Monday, August 27, 2012

Peggy's Quilt

          Before I get into this post, let me just say that if anyone has a tip for keeping my photos rotated, lay it on me.  When I edit my pics, I go through and rotate all the sideways ones.  Opening the album  they look sideways, but when I click on the individual photo it opens in the correct orientation.  So far, so good.  The trouble recurs though when I upload them......back to sideways.  Argh!

Now I will return to a proper post.
Back in April, one of my close friends at work who I have known for close to 30 years, lost her husband suddenly.  We were all in shock.  Wayne was a good guy and they had a lot to look forward to with their three kids.   I hesitantly offered to make her a quilt from his shirts and she took me up on it. 

She gave me a bag of shirts and I stacked them up for inspiration. Blue must have been Wayne's favorite color. I was grateful for the neutrals and the green and yellow. Lemme tell ya though, that green gave me a real run for my money. Wonky, flimsy, and stretchy. But very soft which is always nice in a quilt.


Cutting into the shirts was difficult and I was glad my friend, Peggy, wasn't there.  It was a melancholy task.



 I had this pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew that I wanted to try and I thought it would look good with the shirtings.

Those arrow blocks are a little fiddly to make but I really like them. Not a good choice for Mr. Stretchy Green Plaid though!
Each arrow block produces a bunch of leftover half-square triangle blocks which was a nice bonus. I started playing with them.
Ugh! Please forgive the sideways picture.
In the end I used the half-square blocks to make a center medallion and worked around it. I spent forever trying to decide how to get this together. I didn't want to add any fabric to the front that wasn't from his shirts. I pieced a scrappy border and included a piece with his company logo embroidered on it. You can see it in the upper right hand corner of the picture with the orange embroidery.
I did use some of my fabric on the back. Sorry no picture. I picked something 'shirty looking' and manly. (Hey! Make sure you read that right, I said shirty!)   


 I was a little nervous when I gave Peggy the quilt.  I didn't want to make her any sadder than she already was, but she really liked it.  It was a great project and I am glad I did it, but I think I got depressed working on it.  Between the long work weeks and the crazy stress of our new work environment,  I really fell into a slump this summer.  Thinking of how suddenly Peggy lost her husband and how it could happen to any of us, I spent a lot of time thinking about my life, what makes me happy and what doesn't, what relaxes me and what stresses me.  I'm a natural worrier and some times my 'worry list' is longer than others.  Having two kids in their early twenties who are trying to find their way and 'purpose' in life seems to take up more than a few lines on that worry list.  In addition, my current position at work includes a lot of management responsibilities which is a source of much stress and doesn't make me happy.  Last week I had one shift ( the first in over a month) where I got to be a 'real' nurse.  I need more of that and hope to get it.   I haven't been happy at work and that has spilled over to other parts of my life as well, lousy diet, poor sleep, and too much reclusive time.  I'm working on it though.  My husband is a good listener AND we had a great weekend away in New York City.  We saw a great play off broadway and went to jazz and comedy clubs as well as walked, shopped, and walked some more.  In spite of a spectacular face-plant I performed on a sidewalk resulting in impressive bruises (yes, I was wearing heels), we had a wonderful time.  I also made the decision to cut back my hours at work.   I'm pretty excited about that and I think it lifted my spirits right away.  The fact that I'm blogging again is a good sign.  Sorry if this post is a bit of a downer but life just isn't all puppies and rainbows.  Puppies are cute but I'm more of a cat person, lol.  I'll find something bright and cheerful for next time!  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nag, nag, nag.

 Sometimes you just need a little kick in the pants.  In the last 24 hours, three different people have asked me when I was going to post again on my blog.  I'm sure no one will believe this but I had promised myself to post this week.  Honest.  I have off from work this week and blogging is on my extensive list of things to do.  So this is for you Mom, Hannah, and Michele. 
I didn't realize until just a few minutes ago that I never really showed finished pictures of my sewing space.  For now, here's one shot.  My little manx cat, Rosie, sacked out on my table.  This is how I've been feeling for most of the summer.............tired.  I wish I could say that it was getting easier at work but no such luck.  I'm not working as many hours as I was, it's down to 45 per week, but the stress level is still outrageous most days.  The good news is that at the end of September I will be cutting back to 32 hours a week, condensed into 3 days.  Yippee!  I am so grateful to have a boss who understands when someone needs to adjust the work/life balance. 

I have gotten some sewing done this summer.  Here are some of the highlights.   A couple baby quilts for work friends.  This cutie is for a gal who is having a girl after having twin boys four years ago.  I had to make it very girlie.  I can't get over how sweet the pink and yellow are together and I really need to revisit this combo again soon.  I found the pattern from Heather.  I can't find the actual link, sorry.

Another friend is having a boy in a couple months.  I used an Accuquilt die to make the puppies for this.
We had a nice week at the beach in June.  This was my favorite spot every day.  Sangria anyone?
More recently I got hooked on grannies.  Lori Holt from Bee in My Bonnet started a quilt-along that inspired me.  Go here to check out the 'Great Granny Quilt-along'.
It's 'great granny' instead of 'granny' because there is an extra round.  The center square is the 'baby', the four square round is the 'mommy', then the 'granny', and lastly the 'great granny'.  These blocks are seriously addictive.  I am close to having 25 finished.  Stay tuned for a longer post about them.
To celebrate my first day of vacation, I made this today.  I am going on retreat later this week with my Wild Thread friends.  We are going to the Double O again where Colleen Tavener will spoil us rotten.  She is an awesome cook and I saw her wear more than one different apron while we were there so I thought I would make her one.  I found the tutorial here from Maureen Cracknell.  It was so quick and fun to make.  I have three more cut and ready to sew up.  I have not added much to my stockpile of gifts but I plan to add a few of these to the box. 
All right peeps,  I got the first post done.  I promise more to come.