Friday, February 24, 2012

A Flock of Fairies

Historically, I've not been a big fan of panels.  It's not that they don't look great, but somehow I always felt that I was cheating if I used them.  However, when I found the fairy fabric, I had to have it.  It was simply too adorable to pass up.  I had no use for it at the time I bought it, but life has a way of taking care of those issues.  My cousin and his wife are having a baby girl in April.  Fairies for a little girl.  Perfect!

I finished the flimsy last Saturday.  I'm quite pleased.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

Gainfully Employed:

I've fallen behind on my quilting and quilt blogging ~ again.  But I have a good excuse.  Really.  I've been job hunting, and it finally paid off.  I am now a medical instructor at Wright Career College.  I begin teaching on Tuesday.

Wright Career College is not your traditional college.  It's geared to accommodate working people.  As such there is no summer break, which enables people to get their education in the shortest time possible.  And classes are scheduled just three days per week ~ Tues, Wed, Thurs with both morning and evening sessions available for students.  For instructors, they are long days.  I will teach from 9:30AM-2:30PM and from 5:30PM-10:30PM.  In the 3 hour break between 2:30PM and 5:30PM, I'll get an hour break for lunch and then have time to do grading and class preparation.  Those three days will net me 36 hours, and is all I am required to do.  If I want a full 40, I have the option of coming in on Mondays and / or Fridays to do class preparation, staff meetings, tutoring, etc.   This will work out great because it ought to allow me at least a three day weekend if I manage my time right.  I'm glad to have one day off during the week to be able to deal with whatever business tasks come along.

The employment was especially good news having come on the heels of being rear-ended in the snow on Monday and my mom having her purse snatched on Tuesday.


I'm always a bit regretful about throwing away the nifty sized, plastic Folgers containers.  But I had an inspiration recently.  This one now serves as a desktop trashcan for all of the miscellaneous bits of thread and fabric that seem to quickly multiply during the quilting process.

I used to keep a trash can on the floor next to my sewing chair, but there were two problems with it.  The first was that if it was close enough to be useful, it was in my way.  So I'd move it.  Then it was never where I needed it to be. Secondly, even if the trashcan is close by, a puff of air sends threads everywhere but in the can.  (Nothing like a trashcan surrounded by bits of thread.)  With this little can right next to my machine, there are no misses.

Lovebug ~ Just Because I Can:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

A Pile of Pinwheels! 

I've decided the best way to show off the fairies in this baby quilt is to sash them. These pinwheels will reside at the junctions.  They measure just 3 1/2 inches.

Vegas Baby!

Last week at this time I'd just arrived home from visiting my friend, Michele in Las Vegas.  Seems ironic, but we didn't step one foot inside a casino.  After living there for a couple of years, the casinos lose their appeal.  Besides, why would we need to go anywhere with a fridge full of beer?

Okay, we did get out one day and walk down the street to Nacho Daddy's where we had, yes nachos, and margaritas.  After all, a woman cannot live by beer alone!  :-)
It was one of those terrific low stress, hanging with the girlfriend type of weekends.  I need those more often!

Blogger Layout:

I've been tweaking my blog layout.  I increased the size of the main column, the post column, and in so doing, made the entire blog a bit wider.  That's fine except that I am having trouble with my header picture.  I tried to figure out how to center it to no avail.  Then I tried to make my picture longer both in Picasa and Photoshop.  None of those efforts translated well at all.  Any tips? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Favorite Things Friday ~ Technology

Born at the tail end of 1963, I am old enough to remember those plain, black, heavy, rotary-dial telephones.  By the time I was a young adult, the first cell phones were in use, along with personal computer whose monitors weighed a ton. These inventions changed life as we know it (unless you happen to be a technophobe, in which case, you won't be reading this anyway).  Cell phones, personal computers, and the Internet have opened up the world to us ~ have made it so open in fact that I can link this post to Shay's Favorite Things Friday blog, hosted by a funny, talented, wonderful lady from Australia who isn't even on the same day of the week as I am.  When I post this on Friday, it will already be Saturday there.

I so enjoy the people I have met through the Internet ~ people I've never seen in the flesh, but regard as friends.

Now, technology has made it possible to self-publish one's own books with ease and little to no expense.  No longer are the big publishing houses the gatekeepers of bookdom.  Yes, these institutions no doubt do insure that books are held to good grammatical standards and comprehendable content.  However, they are in the business of making money, and to that end, they tend to publish the same fare over and over because they know certain types, styles, and plot-lines sell.  They do not take risks on anything too original, or content that does not fit into an easily marketable niche.

So today, I hold in my hands the very first hard copy of the book my dad and I wrote together ~ a paranormal, contemporary fantasy, Beyond the Mortal Coil, rejected by one of those big publishing houses for being "too original."  (I kid you not!)  My dad was the imagination and wordsmith, and my role was to help brainstorm, research, type, and edit.

Life is good!

*A special thanks to my cousin-in-law, Eric, for doing the proofreading, and blogging about the book himself.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maple Leaf Table Runner

So my mom's Christmas gift ~ the Maple Leaf table runner ~ was a little late.  You see, I had left myself just enough time to make it before Christmas, but then my mom and I got this great idea to make hand-made gifts for almost everyone with whom we exchange gifts.  That blew my well-planned thought I could eke by schedule into total chaos.  My mom graciously agreed to be patient about receiving her own hand-made gift.

I consoled myself that since the table-runner was seasonal, for use in the Fall, she would still receive it well in advance of when she would be using it.

I spent more time quilting it than I did piecing it.  As I've become more comfortable with free motion quilting, it seems with every project, I feel compelled to try something new, which also tends to make the process longer.

My mom has found a way to use the table-runner now.  It now resides on the back of the sofa where she can enjoy it.

She has told me that for next Christmas, she would like a table-topper like the ones I made for P. at The Way I Sew It, and my cousin, Lori.  To that end, I have left the Christmas fabrics out and will start on it as soon as I am done with the baby quilt that must be completed by April. Next year, her gift will be on time!

I'm linking up at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Click on the button below, and join in the fun!

Edit: Although I knew Elizabeth at Such a Sew and Sew was having a February Finishes linky party, I didn't realize I could link up already.  I thought it would be at the end of the month.  Apparently, it is ongoing.  So, I'm linking up there too!