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Bonnie Hunter’s 2018 Mystery Quilt, “Good Fortune”

I have considered doing a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt for many years now, but joining just before Christmas was a hindrance.  I have folders on my computer of a couple of the PDF’s from years gone by, hoping that I would make it during another part of the year, but without the deadlines and community, never started them.  One year I even tried to get some quilter friends to do it with me, but was not convincing enough.

This year, someone posted about it in a Facebook group I am active in, and I decided that this was the year to just do it.  It really helped the decision that when the paint swatches came out, they were all colors that I had in my scrap bin or my stash, and using much of that fabric was priority.  So…  I have taken the plunge, and I am glad I did!  It actually is a nice break at the end of the day to go to my sewing area and work on something rather mindless.  Bonnie has done all the hard work, and each week you are just doing the same block, in the same way, over and over.

This is Week Two of actual sewing, and I would think it would be quite possible to jump in now and still keep up.  All the information and the free downloadable PDFs are on Bonnie Hunter’s website.    In one of her posts or instructions, she gave “permission” (Let’s face it… some personalities need to get permission!  🙂 ) to do part of the blocks and make a wall quilt, or do part now and catch up later.  I thought that was probably what I would end up doing, but I actually get a little caught up in it and go farther than I expected.  So far I have completed all of the Week One blocks (the red and neutral ones) and almost half of the Week Two (blue and neutral) blocks.  Week Three instructions come out Friday, so I plan on being done with these by then.

Bonnie’s instructions are very good, and even though I am an experienced quilter, I am learning time saving and accuracy tips.  Another plus is that at least the first couple of blocks are small pieces.  I have been able to use some fabric that needed to be cut very small to look good and get them out of my stash.

I plan on posting weekly updates of progress on here, but I realize that as it gets closer to Christmas it may be fewer pieces than needed, and I will have to catch up later.   I would love it if you would join along!

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Why doesn’t it FEEL like the holidays are here?

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It is almost Thanksgiving.  The turkeys are thawing in the refrigerator.  The shopping lists for Thanksgiving dinner are prepared.  The date and time of our family Christmas get-together is set.  The names are drawn for the gift exchange.  So…  Why doesn’t it feel like the holidays are upon us?  And what do I do to change that?

When I get into one of these funks, it is hard for me to be creative.  I can do the work.  I can do all the right things, and they can come out looking good.  But they are missing something.  That spark is not there.  Again, what do I do to change that?

For me, the best thing I can do is get out of my routine and do something appropriate.  So that is what I did.  I took the time (when I didn’t feel like I had the time) and made the drive to a somewhat local, one location, garden center that happens to ship its plants all over a several state radius, Corso’s Garden Center.  I called them first to ask if the poinsettias were in the store’s greenhouse and if they were in bloom.  The answer was “Oh, yes!”  And as you can tell from the above photo, boy were they!  Not only that, but the beautiful decorations were up, included an exquisite garden railway, set up by a local garden railway enthusiasts club.  I am sure soon the music will be playing as well.

It struck me later that we don’t have much of that in our area anymore.  The higher end department stores and malls used to be beautifully decorated, and abuzz with music and people.  Most of those high end stores have closed in our area, and the malls are feeling the loss.  I was missing something I hadn’t even noticed was gone.  I knew the stores weren’t there anymore, but I hadn’t realized that the “extras” had left too.  What has replaced those extras is all mass produced and artificial.  And we have already been looking at it for months.

I am so glad that there is somewhere I can visit that still goes over the top for Christmas, with natural beauty and the scents of Christmas included.  Not the artificial scent of cinnamon pine cones found EVERYWHERE (and I should know, as I have a coughing fit every time I get near them), but the real scents of flowers and pine in abundance.

I am happy to say the inspiration is back!  Full force!  And now I know where to go when I need it again!

Where do you go to get re-inspired?

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The Journey Does Indeed Begin!

poppies, color inspiration, Artfully Quilted Design, Purple and Red

He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along paths for his name’s sake.  Psalm 23:3

Retirement…  A time to step back, relax, take life easy.   That is what we like to think the definition is, but is it?   Or is it a clean slate to start doing that which you have been building within your life for many years?

I believe that whatever the Lord has brought into our lives, the experiences, the things that we have learned, the talents we have honed, the people we have met, the skills we have acquired, the passions we have developed, all have a purpose.  They all build on each other, and if we follow the path set before us, at some point they all converge.

And so this new life begins…