Sunday, November 29, 2009

New goals

Today I took 62 quilts, blankets and afghans to church to give to Wendy, who is going to give them to the foster agency where she adopted her two little ones from this summer. That's a total of 74 so far. Then, another lady at church, who works for a foster kid support group

asked me if we could work to provide quilts and blankets for the 77 kids who are in the program by Christmas. Do I love a challenge or what? I have 15 quilts that I have done, minus the binding, from this vacation so far. I'm going to take the quilt tops I have here and pick out the ones I think a teenager would like and add borders to them to make them bigger before quilting them up since we will be needing some larger quilts too.

While it is sad that there is always a need for a handmade quilt, I am happy that I have the talents to be there to help meet the needs.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doing some math

I've never really liked math. I made it all the way through calculus in high school, so I'm not saying I wasn't good at math, but I never enjoyed math. When I got to college, I took Statistics and got my first D ever. I think I dropped the class half way through. The teacher was boring, the class was at 8am and I had no idea what he was talking about. I fell asleep almost every day in class so that is probably why I didn't understand the subject. I tried getting help with the homework, but that wasn't successful either. I retook the class the next quarter and I think I passed with a C, but that pretty much ended my math career.

So, anytime people talk math to me now, my mind shuts down. Hubby talks about how much money we have in the checking account and I nod and smile and hum and think about something else, like chocolate. Then, when I think he is done when his mouth stops moving, I change the subject.

Well, this morning I woke up thinking about math. Scary. I was thinking about how much fabric I have and how long it would take to use it all up.

I have in the house (because we don't want to talk about the garage or shed) 25 crates full of fabric. I figure there is about 50-100 yards of fabric in each of the crates. I am guessing that much because one time a lady gave me boxes of fabric that she had carefully measured. Each box had about 60 yards in it. Each of those boxes would easily fit into one of the crates. Some of the crates are packed full--so more than 60 yards and some are only half full, so less than 60 yards. So, let's say each crate has an average of 75 yards of fabric in it.

Doing some math here, let's say there are 75 yards times 25 crates, that gives me 1875 yards of fabric in the house. The quilts I make are for kids. An average quilt takes 4 yards of fabric, for the front and back and binding. Some take more, some take less. I can get about 468 quilts out of the fabric that is sitting here in the house, assuming that all of the fabrics go together :)

This year, I made almost 200 quilts. I had help from lots of friends, but using up the fabric here in the house, it would take just over 2 years to use up all of this fabric. That isn't very long. However, I made 200 quilts this year. That means I should have used up half of this fabric in the house! But I didn't! I have probably twice what I had last year. How is that possible?

I have a couple of theories. First is the loaves and fishes theory. Remember the story about Jesus and the little boy? Jesus was out talking to the people on the hillside and they got hungry. The disciples said to Jesus to send the people away so they could get something to eat. Jesus said that he would feed the people, but the disciples said they didn't have enough food. Jesus took the small lunch that the little boy offered and broke it. The more he gave away, the more there was to give. The more fabric I use up, the more gets donated to be used.

The second theory is that the fabric is like rabbits. When you turn the lights out, it multiplies in the dark.

Either way, I'm going to keep using up the fabric as fast as I can, making room for more fabric to appear and thanking God that I have the talents and enjoying every minute of this journey. Sometimes I get discouraged that I can't do enough fast enough, but when I look back over the past year and see how many quilts I have made and think that each one of those quilts have been given to someone to warm not only their body, but their heart, it gives me energy to put another quilt on the machine. Just one more, and then another and another.

A video for you to listen to and think about this morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday addiction

Today in the US it is Black Friday. What that means is most stores have crazy sales to get people into their stores so they spend money (most people don't have this year due to the recession) and the stores finally start making money for the year (hence the black part). The only thing I could see that could entice me to attempt the crowds was the sale at JoAnn's for flannel. It was on sale for $1.49 a yard, normally $5.99. The trouble is, I still have most of the flannel I got 3 years ago, the last time I went to the big after Thanksgiving sale when I bought about 50 yards. The last time I went it was $.99 a yard. I love flannel. I love to look at it and touch it and buy it. Trouble is, I don't really like to sew with it. It sticks. It shrinks. You are supposed to prewash it because of how much it shrinks and I don't prewash anything. So, I had about 49 yards left from 3 years ago. So, really did I need to go get more if I hadn't used any from three years ago? Really? But it was on sale! Sale I tell you! But is it really a saving you anything if you don't need it?

So, I resisted the temptation until about 8:30. Then, I had to go to the post office and GameStop to pick up a couple things that were on sale for the kids for Christmas. And since both of those things didn't take long, I decided to pop into JoAnn's and see if it wasn't so bad. The cutting line for fabric was going to take about 2 hours. I decided I didn't need to spend 2 hours of my life for something I didn't really need anyways. What I did need was batting at 50% off. I do use a lot of batting. Plus you got another 20% off after they took the 50% off. So, it was really about 60% off the normal price. I spent $45 for 80 yards of batting. I can get about 60 quilts out of that so I should be good for a while, maybe through summer, and hopefully until the next sale.

