August 7, 2022: On My Mind!

Greetings dear readers! This post is a potpourri of what’s been on my mind this week.

HEAT! We northern New Englanders are not used to the heat we’ve been enduring for the past several days! By 8AM it’s already too hot to walk. Most of us don’t have central air conditioning. We have one window AC on each floor of the house. The first floor is relatively comfortable with the addition of a fan. The bedroom upstairs where the AC is located is comfortable, but the rooms up there are chopped up and the cool air has a hard time getting down the hallway to my sewing room so I can only be in there in the early morning hours. And the heat makes me lethargic! I’m spending the bulk of my time in front of the fan, reading 🥵. But still getting some sewing done!

BASKETS! In those cooler morning hours, I prepped several more basket blocks, choosing the 4 fabrics for each one, making the handle, and gluing it on:

These handles are all ready to be hand stitched down and then I can proceed to piece the blocks. I put all 60 of the completed blocks on the design wall:

If you look at the upper left corner, you’ll see that I’m experimenting with the idea of adding narrow sashing between the blocks. I think I like it and I like this particular shade of green. No need to make a final decision until all 98 blocks are completed.

“CHEVRON” LOG CABINS! I like to have the fabric for 4 of these blocks cut and ready to chain piece any time I can grab a few minutes at the sewing machine:

Even if I only have time to piece a round or two at a time, they seem to quickly come together! The newest 4:

BACKINGS! I pieced together to backing for the Half Square Triangle Medallion top! I cut twenty five 16 1/2 inch squares from several florals I’ve been saving and it felt really good to finally use them!

I have an appointment to take this top and backing to a long-armer tomorrow morning. I think custom quilting would be lost on the top and am going with something simpler. I’ll next show this when it’s completed.

I finally found a suitable backing for Maple Leaf Rag! I’d hoped to find a wide back, but couldn’t find something in the color I wanted so finally settled on having to piece yardage. I love this rich shade of rust:

And, believe it or not, I am quickly approaching the completion of my version of Kim McLean’s “Stars and Sprigs “ quilt, “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light.” I have only the last half of the 4th border to finish appliquéing and 4 corner star blocks to make! This journey had been going for 2 years – not bad for such a detailed quilt! So, while shopping at local quilt shops for gift certificates (to be given to our guild’s Challenge winners at next week’s meeting – tough job, I know 😊) I picked up 3 yards of this Tilda fabric for the center panel of the backing – it seems perfect for the quilt title 😊:

I’ll eventually decide whether to pick up several more yards of this and make the entire back of it or whether to use other fabrics to fill out the sides.

NEW ENGLAND QUILT MUSEUM EXHIBIT! My quilt, “Golden Glow”, is currently hanging in the museum with the Hospital Sketches exhibit! I haven’t had time to get there to see it yet. It’ll be up till the end of September and I’m hoping to get there within the next couple weeks and take lots of photos to share! Barbara Brackman created and published a small book with quilts and info from the exhibit and sent a signed copy to each participant thanking us for participating:

Here’s the page with my quilt on it:

And here’s another random page showing some of the other quilts:

I believe copies of this will be available for purchase at the museum. If you are within driving distance of Lowell, MA, please consider going to see it. There is also a fantastic exhibit of quilts by Carol Breyer Fallert-Gentry as well as a display of some quilts from the museum’s permanent collection. Well worth the trip!

GREAT MEMORIES OF OUR CAPE COD TRIP! A few more photos. My quilting friend Janet Elia works 2 days a week at the shop Quilt Corner in Sandwich, MA at the head of the Cape and we made the drive to see her:

Janet made all those samples you see!

Don’t you just love the little elf (?)doorway in this wall?!


