Sunday, July 19, 2020

All Good Things

Yes, I have been gone a while but mostly because with the Covid lockdown, there has been little to nothing to write about. And it continues...So what did I do while staying home? I sat in the garden and enjoyed the most perfect Spring. We had regular rain, which made everything grow and bloom and look great, so staying home and enjoying it was no problem. I learned to slow down a bit, and got in the habit of taking a nap every afternoon, which is quite a luxury. I read novels (murder...) and did a little sewing, furniture rearranging and met with my Tuesday quilters. I let my housekeeper go and learned that I can keep my house clean by myself, if I have a schedule, which means a day for doing all that she did, as I learned it from her.
So how boring that would be to write about. 
But around me, lots of interesting/disastrous  things were happening, and I got addicted to reading CNN every morning until I had wasted half my day. The news was so bad, like a train crash, but I couldn't tear my eyes away and hungered for more details. No wonder I needed a nap.  Not good. So I quit. Finally. I had a little withdrawal, but really I am over it.
 And it dawned on me that instead of reading about awful news, I would return to the blog and write about good stuff, of which there really is plenty, if one focuses on it. For example, about the same time as I stopped writing the blog, my sister met a man from our church and they started texting and then met for walking and talking, and pretty soon dating, got engaged and found a house. It's only been since April 3 that this began and yesterday they eloped!!! I am sooooo happy for her and John and they will close on their new house Tuesday! Things moved fast but everyone agreed it was perfect timing. With no one able to congregate, eloping was a great solution. So later when we are able to be in a group, we'll have a party to celebrate, at the new huge wonderful house. In the meantime, they have two houses to sell and the market is wild for selling. A house across from her current home sold in 5 days.
 Here's a picture of my basil. Lots of different varieties, all yummy.
So did I miss not being part of the big (not) wedding, nope! And it made sense not to have a fuss, as she is 54, second wedding, and he is 63, and widowed last year. They are crazy in love and that makes everyone feel good. 
 On another note, totally unrelated, I moved my sewing room out of the sunroom, making it a tv watching room for Dave, and brought all the fabric and machines upstairs, since I was pretty much done with meeting with all the quilters. I sold one of the three machines and its table, and gave the majority of my quilting fabric to my two Tuesday quilters, who don't have a stash at all.  Sometimes an empty shelf is better than a full one.
The remaining fabric was claimed by my sister, so I have only garment fabric left. I have finally given up quilting, after 39 years. That's enough. I want to do something else. Don't argue with me. I mean it.

We are sleeping downstairs in what was the living room and had been the big quilting room (is your head spinning?) and after looking at the original listing photos for this house, I decided that I actually could have a dining room in the space where it was supposed to be.  
I made a tablecloth to match my red dotty plates and napkins too, which was a fun little sewing project. And finally I began to hang my quilts, paintings and collages around the house. It took a full day, up and down the ladder, but so worth it. Finally it looks like my house. 
And in the eating area of the kitchen I put my old dining table on bed risers to make it a prep table, instead of using the shiny black granite counter tops which show every fingerprint. They stay clean longer when I use the white formica table for all the messy stuff. Because it is a counter height, I felt the need for counter height stools and I ordered these online and whamo they were delivered and we love them. Even the legs are leather covered.

OK so we are just about caught up...except now I am in a kind of transition. Done with quilting but still interested in knitting and polymer clay and I may do some paint/paper/collage stuff in the coming months. Actually I am hoping for something to come along to engulf my imagination. I love the idea of getting all wrapped up in a new activity that carries me from idea to design to construction to completion. Haven't a clue to what that could be, so stay tuned. 


  1. So terrific to hear from you Melody. Congratulations to your sister and her husband. What a great story in the midst of so much sadness in our country. I love how you rearrange your home to meet your current needs, making it work for you and Dave. So smart instead of getting stuck or moving. Best wishes to you in whatever new endeavor you chose; with your talents I'm sure you will excel. I hope you'll keep blogging and sharing your beautiful gardens and art.

  2. So pleased to have you back, I have missed you as an old friend.

  3. WOW!!Your garden is so rich in color and textures...I am happy to read you are finding a way through this ambiguous time!
    Color must be your guardian muse, no mattered the Substrate !! ya!
    and after reading on how your rearranged your home. i am also ready for a nap!
    ps I too shuffle furniture to keep going forward or evade the sun shift!!
    And congratulation on your sister elopement!! be well

  4. Your artistic talent will translate to anything you wish to do……good luck and enjoy!

  5. It is terrific to have you back. You make me tired with all the moving around of room functions that you do. I have been in this house almost 39 years and the fabric is about to bury me. This month I am see the fabric in a different way..... so once again will see about divesting myself of a couple of dozen boxes. Then there may be some empty shelves. Such happy news for your sister and a great "story" for their 2020. Can't wait to catch you later. Happy Day!

  6. Melody, you and your garden have been sorely missed. It is such a sweet treat having you come back for a visit. You are truly an inspiration in all aspects of what you do. Thank you!

