Saturday, June 29, 2024

I'm Still Here!

Though I have given you no reason recently to think so. My thanks to those who have checked on me. I just don't know how life gets SO busy!! It has been so many weeks since my last post, and I am sorry for the delay. I haven't had much time to sew, but I can share a couple of projects with you that have seen a little progress.

Soon after my last post (weeks and weeks ago), we were off on a road trip to DD#1 and her family, in Oregon. This is the second time we were there at the right time to see the rhododendron park in bloom.

I took along my "Stars In The Garden" project, and got a start on the second-to-last full flower (there are still a lot of partial flowers to make).

This was in the Spring 2013 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects. I didn't start it until a few years later, and loving EPP as I do (NOT!!--but I do love the look), it will be a miracle if it is finished in my lifetime.

I used Bonnie Hunter's Floribunda pattern (click the link to see my finished top, and the link to Bonnie's pattern) to make a Jacob's Ladder quilt of what Bonnie termed "ugly florals." I really liked the finished top and donated it just a few years ago. Last month I was doing a deep dive in the sewing room and came across the leftover blocks. I am piecing a few more and making a smaller version, which I plan to call "Jacob's Stepladder".

I will make another row of blocks and intersperse those darker ones that are across the bottom throughout the quilt. But I have put this away for now. I have a promise to keep and that will be my focus the next time I can sit and stitch.

Lynn Hopkins has been up to his tricks again, but this time he has gone larger. This is the quilt he has designed, and the blocks are 4", not his usual 2". So if 2" frightened you, this may be your jam!

The magic of his exclusive rulers and patterns is that they allow you to create patterns that use a 3x3" or 6x6" grid in 2" or 4" blocks. You can't do that gracefully with standard rulers. 

Lynn is a lot of fun, and we get plenty of laugh therapy in our classes.  He is experimenting with the idea of Zoom classes, so let me know if you are interested, and I will pass your contact information along to him (but only if you have an email address attached to your blogger account, or you include your email in your comment. I can't give him what I don't have!)

September 21 is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day this year, and Lynn shared this pattern with us, that I think is one of the nicer looking Jelly Roll patterns I've seen. If I wasn't going to be out of the country that day, I would probably try to sew it up.

This is from You can find the free pattern here.

Another free pattern that caught my eye was on Taryn's reproquiltlover blog. This would make a great wall hanging or table topper.

Find it on Taryn's blog here. And thank her for the pattern. :)

That is it for quilty content, but I do have a couple of other things I would like to share. 

I started playing the violin at age 9, but after college I didn't do a whole lot with it--an occasional chamber group or duet, but nothing consistent. In these more recent years I could go for several years without getting out my instrument. And it was still the upgraded student violin my parents bought me at age 15.

Last year I was invited to play a duet in church with a young woman almost 50 years my junior, so I had my violin refurbished, and practiced daily for over 2 months to be ready. It was not as scary as I thought it would be after all those years (17 years since I had last played in church).

We were asked to play again in May, before the young gal left for a summer job. I felt it was about time I did something about the instrument I was playing. I finally upgraded to a master class violin--and it was a major upgrade. I spent almost twice as much as I had planned on, but when I heard the tone of this instrument, I knew it felt like home. Even though I only bought it the day before our duet, its warm, mellow tone was so soothing to me that this was the first time I have played a duet where I didn't have shaking knees and hands. 

This may explain why I am not getting much quilting done. When I am stressed and have a few minutes for a "therapy activity", I find myself more often in the music corner, than in my sewing room. I need to find a better balance.

This is the man who sold me the violin. It had been one of his personal instruments, and I feel honored to have it. If you do a google search for the man who played the violin for his nurses while intubated with COVID, you will get this.

From that link you will see that his story was picked up by CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, People online, even BBC. He is an incredible man, and incredibly humble. If you have time, watch a couple of the reports. 

Final thing--I don't know how many of you got to see the Northern Lights over Mother's Day weekend. I know I didn't. We were in Oregon, and just didn't have a great viewing opportunity where we were staying. But our son, back home on the farm, sent us a few photos he captured, and I wanted to share one.

This was taken with the 3-second exposure setting on his iPhone camera.

I did draw a name for my long ago giveaway, and I have notified the winner. I'm not sure if they wanted to be included or not. So the winner will know who they are, but you may not learn their name until my next post--and as busy as July is, I will try so hard not to go this long again.

Blogger has messed with my font size, randomly making some larger. I can't get it fixed, so I am letting it go.

Until next time,

Be creative, and be kind.

Janet O.


  1. Hi! I was just thinking the other day that it had been a while and I missed you! I enjoyed seeing all your pretty projects….truthfully, I haven’t worked on much lately, either, but I’ve shopped! 😬 I particularly LOVE your EPP piece. The colors are gorgeous! Do you know….i started violin lessons!! I have a long way to go before I’m ready to duet with anyone. Haha! Except Edith, who’s taking lessons as well. Incredible story about the fellow who sold you your violin! The northern lights were spectacular. We were so blessed to see them in North Alabama! I got great photos. Hugs to you!! :)

  2. yes blogger has a mind of its own now and then....lovely photos....excellent epp progress...i don't have the patience for much of that EPP stuff altho i do love the look as well....and hey send us some of that cool weather ok?

  3. So glad to hear from you and glad the delay was for all good reasons. How wonderful you embraced your talent for the violin. And to use for glory worship all the better. I have tried to encourage my niece to resume her playing, she was so good. They say muscle memory is always there to be brought back to life. How special to have purchased a violin with a wonderful story. You will do the owner proud. Cannot believe June is ending and that July is bursting forth. Time is seeming to accelerate as I get older. Off I go to sing with a combined choir at their final service. Sad service but the music will be uplifting. Enjoy your Sunday! Dotti in CT

  4. Good to see a post from you! Your EPP project is really beautiful - great colors. I, too, enjoy playing an instrument - the accordion 🪗 - and practice regularly and play periodically with a group. No competition with sewing - I make time for both 😊. I know what you mean about a superior instrument making a big difference! Wishing you a summer full of great quilting and music!

  5. You have found the better balance. I would love to be able to play an instrument to "sooth the troubled beast" inside. I'm so happy you found this lovely violin and the story behind it makes it that much more valueable.

  6. SOOOOO glad you are still among the living and girl, you've been LIVING!!! Living in many directions, I am out of breath reading of it all! Congrats on the beautiful EPP, various projects, and advances and determination with music .

  7. Happy summer to you! So good to hear from you and see all that you've been up to. If I can remember that long I might just try my hand at that jellyroll quilt pattern in the fall. It's a pretty quilt and though I don't have any jelly rolls there is plenty of stash fabrics that need to be used up. Your son got an amazing view of the aurora borealis earlier this spring. It was too overcast here to see anything. How wonderful that you are able to take up your violin playing again with that beautiful instrument. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. Great to see your smiling face with family. Nice projects to work on when traveling. I did a few hexies this past weekend on our trip to Wyoming. I really wanted to sidetrip to Logan or Salt Lake! It would be fun to meet up again. I miss you when there is no post. Congrats to whomever won the Blog giveaway.

  9. LOVE LOVE your hexie quilt, nice fabric choices. Lovely photo's throughout your blog, the one of you with your violin. QuiltY HUgs from way way far away!

  10. I am glad you are doing well!! Your Hexie quilt is fantastic. I may ask to borrow the pattern as I love PPing. Like you, my life has been crazy since my new reality started after Kelly died. And I am going to have to stop by so you can play your violin for me!! Hoo! Hoo!!

  11. Please include my email to Lynn for Zoom


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