Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Visit to DC

Starting the past September, my D#1 had a fellowship in Washington DC.  An internship with a congresswoman was a key part of this opportunity.  She received a stipend and housing quite close to the Capitol.  The young man who she is seeing was serving as a White House intern during the same time period -- one of relatively few who worked in the actual White House.  Two weeks ago, because her fellowship was ending, I drove to Washington DC to help her move out of the house she shared with other interns from a variety of programs. We took that chance to visit the Capitol building and to see the holiday-bedecked White House (thanks to said young man who fast-tracked security checks for us... well, for me anyway!).

Our visit to the Capitol building was fairly fast-paced so I didn't have time to take many photos.  Left is the Capitol rotunda and below is the statue in the Hall of Statuary of Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg, the pastor-soldier of the Revolutionary War, one of two statues placed by Pennsylvania.

(Yeah, I know that Henry is sideways -- need to figure out how to get him to rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise.)  

There were a number of Christmas trees (duh) in various rooms, but my camera didn't like the lighted ones, which all came out blurry.  The main one in the Blue Room was more cooperative.


I was told the White House florist likes putting "Bo" in different arrangements 
around the building.  Here's one near the entrance -- easily two feet tall if I remember correctly.


The library had another "Bo", lying by the fireplace.  The White House Christmas card portrayed a similar scene.   (Ask me how I know...[wink])


This beautiful Nativity scene was in the State Dining Room.  Wish I could have viewed it more closely!


At the end of the Dining Room was the replica of the White House, in white 
chocolate!  (Another Bo -- not to scale.)



The sunset view from the Blue Room (I think), with the Washington Monument 
at left, was stunning.  Straight ahead is the Jefferson Memorial, though it's lost in the shadows of the photo.

 

Here's the tree in the Blue Room, as seen from the foyer of the South (?) exit.  
Note the Presidential Seal above the door.


And, finally, my daughter and me!  


D#1 is home until mid-January when she returns to the Capital.  Anyone who wants to keep me company on a trip to deliver her belongings, just let me know! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Progress report: month 17 (November 2011)


No new "completes" but still moving along:

Progress:
7, 26, 28. Kept up-to-date
33. Went to gym 3 times most weeks
48. Watched 5 movies -- nothing memorable:
      You again
      The Break-up
      A Midsummer night's sex comedy
      The Dead zone
      The Prestige (I do love Michael Caine in almost anything)
49. Read 3 books (52/60, 34/30, 15/10) [2 YA, counted as 1]
      How the light gets in (M.J. Hyland)
      In search of Mockingbird (Loretta Ellsworth -- YA)
      Fever, 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson -- YA)
      Shopping malls and other sacred spaces (Jon Pahl)
60. Ate at Moroccan restaurant with friends to celebrate my birthday
84. Extra contribution to League of Women Voters and
      American Heart Association
99. Updated blog post with progress (16 out of 16)
101. Extra blog posts:
      A milestone -- or two
      Forward or backward?
Extra quilts: finished late graduation gift for friend of D#2 (owls)
                   finished baby quilt for former vicar

With Christmas, New Year's and daughters home for vacation of various durations, other activities will likely take precedence, but I think I can finish up:

December priorities:
70. Make 3rd curtain for D#2's room.
75. Cut last box of scrap fabric. 
Extra quilts: Bricks & Stepping Stones: finish binding
                   CFAC "Traditions" charms: add borders to finish top 

Mid course changes:
When I reached Day 500, I decided to re-evaluate my original list and allow myself to alter items if I had decided I no longer wanted to do what I'd originally written.   I resisted the idea of just adding more quilts to the list (wink!) and disciplined myself to stay in the same category. 

24. Remove carpet from rest of house (Home Improvement)
34. Purchase stationery bike for basement (Health)
47. Make photo collage of D#2 for Dr. S. (Family/Friends)
REPLACED WITH:
24. Hang photos of daughters in upstairs hall
34. Do 20 mins of machines at LAF at least 3 times a month
47. Go over digital photos and have prints made

As a reward for reading this post, which is irrelevant to all of you.... a more recent photo of my kittens!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

W.I.B.W.O.

Catching up with What I've Been Working On.  Mostly pictures, few words.


This was my "tube" experiment.  I quilted around each block on my machine 
and it went off to the children's hospice.


Some of my many hand-pieced 9-patches.  Also machine quilted by me 
(diagonals across blocks) and given to children's hospice.


