Thursday, July 24, 2014

Purple is so not my color

 Quilted this huge quilt for a friend today.  Man is it heavy!  And lot of work went into it with all of these tiny squares that are sewn together oh, so perfectly.  I'm appreciating good workmanship these days as I get to see well put together quilts.
Yes, my carpet is purple and so is my toe.  I kicked a bag of quilting magazines that were sitting in the hall last night.  Really hard!  My #2 toe is numb now, I can't move it and such a lovely shade of purple.  No, I didn't pick the carpet color.  It was there when we bought the house and will be changed out once the kids leave and the dogs are gone, which will probably be never.  I don't figure that even if it is broken the doctor will do anything, so I will just feel stupid for a couple of weeks until hit heals.  And, no, I didn't move the bag of magazines, but maybe I should :)

love hate relationship

How do you feel about batiks?  Do you love them?  I sure do!  They are gorgeous.  The bright, vibrant colors.  The patterns to die for.  The soft feel of the fabrics.  The way they make you want a smoothie every time you sew!

Do you hate them?  I do!  They way you can't tell the front from the back of the fabric when you sew because instead of being printed, the color is dyed and sometimes it is so subtle, you sew the wrong sides together and then, when you are all done, you notice you sewed a wrong side together.  Ugh.  The way, when you are quilting, sometimes the fabric is so dense, the quilting machine hates you and skips stitches, just because it can, just because the fabric is so beautiful and then you have holes in the fabric that will never, ever in a million years close up to remind you that you hate batiks!  That the fabric stretches sometimes, just because it is a batik and is oh, so beautiful and you just had to have it because it was so pretty, but you knew you were going to regret buying it!

Yeah, that's my life with batiks.

Well, a long lost friend brought this quilt by yesterday for me to quilt for her for a friend who has cancer.  Of course I wanted to get it done quickly and that always means trouble. :)  The back is batik too and gave me a devil of a time stretching strangely.  Of course it didn't stretch the same in all directions.  Why?  Because it is a batik and can do whatever it wants to do.  I had to babysit it and hold it and make sure it didn't get a fold in it when it was quilting.  More time to look at the gorgeous quilt I guess.

And then, when I put the quilt on the frame, I was thinking, she didn't get enough batting.  That's really weird. She got everything at the quilt shop, but the batting is just barely wide enough for the quilt.  It was really stretchy, so I was able to make it fit, but usually the quilt girls are really great about making sure you have enough of everything and measure twice before cutting.

Well, I figured out the problem when I got to the end of the quilt.  The batting came up about 6 inches short at the end of the quilt and I could see the last 2 inches that it was folded over.  UGH!  How did I not notice that the batting was double when I loaded the quilt on the frame?  It is a poly batting and I use poly batting all the time.  But it is a very thin poly batting even when it is double, so if it was a single ultra thin poly batting WOW.  So, when the lady comes to pick up the quilt, I've got some explaining to do.  I was able to add some extra batting on to the end because as you know, I have about 72,000 extra pieces of batting of all different kinds around here and just happen to have the same kind laying around, but man, how did I not notice?  That stuff sticks together really well.  Then, I go up to the top, and that has popped apart and it is totally obvious it is double.  I feel really stupid.

Oh, well, the quilt is gorgeous and soft and not too fluffy :)  I hope she likes it too.

And since I don't quilt for hire, she can't complain about the price.

To console myself, I had another cupcake.  Boy, those things are good.  It's a good thing they are $2.50 each because if they were cheap, I'd weigh 400 pounds by the end of the year.

so yummy

 We have a gourmet bakery in town.  These yummy cupcakes were EXPENSIVE, $29 for a dozen, but oh, so good.  The bottom right one is a bacon cupcake.  I'm going to try it today.  I got it for my husband who said they are the best.  Um, ok, if you say so!  I tried two yesterday and they were quite delicious :)
 This is a little cutie, perfect for an incubator quilt and perfect for finishing up the last bit of backing fabric on the roll.
 I used the jumping trout quilt design on this quilt.  I'm finding it's a perfect design for guy quilts.  The date on this quilt is 03.  It's waited long enough to be finally finished and gifted.  The woman who donated all of these quilt tops said her mother was an OB nurse and loved children and would have been happy to know the quilts were going to kids.
I just wish I could have met her and we could have worked together so she could have seen her quilts finished up.

