Taking the alternate route

One thing about quilting – there’s always more than one way to accomplish something. How many different ways can you make HSTs? This is particularly vexing to newbie quilters who are like, “Wait, what?” when a teacher deviates from the published pattern. For me, it’s usually because the instructions are not well-written. Sometimes it’s because a certain tool, fabric or component isn’t available and I had to figure out another way to make it work. What matters is that you completed the block – not how you got there.

This holds true in other areas of life, as well. One of the perks of being married to a road warrior is the amount of travel rewards that can accumulate over time. The bad thing about COVID is that we’ve not really been able to use some of the awards. I didn’t want a companion pass and a travel credit to go unused, so I booked the airline tickets for my parents and me to travel in June, 2022.

We wanted to fly into one particular location, but weren’t able to use the companion pass that weekend for some reason. The ticket agent couldn’t figure out the reason behind the block either. Her suggestion was to fly into the nearest airport, which was only an hour away. The downside would be a limited flight schedule. Fortunately, we were able to make it work and saved about $300 on airfare to boot.

With our travel plans slightly altered, we were able to carve out time for me to spend a morning at a local sewing & quilting event. It just so happens that attending a show put on by this particular group is on my quilt travel bucket list for 2022. No need to take an additional trip! Woo-hoo!

Sometimes the alternate route is the one you should have taken all along. Interesting how life works that way, huh?

Looking ahead to 2022

Words cannot begin to describe how excited I am about the coming changes.

One of the IG folks I follow posted a meme that went something like, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

Well, I guess the dream is big enough because it’s enough to scare the pants off me – sometimes. The keep it safe side of me implores me to do the right thing and hang out at the day job for two more years. The logical side of me reassures me that we’ve worked, planned and saved for this moment – all your bases are covered, go enjoy yourself! My gut tells me to turn off the news, silence Dr. Fauci’s latest edict about masks on planes forever, drink my water and get busy living.

Gut and logic win out big time on this one. Meg over at the Daily Pep podcast would be so proud that I finally silenced my “internal dreamshitter.”

Time to schedule a beach retreat as a gift to myself once school’s finally over.
Time to book the plane tickets to take my parents on a long overdue getaway.
Time to firm up big summer/fall travel plans with the other half. Mackinac Island is for sure, Rocky Mountaineer will depend on if mask mandate is still in force next fall.

Then, there’s the excitement about being able to work my biz as much as I want. More on that to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

How about a travel pillowcase + pillow insert in a themed fabric tailored to the recipient?

Supply chains woes may impact your ability to locate a 12″x16″ pillow insert. This is my go-to size, but I could not find any. My options were: (a) DIY the pillow inserts using muslin & polyester fiberfil I had on-hand or (b) buy a slightly bigger travel pillow insert (14″x20″) I found at Wal-Mart in the pillow section. I’ll take option (b), please. The five pillow inserts I needed were less than $20, including tax.

In case you’re interested, here are the cut measurements from Miss Teresa’s Magical Pillowcase directions adjusted for a 14″x20″ pillow form:
Body: 21.5″ x 30″
Trim: 2.5″ x 30″
Cuff: 7.5 x 30″

I use the hot dog/burrito method of pillowcase construction using French seams. Fabrics with an all-over design work best, but you can use a print with a one-way design.
Here are the modifications for assembling the bun/burrito part using one way designs:

Fabric Placement Alignment of One Way Design
Cuff Face up Upside down (rotate fabric so top of design is facing you)
Trim Face up Right-side up with raw edges along the top edge
Body Face down. Right-side up

It will seem wrong to position the fabrics this way; however, once you sew the cuff edge and turn it inside-out, the one-way designs on the cuff, trim and body pieces will be pointing in the right direction.

Complete the rest of the pillowcase as usual.

My adult nieces had requested Legos as Christmas gifts for their kids. My husband and I gifted a 1500+ Lego piece set to each family. However, I wanted each child to have something personal, as well. Enter themed pillowcases. My great-nieces and nephews instinctively knew which pillowcase was theirs. It was so much fun to see their excitement! 🙂

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