Into the Woods!

Into the Woods front

Into the Woods is finished–my first finish in the FAL hosted by Leanne.  I blogged about how bogged down I was in my entry FAL, so it’s nice to be able to go out to the front porch, have my husband hold it up and declare it done.  And yes, I know it’s January and we still have pumpkins out there.  Okey-dokey, moving right along. . .


Here’s a closeup of the quilting, and the blocks.

Into the Woods art shot

And the requisite beauty shot, draping not-so-artfully by the pumpkins.

Into the Woods back

Back of the quilt.  I had purchased this fabric about eight years ago, when I was shop-hopping up in the Pittsburg area with a good friend.  Our husbands are both scientists and we’d see each other almost annually at conferences.  This particular time I had a rental car, so we left the boys to their science and took off in search of ours.  I love that certain fabrics have memories attached; whenever I see this I will think of Beth.


I had originally named this a different name, mocked up the label but just couldn’t make the name stick.  Then one night, it came to me.  Seeing this quilt was like walking into the woods, surrounded by golds, greens, crimsons and browns, and so that became the title, just like the Broadway play Into the Woods by Steven Sondheim.  That play has always had special significance for me, as its allegory of going into the woods –the difficult trials of life — and making your way back out of the woods — into a different life than the one imagined — became a sort of map for me during a painful shape-shifting time of life.  I still love that play, and as I worked on the label (with a scrap of lyric pulled from the title song), I played it on the computer and sang along.  Nothing like a Broadway show tune to make the quilting go a little quicker.

My quilter, Cathy, did a lovely job on the quilting of pumpkins and vines (and if you know the play Into the Woods, there is a section of Jack and the Beanstock, which correlates nicely).  So there it is–my first finish, and finally, a Friday Finish for myself.

Update: Original post for the Finish-A-Long is *here.*


Autumn Quilt

Autumn Quilt is just smoothed up on the wall (crookedly), but I’m happy to be at this place with this quilt.  I started collecting fabrics for it about 8 or 9 years ago, gathering up  reds and golds and earthy greens, browns and blacks with pattern.  I was mimicking a quilt design from a friend of mine who had made a similar quilt and I loved the way it glowed.

I used the basic Square-in-a-Square pattern, adjusting it so that these are nine-inch blocks.  I put the inner striped border on it and hung it in the closet last fall.  And it stayed there while I ruminated on and pondered the border.  My family has the Ruminating Gene in spades.

I showed some of the process in my last post, so I know this is a repeated tale.  Sorry.  But what was different was that I cut down the one-inch striped border to a half-inch sort of piping-effect border. I’m happy with it.

But when I put it all together, it was like there were doorways or gates on each side, letting the border go flabby.  While I may have to deal with flabby everything else, I’m not at all about to settle for flabby borders.  I unpicked and re-stitched to what is shown above.  I like it a lot better, and many thanks to my husband for helping me talk through that little knot of a problem.

I had one backing all picked out–a vintage piece of fabric, bought at a yard sale next to my sister-in-law’s house in Utah.  It just didn’t sing.  But this eight-year-old piece from Alexander Henry did.

I added two other fabrics with a orangey-blue tonality, and we were good to go.  So today, it did–off to the quilter’s.

I did other errands today made me glad to have a holiday that causes me to think about what I’m thankful for.  I ran into Joan in the grocery store — an 80-year-old friend — and she was buying a disposable roaster and colorful napkins.  The whole family, with grandchildren, boyfriends and everyone is at her house again, as they are every year.  Everyone helps but she confided she has a hard time getting the gravy made because “They want me out in the backyard playing croquet with them!”  And then as we were leaving, she gestured with her arm to the immaculate grocery store, perfection this morning at 8 a.m. before the hordes of Thanksgiving shoppers arrived, and said “When I look at this abundance, I feel like I need to give thanks to God all over again.”  I’ll be taking a wee break from blogging while I cook and peel and crimp and serve and oh yeah, clean up (as well as do a bit of grading and maybe even shopping) so I’m posting this holiday wish a bit early.

Like my friend Joan, this Thursday, I’ll be giving thanks to God for friends I’ve found in writing this blog and in participating in the quilting world.  You really do enrich my life with fabric chats, a little fun gossip now and again, and a sense that I belong to a vibrant community full of talent and enough quirkiness to make it interesting.

I’ll be giving thanks to God for his goodness in my life, for the gift of our children and grandchildren and in-laws and out-laws (hey, we all have a few).  I’m grateful to my mother and father for giving me atta’boys when I need it, and correcting my grammar and spelling when called for.  I’m happy to have sisters and brothers, and to have grown up in a family so large that we had to learn to share, yet small enough that when one of us is down, the others all know and want to help.

I have many ways to count the blessings in my life and will be doing just that on Thursday, feeling the Lord’s kindness rain down. And I wish this all for you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!