Bucket List Quilt: Tree of Life - It Takes A Village

The "Tree of Life" was on my bucket list of quilts. I didn't want a typical tree of life quilt, though. I wanted to tell a story and I envisioned this gorgeous medallion quilt that would make anyone swoon. I'm not sure I quite hit that mark, but it makes me smile and I sit back to think... wow... I made that.

I've named the quilt 
"It Takes A Village".

There are two stories here... one of what the quilt represents and one of what the quilt is made of. I know I have followers that may not care about the blocks, but would love the story... the opposite is also true. So, I'll try to give you both. The easiest, first.

The quilt blocks. 

The center 24" block is a tree of life block(PDF link; I doubled the size of the block to work in my quilt). It's set on point and the setting triangles are 1/2 Swoon blocks. The center medallion is separated with a narrow blue border. Then came the fun! All the little houses on the outer border are made from the Tiny House block MSQC did on a video one week. The corner blocks starting at the top left is a holly block which I sort of made up based on 3 or 4 blocks I saw online and needed to simplify it a lot, then a tulip block from Pat Sloan's Flower Bouquet quilt a long (I removed the borders and made it smaller), a strawberry block from Sweet Bee Designs (though, I did it wrong and so it sort of looks more like a tomato...), and finally a pumpkin block from Diane Knott which I found on bluprint. Then, I added a LOT of embroidered images along the house borders to make the village come to life... trees, golf clubs, a cat, shiba inu, hot air balloon, and many others. It's custom quilted by me on my brother's Bernina long arm. The binding was all the left over batik scraps at about 6" and pieced all around to get a ton of fun colors. Whew! I think that's it.

Now... on to the story of the quilt.
If you don't like stories... just stop here, you got what you needed. 

The quilt is symbolic of life. It Takes A Village to make it through this crazy world. You can say you are independent and self-sufficient all you want, but at some point... you need someone.

In the center of our world is the tree of life... God and Family. God gave us life and it is up to us what we do with it. Family isn't necessarily your biological family. I know they say blood is thicker than water and I have an amazing family for which I'm thankful, but not everyone does. Family is who you need it to be. The people that you know are there for you. They make up the largest part of your world.

Each day we have to make a choice to do good or evil to our lives and world. So, the swoon blocks starting in the top left and going clockwise are the times of day (midnight, dawn, noon, and dusk). Don't waste minutes, hours, and days on things that don't matter to the larger picture. Bring good to the world each day. Another reminder of time ticking away is present in the outer corner blocks... one for each season of the year.

The tiny houses remind us we are not alone. There is a huge village out there to support and help us along this journey of life. No matter what you read and hear in the news, there are still good people out there. I'm thankful I've been part and am a part of those networks.

The homes are decorated with different interests from me, my husband, and my stepdaughter. Our sweet furkids are also included in the embroidery.

I have heard and read so many thought provoking stories, poems, and anecdotes over the years about life and how to live to the fullest. The one that sticks in my mind more than the others is from ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions
and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.

The first question was, “Did you bring joy?”
The second was, “Did you find joy?”

I hope my friendship has brought joy to others in my life. I have made and gifted several things over the years and I don't do any of those projects lightly. In return, I have found a lot of  joy in my life. I hope the scale is balanced. I hope I have given as much or more than I have received.

Main Street Block 4 & 5

I don't think I posted block 4 last week, so I'll post both 4 and 5 today. This is part of the quilt a long with Pat Sloan. It's called Main Street.

I'm so excited for this quilt. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I've been stopping myself from putting it up on my design wall, because I know I'll want to start doing something and I really want to wait for the layout options Pat supplies us... so... into the project box the blocks go.

Main Street Block 4

Craft Room Project Update

I've been feeling stressed this week, because I have many projects going and nothing really to show for it. So, I took a little time today and learned something new... Y seams... Hey, go big or go home! I made 3 8 point stars the traditional way to frame as a "runner" of sorts for bathroom art. The blocks I had displayed in there did not match the shower curtain I just finished, so something had to be done.

But, alas, projects... lots of projects going. Here is my list because I need to put it somewhere.

