Thursday, July 16, 2015


today was a day for practicing patience. It all started this morning at the Sonic in Burkburnett. They are awesome and have a drive thru. I pull up and wait my turn. After at least 12 minutes without one single car moving, there are at least four cars I can see, I decide to move to a hop spot. I push the button and wait. Meanwhile, the cars in the drive thru have moved one spot. still waiting and they have moved two, now three and I have yet to order. They are not moving quickly, but at least they are moving. If I had stayed in line I would have already placed my order. Okay, now finally I get to order. It should be here soon. . . . . . . . The car that was behind me plus 4 more have gotten their orders in the drive thru. . . . . . . Only two cars are in the drive thru, it has been about 30 minutes total at this Sonic so I back out, pull into the drive thru behind that last car and up to the window. I tell the guy that I had placed my order over at the hop spot, tell him what it was, a large sweet tea with raspberry, he goes to fix it and the hop walks out with my drink on a tray. she notices that there is no car - did I mention that I was the only car in the hop spots??? - she turns around to go back in and the guy hands me my drink. She still hasn't made it back in the door with the first drink - she was maybe 5 steps away from it when she turned around. I thought the window guy was the only one working since I hadn't seen anyone else so I wasn't mad, just frustrated.  

later today, I had to wait in a line of cars for the one lane construction. Not a bad wait, but patience was needed again. That wait was a nice break from all the driving.

When I got back into Odessa, the right -left-turn lane had about ten cars, but the left one only had one. Thinking the majority of those ten might turn into one of the two shopping centers or a hotel I got into the inside lane planning to quickly move over before my street came up. Nope! I had to go down two main streets -approximately twelve to twenty block/streets before someone was nice enough to let me get over. Thank you red pick-up. Really frustrating so I got to practice my patience once again.

since I have been gone for two weeks, there is no food in the house so out once again I go  to get food. The guy in front of me decided at the last minute (he was already at the speaker) that he didn't want Panda Express so in order not to have to wait in line he has to back up a bit to exit before the concrete makes him go all the way through. I notice what he is trying to do and thankfully no one is behind me so I can back up and give him more room. He backs up, turns a little, realizes he needs to back up more, turns a little and once again, make another back up adjustment and he is free to go around the corner. Totally embarrassing driving for a guy in a little black sports car. (little and black reminds me to post again tomorrow. Can't have two posts in one evening). I am done practicing my patience for one day and just want to crash, but will have to keep practicing while the second floor cools off after I remembered to turn the thermostat down to live-able.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Summer of Fun and KFC

It's never fun being sick, but it's especially no fun in the summer!!  It probably started out as an allergic reaction to a spider bite on my arm.  Then turned into allergies and asthma - or so I thought - but was finally diagnosed as another sinus infection.  Thank goodness I had been taking breathing treatments along the way because the doc said that probably kept it from going into my lungs since I waited over a week to go see her.  Yes, I am bad and put it off - read above - I just thought it was allergies!  Well, that is not where it ended.  Nope, can't just have a sinus infection.  I have to have a reaction to the medicine, too.  Now that the first meds are out of my system, I am starting on round two!  I really slept most of Thursday away.  20 hours of sleep, 3 saltine crackers, about 12 ounces of sweet tea and 102 fever - it was not a fun day!  (not to mention when I was up, I was not enjoying myself, if you know what I mean!)  It has not been a great start to July.

I haven't gotten into much sewing this summer like I had planned.  I can't seem to latch onto a project that I want to work on.  I have taken apart 3 blocks from my KFC swap (Kaffe Fassett Collective) that were either too small (about 1/2" to 3/4" too small) or were wonderful, but just too dark to fit in with all the others. 
I couldn't use the ones that were too small, they were mostly cut wrong, but the too dark one, I have taken apart and put back with other fabrics.  I was able to use one of the middle squares from the too small ones which I am glad since they were two of my favorite blocks.  I may try to remake the two, too small ones if I can find fat quarters of those fabrics since I don't have any of those fabrics in my stash.  I have received a few more blocks and made one more myself - to make up the numbers.  I hopefully will have 20 blocks sometime soon (2 more members yet to mail theirs - or for me yet to receive) 
I have another set of blocks from the earlier KFC swap and here again, there are a couple of blocks that are too small.  I think I may just sash them and off set the setting and I will get to keep the too small ones in there.  The sad thing is, these too small ones might be made by the same person that made the other too small blocks.  She has great color sense and it's not a sewing problem which would be an easy fix.  Unfortunately it's a cutting problem and that can't be fixed on this end.  All I can do is try to make it work. 
I am doing one more KFC only quilt and then I am done for awhile.  This may be why I am having such a hard time finding a project.  I am finishing up my scrappy trip with KFC quilt.  Or I would be if I could make myself work on it some more.  I think I have over half of the blocks completed, all of the strip sets sewn together and just need to cut and sew and unsew and sew and unsew and sew and well, you get the picture. (I am not making mistakes when I unsew - it's what you have to do to make this quilt.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015


