"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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Patriotic Quilt is On the Bed

The girls seem to like it.

I finished the binding during the debate, last night. This morning, I stopped by the Coin Operated Laundromat and popped it in the washer that holds up to 25 pounds. The place was clean, quiet and inexpensive. I sat and read my Amazon Kindle (electronic book) and it was really kind of relaxing. Like many coin operated laundromats, it was in an economically depressed area. Regardless, it is also right next to Hancocks Fabric and a sewing machine repair place so that was kind of cool. I was happy it was so close to the courthouse.

About the time I switched the quilt from the washer to the dryer, hoards of people began arriving. I kid you not, there were 6 young mothers, every single one of them noticeably pregnant. They did not arrive together so I don't know if they knew each other. I counted 11 children under the age of, say five, at one point. It turned into a madhouse. The kids were climbing on the chairs, crawling on the window sills, one kicked at my coke and I had to grab it to keep it from spilling on the floor. I did not see ONE mother reprimand or redirect her child - including the mother of the 4 (3.5?) year old who kicked at my drink (he'd climbed behind her seat on the window sill in order to get at the drink. The mother, who was sitting in the seat next to the drink, saw him do it but said nothing to me OR him. Admittedly, she had her hands full. In addition to the young ninja, she was pregnant, had a baby in arms and what looked like a 2 year old asleep in a stroller, Thank GOD it was asleep.

In 35 minutes, I didn't see ONE mother restrain her child or even comment that he or she was hanging from the rafters. For that matter, except in one instance, I did not see one mother actually make eye contact or speak to her child other than an occasional absent minded pat on the head while the child crawled up her leg as she spoke to other woman. The mothers were all talking to each other and cuddling babies. Their toddlers were primarily hanging on their legs or climbing on the chairs, window sill and tables. Three of them made a game of hiding under a table where an elderly lady was trying to fold her clothes. She gave up, tossed her laundry in the basket, unfolded, and left. Of course, she seemed kind of crotchety, anyway (I noticed that before the kids arrived).

Two of the kids leaned on my dryer and I had to ask them to move so I could check to see if the quilt was dry. I don't know if they didn't know English, or what, but when I explained that I needed to open the door (and smiled real big), they just stared at me. I ended up reaching past the kids to gently open the door and they scooted out of the way. The mothers were watching and said nothing to them. Repeatedly, two boys kept opening up the door to the front and going out on the sidewalk. There was a bit of traffic out there. The laundromat attendant finally said something to the mothers (don't know what, it was in Spanish), and they brought them back inside. It was kind of weird and a different way of raising children than I'm used to.

I confess, by the time I left the laundromat, I was downright cranky.

I had court this afternoon, then stopped off at the post office on the way home. Right before I walked in, I saw a large, older, poorly dressed lady walk in ahead of me, followed by a nicely built young man on a cell phone. I recall wondering if the woman was mentally ill, based on her dirty clothes and clothing choice (she had on a torn yellow sweater with another red sweater underneath, a denim skirt, support hose, socks and flip flops). She was pretty ill kempt and appeared to be wearing what my husband calls a "wig hat." Whatever it was, it was on crooked. In all honesty, I am not really sure if she actually was a she. It might have been a man. Anyway you looked at it, man or woman, this person was really homely, poor thing.
Anyway, when I walked into the post office, they were jammed up at the post office boxes, elbow to elbow. My own post office box was at floor level in front of the man.

I said, "Wow - looks like there has been a run on the post office!" It was supposed to be a joke, and I'll admit a dumb one (run on the bank, run on the post office - get it? heheh). The lady whirled around and SHOUTED in my direction, "YES - HE JUST JAMMED IN HERE AND SHOVED ME ASIDE! I TOLD HIM TO WAIT HIS TURN - HE IS RUDE!"

The man muttered something and they both walked out. I felt a bit sheepish and a little guilty that I was glad she was mad at him rather than me with my smart mouth. As they approached the door, apparently the man did not yield to the old lady. They then got into a yelling match, which continued out into the parking lot. I got my mail and returned to my car. The old lady was flipping him off as she drove away, yelling about how rude he was. I glanced over at the man but he was hunkered down in his car, back on the phone.

I was glad to get home. The girls are pretty soothing.

I'm darn pleased with how it turned out.

You can see the quilting where it popped after washing.

I think I am going to call it an early day and down a glass of wine.


Paula said...

Beautiful quilt! Doesn't it feel great to get one finished? Obviously the girls are happy with it too.


Penny said...

Thanks, Paula, and yes, it feels great!

Anonymous said...

You did a lovely job on the quilt. I'm surprised you can't fit it into a regular washer - but then I'd do just about anything to avoid the laundromat, even though the one in our little town is tame compared to yours.

Do the girls damage any quilts with their nails?


Infinity Quilter said...

Your Patriotic Quilt is beautiful. Look at the lovely Miss Jezebel's nose....it's almost all filled in.

Penny said...

Janet, it is WAY too big to go into the washer. The thing is huge. It weighs 9.5 pounds and is really bulky, although the quilt, itself, isn't lumpy.

And as for the girls and their nails - I fully expect them to tear the thing to shreds. I hope not, but am not optimistic. But I knew that when I allowed them up there.

Dogs or quilt... dogs or quilt... dogs or quilt... Okay, dogs AND quilt and I'll just make another one if they mess it up. Not only will they rip it, I expect the white will become discolored when they walk on it.

ranette said...

Just a gorgeous quilt. Did you do the quilting on it? I think I've seen pics of a longarm on your blog so you probably did and it looks wonderful!

Penny said...

Ranette, I have Gammill Premier Plus and this is the first full size quilt I've ever made OR quilted. I've only quilted a few things on the longarm - this is the first one I think actually counts. Just got it in March and it has been an active year.

elsie123 said...

You did such a great job. And for being your first full quilt on the machine, that's even more special. Congratulations...

And I like your attitude about the girls being on it. I've always felt quilts were made to be used, and I'd rather see it used up than put up.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Stunning!!

And I totally agree with quilts are made to be used! They are so much better when they get warn and soft from much love!

Dog and kids and husbands use my quilts here!


Owens Family Adventures said...

The quilt is really pretty. I love the picture of the dogs where one is on the bed and giving the other a little hello sniff. Almost like she is saying "Hello old friend." After braving the laundry mat with all the kids you deserve two glasses of wine!!! shuddddder!

jacquie said...

what a day! hope the wine added a bit of peace to your day. the quilt turned out beautifully. the girls look so cute up there, though i'm secretly glad fudge is too old to get on the bed. she's happy with hers on the floor.