I realize I've been silent for over a week now...sorry about that. I'm sewing like a madwoman to get these quilts done in time to ship to their recipients by Christmas! I have a picture of Pop-Pop's finished quilt, I'm in the middle (well, towards the end) of quilting Mom's Fall Leaf Quilt, and TX Mom's quilt top is pieced and ready for basting. I promise I'm working!
Oh, and I'm learning how to Free-Motion Quilt! Kind of by accident...I wanted to give the leaves on Mom's Quilt veins, which meant that I had to free-hand draw them. I've only done a bit of curves with the leaves (which are completely quilted now!) and drawing out blades of grass (some are more straight up-and-down zig-zags, but some look like grass! I only had one time where I had a tension issue, too...I switched thread from one brand to another and had to raise my top-thread tension about 1/4 of a value on my machine (2.5 to 2.75-ish). So hooray for that. I haven't ventured into stippling (it just looks like way too much turning the whole quilt sandwich for me...my machine has a really little throat and you get a workout every time you turn the quilt at all!) but hey - gotta start somewhere, right?
It's been great to have my husband home. Unfortunately, he woke up several times last night sick and hasn't been feeling well all day so boo on that. We did do some shopping and small travels earlier this Thanksgiving weekend - Christmas Markets opened this weekend and we hit up two, plus found me my dress for the ball in two weeks. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? The dress fits pretty well (the arm-hole...yes, it's asymmetrical so there's only one...is a little tight but definitely looks great) and while the color is a bit out of my comfort zone (lavender) it goes great with a silver pair of heels I had left over from my sister's wedding a few years back. Add in a pair of silver long gloves we found at the same store, some jewelry I already had, and a touch of makeup - voila! I'm ready for my carriage to take me to the ball!
My hope (which seems fairly doable) is to have Mom's quilt to the point that it needs only hand-stitching (binding) by this weekend because I think we're going to be doing a bit of traveling. We'll see.
In other news, if you remember how I talked about my Grandfather being moved from Florida to Ohio to go into an assisted living facility...well, the lease on his old place was paid for a year after he left to give my dad time to go get it cleaned out. Apparently Pop-Pop didn't throw ANYTHING away. At all. My dad found 20 boxes full of pictures of my Grandfather from WWII, his wedding, etc. He also found more of my Grandmother's jewelry. I already have quite a few pieces of her jewelry from when she died while I was in high school. I love her jewelry and wear it a lot even if some of it is only costume jewelry. He also found some of her old quilting fabric, which my mom is going to send to me with her jewelry and some other things.
Now, I never really knew my Grandmother as an adult - I was in high school when she passed away, but she had Alzheimer's pretty badly before that. I knew her as a child, because she and Pop-Pop visited a few times and I stayed at their place in Florida for a few weeks one summer, but I didn't know her as an adult. It wasn't until very recently that I realized that she had quilted. I have two small quilts she had given me when I was a kid and when looking at them I realized she had hand-quilted them. They're hanging on the wall in my sewing room. I take after her (and her side of the family) more than any other of my family members physically - she was over 6' tall and had feet so big she had two pairs of custom-made dress shoes and wore men's shoes the rest of the time. I'm not that bad (5'10" and my feet are a mere size 11 womens) but even my face structure looks like her side of the family. I was born six days after her birthday too - another way I feel connected to her. I'm excited too because one of the pieces of jewelry I'm getting is an opal ring...we share that birthstone and the ring is real opals - a larger center one with smaller ones around it. My mom showed me on Skype and it's gorgeous!
Is it silly to feel so connected to someone I barely knew as an adult? And yet I do, because in a way I feel like I'm following in her footsteps. I'm a lot like her in a lot of ways...and I hope I become more like her because from what I can remember, she was an amazing woman. I can only hope to be more like my Grandma. And that's about the hokiest thing I've said all day. Oh well - such is life. Have you ever felt this way towards someone you only barely knew or who you didn't know at all?