Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The blog comes in handy

The blog is like an online diary and photo storage. My daughter is applying for a scholarship and

I am having a terrible time finding pictures she needs for her application. Where to look? The blog of course! Type in the search bar at the top and it pulls up the blogs that talk about whatever I'm looking for and there are the pictures to go with what she needs. SO, the babbling I do often here isn't for you all :) Sometimes it is for me to go back to. I know I'm going to need to look back when I fill out my headache paperwork. There are about 20 pages of papers to fill out and no way I could remember every day I've had a headache in the last 3 months. No problem. I've written about most of them here on the blog!

So, these are the two quilts I got done after school today, headache and all :)

Hubby is really sick. He went to the doctor and saw the urgent care guy. The guy didn't look in his throat or feel his neck or listen to his lungs, but sent him straight away to get a chest xray to see if he has pneumonia. Nope, xray was clear so he declared him to have bronchitis and gave him three different meds to take. He can't talk and lost his voice yesterday but wasn't sick before that. Didn't instill too much confidence in my husband.

sew cute

This little cheater panel with Winnie the Pooh! I just did some butterflies on it and too cute!
Yesterday, Carla stopped by with 19 quilts from Rhoda that were bound and I gave her 10 more to take back. I'll probably be taking about 20 quilts to school this week for the Ronald McDonald house in Sacramento. I want to have some for the CASA program for Christmas. I'm not sure how many more I will be able to get done before break. We have 3 weeks of school and things usually get busy around here with Christmas concerts and grades and tons of labs this time of year. I'm not sure why we plan so many labs for this time of year, maybe because those are fun for the kids to do, but they sure are a lot of work to set up, clean up and grade :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tennis anyone?

I'm off to a tennis tournament with my daughter today. She is playing a girl from Minnesota :) I bet that girl is happy to be in California where the sun is shining and it is warm compared to back home! To me, it is COLD! I think it will be in the 50's today. I will be wearing my wool hat that I made for my trip to visit colleges with my oldest daughter. I will be wearing my down jacket. I will be shivering.
But, before we leave, I had time to quilt up this super cute Minnie mouse quilt. The back has Sesame Street flannel on it. This was the last of the flannel that I loaded. I only got 9 quilts from that big roll of flannel. I loaded a second batch, much smaller than the first so when I get home tonight I might have time to get one more quilt done for this vacation.
While it seems like I got a lot done, there is always more to do. I never feel like I am getting ahead or catching up. I'm always looking for ways to do things faster and better. That's why the Accuquilt go looks so great. It claims to cut things almost twice as fast as a rotary cutter. I'm just hoping that it lives up to its claims. So many things to do...so little time :)

Goin' Fishing

Ok, so not really fishing, but this quilt called for something in the red bars and I knew I had a fish quilting pattern somewhere in one of my many quilt design books. Just the ticket! Laura Lee Fritz to the rescue. I have several of her books. Each one is filled with many, many designs that can be adapted to fill a space or border or in my case one of these stripes. My fish don't look like her fish, but if I don't show you what hers are supposed to look like you will think I am a genius :) Check out one of her books from your local library, or better yet, buy one for yourself on Amazon or put it on your Christmas list.

And then last night, while waiting for the tennis schedule to update, I got this quilt done. Nothing fancy here, just some meandering and wiggles. But, it's done and that's all that matters. My son counted the tops waiting to be quilted and there are 49 more. 49 after all I've done this vacation! Wow, that's a lot. Plus the 72 kits I cut out. No time to rest. No time to chat. I've got work to do.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm an idiot

Got two more quilts done today and both sets of lab books graded. Yipee. I still have one more day of vacation, but I think that will be spent at another tennis tournament with my daughter. I hope I don't freeze!
Ok, so why am I an idiot? Well, there is a new foundation forming to raise money for my school district. Guess who got asked to be on the committee? Guess who said they would go to the meeting? Guess who went and was told they couldn't be on the committee because they are a teacher and teachers aren't welcome? Guess who got mad? Guess who is fighting mad and who is fighting to be on that committee? Guess who is an idiot?
If you guessed me for any of the above questions, you are smarter than I am. I just hate when people tell me I can't do something. Even if it is something I don't want to do. I dare you to tell me I can't clean my house. Go ahead. Ok, bad example. But tell me I can't eat pumpkin pie and Cheesecake on the same day. Go ahead...I dare you!

This quilt was done by Carla and quilted by me. The strips are 6 inches and 2 inches and then you just cut them 8 inches. Quick, easy, cute! This fabric was donated by A Quilted Heart in Vacaville.

