Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This post isn't about quilts or cats, it's about something I've been experiencing recently. It's the realization that I'm getting old. OLD!! For an early baby boomer, it's an extremely curious happening. And for me it's really a strange feeling. I must admit that as a smaller than average person, I always looked younger than my actual age. Until recently. My mom told me I would appreciate that one day and now that it's gone, I really miss it.

I just turned 64 and it's such a strange concept that I keep looking in the mirror and saying, "really?" And the image that reflects back to me says, "really!" What ever happened to the fresh face and the relatively tight body? What happened to the endless energy? What happened to the hair?

I so wish my mom was around to shed some light on this experience. Does everyone feel this way once you get to the "senior" years? Does it always come as such a surprise? How did I get my mother's thighs and my dad's thinning hair? In my mind I don't feel "old", however that might feel. When I think of myself, the picture I get is of me in my 30's - the prime of life they say. I'm still in what  I think is remarkably good health. My weight is good,  my blood pressure is in the normal range, I'm fairly active, my mind is still sharp (most of the time). Oh, yeah, I have my "senior moments", but my only real medical issue is osteoporosis and I'm taking meds for that.

What is it that they say about knowing then what I know now? I would certainly take better care of my skin. I inherited my paternal grandmother's fair Irish skin. When I was a girl, no one had ever heard of SPF. Now I have what I call chicken skin on the arms and legs. No amount of moisturizing lotion will get rid of it. You just can't "cure" aging - especially retroactively.

Being an adult sucks a lot of the time. I try to tell my grandkids not to grow up too fast. Once you become an adult, that's it. There's no going back. And it's way harder than it looks to be a grown-up. What I wouldn't give sometimes to go back to when the biggest responsibility I had was to get my homework done on time.

But there are advantages to age. You've been there, you've done that and you have the wisdom gained from those experiences. Nothing much shocks me these days. Disgust, yes - shock, no. If I haven't been there and done that, I know someone who has. And you pretty much know what pleases you, what makes you smile and you know what you don't like. You do the former and avoid the latter. You have learned that love and family are soooo very important. And friends. Oh what would I do without my friends?

So, I've gotten this off my chest and made my statement about aging. It's a remarkable journey to be sure. And it's a journey I hope to be on for a long, long time. I want to be really "old". I want to appear on the Smuckers' jar on the Today show when I'm 100. I want to see my great grandchildren and their children. And I hope I can show them that getting older is a privilege, not a burden.  GO BOOMERS!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm finally working on a project just for ME! I picked up this kit at the 2010 International Quilt Festival here in Houston. I fell in love with the colors and the pattern and figured the wall hanging size would make a good beginner project. To make it just about perfect, all the pieces were die cut and the kit included the batting and backing. All I needed was the thread!!

This is a picture of the finished top which went together very quickly. I love the earth tones with soft greens and creams. The backing is more soft green. Even though the pieces were fairly small, I found that, with the die cutting, everything went together very easily.

Here's a close up of the different blocks. There were two different patterns. It was fun setting the blocks on point. I've never done that before. I was so lucky that the instructions were very detailed and had lots of pictures. I'm a visual learner so pictures are invaluable for me. Since it's so small and I don't have much experience with machine quilting, I will be hand quilting this one.

I must admit that my hand quilting skills leave much to be desired, but I'm using a neutral thread that blends in with the fabrics so you can't see all the mistakes without looking really close. The videos by Alex Anderson on "The Quilt Show" website have helped me select needles and thimbles and hoops. I even ordered her book on hand quilting and learned more on correct technique. It even has a section on building your own quilt frame from saw horses and 2" x 2" lumber. Cool! I'm seriously thinking about doing that.

I'll make another post when the quilt is all finished and bound. I'll be hanging it behind my bed since it coordinates very well with my round robin friendship quilt.