Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#7 54 40 or Fight Quilt Block Ornament

Here is block #7 Fifty Four Forty or Fight.  This block was so easy to make.  I had it done in  about 1/2 and hour.

The name of the block is quite unusual though.  It caused me to look up 54 40 or fight on Google and I learned a little bit of history with it.  54 40 or fight was a campaign slogan for Polk in 1844 and it referred to the dispute over the Oregon Territory.  There were many claims to this land and it was at the forefront of Polk's campaign. 

I think it's interesting that a quilt block came out of it.  Imagine if today the only way we could express our opinions were to create quilt blocks.  Not that we don't but it is amazing that just a short time ago we weren't even allowed to vote.  The equality and freedoms that have come about in the last century is truly amazing.  There are so many opportunities that I take for granted that were not there even in my mother's generation.  Think about it... I'm the head of a department of about 25 people.  Many chemists both men and women and I have the opportunity to be a laboratory manager.  Not due to my gender but because of my abilities. 

It's amazing how much our culture has changed in the last 50 years.  In fact, many times as I'm watching TV I think about how if we showed some of the commercials we have today and aired them 50 or even 30 years ago there would be such an outrage.  I don't know if you've noticed but men are made out to be idiots compared to women in today's commercials and many sitcoms.  As I watch these commercials I think about what it would look like if the roles or lines were reversed.  Women would be campaigning with picket signs at the networks front steps and the products lines would probably go bankrupt.  We women didn't appreciate the way we were treated back then but I think we've swung the pendulum too far the other way.  Just for kicks you should listen to the old time radio network on satellite radio and listen to how women play the part of a ditz who can't make decisions without a man.  It's eery how much it sounds like today's sitcoms but the man is the ditz who can't make a decision without a woman.  I think women just wanted equality and respect but I think we need to remember the golden rule and treat others as we want to be treated. 

One of the best lessons I ever received was from my boss, my current lab manager.  I was meeting with him to discuss a personnel issue in my department.  I had a chemist who was really not dealing with others appropriately but it was all subtle stuff that is difficult to address and I was expressing my extreme frustration.  My boss just sat back and quietly asked me how my interactions and corrections with this chemist would change if the thought I kept in my head was that God loves this person just as much as He loves me and He died for this person just like He died for me.   Wow!  I wasn't looking at this person with love and respect.  It was just with frustration. Don't get me wrong, the behaviors this person was exhibiting were still wrong and had to be addressed.  But it had to be done with respect and love.  It revolutionized the way I managed my department. 

Wow!  Amazing the turn my thoughts take with just one quilt block.  

#6 Card Tricks Quilt Block Ornament

Here is block #6 - Card tricks.  I'm not very happy with this.  I love the pattern but I didn't do a very good job with it.  You can see that the bottom right hand side card is a little off. And of course I attached the hanger so that it's really obvious.  I believe this ornament will either live near the back of the tree or high up so you can't look too closely.  

Actually I think I'll tell people that I did that intentionally in order to make it look even more "handmade" or to follow the example set by the Amish.  I meant to put a mistake in it.  Yeah right! 

Try this one out. It's actually really fun.

Monday, October 3, 2011

#5 Virgina Reel Quilt Ornament

The Virginia Reel Ornament is another pattern much like the Log Cabin block where you can start in the center and build out.  It's an easy one that requires very little thought.  Just lots of sewing and trimming. This one took about an hour from start to binding. 

Isn't it fun looking at this one.... I find my eyes following the swirl from the center out and then getting caught swirling back in. Trippy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

#4 Log Cabin Quilt Ornament

So for this week I wanted to work on some blocks that don't take much thought and I could just sew, cut, and watch movies.  This log cabin block was just the ticket.  All you have to do is start in the center and just start building.  What could be easier!!  The strips end up being about 1/2 inch wide so I wanted some fabrics with really small print and I'm pretty happy how this one turned out.

I have the ornaments hanging from a thread spool holder that I have hanging on my wall beside my sewing machine and they look awesome as a group.

As a side comment, it's October 1st and there are aisles of Christmas stuff already in the stores!  It's not even Halloween!  I can't do it yet.  As I think about what will be happening in my house from now until Christmas I feel like I've just started a marathon we will be running.  It's been decided that my stepson will be coming to live with us after he gets out of inpatient rehab for his brain injury.  My husband and I own a business and it allows my husband to be home most of the time.  So he will be available 24/7 to care for my stepson, Shawn.  As he heals from his injury we know that we will struggle with him thinking he can do things he really can't yet.  I can't imagine what this is like for him.  He's 20 years old and was just starting to live independently and he really needed to be living independently because he was driving us and his mom's household nuts. 

So we will all be tested over the next couple of months.  This blog will be great therapy for me.