My other life

So, most of you know I'm a full time high school science teacher by day. I didn't start out that way. When I was 5 years old, sitting on the swing in my backyard, I declared for the whole world to hear that I was going to be a veterinarian. I had animals of all kinds growing up. My poor mother put up with snail hunts and jars of creepy crawlies coming home on a daily basis. My dad built an aviary that hung from my bedroom window and I had lots of different birds. I remember a dove that we caught because it was hurt. I had heard the saying, If you love something let it go and it it doesn't return to you, it was never really yours to begin with. I let the dove go and guess what? It flew away. My dad came home from work and I was crying because my pet dove was sitting on the wires by my house laughing at me for being so foolish.
I had a dog that my mother swore would never come into the house. Well, she got out and ran back to her original owner and they let her in the backyard until we got home. She had grown up with the other dogs there, but they didn't want anything to do with her and chewed her up. So, after a bunch of stitches, she became an indoor dog. She had a couple litters of puppies and we kept one of them and then we had two indoor dogs.
I researched all of the colleges and found out that UC Davis was the only school on the West coast to have a Veterinary college and so that's where I went for undergrad. After meeting my husband and getting married I changed my mind and decided to get a teaching credential. I wanted to spend more time with my family and have summers off. I started teaching elementary school and spent 10 years teaching 1st grade. Then, a position opened in high school and I made the switch. I've spent the last 10 years teaching high school science and loving most of it. The only part I really HATE is grading on my vacation.

So, this is how I'm spending at least a part of my day today. Grading lab books. I have two boxes of them and I'm done with the first one. I'm trying to get through them as fast as I can so I can do something else that is fun. I'm working on trying to get a few done, fill up the fishtank that either has a really slow leak or evaporates very quickly and am also watching a quilting DVD. It is Patsy Thompson's Fun with Feathers. I've watched it several times and can do feathers ok, but would like to be a feather queen. It will just take more practice.

Back to work. My other box of lab books and whole pile of papers are calling me. Ugh.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday? Wow.

SO, the elusive search for the Accuquilt Go! cutter. I'm not going to say if I found it, because it is supposed to be a Birthday/Christmas present, but let me tell you the search that happened...and leave you in suspense.

The sale at JoAnn's started at midnight Eastern time, which is 9pm my time. I went online around 8:30pm and found out there was free shipping. Wow, great, I would not have to brave the dark and cold to stand in line to get the one cutter in the store this morning. I would just sit in my comfy chair and click away and get my cutter. Well, at 9:01pm I checked again, and there was a friendly message on the Joann.com website saying they were busy working on changing things for their great sale and to please be patient as they made those changes, but while waiting please visit their Facebook page. I clicked over there and you would think the world had come to an end.

The griping and complaining on the Facebook Friends page went on for pages. I'm thinking Joann's has more complainers than friends. With all of the world troubles, the computer having issues really is a little problem. These people were talking about computer issues from last year still! You would think they were starving children in Africa or something. I can't get my cricut! I can't get my fabric! My cart just emptied! I was going to spend $300 and now you can't have my money! Wow!

So, I checked the Joann site again and they were indeed down. Ok, so I might have to check again before going to bed. No big deal. I can wait, or not get the Accuquilt cutter. I'm not going to die if I don't get it. I might just have to cut with a rotary cutter, or 'gasp' cut with a pair of scissors! Oh, no! Call the president!

So, I went up to bed and had my hubby check the internet every hour or so to see if the site was back up. I had a migraine and we watched a couple of shows and around 11 I called it quits. I figured I'd have to get up early. He stays up really late and said he would check for me a couple more times before he went to bed.

He woke me up at 1:30am and said the site was up and running. I got him the free shipping code and left him and went back to sleep. He was reading all of the reviews and it didn't look too positive because he said most of them were negative.

This morning when I got up, I did make it to JoAnn's. I wanted to get some batting. Their batting is 50% off and they had the early bird special of 20% off everything on top of that (which means it was 60% off--weird math) and I like to stock up this time of year. I got 6 rolls of batting-the last they had in the store. I had to get 2 store associates to climb on top of all of the boxes in the store room to get them down for me. The store wasn't as bad as I had though and I saw a friend there. She said she had been there since 6:15 and had a big pile of fabric and was just heading out. I got there at 8:15am.

I checked and they were all out of the Accuquilt cutters in the store. They were also out of a lot of the other doorbuster stuff too, but still had a lot of the flannel.

I came home and pulled a big bag of flannel from the garage. A friend had given it to me about 3 months ago. I almost forgot about it. I love having friends.

SO, now you have to wait, along with me, to find out if I did indeed get a Go! cutter. My birthday is December 21. The countdown begins. Maybe I will still win one before then. Or maybe Accuquilt will see how much I still want one and pick my blog for a giveaway :) Wouldn't that be fun?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family Puzzle Quilt so far

I have to call this a family puzzle quilt because the kids helped me put this together in about an hour today. Without their help, I would still be there, trying to figure out which piece went next. The two big ones pinned the pieces together for me and the little guy took the pins from me as I sewed and passed the sewn together pieces back to be laid out on the floor again. This was A LOT of work, but looks great. The trouble is, it is really small. I want to give this to my son's first grade teacher, but I'm not sure she would want a wall hanging. If I ever make this quilt again, I will definately use 4 1/2 inch strips instead of 2 1/2 inch pieces. I'm all for bigger is better! I have a couple of choices. I can make more puzzle pieces and enlist the help of my kids for another hour and make this twice as big, or I can add some borders. Right now, I'm leaning towards putting borders on it. I'm not sure the kids will find the time to help me out again. After all, it is their vacation too. I think I will let it sit awhile and see how I'm feeling about it in a day or two.
This other quilt was done this morning. I have its twin on the machine and will try to get it done before bed tonight. I plan a nice soak in the tub. Dinner was really good. Simple, nice having only family here so I didn't have to go overboard, just turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce straight out of the can and some green beans. Of course, we finished off two bottles of sparkling apple cider and I'm stuffed. Didn't make it to the store for a pumpkin pie. There is always tomorrow for that.

