In Fifteen Years

Fifteen years…. for a teenager that’s when they’re dreaming of getting that learner’s permit and their license to drive.
Fifteen years…. for a prisoner that may be when they start dreaming of parole or realizing they’ll be there for the rest of their lives.
Fifteen years….at age 50, one starts thinking of retirement in those years and realizing that they better have retirement because Social Security isn’t going to be enough to live on the rest of your days.
Fifteen years….after 15 years, some start thinking of the possibility of retiring from their full time job–just to realize they still need that income and go back to work anyway.
Fifteen years…. has seen the anniversary of one of America’s worst hurricanes to hit the Gulf Coast.
Fifteen years…. some young teen aged girl may have finally convinced her dad to let her date.
Fifteen years….the number of years Mom and Dad waited to have me after trying so many other times to have a child.

Fifteen years ago we had FINALLY gotten the last of our wedding and reception taken down and cleaned up from the church, brought home and attempted to put it away before packing our bags (no we hadn’t done that yet) to go on our first ever cruise together–Dave’s first cruise since retirement that wasn’t on a US Navy carrier ship. We had finally convinced the family that after they dropped Dave and I off at the terminal, to drive north and out of harm’s way in case Hurricane Ivan decided to come into the Gulf Coast.

In the last fifteen years we have watched as other storms have come and gone through the Gulf.
We’ve stood alongside, behind or in front of them as our children have found the loves of their lives and joined as one in matrimony (or not for one).
We’ve been here to help pick up the pieces when some of those love stories ended not so happily.
We’ve been here as our children have married and given us some of the most beautiful, ornery, intelligent, talented, gifted grandchildren.
We’ve been together through the loss of 3 dads,(2 Dads and a Stepfather), as well as the loss of a Stepmother.
We’ve been a king and queen and thoroughly loved the year up to our crowning and the year before we turned our crowns over to the next ones.
We’ve had surgeries (expected and unexpected). We’ve shared the experiences of illnesses that will be with us for the rest of my life.
We’ve had years where there was more money in the bank and some where there wasn’t always quite enough it seemed to make it.
We’ve had our good days and a very few bad days.
We’ve laughed until it was truly painful and cried because physically or emotionally it was so painful.
We’ve watched our world change from what we thought was going to be just the two of us to a whopping family of 13 all living together under one roof.
We have been able to enjoy vacations together, just being home together as a couple of old farts rattling around in the house together, and the extremely few times that we have not been in the same house every night.
No matter what else has happened in those fifteen years, our love has continued to grow deeper and stronger. No we do not have parties to go to every week or month, nor do we have people lining up with invitations to have dinner or go play cards like we have had at one or another during the last fifteen years. We know there are still good friends out there that do have busy lives that just don’t have a need for us to be in their lives anymore and that’s OK. Life moves on and doesn’t stay stagnant. But the friendships don’t die.
I’ve decided we have reached the fifteen years where we can start slowing down and spending more time as just us and us with our family. There will be a time when we have fifteen years of just us–that would put us at 45 years together–and that’s not awful at all! In fact I look forward to the next fifteen years and the next fifteen after that together~ My darling Dave, I love you~ Thank you for the first 15 years~


Do You Collect, Use, or Both?

Boy is that a loaded question! I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world I’m asking about! Many people are collectors. They collect all kinds of things. It could be stamps (not a lot of people do that any more). You might collect china dolls or bottle caps. There are as many different things to collect as there are material things in this world. No collection is right or wrong, although I can think of a few from movies I’ve seen that would seem a little on the bizarre or just gross or unethical side. Each person is unique and therefore their collections are unique as well.

Are you a user? Hmmm That could lead into a very a broad spectrum of ideas of the term “user.” I’m not talking about being the user of drugs or an abuser of drugs. I’m not even talking about being a user of people, which many people blame others for doing in their lives. No I’m talking about, do you USE the things you collect? Or are the things you collect allowed to just sit and collect dust, never being touched by human hands except to be dusted, never used for the purpose they were made for, never repurposing their old use into one of new usefulness?

Or are you one that does a little bit of both? Do you collect some things that just sit and collect dust, looking pretty upon a shelf or being carefully locked away until a later time maybe for children needing to grow up. And at the same time have other things that you’ve collected strictly for the sole purpose of using to its fullest or at least once for the purpose it was intended.

