Monday, September 8, 2014

quilts, birthdays, walks and what not.

Quilting by hand, little by little carefully to save myself misery. That misery always comes if one does too much hand work in one sitting and it is a lesson I learn, then forget and have to learn again.  Over Labor day weekend I got carried away and after putting a recently completed improvisational pink and neutrals top together I began quilting with a mad abandon. It was so exciting to be trying something new. The batting was new, a mix of organic cotton and bamboo fiber which is very soft and drapes very nicely, much more so than just cotton batting I have used before. The other exciting thing was trying some spiral in the design of my quilting. Up until now most of my quilting has been variations using straight lines in diagonal or grid patterns. This set me on a roll and I got carried away. I didn't check how much time I spent bent over layering the quilt then drawing on the top and quilting the spiral. So I had to hang it up for a while and ice my neck to reduce the swelling.  I was lucky it was Keith's birthday last week and we had lots of things to do besides sit and quilt because it is a kind of addiction once I get on a roll. The birthday fun gave my neck and arm which were very aggravated a chance to rest.

Being 49 and turning 50 is a big deal, kind of like hitting 30 is for a 29 year old only different and since I am beyond that and marching quickly towards my 60th I understand that Keith was feeling a little anxious about his future. We decided to do what we love doing the best together to celebrate his big day. We packed up our gear and went for a hike and picnic out in nature. I wanted him to see the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this summer and that is what he decided we should do for his big day. It was warm and we were covered in head to toe protection from the sun's harmful rays, the mosquito and tick bites, as well as the most dreaded poison ivy rashes. 

 You can see he was rather weighted down with his big zoom lens and that bag which carried essential things like lunch and water. So when we got home we were both hot and stripped off all that stuff to cool down and enjoy the delicious chocolate buttercream iced cake from Whole Foods and tall glasses of iced water with a mountain of gifts for him to  unwrap.

One special gift I gave him is a new orange patchwork coptic bound journal I made into which he may make notes on turning 50 or what ever he decides to write. I think he deserves to have a big smile for being such a great partner all these 15 years we have been together. Bookbinding is another one of those hand made projects that has to be done a little at a time to keep from aching pains. Next weekend I take these 4 hour glass quilt blocks I made to the charity sewing day at DC Modern Quilt guild's next meeting. That is where they will be assembled into a quilt for a homeless kid. This is just one of 100 quilts for Kids challenge. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the blocks look like when they all come together in Heather's Hourglass quilt.

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