As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Lessons in Life from a Round Robin Quilt Center

My very first ever Round Robin has already taught me many lessons. I decided to join (OK Carmen, I was coerced <VBG>) what is described as ExtraLarge Round Robin – where each participant makes an 18″ ’starter’ block, then sends it off to have many borders added to it, and it comes home all grown up into a quilt top.

I spent several days researching blocks on the internet. And when I found a block on the World Wide Quilting Pages called “Texas Treasure” I knew that had to be my beginning! Aside from a couple of years, when my DH was stationed in West Germany (yes, Virginia – there was an East Germany, and a West Germany way back then), I have lived in Texas all of my life. Even my ancestors were Texans. I am a fourth generation Texan, whose great-great grandfather was killed by “the Indians” (yes – back then Native Americans were called “Indians”), and am quite proud of my heritage. (I won’t say that I’m proud my great-great grandfather was reportedly hung by “the Indians” for stealing Indian ponies, but that’s a blog entry for another day!) Any way, I have vivid pictures in my mind of Texas Treasures.

I grew up in Abilene. All of my young life, I was told I lived in West Texas. Geographically, I suppose Abilene is technically Northwest Central Texas. But, when I go “home” now, my spirits lift when I get into the edge of the part of Texas that is riddled with small hills, that I thought were mountains when I was little, and ravines. A land that is made up of red clay, live oak, mesquite, cedar trees and prickly pear cactus. When I was little, we went to Nannie’s farm, in South Taylor county, every weekend. That 20 mile journey, and a couple of trips a year 200 miles to the east to visit my aunts in Dallas pretty much describe the boundaries of my childhood world. Nannie’s grandfather was the one who was killed by the Indians. We occupied our time at the farm searching for (and occasionally finding) arrowheads, and fishing in the stock tanks. The land was really, really flat – with a lone “mountain” to the west, known to the locals as “Bald Eagle.” In my efforts to find pictures of the area, I found, instead, the following quote:

“Taylor County where the wind seldom ceases to blow and the feeling of dust in your eyes gives one the courage to fight the elements and learn to enjoy life. A land that soothes your hurts and looking to the hills, I once thought were high mountains, we are assured God is near and will guide us if we follow. ” E.P.M.

That’s where I grew up. When I “went away to college,” I chose what was then called East Texas State University, in Commerce. I thought anything called “East Texas” anything was bound to be filled with pine trees. I was wrong. There were pine trees but only the ones planted in front of my dorm. I quickly tired of that landscape, and retreated back to West Texas, looking for that land that “soothed my hurts.”

I lived in San Angelo for a time, after I graduated from nursing school – an area that is marked by the hills being closer together, but still much wide open spaces. Like the song, “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” the prairie sky is wide and high, deep in the heart of Texas. And that will always be “home” – deep in the heart of Bobbie. Then the Air Force sent us to Germany. And I found out that the “mountains” of my youth were just hills. But I am, and always will be, a Texan. It’s in my blood, it’s in my soul, it’s in my heart. And that’s the inspiration for my round robin quilt.

The stars at night, are big and bright,
deep in the heart of Texas,
The prairie sky is wide and high,
deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom is like perfume,
deep in the heart of Texas,
Reminds me of, the one I love,
deep in the heart of Texas.

The coyotes wail, along the trail,
deep in the heart of Texas,
The rabbits rush, around the brush,
deep in the heart of Texas.
The cowboys cry, “Ki-yip-pee-yi,”
deep in the heart of Texas,
The dogies bawl, and bawl and bawl,
deep in the heart of Texas.

In my mind, I was going divide it up, and have each section represent a different “Texas treasure” – from the red clay, sandstone, and wheat of the southern Great Plains (north/west Texas -where I grew up), the “purple hills” of the Hill Country where I loved living (except for the mountain cedar, which nearly killed me), the mountains of the Big Bend, the green and sand of the Gulf of Mexico and coastal plains, and the multitude of different greens of the Sam Houston, Big Thicket, and Davy Crockett National Forests in east Texas, where I live now.

The plan worked OK in ElectricQuilt


but not so well in real fabric.
Continue reading


September 16, 2007 Posted by | Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | 1 Comment

Of September 11th’s Gone By

Yamel Jager Merino, EMT-P
 age 24 
Yonkers, N.Y.
MetroCare Ambulance


Died September 11, 2001

at the World Trade Center


We will never forget.

We must always remember

all the others whose lives were lost, or changed

Read more about Yamel

I never met Yamel. The things we had in common were that we were both female paramedics in an industry that is primarily male (EMS), both got up the morning of September 11, 2001, and went to work for a private EMS provider, and she died while caring for those in need. I came home.

I will always remember. I can never forget.


 The above is my post from September 11, 2006 on the 5th anniversary.  And, no, I did not forget – I wanted to write something new to show that I still remember Yamel. That I still think about what happened that day almost every day. I remember driving into Houston and how strange it was to have empty skies. Those of you who have been into Houston from the north will understand – the freeway I frequent is in the flight path to Bush Intercontinental Airport, and it is very eerie to see the sky completely empty of air traffic. I think of that time, and the feelings I had in those days often.

I have not forgotten, nor have I joined the ranks of those who seem to think that we will never be attacked again. I choose to live. I choose to honor Yamel Merino’s death by trying to make sure that I live each and every minute given to me to the fullest. No – we must never forget.


September 11, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments