Saturday, November 12, 2016

LITTLE TREASURES are stitched into a "treasure box"...

After much moving things around, I finally settled on an arrangement for my center medallion block and my seventy-two LITTLE TREASURES hand applique blocks.

The little blocks measure 6-inches finished (but can easily be scaled up larger), and the quilt top is 54-inches square...SO FAR. Patterns, both traditional and digital, for the blocks are available here.

Now I am trying to figure out my options...I am thinking that I will apply another sawtooth border, but with 2-inch finished HST's instead of the 1-inch that I used around the center medallion.

But then, what?!?  My mind is racing...

It was interesting trying to get the blocks arranged.  I did not use seventy-two different background neutrals, so I had to worry about repeats being adjacent to each other.  

I think I moved the flying pig around the most...due to the neutral fabric palette it was a little hard to balance the occasional bursts of brightness.

It is busy without calming sashing, but I like that.  The eye keeps moving.  I am glad that I kept the fabric choices minimal and consistent for the inner sawtooth border.  It gives the eye somewhere to rest.

Now as I keep building, I must keep borders from competing with the blocks.

I think the official name of this quilt will be "Life's Little Treasures."  These blocks saved my life the last sixteen months.

Quilts have memory...each piece or unit is a little reservoir, packed with thoughts, feelings, life events, and memories.  This is especially true for me of hand work, as I take a little bag with me or pick it up in a spare minute.  Playing with fabric is therapy for me and often the hand work is easiest to reach for when there is no time...or find the sewing machine.

As I worked on each block I thought of favorite friends and the beloved life and activities I left behind in Michigan, I thought of my parents and how to move forward in a blended family of siblings where some difficult relationships are just broken beyond repair.

I thought of letting go of my daughter as she started college and a new life, I thought of all the boxes I still needed to unpack, I thought of my Yankee husband becoming a southerner and how I don't really feel like a southerner anymore myself after living out of state since 1987.

Now I touch a block and remember a person I was sitting with while working (like my Father-in-Law or Aunt Katrina), a movie I was watching, a song, a news story on the TV/radio, the last time it rained, marveling at the wonder of Nature as I sat and stitched on the back porch, or despairing at the stupidity and cruelty of mankind.

I have one more little piece to applique on this, the bottom border of my "Contentment" Anniversary quilt, before I plunge it in water to soak the glues out.  

I was, unfortunately, working on this border for the last week and a half, so the memory of this segment contains all the vitriol, lies, vile statements, hope, excitement, and ultimately the devastating disappointment, disbelief and fear of our national election.

I am trying to have hope. While attempting to go forward this country has unleashed some things better left behind in our history. Almost fifty percent of our population stayed home and did not vote, not even in state or local elections.  Many of my friends now fear their safety due to the color of their skin, choice of religion or who they love.   Hooded KKK members were out Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama, the city where I grew up, two hours from where I now live, distributing flyers.  Hateful graffiti was spray-painted on buildings at Eastern Michigan University, where I once worked in Ypsilanti, Michigan, forty miles east of Detroit.  I have heard the celebratory gun fire around our property all week.

We cannot go backwards...we must go forward.  I love Dory, the little blue fish from "Finding Nemo."  She always said, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

I will just keep sewing, just keep sewing.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. I can't believe all that is going on in the US either it is scary at times and other times you just want to stay busy and not think about it and leave the news off. I hope things settle down. You put a lot of work into this quilt! what patience and talent you have - from one transplanted yankee to another - hang in there and lets all hope that this too shall pass and all well be ok

  2. Even over here in NZ the news from the US has been concerning and alarming, the world is not so big afterall as my own loved ones are affected by it all. I do love your Treasures quilt...let's hope the positive thoughts you had while stitching overshadow the negative ones....

  3. Thrilling to see it all together! What's next?

  4. Yes keep quilting! This quilt is SO CUTE! It has me smiling every time I see it. Go girl, stay sane as I do with cotton and thread.

  5. Your little blocks are just amazing, and I appreciate your commentary about stitching and memory. I have pointed quilting friends to your blog and your applique tutorials. Thanks for being such an inspiration in so many ways.

  6. I'm glad you didn't put sashing between the blocks. It is more interesting to just wander from block to block without any interruption. It is an amazing quilt.

  7. Delightful finish! Love it! What are your friends doing with their blocks?

  8. Wonderful wonderful! Your work is so great.
    Where are all these people who voted for "the Donald"? I have yet to meet one.

