For me there’s always a reason. A reason for choosing a color, a reason for
cutting beautiful pieces of fabrics to only have to stitch them back again, A
reason for wanting to make a quilt, every quilt.
In February, I went through a tough time. I’m not sure if it
was the tough winter, my kids continuing to grow and feeling like I wasn’t, or
maybe for a short period of time I was simply sad. I attempted to doctor myself the best I
could. I studied my Bible – My source of
strength and faith, I leaned on Don. I
tried not to lean on my kids. But being
a close family and even though we are scattered dots on a map, the day of
Chelsey said it.
“Mom, you have to come out of the basement. You have to come out of your sewing room and start
I had always considered my sewing room a haven, not a hide
out. So without the ‘Yeah, but’s”… I thought
about it and regrouped. Maybe she had a point. I wasn’t going to give up my quilting or my
sewing room, but I needed a new perspective.
I started with extra snowshoe runs….I needed to work out
I started with cleaning the corner cove of the basement saved
for quilting and that included a bulletin board that held, patterns, ideas,
envelopes from quilters, threads, needles etc.
After a trip to get copies of photos from my journal, and a half an hour
on Pinterest--the end result was this:
I had a free pattern picked up from a quilt shop that long
ago closed its doors, but was memorable enough not to be forgotten. Not an entire quilt, no samples sitting
beside it…..just a simple tulip block with one page of directions.
I knew I needed flowers and after stripping wallpaper from
my kitchen, I knew I wanted a shot at a color I had never used before – purple.
After about a three week break – and a new attitude I
ventured back to the sewing room and started making blocks. I've doodling out
different layouts, even kicked around adding an extra color.
I’ve got flowers, real flowers in my yard right now – But I'm piecing
this quilt for that reminder when I do need flowers and can’t have them.
The pieced blocks that accompany the wool applique blocks created weekly are four-patch blocks stitched together.
I need to sharpen up my embroidery skills because they will be used for curly vines and stems on each block. I remember learning embroidery stitches as a kid. My Mom had to work during my summer vacation after third grade. We were going to have a high school girl take care of us while she worked 8 to
5 every day throughout the summer. She got me colored pens and spiral notebooks and a printed pillowcase and Coats and Clark embroidery floss in ten colors. She sat with me at night and taught me stitches and during the day I practiced on the pillow case.
The candle is held in the wooden bowl by dried black-eyed peas. They were a gift from a friend who found them in a local grocery store. It looks like summer.
Here is block two of Sunflower Gatherings. Pieces aren't attached yet and there still embroidery to be added. It has been a great summer project. Small and portable, and I feel like a have a win every time a block is finished. Have you ever had a project that feels like you just can't finished?
I do it faithfully
every year. I realize it is
life-saving…but for some reason I always feel like I’m walking into a game of
“Russian Roulette”. Odds are--- you have
been there. It's your mammogram. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I hope after this email I can change your
I had spent the week prior to the x-ray scheduling it and
trying to do my “preregistration” to get through the process quick. After literally six sessions of phone tag, I
gave up on the preregistration and planned on being there at 7:00 ( the test
was at 7:30 am). Monday morning—even
after all the gambit phone tags—I completely forgot about the appointment. I’ve never done that. Usually I don’t even sleep the night
before..my grandmother had breast cancer. My Mom stresses over hers and I always
tell her, “ Mom relax. It skips a
generation, honest” She always tearfully
squeezes my hand.
Any way, I forgot the test.
Tuesday morning, when I realized what happened, I called the hospital
and confessed and they set me up with a Thursday appointment – 8:30 am. I set a phone alarm, and an Outlook alarm. Forgetting the appointment would not happen twice.
I raced to the hospital on Thursday; Visited with two nurses
in the building, and after registration settled in my chair in the x-ray waiting
room. A woman sat across the 8 x 8 area
along with a half a dozen other people.
I first noticed her shoes:
I have almost the same pair.
We laughed and talked about the need for these ‘ kid-like tennis
shoes’. Then I go back to playing with
my cell phone. I glance across the room and noticed she had a tote with tea cup
fabric. I laugh to myself thinking,
‘She looks like a quilter…’
'Melanie—you’re over the edge. You are profiling
Then she opens the bag, and starts to pull out
needlework. I think, ‘Nice… she does do
embroidery…’ Then I look over and it’s the same Sunflower Gatherings BOM
project I’m working on.
The world stops
…I move over next to her and we start chatting away. I met someone working on the same thing I
Then the nurse calls my name. The look of devastation must
have been on my face, because the room full of people laughed. ‘ This will be
the fastest mammogram in history ‘ I said.
I’ll be right back.
I won’t say painless, but it was quick and I went back and
we exchanged names and email information and a promise to keep in touch. We have written a couple of emails and she’s
a Civil War style quilter and uses a treadle sewing machine for some of her
She said it was Serendipity—luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for; a fortunate happenstance.
If I hadn’t
missed the first appointment I’d never have met her. She lives 20 miles away in a small town. The odds of our paths crossing
would have been very slim.
My fourth block is
just about complete. Summer travels have
Here’s a weekend check-in. Summer is full of living
outside. Longer days means garden
weeding and flower bed watering. The
pups get walks in the woods as the seasonal wood ticks seemed to have died down
quite a bit.
On my recent trip to Louisiana, I managed to squeeze in time
for two quilt shops. Both shops brought ‘Southern Hospitality’ up
a couple of notches.
Aunt Nell’s ran a
color coded sale that weekly a color was called out and any fabric with even a
dab of that color got 20% discount. The
color on special the week I was there was cream. I purchased a couple of yards of fabric because---
well, just because. It reminded me of
Louisiana I guess.
The blue fabric is a Jinnie Beyer print that I bought In
Grand Cane Louisiana. I went to this
shop that is literally up the road from Don’s Mom. I went alone, I guess I needed a ‘ time
out’. I laughed and told family I was
the ‘out-law’ among a bunch of ‘in-laws’. It was just a little time to talk
with someone who could relate to me about quilting.
On Pinterest, I had pinned Reese Witherspoon’s antique find:
All year I have researched two-color quilts. I think this is what my blue fabric will be
used for. I just have to pick out the
pattern. Ideas? Blue and crème, or aqua and crème, or pink and crème, or maybe tan and
crème. I’ve studied the colors for six months.
I remember when my kids were little --- road trips required
a major feat….packing the activity bag.
Their bags were filled with books, crayons, notebooks and Game-boys. Heading out Summer trips—I still pack my own backpack filled with entertainment for the long rides --- Don doesn’t want me
Here are Backpacks for a quilter to love. Walmart and Kohl's had the fabric carryalls by Union Bay that I could not leave behind. One for
quilt projects and one for the tablet I type on. My bible readings and a Summer
read are tucked in. With the exception
of a Diet Coke I’m all set.