Friday, January 7, 2011

Garden Work

Yes -- I know, early January.  BUT -- it was almost 60 degrees today, and tomorrow and and the following week are supposed to be cold, cold, cold.  With a chance of inches of snow Sunday and then the daytime temps to be in the 30's, night time in the 20's and teens.

And I have a huge pile of horse manure on the back of my driveway -- been there since July and it was too hot (both the days, and the temp of the manure) to put it on the garden, so there it has been.  Today, I got my hiney in gear and decreased that pile by about a third -- 6 wheelbarrow loads now spread nicely on several of the raised beds of my vegetable garden.  I wish I could get it all done, but the day grows late and I fear overdoing my muscles with all the shoveling.  Maybe I'll do a bit more tomorrow if it isn't sooo cold, but the rest will have to wait until the next moderate day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Finally Finished It

the quilt
And it only took 13 years.  Thirteen years to complete half of it, 3 days to finish the rest.  Four 12-inch square blocks, each demonstrating some quilting technique (piecing, applique, etc), sashing, backing, binding.  And I didn't iron anything to the carpet this time, or sew the quilt to my pants or to other corners of itself (all of which happened repeatedly during the first go-around).

Thirteen years ago I had a nursing infant, a four year old, a ten year old and a twelve year old.  Thirteen years ago I don't think we even had an internet connection or email -- nor did most of my friends.

A woman in our homeschooling circle was taking a quilting class and invited whoever wanted to come to her house each week and she would share what she was learning week by week and we would all make a sampler quilt together.  Each week I gamely obtained the materials, cut the pieces as directed and pieced them together.  After the 4 weeks or so that we met I had the 4 squares, but then lost interest (quilting was too persnickety and exact for me -- and I didn't have good sewing skills -- it was hard!), and never got it all put together, much less actually quilted.  We even moved house, hauling the unfinished quilt across town in its dedicated Target bag.  The colors of the fabrics, chosen to go in our old house, no longer fit in our new house.  Occasionally through the years I would take it up, usually in January in a fit of resolution, and managed to assemble and sash the squares together, cut some batting and backing to fit, got it pinned, quilted 2 of the squares . . . .

Thirteen years later, January 1st, and I decided it was do or die time -- either get rid of it from where it hung unobtrusively on my workroom wall from its permanently embedded quilting ring, or finish it.

And I did it!  And it was so much easier this time.  Maybe it's because I don't have nursing babies, 4 yr olds and other children underfoot and needing my attention.  Maybe it's because I could give more than 7 minutes of uninterrupted attention at a time to something.  Maybe it's because my 54 year old bifocal eyes can actually work better with threading the needle than my younger eyes could.

Thirteen years later, and the infant is thirteen herself, the four year old is 17, and the two older girls are young adults with their own lives.  Many of the friends in that quilting gathering have moved away or otherwise passed out of our lives.  And I've had new friends that I've now known for years whom I didn't even know existed then.  It all makes me wonder what the next 13 years will hold.