A baby quilt for our former vicar at church.  Baby is due around Christmas.  
Also machine-quilted by me -- more straight lines.


A very late high school graduation gift for a friend of D#2.   
He is now a sophomore at Temple where the mascot is the owl and the school 
colors are cherry and white.
This was machine-quilted in loose swirls by my local long-armer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving gratitude

Some of the things I'm thankful for:

my home


my family
(not pictured: brother Harold and nephew Geoffrey)

my Godson, Spencer, and his family (his mom and dad are with "family" above)

 
my quilting friends, especially the White Oakers, and the Uvulati

my other friends, whether in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or around the world

my kittens (l-r: Smidgen & Sassy)

and especially my daughters.

(not pictured: my church, my job)

Not worrying that Thanksgiving Day is over.
I'm thankful each and every day of the year! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forward or backward?


At my Circle meeting last night, we heard -- almost accidentally -- about a church member who had been opposed to the Memorial Garden which has been "in the works" for a number of years now.  That anonymous person had been visited by a Circle/Council member who had been asked by Council to approach him/her to find out the reason for his/her opposition.  In their meeting, the objector expressed the belief that the congregation should be looking forward and not backwards, viewing the establishment of  Memorial Garden as looking to the past.

I found that idea quite illogical, as everyone alive now will die eventually.  Facing that fact and planning for it is, indeed, planning for the future.  Death is not reserved for the old, though it visits them more frequently.   My Christian faith helps me accept this inevitability and, with it, my reunion with the saints that have gone before me.  When I die, I plan to have my ashed interred in the Memorial Garden and am grateful for the forward-thinking congregation that is making this possible.

This morning, as I left my home for work, my driveway was blocked by another car.   I walked down the drive to request that the driver move his car so I could get mine out.  He was talking with Cheryl, the daughter of my sharing-the-driveway neighbor has shared the home with her father and her sons since separating from her husband early this year.  As I got closer to the group, Cheryl blurted out that her father had died early this morning.  He was at his cabin in the mountains and had a heart attack.  The 911 responders had reached him too late. 

Keep alert, as this week's sermon advised.  Events seemingly in the future can become part of the past at any time.   Rest in peace, John.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A milestone -- or two



Friday marked the 500th day of my Day Zero (aka 101 things in 1001 days) project and the day before that was my birthday.  Seems like a good time for reflection.

Day Zero is coming along well.  I'm working away at some of the larger projects and have completed many others.  The sole remaining goal under Legal/Financial is to make a will, which I want to accomplish before the end of the year.  The items that have a price tag, particularly travel, are the ones that linger, quite expectedly.  I have discovered that some other things aren't really important, or I've changed my mind entirely.  I'm going to give myself a "do-over" to make a few revisions to the List in the next few days.

It's true that I'm a list-maker and find satisfaction in checking off the individual tasks.  But the larger goal of the List was to help me focus on making a future by figuring out some of the actions I could take that would put me on the path to being a now-single, more-than-middle-aged woman with an almost empty nest.   I wanted to identify activities I enjoy and encourage myself to do them, to think of others that I've wanted to do and push myself to try them, to take concrete action to make my new house into a welcoming place of comfort and peace for my children, my friends, and -- most of all -- me.   Progress is being made on all these mini-goals, I think. 

Adjusting to my life as a single person, living alone, has been something of a challenge.  I don't lack for things to do (quilt, read, watch movies on DVD, etc.) and I generally enjoy my own company.  But it's easy to slip into the habit of withdrawing from people and outside-the-house activities.   Given my newfound free time, it would have been easy to over-commit, but I have been careful not to do so.   However, there are times when my solitude slips into loneliness. 

The addition of Sassy and Smidgen to the household has infused a giant portion of joy into my life, a feeling that has been rare for a couple of years now.    I am enjoying their presence and their affection so much I talk about them, even at the risk of being thought a "crazy cat lady".   And they are one more step in creating a new life, linked to, but separate from the one I had a few short years ago, which I never expected would end as it did.   Another step forward.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Progress report: month 16 (October 2011)


In October, I said good-bye to our old orange tom, Mustard, and hello to two new tortie kittens, Sassy and Smidgen.  The month went out like a lion (even if it wasn't March), with a freak snowstorm that took out trees and power lines all over the Northeast from Maine to Virginia.   On to the countdown:

