Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Mom is home and in order to fit the hopital bed in my parents' room, Dad had to take their big bed apart. The plan has been that he'll sleep on the floor and I work dilgently to get my room packed up and organised so that the stuff thats getting moved to Colorado with Luke and Myself can be stored in the garage, and I will keep the things I need with me for the next two monts sort of accesable but portable. Well, I've been in this tiny room for almost two years now and have figured out how to put things in every nook and cranny. Not to mention we've got lots of sewing stuff of my moms.
Mom is in hospice care , and it is clear that she isnt going to be getting better. As the only other sewer/qiulter I am realising these things are now in the "Jess's Stuff" category as well. Whew. Are you as overwhelmed as I am yet? I thought it would be a while before I aquired all of moms great tools of the trade and fabric stash. Im pulling out boxes and files knowing that many of these things are projects that she intended to get to but didnt. This has become a lesson in finnishing projects I've started. There are many of my mothers projects that I dont know what they were intended for, or what the final goal was. Others that I have no idea what phase theyre even in. It's daunting. There are some special fabrics I KNOW are special, but I'm not quite sure what meaning they hold, as they are unmarked/labled. I'm having to decide what to keep and what not to keep. Am I really going to get this project that A.) Wasnt originally mine and B.) I have no idea what phase its in?
I confess, I'm purging a lot. I'm finding good homes for pattern books, and fabric I don't quite care for. I'm tossing some projects I know are over a decade old and have no "hope" on my list of things to do and create. There's still a lot. It sort of scares me to think about being a frequently moving golf pro's wife with all this "stuff." It seems to be that gone are the days of packing everything I own into the back of a VW bug and taking off. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When I was in Moscow conning my non-sewing friends into making qiult blocks for our wedding quilt, I figured I've got the tools here, I should work on another project! Luke and Mark had seemed to have taken a liking to sewing so I got a project we could all work on. A baby quilt for their cousin Stephanie and Mike's baby Eli.
Eli has allready been born but Luke has seen (and held) him on a couple occasions and affectionately calls him a "tank." Luke and Mark sewed together the 9 patches that have lots of cars and little town scenes.
They got pretty good at laying all the pieces out....
and most of their corners match! :)
I then put black sashing in between the blocks, created a back that I might like more than the front,
and then big stich quilted yellow lines in the sashing to make it look like there were roads going between the blocks! I hope he likes to drive his cars on them! Inside the solid blocks I big stitched the shapes of signs.
This quilt was made with lots of love for Eli and I look forward to the day his mom pulls it out and says "It's so worn out, I can't even wash it anymore."


I have been a very lucky kid in that my mom has made very sure to teach me all that she can durring my process of growing up rather than wait until I showed specific interest. I was 4 and doing laundry, 5 and sewing little projects, I was 6 and the whole family went backpacking, at about 7 she had me entering grandma's special snickerdoodle cookies in the fair. She showed me how to cook eggs and made us (Val and Me) take turns making dinner (plan the recipe and put what we need on the list) so that we would make a smooth transition into grown-up-dom. As a result I have had a confident, can do atitude and approach to trying new things and have come to value many domestic skills as arts. One friend who was in my high school class but I haven't gotten to know until now, has somehow made it without learning to cook. Family meals are take-out, and baked goods are easily found at Great Harvest(love that place). She has taken it upon herself to learn some cooking skills and I excitedly pounced on this willing student! First we made cupcakes and frosting entirely from scratch! (Inspired by her love for the Great Harvest cupcakes she loves so much!)
Then we made banana chocolate chip bread, inspired by the product carried by Starbucks.
Kristeen is an enthusiastic learner and it's been fun to share all the things I learned from my mom, and realise that I did in fact learn these things somewhere and not everyone gets this information!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time of Our Lives

Recently I finally caved in and added Miley Cyrus's song "Party in the USA" to my work out play list. It just pumps me up. I love it.
Well I was listening to more of her songs to find out if there were any other "quality" songs. I ended up just buying the whole album at Wal-Mart (yep theyve got a monopoly on the CD I wanted.) and the  lyrics to the song "Time of Our Lives" (listen here) particularly touched me. I called Luke right away if these could be our first dance lyrics and we could do something particularly creative the way they do on that fun wedding dance TV show, but for some reason he just couldn't get past the Miley Cyrus-ness of the song. Understandable.
The lyrics just seemed particularly applicable because in all this stuff with my mom I'm having to learn that I "just gotta let it go," and that I really need to "have the time of my life" with all the other exciting things that are going on. Luke will be working on building his golf resume so we'll be going "wherever the wind blows" us but "I'm there, as long as we're together, Alright!" haha. 
Ohhh my life is a Miley Cyrus Song.  I've always thought that when I die I'd like to have a sound track of my life at my funeral. I'd like the cover photo to be one of my senior pictures with me on my (Uncle Russel's) '72 VW Bug, and and the song There She Goes by Six Pence None The Richer would be track one. I always like to start a good road trip with that one. Looks like Time of Our Lives is number 2!

