Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Quilting

Laptop Woes and Fabric Balm

You might remember my description of the alarming noise my MacBook was making last week, and how they said they fixed it but, in fact, did NOT.

Well, I caved and turned it back in to the repair folks, on the off chance that they can fix the whole thing by 8:45pm tomorrow, because otherwise I will have to refrain from using it in the airport or on the plane or any other place where people might be disturbed by the sound of a turbine engine preparing for takeoff. It is possible for me to survive for an entire week without the internet; it is even possible for me to survive without my laptop (though admittedly harder). But it is not preferable, given the state of my various projects and the fact that I assume I’ll be doing a fair amount of research online about the various nearby things to do in Nashville. Or maybe I’ll just take the AlphaSmart and let Mom be all retro with her printed tour books and maps on folding paper that are kept in the car. We shall see.

At any rate, I was rather thoroughly annoyed at the Mac repair schedule and myself (for not caving earlier, when it would have been less of a problem to get things fixed before I leave) and generally disgruntled at the whole situation, but fortune is on my side once again, because one of the things I’ll be doing in Nashville is making a quilt, which means I got to buy fabric. One forgets, when it’s been this long between buying project fabric, how very nice it is to go into a quilting shop and have all these beautiful, lovely choices, and be able to think of zillions of ways to put them all together into something fantastic. Some people, when they’re upset, go clothes shopping. Me? Books and fabric. Yes sirree. That’s all I need.

And this evening is now devoted to laundry; first, the new fabric I bought, and then the regular laundry so Matt doesn’t end up walking around in dirty clothes by the end of next week. I’ll also be ironing the new fabric, which means the dog will be in a state of anxious near-panic for the entire evening. She is NOT a fan of the ironing board, but we do not know why. So it goes.

If I get my laptop back tomorrow, I’ll blog from Nashville. If not, I’ll catch you all in a week.

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Turkey Day

I’ve hardly even thought about anything internet-related for two days, and I have to say it’s pretty darn nice in a lot of ways.

We had a lovely turkey dinner with all the fixins this afternoon, complete with entertainment by my nephew and my grandfather’s new dog Molly, who is almost as cute as Shiloh. Yum yum. (The turkey is yum, not the dogs.)

But I’m also pretty tired, because we’ve been helping my brother and sister-in-law settle into their new house, which needs both unpacking and repair/remodeling work rightnow. It’s a lot of fun, but also involves more brainpower and physical effort than, say, lying on the couch all weekend.

I’ve also made very good progress on the second quilt project, but I had a minor disaster earlier tonight when I, through sheer carelessness, cut myself with the rotary blade. Imagine a pizza slicer with a precision razor-blade for an edge and you’ll get the picture of the weapon I was wielding. Luckily, it was a glancing blow and only lifted open about 1/2-inch of flesh (1/4-inch deep) on my left thumb. It’s even on a section of thumb that is both easily bandaged AND not very bendy, which means there’s a decent chance it will heal quickly. But blood has been shed. And then, being the go-get-’em gal that I am, I continued working on the quilt and executed three (count ’em) three rather major mistakes. Luckily, they all have to do with the binding, which I wasn’t terribly happy with anyway. I have plenty of extra fabric for binding, and this gives me a very valid reason to pull it all off and start over on it. So it’s sort of good, except that I feel very silly.

And now, since it’s past my bedtime in Colorado and I’m currently in the land that lives two hours ahead of Colorado, I think it’s time I turned in for the night.

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God is Good

The quilt is done, except for the tag. I still don’t know what to call it, but it looks great. Tag info will include the quilt’s name (whenever I decide what that will be), who made it (that’s me), who it’s for and why (that’s a secret), and when it was made. I make the tags both for posterity and because otherwise I have no idea when I made which quilt. We have three or four of my quilts in our house, and two each at my parents’ and my brother’s houses, aside from the ones I’ve given away. I’ve only been quilting for six years, but I have no trouble imagining myself in 30 years trying to remember when the heck I made Matt’s Doubting Thomas quilt (I couldn’t even tell you now off the top of my head but it was. . . 5ish years ago??? Four? This is why I make tags.)

Anyway, so finishing a quilt, even a rather small quilt like this one, makes it a nice day to start off.

But Matt called me a little while ago to read me the email reply from the owner of the condo we’re going to be renting – and to make a rather long story short, we’re going to be able to move into the new place almost right away and stay there for free through the end of the year. Whee! This will make almost everything leading up to residency and graduation easier, and it might turn January into a very pleasant month instead of a terribly hectic one.

