Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Southern Food

While I spent a fair amount of time in North Carolina actually working (in the office!  Gasp!!) there were some evenings spent at nice restaurants eating great meals.


The last time I was here, I was taken to a restaurant called The Terrace and they told me I had to have the Red Velvet waffle and chicken.  It comes with a cream cheese drizzle to simulate the Red Velvet cake.  It. Was. Awesome.  So of course there had to be a repeat.



OMG that lunch is SOOOO good... the mix of sweet and crunchy is wonderful and I can see why people love it.  I had that for lunch today!  My stomach was very happy.


For dinner last night I went to a very nice Chinese restaurant and had my all time favorite, beef & broccoli.  Also awesome.


And the restaurant was very pretty inside. 



 

Yesterday I had a healthy day, spinach salad for lunch and then of course the broccoli for dinner.  Good thing too, because here at the hotel they provide free breakfast and dinner.  And for dinner tonight??? 

What else??



I did have a side of fruit.  I need to take a walk around the block.  Or seven.

Sew on, y'all...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sunny Weather and Warm Days

Where are they?  Yes, this is Wisconsin, so sometimes a sunny day means the temperature is a bit on the low side.

Yesterday I was working in my home office and we had opened the window, but there was a good stiff breeze blowing and by the time I'd been working for an hour I had added to my wardrobe a pair of socks, a pair of slippers, a sweater and a long sleeved shirt traded out for the short sleeved one I had put on when I got up.

No fair, Mother Nature!


Next week I have to go to Charlotte NC again for one last training session with my successor.  She's doing a great job.  It will be good to be in one room and not on the phone and sharing computer screens.

But it's warm there... last week it was in the 80s.  I'm a Midwestern girl, not used to the balminess of all of that heat and humidity.  Yesterday someone said to me "well at least it's not SOUTH Carolina, it's REALLY hot there!" 

Newsflash, it's hot in NC too.  Just because the state is named NORTH, that doesn't mean it's any cooler.  LOL!

Today's tasks are to pick up a piece of wide quilt backing for a project, and also to make some small makeup bags to take out to Charlotte for the ladies with whom I have been working.  That should not take too long, if I can just get down to the sewing room!

My favorite bags to make are the ones in the Mary Mulari book Travel Gear Made Easy.  You can find it here if you want to order a copy:  Mary Mulary's Website

Of course there are many patterns available if you want purses, totes, fancy bags of all sorts.  I find Mary's directions so clear and easy to follow, I rarely venture past what is in that book.

I would post pictures but I've given them all away, except for the ones in my own purse, and they're getting a little shabby.



Time to get to work... I'm getting "the look" from the Boss!

Sew on...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday, Yay! Maybe...

For the next two months I'm going to try to take some vacation days before I'm done working for good, at least at the day job.  However, that plan immediately had a monkey wrench tossed into it, and not the good kind...

Well, not a BAD kind either, but you know what they say about the best laid plans, right?  So today is a vacation day, but next Monday I have to go to North Carolina for one more week of training my successor.  I hope it's nice there, and not the 85 degrees they supposedly were having last week.  My boss loves to tease us Midwesterners about how nice it is out there when we're having winter.  :-(


On Saturday evening I went into the sewing room to work on a project.  On the way down I grabbed my potholders to give them a soak in the laundry room.  They were looking a little shabby.  After they washed and dried, and I still hadn't really done any sewing, I decided I'd bind them.  I've been using them for about 15 years but they just had serged edges.  I took out my bin of all those small, leftover pieces of binding that I've been saving and found enough to finish all the edges.  They don't look 'new' but they'll last another 15 years, I hope.  Some of them were pieces of fabric and some were orphan blocks. 

I felt very virtuous.  One project done.  Of course it was not on my UFO list, so once again, distracted by 'shiny stuff'...  LOL!

Today the plan was to finish my bookkeeping for April for church, start on May, and maybe make a couple of phone calls.  So the first thing I actually did this morning was drive over to the car place to pick up DH, who had to drop his car off for service.  He could have walked home because it's close but it was raining.

I said I'd meet him there at 8:00 a.m.  I was on the way, and at 8:01 my phone rang. 

DH:  Did you forget about me?
Me:  I'm on my way.  Have you no patience???

I pulled up at 8:03. 

Me:  You don't call looking for someone at 8:01!  No one is late at 8:01!  At 8:10 maybe!
DH:  Sorry...

Sheesh!

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, either spent some time with your own mom if she's close, or with your kids if you have them.  My mom passed away in 1998 but I have an aunt to whom I am very close, and I wished her happy Mother's Day on Facebook.  She said "that was a nice surprise!"  She has her own kids, but she's such a wonderful person I had to send her that message.

