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

May 31, 2022: May Monthly Mini – Spring Baskets

Greetings dear readers! May has been the month for Baskets! When I started making granddaughter Ursula’s basket quilt, I decided the basket handles on the first 4 blocks were too narrow. Rather than take them apart, I decided to start over with Ursula’s quilt and use those first 4 blocks for my mini – and here it is: ”Spring Baskets.”

Astute long time readers may recognize that this is the same construction I used for last September’s mini:

I love the cheddar, red, and black of the original, but I love the ”spring” version too! They are both about 20 inches square and the center is hand quilted while the border is machine quilted:

I used 3 of my favorite green fabrics – the spring green sashing is an Art Gallery fabric and a perfect shade for the season. The border fabric looks like Monet’s fields, and the binding is a lovely Essex Linen:

The back is a beautiful Art Gallery print I bought on Cape Cod last summer:

This mini looks perfect with this plant on the deck!

A closeup of each basket:

While making the quilt, I put the first 3 borders on with the dark ( green) fabric triangles pointing out – just like in the original one. By mistake I put the 4th border on with them pointing in and the light triangles pointing out. After realizing what I had done and studying the effect, I realized my ”mistake” looked better! These light triangles look like little plants sprouting. I took the other borders off and reversed them and am very happy I did!

Be sure to go to The Constant Quilter – Wendy Reed’s blog (link on right side) – to see all the May minis.

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

May, 27, 2022: Baskets, Hope, and Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! Nine new basket blocks this week for granddaughter Ursula’s quilt. As I made them, many “hopes” for her came to mind.

I hope she grows up to live in a society that bans assault weapons.

I hope she grows up to live in a society that doesn’t permit hand guns or rifles to be carried in public by non police or military.

I hope she grows up to live in a society in which kindness and concern for others is a way of life for all.

I hope she grows up to live in a society in which mental health services are available and affordable for all who need them.

I hope she grows up to live in a society in which fear and hatred are overcome by courage, understanding, and acceptance.

I hope she grows up to live in a society in which the government is run by people who want to help others and get things done and are not corrupted by money and power.

I’m afraid many of our elected officials have lost their moral compasses and far too easily turn a blind eye on words and deeds that are clearly wrong! For the sake of our future and for our children and grandchildren, we need to vote those people out of office. Hold them accountable!

Let’s do what we can. In situations like this, I go for hope to this quote by Gandalf in The Hobbit: ”Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small every day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

I also turn to ”beauty” of all types to sustain me – natural beauty (let’s take care of this planet before it’s too late!) and the beauty of all the creative arts – music, literature, painting, and crafts; quilting of course!🙂 I marvel at we humans’ ability to create and appreciate the beautiful. So here are some ”earthly delights” for your enjoyment. The lilac is New Hampshire’s state flower and May is their time:

A friend’s orchid is amazing:

Many different kinds of ferns continue to unfurl in different shades of green:

Love the simplicity of this flower:

Each shagbark hickory bud I showed in my previous posts eventually opens into several stems with several leaves:

Then, up in the treetops, see those ”catkins” hanging down from each grouping of stems snd leaves?:

Those are the ”male” flowers, full of pollen, which fertilizes the ”female” flowers on the same tree – the females are too small to see at this distance. Then those females eventually grow into the hickory nuts! Probably more than you ever wanted to know about hickory trees!🙂

Wishing everyone a restful, peaceful, good holiday weekend! I’ll be back at the end of it with my May mini.

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

May 19, 2022: Busy week; quilting ”chores”; and more!

Greetings dear readers! It’s been a bit busier than normal around here this past week! My little band “Tutto Bene” performed a couple of pieces in a concert to benefit Ukraine last Friday evening so a lot of practicing before hand:

The concert raised over $2000.00!!!!

The very next day, the 14th, was Al and my 45th wedding anniversary! We celebrated by going an hour up the coast to Kennebunkport to enjoy a beautiful warm afternoon exploring that coastline.

You may have heard of the town as the location of the Bush family compound, which we drove by. The rocky coast is lovely:

We couldn’t help but compare this ”Atlantic” experience with our honeymoon in San Francisco and our drive down the California coast to Malibu, and the ”Pacific” experience. Lots of gratitude for both! We then went inland a few miles to Kennebunk where we stayed at an Inn overnight and had a special dinner at “50 Local”, a fine restaurant. 45 years!! – a lifetime! We’ve had our careers and retired, our children have grown up, our older grandchildren are almost adults. In hindsight, it’s all gone so fast, but I’m full of gratitude. So glad to have Al beside me all the way and that we’re still fairly healthy.

