An Unfinished Quilt

In a perfect world, people clean house when they retire.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  By getting rid of things that you don’t want or need, you are welcoming your retirement by having space for the activities that matter to you.

It has been over 10 years since my retirement, and it’s only now that I’m cleaning house.  This includes the greenhouse and the storage shed out back.  I don’t even want to think about cleaning out the garage.   

You can move stuff around all you want.  But if you can’t find what you need, then it’s time to seriously look at what you have.  At last count, I have 7 scissors and 7 hammers hanging around the house.  I don’t know where they are, but they have been missing for years.

Maybe you already have a hobby (or hobbies) that will take you through retirement.  I still need to find a hobby that will suit me, but that doesn’t keep me from trying new things.  I must say that I’m not trying very hard because I always seem to return to the writing and the photography.  

So I find a quilt that I started about 5 years ago.  I can tell you why I didn’t finish it.  All I did was cut pieces from a yard of watermelon fabric, then pieced them back together with my sewing machine.  Even at that time, I wondered,  “Why would any sane person cut up a perfect piece of fabric so that they can sew it back together?”

I’ve seen women work their magic with quilts.  They use European sewing machines with names that I can’t pronounce.  They can go as far as design their quilts by computer.

Even with my simple quilt, I refused to finish it.  This would mean more work.  I would have to “sandwich” everything together.  The quilt, quilt batting and backing would need to be sewn together.

Quilting is a precision science.  When you measure and put together pieces of fabric, they have to match up.  I look at my quilt, and I see a lot of mismatched seams.  I can tell you right now that I have no interest in ripping up this project and doing it over. 

I’m no quilter.  But at least I found this out before I went to the classes, bought an expensive sewing machine, attended quilt conventions or dragged my husband to every quilt shop on the West Coast. 

I could give this quilt away so that someone will finish it.  Until then, I must say that it looks pretty good as a tablecloth while I’m serving watermelon.        





  1. marlenebertrand · April 17, 2013

    Your comment about cutting up a perfect piece of fabric and then sewing it back together made me laugh as I realized the same thing one day. I, too have a quilt that I never finished because somewhere in the back of my mind I saw how insane that was to the way I normally operate. I have been carting this quilting project from one house to another and now it doesn’t make sense to complete it because it was for my first grandchild who is now 15 years old. Grandma dropped the ball! Anyway, cleaning is my favorite thing to do now. It is quite liberating for me. As far as hobbies, I enjoy my camera so much now. In fact, in a moment, I’m going to go outside to take pictures of a bunch of bees swarming around the bottom of my lemon balm plant. It’s fascinating capturing nature in action. That’s my new hobby and I think I’m going to stick with it for a while. It’s fun!

    • Arlene Poma · April 17, 2013

      And you picked a great time to take up photography, Marlene! Digital photography makes it so easy for you to create because you don’t have to worry about anything else. Way back in college, I was rolling my own film and destroying boxes of photo paper (at $60 a pop!) because the curtains I had put up in the family bathroom would come down at the worst times! Although it was nice seeing the images appear during development, photography was expensive. Now, I only know one person who lugs around heavy photo equipment. He still has a darkroom at home. This is how he makes his living. In retirement, I enjoy the freedom of digital photography. Yesterday’s process of rolling my own film, developing my own negatives and developing my own prints is truly something I don’t miss. But at the same time, I am grateful for the experience.

      • marlenebertrand · April 17, 2013

        What a wonderful memory. I think one of the reasons I didn’t go into photography was because it just looked too involved. My daughter who studied journalism was telling me about having assignments where she had to do all that stuff you mentioned. I remember one of her assignments being having to take black and white photos and develop them. It just sounded like too much effort. Now, with my little digital camera, I just point and shoot. Every now and then I mess with the macro feature for fun. But the truth is, for what I’m doing with my photos I don’t need to get all fancy. One day I might find the interest to go beyond point and shoot, but for now I’m loving it.

        By the way, I really like the background for your blog.

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