Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

One last post on the wonders of long arm quilting.  At the end of last week, Quilters Newsletter contacted me about using one of my proposed table runners for their website (hurrah!!!).  I'd already pieced the quilt top, but it's been awaiting quilting for longer than I care to admit.  The kicker was that QN wanted to have the quilt finished and in their hands by the end of July.  Not much time.  And to complicate matters, I'm scheduled to go on a family camping trip the last week of July.  Really not much time.

After much internal debate (and some external -- to the chagrin of my husband, my kids, my sister, my mom, and the dog) about whether to attempt to quilt it by hand or seek help, I finally gave in and decided to call Joyce, the long arm quilter who has done a few quilts for me lately.  When she didn't answer, I left a message and waited to hear back from her.  I figured that if she wasn't available, I would just have to drop everything and hand quilt around the clock to finish the quilt.  Actually the thought of having to abandon housework, meal prep, and exercise for a major quilt-a-thon sounded pretty appealing.  But alas, ahem -- luckily, Joyce actually called me from her vacation (amazing woman!) to let me know that she would be able to meet the deadline.

And so Monday morning I delivered the quilt to Joyce.  After an hour of deliberating over designs and thread colors, we parted ways.  "I'll try to give you a call tomorrow afternoon," she assured me.  Surprised and somewhat dubious I said "Wow, that would be great!", but in my mind I was prepared to wait until the end of the week.

Not 6 hours later -- NO EXAGGERATION -- the phone rang.  I picked it up, said "Hello" and Joyce responded, "Jen, it's done."  Alleluia!!

And now it's Wednesday and I'm almost finished binding the quilt and on schedule to ship it by the end of the week.

There are three things I know to be true:

1.  Joyce is a wonder.

2.  If I'd tried to hand quilt the runner, I'd be unshowered, wild-eyed, and listening to Under the Tuscan Sun for the 10th time, while swimming in filth and preparing to eat take-out pizza for the 5th night in a row.  (Instead I'm clean, the house is passable, and we're having pasta for dinner.)

3.  It's time for me to dust off the dream of having a long arm quilting machine of my own!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Drinking the Kool-Aid

My apologies for letting so much time elapse since my last post, but alas, I've been on vacation.  Not just any vacation, but a Disney World vacation.  It was our first trip to Disney and really our first big family trip.  In the past our vacations have consisted of visits to family, the odd weekend in Boston and one in NYC, and camping, lots of camping.  And as anyone who has camped will attest, camping isn't really a "vacation."

With my daughter about to enter high school and my youngest finally tall enough to go on all of the rides, my husband and I decided that this summer was the time to make good on our promise to take the kids to Disney.  We tried to go into the vacation with realistic expectations--after all, this trip was about the kids, not us, and even though theme parks weren't really our thing, we thought it might be nice just to get away.  After waiting for 45 minutes for our first ride in the blazing 95 degree sun, my husband and I were both secretly hoping that we hadn't made a serious mistake.  But six days later we were converts.  Disney World was amazing!

One week of dry, sunny days and balmy, mosquito-free nights.  One week of no cooking, no housework, and, believe it or not, no bickering.  One week of playing with the kids, floating in the pool, and being spoiled by Disney employees.  The kids were happy, my husband was silly, and my biggest decision was which ride to try next.  The occasional long wait, the big crowds, and finding a lizard in the shower one morning did nothing to diminish the experience--granted it wasn't me in the shower with the lizard.

Forgive me if I'm waxing rhapsodic, but I had no idea a real vacation could be so much fun.  Between the unpacking, the laundry, and the kids arguing in the kitchen as I write, I'm sure I'll come down to earth soon.  And next week I'll most likely have something quilty to say.  But for now let me leave you with the wish that I heard countless times at Disney:  "Have a magical day!"

By the way, here's a pic of my Disney souvenir:

Yes, it's a patchwork hat made with Mickey Mouse fabrics!  You can take the girl away from quilting, but you can't take the quilting out of the girl.