Welcoming Easter with This and That

April 2015 MCM Bee Block

This #1:

I finished the Bee Block for our Mid-Century Modern Bee; Stephanie was the Queen for this one, and she chose this paper-pieced block, which was published in Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, out of England.  I purchased and downloaded the issue (they were having an Easter Sale!–$2.99 for each digital issue);  the templates are on their website, but the directions are in the magazine.

Baby bean plants

This #2: 

The beans are up and have leaves!  Those of you who follow me on Instagram are used to the hashtag #goofyaboutmygarden, for I am indeed, goofy about my garden.  With California’s mandated water rationing on the horizon, I’m glad we converted to drip irrigation systems and tore out our front lawn.

Grading Papers

That #1:

I graded the third batch of essays from my college-level class, but you wouldn’t really have known it, given the number of errors and problems.  I looked up the scores for the other two essay assignments, and this essay’s median scores are a full six points lower than the previous two.  Maybe it’s time to retire?

Modern Sampler to Quilt

That #2:

I was able to take my sampler quilt, with blocks from my bee mates, to the quilter.  She was recovering from foot surgery and wasn’t taking any new quilts until April 1st.  This is one of my happy errands.

Star Neonatal Quilt back

That #3:

I made another neonatal quilt to give to my guild.  I know I promised you a free pattern, but I need to try this one again.  Bigger.  There were waaaay too many pieces as it shown, and I’m trying to keep these little quilts easy and quick.

star Neonatal quilt

Final This ‘n’ That:

I’ve also finished up the hand-sewing for all the EPP Circles in my Circles Sew-Along (wait for the reveals in the next couple of months), and now am puzzling out how to put this quilt together.  And I’m still sewing down the leaves on the Pineapple Quilt.  And my list of things to finish for this quarter still remains pathetically long, but I guess the point is to keep going.

Being Mortal

For at some point, as Atwul Gawande points out in his excellent book, Being Mortal (and which I just finished), we are all mortal and have a finite time on this planet.  One study he mentioned which was fascinating to me was the idea that “how we seek to spend our time may depend on how much time we perceive ourselves to have” (97). He cited the work of Laura Cartensen, who devised a way to track and study this, finding time after time, that the choices that we make with our time depends heavily on how much time we think we have left.  The young and healthy “believe [they] will live forever,” and are drawn to experiences in the Big Wide World, while those feeling like they have less time focus on the “here and now, to everyday pleasures and the people closest to [them]” (97).

Translated to quilt-ese, that means that as an older quilter, having lived through the first incarnation of popular topics such as Gee’s Bend, large blocks on the back of quilts, square-in-a-square quilt blocks, Amish/Modern, and so forth, I really have no desire to repeat those topics again in my quilting.  My choices are informed by not only having done-this-already, but also on what I want from the quilting.  It becomes more about a creative journey and relating to those also on the journey, and less about cranking out quilt after quilt after quilt.  It is more about quality and less about quantity.  Less randomizing and more focus.

So while I still love a good quilt magazine, I browse to see what they offer.  Same old, same old?  Pass.  Some new ideas or a new way of looking at things, leading me to a stirring up of the creative juices for a day of happy working?  I’m all in.  And if I can further connect with quilty friends, you blog readers, have conversations and chats and trade IG quips, this version of the quilt world is what I aim for.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Because He Lives

14 thoughts on “Welcoming Easter with This and That

  1. I hear you . . . been there done that. And yet there are still a lot of quilty things I have not done. I’m trying hard this year to make some of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time while also coming to terms with some that perhaps I’ll never do. I’m ok with that. I always like to see what you have going on and have been especially tempted to do the Millefiore quilt. Can’t wait to see yours come all together. Happy Easter and thanks for sharing the video.

  2. I must be on the shorter side of expectancy. However, I am quite comfortable with where I am in life. I certainly do not want to go back.

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the circles. I know it is going to be incredible. Yes…it is time to retire – for a mulititude of reasons.

    You must be thrilled that you went with a lower water use on the lawn. This will be an interesting year for us

  3. btw . . . I think you’re showing off to get your April bee block done so very soon. Overachiever. Mine will probably be done April 30th.

  4. I certainly agree with the ‘quality, not quantity’ mantra. It’s even what i tell my students! I certainly don’t feel the need to make every ‘new’ quilt pattern that pops up in the cyber world. Besides, there are only so many quilts one needs! Love your MCM Bee block! It looks quite different to mine! It should make an interesting quilt!

  5. Certainly many thoughts there!! I have always had the “older” view….more focus on the here and now and those ppl in “my world”. Also, the “been there/done that/no need to repeat” viewpoint. I’ve always been in the creative/fine arts and have been aware of the journey that is ongoing with no final “arrival” just moving forward with eyes wide open.
    Great post!!!! Easter Blessings…………………………

  6. I’m going to look through my magazines and see if I have that issue. I’m nervous about this block. Very time consuming. I am SO excited to see your Mid Century quilt. Happy dance!

  7. As usual, this is a great blog post. You definitely have a way with words! Such an articulate way, that you’re apparently in huge contrast to your students. That’s troubling to know. I also like your perspective on the quilting magazines. I thought I’d pick up the digital issue of Love Quilting that you mentioned, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to buy it, let alone find that sale price. Guess I really don’t need it! As for what you and I are seeing in the quilting world, I too often think “been there; done that.” In fact, my to-do list has gotten much shorter because the steam seems to have gone out of my chug-chug. For some time, I haven’t seen a design that truly inspires me, and I’m nearly in a panic about what I will come up with to work on at our May 7-10 Mod Retreat. Really, all I should be doing is FMQing, but a retreat set-up isn’t as ideal as that in my sewing room. Sheesh. It’s a dilemma. I’m wishing you a very blessed Easter spent with family. Here it will be just the two of us, and I’ve asked for Texas Lasagne for Easter dinner!

  8. Wow, Elizabeth, it was so interesting to hear my own thoughts echoed in yours!!
    I love your garden, I hope we get to see lots more pics! Keep on doing what you’re doing. It makes a huge difference out here in the world 🙂

  9. Christ is risen. I hope you had a good Easter with family! Thanks for this post, and all the thinking & showing out loud that you do. Warm regards, Harlan

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