A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
Finally….. another finished quilt. No, I didn’t finish piecing the three quilts. I felt I needed to get back onto the quilting machine for a couple of days to make myself feel better. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when piecing quilts isn’t going according to plan.
Picture quilts have their own difficulty in quilting them. This one has a papery type picture so no quilting can be done on it. I did simple stitch in the ditch around the picture then a lacy design to make it stand out among the background.
Then I did a meander in the background like the customer requested. I also sewed the binding onto the front so she can sew it to the back by hand.
Here is a view from the back to show better details of the quilting.
I hear more and more from my customers and friends how the down turn of the economy has hit them hard. Their investments have dwindled down and down. No one knows how long this is going to be getting worse. I hear them say they don’t know what to do.
I must admit, I’ve never had an investment account. I never learned how to invest. When I was growing up I was shipped from one relative to another and into foster homes or orphanages. I never spent long at these places before being shipped off to somewhere else. I wasn’t a bad child, my mother had a mental illness that had me going from home to outside care then back home again when my mother was well.
No one; in all the places I lived; ever took the time to teach me anything more than to have a simple savings for rainy days. Living on credit was the one thing I learned that should be avoided like a plague! I was taught to live on cash only except for a mortgage. As long as I can remember I’ve been a paycheck to paycheck person. I learned to stretch a budget when things were tight and to buy wisely when we had a little extra cash.
In my family women were taught how to handle a household budget… but nothing more. Right this minute, I’m not sure that was a curse or a blessing. While my friends and customers are looking more and more stressed over the economy taking away their investments; I see it as nothing more than making do with a much tighter household budget. Over the years I’ve watched some of my customers go on summer long vacations in other countries or buy 500,000 dollar winter homes in other cities. I did envy their wealth and being able to buy just for the sake of buying; but, right now I’m glad I never had those things. It would be much too painful to loose it.
The economy is hurting me too; but, in a different way than my friends or customers with investment accounts. I’m not seeing my savings dwindle or loosing a vacation home; I’m seeing my household budget get stretched tighter than ever before. While other people are watching stock prices going down; I’m busy watching grocery prices, gas prices, utility prices, and quilting supply prices going up and up and up. The higher things get, the less I can afford to buy. The recent wind storm and the loss of everything in my freezer hurt me just as much as someone loosing investment money. My food was my investment.
Over the years, while other people were studying stock market reports, I was studying cookbooks and alternative living books learning how to stretch a tight budget. While they were learning how to make their money grow, I was learning how to make a city backyard garden grow. While others were investing to become wealthy, I was investing in next year’s food storage. I’m no longer able to have a backyard garden. There are way too many big tree roots to dig the ground up.
I’m so glad I listened to the angels whispering in my ears to get my house energy upgraded. The increased cost of utilities combined with decreased usage means I may come out just about even on the money used from my budget. Now that’s what I call a really wise investment of my money. When it comes to investing, I’ve been reading websites just to understand what the news people are talking about. When it comes to stretching a household budget…. I’m an expert!