Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alive (Barely!)

It struck a week ago. On Tuesday, I wasn't feeling 100% and since we had dinner guests coming, I left work a bit early. Dinner was a pot luck and I'd wisely opted for paper plates and dining on the deck, so the work was minimal. But once the guests were gone and the dishes done, I realized I was, in fact, sick. Head felt huge and bloggy. Called in sick for work on Wednesday and haven't been back since.

It was nose and head and froat for a couple of days and then on Friday The Cough commenced. We had tickets for a concert and decided to give it a try; I made it partway through the first piece and the coughing fit forced me into the lobby where I stayed for the rest of the first half. When Joe joined me, we decided to head home. The Cough continues, being horrible and night and horrible-minus at other times. It's been a few years since I had this, and I'm thankful for that.

I've slept a lot (when the cough will permit it) during the day, consumed drugs, tea and water, and complained without ceasing.

Yet it prevails.

I did pick up five quilts from the machines, machined the binding on all of them, trimmed the excess on all of them, and have the hand-stitching on the first one 3/4 finished. I've been reading -- finished a very thought-provoking book and started another. I've watched TV. And waited for it to end.

But it hasn't yet.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Relatively Speaking

Wait a minute! Didn't I just post this picture a week or so ago? Well, yes. But I'm posting it again because (a) the pattern has arrived and (b) there's a little story to tell. And, due to the complexity (12 complicated pieced blocks, 20 appliqué units), this project is going to be around for a long time.

First, someone asked about the pattern. I found it at Needles and Pins, located somewhere in Oz. I want to give an unsolicited shout-out to Kaye, who was lovely to work with. She sent the pattern very quickly. It wasn't inexpensive -- $25 American plus postage from Australia -- but considering the intricacy of the pattern, that doesn't seem really out of line price-wise. I wandered around Kaye's site a bit and, friends, if complicated patterns are your thing, you'd think you'd died and gone to heaven. 

Now for the story. When I was sixteen years old, this truly wonderful thing happened to me. I became an aunt! The year before my small family had been halved. My sister got married and moved to a different state (not terribly far, but still) and my father died very suddenly. It was just me and my mother left at home, and that was the least favorable combination among the four of us.

Anyway, in April of that year, my niece, Susan, was born, and she's been a blessing to me ever since. Joe and I lived far away during most of her and her sister's growing up years, but the connections remained strong, and when Susan graduated high school, I told her to stop calling me "Aunt Nancy" because I wasn't old enough to have such a grown-up person for a niece. She then proceeded to always introduce me to her friends -- of which there were countless -- as "My Relative, Nancy." From time to time I'll find a greeting card "To A Wonderful Relative" that I'll send her. When I posted the previous picture of The Aunts' Quilt, Susan opined, "If you're going to make that, you'll have to call it The Relative's Quilt." She's right.

I'm going to make it. I'm not going to use Gina Gregory's color scheme. I'd like to use my regular blue-purple-green-rose scheme, but those scraps are depleting quickly. I'm thinking of starting with a bag of scraps I came by from my friend Pat -- all citrusy colors -- I think that would be fun and make a bright quilt, but I'm afraid that the whole time I was making it I'd feel as though I was wearing someone else's clothes.

Writing this, the solution has become obvious: Purchase more fabric! In purples and blues and greens and mauves and roses. Thank you for helping me reach this conclusion.

Friday, May 08, 2015

It Sure Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Well, the quilt that was called "Some Pig" while it was in progress is now a full-fledged flimsy. It measures 36" by 36".

It felt as though it took as long to pull the paper pieces off the back as it did to piece the blocks.

I told my friend Rosita that I'd make a baby girl quilt for the Oktoberfest this fall. I'll ask her if this would be a good choice or if she would like something more traditional.

I like the quilt well enough but have become no fonder of the process, particularly pulling of the 30,493,601 pieces of paper.