Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along: Blocks 1-3

Things are humming right along in my new studio, and I’m happy to share the first three blocks from the Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along.

When I join a quilt along, it’s usually because I thought the pattern was pretty. And who doesn’t like pretty things?! With Lee’s project though, this was all about learning a new way to piece half-square triangles. So I decided to use the same colors she uses in the sample on her site. Also, it’s a really pretty color way!

So without further delay, here are my blocks:

Block 1: Ridgeline Star

Ridgeline star block

Block one of the perfect half-square triangles quilt along, Ridgeline Star

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Conversation Sampler – The First Three Rows

The thing about adding a bunch of quilt along projects to your WIP list is feeling like you need to keep up with a certain schedule. With the move to the new house and things being crazy at work, I’m just now finishing up the first three rows of the Conversation Sampler. These were so much fun to do though, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Row 1 – Birds Block

The blocks for row 1 of the Conversation Sampler.

My birds block. One of the things I like about quilt alongs is that you get a little bit of the quilt at a time to work on, which means you can really take your time and perfect your technique. Just look at those points!!

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Conversation Sampler: Choosing Fabrics

For the past couple years, I’ve been in love with solids. If you want your pattern to appeal to me, make the cover quilt in solids. So when I saw the Conversation Sampler, I knew I was going to have a blast choosing fabric for it.

Conversation Quilt

Photo from AnneMarie Chany.

A few years ago, I subscribed to a Kona solids club with Stash Fabrics. Each month I got a beautiful bundle of fabric, and at the end of the year I had every color in the collection. When I first found this quilt along, I knew I’d want to use my Kona solids and had to convert from the colors in the pattern to Kona if I wanted a similar look. Which I totally did! Read More…

Where Have I Been?!

The vain side of me really hopes you noticed I took a break in this space for a few months at the end of the year. The logical side of me knows this post is just a way to update my mother on my life without having to actually call her. (She loves when I tease. Hi, Mom!)

So let me catch you up on what I’ve been doing while I wasn’t here. I’m thinking by the month?

July

In July I decided to leave my position with the health department and move over to a more traditional marketing job at the Department of Defense. Leaving ASPR was a really tough call to make because of the great people and the wonderful work I got to do. But I also knew I had to move so I could continue to grow in other ways. I left ASPR near the end of July right before my daughter came to visit. And also, this started a much needed three-week break between jobs.

Picture of me and my friend, Ron

I’m going to miss the best work husband ever and getting to report from the field with him. This is Ron and me at our Centro Médico location after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

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Let’s Quilt Along Together in 2019

Yesterday I posted my 2019 quilty resolution to create more works in progress this year. I spent the past several years really working on my list, and I found it was really starting to stifle my creativity and make me less motivated to get to work in the sewing room. I finally unloaded some of the emotional baggage that went along with all that and decided I needed more unfinished projects to really keep me going.

A quilt along – or 20! – is a great way to beef up my list while connecting with some really great creators in our community. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite quilt along opportunities for 2019 to share with you. Some I’m definitely signed up for. Some I’m definitely not signed up for… yet. And some I really have no idea! I’ve been getting emails all week about upcoming start dates, and I’m surprised every time by the new project to add to my 2019 list!

Here we go! In no particular order, here’s where I’m spending some of my time this year. Read More…

2019 Quilty Resolutions

There’s something so exciting about unwrapping a new calendar from its package and thinking about all the possibilities for the new year. You can wash away the fact that you’ve eaten like a trash panda for the past two months and make resolutions to eat better or exercise more. You can think about how you could have been a better friend over the past year and resolve to do better this year. And if you’re a quilter, you’ve been going through your sewing room and Instagram and trying to decide what the next year will bring you.

happy new year on gold glitter background

My Crazy Quilty Resolution for 2019

I’m doing the same thing here this week. Buy my quilty resolution for 2019 might just surprise you. I’m resolving to create more UFOs this year.

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Last Week Was a Rough Week

I normally use this space for uplifting posts about the art of quilting and sharing the joy it brings me. But today I need to get real with you.

Last week was a rough week.

Last week we learned about the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Last week approximately 154 U.S. veterans took their lives – at a rate of nearly one death per hour. Last week 865 Americans took their lives – a rate of nearly 45,000 per year.

We’re getting better at talking about suicide and depression, but we can do more.

While my life is far from irreparably broken, I’ve had my own dark moments. Moments where going on just didn’t seem possible. Moments where “ceasing to exist” – as I called it – seemed like a viable option. One that would be better for me, my family, and my friends. Moments where just getting out of bed to face another day were filled with extreme physical and emotional pain.

And during these times, people would say, “That’s the depression talking. That’s not the truth.” But for someone in that moment, it’s the only truth they know.

Some people say depression is a bully. I get it, but I can stand up to bullies. You generally know exactly where you stand with a bully and what their intentions are. I think depression is more like an abusive partner. It tells you you’re no good, that no one would miss you anyway. Then right when you’re ready to give up, depression flips its script. “You need me. You’re nothing without me. You think this feels bad? Just wait until I’m gone.”

At least that’s what it’s been like for me.

I’m lucky in that I’ve always managed to reach out for help when I need it the most. I’m lucky that when I’ve asked for help, I’ve received it.

With celebrity suicides, we’re quick to point out just how much the person had going for them – how on top of the world they seemed. I’m here to tell you you don’t need to be a celebrity to get that reaction. Most times I’ve reached out to friends or family for help, they were completely shocked that this was something I was dealing with. “But you’re so strong! You’re winning at life right now. I never would have guessed you struggle at all.” Like the other half of an abusive relationship, we can be good at hiding the abuse and putting on a good show.

And while you might mean well to say these things to someone who tells you they’re suffering, tell them instead that’s it’s ok to be weak. Tell them you’ll help be strong enough for the both of you for as long as they need it. Tell them honestly and gently what losing them would mean to you. Be a voice that’s louder than depression.

Through hard work, I’ve been able to surround myself with people and activities that have kept my life in the light for a long time now. My friends who are like family, my daughter, my cat, exercising, and – yes – my quilting keep me going. Through admitting I’m not as strong as the world thinks I am, I’ve been able to find strength in being weak. I’ve found courage in being weak. And today, I’m choosing to be weak in front of you. Because maybe you need someone to show you it’s ok.

If you’re struggling, ask for help. If you truly don’t feel your friends and family would understand, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there for you. Call them at (800) 273-8255. They’re available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

If you have a loved one you haven’t heard from for a while, reach out. Be the one who calls or texts. Share some of your strength with someone who thinks weakness is all they have left.

I’ll be back next week with more quilting news. Until then, love each other.

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