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About The Right Way

About The Right Way

School is out for the summer so now it’s pouring rain and chilly. Aside from the fact that a good soaking is nice before the summer heat moves in, it’s a bummer if you’re either a school age kid or the mother of a school age kid. I remember being both the kid and the mother and it’s kind of depressing as summer should mean sun all the time. And we’ll eventually get lots of sun, just not today.

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And then there was thunder and it began to hail. I’m still in the midst of planting flower pots, but I’m thinking it won’t get done today.

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My mom tells me that life goes faster and faster as one gets older. Up until now, I believed her. About three weeks ago I caught a cold that turned into an ear infection. While it wasn’t as painful as it might have been, the days between feeling terrible and feeling better went very slowly. Sweet Husband will very likely agree that I was pretty cranky. By that I mean that I took lots of naps, interrupted by a lot of whining. There are no pictures of this because nobody wants to see that. I am, however, on the mend and feeling much better. After the first few days, I spent time quilting the Wedding Ring quilt for my son and almost-daughter-in-law. I’ve been working on it since January and while I’m ready to be finished with it, I still like it. I seldom have projects that last this long, so I’m getting pretty antsy to move on to something new. The wedding is a month away and the quilt will be ready!

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A few months ago, someone watched me working on some embroidery and informed me that I was doing it backwards. It was a friendly comment more than a criticism, but I spent the next 20 minutes trying to figure out how to do it “right.” I think I figured it out, but the truth is it looks better the way I always do it and went back to what was comfortable for me. This brings up an interesting point that I try to stress when I teach: There is more than one way to do things; it’s up to you to find the way that works for you.

I do hand appliqué from time to time. I’ve learned the hard way not to set unrealistic deadlines for that sort of thing. With had work, it takes as long as it takes. I’ve taken several classes on hand appliqué over the years and my way of doing it incorporates skills and approaches that are a mixture of at least three of these classes. My personalized way of doing it is the right way for me and that’s the important thing. My point is simply this: Be open to new ways of doing things, but don’t be a slave to the “right way of doing things” police. Your way may evolve over time and become the new “right way.” Also, be sensitive to the way you critique or offer help to others. “It’s interesting how you do that backwards,” may not be the perfect opening line.

Here’s a bit of what’s stitched backwards. Who knew?

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WORRY LESS. QUILT MORE.

Candy

And Now For Spring

And Now For Spring

It’s finally spring.  I know this because:

1.  The calendar says so.

2.  The neighborhood is alive with the sound of pressure washers.

3.  The sun came out and the ice cream truck came by.

Somebody’s johnny-on-the-spot.  I’ve never heard the ice cream man before May.

My first tulip of the season bloomed a couple of days ago

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There are lots more buds and I’m looking forward to a bright garden.

I only have three hyacinths.  They have the most intoxicating scent of spring.  I go out every day and take a big whiff of them.  My neighbors must surely wonder about me.

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Next fall I’ll plant more hyacinths and some daffodils.  I’ll put it on my calendar for fall so I don’t forget like I usually do.

There are some other signs of spring, like the re-flowering of nurseries.

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And of course our ever-changing spring weather.  Don’t like what it’s doing now?  Give it ten minutes.

I took these over about a half hour’s time.

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 A sunny morning clouded over like this.
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And then it rained so hard, I’m surprised there were petals left on Tulips.
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The rain only lasted about five minutes.
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 And then the sun broke through.
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I’m not sure if this brilliant shade of green only happens in the early spring or if I just get used to it as other plants leaf out.  I’d really hate to think I take it for granted.

Work on the Wedding Quilt continues.  I’ve assigned myself a realistic goal for each day taking into consideration that this is not the only item on my to-do list.  I’m making progress and not freaking out and that is definite progress.

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If you’ve looked at the website in the last couple of weeks, you know that it’s down.  The new and improved website will be up soon.  I’m getting professional help (for the website), and am excited to have one that I can handle.  I like to think that I can learn most anything, but I want to spend my time on the things that I love to do.  It makes more sense to spend time quilting.

Speaking of quilting, there’s a new pattern I’m working on called “Margaritas and Daquiris.”  Like “Pink Lemonade” it’s a quick and easy one for summer.  Pictures next time.

Quilt Because It’s Fun!

Candy

Going Wild

Going Wild

“It’s always something.”
-Rosanne Rosannadanna

Truer words were never spoken.  Just when you think you’re all organized and you have a plan, that little “something” sneaks in and teaches us to be flexible.  This is what we like to call the “learning moment.”  I used to think that I would get older and wiser and I would get life under control.  Got older and the wiser part is that nothing is ever really “under control.”  It seems that the really important thing is keeping a sense of humor.  Life is a bit like the weather on a spring day in the Pacific Northwest – in ten minutes it will be something different.  So we dress in layers (or make sure we have Plan B) and always have some rain boots in the trunk.  This, my friends, is real life.

Today actually turns out to be wild life Thursday.  Too bad it didn’t happen yesterday.  Wild life Wednesday actually sounds a lot cooler.  Early this morning I went in the laundry room to feed the dogs.  There was a little mouse running around in the laundry sink.  I was startled and naturally screamed.  The mouse freaked out and hid in the drain.  He’s actually kind of a cute little guy, but he cannot stay there.  Sweet Husband promised to take care of it.  He doesn’t want me to look at it, feel sorry about getting rid of it or even think about what that means.  I do feel sorry for the mouse, but he cannot be running around the house, pooping every ten seconds.  Ella and Toby are completely oblivious.  If it doesn’t run up and kick ’em in the shins, they really don’t care.  Oh, and also – not taking a picture of the mouse.

My other wild life moment was over before I could pick up the camera.  I was checking email and a squirrel peeked in the window at me.  The window was open so there was only a screen and about 18 inches between us.  Since the window is on the second floor, he must have crawled up the side of the house.  I said hi and then he left.  Maybe he’ll come by for a longer chat sometime.

The tulips in my garden are growing well, but not ready to bloom for a bit.  So I bought a couple of bunches at the grocery store just to liven the kitchen up a little.  They looked very pretty when I first put them out, but are so much more interesting as they get past their prime.

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They got a little wild and crazy as I seem to as I age.  I like my tulip quilts . . .
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but I think I need one more like this:

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Not quite so sedate.

The pattern for Mother Goes Mod is almost finished, but the website is down.  If I understood the whys and wherefores,  I would be a computer wizard instead of the redhead with the sewing machine, and a huge stash.  So here’s the thing.  A new website is on the way.  If you (or anyone you’ve ever heard of) is interested in buying a pattern, please email me at motheronabroomstick@gmail.com and we can make that happen pretty darn quick.  In the meantime, think of me as I put together a new website that WORKS.

Quilt more, worry less.
Candy