All done with Frivols 9

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Yippee!  Number nine is finished, and in the same month I started it. We had to take my car in to get fixed (see recent post) and I thought taking photos at the auto body shop would be something different.

First, a cool picture from @bymariandrew:

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It’s been this way this month.  I’ve kind been working all the time to finish up this and that.

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I’ve been helped by listening to this excellent book,  Forty Autumns, by Nina Willmar, about one family separated by the Berlin Wall.  I got down an old guidebook from the bookshelf in our family room, and sure enough, it shows the two Germanys, and the “island” of West Berlin.  The Forty Autumns cover photo shows the Brandenburg Gate trapped in East Berlin, a fitting visual reminder of the difficulties of this time.  I recommend it highly.

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The squares had no HSTs–hallelujah! so I whipped right through them, and the directions were easy to follow in both cutting and sewing.Frivols 9 _7

After switching  the blocks around a bit, I found an arrangement I was happy with.

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Now to mark off the triangles to make the flying geese borders.  I usually put on a gizmo on my sewing machine to make that sewing easier, but I was talking to my Mom, and it seemed a nice quiet way to keep my hands busy.

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And then, just like that, I had it quilted and done.  I did loopies in the octagonal parts of the block, filling in with little petaled flowers.  I kept the quilting to a minimum, so the quilt is soft.  I always think there is a baby coming right around the corner who might need this.

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When I sewed on the the snowball squares, I did a double seam, so that I was — in the end — left with lots of little half-square triangles.  There are four per block, and two per triangle in the border, so you can figure out how many I have.

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I’m now three-fourths of the way through, and I often wondered if I would make it this far.  Thanks to all those supportive comments; I do appreciate them.

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A Stack of Frivols.
One is missing and is now the property of a wee girl named Halle.

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It’s been All Frivols, All the Time.

Now for a break!

 

Frivols 8 ** FINISHED!** & Intro to Frivols 9

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Frivols 8_7 front

I finished Frivols 8, and haven’t yet named it, although Moda calls it “Brio” or something like that.  But all those Bear Paw blocks are so fun and alive, I need another name.  How about…

Charlie and Bear Earmuffs

…Baby Bear?, especially after my daughter-in-law posted this picture of her youngest son (my youngest grandson) helping with dinner, complete with bear earmuffs.  He’s a character.

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I finally was able to get to the quilting (see below).

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I found some old 1940s prints in the stash, and chose a blue to match the lightest blue in the quilt for the binding.  That’s one of the troubles with doing these frivols after the fact: the fabrics to complete them are AWOL, but I made it work.Frivols 8_6

Now the requisite Beauty Shots.  The print above is titled “She Will Find What Was Lost,” and is a print by Brian Kershisnik, a favorite of mine.Frivols 8_8a draped

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Eight are done!

But since this is your two-for-one post, here’s the intro for Frivols #9, our little box for September.

Look!  No Half-Square Triangles!  Okay, there are some triangles that are snowballed on, and a few Flying Geese, but hooray!  I couldn’t face making another quilt with prints on a white background, even though I do like the look, so the background for this one will be a peach woven-looking print fabric.

This collection is by Lella Boutique.  More info is found on Moda’s Blog.

And in other news this past while:

  • survived a “Meet N’Greet” when a young woman rear-ended me in stop-and-go traffic on the freeway.  After spending too many hours on too many phone calls with her insurance company, I called mine, and the car will go in next week to be fixed.  They’ll fight it out later who gets to pay what.
  • agonized when I discovered that all the patterns I’d given out in my workshop in August were too small. It was only after a phone call to corporate headquarters for the printing company, and two visits to the local outlet that I discovered what had happened: they had set the button to “Print to Fit” which ALL quilters know means at about 96%.  They graciously printed out new, accurate copies, which I’ll collate and get over to the Guild.  Then I’ll put a paper bag on my head and try to remain incognito.
  • created another tiny quilt in order to review a book by Kerry Foster, titled Paint-by-Numbers Quilting.  My day on the Blog Hop is September 24th, and we’re doing a digital giveaway that day, so everyone can enter — US and international quilters.  Check back then.
  • rearranged nearly everything upstairs in my house:Stuff in BathtubWe swapped the old guest room for the new office, which meant that all my stuff in the old guest room had to go in the hallways and the Master Bedroom, and the old office, and yes, even the bathtub. (I won’t show you the rest of the mess.)

