Wednesday, August 31, 2011

600 had to be special

I am supposed to still be resting and recovering from surgery, but I never did learn what that is supposed to look like so since I needed a quilt for someone in the hospital and I have all of this time on my hands, I figured quilting really isn't that strenuous :) I would be ok putting this top together and quilting it. This makes quilt number 600 that I have quilted. It was inspired by Bonnie Hunter's Chunky Churn Dash quilt and used up some of the scraps we cut at the Teen Quilt day back in early August.

The setting blocks are called Hourglass blocks and my friend Carla helped figure out how big to make them. The Churndash blocks are 12 1/2 unfinished so that means the Hourglass blocks are supposed to be the same size. Well, according to Bonnie Hunter, you add 1 1/4 inch to the size you want, which would make the square to start with 13 3/4. Well, either I can't measure or somebody's math was off because those blocks came out about an inch too big. I cut 4 of them and then messed up and cut 8 blocks at 12 3/4 inches and those came out just right. Someone doesn't know what they are doing. Most likely me :)

Do you see the mistake in this quilt? How did that happen? Ugh. After it has been quilted, I am NOT going to take it out, and I doubt the person who receives it will notice, but double ugh :)

This one is going to my across the street neighbor's band bass player, DJ. He suffered a massive heart attack and I think could use a little hug to help the healing. I stopped in at my son's school today and asked that they make a whole bunch of get well cards too because the band, the Hipwaders, plays at the school every year and most of the kids know the band members. Both of the neighbor boys attended the elementary school.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm in trouble now!

Look what just came in the mail! the 3 1/2 inch drunkard's path die. Now, I have both sizes which means endless possibilities for designs. I have the whole week off to recuperate from the appendectomy and between sleeping and resting, I may find a bit of time for quilting. Woo, Hoo!

more quilts in Japan pictures

Take a look at this blog and you will see more quilts in Japan. It is so nice to see the quilts in the hands of people after such a long journey.

My shoulder and side pain are getting a little better today, but my stomach is hurting more. Not sure they actually took care of the problem :( I sure hope they did and didn't just take a guess and start removing body parts that weren't really the cause of the trouble.

I had a student's family bring over brownies last night. That was so nice!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Enough with the excitement already!

Last night, across the way, about 1/4 mile from my house, there was a really big fire. It burned over 500 acres. I guess my court was the best place in the whole city to watch the fire. The next door neighor was already having a party so he had about 15 people out front in lawn chairs watching and talking and parked along the court. Then, people came from everywhere and started parking in the middle of the road, blocking the entire street. I can barely walk after my surgery and I started to get nervous. The fire was moving pretty quickly on the hill and there is a 2 lane road between where the fire was and another big grassy area and my house. I figured if it jumped that road, it would move pretty quickly across the grass area to my house and I wouldn't have a lot of time to get out. At the rate I'm moving, I wanted to have as much time as possible to get out so I called the police to clear the court. I understand wanting to watch the fire because it was really cool, but come on people, don't block the road and block people into their houses!

It was all for nothing. There were lots of fire departments out on scene, most likely because there is a prison just to the right of these pictures and you know they are going to do everything to protect the prisoners so they don't have to move them :)

The fire reached the road, but didn't jump it. It is always super windy around here, but last night it was pretty calm. That helped get the fire under control.

I'm ready for things to calm down A LOT!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fun Friday-not

Wednesday night, after enjoying a steak burrito from Rubio's at the Open House, my stomach started to really hurt. I felt better on Thursday for most of the day and then Thursday night, it started hurting again. It just kept getting worse and worse through out the night and woke me up several times. By Friday morning I knew something was wrong. I went to Kaiser for an appointment at 9 and the doctor said she didn't think it was anything, but sent me for lots of blood work just to make me happy. When the blood work came back she said she thought I had the beginning of a bacterial infection and was going to send me home with antibiotics. I told her it had gotten worse in the hour and a half I had been waiting for the results. She agreed to let me have a CT scan of my belly. More waiting, drinking nasty iodine die and finally the test, which I had an allergic reaction to. Never had that happen before. They rushed me to the ER (was trying to avoid that costly trip) and when they got the results of the CT scan found out I had appendicitis! Yipee! So, around 8pm last night, I had my appendix removed. I asked, but apparently, they won't let you take body parts home anymore, but I did get lots of pictures of my guts! My doctor looked at me like I was strange, but was really nice because I am a teacher and wanted to show my students.