One of the places we visited in Kennebunkport was St Anne’s Episcopal church – special because if it’s seaside location and rustic stone construction – gorgeous!

I finally got around to some quilting ”chores” this week – you know, those things that must be done, but aren’t as fun as choosing fabrics, sewing, etc. I needed to make a label for Golden Glow – it still needs to be appliqued down, but it’s finally made!

When I sewed the hexagonal blocks all together for ”The Inner Reaches of Outer Space”, I did not press any of the seams, so that task needed to be done before I could proceed. My small 24” X 38” ironing surface works for 95% of my needs:

But it’s only ”open” on 2 sides and not wide enough for large projects so I have to bring out my regular ironing board with the ”big board” top for a task like this. They are stored in the basement so it’s a bit if a hassle to get them 🙁.

For this task I used my mini iron which worked beautifully!

I loved how the light from the window shone through the quilt!

Now I’m ready for the next step of appliqueing the strips of fabric across the top and bottom.

I somehow managed to get 4 more baskets done – now up to 25:

I am making slow, but steady progress appliqueing leaves for the border of Stormy Weather. There are 229 leaves per border. I finished border #2 at the end of March. I’m now about 2/3 finished with border #3:

In my last post I showed you a shagbark hickory tree leaf bud:

On a recent walk I found these in various stages of development and managed to get some photos. One ”bud” opens into a cluster of leaves. Watch the opening:

Of course, the leaves are growing and opening further as I write. ”Awe!”

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

May 12, 2022: Baskets, Buds, Blooms and more

Greetings dear readers! And then there were 21! Basket blocks, that is; up from 9 when I last posted:

I weave the construction of these into the rhythms of my days, especially when I need a break from other tasks, usually cutting pieces for 3-4 at a time and chain piecing. Working with these prints and colors is a lot if fun.

My main task this past week, however, has been continuing to clean out 38 years worth of accumulated “stuff!” The dumpster is almost full and we’ve made numerous trips to the town dump and swap shop. Our garage, a storage room in the basement, and the attic were all out of control bursting with material accumulation. Many things were no longer usable because of mice and deterioration over time.

There are a number of reasons we save things, including the idea that life is long and we’ll get back to them, the idea our children will want them, and having the space and not prioritizing pitching things the moment they become useless in our lives. Let’s just say that at this point in our lives, Al and I realize that most reasons to save what we’ve been storing don’t make much sense any more. The exceptions are some photos, items, and memorabilia related to family history and activities and a very few items of personal sentimental value – so we’ve been ruthless in our purging! No regrets! Hundreds of books were taken to the recycling bin at the dump. I gave away a tub stuffed with wool fabric; same with yarn. CD’s, unused musical instruments, old dishes, worn out backpacks, children’s toys, old sheets, stacks of cooking and art magazines, and on and on… I think the house is so much lighter, it might float away!😊 But, boy does it feel good! Quite frankly, most of us buy too much; I’m determined to keep our storage to a minimum from now on. Fabric might be the exception?!🙂

I did find my husband’s grandmother’s sewing box in the attic – the inside was shredding, not worth saving🙁.

Unfortunately, it was mostly full of junk like rusted needles, old spools of thread, pieces of elastic, buttons (not collectible), etc. – not even a thimble! But it did have these interesting items – they’re not matches!

The town is Pittsburgh, PA and I’m guessing these are from the 1940’s. I was taught to use nail polish to stop stocking runs!🙂 There were also a couple of garters in the box for the time before panty hose!

I continue to make time for my walks and this is a favorite month! Color returns and I love studying buds.

Ferns unfold:

These are shagbark hickory leaf buds:

Not sure what bush this is (near the bog); such a gorgeous pink and green combination!:

Or this- it looks like the bud wants to fly away with leaf wings:

These are ”samaras” from red maple trees – lots of people know these as “helicopters” or ”twirlies.”:

Blooms that caught my attention:

And amazing trees in the neighborhood:

I’ve just finished an excellent book by Rebecca Solnit, whose books I highly recommend:

It’s ”a reflection on George Orwell’s passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and on the intertwined politics of nature and power.” ”Solnit has written an exquisitely layered book….Her exploration into how and why cultivating beauty matters reminds us of the singular fact: life is both flower and thorn.” The range of topics covered is so interesting and the writing is excellent. Not a book to ”escape” with, but one to make you think.

