- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer's history if you die.
- Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
- I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
- There is great need for a sarcasm font.
- How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
- Map Quest needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my damn neighborhood.
- I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
- Bad decisions make good stories.
- You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
- I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page document that I swear I did not make any changes to.
- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.
- I hate it when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!)but when I immediately call back it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
- I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
- My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?
- I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
- I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
Her pastor gave a sermon a while back about getting dressed in the morning. She talked about how most of us take great care to put on the right outfit, make sure our hair looks presentable and that we’ve got a little makeup on; it gets us ready for the day. But what about out mental outfit? Why not take that same amount of time to dress our psyche for the day ahead? Put on a good outlook? Instead of going out the door knowing it’s going to be a terrible, aweful, no good , very bad day, tell yourself it’s going to be a great day.
Kate said that this whole concept really hit home for her. She’s a 5th grade teacher, and has daily challenges with her students as well as with some of the parents. Those days when she woke up on the wrong side of the bed generally turned out to be crappy days, with that bad feeling carrying through to everything, including her students. Her attitude had a way of spreading to others like the flu. But once she started dressing herself in confidence and the notion that she could handle whatever came her way, she noticed a huge difference.
Well, I’m gonna give it a try, shake those holiday blues. Today I put on some enthusiasm, brushed up my energy and decided to wear my joy. It WILL be a great day. Such a simple idea, and it didn't cost me a dime.
So, what do you have on?
Piece and love, Pat
click here to watch The Home Run.
Empty plastic spice jars have a lot of uses. I keep one of the half-sized ones next to my machine to hold dead sewing machine needles. There's a regular sized one in my featherweight carrier to hold pre-wound bobbins. Another regular sized one lives in my desk drawer at work with 3 old bobbins wound in black, navy and white thread, a couple of safety pins and a scrap of felt with several sewing needles.
Then there is the tall cylindrical container I bought at an office supple store to hold my rotary cutters on the cutting table. A big coffee can or a cylindrical oatmeal/grits box would work too. I figure it’s the same principle as putting your pens & pencils in a pencil can. Most of the time I remember to put the cutter back in the container so it doesn't get lost under a pile of fabric!
I have a bunch of old cookie sheets/trays that I use to keep my cut pieces for a project together. As I cut, I put the pieces on the tray and use it to bring just those pieces to my sewing station. The cookie sheets really help to organize projects & keep them separate from other projects. If it’s a bigger project, I’ll keep a copy of my fabric cheat sheet (see below) on the tray as well.
My friend Kimberly, started me doing this with her mystery quilts. Whenever I start a project that requires more than 5 brain cells, I make a fabric cheat sheet by using an extra copy of the cutting/fabric instructions, or by using an 8.5” x 11” brown mailing envelope. My preference is the envelope. I draw a grid on the envelope, then tape small samples of each of the fabrics to the grid. The instructions can be stored inside the envelope.
To make the process of hand-sewing binding a little easier, I pre-thread several needles. Many hand quilters do the same thing. Since my eyes aren't so good any more, I use a needle threader; I just have to get it out just once to thread multiple needles. Doing this also helps me to “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. Instead of looking at the huge task ahead of me, I say to myself: “Tonight I am going to sew 3 needles”. When I’ve done 3 needles' worth of sewing, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do 4.
And here’s the last one, although it’s not exactly a sewing tip. I have a pair of Croc-like shoes I wear when I’m on my feet a lot. They are ugly, but they provide great support and are good for my feetsies when I am spending hours standing at the cutting table (they also offer protection from falling rotary cutters!). SInce they are not made of a breathable material, they really start to stink after a while. I’m not talking a gentle odor, I’m talking offensive stench. My darling sister, who raised a couple of athletic boys and was used to hauling equally smelly athletic equipment in her car, suggested dryer sheets. She puts them in her tennis and refereeing shoes (she’s a jock), and makes her hubby put them in his golf shoes. Darned if that trick didn’t work for my stinky old Quarks. As soon as my feet come out of the shoes, the dryer sheets go in. I bet those dryer sheets would work in other smelly areas (like the dirty laundry section of your suitcase when you are traveling?). Thanks, Sis!
What are some of the little tricks you have for keeping your sewing more organized, or for making life easier?
Love and pieces, Pat
I did just a straight line of strips down the back, and added a label.
Stephanie's recipies are very good and very easy; I've tried a bunch of them and can attest to their yumminess. Her daughter has a gluten allergy, so all of her recipies use gluten free ingredients, but you can easily swap out for non-GF. I can't wait to order her book!
