04 September, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

There's a certain urgency about those last, waning days of summer. As Labor Day approached and that fall calendar loomed there seemed to be a much more deliberate effort, on my part, to make every last summer minute count for something! Maybe it's a throw-back to those inevitable "how I spent my summer vacation" assignments of days gone by, or maybe it's that recognized realization that at this time of year, when school begins again, there's that "starting over" opportunity.
Whatever it is, there's been a surge of activity around here resulting in projects seeing new beginnings. One such project is really three in one. The strip pieced quilt blocks (above) and the tumbler pieces (right) are combining to become Chicken Soup quilts #1 and #2 for gift giving at Christmas. This summer I amassed a very healthy low volume fabric collection. I ended up with enough fat quarters to begin construction of not only these two (in the 60" X 80" size range) but also had sufficient leftover scraps for three hundred 60 degree diamonds to stich up this, a keeper quilt too! By the way: cutting all those strips and diamonds took days to for me accomplish, while cutting the 400+  tumbler shapes took about one hour with the Accquilt cutter! Take a look at that little hen piece and the words "she quietly chuckled" printed below, my feelings exactly about using the ever-efficient die cutter! Directions for that Sunday Morning strip-pieced quilt mention acheiving a random look by throwing all the strips into a brown paper bag, and mixing them up well, and simply grabbing them out one at a time for stitching together in that fashion. Well, I'm here to tell you, that random isn't easy for this quilter! I do love the results but I find myself second guessing every single selection!

The dining room table continues to hold the photo archives, what a major project this has become! Each photo triggers a memory and it has taken much fortitude to avoid repeated trips down memory lane and stick to the path of organization. The piles grow taller as the identification and documentation, year by year, goes on. I recently saw some first day of school photos on Facebook with kiddos cleverly holding large ordinal numbers displaying their school grade. Oh, how I wish I had done something similar when our children were younger! I have many "1st day" photographs that are undated and struggle to differentiate third grade from fourth or even fifth! Sigh. The urgency behind completing this project has become the fact that I can't clean any of this up until the task is done; setting this up front and center in our home was the best idea, there's no avoiding this responsibility anymore once it's spread out before me!
That looming fall calendar that I mentioned above signals the return of Quilt Ministry on Thursday mornings at church. The stewardship committee has requested tri-fold information boards from each standing committee and ministry to be on display as part of this years Stewardship Fair for their Every Member Response campaign. I began on Saturday and got this much done, (yes, this has been a long-standing summer assignment!) Hannes would like very much to be a part of our display, I believe he'd be a great asset in recruiting new members; today I will add selected photos, quotes, and the remaining information to the board to round out the Quilt Ministry's presence and plan to get it all set up down there tomorrow. A trip to the local Scrapbooking mecca for cardstock is on today's agenda; it's difficult shopping there while wearing blinders as I am always bumping into things, but that's a necessity! I avoid that place like the plague only because it represents yet one more path that I don't ever need to venture down; but, oh, how tempting that diversionary route appears to be! And so...one more summer is, officially, in the books; and what a wonderful summer it's been. 
How did you spend yours?
Life is Good!

10 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

even though i am addicted to color, i love your low volume quilts so far....very serene indeed...

Janet O. said...

I love your Chicken Soup quilt idea. They will be well-loved, I'm sure. I wonder if any feigned sickness will occur to have the privilege of cuddling in the quilt? : )
I applaud you on your photo progress. When I did this I had no dining room table, so I had a stack of boxes that I would drag out every Sunday afternoon following Church and the family was recruited to help get as much sorted and labeled as we could before stacking them up and tucking them in a corner for another week. Sometimes it was really hard to keep the family on task and stop taking all of those side trips down memory lane. I hear you!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

You do indeed have some lovelies in that low volume collection!!

Paula, the quilter said...

What ever happened to that old saying about the lazy days of summer? As I age, I find that summer is hectic between the family and friend commitments, garden, work and, of course, quilting. I have been scanning in my 35mm negatives so I can have the photos digitally. My goal at the present time, is to just get them into the computer. I will later process them enmass. I have been pulling out the not so good quality fabric from the stash to use in quilt practice sandwiches.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, Love your squares-I have never used a graphic cutter like you mentioned but I'm sure it would save time. Before we moved here to Colorado, the church I attended in Ca. have a quilt group-it was wonderful. We made chemo quilts for children, wedding quilts and baby quilts. Haven't found anything like that here-but I keep busy enough making quilts for our family. Thanks for sharing today; I don't scrapbook and love keeping all my pictures on the computer. You are one talented lady!
Blessings, Noreen

straythreads said...

you accomplished a lot this summer Good for you!! your photo piles are so organized love the little tents! good thing Thanksgiving is 12 weeks away.

Nane said...

I don't even feel like we have had Summer. Everything has blurred together since traveling to China. I have always loved Fall and the settling into a new routine. I also look forward in a way to shorter days thus spending more time inside cooking and doing projects. And I know that is a bit strange as much as I enjoy outdoor activity. Good progress on those chicken soup quilts!!

Laura Davies said...

That's funny. I have a hard time doing 'random' as well. Wonder why that is?

sandra said...

Your summer is waning, ours is coming. I can't wait. I Have had enough of cold miserable weather! Although I might complain about the heat occasionally. I like your low volume quilts, they look very soothing. Can you please tell me what a chicken soup quilt is? I googled it and couldn't find out.
Is it a quilt with a bit of everything in it? Hannes is very cute in the photo. If he went to church I don't think anybody could resist joining quilt ministry!

LizA. said...

My goodness, I feel like such a slacker after reading this. You are my shining example of organization...I will strive to be more organized. I'm with you about the random...I have the hardest time with that. I think Hannes is a great ambassador for your quilt ministry. What a little darling he is...