3 wonderful and practical lessons I learned about life

by Nicole

Hello Dear Reader!

August is like a blur to me, yet it reminded me about three valuable life lessons.

Lesson #1: Quilty folks are the best. 

I started August packing up my quilts and taking them on the road to give a lecture/trunk show at the Gate City Quilt Guild.

It is always such a treat for me to meet other quilters and talk quilty talk. And the Gate City quilters did not disappoint. They welcomed me and allowed me to share my love of modern quilting.

Lesson #2: Be open to discoveries. 

After visiting Gate City, I checked out of town for a couple of weeks and traveled to California to act like a tourist and visit friends. While in Oakland, I stumbled upon A Verb for Keeping Warm, while out looking for cupcakes. It’s a lovely shop with all the things my heart loves: fabric, patterns, yarn and friendly staff. My favorite thing about the shop is that they have samples of the AVFKW patterns in every size for customers to try on. Well, I went right ahead and tried on a couple of samples and promptly bought two of the patterns. I loved being able to see right then and there if the pattern would work for my body, rather than wait until I stitched it up at home.

As soon as I came back home, I stitched up the Endless Summer Tunic.  The only alteration I made was shortening it from a tunic length to a top.

I love how the top turned out. And I’m thankful that it’s still blazing hot here in North Carolina so I wear it every chance I get!

Lesson #3: Keep it simple; get it done.

With all that travel, I still managed to get some quilting done.  I finished my scrap quilt! Here it is in all its scrappy gloriousness.

It’s been a while since I made a simple patchwork quilt. I forgot how gratifying it can be to sew simple squares together and have them magically come together as a quilt.

Many of the squares are scraps from garment sewing or other quilts. Seeing them together brings back memories.

After too much deliberation on the quilting, I decided to keep it simple and go with gentle waves, spaced about an inch apart. I didn’t want the quilting to be too dense as to make the quilt stiff. These gentle waves were fairly quick and easy to stitch and are far enough apart that the quilt has a lovely drape.  It finishes at 70″ x 84″.

Related: The simple and easy peasy way I use up my scraps

Now that quilt is done, I’m feeling good about my continued progress in finishing up my works in progress (w.i.p.s). I still have several projects to go, but I’m counting this finish as a victory in the battle of the w.i.p.s! Here’s to knocking out more w.i.p.s in September!

And I’m counting it a blessing to recognize the lessons life is teaching me. Here’s to continued learning!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

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Christina in SW FL September 4, 2018 - 7:35 am

Nicole, I adore your tale of travels. 🙂 Wonderful tunic turned blouse. 🙂 AVFKW sounds positively wonderful. Your scrappy quilt is wonderful and exemplifies the charm I adore in quilts.

Nicole September 4, 2018 - 9:58 pm

Thanks so much, Christina! I appreciate your kind words. And yes, quilts have a charm of their own. I can’t have too many of them…at least, not yet!

Rosemary B September 4, 2018 - 9:05 am

I love the top. I rarely buy patterns bc I am not sure how they will look on my 60 year old scrawny frame.
Alterations are always necessary. I love the idea of samples to try on.
This top looks perfect on you, Nicole. You have a beautiful smile too.
I am happy that you look some time to get out of town. I have not been anywhere in ages.
Thank you for sharing your adventures
I love the quilt, I have enough fabric here to make a zillion scrap quilts.
I just finished the second quilt for grand daughter number two
I agree the scrappy quilts are the most fun, and I think my little grand kids love them the best.
It is boiling hot here in Northern Virginia too. Staying inside, or going from one A/C location to another is the only way to manage. My daddy is 94 and we took a walk on Sunday in mostly sun. I made the brilliant decision to bring 4 bottles of frozen water. We put them in our pockets and that really prevented us from getting very over exposed to the heat and humidity.

Nicole September 4, 2018 - 10:02 pm

Thank you, Rosemary! You are a gem. I’m glad to hear you are keeping cool up in NOVA despite the high temps. Frozen water bottles are a brilliant idea! Keep stitching those quilts for your grands. Each quilt is a legacy!

Diane September 4, 2018 - 9:57 am

First time reading your blog. Enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to the next one. Diane, from NC

Nicole September 4, 2018 - 10:03 pm

Welcome aboard, Diane! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. We are virtually neighbors! Come back soon!

Melanie September 4, 2018 - 2:36 pm

Love the quilt. The fabrics and colors work so great together, I almost can’t believe it is a scrap quilt. You had a great eye when picking them.

Nicole September 4, 2018 - 10:12 pm

Thanks, Melanie! I do like a “controlled” scrap quilt with a specific color palette. That’s about as scrappy as I’ll get!

Amy, a redeemed sheep September 4, 2018 - 8:02 pm

The top look amazing on you! I have not been brave enough to try sewing clothing, but perhaps, one day, I will give it a try! I also love the simplicity of simple patchwork quilts. They usually end up being my favorite ones. Simple wavy quilting lines are another favorite of mine. Simple and effective. Loved this post!!

Nicole September 4, 2018 - 10:15 pm

Thanks, Amy! I started sewing garments before quilting became a part of my life. There is definitely a different language. And unlike quilts, I can wear my handiwork outside the house and not get funny looks. And yes, simplicity is wonderful. I figure it’s hard to go wrong with patchwork and waves!

Shasta Matova September 5, 2018 - 12:07 pm

That’s a beautiful blouse and looks so good on you. That quilt is also beautiful. I’ve made a squares quilt and it was a lot of fun. I have to keep reminding myself that a quilt doesn’t have to be complicated to be special.

Nicole September 5, 2018 - 10:16 pm

Thanks, Shasta! You are so right that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes less is more!

Marcia H Baker September 6, 2018 - 1:31 am

Great top you made. I bought some of the sewing aid liquid you recommend & you are on the spot about it. I really like it & cotton thread soaks it up. Thanks for all your advice & I enjoy reading your newsletter. I’m from the upstate of South Carolina & our guild is called Piedmont Piecers & we meet in Spartanburg. Come visit!

Cindy September 6, 2018 - 6:46 pm

I also love your work, Nicole, and agree that a quilt of scrappy squares is just beautiful. I really enjoy standing at the cutting table and deciding what scraps to put together. A new neighbor asked me recently what type of quilting do I like to do. I said I like to make big or small things for my home or someone else’s home that adds to the warm & welcome feeling of the home. Back to your work – you show us all such a wide variety of work – colorful, cozy, and just so lovely and creative!

Jayne September 9, 2018 - 10:05 am

I’ve never heard of a place where you can try on samples before buying! Great idea and your top is amazing! I haven’t made a quilt like your scrappy squares in a long, long time…yours makes me want to! It turned out beautiful!

The Joyful Quilter September 10, 2018 - 8:42 pm

That top looks super comfy and your scrap quilt looks SEW cozy!!

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