  9. Hello Teresa. What a beautiful quilt full of story.
    Loved it.
    About the election, I'm surprised too and the whole world is concerned about the future.
    I fear that maybe I can't travel to USA again in the next years, but, like you said, let's keep swimming.
    Have a nice weekend.

  10. Ohhhhh my goodness Teresa, I am in love! Your blocks are just darling and look just wonderful all stitched together. What a wonderful memory quilt for you, some memories are good, some not so good, but all chapters in the story of your life.
    The news this week has been hard to watch, and it's easy to feel helpless over here. I'm just going to keep on quilting and pray that some sanity prevails.

  11. Your quilt is fabulous! And such a wonderful memory of all you have been through.
    Love will always win and everything will be alright in the end... did you see the movie "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"? That line won't make sense if you didn't see the movie :)
    Big hugs

  12. What a treasure indeed! Your work is just so beyond me. Memories are attached to many of the things that we touch - love and hugs.

  13. It is a feast for the eyes! Would so love to see this in person. Yes! Just keep stitching :0)

  14. Teresa, your blocks are so lovely. This week - since Tuesday evening - seems like ten years long, whatever will the next four bring. I don't want to watch tv, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper. I was so hopeful and then he won. So shocking - I know I have to grieve for another death. I really thought we would have our first female president. When I've bits and pieces of news, I hear the same names mentioned for administrative jobs. How naive I was - I thought he might realize the wisdom of Lincoln and choose some from across the aisle to help to mend the rifts. I will keep you in my prayers as you live so near the gunfire and white sheets. Before Tuesday I wanted to make an electoral quilt using hexies but now it would be just another reminder. Take care of you and yours!

  15. Your Little Treasures is absolutely gorgeous, such patience you have. I wish the pundits and journalists would go back to reporting the news rather than constantly speculating. I'm trying to stop worrying about what might happen and wait to see what does happen. I can't change it. I can only live my life and do good where I can. And quilt on, of course.

  16. Wow!! LOVE this quilt. Stay calm and quilt on, that's all I can do.

  17. Great quilt and great name. Another instant masterpiece.

  18. Life's Little Treasures is awesome. You do such beautiful work.

  19. Oh the work that you have put into this quilt..... I appreciate it more now than 10 years ago .....

    I have been in the South since 1971 and am still a Yankee....

  20. write as well as you quilt! Your words moved me and made me weep. Your sense of loss and of letting go and of disappointment comes thru so cleanly. And your quilt! OMG! It is the best one around right now. I love it and how there are so many memories and associations in each block. It has your inimitable style and personality. It cheers me up no end to look it all over. Thanks

  21. Your quilt is truly a glorious celebration of life's treasures! Amid all that is life - the good, the bad & the ugly- quilters just keep piecing it all together, stitching the disparate pieces with thread, love, perseverance, determination, love, laughter, and tears. Stitch on, my friend! Your work is gorgeous!

  22. Life's Little Treasures indeed! Such a spectacular image in such troubled times. I don't know why I am amazed at reading all my friend's blogs and finding that they are thinking exactly what I am thinking these days. After all, we are all quilters. Why should I be surprised by the fact that my fellow bloggers feel as I do. Just keep sewing my friend! All will work out in the end.

  23. Oh, this quilt is going to be so gorgeous! Can't wait to see it. I'm still in shock about the election and there's still a knot in my stomach. Never thought I'd see the day when fear was a reality after an election in the US.

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  25. Your quilt is AMAZING! Such fine work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  26. Dropped by from Log Cabin Quilter because the picture of your quilt really caught my eye and I am so glad I visited your blog. It is truly a most wonderful quilt. Hard to believe they are only 6 inches. Wow! I chuckled at the sheep blank expression. Too cute. So many of these blocks portraits things that I call little treasures in my life too, so I think you got the perfect name. Excellent work. I'll be back to see it again after it is quilted. ;^)

  27. What gorgeous little blocks. Your work is beautiful and I am glad I found you. Our shared hope is that this too shall pass, and quickly. Things will settle down and the good in people will prevail.

  28. Hi Teresa, what wonderful blocks all together!! Your flying pig is just so fun, glad you found a spot for it!! This wuilt definitely tells a story & will remind you of your life, as it has unfolded. Who knew where we would be at this point in our lives??


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