Quilting Confessions

I have a confession…… I am a bit of a quilting snob    😦   

Now, not of the Quiltzilla variety mind you. Just of the quilt pattern/layout variety.    😉   

Imagine, if you will, a local Quilt Club-type gathering……

“Hi! My name is Shady and I’m a quilty snob.”

“Hi Shady!” the people reply.

“I’ve never liked scrap quilts…” I say.

Gasp“, “NO!!” they reply in shock and awe.

“Yup – it’s true. The overall chaos randomness of them with their color choices and pattern design is just not for me.” I state.

Well!” replys Quiltzilla in a huff, “We are sorry, but you just can’t be a member of our club then!! You don’t fit in here. Maybe you should try the club down the street. We  revere our foremothers accomplishments with such beauties, and strive to emulate them in our quilting today! You are just not welcome here!”

“Goodbye”.

I don’t fit in. I like continuity, color compatibility, ratio and flow in my quilts. I don’t want to feel exhausted from trying to “focus” on a non-existent pattern in a random scrap quilt, where there is no resting spot available for your eye. To be brutally honest – they remind me of those color-card samples that companies produce, showing you a “chip” of every fabric/color available. Kinda like your stash throwing-up on your quilt top!

They are just not for me. Now, don’t get me wong – I very much appreciate both the workmanship and skill involved in piecing one of these creations (while not going blind in the process)! I especially admire (no – really, I do) the ornate antique Crazy Quilts that are made up of silks and velvets, containing thousands of gorgeous hand stitches joining the scraps of fabric!! I am just not “drawn” to the random designs, and color schemes, of scrap quilts. Nor do I have any desire to ever make one.    😉   

While the previous “conversation” listed above may seem pretty far-fetched, a form of it did actually take place a few years back! That was the first time I ever met a real Quiltzilla! Needless to say, I didn’t join that quilting group/club/cult.    🙂   

The reason that this whole thing came to mind is because this morning I was selecting fabrics to “alter” a scrappy quilt pattern into something with more “Flow”. I love the pattern – just don’t care much for the fabric choices that they made.    😉   

So, the moral of this story is this:

Be Yourself! Trite as this may sound, if you have to change who you are to fit into someone elses “box”; then their “box” is too small for you anyways – and you will break it sooner or later! Why be/do something you hate, just to be “accepted” by someone else? You will just be miserable, and you will not end up liking them very much in the end!

Be Happy!

Be You!    🙂   

You are the only you God ever made – and He did it for a reason!!

Have a great day!

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“It’s Baaaacccckkk!!!”

Time, yet again, to batten-down-the-hatches!

We are about to be the recipient of yet another Snow Storm “presant”!

UGH!!!

The last of the snow on the ground from our last “episode” just finally melted off yesterday!

Now, they are advising us that we will get between 5 – 9 inches in the next 24 hours starting around 3:00 pm today. Just in time for the evening commute home! The National Weather Service is advising everyone to make “alternate” travel plans for tonight and tomorrow, as they foresee most roads being impassable in a very short period of time, and snow plows unable to run/keep up!

Those of us who must drive for hours for our “Day Jobs” are NOT thrilled with the thought of what we are about to have to deal with.

No – I do not drive for hours “to” and “from” my day job – driving for hours IS my day job! Approximately 4 + hours on “good” days, and up to 7 + hours on the “bad” weather/road condition days. The drive “to” and “from” work is only about a half an hour trip each way. 

However, considering that my old job was an hour drive “to” and “from” work, then an 8 hour shift of straight drive time (on good days), I am Blessed and highly grateful for the job I have now – esp. in this kind of weather!! Controlling several thousand pounds of vehicle/cargo  vs. controlling 35,000 lbs + of vehicle/cargo on these hilly, careening roads with drop-offs on both sides is MUCH easier/less stressful!!

So, it is off to work I go – praying for the weather to hold off until I am once again safely ensconced in my home this evening.

Wish me luck!!

    😉   

Stay safe and warm y’all!

p.s.  Before you ask – YES, I can/do/have drive(n) anything with wheels, and several things without. My Grandpa was a Big-Rig driver for an oil refinery, who taught me how to drive long before the age of 10 (my nickname was “Boy” LOL). This has come in very handy in my lifetime!    😉     My first lessons were on our old FARM-ALL with a 25′ hay trailer attached. My next lessons were on our FORD pick-em up truck. My first car lessons were on his Fast-Back Mustang. This seemed “backwards” in vehicle-size learning to me – until I was older and understood/appreciated the “importance” of the Fast-Back!!    😉   

I loved that car!!

Too much fun on our old gravel roads!  Hehehehehe    🙂   

NO – I never wrecked ANY of these – MaMaw would have KILLED us both (me and my Grandpa)!! But, since she was a nurse – I guess she could have “fixed” us back up later.    🙂   

Have a great day!!

Snow Days: Kids vs. Adults

Remember when you were a kid and so looked forward to/hoped/prayed for snow days??

You were determined to have that day off. You had your snow day all planned out, you refused to do/think about your homework (if it wasn’t done yet),  thought of a million things you could/would do the next day,  and spent most of your evening looking out the window to see how things were progressing.