Other quintessential scenes:

The flowers on the Cape were gorgeous, especially the hydrangeas and day lilies. I’ll finish this post with a color explosion!😊

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

July 31, 2022: July Monthly Mini; Cape Cod

Greetings dear readers! Alas, I do not have a new mini to share with you this month. We were away for 2 vacations and sandwiched between the two we had Covid! We were exceedingly lucky that Covid and our period of isolation did not interfere at all with our vacation plans. I still might have been able to squeeze in a very simple mini, but I truly needed to devote most of my stitching time in July to making something for my Guild’s annual challenge, which is due at our August 16th meeting. I think mine is finishing at about 23 inches square, the top is done and awaiting quilting, and we have to keep it secret until after the meeting. We display them anonymously, vote on our favorites, and prizes are given. Mine is going to be my August mini, so you’ll get a full report in a month!

Rather than leave you totally in the lurch this month, I’ve chosen to share 3 older minis that haven’t been shown on the blog in several years. Each is English Paper Pieced, two of them fussy cut. I think my favorite of the 3 is Inner City, made from Japanese fabrics:

For the next one, I really enjoyed using this fabric (I think a Jo Morton):

To make this:

The fussy cutting on this last one was fun:

What a wonderful Cape Cod vacation we had, sharing a cottage for a week with our dear, long time friends, Craig and Liz!

Here’s a nicer photo of the cottage- a one minute walk to the beach:

We are 4 of the 5 members of the band, ”Tutto Bene” and we brought our musical instruments and enjoyed alternating ”musical” nights with ”game” nights. The weather was excellent for exploring and being in the water.

The view across the road from the cottage:

An amazing box turtle we saw on one of our walks:

An example of the color variations of hydrangias:

Hope you enjoyed the look back at some past EPP minis and I promise a new one in August! More of Cape Cod to come as well.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

July 22, 2022: “Inevitable”; More baskets and cabins; Books

Greetings dear readers! It’s been a crazy week. Shortly after returning from our little trip to Maine, Al and I both tested positive for Covid. We both, luckily, had mild cases and are both feeling pretty good as we come out of isolation, just in time to leave for our week on Cape Cod. Within the past 2-3 months, so many of our friends and acquaintences have had Covid, that it seemed inevitable that we’d get it. I’m so thankful for the vaccines which I’m sure helped keep us from more serious illness.

As I isolated at home, dealing with some congestion, coughing, and fatigue, as well as a brutal heat wave (!), the only sewing I had the energy for was making more blocks for the basket quilt and the quarter log cabin – easy, straight forward sewing requiring little thinking!🙂 I added 8 log cabin blocks to the mix and returned to the original ”chevron” setting which I’m pretty sure I’ll stay with:

The newest ones:

I made 9 more baskets (not yet from the newest fabric I showed last post):

I now have 60 baskets, each one different, though I am repeating backgrounds. After returning from Cape Cod, I’ll put them all up on the design wall and assess whether my mix of colors is OK and also reconsider setting and whether It needs sashing.

Just before I had to start isolating, I took these photos on an early morning walk:

I love how the early morning light highlighted the rich gold and green. In the next one, I like the spot of color amidst all the pond greens:

And the blue hydrangia is a harbinger of scenes to come on the Cape:

I recently read 2 novels in one week by Jennifer Haigh – “Mercy Street” and ”Heat and Light.” Both were wonderfully written and compelling stories about people dealing with controversial issues like abortion and fracking. They are not uplifting, but thought provoking, and I highly recommend them. Then, just before I came down with Covid, I picked up the perfect escapist novel to curl up with while I recover – “World Without End”, the second book in Ken Follott’s trilogy about a town in England during the middle ages. “Pillars of the Earth” was the first book and took place in the 1100’s and this one takes place in the 1300’s. It’s also 1000 pages long so it will entertain me for a while🙂.

