Post #100! And 100 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Ta-DA and Hip Hip Hooray! This is the 100th post in Catbird Quilt Studio!

Post #1 was on July 21, 2013. Doing the math, that means I’ve published approximately every other day in the last six-and-a-half months.

I looked at a few other blogs’ celebrations of #100. They ranged from full-on party mode like my friend Angie at the Novice Gardener, to same-ol’-same-ol’ at many blogs, to give-aways at a few. One even listed 100 things you (the reader) didn’t know about the blogger. I have to admit, that one intrigued me. I wasn’t sure I could list 100 things.

But I decided to give it a try! Some of these may seem pretty random, while others are fairly essential pieces of information about me.

To help me celebrate, please LEAVE A COMMENT, and let me know what’s your favorite fun fact about me. It could be from this list, or something else you know about me.

• My eyes are green.
• My hair is brown. Still. Naturally.
• Okay, there are a few scattered grey hairs.
• But I can’t see them, so I get to ignore them.
• I’ve been married to Jim for more than 32 years.
• I was really young when we got married.
• He’s still the best person I know. (Okay, yeah, that wasn’t really about me.)
• I blog because I like to write, and I like to teach. I get to do both here.
• I used to teach financial management.
• In July 2013, my favorite post here is Be Prepared!
• I’m the opposite of a hoarder. Jim asks sometimes if I’ll get rid of him, too.
• I do like my studio to be neat (and well-prepared), but it’s never spotless.
• Uh, same with the rest of my house.
• I’m a pretty good cook and specialize in soups.
• I cook mostly from scratch and don’t use many processed foods.
• I ponder what “from scratch” and “processed foods” really mean.
• I’m also a pretty good eater and will try most things.
• But I won’t eat Brussels sprouts, lima beans, or split pea soup.
• I love the color green, so is it weird that those won’t-eat-things are all green?
• At one point I had several green sweaters and wondered if I would turn into one of those old women who only wears green in many variations.
• In August, my favorite post is I Quilt for Fun… But Not Always.
• When I was a kid I was a reader and rarely played outside.
• I still read a lot but mostly shorter things, only a few books a year.
• And now I play outside.
• In my first paid job at a small business, I proofread stock certificates for shareholders.
• My primary adult career was as an investment manager for individuals, families, and non-profit organizations. No, I wasn’t a stockbroker.
• I really hope the weather lets us try snowshoeing this winter.
• I really hope winter is over soon.
• I know how to hold two conflicting hopes at the same time.
• In 2011 I wrote a novel. It’s not publishable, but I wrote a whole book.
• It never occurred to me to write a book before then.
• It never occurred to me to write fiction before then.
• I never took trigonometry.
• Or physics.
• But I married a physics teacher.
• One of my favorite quilts I made in 2013 was this one:

The wedding quilt for a friend whose fiance died. I made this and had it mailed in 16 days. I think it’s one of the best things I ever did.

• Another favorite from 2013 was this:

My Medallion Quilt.

• I am so proud of all three of my children. They are smart, funny, and most of all, kind. And they work hard in their lives, each in their own way making the world a better place.
• Besides three children, we have seven grandchildren!
• The oldest grandchild is turning 16 in a few minutes!
• Yes, I was a child bride.
• I’m writing another book.
• In fact, I have one non-fiction (quilting) and two novels going.
• I need to spend a lot more time writing on “paper” and not in my head.
• In order to get that time, I’ll spend less time blogging for a while.
• I like many different kinds of music.
• But usually I don’t think to listen to music during the day.
• Also I don’t usually watch television while I work.
• As the fifth child born in six years in my family, I heard “don’t touch that!” a lot.
• I still don’t touch a lot of things, and really, now it would be okay.
• I just counted seven elastic hair ties in my pocket. I only use one at a time!
• My favorite post from September is Design Process — What’s the Worst that Would Happen If…?
• I have a weird love of dishes. If I were really rich and had unreasonable amounts of storage space, I can imagine have many more sets than I already have.
• And I have rabbits. Decorative rabbits. Not a lot of rabbits, but several.
• I can’t think of anything else I collect.
• Even my fabric stash is pretty small.
• But I could probably make a couple of dozen quilts without buying any new fabric. At least I could if I weren’t very particular about how well things went together.
• One of my favorite quilts I ever made was this one for my FFDIL:

FFDIL’s graduation quilt — still one of my favorites. It’s about 81″x81″.

