Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Jen Kingwell love affair

OH -- I have to get back to responding to the comments!! Someone is also reading The End of Her. I finished it while walking the dogs, and well -- I don't want to say what happened, but I was a bit surprised. That's all I'm going to say! This is NOT the sort of book they talk about in a book club, but I want to discuss this with someone! 

I've started another book -- Looking for Jane by Heather Marshal. Someone recommended it to me. OH my -- what a fantastic premise. Who dreams up this stuff? I have to shake my head when I read this book. The subject of unwed mothers is covered in this book, and how SHAMEFUL unwed motherhood was, and these girls were trundled off to church-run facilities to have their babies. "What will the neighbors think?? 

Those words echo in my ears, not because I was shuffled off, but because my mother often used to repeat those words about other things. What will the neighbors think? Perhaps that is why we are distant from our neighbors now. Do I care what my neighbors think? Nope! 

Actually, it's pretty timely to read this book because of the turmoil about legal versus illegal abortions and women's rights. My headphones died this morning and it takes a long time to recharge, and I may have to revert to earbuds to continue to listen to it!

Well, it's been an intense week, but what week isn't. But it was well worth all the hard work and long hours. Something happened this week that hasn't happened in a long, long time. I've been teaching these sew-alongs for almost 20 years, and the number of quilts I've taught is huge! I must dig out that list one day, but it's well over 50. It's been rare that my quilt was finished at the end of the class. For some reason, I got busy with other things. 

So for this to happen is a miracle. 

Boho Heart

This is my Boho Heart by Jen Kingwell, and I'm thrilled with it. It turned out exactly as I wished - a bright and cheerful quilt. It's made with pinks, oranges, and some purple, and the background strips are black on white. All I can say is that there is a tremendous amount of work in that quilt. 

But that's not all. This also happened. This is my version of Wanderers Wife (formerly known as Gypsy Wife), also by Jen Kingwell. I am absolutely thrilled with this one as well. I LOVE the clear definition of the blocks in the blue background. This one was trickier to assemble than Boho Heart but worth all the effort. 

Wanderers Wife

All I can say is slow and steady and LABEL all those strips well. It worked like a charm, and presewing some of the background strips together, saved a lot of time during the final assembly. 

And here they are together -- Wanderer's Wife is considerably shorter than Boho. Both patterns are by Jen Kingwell. 

BOHO Heart and Wanderers Wife

I started Wanderers Wife several years ago, and I got discouraged with my color choice and progress. It got shelved. But thanks to these sew-alongs, it got resurrected, and for some reason, some SMART person (me) said, "Oh -- it will be nothing to do these two quilts in the same class." What was I thinking?? 

Let's me say that I love Jen's "puzzle" quilts, but the patterns? A lot to be desired from the instructions and layout diagrams. She should have used our group as a tester group because we had loads of ideas to make it easier to sew together. We developed cutting charts and handy layout diagrams!

I can't wait to see the final show and tell in June. Repeatedly, I've heard the participants say that if it had not been for this class, they would also have abandoned their quilts. Me too!! To all those brave participants (some of them are making both) -- thanks for the push! I couldn't have done this without your help!

But that's not all. We were also working on Long Time Gone (the one on the left), also a Jen Kingwell pattern. So between Zoom calls, I whipped down Boho Heart and put up my Long Time Gone. 

Long Time Gone and Boho Heart

I taught this class last year (and again this year), and despite an entire year, my quilt is still missing the borders. That HAS to be done by next month for the show and tell. 

As if that wasn't enough, Jen Kingwell, we're in the middle of making Green Tea and Sweet Beans. Seriously??? Are we groupies or what? 

And I've decided to offer a "remedial" class to those who have fallen behind for whatever reason. Any four quilts (heck, ANY Jen Kingwell will qualify) to get in the group. But it won't start until the fall or January of 2023. But whether you were in my class or not and have one of those quilts in progress, this is the LAST resort to getting them done! We'll all be motivating each other. Well, I hope to be up-to-date with Green Tea by the time this remedial class starts, but just in case! We'll cheer each other on. 

I don't know if I'll do another Jen Kingwell quilt, although I am intrigued by "It's a Small World." NO -- Just say NO!!!

I'm going away for a few days. If I was brilliant, I'd throw that Long Time Gone in the car with some white, grey, and black, and I'd get that darn border on. OK -- I might have to rethink what I packed. 

All this show and tell will be done in June! And then what will I do with all my free time? 

It was funny to say that I will NOT be booking anything new until October. WOW -- I may book something, but it won't' happen until at least then! I'll be positively bored in that tidy Studio B with nothing to sew. HA! I have many community project quilts to quilt, tons of UFOs, and LOADS of ideas. I'll never run out of things to do. 

