Project Quilting 11.2

Whew! I had a moment of panic this morning thinking I’d missed the deadline! But I’m in under the wire. Again.

So the theme this week was Team Colors and I was drawing a blank. I don’t really follow sports. My husband was a big sports fan and I wasn’t really ready to do anything sports related. But both of my girls had red and white as their school colors.

So, I mulled and I planned and discarded plans and made new plans until, finally, on Friday, I had an idea. I dumped over a bag of scraps and grabbed the red ones.

Then I sewed the strips and scraps together and cut them into 2″ strips.

Then I grabbed a random white square and started executing my labyrinth- inspired quilt.

After I had grown my square to the size I wanted, I quilted it in free motion lines similar to the piecing.

I have a lot of small quilts around so I decided this one should be a pillow. I added a zippered back and, voila! One team-color-inspired pillow which will fit nicely in my sister’s red and white living room!

My Scrap Labrynth measured 19×19″ before it became a pillow. I have to admit I kinda love this idea and would like to try it in a bigger size.

In other household news, the “imaginary ” cat went to the vet (she’s OK, thanks) but I used the occasion to get a photo. She was NOT amused

And the Puma aka Bart (the recent addition that came with my older daughter moving home to help me out) was caught in this rare peaceful moment with Milo.

And, speaking of caught, here’s how it looks when a moose hangs out under the coffee table.

Not a lot of clearance for our chunky boy!

I’m out to the borders on quilting a project I hope to finish this week. (We’re won’t talk about how I hoped to finish it last week.) My class resumes on Tuesday and I can’t wait to see everyone’s progress!

Happy quilting!

Beth

Linking up over at Persimmon Dreams!

Project Quilting Challenge 1

Numbers….I actually love numbers. I love the way they fit together and the steadfastness of them. But the number challenge was a bit of a puzzle. I had a bunch of ideas (some I may revisit later) but ended up with this little heart pincushion after thinking of the song, “One.”

I decided to play with the quilting a little and used jagged lines. A self portrait of sorts as my heart feels a bit like a minefield of shattered bits. Widowing is tough.

But, I did make progress on the house this week (while I should have quilting… which is so wrong.) My daughter and I decluttered the living room. Four full boxes of books and miscellaneous bits left the scene leaving us with a lovely place to relax.

So, here’s to the number 1, the starting point. I’m looking forward to the next challenge and hope to have a finish to show you before then!

Project Quilting can be found here. Check out all the fun and maybe think about playing along!

Happy quilting,

Beth

Resolving to Resolve

Well, I made it across the great divide into the twenties (definitely with more tears than cheers) but here we are. And New Year’s calls for resolutions so here they are. I’m totally copying another blogger with 20 for ’20 but I can’t remember where I read it so my apologies. Here’s my 20:

1. UFO’S I have a bunch, like triple digits a bunch. This year, I want to finish a bunch. Maybe 20, maybe not but any finishes will help!

2. YOGA – more yoga. Twice a week is the goal but more would be better.

3. BLOGGING – weekly, at least. More if there’s fun stuff to share.

4. Weight – ok, there’s a reason that’s not all caps and that’s because my goal is to exercise more and eat more healthfully. I am hoping to shed at least 20 pounds this year.

5. FOCUS – I’d like to pursue activities that help increase my focus this year… at work, at home, in my quilting. I don’t know what yet but time will tell.

6. SLEEP – I’m just like any toddler about going to bed…I procrastinate, need one more drink of water and it’s only gotten worse since losing my husband. This year’s goal is to go to bed by 11…most nights.

7. DECLUTTER – lots to do in this department. Thankfully, my daughters are willing to help. Five boxes and bags are ready to donate tomorrow with more to follow (and that’s just my stuff. )

8. OUTINGS – I work so much that it’s easy to just want to stay home but I need to get out a little more and enjoy time with friends. An occasional walk or movie, e.t.c. I’m thinking about 20 but maybe 12 is more realistic.

9. ORGANIZE – in both my work and home life, I’ve got lots of room to improve here.

10. SELF-CARE – it’s easy to get too busy to pursue these little things that help us feel better. I want to take a little time each month to do something…a hot bath, a swim, doing my nails at home, e.t.c.

11 – 20 STOP OVERGOALING – like many perfectionists, I can goal myself into a complete rabbit-in-the-headlamps stop. As I wrote these first 10, I found myself stressing about getting to 20. There’s no magic number for making an effort to improve your life. If I can manage my 10, then my 2020 will be a more productive, healthier year.

