Ah, the vicissitudes of the freelance writing life. Getting paid is often the hardest part, after the carpal tunnel from excessive typing and the vitamin D deficiency from never leaving the house. And for me, there's also the part where I get to tell people what I do for a "living," and they're impressed until I tell them I write about quilting. And it gets even better when I tell them I write humor about quilting. They cannot back away fast enough.
So when the new neighbors across the street moved in this past weekend, I was hoping to put off the "humor writing is TOO a legitimate career" talk as long as possible, but my fool husband is too proud of me to let that happen. As we were chatting with the mom of the family, she asked if I happened to have a needle and thread she could borrow to repair a Halloween costume, and as I went to retrieve it, not mentioning that I have thread and needles coming out my ass, I heard my husband say, "So did Megan tell you all about her quilting?" By the time I returned, she had been primed by his blabbing to ask me the usual polite questions, but she didn't have that same "oh, so you make a little money but you don't do anything important" attitude that most people around here seem to have. Maybe it's because they're from Florida. And later, as we were going trick-or-treating with our kids, we actually had a real conversation about it, and when I told her that my first article for QH was called the Zen of Crappy Quilting, she laughed out loud and said, "Now that sounds like my kind of quilting!"
AND - they have a son my daughter's age and a little girl my younger daughter's age, plus a bonus nine-year-old daughter. That almost makes up for not being paid and not being able to feel my fingertips.
Over the past week, I managed to finish the top for the table runner. I suppose I should know this by now, but I really should beware of patterns that I get free off the internet. They are not always written with the average moron in mind, though they are often written by an average moron. If I were a more experienced sewist (and I love that new word I keep seeing: sewist; it sounds so prissy) I would have remembered that applique can cause some shrinkage of the background fabric. As it was, I did not remember that, and as a result, my sashing was all way too big. In most instances, I was able to make it work, but one panel was just too small, so it had to be left out, making this a four-panel table runner instead of a five-panel.
Now I am attempting to quilt it, which basically means I am teetering on the edge of ruining it completely. I'm starting by stitching in the ditch around all the squares, and it already looks like someone kept bumping into me while I was sewing. I'm not sure what else I can do beyond that which won't look messy and stupid. I truly hope that someday I can approach the quilting of even a small project like this without so much nail biting.
ONE HOUR LATER
Harper just wanted to use the computer, so I took the opportunity to finish the last few in-the-ditch lines I had to do. I managed to fuck up all four lines in exactly the same way, without ever noticing what was happening.
This is why I have to write humor instead of "important" stuff.