Hoping all of you are staying healthy and finding ways to enjoy the summer.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

July 18, 2022: A mini vacation; Baskets update; “Enchanted”

Greetings dear readers! I missed posting last week because Al and I took a short 3 day vacation to the Eastern Penobscot Bay region of Maine to visit dear friends Paul and Lee vacationing there from Nova Scotia. We met them over 30 years ago when both our families were vacationing at the wonderful Hiram Blake Camp on Cape Rosier and for years planned our vacations to coincide. Because of the pandemic, the Canadian border was closed until this past November and we don’t get to see them that often anyway, so a great time was had by all!

The cabin they were staying in has a lovely view onto the Eggemogin Reach which connects the Penobscot Bay with the part of the Gulf of Maine that abuts the western side of Mt. Desert Island where Acadia National Park is located. It’s a truly beautiful part of the country!

We stayed at the lovely Blue Hill Inn:

On our last morning there, while waiting for breakfast time at the inn, I went for a walk and stumbled upon this ancient cemetery:

I’m not generally a huge fan of cemetaries, but really old ones can be interesting.

Where the lettering hasn’t totally faded away on the stones, you see a lot of deaths of children – makes me so glad to live in the time of antibiotics and good medical care!

Also, the stones not infrequently have trees or other designs carved into them:

On the way home, I made sure to stop in Belfast, ME and visit one of my favorite quilt shops:

Like many quilters, I am drawn to medium and dark value fabrics when I shop and tend to have a dearth of light fabrics in my stash. I focused on finding some more ”lights” for my baskets and found some good ones!

And, of course, I couldn’t resist grabbing a few more fat quarters for the baskets as well! 🙂

Here are the latest baskets I’ve made (before buying the new fabric):

I’m starting to pull fabrics to make a pieced back for the HST Medallion, I’m plugging away at the applique for the last border for Stormy Weather, and I’m working on my “Challenge” quilt for my guild’s competition to take place at our August meeting. The theme is ”The Magic of Geometry” and I can’t show it until after that, so you’ll see it as my August Mini. So I’ve been busy!

I have a few non-quilting blogs I follow, one being ”Transactions With Beauty” by Canadian author and photographer, Shawna Lemay. On a recent post she quoted Portuguese author, Valter Hugo Mae:

“IT’S URGENT TO LIVE ENCHANTED.”

The quote reminds her to ”focus on the wondrous.” I truly believe this and I think doing it is responsible for helping me remain hopeful and optimistic. And, wow, did we ever have a wondrous event last week to enchant us – the Webb Space Telescope pictures were fabulous and mind boggling!!!

All those points of light are not individual stars, but galaxies with billions of stars! And we’re looking as far back as 13 Billion years! The formation of new stars:

Just gorgeous! I’ve always had an interest in astronomy, have read some excellent books on the topic, and used to keep a huge poster of the Milky Way galaxy in one of my exam rooms at work. The findings of the Webb telescope are so exciting and I look forward to more photos/info and ”enchantment.”😊

Hope you all are finding wonder and enchantment in your lives!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

July 7, 2022: ”Is it finished?”; Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! Those of us designing our own quilts, especially if we are designing as we go, as opposed to having everything planned in advance, often face the issue of deciding when a quilt is finished. That’s where I am with the HST Medallion. I added the two extra rows of hst’s all around and now the top is 70 inches square instead of 60.

There are 528 hst’s!😊 I don’t want to make any more! At this size, what is this quilt? It’s not a lap quilt or a wall quilt. It’s not really big enough for a queen size bed and it should be taller for a twin bed. But I don’t think it will ever get used on a twin bed. If I were 10 years younger, I would consider adding a border of fussy cut hexagons all around to match the border around the center panel.

But I think I’m going to pass on that! I don’t think I want to add a floral print or solid border around what I already have, so will likely stop here and it will be a queen size bed topper. I think I just talked myself into this decision!🙂 I’ll show it again after it’s long-arm quilted. So happy to get this project nearly completed, though the major joy has largely been in the making. As is the case so often with me.

