Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Quilts Complete...One to go...

Was clearing out my sewing stash and found a hand pieced quilt top that my mother had made from scraps of cotton left over from our toddler play clothes.

The rabbit feed used to come in cotton print sacking, about 1 yard/50 pound bag. She used the cloth to make shirts for my Dad and cute little outfits for my brother and I.

What better project than to divide it four ways and make heirloom quilted snuggles for my grandkids! Uh-huh, hold that thought, but then do a fast reality check and discover that I no longer HAVE any toddler-sized grandkids!

I inherited that quilt top and carried it around with me for 20 some years, always intending to do something with it; it's about number one on my Bucket List.

Now I know why she didn't ever finish it. The white pieces were from old recycled sheets, and are full of tiny rust stains and other marks that she probably couldn't see while she was piecing it all together.

She made the squares while doing night duty obstetrics, sitting in a darkened room, waiting for babies to be born.

However, such blemishes aren't an issue if what we want is something the kids can use right away and not have to worry about 'saving' a priceless antique. It's been saved too long as it is. In fact, some of the fabric is pretty fragile.

So, I carefully unpicked a seam down the middle, dividing the top into 2 lengths 4x7 squares each. Since they live in California, heavy batting and backing aren't necessary. I didn't want to buy more fabric, but none of the rest of my stuff seemed to go with this colorway. Fortunately, Target was having sale on their fleece blankets ($10!) so I bought a couple of those and used that for backing.

Then I tacked it all together using button quilting. :) Since the buttons can be sewed on by machine, it really saves the old fingers. That old cotton sheeting is really tough as leather!

All is not complete, however, since I have 3 grandchildren and only 2 quilts done, so for the baby (who, I have it on reliable authority, is now big enough to ride all the rides at Disneyland!) I needed to whip up another blanket.

I had some fleece remnants that were soft and bright, so cut them into squares with pinking shears, pieced them, and floated them onto a bigger piece of fleece, folding over the extra to make edge binding:

Then I tacked it together with button quilting, too. The buttons are vintage, as well as the fabrics, being from my button box, which contains inherited items from two grandmothers, mother, sister and mother-in-laws.
[Note how the buttons cleverly conceal any misaligned corners on this stretchy fabric that might be seen, otherwise...]

So, these three little quilts finished some projects on my bucket list, were fun to do, and will be perfect for tweens, because they can wrap up for movies on the floor with them, take them on sleep overs, or sit out on the deck in the sunshine to read a book. Well, in my household, at least, they would never be allowed to use 'good' blankets for those activities, LOL.

Meanwhile, I have finished the 9-point star patches begun in the mid 1970s and pieced the quilt top together.

It just needs a backing and filler, because it is for me and I live where WINTER happens... Maybe I'll go back to Target and see if their cotton sheet blankets are still on sale. If I float the top on woven cotton, with one of my washable wool blankets sandwiched between, and tack it firmly with lots of buttons........

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Movin On -- Ur Doin It Rite!

A dear friend finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer a few months back, and had kept us all up to date with a blog.

Now his widow continues to share with her own blog. It's very moving, includes pix and some poetry that are her way of dealing with the grieving process. Susanne is a writer, and has put into words most beautifully what I -- and many others, I'm sure -- have experienced.

This poem today really hit the spot for me, and works for so many loved ones gone.

Stay or Now Go?

I rock in your chair, and lay in our bed
I sleep with your shirt on, your jacket nearby
I wander the rooms, touching the dreams
Of a beautiful life we once led

I hold in my hands the things you once touched
And ask do they stay or now go?
I hold in my hands the intimate wear
And ask do they stay or now go?
I hold in my hands the books you once read
And ask do they stay or now go?

Some things are easy, a moment of thought
Some things are hard, and wake me at night
Some things are…just things
Some have layers of memory
Some mean more to others, and less to me
Are these things you? Are they me?
Perhaps yes and yet no
And I ask do they stay or now go?

When you live in my heart in permanent estate
Do the things even matter? Do they stay or now go?
Does some of you linger on all of these things
How much do I hold, do I care?
Some day they’ll be dust, irrelevant, gone
It’s your life that must matter, not things

And yet, there is comfort, though bittersweet tears
When I touch what you touched, and wear what you wore
They do bring you close, help me feel you nearby
So, I’ll choose at least some of the things to now keep

~ Susanne Mariella Alexander, October 14, 2009

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh, for Heaven's Sake!

Under the heading of people who clearly have too much time on their hands...but isn't it cute, anyway?

Baby watermelons...not!

I mean, what's not to love?

But I'M not gonna make them!

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