What is “YOUR THING?”

Everybody has their own “thing.”  Some of us have more than one.  My “thing” is quilting by hand.  I can spot a quilt one hundred miles away.  I can look at different quilts and with some degree of certainty, tell you the name of the pattern.  Sitting in my leather chair with my feet up and stitching with a quilt on my lap puts me into that happy place… it relaxes me, provides a sense of calm and gives me a sense of purpose and pride.  Some people have asked me why I choose to hand quilt.  “Don’t you own a sewing machine?  You should go buy one so that you can finish your sewing faster,” they say.  OMG, no way!   My goal is not to quilt fast.  That is the opposite of what I want to do!  I choose to go slow.  I will not put my foot on the accelerator to finish a project quickly.  I want slow.  The world is too fast already.

My husband has several “Things.”  He is a 5th generation Woodworker, preparing to retire soon.  While it is his job, it is so much more than that.  He takes great pride in building every piece of furniture JUST SO… doing it in the traditional way of his ancestors, who started the family business back in England eons ago.

Another “Thing” my hubby has is motorcycles.  We have two living in our garage (hey, this is Michigan and it’s freezing out!).  Oh, let’s not forget his “Thing” for music.  You could grab a song and play it for him and he would most likely know a) who wrote it b) who is singing it, and c) who played which instrument in the group playing that song.  Yup, music is his “Thing.”

If you scroll back to the top of this post, there’s a question there for you.  What is “Your Thing?”

Here’s another “Thing” to ponder.  If you were buying a different house to live in, what would you need to have to support “Your Thing?”

I need:  

  • lots of fabric storage space
  • good lighting
  • lots of electrical outlets for irons, a radio or stereo, my laptop computer, sewing machines (yes, I do own a few), etc.
  • A nice floor that I can sweep or vacuum
  • A design wall that I can use to pin up portions of the quilt while I am working on it.
  • A heat source.  My current basement is freezing.
  • A comfortable lounging chair so I can sit and hand quilt if I choose
  • A wall separating my sewing area from the storage area of the basement.  (My husband would say “just get the crap out of there and the problem is solved.”  Ignore him.

For hubby Dean’s “Thing” for music, he would need:

  • A room that is not too warm.

Multiple shelving units:

  • At least one unit for all the LPs he owns from back in the day (we won’t say which day we’re talking about)
  • One shelving unit for cassette tapes
  • At least one unit for CD’s … no, better make that two units, floor to ceiling height
  • Shelf space for a turn-table
  • Space for a cassette player/recorder
  • A CD player
  • Dividers for all of the above (you know… so you can arrange them by either musician’s name, name of the band, release date of the album, style of music, etc.)
  • A comfy chair in which to sit and listen to music
  • A table to sit at to do crossword puzzles while listening to music
  • A collection of “perfect pens” to use on crossword puzzles
  • Space for his Mac, desk and chair

For hubby Dean’s “Thing” for motorcycles, he would need:

  • A heated, lighted barn, 40 ft x 60 ft…
  • Oh, never mind the barn.  We can’t afford this thing and all the bikes that would eventually come to live with him in this barn.  Yes, you read that right.

So if you are thinking about buying a new home, think carefully about “Your Thing.”  Make a list of what you would require so that your needs are met.  Share that list with your Realtor, spouse,  and family.  Consider the other people in your home, and what the important “Things” in their lives are.  Those matter, too.

 

 

 

Realtor/Quilter Caron is Back!!!

Yes, I have been away from the blog world for quite some time now.  “Why,” you ask? Several reasons.  My hubby and I have been dealing with elderly parents, those both in and out of assisted living facilities… and managing their homes, properties and belongings, etc.  So we have been taking care of our OWN yard, in addition to the yards of our parents and that of my husband’s business.

I have been trying to squeeze in some hand quilting time when I can, but then started getting pain in my right hand which prevented me from stitching.  I’ve seen a specialist, and for two months did not quilt at all (UGH!).  It turns out I have arthritis in my hand, so I have some things I have to do to learn the best way for me to proceed as a quilter.

I am also working as a Realtor in the Mid-Michigan area, specifically working as a Buyer’s Agent for the Lucy Ham Group, Inc. in Flushing, Michigan.  I’m loving being back in real estate (I did this in another life many moons ago) and I’m adjusting to the crazy schedule of being a Realtor.

To top this all off, my husband and I are facing that time in our lives when things change.  We’re not getting any younger.  Hubby is ready to build a new studio on our property where he can be creative, and where he can enjoy doing all the things he has wanted to do but never had the time for.  We are both looking at finishing our basement so that I have a proper sewing area that I have been wanting for a long time.  Since we built this house in 1996 (ish), my sewing area has been in an unfinished basement with cement block walls, a few random tables and several extension cords.  I need to do better than that, and I’m ready for it!

How does this impact you?  I’m going to be writing more on this blog, about a variety of different things: quilting, finishing the basement, creating a sewing area, building hubby a studio out back, about living life as a Realtor, and… OH YES!  Let’s not forget our newest family member, NOODLE, our new dog!  More about Noodle in another post.

So stay tuned, prepare for some changes in 2017, and here we go!!!

 

Be Creative!

I don’t own a lightbox… but I DO own a small glass-top table that is in the bay window of our kitchen.  It’s usually our main table for meals, but it works wonderfully for marking quilt tops!

First, I take a small lamp out of my bedroom and plug it in near the table.

