The Morning Latte. Yes, I'm finally back after
skipping an extra Tuesday. That was not expected
but I was struggling to bounce back from things.
First, I'd better link up to the Tuesday To Do party over
at Quilt Schmilt! It's good to be joining again and I'm
ready to get all caught up on the fun projects
that everyone else has been working on!
So, what great things happened over the last weeks?
1) I closed on the sale of the last family property.
I don't usually discuss unrelated personal things here
on my quilt (and occasional garden/chicken) blog but
this has consumed such a huge amount of my time
that everything was affected, most especially as I
coordinated this sale for my 6 siblings and me.
It is impossible to sum up here what all was
involved but the actual sale took over 230 days.
(Realtors, re-zoning, platting, civil engineers, lawyers, etc.)
The construction of an assisted living facility just beyond
our backyard will now begin. I've made up my mind to
just accept it. And to plant more shrubs and trees.
For the last 9 years (after my mom's death) I have
handled the sale of my mother's house,
commercial properties and the farm ground that
we rezoned into commercial. There are some
loose ends yet but for the most part, it's all done.
It's probably not productive of me but sometimes I
let my mind wander over how much this has involved,
how often it dictated my life and pulled me away from
my own family here. And how many times did I think
I finally had a day to work on my quilt business only
to get a phone call that took half (or more!) of my day?
[This was not any sort of paid position, btw, nor did
I want to be paid. It was just a job to be done.]
Some moments really stand out. Like having to review
and sign a contract for a commercial property from the
airport just after giving my son over to the US Army
at West Point. Or the time my own family was all
together here (those occasions are getting rare!) but
I was off in the other room handling LLC issues. And
definitely the most intrusive was last April as hubs and I
arrived in Puerto Vallarta and discovered the prospective
buyers felt there was a conflict of interests between our
lawyer and theirs. I didn't even get to peacefully take in the
*&@#^! ocean view (sorry/not sorry) our room offered first.
(Holy moley, I thought that was just the final straw!)
Instead I saw it through a few tears but then I toughened
up and spent a large portion of my so-very-much-needed
getaway finding a new commercial real estate lawyer
and going over a very long contract with him.
From Mexico. Not kidding.
But hey, it was a good contract!
The months that followed were not great, and the closer
we got to closing, the farther away it seemed but finally
the buyers set a date: just a few days after hubs
and I would get home from this year's vacay.
After our vacay.
Knowing how last April's vacay went, isn't that just a
recipe for having this vacation completely interrupted
with last-minute closing issues?!?
Miraculously--and I mean miraculously--at the last
minute, the buyers decided they would be ready early.
(Prayer works! Can I get an Amen!?!)
Just 3 days before we left the closing took place and I was
able to celebrate 30 wonderful years of being married to
the greatest guy (and my rock during all of this!) without
that weight that has been on my shoulders for so long.
Another view taken in through tears?
Tears of relief and happiness!
This vacation was so much more relaxing!Sun, ocean, hot rock massage and exclusive dinner
on the beach with our own private staff. The works.
While on vacay, I listened to the book A Man Called Ove
[pronounced "ooh-vah"]. You'll likely recognize it as the
newly-released movie, "A Man Called Otto,"
starring Tom Hanks.
I laughed. I cried. Then I laughed some more.
And I just Could. Not. Stop. Listening!
When we got home, I listened to it again with hubs
(and laughed and cried all over). Hubs agrees with me
that it's the best book we've read/heard in many years.
I don't often refer books on here but this is an absolute
must-read. And you must read it before you see the
movie because it's mostly Ove's thoughts. I can't see
any way a movie can do justice to this story.
Read it! Trust me.
And then let me know what you think.
I did physically-read 2 other books but for laying out
in the bright sun, you can't beat an audio book.
I kept the volume low so I could still hear the waves
hitting the shore--I wouldn't miss out on that!
But back to those last 9 years...
I don't mean to focus only on the negative. Yes, it
has been very hard on me but, for my parents, I would
do it all over again. I'm glad they didn't have to do it.
