Working In My Own Little World

A couple of weeks ago one of the partners in our firm was exposed to Covid. Unfortunately without telling use he decided to come in one more day and meet with another partner, my boss. Both have now been home sick since January. I try not to be a germophobe but it bothers me how many people think only of themselves.

So, after having the office professionally sanitized and the staff all testing negative we are back at work. I decided you just never know so I’ve used the extra space in my office and made my own little break area. I feel like I work in my own world.

I’ve got my NuWave oven so I can literally bake or air fry anything you can at home. I’ve added an electric kettle that boils water for anything you want. I boil water then heat my veggies with it. I’ve used it for oatmeal instead of using the community microwave. And best of all I bought my own tea picture and I use it to make fresh ice tea. I’ve gone as far as to purchase my own insulated bottles and bring my coffee from home have my own coffee station in my office. I have my own cups and bring my own ice from home. Excessive, probably.

I have to say I rather enjoy living in my own little world here. I don’t have to leave except to talk to a client or use the bathroom which is bleach wiped throughout the day. Ok I might be a germaphobe after all. Waiting on boss to ok my own mini fridge but till then I bring everything in an insulated bag to avoid the community fridge.

And before you ask, YES I have my own personal popcorn machine. What good is an office without popcorn.

Love that sexy green bottle. A gift from my dear friend Marilyn.

That sexy bottle from my sister holds enough coffee for the day and keeps it steaming hot.

Have a blessed day and be safe my friends.

Upcoming Quilts

These are a few of the quilts I want to do for 2021, the year of Vicky, aka, Queen V. This will likely be a long post.

This is a log cabin version I’ve wanted to make for a very long time. I’m using an off white, Kaffe design roll and a bunch of Kaffe leftovers. I’m not loving it so far, but I hope once the borders are made and I piece together the whole thing I will like it more. It totals 1804 pieces and I still have 190 pieced strips to make for the border before I can assemble it.

This is one using my crazy curved templates. I made one in 2008 and it was a hot mess. 10 plus years later I hope to do a better job. I used 2 different fabric lines from Tula Pink. The more I made, the less I liked the blocks and the quilt as a whole. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought what if I added some black. Yes quilts sometimes create themselves in my mind while I sleep. Here is the result and I am really liking it so far. Once I finish the log cabin, I’ll finish up these blocks. I hope it comes out as cool as it is in my mind.

Once I get those 2 completed I have a bargello I wanted to make. It also lets me practice on a mariner’s compass before I embark on a huge one I want to make. I bought this as a kit and while I haven’t seen anyone else make one, I still don’t like that all of them are identical colors. I also need a pop of color in all my quilts so I’ll be changing out at least one color from the ones in the picture so I get that zing I’m looking for. I’m eager to see what it becomes.

After that I may start the lone star. It was one of 2 quilts I saw that made me want to learn quilting. This is a simple pattern, so I’m told, but once I know I can do this I will likely make another. I likely won’t use that border idea cause it’s not speaking to me. I’m glad I made the 2 diamond quilts last year as I just wasn’t sure I understood how they have to line up when piecing. I bought the jelly roll recommend in this pattern so it will look close but I’m still debating the background color.

Next up will likely be this paper pieced one. I’m trying to go back and forth between different techniques so I learn to do them more accurately. I bought some unique colors for this one. Again you hope the finished one is as cool as it is in my head but it doesn’t always work out that way. I bought a multicolored blue for the background then wanted the stars to look like they exploded out from the center. I bought 2 colors of silver with black trim for the center star then off to one side I want to “burst” from yellow to orange and off to the other side from blues to greens. It wouldn’t be the first quilt to look better in my head but I guess we’ll know once it’s done.

I think after this I’ll give my brain a rest and make one called Simply Squares. It looks easy enough but it also looks like every seem will need to be exact. I bought jelly rolls for this as it recommended so I’d understand the color placement then I can remake using different colors.

I haven’t decided after that if it will be another bargello or another log cabin type quilt. While bargello’s are easy because you’re just placing strips, it does take some effort to make sure you choose the right colors to make them stand out. I haven’t decided on any colors for this one yet. I need to check fabrics I bought for another quilt as I think I’ll have leftovers and wonder if it would work for this one. The second one is a diamond log cabin. If I have enough, I want to use a bunch of blues I bought in Michigan last year. The log cabin looks a bit challenging so I hope I can understand it enough to not only make it, but get the colors placed right so it works out like it should.

