Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Sundry 6-23-19

It's been awhile since I've done a post in the "Sunday Sundry" category, where I gather various odds and ends into a smorgasbord of sundry themes.  So let's do this thing.

Old Business

First, in the interest of closure, I did get the last Hands2Help flimsy quilted and sent off to Quilty Hugs earlier this month.  Norm took a couple minutes out of his yard work to hold the quilt up on the porch for a couple pictures of the front and back.  

Some close-ups. 

This was a great way to utilize 2.5-inch strips and went together fast.  Go back one post for the link to the tutorial, if you're interested in more details.  I'd definitely make one of these again.

Who Likes Leftovers?

I do, when it comes to both food and fabric.  Food-wise, it usually means I don't have to cook, which is a welcome change of pace.  Fabric-wise, it's a fun and creative challenge to make something on a smaller scale within the confines of the scraps from a bigger project.  I like the low pressure, who-cares-if-it-doesn't-work, but-it-might-be-awesome-if-it-does feeling of working with leftovers.

I had a couple orphan blocks left over from the Blooming String Baskets quilt, as well as some leftover triangle units in solid colors.  So I played around with positioning those this way and that, and came up with this table runner.

When it came to quilting it, I had no clear idea, so I started with just ditch quilting, and that led to a bunch of other straight lines.

Here's a fun, good to know tidbit:  Anybody who thinks straight-line quilting is taking the easy way out when it comes to finishing a project, has probably never buried three thousand thread ends!  Of course, I'm exaggerating the number (somewhat), but man oh man, the thread burying on this little ole thing! 

I'm happy with the end result, after all is said and done.  Yeah, so maybe it looks like the carnival has come to town, but it sure brightens up a room!  If it's too bright, I can always flip it over for a (kinda?) more subtle effect.

The next leftover project was with more solid scraps and remaining 2.5-inch strips from the quilt shown above.  I put together a few 16-patch blocks and came up with this little doll-size quilt.

My grand-niece has a birthday in a couple weeks, and I think she and her dollies might like this.

The back is from a vintage fitted crib sheet I found at a thrift store years ago.  It's so soft and sweet, and the perfect size to finish this little quilt.

Non-Sewing Related Gigs

I've been working on a different kind of project lately, and that is transcribing the many hours of conversations I recorded with my dad a year or so before he passed away.  

He's been gone a year and a half now, but I still think of him just about every day.  Sometimes it's just a passing thought.  Other times it's like a step back into a more painful kind of missing him all over again.  

(View from Dad's memorial bench overlooking the marsh near sunset.)
I think grief is like that.  It comes and goes, sometimes dull, sometimes sharp.  I'm no expert, but I think you just have to ride those waves, up and over, as many times as they roll in.  

When I've been out for my daily walks this summer, I've been relistening to those conversations.  Dad wanted to talk about his life, his stories from a young kid on.  When we covered most of that ground, we went through his photo albums and he talked about the people in the pictures.  I'd go over there once a week or so during 2016, with my digital recorder in hand, and hit the record button.

You might think relistening to those conversations would be painful, but I find they are anything but.  To hear his voice again, his stories, his laughter and mine co-mingling, is relaxing and comforting.

(Dad in 2014 - Quote by Scribbles & Crumbs/Lexi Behrndt)
My mom wrote down her stories about growing up and compiled them into a book that she then supplemented with pictures.  She gave each of us children a copy.  When she passed away unexpectedly, 10 years ago, we were all so glad she had done that.  

I think Dad wanted to do the same, but he didn't have the skills mom had when it came to typing it all into the computer and organizing it into a narrative.  I'd helped him edit the book he wrote in 2012 from his handwritten notes, so I think he wanted me to do something similar with his life story. He never asked me explicitly, but I got the drift that that's what he was wanting to do once we got started.  When I was working with him on his book writing project, it became obvious that "the rest of the story" was often in the details I teased out when seeking clarification of his written notes.  He was a great storyteller, and it seemed he recognized that his own story was going to have to come straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, with me asking questions along the way.

(Wild columbine along the bike trail, with "sparkles" of dandelion fluff.)
So now I'm starting to transcribe those long conversations.  I'm a transcriptionist by day, so it's not difficult work for me, just time-consuming.  And after hours of transcribing for my day job, I am usually pretty much over with sitting in front of a screen and typing any more than I have to.  However, last week I had a light workload for some reason, so I got started.

I tell you what, even though you may have heard your parents' or grandparents' stories being told time and time again, there's no way you're going to remember all the details.  And you may hear a snippet of a story here and there but never the whole thing.  In relistening and transcribing Dad's own words, I'm learning many "new" things, even though, technically, I've heard them before.  The overall scope of it is coming into better focus.

It is going to be wonderful to get this down in black and white for posterity, and to share it with the rest of the family.

Thrift Finds

So far this summer, there's been more going out of the house than coming in, which feels like a very good thing.  I've sold an old road bike, a camera, and an amplifier, among other things.  I've driven a couple trunk loads to Goodwill.  The circle of stuff, and all that.

But on Saturday, we happened by a nice thrift store where I sometimes find fabric, and once again, the trip did not disappoint.

That roll of pink fabric?  Five yards!  That'll make a nice backing some day.

Love the paisley print!  And that striped fabric may make a nice binding.

This gray (and black/white/red) fabric was definitely a vintage head-scratcher.  What is with those shapes, for one thing?  And feathers?  It was just too weird to pass up.  I tried Googling the name on the selvage but nothing came up.  Hmm...gotta love a good mystery!