I always have great intent on posting something new, but get distracted by all the games on Face book.  Then I need to read and catch up with what is happening in my friends and families lives around the country and never make it over here to post.  Truth be told, I have been too busy and too exhausted to even get on the computer most nights in the past 2 or 3 weeks.  I think I went an entire week without even opening my home computer.  That is not to say that I didn't get on a computer or phone or tablet.  NOPE!  That just means I didn't get on my home computer to blog.  (I have been known to blog at school, but that is usually when I have everything done and need to either A) immediately write down or post a blog about what I am thinking or B) fill time or C) avoid doing something I don't want to do - like grade projects or papers.) I have been on here twice - no, three times this weekend and I am finally getting over here to the blog.  Looks like I made it here twice this month.  That is really good considering it was May with all the things that happen during this month - school coming to a close, parties and graduations (not that I go to either one of those, but have catered a few), cleaning the class, restaurant and kitchen - well, getting my students to clean all those things, grading. grading and more grading making sure everything is in the computer and accounted for, packing away everything in the class and labeling all the equipment readying the room to be cleaned by the custodial staff and last, but not least, typing up finals.  I am not one of those teachers that teaches the exact same things every year where I can use the exact same final year after year.  I really don't know how they do that.  Life happens in my classroom that knocks plans out the window on a continuous basis and I never know what will be on the final until the week of finals.  I was in and out so much this spring (sick, competition, sick, state competition, caterings), that I realized when I pulled up part of last years final for Restaurant Management, that they may not have covered what was on that exam. I know I didn't remember going over it.  Although, it was part of a sub assignment they were to cover.  So, instant review sheet!!  Now, to pull several exams, cut and paste and add some new stuff and voila!  new finals!  Now, for the bad part.  My final exam schedule - due to double blocked classes and the set schedule, all my classes have two different parts.  What I mean by that is for example, my 2nd/3rd period class comes to class for second period and then leaves for lunch and returns for third.  (the next day my 6th/7th period does the same thing) However, the fun one for me is the 4th/5th period class that comes the last session of the day on day 1 and the first session of the day on day 2, but since it's the spring semester - only the juniors come on day two because the seniors took their exam spread out over the two days before finals even started.  Got that?  It totally confuses the majority of my students the first year they are in my class.  So, I literally give two different final exams!! Part of one exam we started this week - is cleaning!!  It gets my stuff all clean and gives them a grade.  The best part is - it's part of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)   It's part of the curriculum!!!  That is a fairly easy thing to grade.  You either did it or you didn't.  Or like one group - you part way did it and another group had to come in and re-do it?  very few points are coming your way.  However, you have another day to try and earn more points for that part of the final.  Works for me!  I am hoping to wrap up the rest of the cleaning tomorrow and have Tuesday as a quiet study day - knowing my classes it won't be quiet - before giving the finals on Wednesday and Thursday.  Woo Hoo!  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  However, it's not shining very bright since we have 3 - count them 3 - inservice days after the students are gone.  One is our normal records day where we finish up grades and last bit of cleaning and putting away items.  The other two are new this year and are inservice days.  WHAT???  Why would you put inservice days in the calendar after the school year ends?  You have teachers that have already resigned and retired or are looking to get out and you want to do an inservice?  I think it is totally ridiculous and don't know what everyone else will be doing on those days, but our crew is giving a test.  (This part has been deleted by me because it was more of a rant and I don't think you want to hear what I have to say about this situation and will quit right here.)  I hope to be on here more this summer and share with you what I make, cook and create.   Okay since I have used this as a distraction and avoidance of typing up exams, I can leave you and go feed my barking dogs.  It must be close to 5.  It's amazing how well they can tell time some days.  (They are usually spot on, but some days they try to get food early and start in about 4:00.  Not, today.  It's 4: 55 and time for me to go feed them)  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Geat Reviews

Everyone LOVED the salsa!!  I just laugh because it is Pace Picante sauce that I added extra spice and flavor to and it just disappeared out of the kitchen!!  My students were upset that there wasn't anymore left today to eat with the leftover enchiladas.   Now, that one of my students finally came by to pick up what he left in my classroom I can go home and sew!!  I am working on backs to quilts to I can send  4 or 5 quilts off to the quilter.  I haven't sent anything to her in so long!  I am excited to pick out quilt patterns and thread choices.  Now to just get some tops out of my house!!  I still need to put on the binding for about . . . 12 quilts that she previously quilted.  Oh, well.  I am only in it for the fun part!  Picking fabric and sewing tops!  gotta go!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recipes and Fun Times

