"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Floating Through Life

Sometimes I consider giving up my legal practice and opening up a long arm quilting business. A lot of quilters have this fantasy. It is a lot like the dreams of a fourteen year old inner city kid who thinks he will become a mega millionaire by rapping. Where I have a leg up is that I already have a longarm quilting machine; I have space (not an inconsequential consideration - the thing needs 15 X 9 feet, minimum); and I have a husband who is willing to support me while I figure out what I am doing. Two bigger problems are that I don't have a lot of time to learn how to get proficient, and my own personal character flaw is that as soon as something becomes work, I resent it. I am a bum at heart. A hard working bum, but a bum all the same.

As is common in August, courthouse work has been slow and I've had the opportunity to take advantage of husband being out of town to quilt and gossip with neighbors. Sunday afternoon I spent several hours catching up on files. I had court, yesterday, and visited the detention center to meet a couple of my kids. Today, I have mainly been on the telephone and have also been catching up on a zillion reports. I tend to get a lot of cases in which the children have mental illnesses so I read a lot of psychological reports; progress notes; quarterly reports, foster care plans, etc. If you aren't careful, you tend to read them on the run, skipping to the important parts and missing the nuances. I like days like this where I can sit at my desk and comb over the good work done by various social workers and therapists. Some of them do a terrific job of including details that make a lot of difference when it comes to having a better understanding of the case. I've also been on the phone with several schools. It is that time of year where some kids are getting all gussied up with new clothes; sorting through their new supplies; and struggling with typical end-of-summer angst related to how the first day will go.

Other children are wondering if their parents will quit fighting long enough to make the decision of whether they are going to the school by dad's house or the one by mom's house ... (one of the lovely situations I was addressing today was helping two schools sort out who REALLY has custody of the child so they could get him enrolled!).

I am in the process of setting up a quilting challenge on the HGTV message board. In the past, I've enjoyed "swaps" where everyone exchanges fabric and creates blocks for their cyber sisters. This is a "challenge," however, rather than a swap. The ladies who are interested will make at least nine blocks for themselves, using the same fabric as everyone else. A fun part is to post pictures of the blocks to compare how everyone interprets the fabric. No postage, no stress if you fall behind, but you still get to be part of a group which is something a lot of quilters enjoy. I have a poll on the message board, right now, to help figure out which fabric we'll use. We'll see how it goes.

Last night, I loaded the patriotic quilt on the long arm while listening to the democratic convention. I'm not a democrat but I am a mama and those Obama babies were cute as bugs' ears! Moreover, although I have not forgotten that Teddy Kennedy left that poor woman in the car to drown, it actually choked me up to hear his strong voice addressing the delegates. I stopped everything I was doing and just stood there and listened. He has been out of the public eye and I wondered if he was fading. I was thrilled to hear he could still roar. Good for him! He is certainly in my prayers.

But back to the patriotic quilt. I had some extra-wide white Bernartex backing (very boring but it is was what I had and it is not flimsy) that I loaded, then I broke open my 40 yard (yes 40 yard!!!!) bolt of queen sized warm and natural batting. The girls helped unroll it.

They are pretty good friends, can you tell?

I decided to use a variegated blue King Tut on some of the blue parts of the border and blocks.

I floated the quilt top and adjusted the tension on the fabric.

This afternoon, I started quilting the top. I am taking it slow and steady. For reasons that escape me, the machine is working like a charm. I am new at this and it isn't very good but I can already feel myself getting better. I want to be able to be a pro before I attempt my kids' wedding quilts.

Jezebel goes back for her last regular melanoma vaccination, tomorrow. We'll leave the house at 5:30 in the morning. Her muzzle, including the snout, seems to change colors every few hours. Her snout was practically white earlier today. We want the radiation to do its job but it must be some kind of a mean son of a b*tch to do this sort of stuff. She has been such a good girl with such a tremendously good attitude. Please keep your fingers crossed for her.

I need to get back to it.


Anonymous said...

My fingers are crossed for Jezebel. Your girls do look so happy together - I love seeing their pictures, particularly when they sing!

I have a friend who does long-arm quilting. Listening to her stories has been enough to deter me from changing careers. I want to keep quilting as my release and refuge!

Now I have to go read the details of the challenge. I'm tempted...but I probably won't have time.


Stephanie D. said...

I'm with you on the whole hobby-turned-occupation bit. I'm afraid if I ever started making things for people for money, I'd stress out over deadlines and obligations and my own procrastinations.

Poor sweet Jezebel--hope tomorrow goes okay. What will Evelyn do while you two are gone and your hubby, too? Or will you take her with you?

Tandi was sick over the weekend, but seems to be on the mend now. Makes me feel almost as helpless as I did when DD was a baby.

Jacquie said...

love seeing pictures of your babies...helping, playing, sleeping. i get a kick of out them every time i come here. i keep thinking of trying to make my quilting a business, there are so many pros and cons....a little cash would be good, but i would probably spend more than i make.

Michelle said...

Just a brief note to let you know I enjoy your blog...I don't often comment though. Your dogs are real sweeties! I know they bring you lots of love and companionship. Your "outside" job sounds very interesting. I love your patriotic quilt, btw, looks great...can't wait to see the quilting.