Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The next long, dry spell...but it ended in a big way!

Well, summer is not my strong suit, and my blog is sure evidence of that!  Between not working, and being home with kids all day, every day, I don't cope well.  I get frustrated and cranky and so very unproductive.

I should NOT ALLOW summer to do that to me!  It is up to me, yet I just have not found my way to a healthy, productive summer attitude.  I guess the positive thing is that I'll get to try again next year!  Of course, the boys are getting older fast, so in another summer or two, summers won't bother me so much.

The other BIG fix for my summer problem would be for me to be working full-time, year 'round, and that's on the agenda.  We've just gotten to a point where me being off all summer is not good for the budget.  Since the boys are old enough, it's time for Mom to re-enter the full-time workforce.

Sadly, I do live in an area where there's not much that I can do in my field, and with my BFA in Fashion Design.  I'm going to have to rely on the office skills that I've developed or kept honed during the 17 years that I've been teaching and making costumes, to snag myself an office job and a hopefully decent paycheck.

Well, that's a long ways off from the intent of my blog in general, or the post that I thought I was going to write! 

I did finish a REALLY OLD PROJECT!  We're talking about something that I started in California, between '87 and '91.  Hehehehehe.

I had signed up for a quilt-making class, my first ever.  I was young, well, not exactly 'young' but much younger than I am now, and young enough to think that everything that I knew would be enough to cover every situation!  Silly me!

I knew about fabric grain and tearing fabric as part of getting fabric on grain.  When the instructor (poor woman) said no, no tearing of the fabric to get an accurate grainline on each piece, Idiot Me got all upset at the idea of ignoring the grainline and left the class!  I sure have had some moronic moments in my past!

I had spent about $125 on the fabrics for this quilt...to sort of match the master bedroom in the house that we owned in CA.  I didn't finish the class, and we left CA.  There isn't a color in those fabrics that goes anywhere in my house here!

But once we got settle in here, sometime around 93-96, I decided that I'd better do something with that fabric.  I'd fallen in love with the Quillow concept, and with Eleanor Burns' Trip-Around-The-World, in her Quilt-in-a-Day series.  I had gotten through some other fabric-piecing class, in the years between the grainline issue, and the moment that I got back to this fabric, so I was actually ready.  I had enough fabric to easily cut strips for 3 quillow-sized, Trip/World tops and that's what I did.  Got them all cut, the strips joined, re-cut into pieced strips, and assembled into 3 quilt tops.

Then I got distracted by babies and teaching and life, and just had to let them sit for a while.  But it wasn't too long.  I was ready to finish them as quillows, but with the couple of years that had passed, my perspective had changed.  I laid two of the tops on the floor together and had an A-HA moment!  By removing just one row from one top, I could join the two, and get what I call my DOUBLE TRIP AROUND THE WORLD quilt...which is probably about a queen size!  And it's GORGEOUS!

I loved it so much that I got it assembled fast, then found someone to quilt it professionally, a husband-wife time with a business called Turkey Tracks.  She was reasonable and she certainly did a nice job on it.  I didn't want to pay her to hand stitch the binding, so I got it back from her.....and there it sat for possibly 10 years!  All it needed was the binding!

Well, heck...last winter I knew I had to get it finished, so one weekend afternoon, I bit the bullet and took it to the machine with some plain old, wide, double-fold bias, the packaged stuff.  Got it sewn on to the right side and wanted to do the rest by hand.  Took it up to my bedroom, along with thread, needles & scissors, and set myself up to work on it in bits and pieces, where I had a good TV and movie access, so I could get it done.  Had 3 sides finished before the weather just got too warm to bother.  All summer it's been sitting there waiting for the 4 side to get done....TODAY.

The weather isn't all that much cooler, some but not like it was when last I touched the silly thing.  But I worked on it last night, until someone came in and turned out the overhead lighting...guess he didn't want to sleep with the lights on.  Figured if I didn't want a repeat of that tonight, then I should grab some time this afternoon and go for it.  Took two episodes of SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER, plus 2/3 of an episode of Dr. Oz, including time to take notes from his nutrition section.


It doesn't go with any of my color schemes, but it's done.  Now I'm debating whether to list it on Etsy, or store it until one of my boys is ready for it, like say after he's married.  Hmmmm....

Well, it's hard to photograph around here, without getting background stuff, but there you have it - a finished, Double Trip-Around-The-World quilt, only 20+ years in the making.

Now what I'm I going to do with that third piece?  hehehe

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