Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2 closer to goal

2 more quilts done, getting closer to the goal slowly but surely.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

End of year goals

As the year speeds to an end, I think about what I would like to accomplish before 2012 gets here.  My goals have become loose with all of the health issues I've had to deal with these past couple of years, but it is still nice to have them in the back of my mind. 

With this week off and not having much school work to deal with, I've tried tackling the sewing room.  I've made more of a disaster out of it than I have accomplished, but I still have the rest of today and tomorrow to get things picked up and put away so hopefully things will look better before I go back to school and I can show you something looking nice tomorrow.

I am 8 quilts away from 300 for the year.  That's a lot of quilts quilted!  No wonder my shoulder gave out on me.  Most of those were done for the Quilts for Japan campaign and most were done around the same time.  I had to slow down significantly once the shoulder said to stop, but I am hopeful to get the last 8 done before the year comes to a close.  I did one yesterday and need to post the picture so that leaves 7 more.

Thursday, I got the grand idea to pull backing fabric for all of the quilt tops I have around here.  I am tired of looking at all of the fabric on my shelves and tired of looking at all of the quilt tops, so figured if I paired up the two, I would be more motivated to quilt them.  Some go together easily and some are more of a challenge.  Some of the backing fabric needs to be pieced together so that is a nice break from just pulling giant piles down and sorting. 

I'm also sewing Christmas stockings.  I'm up to 320 finished stockings and there seems to be at least that many more to go.  I know the kids can't fill that many so I'm ok with leaving the rest for next year's project, or working on them throughout the year and sending them along to projects next September that are asking for stockings to be sent overseas to troops stationed far away.  I'm thankful we don't have that many wounded soldiers so close to home.

I'm also trying to clean out the project bins.  I found some 8 1/2 inch squares yesterday and in a matter of 10 minutes had a top sewn together.  Who knows how long the squares had been sitting in the bin, but now they are one step closer to becoming a quilt.  Silly how long something has to sit in an unfinished stage when it is so simple to move it along.

Well, I'm off to a tennis tournament with my daughter.  She won yesterday so we are off early this morning for round 2. 

No Black Friday shopping for me, except for some tools for my son, who is working on his robot for a school project.  It is driving him and the rest of the family insane because he can't get it to work!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Teenagers really love to work!

 Two days of working and much was accomplished.  We cut fabric, sewed, ate a little (ok a lot) of food and completed over 220 Christmas stockings for our returning wounded soldiers at Travis Air Force Base.  These teenagers from Vanden High School worked really hard in the 7 hours the last two days getting so much done.  Some had never sewn before and they all had a great attitude about learning.  They even helped sew some quilts together when the stockings were to a stage they didn't feel comfortable sewing.  We still have about 200 more stockings that need the top finished off.  I know what I will be doing the next couple of days :)
 These kids really love helping out and filled my friend Carla's house with laughter.  If you are looking for some help with your charity crafting project, contact your local high school.  You will find MANY willing volunteers.  Our high school cut out the manditory volunteer hours long ago, but we had so many kids show up who just wanted to help.  The National Honor Society Club requires they complete 4 hours a semester, but many of these students stayed all 7 hours and want to come back again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

even with a migraine

What do you do when you have a migraine?
Sometimes it is easier to hide and cover my head.
Sometimes it is easier to clean and work.
Today was a really bad one.
I wanted to hide.
I wanted to cry.
But, instead, I cleaned, crocheted, and quilted.
I got one quilt done, two baby hats crocheted, caught a mouse (finally-been trying for a week) and cleaned a bit in the kitchen and sewing room.
The migraine is still there, but at least some things are done around here.
I hope to get another quilt done and maybe another hat before the day is done.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

and another

this one is child size and my son won't let me take his picture in it because it is for a girl.  It is the slouch hat pattern and I'm definately going to use a bigger yarn and hook to make it teen size.  TOO cute.  You make it big and then decrease to make it floppy on the head.  not sure how warm this will be, but it sure is cute!

Going to give the shoulder and arm muscles a rest and try some quilting or cleaning for a while.  Also going to turn the heater on.  It is sunny outside, but not very warm around here.  Hope you are staying warm wherever you are today.

one hat done

and it turned out  cute.  It is made with wool yarn, so eventhough it has soem holes in it, should be a little warm.  Will make a few more of these.  Only took about 30 minutes.  This is the butterfly pattern and is easy to make.  I think with a smaller crochet hook, would come out with smaller holes for a smaller child and a bit warmer.  I might try it with a bigger yarn too.  This was made with a pretty thin yarn and a J hook.