Completed:
  8. Set up bookcases in living room.
10. Deal with vintage clothes (donated most to MC Theatre Dept.)
29. Get divorced... (found out I've been divorced since late June!)
74. Make quilt for sponsored child from ChildFund (9th birthday was 10/21)

Progress:
7, 26, 28. Kept up-to-date.
33. Went to gym (mostly) 3 times a week.
44. Attended Family Weekend at M.C. (2nd)
48. Watched 4 movies:
      Secret life of bees
      Square dance
      Pleasantville
      Then she found me
49. Read 5 books  (49/60,32/30,14/10) [2 YA, counted as 1]
      The Liars' Club (Mary Karr)
      A Confederacy of dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
      Surviving the Angel of Death (Eve Kor & Lisa Buccieri -- YA)
      To be a slave (Julius Lester -- YA)
      Snow Flower and the secret fan (Lisa See)
61. Booked plane & car, reserved hotel for trip to Paducah in April 2012.
75. Finished cutting 2 out of 3 boxes of scrap fabric
84. Extra contribution to LCFS for veterans' activity; began higher to St. Paul's
92. Wrote letter to CF sponsored child.
99. Updated blog post with progress (16 out of 16)
101. Three blog posts:
        W.I.F. (What I've finished)
        Good-bye to my handsome guy
        A Tale of two kitties
Extra quilts: two more for hospice (9-patch and tube)
                  [photos to come]

November priorities:
6. Get back to working in basement.
9. Sort more & get rid of more books.
12. More small things around house.
70. Make 3rd curtain for D#2's room.
75. Cut last box of scrap fabric.
Finish extra quilts: baby, grad gift, B&SS (scrap)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Kitties

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Best: there are two new kittens in my house. Worst: we lost two long-time feline family members in 2011.   I was left with a single cat for the first time in ... well, let's just say "decades".   And, having been adopted into a home where two cats already lived, Tabbitha had never before been an "only" so she wandered around the house, lost and confused.  


As I've been staff (dogs have owners but cats have staff) to at least one cat since I was 20, I know that loss is inevitable.  I also know that (un)fortunately, there are almost always many eligible animals "out there" when the time feels right to seek another. Since each fur-kid has a unique personality and cannot be replaced, I had always let more time lapse between losing and adopting, but the emptiness of the house (and Tabbitha's neediness) nagged at me.  Consequently, I spent WAY more time than I should have perusing the websites of the local SPCAs, the listings of other cat/pet rescue groups, or postings from individuals with adoptable kittens.   I knew "kitten" was the only way to go, so that Tabbitha would more readily accept the newcomer(s).   Of course, I started out thinking "kitten" -- singular.  Little did I know...

My daughters and I agreed that another all black or orange tabby would not be the best choice, as our memories of Charcoal and Mustard are too fresh and comparison would be inevitable.  I've always had a soft spot for tortoise-shell cats, but was also open to black & white or gray & white (tuxedo or otherwise).

As I was plotting out a Saturday trek through three counties to look at kittens in several shelters, I discovered a listing for a home in Fort Washington where a litter that included two torti sisters was being fostered.   Excitedly, I made an appointment to go see them the next night and forwarded the photos to my daughters.  Unhappily, the next day, the foster "mom" emailed that someone else had come the night before and decided to take both of them.  I was so-o-o-o disappointed that I hadn't even gotten to see them!   But, as fate would have it, the day after, another email arrived informing me that the original adoption plan had fallen through and they were still available!   I was THERE that evening, and, even before I saw them, I began to think of the reasons to take the pair.

So ten days ago, I took the tiny cat carrier -- big enough for both of them -- and brought them home to stay.  They are easy to tell apart.  One has a streak of orange on her face, as well as a small spot on her neck and on a couple of paws. She's adventurous and brave, usually the leader of the scouting party when they decide to explore some heretofore unknown area of the house.   And she has the typical torti-attitude.  Hence her moniker: Sassy.


The other is the tiniest one of the litter -- visibly smaller than her sister -- and is a totally brindled-torti, with just a splash of orange on one paw.  Her eyes are rimmed with lighter fur giving her the wide-eyed look of a reverse raccoon!   Since she's such a mite of a thing, she has been named "Smidgen." She looks so innocent, but don't believe it for a minute as she's always right behind her sister in their expeditions around the house.


We're having a good time getting to know one another.  Tabbitha is mostly unimpressed, while they are a little wary of the large fluffy one.