That all being said, today, I went on a walk, played with fabric, and started Whole 30 with my daughters.

A little fabric…

A little walk…

And now I’m at work. Not a bad start to the year.

Happy quilting,

Beth

Eyes Forward

“Keep your eyes on the road.” “Watch where you’re going. ” “Don’t look back. ” I remember teaching my daughter to ride a bike and teaching her to keep her eyes on where she was going, not on the tires or the handlebars but that spot you’re heading for. I’m trying to hold onto that wisdom now.

In the hospital, there was this big window at the end of the hall and I would stop there and gaze out at the trees on the hill, the cars going by, the world that wasn’t aware that my heart was shattering and my world collapsing. I could see my face in the reflection…a sad, tired woman. I knew that I couldn’t freeze time and I couldn’t get back to before and that I didn’t want to have to step into after. But after came and I’m doing my best with it each day. Except today. I’m usually a big fan of New Year’s. I’m usually chock full of resolutions, certain that this is the year I’ll pull them off. Not this year. This year, I feel like I’m back at that window watching a world that welcomes 2020 with open arms… while I feel devastated that this new year, decade, will not hold any piece of my husband or my mom. No new memories, no new laughter with them. Life will go on, as it does, and as it should but this change of the year feels like another loss. Another separation. Another after when all I really want is my before.

So, for tonight, while the fireworks burst in our neighborhood, I’m putting the final pieced border on a project for someone very special to me. (It’s a surprise so no photos. ) Then, I’m headed for bed with a good book. Tomorrow, I’ll make peace with this new year and find it in my heart to make some resolutions to greet it with. I’ll turn to face the future while holding the love from my past close to my heart. I’ll turn my eyes forward even as my heart looks back.

May the coming year bless you with joys large and small and may your quilting bring you piece and joy.

Love,

Beth

Day 6

So, it’s day 6 of the 31 day blogging challenge and it’s been quite a week here. I think this is my third post of six. Sigh. At school, it’s been grading and making new courses for second trimester. At the second job, it’s the Christmas rush at the candy store. At home, it was my husband’s 70th birthday on Thursday. Instead of the large celebration we’d have had if he was still here, we had a quiet family dinner. It was still nice and comforting. This is the picture of Phil that came up in my Facebook feed on his birthday.

And even today, which was set aside for getting the tree in the morning and sewing and cleaning the rest of the day has taken a sudden turn with a text from job 2 that two people called out and they desperately need help. So I’ll be putting in an 8-hour shift instead. But what else can you do when your team needs you? My coworkers at both jobs were amazing about covering for me when Phil was in the hospital and when my mom died. I’m so grateful for all of them! If you have to go through such awful times, it’s an amazing comfort to have such wonderful family, friends, neighbors and coworkers supporting you.

So, Oregon is doing what Oregon does best (raining) and we’re getting our tree anyway. My girls and I have odd schedules and you have to take opportunities where you find them. I’m off to find my hiking boots because it’s likely to be muddy and to put some towels in the truck.

And, if I’m lucky, I can still sneak in some quilting time… although the cleaning may have to wait. Priorities, you know.

Happy quilting!

Beth

31 Day Challenge

Yep, I missed a day. And normally I’d probably stress about that but, really, where’s the point of that? This blogging thing is about fun, right?

So, why’d I miss? Well, I spent most of yesterday creating courses for the master schedule for school and my evening working at the candy shop. Cyber Monday was strangely quiet at the mall… I’m sure tomorrow night will be ramped back up. I’m more grateful than ever for the second job (and the first, of course) because between that and my daughter, I’m able to pay my mortgage. And I really v like having somewhere to live and my fabric REALLY likes having somewhere to live!

So, today’s prompt was machine and yesterday’s was sewing room so here’s a little of each. I have a wonderful room at the top of the house, and, well, a few machines.

I’m a sucker for vintage machines… and I’m not going to admit how many I have! But I will tell you that a lovely friend gave me a vintage machine as a gift after my husband and mom passed. I’m lucky to have so many friends who understand me!

That’s all from me tonight. I work again tomorrow night so hopefully I can post at lunch.

Happy quilting!

31 Day Blogging Challenge – Hello

So, I decided to participate in the 31-day blogging challenge hosted by Cheryl Slebota. Prompts start with introductions so, if we haven’t met, I’m Beth. I’ve been quilting since I was 19 which means I’ve been quilting for 37 years (and I have the UFO collection to prove it!) I’m mostly a piecer and quilter…I quilt my own quilts on my domestic machine(s.) I have a bit of a love affair with fabric, vintage machines and can’t turn away an orphan UFO.