puzzle quilt

I am wanting to try something new and this fits the ticket nicely. Check out the free pattern for the puzzle quilt. It uses up 2 1/2 inch strips, which I have a lot of. My son's first grade teacher has a son with autism. This will make a perfect Christmas gift for her, since the puzzle piece is they symbol for autism. I think I will start pulling fabrics for this today. That's something I can do with a migraine :)

Turkey will go in the oven in about an hour. We are having Thanksgiving dinner instead of lunch. Maybe the headache will be gone by then??

yesterday's totals

Here are the last 2 quilts from yesterday. Despite the horrible migraine, I still got a lot done.

Today we are just staying home. I have to run out and get a pumpkin pie this morning, but it is really cold! Some of you will laugh because when I say really cold, the sun is shining and the temp is 41, but it feels like 36, and the high today will only be 57. Tonight it is supposed to drop to 27. I live in California people! 27 is Freezing! It isn't supposed to get that cold around here :) Tomorrow is Black Friday. I'm supposed to go to JoAnn's in the morning, when it is 27 degrees. I'm second guessing my trip.
If you are wondering what the pattern for this is, my friend Carla made it up. This is just a bunch of scraps that the people from the Disney Give a Day work day way back in February sewed together. There are 4 1/2 strips and 6 1/2 inch strips and they alternate. Easy, quick and lots of different bits of fabric used up. They measure about 40 x 60 when finished. Perfect cuddle size for a kid. I'm backing them with the flannel. That makes 3 so far and now I'm onto the second piece of flannel from the giant roll.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

JoAnn's Black Friday anyone?

Who here is going to JoAnn's for their flannel for $1.29? That is a great price and I can tell you that it is really nice quality fabric. I'm not. Not because I can't afford it (I really can't) and not because I don't want to brave the lines (I don't) but because I am finally using up the flannel I stood in line for 5 years ago. I finally decided that it was time to stop saving it and start using it. Flannel is so soft and cuddly, but it takes up a lot of space on the shelf.
Eventhough I have a terrible migraine, I decided that sitting around doesn't make me feel better so I pulled the flannel and just sewed it all together. Yards and yards for backing.
I started rolling it on the quilting frame and the poor thing started tipping. I'm a little afraid that in the middle of the night I will hear a crash and the whole thing will be on the floor. There is a lot of backing fabric loaded on there. I'm wondering how many quilts I can get out of all of this backing. I have a lot of tops waiting, so that won't be the problem!
Today I got three done so far. Two were done on the last batch of backing fabric, before migraine and one so far on the new flannel backing.
I'm going to guess 15 quilts, anyone else want to make a guess?

binding day

This morning I got up and decided I had better start making some binding for all of these quilts. I was going to pick up my son's friend who is the son of the Binding Beast, Rhoda. I started sewing together the 2 1/2 inch strips I had cut over the last couple of months and by 8:30am I had this pile
I learned this trick from someone in my Stashbuster's group and it works great for pressing the binding. You just insert two darning needles into your ironing board cover. As you can see, I really need a new cover. I bought one about a year ago, but it doesn't fit my ironing board. How hard could it be to make one? Well, harder than it looks. It would take measuring and cutting and sewing and you all know how much effort that would be. Besides, this one is still functional and I don't care if I put holes in it with these big darning needles.
You simply tuck the binding strips under the needles and pull it through. Be careful because the binding comes out HOT! It works really great if you can find someone to help you. When I have a really big pile, like the one today, I try to recruit a kid or two to help pull, while I fold on the other end. They can stand back from the iron and then the binding has a chance to cool off before they touch it. And they get to spend quality time with mom :) Always a bonus!
I got 4 pieces ironed before picking up the friend and took the 6 quilts over. I hope to get the rest done and quilt a few more quilts today.
I was feeling quite clever with myself because I haven't had a migraine since last Sunday. That also happens to be the day I started a new round of medication. I figured the two must be connected. Well, my migraine is back. So much for my theory. Ugh. Now I really do have to fill out this 20 page form and go to the Headache clinic in December.
one of the questions on the form...do you exercise? If not, why not? Does quilting count as exercise? Would they believe me if I said I was too busy quilting to exercise? Or, will they pull out the white jacket and put me in the rubber room right away?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today was brought to you by the number 6 and the letter D