I will be out for at least a week The worst part was after I got home and the pain in my shoulder and side from the CO2 gas they pumped me with so they could see my insides. That is the worse pain I have ever had in my life and I've had 4 kids and severe migraines!

What an exciting way to spend a Friday. I don't think I will do it again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last night and this morning

With the change in my schedule this year, I have an extra hour in the mornings after getting my husband and two older kids off to school. Lunches are made, dishes are done and a load of laundry is thrown in and washed. What to do with the extra time? Well, what would you do? Now that the shoulder is feeling better, I am going to try and get a quilt done in the mornings. Don't worry, if the shoulder starts acting up, I will give it a rest! Promise :)

But I was able to get a quilt done last night and then another one this morning. I'm almost to 600 quilts quilted by me. Wow, in only just over 3 years. That's a lot of quilts. And, I'm almost to 300 quilts for this year alone! Double wow! No wonder my shoulder has been hurting me. About 200 of those have been since March. Sometimes I don't understand the word moderation.

Ok, off to help the little guy with his homework. He likes having the extra time in the mornings as well. Yesterday he says, Mom, you are really nice. I ask, why? He says, because you let me choose when to do my homework. Oh, is that all it takes? As long as it gets done, I don't care if he does it before or after school :) One less battle to fight!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coming back

I'm back in business! I woke up this morning and could barely tell my shoulder was hurting! Yay! So, I quilted this one before having to head in to work today. This year's schedule has me going into work later so I can drop off my youngest at school which means I have about an hour every morning after getting everyone else off in the morning and getting all of the morning chores done. One whole hour to myself to clean, or sew. Hmmm. What would you choose?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Busy today

I got both of these quilts done today. Both are gifts for my friend at work and her partner who lost their grandmothers within a couple days of each other. They are to take to their mothers who could use a hug. I will let them pick which one they want to give to their moms. While it felt so good to quilt again, I can tell my shoulder will be killing me tomorrow. I do believe it was worth it though. I know my friend is going to appreciate these hugs. I need to make some more of the pinwheel blocks. I just love these guys! I forgot how much I love these because I was so distracted by the drunkard's path blocks. Oh, I get so easily distracted. Too bad I have to work :)


Obsessed, I think that is the only way to describe what has happened to me. And these pink/green blocks. After 3 quilts, you would think I should be out of them by now? Well, think again! There are enough blocks for one more small quilt. Loaves and fishes I tell you!

I'm hoping to actually quilt this one today (the first quilting I've done in almost a month and yes, my shoulder still hurts!) for a friend at work's mom. My friend's grandmother passed away this week and her mom was the caregiver and had a really hard time. I thought this quilt might be a nice hug for her. I need to get another one done because her partner's grandmother passed away just a couple of days earlier and her mother was also the caregiver. They are really having a hard time. The funerals for both grandmothers are on the same day in two different states. I guess I had better get busy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I didn't show you this one

It is at Carla's now, getting quilted. I can't believe I forgot to post it when I finished it last weekend. I got the fabric in black and white for my son who is now thinking of different patterns to make for his quilt. I think I may have created a monster :)

I need an intervention

I'm addicted to the Drunkard's Path! So many possibilities and each quilt looks so different! This one is sewn together and I'm working on another one. It should be done tonight, if I get off this computer :) I even ordered the smaller version of this die today. I can't wait for it to get here so I can have more choices when making these quilts.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

now I remember

why I love teaching so much! I laugh every day.

I started back again on Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday didn't count. They were filled with boring, annoying, bloodpressure raising meetings. Filled with people who made me wonder why I got into this profession in the first place. Ugh.