You may not know this yet–if you have not followed my past blog, or if you have no background at all of me from somewhere in your wanderings to get to this point in a blog post of mine, but I am a former Home Economics teacher. I grew up the only child of an Air Force Chaplain and an extremely talented stay at home Mom. She was very gifted in the art of sewing and tailoring. She taught me how to sew beginning at the age of 4. Mom and Dad had both lived through the Great Depression as young children and they were as a result very thrifty. That’s not to say they didn’t buy things or didn’t get the things we needed–and often the things I wanted. But they were also not the ones to just throw money out the window out for things. They did LOTS of bargain shopping. Auctions and thrift stores were my parents favorite places to shop.

Things that might have a purpose someday were never thrown away in my house. So tin cans from any vegetable, soup or cat food was always washed out well, rinsed and stored away just in case we needed it–and all of those cans did come in handy at one point in my Dad’s life when Mom became very ill. He bought a ton (that’s not an exaggeration, that is, he bought a literal ton) of nuts, bolts, and screws at one point. While Mom was in and out of the hospital or was too sick to get up to do anything on her own, he would often sit there with a big bowl full out of the ton of screws and sit and sort all of them into those different cans by type, size, shape, color. He’d spend hours sorting them knowing that at some point he could use them.

They saved magazines and books–oh my did they have magazines and books. At one point in my life I think we owned enough books to fill a library. And indeed many of their books and magazines were donated to libraries that Dad went to the most often frequenting their Friends of the Library sales. A good number of them went to a near by college library with a large religion and philosophy curriculum.

But the question came to me as I was sitting collecting free embroidery designs and quilt patterns from different embroidery and quilt designers the other day. Do I just collect all of these beautiful designs or will I ever use them all? It is true that I digitize. I can’t digitize everything that I have collected. There are many things I can’t do–I either never learned how to in the first place or I have forgotten how to because I have not done so in such a long time. Of course, the fact that I often have very, very poor short term memory doesn’t help things either.

I love the designs others make. I love to see the skill sets that each designer has and how they best make use of it. Whether it is an embroidery design that someone has spent countless hours manually hand punching or one that someone has just hit a button for the computer to manually digitize (and many you can tell the difference), I love to see new ideas. Because there are SO many new and different people digitizing embroidery designs now, there are as many different and varied styles of designs as there are people.

Some designs you can look at and almost peg exactly who the designer was (or narrow it down to one of a group several that use the same style and same colors). Others their designs are so outside the box you wonder what exactly what they were thinking when they made the design. Still others have so much beauty is no longer considered just an embroidery design, but the beginning of a piece of art that you can create. Each designer is special, each designer has a skill set, each designer spends precious time and energy and puts not only their talent but many times their emotions into their work. I love that about their work as well.

And I so appreciate every free design they offer to the public. Yes it is often a marketing ploy to get you to their website, to get you to try their designs. After all, if you like how a design is digitized and stitches out, the more likelihood you will return to their website to get another free design or to buy a design or two or more. And before long they have a loyal customer. It’s a proven way to gain loyal customers and fans of your work. Because I have been in their place before, I often collect the free designs, but I also often go back to purchase an item as well.It may not be a large purchase, but it will be something.

It is the same way with quilt patterns and quilt designers. I have my favorite designers that I follow of course. And the favorites often are doing free block of the months. Do I collect all of the blocks for those quilts? You bet I do. Do I get them all done? Never. Do I get half of them done? Rarely. Do I always start all of the block of the months that I collect? Oh but NO!!! Even though theoretically, if you only did 1 block everyday for 30 days, you’d be able to complete 30 different blocks of the month. Notice I did say theoretically. I can’t ever seem to get more than 1 or 2 done within those 30 days. Life just seems to get in the way–or my adult ADD gets in the way and I find every distraction in the world that keeps me from getting things done.

So once again, I ask Are you a Collector? User? or Both? Personally, I’m a bit of both. I’d like to be a LOT MORE of both than I currently am. But I need to get either more motivated, more disciplined, or more focused. And I’m not sure which it is. Of course, I need to spend less time on this computer as well. But I’m not sure that will happen–that goes along with that discipline thing.

Preparing to Sew

What do you do to prepare to sew? I mean honestly? Is there something you do? Do you have a plan in place? Do you have a ritual of some sort you go through? Do you think about what you’re going to sew before you get into your sewing room or sewing area? Do you have to make sure that everything else is taken care of before you can even begin to think about touching any sewing notion or a piece of fabric?

