It’s been a little difficult to stay on track with blogging lately with all of the discord in the world right now. Most days I struggle to get any significant amount of time to quilt or work on my art. Life is just pulled in so many directions and I have to keep chasing after it. Perhaps you know that feeling as well? However, I figure popping back in here to write every once in a while is better than none at all. Doing little project round-ups is probably the best way to keep on top of documenting when I can’t allot more time to in-depth finished projects– because then I’d also have to have finished projects, ha!
So, just what have we been up to over here? Well, teaching and learning for one. Now I am the mother and primary teacher and there is so much to learn about. Since the on-set of the Corona-virus I have been working with my kids to build up their life skills. And since the Black Lives Matter movement has become a large topic on the news, it has become a large topic in our home as well. I have been taking a lot of time to work with my children to talk about racism, oppression, and empathy. We have, and will continue to spend time learning about the systematic oppression of People Of Color in the United States and how it has unjustly effected those communities for hundreds of years. I think learning about the history and then talking about how it would feel is the best way to teach my children about the anger they are seeing on the news and help them understand the feelings and opinions of people who don’t look like us. It is my hope through listening, learning and leading with empathy and understanding that they will become better citizens of the world and truly fight for justice for all in their lives.
On a lighter note, we have been spending a great deal of time outside getting into our summer routine of walks (and weeding, for me) in the mornings. The first week of June we even found a turtle! We learned how to count it’s rings then divide by 2 to get the age, and discovered our turtle visitor was probably years old.
May and June have been so productive over here as far as the gardens are concerned. Quarantine life has lent itself to tons of time to work at home and a new focus on making our little area of the world as tranquil and welcoming as possible. We created a series of raised beds around our patio area, a boardwalk and rock garden, mulched fire-pit area and grill station as well as brick retaining walls around the majority of the flower beds around the house. We love to be outdoors as a family, so focusing on this space and making it the best it can be has been a true labor of love we are sure to get a large use and enjoyment from in the coming months and years.
I’ve continued my work with Perry County Council of the Arts to bring a video version of our monthly arts and crafts class, Drop-In Art, to patrons virtually. You can find all of the videos, released roughly weekly, on the PCCA and La Rue de Fleurs’ Youtube Channel. Be sure to like, subscribe and hit the notification bell so you see all the latest videos! This month so far I have recorded a college project based on the quilts of the African-American ladies of Gee’s Bend, Alabama and a geode ring inspired by artist Alyssa Burke.
In May, I finished this cool-tone pladish quilt for my husband who has been begging for his own quilt for some time. I finally found a great pattern from Kitchen Table Quilting I felt would help me use up some scraps and accomplish the wish list quilt. The pattern is a wonderful scrap eater and fully adjustable to your desired size. I have written an in-depth post about the Cool-Tone Plaidish Quilt and all of my thoughts, linked here, if you’d like to read more about that project.
Another project from the scrap bin is the Scrappy Flying Geese in the Garden Quilt. The desire to use up scraps and offcuts is strong right now and I am happily digging through my bins of left-overs to experiment. I plan to continue to work on using these offcuts of an assortment of half-square triangles set into a vintage sheet to make a quilt. It will be chaotic and colorful, but I think it will be a great challenge to try to turn all of these leftover bits into something beautiful- that is the true tradition of quilting after all and I am here for it!
Lastly, I am deeply in the midst of reworking and adding additional sizes to the Stars and Straps Quilt pattern I released for a limited time last November. I, along with several testers are currently working through the pattern to check the math and look for any directions that may be unclear. My quilt will feature the new “Pop” collection from Rashida Coleman-Hale of Ruby Star Society as well as a bunch of other bright summery fabrics from my stash. The pattern consists of two blocks, a classic Sawtooth Star and the strap block which I designed. The original article about the Patriotic Stars and Straps Quilt I made last November for donation can be read here. I plan to have the pattern ready for release the last week of June, so I’d better hustle off to sew!
Thanks for reading and stay creative friends, Janice
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