Sunday, September 25, 2011

Who Needs a Plan Anyway?!

  Once again, I was a "biking widow" this weekend. Randy is on a 4 day bike ride from Burlington, IA to somewhere in Wisconsin, camping along the way. His idea of fun. I planned on hours and hours of uninterrupted sewing time.
  I don't do well with plans! I'm more of a spur of the moment type of gal. I stayed up late Friday night reading a good book, "Halo" and slept in till 8 AM Saturday. I still planned on those long hours of sew time. I showered, had coffee and doughnuts for breakfast while reading the newspaper, all as I had planned. It went all wrong when I took my cup and plate to the sink. Looking into the back yard, I wondered how my koi were doing since the nightly temperature had started dipping into the 40's. I thought I'd just go out and feed them real quick before heading to my sewing room.
   Big mistake. I went out and my koi seemed fine. They came to the surface begging for food. I gave them a big scoop of food and watched them gobble it up. While they were eating, I casually looked around the back yard. It was badly neglected this summer while I stayed indoors working on the quilts for my book. Normally I describe myself as an avid quilter and avid gardener. Not this summer. The hosta beds are almost maintenance free, but the sunny garden requires attention. Oh, it was a sad affair, indeed.
  Ok, no problem, I could pull weeds and lop volunteer mulberry and elm trees for a couple hours; then I'd sew. Good idea, it needed done after months of neglect and I'll be at the Quilt Expo in DesMoines next weekend and the weather could be bad in a couple of weeks, so I got my garden gloves, tools, and compost bags and started to work with a vengeance on those darn weeds. That was at 9 AM.... At 5 PM I looked at my watch and wondered where my day went! I had about another hour's work left, but my back was killing me, so I stopped for the day. After 4 Ibuprofen, a shower, and some supper, I felt refreshed and ready to sew. I worked on some 3" - 9-patches, turned them on point adding triangles to square them to finish at 5". I made 16 of them before I decided I was too tired to sew anymore.
   Today, I went to early church service so I would have time to finish in the garden and still have most of the day to sew. That hour I thought it would take to finish turned into 3 hours! Oh, well, at 1:30 PM, I was once again enmeshed in my sewing room. I wasn't sure what I was making with those 9-patches, so I made some 4-patches and then used those to make bigger 4-patches finishing at 5". Still not sure what this quilt will be when It's done. It's still evolving. I didn't spend as many hours sewing as I planned, but my garden is no longer an embarrassment to me!

Here are the bocks I made:

..Maybe I'll set them alternating like this:
OR, maybe strippy set:
   Or, maybe I'll come up with an entirely different idea. Just as in life, I don't do well with plans, my quilts are not usually planned either. They just seem to evolve as I sew.

   I got these lovely Civil War Era ladies in the mail today. Mrs. Ryther of Grand Rapids, Michigan is in the dark dress. Look at her tiny waist! The lady in the plaid dress is identified as Iny Woodruff. I wish I knew what color that plaid is.
   Well, I'd better go to bed, since I plan on working tomorrow. If I want to have money to spend at the Quilt Expo, that's a plan I better keep!

Keep stitching,


  1. I am sure you will come up with something just keep making those blocks!
    Kathie who loves the fabric choices so far

  2. That is sooo funny, i just posted a blog about the same problem, sadly it's in Dutch! My garden is badly neglected, but i spent all my sewing hours yesterday trying to figure out why my Featherweight says "klungk" and won't stitch. You got some blocks at least, i just sew two triangles together...

  3. Oh my, I thought I was reading about me. Now you can sit out back and enjoy the view. I'll be looking forward to see where you go with those blocks.

  4. You may not have "planned" to but, but, dang it - you made me feel guilty! You certainly got more done than I did....My little garden so needs attention (major, major, attention) - but I just can't seem to dedicate the chunk of time I need for it, so it doesn't get started at all...and then the task becomes even more daunting....Love your new project! Such happy colors!! Can't wait to see where it leads you....Wishing you a great week ahead! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  5. Days can just slip away, can't they? You have something to show for it, though! Your blocks look great, and I think either setting would work. Quilts that just sort of happen are so often the best ones.

  6. My flower gardens also needs attention badly. Just like you spending all my time sewing....Will see you at Des Moines show, as I will be there all 4 days. Working 3 afternoons in package check if you want to find me along with Chris & Karen.

  7. My garden could use some attention this week...but I'm afraid once I start like you I'll focus on nothing else!

  8. I'm lucky that the condition of the yard and garden aren't my responsibility (hubbie considers that his domain), so I just get distracted and have the hours disappear quickly indoors. Outdoors or indoors, we creative folks can always find another way to spend our time, can't we?

    Your blocks look great. I'll be watching to see which layout you decide to use.

    I'm tall, and I'm curious how many yards it would have taken to make one of those full, hooped dresses from the past. How did you get the photos of the ladies in the mail? Does someone find them for you at sales or shops? or did you order them?

  9. Hi there from Australia...what a very interesting blog you have...I am only just learning about the Civil War...I'll back to get your button...Dzintra

  10. Congratulations!! I really enjoy your blog. I LOVED the post on Aug. 25th the Antique Show at Union Maine! That was when you "caught" me! Thanks for a chance at this amazing giveaway!