I’m not sure where to begin; what a discombobulated week!
Shortly after I posted last Saturday’s blog post, I had an email through Ancestry.com. It appears that someone had a very close DNA match to me, and that person is a half brother. I already have a full brother named Steve, and we knew that our real father married again (very briefly) after he and my mom divorced. Well, apparently his second wife had a son that they named Bryan. Bryan just had his DNA done with the express purpose of finding his lost siblings (which he thought was two sisters).
We’ve been emailing back and forth, sharing our life stories and finding out some awful things about our common father, who was never more than a sperm donor in any of our lives. Steve and I were given our step-father’s surname and Bryan was given his step-father’s surname. This whole thing has been just mind-blowing. Something of this magnitude in one’s life tends to knock you off your axis a bit. At least it does for me. Steve and Bryan have talked - they both always wanted a brother and only had sisters (Bryan has 4 half sisters, 5 including me). Bryan grew up in San Dimas, California, which was the next city over from Covina, California where Steve and I grew up. Wow, the wasted years...
So, my week consisted of a lot of thinking. Thinking while sewing, thinking while writing to Bryan and talking to Steve. Thinking while not cooking (there was pizza and a lot of fend-for-yourself meals this week). Thinking while mostly not answering emails. So, I have a lot of quilts and a brother to show for the week!
In no particular order, here are the quilts I finished up (primarily just quilting and binding) this week. We start with Strings and Gems, finishing at the usual (for my QFK string quilts) 42x48”.
The backing is the last of this wide-back splatter print.
Next was the third International Sisters double-sided wall hanging that I finished for Harambe Humanitarian. The other two were done in previous years.
The wall hanging finished at 28.5” across by 42.5” down, not including the hanging sleeve.
Since May is red month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, where many of us are sharing our red blocks and creations at Scrappy Saturday
(check it out!), I’m working on finishing red quilts for Quilts for Kids from my scraps and those donated by friends and QFK itself. Here is a very simple finish, Red Bees.
Sometimes you just need to use up some of the yardage pieces along with scraps, and that’s what I did here. The little quilt measures 40x46”. The quilting was a simple bee-line loopy thing that echoed the flight paths of the bees in the red fabric. The backing is the same red bee fabric.
And then I finished quilting and binding the Disappearing Pinwheels blocks. Remember that I had trouble counting the number of blocks last week? It seems that both my first count (22 blocks) and my second count (26 blocks) were wrong. Either that or these blocks are multiplying in the dark. The final count was 28 - twelve that I used in this quilt, plus 16 more left over; 8 red and 8 navy. But first, here is Disappearing Pinwheels.
It’s pinned sideways on my design board. The finished size is 40” x 52”. I love it! I quilted it with swirls (I’m sure there’s a real name for the pattern). And I did an OK job. Not great, but this was really good practice. So, I’m showing you this picture of the quilting, bobbles and all. It is what it is.
So, what is to become of the remaining Disappearing Pinwheels? The 8 leftover navy ones will be dealt with in the next blue RSC month. That leaves the 8 red ones, which I made into a churn dash variation of Disappearing Pinwheels. The ninth block was going to be strings for a 3x3 setting measuring 36x36”. In addition, I made 16 blocks (6.5”) of red strings with black and white strings (no picture). The strings were to be just the center block. But then tragedy struck.
I was not paying attention - thoughts were wandering everywhere as they have been all week. I cut the last block wrong. The pinwheel was 13.5” and was to be cut into 4.5” segments (thirds) both horizontally and vertically. The right cut is wrong, and there is no fixing this. That means there were only 7 blocks to work with. What can you do with seven blocks?
Well, I put one of the red blocks in with the navy blocks so that will give me 9 for that quilt when its turn comes. That left me with six red blocks, so I decided that I could use them along with three strings blocks (all of them 12” when sewn together). After playing way too long on the design board with the blocks, I thought I had a solution. But my mind went on walkabout again, and this is what I ended up sewing.
Ugh!! That was it for that day; I had to quit. The working title of this is now DOG’S BREAKFAST. I think it will be easy enough to rip off the bottom red strip and row of blocks and reverse orient them at the top so that the string blocks make a diagonal line ala tic-tac-toe. I’ll do that and quilt the d*** thing before the end of the month.
Finally, I sewed together the Ugly Nine Patch donation blocks into an Ugly Nine Patch flimsy. The sashing is a non-color called oatmeal. There’s no shortage of ugly here this week, is there? Seriously, considering the blocks I started with, I don’t think it’s that bad! I’m just going to back it with a solid yellow from my stash and call it good. This, too, is scheduled to be finished this week before the end of the month.
Finally, we’ll end with something beautiful after all the ugly blocks and quilts! My Chihuly rose bush (named in honor of glass artist Dale Chihuly
) is looking amazing this year!
It’s a little past its peak blooming time, so some of the roses are wide open, but it keeps on adding more.The colors are so vibrant! I can’t remember if it bloomed a second time last year, but I’ll be deadheading this and feeding it (and talking sweetly to it) to increase the odds!
Life is .... full of wonderful surprises.