Thursday, June 23, 2022

One Decade

Today, June 23, marks our tenth anniversary of living in The Villages, Florida. What we've both remarked about is: It feels like we've been here "a couple years." Each day passes slowly but the years are flying by. Can anyone explain that?
Interestingly, we moved into this house just as a tropical storm Debby began. With the help of our son and DIL, we'd just finished unloading the U-haul truck into the garage, and put down the garage door when rain started to pour, and lasted for three days! 

In years past, on this date I've shared pictures of how The Villages has grown and changed. My words will have to do. It's grown exponentially (82 square miles). When we moved into our brand new house in 2012, the population was about 82,000 and we were on the south end of town. Because of continued southward growth, we are now in the middle, with a population of roughly 140,000 people. Quilter-wise, we have more than 1,100 quilters who belong to 26 chapters of Quilting Guild of The Villages

I could go on about the current number of recreation centers, social clubs (more than 3,000); community swimming pools and golf courses (54, though we don't golf). If you're interested in more info, go here.

Quilting-wise, I've been determined to make changes to my design wall. I took action! First, I finished piecing, basting, and machine quilting my "Celebrate 30" challenge quilt for Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV) "2023 Showcase of Quilts." 

I opted for ruler quilting using Sew Steady's Circle on Quilts Templates Set 1 to make several concentric circles designs. Here I am in action, on my Bernina 770QE: 12 seconds at triple speed! 

Since the template makes circles only up to 12" (1" spacing), I used a 1" Ruler Foot Echo Guide to make 13" and 14" circles. Just slip a circle (comes in three sizes) onto the ruler foot and then guide the edge of the transparent foot along the previous quilting line. 

After machine quilting, big stitch hand quilting commenced using size 8 Wonderfil brand Eleganza perle cotton. These four saturated colors - red, aqua, green, and yellow - are found in the QGOTV logo, as are flying geese. There's no aqua in this quilting yet because I had to order five more balls of Eleganza which I also need to keep going on my Kantha quilt. 

On my Kantha quilt, I finished hand stitching columns that are ¾" apart. Now I'm working on the in-between columns. 

At least the texture is beginning to show. So far I've stitched along the 75" length of the quilt 66 times. Sigh. Will I ever finish? 

This is my design wall. I took down two improv starts (folded and put them away in a bin) and pulled out two UFOs: 2 for 2. One UFO was no further along than cutting out 8½" X 8½" squares in a lot of different solid colors and a few sewn-together quartered circles. The other UFO was a stack of pieced 4½" X 4½" triangle-in-a-square blocks, made with a Bloc Loc ruler. 

Initially, looking at them put together was uninspiring. But after sleeping on it, I have an idea or two to play around with. The only thing I know for certain is that I'm going for large - like 64" X 72". Otherwise, this project is "let's-see-what-happens." {shrug}.

Book Recommendations

Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett is what I'd call a quaint story.

It's about a family of four - parent/two daughters - who have just struggled through the unexpected death of the mom. The story, from the point of view of the youngest daughter, 11 year-old Elvis, focuses on mom who often baked rabbit cake using a cake tin to make a three-dimensional rabbit.

Each of them grieves in their own way: Elvis talks to her school counselor and comes up with different reasons her mom died; Dad has taken to wearing his wife's bathrobe and lipstick; Lizzie fights with her best friend, breaks her jaw and not only sleep-walks but begins sleep-eating. Elvis finds her place volunteering at a local zoo where she accumulates knowledge about the animals she cares for, and comes to terms with death. That's life in small town Freedom, Alabama. 

Linda's score: 3.9/5.0

Don't I love a Sally Hepworth book?! It's probably because I also enjoy accented narration, and so it is with The Good Sister that takes place in Australia. 

Rose and Fern Castle are fraternal twins - one blond; the other dark. Rose seems happily married, working in commercial decorating; Fern is single and working at a public library. From the get-go, you learn that Fern is "special," with a unique personality that makes her interpret and understand facial expressions and dialog as literal. It's revealing to get inside her head to follow her thoughts, and in some cases agree with what she says - though we'd never say such things ourselves!

A chance meeting outside the shower room at the library, changes Fern's routine. "Wally" becomes important to Fern just as Rose is insisting that Fern stay closer to Rose. Tension develops between the sisters and, prompted by Wally, Fern begins to question everything Rose has told her.

It's another story with secrets to be revealed - unexpected, and very engaging.  

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

Like many friends (we were just talking about this in my Wednesday morning Zoom Bible study with Lutheran Church of Hope women) I am disinclined to watch the news. Lately I've been feeling the burden of praying for many people with concerns related to medical problems. I know that news-watching isn't uplifting. Yet when I saw this picture I took notice.



Char said...

Love the big stitch in the circles. That kantha quilt will be beautiful. I've only made kantha mug rugs so far using Liberty lawn but a quilt might be in my future. I have so many scraps to use!

Anonymous said...

Happy 10 years! It really does not seem that long ago that you lived in Iowa!

FlourishingPalms said...

Oh Anonymous! I wish I knew who you were, so I could properly respond to your comment. :-(

Jenny said...

I remember you moving into the villages, doesn't seem ten years ago! Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary. It was a large place when you moved it, but now, goodness me, so much bigger. Probably a bit hard for people to imagine the size and scope of your community. I know you are very happy with your move, which surely must have taken a lot of discussion when it was first mooted.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Absolutely love the combination of machine and big stitch quilting with colourful thread. The texture on your kantha project looks wonderful and I'll bet you love running your hands over your quilt as your stitching.
Thanks for the book suggestions. I've put a reserve on The Good Sister - it must be popular as it won't be available until late August. Have a great weekend :)

Susan said...

I love the look at your design wall project! I look forward to seeing where you take it. Fern in The Good Sister, slowly grew on me with her quirks!

Nancy said...

A decade?? That went quickly. And the growth is astonishing. I wish I could answer your question about time. It sure does fly by. Big stitch is just such a pleasing look. I like the project on the design wall... it will "speak" to you over time.

Patty said...

I've never seen a ruler that helps with concentric circles - it looks like fun! I really like how you are mixing machine and hand quilting!

Anonymous said...

10 years! Sounds like a lot of growth has been going on where you live. Maybe someday I'll visit since my cousin moved to Florida last year and I believe is just a little northwest of The Villages. Can't wait to see what you do with those circles, squares, and triangles. It has wonderful possibilities. I like the color clusters. Just keep playing.

FlourishingPalms said...

Once again, Anonymous, I wish I knew who you are! Since more and more commenters are coming up as Anonymous, it's difficult to guess who you might be. Still, I appreciate your comment. You're very encouraging about what's on my design wall, and I need that right now, until I get more inspiration and direction. Thank you!

The Joyful Quilter said...

"Each day passes slowly but the years are flying by." I can't explain it, but feel it keenly as our 1 year house-a-versary approaches. Fabulous projects, Linda!! I really like what you are doing with each of them. Happy quilting!

Mary said...

I tried the Bloc Loc ruler back in the day and thought it wasn't worth the money, especially because of the limited range of sizes. However, your blocks look nice and I like having circles in the design with them.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Great progress on your kantha quilt! Loving all the texture with your hand stitching. Yes, I too read The Good Sister, relationships are complicated, none more so than between sisters!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

I love that you have 1,100 quilters there!!! Your big stitching between machine quilting is a fabulous touch!!! I read the Good Sister--what's up with all these sister books going around?!? I really love the cross photo. Hope.


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