Monday, January 11, 2021

Transitions


My kids are in the process of moving back to college campuses. They leave on different days but by the end of the week, I'll be an empty nester again. I will miss them more than words can express, but I know they are going to be right where they need to be. They are looking forward to having a few classes in person, doing some hiking, snow skiing and other outdoor adventures. The boys will both graduate in May, who knows if they will have a ceremony or not, but they will complete their studies and I couldn't be prouder of their hard work and determination. Kelly is thriving in Veterinary School in spite of all the quarantine restrictions. 

I am embracing the new version of my 'work life' and actually scheduling more teaching and workshop events in the later part of this year and next year. Do we dare hope that life will let us return to a few of the things we love? I am still teaching via ZOOM and will start longarming again next month. And if I get organized, I might even have another QUILT SALE, so keep an eye out for that. I have had lots of requests, I just need to make it happen.

I signed off on the final version of my first FABRIC LINE for Blank Quilting Fabrics last week. I am so excited that they will be available for shops to order in April. They won't ship until fall, but you can bet, I will be announcing any updates here and on social media and everywhere!!! LOL

Physically, I am recovering from surgery and regaining my health faster than I dared to hope! My stamina is still not what it used to be, but I am so thrilled to feel better and get back to my lovely 2 mile daily walks with Boomer. We both missed those! And Buddy is doing really well on his 3 meds. He continues to have a good appetite and energy so we are just thankful for the time we have left with him.

And I've been pretty quiet about what's going on in our country right now. Honestly, I'm at a loss for words. I am horrified that there are so many people in this country that have such hateful feelings. I'm clinging hard to the idea that MOST of us are just as bewildered and disgusted as I am. I can't claim to understand, much less explain, the how and why of it all. I just want to live in a way that lifts other people and brings them hope. Right now, I'm still not sure how to best do that. Just know that I am on the side of peace, equal justice for all, dignity and humanity, and loving my neighbors the very best I can. I condemn violence of any kind and hate has no place in my life. 

Now let's all go find a way to make someone else's day better. I know it makes me feel better when I do that. Hugs and love to all of you!

Diane

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Mystery Block of the Month Step 4

 

Step 4


FIRST

 Cut each block in half directly through the middle. Rotate and repeat the opposite direction.

This will create four units that measure 5 ½’’ x 5 ½’’.



CUTTING

Cut 4 strips 2’’ x 5 ½ ’’ from one fabric for each block.

Cut one square 2’’ x 2’’ for each block.

SEWING

Sew a strip to opposite sides of the square. Press toward the square.



Sew the remaining strips to the side of 2 units. Press toward the strips.


Make 2.

Sew the remaining two units to the opposite side of the strips. Press toward the strips.


Make 2.

Now sew the pieced strip/square/strip unit to the side of the unit/strip/unit. Press toward the strips.





Repeat with the remaining section.

Your blocks are now complete!


Queen Size- 36

Throw Size- 20

NOTE: I used the same fabric for the center square in this step for all blocks. You can also use the same fabric for all the strips for all the blocks, or a different fabric for each block strips. 


Go HERE to print the instructions. Scroll down to the end to see the latest step.

See the Introduction post for more options and details.
If you are sharing your progress on social media be sure to use the following hashtags so we can find you!

#butterflythreadsquilting
#mysteryblockofthemonth2020

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Monday, January 4, 2021

December 2020 Instagram Review


Sneak peek at my new fabric line, cozy bed, snuggle buddy Boomer
Early evening light, amazing sugar cookies, Buddy in his blue sweater
A video of Boomer snoring, SNOW, Christmas dinner
Noah's Saints quilt, Christmas Tree, delicious dinner from friends

Being 'carolled' by friends, sewing blocks, a new book
Boomer waiting to play ball, a grateful heart, Buddy snoozing
Fantastic movie, Boomer in bed with me, pain meds
Morphine is my friend, a new needle ring, I voted!

Kitchen table view, Buddy, all wrapped up and ready!
Pre-surgery COVID test, best donuts ever, lights
Merry Christmas to me, collage quilt, the review
collage progress, quilt puzzle, 'Sparkle' the snow-star

excellent book, party in a cart, the birthday boys
she finally got her diploma!, graduation, gorgeous bracelet from a friend
Christmas quilt, Boomer, binding
Mystery Quilt Along, ruler work custom quilting, collage progress video

This month was all about Christmas, surgery and recovery, and staying home. It was cozy and snuggly and I couldn't have asked for better help or kinder offers of support. Your outpouring of good wishes here and on social media really meant the world to me. The meals, the cards, the gifts and the love kept me going.