Here's #5 and #6 for today. Wow, what a great day. I even went grocery shopping and got my turkey. There were slim pickings and I hope it thaws in time for dinner on Thursday. If not, who says you can't have turkey on Saturday? I will take it out of the fridge tomorrow and soak it in the sink. I just get a little nervous with salmonella and all. One year I cooked a frozen turkey. It took about 12 hours and it was pretty dry but we had turkey around 6pm. Those are the Thanksgivings you remember!
So, here is a closeup of #5 quilted with another pattern from the Pajama quilter, called Jungle Riot. Easy, cute, fun. What else is there to say about this one?
And #6 has my version of Wiggle. Easier, faster, funner. Oh, wait. Good thing I'm not an English teacher.
Speaking of English. My daughter got word today that she is in the finals of the Shakespear competition at school. The top 5 kids from each of the teacher's two classes (40 kids per class) get to perform again and the top student from those 10 kids will get a dinner for 2 to Olive Garden. Momma is pulling out all the stops and I'm trying to borrow a costume from a friend who does the Ren Faires. She really goes all out and designs and sews them and they are gorgeous! Hey, we are talking dinner for 2 people!!!
My daughter has to perform, but I have to worry and fret and listen to her practice. Isn't that worth a dinner? I think so :) And I love to eat and not wash dishes :)
And for the letter D. This is an empty donut box. Don't worry. I got 2 dozen donuts and I think there are about 3 left for tomorrow. If the donuts give me this much energy, I think I should eat them every day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Delicious. Delightful. Dwonderful. Oh, wait.


This one has butterflies. I forgot about how easy Dawn makes these! I learned how to make butterflies from a different book, but they really didn't look much like butterflies by the time I got done with them. These are cute and easy. Another one done.
Donut break and maybe time for one more before tennis lessons this afternoon. My son's friend is coming over tomorrow and his mom is Rhoda, the Binding Beast! So, I will be picking him up and dropping off these quilts for binding :)


As I am quilting, I get to hear my 6 year old sing as he plays Mario Kart...

Coconut Mall, Coconut Mall, I really love Coconut Mall.

I'm guessing that is a level in the game? These are the best days!

Today I am thankful for time off, time to do what I love and time to listen to my children enjoying themselves. My two middle kids are in their rooms, playing something on the computer and hubby is grading papers. He's the only one not having a great day :( Poor guy, uses up all of his vacation time to catch up on grading. I have a bunch too, but would rather have fun than work!

1 and 2

Time to get to work! These quilt tops have aged long enough and are ready to get into the hands of kids needing hugs. I did this first one, which has waited patiently on the quilting frame since September. Then, I remembered that I wanted to start using the Pajama Quilter's new Book/DVD and when I loaded the second quilt, tried out the Fern Ziggle. OK, so I've done that pattern before, but it looks so great. Even better then I had hoped to fill these blank, brown stripes. This quilt top needed something in these empty spaces and Fern Ziggle did the trick. This quilting design is super easy and looks great too.

If you need a great Christmas present for that quilter on your list, or even for yoursel, hop on over to Dawn's website and check out her DVD's. I highly recommend both of them. She makes machine quilting really fun. I have a short arm machine and I can do everything on it. They work on long arm, short arm and sit down machines. Not all patterns can do that!

I survived a sleepover

4 teenage girls, 2 dozen donuts for breakfast. Life is good! A little Mario Kart Racing this morning and I'm going to do some quilting. I'm loading the first quilt. Let's see how many of these guys I can get knocked out today. I have to grocery shop and most likely take my daughter to a tennis lesson. It rained last night, but is bright and sunny now. Another storm is coming for the weekend. No plans to go anywhere, but the snow in the mountains may call me away. If only I knew where to go so the kids could just play for a little while. I do not like to drive on icy roads and we don't have snow clothes, but taking an afternoon to just play in the snow for an hour might be fun. We will see :) That's the best part about vacations. The endless possibilities!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What am I doing?

It has been asked a couple of times here on the blog and through email...What are you going to do with all of these quilt kits?

Nope, not going to have a retreat. Nope, not going to sell them.

I plan to work through as many as I can and find as many friends as I can to help me sew them into quilt tops. I have a quilting machine (Janome 1600DB P) on a Handi-Quilter frame that my mom and dad bought for me and all of the quilt tops will be returned to me so I can quilt them. Then they will go to Rhoda for binding. When they come back, they will go lots of places.

As many as I can get done will be heading to the Ronald McDonald House in Sacramento. This is a place for families of kids with terminal illnesses to say while their children are receiving treatment at local Sacramento hospitals. I figure they could use some handmade hugs. The Robotics team is going on Dec 4. So, I need to get to work and get as many done as I can in the next couple of weeks.

Some will be going to my local hospital for their new mom program called A Baby is Coming. Parents go through a parent education class and when they graduate, they are given lots of baby supplies including a handmade quilt or afghan.

Some will go to Child Protective Services in Solano County. Sadly, kids are taken from homes every day and these kids need something to call their own. They are given quilts to hold onto by CPS. Unfortunately, I can't keep up with the demand!

And some will also go to the local CASA. Last year we provided them with about 85 quilts for the kids in foster care. CASA is a group of people who are mentors for these kids and who follow them as they move from one foster family to another. They go with them to court appointments, help with homework and provide a stable, adult support system for kids who don't have a lot of security. Each kid in the local program last year got a quilt. I hope to be able to provide for all of the new kids to the program this year. I have no idea how many kids that is this year. Many of them are teenagers. It was a little funny last year because they asked the kids before the Christmas party if they wanted a quilt. All of the teenagers said they didn't. I sent enough for everyone anyways and sent along enough big ones for the teens. Everyone ended up going home with a quilt. Some people don't know what a quilt is I guess, but these kids loved theirs!

