Update on New Hexagon Millefiore

I dragged pulled out that hexagon millefiore mess quilt and decided I had let it linger too long.  Waaaaay too long, and that it had lurked, like some amorphous creeping thing in the corner of my guest room (aka Sewing Room Overflow), haunting my dreams and certainly messing up any perky UFOs to Finish list that I may draw up.

Rosettes_all

This is the last composite photo I posted, back in August of 2016.  I’ve since put together most of the rosettes that are grayed out.  I decided to combine all the lower left rosettes, which gave me a new appreciation for Katja Merek’s work on the (what she has titled) The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.  Here is my version of the corner:

Rosette #8_opquilt variationsmall.jpg

And I also changed up some parts of the outer edges, making these (in the last few weeks):

Teeny Upper Leftsm.jpg

Rosettes 9_11b small.jpg

Rosette 12b small.jpg

Rosette 10somethingsmall.jpg

So now my quilt top looks like this (digital version):

All Rosettes_OPQuiltJune2018.jpg

I’m now working on that last one, which has turned out to be exceedingly difficult, because it has to be just right.  But then other days, I’m quoting my motto to myself (The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Or in my case, the done) and keep trying to get on with it.

At this point I just want it to be like Laurel’s:

Retreat2016_12

Yes, I want it to be DONE.

In other beginning-of-summer news, I planted my garden again, which then was invaded by fungus (a common problem here, apparently) so it looks quite wimpy.  We still harvest a few tomatoes here and there.  I sprayed last week, yanked two particularly sickly plants, and re-planted more in their place, so we’ll see what happens.

Optimism in the Garden.jpg

I found this on The Internet, which about expresses my attitude.  There’s just something about an empty garden box that sends me to the nursery to find something to plant in it. It feels kind of similar to entering a quilt shop, and thinking about all the possibilities I can find in there.

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. (Nelson Mandela)

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. (Dr. Seuss)

So today it’s back into the sewing room, back into the garden…back to work.

 

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