Monday, January 5, 2009

Retreat Anyone - or - Retreat for One

One is the lonely-ish number....or so the old song goes. Yes and no. Sometimes it's good to be alone, other times its great to be surrounded by family and friends. What's better is if your day encompasses both.... that's a good balance in my book.

Well, today it was just one. Four AM came really really early this morning, especially since I stayed up late trying to get 'everything done' -- which I didn't. Still had lots to do with the goal of being on I45 North no later than 6:30 AM to miss the Houston traffic...large goals considering I had to pack! Oh, and did I mention that my destination of Dallas/Fort Worth was expecting freezing rain? Talk about pressure to get on the road early!

Packing isn't that hard when it's just clothing for a week, but when that week will fluctuate from 30 degrees to 70 that adds a tad more weight to the ole' suitcases. Thank goodness I was driving and didn't have to worry about a weight issue (bags not me!) and it's a huge blessing that I have a BIG BIG, did I mention BIG trunk! Clothing didn't take up as much room as all the sewing gear! Machine, extra light, travel iron, cutting mat, ruler, and all the normal gear that I need for my comfort in creating.

What's up you ask? Well, that's my set up above in my hotel suite tonight. Tomorrow I will be involved in several days of workshops with Jodi Barrows, Square in a Square -- I will be working on my "diamond certification" as I am already "square certified". Part of the sewing project on the table is my homework for this week's class -- 50 diamonds. I did half of it last night before I crashed and decided that I'd just have to finish up when I got to the hotel. Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself -- I forgot to tell you about the freezing rain!

Have you ever just had a peace come over you knowing that your prayers (and prayers of others) was being answered? That's how it felt today. I did get on the road by my goal (amazing - but that's only because I figured it was dark and no one would see me until lunchtime so I could shave off a little time by NOT putting on my makeup). I45 had absolutely no accidents on the morning commute, again, amazing! Breezed right through. It wasn't too long in my almost 300 mile journey that I hit rain. Kinda made it hard to concentrate on the audio book I was listening too so I opted for my praise and worship music instead (gotta love those iPods). Very fitting to keep my mind on Jesus as I kept my eyes on the road!

My plans were to meet up with my friend Sue and do a little warehouse shopping at P&B fabrics and Moda fabrics -- unfortunately she lives a little northwest of my hotel and her area was experiencing freezing rain. I drove by a time and tempature sign that said 36 so I was spared (praise God). Sue gave me directions to P&B and despite the rain I just had to take a detour (only 5 miles out of my way and what true blue quilter wouldn't go 5 miles out of their way for a fabric frolic!).

Several bolts later I was back on the freeway to my destination hotel. Have to admit I was a bit tired and frazzled especially after unloading all my gear in the rain. A hot shower and some sewing was just what I needed. Topped off with a pizza delivery and I'm a happy camper!

I was a good girl and finished up my homework...well, almost, I still have to press open sides 3 and 4 on my diamonds -- tomorrow we'll learn how to trim them into wonderful options...once I got those semi-finished I searched my SnS books for a pattern that I could play with tonight with my new fabrics....preferably one that I will be teaching later this year (never too early to work on class samples!) I found the perfect one -- Peddler's Choice from Liz's Mercantile Pattern Book -- commonly known as Cracker Box. I have loved this pattern ever since I found an old 'rescue quilt' made with this design. I kept trying to figure it out and duh-huh it's soooo much easier the Square in a Square way. In fact, I pieced 9 blocks just tonight - which is almost 1/4 of the quilt since it will be a 6 x 7 setting when it's done. How do you like the wild colors? Of course I had to have purple (grin).

Hotel lighting messes up the true colors -- good thing I brought my own light to sew by! It will look better once I finish it and photo it at home in my studio (with Pixxie, did I mention that I miss my pup?)

Well, the alarm clock will be ringing early and I'll have to pack up all my sewing gear and move down to the conference room to join the others...first I need to find the conference room (and the others)....I'm looking forward to a great week -- will try to post as I can, but Jodi works us hard from sun-up till dark-thirty (grin). So much to learn. Sew much fun!!

Good night from the Big D


Muddling Through said...

Karen, You are something else! Hope you have a wonderful class trip and learn lots and have lots of fun.

Love you,

Millie Kriel said...

Hello Karen

Have a safe trip and a wonderful time at the class. I am sure you are going to learn a lot and have a great time.

Millie (with a new blog, after I deleted the first one)

Zlaty's Sewing Studio said...

Sound like a lot of fun!
Have a great time! I didn't understand where are you at? maybe it's just me :)
I am learning to drive now and we have freezing rain as well in PA and looks scary for driving, so I glad you made it!

Happy Quilting!