Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hunkered Down

As are most folks these days, my family and I are hunkered down, trying to "flatten the curve" and avoid catching the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  I haven't been out of the house since March 11th, so I am on Day 16 of self-isolation.  We are all of us in the "high risk" category, so we're being pretty careful.  The Kid and The Potter have both gone out, but only for essentials, like groceries, taking the mail to the post office drop box, walking the dog and that sort of thing.  And, except for last weekend when we had some beautiful weather, it's too cold and rainy to want to go out much anyway.  

Our lives now aren't really that different from before all this started.  We don't go out much at the best of times.  But I do miss going to the store and I really missed my quilt guild meetings!  The Potter had to cancel a class he was going to give, and a lot of his selling opportunities, like the Spring Fair, have been cancelled.  And of course, we all miss the occasional meal out.

We live about an hour from Seattle, out in the boonies, so we are a little more isolated than the folks in Seattle.  But there are many people who live out here and commute into the greater Seattle area for work.  So, we're not completely out of danger.  Really, I don't think there are many places left in the U.S. that aren't in danger, looking at the news and the maps of the outbreaks!  These are very scary times for all of us!

One would think that with all this time at home I would be in the quilt studio, just sewing away.  But no, that's not the case.  I've been obsessively looking at my smart phone and all the terrible news.  My anxiety has been so high that I can't seem to focus on much of anything else.  So I am working on NOT looking at the news so much (just once a day) since at this point there's nothing happening very quickly, and trying to do some other things.  

How are you doing?  How are you coping with the world being topsy-turvy?

I've been playing the piano, trying to reduce my anxiety.  It works some. It's also frustrating as I'm out of practice, but I know the cure for that!  I also have been messing around in the quilt studio, but not focusing on any one project.  I did get one project sewn into a top, but I can't show you that as it's a secret for now.  I need to make a baby quilt pretty soon and have decided on the pattern, but not the fabrics I need.  So that's probably what's up next.

Very Very Mary
70" x 95"
This is my quilt that I named Very Very Mary, as it's made of lots of Mary Engelbreit fabrics.  There's a story for this quilt, of course.  

before quilting
I started the quilt at a quilt retreat about 20 years ago.  I had a lot ME's fabrics that I loved, so I decided to make the quilt with the Yellow Brick Road pattern in a twin size.  Well, when I was finished putting it together (minus the borders), I was kind of horrified at how very busy it was!  I was so disappointed that it didn't come out like I had envisioned, that I put it away and forgot about it for about 20 years.  It might not have been that long except for the fact that we moved in that time and I "lost" some of my sewing projects for a few years. 

corner star detail
Then, last year when it was almost time for the quilt show and I had only finished one quilt, I thought that was kind of a poor showing on my part so I decided to take this top out and see if I could finish it in time for the show.  First I added the red inner border.  I was going to do a different, pieced outer border, but decided to keep it simple.  I think the dotted border calmed it down some, as well as coordinating with the Mary E look.  I also found a little 6 inch star that I had done, so I made one more and put them in opposite corners in the border for a little whimsy.

the back
Then it was time to make the back.  Well, I found tons of ME fabric that I still had.  Lots of panels for pillows etc.  So I thought I might as well use up what I could of that and made a busy, scrappy back.  I had the long-armer do an all-over simple pattern, as I thought any quilting just wouldn't show too much with all that pattern!  So, it's really a two-sided quilt!  And I still have too much fabric left!  

back detail
At the quilt show, it was hung so you could see both the front and the back.  It's still a very busy quilt, but it's done!

I've learned an important lesson with this quilt.  I don't really like the whole "everything and the kitchen sink" approach to quilts anymore.  It was fine when I started, and it still works for some scrappy quilts, but I'm happier now with some "breathing room" in my quilts.  If  I were to do this quilt again, I'd definitely do it differently!   Isn't it funny how our tastes change over time? 

Happy quilting and stay safe and healthy!

Edited to Add:
I don't know what happened to my photos.  I've returned them, but don't know if they're in the correct order. Sheesh, blogger!  What's up?