Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christine's Flower Garden

Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.
–Jonathan Swift


When last we left off, we were pretending it was early September. I was hurriedly trying to get a signature quilt finished for a lovely lady I know who was turning 100. This is her graduation {photo of a} photo in 1932. Isn't she beautiful? Nevermind you can see my reflection in the glass and I was too chicken/lazy to call her family and ask for a digital copy, which I know they had. Just ignore the extra head growing out of her right frontal lobe and the extra shoulder over her right ear.


Back to our story. As the deadline for the party drew near {which I might add was 11 days before her birthday. #talkaboutstressful}, I started to collect signatures for this fantastic quilt that I'd dreamt up using 1930's reproduction fabrics to make 100 signature blocks for the lady who had just been coming into her own in the 30's and was now turning 100. That was really, really fun! Families from the neighborhood and many of her long-time friends stopped by to sign a block. It was so interesting to hear what they had to say and how they felt about Christine. It turns out that she is pretty much as amazing as I had suspected.

~time elapse~

Ta, da! Signed and assembled blocks with sashings ready to go. I used Sharpies because they are relatively inexpensive and have infamous non-solubility. Yes, I know they're not archival, but they come in such lovely colors and I'm hoping that the acid will all wash away when/if the quilt gets washed some day.

~time elapse~

All told, there are 338 signatures on this quilt

Christine is just as beautiful as ever, wouldn't you agree? She cried a little bit when I gave the quilt to her at the party. And, actually you can see it wasn't quite finished. Note the binding clips on two of the four sides. I told you they moved the party up 11 days, didn't I? So many people were invested in this quilt that I decided that taking it unfinished to display was the only option. I came back after the party, brought it home to finish the binding and took it to her the next day. We had a nice time looking over all the blocks together.

As I was working on this, I kept praying that I'd be able to get it done in time for her birthday. I wasn't sure if I would be able to pull it off. There were so many people involved that I didn't want to let them, myself, or Christine down {not that she was aware of the quilt, but I feel like it is kind of a let-down to give someone a gift after their birthday}. There is a fellow quilter in my ward {congregation} who has a long-arm and when she came to sign a block, she offered to do the quilting as her gift to Christine. Who am I to turn away the answer to a prayer when it knocks at my front door? It was a no-brainer to take her up on her offer.

I mentioned that it was fun to collect signatures, right? The top right square in the picture above went all the way to Pittsburgh and back to be signed by a family who used to live in our neighborhood. The block under that, in the bottom left corner, is signed by a little Japanese woman who has been friends with Christine for years. That, I think, is my favorite block of all.

The block below in the bottom left corner is a close second. The couple who came to sign this block dropped by at about 9:00 pm, and embarrassingly enough, I still hadn't cleaned the table from dinner. They were very gracious while I cleared away some dishes, wiped the table and pulled out fabric samples so they could pick which they liked best. The wife narrowed it down to three different blocks and then told her husband to choose. He started to choose something that was not in the options she offered. She got him back on track and then she asked him to sign for them because he had better writing. Their kind negotiations and the familiarity of their back-and-forth was very telling of a long marriage of cooperation, mutual respect and love, and friendship. Anyway, I think their birthday wish was rather creative.

Gratuitous artsy smartsy quilt shot. That trumpet vine makes the perfect backdrop for quilts. I wish it were in bloom all year round.

Christine still lives in the house her husband built for their family in the 60's. Her family checks in on her several times throughout the day. When the weather is good, she walks around the block. She was even still driving until just three years ago, when her eyesight became too poor. She still goes out in the early mornings, before the sun comes out {she's very careful to avoid exposure of her skin to the sun} to weed her roses. I thought it fitting to call this quilt Christine's Flower Garden. The finish was really down to the wire and I didn't have time to sew the label into the back like I usually do, so I put it in the corner. I kind of love how it turned out.