  7. I look forward to following your current journey, but mostly I am so glad you are back to posting. Reading your blog was the highlight of many a day. Missed you!

  8. Nice to see you in blogland, Melody! Your garden looks lush and lovely, and what a sweet happy story about your sister! Glad to hear that you and Dave are well, and good luck on your journey!

  9. It is good to see your post and to know that all is well with you. I am having the same feelings about quilting. I am almost ready to finish the quilt that I am working on and give all my stuff away.
    I hope you will continue to post on your blog. I enjoy seeing your garden and I find encouragement in your honest and reasonable approach to the changes in your life.

  10. Hello Melody! I have missed you! Your gardens are amazing! Glad all is well on your side. Can't believe you are giving up quilting...but I understand. You are so creative & talented I know you will have a wonderful time on your next adventure....please share with us. I love poly clay also so that excites me. Congrats to your sister. How exciting!

  11. What a surprise to see a post from you. In my dream last night I'm talking to some lady and something about artists and I said to her "Melody Johnson!" and then here you are this morning. Your flowers are beautiful. I want to see more.

  12. Hi, glad you are back. I missed you. If you get into painting again, I would love to buy some. I especially loved the small still lives of fruit, peppers, tea pots etc. My husband and I were building a house then and I wasn't able to buy them. The house is long done and I have a place to hang some art. Take care, be safe.

  13. Noooo! I wait and wait here for more quilt inspiration from my olden-days mentor (PAQA – when my last name was Lohmeier), and you come back only to announce you’re giving it up? Inconceivable! I give lectures on the history of the art quilt movement, starring you and the Chicago School of Fusing gang. Guess that’s truly ancient history now. Say, does this mean my collection of Melody Johnson quilts just shot up in value, since there’ll be no more of them? So glad to have your bright and sparkling voice back online with good news about you, your family, home and garden. Looking forward to being inspired by your next art adventure!

  14. It's so good to hear from you, again! I have been thinking of you and hoping all was okay. I've never heard of anyone who has reinvented their house so many times as you have! It sounds like so much work, but worth it to get things how you want them, I'm sure. When we moved into our current house I switched the dining room and (sort of) family room, so the best light in the house wasn't wasted on a dining room table. It's now a nice room to relax in and enjoy the sun, which makes more sense to me. My dining room table has recently turned into a place for art journaling and junk journaling, a new interest I picked up last fall that has pulled me away from quilting somewhat. I continue to quilt, but like the smaller format and faster results of the mixed media for my creative endeavors. I can see how you would decide to hang up the quilting, but I'm not there, yet. I feel I have so much invested in it, and the piles of fabric I've amassed...oy. I'm not ready to hand it over to someone else. Maybe someday.

    1. Holly, Years ago I vowed not to buy any furniture I couldn't move myself. Everything is easily pushed or pulled or is on wheels and with no carpet to interfere, it is a snap to dislodge something and relodge it somewhere else.
      My 'new' dining room table sits unused for the most part, but when guests drop by we can sit right down and enjoy a impromptu meal.

  15. So good to hear from you again. I, too, have given up quilting and have sold two of my machines. Fabric is next! I’m wondering how you would like watercolor. I love it although I find it hard! But lots of opportunities to buy every artist grade watercolor out there! Takes care of that shopping urge and Amazon is so fast.
    I’m so glad you’re back.
    Susan Turney

  16. Thank you for returning with your update! i have missed reading your blog and following along on your adventures. This has indeed been a time of inwardness and holding steady. Meanwhile your gorgeous garden is wonderful art! It has such color and design and fun. Your neighbor must have really boring art in her house, if she has any at all! I love how you rearrange rooms to adapt to your needs. And I love the raised beds. Thanks again for the inspiration and a dose of beauty!I've been using my quilting fabric to make masks, but have delved into lace knitting and beadwork for solace. I know you will find your next thing... I was going to take a silversmithing class before the pandemic, but it got cancelled. And I craved color, so beadwork was near enough ( plus I had a huge stash of beads)...

  17. What beautiful Daylilies.

    I don't believe you are done with quilting. Maybe for now. But at some point you are going to see a beautiful piece of fabric and the stashing will start again. Been there. Did that.

    Really? You're just now hanging stuff? I would have thought that would have happened soon after all of the bits of updating, repairs and improvements were finished. Or at least after the wall paint dried.

    What bits of the garden I can see looks fabulous. I'll bet you are making plenty of pesto to freeze and having caprese salads.

  18. It is so WONDErFUL to hear from you again. I feel like you were a friend that moved to another planet, and I have missed your posts about moving furniture (that is always so exhausting to me), your art work, your garden and food. Thank you for starting to post again. :-)

  19. It's so nice to "see" you again! Your gardens are beautiful. I will miss reading about your quilts and seeing photos, but I know that you will excel at whatever your new creative adventure happens to be. Thank you for all the wonderful quilts, colors, and inspiration over the years! I hope that you and your family are able to stay safe---congratulations to your sister!

  20. So glad to hear from you again. I would check back every so often and wonder how things were. Love the garden and house pictures.