Since I have been here last, I have been to Corpus Christi, Texas with a bus load of students for state competition, celebrated Easter, spent 3 days quilting with my friends and celebrating my birthday.  At school, I have done 2 caterings,  2 restaurants, taught and practiced sauces, cupcakes and argued with my students about how to make Green Chili Enchiladas!!  Life has been busy to say the least.  Speaking of Green Chili Enchiladas, I have a friend coming to restaurant this week that has been put on a no meat diet.  It is killing her- a rancher's daughter who grew up eating red meat - to not eat ANY meat at all.  It would kill me, too.  She really wanted to come to our last restaurant this week, but we are serving green chili chicken enchiladas (yum!), but she can't eat any.  I thought about leaving out the chicken, but we use cream of chicken soup, and she can't have any of that either.  So, I created a black bean green chili enchilada just for her.  It is actually delicious despite the turned up noses of my students.  Once they tasted them - we had to bake a couple just to see if they worked - they thought they were delicious!!  This is a recipe that is great the way it is, but I keep thinking of other things I can add or change up to make them better.  (sour cream in the sauce?) ( green chilis inside the enchiladas) See, I keep tweaking it in my head and it keeps getting more delicious!  At least in my head it sounds delicious. 

Speaking of delicious, another item we are making this week for restaurant is tres leches cake.  This is one of those easy, simple cakes that everyone thinks is hard to make.  Trust me, it's not.  One group of students was slicing up strawberries and putting sugar on them getting them ready to go over the cake.  Another group were cutting up cilantro and doctoring up some salsa that I had on hand.  You know that commercial, "you got peanut butter in my chocolate. you got chocolate in my peanut butter" ?  Well, I took a strawberry and a cilantro leaf and . . . the rest is history.  Those flavors go really well together.  One of my students and I were tempted to toss it all together and leave class just so we could enjoy the loveliness in peace.  We didn't, but look for a dessert sometime in the future with those two as the showpiece!  (or maybe even a strawberry/cilantro margarita in celebration of cinco de mayo!)

I am trying to get one or two more backs sewn this week so I can send quilts off to my quilter.  I need to be sending her 2 a month until I can clear all the tops out of my room, but I don't get backs done that fast.  (to me that is the boring part)   It's a sad top overtaking my room situation.  I also want to create more tops.  I see something online and start pulling fabric in my head to create,  but know that I really, really need to work my way through my tubs and try and get some past projects finished.  I know, I will make myself a deal of some kind.  Make 2 quilt backs, finish up a tub and then at the end of the month I can start a new quilt.  sounds good to me, but then when the 1st of June rolls around, what then?  Make 2 quilt backs, finish up a tub and . . . work on the same project I started last month?  that sounds like another tub finish.  Oh, well, I will figure it all out. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I just love Martha Negley fabric

My mother sent me a video on a new to me technique courtesy of 24 blocks.  You can check it out here:  I wanted to try this out, but I didn't want to use my 10 inch squares that I already have slated for another project.  I also didn't want to cut any 10 inch squares - that would require too much thinking on what fabrics to pull, where do I plan on using them - 5 or 10 inch squares, etc.  Tooo Tooo much thinking.  I wanted a simple fast project to distract from finishing another project.  (which is why it was in a box/tub to begin with - I got distracted)  I received some 5 inch white squares from Missouri Star - okay, I purchased some more fabric and these were the gift for purchasing a certain amount - I had to do it.  I needed these for this project.  Okay, I didn't know I needed them for this project when I purchased that fabric, but the universe must have know I would need them and therefore made me purchase all that fabric.  Okay, it wasn't allll that fabric.  That sounds like there was a lot of fabric purchased.  There wasn't that much.  Only some charm packs (on clearance), a jelly roll - that is getting made into a jelly roll race quilt this weekend, some extra yardage to go as borders for the race quilt.  (side track here - have you seen the new aged muslins by Marcus Brothers?  that is what I am using to make the race quilt.  I can't wait to see this one made up!  go ahead and check them out.  I will wait here) 

