It was a wonderful, restful weekend. Our weather has been so nice. Last year, the fall was unusually hot, but since it was our first one here in Southern Virginia, I thought it was usual. I swear that we turned the air conditioner off and the furnace on in the same week sometime in early November. This year has been different and we have had the windows open and the AC off for over a week now. Another thing that is different than last year is that we have an oak tree in the back yard. Last year it was full of acorns and we had trouble sleeping at night (when we could open windows) because of the sound of the acorns falling and crashing through the branches. This year there isn't a single one! Does anyone know anything about oaks? We have had plenty of rain all year and other trees are full. We don't even have any more squirrels than usual.
There was some excitement on Saturday. On Friday when I finished my version of Nabby's Dowry, I emailed the picture to Pam Buda. She put it and a link to my blog on her facebook page. At the time, I hadn't "liked" her page so I didn't know about it until Saturday morning when I read her reply to my email. I wondered why I gained a few new followers on Friday. Welcome to any newcomers!
For you brand-new visitors and frankly, some who have been here for a while, it is time to update you, or inform you, about my current 3-5 year project. At the beginning of 2012 I signed up to receive Sue Garman's Block of the Month called Sarah's Revival.
This is the photo of Sue's quilt--not mine!
A quick count will tell you that there are 36 blocks. Four are identical and form the center. Then there are the appliqued borders as well. Sue designed it from an antique quilt made by Sarah Holcomb in 1847. I fell in love with this quilt for several reasons. The first is that it is mostly red and white. The second reason is that I wanted a challenging applique project to work on. And third, and most influential, this quilt's antique inspiration was the Pennsylvania Dutch's art form called "Scherenshnitte." a form of decorative, folded paper cutting. When the missionary women introduced the native Hawaiian women to quilting, they showed the children how to cut folded paper as well, into shapes like snowflakes. The women didn't like the way "patchwork" looked--all the tiny pieces sewn together, but they did like the paper-cutting. The native Hawaiian textile, Tapa--a fabric/paper made from the bark of mulberry trees--often was printed with large graphic designs, so the native women adapted the look of the tapa and the decorative paper cutting techniques to develop their unique style of quilting. Since I was in Hawaii at the time this BOM came out, I thought it was a great way to achieve a medley of my own desire to attempt the Hawaiian-style applique mixed with my own quilt preferences. I may actually substitute one of the block patterns for a traditional Hawaiian block.
How am I doing? Well, last Wednesday at my bee, I finished my 16th block.
I have only really been working on it at bee, and then not always. I could say that I'm not sure why. I enjoy doing applique, but I will confess the truth to you all: instead of doing handwork while I watch tv these days, I seem to occupy my hands with my laptop. Blogs, Facebook, Email, Pinterest--they seem to have more appeal to me than the hand-stitching. I am happy to report, though, that since I finished the 16th block, I began another and have been spending time working on it and am almost done with it! I really want to refocus my time and get going on this project again.
I use the back-basting method of applique, and like all forms of needle-turn, the more you work on it, the better you get. My sporadic time working on it has not helped my workmanship. I am going to "encourage" myself to work on it everyday. When I finish 4 more blocks, I'll be half-way finished and maybe that momentum will encourage me more!
I read on Sue Garman's blog that she has heard from other people working on this project that they have renamed it "Sarah's Revenge!" Have you ever read her blog? I think she gets more quilting done in a day than I do in a month. Of course she only writes her blog once a month, probably doesn't read any, and maybe isn't on facebook or pinterest! That's life, though, we make our choices.
I hope you all have a great day!