According to the advice given to women when they first received their sewing machines in 1949 there were definite things that you needed to do before sewing. Because of the year this was printed, I just had to see if this same thing was printed in the manual of my Mom’s (well I guess it has technically been mine for the last 27 years, but I still call it hers) Singer Featherweight machine manual has that same thing in it. So of course I had to go get the machine case out and pull out the manual. Yes, Mom was ritualistic enough to keep the manual AND to write the date of purchase inside the front cover, 9-5-47. That would have not been too long after Dad had graduated from seminary if I remember correctly and was being commissioned into the Air Force. But alas, the above advice was not written in this very small, yet thorough manual that accompanied the machine.

And I have to admit, I’ve seen this little blurb many times over the past few years on that wonderful social media site of facebook. And I’ve giggled at it every time I’ve read it. But tonight it was sent to me by a dear friend who I met back in the early 70s when we were both in grade school. She made a comment that rang so true it made me start thinking. Denise said, “Shelly Roberts….your mom was always put together when she sewed…can you imagine you having to do that now?”

Let’s really think about this. In 1947, women were expected to keep the house tidy and clean at all times. They made the beds every morning to the point a coin could be bounced off them (and often the sheets on those beds — which were washed, line dried, starched and ironed weekly). I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t line dry, starch and iron my sheets weekly–I don’t starch and iron my sheets ever. I will do my pillow cases if they are ones I have made from cotton, but not my sheets.

Women were expected to serve a complete breakfast after getting dressed and waking their husband and children every morning. How many of you get up every morning and fix a complete breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham or sausage, grits, cream of wheat or fried potatoes, and have hot buttered biscuits on the table when your freshly pressed and dressed family comes to the table to eat together before they all leave for work and school? I don’t know about you, but my husband leaves for work at 5:30 a.m., my daughter arrives home from work at 8:00 a.m., while I have gotten her children up and ready for school at 7:00 to be on the bus by 8:00 a.m. during the school year. Now just when am I supposed to serve them this breakfast for us all to sit down and eat together?

After the woman of the home has gotten her family fed and out the door to work and school, she had a house to clean and laundry to do, shopping to do and other errands to perform for the day. Because, after all, she was in charge of everything in and around the home and was responsible for keeping things running and making sure that all children had everything they needed for school projects and lunches and all household errands were completed before the children arrived home in the afternoon. So she has already had a full day of cooking and cleaning and running around town. You notice she has yet to step inside her sewing area–it is not a room, but a small area designated with her sewing machine and a small sewing basket for mending and a few patterns for making clothes for herself and her daughter. She may have a bag for scrap fabric for making a quilt at some time when she has enough scraps.

By the time the children have come home, she has already changed out of her day outfit that she has worn all day cleaning and running her errands in. She has freshened her make up again, because we know that she did not dare go out in public with out her powder and lip stick on and her hair fixed for someone might have seen her. She would have worn a pair of low heeled pumps so as not to turn an ankle while grocery shopping or running up and down stairs taking dirty or clean laundry to and from the washing machine or outside to the line. So she has now changed into another dress, one that is more suitable for meeting her husband at the door and for spending the evening with the family. She will spend the late afternoon preparing dinner, no frozen or box prepared dinners for this housewife. No she has to prepare everything from scratch. When she isn’t in the kitchen, she is making sure each of her children is doing their homework correctly. There won’t be television time for them, most families don’t have televisions at this point in time. If they are lucky, there might be radio adventure series show on in the late afternoon geared towards the children to listen to. Other wise, it is homework, a brief time to play outside, and then time to wash up and change clothes for dinner. Can you imagine the number of clothes they went through with as many times as they changed clothes during a day?

After serving dinner, the woman was then responsible for cleaning up the dishes and kitchen after dinner. If she was very lucky, she had children old enough to do chores (yes they did those things back then) and they were responsible for dishes that night. Then she was responsible for getting children bathed, changed for bed and tucked in. It was THEN that she could finally have time to herself that she could go spend time sewing. Again, if she was lucky she was able to spend time in the afternoon doing some sewing, after all, how dirty can a house get between one scrubbing and another when they were taught at a very young age to scrub everything to shine?

