Tuesday, April 11, 2017

First 100 Days

Not the 100 days you're thinking of. I am referring to the first 100 days of my retirement from a fantastic, dream career in medicine. This blog has never been about my medical career, but you know that. I've written in this blog about sewing, quilting, creating, and a few random comments about my family. Since nobody that I know of actually reads this blog, I am really just journaling, so excuse me for not journaling for an entire year and then just dropping in as if nothing has changed. So much has changed!!!
I had the luxury of finding a fantastic replacement for myself at work, and then working with her for five months while she became familiar with our work and our people. I was able to do some long term projects that had been on my wishlist for years, and I left knowing that the patients, the staff, the partners and the hospital were all in the excellent hands of Dr. Kira Wendorf. In all ways, she has made my promises come true, (I'd promised that she'd be better than I was at everything.)

Then, I left. I quilted, I sewed, I played my cello, and I exercised. I went on long-postponed trips with friends, I had lunch with friends, I listened to my daughters, I took classes, I went to a conference at my alma mater about pushing boundaries, and I entertained very small job options. I undertook a remodeling project in my sewing studio that I'd put off for years. It's not done, but it's really looking close.

I can happily and enthusiastically say that I'm only getting started. My "to do" lists are sometimes shorter than they were before retirement, but they're still full of things that are important to me. The difference is, I no longer see them as stressful near-impossibilities, rather a full menu of choices that all look good, and can all be mine.

What got me back to my blog was something completely unrelated and very minor, which at this point seems silly to mention, so I'll do it anyway, while I think more about how I want to fill in the gap of a year and a quarter.
These are my three examples of a block called the Brasstown Star, which are this month's block for Quilts of Valor Stars, a FB group I just joined. Instead of the old fashioned way of doing the "square in square," I used Anita Grossman Solomon's method, with the paper pattern which guides cutting of pieces. I had to draw my own pattern since the size I needed, (4" finished) differs from the two provided on her Craftsy class.
What I learned was that she tells you to use a full quarter inch seam allowance because the square otherwise ends up a little large, and the points are therefore a little endangered when piecing the block together. I was able to cheat my way into sharp corners, but, lesson learned. I don't think it saved me time, since making the pattern, scanning it, scanning it again with the settings on "actual size," printing, and annotating, took longer than the old fashioned way would have. Mrs. Chang would be proud that there was virtually no fabric waste with AGS's method. Time waste? Well, that's not as obvious since it doesn't have to be swept into the trash bin like fabric waste for all to see.

Big picture though: I spent a lot of time and saved some fabric. What do I have more than enough of? Fabric. What's in short supply? Time. So, though it was a fun exercise, I have to limit how I allow myself to go down these rabbit holes!

Next up? My new toy...an Innova Longarm Quilting machine, and the work it's been doing to get through my backlog of unfinished quilts.