• I try to stay active and make sure to get some exercise most days of the week.
• Weight-lifting feels especially great.
• Even so, all my joints are creakier and it’s harder to get up and down than it used to be.
• My other favorite exercise activity, when weather allows, is hiking.
• You can find posts about our hikes in 2013 here.
• Besides being outside, I enjoy the challenge of variable footing and elevation changes.
• I love my hiking boots!
• One of my favorite posts from October is My Creative Manifesto.
• The other favorite post was published at Our View from Iowa. It is Who is That Guy?
• I love lists!
• Until the last few months, I gave away the vast majority of the quilts I made.
• I made most of them with a specific receiver in mind.
• Eventually, most of the recent ones will be given away, too.
• I learn something new with every quilt I make.
• Working in series with the medallions has taught me more about design than any other phase of my quilting life.
• I’ve never made a quilt as designed by someone else.
• Even so, I’m often inspired by others’ creations.
• I don’t much like to quilt “wonky,” though I appreciate the style as other people interpret it.
• And I’m not sure that “modern” is actually different other than stylistically.
• But I’m really glad it’s bringing more people to the craft!
• I love leftovers. I especially love freezer leftovers, like the enchiladas I pulled out for tomorrow’s dinner.
• On short notice I could make a meal for a dozen people if needed, though I’ll never be as talented as Jim’s mom.
• Feeding people is important to me.
• I volunteer weekly at the nearest food pantry.
• Ironically, my volunteer position is working with the kids’ clothes, not with food.
• My favorite post from November is Design Process – Design as You Go.
• I’ve made two king-sized bed quilts, one for each of my daughters.
• This is one:

King-sized Tennessee Waltz made for our daughter and son-in-law.

• This is the other:

King-sized quilt for our other daughter and her husband. My original design, including the block design.

• Like for many quilters, the first quilt I made was a baby quilt.
• I didn’t enjoy the process and swore I would never make another quilt.
• Coincidentally, the quilt I’m working on now is a baby quilt.
• My favorite post for December is What’s the Word?
• My biggest fan is my husband.
• He’s also my best friend.
• I am loyal and open with my friends and would do almost anything to help a friend.
• Sometimes that gets me in trouble.
• While “trouble” has led me to reevaluate what friendship means, and who is a friend, I’m not inclined to change how I treat my friends.
• I believe everyone, friend or not, deserves to be treated with respect.
• I fail at that sometimes, but I keep trying.
• My favorite post for January 2014 is EXPERIMENT!
• My favorite blog reader is YOU!


35 thoughts on “Post #100! And 100 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. Dark Creek Farm

    Great post (as is the “Be Prepared!” post from which I gleaned this invaluable piece of advice: “And remember to prepare your stash of chocolate.”) Thanks for sharing all those tid-bits and quilts. I am very much looking forward to reading your books – though, I hope they don’t take too much time away from your blogging…


  2. OceanDiver

    I have never met you, but I’ve gathered some sense about who you are from your writing. #101: You are intense. In a good way 🙂
    Re Brussel sprouts. I didn’t like them either until I grew my own and let them freeze in the late fall, still on the stem. After that, when you give them a light steaming, and serve in melted butter, they are sweet, melting in your mouth, not at all the cabbagey sulfury flavor you get otherwise. As a food person you know how different fresh local food is!
    Beautiful quilts. I especially like the “other daughter” one.


    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Thanks for the note — I nearly missed seeing it! And… pardon me for saying so, but I feel a little bit misty right now.