Please know that I respond to every single comment left here on the blog unless you are a 'no reply' (default setting) and then I can't reply. Just know that your words are read and very much appreciated.

Let's hope January is a month of more rest and recovery, connecting with friends, and a return to quilting! 

Stay healthy and warm friends!

Diane

Saturday, January 2, 2021

One Little Word 2021

Made by a student in one of my workshops from the pattern in my first book 

Many of you are familiar with the "One Little Word" concept. It's basically selecting a word to carry through the year with you. It's not a resolution or a commitment. It's not a plan of things to do or to avoid. It is simply a representation of an idea you want to visit from time to time and see how it appears in your life. Perhaps how it inspires you or surprises you. 

I've chosen a word a couple of times over the past decade and honestly, I usually forget them or abandon them by March. So I haven't really connected with the concept in a meaningful way. However, this year, I feel like a word selected me. It sounds odd, but I was thinking about whether I should bother with this idea again (it's been a few years since I even considered it.) And while I was considering the obvious choices like... endure or persevere (we did just survive 2020!) My thinking settled on how little control we really have over life and many of the events that impact us. Feeling exhausted and worn out, I wanted a word that was the opposite of how I was feeling. 

And then it hit me. I can't control much of anything in life, but I can CHOOSE how I respond, what I learn and which direction I go. I can CHOOSE to be bitter and sad, or I can CHOOSE to learn a lesson and embrace a new idea. I can CHOOSE to feel sorry for myself or I can turn to my friends and experience the love and support that is always being offered to me. I can CHOOSE to move onward rather than quitting. It's not going to be easy (when has it ever been?) but I CHOOSE how to react. 

So this year I am going to remind myself daily that it's up to me to CHOOSE my attitude, my actions and my experiences. 

Best wishes and lots of love to each of you for 2021!

Diane

Also, please note the following...

Go HERE to see more about the One Little Word concept.

Go HERE to sign up for my newsletter (I might actually write one this year!)

Go HERE to download the free patterns that you want (some of them will be going away soon.)

Go HERE to book a virtual or real life visit for your guild.

Go HERE to shop and use the code ZOOM 2020 to save 20%  for a limited time.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

What 2020 Taught Me

 


2020 Taught us all so many things we never expected to learn. I know this has been the worst year of my life, hands down! When I feel like crawling back in bed and hibernating until spring, I try to remember a few things...

Butterfly Threads Quilting

My business was booming. After years of hard work, I had a calendar full of teaching engagements booked years in advance. I was traveling and meeting wonderful quilters. I was enjoying the interaction, the inspiration and the creativity. Teaching is in my soul, and it was so satisfying on so many levels.

COVID changed all of that. No teaching. No travel. No quilters. No income. Full stop. 

It was heart breaking and sad and I still feel so unsure of what the future holds. But the huge void of my business disappearing left an opening for a couple of opportunities. I learned how to teach on ZOOM. I learned how much quilters need to get together and share (even if just virtually) and that I'm definitely not alone in the feelings of missing my quilting people. 

I also had the time to say YES to the amazing opportunity given to me by Blank Quilting Fabrics when they asked me to design a line of fabric. I have no idea what the fabric industry will even look like next year, but I know it's been the biggest blessing of 2020 to flex my creative muscles in a new direction and feel so much support and enthusiasm in the process. 

I learned that even in the darkest hours, sometimes a new opportunity will surprise you!

My Kids

My 3 bright beautiful kids were all enjoying their college lives when they found out that suddenly, they would be learning from home. There were tears and frustration and so much sadness. Kelly missed her senior year celebrations and final goodbyes. The boys missed campus life and friends as well as vital in person instruction and interaction. 

I was thrilled to have them home and they inspired me every day with their determination to make the best of things, rarely complain, and always do their very best. I know starting Vet School online has been so challenging for Kelly, yet she keeps working with determination that amazes me.

By watching the way they all developed new routines and coped in creative ways, I learned that I too wanted to try harder to embrace new ways of doing old things.

