Saturday, May 16, 2020

Garlic Knots and Green Things

Is it just me, or does it feel as though we’ve moved through the Bubble of Slow Time and are beginning to acclimate? This week went fairly quickly, with doctor appointments and errands. I did plenty of housework, laundry and sewing, and  the garden is mostly planted  - Bruce will finish up the carrots, pumpkins and sunflowers today.

As far as the stores and economy opening up, it’s way too soon in my opinion. But that just means that we’ll continue to stay home and only venture out as necessary. We still have to do occasional grocery shopping and pharmacy visits. I’m glad our grocery store is maintaining their senior/high risk hours and social distancing. We wear gloves and masks when we go out, even to the nursery (to buy some vegetable starts to supplement our seeds). Restaurant dining? Maybe outdoors somewhere down the road, but not now. We do some drive-through food ordering (warm food only. Salads and drinks we’ll furnish). I’m over 60, overweight (pains me to say that), with sleep apnea, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure (controlled with medication). I’m a walking high risk poster child person.

But you’re probably here for the sewing part, so let’s get to it. May is for sewing our dark green scraps in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. It’s so nice that there are plenty of greens outdoors now too. I’ve got to take a walk around the yards and photograph some of the trees and flowers!

Anyway, here are 9 Split Nine blocks. I love playing with all the potential layouts with these versatile blocks!

I needed one dark green Beachcomber block, so that was next.

Here is a sampling of some that I’ve sewn so far. It sorely needs some red and yellow, don’t you agree?

And then the strings. Always strings! There are 14 of these 6.5-inch (unfinished size) blocks. Some may go into a “Creature” (miscellaneous color-themed) quilt. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll be playing with some green orphan blocks this next week to see if I have enough to do something.

This is how I’ve been doing my string blocks lately. Last year I was given a large roll of sheer fabric (think sheer curtain fabric, probably a polyester or other synthetic). After donating yards and yards to some of my Quilts for Kids friends, I saved several yards of this wide fabric for myself, and cut it into 6.5” strips. From those strips I cut out 6.5” blocks. I use them as the foundation for piecing my string blocks. It has the advantage of being lightweight and doesn’t need to be removed like paper. 

The only disadvantage is that they have to be pinned to my design wall, because the sheer won’t stick itself to the flannel. But that’s so minor. They wash up beautifully, too. 

And then I used the rest of my small crumbs to make six crumb blocks. These will go into the orphanage or a that green Creature quilt if it materializes. 

Last week I was pondering layout ideas for my RSC garlic knot blocks, and asked for your input. First, thank you to everyone who responded. Between the comments I’ve had over the last two or three weeks about Bruce’s surgery, the Paula B Blog Hop and the garlic knot dilemma, I’ve been overwhelmed with comments. Thank you! It’s so nice to know that you lovely people are reading along, offering kind words and opinions and just generally being supportive. I’m still working on responding, although I know I won’t get everyone. And several of you are No-Reply commenters, so I have no way to personally express my thanks.

Anyway, the most popular option, which also happened to be the one that Bruce and I were leaning toward, was the scrappy mixed color layout with the blocks all facing in one direction. So, that’s what I sewed together this week. 

My goal for the coming week is to get Garlic Knots layered and basted, as well as the pink and blue Happy Blocks flimsy. As far as quilting, I’ll focus first on another International Sisters wallhanging, then move on to Garlic Knots and Happy Blue and Pink as time permits. 

Bruce continues to improve. The picture below was taken a week (maybe 2?) ago. The “We’re #1” foam hand was sent as a joke to Bruce by his daughter Emily and her husband Chad. They know his sense of humor, and they were spot on! 

This past Tuesday, Bruce had half of the stitches removed from the amputation site. The swelling has really gone down. He goes back in about 10 days to get the rest of the stitches out. He also had a long planning meeting with the prosthetics people, and some of the parts and things for his custom prosthetic have been ordered. He will soon begin wearing a special sock over the stump which will help shape it for accepting the prosthetic. The process will take a few months, but it is well underway. Meantime, the only thing Bruce hasn’t been able to do is trim his left hand fingernails or cut his meat. But I bet that will change when he gets his prosthetic! Seriously, his can-do attitude and total lack of self-pity have kept his (and my) spirits elevated. It does my heart good to see him out in the garden planting and doing all his puttering around. Life is good!

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.


  1. You always have a wonderful of scrappy blocks going on but I especially love that one with the crumb blocks. That will be so cool !

  2. I love seeing what you have in the works, Cathy! That layout for the garlic knots was my favorite, too - it's so happy! Great photo of Bruce with his #1 finger - a sense of humor will take us all a long way in these crazy days, won't it? We are planting things today. One of my favorite times of the year!

  3. Love those Beachcomber blocks--so unusual...I don't think I've ever seen them before...
    And I agree we need yellow, pink--brightness and lightness...

    Happy to hear that Bruce is doing so well...he has such a wonderful un-diminished spirit!!

