Friday, September 16, 2022


I'm one of those holdouts -- fall starts on September 22!  The fall quilts and pumpkins don't come out until my calendar says "first day of autumn".

But that's less than a week away -- how did that happen??  I still have summer stuff to do!?!  Which I must say/feel every year . . . . . especially pertaining to the garden.  So this week has been about buckling down and getting those tasks finished.  Every morning, I've made myself start the day with a 30 to 45 minute work session in the front gardens.  And I have to say, I'm happy to be able to do it myself (as long as I don't exceed the 45 minute time frame).  My back is in the best shape it's been for a couple years thanks in a large part to the strength building exercises my physical therapist convinced me to do everyday!

It's so beautiful out there right now, too!!  Check out this pokeberry fruit!  It's a huge plant and many gardeners would chide me for allowing it to persist but I live with the hope that it feeds bees when flowering and birds in the fall -- the cardinals do spend a lot of time foraging in it though I'm not sure if its for the fruit or the insects who may be sucking on the fruit.  A couple years ago, I watched a butterfly suck juice out of the berries -- that could happen again!!

And the native asters and goldenrods are in full bloom drawing in dozens of insects -- butterflies, bees, and beetles with a couple savvy spiders.
The "empty the file cabinet" project is progressing slowly not because I'm not trying but because it's so easy to get distracted by all the projects in that room.  I have finished up four small quilt tops and organized backings to donate to a local guild for their annual charity workday next May.
Four less UFO's and the pile is a bit tidier?!?
I fell a bit behind on Katja Marek's Homage to Grandmothers Flower Garden over the past month so that has been my stitching focus this week -- almost caught up!!  I hope that by the time part #38 is released this Sunday, I'll only be one week behind.  It is in two big pieces at the moment and living on the "extra" design wall.  Since I'm machine piecing it, I'm assembling a few sections and then adding them to the rest so it's less cumbersome at the machine so what you see is two large sections overlapped to fit on the design wall.  There are some beautiful versions happening around the world and if you are an Instagram user, check out the #homagetogfg hashtag to see some of them!
I finished the hand-stitched piecing of Jemina's Creative Quilting's mystery quilt from this past winter a couple days ago.  Whew!!  It's ready for the borders but I'm taking a break from it to hand quilt a UFO that has been patiently waiting for my attention since December.  I used 3/4" hexagons and at this point it's about 52" square.  Next challenge is the "how to quilt" question??
I did have a sweet little finish this past week.  Perhaps twenty years ago, after a very successful machine quilting lesson with Sue . . . . . where is her last name, she lived in Michigan, think brain think . . . . I confidently started making this charming tea cozy.  
But you guessed it, I never finished it.  Each time I uncover it in a studio tidy-up, I set it aside with the intention to finish it but never do.  True to form, I laid it on the cutting table last week to consider it again. 

Happily, as I waffled -- do it or let it go, Mary? -- I came across a tiny Dresden plate teaching sample and as I was putting it into the "orphan blocks" basket, my creative fairy pointed out the size might be a perfect applique for the unfinished cozy?  Sure enough it was and then I got out the pink button jar and while I was playing with the buttons, I noticed another UFO with lots of pearle cotton stitchery embellishment . . . . .
and as only you can understand as a fellow quilter, everything came to a grinding halt while I finished the tea cozy -- in about two hours!
So I owe Marjorie, the designer, an apology for going off the rails but it's wonderful to have it finished and out of the UFO pile!!  Doesn't it look perfect with the tray mat I made last year from orphan blocks?
No doubt, the reason I've never finished this was a fear of not being able to achieve the same degree of machine quilting accuracy since I rarely do anything that detailed anymore.  Often the key to finishing a UFO for me is to let go of the original intention and modify things to my current skills, interest, taste, time, etc.  If I have no need for a king size quilt anymore or I've changed the color scheme of my home, it's okay to finish the blocks I have pieced into a laprobe and put the leftover fabric into the stash (which feels a bit like going on a free shopping trip). Why bludgeon myself into finishing something I don't want anymore -- the time and perhaps money necessary to do that are better spent doing what inspires me currently!  
I've found repurposing, merging, rethinking to be a marvelous creative boost for myself.  
I encourage you to apply a similar strategy to your UFO's by asking yourself "what else could that become"?

Happy Fall (or spring if you are a southerner)

P.S. I think Sue's last name started with a W?  Can you think of it??


  1. Just love that Homage to grandmother's Flower garden in those colors against that light blue--(or gray? hard to tell on computers) --so pretty--nice work...hugs, julierose

  2. The detail on your tea cozy is sooooo cute! LOVE your Grandma's Flower Garden quilt. You are so patient to do all those little hexies. I have a pokeberry busy outside my sewing window. I watch the birds and things in there. The cats and their kittens play under them as well. Happy sewing.

  3. This is a great post! Love the pokeberry bush - There are so many great things to do each day - gardening, reading, cooking, watching birds bees & butterflies and always, always sewing! Love the tea cozy. I have a couple of Dresdens that I keep thinking about - some quite big and some smaller. What will I make with those???