Fall colors.

At least, I think they are… What do you think? Are these acceptable colors for Celebrate Color?

I had to wander around the LQS forever pulling fabrics and putting them back. Do you ever have that problem where you know what you want, but you aren’t sure what it is? Maybe that’s just me. I finally came up with these 7 fabulous fabrics in colors that are so not my usual palette. But I’m really pleased.

I love the little skull & crossbones print (halloween!) from CW’s “Gone Haunting” line and the brown print’s squiggles sort of remind me of the shape of candy corns.

This little mini-quilt was my “travel” project (i.e. doesn’t require a machine or much else in the way of materials). I’m kind of surprised at how much progress I actually made as I usually forego anything productive on vacation. Perhaps it had something to do with the crappy wifi connection in our hotel room.

Unfortunately, I ran out of the brown fabric and couldn’t find any more at my LQS (and I don’t know what it is!), so I had to add that brown polka-dotty fabric to the mix. I’m actually really disappointed, but I guess the new addition works. I knew I should have checked out the quilt store in Sebastian, FL.

I am also bummed that I didn’t complete this mini-quilt for today, but I finished up the last yo-yo last night. Now I just have to figure out how to join them… hehehehe. I’ve never done yo-yos before. (In fact, I actually had to ask Alexis for advice since she has done them before.) I found it strangely cathartic. Also easily picked up and put down which is very important when you take a baby on vacation.

Next week I hope to show you both this quilt and the next one in the works for mini-quilt Monday #3!


The following is an account of the events of September 11, 2001 from my experience. I wrote this ages ago, and have always meant to publish it near the anniversary of 911, but have always been held back by that nagging feeling that my story wasn’t important enough. I know that what happened to me is trivial compared to those who lost their loved ones on that day. However, the entire day was so emotionally draining, that I doubt I will ever forget even one second of it.

She badged into the closed office and plunked her stuff down on her desk. Awaiting her was a list of things to do. Apparently the new boss didn’t really trust her to come in early and not fuck off.

With a sigh she leaned over and scrawled “Wish Grandma a Happy Birthday” at the bottom of the list.

She scanned the office, if you could call it that. The room was more of a passthrough with four desks set up in a square. Everyone had to walk through this office to get to the other offices. No notes or lists on anyone else’s desk. She supposed that was the curse of being the new girl.
Humph, “the new girl”, she was the only girl and that’s usually how she liked it, but she suspected it would not be an asset at this company. Something about the way management was structured was a bit stiff. Even the other men in her office who had been around for years seemed to avoid speaking their minds about anything. And yet, she couldn’t put her finger on it.

She sat and reminded herself again to get a rear view mirror for her computer monitor. Having her back to the hallway traffic and the boss’s office was disconcerting. The whole place and team was disconcerting. As her computer booted she counted the days she had been working here. Twelve. Two weeks and two days. Today was Tuesday, only 4 days until the weekend and the beginning of her (unpaid) vacation.

That first day had been especially difficult. Her manager mentioned to her that he had never managed a woman before. She secretly believed he never managed much of anyone before. His baby-face gave him away. Apparently none of her other team members had worked with a woman before either. No one had even shown her where the restroom was. By lunchtime she was about to burst and went searching for it herself. There it was, just down the hall and around the corner. Once inside she sat in one of the stalls thinking this job was a huge mistake. She didn’t fit in.

She had only taken this job because the start-up company she worked for previously was going under. There wasn’t even an increase in pay to come work here. In fact, she’d had to fight to get them to match her salary. Just another little oddity about this place. They were unusually frugal. And yet, they were paying what was surely an outrageous rent for prime office space downtown.

Just after she finished reading her email, the guy who sat kitty corner from her arrived. With his long brown hair pulled into a low pony tail, and his baggy jeans and grungy tee-shirt he looked like the stereotypical computer geek, which he was. He was, however, the friendliest of the three men in this office.

“Good morning,” he said.

“Hi.” she said, and then turned to check the list for the next item of business.

“Happy Tuesday.” he said.

She grunted. Happy. Right.

Noises came from behind her. Her boss was here. He didn’t say hello to anyone, but rather entered his glass walled office and sat staring out over downtown Austin.

The boy who sat across from her had come in with the boss and moved toward his desk. He was supposed to be her team lead. She figured him for about 22, several years her junior. And he was arrogant, always proclaiming to the office how beautiful his work was, but always criticizing everyone else, especially her. It didn’t matter that her work was more efficient, the boss always took his side anyway.

