Monday, February 28, 2011

A Gift of Summer on a Winter Day

Watermelons just say "summer" to me!
Picnics! Backyard barbeques! The Beach! Cool, juicy watermelon to refresh on even the hottest summer day! Ah ... I just cannot wait for the warm weather to return to my quilty corner of the world.

Last summer I joined a "Sizzlin' Summer Table Runner Swap" on Q&N. Partners were paired and ideas and wishes went out and we all got busy sewing just the right gift of summer for our friend. Well, I was paired with a lovely lady as my partner. I had just the right fabric and the perfect pattern jumped right out of a magazine. Plans were even laid to meet and swap our gifts in person at a quilt show ... but, as life happens ... best laid plans sometimes go astray ... at least on my end.

This old house felt like it was falling down around our ears ... everything seemed to break at once. All time and energy went to just trying to keep everything working. At the end of the day there was not much sewing or quilting happening. By the early fall I was as rundown as the house and even the pretty fabric calling could not get me moving again. Guilt set in, as I knew I was letting down my quilty pals. I could not even find a good book to read. My seasonal sinus problems set in and head just hurt. Visits to the doctor did not help much and sinus meds made no lasting improvement. Finally in December I went in for my bi-annual eye exam and I found I could not even read the largest letters on the chart without blurring. Now how did I let that happen? I have always had vision problems and know I have to take care of my eyes. Well, after the first of the year, I got my new glasses ... and the doctor warned me that it would take some time for my eyes to adjust to the vastly changed prescription ... and, after a lot of tweaking of the frame adjustment, I got the bifocals in the right place that I could see what I was sewing ... and what I had sewed looked pretty bad ...

... sew ... it was back to the beginning.

I started with the long overdue table topper. I had actually made one. No pictures of that one will be seen. I thought about keeping it for the cats to enjoy, but, no ... I do not want to ever see it again so it has gone to warm the landfill.

I got the original pattern out. It is from the Jul/Aug 2010 issue of Fons and Porter magazine and is called "Veranda Sunrise" Just lovely! Yep... still the one that I wanted to make. But one of the units which in the magazine called for machine-appliqued bias strips. I am just no good at anything beyond the simplest of applique. I am sure there is nothing wrong with the pattern as designed, but I re-designed the "watermelon slice" units to be pieced curves and did them on my machine. I picked watermelons in part because red is the favorite color of the friend for whom I was making the topper. These machine pieced slices of summer came out sew much better for me.

When it came time to think about the backing, I decided that since it would be a few months before picnics and watermelon are enjoyed here in the northeast that I should make a two-sided "Spring Into Summer" table topper. I used red again as the focus color and added soft yellow and pink and green. The wavy striped "watermelon rind" fabric went very well with both sides.

So here is the "backside" of this table topper ...

My gift at last got to its new home today and I also opened the box which my friend mailed to me last August which was still sitting unopened in its mailing box.


I have a very wonderful Watermelon table topper of my own, which my friend, Cherie, made for me. The piecing and stitching on this one is just so perfect! The fabrics are fabulous and my kitchen table looks so bright and summery on the cold, bleak, gray winter day.

I should not be feeling so pleased with myself and my gift ... after all the months I took to complete this commitment. I am, though. It feels "sew good" to be sewing again!

On to my next long overdue commitment ... one of the two Round Robin 2010 borders that I still need to sew and send. No pictures yet of the one I am working on. My patient friend Sherry has hers in the non-peekers album.

ummmmmmm ... about my own Round Robin that I sent out last January? ... it is complete and still sealed in the package that Ann sent to me ... waiting for me to enjoy after I get these others on their way ...

I am so blessed to have such good and patient quilty friends ...

time to sew .... :) Pat


  1. Pat, you don't know me but from the short time I've read your blog, you are a lovely person, worthy of all the patience your quilty friends are showing you! Continue to do your shows!

  2. Pat,
    Life happens & I know everyone understands. So glad your new glasses are working for you. From the beautiful watermelon table topper you made, they are working great. What darling fabric & pattern.
    Your gifted topper is lovely too.

  3. Pat, I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that! How wonderful that you're sewing again. Love the watermelons!

  4. Thanks, friends, for the kind comments. :)

    Carol ... any friend of Dorian's is a friend of mine ;) you have a blog?

    Rebecca ... {{{{{hugs}}}}} I know life has been happening for you, too, lately. Been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers <3

    Delia ... been trying to read up on your writing progress but I am hopelessly behind. How do you find the time with a young family? Hope to run into you at a the quilt shop or a quilt show sometime this spring! :)

  5. Pat, no, I'm new to this blogging thing, thanks to Dorian. lol I'm having a lot of fun browsing everyone's blogs, even entering a few giveaways and offering comments. BTW, I love your playlist! I was listening to it last night for quite awhile. We have similar listening taste. :-D

  6. Carol, I love to listen music at any time of day and everywhere, but especially when I sew. I often put this playlist on and let it run while the fabric flows through my fingers. I have pretty eclectic taste in music. I have other playlists, too, that are just classical or country or hard-rock or opera or "oldies" favorites from my younger days and I pick the one that suits my mood and turn up the volume when no one is home and I am going about the business of the day ... :) Pat


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