Friday, May 29, 2020

I can't breathe...

The pandemic made Maya lose her mojo for sewing, she said.
Mari wrote that she was in deep despair.
I understood but did not share their despondency.
So we have to isolate. That is all. We quilters are good with that. Work and Play continued.
Paul supplied all the hugs and my life went on largely unaffected.

Infections soared and death toll hit an ominous milestone while lies and misinformation flowed fast and free. There was no news that was not directly or indirectly related to the pandemic - what led to it, who is responsible for it, how do we see our way out of it...and so on.

On Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, one of the participants joked - I'd love a "toddler fell down a well" story right about now.  Paul and I laughed.

And then there were stories. Yes, non-pandemic stories. And I could not wish them away.
And now I am in deep despair. I have no mojo. And I am a mess as I type this. But I must.

I know I will get it together, dry my tears and wipe my snot on the sleeve of the t-shirt and begin sewing again. But not now. Not this minute.

Right now I am going to cry and scream. I am going to mourn the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and I am going to grieve over the cruel murder of George Floyd.

I am saddened and I am angry and I am frustrated. Mostly I am disgusted.

What is the color of sorrow?  Anger may be red but what is the color of disgust?
Why is hatred so white and why is hopelessness so black?

I am in this deep pit of sorrow and despair.

Is there any hope? Yes.
I listened to Jacob Frey, the Mayor of Minneapolis, and I saw hope, in spite of his brutal honesty.

Is there anything I can do? Yes.
Here is a list of things that I can do.

If you know of any quilters honoring these black men and their memories, please let me know.

Although the vaccine for Covid-19 is in the works and will become available within a year, I don't know if America will ever have a vaccine to prevent racism.

Here is a community poem shared on NPR - echoing some of my thoughts but with greater eloquence.

I wish it was just the pandemic...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hunting for the Hunter (Green)

Here is a picture of my stash yardage - most of it at least.
Can you find Hunter Green?

My Stash

No. Cause we don't get along.

I love the grassy greens of the fresh cut grass.
I love the fluorescent greens that sparkle.
I even love the jewel tones of the emerald green.
Bring me your Jade, Pea-Soup, Parrot, Peridot, Avocado, Lime and Apple greens.

May Blocks - Project#2 for RSC 2020

But I draw the line at Hunter Green and Forest Green.  They are dark and depressing.
They are the colors of dangerous shadows lurking along the wooded path.
They are the colors of rotten spinach, sticky and stinky.

Paul: Hey you cannot just get rid of a color.
Me: No, I cannot. Clearly.
Paul: I am sure some people love dark green.
Me: I do too - in very small quantities.
Paul: Like how?
Me: Like this picture - just a wee bit in between the bright blooms.

The right amount of Hunter/Forest Green

Paul: So what are you complaining about?
Me: I am complaining about a whole month dedicated to Yucky/Mucky Green.
Paul: Looks like you completed the assignment.
Me: Of course, I did. I cannot whine about something I did not do.

At this point, Paul rolled his eyes very loudly and walked away.

When I was working on Mixed Feelings, I needed these greens - Hunter, Forest, and Pine.
Mari sent me a bulging envelope of dark green scraps so that I could complete the project.  I acquired a few darker greens when I was making the Bush Fire Blocks, to ensure the trees had the entire spectrum of values.

Thanks to Mari's scraps, leftovers from Bush Fire Blocks, freebies from the Guild Potluck Event (that may never happen again), and some fabrics that were part of FQ bundles, I had enough to address this month's RSC challenge.

And yet, I could not bring myself to look at these dark and depressing fabrics. So I resorted to the Oreo Cookie.  Oreo Cookie Approach to unpleasant issues, that is.  When you dislike something, sandwich it between two pleasant things.

To lessen the burden of dark greens, I played with my joyful (happy and bright) scrap vortex blocks before and after, like leaders and enders.  That pig is so cute.

Scrap Vortex Blocks :-)

And here are my completed blocks for May - RSC 2020.  Sharing with Angela's Linky Party.

Found the Hunter

Swirling UFOs

A little Sparkle to brighten the Dark Green

Palms and Wood Grains

In these dark times, do find something that brings you calm and joy - be it your favorite podcast, a few minutes of meditation, or a nature-walk.  Spring is in full-bloom and it is such a salve on frayed nerves. Just like I saw this month's RSC assignment through, we will get past these trying times.