I haven’t made any more quarter log cabin blocks, but I did play a bit with alternative layouts:

For now, I’m liking the upper one, the reverse of the original chevron design. I’m continuing to make, baste, and hand applique leaves for Stormy Weather – my goal is to have these all done by the end of summer and to get the entire top of this major project done some time in the fall. This will be my take-along hand project for our week on Cape Cod – we leave in just over 2 weeks!

I have a few more baskets but no photos yet so will save them for the next post.

A good friend who lives 20 minutes away recently invited me for a ”new to me” walk near her home. The woods we walked in were littered with large stones and boulders – not atypical for NH, the ”granite state.”

Then we came out of the woods and walked to a large marsh covered with gorgeous water lilies – this photo doesn’t do it justice:

And one shore of the marsh has a rookery with several nests. We saw several blue herons flying back and forth – very hard to get a good photo with just a phone. Here’s the best I could do;

Meanwhile, back at the pond, my frog hunting is tough with all the flora along the waters’ edge, but I did see these guys recently – 2 of them – can you see them?🙂

I love watching the thistles develop at this point in the summer – early stages right now:

A couple more ”pond delights”, one with trees reflecting in the water:

Hope you are all finding good ways to take care of yourselves and perhaps even finding some joy amidst all the craziness in the world. We need beauty and moments of peace and joy to keep us hopeful.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

June 30, 2022: June Monthly Mini – A ”Salvage” project

Greetings dear readers! A month ago while doing some organizing in the sewing room, I came across a small, folded up, unfinished project from several years ago that I had completely forgotten about. It was in the bottom of a basket under a bunch of other stuff. The piece was a mess and I’m sure that’s why I had put it away, not knowing what to do with it. Instead of throwing it out, I decided it was worth trying to salvage. Here’s what I found:

The edges were crooked:

And most of the ”tea leaves” did not come together nicely at the points – not even close!

Some of the leaves were too close to the edge to allow any trimming that would leave enough seam allowance for a border. One of the reasons I wanted to salvage this was the excellent hand applique – look at these stitches:

I didn’t want all that work to go to waste! The first thing I did was remove and re-applique the few leaves that came too close to the edge and then I straightened the edges as best I could:

Then I decided to hide the areas where the leaves come together with hand appliqued circles:

Not perfect, but better! Once that was done, I added a border and machine quilted it lightly and VOILA!:

I think it turned out pretty well! Here are a couple closeups:

Here’s the fun backing I picked for it:

And a couple closeups of the simple outline and straight line machine quilting:

This little doll quilt measures 16 inches wide and 19.5 inches high. The bright colors are just right for a late June summer day! Here’s a ”beauty” shot from my deck:

As we get older and time grows shorter, it can be hard to decide what to do with unfinished projects that have been languishing for years. Luckily I don’t have too many of those. In this case, I’m glad I decided to salvage and finish!

Be sure to go to Wendy’s blog, The Constant Quilter (link on rt. side), to see all the June minis.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

June 27, 2022: My new ”log cabin”; A quilt workshop; My head is spinning 🙁

Greetings dear readers. Silly me! The new log cabin blocks that I showed you last week are not HALF log cabins, but QUARTER log cabins. Here’s the latest from my design wall:

Furthermore, my reader, Megan, pointed out that the design is in the public domain. There’s a picture of an antique one in this book (thank you Megan for this info!!):

It’s in the section with the log cabin quilts and is called the CHEVRONS variation:

Here are a few closeups of my blocks:

The first thing my husband said when he saw these is that they look like chevrons, a military symbol so he correctly identified the design! It’s very traditional, but I’m enjoying using my reproduction fabrics. I looked up #quarterlogcabinquilt on Instagram and there are dozens of examples of this pattern using all kinds of different fabrics, some very modern, and other layouts as well. I may have to make more than one!😊