    We are staying put also--too early to venture out we think...
    Stay safe ~ ~ ~ waving in the surprising warmth here;))) Julierose

  4. What a relief to hear (and see) that Bruce is doing well. Thanks for the update, Cathy! The tone of the post sounds like YOU are doing better, too. Less stressed and back to your super productive self. Whew!

  5. I have been using very light weight vylene to sew string blocks, very similar to what you are using I imagine. So pleased to see your hubby improving, that spare hand is a hoot!

  6. It is so wonderful that everything is going so well for you and Bruce. And when did you sneak the beachcomber blocks in the mix. What a great design. I do think that maybe the beachcomber in the lower right corner may have OCD.

  7. So glad everything is going so well! A sense of humor makes all the difference in the world. For everything! I love the beachcomber blocks--very midcentury modern looking.

  8. I am just in awe reading your blog. Bruce is working in the garden! That is so awesome! And look at all you have accomplished! As always, I like the beachcomber blocks. Are the white/cream blocks a consistent fabric?
    And see, I told you the layout for your garlic knots would be perfect! Have a great week you two!

  9. I love the Beachcomber blocks and, yes, it needs some brighter happy colors! I wish my Fred would adopt your Bruce's can-do attitude. I think some days he just throws himself a pity-party. Wish I wasn't invited some days ... but that's my own pity-party, right? On the upside, we've got 2 appointments next week, one for the kidney tube replace (it's time) and the other for a CT scan. We will have to make a decision to remove the kidney if the leak doesn't let up soon. Good job, Bruce, you ARE #1!

  10. Oh Cathy! It did my heart good to see Bruce and his "We're #1" foam hand! Ya just gotta love a man with a sense of humor! You are a blessed woman to have a husband like Bruce!
    I have to agree with you on the opening up thing. UGH! I dread the results, but I am hoping for the best. I will not eat out, we have brought in a couple of orders that we picked up. Two of them pizzas, because we were all kind of going coo coo over our pizza cravings! Then for my birthday we got take out from one of our favorite restaurants. Two of us here are at risk people, now three actually. My new grandson is only 10 days old, my daughter who just gave birth and has a heart condition, and me with my COPD and age, and weight "condition" (tee hee) We have stocked up pretty well, and only go out for the fresh groceries, medications and doctor appointments.
    I'm loving all your green blocks. I really like the garlic knot configuration! It exudes happiness and bright spirit!
    I have given up trying to do any sewing until I can get this sewing room organized once and for all. It's just impossible to do anything while moving the piles from one place to another. So I will live my sewing life vicariously through you and some of my other favorite people who quilt!

  11. Wow! Bruce's recovery is amazing! I had to read the first paragraph a few times to let it really sink in that he was going to be planting carrots, pumpkins and sunflowers. Wow!

  12. I love that layout for garlic knots! So glad Bruce is doing so well and that he has such an incredibly positive attitude!

  13. Hi, Bruce! Nice to see his smiling face! As usual, your RSC projects are looking great and giving me ideas. Not that I've done much with ideas lately, but I still collect 'em :)

  14. I am so with you on your response to reopening the economy. You couldn't get me to eat in a restaurant if you gave me the meal for free. All your green projects are so inspiring. Yay for Bruce. You can't keep a good man down. Getting out in the garden is good mental therapy as well as physical. We're finally warming up so I'm getting outside more and it feels good.

  15. Hooray for Bruce's recuperation -- his positive attitude helps not only him but you! A prosthetic outfitted Cap'n Hook style, with a three-tined garden fork, would be handy just about now....Meanwhile, your studio is certainly greening up with such wonderful projects. I really like the Beachcomber design.

  16. I'm in agreement that I think they're opening things up too soon and I am praying that it won't end up throwing us back and things will have to close even tighter. It will depend on how well people abide by the rules at this point I think. Enjoyed seeing your greens - made me think of spring and the fact that the trees across our river are starting to leaf out. And I must say that I think that 'hand' Bruce is sporting has the wrong finger raised...just sayin'. He should be giving cancer 'the finger' don't you think?!!

  17. Love the Beachcomber blocks...Garlic Knots lookin' good...Yay Bruce! Hugs to both of you!!

  18. Hi Kathy, I'm back to blogging, and reading yours reminds me of how much I enjoyed this. Hope you will visit me again.

  19. Hi Cathy! What an uplifting post. I'm so glad that Bruce has started down the path towards his prosthetic. And puttering around outside has done you both good, I'm sure. Love the garlic knot layout - it is really a lovely quilt. That was a great idea to keep some of that sheer fabric for your string blocks. Pretty nifty. I'll continue you hold you both close in my prayers. Take care. ~smile~ Roseanne

  20. I do not tear up easily, but reading how well Bruce is taking this caused JOY to fill my eyes!

  21. That sounds good for Bruce! If he still has a sense of humor, his recovery is going very well. I find that the sign of a healthy mind. =) I absolutely love that beachcomber block quilt. I've not seen that before, and it is a wonderfully scrappy idea. Thanks for sharing that. You've really used a ton of green scraps. =)


I appreciate your visit to my blog and love your comments!