This is the last quilt in my 2021 line up, or at least planned ones I want to do weighs heavy on my mind. I really do think it is likely way above my skill level and since it uses a LOT of fabric, I worry if I’ll be wasting it. My fear isn’t each piece but fitting them all together once I am done. 15 plus years ago I thought wow I would love to be able to make a mariner’s compass quilt. That started my quilting journey but I have never even tried it until now because it looked hard and like it would take a long time. Well 3-400+ quilts later and it’s time. I was so fixed on finding a mariner’s pattern I really liked, that I failed to notice all the flying geese. They are the bane of my quilting world. I don’t make them well which makes me dislike making them. But sometimes you just gotta go all in, so 2021 here we go. Well I guess I better not date it. I’ve never seen one someone made. A lot said they bought it but were too intimidated to start it so who knows I might still be here years later working on it. I purchased a lot of different batiks for the compass and geese and I bought white and hunter for the background as I was undecided which I wanted. I have a hard time lately sewing dark colors but not sure I want that much white in a quilt. Too boring for me.

Those are hopefully my 2021 line up. I still have hundreds of quilts playing around in my head and I know 2021 will likely include a couple of octagon quilts as well as I love making them. Well it goes beyond love. I think I’m actually addicted to making octagon and 4 patch poseys. I want to cut all my fabric into them and see how they come out.

So if you’re so inclined, let me know what you have planned for 2021. Have a blessed day.

I’m Creating More Quilters

A former co-worker of my daughter is moving back to our area and will be staying with me for a while till she gets back on her feet. She’s also my dog groomer so that makes life easier. Imagine my surprise when she said “oh I’d love if you could teach me to quilt”. Well needless to say, I’ve created another quilter.

I gifted her one of my vintage machines so she has a 1950’s Singer 99 all oiled and ready to go. Her first project was a jelly roll race to get used to sewing that elusive 1/4 in accurately. That’s done and while she’s waiting on me to quilt it, she started on a string quilt for her daughter. I warned her about telling people she is quilting and she laughed but she’s already had 3 requests for a quilt. LOL. Live and learn.

She’s been having trouble with the vintage machine so since yesterday was her birthday, I gifted her a little Brother. Nothing fancy but I told her as she progresses, she can upgrade.

My Boys

With cooler weather setting in for Florida my boys seem to love it. They run around and play a lot more. Even Argus, with his back wants to play with the other 2 more. However when it comes to sleeping for the night, the boys want to be warm. Even Kiljeadean wants a blankie but she has her own room heater and rarely lays anywhere but right in front of it. I’m waiting to find a pile of ashes where she went up in flames.

Here are the boys keeping warm.

Taking A Pause

I just realized, here we are in February of 2021 and I haven’t finished a single quilt in 2021. I have a few that are pieced and as soon as they are basted I will quilt and bind those, but I haven’t been rushing to do it. Even though they were pieced in 2020, I don’t consider them done till they are DONE so they will be 2021 quilts.

This year I’ve decided to simply make less quilts and do some of the patterns I have longed to do for years. Some I have put aside thinking they are likely outside or above my skill level, but in all honesty, most I have put aside because they are time consuming and I felt I could make a lot more in the time one took. I have now donated or gifted over 400 quilts and it’s time to step back, make less and do the ones that have been on my to do list for years.

So what’s on your to do list for 2021?

Have a blessed day.

Gluten Free Bread – The Good, The Bad And the Ugly

The Bad: I wanted to love Chick fil a for making a gluten free bun but they hyped it too much. They talked about how they worked so long and so hard with a bakery to get it just right. The owner of the bakery was even gluten free. I still doubted because if you’ve ever eaten gluten free bread, you know it sucks. So last week I took the plunge and gave that bun a try. Now I wish I had not. The bun comes in an individual plastic wrapper and you make the sandwich yourself. That made me nervous as I wondered how long they had it hanging around. While I have to say it wasn’t disgusting, to say it was a good bun, was a long stretch. Very long. If you like full wheat grain bread you would like it better. It kind of has a dirt texture and basically tasted like a stale whole grain wheat bun. I wouldn’t order again.

The Ugly: Canyon Bakery bread. Celiac site said oh it’s great. Hmmmm NO. If you like nasty, spongy, weird tasting bread it was delish for only $6 a loaf. I looked and they are one of the sponsors of the celiac website. That explains a lot.

The Good: If you’re gluten free you’re likely like me and have given up on bread. A good one haven’t found it’s way to me in the past. However, I found one this week that I would buy again and recommend. Not only is the bread good, but the name and descriptions crack me up. It’s called HAPPY CAMPER BREAD. I ordered the Classy Slice and it was good. It actually made my to date, favorite grilled cheese. I also tried the Buckwheat molasses and it made great toast. In fact it’s rare to find a GF bread that will actually toast but it does. Next week I’ll be trying to Hemp Hemp Horray. Crazy name but I think it will be good. It’s pricey but so is any gluten free bread and this is one you can eat.

Have a blessed day.

Hello Chick Fil A

Being gluten free means so much pre planning. I have to know what I have for breakfast and lunch so it’s ready to go. Not too hard as I can simply make some grilled chicken for a few days at a time or slice ham in advance.

Today I was enlightened. Everyone was ordering Chick Fil A and asked what I wanted before remembering I can’t eat gluten. But hey, did you know? When I looked it turns out Chick Fil A offers a gluten free bun. It’s individually packaged so it doesn’t touch other buns and comes sealed so you have to assemble your own sandwich. I called and they also said while not a gluten free environment, the waffle fries are in a dedicated fryer and gluten free and so is the grilled chicken breast.