And wow! The things I learned!
And, what is productive is for me to look back and
just be proud of what I accomplished in their place.
I think they'd be proud of me too.
So what now? Closure.
In so many ways, so many things and...
Well, things not to be bothered with here!
Instead, let's move on to the fun quilty things
Instead, let's move on to the fun quilty things
like what I've been up to in the sewing room!
Last year I participated in the 350 Blocks Challenge
at Prairie Moon Quilts. I ended my year at 934 which
sounds pretty great to me but as this is the first time
I've ever tracked them, I have nothing for comparison.
I was the December winner so I received some
nice goodies in the mail. How fun is that?
Shelly is hosting it again this year so if you want a
little extra motivation, head over and check it out.
Maybe I can hit 1000 this year? Time will tell.
Now from my last list, er, ahem, a few weeks ago:
1) Finish "With This Ring"
Making do with one's stash can sure bring out some
extra creativity. With ample fabric, I doubt I ever would
have settled for slipping in a thin gray border among
more white background but it's all I had.
Well, I love, love, love what it did for this quilt
and I sure plan on doing that again!
This quilt would have been awesome for some FMQ
but knowing the recipient's taste, I felt a simple
repeated pattern would be best.
With This Ring finished up at 72"x72". The pattern is
"Circle of Friends" Jelly Roll Quilts In a Weekend
by Pam Lintott and Nicky Lintott
2) Choose next quilt
I've had a fantastic one picked for a couple months
but then a crazy thing happened (I'll get to it in a bit)
that led me to pick out something more simple.
After tearing through my room for way too long, I settled on
a basic Ohio star from Missouri Star's BLOCK for the quilt
and Lella Boutique's "Flower Pot" layer cake for the fabric.
In my stash was an almost-full bolt of "Night Stones" by
Laura Berringer (Marcus Fabrics) that matches perfectly.
It's a little busy for a background but that's a look I'm
getting more and more comfortable with.
(Pic is a bit darker than real life)
I have all the hourglass sections pieced so I'm ready
to get them into blocks. I'll be referring to it as
"Meadow" for now but I'll work on that.
"Meadow" for now but I'll work on that.
So, what crazy, impromptu thing happened? I love my
Elna but there's been a glitch in the embroidery for some
time and now that I make quilts to sell, I really need my
labels to look professional. So, I've been thinking that
in a few years I'd start looking at a new machines.
Before I left for vacay, I took Ms. Elna in for a tune-up.
[Because that's the only time we can part from 'em, right?]
While at the shop, I started looking around...aaaaand
you probably don't need to be told the rest of the story.
I'm now the proud owner of a Pfaff Quilt Expression 720.
We didn't settle in as quickly together as I did with my Elna,
(and I had a moment or two of separation anxiety!)
but after a couple days and an intro class, I know it was
the right move, especially as much as I sew these days.
The embroidery options are so above and beyond what I
need but it all looks really fun so perhaps I'll expand my
skills in that direction? As for all of the other features,
the bottom line is that I'll be sewing much more efficiently
and that is what I'm most happy about. I am anxiously
waiting the arrival of its extension table because once
you have one, it's so hard to sew without it!
And now, the week ahead:
1) Work on Meadow
Hoping to complete the top
2) Start on Edyta Sitar's Quilt Along
Edyta's new quilt along really caught my attention so
joining everyone in making a selection of blocks from
various quilts in her book, A Season In Blue. At the end,
Edyta will reveal a new layout just for these blocks.
I have the book, I like all the quilts and I have the fabrics.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me. And it's at a pace that
should cause only minimal interference with my other
On that note, Etsy sales continue to trickle in.
But at my price point, a trickle is good, and with the
way things have gone around here, I haven't even
had time to replace those sales! So that is my main
goal right now, even though--get this--I still have
more big things coming up!
With that cliffhanger, I wish you all a great week
and I'll meet you back here with two more big
fun-fun announcements next week!