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April 24, 2020
Taking the Wheel from Fret Not Yourself

"You may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now,
because the world is yours and it is up to you.
Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world,
it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy."
~Susan Cooper in The Silver on the Tree

Quilting

Combining regular spring cleaning with the deep cleaning pushed me to sort and cull. Clothing, dishes, books, cleaning supplies. Everything is getting a second look. Is it being used? Is it needed? Does it need replacing? Of course, cleaning also ...

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April 8, 2020
A Fail and a Few Finishes from Fret Not Yourself

'Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.'
                                    'I should have called it
Something you somehow haven't to deserve.'


My mother used to quote the first two lines to us but I didn't know the author although I'd read many of Frost's poems. I'm fortunate to have a large family that gets along. We write; we call; we visit. What a blessing to just belong to this group; people who have known you all your life. {Although ...

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April 6, 2020
Placement Matters from Fret Not Yourself

"There are many kinds of selfishness in this world, but the most selfish is hoarding time, 
because none of us know how much we have, 
and it is an affront to God to assume there will be more."
~Mitch Alborn in Finding Chika


We are all doing what we can to fight this virus - the bravest on the front lines, the rest of us donating to charities, tipping delivery people heavily, and staying home.

Homemade masks
I made 40 masks this week with my tightest weave fabric for the front, cotton t-shirts for lining, and polyester or quilting thread to ...

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March 29, 2020
D.E.A.R. Time from From the Strawberry Patch...

Since we've created the new porch space to enjoy we've added a new element to our daily schedules. No matter what Mr. Goodneedle or I are doing at 4:00 PM  we Drop Everything And Read for an hour. We have really come to enjoy this custom over the past two weeks and we hold each other to it, if I'm busy in the sewing room and might even consider skipping a day he encourages me to leave what I'm

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D.E.A.R. Time from From the Strawberry Patch...

Since we've created the new porch space to enjoy we've added a new element to our daily schedules. No matter what Mr. Goodneedle or I are doing at 4:00 PM  we Drop Everything And Read for an hour. We have really come to enjoy this custom over the past two weeks and we hold each other to it, if I'm busy in the sewing room and might even consider skipping a day he encourages me to leave what I'm

read more
March 17, 2020
Lessons Learned from From the Strawberry Patch...

I hope to be a lifelong learner; I pray that I never get to that place where I think I've learned all that there is to learn. My grandmother used to tell me that every day spent without learning something new was a wasted day. Recalling that now, probably told to me when I was Jr. High age, was most likely in response to thinking that I already knew it all!  We kept the grandchildren late last

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Lessons Learned from From the Strawberry Patch...

I hope to be a lifelong learner; I pray that I never get to that place where I think I've learned all that there is to learn. My grandmother used to tell me that every day spent without learning something new was a wasted day. Recalling that now, probably told to me when I was Jr. High age, was most likely in response to thinking that I already knew it all!  We kept the grandchildren late last

read more
March 3, 2020
Restart from Fret Not Yourself

"Progress is not created by contented people."
~Frank Tyger

Frank may be correct but taking this top apart is a funny sort of progress. And that's what I'm doing. Fortunately not all the seams are sewn but it's still a lot. Why? Because I'm very unhappy with the result.

It's not visible in this photo but there is no way to press the compass seams flat. They must twist or create a gigantic lump at the post or the point. If they twist, there's a dimple in the seam, especially because of the solid ...

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February 4, 2020
Moving on to the Square Deal from Fret Not Yourself

"Your future depends on many things but mostly on you."
~Frank Tyger

The Square Deal is finally moving ahead again. My machine is threaded and raring to go. This one might be finished in a week or two. I divided the quilt into three sections: the center Square Deal blocks, the white sashing and inner border, and the outer lattice border. Each will have different quilting.

Free motion quilting in progress on The Square Deal

Angela Walters' recent FMQ Challenge inspired the quilting design here. It's looking better as more blocks are finished. Isn't that frequently the case ...

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January 27, 2020
Working the Border from Fret Not Yourself

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard a work worth doing."
~Theodore Roosevelt

Last week the black border didn't add anything to the conversation but the quilt still needed more contrast. I pieced more hourglasses with some black added to the pink and blues for the border then spent a while laying them out. This arrangement makes a striking zig zag but is much too strong for the weak center. {I'll have to remember it for another time.}

Zig zag border arrangement

Black to the outside and pink ...