She nodded and said hello, and as she turned back to her work saw the ponytailed man glance at her and winked. She grinned. She wondered again why he was so different from the others.He looked up from his monitor with a start and said, “A plane just crashed into the world trade center.”

“Nice.” she sad and pictured a small biplane bouncing off the building. It would be interesting to  hear this story from her step-brother, who lived in the city. She went back to work until a few minutes later when he announced a second plane crashing into the other tower.

They all stood up and were called to the conference room where a tiny TV was tuned to CNN. As a Third plane crash landed at the pentagon, everyone looked out the conference room window at the back of the pink capitol building next door, and wondered the same thing.  Is it next?

The TV played the same clips over and over. One plane hit and then the next. Suddenly the picture shifted to show the first tower imploding. They were all staring drop jawed when an enormous man walked into the room. He loomed over them and commanded “Get back to work, this is a waste of time.”

Silently, they headed back to their desks. She sat down and stared at her computer, utterly confounded by the plane crashes, but appalled by the complete lack of empathy from the big blonde man.

She opened a chat window and typed a message to her coworker across the desk.

“Was that the CEO?” She’d heard stories that he was not a man to be reckoned with. Known for being a slave driver and a scrooge, he didn’t even cut his own mother any slack. Never mind that it was her money that started this company.

“Yes.” he answered. “You should introduce yourself.”

Her thoughts turned back to her step brother in New York. What if he was trapped in the World Trade Center? She couldn’t believe that earlier she was wondering how he would tell this story. Now she wondered if he would be alive to tell the story. She also wondered who else in the office had relatives or friends at one of the crash sites.

“I have to say,” she typed, “That was a little harsh.”

He looked up and whispered “That’s not private.”

She shrugged.

A few clicks later the morning’s work was in front of her again. With a sigh, she began typing. More slowly than usual, as she was  still distracted by the mornings events.

“A plane just crash landed in a field. They think the passengers took over.” She was smiling and was thinking about what heroes those passengers would be when the big man tapped her roughly on the shoulder.

She looked up startled. “Yes?”

“Come with me.”

She stood and followed him back into the conference room where the TV was replaying footage of the towers before their collapse. There were tiny spots falling from each one, and she realized they must be people jumping from windows. A new feeling of horror engulfed her, she could not even imagine what those people’s families must be going through, much less the emotions and terror of the people trapped in the building.

She was barely listening when he snapped the TV off and told her to sit.

Good dog, she thought as she took a chair. He remained standing. Towering was more like it.

Again she looked out the 4th floor window at the sun bouncing off the stone dome of the capitol building. The parking lot was a lot less full now.

“How dare you?!” he seethed. She was startled back to reality by the sheer loathing in his voice.


His face changed color from the pale skin of the Irish, to red and then on to purple and he leaned over her chair in front of her face. She shrank into her chair and thought that this must be what a person would feel like just before a bear ate them.

“I do not tolerate insubordination! How dare you call me names to my other employees!”

Names? She blinked. He was kidding, right? “Um… I’m sorry. I just..?”

He interrupted her and in a mocking voice said, “You are about to learn that sometimes ‘Sorry’ just doesn’t cut it!” And before she could say anything in her own defense he roared “You’re Fired!”

“But… I…”

“No. You have five minutes.”


“Shut UP!” he screamed at her. Now she was sure that the entire company could hear him through the glass walls of the conference room. She looked out into the hall to see everyone heads down working. Or rather pretending to work.

He opened the door and waited for her to pass through it.

“I… I’m sorry…” she stammered, but she wasn’t even sure why she was bothering to apologize. She wasn’t sorry. He had been rather harsh when he ordered them all back to their desks. She was just the only one dumb enough to point it out. But then, how was she supposed to know he was reading her private message to the boy across the desk? What kind of loser sat around reading instant messaging traffic between his employees?

The four steps to her desk seemed to take an eternity. And somewhere in that four steps a dam broke and the tears spilled from her eyes. Her boss and coworkers were all peering over their computer monitors and pretending not to watch as she sobbed and packed up her few belongings. How humiliating.

She looked up at the CEO about to say “I’m sorry” again, but saw on his face a smug, self-satisfied grin, swallowed her words and zipped up her bag.