So while I know I chance a slight gluten cross contamination, it’s Chick Fil A. I’ll let you know how it was after lunch.

Gluten Free – Day 3

Well, my doctor feels almost certain I have celiac disease. My prior tests came back inconclusive so rather than pay for those high price tests again, we are trying 30 days gluten free. So far even after the second day I see a difference.

Gluten free isn’t near as easy as you would think. It is close to impossible to eat out or use pre-made foods unless you ask a thousand questions but that’s ok as I’m not really into processed pre-made foods all that much. While it would be much easier to make a list of things I’d eat than it would things I won’t, I am trying to convince myself to try new foods. I will miss Chinese but msg is a main gluten ingredient so . . . . .

I am discovering some things I wouldn’t have thought of. Gluten free waffles made at home are much crisper and light than regular waffles. Bacon is gluten free thank goodness and most sausage is nowadays also as many companies are leaving out the msg. I found McDonalds will cook your eggs in a pan if you tell them you are allergic to gluten so you can still eat there.

I am trying very hard to make myself like sweet potatoes and while it’s not going that well I did try making twice baked sweet potatoes. OMG I loved them. They were even better heated up as I put it under the broiler and the bacon got so crunchy. I’m sure they are a lot more fattening that way but so tasty.

By the way I also discovered that while most restaurants offer a gluten free menu you better ask. I was surprised I could eat gluten free at Olive Garden. I thought I’d get the steak and potato dish but it’s gone from the menu so I ordered the gluten free pasta dish. Oh I should have asked. There is fairly good gluten free pasta out and I assumed they would just cook in a separate. NOPE. It comes to them pre-packaged and precooked. They just microwave the pouch of noodles and pouch of sauce and put it on a plate for a whopping $15.99. I made it thru 2 bites and just couldn’t. It was absolutely disgusting.

Breakfast today was a sausage pattie and over easy egg. Lunch was a grilled burger with no bun topped with grilled onions and that leftover sweet potato – very tasty.

Now I’m off to decide on lunch tomorrow.

Will 2021 Be Any Better?

I had high hopes that 2021 might be a much better year but it’s looking kinda iffy. With Biden coming in office making so many mandates and so much mis-information on Covid, I doubt much will change. Government wants to shut down businesses and ban travel. Bottom line, we are ruining people’s lives. But I leave that debate for another day as I try not to hash out politics I can’t change. Wait for the next election and hope people vote wiser.

But what changes for the common man, or woman in this case? Not a lot. I live a pretty quiet life. Some might call it boring but I’ve done enough in my younger years that quiet or boring is ok with me. I take care of my job, my house and my pups and that’s a good life. I get to see my sexy sister and her handsome hubby and couple times a year so that’s just icing on my cake.

One thing I hope to be able to change is how I handle my RA. Another walk in visit and it’s decided gluten is an issue so I am going to try my best to cut out gluten. Funny when I tell medical people that they are, it’s not a try, you have to do it. I do understand that it’s a food allergy just like any other and that you’re damaging your body eating it, but avoiding things like berries or certain meds is a whole lot easier than avoiding gluten. It’s in nearly everything you eat. You literally have to read every single label and do a lot of research. For instance, oatmeal is naturally gluten free so you’d think ok oatmeal is good. Nope. It’s usually contaminated with other things they process so you have to buy gluten free oatmeal which by the way costs almost twice as much. Doesn’t make sense to me that I have to pay more for it not to be cross contaminated. If I buy chicken I don’t expect it to be contaminated with fish. You don’t have to go in and ask for fish free chicken.

If you amble across this blog feel free to read along on the new endeavor. I’ll post what’s good, what’s bad and maybe even learn to like new foods. I wouldn’t bet money on the last one as I don’t like most foods. Well off to plan a make ahead gluten free breakfast.

My Body Part Quilt

I have become addicted to making octagon quilts. I really love mixing the octagons blocks with 4 patch posy blocks. I started wondering if you could take really ugly fabric and make it look great by making octagons? The thing with them is you don’t really know in advance what the finished blocks will look like. So, I set out on a quest to find a really ugly fabric and see what it came out like. I settled on this fabric called Bright Smoke. I tried to see in my mind what it would work into but there was no telling till you at least cut it out.

If you’re like me you’re looking at this going, hmmmmm. Well off I went. Lined up my repeats and started cutting. I have to say I was surprised how it came out. I like it as it’s very unique but my dog groomer walked in while I was laying out octagons to sew and she flipped. She said she couldn’t imagine that fabric made that but she was in love. It has since been finished and it’s jokingly referred to as my “body part” quilt. There are blocks of legs, heads, boobs and even one that is butt crack pieces. The day I showed it to her finished she even stayed while I washed it as she was excited to take it home. I would have to guess it’s without a doubt, one of a kind.