I took an all day quilt class – in person – this week for the first time in 3 years. It was wonderful to be with others who share my quilting passion for a full day! Our teacher was Paula Golden and our subject was the Feathered Star. She presented a program to my guild the evening before – good speaker, good teacher! As you know, the feathered star is a challenging design and we were paper foundation piecing it, but I like a challenge! I actually had taken a class on foundation piecing the feathered star with Mary Ryan at the Vermont Quilt Festival in 2008 which I finished into a small wall hanging:

This hung in our bedroom for several years, but I never made another. I love feathered stars and this was my chance to relearn the techniques. Also, Paula’s pattern is different. Mary’s pattern has a square set-in center with a small lemoyne star in the center (you can enlarge photos by clicking on them). Paula’s pattern features large rays that all come together in the center. Here’s her quilt:

The stars have different centers and we chose which we wanted to do. When we had a ray or two done she used mirrors to show us what the finished block might look like:

By the end of the class no one was beyond their 3rd ray because Paula did a number of demos, we spent time choosing fabrics and looking at and talking about others’ choices, etc. I had my star sewn together 48 hours later, though not pressed, and the background pieces are not sewn in yet – it’s just laying on top of a fabric I’m considering:

The star colors are pretty bright for me, but I like them against the dark background. A closeup:

Here’s what the back looks like, unpressed. When pressed, the center seam allowances are supposed to ”spiral” – I have some work ahead of me!🙂. By the way, the reason the paper looks different on the right and left sides is that the paper Paula gave us to work with (left) was regular typing paper. When I got home I switched to using my preferred June Taylor brand FPP paper (right) which is thinner and easier to use.

My last 2 walks have been along the ocean, a lovely change from my usual woods and farmland. One walk was in nearby Kittery,Maine, the other in NH, where the coast is similar – a combination of rocky and sandy areas, mostly the former:

I continue to love the amazing colors and shapes that flowers provide this time of year:

My blog is mostly about quilting, but every once in a while I feel compelled to speak out about important issues. Quite frankly, my head is spinning and I’m worried about the survival of our democracy. I have watched every minute of the January 6th Committee hearings and it is very clear that Trump tried, almost certainly illegally, to overturn the election results. It is unfathomable and very disturbing that millions of people, including some of those in power, believe his lies and that there is a chance he could run again. Will he ever be held accountable? Our inability to control the proliferation of guns and to limit their presence in some public spaces and in the hands of dangerous people is frightening, though congress did take some baby steps in the right direction. And the overturning of Roe vs. Wade was expected because of the leak, but is still shocking and upsetting. This is a real blow for women’s reproductive rights, something we’ve fought for for a long time. It hurts to see us moving backward rather than forward. I am worried about the direction of the country and will be looking at ways I might be able to help make a difference. I’m still hopeful. In the meantime, I’ll be counting on quilt making as one of the ways to calm and center myself and provide a temporary haven from these stresses!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

June 20, 2022: Juggling projects!

Greetings dear readers! I had a comment on my last post about how I work on many projects at once. Indeed, that’s how I work! I marvel at folks who work on one project, start to finish. I find that I often get a little bored doing just one technique or working with the same fabrics all the time. Taking even a short break – as little as a day sometimes; or as long as years! – allows me to return with renewed energy and engagement. I actually like juggling several projects at once. I think I was primed to work this way by my medical career. Working successfully as a busy physician required juggling lots of tasks. Working as a Medical Director for the last 21 years of my career required an exponential increase in that juggling! So I got used to it. Juggling my current projects seems tame by comparison!😊

So here’s what I’ve been juggling this past week. I’ve made great progress on the HST Medallion:

The extra side rows are done, I’m working on the top, and then I’ll do the bottom and it will be ready for quilting – by a long armer because I don’t have the time. Because I’m using lots of different fabrics, The best method for me to make the HST’s is making 2 at a time by sewing one light and one dark fabric together 1/4 inch away from the diagonal, cutting on the diagonal, ironing open, and using my Bloc-Loc ruler to trim to size:

I finished making the backing for The Inner Reaches of Outer Space:

That piece on the bottom is a Hoffman screen print from about 20 years ago:

I have quite a few pieces of Hoffman screen prints and have been thinking that new fabrics like these, esp. the strong geometrics with bold colors, are not being made right now (?true – I’m not seeing them). An example of how styles change over time and how parts of one’s stash can become obsolete.