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One Improv Hourglass Quilt Finished from Fret Not Yourself

"It has been said that patriotism is not a frenzied burst of emotion, rather the quiet and steady dedication of a lifetime." 
~ George H.W. Bush

After three weeks this "quick and simple" baby quilt is finally done. Wow, that's too long but it turned out well.

Improv Hourglass quilt 

Since my machine with the working walking foot was in for repairs I had to use FMQ only. No SID around the sashing. I tried using a ruler to make straight lines a quarter-inch inside the sashing with mediocre success. The lines wobble but worse is the way the ...

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January 7, 2020
Using the Hourglass Prompt from Fret Not Yourself

"Green is not simply a new form of generating electric power; it is a new form of generating national power - period."
~ David Rothkopf

For a change I'm starting the AHIQ prompt right away. {Although I should be finishing the Square Deal or Tethys Waves, they were put away when company came and you know how that breaks the rhythm. A new project pushed its way to the front of the line.} The previous hourglass quilt was rotary cut; this time I wanted to try an improv variation from Cultural Fusion. It seemed like a relaxing and quick{er} solution ...

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December 17, 2019
Adding Flowers to Tethys Waves from Fret Not Yourself

"The danger is not that America will collapse into a Depression tomorrow... The danger is that the paralysis of the American political system - its inability to tackle any big multigenerational problem anymore - will just very slowly erode our strengths and assets as a society. We will slowly choke off immigration, slowly give up our commitment to free trade, slowly allow the budgets for research in science to decline, slowly let our public schools slide into mediocrity, and only slowly face up to our energy challenge."
Thomas L. Friedman
Hot, Flat, and Crowded, p20, 2008


Friends are a blessing. The blue ...

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December 10, 2019
Froggy Went a' Courting from Fret Not Yourself

"Quilts leave messages in signs and symbols."
~Kathy Doughty

This is absolutely the end of the stripe now sewn as the border. The top is quilted and bound. {No more sticking it back in the stash to age some more.} Instead of salamanders, this one features frogs. I finished the other first because it attracted me a bit more but I've changed my mind. This is my new favorite of the pair. Ha. How's that for fickle affection?

Lone Star quilt 8 with frog border

For the back there wasn't enough of any fabric that worked with ...

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November 19, 2019
Pastel Hourglasses from Fret Not Yourself

"Today there are those who travel by sea to new lands, hoping for a new life. 
They are likely to find themselves locked up or locked out.... 
How would all our lives be if the original [European settlers] were sent back?"
~Kathy Doughty

A niece is expecting her first child and decorating in very soft pink, green, grey, and white. The quilt needs to be finished before the baby shower. Time to get cracking. I purchased this charm pack a while ago for a specific reason. After making a quilt with brights I wondered what it would look like in ...

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November 12, 2019
The Rose Quilt is Finally Finished from Fret Not Yourself

"If you want to hear the sound of God's laughter, just tell Him your plans."

I like to pretend there aren't a bunch of quilt tops waiting to be quilted but cleaning the sewing room out brought them to the surface. No more kidding myself. One is the Rose quilt {last worked on September 2018. Yikes!} Why did this pretty quilt end up stuffed in a dark corner?

Truthfully FOMMWQ {fear of making a mistake while quilting} hit hard. Every idea became much too complicated. Despite my trepidation, the stems were easy - just some FMQ loops...  until running ...

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October 29, 2019
Farmhouse Quilt Finished from Fret Not Yourself

"You can't be both awesome and negative.
Choose one."

Evidence indicates I will never have a stash of finished baby quilts. They leave as soon as the the final strings are buried. In the meanwhile, time is passing and the farmhouse quilt will be gifted next month. You may have noticed I'm working to the deadline... as usual.

Farmhouse quilt - Log Cabin and split Ohio Star blocks

I was amused to see Julie's latest quilt because we both quilted freehand Baptist Fans. Is that an example of great minds thinking alike? A few years ago Julie gave ...

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October 22, 2019
Almost the End of an Era from Fret Not Yourself

How beautifully trees grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
~John Burroughs

Cleaning out continues. This time I found six yards of beautiful linen, a gift my parents brought me from Europe years ago - before my oldest was born. All these years I thought it was yardage for a shirt and doubted my ability to make it fit correctly. When I pulled it out this time it was only nineteen inches wide. {It must have shrunk while in storage.} Perfect for hand towels or dish towels - some to use and some to gift. There was ...

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