Okay, this week is really wellness check week. How is everyone doing out there? As I’m writing this blog it’s actually August 13, 2020. In North Carolina, we’re still wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands. Our schools and most of our university systems will open their academic year with remote learning. There is no college or high school football until February. Where I live the temperatures are in the mid-90’s now and the humidity matches the thermometer.
In short, it’s hot, sticky, and uncomfortable with or without a mask on.
Don’t even ask what my power bill was last month. The AC never cut off. Like a lot of my friends, I’m sick and tired of 24/7 COVID and political news. I’m weary of staying home so much, totally over working from home, and I miss seeing my friends in person. While I’m grateful for the technology that keeps us in touch, I can’t wait until the time when my guild and bees can be back together. My Tuesday night sit and sew is now Zoom and Sew. The High Point Quilt Guild hasn’t met since March. The Applique Society’s annual meeting was Zoomed. Quilt shows and their classes have gone virtual. Technology has been my savior during 2020, but I miss the in-person-hug-your-neck meet ups. For me, one of the saving graces has been the Virtual Quilt Shows. Quilt shows which normally I would never get to visit have gone the virtual route not only with their quilts and vendors, but also with their classes. I’ve had the outstandingly wonderful opportunity to take classes with nationally known quilt artists in the comfort of my own studio. This week I’ve had two long-arm classes with Bethanne Nemesh. She was awesome.
I’ve depended on my quilting to help get me through this year. I’ve mentioned before that during the stressful times in my life, quilting and quilters have been a constant. The encouragement and support I get from other quilters have kept me sane. The ability to sit down and create something beautiful and useful during the times when my life has been complete chaos has kept me going when I really just wanted to stop and stay in bed.
However, the bright side to all of the time spent at home is how much I’ve completed this year! Unfortunately, several of these quilts are intended to be under the Christmas tree, so I can’t show them just yet. But I did finish a few things that aren’t destined for bows and wrapping paper and I wanted to share them with you.
In the past I’ve written about my journey with the Language of Flowers quilt pattern by Kathy McNeil. I’ve completed this block:
This isn’t an easy pattern, but it was one of those which bit me hard as soon as I saw it. I loved the colors and I’m a sucker for floral applique. Generally, when I’m working with an applique quilt, I finish one block completely – from start to finish – to get a feel for how I want to proceed. Do I want to do all the applique and then the framing or do I want to complete each block before I move to the next? For this quilt, I think it will work better to complete the applique before moving to the scroll work that frames each block. I’ve also finished the second block, altering some of Kathy’s flowers to better suit me.
I’m this far:
Into the third block.
I am seriously loving this quilt. It is so much fun, and I find hand applique exceedingly relaxing.
In a move to keep our guild members in touch with each other, Susan proposed a quick mystery quilt. We found a weekly clue in our email either Sundays or Mondays. The end result was this:
Which is perfect as a fall table topper. I’m still working on the guild’s Block-of-the-Month. Despite the fact we’re not meeting, we’re still able to pick up our blocks from Susan. We let her know we’re dropping by her house to pick the blocks up and she leaves them on her porch. Everything is socially distanced. I chose the batik color way:
Since my grand darlings don’t read my blog, I can show you their quilts I’ve made for part of their Christmas:
I will bag these with night gowns and robes, a mug, cocoa mix, and a book for each.
Then there’s this pile of block units…
Which will grow up to be a quilt pretty soon.
And lastly, remember this stack of blocks for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden? I finally finished all my blocks. Funny story about the blocks…three times I sincerely thought I was finished with all the blocks. I counted and re-counted but every time I laid the blocks out, I was missing a few
(just because I can do math doesn’t mean I can count). I finally did get all of them made as well as the six half-squares. I’m adding the green diamonds which join the blocks and am really close to sewing my first two rows together. This is taking a bit of time, since the entire quilt is hand pieced.
While I have really, truly disliked this virus and the way it’s disrupted everything in our lives, I am thankful for a couple of truisms. First, we do live in a wonderous time. A hundred years ago when the Spanish Flu ran rampant through our cities, little more could be done than wear a mask and social distance (although they didn’t call it that). However today, we have so much technology on our side. I know there are disagreements about what works and what doesn’t, but on the whole, we are really blessed. We not only have some of the best minds in the world working on treatments, therapies, and vaccines, but we’re also able to share that information with a point and click of a mouse. When you think about how far we’ve come and in such a short amount of time, I can’t help but feel we’re going to lick this thing before long.
The second truth I’ve realized is quilting is still my constant – just as it always has been. Prayer and quilting have gotten me through some rougher patches in my life and they’ve both kept me sane through COVID. I do love my quilting groups, but the thing about quilting is it’s really a pretty solitary hobby. Quilting may provide the stitches that keep us together in guilds and bees, but it also is that still, quiet place where we can go to re-center ourselves and set our lives in order. And in 2020, I am so very thankful for that.
Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane … And quilt on.
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam