Sunday, August 30, 2015

Quilt Stories - There's No Place Like Home 2015

When I first saw this pattern

Streak o Lightnin
Janice Pope
which you can purchase here

It was being offered as a class at my local quilt shop.....

and I just couldn't settle on a colorway.   We didn't sell jelly rolls at the time.. so no help there....  several folks went with a lovely deep blue/white theme.. but I just wasn't feeling it.

But I WAS feeling a fabric.... which is how things often begin with me.  It's name was Christmas Rose.... but it was clearly a poppy.  That aggravates me to no end.. isn't it silly?

But it was red and green with a little gilt on the edges..... and I do like sparkle!

And, since they were poppies...... well, the other color needed to be my yellow brick road..... so I went with about 8 shades of gold & yellow.  And changed it up.... I wanted the stripes to go vertical rather than horizontal...

quilt top

I also ended up skipping the triangle point border because the quilt ended up pretty BIG!  I did think the border is a brilliant way to use up all the little angle points I cut off the strips...... but I am stitching the triangles into squares for my scrap collection.  And I had plenty of gold strips left to stitch together for a scrappy binding.

quilting done and binding started.... ready to finish the binding by hand and the label

I am pretty proud of this beauty.... completely stitched on my little sewing machine.... and finished!

Always there to remind me that happiness is right here in my own backyard!


Post Script.....  When I made this quilt, of course my mind was continually filled with the story of the Wizard of Oz....  and I was reminded every time I worked on it [or even looked at it afterward] of my beloved daughter, Brenna.  My intention was for her to have the quilt eventually... when I was tired of it...

I didn't get tired of it... but my girl bought a new house... her very first!  And this quilt - all of a sudden - was no longer mine, but hers!  I still need to make her a quilt from start to finish.... but she has the first of her inherited ones!

Friday, August 28, 2015


As I look around my life.....

A year after my turning point

4.5 years after my first real breaking point
2.5 years after the final breaking point (because I will never allow this to happen to me again!)

I am grateful

Grateful that I can finally begin setting small goals again.

But the enormity of the task ahead overwhelms me

The yardwork I have let slide....
The sorting and cleaning

Hanging pictures, even...

Overwhelms - but also excites.  I am ready to let go.
To rely on me.

I probably should have gotten help

But that hadn't worked for me in the past.... counselors who didn't listen, who preached their own message. 

I needed to be heard
By myself most of all.

I am not sure if depression cost me YEARS....  or if it took YEARS to bring me to a place

of self discovery and courage to stand up.

I have spent many years listening and protecting and nurturing others.
It's not so much now that I need to be nurtured - though that would be nice :-)
But I need to nurture my own self

and I'm ready.
It's time.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Quilt Class and Decisions - Day 2 Hawaii

Excited and nervous this morning...

Hubs needs to go in to work..... and I need NOT to sit in the hotel room waiting for him to get back...  so after we shared breakfast (tried a malasada - which is a wonderful pastry!) and he left...... it was my turn to occupy my morning..

I located another quilting class besides the one I already registered for on Saturday... apparently there are several traditional classes around here at various places....  and I found one.  And it's not too far.. about a mile using the route we walked together yesterday.   You will laugh... where I live.. it is almost 20 miles to the nearest traffic light... so bear with me a little as I tell you how nerve-wracking it is to go a mile in the city!

But it's a friendly city with tons of crosswalks, lights for pedestrians and laid back drivers... so nerve-wracking.. but good!

The class was held in a food court in a lovely open air mall.  Open air is one of the lovely things about Oahu.....  many establishments are open to the sun and breeze... and birds. (More about the birds later!)

Two ladies.. I wish I had gotten their names!..  brought cushion kits.. with Hawaiian quilting motifs already cut out and basted.

It was amazing to me that these ladies worked with all of us - some participants had never stitched anything ever.  For all my concerns, I am definitely already experienced with a needle and thread!

This took up the morning and I made some progress on my chosen project:

I learned a lot of little tricks about needle turn applique.  I think I will really enjoy putting this together.

Afterwards - since this was a food court, I planned on eating here... BUT... <deep breath>  I did not want to eat at a regular franchise I patronize at home..... but I couldn't figure out what to order at the others.  I slowly wandered from one to the next trying to decide....  the two that intrigued me the most were a PHO place and a Japanese curry place.  So many people though.. who knew exactly what they wanted.. and I didn't even know what was offered :-)  I just saw the very fresh veggies.... anyway, I was getting hungrier and a little more than frustrated so I left and headed back to a place and a different menu I knew.. Hard Rock.

