As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Star BOM 2 “Michael Phelps Star”

As I have been on vacation this week, I ‘ve spent lots of time piecing some quilty projects, but I’ve spent much of my time in the same manner I’m sure many others have. Watching the Beijing Olympics, and watching the boy I saw in the Sydney Olympics, Michael Phelps, show that he has grown into a mature wise young man. 

Today, as I began trying to pick the fabrics from my stash of 30’s reproductions for this star, I was torn between several different combinations. (Remember last time when I said you just reach into the Aunt Gracie stash and pull out 4 because they all go together??? Forget about it – I dithered most of the day yesterday, and again this morning over my fabric choices, as much as DaVinci likely deliberated what color to paint Mona Lisa’s lips!) Later this afternoon, I remembered running across some “A.G.’s” in the box of “nickels” from which I chose the makings for my “If I Had a Nickel” Mystery quilt – but that’s another story. Anyway… I found a light blue nickel, with little white diamonds – reminiscent of the floating lane markers in a swimming pool. Then I added a creamy nickel with little stars that matched the blue of the “water” in the first nickel. I already had a lovely gold out from my first rejected combination, from which to make one star point for each of young Mr. Phelps’ gold medals. To that I added a red, like the ribbons on which the medals hang, and from that I used Judy’s pattern to create this:

Star BOM 2 - Michael Phelps Star

Star BOM 2 - Michael Phelps Star

I know that many think the Olympics are hokey. But I have memories of many events that are tied to various Olympics.  My freshman year in college, at East Texas State University,I was a 17 year old “far from home,” who sat in horror as the Isreali Olympic team was decimated by terrorists, then we watched Mark Spitz set the record that Michael tied last evening. 

The Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta were watched from a forced time off work because of a snafu with my paramedic recertification, so I was “there” watching on TV during the Olympic Park bombing, and when Kerri Strug “stuck” a one-footed landing, bringing home the Gold for the American women’s gymnatics team.

In 2000, I was in a hospital room following my hysterectomy, watching the Olympics “live” in Australia – that’s the first time I remember seeing Michael Phelps. And Paul and Morgan Hamm, who missed this year’s games.  A couple of weeks later, I got to meet an on-line quilting friend from Australia, and hear more about the culture of that marvelous country – thanks Caro!

This year’s “stay at home quilting retreat vacation” was made much more memorable by “sharing” it with this first week of the Beijing Olympics, thanks to the USA Men’s bronze medal gymnastics team performance, the USA Women’s silver medal gymnastics team performance, as well as the USA Women’s Gymnastics Gold and SIlver in the All-Around, and all the fun finishes with Mr Phelps, and all the other swimming competitors, both male and female.  And these Olympics will be commemorated in my Star BOM quilt by this star! Thanks for another wonderful pattern, Judy!

And tomorrow comes the completion of my “If I Had a Nickel, I’d Take an Olympic Vacation” top. Stay tuned ;0)


August 16, 2008 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | , , ,


  1. Great block! I love the commentary. I can really follow your illustrations. Thanks! I think the red really pulls it together.

    Comment by Tamara | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Michael Phelps is, without a doubt, the face of his sport just like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Brett Favre, Roger Federer and Babe Ruth. However, for all that he accomplished in this years Olympic games, I still don’t think he ranks in the top 5 of all-time Olympians.

    Here is my TOP 5 All-Time Olympians:

    Comment by Erik | August 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. FABULOUS BLOCK and love the nickel quilt…great pieces for sure! *~*CAROLE*~*

    Comment by Carole | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  4. Great job on the block. Its always fun to associate a block with something going on in the world at the time you made the block. Quilts take on a whole new significance!

    Comment by Teresa | August 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. What a great way to preserve your memories of this year’s olympics and watching Phelps make history! I love the significance in your fabric choices!!! Great job!

    Happy Weekend & Love from Texas! ~bonnie

    Comment by bingo~bonnie | August 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. Wow, your mitering is terrific!

    BSue said:

    Confession time here. I didn’t REALLY miter it at all. I centered the triangles on the straight strips, sewed, pressed to the dark, then extended the cutting lines from the triangles through the straight strips. After I figured out which of my enlarged triangles would be next to which, I pressed the seam allowances in opposite directions, and sewed them together.

    I didn’t share that trick earlier because I felt like I was cheating – but thanx, they did come out looking like I really knew what I was doing!
    Bobbie in Texas

    Comment by Gail | August 22, 2008 | Reply

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