Friday, October 11, 2013

Random Bits: Vol. 10

A destiny is not realized until we let go of the illusion of control.
–Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

Getting Warmer
With a little help from Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting, the quilt I've been working on for a friend is right on track to be finished and delivered on time for her birthday tomorrow.

I started this quilt a little over six weeks ago, but have been bouncing back and forth between projects trying to get something finished. {You think I might have figured out by now that picking one thing and sticking to it would get me to “finished” a little faster.} My friend had a pretty serious health issue, which included a trip to the hospital. I wanted to do something special for her during her recovery and I was thinking I could throw together a simple quilt and get it to her in a week. Not so much. The quilt pattern wasn't as simple as I thought {especially since I didn't actually buy the pattern, but sort of reverse engineered it from the photo and dimensions listed} and I debated back and forth about sending it out for quilting to get it done quickly. In the end, to take some stress off I decided to make it a birthday gift, and put it aside to work on other pressing projects thinking I had all the time in the world to get it done.

But at the beginning of last week, I realized I only had two weeks to finish it. Last Saturday, with one week to go and the borders to put on the top and bottom and back to piece, I was really feeling stressed about having enough time to get it done. In desperation, I called Melissa and asked if she could help. She kindly accommodated my rush order and did a lovely job with the quilting. I picked an all-over pattern, dropped my quilt off and in a few days, I had it back, ready to be bound, washed to crinkly softness and given away.

The two voices, Reason {a.k.a. What I Can Do} and Passion {a.k.a. Go Big or Go Home}, are still arguing in my head. Passion says I should have done the quilting {edge-to-edge is usually not my first choice; I think it often masks the piecing. I like to “color inside the lines” and try to quilt a design that accents the piecing}. Reason says that there is no way I would have had time to get the quilting done {especially since I've had a migraine since last Friday night. I'm hoping it is finally gone, but the jury is still out} and finished is better than perfect.

I must pause here to say that Melissa did a great job on the quilting. Her prices are very, very reasonable, she was seriously awesome to work with and the quilting is beautiful. Would I recommend her quilting services? Absolutely. Especially if edge-to-edge is what you're after. Will I use her again? Definitely. I have at least one quilt in the pipeline that is a great candidate for edge-to-edge.

The tug-of-war going on here is my choice to have edge-to-edge quilting done on a quilt that might have been better served with a custom job. The choice to send it out for quilting lifted a huge amount of stress off of me and made it possible to have it finished in time for my friend's birthday. Although I'm not 100% certain, I think the trade-off might have been worth it. At any rate, I'm hoping it will all come out in the wash.

Getting Colder
On Tuesday, we had a new air conditioning unit installed. I like to be prepared.

OK. The real story is that we needed to have our furnace replaced. Last winter was the coldest we've had in as long as I can remember. We kind of limped along with our furnace and had a few times where we wore multiple sweaters and borrowed space heaters while we waited for our repair man to come and fix it. Just when we thought we'd made it through winter and were well into spring, we had one more week-long cold spell and the furnace left us, well, out in the cold. We decided we'd better have it replaced.

But once it turned warm again, it wasn't such a pressing issue. The air-conditioned summer months lulled us into a sense of false security. But the temperatures have dropped early this year {I'm hoping we're not in for another deep-freeze of a winter, but I've heard rumors that it has already snowed in some areas} and we had to get out the space heaters and sweaters again. And the time was ripe to replace the furnace.

As it turned out, though, it was the air conditioner's fault that we needed a new furnace. It has something to do with the coil and condensation and rust dripping down into the furnace. They offered to knock $500 of the cost of labor on top of the pretty fabulous discount we negotiated through our handy, dandy repair man. We decided it would be in our best interest to just do it all at once.

The new furnace is chugging along and we're all toasty warm. It's just too bad we didn't replace the furnace in the spring because, we could have saved quite a bit of money on the electric bill this summer, since in this case it was a package deal.

Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascending
The Piano Guys are at it again. This time on the Great Wall of China. Seriously. Check it out. And if you're wondering how they got the piano on The Wall, check this out.

Available for purchase from The Piano Guys or on iTunes


Paulette said...

The quilting looks great! I think you did the right thing. It will be done when you wanted to give it to her, and she's going to love it!

Mara said...

Ah yes the voices inside our heads, I think reason was a pretty good choice this time.