So, if someone could send me one extra hour from your day, I sure could use it. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in my day to get everything done that I want to do.

There are always things that come up, like a mission trip to Africa that needs quilts or the wounded soldiers at Travis AFB who need an extra hug. I just have a hard time saying no.

Along with that extra hour, would you say a prayer for me too? Thanks :)

and a dozen more

Wow, 72 quilt kits cut and ready to go. I have about 10 partial kits. I'm not so into cutting partial kits, but sometimes when you get the last bit of fabric, it is easier to cut it up and bag it up and hope that soon I will be able to find something to go with it instead of putting it back on the shelf.

The table is clear of fabric waiting to be cut.

I'm off to a tennis tournament with my daughter this morning and when I return I will clear the rest of the fabric from the table and finish cleaning the kitchen. Big sleepover tomorrow so the house needs to be clean by 1pm :) I work best under pressure anyways.

I'm hoping to get a quilt on the quilting frame today too, and I'm working on some offering bags for church...stay tuned, lots happening around here!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rainy Saturday

I had plans to get so much done today and I guess when I sit down and type everything that was accomplished, I did get a lot done, but when I look around the house, I just don't see it.

I'm still in my pajamas :) because today was a rainy day. Not the heavy rain, but showers off and on all day so I didn't feel like going outside. The only time I went out was to grab one more bucket of fabric from the shed.

I worked for an hour cleaning the kitchen. The stove looks great, the dishes and sink are clean, the counters look pretty ok and the floor is swept. I had great plans to finish up the fabric cutting that is waiting for me on the table, but that hasn't happened just yet. There is still time left.

I'm working in the sewing room. I have no idea where all of this stuff comes from, but I guess as I finish a project, the leftovers just get dumped on the floor. I'm reorganizing again and moving things and trying to make places for the leftovers so this doesn't happen in the future. I think I have plenty of storage space, but just need to find the right way to utilize it so that everything I need is within easy reach.

I played a bit of Monopoly and we are in the middle of a game which will be finished after dinner. We watched the first Harry Potter movie as well. My daughter is having a sleepover on Monday and I need to try and remember the plot of the story before we go see the new movie Monday afternoon with her friends.

It was also a good day for haircuts. Hubby got one and so did little guy. I like his hair long, but he likes to be bald "just like daddy". Big brother will get one soon too. I love the curls, but they say it gets annoying to have hair in their eyes. Boys!

I got my form in the mail that I have to fill out before my appointment with the headache clinic next month and one of the questions made me laugh. It asks, how many days in the last 3 months have you not done housework because of a headache? I would say 90 days. Yeah, that's why my house is so messy! I never could figure it out!! Blame it on the headaches :)

Today's thanksgiving post:

I'm thankful for my wonderful family. My hubby who puts up with the creative chaos and my kids who still like to hang out with me. I'm also thankful for days I can stay in my pj's all day :)

and 7 more makes 60

Last night after dinner, I cut another 7 kits from the Quick Strippie pattern. I have another 2 bunches of fabric sitting on the table that will be tackled this morning and then I'm clearing off the table. Fabric will be sorted, folded and put away for the week. No more cutting. Do you hear me?

Well...first, I'm going out to the shed to pull in one more bucket of fabric. I have two pieces of fabric that need just one more color to go with them to make a kit. You see, the quick strippie needs three colors and these guys have two colors and need a third. I'm hoping there is something out there in the shed. Or, that sometime this week I get a phone call saying to come and get some fabric. Or, maybe I will have to go over to Carla's to get that piece that will match. I hate having to put these couple of pieces back on the shelf, knowing they are so close to becoming quilts!

I'm working on cleaning too. I knew you were worried about that :) So far, I've done a load of dishes and laundry and cleaned the oven. Yes, even the inside, with the self cleaning button. Boy, was that hard :) It should be done in another 2 1/2 hours and then I get to clean out all of the ash inside. I figure I need a nice, clean oven to cook my turkey in on Thursday. Speaking of turkey, I think I had better go buy one today or tomorrow. One year, I waited too long and ended up with a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving morning. That thing cooked for like 12 hours. We didn't have dinner until 6pm and the outside of the turkey was really dry and the inside wasn't cooked. Gross.

Friday, November 19, 2010

and another 7 so far tonight

Here's the bucket with the kits from tonight so far and...

Here's what is left on the table.
Three more sets of fabric to cut. With the 7 kits from tonight and the 46 previous kits, I'm up to 53 kits. I had better find some friends to help me out!
I plan to finish up the cutting by tomorrow, clean up my mess and get started quilting.
I'm going to be working through the new Pajama Quilter DVD and trying out some new quilting ideas on all of these quilt tops. If you haven't seen the new DVD yet, I highly recommend it. In fact, I recommend both of the DVD's and think they would make a great Christmas present. They are great for a quilting machine or if you just sit and quilt at your regular sewing machine. Great ideas and Dawn makes it so easy and gives you confidence to try out new things. Plus, she encourages you to eat lots of chocolate along the way. Can't go wrong there!


I hope you are ready for some quilting, cleaning and relaxing, because that is on my TO DO list for this week off! I will also be posting lists of things I am thankful for each day because this is the season of Thanksgiving.