Then, Wednesday came along, and I got to meet the students I would be spending the next 9 months with. And I laughed. A lot!

and came home to collapse on the couch...and get up and do it all over again today. It's a good thing this week is only 3 days long. Someone knew what they were doing when they put the first day of school on a Wednesday. Three days is a perfect amount for the first week of school.

I'm exhausted. Maybe from all of the talking. Or, maybe from all of the laughing. I tell you, I crack myself up! And these kids, some of them are really funny people too! I think this is going to be a really good year.

Weekend, I'm looking forward to you and getting to sew...I miss my fabric!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

after 5 hours

my son is working on this one with the leftovers from the first pink/green quilt. We didn't have enough of one of the pink so had to switch out the pink with tiny dots for a different one and it took about 5 hours of laying it out and trying different things to get it finished. Now, I'm finally sewing it together. Not sure how long it will take to get it completed because I have to go back to work tomorrow. This will be another one for my neighbor who has cancer. My son wants one like this in white and black. He worked so hard on it and loves the pattern. I think I can do the sewing if he can do the laying out again :)

that one's done

and off to Carla's for onto the next one...and the next :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

you would think

That with twice as many blocks sewn, I would have enough for one quilt, but NO, twice as many, but still not enough. You see, half of them have the green centers. I still have a bunch more to sew because some of the pink ones aren't the ones I need. That's ok, because sewing has become therapy these past couple of days. School for me starts Monday and that means added stress. I am glad to have a project to work on between running the kids around, working on my classroom and trying to get things ready around here. I'm loving how this one is turning out already. The other one will have green curves and pink paths. I'm dying to see what that one will look like. Motivation to get this one sewn together so I have some place to lay it out. Wish I had a huge design wall :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

my next project

Yesterday, the neighbor lady stopped me and told me she has cancer. I taught her daughter last year and she never said anything. The lady is having a fundraiser dinner to help raise money for the medical expenses for a stem cell transplant and the houseing expenses for her stay near the hospital for a month. Carla and I are going to make a quilt to give to the efforts.

I decided on this pattern, again using the drunkard's path die. I just love this Accuquilt Die. It is so easy to cut out and so quick to go together and looks like you spent a lot of time and effort on it. Of course, I can't count so I ended up cutting out enough pieces for TWO quilts. Oh, well, I'm sure the second quilt will not go to waste :) It will be in green and pinks thanks to my friend Judy, who has been bringing me truckloads of fabric this summer. She is coming again today with another load. I helped her celebrate her 71st birthday by enjoying a German Chocolate cake in her honor!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let's call it done

I was going to add another border to this, but the fabric I have just doesn't go with this, so I'm going to call this done, take it to Carla to be quilted and move ON! If this quilt was for my daughter, I would go back to the quilt shop, search for a perfect border fabric and keep working, but since it is just for a friend, I can call it finished and be ok with it :)

Summer vacation is winding down and time is running out here. Yesterday was spent running the kids around, working in my classroom and mentally preparing for the back to school routine. I woke up early this morning with lots of ideas in my head. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing just yet.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

so much work ahead of me~!

I started sorting the pieces we cut this week with the teenagers and got 9 kits of just the 6 1/2 inch squares. Those were the least amount of pieces we cut. The small tumblers were the most and if I had to guess, I would say we have about 100 quilts to make just out of those pieces. I'm not even exagerating on that.

I figured that while my shoulder is healing (I did something to aggrivate it and my back yesterday--I think it was vacuuming!) I would start to sew.

This is from the churn dash die for the Studio cutter. We probably have another 9,999,999 blocks to make out of the scraps we cut with that block. 12 blocks per quilt goes into that big number, a lot so we will have a whole bunch more quilts out of the progress the kids made. If I don't sleep for the next 17 years, I think I will get all of the quilt TOPS made up. Then, when my shoulder heals, I will be good to go on quilting these babies. Or, I will need to teach all of the teens how to sew :) I like that plan better!

quilt pictures from Japan

Maxx sent me a link to his personal blog where he has some pictures of quilts that have been handed out to the people of Japan. Take a look and see if you recognize your quilt.

