Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ramblings and a quilt

Whew! The birthday brunch I hosted today is over and it went well. I am so relieved.

I like to entertain, but I don't feel like I am very good at it. I am fairly confident in my cooking skills and the menu planning. But I get all insecure about my dishes, table linens (or lack of the right ones and the ones I have not matching my plates...) and my serving dishes, decorating the table....weird stuff. I try to tell myself that people aren't worried about all of that. They are here to enjoy time with friends. So, after a little pep talk to myself and a good reminder from my friend Rhonda ("just remember, you are among friends") I decided I'd get done what I could get done and be happy with that. It all came together lovely. Brunch was fairly simple, but when my guests were here, I was able to sit down and actually RELAX and enjoy the company.

I think I see a trend starting in my neighborhood that I am so excited about. We are taking turns hosting a meal. Last month Amy hosted a birthday lunch for John, another neighbor, who turned 80. We all joked that we should do this every week. Tanya joked that it was her birthday next month. Well, that was what today was about. Today Tanya started talking about doing a soup supper in January. I am so excited that this idea seems to be snowballing. I'm starting to feel a great sense of community building right here in my little neighborhood. It is thrilling me, since I had wanted to do something very similar to this the last place I lived. Now it is happening here. I have some great neighbors...some retired and some with young children. It's really a nice mix. I have never known so many of my neighbors. I like it. A lot. Sorry I am going on and on...can you tell that I am more than a little excited about this?

My little one isn't feeling so good today. :(

Now, on to something quilt related....I decided I'd post photos of a quilt that I made last year for a friend of mine.
Kristin was a master gardener, thus the color scheme and the quilting design, which I did free motion on my junky old sewing machine. (I won't get into all of that today, I'll just say that I have had more than my fair share of sewing machine woes for my young life.)


Roxanne said...

I definitely know how you feel about entertaining. I stress myself out so bad. But, you have the right idea - to be able to sit and relax once your guests arrive, that's the whole point right! Your neighborhood sounds wonderful. I didn't think those existed anymore.

To answer your question on the fleece rug...it is a little bit messy while you cut and knit it, but honestly not as bad as I expected it to be. My scissors still have a red fuzz layer, but that's about it. [Please note I said scissors! I refused to use the rotary cutter method and have perfectly straight strips. Completely not neccesary with this project. I enlisted Lee to cut strips in front of the TV instead.] I tied all my strips together as I knit them, with the thinking that I would just leave them and have a "tied" looking rug, you know like if you tied a quilt. But, now that I have gotten into it, I love the texture so much that the tied ends distract, so in that case I wish I would have sewed all the strips together. It would take forever though, and really the tied ends can be weaved in really easy. So, hope that answers your questions! It is really fun to make and as an added bonus, it keeps you really warm while you work on it!

Linda said...

I understand about wanting things to be perfect when you have guests, but if last week taught me anything it is that you have to look at the big picture. What is going to matter 20 years from now. Did the napkins, tablecloth and centerpiece all coordinate, or did you make a human connection with those around you. We spend a lot of time worrying about things that we don't need to. I am just as guilty of it as anyone else.

I think that's great that you are developing connections with those in your neighborhood. I know how hard it can be to move to another state and leave a good portion of your support system behind. I still struggle with that and I have lived here for 10 years now. I am really glad for you that you are developing good, close friends that are close by for you.

I can't do it this year, but I am thining about doing either a Christmas party next year, or a neighborhood cookie swap. I'd like to do a party, but for that I would just invite family and friends. I like the cookie swap idea because then I could maybe meet some of the neighbors. I'm not sure I'd be up for both, though. I don't know, I'll see how I feel about it next fall, lol!

Joanna said...

You sound like me. I get all stressed out about entertaining too in the hours leading up to it all. And then the people come, and it's really fine. And they go, and I'm all..."ahhh, I should do that more often." Wonderful that you are getting to know your neighbors!

For a junky old sewing machine, it does some pretty amazing stitching. Nice job!

notasecretagent said...

I agree, the leaves are beautiful.

I get very stressed about entertaining as well, probably because it's just Me on the line. :) I think it's a great thing to remember that people aren't there necesearily to be entertained, but to spend time with their friends. It sounds like it went well!

Anonymous said...

You sound like you have a lovely neighborhood. What a great way to get to know your neighbors. I also like to have everything looking great - but I don't get too stressed. The worst thing is that once you set the standard - you really place yourself under pressure the next time to come up with something just as lovely etc. So the moral of the story is: just relax and enjoy your friends - I just lost a close friend a couple of weeks ago and it was just her company and friendship that was important and that I miss!

Kelly O. said...

I'm enjoying reading your backposts and I couldn't help but comment on this quilt. Your "leaf" quilting is incredible!