Oh, good, you're back.  Don't you just love them!!  I can't wait to get started on this quilt.  In the meantime, I made this little one using the above technique.  Like I said before, I used the white squares along with some pink Amy Butler squares that were previously cut up and waiting to go into the 5" tub.  I then pulled out some 2 1/2" squares from that tub and in just a few hours I had half my blocks done.  In a couple of hours the next night the other half were done and the top pieced together.  I thought I would leave it like that, but decided last night to add a border.  I auditioned several colors when this green screamed at me to try him.  I did and magic was made.  It brings out all the green in the little squares and because it's a complementary color to the pink, it makes it shine!!  I then went on a hunt through the drawers for a final border.  I just love Martha Negley fabric.  Her fabric and Kaffe fabrics have always been a couple of my favorites.  Oh, you want to see what I am rambling on about?  Well, look

It's a small quilt measuring only about 23 inches or so.  (it's not square, but I think it's about 22.25 X 25.25 or something like that.  It was late last night and I can't remember)  See how that green just pops some of those blocks?  The coloring on is a bit off in the picture, but it still looks great.  The squares came out about 4 inches for the pink ones.  The white ones were 3 3/4" so I had to trim up the pink ones to match.  I don't know why the white ones were smaller.  Maybe because they were machine cut and I cut the pink ones. (differences in rulers?)  Anyway, now I need to cut a backing - not sure if I want to use my Martha on the back of this one or save the rest for a future project - and then get it quilted.  I will definitely have to machine quilt this one due to the seaming in the blocks.  It's a bit thick when you sew them like this, but like the lady on the video says, it's a fast method. I can't wait to try some of her other quick quilt methods.  Show me what you do if you use this method.  I would love to see it and be inspired by you.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

LIfe and Sewing

Life definitely is a roller coaster.  I try to make it up the tall - click, click, click - hill first before looking downhill and toward the curve.  This year seems to be more of a focus on the hill and getting past that before moving on.  I have been trying to take each week at a time and then moving on to the next week.  I have so much on my calendar that sometimes that is all I can do right now.  One of my students reminded me that the state trip was only about 2 1/2 weeks away.  WHAT???  It's that close.  I thought I had about a month.  When did it creep up so fast?  WHAT??  I have 2 restaurants, a presentation dinner, a presentation class, Bunco and Easter (plus whatever else life presents) before even thinking about state.  BUT, I guess I need to think a little bit further ahead than just the month of March.

Getting sick is a bummer.   Two weeks ago, I was finally feeling better and recovering from a Bacterial Sinus infection (from the first of February).  I was out of school for Spring Break and planning on sewing all week long and spending time with my quilt group down at the church.  (all of which happened and was wonderful!!)  Pictures (sorry I didn't take many of them) coming up.  Then at the end of the week (Saturday) I wake up not feeling so great, but I continued on.  Sunday - yep, you got it.  Another Sinus infection, but I have to return to school on Monday.  This time it's a viral infection.  (Can't you infections leave me alone long enough to rebuild my immune system?)  Today is Sunday a week has gone by and I am feeling better (a shot and Z-pac plus a couple days in bed will do that for you).  I am back on the road to recovery - finally feeling much better and getting ready for the next few weeks! 

Even though I didn't really sew much for the month of February (felt horrible most of that month), I have put the pedal to the metal and am screeching around those curves on that roller coaster.  (sewing wise, as least)  I have completed several things and am emptying some tubs.  (I have also filled a couple of them back up with new projects, sigh). 

Here are a few items on the finished and finished for now list (these last ones just need to be quilted).  I am back in the Kaffe Fassett Block Exchange and these are the first blocks I made for one of the ladies.  (We are to make two blocks from KFC fabrics in the lady's choice of pattern - KFC = Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics- Kaffe, Brandon Mobley and Philip Jacobs)  My choice won't be until June. 

A jelly roll quilt that I started a couple of years back and finally finished putting the blocks (most of them already made) together.  I even have the back made AND binding ready to go.  Now it just needs to be quilted!!  (This is one of the tubs I have already filled back up with fabrics and 3 made blocks for our groups quilt along.)  I loved these fabrics when they came out and still do!  This may even be two jelly rolls?  I can't remember.  I do know that I have had the fabric for the back of this quilt for awhile just waiting for me to finish the blocks. 
 Below are two of the three blocks - guess I didn't take a picture of block # 3 - of our groups quilt along quilt.  I am using some Amy Butler fabric and the background is a cream print with small brown dots. The colors look really pale in these pictures, but the blocks look more alive than this.  Maybe future pictures will be able to show the color better.   I tried to put the two blocks side by side on the computer screen, but they weren't having any of that. 
Block # 1 of the groups quilt along
Block # 2 of the group quilt along
 We started out on Monday, learning how to make this bag and how to Ruche flowers. (I don't know how to spell it, but now I know how to do it.  LOL)  Some people were impressed that I knew how to needle turn the leaves.  I can do handwork when I choose.  I just don't choose to do it very often.  The stems were put on by machine. This bag is made with pre-quilted fabric and I machine quilted the yellow pocket on front.  You can't tell, but there are two pockets on the front.  A green one and a yellow one. 
A close up of the flowers so you can see the beading on the centers just to give it a little something special.  The flowers could have been larger, but I quit when my thread ran out or broke. 

