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.