Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Good day!!  It's taken me a week to finish this post and I just scrapped the whiny bits!  While I needed to write them out, I decided I didn't need to share them because the few conversations I've had with folks over the past couple weeks have started out with a negative whiny statement to which I find myself responding with a deflated sigh.  And I don't want you to respond to me with a deflated sigh!!

One of the best things I did in the past was to realize I could depend on stitching to calm me down!  It is definitely my default action when I am struggling to function.  That default response means I can reflect back over the past couple weeks with satisfaction in spite of the challenges of Covid life.  Recognizing this is good for my head and my heart so I remember to embrace the good bits.

Fact -- My sourdough baking has improved and the fragrant scent of fresh bread lifts my mood.  Therefore, I need to keep baking (and since I shouldn't eat all of it, I should share more of it).

(Ciabatti from Emilie Raffe's book, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple.)   

Fact -- Setting goals prods me to accomplish more than not setting goals.  I've set a really ambitious quilt making goal for this year -- to finish 19 quilt tops and empty that shelf!  One of the keys to achieving the goal probably needs to be not starting new quilt tops (at least for a while). 

So last week, to cope with my "urge to piece" I assembled this set of Courthouse Stars blocks that are my last teaching sample for this pattern!  The blocks were all pieced and sorted into labeled rows -- all I needed to do was cut and piece the border units.  It's a sweet quilt but there are already a half dozen versions of it in my family so this twin size quilt top is for sale -- it's 60" by 80" and could be enlarged (by the buyer) with an additional border.  The price is $135 which includes shipping (USA only).  You can email me at maryhueyquilts at hotmail dot com if you are interested.    I also added the pattern to my Etsy shop as a downloadable PDF -- only $6 and it's been made by lots of students!

Here's a close-up of one corner so you can see the border print better.

Fact -- It's easier to reach goals with some help from friends!!
To kick start the big finishing push, I sent two quilt tops off to professional machine quilters.
Yesterday, I bound the first one and added it to the quilt pile on the guest bed!!
One down, eighteen to go!
I also decided to send my most recent quilt top finish -- Winter Frost from the Moda Bakeshop sewalong in December -- out to a machine quilter. It's not on the list of 19, but what's the point of finishing one and adding one???  Pretty pleased with this blue beauty and just love the path of bear paws through the center!  Such a clever idea (not mine)!!
Face -- I get bored easily and frustrated sometimes.
So I'm not shy about working actively on several project at the same time.  Typically, there is a machine quilting project, a machine piecing project, and a hand work project to keep me entertained.  The current hand work project is my big dodecagon quilt.  My goal is to finish a hoops-worth every evening and then I set it up for the next day.  Progress is being made on #18 of nineteen!!
Fact -- Sometimes I need a quick finish to perk me up!!
Pat, a friend in Maryland, recently posted a
mug cozy on Instagram and shared the link to the pattern.  When I saw it, I wanted one for the studio since my tea is always going cold up there.  A small box of bright cutting scraps provided the inspiration for the color palette and soon I was quilting the outer shell slabs.
The only modification I made in the pattern instructions was to stitch the lining pieces together with a 3/8" seam and trim 3/8" off the lower edge of the lining so it would lay more smoothly inside the outer shell.  Even the binding is some strips from the 2 1/2" strip box stitched together!
Isn't it cute?!?  Here's the PATTERN.
Fact -- I crave time with cheerful people -- I sound cheerful in the blog but it's not my default mode.
So (thank goodness), there's babysitting!!  Reading and being silly are favorite activities right now.
He's a chip off the old block -- his Dad was just as goofy.
They have lots of books and it goes like this.  
Pick out a book, thrust it at Grandma or Auntie Al, plop down in her lap and read.
They are starting to have favorite books which is fun and learning to take turns with my lap!
I challenge you to find the satisfaction in your life today.  
Somedays, it's a hard thing to recognize but it's there just the same.  Use those examples to stay focused on the positive aspects of right now.  In the past two weeks, I've participated in webinars with nationally recognized speakers that I would never have had access without Zoom.  
Stop dragging yourself down repeating over and over what you are missing or what you are fearful about.  Perk up and get busy sharing a positive view with those around you.  
Good things are happening in spite of Covid.  Figure out what those are for you and share!!
I see my empathy building for people of color thanks mostly to the knitting community on Instagram and that is encouraging to me because it's preparing me to be a better citizen 
when the world opens back up.  

Someone needs you to come alongside them and smile!
Now I have to go layer up #17 of nineteen.


Monday, January 4, 2021

A New Year Marker!!

 It's a New Year!!  Yea!!! 

I hope my rattling on about "watching for markers" helped you navigate the holidays you celebrated.  It helped me and one of the things I noticed was experiencing less stress (silver lining).  Nothing was as it "should be" but there was less stress because we didn't "have to" do much -- just sit tight.  I'll be happy to return to things as they "should be" this year but I think I'll leave some of the "should's" behind!

Perhaps the most positive marker I noticed for this time of year was my annual review of what's going on in my sewing room.  There wasn't a big tidy up (not really necessary since I've been getting tidier all year) but I did pull out all the quilt tops that are ready to quilt and made a list. 

 Much to my great delight, there are ONLY 19!?!**

You may be shuddering but it's huge because you are talking to a quilter who has had as many as 72!  While I was making the list, I also decided whether to machine or hand quilt each one.  The big dodecagon I finished last spring is first up in the hand quilting queue -- layering it Tuesday!  It will keep me busy in the evenings for months.

The first one to be machine quilted will be this top I pieced in 2000.  
I'm adding a border and did a quick change out of the corner triangles of the pieced border.   Who thought it would be a good idea to use light triangles??  Apparently I ran out of the cute flag print. 
Flexibility is the key to staying motivated these days and this print looks much better.
Because goals are good, I've set a crazy (impulsive) goal for the year!?!
I intend to quilt all of these tops by the end of 2021!!
(That's only 1.6 quilts per month!?!)

All the Esme Pouches I made for Christmas gifts have been delivered so I can show you the results.
I like the results I get from this pattern! I use mine as a small project knitting bag to grab as I leave the house for appointments (okay, there aren't many of those right now, but some progress is better than none).   It's the perfect size for a ball of sock yarn or a mitten project.
Only one of my girls knits so she got the sheep.
This cheery print that I've been sitting on for a looonnngg time went to my oldest granddaughter.
And these two went to my gardening daughter-in-law and my birding daughter.
The pouches doubled as gift wrap for their annual Christmas socks.
And I got to use some very special fabrics!  
Another goal -- more very special fabric will be used this year.  
It's so much more fun to use it than it is to keep it!

All those little Christmas gift finishes and working on the Moda Bakeshop Winter Frost set of blocks got me fired back up about piecing.  I've been at my machine every day for over a week finishing the blocks and working on the setting units.
I am loving working in my old stash of blue prints and hope to send this top off for some snowflake quilting in a week.  The Moda designers came up with some cute and original settings for the blocks, too!  You can see all the blocks and the settings over at the Moda Bakeshop website.
I saved all the patterns and have three blocks left over so maybe there will be another quilt?!?
I've been in such a good mood, I even emptied the chaotic pantry
and tamed the dreaded basket of storage containers -- this is the before!
Lost pans, forgotten crackers and chocolate chips were recovered and it no longer an elder "help, I've fallen" zone!
So my new year is off to a good start -- how about yours?

One more goal -- if you don't follow me on Instagram, consider it.
I want to share a mini-tip several times a week this month to help get you inspired, too!
The first one is already up -- I'm @hueymary

Have a good week!!
(Perky) Mary