You planned on sleeping in, hanging out in your jammies eating all of the cereal you could consume, watching cartoons, building snowmen, making snow angels and beating the bejeepers out of any kid in throwing distance with the impressive snowballs you would hurl at them mercilessly all day long!

It would be GLORIOUS!!

No schoolwork. No homework. No teachers. No nothing – other than F.U.N.!!!

YAY!!!!

Now – fast forward to that dreaded word – Adulthood!

Now – you sit glued to your “technology of choice” tracking the advancing storm, its arrival time and accumulation amounts. You race to the local stores for necessary staples like milk, bread, eggs, chocolate, toilet paper, snow shovels and salt. You obsess over things like covering your car’s windshield with tarps; finding your “lost” snow boots; figuring out how to call in “sick” the next day (and remain employed) so you don’t have to drive in the coming mess; and are they going to cancel school – or not???

Your day is all planned too. You get up early to check snow totals; get ready for work (just in case you HAVE to go in); check school closings, and “utter colorful words” at the T.V./radio for not announcing your school yet; make breakfast; shovel the porch; shovel the sidewalk; shovel out your car (if you can find it); shovel the driveway; “break into” your car thru the ice-cube encasing it so you can start it to warm it up/thaw it out; check school closings – again; call everyone you know who might have ventured out already to get road condition info (and see if they have heard about school closing yet); Obsess about the school closing – until it is FINALLY announced (5 min. before you are supposed to leave); send kids back to bed; find out that you can stay home too; turn off the car; re-shovel path/walkway; start planning lunch; spread more rock salt; change into dry clothes; think about a nap; make some more coffee; start on housework, and assign everyone their “chores” for the day.

It is now 8:00 am.

You wish you were a kid again.

Snow days were soooooo much more fun then…..

Solution for rest of day: Go throw on your fuzzy slippers, throw something in the crock-pot so lunch/dinner can “cook itself”, curl up on the sofa under a warm blanky with some hot chocolate until later today – the go beat the “know-it-all” kids butt’s in a massive snowball fight!! Oh yeah, and make a few snow angels along the way!

Why not???? It is a snow day!    😉

Tiny Pieces

So, how do you pull together a glaringly purple and green star sampler quilt?

Add some buttery yellow…..

 

And some teeny, tiny pieces…..

LOTS of teeny, tiny pieces…..

Like 1/2 inch teeny,tiny….. (look at point tip)

And you keep on sewing. And adjusting. And sewing. And sewing….

And then you sew some more little, teeny, tiny pieces!     😉

And Finally…..”It’s Time”

Have you ever noticed how it seems like the only time you don’t “feel guilty” about working on something for yourself, is when you are completely done working on things for everyone else??

As long as someone else’s project is “in the works”, working on something for yourself always seems to take the furthest back burner in your agenda. That is okay – to a point. The bad thing is that you always seem to have something else that you need to/should be working on – and your item becomes a perpetual U.F.O. (an UnFinished Object in quilters terms).     😦    

I’ve been quilting for about 10 years now, and I have NEVER made a quilt for myself. Nope – not once!

I would start one – draw up the design, pick out fabrics (not always in that order), cut the fabric, and occasionally even get as far as starting to sew the pieces together…..and then, WHAMMO! I would think “So-and-so would really like/love this”. That was it – at that point, the quilt was no longer “mine”. It became “theirs”, and would be finished/gifted accordingly.

One of my “Goals” (read “Resolution” here – I don’t make “New Years Resolutions”, only “Goals” – they are more forgiving and don’t have a “Fail-Factor”) for 2010 was to FINALLY make (and finish) a quilt for myself.

I joined a Quilt-Along hosted by Bradie Sparrow (amazing, talented lady), picked out some fabrics (I decided I wanted a purple quilt), and made it all the way to the large center medallion block. Scott was my “helper” who critiqued/approved each finished block along the way – fascinated by all of the color combinations, techniques and emerging designs. My son laughed at us saying I was “corrupting” him (Scott).    🙂     

Then….. August 22 happened.

My world changed. Our world changed. Big time.

 I couldn’t even think about/look at that quilt for a long time after that. I emailed Bradie and let her know what had happened, and that “someday” I’d finish the quilt – just not then. She understood completely.

For months my sewing room sat “abandoned”. Closed for business. The now “abandoned” blocks for the quilt were left hanging on my design wall – I just couldn’t take them down, and I couldn’t bring myself to finish them. So, they just stayed there. A reminder (sometimes – okay, most of the time – painful) of the past several months of my life. 

Then, one morning, I got up (see previous post I Confess) and the “quilting bug” started nipping at me. Not about “my” quilt, but about another one that I had left unfinished for someone else.

Slowly (sometimes in only 5 minute intervals) – I started quilting again, finishing up the gift quilt just in time for Christmas. By the time I had finished piecing the top on that one, I was actually able to resume sewing again on 2 other half-finished quilts that were also due at Christmas. Once these were done, I actually felt like creating again – and 4 Tablerunners, 12 Placemats, 11 Rice Bags and 1 Pillowcase joined the ranks as Christmas gifts. I was even able to finish them all up by their “deadlines”!    😉   

Somehow, God’s Grace showed up and re-awoke my desire to make quilty-things again.

