Saturday, February 26, 2011

All Aboard! Now departing - The Finish Line Train.
Well, finish-line such as it is. I am dangerously close to completing the top of Martha Washington's Flower Garden. It was in a post exactly two years ago where I first mentioned starting this quilt and I have been sharing plenty of progress updates in the interim.
A few weeks back, I thought I had pieced my last diamond and had a little celebration. Now I have found that due to a terrible counting error on my part, I was actually 5 diamonds short of a top. One down and four to go with all the pieces cut and ready to baste.
Another lesson learned along the way is to be flexible. No mention on the inspiration website of the size of the hexagon pieces, only the finished quilt dimensions. So I did what I do best - gathered up what seemed like a TON of fabric and got to work. It was easy to add in another plaid or two or three or four or . . . along the way and work them in throughout the entire top. What didn't work out quite so well was the fabric I had chosen for the path or connector pieces. It is from an older line of fabric and not readily available. When I first decided to use it, I bought all that was available at my LQS. Fearing that it may not be enough to finish, I began an online search and order campaign that resulted in more than enough fabric to make the back of the quilt but none that was an exact match for the top.
If you look carefully -
you can see that I am now using the nearest match to the original to finish up my last row of diamonds. I am not at all put off by the look. If it were an antique quilt, we would think that perhaps the dyes had faded in that area for some reason or that the maker was a clever, make-do pioneer woman. We would applaud her artistic and frugal choice. While I hope it looks like a casual change over, I put a lot of thought and planning into just where the new fabric would make it's appearance.
If I keep my nose to the grindstone and my eyes on the prize, I believe that I could put the last stitches in while watching the Oscar ceremony tomorrow night. I will then have to put it aside while I order batting. The batting I have on hand is a 90" queen-size. The top measures 90" x 107", so I need to order a king. In the meantime I can put together the backing and there is always this waiting in the wings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fish or cut bait! We've all heard that phrase and can probably cite a way that we have applied it in our own lives. It is certainly true for me. A little background - it was not an easy decision to completely uproot ourselves and try to establish again on the other side of the country. But Hubby and I did so with open hearts and open minds. We moved to New England with a 15-year plan - to work, make our home and experience this part of the country in a way we could not do in a two-week vacation. At the end of that time, we would plan our retirement and most likely head west- returning to the Golden State for our golden years.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Even before our furniture arrived, the company Hubby was hired by here was sold and the tenor of the work for which he was hired was dramatically changed. Still in such a poor economy we had much to be thankful for: our health; a beautiful, thoughtful, smart and successful daughter; a lovely new home; and each other and let's not forget that Hubby had a job, not always easy to come by or keep in the current economy. Enter the 5 to 7-year plan.
We enjoyed our first New England fall and all of its glorious color. We reveled in the wonders of winter. We worked hard to turn this house into our home. We took some great trips. We said goodbye to a beloved member of the family and welcomed a new member to the fold. Still it felt more like we were going through the motions day-to-day rather than living a life. With no school-age children and not working outside of the home, I found it difficult to find or form friendships in this small town. I gave it a good try and have enjoyed getting to know the gals that were brave enough to take the leap and join me.
I really tried to keep a brave face. Hubby seemed to be enjoying his work, I LOVED the hours he was keeping - for the first time in our lives we were enjoying leisurely mornings without worry over beating the commuter traffic. I was able to plan on putting dinner on the table at the same time every evening. From the outside everything looked good.
But you didn't have to scratch the surface very hard to learn that we were both just miserable! Hubby was not feeling challenged or fulfilled by his job. He felt that the skills he brought to the table when was hired were being lost to him. After being laid-off, we both fully understand that presenting your best, most marketable self is of the utmost importance. As for me, I have just felt desperately alone and lonely. I miss The Princess, I miss my friends, I miss my garden, I miss the state that I will always call home and it seems that Hubby was feeling just the same way.
It has been two years since Hubby learned that he was being down-sized, the economy is showing some signs of improvement. The job market in his field has begun showing some signs of opening up and we have made the decision to cry, 'Uncle' and go home.The 'for sale' sign was planted in the snow on Saturday.
I mixed a double-batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, portioned it out, and tucked them in the freezer.
So simple to drop a half-dozen cookies on a baking sheet 30 minutes before an appointment to see the house.
They look inviting on the counter and the house smells G-O-O-D! Every little detail can only help.
In order to not make a mess, I sit quietly and stitch on my hexagons. It is dangerously close to being a full-fledged quilt top. I can't find a good place to take a photo. So here is one half -
and the other.Whether in this house in the east or someplace new in the west - I still can hardly wait to see it on my bed!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The storms just keep coming. Over the weekend there was a futile attempt to dig our way out.
Digging . . . .Just keep digging . . . .What are we crazy? Let's just wait for the next storm, then we'll be able to just walk out.We are mere tenths of an inch away from breaking into the top 10 snowiest winters on record for this area. Even I am ready for a break at this point!