300 Quilts · Christmas Quilts

Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt Finish 2022

Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt #263
87″ wide x 98″ high

Center Tree: Made from a kit from Edyta Sitar. I started this in December 2019, sewing with friends. I changed up the background to something lighter.

Three borders (ric-rac squares, Sawtooth Stars, red with vines); designed and pieced/appliquéd by Elizabeth Eastmond. Binding on and finished this past week.

Quilted by Kelley Bachli.

The game: Find pine trees at quilt level in Southern California without going into the mountains. I think we did okay.

Title: The reason why the evergreen (or pine, fir, what-have-you) tree is around at Christmas is because it is ever green. I’m sure there is the bit about adopting it from pagan festivals, etc. but whatever the original reason, it has become a lovely symbol of enduring life. So I connected those two: ever-green and ever-life in the title, reminding me that I have life forever because of Christ’s birth. The trick is, of course, to do something worthwhile with that life that’s been handed to me. (Working on that.)

Either I’m very early for Christmas this year, or very late for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Other posts about this quilt:
Tannenbaum Top Finished (early name, taken from Sitar’s pattern)
Tannenbaum, in construction
Decorating Tannenbaum
When I purchased Tannenbaum (at PIQF)


MOVING ON…

We reached a sad milestone this past week: we have decided to stop receiving paper copies of one of our three newspapers. It’s the newspaper we get every day on our driveway, and I read it while having breakfast and eating my granola. We also get a national Sunday paper, and then subscribe to another national one online.

First stop, always: the comics. Then, the advice column, the horoscope. Headlines come next, and then I go through it skimming, catching the tidbits that fall into your lap when you have a paper-paper and there is no algorithm trying to force you into reading what THEY want you to. I read opinion editorials of all stripes, Letters to the Editor, and the regional news (this isn’t our local paper which went off the rails several years ago). This particular morning, I found three comic strips which seemed just for me:

And for that last one, I nominate the people who thought it was a good idea to jack up the prices our “introductory offer” to this newspaper of several years ago. We are diehard newspaper supporters, but when we recently did the math, the price over the years had crept up to nearly $800/year (!) for the subscription price. So good-bye to a life-long tradition, planted in us by our parents. I will miss you. (But don’t you love these comics?)

I MADE A DRESS. SHOCK.

It’s an EVA dress, and I’m wearing it today, accessorized with beads and lightweight jacket (you know — the air conditioning — even though the high today is supposed to be in the upper 80s). I put on 3/4-length sleeves, faced the neckline and put bias trim on the hem because it is a lantern-shaped dress. I first saw it on Lorena of Sydney at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin and fell in love with it. It’s a pattern from Tessuti Fabrics.

This was my first rodeo with online patterns. I was apprehensive about getting the pattern printed so I inadvertently ordered a hard-copy of the pattern in one size, and a downloadable copy of the pattern in another size (they have two sizes with lots of other sizes on it). I ended up using the paper instruction booklet with the downloadable pattern, getting it printed off at my local Staples/OfficeMax store.

Susan of Patchwork and Play is also my inspiration, and I’ve since ordered the Sawtell pattern from In the Folds. That’s waiting in the wings, but I don’t have much to say about this as I’m still figuring it out.

Two more crossed off

NEXT…

Back to Lorena–I also fell in love with her larger version of Ring Cycles on Steroids and that is now in the works. Maybe I want to be ahead of the game with another holiday quilt. After this one, I only have two more to sew that are in the closet (that I know about). I seem to collect Christmas quilt fabrics and ideas.

Pinned up Spectral Light, the bigger version of Triad Harmony. The pattern name is Triad Harmony, but you can see I have other versions: one is called Secret Garden (Kaffe fabrics) and one is called Stella di Natale (Christmas, again). I need to quilt them all.

LASTLY…

She describes this phase of my life pretty perfectly.

But don’t we pressure ourselves to do the first, and beat ourselves up a bit if it’s the second? These dots circle (haha) back around to the thoughts at the top, and about doing something worthwhile with this life I’ve been given.

I’ve always loved C. S. Lewis’ quote (below) about recognizing the potential in others, rather than snubbing or diminishing them. And the Arthur Brooks observation of David Brooks’s column reminds me to pursue that which is important, has value, and not only that which is popular or culturally driven. This is a constant struggle sometimes, and I seem to waste a lot of time, by my own assessment.

I’ve taken to asking myself: What do I want to have finished before I go to bed tonight? My bedtime is earlier now than it used to be, Mary Englebreit notwithstanding, so knowing I’m going to have flat-lining brainwaves at a certain time can help me choose wisely. Sometimes in my days I’m only a quarter-full dot, but other times I’m there all the way. But when it is time to stop, it is time to stop.

A juggling act, but I keep at it–

Happy Quilting!

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit…— C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

When the New York Times columnist David Brooks talks about the difference between “résumé virtues” and “eulogy virtues,” he’s effectively putting the ashramas in a practical context. Résumé virtues are professional and oriented toward earthly success. They require comparison with others. Eulogy virtues are ethical and spiritual, and require no comparison. Your eulogy virtues are what you would want people to talk about at your funeral. As in He was kind and deeply spiritual, not He made senior vice president at an astonishingly young age and had a lot of frequent-flier miles.
You won’t be around to hear the eulogy, but the point Brooks makes is that we live the most fulfilling life—especially once we reach midlife—by pursuing the virtues that are most meaningful to us. (Arthur Brooks, from here)

14 thoughts on “Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt Finish 2022

  1. Hi
    I don’t often leave comments on the quilt blogs I read, but today you touched a chord I didn’t really know was there. Living life the way I want to, the way my husband and I want to, trying to do our own albeit ordinary thing but doing it because we want to and not because we’re supposed to (we’re both retired) is an acquired art, I believe. I’m 68 and still learning.