I was a little disappointed in myself before I realized that I was eating at a restaurant ALONE and feeling quite relaxed and SAFE.  And that is a HUGE accomplishment in itself!  Does that make sense?

I am discovering quite a lot about me on this trip... and I need to give myself a few gold stars for getting out there and DOING IT!  NOT berate myself for what I DIDN'T do.

This was enough for me for one day though....  I spent lunch trying to decide what to do next.. I mean I SHOULD be doing something, right?  Maximizing my time and all that?  But as I searched inside myself - I came up with a dozen things to do.. but didn't really want to do any of them.  They felt like SHOULDS. 

So.... in the absence of a true desire to do something specific, I went back to the hotel and enjoyed some pool time!   I am determined to spend my time figuring out what I WANT to do.. and not run around doing what I SHOULD>

Since my husband is supposed to work again tomorrow, I DID go ahead and spring for a trolley pass for all 4 lines....  I am thinking that tomorrow morning, I will hop on one of the trolleys and ride it around seeing the sites... and then hop on another one...  and spend the day wandering around!  Sometimes I berate myself for being so afraid - but I have come to realize, I am NOT afraid - I like to have a plan.. I NEED to be prepared.  Once that happens, I don't care how things actually fall out.... it's kind a mental prep I need.

Got one postcard written and spent my afternoon sunning like a cat!  My husband is not a beach or pool guy.... and I AM!  The pool is close enough for him to reach me and me to get to him in a reasonable time frame so that is where I hung out before he got back!

He didn't get back til late and was bushed... so a quiet dinner and evening in the hotel.  I got more sewing done..... and he crashed!

and there ya go... Day 2 comes to a close...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Making a List and Wandering .. Day 1 Hawaii

It used to be that when we'd take a vacation,
I'd have a plan.

Because I homeschooled the kids... so before we went anywhere...

I knew what the sites were nearby wherever we stayed.
I knew where the grocery stores and gas stations were
I knew what public transportation was available.
I knew the restaurants we would try.

But now it's different
Educating children isn't my focus.
Feeding a family and handling those little crises isn't my focus.

I don't know what I want to do.

So I have a little battle going on inside between what I OUGHT to visit (READ: what used to be important) and what I FEEL like doing.

And my poor husband... well, he usually did whatever I planned out

And now... he has to weigh in.

Our vacation is about us.

Do we want to go to a tourist site?
Do we want to go to the beach?
Do we want to try new foods? 

So... today was about wandering around the hotel, getting a feel for what we could reach on foot.

We found a cafe and had pancakes... a nice hearty breakfast after that long, long flight... and I tried coconut syrup. [YES! to trying new foods!]    Hmm... shall I take some home?

We found that Hard Rock Honolulu was within walking distance and one of my few collecting vices is Hard Rock beer glasses.

I found post cards and got one written.... I do want to get cards out to the grandkids before I get home again.

And we talked.....  about this and that and what we wanted to do this week away.  And mostly I think we just want to enjoy time together...  but we do have a list now.... with the things most important to each of us... so we have a focus.

I did escape and go to the pool.  My husband does not like the pool or the beach... and I don't want to wander off too far without him... so basking at the pool was my afternoon choice!

He will be working tomorrow and I have a quilt class to find.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Day of Travel... to Hawaii!

Do you get it?

That pit in your gut that feels like nerves?

That place between the discomfort of leaving home and the fear of what is happening next?

I LOVE that feeling!

When you leave home the best you can
    and are beginning the journey of moving forward into NEW.
Is it a role change?  I mean - I have things i usually do at home... and then I do move into vacay mode.....

Is it simply new surroundings?  Where you are a little off balance because you don't know exactly where you will land and what you will do or feel.

That in between place is where I meet me.

Where I have no role

No responsibility

except to


Once you enter the system... ie check in at the airport.. surrender your luggage... 
You kind of lose your identity.. you are just a tiny piece of a humongous system...

 a BIT.  A tiny, though significant, piece of information being shuffled around from address to address. No longer in control of your movements.

Sometimes all goes well.   Sometimes not. But its not your responsibility. You are just there. Your part is to BE. To place your concerns in some one else's hands
Sound scary??
It can be
But for me.... More often,

its freeing.  
Because here is one place I am absolutely not responsible. 
I can't even convince MYSELF that I am responsible. 

So I rest


and have no questions pestering me about what to do next.

Success, failure
It has nothing to do with me
My role is clear

and I enjoy!

I do love to fly :-)