When the mind gets cluttered and disorganized, layered with dust and in need of a good “straightening up”, a contemplative task is The Big Tidy Up.

I spent this weekend working on two sewing projects. One has been a concept project rattling in my head for months. Much like my fixation on a particular color blue when I was pregnant with Cameron, I have been fixated on this quilt. When I was pregnant, I must have searched every quilt store and fabric retailer looking for the shade of blue for his angel quilt that was wedged in my brain. The ladies at the Summerville quilt store were very accommodating and likely pulled every bolt of cloth in the blue family for my quest. The ladies at the Trenton quilt store did the same when I finally went off in search of my palate of colors, armed with a throw pillow. Every task must be broken down into steps. And after making many quilts, I know better than to skip or improvise. Quilting is not like cooking….at least not my cooking. I never follow a recipe. If it asks for three gloves of garlic, I add six. I embellish, knowing the flavors I prefer; I improvise. But even in cooking there are standards. How you grease and flour a pan is standard and gives a result wholly different than Pam. In quilting it is much the same. All seams are sewn at 1/4 inch. ALL. No variation. This is different than the pattern piecing seams of 5/8 inch. I mean, honestly….5/8 inch. Why? I ponder this everytime I sew a regular pattern. Also, seams are ironed one way, not split open as in dressmaking. And like Malcolm says, 10 years or 10,000 hours makes you an expert. I have the ten years, certainly, but condensed, I am likely short…way, way short…the 10,000 hours. But, every quilt I make gets easier and better. I am sewing on the same Singer machine I have had for more than 20 years. I covet an new Bernina, but I do not need the Ferrari of sewing machines. I am not a Formula 1 racer and given the chance to drive one, I’d either crash into the wall or drive the track like a blue haired lady. I do just fine on my Singer. This is as far as I got….six more strips to add to the top.

My second project is something I think is a bit of my forte. The homemaker extraordinaire. I do not have a full set of bedroom furniture. I am buying the Bassett set piecemeal and in cash ala my credit has been destroyed in the divorce. So, I save a small amount each month and make my purchases. First the king sized bed frame, a much needed purchase when my “baby” weighs 110 lbs and is still wanting to snuggle in with me in the middle of the night. This usually means him sleeping diagonally and me relegated to the top corner of mattress. The frame stood sentry beside the double for a few months. I recently bought the mattress on sale…it helps to have 50,000 college students descend on your town with their parents, all setting up their apartments. $ Sale $. But I only have one night stand. What to do? I moved my metal filing cabinet into the room. Proper height, hideous aesthetic. I was not going for Eastern Block border guard house decor. So, it had to be concealed. And what I came up with is a short runner of black heavy weight linen found on an end of a bolt on a sale table. A dozen random buttons that E helped me select and I had a free hand project. And Voila!

A hidden cabinet and a new idea of the curtains for my two windows. Buttons are expensive, so I will have to wait for the larger panels. With black out backing, the room will be luscious and intimate…if I could just have my icicle blue walls. Have I mentioned I hate this rental house? Who paints ALL walls and CEILINGS the color of cafe au lait?

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