Sharon D's Blog

April 2013 - Posts

Moving is the pits!

Moving is the pits! We've been "moving" to TN for over a year now. The DH moved to TN a year ago, and I'm still here baby-sitting the house while it is on the market. Not a bit fun - neat and tidy is not part of my comfort zone. But the time has come - I NEED to be with my husband! We are both much better together, for sure. We travel back and forth to see each other, and when he walks in the door, I light up, calm down, breathe easier, and grin all the time. So I'm moving to TN - whether the house has sold or not.

The thing is, after living in Raleigh for over 30 years, my entire life is here. For 2 years, now, I've gone up and down emotionally over the thought of moving. Although I am now beyond ready to move - my heart is breaking. I've met many, many people at our local Senior Center, who have left their lives of 40-50 years in the same place, to come to Wake Forest NC to be with a daughter or son. They've given up home, friends, volunteer work, hobbies - to live in a tiny apartment - alone, or in a guest room in a relative's house, not knowing a soul their own age, or where anything is. Most of those folks came to the center, desperate for friends and to "get a life." And they did! So I know I can do it too.

Today, I've been communicating with the director of our Senior Center about candidates to take over my Thursday morning line dance class, and the Wed afternoon quilting group, and grief has enveloped me. I develop friends "in context" - work friends and church friends, primarily, and see them within that context. - usually not socially (except for a precious few). When I retired 3 years ago, my beloved little church had disbanded, and suddenly I didn't see my work friends everyday, either. I was pretty lost until I found the Senior Center. So, now my life is centered in my husband and home, and the senior center has been my primary life since Jim moved.

I really don't know how to express my sense of grief, except to say that I'm surprise at its depth, and at the level of importance my line dance friends and quilting friends have been to me. The crazy thing is - I'm filled with gratitude, joy, and grief all at the same time. And I want to embrace and even cherish all of it.

Free motion quilting on my Viking 875

The cherry tree is beginning to bloom, the grass is green and needs mowing, and I don't care. I'm learning to free motion quilt on my wonderful Viking 875Q. In the past, I've done stitch in the ditch, a tense version of stippling, stippling with leaves or hearts, but now it's time to do it right - with instruction and practice. I thought I wanted a longarm machine (actually, I still do), but now I don't have to be frustrated waiting through the process of selling a house, and I will be soon be able to free motion quilt interesting designs on my Viking, and at my dining table.

So, given that I want the process of quilting to be as quick and painless as possible, but still enjoyable - I wanted to find a way to do all-over designs, or even "custom" designs without having to mark or break thread a lot. Since it's expensive to pay someone else to do my quilting, I am highly motivated to get better at doing it myself. Well, halleluiah!, I found Leah Day. She teaches "Free Motion Quilting a Sampler" offered by Craftsy. I must say - worth every penny for me, especially since it was on sale for 1/2 price recently. PLUS, in 2009 she started a blog - The Free Motion Quilting Project. Her goal was to develop, practice and master 365 filler designs - and blog about them. Her many, many instructional videos on the blog (http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/) are free, her designs are not copyrighted, and she develops and shares literally hundreds of continuous-line filler designs with a desire to get us all quilting on whatever machine we have.

Since my last blog entry, life has been mostly boring - the house is still on the market, most of the furniture and fun stuff is still in storage. Last year showings were very slow, inventory was high and prices were in the tank. This year showings have increased, inventory is down - but it's still a buyer's market. So, while I keep a neat home, I've decided to stop whining (mostly) and just keep quilting and designing and line dancing and learning anyway. I now have 6 quilt designs for sale on Craftsy and Fat Quarter Shop websites. The one that sells the most is Tennessee Trotter, a quilt-as-you-go project. So I'm going to focus more on QAYG - what a great way to quilt in a small or cramped space.

Here's a quick look at my next project via an EQ7 image. I'm still trying to come up with a name for it. All I can think of are silly names, like cross-eye susans, or owl in pain. If you have any ideas - let me know. It's for my friend Ann.

 

Remember to treat yourself like a queen - you are worth it! Keep on quilting!