So yes, I can very well see these words being very true for the ladies of the mid to late 40’s. I remember Mom following many of these guidelines into the early 70’s. It wasn’t until Mom became too ill to follow these practices of making sure the house was tidy as a pin before sewing. But by then I was in high school and she didn’t have to worry about taking care of me and my homework. And by then, she would just go from her bed to the sewing room and back to bed. But there were certain practices she always held on to.

The sitting room of the house–or for most people it would be called the living room or formal living room, was always kept neat and tidy, just in case a guest came to visit. She always had the makings for dump cake or some other very easy to throw together dessert, just in case a guest came to the house. She never went a day without putting on that powder and lipstick–and before Dad arrived home every evening, she would always refresh it and comb her hair, just for him. She never went anywhere in the house without some sort of shoe or slipper on, and if it was a slipper it usually was some blinged out slipper just to make her feel pretty, which she was no matter what her feet looked like.

So,…. to the women that used to sew deep into the night or got up very, very early in the morning so they could sew and still do everything else that needed to be done…
….to the women that cleaned and scrubbed and took care of children at home during the day and had to find time to clean and cook and sew in between everything else….
….to the women that were our Mothers, Grandmothers or Great Grandmothers that taught us how life should be…
I apologize to you on behalf of all of us that no longer do all that you once did before we start to sew….
…..on behalf of all of the jokes we tell of we learned to be quilters that means we no longer no how to cook or do housework….
…..on behalf of all the afternoon snacks that aren’t homemade cookies that aren’t homemade, but store bought packages of cookies….
…..on behalf of all of us that opt for a meal out of a can, a box and a frozen package as opposed to taking the time to make it from fresh ingredients or going out to dinner instead…
….on behalf of all of us that would rather wear our pj’s and run the sewing machine bare footed.

My Mom and I in 1966

And in honor of my Mom, my Grandmother, and my 2 Aunts and all of the rest of the women of their generations, I salute you for all you did for us women and sewing, for keeping it alive, for teaching us the younger generations how to sew and keep it moving on–even if we aren’t mentally prepared, well put together and have our powder and lip stick on and we aren’t ready for guests at a minute’s notice. We love you all.

Time to Play Catch Up

Catch up–what a term. Have you ever played catch? When you play catch, you don’t play catch by playing UP. Sure you hold your glove up, hoping the ball falls in it. In my case, the ball rarely ever found the glove. I was always playing catch up to find the ball after it hit the ground and I finally found focus again after the sun was out of my eyes.

Catch up. Hmmm so why is that red stuff you put on hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and even some people put it on scrambled eggs called catch up (spelled differently–ketchup–of course but pronounced the same). It certainly doesn’t run up. Well not if you buy the “right kind” or the expensive kind (maybe). Do you remember the old commercials where they sang, “anticipation, anticipa- a – tion, it’s making me wait” showing a bottle of thick barely moving ketchup from the bottle onto a hot dog (or was it fries). Oh how that made your mouth water waiting for it to hit that food knowing it was thick and not watery. Of course, once you got it home, you were frustrated at the table trying to get it out of the bottle. You shook it, stuck a knife in it to pry it out, hit the bottom of the bottle, only to have it shoot across the table at your brother, or worse your Dad in his clean white shirt. But it sure did taste good. You don’t get that type of anticipation anymore from it and it doesn’t quite taste as good anymore either.

Catch up. Well you can catch up with someone literally. Meaning they are ahead of you on a road way or walking and you literally gain speed or they slow down enough to come up even with them and possibly pass them. Or maybe it’s that you catch up with them by getting together over a glass of cold tea or lemonade or maybe it’s a cup of coffee and chat for a time of no determined length to talk about all the things you haven’t talked about since the last time you last saw or spoke to each other. Or maybe you promise each other that you will catch up soon later, meaning you’re really too busy to talk to them now, but maybe when you have more time you’ll speak to them then about something. Makes you wonder if catching up is something that you or they really want to do or if it is time well spent for either of you or if either of you really wanted to.

Catch up. Maybe it is a catch up meeting. Oh my, you and your colleagues must have fallen behind again. You missed the deadline on something. You didn’t get that job completed on time. Your team is failing to keep up with the rest of the manpower. You MUST attend the CATCH UP meeting to get you and your team up to speed!

Catch up. You’re playing catch up with the finances–again. Yeah, that’s always a fun one to include in the list. Because we know that if you’re playing catch up, the finances definitely aren’t UP. You’re too busy robbing Peter to pay Paul to get the bills paid as my Mom used to say. If you are having to catch up, you’ve over spent your means; you’ve over extended your credit; you’ve said “yes” when you should have said “no;” you’ve just flat run out of the funds necessary to do all that you want to do and can barely get by doing what you need to do.

