catching up... from indiana!

Hi everybody! I'm BACK. I can't believe that I've been gone nearly two months. Yikes. I'll tell you all about my move to Indiana very soon. But let me show you what I've been SEWING!

* Warning - lots and lots of text coming up. Remember, I am catching up!

I went without sewing right up until last weekend. I wasn't feeling the need to sew - unbelievable, right? I was so caught up in organizing the apartment and finally being able to cook and bake in my new kitchen. Cookbooks replaced quilt books, like this book and this one, too. But then suddenly, I felt that I NEEDED to start sewing again. And now I'm right back to where I was before. Only this time, I'm going to try to slow it down and enjoy sewing more than I did before.

So. I couldn't decide which abandoned project to sew first. I found that some of those projects that I abandoned are better left undone. New home, new quilt projects! But I really wanted to resume the Fig Tree mystery block-of-the-month quilt. I was only 4 months behind. Totally do-able, right? First, my sewing machine got a long-overdue tuneup. I am THIS CLOSE to being caught up.  It's fun to begin putting chunks of the quilt top together. 

And I made a little switcheroo. Applique has never been my strength, and I'm probably too lazy to spend hours learning to do it correctly. But this quilt has some appliqued blocks. Groan. After agonizing over an appliqued basket for months (I am not kidding) I finally decided to change the block. Of course I gave myself some rules - the alternate block needed to use a Fig Tree pattern, and I would use the same fabrics that were recommended by Joanna. After several more days spent reviewing every single Fig Tree pattern that I own (and even buying more patterns) I settled on a schoolhouse block. It's from the Fig Tree Houses book. And there it is in a taupe and peach print. I love it so much and I think it will make my quilt just a wee bit different from everybody else's quilts. I have a few more blocks that I'm going to change, too. Just wait till you see them!

Now about that move.

The decision to leave NYC was actually very easy. I had lived there for exactly 30 years and in the same apartment for exactly 20 years. And I had one of those milestone birthdays in the past year. Lots of round numbers, know what I mean? I felt like that was a sign. Paul accepted a job in Indiana and I said sure, let's go. It'll be a change. But I didn't know if I could handle leaving. See, my dream was always to live in NYC. And I was lucky to be able to live my dream for 30 years. I love New York, I really do. I had so many unbelievable experiences there and I could definitely write a book, as they say. But for all the sparkly glamour of the city, there's also the dirtiness, rudeness, expensiveness and small-apartment-ness.

The Mayflower people packed up our stuff into a BIG truck. I said goodbye to my apartment - those walls have ears - and I felt NOTHING. No tears, no sadness. Just hope for the future. We put Chloe and Mia into their carriers and got into the car for a very long drive. (Note - cats do not like hotel rooms in creepy, deserted towns in Ohio just off the highway with only a fly-infested McDonald's for dinner.)

Our furniture took 28 days to get here. Apparently, Mayflower had a "shortage of truck drivers." Really?! Their communication was terrible. Their service was terrible. And their prices are very high.

And yet.

I love being here! Every day I think about how radically different my life is. You know - it's all that stuff that most people have, but I never had in NYC. I feel like a real person getting to use all of the modern conveniences here that I went without before: a full-sized shower and tub, a full-sized stove, oven and fridge. A dishwasher (gasp) and a laundry closet (yay) and a balcony where I can grow plants and read. Central air. I can get out of bed without walking into a wall. I can finally use my Kitchenaid mixer, and I've bought lots of new kitchen stuff. I have a home office slash sewing room slash guest bedroom.

The outdoor air is cleaner. I can see stars now (city skyscrapers light up the sky too much, making stars "invisible.") The hummingbirds (and wasps) spent the summer hanging out at our hummingbird feeder. Local events take place at the 4-H center, and we've gone to an antique show and a quilt show there. The high school football games are broadcast on the radio. People are very friendly here - the grocery store checkout people usually ask what I'm planning to cook with my purchase. My new favorite stores have become Target , TJ Maxx and Marshalls instead of Bloomingdale's, Ralph Lauren and Gucci (seriously, have you seen all the cute stuff at Target? Amazing!) Paducah and Nashville are very close, so they'll be places that we can visit in the future.

And I am obsessed with buying new stuff for the home.

The (slight) downside? I miss my old barber. I miss fancy restaurants, but we have almost every national chain restaurant here - all except for my beloved Cheesecake Factory (oh pleeeease come here!) I cannot even tell you how many times I've been to the local Dairy Queen for their Peanut Buster Parfaits and Cotton Candy Blizzards.

And I do not miss NYC at all! I flew to NY a few weeks ago for a meeting. I arrived a day early so that I could visit my favorite restaurants and shops. I even had dinner in my old neighborhood, and I was shocked by how dirty and noisy it was. I couldn't wait to get on the plane and leave. New York was no longer my home. The song that played through my head as I walked around the city was Madonna's "This Used To Be My Playground." But no longer.

Indiana is my home now. And I'm glad to be here.

Thank you so much for the emails and comments asking me if I'm ok and if I'm planning to return. I missed you all. I missed sewing. And I'm happy to be back.

See you very soon! There's a new Snapshots block coming later this week.