Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Good Day and A Not So Good Day

I woke up full of anticipation knowing that today I was going to quilt my first quilt in a year. I found a quilt top when I was unpacking. It was done in a Turning 20's pattern, made from a Moda's azalea fabric line from nearly 9 years ago. I thought that if I added some borders, it would be great queen-sized quilt
for my church's next auction. I thought it would look better quilted rather than just putting ties in it which is what the church uses for their charity quilts. I retired from longarm quilting in December 2013 and had not quilted anything bigger than a wall hanging since. Is it like riding a bicycle and you never forget how to do it? Hmmm. I googled "longarm quilter in Georgetown, tx" and got 2 or 3. I found a longarm quilting business that rents time on their 12 foot long quilting machines. I called and booked at appointment for four hours. Today was that day.

It had been raining for two days and the back yard was lake-like in places. It was a steady rain this morning. Before the taxi leaves for school, the dog, our 85 pound boxer named Axel, must go outside to do his business. He doesn't like his head to get wet. I tried to steer him to his favorite spot (away from the ankle deep puddles) because I didn't want him to wander around the yard, sniffing this and that, as is his habit, because he would be coming in the house dripping like a wet blanket. So I had taken him out and got my hair dripping wet and he refused to do his business. Grrr.

My longarm quilting appointment was for 9:00 AM for hire four hours. I was a little late getting there but the shop owner, Glenna, was okay with it. Glenna's machine is smaller than my old one so I had to adjust to that. I wanted to quilt free-motion feathers on the quilt. I learned this quilting pattern in a class and the books I bought from Suzanne Earnhardt - "Meandering Feathers". Great book and an easy way to fill up a quilt with big fluffy feathers. I had a king-size Quilter's Dream cotton batting and Glenna helped me choose a soft sage green thread by Glide for the top and bobbin. I got started and fell right back into the groove.

It felt great to be able to quilt after taking such a long time off. Everything went well. The back was pieced so we had to monitor it carefully to keep it lined up. I took several short breaks, mostly to chat. Glenna had been to Machine Quilter's Showcase in both Kansas City and Wichita. I had been to the MQS show several times in KC and we had taken some of the same classes like Linda Taylor, Deloa Jones and Claudia Pfeil. The time went quickly, my feet held out and I finished that queen size quilt in four hours. I was dancing on air. I had to race home to drop off the quilt before going to get the kids.

I put everything away and was just about to fly out the door when I heard Axel whimper. He was standing by the back door with that "let me out" face. He really had to go. I thought, "I'll wait til I get back." No, I wouldn't want to wait if it was me. So we went out to the back yard. The rain had slowed to a drizzle. I think we both spotted the open gate at the same time. We don't use that gate much so I was surprised to see it hanging wide open. So was Axel and he cruised right out. He took care of his business at 3 of the 5 houses in our cul-de-sac. Them he played the shy debutant every time I tried to get near him to grab his collar. Then he ran across the stre\et and around the corner. Nooooo!

I had to go pick up the kids. Holy crap, what was I going to tell the kids?

I drove around for a couple minutes but did not spot the big galoot. I broke off my search and raced to the first school to get the two youngest grand kids. It had started raining full out again by then. I herded them into the car and Gavin was holding the dog leash by the time I got in the car. "Why do you have Axel's leash?" I told them that Axel had gotten out and I tried to explain how it happened. It was so quiet in the car. Maddy, the 7 year old, had a quivering chin and big tears in her eyes. Gavin, the 9 year old, wouldn't look at me but I could see a tear rolling down his little cheek. I kept trying to talk myself out of it but they were in full grief mode by then.
The house is close so we were home in a flash. As we rounded the corner, I noticed the gate was closed. I had tried to close it when Axel got out. The gate latch was in good shape but it did not match up to the other side. Was the gate sagging? No time to check. But now it looked sort of closed. We came into the house. Standing outside the french door, looking in, was our Axel, dripping wet. Now I was crying. We opened the door and the kids covered him with hugs and kisses while I covered him in a towel. They toweled him off while I covered the new sectional before Axel jumped on it. Our boy found his way home.

I got a quilt done, the dog left and came home and it was a good day.

My son found a note under the door knocker on the front door. It read:

Your gate was open & a dog (boxer) roaming on the street. I am assuming he/she is yours. (if not be aware there is a dog in your backyard). Couldn't get close enough to read tags. Also put a piece of string to hopefully keep the gate closed.

A complete stranger cared enough to take the time to herd the family dog back into his yard and leave a note. It was a great day.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks