Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crazy for You, Quilt

Quilt Blocks
Today finds me writing another post rather different than usual. I am not working on dolls this week. I did start this blog as incentive to work on any creative projects, though, not just dolls, so I think this is acceptable. I also need some writing therapy. My blog makes me feel like I have someone to talk to, and I really need that right now. I feel like I've taken leave of my senses a bit.
All this started about a month and a half ago. You might remember from the Upheaval post that we found we had to relocate to another city within a very short time frame. So, Jerry and I spent several days house hunting in the Charlotte area the first week of October. We settled on a house in the little town of Denver, NC. When we returned home we found all of our children had become ill in our absence. I had them all home that week and Jerry, who is already commuting between Charlotte and Raleigh, went back to Charlotte. Then, Jerry went to Cincinnati for about a week and we continued with at least one child sick. Jerry got mad at me around this time and didn't speak to me for a week. The children got sicker. Two got bronchitis and my oldest son's toe got infected again. Then Jerry came home from Charlotte with a terrible stomach flu. He was home for almost a week but was too sick to talk to. Then I caught it, but not nearly as bad, thank goodness. But anyway, the upshot is that I have been trapped at home with sick people and no one to talk to for over a month. I love my children, but I do really long to talk to other adults, and I haven't been able to much at all lately. I have been really lonely. There are a lot of people here, but they are either in need of care, or they are people who talk AT me, but not with me. Sometimes I feel like all I really am is a glorified cook and maid.
We are closing on the house in Denver this week, so we are ridiculously busy. I should not be taking time to write any posts, but I feel like I'm going to go crazy if I don't find some sort of outlet for all these thoughts banging around in my head. I do also have a couple big projects in the works. I was "talking" electronically with a friend recently who asked me if I ever make quilts. I have made baby quilts and wheelchair quilts, but not any bed quilts. This made me feel somewhat guilty. I do, after all, have piles of scrap cloth everywhere, leftover from all my various dolls and other stuff.
Just a few of the scraps I have lying around.
I also remembered a lot of quilting I used to do back in the early 1990s. Around here these sort of upholstered photo albums were very fashionable. I had a pattern for one that had a crazy-quilted cover and I made them for everyone. I love crazy-quilting. Regular quilts are way too precise for me. I get terribly bored cutting out all these tiny shapes over and over. I also can't see the economy or sense in buying a whole bunch of fabric just so you can cut it all up in tiny pieces and sew it back together. But crazy quilts aren't supposed to match or even have uniform shapes so you can use every scrap you have. I loved doing the photo albums because since you weren't sleeping on the quilt you could add all kinds of embellishments like charms and buttons. I love doing embroidery too. I apologize now to any of you who still have one of those terribly out-of-date, dust-catching books. You have my permission to throw it out!
But, I decided to go through my scraps and cut crazy blocks. The finished blocks are shown above. I adapted a pattern I found on Pinterest for a His and Hers quilt. So it wouldn't be so stripey I added a square made of two triangular blocks. I have enough blocks to make a queen sized quilt now. The thing is, I don't really NEED a queen sized crazy quilt. So, maybe I'll make several throws and sell them or give them as gifts. Last night on my run I asked my best friend, Cherre, why she thinks I would decide to cut enough blocks for a queen sized quilt right when we are moving and when I have another HUGE project underway. She doesn't know. Clearly, I am deranged!
Cherre and I were gone so long on our run and then talking afterwards that Jerry sent me a text that said "Running to Utah?" (because Cherre is my friend from LDS church). Then I came home and worked on my other project until after midnight. I had some time to reflect. I think I feel the need to add all these big projects because I am scared. Denver is a very small town, and I don't know anyone there. Jerry is away a lot of the time on business. I already feel really lonely much of the time. I guess I just feel the need to cram as many projects as I can into my life so I have something to do at night when the kids are in bed and I'm alone.
My other big project is a nostalgic one. My sister inherited two couches that can double as sleeping cots when our grandmother died. At the time I wanted them but didn't have anywhere to keep them. Yesterday, my sister moved to Asheville, NC. Since my brother-in-law hates the cots they just stuck them in the attic for years, so she gave them to me. My grandmother called these the "Day-To-Nighters".
Cots, or couches called "Day-To-Nighters"
There are two of them, but they are all stacked up here so you can't really tell. Besides being filthy from spending about a decade in an attic, these were last re-upholstered in the 1960s. I decided to redo them. The original plan was to make entirely new cushions, but when I went to buy the foam (half off and with coupons) I found it was totally unaffordable. So I settled for getting batting. I plan to just wrap each piece of foam in new batting so the old foam makes a "core" inside for support. I found a pretty green chenille called "Lichen":
I want to paint the black frames to look like brushed nickel with chrome, rather than brass, feet. I am trying to talk my step-dad into doing that for me while we are in Denver this weekend. All in all, each couch with two new throw pillows (besides the original cushions shown) will cost about $200. This is very upsetting to Jerry, but I pointed out that we would be much more in the hole if we had to buy a new bed or two new couches and we need to have somewhere for people to stay now that we are moving so far away. Besides that, this WOULD have cost about $800 even without new foam if it hadn't been for my discount-shopping prowess! And imagine if I sent them out to be done!
So, all day yesterday and well into the night I picked apart two of the cushion covers to make a pattern. I also picked out the zippers so I can re-use those (another cost-saving measure). My sister brought by another of our grandma's things she decided not to keep. It is a little turquoise stone mushroom. My grandfather used to say, "Margie (Grandma) loves any color, as long as it's blue!" The little mushroom next to that old yellow fabric looks so familiar it makes my heart ache. I wish I could walk into that house just one more time and find her there. I definitely inherited her love for blue. Turquoise and robin's egg blue are my favorite colors!
So now I just have to start. I am writing this post in part because I'm scared I will mess everything up and I am procrastinating. Wish me luck!


  1. Sounds like some very good and very big projects at a time when you need to stay busy. Know I am here for you if you need to talk. No one should have to feel lonely. My email is on my site. Take care and happy stitching.

  2. Thank you so much! It's so good to have friends, no matter where in the world we go!


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