The last time I quilted was nearly a year ago. It was June and my youngest daughter was getting married. I had been working on a quilt for her and since money was tight it was a scrappy quilt. I was making progress on a full size quilt when I heard she actually had a queen size bed. No problem; I just added a larger border. I finished the top and I was pinning the layers together on the ping pong table in the basement when I learned she and her fiance had purchased a new king size bed. There was no time to make any further changes before traveling 500 miles to attend the wedding, plus we were in the process of moving to our new home. Out of disappointment and frustration I folded up the quilt top and packed it away along with all my sewing gear.
Immediately after the wedding we packed up our entire house and put everything in a large storage unit. The only things that did not go into storage were two beds, one television and a table to put it on, a love seat, some summer clothing, very basic kitchen ware, microwave, refrigerator, and tools. We also put the lawn mower and lawn tools in the little shed on the new property. The big appliances were packed into the back of our son's bedroom leaving just enough space for his mattress on the floor. Nothing else could go into the new place because the renovation would be too extensive. We put the love seat, our bed, and the television on the enclosed porch which now functioned as our living room and bedroom. My brother-in-law invited us to stay with him for awhile and we did try that, but we missed the privacy that our own home provided even with all the mess. So for nearly a year I've been pretty busy with the house renovation.
Three things have dominated my thoughts these past months: make the house safe to live in, get our stuff out of storage, and find a place to sew. It has been quite a journey, and there is much to do to bring the house up to par, but we are now living in every tiny room in our 750 square foot home. It is cute and cozy. It is also challenging, because each and every project, no matter how small, makes our little house cramped. Piles move from room to room and boxes and bins of items which do not have a permanent home are stashed and stacked about the house. We are getting more and more creative about how to store and protect things. We have learned which items are not critical and so we have learned also to give them up. And nearly everything that comes into the house has to do double duty: it can be pretty but it must also be functional. We have made significant progress and most things have a home now.
So as you can imagine, I have not been able to find the space to quilt.
Suddenly, I hated going to quilt guild meetings. There were so many cool ideas presented and I could not work on a single one. Goodness knows I didn't really need the creative outlet - I have lots of projects going on at the house - but I really did need the fellowship. But getting time to get away became burdensome because I was just plain exhausted. I even stayed away from QCA for a time.
I have studied the problem of needing an area
in which to sew and have tried to work out many solutions, but it seems the only place to set up my sewing machine is on the enclosed porch. There is plenty of light because there are lots of windows. But those windows are 100 years old and are drafty (but I still love them and their wavy, bubbled, cheerfulness. That room had never been insulated, so it was C-O-L-D! I have plans to insulated it and to install storm windows and a storm door, but other projects are more important at the moment. (Can you say "new furnace?") But, thanks to the unusually fine weather this spring, I have been able to work through the bins and boxes stored on the porch and arrange a little space for my sewing machine and ironing board. So three days ago I started sewing! Yay!
I even helped out at our guild's biennial quilt show (which was amazing!) and I went to our most recent guild meeting. Some ladies there make comfort quilts for children in the foster care system and they issued a challenge: make a quilt with the theme of "Children's Games" using a fat quarter of printed black fabric. What perfect timing! I can do that now! So I just completed my first quilt top in nearly a year; I call it "Go Fish". it is pictured below in my new "studio" on the porch of our home.
It is so good to be back!