Fence. I put mine together in a slightly different way; more like the Rail Fence I am familiar with. Hitler has ruined a lot of quilt blocks for me. I can't stand to see one that looks like it has a swastika pattern, even though the pre-Hitler swastikas are still present in Hindu and Buddhist art.

Temecula  Circa 2016 for May 20, doesn't have a name. I would call it 28 pieces = a 3 inch block. Twice.

I can tell I'm not up to speed yet. One block has too much contrast, the other, not enough. Oh well. I am still sticking to using only batik scraps. 

 have also made some headway on the 120 half-square triangles that are due any day now. 
Step 1 cut squares
Step 2 mark lighter squares
Step 3 sew on marked lines
Step 4 set seams
Step 5 cut and press

I am only a few minutes away from cut and press but I will leave that for next week. I think it is time to clean house! And if the nice weather holds, I will wash off the deck. Again.


Time to catch up!
Temecula's Circa 2016 blocks last week were BOWTIE

I have a Bowtie quilt on my bucket list. 

After making these sweet blocks, it has moved closer to the top of the list. I love this block.

Splendid Sampler block #24 Is Inspector Sidekick, by Michele Foster, of Quilting Gallery.
Splendid Sampler bock #25 Is called Sunday Best, by Anne Sutton, of Bunny Hill. I find her applique quilts enchanting. I have one started, somewhere.

This took a lot of time to prep the pieces. Then, I hand- appliquéd, since that is my favorite applique' technique.

Splendid Sampler block #26 is called Dreaming of Dresdens, designed by Jane Davidson of Want it! Need it! Quilt!, one of the founders of the Sampler. 

I am trying to follow the methods of the designers when I think I can learn something new. This dresden is pieced by machine instead of English Paper Pieced, as I would usually choose to do.

10 blocks, 3 hours. Do I
like this enough to
make more? YOU BET!
For some reason,  I got on a tear about making string quilts. 
This is a GOOD thing, because I have used up a lot of "strings", or strips of fabrics that are basically, leftovers. 

Also, I was able to reduce my stash of light neutrals by quite a bit. I'm working with tan and cream with brown and red strings.
Here are some possible settings. QuiltyFriend has a favorite, and so do I, although, not the same one! Which do you like? 
UPDATE: 81  eight and a half inch blocks have been made.

Diamonds or squares

Barn Raising

Half-Square Triangles or Sails


Monday Mantra

Borrowed from one of my former students:

No matter what trips you up, what slows you down, get back up and keep going. There's nothing stopping you.

He has always been living proof of this. A real inspiration to many.


I bought a hanging baskets of fuchsia the other day. One for me, and one for my honorary niece. 
These exotic blossoms remind me of HonoraryNiece's mother, my longest-time-best-friend, who passed Tuesday. 

I think HMHC would have loved these plants. She liked bright, colorful, flowers, all kinds. She could make orchids bloom and when we all lived in Florida, she had a lot of flowering plants. Their yard was ablaze with color.

The first time I saw fuchsia, was hanging in a planter in Portland, Oregon. My plant is not as abundant, but I have hopes. 

QuiltyHusband, QuiltyFriend's man has been volunteered to hang my basket. I might go get 4 or 5 more so he won't feel like he has made the trip to my house for one small task.

Not my plant, but photos too gorgeous
not to share. Planters in Bridgeport,
Portland, Oregon 
I was ready to put aside my winter clothes. In fact, I had bought some things to wear for the spring-to-summer months. 

Then, out of nowhere (probably not true), when I took the dog out Wednesday night, before bed, and I could see my breath! Like February in Maine! Thursday was cold and rainy. I mean LOW FORTIES. 

Some of my friends in Blairsville were sleeted on. Friday morning was so cold in my house, I had that heavy bathrobe on that was too warm for me to wear this winter. It was 59 inside, so I turned the heat on yesterday.  I could not get warm, so for the first time in more than 30 years, I wore pajamas to bed instead of a nightgown. Still not warm enough. But today, although it started in the forties, is clear and green and lovely. It is making me think of gardening--with my limited shovel ability.

I have a new garden and landscape man, and he planted three Hawthorne bushes for me. They were gifts from some cats I know. The ease with which these were planted (easy for me!) led me to consider some of my mulch patches as possible planting areas. I have a month until he comes back--less if we get more rain and the grass grows as quickly as last time--to plan where I will put what. I never designed any planting arrangements. I will ask QuiltyFriend. She has two green thumbs and just the right knack. I gently brought up the topic of knock-out-roses, and she seemed to think it was a good idea. Now, what else could be on that patch that would frame the roses from below, but not detract?


Busy hands, happy heart.
You know what I mean. 

Splendid Sampler block #22 is Goose on the Loose by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. Here is my version, continuing the theme of scrappy Civil War.

It only took six hours for this six inch block. 

Here is block #23 , called Hand in Hand, designed by Kari Carr of New Leaf Stitches.

This was much easier than it looks.

Here are this week's Temecula block, Churn Dash.

Here is ANOTHER block of the month I started, from Quilt Shop on Main in Jasper, GA. It is going to be a sort of gypsy theme. They are providing the fabric. I may supplement with some of my more modern pieces of fabric.