Saturday, February 26, 2022

Keepin' It Real: Everything Breaks in February, But the Quilting Must Go On

Um, GOOD MORNING!  How was YOUR February?  I haven't written anything in so long that I don't know where to begin.  Do I just pick one or two things to share with you, or do I just dump a hundred and fifty photos in this post without explaining any of them?

Nothing terrible has happened to me over the past month, just lots of compounded nuisances on top of everyday concerns and I've been focusing on trying to stay on top of customer quilting while putting out fires left and right.  Here's the short version of my adventures over the last few weeks: car battery was completely dead the morning I had a dentist appointment for a routine cleaning, could not be jumped, had to reschedule my appointment and replace the car battery.  Then when I went to the dentist a few days later, instead of just complementing me on my excellent home care and giving me a free toothbrush, they told me I needed FIVE old fillings replaced.  The novocaine from all those new fillings had barely worn off when the garage door opener died and needed to be replaced.  Let's see -- next disaster was a cracked hopping foot on my longarm machine and then I stripped my needle set screw, neither of which was a big deal besides sucking up time.  Then we woke up to find water dripping down through the ceiling in the second floor hallway and discovered that our hot water heater in the attic had blown and flooded its drip pan.  Lovely.  Hot water heater replaced, but now there were water stains on the ceiling and if you've tried to hire anyone to do work in your home over the past year or so, you know that everyone is booked so far out into the future that you don't know which will come first -- availability on the painter's schedule or the Armageddon.  So my husband has been on ladders painting ceilings himself and I've been contemplating paint swatches for walls and cabinets when I'm not upstairs quilting, because (like everyone else) I've been spending way more time in my house over the past two years and I am sick of looking at these walls everyday.  Oh, and my espresso machine has blown a gasket and started spewing water all over the place, just to taunt me.  The way this month has been going, I wouldn't be surprised if the roof caved in before the end of the month!

See?  Nothing catastrophic, just a lot of distractions eating up time that I might have been blogging.  But you didn't come here for any of that, did you?  You came for the quilting!

Ginny's Tree of Life Quilt

Abundance Design Stitched in Glide Thread, Color Sea Mist

My client Ginny made this scrappy Tree of Life quilt as an anniversary gift for her husband, incorporating scores of different fabric prints that she has accumulated over the decades of their marriage.  We chose the Abundance quilting design by Karlee Porter because of the way it suggests vines, brush, and forest undergrowth around her tree.  Knowing that quilting designs generally disappear against busy prints, we chose a thread color (Glide in Sea Mist, affiliate link) that would blend more against the dark greens and browns in the tree and stand out a little more against her lighter valued background fabrics.

See How the Quilting Shows Up More on the Lighter Fabrics?

The piecing design of this quilt is so interesting to me, like the Pointillist paintings that look like random dots of paint up close conveying images that only appear when viewed from a distance. The curving, scrolled lines and circular berries of the Abundance quilting design soften the angular lines of the patchwork seams while enhancing the sense that the central tree is truly teeming with life.  We used Quilters Dream 80/20 cotton/poly batting (affiliate link) for this quilt.

Ginny's 87 x 94 Tree of Life Quilt

MaryBeth's Sunflower Quilt

Next up is another quilt that reminds me of Impressionist paintings.  This sun-drenched batik beauty was pieced by my friend and very first client MaryBeth, and it reminds me of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit we attended together with all of Van Gogh's sunflowers swirling around the walls and ceilings.  

Crazy Daisy Stitched in Glide Thread, Color Bright Gold

MaryBeth likes her quilts to be soft and snuggly and she always tells me "Don't make it too stiff!" 😃.  To that end, we chose Quilters Dream Bamboo (a bamboo/silk/cotton/Tencel blend formerly marketed as Quilters Dream Orient) batting because it's the softest, snuggliest, cuddliest batting I know of.  The quilting design is called Crazy Daisy, also from Karlee Porter, and I stitched it in Glide thread in Bright Gold so it would blend into the fiery batik fabrics and stand out in shimmering contrast against the blue sashing fabric.