They have begun to "sleep" with me.  If you can call racing around chasing each other, pouncing any time my legs moved under the covers, crawling under the quilt to box with each other (and tickle me in the process),  using me as an obstacle course, and playing "Queen of the Hill" with me as the hill, "sleeping".  But eventually, they settle and, if  I wake up at night, I find them curled up side-by-side, in the crook of my arm.  Fingers crossed that I get at least a part-time lap cat eventually.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Good-bye to my handsome guy

My orange cat, Mustard, is gone.  In about a week, he went from pretty healthy for an old guy to dehydrated and not eating to diagnosed with diabetes to unable to move around at all AND not eating or drinking.  There was probably something else going on too, since his belly was bloated.  But I'll never know.

Mustard was a gift to D#1 for her 3rd birthday.  We'd lost a cat to cancer not long before and a friend asked if it would be ok.  She turned 21 this past July, so he was well over 18 years old.  Calling her to tell of his swift decline and loss was deeply painful for both of us, as he meant so much to her.  This photo of Mustard and the one remaining cat, Tabbitha (who really "belongs" to D#2), shows them engaged in their favorite pastime: synchronized sleeping. 

Of all the cats I've had over 4 decades, I only ever had 2 that weren't shelter cats or strays.  He was one of them.  He never knew a life where he wasn't loved and cared for.   I held him on my lap, talked to him, and petted him up until the end.  I'd like to think he still felt loved even then.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

W.I.F. (What I've finished)

Photos as promised in previous post.

Two small quilts for children's hospice at local hospital: 


Quilt for my sponsored child in South Dakota.  She will be 9 on October 21st.  Need to make label and mail.


Almost Amish, made from swap blocks and given as wedding/housewarming gift to the daughter and son-in-law of a colleague who has been especially helpful since I've been alone.  Used the extra blocks in the pieced backing.






























Don't have a full-length photo since, now that daughters are gone, I lack a quilt "holder".  But I took one with the quilt lying on my bed which shows most of the blocks. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Progress report: month 15 (September 2011)


September!  The second "new year" of each calendar.   In which I helped both daughters settle into their autumn surroundings -- #1 in DC for a fellowship, #2 back at college for her sophomore year -- and returned to my empty nesting. 

Completed:
17.  Plant shrubs around front porch and perennials and shrubs in side yard.
48. Watch 125 movies (actually 128).
77. Set 1 set of swap blocks into quilt top. (Finished Almost Amish [photos to
      come].  Given away as wedding/housewarming gift)
Extra quilts: 2 small quilts finished and donated to the children's hospice at the local hospital.  (Photo to come but Nancy posted a description of the group effort.)

Progress: 
    6. Resumed work in basement.
    7, 26, 28.  Kept up-to-date.
    9. Gave away 20 more books to HS teacher for classroom "library".
  10. Started sorting clothes for donation to costume shop.
  12. Completed a few "small things" around the house.
  33. Went to the gym 2-3 times a week -- usually 3!
  48. Watched 7 movies:
        Come back, little Sheba
        Of mice and men
        Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
        The American
        Cry Baby
        The Road
        Scott Pilgrim vs. the world
  49. Read 5 books (45/60, 29/30, 13/10)
        The Eyre affair (Jasper Fforde)
        Through a screen, darkly (Jeffrey Overstreet)
        Room (Emma Donoghue)
        High fidelity (Nick Hornby)
        Celebrity detox (Rosie O'Donnell)   
  75. Started cutting scrap fabric
  78. Scrap quilt (first EVER from100% scraps and stash; background for RR was
        purchased) sent to quilter.
  84. Extra contribution to ASPCA; pledged higher amount to St. Paul's.
  99. Updated blog with progress (15 out of 15)
101. Blog posts:
        W.I.B.W.O. -- Leader-ender project
        If I were a widow
        Taking a class with a friend

October priorities:
  6. Continue work in basement.
  8. Get bookcases into living room and sorted out.
  9. More book sorting.
12. More small things around house.
44. Attend Family Weekend at M.C.
74. Label and mail quilt to sponsored child. (Her 9th birthday is 10/21)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taking a class with a friend

Spent Friday looking at the quilts, combined with a session of S.E.X. (that's Stash Enhancement EXpedition for the uninitiated) at the modestly-titled "Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza."   On Saturday, my friend Pat and I took a class with John Flynn who has his own method of making a Double Wedding Ring quilt.  The DWR demands attention, precision and respect because of the many pieces in the arc and the curves!    