To start off that list:
I am thankful for Vacations! Mine started at 2:15 today. For some reason, the bell rang late and let me tell you, those last 2 minutes were the longest of the day :)

We had a memorial service today for the student at my school who was hit by the car last Friday night and killed. It was really nice. The dad came and gave a little speech, they had a slideshow and then they released a whole lot of balloons. They made up some glow in the dark plastic bracelets with the student's name and Ride in Peace written on them. The kid was a BMX biker. I wanted to talk to his parents, but just couldn't do it. I knew I would start to cry and had to go back to teaching afterwards. I am going to either call or send an email in the next few days.

My daughter is having a sleepover on Monday, so I have to have my house cleaned before then. So far I have one bathroom sparkly clean :) That makes me happy, but there is still a long way to go. Tomorrow we are going to have a Harry Potter marathon and start cleaning the rest of the house. There is supposed to be a really big storm coming through this weekend, so there will be a lot of time inside for movie watching, cleaning and sewing.

I started sorting the quilt tops that are finished and hung up about 16 of them, plus the 25-30 that are already hung up. I'm sure as I clean up in the sewing room I will find more. I have more quilts to cut out tonight, SOOOOO, off the computer and back to work. Dishes are washing, laundry is getting done (love the kids!) and I hear some fabric calling my name.

The pattern I'm using the most is the Quick Strippie from Maryquilts.com If you haven't used this pattern yet, you really must. It is super quick, super easy and super cute! Maybe it should be called the Super Quick Strippie!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting a lot done

11 more kits cut out which brings me up to 46 total so far. I'm starting to work out of the bucket of fabric that Carla's bunch ironed for me. There are 8 more batches of fabric waiting to be cut, so I would guess 12 more kits? Surely I can get those done tomorrow or Saturday. I'm so excited for this coming vacation week and looking forward to orgainizing my projects from the quilt tops that need quilting to the kits that need sewing by me and others.

The next big batch of quilts will be going to the Ronald McDonald House in Sacramento. I'm very excited to be sending the quilts with the Robotics team from my high school. They will be going on December 4. I wonder how many quilts I can get done before then?

After the crazy day I had at school today and the stressful week this has been, this week off will be very welcomed!!!

One more thing

Yesterday I was asked to join the Travis Education Foundation. This is just beginning and is a way to support my school district as we have lost a lot of money and budget cuts are looming once again. This foundation is one way the district hopes to woo the local companies into helping us keep from raising class sizes and cutting more teacher salaries. I am a teacher. I love my job. I love my fellow teachers. I hate paycuts. Every year, we get a paycut because they keep raising our heathcare costs. This year, our costs went up another 15%. Another $150 a month out of pocket to pay for a doctor who says, what do you think we should try next to fix your headaches. Do I think I am getting what I pay for? No.

But, do I need another thing to do?

I am already a:
Full time teacher
Peer Tutor Coordinator
Chaufer to a tennis daughter/Band son
Quilt Ministry leader at my church
Local Freecycle owner
Binky Patrol coordinator
Band Booster Fundraiser Chairperson
Blog Writer
Minigrant Queen :)

Do I really need one more thing?
I was talking with a School board member last night at the minigrant awards dinner and she was saying that there are 10% of the people who do 90% of the activities.

Speaking of the minigrant dinner. It was really fun. I got to hobknob with all of the bigwigs! I talked with the Mayor of Fairfield and he actually remembered me (because of my daughter--not because I'm anything special!) and met a city-councilwoman who had run for mayor. She was so nice and actually came up to me at the end of the whole thing and said it was a pleasure to have met me! Wow, that was really cool. And I got to say thank you to the man that writes the checks for my daughter's education. My daughter won a really huge scholarship and we get bills in the mail for enormous amounts of money, but someone else pays them. You can bet I told him how much I love that scholarship and thanked him over and over again!

I had my own peanut gallery there. My son's jazz band got to play their first 'gig' and the parents who are my friends all cheered for me when they read my name. The lady who runs the program just laughed. Then they cheered again when my friend's ticket got pulled in the raffle and I had to go up and pick up her prize. My son couldn't be there because he is the Jr. Honor Society President and had to run the Induction Ceremony. I made it over to the ceremony just as the teacher said, thanks for coming tonight. He looked so grownup with his tie, white shirt and black pants. I heard he did a great job!

I'm still a little tired this morning, but we get all of next week off and I have a great lesson plan for today :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

7 more last night

I was able to cut out 7 more quilt kits last night after work. (that makes a total of 35 so far)Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I didn't get even a tiniest bit of a headache all day! Praise God! hooray! So, I cut fabric. I cut before dinner, while cooking dinner, after dinner, while helping my little one do homework. Really, it doesn't take long to cut these quilt kits.

This morning, I cut more. I think 3 more kits and about 8 partial kits. I'm going to have this fabric cut into kits before I start my vacation on Friday. Well...maybe. Tonight is the craziest night ever. Each person in my family has something different to do! I'm not quite sure how we are all going to get everything done.

My husband and daughter have to be at a tennis party. My husband is the coach and has to give the speeches and awards and my daughter gets to eat pizza and hang out with friends. They are taking the little one along. I have to go to an award dinner for the minigrants I wrote this year. The dinner is super great and they give out raffle prizes so it is an exciting night.

