Monday, September 5, 2011

Zebras and surprises

I love my new job!

Yesterday I finally sewed the binding on a sumptuous Poppy quilt I am making for my older daughter.  It has great splashes of orange and red nestled amongst a zebra border and back.  It was a kit I bought last year with some of my gift certificates I got at my SURPRISE retirement party.

Some surprises are better than others - surprise, the toilet's backed up is the type of surprise I normally have in my life.  Or surprise, your jeans fit a bit snug.  Or more than a bit!  I had told my daughter I didn't want a party; I just wanted the family to go out to eat at a Rick Bayless restaurant in the city.  I even bought a new Zebra print dress for the event.  (Zebra prints seem to be another recurring theme around here.)  I was completely convinced that was where we were going until my husband made me go inside my daughter's house when we picked her up.  When I walked into her back room my whole life was there yelling SURPRISE and I was overwhelmed, my brain couldn't handle it.   As the evening wore on I actually realized what had happened and I didn't have to feel guilty.  I think retirement parties are mean - hey, I don't have to come to work anymore why don't you give me a present.  Huh?  Now that's just rubbing their noses in your good fortune.  But now the guilt was on Emily and I got the presents.  Pretty cool!  Many people gave me gift cards to my local quilt store where I purchased a variety of kits so I could make up some projects fairly quickly and use my new Longarm.

Today's binding project was the first of those kits to be completed.  (Now you see why I had to put myself on a regimen complete with blogging to keep me honest.)  I sewed the top part of the binding on by machine, I had also pieced and quilted it by machine.  I looked at that binding and decided to sew the back part on by hand.  I know some quilters are opposed to this and sometimes I am one of them.  Once I made the leap to machine quilting, I did both sides of the binding by machine as well.  But today, I decided to finish the very last step by hand.  Why?  Because, it really looks a lot better.  I can get the front to look great on a machine binding but that back is never completely lined up the way I want it.  That is fine for wall quilts or table runners but for this bright and zebra-y lap quilt, I wanted that back to look great.  So my final two hours of sewing yesterday were hand stitching the back of the binding and I finished half of it last night.  I will complete it tonight.

Sometimes it is worth it to do it by hand the slow way so there are no surprises.  Most surprises aren't the zebra-y kind so it's reassuring to take your own hands and control the ending, a surprise free smooth binding.  No retirement from that, if I could hire smooth endings it would have a job for life.


  1. Hi,
    I am glad that you are making a more permanent forum for your musings. Someday, you will submit them to a publisher!



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