I feel like dancing.

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. . . And We’re Happy

With any luck, it actually looks like I might have this quilt functionally finished by the time I leave work today. The Day Job should be quiet, and I think I’m just going to take the quilt to work on – all I have to do is tack down the edge of the hanging sleeve and turn the binding. Well, and then I’ll have to make a label and attach it, but that won’t happen at work. I’m putting it off a bit, actually, because I usually give my quilts some sort of name, and I have no idea what to call this one.

And since I’m fairly certain that this particular quilt’s recipient does read the blog at least fairly regularly (oooh, now you’re all wondering) I’m not going to post pictures, because that would ruin the lovely surprise. Or at least, I won’t post pics until well after all the upcoming holidays.

But it looks really great. I’m not 100% happy with the quilting, but I was trying/learning a new technique, and I might not have picked a great thread for the top – but in my defense, its appearances were deceiving on the spool. It’s variegated (shifts color as you sew) in shades from white through grey to black, and all in all looks much darker than I expected. I don’t know whether that’s because the color ratio is skewed toward the darker on the spool or just the chance of which fabrics I was sewing over when I hit the darker sections of thread. But it doesn’t look bad, just not what I expected.

Also in notable news, Shiloh is doing a lovely rendition of Disgruntled Dog this morning. She convinced herself that she must be leaving the house with Matt when he left for class this morning–45 minutes ago. And she’s still sulking and lying there staring at the front door, heaving sighs and looking at me, then back to staring at the door. Even every 10 minutes she changes location – first right beside me, then in front of the door, then back to me, and so forth. But always watching the door. It’s terribly cute, but don’t tell her that. It’ll just go to her head.

Hey, did I mention that we’re going to be moving soon? New apartment! We’re still excited and happy about the deal.

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Anti-Frustration

The housing issue has been resolved. We looked at an apartment/condo last night and put down a deposit to hold it. It’s about two and a half miles closer to church, and gives Matt a shorter bike commute to school. The space is a little bit bigger than where we are now, it has a garage (detatched, but with a nice bit of extra storage space that will be lovely), lots of closets, a big porch, assigned parking right outside our door — and a handicapped spot right there, which is great for our friends — and we’ll be paying less per month than what we are now. Utilities will be handled a bit differently there, too, so essentially we’ll end up spending about $70 a month less in the new place than if we stay where we are (stupid rent raises). And they don’t even want a pet deposit or extra rent for Shiloh, because they’re probably going to replace the carpets in a few years anyway.

We are, suffice to say, ecstatic. God is good.

And we don’t have to move in right away, which means we won’t be overlapping rent at two places for very long. I expect the first weekend in January will be The Moving Date. Which means I most likely won’t be flying to Houston, but I hope my cousin will understand.

Did I mention I might get to have a deep freezer again? *besotted sigh* I would love to have a freezer.

So with all that happening last night, the quilt didn’t get worked on, especially since I had to make my Amish friendship bread once we got home. But I’m okay with that. There’s tonight for quilting. I’ll make the most of it. Maybe I’ll turn the rest of November into National Quick Quilting Month, and see if I can finish both quilt tops I need so I’ll have all of December to quilt and bind them. Hmmm.

And now, I’m going to work on last-stage revisions on A WARRIOR CHOSEN. Because I’d like to start querying with it as soon as I know what our new address will be.

How are things working out for you?

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First Day

Today was my first day of training for the new part-time job. I very much doubt it’s going to be a very hard or stressful situation, which is very good. I like easy and low-stress. Tomorrow is going to be incredibly boring… I’ve learned most of the essentials for the job, and it really only requires 1/2 of a person dedicated to it, but we’ll have 2 tomorrow (me and the woman who is training me). My trainer is really nice, and usually covers Mondays and Tuesday… but I have to say I’m glad I won’t actually ever be working with her. She has a tendency to fill any silence with some kind of talk, which means I wouldn’t get a thing done. So… probably not much productivity in terms of my own projects tomorrow, but I’ll just deal with that. Thursday and Friday, though, watch out. I’ll be on fire.

So yeah, it’s a decent gig. I should be able to live with it, and hopefully come out ahead. Everyone at the office is really nice. Big challenge will be learning names, especially since I’ll need to know who’s in the building so I can transfer calls to the right place even when someone’s out of the office. That’s about all.

I’m going to go make a baby quilt, because if I don’t do it now it’ll never get done. To the quilt!

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