I finished the applique for the 3rd border of “Stormy Weather: Shine A Light” and have half the leaves made and basted to the fourth border, ready for applique:

I’m in the process of prepping the leaves for the other half:

I finished my June mini early and will share that story next week!

And the 5th project I worked on is a new one! Finishing IROS gave me permission to start something new😊. I was recently looking at photos from the quilt show in Nantes, France this past April and fell instantly in love with one of the quilts from the show:

The maker is Dominique Husson. It’s a traditional log cabin variation and I’m in love with the graphic quality of the design. I decided to try something similar, drafted the block, and here’s an example of what I have:

I’m enjoying making these – FPP, of course! – but not sure exactly where it’s going yet😊. Given that it’s a traditional quilt block and I drafted my own, if I want to make a similar quilt, I don’t think I need this maker’s permission if it’s just for me and I’m not selling copies or a pattern. If this isn’t true, let me know!

We’ve had some lovely weather and I’ve had some great walking recently. Here are some flower photos:

These leaves in the early morning sun looked lit from within:

The curled leaf on the left looks like a torch!:

Grasses can be beautiful, too. This almost looks like an impressionist painting:

From my most recent visit to the pond: tadpoles transitioning and a turtle!

Wishing you all a lovely summer solstice!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

June 13, 2022: Change of plans for HST Medallion; More baskets; Earthly delights

Greetings dear readers! Several days ago I had a sudden memory of a box of unused squares that were cut a few years ago for my HST Medallion quilt – cut before I decided to use the Dutch panel in the center. I was going to use them to make many more HST’s. Sure enough, I found the box and there were quite a few already made up HST’s in the box.

Prior to finding this box, I had already combed through my fabric stash, unable to find enough of an appropriate border fabric – a victim of my tendency to buy multiple small pieces of many fabrics, rather than fewer larger pieces! So…I have decided to add 2 more rows of HST’s (they finish at 2.5 inches)to enlarge the quilt instead – that works out to the same final size of 70 inches square. Here’s a mock up in one corner of what it will look like:

Almost all the fabric is already cut so making the extra hst’s is easy and pretty quick.

I may, however, change my mind on donating this one😊….we’ll see.

I’ve also been working on piecing a back for ”The Inner Reaches of Outer Space.” I like using up some of the Asian fabrics with beautiful designs in this way. I lay out the quilt to be backed on the bed and start putting out fabrics that might work and then I figure out how best to piece them together:

And here’s the top part sewn together:

Since the last post, I took the time to figure out what I want to do with the baskets and how many I need. I like the look of them massed together on point and I don’t think they need a sashing. The blocks finish 6 inches so from one corner to the opposite – on point – they are about 8.5 inches. 7 blocks across and 8 down (56 blocks) alternate on point with 6 rows across and 7 down (42 blocks) = 98 blocks. This produces a center that is 59.5 X 68 inches. If I add a 6 inch border, it becomes 71.5 X 80 inches which is a good size for a bed quilt for Ursula! So… I need 98 blocks and currently have 43. Here’s the latest batch. These highlight mostly animals, making the quilt something of an ”I spy” adventure for her:

This is the season for me to really enjoy COLOR on my walks:

The rhododendron bush in front of my house:

The baby hickory nuts on the shagbark hickory trees are now visible and all the pollen filled cattails are gone:

I saw ONE lady slipper in the woods by the river:

Lots of visually interesting (IMHO) stone walls in my area:

Hope you have a beautiful day!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

June 7, 2022: 10 years of blogging!; 2 projects nearing completion; ”Earthly Delights”

Greetings dear readers! It was 10 years ago this month – June 2012 – that I started blogging. I had no idea if I would like it or how long I’d do it. I only knew that I enjoyed reading other blogs and felt like I had something worthwhile to add to the conversation. Turns out I enjoy the challenge of gathering and sharing my thoughts and sharing my work and I very much like being part of the blogging community. Many, many thanks to each and every one of you for reading! Special thanks to those who comment; I absolutely do not expect all readers to comment (totally OK!), but I appreciate hearing from you and these connections help keep me motivated to continue sharing.

