Sunday, November 30, 2008
I have 6 lab books left to grade. Those will get done tonight and then they will come back to me this week, with another lab in them. I think we have three more labs before Christmas. I think I will just let the labs sit until Christmas break and grade all three at the same time. This time of year it is like fighting a losing battle. As soon as I get them graded, we turn around and do another lab.
I'm torn between wanting to work on quilts and not wanting to make more quilt tops that need quilting. Since I have to wait for my new quilting feet to arive, I pieced the quilt top for my daughter's cross country coach. I also put up a design wall in my oldest daughter's bedroom since that is the only room in the house with some wall space that is open. Right now, it has her t shirt quilt pinned to it. I have to find three more of her old t shirts so I can finish that one up for her for Christmas. It is going to be a big quilt and I think I will give that to my friend to quilt for me. I don't like quilting things that are bigger than about 60 inches long because then the last few rows are so narrow. My friend has a big machine and does professional long arm quilting and I had her do three quilts for me in the past, before I got the quilting frame from my mom. She does a great job on them and it wasn't too terribly expensive. I will have to hurry up and get this quilt pieced if I want her to quilt it before Christmas though. If not, and I am not really in that much of a hurry, I have until the end of January before my daughter goes back to college. I can give her the top and then have it quilted. Sneaky ;)
I can't believe tomorrow is the first of December. I'm going to start looking for some Christmas tree decorations to make with the kids. I have good memories of making them as a child and still have some of the wooden ones we painted. I'd like my kids to have memories like that too. If I find anything good, I will post links here and share what the kids are making.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
If you remember, way back, I broke the Big Foot that I bought when I bought the machine. I don't know what is is about me and feet! At least it isn't my own feet that I keep breaking.
I guess they don't make these things to stand up to my industrial use. I've made 60 or so quilts on this thing and gone through two feet so far. The feet aren't cheap either. This new one is costing about $23 with shipping. At this rate, it is costing about $1 per quilt just for the use of the foot! That's crazy!
Has anybody out there had better luck with your quilting feet? If so, what type do you use and how long have you had them?
And finally, these are the Gelt Bags I made for my daughter's friends who are Jewish and want to participate in their gift exchange. I had a pattern I was trying to use for a knot bag and the directions were poorly written. I sewed that thing together several times and it just didn't turn out right, so I came up with this on my own. Sort of like a stocking, but not really.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I got another quilt done and I'm so proud of the quilting on this one. I have to get my camera and upload the picture, but I'm getting better at trying new things and can't wait until you see what I did on this one! It is fun to try new things with my quilting and I'm glad I have so many quilt tops to practice on.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Oh, and I changed the needle on the machine after about 20 quilts and it cuts like butter again, but now the machine is making a clunking sound. That can't be good. I will have to take some time to clean it out and figure out what is hitting what before I do some damage to the poor little guy. I will give him some oil tonight before I let him sleep and see if that helps too.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I picked out one (that wasn't counted yesterday because it was donated all based and everything) and just finished it off today. The person who donated it said she had started it 10 years ago and just left it basted and waiting for all of these years. It took me about 15 minutes to finish off. Really. 15 minutes to finish off this quilt that has been sitting for 10 years. It is a small quilt, car seat size, or maybe for a tiny baby in an incubator, but is perfect for someone out there who needs a little hug.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
19 quilt tops with backs ready to quilt. The quilts are either just as wide, or narrower than the backing fabric, so no extra effort is needed. These guys are ready to quilt!
14 quilt tops matched with backing fabric. These are bigger quilt tops or the backing is in two pieces so they will need some more effort before they are ready to quilt. They are in a different bucket.
10 quilt tops that I couldn't match backing fabric to. This was just using the fabric that is out, on the top of my makeshift storage area. I did not open the chest of drawers to go looking for fabric, nor did I go in the shed, or go looking in the garage. These quilts will take a little more effort to find the right fabric to go with them. Not that I'm looking for the perfect fabric, but something that either goes with the theme of the front of the quilt or matches the color scheme of the front of the quilt.
99.9% of the quilts I make are given away to children in crisis, either through Binky Patrol or through my church quilting ministry. Children don't care if the colors match perfectly and color matching is not a talent I was gifted with so I do the best I can. I usually ask my #2 daughter for help, but she was out having fun today, riding horses, so I was on my own.
That's a total of 43 quilt tops ready to be quilted.
I also have a pile of probably 15 very small quilts that could use a border or two before they can be called finished. Most were given to me in this small size, some I made myself before I knew what the purpose of borders was.
With only 39 days left in 2008, I don't think I will get all of the quilts finished off this year, but I did get 3 quilted today, so who knows! It is always good to have a high goal to shoot for. Who knows, I just might get it done. And think of all those kids who will be warmer next year because of a little donated fabric and some time.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here is one of the quilts I made for the Veterans Day dinner raffle. It is about 48 x 60.
Here is the 2nd quilt. This is the upside down one. You can see the writing in the top right corner of the quilt. What you can't see is the back, which when I am holding it is upside down for me. Of course, you can't see both the back and the front at the same time, so unless I tell you that the back is upside down, you never could tell. But, I know. And it is driving me nuts.
And finally, these are the dozen quilts that are going to the Friends of the Pine Ridge Reservation. There are 10 of the dark baby quilts, one that has bears and green squares and then one bigger quilt on the left end. It feels so good to get them out of the house and into hands of people who can use them. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the quilts bigger. They really are cute, just strange for baby quilts if you ask me.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
to look at today. This was from last Christmas.