But in this instance, I’m not talking about any of those things. I’m talking about playing catch up with sewing projects. Now for a quilter, that is an never ending feat. For many quilters we start too many Block of the Month programs because they all sound so wonderful. And, after all, they are only 1 block of the month. Technically you should be able to engage in 30 different Block of the Month programs and be able to keep up with all of them, right? I mean, make 1 block each day for a month and you will have made every block in your 30 BOMs in a month. The only problem is, they don’t all start and finish on the same day. And LIFE happens. There is work to go to, a house to keep clean, children to watch, a job to go to, food to cook, laundry to be washed and dried, a husband and children that actually want to see you and do things WITH you, church and civic organizations you belong to want you to actually attend their meetings and events, oh and that quilt guild keeps asking when you’re coming back to the meetings or when you’re going to do the next program for it, oh and the charity quilts you need to make for the month, and the baby shower quilts, and the mending you’re expected to do, and, ….. the list goes on and on. And suddenly, you haven’t sewn the very first block of the very first BOM let alone 30 of them. Well, you can just download the pattern and you can just make 2 each day next month. You’ll be sure to get them all done and you can CATCH UP next month. I’m sure, if there were any quilters (or anyone for that matter other than myself) reading this, that they would totally appreciate that it is next to impossible to truly catch up.

I have tried and tried to play catch up on my first grandson’s quilt. I started it the year he was born. He will be 10 in September. The top is finished. It has never been sandwiched or quilted. It’s a good thing it will fit a twin sized bed! Then there is the quilt that I made for my 2nd grandson. It is paper pieced. It is sandwiched together and partially quilted. It too is along side his brother’s quilt waiting to be finished. It was made to be his “nap quilt” for preschool. He will be in the first grade in the fall. Again, it’s a really good thing that I seemingly can’t make small quilts. Of my 10 grandchildren, I believe 2 have actually received a finished quilt from me. Both of them as babies. I have a closet full of quilts in various stages of completion varying from needs to be finished quilting and a binding to only a few blocks made. Yet, I can’t stop myself from collecting more patterns and from starting them! Who knows if I’ll ever get more than 1 or 2 blocks finished on them. That’s how quilters end up with so many “orphan blocks.”

Yesterday I talked about starting my Main Street BOM. And actually got the first block made the day the pattern was released. Today what did I do? I downloaded pattern number 6 of the Out of This World BOM. Have I made any of the blocks yet? NO. Had I even picked out any fabrics for it before tonight? NO!! But I did do that tonight! I chose the fabrics I will use for this Out of This World BOM. I will stick with those choices and I will do my best to play catch up and see if I can get any of these blocks made this weekend. Why this weekend as opposed to any other time? I will have a house where it is just me in the house most all day tomorrow as my daughter and her two boys are gone for the entire weekend at a soccer tournament. And I can sew to my heart’s content.

Now that I have said that. I must put in the disclaimer, that even when they are here, that I am generally able to sew to my heart’s content, I just spend most of the day perusing facebook for embroidery sites and the different designs they are offering out to the public, to chat with friends that are also retired and sitting at their computers all day like I am, go through quilting pages and see what all beautiful things quilters that actually SEW instead of sit at a computer are doing. So I have no one to blame but myself for having to play catch up. There are just so many different things that take my attention. It’s not that I don’t love to sew. I just have “squirrel” moments. I’m like a dog who can be fully focused on its master until it sees a squirrel, and then, he’s off and running after the squirrel. When he gets out run, he comes back to his master, focuses on him again until the next squirrel grabs his attention. That would be me! SQUIRREL

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


Oh my, but it has been a long time since I wrote in a blog! The name hasn’t changed, but the location has. I used to be with blogspot–well apparently they are no more or they no longer have a record of me having an account after they merged into Blog Buzz or whatever it is now called. And frankly, I just can’t seem to navigate that system anymore. So here I sit attempting to take in the calmness of the waters in that photo as I try to start this journey anew. Maybe this is what I need to start my quilting and embroidering journey anew as well.

