Thursday, June 25, 2020


I can remember a time 
when I was about 8 years old
and was walking to school
wearing my red rubber boots.

Because there were no sidewalks
and the spring ground was muddy
it only took a few moments to 
 get my feet really stuck deep in the mud.
Fortunately, my sister was with me and
before she got stuck,
she was able to ran back home for help.

In the mean time,
I struggled and tried to free myself
from my sticky and wet trap.
I thought I would be stuck forever.
I was really worried.

In just a few moments there was my mom 
coming to my rescue,
lifting me up and freeing me.

Then we all started laughing
because there were my boots
still in the mud.
In those few moments 
a frustrating situation changed.

I confess to feeling a bit
frustrated with still being quarantined,
not seeing family and friends, and
just not having my usual routine.   

One positive and creative thing
 I have been doing is 
   Sue Spargo's' 90 day
circle sampler.

Over the past 3 months
I've been picking and 
choosing the designs 
that would work
 with my 30 pastel circles.

I've learned so much from
this embroidery sampler.

For the last couple weeks
I've had only one circle left 
and now there
 are only a few days remaining in 
Sue's wonderful stitching exercise.

There I was stuck.
One empty circle waiting
for inspiration, 
waiting to figure out the best design
and color combo to complete the sampler 
and waiting for me to be motivated to finish.

Well, this week my friends
came to my rescue. I organized
a driveway quilt gathering.

We came together, laughed,
shared, inspired, and enjoyed
a sense of normalcy.

I finally felt like I
 could figure out
what I wanted to do
in the last empty circle.

With a renewed spirit,
uplifted by friends,
I smiled at the final stitching.
I was rescued.

Until Next Time-

Friday, June 12, 2020

My Paper Stars Are Shining

The world has become very unsettled 
and I have found myself retreating
to the solace of simply sewing.

I've needed a quiet time
 to settle my mind,
 calm the emotions
ease the stress.

My sewing has lead me to 
string piecing once again.
Do you still have a phone book
tucked away in a drawer?

This paper is perfect for a foundation.
It's easy to sew through
and better yet, easy to tear away.

I had recently seen a pattern 
in this book.

There's a foundation 8 pointed diamond star pattern  
made with strip scraps.

As much as I love scrappy
I wasn't in the mood for
a collage of colors or
 a barrage of pattern.

Instead I pulled 
a variety of neutrals
or low volume prints.
I know, you might be thinking:
no energy or movement,
but upon a closer look,
there is a lot going on.

There's a variety of colors,
and sizes, 
all working together
speaking in whispers and still  making
themselves heard.

I needed 128 diamond units.
Once they were trimmed,
I left the paper in place to keep the
bias edges from losing control and
getting out of shape.

Then randomly selected  two diamond units
and sewed them together.

I stopped stitching a 1/4" from the edge
to later easily add the triangles and squares 
around the star.

Then two quarters were sewn together to make the half.

At this point,
 knowing my machine piecing skills,
I knew I would hand stitch the 
two halves together starting and ending
about an inch on either side of the center.

It didn't take nearly as long as it would 
have if I had machine pieced with all
the ripping and unsewing I would have 
done to get a good center.

Then it was easy to finish the center seam
and have it all come out perfectly.

I got the blocks together using a variety
of dark blues and indigo blues.

It was at this point that
I finally removed the paper.

One of my favorite stories
from working in the quilt shop was
the day a woman came in and inquired 
about a pattern that said to 
paper piece.
She wasn't sure how that was going to work
because it would definitely make the
quilt way too crinkly!!

With the blocks finished I
added a few simple borders.

After getting it together
I realized I had seen something similar 
a long time ago on Pinterest,
a quilt done by Helen Wentzlaff.
I guess subconsciously,
we tuck away good ideas.

 There's something comforting to me
seeing white stars on a blue background.

Working with this pattern,
this technique,
this particular color combo

has been a productive and positive
solution for me and
has kept the world from spinning out of control.

Until Next Time-