My Dogs

Caring for two senior dogs and a wild golden retriever keeps life interesting for sure. I have loved dogs my whole life and always had at least one as part of the family. So when my little 14 year old Lhasa Apso was diagnosed with advanced cancer, I really wasn't surprised. I am very deeply sad that he will be leaving us soon, but I am determined to love him fiercely in the time we have left. Grief is so real and so bitter. I'm going to miss that nutty little snuggle buddy. And while I grieve him, I know his sister will be joining him probably within the year. 

It's the almost unbearable price to be paid for all the love they give us, but I've learned that it is so worth it!!! 

My Friends

I have chosen some really amazing women as friends. They have circled around me and loved me and supported me through this wretched year. When I had my hysterectomy, they brought meals, and sent cards and even showed up and sang Christmas Carols in the front yard! They have texted and emailed and called and never let me feel alone for one minute. 

When I've been sad, tired, lonely, overwhelmed and discouraged, my friends have never let go. When life events (too awful to mention here) tried to crush me, they were always there, and continue to be. 

I learned I choose friends really well! 

I learned I am stronger, wiser, and more determined that I ever realized. 

My wish for us all, is that we treasure what we've learned in this most challenging year ever, and use the wisdom and knowledge that we've gained to give us courage and grace in the new year.

The flipping of the calendar doesn't take away any of the heartache, but it is a clear reminder, that time moves on, and so do we. I know I want to move into the new year with a kinder heart and an open mind. Know that I am grateful for each and every one of you that are on this journey with me. 

Much love,

Diane

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Time to Share


I only made one quilt for Christmas this year and didn't want to share it so as to keep it a secret. But now that it's been gifted I can show you!

My daughter's boyfriend is a huge Saints Football fan and mentioned earlier this year that he would love a Saints quilt. That boy is so cute and so helpful that I would be happy to make him any quilt he wants! 

I found some Saints fabric and used it in the border. I collected my black and white fabrics and sorted through them for fun (an some funny) prints that he would like, and then bought a yard of gold fabric as nothing in my stash really worked with the Saints printed fabric. I know, I was shocked too! LOL

I wanted to get it done before my surgery on the 17th and have it wrapped and ready to go, like all the other gifts. I didn't know how I would feel afterwards and I am SO glad I got everything done prior to surgery. I slept for most of the following week. 


Using simple four patches and half square triangles, I created large blocks. I had the Accuquilt shape for the Fleur-de-lis so I just fused the gold fabric, cut those and fused them in the dark diamonds created where the blocks joined. And because I could not figure out how to make the border fabric turn the corners in a way that looked good, I just extended the gold inner border to separate the print fabrics. 




I quilted it on my longarm with black thread. One of the things I like to do with black and white quilts is to use all different shades of black and everything from pure white, to light grey to off white and even cream. I think this give it a old look and keeps it from being a modern quilt. Sometimes I like modern quilts, but I didn't want that look for this quilt. 


Needless to say, his face lit up and he was thrilled! I'm so happy he is happy. That guy has done so much for me this year, and he totally deserved a quilt of his own. 

Now I'm going to share this on Facebook and would love to have you share your gifted quilts from this holiday. I mentioned in a post before Christmas about last minute sewing and got so many replies, so I know y'all made quilts and I know many of you quilted until the last minute! No judgement here, I'm just happy that you made and gifted quilts! So I'm looking forward to seeing all of them!!

I hope your Holiday was special, and that you are safe and healthy.

Much love,

Diane

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Secret Holiday Sewing

I asked this question on Facebook recently and have really enjoyed reading all of the wonderful responses. I am so glad to know that I have lots of good company! We can do this friends!!!

I will share my gift quilts AFTER they have been given so as to not give away any secrets. 

I'm very pleased to say that I only have one binding left to do before I can say I am completely finished! Granted I kept expectations low this year as I am having surgery the 17th. I am only scheduled to stay one night in hospital, and then I can come home to relax and enjoy the holiday. My kids will be here to take good care of me and my dogs will no doubt offer lots of snuggles.

So if I don't post for a bit, just know that I'm thinking of all of you! I plan to listen to books on Audible, catch up on my blog reading, put together a puzzle or two, and take lots of naps! Who knows, I might even stitch something if all goes well. But mostly, I plan to take it very easy and just relax. I hope I can remember how to do that! LOL

Good luck to all of you in your holiday prep and don't forget to take a little time to pamper yourself, you deserve it!

Hugs,

Diane

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...