While I was thinking about Mari, she was thinking about me.  This arrived in the mail last night.
My very large cup of scraps runneth over :-)

Thank you Mari :-)

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. As usual, your comments are a salve to my hurting-for-a-hug-physically-isolated soul.

Friday, May 8, 2020

A Warm Tribute

The Quilted Legacy Blog Hop is an effort to honor the legacy of Paula Budinger, who passed away earlier this year.  Paula blogged at and later at Many of us knew her through her blog and quilts. Paula loved colorful, scrappy quilts, and made kid quilts for Project Linus. Paula also studied quilt history, learned dating old quilts, and collected antique and doll quilts. 

To celebrate Paula's life and her love of quilting, some quilter-bloggers decided on a blog hop where each one of us shares a quilt we make for a charity or a cause close to our hearts. The quilts we share are as varied as each one of us. Hope you will take a few minutes to learn about Paula and visit other blogs to see the quilts made in her honor.

Paula Budinger

No blog hop can be complete without a giveaway. So let me get those rules out of the way.
Every comment (on any blogpost in the blog hop) is an entry to win one of the great prizes!  Yes, you can comment on multiple blogs. Janice will aggregate the comments and select the winners with a random number generator. The giveaway ends on May 15, 2020.

Here are the prizes: 

And this the quilt I made.

The Finish

The story follows:

The year was 2005. I was working in Fort Lauderdale as a junior planner, where Steve was a Senior Surveyor. We connected over our love of Indian food.  One day, I brought to work home-made green shrimp curry and uncooked rice. About 11:00 AM, I switched on the rice cooker. I still remember that lunch :-) Steve enjoyed the meal and I was happy to share it with him.

When the company lost the contract, I was let go.  In a few weeks I found another job but I had to move from Florida to Maryland.  When Steve found out, he came to my apartment with 20 packing boxes. Just like that. I did not ask. I wasn't even sure if I needed them, but he knew better.

I used them all.  More than once in my life, I have received exactly what I needed when I needed it.
The universe knows it all.

The concept

On the day I had to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore, Steve offered to drive me to the airport. I was carrying three large suitcases, while the rest of my stuff was on a truck headed north. When we arrived at the airport, Steve helped me with the luggage.  And then as I fumbled with my shoulder bag to check my ticket/boarding pass, an airport worker/porter materialized.


I have a feeling Steve motioned to him. What happened next happened so quickly that I am still unsure of it. Steve tipped the guy a $20 bill (I think), which he pocketed, nodded to Steve and effortlessly moved my heavy suitcases to a cart.  I looked aghast at Steve and then at the porter and at Steve again. Steve smiled, wished me a safe trip, waved and left.

On the Design Wall

We did not see each other again but have stayed in touch through Christmas/Holiday cards.
We speak over the phone every couple of years or so.

Steve has a son, Eric, who is about my age. Eric is a fire-fighter, is happily married (to Amy) and rescues and fosters dogs.

81st Block - Puppies

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related anxiety, I felt the need to reach out to Steve.  We chatted for over 35 minutes, talking about work, family and the uncertain times. When Steve mentioned that Eric was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment, I knew I had to make a quilt.

Completed Flimsy

Twenty strips 6" by WOF in fall colors was the starting point.  Combined with solid jelly roll strips, I would get 80 blocks, 7" by 9" (finished size). I needed 81.  My solution for the 81st block was a puppy fabric - a nod to Eric's love of dogs.


I used wool batting, faded chambray wide backing (from Connecting Threads) and orange binding.
Quilted sparingly to maintain softness and loft, using my walking foot.

70" by 90"


I had a few fabric scraps left over. Added a few matching batik fabrics and made two zippered pouches.  One for Steve's wife Jeri and one for Amy.  

Scraps - Repurposed

The quilt is in the mail and USPS tells me that it will reach its destination today.
I am not going to ask but if Steve sends me pictures, I will update this post.

A Warm Tribute

This quilt was already in the works when Janice was setting up the blog hop.  The timing of the quilt just magically coincided with the blog hop. And here I am - once again - marveling at the miracles of the universe.  I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Update - May 22, 2020

The quilt reached its destination and Steve sent me this picture.

Eric's Quilt

A few days later I received two cards - one from Eric and Amy and one from Jeri and Steve.

My heart is warm but my cheeks feel wet. Stay safe my friends.