Saturday, September 12, 2020

Hanging In There

We're mostly doing fine, just feeling headachy and stressed. Very thankful that so many of the people we know and love have been able to return already to an intact home. Today though, the fires are a few miles away and across the Columbia river. Much closer than we can possibly be happy about. No evacuation notices for our little town just yet, but it could come. Uggh. I've got a file box of important papers ready just in case, but nothing else. We're just tired. Weary. Sick that this particular fire was started intentionally. Some people have mental health problems, that's all I'm gonna say.
4-Block Tulip Medallion

In an impulsive move, I decided that there really should be something hanging up on that little design wall of mine. There needs to be something to look at and consider whenever I come into the quilt room. Something that doesn't take me having to pull it out of a tote just to look at. Decisions are hard right now. Even the silliest of ones.

All the pieces were cut using a small template
called a 'Mini Dresden' I picked up at Walmart

So  out came the 4-block Tulip quilt project. You know, the boring blocks? I'm making these pieced sashing strips to frame them. All the blues were cut strictly from the scrap bin totes and so the straight of the grain isn't always exact. I'll deal with the foibles of that later. Eight more sets to go and then I'll have to figure out the inner strip color and all the cornerstones. Probably gonna be applique there. I mean, why not?
Trying not to man handle them too much!
I've also been plodding through the steps to bring the T blocks to completed quilt top phase. This isn't a particularly inspiring quilt top, but all of it has come directly from the stash totes or a cut-up plaid shirt or two. It's kept me busy in a totally non-pressure way. 

Vintage T quilt top is completed!

In this quilt I focused on 'old tired oranges' and found some success with using up some languishing bits. Like I said in a previous post, the color palette was found in one of my favorites of my dads well-used plaid shirts. I'm pleased to say that another of his cast-off plaid shirts has also found its way into this very quilt. I've had it for a very, very long time and never found a good use for it until now. Seems rather fitting. And yes, he's still alive. Mom and dad both are, though getting more fragile with every year it seems. Much better to make this sort of quilt now than later when I would cry buckets, right?

Loving this green fabric so much...
I changed out the fabric on the plus block below three different times. Or was it four? Don't know why I even bothered as eventually this quilt will probably be used as a comfort quilt. Or not. There is that sentimental attachment after all! Some of the smaller orange rectangles are pieced as are the longer orange strips. It's all make-do and somehow sort of sweetly old fashioned. I don't love it, but I'm happy with the simplicity and {un}pretentiousness of it all.
It may not be special, but it's keeping me busy...

One evening I couldn't settle and finally went scrounging for a new fabric pull to cheer myself up. Funny how melancholy it looks with only blues, greens and blacks being represented, ha ha. Not so cheery after all unless you're a quilter. Then you probably understand.  Guess it will be a moody Judy sort of quilt if/when I ever cut into the fabric and give it a go!

I also have given the quilt room another good tidying up in the past week. Had a lot of fun opening up all the smaller totes of fabric stacks and also gave all the simmering stacks on the counters a good long look. Nothing went promptly back into the stash totes, so I'd say there's still some potential there in each and every one. In fact, my heart actually did the little 'pitter-patter' thing just imagining a couple of these worked into a quilt design. Couldn't quite bring myself to actually cut into anything this week, but ideas are slowly bubbling up in the back of my conscious. I can feel it happening.
A new stack of fabric to think about...

Finally found a window to watch an episode of 'The Quilt Show' featuring Sujata Shah and Freddy Moran. You can find the link over at The Root Connection though time is running out to access it for free. Am so glad I took the time to watch this as both quilters are long time faves of mine. Really made me aware {once again},  of how much I NEED a source of creativity in my life! Especially right now. Wowsers. Some nights it's all I can do to pick up the hand quilting hoop and stitch part of a hoop. The thing is, no matter how difficult it seems to be to get started, I always, always feel so much better afterward. Crossing my fingers this publishes properly as our Internet has been very erratic this past week. So there you go, another post from Debbie Downer desperately trying to keep her chin up. Things could be much, much worse and we're thankful they're not. One day at a time!



  1. I think we're all on an easy slide into Debby Downer territory. The best way to combat it, I've found, is to go get inspiration from other quilters. (Thanks for yours!)
    I love those little wedgie sashings. Making a note to myself to try them in the future!

  2. You are often my inspiration to keep on quilting! Earlier this spring, I struggled to quilt and after reading your blog posts I'd be back at it. Prayers for you and your family!

  3. So glad to hear you and your family are safe. We all do what we can to keep our chin up.

  4. love the dad quilt! - stay safe - I wondered how close you were - let them stay on the other side of the river

  5. Such a good idea to have something up on your wall, pretty to look at and inspiring enough to kick start some more sewing! I too, listened to that quilt show episode, wasn't it good! Freddy is delightful, with all her colourful faces surrounding her at night! Hoping you continue to stay safe.

  6. Glad to hear you are safe in your Town--as if anyone needed a wildfire along with covid etc darn wonder you are feeling edgy and down. Hoping that the fabric work will calm you a bit...I have gone back to my first craft of embroidery lately for an old friend...
    Hang in there--I like the "T" quilt..and that Green cross is lovely...hugs, Julierose

  7. I hope you continue to stay safe from the wildfires. Thanks much for posting the link to The Quilt Show program with Sujata and Freddy. I just finished watching and it was wonderful!

