Saturday, February 3, 2018

Keeping Up With 6and6in2018

I'm running a bit behind this week, thought this post would be up by at least Friday. Nope! Too much going on here to sit at the computer long enough to type out a post. What we have here is progress on the 6and6in2018 over at Meredithe's. It almost feels like cheating to 'get' to start six new projects, but really, I wouldn't have joined otherwise. Finishing stuff up feels good, but starting is better.*wink
The Big Basket quilt
So I finally knuckled down and figured out the next step for my Big Basket quilt. I wanted a lattice look in between the basket slats and had to decide how to do it best for efficiencies sake. First I laid some freezer paper down on top of the basket and cut them exactly to fit inside each of the slats. Then I took some quick measurements to determine the number best divisible by what I had to work with length and width wise. That all went swimmingly and it was drawn up lickety split. Then I ironed the papers onto the fabrics chosen out for each slat and started cutting. Oops! I accidentally cut the seam allowances off where they join up on the vertical. Guess I'll just have to add a 'button' of contrasting color at all the joints now, probably where the seam allowance is intact as well. Oh well. That's what happens when I make things up as I go along!

Then I jumped into the Solids Challenge project which has been in progress for well over a year now. This is a project that I never really want to work on until I'm knee deep in the fabric. It's cute and feels good while in motion, but otherwise doesn't seem very exciting to me. The fabric that I had picked out for sashing looks terrible as does most everything else that I auditioned. In desperation I turned to the black/gray fabric tote and started looking there, hoping something {anything!} would help keep the applique blocks in the forefront and not busy the whole quilt even more. The fabric that I finally selected is a very small gray/white pinstripe and seems to do a good job. I know some people would have went white, but that just leaves me cold. A little bit of white goes a very long way for me.
Solids Challenge quilt
And then there's the new project: Melon Patch. I think there will be 20 blocks as that seems to be the latest magic number when it comes to block amounts in current quilts. One of my friends suggested I have a bit of OCD and I started to get very annoyed before shrugging it off. If I do, then it's working very well for me, thank you very much! As you can see, the circles in these little centerpieces, are quite a bit wobbly in places and definitely not centered. I am NOT a Kay Buckley perfect circle type of quilter though I know a lot of you like very sharp looking circles. Each to their own is what I say.
Melon Patch
Our life gets very hectic, a bit messy and oftentimes feels like we're just a leaf in a fast moving stream. We have things like mice invasions and when I get to the end of my rope with the mice licking the peanut butter off the traps and running away without getting trapped, then my husband and son get out the pellet gun and find a way to kill them while {the mice} hide under the furniture. Very redneck but hey, it works. I cannot handle the idea of living peacefully with mice while having so many lovely quilts lounging around. Ughh...

We also have things happen like our heat pump going out in the dead of winter and our electric bill skyrocketing from the emergency strips running full blast. Ouch! When we figured it out. Finally. {Remember the November fire scare? It apparently caused the heat pump to start failing too....} We brought in several little heaters that are supposed to keep the living room temp. balanced out enough to not trigger the thermostat into making the furnace work. You know, unless it's really, really cold out. Meanwhile, I sit on the couch and try to do hand work with freezing fingers and hello? My stitching gets a little bumpy occasionally. This will all get sorted out eventually but winter is not exactly our best time of year for big dollar expenses. Ughh...

And then we had a friend borrow my suburban to go see a gravely ill relative. They got left much later than expected coming home over the mountain passes, and yes, wrecked the truck on the way home. Thankfully they are fine, but now I don't have a vehicle to drive because, while the insurance paid out, it's a pretty old suburban and the money didn't come to much. Probably shouldn't have claimed it really, but why else do we pay insurance? You know what I'm most upset about? Now we don't have any vehicles with seat heaters and also, I'm desperately afraid my husband will take this opportunity to replace that sturdy winter-driving vehicle with a dinky little car that gets better gas mileage. Ughh...

So.... the moral to my long, sad story is this, if my applique looks a little on the sloppy side, you know, it really doesn't bother me a whit. If my quilts could talk, my oh my, the stories they'd tell. There is a lot of stress, anxiety and just plain old dealing with life's little ups and downs stitched into everything that I do. You do the same! There's joy and there's tedium and so very much determination to create something beautiful with our own two hands. What I see is the human touch and it makes me so very happy. What are your quilts saying about you? A Legacy of Stitches is a great poem that says it very well. My favorite though, is the story of  'that quilt' in one of my old quilt books. I really need to embroider it, put it in a frame and terrorize my family just a little bit. They'd never, ever look at my quilts the same again.

