On Thursday evenings I drive a few towns over to meet up with a very small group of women for a couple hours of quilting, I call it “Stitch~N~Bitch” time. We each bring something we are working on but sometimes its something other than quilting and on rare occasions one of us brings nothing at all; the cold, darkness of winter nights doesn’t beckon one to venture out after a work day and it doesn’t spur creativity but we still like to meet up for a few laughs anyway.
I’ve been sewing off and on all of my life but I ‘took up’ quilting about a decade ago (It sure doesn’t seem that long!) and I have, to my disappointment and embarrassment a lot of UFOs or, “UnFinished Objects”. I don’t know where that quilting acronym comes from but I don’t care for it; it should be unfinished projects but UFP doesn’t have the same ring to it, I guess. When I resumed sewing last summer, one of my life-after-the-trail decisions to renew some hobbies, I vowed that I would not buy one more item ~ especially those irresistibly tempting BOM (Block-Of the- Month) kits. I said it right in front of the whole group and they, predictably, laughed. Quilters, not unlike other hobby enthusiasts, just can’t help but collect; fabric, kits, thread, books, gadgets designed to make quilting faster and easier. I reasoned that I have so many unfinished kits already and a lot more fabric besides, its foolish to spend money on these things and not finish them. So instead of being enticed by beautiful fabrics and accessories – I said I was going to finish all my projects beginning with the ones I’d already started and then move on to those that are still in the purchased bags…with receipts. I’m pretty strong willed when I put my mind to it and so when the girls would come to group with their latest acquired possessions, I wasn’t even tempted. Sure, its nice to have something new & fresh to work on but all I had to do was visualize the storage containers at home full of fabric and what-not that easily totals hundreds of dollars, perhaps more, and that quashed any longing I might have about buying something new. Besides, I’m unemployed and I have no income.
Well,…one night about three months ago a couple of the girls were excitedly talking about a new BOM coming out in January 2018, a winter theme called Solstice, which one or two of them had displayed on the screen of their smart phones ~ so naturally I checked it out. I love winter. I love snow. I love Adirondack chairs. The quilt is made up of five blocks, varying sizes and all containing a winter scene. I thought it was a wall-hanging size and I loved it ~~ so I hurriedly signed up at the quilt shoppe with my name and credit card to receive one of the only twenty the owner was going to pre-order.
I was so excited to start the new year with a fresh new project and I vowed to myself that I was going to put each new block together before the next one arrived so it would be a completed quilt in six months. A few days later I checked out the YouTube videos that were advertised as tutorials for the blocks. The first thing I noticed was the blocks were much bigger than I’d thought so this would be a ‘full size’ quilt and the other thing I noticed was that the videos demonstrated a technique that included specific colored thread to be used (or not, quilter’s choice). I sent off an email to the shoppe and asked about the thread and, eventually, I was informed that the thread was not part of the BOM package but would have to be purchased separately. If I wanted them I’d have to order soon (due to processing and availability) but I’d get a discount for the complete order of all the thread for all the blocks.
Now I don’t have any receipts or other specific information right in front of me but here’s the approximate breakdown of costs: each block is $35.00 x 5 plus the sixth month is the fabric to finish the quilt (borders and back) another $35.00; the thread, at discount $110.00. Then there is the batting and iron adhesive to put the blocks together (appliqué) for additional $$. Approximate total = > $320.00 spread over six months.
That bothered me a little bit. I felt a twinge of guilt for caving, buying more of what I don’t need. It’s a lot of money…especially when you are not bringing home the bacon. However, I anticipated that by then I would be working so I didn’t think much more about it.
Now it’s January and the first block has arrived but a job has not. I’m squirming much more now. I try to rationalize that I’ll most likely be working soon and, right now, I can get the thread and the block kit but I’m leery. I feel stupid. I ponder what my options are and I berate myself for making the decision to obligate myself for such an expense.
Thursday comes and I’m not up to going to meet the girls because my back spasms are only tolerable with the narcotics I’m taking and they make me a little dizzy. I sent a text to one of them and ask her if she would inquire of the group and see if anyone who did not order the kits and thread would like to buy mine. She texted back that she might be interested in the BOM and someone else is interested in the thread. We can discuss next week. Now I’m feeling like an ass, like I’m putting them on the spot so to speak. I text back that I’ll only do it if she really WANTS the kit, it’s not that I don’t want it or that I’ve changed my mind its that I still am not working and I feel foolish for obligating myself to the cost of the project ~ “just so you know.”
She responded. It was so nice. She said she realizes why and that she did almost sign up for it herself but before Christmas she was spending money elsewhere and now she’d like it. The other woman regretted not having ordering the thread and is going to share it between them so “things have a way of working out”. She said she just hopes I find a good job and that things work out great for me.
Good friends — it feels good to have them. In little more than the blink of an eye they came through for me. I still feel like a heel and I’ll never make the mistake of ‘living above my means’ again. I’m relieved.
Your prompt for January 19th, 2018, brought to you by my dear friend and fellow Canadian, Kerry, is “Darkness.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Kerry at her blog, “Her Headache,” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link: https://kkherheadache.wordpress.com/