Thursday, September 12, 2019

Back at it

For the past two weeks, I haven't felt quite myself... emotionally. I'm missing Hogan, think of him often, and find it difficult to focus on anything for very long. 

I've also had a rash of medical appointments - four different tests - and seen two doctors, with three more doc appointments coming up. Though my GP told me yesterday that I'm healthy, all these visits are enough to make me think I'm old or something!  

Christina Cameli was here last weekend from Portland, Oregon.

She stayed with me when Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild hosted her for a "Texture Quilting" (based on her book) program and workshop. Read our "Christina Was Here!" blog post on our Central Florida MQG site. 

Not only does Christina have oodles of skills - she's a midwife, has written several quilting books ("Wedge Quilt Workshop" is excellent) and is a talented free motion quilter and instructor - she was a lovely guest who leant a sympathetic ear when I found myself pouring out my grief about Hogan. 

One item I made before Christina visited was a new cover for the bench where Hogan liked to lay in the sewing room window. The padded storage bench was a Craigslist purchase from about seven years ago, and I've been using it to store batting. 

The newly recovered bench is now in the guest room where it serves double duty - a place for sitting, or a suitcase. 

Fabric-covered cording runs along the edges, and the ends are solid fabric because I ran short on the print yardage. It works.

Two quilters I follow on Instagram started making 64-patch blocks, and I needed to join them. (Ha!) Blocks are being referred to as postage stamp blocks (1" X 1" finished) along with the hashtag #colorblockpostagestampquilt. My patches are some of the 1-1/2" square leader and ender prints I've been cutting, saving, and using since October 2011. 

I only need cut my solid scraps into 32 1-1/2" squares to make a block that finishes at 8" X 8". 

I'm really appreciating that I have a wool pressing mat to make all those seams flat! 

Now it's time for me to admit a big mistake.

When I signed up for the 2020 QuiltCon Indah Batiks "Me and You" fabric challenge, I didn't read the instructions properly. We are to use three of the four prints in the quilt front. Good so far.

I thought we could add prints from the fabric line: series 100. In fact, we could add only solids from series 100. I bought print fabric from two online shops, made the quilt top, and basted it before a friend pointed out I could add only solids. I was so upset, and ready to chuck it until I had a thought. "Why can't I enter it in QuiltCon anyway? Just don't enter it in the challenge category." 

I used the Jaybird Quilts Hex 'n More ruler to cut shapes. I spent considerable time getting all those palms (white background with black palms) oriented upright.  

Now I've walking foot quilted a 60-degree diamond pattern across the entire quilt. Next I will fill in with free motion quilting. 

...using some of the filler ideas in Christina's "Texture Quilting" book.

So, my new plan is to finish the quilt, and choose a special name for it: "Rule Breaker" or "Challenge Defyer" or "Insubordinate." Ha!

As I'm waiting for fabric to arrive to use as background to complete my LindaNova (TulaNova) quilt top, I've begun my next EPP project - Prudence - using templates and paper in an EPP kit I won on Instagram. I've cut fabric, including some fussy-cutting, for a couple dozen blocks, but this doesn't look like much. Each block is only 6" finished! Certainly, this will be another very long-term project.

(Becky and Diane: I ended up deciding to use a black and white stripe, just like the pattern shows. My stripe is Cosmo Textile print from Red Thread Studio.)

Just as I've recently been entering my sewing room to "do something" - often wondering what to work on - I've felt the same about listening to an audiobook. Two weeks ago I finished "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng (last name pronounced like "ing.)

This story takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and is about the Richardson family (their house burns down) and the family's interactions with a mother and daughter, Mia and Pearl Warren, who rent an apartment owned by the Richardsons. Storylines include high school sex and pregnancy, transracial adoption, and a mother's secret. Judgmentalism plays a role (Elena Richardson) and that character is someone I came to not like. I enjoyed this book immensely!

Linda's score: 4.8/5.0

Last week I resumed regular walking since my left leg is "fixed" (no more arterial blockages). My GP told me this week to "walk an hour a day," so an audiobook is the best way to go.

"Someone Else's Love Story" by Joshilyn Jackson is my latest finish. The story takes places in Georgia where Shandi and her son Natty are caught in a  convenience store hold-up. The situation goes bad, and prompts Shandi to examine her life. She considers the break-up of her devoutly Catholic mother and Jewish father, and her relationship with her best friend. Shandi makes changes and choices that take her life in a new direction.

The author reads the book herself, and does a superb job of putting a distinguishable voice to each character, as well as add just the right amount of emphasis and inflection. I've listened to enough audiobooks to recognize a good reader when I hear one. I definitely recommend this.

Linda's score: 4.5/5.0



  1. I am so sorry to hear that Hogan has passed. You probably told this in an earier post, but I have gotten so far behind in my blog reading. Our sweet pets become family and offer companionship, loyalty and comfort - unconditional love.

  2. I think your "Rule Breaker" quilt is better for the oops! ;-) Yay for entering it anyway!

  3. All those doctor appointments don't necessarily mean you are old. I think they just break things up more into little pieces so they can take more money from the insurance company at each visit. Love the colorblock quilt - I hope to start mine at some point, but am hoping to finish up some things first

  4. So good to hear all those tests have pronounced you healthy, makes it worth all the bother and frustration. "Rule Breaker" is going to be a fun quilt!

  5. I think the Ruler Breaker quilt is great too. Some textural quilting will really make it sparkle! I’ve been thinking of you as you move into a new way of life without Hogan. I hope things are getting easier each day. And hopefully the medical issues are behind you.

  6. What a relief it must be to have your artery working properly again, and to be able to do the exercise you love again. I was so bummed for you when I read of your mistake with the Challenge quilt, but Plan B is an excellent one! And I do love what you’ve done with the window box cover. I hope it was soothing healing therapy for your broken heart, and it will be perfect for its new purposešŸ˜˜

  7. So glad you're back, Linda! When I get behind on reading blogs, yours is one that I never skip. My condolences for the loss of Hogan. My husband rarely shows emotion but when we lost our first dog (she was given to us as a wedding present) he was pretty heart broken. So cool that you got to have Christina Camelli stay with you. I love her quilting style. Good luck with your QuiltCon entry!

  8. I think you are “getting there”, whatever that means. I too, have found recently , that I spend time just doing something in my sewing room, so I can think about something else. I applaud your decision to continue with the challenge quilt! I love the palm trees and you needed to use it!
    I read Little Fires Everywhere also! And enjoyed it very much!


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