November 30, 2021: Monthly Mini – the ”Baggie Challenge” – plus Books and Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! We had a lovely Thanksgiving with a 4 day visit from our son and his partner who live in Brooklyn, NY – so nice after just being by ourselves last year!

I hope you were all able to spend some time with loved ones.
Because the latter half of the month was so busy, it’s a good thing I started my monthly mini at the beginning of it and essentially finished half way through. Not last minute this time! Janet at the excellent blog, Rogue Quilter, challenged the monthly mini participants to make a mini from a bag of scraps before the end of the year so I did that this month. Here’s my baggie of scraps:

These are scraps from my current ”Stormy Weather: Shine A Light” project, using largely Tilda fabrics. I’m not really a ”scrap quilter.” Even though I often use dozens, if not hundreds of different fabrics in my quilts, those fabrics are usually carefully chosen and not from a scrap bag. I separate my scraps into 2 bags as I go. The really small ones are given away every several months or so to someone who uses them for dog beds. The larger ones are often eventually bagged up and left on the give away table at my guild meetings. Anything large enough to be folded goes back into my stash. In this case I had been keeping a bag of scraps because they could be used to make the hundreds of leaves needed for the borders of Stormy Weather.

The scraps here were odd shaped and I decided to do something with flying geese, figuring I could get small triangles out of them:

I drafted a small paper pieced block, foundation paper piecing being a favorite technique, especially for small pieces.

Another example:

I cut a bunch of triangles:

Then I decided to arrange the little blocks in groups of 4, creating a larger block of 8 geese traveling in different directions. We were allowed to add a ”neutral” to the scraps so I chose a gray metallic Essex linen – really hard (impossible?) to see the metallic in the photos:

One block:

Nine blocks sewn together:

Sashing or no? I decided ”no.”

We were also allowed to add one other “color” not in the scrap bag. I interpreted that to mean one other ”fabric” and, after looking at lots of options, finally chose a vibrant floral for a border. I managed to squeeze out a narrow orange inner border from the scrap bag. So here it is!:

It’s machine quilted and 16.5 inches square. In lieu of piping, I added a row of orange embroidery stitches just inside the binding.

Another close up:

During the time in early November when I was working on this, the global conference on Climate Change was going on in Scotland. I was thinking we have a lot of hard choices to make in order to meet the challenges posed by this major issue for our planet. The ”geese” going every which way on the quilt symbolizes changing directions and the hard choices we face. I’m calling the quilt ”Hard Choices.” I found a colorful and fun fabric for the backing:

You can see the simple quilting in squares. I like the idea of the rain on the back too! Water is such a big issue with climate change – too little and there’s draught, too much and there’s flooding. These extremes are big problems the planet has to deal with. A final shot of the quilt:

I’ve always been a lover of stories and an avid reader and still make time for reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading recently:

I read ”Hamnet” a year and a half ago, but am rereading it for my book group – fantastic, literary writing and an excellent story about the death of Shakespeare’s only son – highly recommended and I’m finding it well worth reading a second time. ”Cloud Cuckoo Land” is the new book by the author of the wonderful book ”All The Light We Cannot See.” This one isn’t as good, but I still really enjoyed it. The writing is good and I found the stories of 5 people in 3 separate time periods (and what ultimately connects them) to be interesting. The Ken Follett book has been around for a while; a colleague gave it to me to read about 8 years ago and I’m finally getting to it! It’s not great literature, but it’s decently written, the story is compelling, and I love historical fiction and this takes place in the 12th century – great escapist fare. I probably enjoy this type of book in the same way that some enjoy murder mysteries or police procedurals, neither if which entice me.😊

Let me close out this post with a few earthly delights. The trees are mostly bare and winter approaches.

A few leaves found on the ground:
I like the textures of the leaves against the lichen in the background. Found this nest in the woods:
I’m lucky to live near the ocean. Here’s a marsh with the ocean just past those trees, seen on a recent walk. Late autumn:

More quilts from the Cocheco show and the Boston Museum coming soon!

Go to Wendy Reed’s blog, The Constant Quilter, to see all the minis from this month!

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

21 thoughts on “November 30, 2021: Monthly Mini – the ”Baggie Challenge” – plus Books and Earthly Delights

  1. Kyle November 30, 2021 / 1:55 pm

    Love your November mini challenge and your the story. The colors are lovely together and the gray background sets them off so well. You found the perfect border fabric too. Great job!

    • gladiporsche November 30, 2021 / 9:36 pm

      Thank you Kyle! Your mini is fabulous!

  2. Wendy C Reed November 30, 2021 / 3:03 pm

    Oh I adore this one! Janet will be thrilled as well. I think you have finally inspired me to try using gray. It brings out these colors so beautifully! The back is perfect. We do indeed have some serious challenges facing our planet. I’m happy to see that you were able to have your son and his partner for Thanksgiving. We quilters are lucky that we have something to focus on in all this chaos. I too am anxious to read “Cloud Cuckoo Land”. I think “All the Light we Cannot See” will be a tough act to follow.

    • gladiporsche November 30, 2021 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks Wendy. Gray is a great background for showing off bright colors. I’m in total agreement with you about quilting helping us to get through these crazy times. I do recommend Cloud Cuckoo Nest, but be aware it’s not as good as his previous book, which was an all time favorite.