If you have a bunch of quilt tops sitting around not getting finished up, I encourage you to find a Binky Patrol group or Project Linus or even to start a group if you don't have one close to you.  Binky Patrol is a great group to work with and it's really easy to start a group.  The founder, Susan Finch is a really great lady and makes it really easy to run a group.  There's no pressure to make a million quilts and you get to meet a lot of great people, plus you get to give your quilts to kids who really need hugs.

Check out the website.
www.binkypatrol.org

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Middle


 Daughter #2 had a birthday today.  I surprised her at work with flowers and mini cupcakes.
 She hadn't told anyone it was her birthday so having cupcakes means everyone knows now!
 See what a huge desk she gets!  Looks like she needs to bring some pictures.
 She sure looks grown up.  Where did the time go?
You make me proud to be your mom every day!  Happy Birthday Beautiful.

So glad I have my quilting

When life is spinning out of control, I have my quilting to give me time to pray and meditate.
The humming of the machine means leave mom alone and give her some time to herself.
What do people without hobbies do all day?

I'm so lucky

 I get to quilt these gorgeous quilt tops!  Yep, yep.  These are more of the adorable quilt tops that were donated on Sunday.  Small pieces, each one different and each one perfect to bring comfort to a child.  The woman who made them put a paper tag on each one with the name of the pattern and the size and even if the binding was already made.  So totally organized.
I'm leaving the tag attached so the person who does the binding will be able to find the correct binding in the huge bag.  Each binding is labeled as well.

When it's my time to go, the person who gets my stash will not be as lucky.  They will have more of a treasure hunt trying to figure out what I was thinking when I cut out this or that project.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two different worlds

I work in education.  I've been a teacher for 24 years now and things in the education field are VERY different from everywhere else.

My daughter is doing an internship at a credit union this summer.  Here she is with the other interns and the incoming and outgoing CEO's having lunch.  See how nice they all look in the company polo shirts?  Yep, we have polo shirts too for our school.  The difference?  We have to buy ours, they were given theirs.

We go out to lunch sometimes as a staff too.  The difference.  We each pay for our own lunch, even if it is a 'working lunch'.  They didn't have to pay.  We get 37 minutes for lunch.  I can tell you how long 37 minutes is because I've shoved food in my mouth, run to the bathroom and helped 14 kids finish a test or do homework in 37 minutes for 24 years.  They took 90 minutes to eat and talk.

In the 24 years I've taught, I don't think I've ever gone out to eat with the Superintendent, incoming, outgoing or just passing through.  I'm sure most of them didn't even know my name.  I try to make an impression on them by greeting them every time I see them and sending emails about the great things we do at our school through the clubs, science fairs or just in the classroom.  I like to let them know the kids are important and that the teachers are really working hard and making a difference.  But it would really be nice to sit down for 90 minutes and talk to my boss about things that are important.

I just think this is so neat that the Big Bosses are taking such an interest in the interns and investing so much time and energy in them.  These kids are learning so much (at least my daughter is) and I really appreciate their investment.

Quilt Day

 The rule at Quilt Day is if we find an article of clothing in the donated fabric, someone has to wear it.  My son 'volunteered' or at least didn't run away when we put the wrap around skirt on him.  He's a good sport.
 And a good worker
 The kids got 6 really big fleece blankets done today in 3 hours.
 I think they were starting to go a little crazy at the end.
 The ladies made 26 quilt tops.  Yep, that's right, 26 quilt tops.  And I was starting to worry that I was going to run out.  Silly me!
 Nancy was busy with the Studio cutter.  She was on a mission to make tumblers.  She loves to sew them together.  She cut up all the 7 inch bits and we worked on the 4-5 inch bucket.  I swear we cut and cut and didn't even make a dent in it.  I even cut 4 1/2 inch squares using the strip die.  She took the Studio home for the week.