Piece and love, Pat
We love bleu cheese in our house, so when I saw this recipe on the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day blog, I practically drooled on the keyboard. Add a salad, light a nice fire, and pour yourself some apple cider, chilled white wine, or a cold brewski -- you're all set to watch the game!
I happen to like the AB5 method & usually have dough in the fridge, but a good alternative would be to just buy a ball of dough from your local pizza shop.
Click here for the recipe.
Oh, and this is what the pattern looks like when it's done by George.
Lynett, the owner of the shop, does business out of Arkansas. Lovely, bright fabrics, offered as yardage or in nifty bundles, and great prices. The bundle on the left, for example, is 10 one-half yard cuts from Patty Young's Mezzanine Collection. $38.50, plus modest S & H. Fast shipping as well -- I ordered online on Sunday & the package arrived at my Pennsylvania doorstep on Wednesday.
Go take a look for yourself!
Love and pieces, Pat
I'm going to share a tip here that I picked up at a class this weekend. The class was taught by George and Virginia Siciliano. For those of you who are not familiar with this dynamic duo from Lebanon, PA, go check out their website.
You can also check her out in the latest issue of Mark Lipinski's magazine, Quilter's Home. They asked a number of professional quilters about what they felt was their most important quilt. Kimberly's was one that she was asked to make in honor of Air Force General Greg Martin when he was presented with the prestigious Order of the Sword. Lovely article and great picture on the inside of the mag. That's Kimberly's name on the cover, cupcakes, right under the adorable gray pug. Sure hope that pup doesn't drool.
One of the show sponsors is my very favorite sewing machine dealer, Byrne Sewing Connection. They will be participating as dealers for Bernina, Babylock and Brother (are you sensing a pattern here?). They are the best for quality machines as well as for machine repair, so I am thrilled to see them have the opportunity to strut their stuff at the show.
Go visit her web site, Trends and Traditions, to enter for a chance to win this lovely quilt. While you're there, take a look at that precious cupcake princess with a cupcake that matches her table cover!
The storms last Friday fried the ethernet adapter in my PC, so I perfomed a daring act of surgery this morning to replace it. Who says that we quilters are just one-trick ponies? I figured that if I could unsew a whole quilt block & put it back together, I could pop the hood on my PC and swap out a board. No guts, no glory, as they say!
It's oppressively muggy and hot here in PA today. Time to crank up the air in my sewing room, get a big ol' glass of iced tea, catch up on the new season of Mad Men, and stitch me up a purse. I'm using the fat quarters I sneaked (snuck?) into the house yesterday. Please don't tell!
I'm currently fixated on old Masterpiece Theater series or series done by the BBC.
In the winter, there's usually a big mug of hot herbal tea handy; in the summer it's iced. Sometimes Maggie the Wonder Dog will stop by, or Junior the tabby cat, or even DH, checking to make sure I haven't stitched myself off into oblivion.
Piece and love, Pat
I need to apologize for not being a very good blogger. I've been playing around with the template to make it a little easier/cleaner to post. Haven't found anything that rings my chimes yet. Any suggestions? And of course indecision leads to procrastination, so I guess it's yet another UFO.......
I've also discovered that someone mentioned my blog in my college alumnae quarterly. If any Wilson College grads are checking in, glad to have you aboard! Please leave a comment or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you.
The list of favorite blogs over there on the right is growing. Go check some of them out! I particularly like the ones from Australia; such bright & happy fabrics! Check out those foodie blogs as well. If you are into food porn (obscenely enticing pictures of food) and general folksiness, visit Fat Johnny's Front Porch. He's a retired chef whose Cajun/BBQ-centric blog makes me drool. Oh, and that slow cooker blog is wonderful as well! Get up early on Saturday or Sunday, put stuff in your slow cooker, turn it on & retire to your sewing room for the day. 8-10 hours later, you'll have a lot of quilting done, and a fabulous meal waiting for you when you finally poke your head out the door!
Stay tuned for one of my next postings about the taping I attended for a new internet show called Quilt Out Loud! I just don't want to post any pictures until I get their blessing -- I'm kind of old-fashioned that way. The taping was held at my favorite Babylock/Bernina/Brother dealer, Byrne Sewing Connection, in Doylestown, PA. The hosts, Jodie Davis and Mark Lipinski, are just the bee's knees, and so is their new show! You will need to join QNNTV (pay an annual fee to watch videos), but it is well worth it.
Love and Pieces, Pat
When I went to the Lancaster Quilter's Heritage Celebration this Spring, I took her with me to most of the classes & couldn't have been more pleased. That was quite a leap of faith for someone so attached to a computerized Bernina! Kind of made me feel good, though, when I walked into John Flynn's class and saw him sewing on an old black Singer as well.