Triple Score

Yesterday at the Solano County Fair, we thought my daughter was getting an award for her quilt for Best in Show. When we got there, we walked around to look at all of the things she had entered. She made lots of jewelry

and won first place on most of the things she had made. She took lots of pictures and won first place on most of the pieces she had entered. She made a couple of pillows, pajama pants and wrote poems.

She did very well on everything she entered.

What shocked us was that she not only won best in show for her quilt, but also for her science fair project that took first place in the city science fair, but also for her poem! Her sister is a creative writing major at Oberlin college in Ohio and so my daughter was very proud that she had won for her poem.

When they started calling up people for the awards, she also won two sweepstakes awards, which means she earned the most points overall for two of the categories, one for the home furnishings, (quilt and pillows) and one for the jewelry category. She was a little embarassed going up so many times and having just come from tennis practice. She likes to get all dressed up when she goes out places where people are going to be looking at her, but I was super proud!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quilt day #3

This guy got a lot of work over the last week. The star of the show was the Accuquilt Studio Fabric cutter! Best investment EVER!

Wow, another quilt day and I'm exhausted! The local TV news station was supposed to come out today and had to cancel because the camera man called in sick :(

I had told the kids to be on standby and that this might happen so figured that once they heard the TV wasn't coming, they would find something else to do. Well, I was wrong! We had about 15 kids show up today and work for another 2 hours. These kids just can't get enough of fabric! Do you think I have them addicted yet? When they left, they asked when the next day was! We actually have now cut up all of Carla's scaps into this...

This is the result of all of the cutting. Sorry for the terrible picture, but you can see that this 6 foot table is covered in perfectly cut pieces of fabric: Tumblers in two sizes, hexagons, squares and triangles and now I get to sort them into quilt kits to be passed out at the next Binky Patrol day which is August 14. The local news station said they would like to come out on Sunday, August 14 to cover that day and the kids said they want to come back! I think they just love the food

and friendship! I'm ok with that, as long as they agree to do a little work for it :) Hey, my kids eat and don't always work so... :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Center of top is done

Still needs borders, but that's another day's work! This thing is going to be huge! Would need two more rows on the side to make the pattern look a little better, but I'm out of fabric, and I'm calling the center DONE! I love this pattern and see another one like it in the near future.

we made the paper

Excellent article in the local paper which highlighted the kids who worked hard on making quick work of fabric scraps that have been donated. I'll say it again, if you aren't tapping into the resource of your local high school, you are really missing out on a great amount of energy these kids have. Just a little bit of direction and they take off and get a lot done. About three hours was the attention span, so plan accordingly. Feed them and they work better. Make sure they have their friends there so there is plenty of laughter and fun.

School is about to start in most places and kids will be looking for community service opportunities. Make a sign and ask the counseling office if you can post it and ask them to announce it in their school bulliten or website, or if they have an all call, ask them to call home about it. No place to hold the event? Many schools will let you use their facilities for free, just ask! Ask for donations of fabric and be prepared for boxes that have been hiding in garages and attics for decades. This is some fun and funky stuff you will get, so don't be picky. Have a plan ready, with a job for every kid who shows up and a few supervisors to help out and you will have a successful event.

The kids asked for another quilt day next month. I know that as soon as they tell their friends, we will have more students then we know what to do with :) I'm excited, but could really use a nap today. I'm beat! And, I'm working on the wedding quilt, hoping to get the top finished today. It is half way done now with nothing else on the agenda for today. Whew!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teenage work day #2

Today was another fun filled, exhausting work day where we cut and sorted fabric and got a lot done! I forgot to take a picture of all of the fabric that was made into useable pieces, but I can tell you it filled an entire table about 6 inches tall! These kids were busy for the full 3 hours and made short work of that fabric again.

The local paper even came out to cover the story. We had 26 kids today and most were repeats but some were new kids who heard about it from friends and lots of kids asked if we would be doing this again. Of course, Carla agreed that if they wanted to come back, she would be happy to host another quilt day.

