November 23, 2014: Sweet Journeys


Work continues to be very challenging.  In my professional life, I see patients about 2/3 of the time and do administrative work the other 1/3.  At least 1/3, maybe up to 1/2, of my patients have mental health concerns.  This month I have been working with several patients with severe eating disorders and several more with major depression and/or anxiety.  I worry about these young adults and it’s not easy to watch them struggle.  When I’m home, either before or after work, quilting gives me a chance to totally clear my brain and focus on something that is pure pleasure.  It challenges different parts of my brain and gives me a chance to express myself in an entirely different way than work does.   It’s my way of playing!   It makes for a very nice balance!!

This week the softening up of the calluses on the second and third fingers of my left hand would be the clue that I have taken a break from hand quilting.  I just simply felt like working on other things and I spent most of my free moments working on the place mats that I plan to give as holiday gifts and making some progress on “Sweet Journeys.”  I think it is OK to show you the place mats because I’m pretty sure the recipients don’t read this blog.  Here are pictures of 2 different sets.  Each set has 4 reversible mats.  In the pictures they are sideways with about 1/3 flipped over toward you so you can see the other side.

112314 placemats#1


112314 placemats#2


What is this?:

112314 Binding!

Binding strips!  Each place mat is 12 inches x 18 inches so each one needs 60 inches of binding.  Just for the 8 place mats above, I need 480 inches of binding strips!  And I plan to make another set of place mats plus 3 table runners that will need binding too.  On top of that, I’ll be picking up Sveta’s quilt some time in the next few weeks and will need to bind that before Christmas.  I actually enjoy doing bindings – probably one of the few quilters who do!  I just love seeing the last bit of a project completed – so satisfying!  And I do enjoy the hand stitching.  I can do it really fast so even a large quilt doesn’t take that long.  The labor intensive part is cutting the strips, piecing them together, ironing them in half and attaching them.  Once again, though, I don’t mind because it means a project is near completion.

Other free sewing moments this week were spent on Sweet Journeys.  I finished appliqueing the red berries and embroidering the stems on this block:

112314 SJ#1

Here’s a bit closer look:

112314 SJ#2

Remember this block?:

112314 SJ#3

I selected a fabric for the bird that I’ll applique to the center:

112314 SJ#4a

I found time to draft the next block which is a variation of the coxcombs and currants block that one often sees in antique quilts:

112314 SJ#4

And I picked out fabrics for the block:

112314 SJ#5

I’m eager to get started with it!

I promised to show some of the other Cocheco Guild Challenge quilts.  These were made for the “I love……” challenge; the one for which I showed coffee cups and extolled the virtues of my morning coffee!.  Here are a few of them:

“I love hiking” by Lorraine Hall:

112314 Chal LorHall

” I love books/reading” by Marilyn Follinsbee.  She cleverly used selvedges for the book bindings!

112314 Chal Marilyn


A closer look:

112314 Chal Maril#2

“I love bass fishing with my husband” by Andrea Goddard:

112314 Chal Andrea

“I love doing small things…” by Cindy McKenna:

112314 Chal Cindy M


“I love the flowers and birds in my backyard” by Sally Cedarholm:

112314 Chal Sally

“I love dragonflies” (unfortunately I didn’t capture the name of the maker)

112314 Chal Dragonflys

I’m going to  close this post with something very different for me – a food picture!  For most of my 37+ year marriage, I did almost all of the cooking.  I was OK with that because I generally enjoyed doing it and Al certainly did his share of other tasks that we all have to do in our daily lives as families.  However, I have gotten somewhat burnt-out with cooking and now that Al is retired and I’m still working, he has been doing a lot of the cooking.  It’s been wonderful to come home to some great meals.  Look at this picture of a variation of Coq au Vin that he cooked one evening recently:

112314 Coqauvin


This seems like a good lead into wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving this week.  I feel very fortunate to have been blessed with family, friends, meaningful work, and an avocation – quilting – that fulfills my need to be artistically creative.

Thanks for stopping by!


4 thoughts on “November 23, 2014: Sweet Journeys

  1. Marie Tymrak

    What a generous person you are to write of your feelings, as well as the actual projects! I share your positive attitude about bindings, although I often procrastinate with labels and photographs. I am inspired by those red berries to be a bit more detailed with applique. Thanks.

  2. crafter1

    Fond memories of Thanksgiving at your home as we were growing up. Uncle Vic carving the turkey, my first taste of wine………and of course ….football on the TV!!!


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