My son is the president of the National Junior Honor Society and they are having an induction ceremony tonight. He has to run the whole thing and give a speech. I just wish I could be there to watch him. Everyone has to be picked up and I just hope nobody gets left behind anywhere!

I have to run out after school and pick up the presents for the coaches and get the cookie dough that we bought as well. We also have a staff meeting after school. Is there anything else that needs getting done today?

Crazy! Good thing I got some fabric therapy in this morning! We have a common planning day today, which means I don't have to be at work until 8am instead of 7:20, so I had a few extra minutes to play this morning. Now, off to get the kids ready and fed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Worth the wait! Accuquilt GO!


The black friday sale ad just came out today on this website and JoAnn is having the Accuquilt Go! fabric cutters on sale for $199! I knew that waiting would be worth it. You will find me on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, waiting outside my local JoAnn's. Please hold my spot for me! Thanks! I just hope they have more than one cutter in the store. I would hate to come home empty handed :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

what season is this?

Today it was about 83 degrees. Yes, it is November 15. Winter is a month away and kids were wearing shorts and tank tops to school today. It was hotter today than most of the summer.

Can you say weird?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Before and After

Can you see the difference here? I did a LOT of work this weekend, sorting, repurposing fabric and making kits to be sewn by other people mostly, but some by me. Today I sewed together 5 quilt tops. Nothing fancy, I will show you in another post, but look at all of the room on the shelves. I went into the shed and pulled in a bucket of fabric that I will sort this week. There is one more bucket out there of cotton fabric that will be brought in and that is IT! I can't believe all of the fabric that has come through here is almost all in the house and used up. I have a TON of scraps (I really need an Accuquilt GO! or even better a Studio Cutter). But, until then, I will keep working with this. I should be busy for a little while anyways :)

6 more kits

I'm up to 28 finished kits this morning. I'm taking a break, going to church and will come back to cut some more this afternoon.

I've pulled fabric for more kits. I need to get out to the shed and pull in more fabric so I can match up more kits. I'm hoping to pass along at least 10 of these kits to friends at church this morning. If you are my friend and go to my church and see me coming this morning, please don't run away from me :)

I'm going to be very busy during my Thankgiving break. I have about 50 quilt tops to quilt. How many do you think I can get done? I will have to do a real count and challenge myself to see how many I can actually get done. We are not going anywhere and my daughter isn't coming home this year so I will have plenty of time.

But, I also have a huge garage cleanout planned for that week. What do you think will win...quilting or cleaning? Hmmmm...

Yesterday's progress

So I worked for about another hour or so, I would say a total of about 3 hours and cut up a total of 22 complete quilt kits and 2 partial kits. I had lots more time to work, but got another stupid headache. A really bad one.

I am trying to keep track of when and why they are coming. This one came on within 30 minutes of finding out that a student at my school was hit by a 2 cars on Friday and killed. Is there a connection between the stress and the headache? Maybe.


Here's the article. My friend called me yesterday afternoon. He was a student in her class.

Makes you hold your own children a little tighter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

more work

Another 50 minutes of cutting and now I have 11 quilt kits done. I pulled out a bucket of fleece from the shelves and dumped a bucket of cotton from the shed onto the floor. Yeah, that's how I work. :)

When my daugher gets home from tennis, I will have her help me sort it and see if there are things that go together to make more kits.

I am counting 7 more sets on the table to be cut. Some of these have several kits in them. That will be for the next hour of cutting. My back is getting a bit sore, so I'm going to take a little break and do something different, maybe a load of laundry or something exciting like that :)

There are 11 sets in the bucket on the floor. That's for the 3rd hour.

Most of the quilt kits I'm cutting are the Quick Stripie quilt from Maryquilts.com

Is there anybody who doesn't love that quilt? I swear that is the best quilt design ever! I can sew up a top in under 30 minutes and it takes only 10 minutes to cut the quilt. Another 15 minutes to quilt it and in under an hour you have a quilt almost done. With my friend Rhoda, the binding beast, I just pass them along and she finishes them up and we have quite the production going :) You would think I would run out of fabric soon, but like the loaves and fishes, it just keeps multiplying.

What I do have tons of is scraps. Those take forever to cut up into useable pieces. That's where my new Accuquilt Go! will come in handy. Are you reading this Stanta? That's what we call Santa at our house. My hubby's name is Stan :) I'm just looking for the best deal now and trying very hard to wait for the Black Friday deals to come out to see if they are any cheaper. I hope that by waiting, I will get the best deal possible. Or, maybe win one in the Friday Fun on the Accuquilt Fan Page on Facebook. I have tried every week for the past 4 months. One day it will be my turn to win right?

Ok, off to do laundry. It doesn't just wash itself you know!

The great clean up and cut up day

Forever this day will go down in history as the day the fabric was sorted, organized and cut up into quilt kits. Well...maybe. At least that is the goal for the day.

Here's the before pictures and I'll post progress throughout the day as I work through the fabric.

