I would be remiss if I did not add my voice to those others saying Rest in Peace Davy Jones. It would be foolish to say that our Monkeys on the Porch group did not partake of singing various Monkee tunes at various retreats. In a world where rock stardom and drug/alcohol abuse seem to go hand in hand we could find worse pop rock idols than the Monkees. I’m sure when we are all together in a couple of weeks for retreat that we will play and sing along and raise our glass for Davy.
So what are we working on now? Well, I can’t speak for everyone else but I can say that I dug through my pile-o-projects and found this little number here. What it really means is that I have a lot of tracing to do because I am definitely not doing this by hand. It will be machine appliqued, thank you very much. Otherwise I might never get it done. Just ask the penguins… I purchased the kit while on a visit to Blanche’s home. It’s a different colorway than depicted on the website, but then I probably purchased it 5 years ago. A project from 5 years ago?!?!? And you haven’t even started it? The madness! If you feel that way you probably don’t really want to know that I haven’t finished the first quilt I tried to make. It is called Sam’s Quilt (version #3 was the option I chose) and of course I had to make it big enough for my king sized bed. Every now and then I get the blocks out and look at them. No way am I taking them apart to fix them. They shall go together just as they are so I can see just how far I have come. Have you finished your very first quilt or is yours still hiding in your UFO stack like mine is? Pictures are always welcome!
I should probably mention that I started Sam #3 about fifteen years ago. At least I think that’s about right. That’s when I had met Inez, our current quilt/cult leader (the title is based on a crazy dream I had where Inez was really a vampire in disguise and was grooming me to be the next leader of the vampire cult. Somehow the cult members were all quilters. Honestly, I don’t drink before bed.). Somehow I had this crazy idea that I could learn to quilt. I call it a crazy idea because I didn’t own a sewing machine let alone know how to thread or use one. That’s where my super helpful husband came into play. I borrowed a machine from my aunt and my husband had to teach me how to use it. He drove me to the class (which would take place in a quilt shop and last overnight) and dropped me next to Inez and with a good luck and a wave he was out the door to his own freedom for a full 24 hours. Meanwhile I was still trying to reconcile what a bobbin was and why my machine needed one. Inez is still recovering from that overnighter. Thankfully I am much past that now! Since it was an overnight class I ended up staying up all night working on these blocks, one step at a time. I didn’t get them all finished during the class and that’s okay because of course classes are mainly there to teach you technique so you can go home and finish them on your own and possibly with different fabric than you had initially picked. I even still like the fabric I had picked for this project. Most of it is still in its own labeled Ziploc bag waiting for completion. I think the braided border got a little time-consuming and I moved on to other things. Oh, I don’t think I mentioned that it was a fairly complex block. Here you can see a version that had been printed in a magazine. Did I mention that it is also on point? Yep, great things for a truly new beginning piecer. I think it is a little surprising that I continued on. The next quilt I wanted to make was this one with fabrics designed by Bonnie Benn Stratton for Quilt for a Cure. Please notice the diamonds and fussy cutting for the center. I should mention here that I don’t like to pin. Inez has pointed out to me numerous times that in order to put this together I’m going to have to pin it. It is still in my UFO pile.
Every now and again I get it out and do a little more work on it. I really had just fallen in love with the fabrics and I shopped every quilt store I could to find the fabrics. No one had them and one shop went so far as to tell me that all the ladies in those magazines pull scraps out of their stash so you’ll never find those fabrics. She wouldn’t listen no matter that I had a magazine indicating that it was the new Plantation Line from Northcott and wasn’t a from a quilter’s stash. I left that store very disappointed. I also never shopped there again. Thankfully I’m fairly strong-willed so I didn’t give up there. I decided I was going to order the whole kit. Only I got distracted by something shiny and forgot. A couple of years later I found the magazine while cleaning and sorting our my craft area and wondered if they could possibly still have the kit. I was too nervous to call them but my husband knew what it meant to me and he called for me and talked directly with Mr. Bonnie Benn Stratton who not only still had the kit available but also had one or two backing pieces left! My faith in quilters restored I also spoke with Mr. Bonnie Benn Stratton and promptly paid for the kit and one of the backings (which is a lovely blue cobblestone). It is still in my craft room and all the fussy cutting is done and the diamonds are also all cut out just waiting for me to pin and sew them together. I still love this not-yet-made quilt and someday I intend to finish it. Probably not at this retreat though. Diamonds are hard. And they require a bit of pinning.