July — What a Month!

For several months I’ve put together a review listing projects I’ve worked on and finished, reading and writing I’ve done, and other things that happened during the month. This month has held so much, it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ll start at the beginning.

July began with health concerns for one daughter and ended with health concerns for the other. Fortunately, things are looking up for both of them. In the middle of the month, Son had a go at illness with puking, but his issues seem to be resolved, too. (!!!) Other than the health issues that really had nothing to do with Jim and me except our worry, it was a busy and rewarding month.

On the quilting front, I finished my newest project, Branching Out. I made it for my guild’s annual challenge. This year the challenge was to create a quilt in only solids of at least three colors. Once inspiration hit, the design and execution of piecing went easily. Quilting was another story, but the quilt is done and I’m happy with it.


Branching Out. 45″ x 54″. Finished July 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush. To see the back, go to the linked post.

Last week I began a new quilt, all of 8″ hourglass blocks. It will be in a 10×10 layout, finishing at 80″ square if I don’t add borders. The fabrics are old-fashioned pretties that have been in my stash for a while, things I’m not replenishing these days. All the blocks are cut and 10 of 100 have been stitched completely. The other 90 blocks are in two parts each.

I randomly paired dark fabrics with lights to create each half-block, and I’ll randomly match up those half-blocks also. There are about 20 different light-valued fabrics. The darks are in reds, teals, greens, and purples. Once all the blocks are done, I’ll lay them out (this is a floor project) and balance them for color. Then comes assembly. It isn’t a project I’m in a hurry for, and it might be the end of August or later before it’s finished.


The view from the front of the building. You can click on the photo to see it bigger in a new tab.

A fun thing for me in July was to have my quilts displayed at a local quilt shop. Inspirations in Hills, IA, exhibits local quilters’ work on the second floor. I had 11 of my medallion quilts displayed there. Even more fun: in August I’ll have seven more showing there!

As to reading and writing, I didn’t do a lot of either in July. I am working on a new guild presentation and got a good head start on that. But blog posts have been few and far between. One Jim and I wrote together is on the new WordPress Reader format. If you are a WordPress blogger, please take a look. Even if you don’t use Reader, your audience may. There are some valuable tips in the post.

So I didn’t get a lot of quilting done, nor did I write much. What else was going on? It was a month filled with family time. We enjoyed more time with our older daughter than we almost ever get. Our younger daughter and her husband and five children came to Iowa in the middle of the month. The primary reason was a big family reunion of Jim’s family. He is one of nine siblings, and all of them and spouses were able to join in, as well as most of the off-spring. There were 87 people at our daughter’s house on the first reunion day, and only a few less than that on the second day (fortunately, NOT at her house!) Son was able to join in the fun, as well, so we were able to have all three of our children and all seven grandchildren around for a bit of time.

At the end of the same week, our young ‘uns and a passel of other loved ones were at our home for dinner. There were about 20 of us here for a precious, memorable evening.

And for just a little more excitement, Jim and I had the thrill of seeing a funnel cloud in mid-month. In contrast, at the beginning of the month, we had some of the finest July weather ever for the annual Iowa City Jazz Festival. Three days of music on four stages, all free all the time. Come on by next year!

It was not a typical month by a long shot. And, Jim Fetig, this was not a typical monthly review. No lists, no enumerations, no big analysis. I got this…

My life is full and I am very blessed.



14 thoughts on “July — What a Month!

  1. BJ Good

    Branching Out really is appealing to me and just stunning. I hope to get time to head to Hills sometime in August to see your display.

  2. zippyquilts

    Well! I’m glad you directed me back to your post about changes in Reader. I am subscribed to a bunch of posts in reader but rarely have time to read them, so I hadn’t noticed the changes. Thanks for the instructions on how to set up a real view of my blog in reader (I hope). Have a good weekend!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      The changes are not minor, but even the announcement post didn’t describe what they were or how to manage them. BIG fail in communication on the part of WP, I think. Thanks for the weekend wishes. Good so far.

  3. Quilt Musings

    Your quilts look spectacular hanging together in the quilt shop. Perfect setting for a class or two on medallion quilts!. Glad you have had a good month overall and that the illnesses are past.

  4. snarkyquilter

    OK, now I understand why you’re always making quilts for family members. You sure have a lot of them. And how wonderful that there will be a second exhibit of your quilts.

  5. KerryCan

    Such a balance of things you love, all in one month (plus a little drama, in the form of the illnesses, just to be sure you take nothing for granted!)

  6. colorpencil2014

    What a month July was for you! Hopefully all health issues will disappear again and no more funnel clouds either. But your work is impressive and you must be thrilled seeing it on display. I LOVE the branching out quilt. The colors are so unusual but beautiful and pattern just gorgeous. Thanks for shaing and have alovely weekend, Johanna

  7. TextileRanger

    What a jam-packed month! And your body of work looks so impressive hanging all together! It must be great to see how your artistic voice has found its unique expression.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you. Yes, it sure is different to see so many at the same time. They all have their own personalities, but I think they all look like ME, as in, no one else could have been the maker. And now I’m tired… 🙂


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