  8. Whenever there are fires in Washington State my mind automatically goes to Pateras, and what you and your family endured several years ago. And your quilt. Maybe you could post a picture of that again sometime. We all in the western states should be making such quilts right now. I made one once I called Fire in the Woodshed (when we almost burned our house down) which ironically, burned while in the care of my sister in Stanwood. Methinks I need to start another one. I love your combination of ‘old tired oranges’ (as opposed to “cheddar”) with the blue. Our sky was that color (orange, not blue) a few days ago. Absolutely eerie.

  9. This is such a scary time in the whole world

    I'm so glad you and your family are safe, and I hope you stay that way.

  10. The sashing wedges for your tulips look great. I really like the colors of blue, they are so satisfying. The T-quilt is the kind of quilt that I imagine would be on a bed in a bunk house or cabin. It has summer vacation written all over it. I, too find myself being a little down right now and it definitely is affecting my creative side. I can't get excited about anything new so I'm trying to finish up a UFO from 2004. At least I'm getting something done. . . I always enjoy your blog even when you are tired or sad.

  11. Our hearts are with you, and all our friends and family in the Northwest. These are sad and heartbreaking times as we see ancient prophecies come to pass before our eyes.

    1. p.s. Thanks so much for linking to the interviews of Sujata Shah and Freddy Moran. So inspiring, especially hearing Freddy's story of survival through her quilting!

  12. I’m so glad you wrote. Like you and so many others, I’m sheltering, or at least attempting shelter from the smoke. I’m not doing anything that might require the use of my brains so I am very impressed that you are actually accomplishing some creative tasks! Thank you for sharing the beauty. Ditto for The quilt show video you mentioned. Sujata said that we Keep on moving forward even though life is not always the best.

  13. Yes, i too like your "little wedgies" and will have to try that! My nephew lives out of Molalla, OR toward Mt Hood and they had to evacuate. But their house is fine. We here in ne central OR. have a lot of smoke, but no fires near us, thankfully. Love your tiny T's!

  14. I agree - sometimes I just don't want to touch anything quilty, but if I make myself do it, I always feel better! Hope the fires continue to stay away from you...stay safe!

  15. God bless you and your friends and family. I'm sorry to hear the trouble you're having with the smoke and fire so close.
    And yes, there are some who choose to be evil. Psalm 7 is comforting.
    Thank you for your encouraging post, you are brave.

  16. I LOVE your "tumbler" sashing for the 4 block tulips - just a great, great idea! Reminds me of sashing I've seen on antique New York Beauty quilts. Hoping you and your loved ones stay safe and that quilting brings you some degree of comfort.

  17. I'm so glad you and your family are safe so far. This has been a terrible month. We are further from the fires but the smoke is so bad I'm having trouble breathing.
    The way you've set the T blocks intrigues me. Love the weaving effect of the light and dark sashing. How fun that you used your dad's shirt as inspiration. I wish my parents were still here; miss them so much. Even though we talked all the time, there are things I'd love to ask them.
    Your sashing for the tulips is wonderful! I made paper pieced sawtooth sashing once (still need to finish that quilt) but this looks so much more fun.
    I watched Sujata and Freddy on TQS, too. They are both lovely people; their work inspires me. I'm grateful to have taken classes from both and have an upcoming workshop with Sujata.

  18. lovely tulip blocks and great success with your T top

  19. The things to feel anxious and worried about just seem to pile on and on. Glad you are all safe. It's always a treat to see your quilt process. I think the sashing of your T quilt is so interesting - the way you have broken it up with those colorful "crosses" - your quilts are always original!

  20. So happy to read that you are safe, but how scary to have the fires so close to you. I do love what how you've used your new template to separate the the four baskets, inspired idea there Audrey.
    I've watched the Sujata and Freddy Quilt Show episode a few times, these ladies are terrific and the colour in Freddy's house is amazing. Keep safe.

  21. I love the looks of your mini dresden sashing--so striking. I am going to have to keep an eye out for that template. We had a pretty serious fire inside our house not long ago and all I could think to do was back my car out the garage--no papers, photos, quilts or even my purse--lol! My brain totally blanked. I hope the fires don't get too much closer and you and your home are safe!

  22. I am glad to ear you are safe. How awful the fires must be, and how frightening. I remember the fires a few years ago. I know from hurricane evacuation that it helps/ is calming , to have a plan and a list.
    And full tanks of gas in your car.

    Your projects look interesting, as always.

    I didn't see the link to for the youtube vid in time to watch it free, too bad. Freddie Moran is one of my all time quilting heroes.

  23. as always reading your post many days after you have posted....I hope you & your family are safe. It's amazing how you still manage to be inspired to create. I too watched the Quilt show episode, I really enjoyed seeing Sujata's quilts and viewing Freddy's home, such an inspiring episode.

  24. Such a worrying time for you with the fires. I didn’t realise they were so close you to. Hoping all goes well. Thank goodness for quilting to help keep you sane. xx

  25. Love your tulip blocks and the sashing/border with the tiny dresden template. Hope you stay safe. Warm greetings

  26. I'm sorry to hear that you are still in the smoke that's been holding Vancouver Island in a dreary cloud of smoke too. Its been lingering for at least two weeks and today, its clear, yeah for that. Take care, start a crazy quilt. I'd love to see how you'd go with that, its perfect for unsettled times and for keeping hands busy while you think of everything else.:)


Thanks for visiting! I love getting comments and always try to respond via email. Blogger is being especially difficult right now so leave an email within the comment if you aren't getting a reply from me. Also, gonna have to use Captcha for awhile to see if the spam will go away. Sorry!