And that was when she realized that she wasn’t crying tears for the loss of her job or the humiliation of crying in front of her coworkers. No, they were tears of grief for the lives that had been lost. They were tears of anger for an attack on American soil. They were tears of sorrow because nothing was ever going to be the same.

As these thoughts sunk in, she decided it didn’t matter that he had fired her. Who would want to work for someone so egotistical and insensitive anyway? One last look around the office gave her the answer. Not one of her coworkers — not even her boss — had said one word since she had returned to her desk.

Cowards. All of them. Where was their integrity? Their sense of self worth? What was their idea of right and wrong? These were not the people she wanted to work with.

She turned toward the door and left.

So that’s my 911 story. What’s yours? Where were you when America was turned upside down and then united with a fervor unequaled since? How did the day affect you?

Another thing off the list! Ever since I did the Built By Wendy Simplicity 3835 the first time, I’d been wanting to try it again with a couple of Chris’ old button down shirts. While I love the butterfly version, it’s just not practical for nursing the baby. The buttons certainly takes care of that problem.

There were lots of stumbling blocks this time around, and I wondered if I wouldn’t just end up with shredded men’s shirt at the end. First, the sleeves were really too small, then the hem didn’t line up on the sides, and then I couldn’t decide how to anchor the elastic in the neckline (I ended up just sewing it along each side of the placket). But once again, this awesome pattern produces wearable results without a whole lot of fuss!

A mini-quilt and a mini-quilt-model. The boy was dying to get his hands on this one, so I put him to good work.

Faith over at Fresh Lemons is leading a challenge to get us to expand our comfort zones and try some new techniques by making and posting about a mini-quilt each Monday in September.

This little mug rug (which is probably smaller than the intended mini-quilt, but oh well) was made using the HST from a tube technique. Only this time, one side of each tube was made from two strips of color, while the other was a solid white. I had thought about doing this previously when I was writing the HST tutorial, but finally decided to give it a go.

I also machine quilted it. Machine quilting is still new to me, and I’m not crazy about my results so far, but perhaps with practice they’ll be more acceptable. You can’t see it here, but on the back the starts and stops are just so visible as big blobs of thread. I’m not sure why that happened.

The backing is something Faith will recognize as I got it from a recent de-stashing of hers.

Another new thing for this quilt (it’s jam packed with new experiences for such a tiny quilt). I tried — desperately — to machine bind it. Four times I started, and four times I ripped it out. That’s a lot of teensy tiny blue and white threads all over my red tee-shirt! Finally I gave in and did the binding by hand like I always do. I don’t know. I guess I enjoy the process of binding by hand, so I really don’t have a whole lot of motivation — or patience — to learn to do it on the machine.

Anyway, this little quilt is bound (ha-ha) for Alexis’ desk. I think the boy-child will be most upset that it is not for him.

Against my better judgement, I’ve decided to join in on several “group-along” projects for the fall. You know, in my spare time? To make things even worse, I’ve started thinking about NaNoWriMo AGAIN. Will I ever learn?

Over at Stitched in Color, the “thing-along” (Celebrate Color) is about fall colors. And the first “assignment” is to write a post about what fall colors are for me. As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short. But here is my excuse. It’s only September. And it’s been one of the hottest (and driest) summers on record, with no signs of letting up any time soon so I’m not feeling very “fallish” yet.

Honestly, to me, fall doesn’t start until somewhere around Halloween. That’s about when all the leaves on the trees turn brown and fall off. No pretty colors here… well, not many anyway. Around here (normally) in September, the weather cools off enough and we get some (much needed) rain that the trees and plants turn green again from their dead summer brown.

And that brings me to this:

A little hand pieced, hand quilted scene I made a few years ago. These are the colors I think of in September. Clear blue skies, grass that is just greening up a little, and sunshine that isn’t so brutally suffocating. Not the most traditional of fall like colors, I know.

Later in the year, I start seeing the world in the warmer hues of orange and brown and gold, but still with a bit of green and red thrown in. On a side note, why is it that the colors for fall — when the weather is cooling off — are warm colors, and the colors for spring — when the air warms up — are cool colors like greens and blues?

I had planned to pull fabrics to show you what’s in the works, but found that nothing I had really fit the image in my head. I hate it when that happens. It means I have to go run over to the LQS. I mean, what a hardship!

I’m going to try to combine my Celebrate Color projects with some Mini-Quilt Monday posts for September. I hope that’s not cheating! So stay tuned. With any luck, they won’t all be epic Friday Fails!

← Newer Posts