R is for Right on Red

What a fun road law. Universally, Red means STOP. However, if you are making a right turn, and there is no traffic, you can GO on a red light. Unless it’s posted not to, then I wouldn’t. It’s like eating dessert before dinner, you shouldn’t, but you can.

In most states, this law also includes making a left hand turn on a red light. Wait! What? Yep, that’s correct. I am continually  shocked by how many people do not know this. So, the deal is, you can make a left hand turn from a one way street ONTO a one way street at a red light. There are variations on this rule, so I would check your state’s laws. I read somewhere that you can not turn right on red in Europe; have no clue about the rest of the world. Good thing I only drive in the United States.

The other night I was driving in a very large metropolitan area where the left on red opportunity presented itself. I had to stop and think. Am I on a one way street? YES. Am I turning onto a one way street? YES. There was literally a cop on a motorcycle on the sidewalk watching me. Is it legal for him to be on the sidewalk?  Am I sure this is legal? YES. So I did; turn I mean. And all was well.

One more thing: When making a right on red, you DO NOT have the right of way. This means cars that are making a legal U-turn into the direction you are turning into HAVE the right of way.  Simply put: they have the green light. This makes me crazy and I see it all the time. Once, while yielding to a U-Turn vehicle, I was rear-ended. The person who hit me tried to justify it by saying I stopped while making a turn.

YES I DID.

Still your fault.

 

Q is for Quilt

Did anyone really think Q would be for anything else?

Yes, I’m a quilter. Today I’m going to explain the quilting world as simply as possible. This is my fourth attempt; apparently explaining something you know really well isn’t all that easy.

Quilts are made up of fabric cut into pieces and then sewn back together creating a pattern, or not. Think about that for just a moment. We cut up fabric and then sew it back together, ending up with something that is smaller than the size of the original fabric. Even as I write this, I see the insanity. This process, although a key step, is refered to as piecing a top.

Once you are done with the top, the quilting process begins. First you layer the top, a middle (this can be made from a variety of materials,) and a backing and temporarily attach them together. This is called a sandwich.  The 3 layers are then held together with thread or yarn.

Once the quilting is done, the finished quilt is trimmed and a binding attached.

So, technically a quilt is made up of 3 layers held together by some sort of stitching or tied threads/yarn. 3 layers is the key component of a quilt. 2 layers? Nope, not a quilt; more like a blanket. That thing your friend knitted; again no. (Although I love knitted afghans and your friend is more than welcome to send one my way.) A quilter, by definition, is someone who stitches the sandwich together. Quilters are not that rigid and refer to anyone who pieces or quilts as a quilter.

Historical, quilts were utilitarian. Today Art Quilts are taking the world by storm. With each new generation of crafters comes a new movement in fabric art. Currently, Modern Quilts are setting the trend. There’s even a Quilter’s Hall of Fame. The Sochi Olympics’ look was a quilt in 2014. My favorite piece (yes, a quilting term) of history takes place right here in America. They were informational billboards so to speak of the Underground Railroad, providing slaves guidance to safety.

I love all things related to quilt making; piecing, quilting, designing, applique, binding, teaching, and above all learning new techniques. To read about my fabric journeys,  please visit my sewing blog: My Sassy Notions. 

P is for Perfectionism and Procrastination

Originally, this post was going to be about Pink. So much for being organized.

I’ve been reading some articles lately about perfectionism and letting go. It seems to be a reoccurring theme for a lot of us. Perfect grammar, perfect measuring, perfect lines.

PERFECT  PERFECT  PERFECT

Marsha Brady comes to mind.

As a quilt teacher, I try to encourage my students to put consistency over accuracy. There are a lot of quilters who will disagree with me and live by the school of thought that you must have perfect 1/4″ seams. When you are completely focused on the perfectionism, you become paralysed. The fear of doing something incorrectly prevents you from enjoying the process and often times stops you from doing anything.

I think that perfectionism is the root of procrastination. Too often, things get left undone out of our fear of doing it incorrectly. The mind justifies this while contemplating the perfect way to accomplish said task. The procrastinators you know, perhaps even yourself, are most likely deep thinkers. We analyse and over analyse until we can’t think anymore; meanwhile nothing is done. Or, we are haunted by an adult in our lives who chastised us when our work wasn’t up to their standards.

It’s time to stop striving for perfectionism. Enjoy the process and most of all the learning that accompanies the mistakes.

And stop expecting it in others, especially children. So the bed isn’t smooth, at least it’s made.

O is for Organization

Organization is over-rated.

When my daughter was in middle school, a counselor said to her, “Organization is a sign of intelligence.” My daughter heard, “You are stupid because you are un-organized.”

To say I was livid is a understatement. We talked about Albert Einstein and the Absent Minded Professor. I explained that her problem wasn’t that she wasn’t smart, the problem was that she was too smart and her brain just hadn’t settled in to what it like best yet. Equal right brain/left brain. A few weeks later, she left the public school system.

I will admit there are some advantages to being organized. I’m sure if you added up the minutes hours I spend looking for things, well let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked. So people who are organized save time. I, on the other hand, get a thrill every time I find something I haven’t seen in a while. Over the years, I’ve developed a system for the really important items; like passports and tax info. I have strategically placed folders where those items live. The magazine I’ve been wanting to read? No clue.

My home is not exactly company ready ALL THE TIME. But it works for me. I’m not a hoarder by anyone’s standards, I just prefer not living in a model home. I pick up, not as often as I should, but my house is clean. It’s a work in progress and maybe one day, when I’ve gotten rid of everything I own, I’ll sit on the couch all day eating bonbons and watching old movies.

There is such a thing as too much organization. My grandmother’s refrigerator comes to mind; well that and every cabinet in her home. When she died, going through her things was for the most part, uneventful. Nothing was out-of-place. We ventured into her closet. Boring. The shelves had boxes of scarves, gloves, etc. Then I found a baggie (remember those, the bags you kept leftovers in before Ziplocs were invented?) way up high in a back corner. There was a piece of paper with the word “sentiment” written on it. Inside? A very sexy black negligee. Way too much information for me. I might add, my grandfather had died almost 20 years prior.

Now, I’m all for keeping sentimental items; I have a few myself, but I draw the line at labeling them. That’s organization on steroids.

 

 

 

N is for Notions

The word, Notions, has a few meanings for me.

In the sewing world, Notions are the tools that we use to assist us in our craft . There are scissors, needles, threads, buttons, bobbins, rulers, measuring tapes, seam rippers, well you get the idea. I love Notions!  My favorite projects to work on lately are quilts. Many of my peers collect fabric; I collect Notions. I’m not really sure what the point is in collecting fabric. Sure it looks pretty sitting on a shelf and there are some that are so organized, their stash resembles a fabric store. But there is no way, the collector of said fabric will ever use all that material, especially if they keep buying it. 

Notions, on the other hand, can be used over and over again. Some become favorites and others replaced by new inventions, or re-purposed inventions. One of mine is a magnetic knife rack that I use to hold my scissors and rotary cutters. (visit my sewing blog for other ideas)

Then there’s defining a Notion as an idea. Some are ingenious, like the above mentioned knife rack, some are duds. The goal is to never give up exploring. Ideas can sit in your head never to see the light of day. Pretty soon they are all running around in your brain until there isn’t enough room anymore. The duds get weeded out. The thing is, if you don’t let these ideas out and see what they can do, they’ll get lost.

So let those notions out, I think you might be pleased with the results.