Here's a shot of the whole quilt:

MaryBeth's 54 x 75 Sunflower Quilt

Isn't that pretty?  The back is just as beautiful as the front.  MaryBeth gave me a saffron tonal solid batik for the backing that shows off the quilting design:

Same Quilt, Back Side

I never know how much you guys want to see/read about in a single blog post, so I'll leave you with just one more little tidbit.  

Rebecca Got Up at the Crack of Dawn to Be On Television

Here's a shot of me being interviewed by Cheryl Brayboy of WBTV News in Charlotte earlier this month for a Queen City in the Morning segment about quilting:

Cheryl Brayboy of WBTV Interviewing YOURS TRULY for a Local News Segment

If I look tired in that photo, it's because I had to get up, put makeup on, and leave the house while it was still dark out in order to get to my favorite quilt shop (Sew Much Fun in Lowell, NC) to tape the interview with shop owner Drusilla Munnell and fellow Charlotte Quilters Guild member Marilyn Gore.  Y'all, I am NOT a morning person!  I'm lucky I didn't oversleep and miss the whole thing!

Me, Marilyn Gore, & Sew Much Fun Owner Drusilla Munnell

It was crazy trying to explain how to make a quilt from start to finish AND show off all the quilts in four minutes flat, but it was definitely a fun experience!  Also I am pretty sure it's the only time I've ever walked out of Sew Much Fun without buying anything, but my arms were full of quilts and their registers weren't up and running yet because the store wasn't open.  I was also in desperate need of CAFFEINE...

That's all you get from me today, but my cameral roll is full of quilty goodness that I'll be dribbling out to you in bits and pieces!  Hopefully nothing else in my house will break between now and the end of the month so I can make some progress on some of my own projects!

I'm linking up today's post with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Happy quilting, everyone!


Gretchen Weaver said...

You've had plenty of annoyances this month but 5 fillings replaced, I would have cried! All the quilts are lovely! Your quilting really compliments them. Happy stitching and I hope March is a better month for you.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what a month you have had!! but was so glad to hear you were still alive and kicking. Being on Tv might just bring you more local quilters and you will be busier than ever. Sorry about those old fillings that is never fun is it. The quilts are beautiful!!

Karin said...

That sounds intense but not unlike what we have experienced in our household from time to time. Funny enough, it usually happens one after the other and comes in threes. I was interested in reading about your cracked hopping foot. Have read on FB a number of posts where foot #96 just broke or fell off. Is that the foot that cracked on your machine?

Pamela Arbour said...

I really enjoyed your post. You have definitely had a February to remember! And you still got quilting stuff done. The tree quilt really surprised me because you started off with it being an anniversary quilt and the first few pics didn't look very manly and then you showed the whole pic! I am sure he will enjoy that! The next one was equally impressive with all of those bright colors. What a contrast from the first. I'm not sure you can actually show someone how to quilt in 4 minutes, but I am sure you did a good job! I hope March is smoother for you.

Sandy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all of the annoyances (= minor disasters) that have befallen you this past month, but maybe now things will level out and get back to normal! Your quilting, as always, is exquisite! I especially love what you did with that tree of life.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Oh that is quite a string of "inconveniences"! I'm glad for you that it wasn't serious stuff but geez! Quilting is lovely though and wow, now you're a tv star to boot? I always love reading your blog.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Wow, getting up before dawn to do that news segment is beyond the call of duty! I'm sure the segment was great. I know what you mean about Sew Much Fun, it is a fun store. I also had a run of bad luck this past month, maybe it is something in the air - two flat tires four weeks apart, shower leaking, unexpected problems with family - I'm ready for brighter days.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Wow. I'm so happy to read you again, one month without news was a little unusual. Eh bien, que d'aventures ! Heureusement que le mois de fĂ©vrier est court, avec tout ce qu'il s'est passĂ©, vous allez ĂȘtre tranquille pour une annĂ©e au moins ! Kudos to both of you for passing all the tests (especially the teeth ones!), and I sincerely hope it ends there.
Both quilts are awesome, and your quilting is a true enhancer. Thank you for sharing and linking up ;)

The Joyful Quilter said...

