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.