Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dark Day

Yesterday morning when M. and I walked south the wind was bitingly cold.  It was about -5º and heavily overcast.  The second half of our walk home was a lot more comfortable because the wind was at our backs.  Shows the reason for the old Irish blessing: May the wind be always at your back!

I had planned to do some housecleaning, but without sunshine housecleaning is no fun.  Besides, I had done a whack of cleaning on Monday--dusting and vacuuming the upstairs (where all the living quarters are) and washing all those windows, inside and out.  That was a warm, sunny day and I'm so glad I got the windows all cleaned up before winter.  But because Friday was dark and gloomy I gave myself a day off.

Jim was working outside in the afternoon when I sat down to work on the Slave Lake quilt.  It was cozy in the sewing room, and I remembered another dark, cozy day late in 1993.

Dear Son #2 had brought his girlfriend home for Christmas to meet us for the first time.  I had knitted them matching sweaters as a way of making her feel welcome into our family.  Our previous glimpse of her was a photo that #2 sent, taken at the end of a three day canoe/camping trip with no showers, etc.  She had clamped a baseball cap over her hair, and her face was hard to see.  "Well," I thought, "she must be really sweet, 'cause she's not too pretty."  The first thing I said to her when they arrived that December was, "You're way more pretty than your picture!"

We had a nice time together, especially one afternoon when the guys were out somewhere and she and I were together in my sewing room.  That was another dark day, but we were cozy together.  She was working on a quilted hearts wreath for #2 for Valentines Day, and I was working on one of my projects.  What made that afternoon memorable, aside from the fellowship we had, was listening to a CD of the music from Shindler's List that they had brought along.  It's sad, haunting music, perfect for a dark afternoon when you just want to be stitching and drinking tea together.

So yesterday, another dark afternoon of sewing, I put that CD (which they gave to me because I loved the music so much) on the player and quilted to that sad, haunting music.  Sad and haunting in a good nostalgic way.  It's a long CD, and when it was finished I started it all over again.  Partway through the second time I turned it off and put on a record of Scott Joplin Piano Rags, also quite laid back, but quite a bit more upbeat.

By 5 p.m. I had the machine quilting finished and started sewing the binding down by hand.  I have about 65" of slip stitching to do on the back yet, but ran out of the colour thread I need.

Later today I'll go pick up a few groceries from town and another spool of black cotton thread.  Then all that remains is to print off a label.

I really like this quilt.  It's the top I started in July when D.S.#2 and his family and D.D. #2 and her family left after a week-long visit.  It's all scraps except for the borders, binding and backing.  I managed to find a piece of batting in my stash just the right size.  The scraps encompass a lot of history--back to the early 90's at least.  I hope this "comfort" quilt warms someone's heart!

P.S. The book on the coffee table is quite interesting: Dirt, The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, by William Bryant Logan.  Read it and learn lots of interesting things about the soil on which we depend for all our food.

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