Thursday, October 30, 2014

Change in the Wind, Part One

It is nearly three months, now, since the school for autistic children left its home in The Little Church to move to bigger quarters. I hear from the director from time to time; all is going well, the new space is huge and laid out beautifully, the kids all made an easy adjustment, and when would I come to visit?

The move left a huge hole in The Little Church. Their existence has been threatened due to their dependence on the income from the school, now gone. Tireless efforts on the part of the lay leadership has, thus far, failed to yield a new tenant, although conversations with one prospect are ongoing and there have been some inroads in other directions.

The move also left a huge hole in my life. No one from The Little Church is in the building regularly. I miss the traipsing up and down the hall as the kids go to speech or occupational therapy sessions. I miss the odd noises that some of the nonverbal students make. I miss the ongoing affirmations and enthusiasms of the teachers. I miss hearing about day-to-day life events of the staff. The Little Church is way too quiet for my taste.

The rector stops by for -- at most -- a total of three hours each week when I am there. Most weeks it is fewer. The congregation is hanging on by a thread with no money for preventive medicine, they are constantly applying band-aids and tourniquets to all-too-frequent property issues.

I have been very, very lonely, and a few weeks ago -- as a couple of squirrels moved in and began appearing without warning -- I began to feel uncomfortable. The church is locked and there is a doorbell, but I must open the door to speak to the person who has rung.

I looked at a position in another church, but it felt like a toxic place and they wanted more hours than I wanted. I drove my husband crazy consulted with my husband, who said if I wanted to be retired person (but I would still continue the hospital chaplaincy work), it was fine with him. I wasn't so sure. We decided that I would try to stick it out until spring, when I would have worked at the church for two years. Or, perhaps I would find another opportunity.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black Rock, Third Time Around

Seven-ninths of the Renegades spent the past weekend at Black Rock Retreat Center. We were housed in a cute little A-frame house, just a few steps away from the main building where the meeting/work rooms are located. We missed our absent two-ninths members a lot.

We all got so much work done! This beautiful finish is Marsha's gorgeous project that she put together with blocks she had brought along. Couldn't you just picture a lovely nap under this treasure? Or as a tablecloth for a most elegant tea party?

I had finished the last of the nine Monster blocks just a couple of days before we went away, and I stopped at Gene's to buy fabric for setting the blocks. I was still having discomfort with the knee during the retreat (I had stopped the regular taking of the Advil for the inflammation, foolish me), so it took me a while, but I did get it together and it is off to the machinist today! Photo will be shared after it is gifted to Glorious Grandbaby #6 for his mid-December second birfday.

When we retreated last April, Kathy had organized a block swap called "Black and White Retro TV Stars," and the blocks it yielded were just marvelous.

Honna put hers together and we never got a photo before she gave the quilt away as a wedding gift. I don't know if any of the other participants have completed their tops, but Kathy brought her blocks along, finished wonkifying them, and assembled her top.

Isn't it fun?

I had started putting mine together at a sewing day late last spring, completed three rows, and the day had come to an end. After the Monsters were finished, I laid these out and returned to work on them.

It didn't take long to get it all finished. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the tiny lime detail in the sashing (Bobbi's idea way back when). When it comes home from the machinist, I'll use that same lime for the binding.

I think it will be a gift for an upcoming wedding (date as yet unannounced).

Before we had to pack up, I got the first two of three borders on Polar Vortex and as soon as I get unpacked and completely resettled, my intent is to get that final border on so Polar Vortex can be finished before another Polar Vortex comes around!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"The Lansdale Local"?

Why yes, thank you, I do still sew. Every day [almost] this past week, in fact, I've put in time "making tracks."

This is The R5, hinted at in a previous post, inspired by Julie's current WIP.

I think that if you are so inclined, you can click on the photo and make it bigger. I tried that initially, but it took up the whole top of the page, so I settled for this size.

Most of the fabrics are Kaffe/Brandon/Phillip. There are some others, designers unknown, but not many.

It's called The R5 after my dear son-in-law's rant about a name change on the regional rails, he not being anywhere old enough to know that long before the route was known as The R5, it was called The Lansdale Local. But I'm not going to burst his bubble. I'm just going to make the quilt.

To my way of thinking, the large square-in-a-square blocks represent the stations, the small bordered squares are considered the junctions, and the ties and rails speak for themselves. Making the ties took a long time; they were pieced from strata and some strata yielded three sections while one actually provided six. Next up will be putting the rails on the ties and trimming those units to 6-1/4", the size of the stations. The junctions, before bordering, are 2-1/2" inches. Haven't begun to cut the setting triangles yet.

I'm having so much fun with this project. No idea when it will be completed, but for sure there's no way it can come off the wall until it is!