More about this quilt:
Working on a plan
Moving forward with a plan
The first half of the blocks
The second half of the blocks

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Rest of the Signature Blocks

The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. –Jean Paul

Let's pretend it is the beginning of September for a minute, instead of almost the middle of November. Then this will be a new and shiny project instead of old news. I've been working on signature blocks. I already showed you these cute green blocks.

I'm working towards 100 blocks. Here are some more green ones.

I tried to do about the same number of blocks in each color. These are the last of the green ones.

My turquoises aren't very turquoisey, but love these pretty 1930's reproduction fabrics.

More turquoise blocks. I'm going to put these together into a quilt for sweet lady in my ward {congregation} who is turning 100.

The last four turquoise blocks. In 1930 this friend of mine, Christine, turned 16. That's why I wanted to use the reproduction fabrics.

I love this sweet blue print.

And this one.

And this one.

I was really excited to finally get to the purple blocks. Partly because they are such pretty fabrics and partly because I meant I was almost done!

The blocks are 5" and paper pieced. I printed the pattern out on freezer paper, which meant I could peel the whole pattern off the back of the blocks when I was done.

To be honest, I was really relieved to get these last four blocks done. Christine's birthday is September 17th. But the party is scheduled for the 6th.

And here's a little recap of all 100 blocks – 25 sets of four.

Time to get them signed and all put together!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Story of My Life

Happily ever after isn't a fairy tale. It's a choice. –Dawn Weaver

This is one of my favorite wedding pictures. It serves as a reminder that some things never change. My hairstyle has been pretty much the same for the last 18 years. And Mr. Bug still has that amazing smile.

What a photo can't measure is how much two people can grow together.

I've spent 43% of my life with Mr. Bug. It is impossible to imagine life without him. It hasn't always been easy, but the struggles make the good times even sweeter!



P.S. This video portrays a very sweet love story. Don't ruin it by looking up they lyrics for the song. They are kind of depressing.

P.S.S. The Corn Wagon Quilt Company, my favorite LQS is also celebrating their anniversary today. They have $1.99 fat quarters from 9 to 10 am. I think I'm going to do some double anniversary celebrating today.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sabbath Songs: Glorious


There are times when you might feel aimless
You can't see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose
It's been there within you all along
And when you're near it
You can almost hear it

It's like a symphony just keep listenin'
And pretty soon you'll start to figure out yo part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it's glorious
–Stephanie Mabey



This beautiful song is featured in Meet the Mormons, which chronicles the day-to-day realities of six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints living in countries around the world. If you love cutie David Archuleta's voice a free mp3 download of this song is available.



Find a theater near you

Friday, October 31, 2014

Mischief Managed

Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life. –Adele Brookman

I suppose it is just as well that I haven't blogged in several months because the cobwebs on the decor seem to fit nicely with the theme of the day.

I'd really like to dust off the old blog and get back to regular posting. It's been one wild and crazy adventure at Bug Cottage lately, and totally in a good way. I increased my work hours over the summer to close to full-time, which is counter-intuitive since the Not-So-Little Bugs are home more during the summer, but things all worked out. When school started, I took on some new responsibilities at work and so bumping up to full-time followed.

As time has gone by, I've been keeping a mental list of all the things that I want to blog about, but the list keeps increasing and it seems so daunting a task that I haven't had the nerve to start. I've done lots of fun sewing though, and I'm hoping to get in a few posts about that soon. In case you were curious, I did finish the Signature Quilt for the woman who turned 100 in September. The party was 11 days before her birthday so it was close, but I got it done in time.

As you can imagine, I've been spending a little more time than I used to at work. They are a really wild and crazy bunch. One of the programmers pulled the best prank ever today.

Halloween is my favorite. Dressing up is so much fun. There was a costume contest today {winners to be announced Monday} and my office mate and I decided that we were going to be Minions. We were nicknamed the AdMinions {Admin + Minions}. It was a great collaboration and I think we pulled it together nicely.