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Made With Love

So, while Nancy was still visiting two weeks ago, one morning I had my idea for the quilt I wanted to make for the Pulse tragedy. Thinking that quite a number of them might be going to men, I decided I just could not do an entire quilt front of hearts. Don't get me wrong, I do like hearts, but do men? I was thinking not so much. I drew my idea which was pretty good, however, Nancy suggested instead of spaces between the lines, I should put them side by side. Much better! Then I fiddled with it a little more after finishing my previous project. As you will soon see, I chucked part of the idea.
Should you be tempted to think this all comes easy for me, think again. I am terrible at planning, as well as the math part of quilting. Furthermore, I usually cut as I go, rather than the entire project, thus, while making the last quilt, I ran out of the white fabric I was using for both piecing, and the empty squares. It helped not one whit that I'd cut 21 squares 6", instead of the required 6 1/2"! Thinking I'd purchased the white at Wandering Stitches, I made a trip over there with no success. The young woman working there suggested maybe I could do an alternate color, something that in the store looked somewhat like a light gray, however, at home it looked like baby blue to me, and I set it aside.

Well, was that serendipity, or what? As my sketch above shows I'd planned on a baby blue for the sky, the colors of the rainbow like a pulse (stretch your imagination there), and a small heart. And then along came Mary with the absolute perfect fabric for the binding, not to mention the backing material pictured above. God is good.

As the mother of a gay son, how could I not make something that might bring a tiny bit of comfort?

Although the design is super simple you might be surprised to learn that sewing long strips of fabric together is not nearly as easy as it looks because the fabric often gets a little wavy the more strips you put together. I used the trick of sewing one strip from the bottom, the adjacent one from the top and so on, which seemed to help. And then there is the matter of straight line quilting which, again looks simple, and it is until you lose your concentration for a second and the line goes astray. It helps greatly to have the walking foot I showed you before, as well as a guide to follow. Keeping your  eyes focused on the tip of the guide, you can do a remarkable job. My mind wanders, if you can imagine!
To the left of the walking foot you see two lines quilted quite close together which in my little world was meant to signify the hope of never walking alone. Sorry, just can't help myself.

I did a practice run on the little heart applique, sewing all seven colors together, tracing a heart dish B gave me for Christmas, and using the blanket stitch, it went pretty well for a novice. Joining the ends of the binding stymies me most times, however, this time it went together like magic. Here's my awesome needle threader gadget with the needles ready to finish up the binding.
So here we are, all ready for the washing machine before I turn it in.
While finishing the binding I watched a FANTASTIC documentary that tells the story of the legendary Carter family. Called The Winding Stream, if you are a music fan, don't miss it!!

A little close up of the aforementioned heart, quilting, and the binding which is like icing on the cake.
Remember how I mentioned I can't do a thing without help from everywhere? You've noticed I mentioned Mary again, as well as Nancy, but how about Bruce who works so hard allowing me the time and money to do this sort of thing? And then there is Irene, Pam's friend, who I've learned so much from about quilting. I'm pretty sure we are kindred spirits in some ways.

She sent out a request to accompany her to an estate sale this morning over in Audubon Park. How crazy is this....the large home is on the shores of Lake Rowena, with several streets leading to the house. I chose to park on one of the roads a few streets from the house because I knew the crowds would be large. Amazingly, I pulled up, and there was Pam who'd also chosen that street to park. Seconds later Irene texts us saying we should park on such and such street...Pam replied, "we already have!" Crazy, huh?

Pam, dressed for her Pilates class, Irene, and myself, walked up the beautiful tree lined street, entering a wonderful home filled with fair priced treasures.
You already know I have a love/hate feeling regarding estate sales, however today Irene may have turned my thinking more to the love side. She said she hoped people would find pleasure in all that she'd collected during her lifetime, and I kind of hope the same. The rooms were filled with people, amazed at the prices, the lowest I've seen at an estate sale in a long time. Here are some of the goodies that made their way to our home. Not only are there eight hand embroidered linen placemats, there is a little runner as well. Plus, the napkins with bird eggs!!
I kept wondering about the woman who made these and now I know something about both she and her husband. Sounds like pretty amazing people to me, so I am now honored to have a part of their life. As an aside, his brother is also a physician, a neurosurgeon whom I worked with in those long ago days as an x-ray student!

Who could resist a little Fiestaware dish for $2.00? Not this blogger!
Nor could she resist this beautiful cake stand made by Aynsley.
In fact, I think when I finish this I'm heading into the kitchen for a little cake baking just so I can keep it on the counter for a few days! I wonder if I have enough carrots for a carrot cake? Doesn't that sound tasty? Actually Bruce is working from home today, and his idea is that I should buy a fake cake in order to keep it on the counter all of the time. :)

I bought two books, one, a signed copy of the Rowena Restaurant cookbook, which will only mean something to long time Orlandoans. Speaking of long time Orlando residents, if you are of a certain age, you will have gone to the Infinite Mushroom near Colonial Plaza. Sadly, our  high school classmate Nancy Noyes, who ran it first with her Mother, followed by our friend Phyllis, died suddenly last Saturday. You just never know, do you?

There was just something about this children's book that had my name written all over it. Little did I know it was the first book by Arnold Lobel who went on to write the Frog and Toad books.
Who also, as it turns out, in spite of being married to Anita, and fathering Adrianne and Adam, admitted to his family in 1974 that he was gay, dying from AIDS 13 years later.

No, you just never know.

On a lighter note, I've written not much about this growing out my bangs business because it has been painful. Resorting to barrettes and headbands, I am happy to report that the Duchess of Cambridge is sporting a headband here. I can now go around with a bit more confidence knowing she's wearing one!

Happy weekend my friends,

Gail
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