After coming home, my migraine kicked in again. I'm adjusting my migraine meds and they are kicking my butt. Not fun. So I didn't get as much done as I had hoped today, but at least I'm on vacation so nothing had to be done. I'm hoping to get at least one quilt loaded and quilted tonight after dinner.

My good friend brought over some afghans from another friend so it feels good that even when I can't be productive, I have friends who are still working to get blankets into the hands of kids.

It is good to have many friends with the same goals as me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wendy, don't look

My friend from church was overwhelmed when I brought her 12 quilts for the foster kids. I hope she isn't looking at the blog this week. I just picked up 66 quilts from my friend Carla a couple days ago. I'm not sure how many will be going to Wendy, but I'm thinking about half of them. Plus, I have more that are coming from my friend Betty and some more from my friend Ruth. I hope that Wendy has room in her house and van for all of the quilts and blankets that she will be taking to the kids at CPS (Child Protective Services) and that they are ready to be loaded up for the holidays.

The rest of the quilts are going to the local hospital for the A Baby is Coming program.

Plus, with me being on vacation, I've been working on some sewing and quilting of my own. I'm currently working on using up some flannel scraps and putting them together to make a scrappy top that I hope to finish up today. I'm also cutting out squares for a couple of quilt tops for the local wounded veterans. I live close to Travis Air Force Base and wounded soldiers come through here on their way home. My daughter is working on making quilts for them. I'm also cutting fabric for a quilt for my oldest daughter's tennis coach's wife. I asked what colors she liked last year and am finally getting around to working on a quilt for her. I tend to put gift quilts on the back burner for a long time. I have to think about them for a long time for some strange reason. I don't quite know why. I think they have to be perfect or something. I'm weird like that.

Here are just a few of the many, many quilts I picked up from Carla the other day. Hope you enjoy them. Some are from the last quilting day I went to way back in August and most are from ones she has been busily working on in her free time. She is a very busy woman. I keep telling her she needs to start her own blog, but she keeps resisting. One of these days...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cast came off

Today my son #1 got his cast off. He 'broke' his wrist about 2 1/2 weeks ago playing basketball at a friend's house. I say 'broke' because the first doctor said he broke it for sure, but the orthopedic specialist said it was just strained ligaments. So, they put the cast on to make him feel better and to let the wrist rest for a couple of weeks. My son plays the trombone so he has been unable to do that and has been out of PE for two weeks as well. He came home today with a splint that he says bothers him more than having the wrist free. Now he can shower and play video games freely again!

We treated ourselves to Cold Stone ice cream. After all, it was a traumatic experience for mom too you know!

Monday, November 23, 2009

last thing on the list

So, I started off the vacation by making a to do chart with a list of about a dozen things to do every day and another dozen or so things to do only once over the vacation. Daily things include things like the dishes, laundry, quilting, sewing and cutting fabric. The once only things include cleaning the air conditioning vent and trying to fix the carpet shampooer. Today is the first day so far that I have accomplished everything on the daily list. Writing on my blog was the last thing on the list of things to do. I'm not a list type person, but it sure feels good to x things off the list. I have work things and fun things and I think there is a nice balance of both to keep me entertained.

And I am even giving away a big box of strange fabrics on Freecycle that were in the sewing room to a lady who is planning on making things for her kids like costumes and purses so it is a win/win. I get more room for more fabrics and she gets new things to play with.

Today I took a dozen quilts to Carla for binding and brought home about 50 finished quilts. I didn't realize I was bringing home quilts, I thought I was just dropping off quilts that needed work so was very surprised to be filling my van with so many finished quilts.

I've quilted 2 quilts today and feel like I have my groove back again and boy does it feel good.

My oldest is on her way to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend's family. Last year I cried when she didn't come home. This year, I'm happy for her. What a difference a year makes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My mom's quilts

Here are the latests quilts my mom sent me over a month ago. I have been so sick that I unpacked them and they sat on the ironing board until today. Today they went to church with me and went home with a sweet friend who is going to take them, along with some others that I had made and some that my friend Carla gave me to the local social workers to pass out to foster kids who are taken from their homes. These kids especially need the hug of a quilt as their lives are turned upside down in an instant. By no fault of their own, they are born into turmoil and strife and they live with stress and worry all the time. When they are taken away from their parents, they will be given a quilt of their very own to take from home to home, something that will be permanent in their temporary situations. Hopefully, they will carry these quilts to their forever homes when they get adopted by a loving family.

My goal this week is to get another dozen quilts finished up for next Sunday's delivery. I have a whole bunch of quilts sitting, waiting for bindings and those are going to Carla, who will give them to my binding buddy, Rhoda and then when they are done will be passed on to the foster kids.

Since the need has been met for now in Kazakhstan and postage is so much, it is nice to find a local destination for the quilts.

