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When I was growing up

We all have troubles in life some that we speak of, some that we don’t. Our life experiences help form and shape us unto the people we are today. Some memories are wildly hard, some are delightful, some are neutral, some stay with us, some don’t. At some point in my growing up I took over a lot of cooking for our family, a lot of which I’ve apologized for over the years including the mac & cheese with tuna & peas. While I’d probably still consume this for a meatless Friday the rest of the family not so much. This needing to make dinner day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day day after day after day after day after day after day after day after dayday after day after day after day after day after day after day after day is most likely why I am not a fan of meal making to this day. Getting all of the bits and pieces on the table at the same time is challenging at best as there seems a frenetic pace wherein there is this moment where all the food still tastes good. Unless of course there is too much salt, pepper, or not quite enough of either or the food is, shall we say, overcooked.

There is a rhythm to cooking meals that I have kind of learned over the years, but still don’t quite have a feel for. It’s still uncomfortable. Over the twenty-eight plus years of our marriage we have taken turns cooking. I say publickly that when he cooks we EAT, when I cook we eat. What I realized yesterday as I started dinner fried chicken, smokehouse rice and peas is that I still have to think through the process of making meals. It is not, as quilting is, something that has become part of my being.

By the River published in Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting C&T Publishing July 2020

I was just about to publish this post and forgot to mention why I’d added the image of By the River randomly in the middle of a post on cooking and books. By the River showed up here yesterday. It took a trip to England to be featured on a show where they talked about my book! How cool is that?! When the box arrived I was a little confused because I hadn’t ordered anything recently this was so worth it. The packaging had my NY address on it, and thankfully it was forwarded onto me.

There was this one time when I was a kid that I totally ruined dinner. We had an electric skillet and I was making pork chops. My friends were outside playing and I thought I could go too. That didn’t work so well. The playing was great, the burnt pork chops not so much. I vaguely remember my parents being mad about the going outside and playing of it all. But didn’t they realize that there was a really great game of tag going on outside and I had to go? I mean seriously who doesn’t need a good game of tag right before dinner. The fifty year old me sometimes experiences the longing for a good game of tag however the body is soooo not willing.

I did enjoy reading books as a kid. I loved Nancy Drew Mysteries, and a series about a nurse. We had this set of books that had poetry and stories. I used this set of books in high school to fine alliterative poetry and other stories. Somehow moved onto sci-fi/fantasy and was reading Isaac Asimov and other authors whose stories caught my attention for months on end. I realized at some point in one of the short stories how hilarious Asimov was as he played with words. Now I’m reading how to become more productive style books knowing full well that if productive is what I need to be then I must take action rather than reading about the best practices of being productive. This leads me right into taking what I know as a machine quilter on a home machine and using it on the Moxie. Did you know that slowing down is a good idea? I tell students in my home machine classes that slowing down is actually faster and a lot less frustrating. The tension problems in the IG photo above are actual tension problems because the machine needed to be cleaned and oiled (more on that in a second) however some of my personal frustration in this particular moment was, are you ready for it, because I had the machine set at too high a speed. I *may* have messaged my friend and said something like, have you ever angry quilted? NO? just me. K thanks bye.

The thing is I know better. Just like being present for the cooking of the pork chops, and showing students on the home machines how fast I stitch slowing down on the long arm makes the quilting a lot easier. So, so much easier.

Oh and one more thing! I am trying this new-to-me batting, it’s bamboo and is so soft. I love it. It is, however, very linty. I’ll still use it but plan on partnering it with wool down the road. I do love how it’s stitching and it will become a go to when I have space to store rolls of batting. Yes I did say that. While I’m part of a crew featuring the Moxie over this year we are each learning in a different way, each of us bringing something unique to the party and sharing who we are and what we do. #quiltwithmoxie Learning several new skills at once is challenging and fun.

Now that I’ve completed a variety of inspirational topics from childhood cooking and reading to learning new things on the long arm I hope you have a great weekend! You all are awesome sauce and I’m glad you’re here.

Happy Quilting

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