Caution: Hard Right Ahead

IMG_0366Back when I was teaching, when we actually had to write on chalk boards, I’d patiently wait for the kids to offer their predictable September insight.

Ms. H,  do you know you never write in a straight line?

I’d stand back, survey my scribbling that always ended taking a hard left, heading upwards.

Yep, you’re right.  It means I have a positive attitude.

Of course they believed me as they believed most of the non-English nonsense I shared with them.  Teenagers can be a very gullible group.

I remember one very hot summer during one very tedious summer school session, when the air conditioning failed and we were collectively dying.  I gave up the ghost of the lesson and showed the kids how to hold energy in one hand, then move it from one hand to another.

It was an act of desperation.  There were only ten minutes left in a four hour class with thirty teens repeating an English class they didn’t like in the first place.  The kids immediately focused on holding energy and forgot all about the oppressive heat.  One young man was still struggling when the class ended, but burst into my room the following September.

Ms. H, Ms. H, look!!!  I can do it!! I can move energy!!  I am now a man!!!

I’m at a loss to know what moving energy has to do with be a man as opposed to being The Man, but back to writing in a straight line.  I failed at it.  Even on paper, my writing still takes a hard left upwards. 

I also have a rough time walking in a straight line, but have never really focused on whether I am veering right or left.  Most of the time I am just trying to stay out of harm’s way.

We won’t talk about my driving; my daughter is already terrified that her kids may one day find themselves in a car with me behind the wheel.

So it wasn’t a complete surprise that my sewing — I know, I know, those of you who knew me in my past lives might be very shocked to find that I am now a struggling novice quilter — also takes a turn towards the end of a seam.  The surprise is that it takes a hard right.

I’ve never taken a hard right in much of anything.

I figured that out over the past couple of rainy days, standing at the windows, watching yet another downpour and musing over the quilt squares that needed to be ripped out.  Again.

It began last week when I thought I was putting the quilting away until next fall, but first there was a trip to drop off my stack of quilts to the monthly Project Linus meeting (for those of you new-to-this-blog quilters or knitters who have no one remaining to give your projects to, check out the website)

Kathy, our fearless local leader, invited me back into the Stash Storeroom.  Oh jeez. It looked just like our old department offices, loaded with stashes and stashes of lesson plans and handouts, only this was all fabric. 

I left with with a very large bin filled with what one might generously call strips of fabric and another armload of charm packs of thousands of five inch fabric squares.  The internet, thank the goddesses, is generous with patterns for novice quilters who only sew in more or less straight lines and don’t do corners or reverse.

I thought I was in relatively safe territory.  Sort of middle of the road, staying on the straight and narrow stitching course and coming up with a few acceptable quilts for our next get-together.

It was going fairly well, with both quilts for a teenage girl and boy progressing nicely. Then I opened a charm package of plaids and stripes squares and began making a Disappearing Nine Patch pattern for a baby quilt. Nine lousy squares.  Should have been Easy Peasy.

It all looked marginally fine until I started stitching the squares together. That’s when things got very ugly, very quickly, and I discovered my hard right sewing tendency creates havoc with plaids and stripes. 

So I’ve been back to the sewing table, so to speak, ripping out seams and now determined to sew in a straight line forevermore. 

I suspect it’s going take some mighty strong will-power to see this through to the end.