Friday, November 11, 2005

Reasons 126 - 154 Why I Got Away From the Precision Required in Traditional Quiltmaking

In the face of the lack of any sort of idea for a new quilt I decided this morning that I would dig into my stack of finished bed-size tops and get one basted and ready to quilt. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now I remember some of the reasons I got away from making huge, traditional quilts in recent years. Please allow me to illustrate by sharing a portion of my day with you: 126. I realize I have no place in my entire house that's really large enough to baste a queen-size-or-larger-quilt unless I do it on the outside deck or the floor of the great room. 126b. That means I would have to CLEAN the deck or the floor of the great room. 126c. I hate cleaning. 126d. It also means I'd have to crawl around on the floor to do the pinning. 126e. I hate crawling. 126f. I would also have to somehow keep all three dogs and the cat completely out of the area until I was finished. 126g. I could probably manage that with the dogs. But the cat? Yeah, right. Cats can walk through walls y'know. 126h. And if I go outside there are birds. 126i. I'm pretty sure the birds won't care about my quilt when they decide where to drop their little birdie bombs. 127. Once I've established that basting a huge quilt at my house is a Bad Idea, I have to come up with another place to baste it. 128. I think of the county extension office, which has a nice, well-lit conference room with a lot of tables. 129. I remember it's Veteran's Day and assume they are probably closed because county offices, like federal and state offices and banks, pretty much close for anything from Aardvark Day to Zesty Tomato Pizza Day. 130. I consider going to the library and using their conference room instead. 131. I remember that the library conference room gives me the wiggins. 131b. I like the library in general. The part where the books live is very nice. But the conference room, in the basement, is scary. I don't know why, it just is. I always feel like someone is watching me down there. 131c. I am NOT paranoid. Shut up. 132. Go take a shower and consider my options. 133. I decide to use the evil device known as a telephone to see if maybe the county extension office is open after all. 134. It is! It reallyreally IS! So I check the availability of the room and am told I can have it. Yay extension office people! Yay me!! 135. That means I must gather up quilt top, backing, batting, scissors, safety pins, clips and/or tape to pull everything taut, and two oatmeal cookies. 135b. Ok, ok, I didn't really NEED the oatmeal cookies. But I was hungry. 136. I drive the 10 miles to the county seat. 137. I eat the cookies. A woman has to keep up her strength. 138. I wrestle around a bunch of tables and chairs until I have a working surface that looks like it's probably big enough to hold the mega-quilt. 139. I lay out the quilt backing and pull it taut with my handy-dandy picnic tablecloth clips. 140. I lay out the batting and center it and get it all nice and smooth and flat against the backing. 141. I lay out the quilt top and notice that it seems to be hanging down too far on two sides. 142. I decide I must have laid it the wrong way. Silly Deb! 143. I move the quilt top so it's sitting on the other layers a different way. 144. I notice that something still doesn't look quite right. 144b. I realize that the "something" is that the friggin' quilt backing, which I pieced just for this quilt, is about 2 inches too small!!! 145. I remember that I am reallyreally bad at math. 146. I also remember that I have a foul mouth when I'm pissed off. (See? "pissed off"...and I'm calm now!) 147. I consider taking it all back up and going home. 147b. I realize that quilt top has been sitting in a pile for a long time, and if I leave it will probably be a couple more years before I am in the mood to do this stupid basting thing at a time when the room is available. 148. I say mind...and center it as best I can and start pinning, figuring I'll find some more of the fabric when I get home and splice a strip along a couple of edges of the backing to make it work. 149. I pin. 149b. I pin a LOT. 150. I finally pin everything that I can pin with the backing the way it is. 151. I pack up my toys and go home. 152. About the time I get home I remember that I really should have put gas in the car while I was in town. Oops. 153. I tear the studio apart (not that you could really tell since it was already a wreck! HA!) to discover that I have NO MORE of the backing fabric. None. Not one lousy inch. 153b. Splicing a plaid strip down the edges of my floral backing would be artsy, not lame, right? 153c. Right??? 154. I decide to think about it Tara...

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