The holiday season is in full swing

Last night, I wrapped up my sewing session by completing the Santa hat quilt block in the Scrappiness is Happiness QAL. I thought it was quite fitting as today is Black Friday – the unofficial start to the Christmas season. Did you join the hordes of shoppers today? Years ago, I would have been decked out in my Christmas sweatshirt at 6 a.m. waiting in line for Joann’s to open. Not today. There wasn’t anything I needed.

Instead, I was in the mood to bake. I have a loaf of scratch-made banana bread in the oven. It’s been a while since I’ve made cookies, muffins or biscuits from scratch. Normally, baking involves a boxed brownie mix or refrigerated cookie dough that hubby likes. Let’s just say it’s definitely much easier than baking from scratch. I’ll enjoy my banana bread, though!

I’m trying to keep my hands busy with sewing, baking, organizing and cleaning. Why? So I don’t stress eat. I already find the whole Christmas season challenging enough to navigate. Add to this hubby’s check-up appointment at MD Anderson is next week. This appointment’s going to be much more involved than his previous ones because two tiny spots were detected on his April scans. I’m thankful he’s had volunteer stints with Team Rubicon to keep him occupied the past few weeks.

Today’s mail delivery brought happy mail – a straight stitch needle plate for the computerized machine I brought home from school. It’s been sitting in the closet since late May waiting for a former coworker to fetch it. I’m thankful she never did. The realization that this machine has an available straight stitch needle plate was a game changer. I now have a larger companion to my 3/4 size Elna STAR! It’s a 10-12 year old Janome DC3050. Sews a beautiful 820 spm (compared to the Elna’s 650 spm) and , is less likely to bounce on a plastic folding table since it weights 18.2 pounds. The perfect choice to take to retreats where I can drive and need a machine that can do a wee bit more than the Elna STAR. Problem solved at a minimal cost! The Baby Lock Jubilant is a fantastic machine, but it currently does not have an available straight stitch plate. The foot holder screw also has a tendency to work loose when sewing, which is highly annoying.

Daydreaming about quilty travels

Just for fun, I perused the offerings of the specialty quilt tour companies today. I was literally salivating as I read through the outside the USA tour descriptions – France, Spain, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Morocco – yes, please! These are definitely once in a lifetime trips (for me at least). The cost of a single trip, plus airfare and incidentals could easily reach $8-$10k.

A girl can always dream.

In reality, it looks like the majority of my quilty travels will be close to home in 2023. My hunch is I will be attending several BYOP events within a 2-3 hour drive. Why? (1) many instructors have chosen to remain virtual (YouTube) (2) projects advertised at some venues simply do not appeal to me and (3) airfare costs. The retreat/class fees may be perfectly reasonable, yet some destinations mean I have to tack on another $1000 for airfare. Ouch! Then, there’s the unknown with winter weather. I’d rather keep things local (or to the south) in January & February. Sadly, Shipshewanna Quilt Festival recently announced that 2022 was its final show. This event had been highly recommended by several attendees at Mountain QuiltFest. I was so looking forward to the road trip and visiting friends along the way.

Not to worry, there are other events… I just haven’t found the right quilty road-trip for 2023 yet!

Renovations underway

I didn’t exactly plan to redesign the site today, but I accidentally hit the “activate” instead of “preview” button while browsing themes. Oops! I spent the afternoon going down the how-do-I-fix-my-boo-boo rabbit hole. I think I have most of the content that I wanted to keep where I can now find it. More updates coming soon.