Blogmeets are fun.

It’s the holidays!!

I woke up on Saturday knowing that I had a deadline to meet. Laura was going to be at Tullamarine airport on Monday night and I wanted to have the quilt she sent me the fabric for to look like something other than a half-finished pile of sewn-together strips… so of course I knitted a couple of baby hats instead. The house was silent; it was zen-like and lovely.

On Sunday morning I woke up with a silent scream. Why oh why didn’t I sew yesterday? What was I thinking? Had I run mad??? So I pieced and patched for 6 hours. Half way through I was convinced that the quilt would look HIDEOUS and Laura would be appalled and look at me with shock and dismay and she’d go home in quiet mourning for the fabric I had murdered. But it was too late to go back. So I kept going, finished sewing all of the blocks together, threw it on the back of the couch, stood back…. and by gum! it looked good. More than good. (My friend Sandy said to me that it’s the best thing I’ve made yet.) The colours are just perfect for the lounge room, and lord knows the couch will look so much better with this beautiful quilt gently hiding some of its gold velvet. I sent up a prayer of thankfulness to the quilting gods.

Half of the kids came home on Sunday night. Tom and David are staying there for a week to earn some cash. They had a few pithy comments to make about their Dad but it’s basically all calmed down, so it’s all good. Evan had his brand new ipod touch, so he was a contented tween.

On Monday I had a dilemma. What to do about the quilt. Should I just take the quilt top in to show, or do I keep going, pinning and quilting it so I have more of the finished product to show? I ummed and ahhed for a while (because I was a bit over sewing after the day before, to tell the truth) but then I decided to at least pin the layers together. I was about half way through this when Widget rang. She was also coming to the blogmeet, and chirpily said, “I won’t bring my knitting because we’ll have to go through security…”

I looked over at all of the gleaming pins in that quilt. Pins are metal. Sharp. Possibly dangerous. Definitely detectable in that x-ray machine they have at the airport. Shit.

I wasn’t going to unpin what I’d started, so I was committed. That baby was going to be quilted. Before 4pm. Cue ‘Mission Impossible’ music.

Five hours of concentrated work ensued. The kids fed themselves. Mum and Dad came back from a 3 week trip to Bali to pick up their dog.

“You can get up from the sewing machine to give me a hug,” Dad said.

“Ok, but make it quick. I’m a woman with a mission,” I said.

Mum sat with me and talked about Kate and Francis while I kept vrooming up and down that thing. Tailor’s chalk was flying in all directions as I’m marking seams, nodding and chatting to Mum and rethreading needles and bobbins. It was all happening.

Mum and Dad left and dropped the boys off at a friends. I kept going. Only a seam and a half to go. Success was within my grasp. Then the machine choked on an ill-wound bobbin. I tried to resuscitate, but there was only one thing to be done. The bobbin had to be totally stripped of thread and re-wound. But it was clogged. There was no end to pull.

There I was, fifteen minutes to go, hacking at the bobbin with a Quickunpick. Gobs of green thread were all over the floor and I was swearing like a trooper. Ten minutes later when Widget rang the doorbell the quilt was complete. (No binding, but the major work was done.) I graciously yanked the front door open, eyes spinning like Catharine wheels.

You’re early”, I snarled. She cautiously entered and went straight to the kettle to make a soothing cup of tea, while I followed, incoherently talking about sewing machines, batting, pins and the need for me to get to an ATM if she wanted me to pay for the parking.

I just love picking up a new hobby. It’s so soothing.

Laura was just lovely. She spotted us instantly, and we went through security without a hitch (I felt privately a little smug about that) and we found a cafe. It was so great to meet her face to face. She’s a person of such zest and warmth, which of course I knew she would be because her blog is just like her. (Funny about that.) We all talked our heads off. We shared a literary moment or two, where we mourned Dumbledore’s passing; then we moved on to movies, where Widget and Laura compared notes on Daniel Craig; then we covered lots of other things. I showed the quilt and then gave them the prototypes for the practical mystery gifts. (They are made from the fabric from the quilt, so Laura had to have one as a thank you. Widget had a birthday about three months ago, so she finally got her present. Lucky prize winners, fear not. Yours are in the pipeline!)

Then Laura gave out surprises. She made us some lovely beaded bracelets (we all have butterfly bracelets now) and she also gave me the most amazing brooch. I’ve been naughty and copied the photo from her blog, because when I’m at home I can only put up thumbnail-sized photos for some arcane internet reason that is beyond me, and a thumbnail photo wouldn’t do it justice. The photo is pretty much life-sized, and just look at all of the tiny beads, the little hands, the glowing colours…  

Her name is Serenity. The name and the state of mind sound pretty good to me! I was so touched. There’s hours of work in this brooch, and I’ll treasure it. Without a doubt, blogmeets are great. There should be more of them. Though as Widget pointed out, every day we’re at work is a blogmeet.

This morning I only had one child. Ryan stayed over at his friends, so Evan and I did something we’ve never done before: we went out for breakfast. It was delightful. We read the paper, chatted like humans and ate egg and bacon. Luxury! 

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9 Responses to Blogmeets are fun.

  1. M says:

    I feel exhausted just reading about your quilting mission!

    Sounds like you had a lovely blogmeet.

  2. Fairlie says:

    I was feeling your stress as you sewed against the clock. Breathed a huge sigh of relief when you managed it in time.

    Glad you had a great blogmeet.

  3. Widget says:

    I love your kettle – it brings about so much peace, love and joy.

  4. jeanie says:

    Oh – I laughed out loud at your relaxing new hobby!!!

  5. Laura says:

    Honestly – I truly, ruly would have been delighted to see a pile of blocks! I knew acutely that you had sewed your fingers to the bone to get your son’s quilt ready for him.

    But just think how productive you have been in these hols, compared to the stunned, agonized mullet you were last time.

    And I LOVE the quilt. Just love it! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I’m thrilled to bits with it, and I agree with Sandy that it is your best work.

    I’m off to post (soon) about the blogmeet too! I’ve had a big day with the girl wonder, and we need to do some art therapy together first.

    Smooches (Gee that was such fun, I’m still grinning, are you sure you -and your boys- wouldn’t fit in Widget’s case in December?)

  6. river says:

    Aaarrgh! The clogged bobbin! Here’s a hint. Have a spare bobbin handy whenever you have a major sewing project going. Thread it with the necessary colour or leave it empty, but have it there, just in case. i’m glad you got the quilt done and it does look beautiful. Very colourful.

    Skip to your last sentence. “we….chatted like humans..” Love it.

  7. paige says:

    Yay! It sounds like a truly lovely day.

    And: my email

    phorst@pemtel.net

    Email me and I’ll send my address back. I’m so excited about winning a mysterious prize!

  8. Jayne says:

    Lordy you’re a hard hobbiest!
    Love the quilt, it looks gorgeous, well done 🙂

  9. Lightening says:

    Oh my goodness, look how long your hair is getting. That is you in the photo?

    Beautiful quilt. I am completely jealous of how widespread your various talents are. And I surely don’t know how you manage to fit it all in!!!!

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