Just Write {2}

When I step out of the car, the wind takes my breath away. I fumble with my hood, but the closure is too tight, so I yank my right mitten off with my teeth and unzip my coat a bit. Holy Freaking gawd, it’s cold. I can’t get the hood up with one hand, so get back into the car. A blast of snowy wind rocks the car as, with two hands finally free, I manage to pull my hood up and re-zip my coat. Leaving my things behind for a minute, I step out of the car again and immediately turn my back to the wind. I take two side-steps to the back door, get the extension cord out and move quickly to plug the car in. This part isn’t too bad as my back is to the wind and I’ve left the engine running so the headlights shine onto the electrical outlet mounted on the post that I’ve parked in front of. At least I can see what I’m doing. 

The college parking lot is full this morning – it always is when the temperature drops into “cold spell” ranges – and I have had to park at the very back of the lot. I suppose that’s good…extra steps and all that, but this morning I could do without them. Finally, clutching my insulated coffee cup to my chest with one hand and gripping my purse with the other, I begin the trek to the building.

The world is a cozy muffled place inside my hood. The snow strikes the fabric over my right ear with a deceptively soft patter that reminds me a bit of rain on an umbrella, but by the time I get to the building, my shins are stinging and burning with cold. It’s an odd sensation to have a warm torso and warm feet but be nearly frostbitten in  a single area the width of my hand, just below the knees.  I need a much longer coat. Or maybe after 27 years in the Yukon I should buy some snow pants.

I am taking my coat off when my coworker comes stomping in, face red with cold and hair disheveled. “Bloody god-forsaken country,” she mumbles not so quietly. We laugh. And really, it’s only -28o c. Hardly cold at all.

 

Linking up today with the free-writing exercise over at the Extraordinary Ordinary .

 

On English Paper Piecing

I like to sew and quilt and do
I love to learn things that are new
I have joined a quilting bee
(Actually, I did join three.)

The We Be Learning on-line gals
Stitch and sew with on-line pals
And every month each one of six
Adds a new block to the mix.

January is Shilo’s block
And I’ve been sewing ‘round the clock
To make a Rocky Road to Kansas,
With the colours of agapanthus.

(Those are blues and aquamarine,
And including a bit of celery green
For those of you who don’t know flowers,
Or the colour wheel of bowers.)

There is a secret I’ve been keeping
I’ve never done foundation piecing.
Shilo’s block is E. P. P.,
Something entirely new to me.

I sewed one block and ripped it out
I sewed again and gave a shout!
I ripped it out and sewed again
It wasn’t good enough to send.

The block should be a certain size
Unfinished inches twelve point five,
But on my cutting mat its borders
Measure eleven and three quarters.

Back to the fabric store I go
With a heavy heart of woe
For I have used all my grey cache
No more background in my stash.

I measure twice, I cut and sew
Careful, cautious, hopeful, slow.
I see the end within my sight,
I am so sure this time I’m right…

I am a frightening beast to see,
Scowling, hating E. P. P.
To the cutting board I go,
Pulling hair and growling low

I have been reduced to drink,
To curse and swear and really think
About the angst of this first bee
And what possessed me to enter three.

Two full weekends I did spend
Ruining this block for my new friend.
I have tried with all my might
but don’t know how to make it right.

And now the month is at an end.
And I have yet a block to send.
In February I beseech you Lynn,
Choose not a block requiring gin!

A colossal…

…screw up. Totally awesome in dimension. It would be really bad form to actually swear on the blog. I know. But…Aaaarrrrghhhhh! Okay. Why all the drama, Nita?

Well! The January We Be Learning Bee is paper pieced. Am I intimidated by paper piecing? You betcha! But it is called “We Be Learning” and let me emphasize the “learning” bit. So okay. I swallow my fears and dive into it. I read the directions. Many times. I asked questions (also many times). I thought I understood what I was going to do (ha!). I dig through my stash and find the right colours. I cut them into strips and sew them back together. So far so good, although I am a bit appalled at the amount of fabric wastage. But that’s okay, I think, because this is the only time I’m ever going to do paper piecing – I sure wouldn’t choose to do it if it weren’t this month’s block for the bee just because of so much waste (and I just can’t afford to buy as much fabric as I would like to, anyway, let alone waste so much!). But no matter…that is what scrap quilts are for, right? Using up all the waste from other projects?

I was feeling pretty good when I got to this part…hey, look at me! I’m paper piecing! It’s kinda cool!

001

 

 

 

 

 

I’m learning something new! I’m not a paper-piecing virgin any more! And so I sew merrily away and forget all about reading the instructions for the 300th time. When I finally remember, it is too late.

002

 

 

 

 

Aarrggghhhh! stomp stomp stomp! howls, beats breast, pulls out hair.

And since I have now used up and wasted every bit of both the background grey AND the blues & greens requested, I must drive to the quilt shop and buy more. Which means I am going to be in trouble with Mr. C, who is the keeper of the family budget, because today is sale day at the quilt shop. Which is sort of like putting an alcoholic in a room full of single malt scotch.

That’s my Saturday blues