My life took an unexpected sorrowful turn this fall when my husband died unexpectedly and my mother died suddenly on the morning of his funeral. There is a whole lot of sad right now but quilting and quilters are comforting.

I’m looking forward to writing a little each day and sharing my time with you.

Happy quilting,

Beth

Words of Comfort Quilt

When Phil died, the girls decided we should have bright colors at his memorial. They wanted something that wouldn’t be sad and gloomy. He loved bright colors, Hawaiian shirts, and, while he cut a handsome figure in a suit, he loved his bright shirts.

Over the years, I’ve made several signature quilts. Generally these are quilts with lots of white space. I like to think of them as condolence cards or get well cards that you can wrap yourself in. So, I made a quilt for Phil. There will be quilts I make in his memory, quilts I make that remind me of happier times, quilts I make with fabric we bought together…but this was a quilt that would hold a special place in my heart because it would hold the words of people who also loved him.

I made a simple Sawtooth Star with white centers and Hawaiian prints from a pack a dear friend had brought me.

I quilted it with loops and hearts… immersing myself in memories.

Then, I gave the quilt and fabric markers to my very talented step-daughter and step-son-in-law who are both artists.

They added their beautiful drawings first and then we asked friends at the memorial to sign it.

I added an embroidered label to the back.

All those kind words and loving wishes give this quilt a special place in my heart. It reminds me of the many lives Phil touched and how many people loved him.

I miss my guy more than I can say. It’s been eight weeks and it feels like forever. I can’t look very far down the future because it’s too hard to think about right now…but I can take the next stitch, and then the next one after that as I patch together a new pattern from the pieces left of my old life.

Each stitch counts.

Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop

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Carla over at Creatin’ in the Sticks put together this fun Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop.  Now, I have been wanting to make some more environmentally friendly gift bags for Christmas for a while.  I happen to have a few older “pillow panel” sets in Christmas prints and thought I’d just see what I could do.  I wanted my bag to be substantial with quilted sides so that the present within wouldn’t be too obvious.

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To make my bag, I simply added red borders to the top and bottom of the pillow panel.  I quilted each panel to a backing fabric (great use for what I call the “old uglies” as they’ll never be seen again.)  I sewed around three sides leaving a 1.5″ break in the stitching on one side.

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Then I boxed my corners and added my lining (leaving a hole in the bottom of the lining stitching to turn it through.

After I pressed and top-stitched the opening,  I created a casing by stitching two lines of stitching at the top and bottom of the side opening.  A 3.5″ pair of strips made a quick and easy tie by just sewing them wrong sides together.

Now, I honestly have no idea what gift will go in this bag but it’s likely to be the best-dressed one under our tree!

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers and their great ideas…there’s plenty of stitching time left!

 

Monday, November 11th
Tuesday, November 12th
Wednesday, November 13th
Thursday, November 14th
Friday, November 15th

Widowing

I’ve decided that if what my girls are doing is “adulting” then what I’m doing is “widowing.” Widowing is a bit different than adulting….

1. You didn’t choose it (well, if you did then I refer you to Orange is the New Black for advice because that’s not in my wheelhouse…)

2. It’s lonelier than adulting because it can feel like all the good parts of adulting are behind you.

3. It’s an opportunity to be profoundly grateful for all you still have or bitter for all you’ve lost. Or both, at once, or in turns…. whatever.

4. It’s a journey… maybe not the one you thought you were taking… but you still have a choice to enjoy the view.

5. Quilting helps. Quilting with friends helps. Quilting alone helps. Not that it changes anything but the act of creating is life affirming. (Also, having a good stash of fabric when your finances are suddenly very different is a blessing. )

So what have I been working on? My class is back to full swing and we’re charging ahead with wonky stars. Wonky stars are a great beginner tool for teaching angles and joining blocks.

Look at these beauties! (And the stars are pretty, too!)

Me, I haven’t made much headway on anything in particular but did start some vortex scrapping.

I’m also starting think of what try to sew for Christmas.

I’ll be honest, widowing is tough. I’m exhausted at the end of each day. The other morning, I rolled over half asleep and threw my arm over where Phil should have been. I woke with a start when my arm dropped to the mattress. I want to call my mom and tell her things and then remember I can’t. But friends help, the kind you see in person and the kind you have online.

Thank you, my friends.