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Lately, I wake up every day feeling like I have about 400 things to get done that day, and fall into bed exhausted, having only accomplished a few of the things on my list. I know this soon will end, once my home is back in order, the big projects finished, the trips taken, the car fixed, the weeds pulled, next month’s Frivols finished, and everything crossed off my To-Do list.  Right.

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Uncle (Frivols #8)

The following pictures tell you why I’m saying Uncle on this project, as there is No Way I’m going to be able to quilt it and bind it and label it, all before the end of August.  Which is tomorrow, in case you didn’t notice.

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Cutting.  And I only made one mistake.  Not bad, not bad.

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What is with all these half-square triangles in everyone’s design?  HSTs! HSTs!  AAAAGH!

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I got one block this far late one night, then went to bed.

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The next day I got this far, all while listening to Book 4 of Bruno, Chief of Police.  And that little habit is all due to Bette, who suggested I might like them.  I do. The real title of that book was the Devil’s Cave.  Our hero, Bruno, saved the day.Frivols 8_9

Twenty-nine thousand pieces of sashing, and eight million borders are sewn on. It’s actually looking cuter.

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It kind of like died here.

I cut the batting last night, organized (but didn’t sew together) the backing.  But I had to finish up another quilt, and take photos, and meet a bazillion deadlines, the least of which is to revamp this entire room, which used to be the guest room, but will soon become our office.  Well, mostly my husband’s, but I will have a desk too, and all our modemrouterprinter1printer2extrapaperofficesupplies will soon leave my sewing room and live here.  Can’t wait.  See me about November for the finished product/project.

I’ll get to the Frivols #8, but just not by August 31st.  But I did try.

Cartoon Fabric Buying

 

Frivols 8 • August 2018

 

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September’s box is Frivols #8 and is a tin from American Jane, with a whole host of fancy and fun prints.  The Moda blog notes that:

“There is a correction to the pattern – Background, Sashing, and Borders.  The first line should say 3 – 5 1/2″ x width of fabric strips.  From the strips, cut 18 – 5 1/2″ squares.”

Duly noted. I’ll figure it out when I get there.

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Here’s the layout of prints from their blog–colorful and charming. And I was happy to see that there are fewer half-square triangles in Sandy Klop’s quilt design.

The freebie for this Frivol is a sweet little tin with this month’s quilt design, that is just about the size of a charm square, perched up there by the bigger tin.  I also love the quote on this month’s card: “Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.”  While it is attributed to Oscar Wilde, this attribution — as in so many other quote attributions — is a little squishy.  For more discussion on this, visit the Quote Investigator.  In fact, if you read this article, it seems like Wilde was a bit more pessimistic about this whole idea of authenticity:

It is tragic how few people ever “possess their souls” before they die. “Nothing is more rare in any man,” says Emerson, “than an act of his own.” It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. (c. 1900)

I happen to like the Thomas Merton version:

“In an age where there is much talk about “being yourself” I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else. Rather it seems to me that when one is too intent on “being himself” he runs the risk of impersonating a shadow.” (c. 1967)

I have to say my favorite instance of this idea is from Gordon B. Hinckley, an earlier president of my church.  He writes about discouragement when he was called on a church mission at age nineteen, feeling like he could never do what was required of him:

I wrote a letter to my father and said, “I’m wasting my time and your money. I don’t see any point in my staying here.” And in due time a letter came back from him in which he simply said: “Dear Gordon. I have your letter of [such and such a date]. I have only one suggestion: Forget yourself and go to work. With love, your father.” [from here]

So often we can focus too much on ourselves, and how we feel from moment to moment. While this aesthetic — to “forget yourself and get to work” — seems to hail from another era, I like to think about it sometimes, when I often can’t find the energy to finish up the chore, to get the work done, to complete the task.  I felt that way with Frivols #7, as you probably know.  And somedays I have to ask myself: “What do I want to have done by the end of this day?”

Perhaps all this seems so far from the supposed Wilde quote of “being yourself,” but for me they are linked.  Perhaps the work is me, the getting done is the shaping of who I am.  And hopefully, in forgetting myself and getting to work, I will become my best self.

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Onward!

 

Frivols 7

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It’s the first of July, so you know what that means.

I pulled Frivols Tin #7 out of the closet, and about fell over.  There are a billion little triangles in this quilt, well, okay, maybe only a couple of a hundred, but they are teensy weensy (each HST measures 1 3/4″ square, unfinished).  Yes, I am beginning to question my sanity.  Especially since, when I was in Utah, I saw Frivols tins for sale:

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See that quilt there on the right?  I should have just bought it, and saved myself the trouble.  But making these Frivols experience is a learning experience, or so I keep telling myself.  I’m starting early this month, as it may take me a while.

