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Its Wednesday already! How time flies when you are enjoying yourself! How it flies even when you’re not! As you get older time just seems to fly! And unfortunately today I am yet another year older! Today is my birthday. Nothing much planned – just a private little happy dance as its five years since my heart attacks and my cardiologist has said that he is very pleased with me.

For a while after the initial three attacks we were prepared for a serious one on the right side of the heart which is considerably more serious than attacks on the left side. It was like living under a cloud, one that could descend at any time and without warning. I had so many quilts I wanted to make and as I recovered I made lots and designed many more.

For the nine months I was off work I was like a machine. I kept on churning out quilt after quilt feeling like I was desperate to get the quilts inside me made and out of my system. It also kept me sane – nine months of relative inactivity would have been more than I could bear but I could quilt, I could design and that was exactly what I did.

I returned to work but was quickly out of work again, I was seen as a liability and I was bullied out of my job and at the time I felt it was the worst thing to happen to me. However, I quickly realised that this cloud had a silver lining and I set up my company, Neil Chisholm Designs.

They say that if you do a job that you love, you will never do a day’s work again in your life. Well I am so lucky to be able to say that is so true. Its taken time but I now quilt, design, teach and write articles. I am loving what I do.

I don’t churn out the quilts like I used to, there doesn’t seem to be the urgent need or the threat that there once was but in comparison to many I do make a lot of quilts in a year. I also design a lot of quilts too, not all of them get made but I feel that some quilts aren’t meant to be made! Sometimes, just designing them is all I was supposed to do. Maybe someone else will make them, maybe that’s part of my legacy that I leave.

I am galloping along with General Jac and now wondering what I will do next. I have looked at my design file and have a few there that I might tackle next. One in particular has my attention, Tulips in a Vase.

Tulips in Vase

I don’t like the vase, but I do like the effect the tulips make right round the quilt. I will redesign the vase – that’s easy to do.

Another design I like is a peony quilt I found being auctioned. Again the blooms are taken right to the edge of the block and this time they form a secondary pattern.

 Peony quilt 1870

I also have the precision piecing challenge quilt to construct. Although I bought the fabric for the sashing and cornerstones, I’m having second thoughts about it. Friends came round on Sunday and we had boxes of my fabrics out looking at various options. At the end of trialling various fabrics we came back to the original purchases I made but none of us were 100% convinced they were the right fabrics.

I also suggested that the borders for General Jac might be altered. I put it to my Facebook friends and we all had differing opinions. I need to change it just slightly as the border currently is one long bias strip right round the quilt. I will need to cover the joins and this might be where I introduce the central red rose again but in a much smaller version but even that I’m not sure about.

Decisions, decisions, decisions! I don’t know what I shall do next or what I shall do with the red and white quilt nor what I shall do about the borders of General Jac.

What I do know, however, is that I am lucky to be here and making these quilts. I may not like being another year older, but better that than the alternative! So thank you modern medicine, thank you Marcus for your love and for nursing me back to health and thank you to whoever it is up there who is watching over me.

Happy birthday me!

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