When I signed up for the class, I knew I wanted to work with rainbow colors, in batiks because .... well, because I love clear, bright rainbow colors and batiks and had never used them in a project!    I spent a long time looking for the "right" background, since I wanted an "updated" DWR.  I had a FQ of a white with black "squiggles" (technical term) that I thought would be ideal.


However, nothing I could find in stores or online approximated what I thought I wanted.  I bought some white fabric with small black dots in case I continued to be unsuccessful.    Then, on our Saturday, Labor Day weekend Fabric Expedition to Berks County, I found this batik with pale gray dots spread out sort of topographically on a white background:



This seemed to be a good alternative and, now that I look at both choices, I much prefer it to the black squiggles.   The layout will be warm color circles intersecting with cool colored ones and four-patches in black and white. So this is what my DWR will look like...

... someday.

If I were a widow


Last week marked four years since my husband blindsided me with the news that he no longer wanted to be married to me.  We had been married over 19 years and, coincidentally, that day was the 20th anniversary of the day we met.  I was, in a word, shattered.  Since then, I have noticed many ways in which I would be better off  if I had been widowed that day.

  • Most important of all:  I would know that, while I was alone, my husband loved and cared for me until the end.
  • It would be all over, instead of just beginning, and the healing could have started immediately.  
  • No secrecy would be required – keeping the “news” from all but a couple of people and, especially, from our daughters initially – in the vain hope that he would “change his mind.”  
  • My daughters would have known that their father cared for them – unconditionally – and put their needs before his.  Which, in all honesty, he did, until that unknown day when he chose to leave the family rather than to make an attempt to preserve it.
  • We could all speak openly and happily about the man who was such an important and precious part of our lives, both with others and with each other. 
  • My children would not have to worry and work at figuring out how (or if) to have a relationship with their father, nor be concerned that doing so would somehow hurt me.
  • Widows are supported and cared for, from the time of the husband’s death.  Left-behind wives are invisible.
  • I wouldn’t have to be concerned that I was being judged by those who believe that “it takes two to make a marriage and two to break one.”   That is utterly and completely false.  A relationship or marriage absolutely can be broken irretrievably by one person alone.
  • There would be “A” date to “mark”, sad as it would be.  Instead, I have: the date he told me, the date I found out painful things, the date I asked him to leave, the date our “legal separation” began (our 20th wedding anniversary, not coincidentally), the date he moved out.  None of them are known to anyone except me.   I’m still waiting for “the date” of the final divorce decree. 
  • My church would be a place of safety.  Instead it became a place of pain, as he continued to attend alone, acting as if nothing had changed.  More often than not, I’d end up taking refuge in the bathroom, sobbing.  Eventually, as I began to feel alone even there, I began to skip worship rather than risk seeing him.    I often wish someone had asked him why he continued to show up, when he’d overtly rejected his vows.  But, of course, no one is supposed to “take sides”…   (Yes, I know.  We are all sinners and should all be welcome in God’s house.  But it seems to me that it would not be too much to ask to have the “church” – or someone in it – question when a person decides unilaterally to reject a faithful spouse and end the existence of a family.)
  • My financial situation would be improved.  His life insurance would have paid off the house and put money aside for both daughters’ educations.  Instead, I drained my savings paying for half of one's college expenses and getting the other through her last year of high school, while trying to hold onto our home as long as I could.  I did have “child support” but it by no means approximated what he had brought into the home.   When I could no longer continue, the house was sold and my daughters and I moved.   While retirement always seemed like a mirage, it is now a financial impossibility. 
  • I would not have to worry, to this day, that I would meet him unexpectedly, fearing my own uncontrollable gut reaction.   Nor would I have to see a person I shared my life with for two decades, and had two children with, nod his head in my direction, acknowledging me as if we were vague acquaintances.
  • My ability to trust in another person would not have been destroyed.  
Some might say,  “Death is final; where there is life, there’s hope.”   For most of us surprised and shocked spouses, there is no hope.  Once, there were fervent prayers and desperate wishes, but we sensed that there was no real hope.  And, after a time, we realize that too much damage has been done ever to be with that person again.

[Please note that I mean no disrespect to real widows and do not wish any harm to my ex-to-be.  This is a compare-and-contrast piece that has been stirring inside for a long time and re-surfaced with the “anniversary”.]

