Beth Markel

Chaos, then website chaos, now calm

Posted on February 27, 2023 by Beth Markel

My last blog post was right after I had a torn rotator cuff that required surgery to repair. It’s hard to quilt with only one had, or in my case, only one arm that worked. Surgery went really well, and “vigorous” PT starts this week. I say all of that because I did not realize until much later that there were problems with my last blog post. Some people received it, no problems, and some received it, but photos would not load. Some people received it, and it was completely blank.

My sincere apologies!

So, I’m posting pictures of CHAOS completed again, and the piece I’ve been sewing on my machine, using only my left hand to guide the quilting. It’s a good thing that both wind and waves have movement in them, as I regularly wandered in this free-style work. The top was done prior to surgery, and it was very roughly basted. It’s only 30” x 30” and I stitched the binding with my left hand yesterday, which was a fun challenge, although I don’t recommend it if you’re right-handed.

Again, my sincere apologies if you had problems with the CHAOS completed blog a couple weeks ago. If you sent a comment, some I could read, and some only had symbols, numbers, or parentheses. No idea why or how, but I genuinely appreciate you hanging in there with me. I am also very grateful for the many kind words about the CHAOS work. Sometimes it really felt like I might not finish.

This is the wording on the Chaos label:


Including, but not limited to, turmoil, anarchy, madness, confusion, pandemonium, mayhem, uproar, bedlam, disorder, disarray, raising teenagers, assisting and   respecting elderly parents who sometimes no longer recognize you, death of a loved one, and a million other scenarios that wreak havoc in our daily lives. We all  experience chaos one way or another, the question simply becomes how do we deal with it? This somewhat insane piecing adventure began with an idea that chaos could be recognized in visual texture. It ignited a desire to bring order to overwhelming chaos in my life. There are 7,056 blocks, each ¾”  finished, made up of three pieces in each block, for a grand total of 21,168 pieces of  fabric. I have come to believe that persistence and calm are the antidotes to chaos.

Dimensions: 62” x 62” and completed January, 2023

The setting sun comes from numerous visits to Bonita Springs/Naples beaches in Florida. It was there we were introduced to a lovely daily event, where people bring their lawn chairs, wine, and blankets. For about an hour before sunset, people gather, chat, exchange stories, let the kids play in the darkening waves, albeit not very much more than ankle deep…and wait.

Sunset is a slow and often stunningly beautiful affair…and a moment after the sun sets, you see the rays just glistening across the tops of the waves. There is a pause when you know the sun had moved across the horizon, but it’s golden glow is still visible.

Then people applaud! How great is that?

Sunset at Bonita Spring Beach

See the beauty in the everyday.





Jean Hobbs on March 2, 2023

Hi....pray your shoulder is improving. The PT is worse than the surgery. Hang in there.....the results will be worth it. We are good. Ohio weather has been crazy for February. We have had next to no it was 75. Now storming with torrents of rain and thunder and lightening. Three tornados touched down within 15 miles of us day before yesterday.....we only had a few limbs down. Take care...your cousin....Jean

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