My daughter took me to lunch with her girls.  Well, I drove but she paid...  we went for Chinese which is a favorite of ours but not so much the guys.  They stayed home.  That's fine, it makes a table of four, and we enjoyed the buffet.

 
 Then we hopped over to GoFresh and had some yummy frozen yogurt.  The girls like to go there
 for the toppings I think!  Miss A had so many that I couldn't even see the yogurt.


 
I had vanilla yogurt and mango sorbet.  They had these little beads of juice they called something other than berries but I forget what, and I picked both the mango and the kiwi.  Then we came home just in time for me to take a nice little nap while DH was watching a golf tournament.
 
 
I saw these mushrooms growing in the grass of the church parking lot.  They looked so cute I had to take a picture.  DH says he isn't sure what kind they are but he is not sure they're edible.  I wasted about an hour searching the internet for pictures of mushrooms to try to identify it.  The closest I got was to something called a Glittering Inkpot, which the sites said was edible but it does something gross if you don't eat them almost immediately - they sort of melt down into inky black goo.  Thank you but no.  If I want mushrooms I'll get them from the grocery store!
 
Here's to a wonderful week!

Sew on... 



Friday, May 11, 2018

My Love Affair with Kaffe Fassett (Designs, that is!)

I started this post about two weeks ago, and got distracted by shiny stuff... or fabric or something.

The days until I retire from my full time job are just flying by!  Training a new person is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, and I've got my fingers in so many other pots, it's a good think I have a calendar that reminds me where I should be!

I signed up for the Kaffe Fassett Collective Mystery Quilt, did you?  Evidently a bunch of folks did, there are even 'support' groups on Facebook and maybe Instragram! 

In case you didn't know, Kaffe Fassett started his design life as a knitter, and that's where I first 'met' him.  His eye for color, his philosophy of the more the merrier, was right in my wheelhouse.  Then he branched into fabric with stunning results.

This mystery quilt features the kinds of prints shown below.  When I got the box in late March or early April (ten free fat quarters??  Oh boy, oh boy!!) I was in love again.




My first block (actually 8 blocks) are below.  I chose the dark kit.  They offered dark or light at first, then added a pastel.  Pastels and I do not have a long-standing relationship...



Block three in May is the same block but different colors.



Evidently I deleted my picture of Block two.  It's a 35 patch, mine are green and black. 

Block two was a near thing, and reminded me of something vital:  Check your seam allowance!!  I sewed all the strips together on my Babylock, assuming the foot I was using was accurate.  Turned out it had a small metal bar that had gotten a bit out of alignment, and my 8 inch block was only 7 1/2 inches!  Sew I got some practice frog-stitching to use a knitter term... rip-it, rip-it!

Never assume anything, right? 

The most recent book purchase I made was this one... and I'm looking forward to making some pillows to go with my future quilt.



Oh, and did I mention I bought a bit more fabric??  Photos borrowed shamelessly from the 'design wall' of the website where I purchased them...










OMG don't you love them?  Of course I picked up a few, umm  several, yards at my local quilt shop too.  I wish I had a week to spend in the sewing room!

What are you working on?  Whatever it is, enjoy it.

Sew on...


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Quilters and Math

Remember back when you were in high school, and you had to take that algebra class, and everyone said "Why??? We're NEVER GOING TO USE THIS IN REAL LIFE!!"



Guess again!

As quilters, we know there's math.  And it's in cooking, and shopping, and lots of other places too.

Soapbox Moment:  We need to inspire our children, both genders of them, to embrace math.  Figure it out, my mother was always saying to me!  Double a cookie recipe, buy materials for a project, you need to do it!!




Last week at the quilt shop, I helped several shoppers figure out how much fabric they required for borders and backings.  There is very little that's worse than coming up a few inches short on either of those items and not being able to buy what you're missing.  Ask me how I know this!


There are many ways to piece your quilt backs.  You can Google it or find it on YouTube, or ask at your own local quilt shop.  I've seen little wallet cards that help calculate how much you require for any sized quilt.  Of course extra-wide fabrics are nice, but not all shops carry them.  (Hint, you still have to do math to figure out the length.)


I like the method where you do a diagonal slice to make your extra-long backing piece into a shorter, wider, more useable size. I saw it demonstrated on Fons & Porter, but the formula and all the math are from either John Flynn or Ginny Beyer, depending upon whose web site you read.  There's a worksheet from Ginny Beyer that is free here:  http://jinnybeyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Diagonal-Backing-Worksheet.pdf


There is a good YouTube video here although it sure isn't the only one available!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ebZG0CReGM





Embrace the math!!  Don't be intimidated,  no need to stress out.  Learn to piece backs with the same flair that you do your flimsies.  Create interest with those leftover blocks, create columns, be off center!  You can do it!  When all else fails, buy a calculator or use the one on your phone.