If nothing else, I need someplace that I can link my blocks, no matter how unsquare and uncertain of size they are, back to Pat Sloan’s blog for her Main Street Sew Along. For a change, I am going to try to attempt to actually sew along on the days the blocks are released and actually post my progress. Hopefully that will make me more accountable–if to no one other than myself–to get things done. Seems silly to have to make oneself to be accountable for finishing things. That is especially true when I love to sew and embroider as much as I do. But I seem to be an adult ADD sufferer and get carried away by all things that seem to find their way into my attention span saying, look at me now!! Read my post now!! Go look at this site now!! The list is endless and that doesn’t even count all the endless tasks in the house that I can find that I never get accomplished as I go from one room to deliver something and find something else that needs to be done. That means I never return to the original task at hand. It’s amazing I ever get anything finished!

But back to Pat’s Main Street Sew Along. Yesterday was the reveal of block 1 of 12 blocks entitled the 5 and Dime. For anyone younger than probably 30, you more than likely have no clue what a 5 and Dime is! Oh I feel sorry for you. They were the grandest of stores. They didn’t always have the best quality of merchandise, but they most often had some of the best quality people in them.

As I lived from one military base to another growing up, we didn’t go to many 5 and Dimes as a general rule in our community. That’s not to say we didn’t go. Mom always found a reason to go to Woolworth’s or Rose’s or whatever the other names of some others were named. Woolworth’s is the one I remember more than any other. And I remember it more than anything from my Granny’s home town of Piqua, OH. We would walk downtown with Granny and then all of Granny’s friends would be there. We’d spend a good bit of the morning with her just chatting away about this or that or him or her. Sometimes we’d stay late enough to eat at the cafe counter. It was always kind of greasy, but it was always very tasty! There was always a section of cheap toys for children to get a small toy without breaking the bank and making them happy. And anything that Mom or Granny needed could be found in that store. But the best part of it was the gathering of all of Granny’s friends. And I think she knew everyone in town.

My Mom’s version of that Woolworth’s was our local Base Exchange (BX) on base. That was where she normally would shop. She generally didn’t go into “town” to shop, preferring to stay on base to shop. This was especially true when we were stationed overseas. It was generally that way for most of the women that lived on base at the time as well. Back then (boy I’m making myself sound old aren’t I?), from the 60’s through the late 70’s, there weren’t an abundance of stores such as Walmart and KMart. There were some coming up here and there. But many of the places we were stationed, there just were not that kind of stores available to shop in. As a general rule, we shopped at the BX and commissary (the military version of a grocery story). You went shopping when they were open and only then–they weren’t open after 7:00 p.m. in the evening and they weren’t open on Sundays or holidays. So you better have everything you needed when you went. And children better not tell you the night before that you needed cookies or cupcakes the next day to bring to school. If they did, Moms better have enough ingredients stored on hand for such emergencies; and more times than not, most Moms prepared for just that kind of emergency. Many times the BX and the commissary were just like the local 5 and Dime, people would gather together while they were out shopping and discuss the local events, the new commander, who was moving out, who had moved in, etc. Nothing was too much different in the way the women treated the BX as the way their civilian counterparts treated the 5 and Dimes. The main difference was that these women were often in places far from home and they could bond together in friendship at the BX, commissary and the hair dresser sharing like experiences and homesickness that civilians just couldn’t understand.

Because my Main Street always was on some kind of an Air Force Base and my local 5 and Dime was the local BX, I’ve chosen to do my first block (and most likely the other 11 blocks) in somewhat of a patriotic sort of color scheme. It might not be a true red white and blue, but it will have a lot of reds and blues in it. This first block is red, blue and gold. Gold is also a prominent color in military honoring as the Gold Star families are those who have lost a beloved family member in their serving our country.

Here is (hopefully if I’ve figured this this site out) a picture of the block I made last night. This is my Block 1 – 5 and Dime of Pat Sloan’s Main Street Sew Along. No matter how carefully I cut all the pieces and every piece was the exact size specified. No matter how pretty all my scant 1/4″ seams were (see I didn’t even do full 1/4″ seams, I know better). No matter how pretty it was pressed and “snarched” (that’s starched the snot out of it at the end), this block measures 12 1/2″ on 1 side , 12 1/4″ on one side, and 12″ on 2 sides. Now tell me, HOW does that happen? I just cannot win for losing. I will NEVER, as long as I live, ever get a block that ever measures 12 1/2″ unless I make it 13 1/2″ first and then cut the whole thing down–and then it will look a hot mess.

Block 1/12 5 and Dime Pat Sloan’s Main Street Sew Along