May Review

My goodness, it’s hard to think we’ve just stepped into a new month. But frankly, I had enough of May. Good things happened, bad things happened, a lot changed, a lot stayed the same… At times the stress level was more than I cared to deal with. But deal with it we do, right? I am learning better ways to “deal” all the time. Is that maturity on the menu? I’ll take a double order, please!

In the monthly run-down, this time I’ll start with some good things that happened in the month.

Good Things We Celebrate
1) At the beginning of the month Jim and I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our fabulous future daughter-in-law was awarded her master’s degree that weekend. Besides celebrating with her, her parents (who live about a mile from us), and her sister, we also enjoyed seeing our son.
2) Speaking of our son, he had good news, too. He’s now been in the Air Force for two years and was promoted to First Lieutenant. Much more exciting than that, he completed his C-17 training and now is qualified as a co-pilot on one of the largest airplanes in the military.

1) Last month I started two quilts and finished two quilts. I started Marquetry in April and finished it in May. This was one of two projects I began for the Medallion Improv! class I taught recently.  Marquetry was fun and went together more easily than some.

Marquetry. 87″ square. Finished May 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

2) My other class quilt was the fairy. I used the long-arm to quilt small posies over most of the surface. I am hand-quilting an outline around her. My stitching is bad. (Yes. Really.) But it will be a wall-hanging and anyone who sees the bad stitching on the back will deserve it, for having looked. She is not done. Hopefully I can finish the project in June.

3) I built two sets of borders for the fairy quilt that I didn’t use. One was a set of puss-in-the-corner blocks. I made 32 of them and pretty quickly knew they were wrong for it. But they were lovely little blocks! I matched them up with 31 unpieced alternate blocks to make a sweet baby quilt. No pictures of it yet. When I have pix, I’ll share.

4) My last big project for the month currently is unnamed. I have to build the final border of half-square triangles and finish assembly to complete the top. I hope to have a finished quilt within a week or so.

Readin’ and Writin’
1) I wrote and published 11 posts in Catbird Quilt Studios and 1 post in Our View From Iowa.
2) I celebrated my 300th post on this blog!
3) Much to my surprise, I’ve been able to keep on my goal of reading approximately two books per month. Last month I read Linchpin by Seth Godin.  I love Seth’s blog. He primarily writes about creating a more valuable product. That includes knowing who your customer is, how to raise support, giving without expectation of returns, and the importance of shipping — actually getting product to your customer. He discusses some of the issues that keep us from achieving these, including fear. Unfortunately, the book read much like a bunch of blog posts strung together, rather than as one cohesive whole. I probably won’t read other books by him, but I don’t think I wasted my time reading Linchpin.
4) The other book I finished in May was delightful. Odd and the Frost Giants is a fable of a boy from the far north, whose village cannot break free from winter. Neil Gaiman wrote this story full of beautiful imagery and suspense. Though it sounds like a children’s book, I wouldn’t recommend it for children younger than double-digits. Adults surely will enjoy it.

1) I try to incorporate experiments in my quilts. The fairy quilt has several experimental elements, including the hand-quilting. My current project is full of them, too. Once it is done, I’ll tell you about a few of them.
2) A lot of my cooking is experimental. One meal I enjoyed in Ann Arbor was a black bean tortilla wrap. I tried to imitate it at home, and we enjoyed them enough to make them again. I will say, using stronger cheese and a little avocado really makes them better!

My life is full and I am very blessed.

15 thoughts on “May Review

  1. TextileRanger

    You accomplish so much! And as weddingdressblue said, what makes it interesting is that you’re not just doing the same thing over and over, you’re building in challenges and you keep learning new things.
    And congratulations to your son and daughter-in-law!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      That’s the thing I enjoy most — doing different stuff all the time. I know it’s sort of contradictory, doing medallions over and over, but doing different stuff. But to me they are all different. I hope that shows to others, too. thanks.

  2. jimfetig

    Stop the metrics. They suck the humanity out of life. (Trust me. I am an expert with multiple awards for establishing metrics and my field an as one who served the university that invented time-motion studies.) relax and let life flow. In your former life you had to generate wealth – relentlessly. That game is over. Let the sunshine smile upon you and rejoice in the knowledge that your offspring is known (with joy and affection, at least by us Army guys) as a trash hauler! 😉

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Ah Jim… counting is part of me, truly. I count to go to sleep, I do percentages when I’m … doing almost everything. I’ve always done this, since I was in grade school, long before it was meaningful to anyone but me. And I like to be busy, but busyness without something to show for it is literally depressing to me.

      As to trash hauling, he can haul more trash now than almost anyone in the world. 😀

        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          We could have a thoughtful discussion about this, which is hard to do in a comment exchange. For here, I’ll just say that I am learning to judge less. Good and bad aren’t always as obvious as they seem. Thanks, and hugs…

  3. katechiconi

    You do have a lot to be thankful for! I’m beginning to see a time when I might be able to co-medallion with you, but I’m not going to make the mistake of pulling out my big prints yet – there’s one more with a deadline and another which is already late!


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