It was 6:47 when I suddenly woke up from a deep sleep. It was light outside. The other side of the bed was still empty, so hubs must’ve decided to stop somewhere for the night instead of driving all the way home from Illinois. Panicked, I took a quick shower, got dressed and hopped in the car. I was LATE. I texted a coworker to let her know I would be about 30 minutes late.

Thankfully, that text never went through.

When I passed the preschool that should have had a car rider line out into the street, I knew something was amiss. Siri confirmed that it was indeed 7:25 in the evening, not 7:25 in the morning.

Relieved yes, but I was definitely not liking that slightly disoriented feeling one bit. I’d woken up from a 2-1/2 hour nap actually feeling well rested, but then panic set in when I thought I’d slept through two alarms and would be late for work.

What triggered this?

Getting back in the school groove has been hard this year. I’ve felt sleep deprived over the past 3 weeks due to hot flashes, allergies and my night owl tendencies. The “let’s get through this together” nurturing atmosphere at work has been replaced by one with a very authoritarian vibe. Everything is now so structured and dire consequences are threatened if you do not conform as expected. Mandatory 10 day quarantine for close contact COVID is now deducted from your sick days if you are out. Plus, you will be targeted for punitive action because you missed more than the 7 days the new board policy considers acceptable. At the local school level, being late to anything is now documented and inexcusable (regardless of the reason). The new zero tolerance policy is because a few employees abused the previous flex-time policy. (Kind of like all of us having to wear a mask now even though we’re vaccinated!)

So, I arrive slightly before the appointed start time and leave no later than 15 minutes after the appointed end time. I attend meetings that really don’t pertain to me and close the library to do so. I make sure to adhere to my lunch/planning time each day. I struggle with not being there for my patrons like I have in the past.  I do the best I can while I’m there and I leave the job there at the end of the day.  I’m not the only one who has chosen to cope this way.  We’ve learned the hard way that team players are the last to be rewarded. We’re either heaped with more responsibilities because we’re capable, or cuts are made to our programs because they know we’ll make do and still bust our butts to deliver the same levels of service. No more. No difference in my pay check. Not worth my mental and physical health to stress about it. 

And one more thing: it’s very clear that the season in my current role is coming to a close. I’ll take advantage of the next several months to figure out what’s next and move in that direction. 


giving back

Your time is your most valuable currency. Gifting a few hours of your time and sewing talent to help an organization in need is priceless.

A former coworker now leads the Davis Direction Foundation, a non-profit that helps teens and young adults fight opioid addiction and assist with their recovery. The annual fundraiser gala is this weekend. Missy called me on Tuesday, desperate for some costuming help. Sequined vests were too small for 3 of the male performers and she couldn’t find replacement ones anywhere. Mind you, I’m a quilter, not a garment sewist, but my friend was in a bind.

I met her at a rehearsal on Tuesday, fitted the guys, took some measurements and headed home to think about my plan of attack. It had been YEARS since I’d made vests. There was no easy way to open the vest from the inside, add the extra fabric and close it back up. Instead of being stymied by overthink, I got started. I’d figure it out as I went along. I cut vests apart, added “binding strips” made from costume satin, hand basted the binding strips, matched everything up and then sewed it together by machine. Very tedious process. (By the third vest, I’d unearthed my water soluble basting tape. It only took 20 minutes to attach and sew the strips). The finished result actually looks like a design element. I delivered the vests to her this afternoon and she was pleased. Hope the alterations work for the performers.

$4.00 in supplies and 4 hours of my time helped a friend in need. Well worth it!

Notes from project:
1) Costume satin from Wal-Mart (matte side was almost an exact match to vest).
2) Stay stitch cut edges of vest 1/4″ away from edge.
3) Stay stitch 1/4″ from edges of insert pieces – use as a guide to press up raw edge, then top stitch along folded edge for clean look.
4) 1/4″ water soluble basting tape is a godsend. So much easier than hand-basting. Did not gum up needle.
5) Costumes do not need to be finished to the same degree as ready-to-wear.

Although my FW would have been fine with this project, I sewed with a small Baby Lock computerized machine. Very impressed! Am considering a Baby Lock Aria (or Brother equivalent) as the replacement for my big, fancy machine. 11″ throat space, fits my Horn cabinet, BRIGHT lighting, digital dual feed, auto adjust features for FMQ without stitch regulator, excellent stitch quality, multiple local dealers for support and within budget. As much as I liked sewing on the Bernina 770QE at the Kansas City Quilt Festival, I’m not 100% sure this is the machine for me. Cost, local dealer and mixed reviews (mostly negative) from friends who have them made me step back from this sewing machine.

Even 15 minutes of sewing time moves your project forward

Is it a challenge to schedule sewing time with your busy schedule?  Welcome to the club.

Even 15 minutes of time spent sewing keeps your project moving forward. Keep at it and your project will eventually get done.This was my biggest takeaway from an online quilting group I joined last year. The group leader was a project manager in real life and kept group members on track and accountable for their progress. It’s what I needed at the time. 

Other tips to keep your sewing and quilting projects moving from WIP to DONE:

Prep project kits in advance.
Use detailed project checklists to track completed steps.
Clean your work area as you go.
Set out materials for next sewing session as you end the current one.
Conduct weekly project status check-ins to monitor your progress.
Find an accountability partner, if you need one.





%d bloggers like this: