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.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


If you're traveling east on I-80 in the next couple of days, give wide berth to this Budget van, piloted by two smart and funny young women. My daughter and her roommate are moving to Brooklyn—apartment secured, with a line on some jobs but nothing sure just yet. Please keep them in your thoughts. It's a big van, a long way (1,000.1 miles, exactly) and a big change for these Iowa girls.

Pearl the Squirrel has been a bit quiet of late. Between my daughter moving and a few other significant life changes (the profile under my photo at right provides a hint), things have been unsettled. And there may not be any new posts for the next week, or so. We're also about to head east, albeit in a plane, for the wedding of the son of a dear friend—we've been buddies since we bunked together at camp at the age of 13. The timing worked out perfectly—we'll hang around for a couple of days after the wedding and get to see the girls in their new Brooklyn digs.

Will miss you lots, sweetie. Travel safely.