Not bad for a fat girl

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Six Quilts Done, Forty-four to Go

To break even on my long-arm quilt machine, that is. Except that five of the six are baby quilts, so they probably shouldn’t really count, but I’m counting them anyway. Of course there will never be a real break even point, because there are always things you have to keep getting, like threads and machine feet and batting and rulers. Breaking even isn’t the point anyway. The point is I can finish my quilts on my own. I find that idea satisfying, even if I’m not entirely satisfied with my skill level yet.

Learning new skills takes time, and this one is no different. I liken it to riding a bike. At first you worry about balance. But then there’s steering and pedaling and if you ignore any of those you won’t have much success. There’s a fair amount to pay attention to with the long-arm also. Correct loading, tension on the frame, thread tension, speed, and smoothness all come to mind. I need practice with it all.

I just finished quilting number six. It’s another baby quilt, but they’re good for practice, and to use up some of the fabric that’s been hanging around my sewing room for years. I bought the fabrics for this one when my son was in preschool, with this pattern in mind. It would have been a fun one for him when he was little, but at 24 he’s definitely outgrown it. I don’t mind though, some little *kid somewhere will enjoy it ( *I almost said boy, but girls can like vintage race cars too).

Now I need to bind the quilt, and another project will be officially finished. I love the sense of accomplishment I get from completing quilts on the long-arm. I may not be great at it yet, but I keep getting better, so I’m satisfied. Practice may not make perfect, but it definitely makes progress.

Isn’t this great fabric? I used a checkerboard flag fabric with it for a simple but striking quilt.


Daily Passion Prompt 17: My Perfect Post Lottery Life


 DAY #17:  What if you won the lottery tomorrow and you were set for life (financially).

Fast-forward three months later.  What would you be doing?  Where would you be living?  Who would you be surrounded by?  Why?

Oh Yes! I won! Impossible to imagine, since I don’t really play, but we can pretend. Two scenarios play out in my mind. Scenario one involves a very large home in a swanky neighborhood (not far from where I currently live), a house staff that includes a cook, a personal trainer (if not Chris Powell, then a clone of him), a housekeeper, and a groundskeeper (you know, for the pool, lawn, and gardens).  My sweetheart and I would have done a bit of traveling, and would be settling in to our new life. I would have time every day to work out, read, write, quilt, and scrapbook. Of course the house would be huge and have dedicated areas for all of those activities, so I wouldn’t need to pull things out and put them away each time.

6a00d83451d02f69e200e54f33ed548834-800wiThe studio would house my quilting and scrapbooking (and other craft) supplies. It would be sunny and cheerful, and in the evening it would be well lit. Of course it would be outfitted with ample storage for my ever growing collection of fabrics, papers, and notions. I would have tall counters for cutting and comfortable spaces to spread out and design and create. I would invest in a longarm quilting machine, and hire an expert tutor to help me get the hang of it. If I don’t get the hang of it, I would just have her come over and do my quilts for me.

My study would be the reading and writing center of the home. It would be a cozy room with walls of books, comfortable seating with good light, and a lovely desk with my computer. Here I would spend hours every day composing narratives, poems, and works of fiction. I would play with various styles of writing, and take online writing workshops. I would read here too, sampling works from writers new and old.

CHRIS POWELLAnother room I would visit daily would be the workout room. I imagine a treadmill, weights, boxing equipment, plenty of floor space, and other pieces of equipment that I can’t even name. My trainer would be compassionate and motivating, and I would learn to love working out. Naturally there would be a pool too, for my water workouts and general recreation and relaxation.

Finally there would be a tremendous kitchen, complete with fabulous healthy chef/nutritionist/teacher. This wonderperson would teach me the ways of creating delicious meals that will satisfy me and help me on my path to wellness. He/she would also do the meal planning, sous chef work, and cleaning up. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It all sounds fabulous, but totally unrealistic. First of all, I really don’t want a bunch of strangers in my house. Ok, Chris Powell can come over once a week for my training session, but other than that, I value my privacy. If I really did win the lottery, things would look a lot like they already do. First, I would finish out the school year with my students. There would be no reason to abandon them. Next, I might move to a slightly larger, more comfortable home, but it would be far from a mansion. There are three of us in our family. That would be silly.

Things I would do:

1. Put aside college money for my son.

2. Hire him a driving instructor. He’s almost old enough for his permit (just a few weeks away).

3. Hire a trainer. Even if it’s not Chris.

4. Keep writing.

5. Plan a memorable vacation.

6. Think about life after school lets out in May. Would I go back? I might not. I might concentrate on writing.

The lottery is unlikely, but having dreams doesn’t depend on lottery winnings.


Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

Ok, I confess, I cheated. My tenth word was “of” so I took the eleventh. Fabric. Glorious, beautiful, delicious fabric. It’s not all that surprising since my computer shares space with my sewing room. A quick reach to the right, and I pulled my ancient Quilter’s Complete Guide by Fons and Porter off the shelf. How lucky to find fabric in the first sentence, after all, it’s one of my favorite things!

5475051736_2a2d7109fe_zThe trick was not to get too lost in the google images. There were bazillions of them. Stacks of fabric, piles of fabric, bolts of fabric. Of course the bright cottons drew me right away. I love the bold colors and eye catching designs. These are the fabrics favored by modern quilters, often in combination with neutrals. Their work also features solids of all shades. I still shy away from solids myself, but the work those quilters do is amazing.

The modern quilt movement has done wonderful things for the world of quilting, infusing it with new life and energy. I love that modern quilters aren’t afraid to make mistakes or do things their own way. The quilt police have long ago been drummed out of their world.

More traditional quilters are using those gorgeous new fabrics too, in innovative and stunning ways. I subscribe to several quilting publications, and I’m always inspired by the creativity of other quilters, regardless of their niche in the large and inclusive quilting world.

Currently I consider myself a lazy quilter, or at least an easy quilter. I don’t quilt often anymore, and when I do I usually choose simple designs that showcase the fabrics. I’ve cut back considerably on my fabric shopping for several reasons, none of which include not LOVING all the new fabric trends.

1. cost – quality quilting cottons are quite pricey

2. space – with my fiancé living with us, our house is pretty full

3. guilt – there is a lot of fabric in this house that has been here a long time

I need to get my current project wrapped up and sent on it’s way, then finish up some UFO’s (unfinished objects, for the uninitiated). Not only would I feel better about using what I have, but I would be ticking off some items on my 47 for 47 challenge. Maybe then I could add some luscious new fabrics to my collection.