Sew on...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mondays



I don't think I've missed this many days of blogging in years... I got busy and suddenly when I looked up, a whole month had passed!  I guess it's true, life speeds up as you start the 'over the hill' part of the journey! 

Today someone asked me how I was, and I gave my snarky answer, which is "pretty good, for a Monday"... implying that if it were another day, I might be better.  Then they asked me "how many more Mondays is it for you now?"

Wow, I had to think about that -- not that many!  To work at my full time job, that is.  I surely hope I have more Mondays in general. 


So official retirement comes at the end of June, so I guess there are fewer than a dozen Mondays left in my first career.  Because I've already started my post-retirement occupation at a local quilt shop, and they're closed on Monday, so that will be the third day of my weekend! 

What's been going on during the past month, you ask?  Trying to rack my brain, here are a few highlights...
I picked up my son's quilt at the place I took it to be longarm quilted.  It's quite nice!  I even made the binding one evening at my aunt's house (yeah, I actually sewed at Sewing Night!)


Easter happened.  We had a lovely brunch at a rather crowded restaurant.  Evidently the word has gotten out that the food is so good, a gazillion people made reservations.  It was Sardine City!


The church quilters had our Sew In day.  We started the Preschool Quilt and made good progress.
I took this photo of Bonnie as she was watching a demo.  I call it What Real Quilters Wear...




I signed up at the shop where I'm working part time for a class and a quilt mystery, both featuring Kaffe Fasset fabric.  The class is called Escher.  M.C. Escher was a graphic artist who specialized in figuring out how to create tessellations.  You know what those are, right?  They're shapes that fit into one another like a puzzle, and each piece is an exact duplicate of the others.



The quilt is in NO WAY this complicated...but for the life of me I could not figure out how it went together, and I can usually do that.  Thus, the class enrollment.


The Mystery is all over Facebook these days.  I have block one done, and have not picked up the kit for block two yet.  I'll do that tomorrow.


Training is ongoing for the woman who is replacing me.  I've been to Charlotte to meet her and start the process, and to Austin for a team meeting.  I received a very nice acknowledgement and thank you from the team.  One guy was so funny, he had a count of all the emails I've sent him in the 10 years I've been supporting him administratively!  We had a good giggle over that one...


The answer to the question is 9.  Nine more Mondays... although there is Memorial Day so one of those Mondays will actually happen on a Tuesday.


Oh, and I'm learning to do monograms on my embroidery machine!  But that's another post.


Sew on...
 







Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where Have I Been?? Long TIme, No Blog

I can't believe I haven't posted in a while.  I guess the saying is true, time flies when you're having fun.  I've been busy!  I'm sure you have been busy too.  I'm getting ready to start the final quarter of my full time employment and starting up the first quarter of my new post-retirement employment.  Overlapping jobs can be stressful, but in a fun way!



Last week I started working at one of our local quilt shops.  About 30 years ago (gasp!) I worked as the mangaer of one of the big chain fabric stores for about two years.  I remember that at first it was so much fun, but later, when the schedule got hard to do because everyone wanted to be off at the same time, and when the shipments came and the guy just pushed them to the end of the truck, I wasn't having so much fun.  And Christmas!!  Retail at Christmastime can be a drag when you have to do it full time.




This new job will be a lot less crazy!  It's just a few hours a couple of times a week.  I have no desire to run a store anymore.  I just need the opportunity to get out of the house once in a while, and see people in a fun atmosphere.  And, you know, be with fabric and stuff.  Ha ha!

Of course I have so many other things I want to do, things I need to do, that full time work keeps me from doing....
Like my two quilt guilds, and my volunteer treasurer job at church, and then there are all the sewing, knitting, crafting projets I have started and the ones I haven't started...


If I live to be 100 I could still have UFOs!  (That's a scary thought!!)


But someone told me that when it's time to retire, you'll know.  I kinda feel that the end has come for my full time job.  I will miss all the people I interact with on a weekly basis.  But goodnes, the red tape is getting to be too much.  Processes try my patience.  Five or six years ago, there was going to be a committee to improve processes and remove some of the red tape.  Nothing really changed. 


And my body is rebelling at times.  My elbows and shoulders sometimes creak.  The arthritis in my hands makes life interesting many, many mornings.  Thank goodness for aspirin and Aspercream (which by the way has no aspirin in it so why do they call it Aspercream??).


I plan to have lots of replacement activities to do during my so-called retirement.  I think I'd prefer to think of it as Phase 2.


And sew on...