Friday, April 3, 2020

And the beat goes on . . . . .

. . . . but of course, it's not our usual beat, is it?  
How are you coping?  
I don't have more people underfoot than normal and I'm still a retired teacher.  

Have you cleaned the entire house from top to bottom?  No, me either.  
Although I think I understand why it was so important for my mother to do this annually.  She did work full time outside our home after all of us were in school but prior to that the house (in the 1950's) was her world and it probably wasn't a fun place to be when everything was messy.  So she had a cleaning schedule which we all participated plus every spring, the entire house got a scrub down!  I'm doing deep cleaning chores that I haven't done for . . . . years???  But just one a day. 
She was right -- a clean, tidy house is a nicer place to be stuck.
(My office book shelf is now clean though not necessarily tidy, but it's all very important stuff!!)
As part of a workshop through my church this week (on-line), my pastor suggested "writing a lament" as a good way to vent anger and fear.  I know from past experience with depression that writing is a good strategy for me.  Plus several years ago, I participated in a little workshop on writing Haiku.  They have been a fun way for me to preserve little outdoor memories but Tuesday I used the technique to pen a lament.

Isolation sucks!!
Stuck at home with all my stuff --
wishing this over!

Fortunately, right after writing this, I opened my Bible and found myself looking at Psalm 71:19 to 21.  At some time in the past, I underlined a phrase in verse 20 . . . "you will restore my life again" . .
That's what I'm counting on today!!

Of course, I'm lucky to be "stuck with stuff" -- not everyone is that fortunate.So instead of whining about the inconveniences, I'm trying to embrace the slower pace and praying that we can all hold it together!

Last week I unloaded one half of my big cutting table and discovered how pleasant it is to have access to a large cutting area -- challenge is to keep it uncluttered.  As you can see, I'm making a few washable fabric masks every day.  I gifted some to friends in the medical field in case they need them and can use them.  All the varying opinions on these fabric masks has been very confusing to me but when I found a pattern from that has a pocket one can slide a disposable mask into which will hopefully extend the life of a mask, I decided to give it a go.  Now I'm working my way through family members and close friends as the CDC seems to be leaning towards urging everyone to wear a mask when they are out in public as another line of defense.  

I've made a few more of those sashed 9-patch blocks which I shared with you a couple posts ago -- HERE's a quick link back to it if you missed it.
I've settled on blues, greens, and browns for my color palette for the main squares and anything goes for the sashing.  I'm going to make twelve blocks and see where things go.  My first thought about setting them with 2 1/2" strips for sashing might not be great and I'm also puzzled about what color that sashing might be???
No hurry -- I'll be here for rest of the month?!? 
I've also been puttering with this pattern which my long time student followers will recognize as my Mississippi Mud pattern (definitely the most popular pattern I ever taught or wrote).  I always said "never use lights" for the background of this quilt and all the stars have to be the same color.
So I'm experimenting with breaking those two rules of mine!!
I was thinking of doing a "sew-along" in April but there are so many bloggers and pattern designers trying to lure us into mystery quilts and sew-alongs right now that I've decided to hold back.
I've been quilting for 30 to 45 minutes every day for the past week on the kaleidoscope quilt I shared in last week's post and today, I'm starting the border -- wahoo!!!
My quilting time is limited by my back (it starts to whine when it's unhappy).
However, if I work for 30 minutes almost every day, by the end of a week, I've accomplished 2 to 3 1/2 hours of work which my back could never tolerate in one sitting.
I think two or three more sessions will get this quilt finished and I'm so excited!!!
It got me to thinking that perhaps instead of having a sew-along to start a new project, it would be more beneficial to challenge all of you to quilt for 30 minutes a day as often as you can for the month of April.  
Wouldn't it be fun to see how much we can accomplish?
I have this stack of quilts (backings included) to deal with -- some going back 15 years!?! 
Here is the shelf of charity quilt tops . . . . . 
. . . . plus a few more on the chair in the dining room!?!   Arrgghh!?!
So let's do this instead of starting something new!  
I challenge you to set a time limit that is good for you and try to maintain it daily.  Take before and after photos and keep a log of your daily progress.  I predict two things will happen -- first, you'll finish a UFO in less time than you might imagine and second, your quilting (machine or hand) skills will improve because you are doing it daily.

Pick a quilt top and layer it up (see my post HERE on how to do that by yourself on a table).  Then leave a comment below or post to your Instagram account (I'll only be able to see it if it's a public account) with the hashtag #Aprilquiltingmarathon and tag me @hueymary

If you are uncomfortable deciding about the quilting design/strategy for your top, I'll share photos on my Instagram account of some pieces using simple quilting strategies to inspire you!

If I could get a couple charity quilt tops finished and make lots of progress on one of my big UFO's, I'll be a happy quilter!!
Let's do this!!


  1. Hi Mary, I’m glad you’re doing well. I LOVE your new Mississippi Mud!! Your haiku is perfection! May I share it? I will, of course, give you credit as the author! You inspire me! Stay well,

  2. Thanks, Mary. I needed this. I've been self-isolating since March 16th and I'm not accomplishing much. The week of March 9th, I did get the binding on a quilt that I'd just retrieved from the long armer and I polished off a flimsy that I had started a year ago, but then I just seemed to grind to a halt. I feel like all I do is laundry and wash my hands. I did make a batch of masks for friends here where I live and have another batch ready to go except I need ties. I only had two packs of bias tape and I used up all of my cotton twill tape. It seems most of the things I would turn to are on Amazon, but the shipment dates are well past the needed times. I ordered some ribbon that is supposed to arrive by Tuesday. Meanwhile, the requests for masks are starting to mount. So, thanks for the challenge. Stay safe. Stay well.

  3. I think I'm really going to like your Mississippi Mud quilt with a light background and multiple colors of stars!! Nice job on tackling some of those cleaning tasks. I've done some small tasks, but have conquered any big projects, so far. Thanks for the encouragement!