I'm ready for the holidays. Any holidays. Just a vacation from school would be nice. The people are getting on my nerves and the kids are ready to be done learning for a while. I'm tired of grading papers and giving tests and ready to spend time with the kids making cookies and eating them.
To prove how grumpy I was today, I took two cell phones away from kids. I NEVER take cell phones away. This is why! The first one I took from a girl who was texting in line for lunch. I asked her what her name was and by the time I got back to my classroom, I had forgotten her name. I asked my students if they could figure out what her name was from her phone and they pushed buttons and clicked all sorts of things and came up with her picture, but we never could figure out what her name was.
The second phone I took from my own student. I took his phone yesterday and talked to him about not taking it out in class. Then, I gave it back to him after school. Today, he pulled it out again with 5 minutes left in class. I had to take it and turn it in this time. He needed this lesson to make sense or he would have kept doing this over and over.
The kids can have their parents come and pick up their phones the first time. I think the third time, they get a Saturday school. When I was in the office turning in the 2nd phone, there were three parents coming to pick up their kids' phones. They didn't even wait a day to make their kids go without a phone. That's why the kids keep using their phones during class.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Then, it is a full week of school and we get a full week off for Thanksgiving. The school district decided that so many students were taking those extra couple of days, they might as well give us all the whole week and make us start 2 days earlier since they were losing so much money.
I met the new teacher today and she is really nice. I hope this mentoring thing is going to be good for both of us. I think I can learn a thing or two about art from her and she can learn a thing or two about the politics of teaching from me. Nod your head, smile and go back to your room and teach. If people think you are doing what they want you to be doing, they pretty much leave you alone. Just don't get caught with the phonics books. That was the best advice I got when I first started teaching!
I started when 'whole language' was the 'in' thing and phonics books were almost burned! If you were caught with those in your rooms, you were in big trouble. But all of the older teachers had them hidden in their rooms. And they gave them to me too (I started by teaching 1st grade). I knew it was wrong to have them, but I also didn't want the other teachers not to like me. The older teachers knew that kids learned to read by learning phonics. Here I was a new teacher, coming out of a teaching credential program that said, 'don't teach them phonics, they will learn to read, just by being read to often enough.' Boy, did we mess up a whole group of kids. Probably about 5 years worth of kids never learned to read because of 'whole language'. But, the older teachers knew better. Nod your head, smile and do what you are going to do in your own room. Just don't get caught with the phonics books.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I also hope it doesn't take away from my quilting time! Maybe since she is an art teacher, she can teach me a thing or two about making art quilts. That would be fun.
This weekend I hope to put the binding on 2 quilts and make one for the Veterans Dinner on Tuesday. We have Tuesday off and I have a cleaning lady coming over in the morning because I don't feel like cleaning my kitchen and bathrooms and I'd rather pay someone else to do it for me now that I have 3 jobs :)
That will give me more time to play.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
So, I went inside and they sent me to the wrong table. I figured I had a 1 in 4 chance of just guessing and that was the table I went to last time, so I just went where they told me. Nope, it was on the other side of the room. I got my ballots (yes, in California, we had so many initiatives, they gave us two!) and actually got to sit down at a desk with my ballots and a manilla folder to hide my answers. At first, nobody was there to peek, but then the line started to form and I had to put my folder up like I was in 1st grade so nobody could see what I was marking. There were so many choices! I had to double check my answers to make sure I hadn't marked the wrong guy.
Not that it matters in California who I picked for President...
But then there was measure T. I remember the signs...Ask a Farmer...Vote ________on T.
But, I couldn't remember what went in the ______. That one took me a while to figure out. I had to read it over and over to remember if I wanted to vote yes or no! Why don't I write these things down?
Two of my 'friends' are running, one for school board and one for Supervisor. I really have no idea what a supervisor does...I guess he supervises things, but he is a really nice guy and his kids are nice too so I voted for him. I have both of their signs in my front yard. I've never had yard signs before, but since I know both of these men personally, I decided to get their signs and put them up. I have no idea if it changed anyone's mind or not, but hey, it was cool! And I will save them for the next election too. I will put them up even if these guys aren't running and see what people think ;)
I'm just glad this whole thing is almost over. My students have really been into arguing politics and they really don't know what they are talking about!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Then, I had to go get 1/2 price candy at the store. Read the word HAD to get the candy. You see, the little guy started throwing up last night before we got to go out and we didn't have any candy in the house! We had to skip trick or treating and so I was FORCED to have to go buy candy. How sad ;)
Then, I had to make brownies. I hate it when I have to do all of these terrible things!!
What is really on the to do list is grade lab books. I have about 40 of them and they weigh just over a ton. They are a pain to grade because you have to open them to the right page before you can grade the assignment. Each one doesn't take all that long to grade, but the opening and finding is the hard part...not really, but now I'm looking for any excuse not to attack them.
SO, I'm feeling a bit selfish and wanting to do something just for myself, like some quilting. I printed out a pattern but that would mean sorting through all my fabric to find the perfect choices before I could get to sewing. Maybe I will just pick something that is already cut out and give myself 15 minute lab book grading breaks throughout the day and then reward myself at the end of the pile if I ever finish today.
Of course, Monday I start a new lab in all of my classes. It is a never ending battle...