I finally completed appliqueing the irregular shaped upper and lower borders of ”The Inner Reaches of Outer Space” to strips of an Asian print and the top is finished!

I prepared the edges first by ironing over the 1/4 inch seam allowance; that made the stitching easy. I really wanted the edges to blend and not be very visible; my choice of fabric worked perfectly for that! Some more photos:

I plan to have this long arm quilted and will likely next show it here after that is done, which might be a while! I have to decide what to use for a backing and then schedule the quilting. Feels good to have the top done!

I recently pulled out one of my ”hibernating” projects, vowing to finish it – the Half Square Triangle Medallion. The center medallion had the row of fussy cut EPP hexagon flowers around it and I had 20 sixteen patch blocks made – those didn’t fit around the center and the challenge was to build out the center so those would fit around it. With a lot of measuring and one step requiring the dreaded seam ripper, I managed to fit everything together!😊:

First I added the thin ”ribbon” after the hexagon section and then I figured out the dimensions of the cream flowered fabric to add. This was the point at which I had to make the center of the quilt square instead of rectangular so the HST blocks would fit. Thus, the side strips needed to be a different size than the upper and lower strips. I got it right on the second try!

Then I was able to add the 16 patch blocks, 6 per side, and they fit perfectly!

This is now 60 inches square. My original idea – 4 years ago! – was to add a couple more borders, at least one pieced, to enlarge it to bed size. The truth is that I no longer have the motivation to piece an outer border. I am planning to add a 5 inch wide strip of fabric to border each side – hopefully an appropriate floral print in pink or blue, if I can find it – bringing the size to 70 inches square, adequate for a queen size bed topper or for a twin bed. I’m thinking of donating this for my library’s annual silent auction fund raiser this fall. So glad to get this project near the finish line!!

A couple weeks ago I saw my first frog of the season at the pond! They are very hard to spot right now because the bushes and plants along the pond’s edge are high and hide them well. Also, they sense me coming and jump into the water – I hear the splashes😊 – before I can see them. Here are the 2 I’ve seen so far; can you see the second one?

I’m enjoying some beautiful color on my walks:

Even the white flowers are lovely:

The tall ferns have a stately beauty:

Loved the colors on this parrot that lives at one of the places I buy plants for my deck in the spring!:

I’m starting to look through my many quilting books to determine which ones I can live without – part of my continued attempt to purge the house of excess possessions. I’m a bibliophile so this is really hard! I have quite a few of the ”State” books on the history of quilts in the state which contain lots of great photos of their quilts. These books make for great browsing and inspiration and will be particularly hard to part with! This anonymous quote in the ”Michigan Quilts” book really spoke to me, given that we’ve been through tough times recently with the pandemic and more and speaks to reasons we make quilts:

“The quilt I am sending to the show is from a log cabin pattern. It was started in 1933. At that time I had never seen a quilt like it and started it with only a meager description that grandmother gave me. The winter of 1933 was the most discouraging time for us. We were unable to spend money for anything but the barest necessities and I was starved for something gay and pretty and new. I started to create something to fill that need. I hate to remember now what small purchases I made in order to keep that gay piecework in existence. When I look at the finished work I see things in the stitches and gay strips that will always be there for me… The blocks were gayer with each increasing problem and in that way served to balance a drab life. I have never hurried in working because sewing has rested me when nothing else seemed to help.”

Creativity, comfort, fun, friendship…….Thank you quilting community!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi