(not so) EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge

So we’re now on Day 6 of the EZ Dresden Quilting Challenge and by now you know all of the details and the PRIZES and have seen some really talented quilters in the likes of Lee, Kati, Victoria, TanyaVal, and Leigh. Are you inspired yet to join the challenge, or are you still on the fence about committing (although we’ll have all summer to stitch)? If you’re already on board GREAT! But if you’re still undecided because of time, or overcommitment, or whatever, I offer the following insight that will hopefully get you to change your mind.

The Idea

I am process-driven. I am not in a race to finish a quilt a week, or even a month (as my guild members can attest at my lack of show and tell). Combine that with the fact that I am a list maker. I make lists. I’ve always been this way, but started making lists even more frequently in college. It is not uncommon for me to write something on my “to do” list that I’ve already completed just so I can feel like I accomplished something cross it off.

I currently have 18 “planned” quilts on my list. 18. That were in my head, and then made it to the list. Not to mention the fact that the list needs to be updated. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own hobby. How wacky is that?

So when the idea came about to organize and participate in a Dresden Plate quilt challenge, honestly, I felt a little lukewarm about it. Don’t get me wrong–I LOVE Dresdens. And I love my friends at EZ Quilting, especially Darlene Zimmerman, so how could I not participate in a challenge to celebrate her 20th Anniversary of making my quilting life easier? So the big question for me was how do I fit this challenge in to my “quilt schedule?” Currently it is on the list as number eight:

#8 EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge: “Gingham” inspired, navy, off-white, grey, beige, brown, color (yellow? Red, orange (sm. Gingham))? Asian? Use real Japanese. Homemade (Gwen 37 Sketches) gingham.

How is that for a ridiculously complex description of a quilt? I clearly had some initial ideas about fabrics and colors. Although what I had in my head then, was not what I am working on now. Continue reading

On Birthdays and Easter

Today is my birthday. I am 40. Forty. The BIG 4-0. And it doesn’t feel a bit different. It felt different when I turned 30. Many things changed. But now–things just seem to get better and better. I hope this is a trend.

I remember when I was a little kid and realized that there was a chance my birthday would fall on Easter. This was really exciting for an 8-yr old. Cake AND a holiday, one celebrated with dyed eggs, chocolate, and LOTS of candy. Sign. Me. Up!

So I went about trying to calculate when this would occur. By my simple addition I figured it would happen when I was about 12 or so. WRONG. Little did I know that (western) Easter was a “roaming holiday,” and varied based upon the full moon and the spring equinox. The Catholics were really on to something there–keep the kids guessing. The Orthodox Christians (who weren’t at the time) thought otherwise.

Low and behold, my birthday wasn’t on Easter until 1998. I was in graduate school in Idaho and ALL BY MYSELF. It was a bummer. I celebrated with one of those half-circle grocery store cakes frosted to look like a pastel bunny. YUM.

In 2009 I celebrated my birthday while on my honeymoon in Japan. On that day we took our first bullet-train ride (my first train ride EVER) from Tokyo to Takayama. We stayed at a fabulous Japanese Inn (Tanabe Ryokan) and ate a delicious kaiseki (traditional, seasonal, multi-course) meal. Cake wasn’t on the menu, but raw squid tentacles were! YUM (not)!

Tanabe KaisekiMy birthday fell on Easter again in 2009 and I don’t really remember anything about it. We were in transition. Transition in jobs, housing, life. I think our brains try to block some things to protect us. That was a difficult time.

My birthday will fall on Easter one more time in my lifetime–2020–I’ll be 48. What will I be doing then? Where will I be? In transition? In Japan (wouldn’t that be something!)? I can’t wait to see what the future holds. But for now I’m just going to savor being 40. It seems like a pleasant-enough number. Don’t you think?