I also came home today with two huge bags of new fabrics that were donated for more quilts. I can't give the quilts away fast enough to work through the fabrics because the fabrics just keep coming in so quickly. It is invigorating to get some new fabrics to play with. It's too bad I've had the worst migraine in a long time today. After church I came home, had some lunch and took a really long nap. Nothing seems to help this time and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. I wonder if migraines are just a message to slow down and rest. Yesterday was a busy day and I knew I needed to slow down, but would have probably kept up the pace all week if not for the migraine.

I guess if I had to choose a disorder, migraines aren't so bad. Most of the time, I can work through them. After all, it is just a headache. I'm not going to die from the pain :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

They are driving me crazy

Ah, is it time to go back to school yet? Just kidding, but the kids are already driving me crazy with their arguing and fighting over everything. I guess I need to give each of them jobs to do all day so that when they are finished, they will enjoy their time off too.

Today was a great first day off. I quilted a quilt, cut some fabric into squares, sewed a whole bunch of fabrics together for backings for more quilts, went to the quilt store and picked up a pattern for some super cute Christmas stockings and got a lot of other things done that I had been wanting to do. Of course, I'm worn out, but it feels so good to have the energy back to be able to work again on things that I've been wanting to do.

I'm going to get my daughter working on quilts for the wounded soldiers and the Quilts of Valor this week so I have been cutting out lots of blues. Just 8 1/2 inch squares so the quilt tops should go together quickly. The more I work, the fluffier the fabric gets because I'm not seeing any of the stash going away. But I've decided that I need to get busy and get working on trying to get some of the stash reduced to make room for more :) It is always nice to get some new things to play with.

Off to make dinner.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm so looking forward to the 9 days off. I love being a teacher for many reasons and having a nice long vacation for Thanksgiving is one of them :) I have many plans and those include some sewing. I started today by pulling out some fabrics from the piles I have and starting to iron and cut out squares for some quilt kits. My friend says her mother would like to start sewing tops together again and needs some more kits. So, I figured I'd start cutting up some fabirc and get some quilt projects going. I also have plans to do lots of quilting of the tops I have here already and get them over to my binding buddy so they are useful for kids. I finally have my energy back again and it feels so good to be working with fabric again. Stay tuned for progress updates!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

finally finished something

It has been so long since I finished something and it feels so good. I got the quilt bound and in the mail to the wounded Iraq soldier who is the cousin of a long friend. We grew up 2 houses apart. She is younger than me and we used to spend all day together playing Barbies, or house or Land of the Lost when we were kids. It felt sooo good to finish something and didn't take long at all to quilt and bind the quilt today. I really need to get back in the swing of things again. I miss having finishes to share. But, after this quilt, I haven't done much, little shopping, cooked a turkey and sat around on the computer. I got my turkey last weekend (buy $99 worth of groceries and get a free turkey) and put it in the garage fridge. Well, it was thawed out today and I forgot that Thanksgiving isn't for another week and a half so it wouldn't be good by then, so I decided to cook it today. It is done and smells so good. I think I might go back and get another turkey. I spend about $200 a week on groceries so spending the money isn't a problem :) The problem is going to be waiting until dinner time to eat it. I'm hungry now. I think I will sneak a piece and then when dinner comes around, I won't be hungry. Oh, well, then I can eat again before bed. It's a wonder I don't weigh 300 pounds.

Ok, off this computer and hope to get something productive done before bedtime.


Gary's quilt is quilted. Hoping to get it bound and in the mail today!

Friday, November 13, 2009

400th post?

wow, that's a lot of posts.

I finally have something to show. I worked on this quilt on Wednesday and plan to get it quilted this weekend. It is for a friend's cousin who was wounded in the Iraq war.

Tomorrow, son #1 has a lego robotics tournament, so I don't think I will get anything done, but maybe Sunday???

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

so proud

Today was the final day of high school tennis for the season. My daughter #2 plays #6 on the team. She is only a freshman and has had a great season. She won 19 matches and lost only 3. Today she had the toughest match of the season and came out victorious. The girl she played was tough, but her mom was the hardest part. Her mom was the coach and should have known better, but because her daughter was losing, would clap on mistakes my daughter made. It really started to get me angry. I just wish people could let kids play sports without trying to live through them. This lady also said some really mean things to her daughter about my child, in front of my husband because she didn't know that it was his kid! He confronted her and she said, oh, well, I was just trying to get my daughter pumped up. Wow, putting someone down to make your child feel better? And you are the coach? I'm so glad that my daughter isn't on your team!

I'm glad my husband was there, because he had a really cool head and was able to diffuse the situation. I was just going to pop her one (not really, but I could have) and he had everyone laughing when it was all done. It still upsets me that they called my kid names because they lost, but it's really sad that another person is being raised to think that this is an acceptable way to live and treat other people.

I was just so proud of my daughter for keeping her cool under pressure and not letting this girl, her mother and the other team get the best of her. I learned a thing or two from her today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Friday

So many possibilities for the weekend ahead. I am finally starting to feel better and get my energy back. I have been sick for over a month. If this wasn't swine flu, I never want this again! I am hoping to have some fun this weekend to play with fabric, finish a quilt or two and get outside to work in the garden. Today we had a little rain. Fall is here!