Hooray for Home Retreats!
It’s been so hot here this summer. At first I thought I’d developed some sort of temperature immunity by spending three weeks in Arkansas, but the uninterrupted misery of it has been getting to me lately. We’ve barely used our grill this summer, and have no desire to eat on the porch. Even the cats have just been laying around — oh wait, that’s normal.
But what better way to spend a hot summer day than having a home retreat? Fortunately my dining room converts nicely into a three-person sewing space. Diane came for the weekend in order to attend Quilt Odyssey (more on that later) and we designated Saturday as a quilting day. Rhonda came down to join in the fun, and our machines were humming and our needles were flying!
Now, even with having the support of my friends and a well-appointed sewing space, my quilting is still ultimately performed by me alone. As such, it is subject to human error. Such as when I cut all the brown and cream, and 1/4-1/3 of the blue, triangles for the wedding album quilt I’m making for my friends Matt and Alyssa, and then realized I’d cut them all the wrong size!!! I had followed the cutting directions in the (wonderful and blameless) book, Marsha McCloskey’s Block Party , without remembering that way back in November when I had designed the quilt, I had planned to make 12″ Air Castle blocks rather than the 9″ blocks the book provides. Thus, the 4 1/2″ muslin squares that the guests signed at the reception would not fit the 3 1/2″ subunits I had cut for and pieced. When this realization first dawned, I admit there was a little bit of denial, then a little bit of feeling sorry for myself. Since we were having a little mini-retreat, there was of course comfort food, and I indulged medicinally. Then I realized I had to take a bit of my own oft-quoted advice:
We took a break from all the quilt-induced madness to visit The Finishing Stitch, which was having a nice Customer Appreciation sale, and stopped on the way home for delicious soft-serve at a little roadside place whose midafternoon crowds promised truthfully as to how good the seasonal raspberry ice cream was. Then back to the grind! I got almost all my new pieces recut, unfortunately reinforcing my tendency to buy more fabric than I need for a project, and managed to piece 13 of the 25 blocks needed before the weekend came to a too-swift close.
But if I’d been alone, I don’t think I’d have had the fortitude to bounce right back from realizing I’d wasted all that time and fabric. I probably would have let myself sink into a funk and stew about it for weeks, unable to start over because any thought of the project would remind me of my stupid mistake and send me back into a black mood. However, with my friends here for sympathy and guidance, I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and cut a whole bunch more triangles in a bigger size. And therefore, I’m more than halfway done with a quilt top I’ve been guilted over for months.