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Luckily in the tin, they have included a sheet to copy so you can just sew through the lines and have perfect triangles, also available on their Moda blog.  Good thing I really like that lovely Lisa Bongean and her shop near me, Primitive Gatherings (also in Wisconsin).

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Here’s the cute freebie: a scissors “keep” with the polka dots on one side, and Moda’s name on the other.

[Note: I won those scissors last month while visiting Corn Wagon Quilt Company in Springville, Utah.  My husband, who is used to being in quilt shops, got a Hundred Grand Candy Bar, just for coming in (very nice of them).]

Okay, so if you are doing this Frivol, download Moda’s triangles sheet: Frivols7-songbird-triangle-papers  [NOTE: Please be sure to download first, print a test page, making sure the measurements agree with what is written on the pattern, and print at 100% (of course).] I’ve printed mine out on vellum, which is easier to rip off than regular paper.  Since we have to do eleven sheets worth of these triangles, I figure it’s four pages a week, in order to finish.  I’m just hoping that with the special stitch-and-sew technique, I won’t have to be truing them up.  That chore is right up there on the Hated Chores List with folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.

Happy Fourth of July to you as well, a day to celebrate the birth of our nation.  Here are some photographs I took when we lived in Washington, D.C. for a (most memorable) year:

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Department of State, Star

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial, with Declaration of Independence on the wall

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

USA Capitol Ceiling

from ceiling in the United States Capitol

Happy Sewing and Happy Fourth of July 2018!

Practice Makes Perfect • Frivols #6

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Practice Makes Perfect
Quilt #204  • June 2018
26″ by 31.5″

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The requisite shot of the X-ed out Frivols tins show that I’m now halfway done with my goal.  I try not to set goals, as they just give me angst, but there’s just this lingering expectation: finish all the Frivols.

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I call this Practice Makes Perfect, as I’ve been thinking about the nature of work, and how much of it is repetitive, boring even, but repetition appears to be a necessary step on the way to mastery.  I think I can handle churn dashes, but it was learning the finer points of free-motion quilting loops that needed my attention.  Frivols6_PracticeMakesPerfect3

The freebie for tin #6 was this strawberry label with barely any room for a person with two long names.  It would have been better if my name were Dot Smith or something.Frivols6_PracticeMakesPerfect1Mothers Luncheon

I had started on this quilt at the end of May, after a long month of travel and serving and caring for people in my life, culminating with an intimate luncheon celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday in Ogden, Utah.  We rented a small conference room at a local hotel, and had the hotel cater the meal.

Mothers Flowers

We’d done this two years earlier for my father’s birthday, and had only my brother and sisters and parents there, with no spouses or great-grandchildren.  We were worried then (I was wondering) if if it would work without the supporting members, but we did fine two years ago, and again this year too.  The feelings expressed to my mother were tender, kind, showing her (and my father’s) careful influence in our lives.  Because of them there are amazing individuals in my family: strong men and women, who are good men and women, too.

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Some of you know that I’d been up in Utah earlier that month caring for my sister for a week; it was good to see how much progress she’d made in getting around with her crutches and wheelchair.  From L to R, around the table: Mom, Dad, Susan (child #3), Scott (#6), David (#5), Cynthia (in gold jacket, child #2), Christine (#1), and Andy (#7).  I’m child #4, yes, that infamous “middle child.”

Mothers Olive Oil

I had little bottles of specialty olive oil etched with the saying “Olive you forever” and “Happy 90th Barbara” (my mother’s name).

We drove home and two days later I quilted this, finishing  it the next day.  I was still putting away what I’d gathered on my trip, but needed a break, and Practice Makes Perfect was the tonic for what ailed me.

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John Piper wrote: “Work is a glorious thing. And if you stop and think about it, the most enjoyable kinds of leisure are a kind of work. Both these facts are true because the essence of work, as God designed it before the Fall, was creativity — not aimless, random doing, but creative, productive doing….
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“If you are starting to grow lazy, I summon you back to joy. God made us to work. He formed our minds to think and our hands to make. He gave us strength—little or great—to be about the business of altering the way things are.

“That is what work is: seeing the world, thinking of how it could be better, and doing something—from the writing of a note to the building of a boat; from the sewing of what you wear to the praying of a prayer.
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“Come, leave off sloth and idleness. Become what you were made to be. Work.”

excerpted quote found on @TheSmallSeed