TGIFF – Twinkle & The Last Two Weeks

Oh shazam. What a two weeks that was! When I left you, I shared that I was suffering from Glandular Fever (aka mono), and I had taken a visit to the emergency room. Sexy Dr. James insisted I spend the next few weeks resting into recovery. Well that lasted about three days. As I started to feel like I could actually get off the couch, I needed something to occupy my hands and brain. As I’m usually going non-stop, standing still for any length of time feels like cruel and unusual punishment. (I’m the guy that thinks sleep is a waste of time). I do realise that stillness was exactly what I needed to get better, and I promise I spent plenty of time doing just that. This quilt was definitely created one stitch at a time! 
Starting off, I didn’t have any plans. I just needed to do something. The easiest thing for me to do was rifle through my stash. As I was looking through my fabrics, I noticed that some of them were starting to show signs of discolouration on the fold lines. GASP! Now, I keep my fabrics in semi-opaque plastic tubs, but sometimes I do leave the lids off of them. So whatever the reason, I knew I needed to start using some of them faster than I had been. 
I grabbed most of the aqua / teal selection and started cutting them up into 5″ charm squares, avoiding any of the discoloured fold lines. I used a stashed half yard of Art Gallery’s Lace Elements in gold for the stars, and just went for it. It really got me thinking about why am I saving fabric? If I’m not gonna use it, I need to lose it! I’m not really a fabric hoarder, (my stash is comparatively small), but if I’ve had fabric long enough for it to get sun damage … Well, it’s time.
I pieced the back from Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander, Art Gallery Living Elements, and mostly Art Gallery Pure Elements. There’s a couple of pieces of Kona Peacock in there too. Looking back, I actually think it was the Wee Wander that inspired the colour way of this quilt–funny that it didn’t even make it into the front! I also started gaining some more clarity about the fabrics I love, and want to work with. More on that another time.
Since I didn’t really plan ahead for this quilt, I was one yellow charm square short. No probs! I just glue basted some scraps together, and bam, charm square acquired! If you haven’t glue basted before, grab the kiddos Elmer’s and give it a go. You can see the seam, but how perfectly does that pattern line up? Totally worth it. For the quilting, I first created an echo line around each star. I then added plus-shaped tacking at some of the charm square intersections. I don’t know if that type of quilting is a real thing, but it was easy, quick, and left the quilt with a really loose drape.
I have a small, well, okay, big confession to make. I haven’t been labelling my quilts. I know. I’ve yet to find a labelling style that really suits me. I don’t like the look of hand written labels, but woven labels don’t have all the customisable information I want to include. I don’t have a printer, and my sewing machine doesn’t do embroidery. I still include my GFB (glitter flecked binding) on all my quilts, but I do feel like that’s not enough. However, that yellow binding is working it out for me!
This quilt is not rocket science. It has no hidden agenda. It is certainly not gonna save the world. But it did save me! This one unassuming little project offered tons of reflection, and has allowed me to see some aesthetics I should be exploring, and those I should leave behind. That’s certainly good enough. It also gave me time to reflect on the role of social media in my life. I’ll be sharing a blog post about that tomorrow, and while a bit more serious, writing it was extremely cathartic.
So two weeks, huh? During the creation of this quilt I’ve been back to my GP half a dozen times as they continued to monitor my liver function tests which were extremely high. Mr. Sparkles has been taking extremely good care of me though. He’s been pumping all sorts of vitamins into me, feeding me clean foods, and making fresh juices from beets, apples, celery, ginger, and all other good things for your liver. As per Thursday’s blood work, my liver is nearly back to normal. Don’t pop the bottles just yet–I said nearly–but things are heading in the right direction. Oh and you know, I am itching to tell my liver exactly what I think of its behaviour by throwing a dirty martini in its face!
Thank you all for your sparkling support.
Title: Twinkle
Size: 50″ x 50″
Pattern: Patchwork charms and stars
Fabric: My teal stash, and Lace Elements from Art Gallery
Quilting: Echoing the stars and additional tacking with Gutterman 50wt, colour 6745 teal
Binding: machine stitched with Aurifil 50wt, colour 2024 white on top and the Gutterman on bottom
Backing: Pieced backing of Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander, Art Gallery Pure Elements and Living Elements
Favourite Part: Yellow binding. Because yes.
Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts!

“Sure that star can twinkle.” – Tori Amos

31 Responses

  1. Peaches1003 says:

    Glad you are on the mend, and I think your quilt is very sweet. Love the solid yellow binding too.

  2. Goodness Molli, two weeks without a drink – you have been doing it tough! I'm hearing you about the use it or lose it – I keep my fabric in the shelves inside a wardrobe, but I leave the wardrobe door open. Even though the wardrobe gets no direct sun on it I found some of my aqua fabric had fade around the fold lines too. They were organic fabrics in the main, I don't know if that's just a coincidence?
    I love your aqua and yellow together, they really *cough* shine. The tacking is a really nice touch, I think it suits the quilt very much. I also don't label my quilts and I feel bad about it but obviously not bad enough to do anything about it. Huff.

  3. Mareenchen says:

    Good to hear you're getting better (glad at the same time that I had my a-typical bout of Glandular Fever during puberty and without most of what you've been through although I had a surgery for a tissue sample as they assumed Hodgkins).

    And I *love* the quilt. Who cares it's no rocket science? It's beautiful and even magical if it kept you sane. I'm a defender of sleep and duvet castles but as soon as you're ordered to tuck yourself in it just isn't any fun anymore.