Here is the photographer talking to one of the Robotics students who was in charge of the quilting machine. They were both very interested in how the machine did all the work with the touch of a button. As long as a machine is involved, you could get the boys working :)

More kids sewed today and Carla brought out her Sizzix machine, which will take some of the smallest Accuquilt Go! dies. Any of the 5 inch dies will fit if you use a couple of extra shims (pieces of cardboard slid under the die to lift it up)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Carla went to the Solano County Fair today and emailed me this picture of my daughter's turtle quilt. Can you see the ribbon and sign on the right hand side? My daughter is really excited to go to the fair and see it for herself! Best in Show! I think she should be proud.

Wedding quilt

I promised one of the student teachers at work a wedding quilt. I was dumb enough to ask what size bed they were going to have after they got married and he said queen. I had no idea just how big that was. I finally started working on their quilt this morning after putting it off all summer! This is what I have done so far. I have 80 blocks done and it took less than 2 hours. These Drunkard's Path blocks are so easy. Seriously people, what was I afraid of? And they can make so many different patterns! I had my son lay out the pattern from this one I found on a google image search. I love how it is turning out so far. You can see I need quite a few more blocks. 80 done, lots more to go. But, I'm out of fabric and I'm not going to make it as big as I need to just using the blocks. I'm going to add a border to it because I have a different blue that I want to use and the yellow came from a quilt shop so you know that means $$. I'm loving the way it is looking so far and can't wait to get the top done. I might even get it done today. How cool would that be :) Somthing to show for a day's passing. That hasn't happened in a long time.

Curved Seams scare you?

They sure scared me! That is until my friend Carla showed me they weren't any big deal. She took a class through our quilt guild called Fractured Circles and the quilt teacher showed her how to cut the pieces just using her rotary cutter. Carla showed me and then made me sit down and sew the seam before letting me leave her house! She is mean like that you know. I think she even threatened me with chocolate or something!!

Well, after my first curved seam, it was so easy, I wondered why I had been so afraid.

Then, I decided that I had better try again before I forgot. So, this morning, I decided I had the drunkard's path die for my Go! cutter and hadn't used it. What a shame! I wondered if it was easier or harder to do than the way Carla showed me. With Carla's method, you have to square up the blocks after sewing. Withe the Go! cut blocks, you don't. Cut before or after, it's still the same waste of fabric, but you all know how lazy I am, so I think I will go with the before cutting and use the Go! cutter to cut my blocks. Either way, it is super easy to sew curved seams and I have no idea what scared me about them.

Now, to find that batik fabric I bought for the wedding quilt I promised a co-worker/student teacher way back at the end of last year. I am supposed to be making a queen size quilt. I have no idea how big that is, but I'm sure it is huge! Good thing Carla is my friend :) She doesn't know this yet, but I'm going to be asking her to quilt it for me :) This might involve pounds of chocolate! If I can find that fabric...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quilt Day with teenagers

Wow, today I learned that teenagers are so great! I mean, I knew they were great, but today really proved that if you need help, ask a teenager. I'm not worried about our future one bit. Problems? Sure, our country has them, but these guys can solve them and then some.

Quilt day was a great success. Carla had 5 huge boxes of "I will deal with that later" scraps and stuff and these guys almost finished them all.

We had them working on sorting and measuring into piles. Then, each kid was assigned a die for the studio fabric cutter. They would grab from the pile of scraps that fit their die and lay out enough fabric to cut.

Then, they would take turns rolling their die through the Studio fabric cutter. They would sort their cut pieces into piles and go back for more.

One kid even ran the robotic quilting machine!

We had several kids and a couple 'older people' sewing and we got a lot done. We had so much fun we are going to do this again on Thursday.

I'm telling you that if you are in the neighborhood, you don't want to miss out. The kids even jumped in the pool after the fun was over to cool off.

Saturday we will have the 'little old ladies' over for some serious sewing to put some of these pieces together. If you want to stop by and pick up a quilt kit, we will have them ready for you!