Saturday, September 3, 2011

W.I.B.W.O. -- Leader-ender project

In April, I decided that I was ready to start a "leader-ender" project a la Bonnie Hunter.  "Leader-ender" projects integrate sewing the components into the process of doing your "regular" sewing.  I chose the "Bricks and Stepping Stones" pattern from her site since I already had 3.5" x 6.5" "bricks" cut from assorted scraps.  I cut a bunch of 2" squares from scrap white and scrap black and dark strips.   As I sewed along, I sewed one of each to made a two patch, then two two-patches to make a four-patch.

Pressed open the four-patches, and sewed each to a "brick."




 
Layout alternates the "matchsticks" (as Bonnie calls them) up and down.

Except, now I have a couple of problems:

a. The project is no longer happy being a leader-ender but wants to become a full-fledged quilt top!   Think I'll have to put some time aside to make it happy.

b. I need to choose and cut for another leader-ender pattern!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Progress report: month 14 (August 2011)



I wanted to find a picture of a single stream of water droplets, suggesting the constant drip, drip, drip of a leaking faucet -- or the seemingly unending stream of monthly updates from me.  No luck.  However, given the amount of rain brought to this neck of the woods by Irene, the drop in a puddle image seemed like a fair substitute. 

Completed:
49. Read 10 books from the library. (actually, finished 11th)
52. Go to the shore once a year (3 days)
59. Take both daughters away for at least 3 days.
      (downtheshore -- not a "new" place, but we all love it & enjoyed our stay!)

Progress:
   6. Resumed work in basement.
7, 26, 28.  Kept up-to-date.
48. Watched 14 movies (121/125):
      Margot at the wedding
      The Verdict
      The Accidental husband
      Sunshine Cleaning
      Jerry Maguire
      The Blind side
      Akeelah and the Bee
      Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, pt. 2 (theatre)
      Four Christmases
      The Kids are all right
      The Book of Daniel (TV)
      Crimes of the heart
      The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the desert
      Mississippi burning
49. Read 5 books (40/60, 26/30, 11/10):
      Stories I only tell my friends (Rob Lowe)
      New Orleans, mon amour (Nicolai Codrescu)
      Emily, alone (Steward Nan)
      Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)
      American Rose (Karen Abbott)
50. Took both daughters to meal and movie at theatre (Harry Potter...)
74. Bound quilt for sponsored child (to do: label, photograph, mail)
84. Made extra contribution to George Harrison Fund for Unicef
99. Updated blog post with progress (14 out of 14)
101. Blog posts:
        Seeing through a glass, darkly
        Vacation downtheshore
        Tube quilting

September priorities:
(These are starting to look TOO familiar)
  6. Continue work in basement.
  9. More book sorting.
12. Small things around house.
17. Plant last 4 shrubs (Labor Day weekend should be suitable weather).
18. Wash deck.  Staining will probably have to wait until spring. 
33. Get back to exercising at gym. (curtailed post-surgery)
36. Resume taking vitamins.
77. Finish "Almost Amish" swap block quilt for wedding/housewarming gift.
     (bind, label, photograph)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

W.I.B.W.O. -- "Tube" quilting


A few weeks ago, my friend Pat brought a little flimsy to the Quilt Day at Another Area Church.  She explained that it was made by sewing strips together, and cutting the strip set to make quarter blocks.  She had found instructions on a video and sent me this link.

I was feeling the need for a break from my "to do" project list and wanted to just play with a new process.  So I pulled out a few 2.5" strips (width-of-fabric) and sewed them together as instructed in the video:  sew two strips to each other, press open, then sew the pairs on both sides, right sides together.

(DO watch the video for complete instructions -- I'm just describing the steps in general, as I thought this quick and easy method useful if you needed a simple, smallish quilt relatively quickly.)

 

You use a ruler with a 90 degree mark to cut the strip set.

  
One strip set makes 8 quarter blocks -- enough pieces for two full blocks:



Pieces can be arranged different ways:





Since two blocks weren't really enough for anything, I pulled four more strips and made another pair of two:



   Then I mixed the two sets together to make four blocks, each with two quarters from each set.  I didn't measure, but I think each block is around 12" square.

 

Sewed all four blocks together

  
Added two small borders and VOILA!  One small quilt top done! 



I found it necessary to handle the quarters carefully as all the outside edges were bias and I was afraid to stretch them out.   This was fun to make and would be a good use for a jelly roll.   Adding some sashing and/or a bigger border would make it a little larger for a baby quilt.

Think I will try this again.  I have some Kaffe Fassett fabric cuts and a jelly roll that would make 8 or 9 different vivid colored blocks.