1. Pat Sloan Block of the Month "Out of this World"
2. A Quilting Life HST Block of the Month
3. Pat Sloan Block of the Week "Main Street"
4. Canadian Quilter's Association 52 Blocks in 52 Weeks
5. Grandmother's Flower Garden (an ongoing battle of hexies, which I hope to finish by 2022. No really... that's my deadline.)
6. Mystery Quilts Anonymous "Starry Compass"
7. Pandora's Box (Bucket list quilt. Thank you, Alias Grace)
8. 2018 Quilts of Valor Blocks (I have 6 that are going to be made into something... small wall hanging? Not sure.)

I'm going to my brother's on Friday to quilt 3 quilts... Snow Blossoms (king) for my sister, White Chocolate Smores (Mystery quilt), and the Tree of Life design I put together. I've decided it's time to quilt it and get it over with.

As far as my fabric stash... I'm getting very low on background fabrics. I was "creative" with Starry Compass. We'll see what happens there. I need to cut a bunch of 5" squares and make a few simple quilts for service projects.

I also need to go through my batting and figure out what pieces to keep and what to toss.

On the list of things I want to do... goodness, it changes daily and there isn't enough time in the world to get it all done... but...

1. Quilt for Curtis - Jewel Box quilt in black, purple, green, and blue
2. Quilt with blocks my Mom embroidered for Callie
3. band aid quilt for children's hospital
4. placemats for us... 2-3 sets of 6
I'm sure there are more, but my brain is tired.

Main Street: Block 3 - Movie Theater

I'm so excited that my niece is going to join in on this quilt a long. I think we'll keep each other motivated to keep on going.

Here is my Main Street block 3. Once again, I love the block and I think a whole quilt of this block would be adorbs...especially as a scrappy quilt where all the blocks are different... I may need to do that sometime.

So... funny story with this one, though... I had the top and middle rows together and was like "Crap! My blue squares were going the wrong way!" So, i ripped it apart and started sewing it back together and was like "wait...." if you turn the block a quarter turn they are right... Sometimes... to quote a former neighbor... I'm the dumbest smart kid I know. HA!! All said in jest.

Main Street Block 2: Post Office

Main Street Block 2 was released today. I am so excited about this project. 

Block 2 is called Post Office. My fabrics are just making me smile from ear to ear. I can't wait for the next block!!

Main Street Block of the Week with Pat Sloan

Yep... I decided to jump in on the next quilt a long with Pat Sloan. Main Street started today. I have had a fat quarter bundle of red/white/blue fabrics for a while now and it was just waiting for something special. I think those colors go well with the name of "Main Street"...

I sorted my fabrics out this morning based on her insight on how to split the bundle and pull from your stash. I made notes on the sheet and will hopefully remember to refer to that each week for the next 12 weeks. We do get next week off, though, as she is going to a training with BabyLock. Wouldn't you just die to be part of that? I would just be happy with a BabyLock machine, honestly. But, my Singer and Brother machines are doing all I need them to do. Maybe one day when I need to replace them and don't have a teenager around with an endless list of  "needs".

Week 1 block is super cute and was fairly quick to whip up. So far, I love my choice of fabrics. I do not plan on doing an asymmetrical setting this time, though. That quilt layout is just not my style... So, the quilt will be quilted and then gifted. I'm sure the recipient will love it.

Pat Sloan's Flower Bouquet Flimsy Complete

I'm excited to quilt this one. It's the first quilt along with Pat Sloan I have done. Her instructions were concise and clear. The design was awesome. I love the quilt.

I chose to do the asymmetrical layout, because it's outside my comfort zone. It's taken me a week to accept it and stand back and say "Yeah... I like this." But, now that I've welcomed the different layout style... I really love it... and I love the fabrics and the design and the colors and... yep... all of it!

The last border I put on is a little "off", so I may remove it and pin and resew... I probably need to do that and I'm just putting it off. I don't need a friendly wavy border to deal with when quilting.

So... as far as quilting... I think I'll end up doing an all over stipple or pantograph design.. maybe tulips, since it's a spring quilt. What do you think?

Bucket List Quilt: Tree of Life - It Takes A Village

The "Tree of Life" was on my bucket list of quilts. I didn't want a typical tree of life quilt, though. I wanted to tell a sto...