There's always room for one more :)

Another Go Baby giveaway

These things are popping up all over Blogland, so if you are on the hunt for a fun toy to help you manage your scrap pile, check out this blog and you might just be lucky!

Need an energy boost?

If you live near Vacaville, Ca and are looking for a Free pick-me-up, come on by the Quilt Day today or Thursday at my friend Carla's house. These are special quilt days because they are Teenage Community Service days. What's so special about those? Well, her house will be FILLED with teenagers! Talk about abundant energy! There are about 20 kids who have RSVP's and from what I've seen in the movies about teenage parties, teens like to talk and tell their friends and a teen party can get pretty wild! Word gets out and before you know it there will be 100 kids sewing and cutting fabric, drinking soda and having a wild time. Ok, so maybe not exactly what you see in the teenage movies, but much better and way more productive! I'm really looking forward to it and will post lots of pictures later this afternoon. Carla has 5 buckets of scraps and I'm hoping to work through all of her scraps today so the kids can make quick work of my scraps on Thursday.

The, Saturday is the grownup party for a full day of quilting fun from 10-4 and you know how wild we can be!

It is worth the drive for a few hours of fun. We even have the best outlet stores in the world-or so I'm told, if you want to make a vacation out of your trip :)

Drop me an email and I will give you her address. Hope to see you here! Bring your swimsuit if you are really brave! I'm not, the kids have camera phones and I don't want my picture out there in cyberspace scaring little children!

Monday, August 1, 2011

she passed and I'm a spaz

So, my #2 daughter had her behind the wheel driving test this morning. We went out early for some last minute practice to help calm her down a little. She was really nervous, thinking she might run someone over, or crash into the DMV office and immediately fail her test. I knew she would be fine, which worried me even more!

We got there early and watched a couple other kids take their tests. The guy two people in front of her came back from his test and parked really crooked at the end. He got out of his car and skipped into the DMV office. He was really happy! I'm guessing he passed. When his dad came out with him, he made fun of the way he parked. The kid said, "the parking at the end doesn't count, it isn't part of the test!"

When my daughter took her test, she was pretty nervous. Her hands were really sweaty. When she came back to park, she did a perfect job, but then hit the curb really hard. She said she apologized to the driving test lady and the lady said, "It's ok, it's not my car!" It's a good thing the parking at the end doesn't count because if you hit the curb during the test, you immediately fail :)

She only lost two points on the test and was so happy that it was over.

Then, she had to go to her tennis practice which is about 30 minutes away. Now that she can drive herself, I have 2 hours a day back to do lots of fun things (when my shoulder is healed!) So, what do I do with my extra time? I followed her to practice! Am I a giant spaz or what?

She decided to take the freeway and when she got on, there were two trucks that she had to squeeze inbetween and the onramp is really short. I was so worried about her making the onramp that I wasn't paying attention to the fact that I had to get in too and I had to slam on the breaks because I was going to crash into the second truck! STRESS! SPAZ!

UGH. She did great all the way and I freaked out over nothing. No man will add any days by worrying, but I tell you I may just shorten my life by a week or two.

I think I might just take a nap with my extra hour this afternoon. I think I earned it :)

Picking a Winner!

Congratulations MJ, you are the winner of the Baby Tumbler quilt kit. Since nobody picked my favorite quilt (the one Carla quilted for me!-the tshirt quilt I made for my husband)

I wrote everyone's name on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl.

Then, I woke up my very sleepy daughter and had her stick her hand in the bowl and she picked MJ's name.

I've emailed MJ and hope to hear back from her soon so I can get the package out to her today.

Stick around, there will be another giveaway before school starts.

Since my shoulder is still killing me, I can't do any quilting and I'm really frustrated, so I have to do something with this fabric. Carla is hosting three quilt days this week. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, her house will be invaded with teenagers who are going to help cut, sort and sew fabric. Is she crazy? I think so! If you live close enough and want to help out, drop her a message and let her know! We need all the help we can get bossing the kids around. Plus, there will be swimming after the sewing. How much fun will that be? I will just be taking pictures of the swimming to post on Facebook :)