Inspiration and works in progress

It is good to back in front of a blank blog page!  I’ve been delaying writing imagining that I’d be in a position to compose a post with a neat beginning, wholesome middle and satisfying end but life isn’t like that, is it?  Beginnings are often stuttering, middles are full of diversions and missed opportunities and endings can be chaotic and incomplete!  And, of course, it’s impossible to concentrate fully on one strand of activity as we are always weaving in new threads and dropping stitches as we go along!

‘Undulations’ by Jan Hassard

So, I shall jump straight to a wholesome middle: a lively and engrossing talk at Roundabout Quilters on Tuesday evening with guest speaker Jan Hassard.   Jan was great, as full of energy and fun as her vibrant quilts are full of colour.  During her talk, entitled ‘Colour and Illusion’, Jan showed us a lovely selection of quilts she has designed and made right from the first 1970’s Amish style Trip Round the World, through to the bargello quilt patterns that strongly influence her ‘illusion’ 3D-effect designs and so to her latest called ‘Colour Wave’.  Please do click to see her inspiring gallery and find out about her lectures and workshops.

Colour Wave
‘Colour Wave’ by Jan Hassard

There were lots of lovely anecdotes and tips dotted through her talk and Jan explained that her illusion quilt block patterns generally require only 2-3 width of fabric strips from each of a large number of fabrics.  In her designs Jan makes lots of use of the 60° line on quilt rulers which makes for very interesting patterns. She prefers to collect half yard pieces for her stash rather than fat quarters and is convinced that scrap quilts do not significantly reduce a stash!

SONY DSCTalking of using up stash, my newest work in progress is a monster and aliens quilt!  True to Jan Hassards theory, whilst I have dented my little stash of novelty prints in making this top, I have increased my general stash by buying some new fabrics for the yet to be added borders! Hey!Ho!

Quilt top awaiting borders.
Quilt top awaiting borders.

SONY DSCThe other work in progress is our building project.  Work began in the middle of May, I am trying not to become jaded about this but it is starting to feel a bit of a slog!  Now the extension is weatherproof the kitchen is slowly being dismantled and despite our best efforts plaster dust is coating every surface in the house.

SONY DSCOn the ‘keeping positive’ side, the ‘New Room’ (ex-garage) is almost complete and you may observe the double sockets conveniently placed at sewing table height under the window 🙂

Other positives and inspiration have been gained through a discussion in our housegroup about personal Bible study and prayer, quiet times.  No one disputed the benefit of taking time each day to have a quiet time; everyone acknowledged how difficult it can be to develop an effective routine.  Daily Bible notes are often helpful and one member of the group shared her use of Bible note phone app. Helpful as it can be opened and used for a time of reflection before the checking of e-mails, Facebook messages, Instagram etc.  A 28 day introductory app from the Good Book Company can be downloaded for free and is designed as a way to discover, or re-discover, the wonder of having the Word of God available to us – I’m finding it very encouraging, and I haven’t missed a day yet!

Lastly, I’d like to share this news story with you.  It is about a 22 year old university student undergoing ground breaking surgery to remove a brain tumour.  There are no ‘gory’ bits in the video clip (promise!) but we are shown him being woken during the procedure to sing as the surgeons continued the delicate work of removing the tumour cells without damaging the speech area of his brain.  I was so moved to hear the young man sing 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman .  The BBC journalist covering the story wrote this:

A speech therapist worked with Mr Hill as the surgeons removed the last parts of the tumour.

With the lights dimmed, Mr Hill sang these poignant words from the hymn 10,000 Reasons: “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, I’ll still be singing when the evening comes.”

I have witnessed scores of operations over the years, but none like this.

It was a moving culmination to a remarkable piece of surgery.


Linking with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work In Progress Wednesday (even though it’s Thursday!)

6 thoughts on “Inspiration and works in progress

  1. Some little person will really enjoy those little aliens and robots – such a cute print.
    Wow, the renovation is really dragging on ! Glad to read you are staying positive, though. All those electrical outlets will be so nice to have. The house we live in is old and was built on a shoestring budget and one of the things that is lacking is sufficient electrical outlets ! Once the reno is complete it looks like you will have a very sunny spot !

    • I have to keep thinking what it will be like when it’s all finished. Me and our youngest are getting the paint rollers out tomorrow and giving the new plaster a basecoat – it’ll be a relief to just do something towards getting finished! Over the years we have added lots of extra sockets around this 1970s house, it’s amazing how many more gadgets we have now!

  2. Wasn’t the young guy undergoing the surgery so so brave ? Though he would probably say not brave but doing what he had to do . Beyond my levels of bravery . The building work is coming along well . Hope you get a good run of weather

    • Thanks Helen. I think the young man had that lovely aura of peace about him that can only be found in and through God. I’m sure I’d be a bag of nerves! The weather has taken a turn for the worst here but the building work is mainly indoors now.


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