“Start Where You Are . . .”

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Recently I’ve been pondering an intriguing quote I read on Bows, Baubles, and Beliefs, so I decided to make something with it!  I cut the letters for the saying in not-perfect rectangles from a remnant of black and white alphabet print I’ve used for a few pillows and glued them onto the squares of some gingham a friend gave me–a bit of “randomness on order.”  I ran into a little glitch when I discovered that the fabric has no r’s . . . but I took the quote’s advice to “use what you have” and turned some n’s into r’s with a black sharpie, so all is well. ♥   I finished the project the same way I made my fabric memo boards (here and here), by covering a piece of cardboard with quilt batting and then stretching the fabric over it and stitching it together at the back. Finally, I added my biggest black button for a-la-mode. Will it hang on my office wall? Or become a gift? Time will tell! ♥  P.S. THANK YOU to SownInPeace for helping me track down the author of this quote. The original version was “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  (Teddy Roosevelt)

51 responses »

  1. Very funny story using quote to solve problem. I never thought to use a fabric marker but I find the more I let go of perfectionism the more perfect my projects become. I will be putting a fabric marker in my tool box. I

  2. I was a bit thrilled when I checked my emails & found a post from you. Realized I have especially been enjoying your posts these last few wks. I really, really needed to read this quote tonight. I have had the worst week with pain since 2-3 mths. I’ve been upset that I haven’t done anything or had time for my blog and my sewing is pretty much at a stand still. Living with chronic illness and pain is like the hardest thing sometimes. I love your wall hanging and I didn’t even notice the r’s, they are perfect. Great living example though. I think I ought to make one tomorrow and then I can feel good that I achieved something. Thank you.

      • Thank you so very very much, more than I can express. I arose at 5am, having not slept all night. I was thinking of my Dad who passed away just 3 wks ago. When I read your message my first instinct was to say no I couldn’t. Then I cried and I knew Gid was using you to show me He hasn’t forgotten me. it made my day/week. Thank you I will treasure it. (and learn to live by it)!

        • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad!!! My heart goes out to you! But thank you for saying yes to my gift! Be sure to email me your mailing address, and I’ll take it to the post office tomorrow. Blessings, Katherine

          • I’m excited to say this gorgeous, helpful and inspiring wall hanging is now mine. I collected it from the mail today. This week has been even more stressful with another complication to my already crazy life. I’m going to be reading this every single day – even several times a day especially until this annus horribilis is over! I’ve never looked forward to a new year so much. I will email you K

  3. I have almost bought that alphabet print a number of times, and to cut it up for collage just like you did. Funny that I never noticed there were no r’s! How odd! Are there any other letters missing? That’s an awesome quote! I love the art piece you made with it!

    • I looked all over for the author of this quote and found it attributed to SO many people . . . mainly Arthur Ashe . . . but I didn’t find enough consistency to feel good about adding the name to the post. I’d love to have a link to this info if you have it. . . thank you!!! 🙂

      • if you get this post a couple times plz forgive my computer lol The quote is : do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” originally said by Teddy rosavelt (26th pres of USA) said 1901-09 sometime – but many already know that Elanor was the one who wrote the speechs. So it’s often seen with either or name. Anyway, because HE said it on san Juan hill during the spanish war to calm troops who were complaing anout not enough to win the war etc…im not sure if the credit should go to elanor or not Im sure she was in the war lol Anyway if you look it up tddy rosavelt quotes im sure you’ll find it i was trying to find exact speech but I think you’d probably have to go to a museum or soemthing ….

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