I did not mean to, but I did. I took a year off writing on my Blog. I lost my brother and went into a terrible depressed state with my grief. I began my first block “Eagle” 12/31/2018. I sewed thru the evening being so engrossed and excited about starting my bucket list quilt that I missed midnight. Totally blew past me. Went to bed around 1 a.m. I slept in New Year’s morning and at 6 a.m. my brother passed. Overwhelming sadness engulfed me.
I funneled my grief into my sewing with Friends of Baltimore being my primary project. To date I have completed 8 blocks and 1 border. The saying Time heals is accurate, it’s just getting there. I miss him dearly and I think of him everyday. He was my little brother after all. This is the reason for my absence. I was not able to verbalize my grief so I stitched it into something positive.
2019 I was able to revitalize my sewing room. Now there is not a lot that can be done to a 10×10 room but I have managed to utilize all square footage and I am more than pleased with the end result. I freshened the paint, I have added new bookcases ( 2 trips to Ikea one in Memphis and one in St Louis) and donated tons of fabric to get down to a reasonable workable fabric stash. Let’s face it, even having survived breast cancer, I’m not going to live forever, as I thought in my younger days. I put my Bucket List (no longer called UFO’s) projects into tubs and have realized I have way too many Bucket List Tubs but I am hopeful of entering retirement next year with the promise of getting started on those tubs. I am so excited about the finished look and I absolutely love spending time in my sewing room. It’s the first time that I have ever done anything specifically for me and I was amazed at how it made me feel. Then I asked myself….. why did I wait so long? I still need to make my window treatment. Have the fabric, just need to get going on it. I am very pleased with the end result and quite proud of myself for drafting it out on paper and then translating that into actuality.
2019 was mostly focused on Friends of Baltimore Album quilt. What a learning experience this quilt has become. I have gained many new wonderful friends in the applique community and I treasure the encouragement, suggestions and input these new friends offer. I have completed 7 blocks, currently putting the finishing embroidery on block 8 and 1 full border completed. Next up is border # 2. The first border took me 3 months. Hopefully the next border won’t take me as long. Truthfully, I am enjoying the challenges of making this quilt. Each time I start a new block my confidence sags a bit, and I worry that it’s too much for me, but I just plug along and as I progress I think, “What was I worried about, I’ve got this”. Each block surprises me by presenting some challenge and so far I have met those challenges and have walked away with new skills to add to my growing accomplishments. Once I finish Border # 2, it will represent the halfway mark. Big sigh. I’m really getting this quilt done. Wow. I have wanted to make an Album quilt since I first saw a photo of the Gorsuch Family Quilt. I believe it was featured in one of the Lady’s magazines back in the late 1960’s. I was a teenager then. My amazement of this quilt cannot be described. That one photo and the teaching of needle art from my Granny Malone as well as countless mentors over the years fueled my interest and love of applique. I spent many years acquiring skills that would enable me to pursue this dream and look at me, here I am, dream coming true.
2019 I was awarded Best of Show and lst place Ribbons at Laclede County Fair for Bed of Roses quilt pattern by Sue Garman. I also received a lst place Blue Ribbon at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, MO for this quilt. I was very excited to have been so honored.
2019 I finally got to go back to Paducah for the Spring Quilt Show. I attended a lecture presented by Sue Nichols who with her sister made the acclaimed Beatles Quilt. I have been passionately in love with this quilt since I first saw it. I believe it won Best of Show in 1998 and is on display at the Quilt Museum. The imagination and creativity to design this quilt is beyond my comprehension. Such Teamwork two sisters collaborating. I bet I stood in front of this quilt for at least 30 minutes trying to absorb every detail. I am not sure what it is about this quilt but I am extremely passionate about it. Oh, by the way…. there were soooooo many beautiful quilts presented.
So here we are 2020. My main focus will still be Friends of Baltimore. I have added 3 machine pieced quilts to the mix. I am making a Winter Solstice quilt, I am working on the Moda Blockheads 3 sew along and I signed up for my local quilt shop Saturday Sampler again. I had sat out of the Saturday Sampler for several years but felt I needed the camaraderie from this wonderful group of ladies and gentlemen again. Yes, we have men quilters in this group. They are very talented. On the home front I also have DIY projects in the mix. As I tackle each one I will post the ups and downs of DIY.
My first 2 blocks made for Moda Blockheads 3 not sure how I’m going to put it all together yet. The year is young yet. Inspiration will eventually hit me.
We also welcomed a new great nephew into the family and I made him this baby quilt. Welcome to the world Connor Gray. I even quilted it myself.
I have also been considering purchasing a long arm quilting machine. I had initially thought I would like the Bernina Q20 sit down machine but have decided I would prefer one where I am standing. So now I am looking at the Simply Sixteen since it has a 5′ frame. That will work nicely with my restricted space requirements. Still at the thinking and trying out stage. Juggling trip to England vs. quilting machine? Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
Well this about wraps up 2019 and hopes for 2020.
See you soon with more updates from my quilting world.