20 comments:

  1. Oh Audrey, you have no idea how I can relate to your post. I won`t go into the details but suffice it to say that my "happy place" right now is reading your blog everyday. I LOVE everything you do! Hopefully by years end I will start a Pickle Dish quilt inspired by yours. My dear grandma used to say "A is for adjustment and life is full of A`s"...hope the rest of this year brings serendipitous happiness to you! (P.S. Hubby is Tim, I`m Brenda)

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  2. Oh "that quilt" says it all! Personally as I have progressed on this quilting path, I too don't do perfect dots....there is a place for perfect dots but not always on a quilt that is being worked by a human being. The bumps and lumps take if from a place that the eye would slide over to a work that the eye finds so charming. If you ever noticed but the most beautiful women (as judged by a large cross section of our world) often have a feature that we remember, be it a gap in their front teeth, heavy and dark eyebrows, a bumpy nose, a strong chin, etcetera. It's the quirky details that make it memeorable......lol...mind you a beautiful quilt and a beautiful woman would not necessarily have ALL the quirks in one place......but maybe they do?

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  3. Hope you get the mice under control (I've used streaky bacon on the traps, sometimes added some peanutbutter) And hope that the other problems get sorted soon as well. The big basket project looks lovely and the gray stripe I like in the solid quilt. Extra warm greetings

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  4. talk about stress - you have it! between the heat not working right and the mice and the truck - wow girl it must have been a rough month (or more) for you. I'm finally getting my car fixed from the accident with the uninsured motorist - my insurance company is paying for the fix and need to bring it in on Monday but it has taken longer than it should have for sure. One time our heat pump did that to and was running on the emergency thingy's and we didn't know it until we got the bill! yuck. Have fun with your quilts

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  5. I can tell you are looking forward to a new month too! You have really been hit in the pocket book! ME? I got hit in the health book! Either way it has not been fun! Hang in there those Unforeseen Requirements (UR's) will quickly settle down as you have had your 3 bad things and now for 3 good things! Hugs!

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  6. Another wonderful post even though some of what's happened hss been less-than wonderful. I do like your take on the solids challenge backgrounds and details!!

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  7. Now that's a basket! And I like what I see of the Melon Patch so far.
    And living in the country I know all about a mouse (or two) in the house. Yucky!

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  8. For vast chunks of my life, the only thing that got me through was keeping "This too shall pass" firmly in mind. Here's wishing you a future full of good things!
    I like your sashing choice for the solids blocks a lot, and I'm already looking forward to melon patch!

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  9. Glad everyone is safe, but certainly you have had a run of bad luck.
    Stitching soothes the soul! Your stitching is lovely.

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  10. Thank you for sharing--the beautiful quilts and the hard times. After going through some Very Difficult Times myself, reading about your troubles made me feel not so very alone. Man, this life thing can be hard! I wish that I could be more like you and allow the bad times to be made better by quilting; but, I tend to just get worn down and too depressed to take any quilty stitches. I Can still read blogs, though, and yours is the best!
    Tricia

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  11. Oh goodness, you need time out & a fairy godmother to fix these problems. Hope the coming weeks/months settle for you.

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  12. Perfect is over-rated, as is white sashing! Life sucks sometimes and all we can do is keep plodding on, but I wish you an uneventful and inexpensive February.

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  13. I really, really want to meet you in person! In the meantime, I am sending all my positive "fix it now please" energy and I wish you some very happy quilting time this week!

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  14. Gosh, what a lot to deal with all at one time. I know the quilting gives you a place to rest, create and regroup. Sending positive vibes.

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  15. Love how you are working on multiple quilts! Thinking of you and hope Febuary is a calmer month.

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  16. To each his own....seriously. But quilting is still there to calm our minds and keep our hands busy.

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  17. Oh my, you've had a lot to deal with! Sorry to hear of your troubles....we're having some too right now.

    But your quilts are looking fabulous! I love your solids challenge quilt. I think the sashing fabric will really make the other colors pop.

    Please don't feel you need to justify yourself. I think your less-than-perfect applique is charming and the very-slight variations make it YOUR quilt. And I love your quilts!

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  18. A dear friend gave me a framed antique quilt square with beautiful tiny hand stitching. Underneath is a quote --it says "Marguerite Ickis quoting her great-grandmother". This is the quote:

    "It took me more than 20 years, nearly 25 I reckon, in the evenings after supper when the children were all put to bed. My whole life is in that quilt...All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces...I tremble sometimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me."

    She said it perfectly all those many years ago!
    Thanks for sharing!!

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  19. Well done, a right good rant! But life does throw us all these things to "try" us and its clear you're up to snuff! Hugs, it will get warmer as you start into springtime soon?

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