I finished the last small element of The Albatross tonight and have messaged its owner for feedback on how she'd prefer that I complete it. This is a king size quilt that I have been working on (or, mostly, not-working-on) for nearly a quarter of my life. All thirty-six blocks are done. But there's a spot along one edge where the backing doesn't quite meet the front, and I need to know if she wants me to patch the back or trim the quilt by half an inch all the way around.
I worked on it fairly steadily at first, interrupted by Secondborn’s wedding, then Firstborn’s, and then four of the eight CPCU courses, until late 2003, when Firstborn led me into Mary Kay. The children's father had been out of work for awhile (he was out of work for over a year, and thus we got no child support).
Selling makeup provided a faster source of income while also eating up huge chunks of time, during which I might otherwise have been finishing the quilt.
And then LittleBit hit high school, and we were suddenly busier than I had been with four children still at home.
She graduated in 2008, I moved to Fort Worth a week later, and I rode the train to and from work in Dallas until Beloved came into my life. It's reasonably easy to knit on a train. Not so easy to lug a king size quilt onto the train and keep it from getting stepped on. It didn't help when I was called to be the RS president in my ward.
Every time I saw her quilt folded up and waiting patiently in my studio, both in Fort Worth and since I moved here, I reminded myself that I needed to finish it. At the first of this year, I found my thimble and the two spools of black quilting thread. I was dismayed to see that the blocks were only a little over halfway done. I've chipped away at them, some days only five or ten minutes, but something on it every day of the week but Sunday.
I cannot find the French bias binding that I carefully assembled and pressed, a decade and a half ago. I know that I didn't throw it away. But I cannot for the life of me remember which box or tub it might be in.
So I'll need to buy a yard of black patterned fabric and make more binding. My goal is to have the borders quilted and the quilt bound off and handed over before I leave to get Middlest. That gives me approximately a month and a half. I'm also returning the commission fee, with interest, because hello? For someone who used to be a quilting professional, not professional at all. I just checked her FB profile, and she's widowed, like me. This was supposed to be a non-surprise quilt for her husband, who was colorblind but could see these colors.
If you will all excuse me, I'm going to go beat myself up and go to bed.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!