There was an interesting story in The Globe and Mail yesterday entitled The Great Junk Transfer. You have to sign in to read the article -- sorry, but these newspapers have to make money! It had to do with my generation inheriting our parents' mess! Oh boy --- I can so relate to what the article said. It's mind-boggling the amount of stuff that is languishing in people's homes. And it's the attitude that "I'll let my kids deal with it" that drives me CRAZY. Why should we deal with their crap? I am mad at my parents for that, although they have progressed in ridding themselves of stuff - mostly my Dad and certainly not my Mom. But we will still need to deal with many things when they are gone, and that's why I'm trying hard to do that to M. 

Excellent read in The Globe and Mail

Here's the thing --- all that beautiful old furniture? Worthless. The china and silver? Worthless. NO ONE wants this stuff. Royal Doulton collections? Worthless. I know that sounds harsh, but it's a reality. NO one has room for it, and because it was made in such quantities, there is no value in most of it. There may be some value in some pieces and undoubtedly sentimental value, but no monetary value. 

It's harsh -- very harsh, but that's reality. Thankfully, no crystal, china, or silverware came into my house. I'm taking the article for my Mom to read, although I'm sure it will go over her head. 

There's nothing she can do about it now -- well, she could as she has a LOT of stuff in their apartment that could be gotten rid of, but she won't let it go. I know she won't, and I also know that it's a disease of their generation. My Mom grew up in a log house that was insulated with mud! When you have NOTHING, you value every little thing you get! But to leave it to your kids to deal with is WRONG, but their brains aren't wired that way. 

Yes -- I know I'm guilty of mild hoarding, but I'm doing what I can to deal with it. And perhaps what I should be doing this summer is tackling this office. I need to put my money where my mouth is. Thankfully it's only one room, but if I didn't come home one night and someone had to deal with this mess? Well, it would be intimidating, and it's only one room. 

I MUST make myself a note to start working. No slacking off. 

Here's a book that I think is interesting - I need to find a copy of it. The Stories We Leave Behind by Laura Gilbert and an interesting way of dealing with our crap. Here's another link about Laura

And ENJOY everything you have or get rid of it. The other thing mentioned in the article was the jump in storage units. Instead of dealing with stuff, people rent storage units to put the stuff in. That is just wrong! Deal with it - NOW!!!! There's a HUGE amount of guilt involved in all this, so it's not easy. This is a topic I could go on about -- I have some interesting thoughts, and I really like Laura's ideas. 

OK - I've gone on long enough! It's time to get the day going. Two things need to be done today, and I'm on track to get both completed. I did accomplish all that was on the schedule yesterday. Another long day, but that's OK. 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Amen sister! I've been wandering our home since Mom died in 2007. We have 25% less "stuff" than we did then and that's after a major purge back in the 90s. That said, we have BIG furniture. Mom and Dad's mahogony Duncan Fife dining room set (big table, buffet, china hutch). A Mission style bedstead/nightstands/armoire. No one is going to want those and they will be hard to even give away. We have no kids so our trustees will get to deal with it. We're mindful in getting rid of stuff unused and our "acquiring years" are well behind us. I am slowly rereading all of my books and then giving them away. I'm down to 1.5 shelves from 9 plus my 1 shelf of cookbooks.
    I know there will be fabric/sewing/machines/notions. I have my UFO's down to 13!!!! And then there are clothes..........enough for the rest of my life probably....I'm no fashion girl ;-)

    That's probably more detail than anyone wants ;-)

    Happy Sunday everyone! And enjoy the declutter journey....we're all on that one!

  2. Have you read "They Left Us EVERYTHING" by Plum Johnson? She had a six week plan to sort through the clutter left by her parents, but it ended up taking 16 months!

  3. The End of Her... total surprise. Would it be correct to call that epilogue a cliff-hanger? It certainly left room for at least one more story...

    1. Yes --- I was willing her NOT to do what she did! Then it happened so quickly. That took me for a loop. But the ending? You bet -- that's a cliff hanger and what happened??? Will she write a sequel? I think she needs to. Did you check out her website?

  4. I’m always motivated by your busy schedule, and excellent quilting! Found ‘The end of Her’ at my e library… I love to long arm while listening. You have recommended many excellent books!
    I just finished ‘ A slow fire burning’ Paula Hawkins ( of the girl on a train)… she creates great characters!
    Heading to the longarm!

  5. My mom died 4+ years ago and I just finally got rid of the last box of (some very old) antiques. Took the box to a local antique store and donated it. Proceeds will go to their chosen charities. I hope my mom is smiling down...maybe not happy that those 1880s vases are being donated, but I sure like the empty spot in the cupboard! PS. I'm intrigued with It's a Small World....

  6. Very interesting post! Congrats on your finishes, they are beautiful ! I agree on the clutter we have to deal with that may be inherited. Sometimes there is guilt in letting go of it when another family member held onto it for so long. I try to think of " does it bring me joy?" and it's a little easier....