Time of Our Lives
Seems like we're holdin' on forever

Just gotta let it go
Times up,you pushed me to surrender.

Who knows,what happens now,whatever

Wherever the wind blows

And I'm there as long as we're together

(Chorus) Lets have the time of our lives

Like there no one else around

Just throw your hands up high

Even when they try to take us down

We'll have the time of our lives

'Til the lights burn out

Lets laugh until we cry

Life is only what you make it now

Lets have the time of our lives!


Dreamers,dont care if its right

I think Im really into you

Restless,lets leave it all behind
Crazy,when you cross my mind

Oh the trouble we could get into

So what,lets just give this a try


What are we waitin' for?

Take that chance

Now's all we've got for sure

Lets have the time of our lives

Like there no one else around

Just throw your hands up high

Even when they try to take us down

We'll have the time of our lives

'Til the lights burn out

Lets laugh until we cry

Life is only what you make it now

Lets have the time of our lives!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Waiting in Line in the Fast Lane

Luke recently did a presentation on Pace of Play as part of his Professional Golf Management Program. Pace of play is an allotted amount of time it should take for a golfer to comfortably complete a round of golf.
The thing I found interesting is that when asked to rate their own pace of play, 57.8% considered themselves fast, 37.4% considered themselves average, and 4.8% considered themselves slow.

The kicker? How people rated other golfer's pace of play: Fast 2%; Average 41.8%; Slow 56.2%

Theres a good section of two lane freeway between Fresno and Bakersfield on the way to LA. Traditionally speaking the left lane should be used by those "faster" folks who are passing, who should then get into the right lane out of courtesy for those faster than them. Unfortunately, the California driver and occasional out of town driver's perception of their pace of drive is, well, skewed and I am resigned to waiting in line in the fast lane.

Monday, March 1, 2010


For many reasons, the primary one being that she was in the hospital, my mother was unable to attend the Quilter's Paradise Quilting in the Pines retreat at Bass Lake. I was very lucky and spoiled as my  father encouraged me to go in my mothers place. The quilting retreat is a very special time as you are in a room surrounded by other women, their sewing machines, their chatter, laughter and love. Woah my goodness. I never truly realised until this year just how much love is in that room. Quilters are somehow joined by binding threads and when one is having a rough time they will hold you together much like the quilting that holds together the layers of blanket. All of these women share stories, tell jokes, reminisce, and throw in a bit of sarcasm and mischief to provide some of the best therapy on earth. I'm telling you people pay BIG bucks for therapy this good. As Shakespeare the great writer says "Listen to many, speak to a few." Sure I did a lot of answering questions about Luke, and the wedding and my mom, but the things I heard left me full of that love, including encouragement, advice, stories of experiences, and support that would not and has not been only at the lake.
Speaking of Shakespeare, he has more to say that applies to this weekend....
“Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.” Yep...I'm hearing bells and screeching brakes going off in your brain but keep going! The quilt I was working on this weekend was called French Kiss! Not quite your traditional Mennonite Quilt pattern! haha.

I had seen the Amy Butler's Daisy Chain Wildflowers fabric and pretty much gone gaga over it.

 I resisted buying the fabric for a while and then I just couldn't take it anymore. I was thinking about it ALL the time! Well except when I was day dreaming about Luke. Anyway I bought a yard, then began collecting more fabrics I thought would "really go" with it. What I was going to do with it? I really didn't know.

Some time later I went with Jennifer and her girls to see Mark and Cindy at a Quilts in the Trees show in Livermore. It was there that I saw this phenomenal diamond quilt pattern.

Then I found out that it was called French Kiss. THIS made me think of how Jenny and I called Luke Loooooooke because that's how the guy in that movie says it. Should you not recall this see the Video clip here. The pronunciation is about 5min 58 seconds in. Please note that the movie is NOT G rated. So the fact that Looooke would be brought into this quilt as well pretty much sealed the deal. The fact that the quilt concept included kissing? Icing on the cake.

Long story shorter, I worked on this quilt at Huntington in the Fall, and for most of this retreat and its finally finished!! Wooo! Not to say that this quilt wasn't given it's fair share of innuendos, potentially raunchy jokes, and quite a bit of air tongue action. (Every time some one mentioned it I'd stick my tongue way out and wave it around.) This did, however, lighten the mood quite a bit, and turned out rather well if I do say so myself. It was NOT an easy quilt. Diamonds are a pain to pin, but I'm pleased to say that almost all my corners match and I love it! Love it and love Loooooooke! (For those of you who were all I'm gonna need is some sugar cubes...)

Also on the note of French, I made some ooober cool pillow cases that had French Seams which are self encased and don't unravel as much. (See here for directions.)