      OK SO! Yes, I am intense. Yes, usually it’s good. Sometimes it doesn’t work out so well, as you might guess. As to the sprouts, I would let you fix them for me, and I would try them, because I’ll try most things. But I really can’t promise I would like them. And I won’t buy them again, no matter how local they are! (The last ones we bought were local and we tried several variations of cooking to enjoy them, and we just did not.)

      Thanks for coming by to help me pat myself on my own back. Jim forwarded your email exchange, and I’ll be sending a note to you soon.


  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #1 | The Novice Gardener

  4. The Novice Gardener

    Congratulations on post #100! I often marvel when looking at your quilts; so beyootiful!! Especially that Tennessee Waltz. Thanks for sharing this at Fiesta Friday. I like so many of your fun facts! If I had to choose one, it’d be that post “Who Is That Guy?” It’s such a romantic post, plus I know the guy you’re writing about, which makes it more interesting. And I also like the one where you said you like collecting dishes. I can never go to a dept store and not visit their dinnerware section!


    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Thanks so much! I guess dishes are my version of a “shiny new thing”!

      I think my favorite dishes are some Ridgway Canterbury ironstone in red. I bought them at an antique store in Door County, WI when Son was taking jazz band camp up there. Someone’s cottage being cleaned up, I suppose. They were pretty and CHEAP! But not many pieces.


  5. weddingdressblue

    I am a de-stuffer, too. My family is doing a challenge this year where each person is trying to get rid of 365 things during the year. I am up to about 55 right now, so slightly ahead. My husband has also expressed concern about what I might get rid of next. But, I would be a fool if it were him. He has put up with me for 21 years. And deserves a medal.


    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Yes, they do deserve their medals!

      I’m not sure what my count is so far this year. We regularly take stuff to Goodwill, because I go there almost weekly for the food pantry anyway (due to the kids’ clothes.) And I took a bunch of fabric pieces to the guild for our auction. I think that counts, too!

      Thanks for taking a look today.


  6. shoreacres

    Fun list. Here are a couple of connecting points. I love green, I hate Brussels sprouts, and I once bought and sold American/Ohio Valley china on ebay. I had china everywhere – and twenty-seven sets of dinnerware!


    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      People who like Brussels sprouts swear we all would like them too, if we just had them cooked the right way. I’m still not convinced! 😉

      And boy, you beat me on the dishes! I have a few partial sets, no complete sets of anything. Even with our wedding china, we only got 7 dinner plates and 5 salad plates. I mix those with another set that is not as pretty. But the people who use them do not complain.

      Thanks for celebrating with me.


  7. Glenda in Florida

    I think I found the other blog, where you discuss your travels and hikes first–I really enjoy those posts and have done some of the same hikes. Others have been added to my list. Also, I lived near your at one time–spending two years in the Quad Cities years ago. But, the best new information was that you have a rabbit collection–me too!


    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      There should be a good link to that blog and tab, so if that’s what you used, yep! You found it.

      Good to hear from another Iowan, even if you’re not anymore. As to rabbits, I have … uh, 13 out, and a few more in the hutch. So not very many. I’d add more, but I don’t want to add more stuff to my life, if you know what I mean.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  8. ntexas99

    My favorite was “I didn’t enjoy the process and swore I would never make another quilt.”

    I’ve been that way about poetry, painting, gardening, and a few other things in my life. Eventually I figured out it was my incessant striving for perfection that robbed me of the thrill of creativity and exploration, so I’ve (slowly and with great pain) learned that attempting something without attaching too many expectations to the finished product is still very well worth the time spent. You obviously got over your initial rejection towards the process, and I am astounded at all the beautiful stories you’ve created with your quilts. Lovely, truly lovely.


    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you so much. I am not a perfectionist, but poor results can be pretty discouraging for a beginner. And my bigger problem at the time was I had no idea what I was doing, and no resources (that I knew of) to help! But I learned a lot and was able to go from there. 🙂 Thanks again.



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