  3. Paul McKenna November 30, 2021 / 6:15 pm

    Gladi, lovely to see your visit with Michael and Jordan was a success! Nice family photos….also, we were delighted to spend some quality time with you and Al in Camden. Really fine conversations. Cheers to all, Paul & Lee

    • gladiporsche November 30, 2021 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you! Thanksgiving was indeed a good time. Our time with you folks the week before was marvelous! So happy to share hugs, stories, and good food. Now that we are potentially facing another significant viral variant, I’m so glad we seized the opportunity to see each other almost as soon as we could because who knows if another border closure is going to happen! Sending you our love and wishing you folks a merry December.

      • Paul McKenna December 1, 2021 / 11:52 am

        Hello Gladi: some excellent things in this post, beyond the family time. You’re right to introduce a note of caution about future travel in light of the omicron variant and we shall watch what happens closely. We all return our love and sincerest best wishes to you folks as the Holiday Season approaches.

  4. Kelley Secrest November 30, 2021 / 10:37 pm

    So glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your son and his partner. My daughter and her boys live nearby and she and I work at the same university so I get to see them regularly. Love your November mini. I am always inspired by your lovely quilts. Thanks for sharing with us. Wishing you a blessed day

    • gladiporsche December 1, 2021 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you Kelley! It’s wonderful that you get to see your family regularly. Wishing you a blessed day – and week – too!

  5. Cynthia December 1, 2021 / 3:17 pm

    This is such a beautiful quilt and your attention to every detail really adds up. I love the bright fabrics and the every-which-way about it. Very interesting to read your thoughts behind it (and the umbrellas are a fitting background). It’s very sobering to think how our children will have to deal with climate change – an issue that I hadn’t ever heard of or contemplated at their age. Looks like a fun Thanksgiving and a yummy big turkey. Thanks for another great post!

    • gladiporsche December 1, 2021 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you Cynthia for your praise and for such thoughtful comments. It really is worrisome how quickly climate change is upon us and pretty incredible that it wasn’t even in our consciousness 50 years ago. I hope we humans have the courage, flexibility, compassion, and intelligence to handle this challenge!

  6. Angie December 1, 2021 / 4:59 pm

    Thanks for the idea to use paper piecing for flying geese blocks. They are one block that always gives me trouble, no matter how carefully I cut, sew, and press. I also like the idea of the embroidery stitching in lieu of piping; will have to give it a try. Your mini looks wonderful and your theme is right on target! I have resisted Cloud Cuckoo Land, as the storyline seemed difficult. Thanks to your review I will add it to my “To Read” list. I read Pillars of the Earth many years ago; you’re right, it’s fun, escapist reading! Thanks also for your nature photos. I enjoy seeing how different landscapes change with the seasons!

    • gladiporsche December 1, 2021 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Angie! Foundation paper piecing is an excellent technique for flying geese! I highly recommend it. The reviews for Cloud Cuckoo Land were all over the place, but generally positive; apparently not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s worth a try! Have a great week!

  7. Sandy December 1, 2021 / 10:53 pm

    I loved “watching” you build your little quilt, especially the frugal use you made of your scraps. The result is spectacular!

  8. marissthequilter December 2, 2021 / 9:51 am

    Everything about Hard Choices is remarkable — the thought behind the design and the clever title, the cutting of the triangles from the scraps, the perfect foundation piecing. Thank you for sharing the process and your thoughts about the frightening reality of climate change.
    Your book review has tempted me to find and read those books!

    • gladiporsche December 13, 2021 / 2:11 am

      Thank you Mariss! I really appreciate and value your comments!

  9. Janet O. December 3, 2021 / 6:15 am

    Gladi, I feel speechless. But I will try to gather my thoughts and say something coherent. Your little quilt is really incredible. The colorful scraps set in that gold-dusted grey really sing! The borders enhance their attraction, and the little stitching at the edge of the binding is the perfect touch. The meaning behind your quilt is a critical message. Climate change is something that cannot be ignored, and for our posterity, we need to get serious about it. “Hard Choices” is an excellent statement. My DIL is in the field of humanities and the environment and has had art shows in which this little quilt would be right at home.
    It looks like you had a lovely Thanksgiving.
    I enjoy the photos of nature around you.

    • gladiporsche December 13, 2021 / 2:03 am

      Thank you Janet! I really appreciate your kind words of praise! You inspired the quilt with your challenge- great idea!! Climate change is truly going to require “hard choices” and I hope we are up to the task!

  10. Jocelyn Thurston December 10, 2021 / 9:40 pm

    What a great get together the four of you had; and my, how that son resembles his dad!
    Now leave it to you Gladi, to have such an inspiring thought to edge your flying geese in that floral fabric. It is nothing short of gorgeous together.
    Your area looks so much like mine here in south west Ontario.

    • gladiporsche December 13, 2021 / 2:08 am

      Thanks Jocelyn! Doing the minis this year has been fun. I looked at several potential border fabrics that were very plain and then on a whim tried the floral and it added so much vibrancy! So glad I found it! You’re right – our landscapes are similar. I love living in the woods!😊

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