  4. pennydog says:

    So glad you're nearly back to normal 🙂

  5. Sooli says:

    Glad you're on the improve. Not every quilt needs to be a world changer, this one clearly had its own benefit for you. I'm surprised that your fabric is fading on the folds, your room must get quite a bit of light. I used to store my fabric in boxes but my hallway (and behind my bedroom door) clearly didn't get enough light to bother it. Now its all in a chest of drawers, tucked away from the light and, as a bonus, much easier to see what I have in each colour! I can highly recommend drawers for fabric.

  6. Jodi says:

    So glad you are feeling better – I have been wondering how you were getting along and praying you would have your sparkle back again soon. Such a blessing to have Mr Sparkles taking such good care of you & so nice that you could take the time to create more reflectively and restfully. The result is really quite beautiful in its simplicity and its complexity.

  7. Anja says:

    Glad to hear you are on the mend. Great quilt…love the colours.

  8. Karin says:

    I love this sweet little quilt! The back is as pretty as the front.

    I've got myself on a fabric-buying freeze until I complete at least 5 quilts (3 currently in progress). I like having options of what to work on, but I need to move some of my current stash too!

  9. I am so happy to hear that things are almost back to normal for your liver. Huge yes for the yellow binding!

  10. Fishkopp says:

    oh man, that sounds nasty.
    I had mono when I was 17 and still remember how weak and bad I felt….
    In German we say: the liver grows with it's tasks, so I hope yours is soon able to digest that much needed martini.
    Get totally well soon!

    Lovely quilt!

    PS I still order my woven labels in Germany, and their are quite a few shops that will work with you to totally get your own design. I really like you nested MS Initials – why not turn it into a woven label?

  11. Dawn says:

    I have been quilting for about 20 years and almost never put on labels! I do when I'm giving it away…usually. And I have no excuse because my machine does do letters. The part that stops me us having to "name" the quilt. Does "because I liked this fabric or pattern" sound like a good name? Feel better!

  12. SewPsyched! says:

    So very glad to hear that you are having the opportunity to feel well enough to do some exploration! Keep up the clean eating! hmm, a dirty martini sounds mighty good right about now…! XX!

  13. Katy Cameron says:

    Ahh, glad to see that some quilt therapy saved you, I'm hoping it'll do the same for me for a bit. As for the labels, yeah, I never remember either lol As for the drink, now you have me eyeballing that bottle of vodka I found in the cupboard today…

  14. Good on you Molli, so glad to hear you're feeling a bit better and that Mr Sparkles has been looking after you. Quilting is great therapy in so many circumstances isn't it. Love the aqua colours….they are some of my favs. Jen

  15. So happy to hear you are on recovery road and look forward to when you are once again sparkling in all your former glory and blinding us all with your high voltage sparkle. Hugs

  16. I have not been following your blog for long (a couple months?) so I forget how you feel about free motion quilting … I, too, struggled with labeling my quilts until I decided to just include free motion quilting of my full name, place and date of completion somewhere on each quilt. Solved that problem and gives the viewer something to search for.

    🙂 Linda

  17. Yellow binding can never be a bad choice! And sometimes you just need to quilt to quilt, not the change the world. 😀 Glad you're almost 100%

  18. Oh my, I'm so glad to hear that you are on the mend. I've been sadly disconnected from the blogosphere lately. What a fabulous recovery quilt to make and it sounds like it was quite therapeutic. Don't overdo it (says one go-go person to another 😉 ). 🙂

  19. Sounds like your poor liver has been working some over-time … perhaps have an Apple Martini and call a truce? I've only just started labelling my quilts too, but there is no place on the labels to write a date or a title. I did intend to hand stitch those details onto the binding – but that hasn't happened yet! Good to see you have some twinkle or sparkle back 🙂

  20. Same what Peaches 1003 said – and glad you are feeling a lot better 🙂

  21. Super cute quilt! Glad to hear you're feeling better – I've missed your posts!

  22. Farm Quilter says:

    So glad this darling quilt helped you during your "down" time! I always love blue and yellow together. So happy to hear you are on the mend…seems to take so very long! The sparkle is back!!!

  23. The O's says:

    Thrilled Mr Sparkles has been looking after you and that you have a bit of sewjo in you. Georgeous quilt, but most of your things are! Keep getting better.

  24. Leanne says:

    It's good that you are on the mend. Consider throwing a sheet/blanket/quilt over those tubs as you leave them and the sun damage might go away. That or new windows. I love the quilt, the yellow works so well.

  25. leanne says:

    happy to hear you're getting better and that doing a little easy quilting helped pass the time – sweet quilt and I love that AGF lace elements – it was one of the first "modern" fabrics I purchased !

  26. Sit for 2 weeks, what torture! Love that you chose a simple quilt to lull away the time. My favorite juice is beet, carrot, apple, and ginger. If only I had someone waiting on me as they also cleaned out the juicer!

  27. Laurelle says:

    Fantastic you are feeling better! Love your teal quilt.
    My liver also needs a rest after 2 weeks in NZ with the girls! Bloody alcohol why does it have to be so yummy! 🙂

  28. Alla Blanca says:

    Molli, I've so missed your posts! Great to have you back in blog-land. Although I love that you glue-basted your way into another usable charm square, I want to offer the possibility that having one star be totally (or just randomly) different is also acceptable. I have a deep love for the serendipity that comes from running out of fabric and thus having fabric surprises turn up in my quilts.

  29. This is a really sweet finish. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Love the combination of aqua and yellow. And you are so right… Sometimes you just need to get into that stash and make! Have a look at my labels sometime. Maybe they will suit. You can design them yourself to say whatever you want.

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