What NOT to do when you retire

Ok, so I tried domesticity, but it turns out I failed.  I’m not really surprised.  Cooking, sewing, and other domestic arts have never been my forte.   So, here’s the story.  I attended a quilt workshop with my Mom and sister, and had great plans to finish it.  Well, 10 years later, it’s almost done.  Good thing I used a “crazy stars” pattern, as that is exactly how it turned out – Crazy.  While others have nice neat squares, corners, seams, and so on, mine are a little askew and very “rustic”.  Translation – it’s a sloppy mess.

A few years ago. when I took a year’s leave of absence, I took up scrapbooking – with the same results.  While others had pages that looked perfectly neat, artistic, and wonderful, mine where a sloppy mess.  Glue spots blotted colours, warped corners, and spilled over onto pictures.  I could be part of a group following the exact same directions, using the exact same materials, but mine would look like something done by a grade school student.  Obviously I am not artistically smarter than a 5th grader.  In January, when started on my long-awaited quest to clean out all my closets, the scrap booking supplies were the first stuff to go.

So, this winter I tried once again the quilting game. I just finished a hand-quilting workshop with Val.  2 weeks later, hers looks awesome. Her corners are neat, tidy and perfect. Her colours are wonderfully aligned, creating a real folksy look. The others in the group had similar results. The instructor was very pleased to look at their products.  When she looked at mine, however, she had a very perplexed look. She took a few seconds to compose herself, then gently asked, “Why is your so much smaller? What did you do?”.  It turns out that my crooked hand stitching resulted in very unevenly matched squares that I then had to trim so they were close to being the same size.  You know how it goes. Once you start cutting, things just keep getting smaller and smaller.  The end result – my sample was at least 2 inches smaller than the others.  Plus it still needed more trimming to even it up. At that rate, I might have ended up with a 4″ x 6″ inch sort-of-square sample instead of a 17″x 20″ nice wall hanging.  Alas, it got worse!

So my adventures into quilting are not going so well.  But at least I can say I had fun.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  But while the final result of my quilting foray still remains a mystery, I have learned that I am not good at the domestic arts.  I am getting a little antsy, and wanting something sort of productive to do. I obviously still haven’t found what I’m looking for.  My only hope is that when I undertake my next adventure, I might find something that I can actually do – and show people without being totally embarrassed by my results!

And so the adventure of finding my new retired self continues….

hand-quilting adventure



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