Turn the light on.

marking1

Tape pattern to the table.  Lay quilt top over the table, and weigh it down with a few stacks of books.  Close the blinds, and VOILA!  You have an impromptu light box!

marking2

See how well it works?

marking4

Trace the pattern carefully with your marker of choice.

Lay the quilt top on the floor to admire.

marking5

Ahhhh, yes, this one will be fun to hand quilt!

Balderstone

I really enjoy looking at Strippy quilts.  You can see some beautiful examples of Strippy creations on my Pinterest board called

Welsh and Durham Quilts

My favorite part of quilting is doing the actual quilting… by hand.  Because Strippy quilts are all about hand quilting, I thought it was time to create my OWN Strippy quilt!

My husband family on his mother’s side is from Lancaster, England, right in the heart of the “Northern Country” where one would have seen Strippy quilts on a regular basis.

Robert Balderstone (born before 1849 in England) married Elizabeth Parker.  Together, they had a son, also named Robert, b. 1864 in Lancaster.  The younger Robert married Gertrude Douglas Lunt, who was b. in 1877 in Manchester, Lancaster Registration District,  England.  My husband’s mother was named Gertrude after her.

My newest quilt project is a Strippy quilt in the traditional style, in two colors: blue and tan.  I have named it “Balderstone” after my husband’s ancestors.  The tan shows up as almost white here, but it is from the Pepper Cory line of fabric called “Peppered Cotton.”  It has a tan and almost gold look to it.

Balderstone.Begins

Today I began marking the quilting patterns on the quilt.  It is a little tedious, but I enjoy it.  I am marking it with Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers.  Yes, the lines will wash out completely.  I used them on another quilt and love how they work.  I also use the chalk pencil (white chalk pencil in a red case) for marking guides on the darker fabric for placement.  Works like a charm and rubs/washes off easily.

Durham Feathers

Stay tuned to progress updates on this quilt in future posts!

It’s Difficult to Stay Focused…

Once upon a time I worked as a Realtor in Michigan.  I did that for about 7-8 years.  Then I took time off to do something else.  And now, I’m back working as part of the Lucy Ham Group team in Flushing, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.  But now I’m discovering something… I’m taking clients through lots of houses.  Lots of houses means that quite often, there are quilts on beds, quilts on walls, sewing machines sitting out, fabric stacked in corners…

What’s a Realtor who quilts supposed to do?  Focus, girl, focus.

2016: A New Year of Change

Dear Hubby and I celebrated the end of 2015 in a glorious manner… Going to bed before midnight.  There is nothing special about that, as that is our usual habit seven days each week.  We watched the movie “Mad Max,” and while I didn’t totally understand it, it kept my attention and at least I didn’t fall asleep in the middle of it.  It did, however, scare our cat.

There is nothing wrong with habits… a routine can be comforting, and goodness knows we have a lot of routines in our home.  But there comes a time when the routine needs to be shaken up and stirred.  Thus begins our new year.

Dear Hubby has made a change in his work life as he gradually eases his way into retirement.  Oh, he’ll keep being the Woodworker/Refinisher, but in a different manner… a more relaxed pace.  I don’t see him ever stopping his love for woodworking… he loves to build furniture and experiment with design, and he is fantastic at that.  Just as quilting is a part of who I am, woodworking is a major part of who he is. How he creates and where he creates, however, is up for change.  It is a change that is both exciting and a bit scary.  I think all things new and unknown have a tendency to be that way, don’t you?

2015 found me leaving one job that was very stressful and returning to a career that I found exciting some 7-8 years ago.  I joined a real estate team in town that I have the utmost respect for, and am surrounded by like-minded people who are supportive, fun, full of integrity, and faithful Christians.  That is important to me.  My schedule is somewhat set by me, and I love the freedom it offers.

There is a possibility that Dear Hubby and I will be moving into a different home.  It is exciting, yet a little unsettling, as nothing is written in stone. I love to dream, and am envisioning various new kitchen designs, hardwood floors, a big sliding glass door, and so much more.   Time will tell if they come into fruition.

I think for 2016, the word that best seems to set our goal for the new year is FLEXIBILITY.  How about you?  Do you have a word in mind that could be a focus for 2016?

flexibility

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

 

 

A Strange Christmas

As I write this, Christmas is a little under a week away, and the wrapping of gifts has begun.  It’s been a crazy few weeks around our house, with too much going on and too many changes taking place.  My goal was to be posting on this blog daily through the end of the year, but I’ve been lucky if I remember to brush my teeth on a daily basis.  Yeah, it’s been that crazy.

I started a new job… something that I had done previously, but took a 7 year vacation from .  I’m back in real estate, and loving it at the Lucy Ham Group, Inc. in Flushing, Michigan.  You hear about businesses  and organizations working as a team a lot, but never have I witnessed a business that truly knows how it is done.  Until now.  This group really pulls it off, and I am honored to be a part of it.  It is nice to feel so welcomed and made to feel like an integral part of the whole.  Thanks, guys!

This will be the first Christmas that all four of our parents will not be in attendance, and it feels strange.  My mother has been gone almost 8 years, and my father spends his holiday in a warmer location.  My mother-in-law passed away two years ago, and my father-in-law is now unable to attend due to dementia and physical problems.

However, on the plus side, this is our grandson Carson’s first Christmas.  At four months old, he will be wondering what all the excitement is about.  We’re really looking forward to this!

1stChristmas

Jacob, Fischer and Samantha will be around to help their little cousin through the excitement.  What a joy this will be for the entire Mosey bunch!

Here’s hoping the next few days calm down so we can breathe.  How about you?  What is going on in your world?