Somewhere in North Carolina

021I am still here.  To be honest, I haven’t been quilting much.  I did quilt a couple of quilts for Quilts of Valor.  I have even made a few blocks. Like this silhouette of Holiday.  I know, I know.  And they eyes don’t look orange up close.  They are just dark brown.

I also made this bowl from clothesline.  Yes it is completely made from two different batik fabrics.  It was a bit of challenge to figure out how to do it, but I did.  I took photos to do a tutorial, but then thought no one would be interested.  Would that be of interest to anyone?

I also took a class with my local quilt guild.  I learned how to make a couple of blocks.  But I still haven’t finished them. It was just something cute that I thought was interesting.  But something else happened that day to upset my apple cart and I was out of sorts again.  It doesn’t seem to take much to throw me off my stride.

Over mother’s day we went to visit my oldest in his new city & state.  We met his girlfriend, her parents, and even got a tour of his office.  It was so nice to see him again and to meet her.  She is very pretty, and her family was very gracious.

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I have been working more hours lately, and more than I would like.  I am now fostering TWO (yes, two dogs).  The first was to try to help Carter to have a friend and to heal.  The second was because the poor fella was just an old guy that needed a place to go.  He is 10, when boxers seldom live past 10.  So now I have 3 dogs that fill my days, but do not fill my heart.  I have a job that fills my time, but not my imagination.

And the path in the back yard has filled in.  What I once thought would be healing” just feels like something is missing.  Don’t worry, I’m not nearly this maudlin all the time.  That’s what blogs are for.

 

The Healing Path

the pathI’m not sure if you’ll be able to see it in this photo, but there is a path in my backyard.  I drew a red small line along it.  Over the 5 years I’ve lived here, the path was made by my dog, Holiday.  She would run down the steps of the deck and over to the west side of the house where she could watch the comings and goings of….everyone.  Always alert and curious, she wore the grass and the dirt down.  In the summer, it is usually a dirt path, but we seeded it in the fall and although there is grass there, it’s only half the height of the grass on either side of the path.  The seedling grass was not full height before the winter.

The path is starting to heal now.  As spring comes, I know this path is going to fill in.  And my heart with it.  You see, the reason I haven’t written in so long is that late in January, my sweet girl became ill suddenly.

Holiday
My sweet Holiday. Came to us from Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue in 10/14/2007, left us on 2/3/2015.

After a couple of days and trips to the vet, we knew it was both futile and painful to hold her here.  And so I made the decision to let her go.

I’ve lost other pets before.  People equate it to losing a child.  Children grow up and leave you.  Dogs only grow closer.  And during this last 5 years when I worked from home, this dog was never more than a few feet away from me.  My constant companion.  My friend.  My heart.  I grieve for her still.  And  when I see the path healing outside, I know that my heart is healing too. And as the path returns to full luster, I will too—at least as much as people can see.

Grand Illusion Top Complete; Celtic Solstice Done!

002Well, I did it.  I completed my Grand Illusion mystery.  I am fairly happy with the results.  I saw the pattern getting a bit “mushy” due to the dark colors–the blank, red, and dark blue.  So I decided to use a constant on all my cornerstones.  I  am glad I did.  There is a lot of motion in the blocks, and by adding a constant cornerstone, there is a little less in the sashing.  I think there would have been too much motion if the cornerstones were all different fabrics of blue.

When adding the inner border, I thought white wasn’t right.  I went shopping in my stash and found a brown that had “splotches” on it that ranged from a perfect match to my beige blocks  to a kind of olive-y color, which went well with my green.  I considered black, and red, but finally went with the brown.  And am I glad I did–look at the frame!  It pops the red out of the border, and you can really see where the illusion ends, without looking abrupt–like the white would have.

And on top of it, after Christmas I quilted my Celtic Solstice top and took it with me to Indiana and back and worked on the binding in the car.  Done!  Except for the label.  Which I suspect will be done sometime about quilt show time.  Wonder why……Now I’m off to find something else quilty to do.  How about you?

For more Grand Illusion mystery quilts, visit:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2015/01/grand-illusion-mystery-link-up.html

 

De-Stashing, December 2014

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I have continued to work on the Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery. I have made it to the final clue, but due to being out of town until last night, I only had part of today to work on it. Here are 4 blocks with sashing. The rest of the blocks are made, but not pressed, sashing is made, not pressed, border is still in the units made during Clue 4.  The Grand Illusion mystery accounts for most of my fabric usage in December.  The remainder is a little more of  binding and finishing touches for other projects.

To see more Grand Illusion mysteries, visit http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2015/01/mystery-monday-link-up-part-6.html#more

I didn’t purchase any fabric this month, but won a basket of goodies that contained some fabric.  So there went my count.  I would have almost made my 50 yard goal had I not won.  Not that I didn’t want to win.

De-Stashed this Month: 12.50
De-Stashed year to Date: 118.00
Stashed this Month: 3.00
Stashed Year to Date: 73

Net De-Stashed for 2013: 45.00<<Goal for 2014: Greater than 50 yards De-stashed>>>
Additionally, I want to limit my purchases to no more than 5 yards per month.

For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

I Completed Clue 5

001As I said, I now have a house full of visitors, but Clue 5 was a pretty small one, so I managed to do it quickly while everyone was sleeping in.  So it didn’t take long for me to put together the few blocks that we needed for this clue.  Then my daughter and I sat down and did some arranging with them.  I’m not sure if this makes sense given the number of each units, but it does make some interesting blocks.

I (Think I) Win the Scrappy Challenge!

003Early in 2014, Judy L at Patchwork Times issued a Scrappy Challenge.  I started doing her January Challenge and by the time of her link up I had made 30 blocks.  If you find her January link up, you can see mine there.  I put a red in the center of each block, but after that, I gave no thought to anything except 1)  neutral background 2) light on the rectangles around the center 3) mediums on the big triangles, and 4) darks on the smaller triangles.

So with 64 “Big T” blocks, I took my selection of blacks and added them as sashing.  The red cornerstones in the sashing is a constant fabric.  I PURCHASED the border, which is black with multi-color polka dots.  The backing is also scrappy–I used yardage, but there are 4 fabrics in it–in long stripes.  Other than the border, I purchased NOTHING for this quilt.  Which is 98 x 98.  I quilted it myself using the a panto called “Hearts a flutter” and I love the way it looks.  Here it is on my queen size bed.  There is a full row of blocks hanging off either side.

Did you do anything scrappy this year?

Still on Track

003Still keeping up with  the Grand Illusion mystery.  Because 1) there were less blocks this week and 2) because we already made the HST in Clue 1 and 3) because I have a die for cutting strips in the correct size for the corner pieces,  this clue went quickly.  I just laid out some of my blocks, bu this doesn’t look right to me at all (especially when I mentally factor in the number of each block I have).

So all I have done in this pictures is give myself–and you a better impression of how the colors will look together.  Still liking my choices.  Happy to wait and see what it finishes out to be.  Gives me something to think of at this time of year other than how much I miss the kids being at home.  Tomorrow I have to get some more house cleaning and stuff done before the kids arrive.

See the Monday morning link ups here:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2014/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-4.html

How about you?  Getting any sewing done?