Monday, April 25, 2016

Design Wall Monday and More

It's been a long time since I've posted. 
"Life" happened and I chose to deal with that rather than post here. I know you've all been there and done that, so you understand.

Be sure to scroll down toward the end of this post to see some wonderful pictures I took while I was away. Even with my limited photography skills, they are BEAUTIFUL!

Now, back to quilting...

I have a few projects that are in different stages of completion and although they are not technically "on" the design wall, they are the projects on which I'm working.

I belong to the Cleveland Modern Quilt Guild and we had a "Black and White Plus One" challenge. I loved the idea and had already been thinking about a project like that, so I was thrilled when the challenge was announced. Here are the fabrics I chose.

I recently bought a pattern by Elaine Wick Poplin ( called Mad as a Hatter and knew that it would be perfect for the challenge and fabrics. (Of course I made some changes. Don't I always?)
Here is the first step. I love the little punch of blue! I was only going to make a small wall hanging (hence the nine blocks here), but quickly decided to make it a little bigger. I would have made it much larger if I had more of the blue! 

After some slicing, dicing, and rearranging, this is the quilt now. I LOVE it! I was playing around with border options to make this larger, but thought that the borders just messed up the overall look. This is small - approximately 38" x 50", but I'm ok with that. I still have to quilt this and will bind it in the blue.

My 16 Patch Kaffe fabric quilt top is done, but I don't have a picture of it with the outside border.  

I had partial strip sets left over so I decided to make a smaller version of the quilt so it could be used on the day bed that is in the same room where the larger version will be used. I had to make some adjustments here; and instead of a 16 Patch block, I made 12 patch block. This worked out perfectly because the day bed is long and narrow, so the elongated blocks are just what I needed. The picture below shows my two border fabric choices. I chose the one on the right and was thrilled to have enough of it to use for both quilts. Unlike the fabric on  the left, the fabric on the right had been used in the quilt so it all flows nicely. Plus, the fabric on the left has a brown background to it, rather than black like the blocks. I love it when things work out well.  :-) 

I'd love to say that I will have these all quilted soon, but I doubt it so I'm not even going to pretend that will happen. I am still playing catch up from when I was gone and I will be starting a long-term sub teaching assignment shortly that will last through the end of the school year.
What's on your design wall today?
Check out the eye candy at
Remember those pictures I mentioned?
They will follow this brief background.
I had the honor and privilege to spend almost two weeks with a loved one as she approached the end of her life. I stayed with her and her family, helping as needed. Most of us don't want to talk about death and dying, but the fact is that it is a part of life. Yes, it is a sad part, but it is still a part.
During my time with them, I helped with giving medicine, taking care of any and all of her physical needs, reminiscing about our lives, and just helping to provide as much love and support as possible. We all laughed and cried (a lot), but I knew my role there was important.  I know that many people will think this is strange to say, but it really was a beautiful experience.  
One week ago today, on April 18th at approximately 4:00pm, my sister-in-law Becky passed away surrounded by people who loved her. We knew it was coming, and we were as prepared as anyone can be. That morning, we were all awake watching the most beautiful sunrise that I think I have ever seen. It was so peaceful and beautiful that I knew that was the day she would go.
This is the view from the house and the room where Becky was. The picture does not do it justice. The colors were stunning!

I stepped outside onto the patio and took this picture. Do you see the ducks on the lake and the birds in the sky?
I sure hope this video works! Take a moment and listen to the sounds of Lake Michigan at sunrise on April 18, 2016. I will never forget this wonderful calmness and beauty.

We love you Becky!
And to bring things full circle...
After the burial, two of my granddaughters looked with wonder at the dandelions and made us laugh as they picked and played with them. They squealed with joy at this thing we so often take for granted and even curse.
Live, Laugh and Love every day of your life!



LA Paylor said...

I like your black and white blocks too!
LeeAnna at not afraid of color

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a lovely photo - you can feel and breath it. A blessing to be part of the final cyle of someone's life.

Vicki in MN said...

Sorry for your family's loss. Your Mad Hatter is gorgeous, thanks for the link to her blog!

Nann said...

What a blessing it was that you could spend time with Becky. I live a mile from Lake Michigan and I love the sunrises!
Your b/w/b blocks are great. I'm in awe that you got the skinny blue strips to line up in the reassembled blocks.

beth s said...

Sorry for your loss. Love your quilty projects. I hope working on them will give you the needed therapy during your grief.

m. said...

I'm a first time visitor here. I arrived from Beth shibley's Monday Making. I really enjoyed every bit of your post. I like that bit of blue in your black and white quilt. I love your Kaffeeklatsch Fassett 16-patch. My husband bought me a fat quarter bundle for my 59th birthday, then he arranged the blocks I pieced. Got the top done for 60th birthday/40th anniversary. I will quilt mine sometime this summer. But we like it too much to take off our bed!
I had the privilege of being with both my mom, and later my sister, as they finished their lives on earth. End of life is a special time. Thank you for sharing.

m. said...

Oops! Crazy autocorrect! Kaffe. Not Kaffeeklatsch!

Bonnie said...

Your Mad Hatter is wonderful. I like that blue a lot and yes, amazing that you got the little blue line to line up so well. Your thoughts and pictures on your last two weeks is very thought provoking. I'm sure your presence there was a help to all of the family members. A sad but, in its way invigorating time for you. Definitely that day will stay in your heart for a long time.