Wrapping up loose threads

Day 94, Staying at Home

Thursday, June 25, 2020; Fort Smith, Arkansas

The funny thing about seasons is that they don’t change in a blink of an eye. A spot of warm weather fools you into thinking that spring has sprung, but winter then returns with a vengeance. It was a false spring. Unseasonably warm weather following a hard frost makes you wonder if it is summer or autumn.

Heck, in Texas, there are at least 12 seasons, according to various memes.

So it appears that the seasons of my life don’t change in an instant either. After writing about leaving quilting behind, I’ve spent the last few weeks buried in quilting fabrics and projects.

I’m just thinking of it as my Indian summer of quilting.

After coming to peace with the idea of moving on from quilting, I couldn’t help playing with some potential projects. That coral reef fabric kept pulling me back in. So I spent hours choosing just the right fabrics for a sunshine and shadow pattern. But when I began drafting to determine the size of the pieces, I realized that most of my pleasure was in picking the fabric. It was diminishing returns from there, so why go any further? I packed the fabric away.

And right there was an insight into myself – I sometimes love planning more than doing. That’s probably why I have packing lists for long cruises, spreadsheets on each port of a world cruise and itineraries highlighting the most scenic routes for an Amtrak journey west. (You can read about that trip here.)

So I lovingly packed my quilt fabric away and donated it for charity quilts and facemasks. I boxed up my appliqué quilt blocks and matching fabric and shipped them to a friend who will enjoy completing the project. Your comments to my last post have encouraged me to get over my investment of hours and dollars and pass it all along to people who will find more joy in it.

I had one quilt top to finish, having promised it to a friend long ago. I think I stopped mid-project when I realized that I had sewn rows in the wrong order and needed to rip out the seams and start again. That didn’t sound fun, so I packed it away. Last week I fixed the problem, created the additional blocks I needed and added on several rows of borders to complete the quilt top.

Letting go of quilting is one thing, but first I felt the need to see my projects finished. And I remembered I had a couple of bins of quilt projects stored in my sister’s closet. A few are completed wall hangings I’ll save for display in a more permanent home one day.

I also found five bed-sized quilt tops. So I’m heading off to leave these quilt tops with a professional machine quilter on Monday. I made 70-plus yards of bias binding, so when each quilt comes back I’ll be glad to have that step behind me.

I kept one project – an appliqué wall hanging that I am about three-quarters finished hand quilting. I don’t know if I still have the strength in my hand to pick up the small quilting stitches through cotton batting, but I’ll give it a try.

When I decided years ago to sell my house and live in guest rooms and cruise ship cabins, I knew I would give up almost everything I had accumulated over the years. I didn’t realize it might include hobbies that took up significant parts of my life. But just as I felt lighter after shedding furniture and knickknacks, I feel good about moving on into a new season.

I’m off next week for three months in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I hope to put to good use the desert hues of watercolors I’m adding to my palette. Stay tuned to follow along on my adventure!