Here are just a few of the things I’m bad at:
• Running long distances
• Recalling the story lines of movies
• Mailing things promptly
It often takes me months to mail anything. As a kid I moved from Indiana to Minnesota, then back to Indiana. My friends and I had the best intentions — I had a slew of pen pals from my third grade classroom that faded after a semester of me leaving their questions about my new life unanswered. Later, my best friend from Minnesota and I planned to share a journal that we would mail back and forth, keeping a record of our lives jointly. That journal, filled a quarter of the way with only my stories, still sits in my closet waiting to be sent. Middle school woes and pleas for “relationship” advice sadly sit unanswered. Oh, what that journal could have been…
And those were simple things to mail. Mailing things abroad (particularly packages) is where I really stumble.
Now I have a friend who lives in Ireland. Her birthday is in May. In April each year I begin to gather things, make things and plan her package. This year I managed to send her birthday gift mid-November.
By the time I send her packages they are a motley assortment of things collected over months. What could easily have been simply the gift and a card turns into a bag of American treats and some odds and ends that I’ve picked up in stores or around that house that scream, “Maryann!”
If I’d sent my gift in May, it would have simply been this trivet made to match the apron I made for her (and sent two months late) in 2009.
I’ve never quilted or sewn anything circular, but I thought it would be nice to try. Not knowing the proper way to sew circular shapes together I simply cut out circles of fabric and stacked them on top of one another. Using a cardboard piece with a rounded edge that I covered with aluminum foil, I folded the edges of each fabric layer over this makeshift tool and ironed a little circular hem.
I first stitched the layers for the top piece together on my machine, placed a thick layer of batting between the top and bottom pieces and then machine stitched random curved lines over the entirety of the piece. Once the top, bottom and batting were all snuggly in place, I made a bias tape using my handy little Clover device and finished the edges with that.
I obviously have a lot to learn and much more quilting research is required. However, I was impatient the night I made this and was in the mood for some trial and error. The trial wasn’t too bad. The error is more obvious than I’d like. At least I have a swell friend who is patient and kind.