Covid still haunts us, especially those of us in the Northeast, though we are trying to live as if it’s not going to kill us if we get it. My son in NYC just had it for the second time, even though boostered and careful. A friend has it. I’m masking again in some places, but not afraid – yet – of some indoor gatherings. I went with a friend to a jazz club to see Dee Dee Bridgewater – fantastic!!! Made me realize how much I’ve missed this kind of thing:

My quilt bee has been gathering in person the past couple months and I’ll leave you with this photo of my friend Rosemary – 90 yo! – with her latest wonderful creation. She remains a great role model of how to age gracefully:

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

May 4, 2022: A New Project!!; ”Awe Walks” and an interesting sighting at the pond

Greetings dear readers! I enjoy hand work – applique, quilting, and embroidery embellishment – very much, but I also enjoy machine piecing, especially FPP. I like to have a project in the machine piecing phase always in progress so I can indulge in that pleasure on most days. So, after recently finishing the piecing of ”The Inner Reaches of Outer Space,” I wanted to get a new FPP project going. What to do? I’ve been itching to use the new contemporary florals I bought last summer and ideas have been floating through my mind for months. I kept coming back to baskets and the FPP pattern – the block is 6 inches square – I designed last September for Halloween Baskets:

Remember this monthly mini?

For a while I’ve been wanting to make a larger basket quilt with a completely different color scheme and thinking that this basket pattern with the contemporary florals would be a good marriage. I decided to give it a try. I love it and am off and running!

I’m having a great deal of fun choosing the 4 fabrics needed for each block – basket, trim/feet, handle, and background:

For the baskets, I cut out the shape on paper and I find a spot on the fabric I like:

Here are 8 more blocks, so far:

All together, so far:

I’m loving it! I’m making the handles with a bias tape maker and hand appliquéing them before sewing the pieces together. Of course, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing😊. I made 3 baskets before realizing that – to my eyes – the handles were too thin:

I set these aside (this month’s mini?🙂) and started over, making wider handles. The change is subtle, but just what I wanted. I am pretty sure this quilt is eventually going to my granddaughter, Ursula, who is currently 3. I’m calling it Ursula’s Spring Baskets. All 3 grandchildren received baby quilts from me and each of the older 2 got larger quilts for their beds at age 7. This basket quilt will probably be twin or queen size – not sure Ursula will have to wait till she’s 7 for it, but there’s no hurry to finish it!😊 I have no idea what the setting is going to be, whether there will be sashing or alternate blocks, etc. For now I’m just having fun making the blocks!

There was an article in the NY Times this week called, ”An ’Awe Walk’ Might Do Wonders For Your Well Being.” The gist is that if, on your walks, instead of ruminating on your tasks ahead and/or your concerns, you focus on what’s interesting and/or beautiful around you, and cultivate a sense of awe, it’s a lot better for your well being. Of course, this is what I’ve been trying to do on all my walks!

Recent ”awe” sightings:

A (broken) egg; size indicates possibly a wild turkey?

A patch of moss on the forest floor with perfectly regular rounded edge:

I recently learned that this is called ”turkeytail fungus” because of its resemblance:

My friend and I could not figure out what was causing the green color in the water (it wasn’t a reflection) – had to have been some sort of plant life – but it was quite beautiful!

As I was starting to head home from a recent walk to the pond, I heard a splash and saw something swimming. It looked like a dog, but I didn’t see any owner around. It dived under the water and didn’t come up for at least 30 seconds so I knew it wasn’t a dog! It didn’t look like a beaver. Then I got a side view and knew it was a river otter!

Sorry I couldn’t get a better photo. The Lamprey River is about a quarter mile through the woods further on from the pond. River otters are adept at traveling over land. Their main diet is fish, but they eat frogs. I’ll bet this one was feasting on tadpoles and there might be some frogs though I’ve not seen them yet. This was a first time sighting for me – talk about ”awe”!😊

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