“Thank You” God. I feel better now.     🙂    

Now….enter the illustrious Pat Sloan into the picture. Miss Pat decided to have a New Years UFO Busting Party/Luau.

I only had 1 UFO left – that purple quilt still on my design wall…..

So…… I took a deep breath, asked God for help (LOTS of help), and said “Okay…this will be the UFO Party project”. I then posted a picture for Pat of what I would be “Busting” at the party.

You see, this quilt represents so much more than just “a quilt for me”.  It represents the very last of my creative projects that Scott helped with/was involved in from the beginning. It stirs up sadness, tears, pain, memories and happy moments in my mind (that I hold dear) which all come flooding back every time I look at those blocks.

But, it is time. It is time to finish it.

So, with God’s help, I am determined to finish that quilt. It will NOT be a gift for anyone else. Ever. It is mine. It could never hold the importance, significance, or memories for anyone else (with only the exception of my son who was there during this quilts journey) that it will forever hold for me.

Therefore, I have resumed work on it. I’ve pulled out the last of the pattern notes on the quilt, picked out the final fabric combinations to pull the whole thing together, and have started piecing all of the little parts that make up the final center medallion block. After that, it just leaves the sashing and borders to do. It is going slower than expected – but, it is going!    😉    

So, Miss Pat, “Thank You” for the UFO Busting Party kick-in-the-butt. I am not finished in time to meet the end of party deadline: but, I am “in progress”.     🙂    

I will keep you all posted on how it goes. If you would like to see photos of the blocks I am working with, you can click on my Flickr Feed over on the left column of this blog. Just look for all of the purple and green blocks.

🙂

A Wonderful Christmas

I hope you all had a Blessed, relaxed and memory-filled wonderful Christmas spent with those you love!

I was greatly Blessed with exactly that….great food, great family moments, too much laughter (which I SERIOUSLY needed), and some precious memories.

In fact, my favorite memory from this Christmas didn’t involve the weather, the gifts, the food, or anything that you might guess. I do have wonderful memories of all of those things (esp. the moment when Mawmaw and Popa opened – and read – the Family Signature Quilt that I put together for them).

Instead,  my favorite memory took place after all the festivities were over, after all the kids were upstairs for the night, and after all the food had been put away.

My son sat down on the end of the sofa I was laying on ( and I “borrowed” him as a foot rest), while my sister and her hubby curled up in the big double chair across from us, and Mawmaw sat down in the recliner next to me as we turned off the T.V. and lit the fireplace. I dozed off, only to wake up 2 hours later with my son already home, Mawmaw upstairs, and my sis and her hubby still sitting in the big chair (now in their flannel jammies) – keeping me “company” while I slept!    🙂   

They were just “being there” with me, watching the fire and enjoying the quiet – like a Christmas postcard! You see, they live 3 hours away – and we really don’t get to see each other much. I knew the minute I opened my eyes that I would remember THAT moment forever – for me, it was truly priceless, and full of love!!

A Christmas I will never forget! A moment I would never trade for the world!

    😉

10 Simple Rules for Holiday Survival

No – Really!!

Try these on for size and you’ll breath a little easier this year.    😉   

Rule #1 )    Stop Judging – yourself and others 

You REALLY don’t want someone judging you if you are honest with yourself, so don’t judge others! Not to mention going easier on yourself/appearance/capabilities will enable you to actually enjoy your Holiday gatherings.

Rule #2 )  Laugh 

 You only have 2 choices – laugh or cry, and laughing hurts your head a lot less!

Rule #3 )  Reject Obligation

If you feel the need to be giving a gift out of obligation – Don’t!  The recipient will “know” your insincerity, AND you are giving it for the wrong reason. It will Bless no one.

Rule #4 )  Play

Even if it is only spending an hour doing something that you enjoy, and that helps you to “decompress”. You need to balance some “down-time” for yourself with all of the demands being placed on you by everyone else, or you “will not be nice” for long.

Rule #5 )  Moderation

1 piece of chocolate cake won’t kill you, but eating a whole one by yourself will make you miserable!!!

Rule #6 )  Lighten Up!

Ask yourself – do you REALLY need to make 50 dozen cookies this year???

Rule #7 )  Humble Thyself

You are not surrounded by mind-readers, ask for help!!

Rule #8 )  Be Real!! (a.k.a. Expect the Unexpected)

Delays occur, people “forget”, things break, animals mis-behave, kids/people “act-up” – it is NOT the end of the world! It’s just a good story/Christmas memory “in the making”.    😉   

Rule #9 )  Smile!

Worst case scenario is that they will think you are “up to something” – or that you have just had waaaayyy too much Eggnog!!

Rule #10 )  Buy extra batteries!

You don’t want your camera loosing power when your in-laws/outlaws are swinging from the chandeliers in their skivies!!

 Breath, Relax, and Enjoy your Holidays!