Wow!! That was SOME month, Rebecca!! Fingers crossed that the roof doesn't cave in before the end of the month and we'll be looking forward to seeing the quilts you were able to quilt (between all the "little annoyances".)

Vicki in MN said...

That was a crazy month indeed, I think you have gotten all the bad stuff out of the way for the rest of the year. Only good times and quilting ahead, right! Lovely quilts you got to work on.

Sharon Kwilter said...

Sounds like you have had quite a month. I know well how hard it is to hire contractors. I ended up hiring someone to remodel our basement so we could get an electrician out to our house. LOL

Kathleen said...

I am exhausted reading about that month! Everything is harder than it used to be - appointments, getting things fixed. I sure hope this is the end of the trying times for you! February is a hard month, without all the fun stuff you had. Those quilts are gorgeous - and of course your quilting is impeccable. How fun to be on a TV spot...but 4 minutes is not a lot of time to explain quilting. Here's to a better few weeks for you!

Barb N said...

When it rains it pours! Definitely fills the bill for your month. So sorry for all your small disasters. It reminded me when we returned home after my father-in-law's funeral to find our refrigerator died. We had a five-year warranty and because we were out of town, we called in 5 years and 2 days from purchase, so they denied the warranty. LG. Do Not buy LG anything. Ever. Congrats on being on a tv broadcast! How fun, even though you had to get up so early. Here's wishing you a boring March! said...

What a month! Surely March will be so much less "exciting!" Seriously, that was a lot of "extra" fixing! It is amazing how quickly TV segments go. I guess being on so early was actually good because you couldn't purchase items that were calling to you! Love your quilting on your clients quilts!

Jackie's Stitches said...

Is your interview online anywhere? I'd love to see it!

I would completely understand if you wondered "what will go wrong today?" after the month you have had!

Jill said...

It's nice to know you haven't fallen off. What fun being part of local TV channel segment. Maybe someone will get encouraged and become a new quilter. The decorative stitches on the black & multi-colored quilt caught my eye. Great way to use fancy stitches on one's machine. Coincidence, this month I too was at the dentist for routine cleaning and I'll be darn 5 cavities. It's a shocker. Happy sewing!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

OH Rebecca! How my heart aches for you! Talk about UNFORESEEN REQUIREMENTS..... Surely things will get back to normal soon.

The water damage is absolutely no fun! Maybe the new paint will perk up your spirits. I bet the TV segment was great! What an honor. You do such great quilting! You deserve the acknowledgment of your great quilting capabilities.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Oh my goodness, what a month! Meanwhile you've quilted two beautiful quilts and been on television. How many of us can say that?! The Tree of Life quilt is amazing! Hope your March is calmer!

Darlene S said...

Oh my gosh, you are famous. You've been on tv! How cool. Congratulations. As for all the things that break, you certainly had a large list for February. I just hope it is the full list for the year, if not a decade. Beautiful quilts and your gorgeous quilting just makes these quilts look stunning!

MissPat said...

Well, at least February is a short month! So things are bound to get better, right? All of my major appliances are between 16 and 27 years old and I live in fear that they will all break down at once.
The Tree of Life quilt is absolutely amazing. The quilting seen on the back of the sunflower quilt shows up so well. What a great design. Hoping for calmer days for you and your hubby.

Pat at Bell Creek Quilts said...

so sorry that life can you sooo many curves! your quilting looks awesome on them!

Allison said...

Oh! Wow! I think I would have been left feeling completely crushed by all those break downs!

The yellow and blue quilt is particularly poignant now the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag is being shown every day for the saddest of reasons.

Pam Dempsey said...

Wow, you have been through it! I love your hair!!! Does the style have a name?đŸ˜»