Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How to Live a Full Life

Grandma Temple last year in Julian , CA.
I learned from my grandmother that even though you get older, you are still the same person you always were.  One Sunday we were sitting in my kitchen, just chatting about family and life.  I remember telling her that when I was little, I thought when I was 26 (don't know why I chose that number) I would have it all figured out.  I pictured myself in my own apartment and a job that I loved.  Everything was in its place and perfect (think Mary Tyler Moore show).  I would know what to do , when to do it - be a grown up.  It would be figured out.  This led to a very difficult 27th birthday, but that is another story.

circa 1945, Clifford standing, holding mom

Grandma told me, "Things have changed and I have learned things, but I feel like the same person I was when I was 30."  That was interesting.

Everyone should be blessed to have a grandma that explains aging in such an open and honest way.  No question was ever too personal.  If we were curious, we would ask.

Grandma and Grandpa - I am thinking some time in the '40s
This week we are saying goodbye to my grandma.  She is 98, a strong 98.  I am a blessed girl to have my grandma this long.  She is an amazing woman: a strong, independent, stubborn woman.  All the reasons I love her.  The examples she set by living her life taught me so very much and contributed greatly to the woman I am today.

Grandma, me and Daddy, Thanksgiving 1967
On that note, I am approaching a big number year: the number year my grandma was when I was born.  I am reminded that I am still the same person.  The outside ages, but me - I am still the same.  I never knew my grandma up to the age I am today, but rather, watched her second half of life.  I, like my grandma, am the same person inside I was 20 years ago.  This is not to say life events and lessons are futile - quite the opposite.  I like to think they mold us and shape us to become more of who we were in the first place.  Grandma modeled life as an example.  I learned what I wanted in love and marriage from watching her and my grandfather.  My faith in God was planted by my grandmother, not by just going to church (which we did - a lot), but by her lessons and example.  She knew the bible and was able to use it to explain life as needed.  She gave me a great love of hymns and songs of worship.  Not to mention the baking, gardening, ballet, theater, and classical music.  Grandma loved life and enjoyed it.  I want to be like that when I grow up.

Visiting family in Houston, Christmas a few years ago
So I plan to live my life as my grandma did.  Love on family.  Be strong when it is needed.  Stay calm.  Be honest about your feelings.  Honor God in all you do.  Be thankful and content.  Go out with your friends and take those trips.  Do what you love doing.  Live.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Quiltin' Tia History - The last ten years

Hello again all my quilting lovelies out there.  Are you ready for some Quiltin' Tia history?  To understand where I am now, I think it is necessary.

Our San Diego house
Our house in Texas
Spring, 2005 - We move to Texas.  We had been slowly building our online website for five years.  We lived in a perfectly small (874 sq ft) 2 bedroom house, but our now teenage boys and growing business were making it impossible.  We knew moving was necessary!  The timing was perfect.  Addison would be a junior and would attend high school for the two years needed to be a resident for college (cha-ching).  We found a house online, mom checked it out, and we bought it sight unseen.  It had the needed storage/workroom for the business.  We still live in that house!

The Store - a bit of whimsy on the porch
Fall, 2005 - Michael and I start brainstorming about opening a storefront.  We researched, planned, and discussed.  We found a building down the street from our house (although we did look all around the area) and opened our little shop.  Many of you remember our store.  We made it a beautiful place that was an extension of our home.  We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and enjoy their time in our "fabricland."  We met wonderful people and loved what we were doing.

Spring, 2008 - The financial crisis is real.  The economy began slowing and cutbacks had to be made.  We made the difficult decision to close the storefront but continue online.  As many of you know, those were some scary times.  We made changes.  We found outside jobs and went back to school.

2008-2013 - These were lean, difficult years.  In 2013, Michael and I graduated and found jobs in our fields.  Michael is a respiratory therapist and I became a special education teacher.  I also continued on and earned my Masters degree.  I now work as a diagnostician.  We love what we do, truly.  But we always missed the shop.  It was a creative outlet for us both.

March 28, 2014 - I die.  Yes, die.  I suffered cardiac arrest in my classroom and by the swift and excellent skills of our crisis team on campus I am here now to tell about it.  AEDs save lives people.  Nothing could be found as a cause, but a defibrillator was "installed."  I was ordered to rest and recover.  Now, you know me, I am not a good patient.  I am not skilled at this thing called "rest," and my mind is in constant motion.

The five yard formula is born
Summer 2014 - Back in 2008 or 2009 while vending at market, a fellow vending friend made the comment, "You should come up with a line of patterns for five yard quilts!"  I thought it was a fabulous idea.  But, my life was crazy and it was on the back burner, really the deep freeze.  Now with no work or school I had time.  The project was exactly what I needed to occupy my brain.  A-OK was born.  My mind shifted to five yard bundles and their flexibility.  I was having a blast.

Super pumped to be bringing fabric back!
Today - Who is still reading this?  Wow.  Okay, so here we are today.  A-OK is now 21 patterns and 9 baby patterns.  And we have begun to grow our store again.  We are purchasing fabric groups.  We are planning on doing some quilt shows, guest speaking and workshops.  We are again having a blast.  Yes, we are keeping our day jobs, we love them.  But we also plan to continue to build Quiltin' Tia.  Attending events gives us what we were missing - YOU!  Connecting with quilters, planning projects, sharing stories - all the things we lost when we closed the shop and downsized online.

So, are you with us?  Are you ready?  If you have a quilt show and need a vendor, we would love to hear about it.  Does your quilt group or guild need a speaker/teacher for a workshop?  We would love to come meet you!  Also, expect some new fabric groupings and patterns as we continue to grow and share.  I have a few new ideas up my sleeve too... our creative outlet is back.

Email for workshops, presentations or vending opportunities -  

New A-OK Pattern - Irish Thing

New A-OK Pattern - Irish Thing (Super fast, super easy five yard quilt)

Hello all of my Quilting Buddies!  I hope you are enjoying summer.  My sweet sunflowers are now looking tired and wilted and the rainy days are few and far between.  The temperatures are "oven-esque" and I find it difficult to spend much time at all outside.  I am thankful for air conditioning, I bet my family is too.  This mama gets pretty irritable when she starts to melt!  Give me a snow storm any day!  
Either way, snow storm or heat wave, it is a good excuse to quilt.  Summer is my productive season since I am on break.  I have been SUPER excited for this quilt.  I have a long time love affair with irish chain quilts.  But, the pattern would have to be adapted a bit to fit the A-OK formula.  Finally, I found a way and I love it.  The instructions give detail for pressing so all the seams will "butt" and match perfectly.  It really takes the stress out of it!  I hope you like it! Click here to check it out.

Wildflower Quilt Guild - Temple, Texas

Oh my GOODNESS!  We had such a great time in Temple with our new quilting buddies.  Our workshop had all different fabrics and all different patterns.  Some ladies made five yard quilts, others chose to work on baby quilts.  All were using the A-OK method and were so beautiful!  I have asked them to send pictures of their completed quilts to share.  I can hardly wait!

Stay cool my friends!  Do something that makes you smile.