  2. So many thoughtful things to consider here Elizabeth. I love the idea of eulogy virtues. They are certainly what we should be working towards as we go about our daily lives and interests. Evergreen, Everlife is wonderful- I love the way you are able to make a pattern your own. The border is the perfect finish to the tree design. I notice among your page of comics “Zits”. That one appears in our daily paper too, and even that actual one about prom was published last week! Your Eva dress is lovely, such a pretty colour! Please call out if you need help with your Sawtell. I really enjoyed making mine.

  3. You have been busy! Congratulations on a gorgeous finish! You took that kit to a whole new level! And yay for clothes sewing! The PDF’s are not as fussy as people make them out!
    I miss my daily paper- I just never bonded with the Boston Globe. And cheers to doing what you want. I wake up every morning delighted for a new day full of possibility!

  4. I’m a pushover for a pretty dress, though I don’t know why! I don’t wear them often, and it seems I MOST often wear one when I’m at home. I almost feel embarrassed to wear one in public. So few women do anymore. Still, I like the Eva pattern. I couldn’t find the Sawtell pattern from the link you provided. Could you point me to it? It’s lovely to see you sewing, and that’s something I intend to do in the months ahead. I don’t need another quilt, so it will be back to clothes-sewing for me. I’ve accumulated quite a few knits, for tops, so that’s what I anticipate whipping up on the serger. Your quilt finish is very pretty, as is the sentiment behind the name… Everlife. It’s hard not to feel worthless in my “golden years.” As for reading a newspaper, I stopped doing that long ago, and rarely read or watch online news. At this late stage of my life, I won’t be impacted by worsening world conditions, and I can’t effect changes that make a personal difference to me.

  5. Absolutely love your quilt – you’ve taken the kernel of an idea in your Laundry Basket kit and really made it your own. Brava! And I couldn’t help but smile about the order in which you read the paper. Growing up, I would aim straight for the funnies and then not much more. One of my sisters was convinced that it would leave me developmentally challenged, but I like to think I’ve proven her wrong ;).

  6. Stunning quilt, absolutely beautiful. Making your own clothes is such fun , you can dress how you like and feel proud that you have made it. My taste in clothes has totally changed since I started my handmade wardrobe. I can express myself and be happy.

  7. Your Sunday post is so full of goodies!!!! I admired your journey with the Laundry Basket quilt and the end result is just stunning. With so many quilt patterns (and kits) swirling about in the quilting universe, yours is a good lesson in going the extra mile (or 50) to truly make it yours, congratulations. And I must be one of the last slog of holdouts continuing to take the daily paper. Yes, they’ve been trying to extract more and more money for years and I actually held them off up until this year when I told them what I would pay (just a smidge over the old rate). And we now give our “read papers” to a friend who reads and then shares with another friend, TA DA!!!!! My EVA dress pattern continues to wait, am holding out for just the right linen blend. Having sewn my own clothes from age 15-40, the fascination is less for me than for newbies. I was most thrilled with your reflections on accomplishments and especially enjoyed Arthur Brooks’ piece. You know my word this year is FOCUS and surprisingly, it has really helped cut down on the distractions. Instagram helped me cut that time in half via the introduction of all the “because we noticed you liked—–” – wonder if they considered that?! Thanks again for such a thoughtful post!!

  8. Evergreen Everlife finished out so beautifully, Elizabeth. That deep red final applique border really frames the center and draws me in to look at the details so well. Bravo!

    I think about how I’m living and what I’m doing a lot. It’s a strange idea, but Orson Scott Card wrote a follow on series after Ender’s Game and the book Speaker for the Dead was the best in that series. A Speaker for the Dead is someone who can fully investigate to eulogize a person after their passing (a holistic and non-romanticized eulogy). That, along with some early passing of friends has caused me to look at the way we structure our lives and society with a much different perspective.

  9. Seeing your finished Evergreen, Everlife (previously Tannenbaum!) finished makes me happy- what a beautiful accomplishment!!

  10. At 73 I am living my life on a schedule. My elderly Mom at 96 Is staying in her home and I am living with her. She has to be on a schedule. Goodness it is a bit hard. But I am happy to do it. My elderly husband of 88 is right next door so I have to drive him places. Thankfully my daughter is right at the other end of the driveway.
    Three weeks ago we got hit by a tornado and we are trying to rebild a baatch of out building and pick up all of the stuff blown all over our places.
    As for the paper it is epensive and it was not getting delviered as it should be. They did not show up and my Mother who liked to read it lost her vision. So no paper here.

  11. LOVE, LOVE the way your quilt finished. The red border with the applique is just stunning. I haven’t tried online patterns yet. I enjoy clothing sewing, but have always either used paper patterns or designed my own patterns. I’ll have to research that further. That blue color is sooo you!!! 😉 Yep, no printed paper here either.

  12. Your Evergreen quilt is beautiful; congratulations on the finish! The red outer border with vines adds so much! I love the “full” and “partially full” dots to signify “showing up daily.” How true!! My guiding principles are “enjoy, create, serve, and preserve” and if I can partially fulfill even one of those on some days I’m content😊.

  13. Well! That was quite a post! I especially like the dress, which has POCKETS! I try not to buy (or make) clothing without pockets these days because, really, why don’t women get pockets?

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