Bag number two for the week was interesting to make.  Another member in our group had recently made a bag like this and I really liked it so I jotted down the number of 5 inch squares that were needed and that is about all I wrote down on my sheet of paper.  I pulled some squares I had previously cut, but haven't added to my 5" box and sewed them all together.  (6 across, three down = 18 and then 4 across the bottom center part - for your "boxing of the corners" - and then repeat for the other side = total of 44 squares.)  I sewed each side up and then used a fusible batting.  Quilted a quick pattern on there, decided that I would need a lining so I folded this in half, laid it out on my lining fabric (really some extra fabric I had there with me because I didn't think ahead) and cut a lining to match the size.  Sewed up the bag and the lining getting ready to put together and I came to a screeching halt.  STRAPS!!!  What was I going to do about handles/straps????  A bag of this size really needs handles that go across the bottom to give it extra support.  So, was I going to take it apart and put the straps on?  NO!  I wasn't taking this apart.  I measured how long I wanted the straps, cut the fabric, sewed them together threaded some batting inside the tube, sewed it all down.  Pinned them onto the bag (still all sewn up, but without the lining so I had to curve around it)  Guess what?  The handles only turned out to be about 6 inches long over the top of the bag.  NOPE, not going to work.  I took the strips apart - because you know I had already sewn it into a loop and it has batting in the middle of it.  Major work went into this bag.  I added another strip to the handle, sewed it all back together and attached it to the bag.  Down the side, over the edge and across the bottom, over the edge and back up the side and repeat not once, but three more times.  I then decided that this bag needed binding around the top instead of just flipping and sewing the lining in so I cut some binding strip (again, from some fabric I had on hand since I didn't think ahead) and VOILA!!  Below is my new bag.  Oh, yes.  Since I thought it needed some extra support and before I bound the top I added a piece of fusible Pel-tex into the bottom and fused the bag and lining to it to give it some stability. That works out great and now the bag can stand up on it's own, but doesn't feel too stiff. 

I really like the scrappiness of it all.  On the next one, yes, there will be a next one so I can write down what exactly needs to be done since this one was hit and miss.  Anyway, on the next one, I will add a pocket or two or three.  Maybe a couple on the outside.  The only thing about this bag I am unhappy about is....see that green fabric on the left side?  the exact same fabric is right next to it on the other side.  grrrr.  Since I put the two sides together separately, I didn't even think about the sides matching up.  It's not a major thing and really truly not a big deal, but I know that if I had taken the time to think (the story of this bag is the complete lack of thinking) that little problem wouldn't have happened. 
I didn't make this pillow during the week, but it was recently made.  I was playing around in my box of strips and started sewing together some of the black and white strips.  Then I decided they needed a little bit of color.  So, I added a little bit of color from time to time.  I put it up on my wall and left it for a few weeks then decided it needed to be a pillow.  I added a little more to it to square it up and began quilting it.  I quilted some large free form flowers in pink, orange, red and light pink.  You can see the round circles of the flower centers in this picture. 

Here's a close-up of a couple of the flowers.  Each one has at least two different colors in them.  They are surrounded by lime green vines and leaves, all free motion quilted.  This is one way I can work on my free-motion quilting and try to improve it and have something that is fun to have around. 
So, what is next on the agenda?  I am still clearing out some tubs and the next tub has some 5 inch squares I cut from two different fabrics and some charm packs.  I had planned on doing a disappearing 9 patch with these blocks and had already sewn and cut apart 5 or 6 blocks.  Some people in my quilt group worked on quilts that they had started in the Odessa Quilt Guild where they sewed 9 patch blocks, cut them in half two ways and then only turned opposite corners.  I had also only cut these blocks in half two ways so that is what I am going with for this quilt.   Here are 9 blocks on the board and I like how they come together to create a semi bow-tie thing and how the colors run at an angle.  I think I will do a 4 X 5 setting and then sew the leftover print blocks together for a border.  I may even cut some into circles and applique them over the top of those more solid blocks.  It's just a thought for now, I haven't tried it to see what it will look like, but maybe I will get a chance by this weekend.  This is for sure, a very spring/Easter quilt so it's the perfect time to be working on it.  One more tub almost emptied out!