 We had ladies sewing binding
 And ladies sewing quilt tops

 It doesn't matter how old you are, everyone can help make quilts for kids.
 My son even wore the skirt as a cape.  It gave him super powers.
 The girls made scarves out of the selvages.  Oh, so pretty.
 He really got into his work.  Whatever it takes to make these blankets, he's willing to do.  Or, maybe he was just taking a nap and testing out the blanket.  At least the cape matches his outfit.
 I tell you, working with teenagers is the best job in the world!
 Who needs to spend money on a date when you can make blankets with your best friend/girlfriend.  These two are inseparable.
 And these blankets are big kid size.  Perfect for teens in crisis.  We will be donating them to foster youth.  I picked out boy fabric this time because often the quilts we get are very girl oriented.  Teen boys sometimes get forgotten.
We had a few minutes at the end of the day after all the fleece blankets were made so we had the kids cutting with the Studio.  They made quick work of some fleece scraps and some tumbler pieces too.  I'm looking to get a second Studio cutter.  I'll be watching ebay.

Monday, July 21, 2014

quilts

 I love the quilting on this one.  It's a butterfly pattern I got on sale from Intelligentquilting for $4.  If you are looking for a quick and easy and cute quilting design, check it out.
 This one is my elephant design.  Super fast too and cute.  At least, I think so.  This is the back of the quilt where you can see the design better.
This one was a free pattern with roses.  Pretty fast too.  Can you tell I like fast patterns?
We had quilt day today and got a lot done.  I will post pictures later.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Binky Day

 Here's my friend Nancy digging through the stash of donated fabric we got.  She's going to take it all home and cut it up this week using the Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter and dies.  She loves to sew together the tumbler dies and makes the cutest quilts out of them.  I'm so glad she is also a teacher and also has the summers off.
 This whole bag is all BOY fabric!  What a great donation!
 Another bag of great juvenile prints.  The lady who donated said her youngest grandson is 13 and she isn't making any more baby quilts and the great grandchildren will get all new stuff so she is done with this fabric.  Yes, we will take it and make great quilts for kids out of it.
 There was also a bag of quilt tops from her mom.  This woman was an incredible quilter, or at least top maker.  How many of us can claim to be a top maker? :)  We love to make the quilt tops and then stop there.  This woman even made the bindings for all of them and then put labels on everything.  Each binding is labeled for the quilt it is to go with and the quilt top has a label pinned to it too.  One day I will be that organized.  HA.
 These are only a few of the 20 quilt tops in the bag.  I stopped taking pictures because my jaw hit the floor on the one with the 1 inch squares.
 I see these quilts in books and then buy the book because the quilts are just so cute.  Of course, that's as far as I ever get when it comes to making the quilts.
 Ever wonder what to do with those cute panel pieces you buy?  How about this cute quilt?
I'm going to have fun quilting up all of these.  I might even share a few with Carla so she can have some fun.  There's one with prairie points that I'm not quite sure what to do with.  I bet she's quilted one like it before and she can teach me.

While at the quilt shop, I met a lady who was the president of the Soroptomist Club.  We talked and she let me know she would love to have some quilts for the kids in the foster program.  I love having more places to give the quilts. Turns out I can pass them on to a couple of the kids that I already know who go to my high school.  They will even come pick the quilts up from me!

I was so excited, I didn't even get a picture of the 6 fleece blankets we cut and tied today.  Only three people showed up today, but that was enough to get some work done.  I'm still feeling tired from the flu.  Hopefully I will feel better for a more busy Quilt Day at Carla's tomorrow.  I know she will have me jumping.