Fresh Starts


Willow, my quilting buddy, says blog and quilt. You can do both. So, I am going to start 2018 with the GOAL of posting twice a week. That means I have to get sewing and learning now to use my new machine – a Bernina 770QE – the most expensive sewing machine I have ever bought. It was between this and a long arm and since I have no space for a long arm unless I buy a new house :-), the Bernina won the battle.

In retrospect, 2017 was an oddly mixed year, with anxious moments, aka politics and family illnesses, and true fun, aka vacations and quilting. Let’s see what 2018 brings us. Or as I say practically daily – “It is what it is.” We just keep moving on – that’s all we can do.

I am making time for quilting and less vegging in front of the TV or reading news until I am an anxious mess. I will keep up with the news, but my goal is to not OBSESS about it. I’ll let you know how that goes.

So, quilting posts from now on, so I have to get busy or I will have nothing to post!


I am quickly losing my mind. My final day at work for two months is tomorrow.

So why am I insane? Let me count the ways:

  1. I have no speeds but full throttle and bored senseless.
  2. Bored senseless = nothing gets done but tv watching or reading. I was bored senseless for awhile this semester because the new course management system (Brightspace) wasn’t ready to build courses on. That also means limited quilting. See “nothing gets done.”
  3. I have four courses to set-up by 5 p.m. tomorrow. The Brightspace designers were clearly on crack when they designed it.
  4. I don’t do crack, so I have trouble understanding how the system is designed.
  5. My final day of work for two months is tomorrow and I STILL have student reports to write! See #4 above.
  6. I don’t get paid when I am on leave. I have one hell of a lot to do in less than 24 hours or I’m working free!
  7. I want to buy fabric! See #6.
  8. I want to retire in 2 years. See #7. Numbers 7 and 8 don’t quite mesh!
  9. I have seven cats–two with special needs. Crazy cat lady…I know, I know. It embarrasses me too, but they show up on our porch looking for a home.
  10. Exception to #9. We (my husband and I) brought a mother and a kitten back from Greece. Crazy cat lady x 2.
  11. My house needs cleaning. It is driving me crazy. I am trying to pretend I don’t have floors, so I don’t see the cat fur and dust bunnies. Waiting until May 1 to clean. Probably a mistake.
  12. Thank the gods, Latifah Saafir is coming to our guild May 12th and 13th–I am looking forward to that joyous occasion!
  13. I am president of our quilting guild. There is more organization to setting up speakers than I thought. We still need 3 more people to sign up! Please join us!
  14. I want to go to Paducah to Quilt Week this Saturday. See #6 and 7.
  15. I am thinking about getting a tax number and setting up an Etsy shop. See # 1 & 2.
  16. I am looking for a new house on the west side of Nashville. Need more quilting room. 🙂

and finally, not even worth a number – I dyed part of my hair blue and now my fingernails are blue too from when I push my hair out of my eyes. Fuschia was MUCH better!

April 28th addition:

Two cats with conjunctivitis. Off to the vet tomorrow. Oh joy! No Paducah for me.

Ottlites and Toikka Birds

I bit the bullet and ordered TWO,not one, but 2! Ottlites today from a big box retailer who had them 50% off. I got the 36W floor lamp and the Cone LED desk lamp. That should give me some light!

Ottlite36W OttLiteLEDConeDeskLamp

Truthfully, I would not have done that even though I need more light over my ironing board in the evenings and at the sewing machine, but I am trying to spend money we have left for “replacement” items after a house fire two years ago. I only have a month to spend the money.

I try to support my local quilt shops, but some items I just have to go to the box store to get. Fifty percent off lights, 40% off batting, and 30-50% off Gingher scissors (and I love my Ginghers). I want my local shops to stay in business though, so they get my fabric (and sewing machine) purchases.

Back to the replacement items for the house. We have a number of “decor” items to replace, and you have to replace “like for like”, which is harder than it sounds because the insurance companies don’t really tell you what works until you file your claim.  However, I think I am safe with this item as decor – an iittila Toikka bird from Finland. I have wanted an iittila Toikka bird for years, but have refused to buy one because I think they are ridiculously expensive. Now, we have to spend money within one month, so why not buy something you have always wanted.

To explain why a Toikka bird: I taught English in Finland for a year back in the early 90s. Because I was just starting out in teaching, I wasn’t making a lot of money at the time, and Finland is pricey. I kept looking at the iittila Toikka birds–drooling over is more like it–but could never justify the expense. This evening I bought a Toikka bird! I am so excited! Handblown glass from Finnish designers–this one the 2015 Lakla bird. It’s “story” is below the image.

iittala-toikka-lakla-2015-annual-bird-2 iittala-toikka-lakla-2015-annual-bird-35

“Inspired by a 19th century Finnish folk collection of poetry called the Kanteletar, Lakla (Bean Goose) is an imaginative character who acts as a lawyer for a willow warbler accused of stealing grain from a field. Lakla’s emerald color is an ode to the forests, which hold mysticism and meaning not only in Finnish literature but living, too.”

Love the color and the story! I’ll post actual photos once the bird arrives.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’ll get back to sewing tomorrow evening. I am currently letting quilting pattern ideas percolate through my brain. Quilting is not my best skill, but to improve, I both piece and quilt.