While I was at the show, I found a gentleman who made the table you see in the picture. He calls it a "retreat table"; it's light weight, with legs that fold up to make it portable. Now I can even bring my Baby down to the family room in the winter, set her up in front of the fire and sew away. For now, however, she's in my sewing room filling in for her big sister Bernie.
I decided it was time to pick up one of my UFOs, a project that I started at Lancaster. It's a pattern from one of Kimberly Einmo's classes, called Flying Geese Crossing. Her flying geese ruler (mentioned in an earlier post) makes those geese a breeze to cut and sew.
Once the quilt is finished, it will go on Annabelle's big-girl bed. She requested Pinks and purples, even helping her GG (gorgeous grandmom) pick out some of the fabrics.
Can you tell that pinks and purples are her favorite colors?
I hope that all of those cute pinks going one way, and purples going the other, will allow visions of sugar plums to dance in her head! Miss Annabellarina, as you can see, is quite a dancer herself!
I'll be sure to post pictures of the progress. I have a feeling that this will be my summer "thang".
Piece and love, Pat
Here is Kimberly's own description of what the ruler does:
· It allows you to make cuts fast and accurately. It's designs so you can cut basic units such as squares, rectangles and triangles from 1½” and 2½” strips, and 5” and 10” squares!
· The ruler has two-colors which makes the markings easy-to-see and easy-to-use. The mint green “highlight” lines denote the most commonly used sizes from pre-cut fabric strips and squares.
· There are no 1/8” lines on the ruler; only ¼”, ½” and whole inch markings make viewing clear and uncluttered.
· It’s just plain fun to use!
Don't you just love a good mystery?
Piece and Love, Pat
Kate: “Hey Mom, Do you think you could help me make curtains for the pool house?”
Me: “And what pool house would that be?”
Kate: “You know, the one in my back yard.”
Me: “That’s a pool house? I thought it was a potting shed.”
Kate: “Whatever. The curtains in there are the ones Omi put up in 1962. The orange velvet is disgusting, and I’m not really into lace fruit.”
Orange velvet? Lace fruit? 1962?
Kate and her husband Paul bought Paul’s grandparents’ house when Omi and Opa downsized into a retirement community. It’s a lot more house and yard than they would have been able to afford as newlyweds, but the Omsters (as they are affectionately called) helped them arrange financing. It was certainly a big financial undertaking for K & P, and their budget is very tight; this will, however, be their forever home. Big yard, complete with an in-ground pool (and pool house/potting shed), and a 1950’s split-level house. Well maintained. Last decorated in the early 60’s by a well-meaning woman who was into fruity kitsch. Are you beginning to get the picture?
Kate: “What can we use to make curtains? Maybe I can pay you for them next month?”
Me: “How about if we take a look at my stash?”
Kate: “Why would I want to look in your trash?”
Me: “Follow me, girlie-girl, and your momma will teach you the value of a good stash.”
I hauled out a trunk where I keep fabric that isn’t part of my regular quilting stash. There were cotton knits for the tee shirts I was going to make for my grand kids (but never did); seersucker for some summer pants I've since lost the pattern for; yards and yards of blue net stuff with embroidered butterflies that I got from eBay to make a princess costume for Annabelle sometime before she turns 30; and there, in the very bottom of the trunk: PAYDIRT!
Kate gets free curtains worthy of Pool and Potting Shed Magazine, I get to make room for more fabric earmarked for wishful thinking projects, and my quarter inch foot gets to take a well-deserved vacation. Gotta love it.
So what did we learn? A good stash will save the day; there are fabric angels who guide us to purchase certain fabrics for a reason, not always apparent to us at the time; once fabric has been in your stash for more than a year, it’s free; and your daughter is never too old to need her momma (or her momma's stash).
Piece and Love, Pat
No, the canine chef in the profile picture is not my dog, but I surely wish it were. He/she looks very much like one of my old goldens, whipping up a treat in my kitchen. I found that picture somewhere on the internet and adopted it because I love to cook, I love golden retrievers, and that dog is in a lot better shape than I am.
The two cutie pies in the Hallmark Card picture to the right are my grand kids, Annabelle and Ian. You can be sure that I'll be posting more about them in the future.
What else will I be posting about? My passion for quilting and crafts, my family, my friends, Philadelphia sports teams, life in general, and anything else that pops into my mind. Please check back again to see what's On Deck. In the mean time, check out some of the blogs where I tend to lurk.
Piece and love,