Thursday, June 30, 2022

Reflecting on Design, and Friends

Every day for the past week,  I've been practicing designing using EQ8. Since taking Amy Friend's @duringquiettime Improv Paper Piecing workshop in March, and being dissatisfied with the design I came up with, I've wanted to create an improv FPP design I might actually like to make.

Lately, I've worked on a design for an hour or so, trying new layouts and color combos, and becoming frustrated. Still, I'm finding it interesting to review some of the 60-plus designs I've "saved to sketchbook." When revisiting them all, a couple stand out as possibilities, though with more tweaking needed.

I'm learning about myself that I need breathing room in between bouts of designing. Ideas need time to percolate. For me that means time away from the sewing room; sleep; and perusing other modern quilts. I pulled out four modern quilt books and browsing through them has given me an idea - not to copy - but to expand upon in my own way. 

That's what happened as I was considering what to do with these (shared last week) squares, circles and triangle-in-a-square blocks on my design wall.

I chucked set aside the circles and triangle-in-a-square blocks, cut more 8½" X 8½" squares for a total of 96 different solid colors from my bin of "about fat quarter-sized pieces." These are solids from Benartex, Painter's Palette, a few Kaufman Kona, and a sack of random solids bought for $5 at a garage sale! I have more to do on this one that's about 63" X 84" at this point.

On Tuesday, hubs and I "took the day off" 😂 and drove two hours to Honeymoon Island State Park on the Gulf Coast. We spent a few hours enjoying sunshine, sand, and gentle oceans waves - I even got in, though it felt like bath water.

Perhaps due to holiday week vacationers, this beach was slightly more crowded than Fred Howard State Park when we visited a couple weeks ago.

Book Recommendations
I'm wrapping up June having listened to ten audiobooks. These are #9 and #10. It seems I'm in a rut, albeit a good rut, with books I've enjoyed.

The Fence by Meredith Jaffe takes place in Rosedale, a suburb of Sydney, Australia (another lovely Aussie-accented narration) where two homes and two neighbors have lived amicably for decades, sharing garden space between their yards. When Babs dies and her house is sold by her son, the new family creates problems. They're an unhappily married couple - Francesca, the breadwinner/ him, the stay-at-home childcare giver - and their four children under the age of five have different property needs than Babs did. Gwen who lives next door, was Bab's lifelong friend, and is a knowledgeable gardener with her own gardening column. She's appalled by what the new neighbors propose - a structured fence! They face local arbitration which worsens Francesca's and Gwen's relationship. When Francesca's children visit Gwen's husband's dollhouse-building garage workshop, tensions heighten. Francesca's children aren't behaving as she believes, nor is her husband. Gwen's husband is developing problems too.

Linda's score: 4.0/5.0

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Malloy had two twists, so unexpected that I had to go back a full chapter to re-listen to make sure I understood what I thought I'd heard!

Dr. Sam Statler is a therapist who's recently married Annie Potter. They've moved back to his hometown in upstate New York to set up his private practice, and keep an eye on his mother who's in a nursing home. Sam sets up his dream office in the remodeled basement of a stately old home, and begins seeing a mostly female clientele. He and Annie occasionally run into old high school friends who recall Sam's mother's work in the school cafeteria, and his teacher-dad who left them to run off with a young Talbot's model. When Sam goes missing on the night of a terrible storm, friends turn out to search for him, as Annie uncovers secrets Sam was keeping from her. But no one has a bigger secret than... 

I can't give this away, but trust me... this is definitely a "gotcha!" story. 

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

Pictures of blooms, below, are from my front yard.

Though I can honestly say I have the joy of the Lord in my heart, my spirit has been heavy for several weeks as friends have passed away:

Norma, a quilter-friend from Hope Quilters
Larry, a former Vietnam P.O.W. friend who was in a couples Bible study group with us
Joanie (age 68), a friend whose husband and mine worked at John Deere, and with whom I shared, and our children shared, much time when we both lived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

All three dear souls were Lutheran Church of Hope members.  

On Monday, we lost a 64 year-old local quilter-friend Missy, from Central Florida MQG.
allamanda (yellow) and begonia (pink)

My dear Sydney, Australia friend, Di @darlingdi, who many of you know because of her month-long stay here in February 2017 (I wrote a series of blog posts about her visit) received an ovarian cancer diagnosis, had surgery two weeks ago, and now faces months of chemotherapy.

It's all enough to make me cry buckets. A new friend in my Wednesday morning Zoom Bible study reminded me: "All your friends are at Jesus' feet, and looking on his beautiful face." I so appreciate that thought, and visual aid.

Trusting that God's promises are true, I have faith. "Saving faith is putting all our hopes in what God is going to do for us in the future because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross." Linda


  1. I admire your working on designs in EQ8. I think things are looking great!
    So sorry for all the loses in your life right now. That IS really heavy stuff!!

  2. So sorry to read about the loss of your friends, always so sad. Poor Di, I remember her staying with you and the adventures you had. I wish her well with the gruelling times ahead with her cancer treatment.

  3. I'm sorry to hear of your friends passing, and some of them so young. I am extremely sorry to hear of Di. That's something I missed. We had a very sad week, after having to euthanise our dear 17 year old Border Collie. The decision became much easier on Monday, when she had gone downhill very quickly. The vet came and put her to rest. I keep looking out for her, after 17 years she is a huge loss. On a happier note, I too love the Aussie accents in the talking books, and have managed to order The Fence on audiobooks at my library. I couldn't get Goodnight Beautiful on Audio only EBook. I don't have time to read as such, as I am crocheting a blanket for one of my DIL's plus knitting now. :) Take care Linda. :)

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about all the loss and hard news in your life. I will keep Di, and you as well, in my prayers. Enjoy your design time and fabric play time.

  5. Thanks for sharing your feelings about your friends. It is a painful time for all. We want everyone we love to live forever, but I believe that those we love are never far from us in our minds and hearts, and that they are in a most beloved place where there is no more sorrow or pain, just pure joy in the Lord.
    And, as always, thanks for the book reviews. I know I will always enjoy what you do.

  6. So many lovely designs to work with and I love what is happening on your design wall. That beach looks lovely and I'm glad you had a nice time. Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and it was sad to hear about Di. She's a tough lady and I'm sure will beat her diagnosis.

  7. Oh, that white sand is so beautiful and calming. I admire your circles & triangles quilts, as well as your stripes quilt. Parting from our loved ones through death is so painful. Makes me look forward to the next world all the more.

  8. I've been designing paper pieced blocks in EQ also, but I don't want a repetitious "all-over-same" design, so I think I'll make the blocks and then do the designing on the design wall. I'll be interested to see what you decide to do.

  9. Linda, I am astonished that you design improv quilts on EQ8, for me than it isn't improvisational or do I misunderstand anything? :-)
    but love your designs :-)


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