I've spend 25 minutes cutting fabric so far today and have 2 complete quilt kits done and 4 partial kits done. I've been cleaning for about 20 minutes and have brought in one bucket of fabric from the shed and filled another with Christmas fabric from my shelves. That fabric will go back into the shed. No sense keeping it in the house when it gets used once a year. I've already cut out all of the Christmas stockings I'm going to make this year from it, so it can spend the rest of the year in the shed. I think I had better start my Christmas stockings earlier next year. I'm not sure they will make it where they need to be. These may have to stay local instead of getting shipped to Afghanistan. I have a military hospital that I'm sure could use them and my son's first grade class might like some Christmas stockings too.

But, back to work. No time to waste today. It's the Great clean up and Cut up day today!

Shelves in the sewing room before

Table of fabric, waiting to be cut. My daughter helped me pick these last night. She really has the eye for colors!
Bucket of fabrics from last Sunday's Binky Day. These were ironed, but not cut. Today is the day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans

Here's the Rail Fence quilt top I got finished up this morning. I love this pattern. Thanks Alycia for sharing it with me. I've already picked out some fabrics for the next one ;)


4 glorious days

Thank you Veterans! In honor of the 4 days off because of the sacrifices you made serving our country, I am going to be working on some Quilts of Valor this weekend.

Alycia, at http://alyciaquilts.blogspot.com/ is having a quilt along. She is on step 3, but it isn't too late to catch up. She is making a QOV Rail fence quilt.
I'm a teeny bit ahead, because I've already cut my strips and sewn them together.
In fact, I'm going to make another one today and then another and another! I have a lot of 2 1/2 inch strips cut already and not quite as many 1 1/2 inch strips. I'm going to try to make a scrappy one and see how I like that one too.
I have a friend locally who is very involved with the local Veterans. I'm going to be finishing up these quilts for her and letting her do whatever she wants with them. She visits all of the wounded soldiers as they come through Travis Air Force Base on their way home. A couple of years ago, I made about 100 Christmas stockings and she filled them up with goodies like socks and candy and gave them to all of the people at the hospital for Christmas.
I'm also going to try and finish up all of the Christmas stockings I have started. I don't think there are 100 of them, but pretty close. They are in all stages of production around here and they need to get done NOW, so they can get in the mail, maybe even tomorrow :)
Well, off this computer and off to work! Yay! I love vacations.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I didn't make it back

I really wanted to get back over to Carla's today for the Quilt Day, but after the day I had yesterday and all of the different medicines and still not feeling 100% decided it best to just stay close to home and take things easy. Now, taking things easy means different things to different people.

For me, taking things easy meant starting another hat for my daughter. This one is a really hard pattern and I got about 1 inch on it. It is more of a headband and starts with ties that are 15 inches long and then has a leaf pattern that I am very doubtful that I will be able to finish before next year, but at least I started it.

Then, I took a little nap. Around here, getting a 30 minute nap is a miracle. Too much excitement and noise. After my nap, I started working in the sewing room. I figured if I couldn't be with my friends today, I would be with them in spirit. I worked on string blocks and 2 1/2 inch squares making 4 patches and made another dog bed out of scraps that have been sitting around for a couple of months. I moved some things around and made a little more room.

I'm trying to drink a lot of water. I rarely drink enough water because usually I'm stuck in a classroom where I can't get to the bathroom when I need to so today is perfect for drinking all of the water my body needs. I need to flush out the meds from yesterday and get hydrated for the work week ahead. This is going to be a great week, only 3 days. Thanks to the Veterans for Thursday and Friday off. I plan to do a lot of sewing this coming weekend to make room for the fabric that is still on the floor. It is a never ending battle with keeping order in the sewing room, but I'm having fun in the fight.

What's better than an Accuquilt Go!?

Today is quilt day at Carla's house. Did you get your invitation? If you live anywhere within driving distance of N. California and want to come to the next one, leave me a comment :)

At Quilt Day, Carla gets people from all walks of life. Quilters, Quilter-wanna-be's and people who have never touched fabric in their lives and helps them discover how much fun making quilts for kids in crisis can be.

This morning, I took over this bucket of fabric. I would guess there are about 200 yards of fabric in the bucket. It is REALLY heavy. My daughter and I sorted it to make some Quick Stripie quilts from maryquilts.com and today the busy workers at Carla's are going to iron, cut and make up the quilt kits. Maybe even some of them will get sewn together. If not, I will take them home and pass them out to unsuspecting friends :) So, if you see me coming and I have a bag in my hand, chances are it will have a quilt kit or three and I will ask you to do some sewing.

What's better than an Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter? A whole bunch of friends!

I'm still drooling over the Go! cutter though. JoAnn's has them on sale this week for $249. That's the cheapest they've been so far around here. You can get them for about $238, shipping included on the net and I'm wondering if the Black Friday sale at JoAnn's will include the Accuquilt Go!

Dear Stanta, I've been really good this year. Please bring me an Accuquilt Go! cutter, or more friends to help me cut up all of my fabric so I can make more quilts for kids. Thanks :)

Hat's done

What better way to spend an extra hour today than finishing up the hat I started yesterday? I got the cream part done last night and this morning, after being woken early by the dogs wanting to play, decided I could whine about having to get up early, or I could do something fun. I decided to finish up the hat. My daughter loves it. Don't you just love her hair color?