2013 Finish-A-Long, Quarter Four

FAL Q4_2013

This was my declaration of Things To Be Finished, for the 2013 Finish-A-Long, Quarter 4, hosted by Leanne, of She Can Quilt.  I’d put only four things on my list: my signature quilt, the Schnibbles I was working on at the time (in blue and white), the Four-in-Art quilt (represented here by an early idea of a map), and the Santa’s Village quilt.  I’m back, now, for the wrap-up.

Good thing I only had four on the list, because this fall illness hit me hard and I barely had enough energy to keep the papers graded and the laundry done.  My round-up of medications included 4 trips to the doctor, 3 courses of oral steroids (asthma), 2 different asthma inhalers, 2 runs of antibiotics, 1 bag of cough drops with their perky “you can do it!” messages. . . and a partridge in an pear tree.  Oh, and vats and vats of hot chocolate, which can be considered medicinal, right? So I consider the fact that I finished up this batch of quilts nothing short of remarkable.


1. The signature quilt was finished just before the close of 2013, and I’m still working on the labels.  It’s now titled Silver and Gold, or The Toni Jones Quilt, and you can read about it *here.*  As this was nearly nine years in the making, I consider it my most significant finish.

Childhoods Wide Avenues Art Quilt_front

2.  Childhood’s Wide Avenues was my quilt for our Four-in-Art group’s challenge of Urban: Maps.  Our next challenge is due February 1st, and I’ve already done some preliminary sketches and gathered up photos.  But I’ve had to get through Christmas, first.

Pacific Grove Blues

3. Pacific Grove Blues was a part of the Schnibbles Challenge, and it reminded me of a week my husband and I spent in Northern California this fall.  I’m happy to have finished it. (We had a name change from Sand and Sea.)

Santa Claus Quilt_1

4. Jolly Old St. Nicholas has been up in our hallway all through the time of visits from our children, a 60th birthday party, and I consider it a real treasure.  As soon as I finish this post, though, I’m taking it down.  I can see some places I want to add some quilting, but then again, I may put it off until next December. We’ll see.  I wouldn’t have finished this without the help of my bee mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee, who all contributed the large green-and-white squares, and who were all on time in their contributions.  They are an amazing group of people!

FAL 2014

Leanne, of She Can Quilt, has hosted the 2013 Finish-A-Long and in 2014, Katy of the The Littlest Thistle will be taking over the reigns, if you want to join in.  I haven’t yet decided if I will participate.  Leanne was a blogging friend and I enjoyed the digging out of quilts and finishing them up, and even contributed a couple of tutorials to the efforts.  While some may benefit from the prizes offered for finishing, and they are generous, Mr. Random Generator and I have never been on speaking terms (aka, I never win), so that’s not really a draw for me.

However, I feel like I want to “direct” my own blog and my own quilting, moving in some different directions.  I don’t have a big stash of quilts I need to finish up and get out, and part of the rules (although I’ve noticed a bending of them lately) specifies that they need to be projects that are started and that the quilt needs to be completed (not just a quilt top).  I have a list of quilts I want to work on, but none begun, and I don’t want to rush into that right now.

FinishALong Button

But if you are someone who has a lot of tops, and needs some motivation to get things done, I heartily endorse this!  It’s been invaluable for me this year, as I’ve completed quite a few projects that may have languished in closets or in drawers.  Thanks, Leanne, for all your work!!

200 Quilts · Four-in-Art · Quilts

Childhood’s Wide Avenues


Childhoods Wide Avenues Art Quilt_front

Childhood’s Wide Avenues is a quilt about memory, of fixing in time a place and a feeling.  I grew up in the mountain west, in Provo, Utah, a town laid out in a grid of wide avenues, criss-crossed with streets that seemed to me to be wide as the sky, although I’m sure if I went back there now, they would be reduced in size and dimension.  But that feeling that I could ride my bike to the top of the street near our house and see all the way down to my elementary school, or across the valley, or to the other side of the world has remained in my memory.

The possibilities were infinite.

ChildhoodWideAvenues Art Quilt_label

A few weeks ago, as I was thinking about this quilt and how to express the theme of Urban/Maps, I found myself traveling down another very wide avenue through the middle of a town very unlike where I grew up: San Bernardino, California.  But the boulevard was so wide and so straight and I could see it head in a straight line for miles, up into the foothills, that I felt as if I had been transported in an instant back to an earlier place and time.  But it seemed impossible, until I learned that Mormon pioneers, a branch off the same tree that laid out Provo, had also laid out the wide avenues of this town two states away, in the early 1850s.  Asked to settle this place far from their original homes in the Utah valley, they laid out a grid of wide avenues, and gave them names like Salt Lake Street,  Kirtland Street, Nauvoo Street, and Utah Street.  These have all been renamed, but those early pioneers left their stamp on the valley not only by naming the cemetery Pioneer Cemetery, but by etching long, wide avenues into the landscape.

CWA_8 Me

I had heard about memory being triggered by sounds, and by smells, but never had experienced memory being triggered by a sense of space, of a geographical series of landmarks making headway into my childhood memories.  For days afterward, I thought of the family I grew up in, and found pictures to place on my quilt that evoked a sense of that time (that’s me, above).

CWA_7 detail front

Who populates these fictional houses on my quilt?  The large pink house is my parents’ and the block below contains houses for my husband and I, and our four children and their families, while the blocks surrounding that central block are where my sisters and brothers might live. And because all of their spouses will want their own families, I scattered the grid of avenues with more houses, so that the circle of family would have place and space.  A dream, of course, as none of our children, nor any of my family live near us.  But in my world, in my memory, we are all there: gathering Easter eggs on the front lawn, jumping in piles of leaves, finding tarantulas in the fissures in the hillside, cracking open walnuts, and smelling the lilacs at the end of the driveway — lovely, amber-colored scenes.

Tomorrow I’ll deconstruct the quilt, describing the technical side of how I put it together.  But for now, more quilts depicting this theme of Urban/Maps can be found at:


Leanne of She Can Quilt


Rachel of The Life of Riley


Betty from her Flickr site


Amanda of What the Bobbin?


Nancy of Patchwork Breeze


Anne of SpringLeaf Studios


Carla of Lollyquiltz


FinishALong Button

This is a finished goal on my Quarter Three of the 2013 Finish-A-Long, hosted by Leanne of She Can Quilt.

It is also Quilt # 124 on my 200 Quilts List.