Saturday, August 14, 2010

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Lots of life changes in our house. But one constant remains...I have unfinished quilts in my sewing room. So, in an effort to "start my new life" (more on this later), I'm trying to finish a few of them. This one was created long ago of some Heather Bailey fabrics and an Ingrid Barlow pattern. All it needed was quilting.

I send most of my quilts to a machine quilter far more skilled than I, but figure that (as my friend Anne R. says) a baby quilt will be covered with pee and poop and spit-up and if it's not perfect, no baby is going to complain. So I attempt to hone my machine quilting skills on these. Part of my problem is that I'm not very confident and so I go for what's easy. In this case, easy seemed to be stitching-in-the-ditch around the blocks and sashing. But once I'd done that, I realized I had long unstitched sections in which the batting would inevitably shift (given that the pee and poop and spit-up would require the quilt be washed frequently). So I needed a bit more.

Filling each block with a big cheery flower and its spiral center was something I could handle and I'm pleased with the results. The simple shape didn't take hours and hours and worked well with the fabrics. But I'm still left with the block that surrounds the central square. Again, I want something that's not too labor intensive, but that will still work with the playfulness of a baby quilt. I'd love any suggestions you might have!

(And here's proof that Pearl really does love to roll around on fabric. This was her immediate response when I put the quilt on the floor to shoot photos.

Update on the changes: Rebecca and her roommate made it to NY (including navigating the New Jersey Turnpike, which Rebecca likened to the Seventh Circle of Hell) and eventually into their apt. It was not easy—the apt. wasn't ready and much tough NY talk had to ensue before the landlord made it so, but they're now ensconced in Brooklyn. And she got a job! With benefits! We are all very pleased. But I know I'm going to miss her so much. She always came for Sunday dinners and already I've thought about how empty the table will be tomorrow night.

There is another constant in my life, in addition to unfinished quilts, and that would be Paul (at left, in NY's Battery Park with a Mister Softee). Today is our (gulp) 34th anniversary! Yes, were were incredibly young when we got married, and no, life hasn't always been perfect. (As my friend Joe likes to say, "Been married 34 years—28 of the best years of my life.") But I'm so happy we're together, that we've got two wonderful daughters, and that we still make one another laugh so much. Love you, sweetie.


PamKittyMorning said...

Love your quilt and nice machine quilting! Turned out quite well!
Good luck to the girls.. congratulations on the job with benefits. Hoping my own daughter scores one of those as well. Congrats on the anniversary!!

(why is my word verification word deviant?)

Linzee said...

With such a lovely comment, I can't imagine why your word would be "deviant" Pam!

Thanks, and here's to good jobs for all our kids!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful photo of Paul with his Mister Softee. 34 years is a long, long time. Congratulations to you, Paul and your wonderful family. BK

Elizabeth Ann said...

I love Pearl! Your quilt is cute too - good luck with your new job.

Chris Hudson said...

Hi Linzee, I love to machine quilt, here's my two cents: how about continuing your flowers and spirals? Add more flowers at the entersections of the blocks, with the spiral at the point where the striped sashings meet? the petals would extend into your blocks. then, in the still-unquilted areas of the blocks, between the flower petals, add a simple, free-hand sort of elongated s-shape, with a spiral at each end. draw one and you'll know what I mean. maybe. good luck, it's very cute! obviously, Pearl approves!

Linzee said...

Wow!!!! I love this suggestion, Chris! I realize that I wasn't "thinking out side the block" and your suggestion to put a flower where the sashing comes together, with petals radiating into the four surrounding blocks is perfect. It's something I can handle and builds on what I've already sewn. Thank you SO much!

Chris said...

I hope it works for you! I'll look for a future post to see the results, with whatever design you choose.