I Had Planned to Show You Some Finishes Yesterday…

Unfortunately, I tried to be a fantastic wife, and you know, MAKE A CAKE for my husband’s birthday, and whilst removing said cake from the oven my back decided that I had partied enough for the day and threw a ginormous hissy fit which has landed me in bed ever since, and necessitated my husband taking me to see the doctor yesterday for pain killers more potent than OTC ibuprofen.  As you can imagine, that makes for a fantastically unproductive week.  Sigh.

As I write this, my potent painkillers are in that last-hour-before-I-can-take-the-next-dose realm, so I’m trying to distract myself from the exponential pain building in my lumbar region, and I’ve decided to use blogging as my distracting tool.  Lucky you!

The finishes I wanted to show you yesterday were my Sweetie Pie Quilt some charity blocks I sewed up for my quilt guild, which is having their monthly meeting as I type.  (You guessed it, I’m not there. Wah.)

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The Sweetie Pie Quilt TOP is sooo close to being done!  This is a photo from the beginning of the week, before I started joining the rows, where I was trying to decide what fabric to use for its eventual border.  Since then, I have all the blocks sewn up and joined in their rows, and the only seam left is the last middle seam joining the top half to the bottom half.  Guess what I was going to do after I finished making my husband’s cake?  Yeah…

I’ve decided to skip the little gingham daisies at the block intersections because I just don’t want to make them, ha ha.  When I eventually quilt this up I want to do some fancy quilting in that negative space.  I also didn’t add the row-end sashing because the bed this is going to go on is twin-sized and the quilt is plenty wide enough already.

As far as the border goes, I’m leaning towards to solid aqua because I think it gives it a nice, clean finish.  The print would totally work, but…I like the solid.  Not sure what I’m going to do quilting-wise on the border, and quilting won’t come from another month or two, so I’ll worry about that when it becomes necessary.  (I’m going to get certified on a quilt shop’s long-arm machine so I can quilt it myself.  I can’t take the certification lesson until at least the end of April.)

I was planning on the Sweetie Pie Quilt being a “back of the couch” display quilt, but while I was laundering my youngest daughter’s comforter last week I noticed holes wearing through its edges, so the quilt will now be for her bed.  I actually think the quilt will last longer on her bed than on the back of the couch–my kids have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the term “display quilt” actually means, and I constantly find them wrapped up in said “display quilts” or even having tug-of-wars with the “DISPLAY QUILTS” in order to win the honor of wrapping themselves in the spoils of the war.  Perhaps it’s best that I started learning to quilt now instead of earlier?  Can you imagine if I had really amazing display quilts that really could not be touched?  I think I’ll have to take to hanging my quilts on the wall if I make anything fancier.  Cool, making my own art.  (I know, I know, it’s all art…but there’s something about hanging it on the wall that makes it into super art, or something.)

Can we take a second to appreciate the beauty of this hobby?!  Here I am, using my free time to do something that makes me really happy–I love working with color, I love creating something with my hands, and I get the thrill of achieving a “finish”–and then, that free time, which could have been wasted in internet-browsing or television-watching, has produced something not only beautiful, but incredibly useful on a daily basis, AND it will make my child ecstatic upon receiving it and allow her to feel loved each time she crawls into bed beneath her quilt.  Now, I’m a classically-trained soprano, I sing opera for cryin’ out loud, and the performance and studio fine arts are a big deal to me; I think they are a big deal for our culture and for the refinement of the soul…but the home arts/crafts just fill me with the warmest and fuzziest of feelings, and I’m so thankful to be able to share those warm and fuzzies with my family.

At the end of the day, for me, it’s all about “how” our home feels, and I just love the specialness and coziness that my quilts give to our home.  We are a blessed generation to have such a renaissance appreciation for the home arts/maker movement without all the horrors of cholera and smallpox with which our pioneer-women ancestors dealt.  Life is good.  Things are cuh-razy in the world right now, but my husband and children can always come home to an evening of peace and comfort, and replenish their hearts before heading out into the fray the next morning.  Home is the best “safe space.”

And I get to also be part of a quilt guild that cares a lot about charity work!  This year our guild is making quilts for a local veteran’s facility.  I don’t have pictures of my blocks in progress, but there’s two new ones each month and we’re sewing them up in classic red, white and blue fabrics.  Last year we made quilts for Primary Children’s Hospital, and we made a few rainbow heart quilts to send to those affected by the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Florida.  I love the hearts of creatives.  Warm and fuzzies everywhere, but especially in times of need.

One of my “potent” painkillers really makes me euphoric, and I think you’re getting a lot of that in this post…but really, these feelings are kind of always in me, just not amplified to the point of Sister Maria singing it to the mountains.  I just love being a creative, a maker, an artist.  Amidst all the political blegh going on, all the “WTH?,” all the stresses of being an adult/wife/mother/horrified witness to troubles in other lands, and all the physical pain that is part of my daily life…I have crafting.  A place to go and relax that also boasts a usable end-product.  It’s just so perfect to me.  Just goodness.

Aaaand I’ve made it to my next pill.  Peace out, my lovelies.  (Did you like how I totally focused on the positive in a very negative situation?  It’s a skill I’m working on.  I know for sure that being grumpy and whiny will 100% ALWAYS make my back pain situations worse, so I try my best not to get negative when dealing with a lumbar-inspired catastrophe.  It’s been a good choice all around.  Highly recommended.)

(But, in order to not paint a false picture of perfect optimism, I will admit that I failed at being positive about it on Wednesday.  Crashed and burned.)

(Which is probably why it disintegrated into such a horrific amount of pain so rapidly.  All the more reason to not let negative emotions into the equation.  Stress/anger/frustration = muscle spasms.)

(Instead, I should have wrapped myself in a beautiful quilt.  Maybe even one of those display quilts.)

(Mmmm, quilts.)

 

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