Some hat patterns to make this week

Is it chilly where you are yet?  In California where I live, we say it gets cold, but really, we have no idea what cold is.  The morning temperatures never really drop below 30 degrees.  Lately it has been around 60 degrees in the mornings and we are FREEZING, but I do have friends in cold places and they have asked that I make some hats to send to them.  So, since I have the entire week off and I don't have a lot of grading to do this week (yay for good planning the week before break!) I thought inbetween quilting and stocking making, I would do a bit of hat making.  Here's the first bit of pattern searching I came up with this morning:
cute hat pattern with butterfly in side-crochet

slouchy hat-crochet

fleece fish hat--too cute

Fleece hats for a boy and girl-must make these!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

you have to see these pictures

Here is a link to a newspaper article with pictures of the cleanup efforts 6 months after the Japanese earthquake and tsumani.  Incredible!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

JoAnn's black friday ad

Do you love the thrill of standing in line on Black Friday?  I used to do that.  Get up at 4am, wait in line to get the best deals.  Not any more.  Now, there just isn't anything I must have that's worth losing sleep over.  But, I do get these emails from a Black Friday website that leaks the Black Friday ads early.  Just in case there is something I must have.  And most places you can order online.  So, if you must have an item, you can at least stay in your pajamas and not have to face the cold :)  Here's the link to the JoAnn's ad.  That's the most important one you know.  They have the Go! fabric cutter for $199. which is the lowest price anywhere and they always lower their price on flannel.  This year it is $1.49 a yard.  I have about 4,000 yards of flannel, otherwise I'd be standing in line with you :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

quilting calms the nerves

This one was loaded from the weekend and I thought I could get it quilted before school today.  I'm getting evaluated by the Vice Principal this morning.  Nothing like a little quilting to calm the nerves.  Of course, the lesson I had planned is not ready today, but rather on schedule for tomorrow, but kids are not robots and are not ready for that today, so she will see what she sees, a real day of teaching, not a dog and pony show.  She actually showed up yesterday.  She likes to do that, just throw a little bit of nerves in there to keep you on your toes.  Yeah, real nice like that.  I miss the old VP who used to come around and joke with you.  This one, no joking allowed!  All business.  Today will not be a fun day.  I should probably take some migraine medicine this morning :)

Ok, off to work, can't be late today!  She will probably be sitting in my room when I get there to watch me get things set up! Ha!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

10 minute blocks

I just read about this on another blog and had to look it up.  Of course, now I don't want to grade papers, I want to go sew!  Too bad I'm getting evaluated on Tuesday.  I have to be a grown up and get to work.  Maybe this will make me work faster so I can play a little bit tonight before I forget how to make the 10 minute block.  Check out this video and see if you don't want to give it a try.

Cute little quilt

This is a cutie, love the look of these blocks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

is my child the only weird one in the world?

He's playing video games in a laundry bucket.  Is this normal?

Broken quilting machines

I stopped by Carla's today to drop off my empty dog food bags.  She is going to make reusable shopping bags out of them.  I also had to return the lavendar fabric she let me use for the baby quilt I made for my friend's grand daughter.  It had been sitting here forever, waiting patiently to be returned.

Carla was telling me about her troubles with her quilting machine.  Seems she just wore it out!  After 350 quilts in 6 months the poor thing just gave up.  Burned out, got tired.  My quilting machine did about the same thing.  Problem is, hers can be fixed with just a new motor.  Mine can't be fixed as easily.  You see, mine runs on shoulder power.  Hers on a robotic brain.  My shoulder still kills me every time I try to do anything with it.  Grade papers, work on the computer, push a shopping cart, cut the rose bushes.  I wish my quilting troubles were as easy to fix as Carla's.

But, I can tell you she is just as frustrated as I am.  Why do these machines (or body parts) break down when we have the time to be quilting?  She has some time off this week and is raring to go!  She has piles of quilt tops stacked neatly near her machine, just waiting to be quilted and ready for a child to love.  My troubles started at the beginning of summer, when I had lots of time to quilt.  I've been resting for months, hoping that rest and time would heal.  Neither of us is a happy camper right now, but in time, things will get better.

But, Carla has been sneaky.  She has been going down to the local quilt shop and giving demonstrations on their quilting machine.  It is the same machine that she has at home and so while her machine is taking a much needed vacation, Carla is still able to get a little quilting time in.  And she is getting the lady at the quilt shop hooked on quitling too!  We always laugh at how addicting quilting can be.  We often compare outselves to drug dealers.  The first lesson/bit of fabric/quilt will be free, but then you will come back for more and more and soon, you just can't stop thinking about your next quilt and you will be hooked.  But, quilting brings you the best friends too.

Could you vote for my friend?

She is in a contest for some free toys for her girls.  She was the preschool teacher for my younger daughter (who is now 16).  The best thing about the picture is she actually got her husband to wear the silly hat!  He is in the military and serves our country proudly.  I can only imagine the teasing he will be getting from his fellow service members when they find out about this picture :).

It just takes a second if you are already a member of Facebook to like her picture.  Voting ends on Thanksgiving and is another way to say Thanks to our troops (well, sort of anyways).

Here's the link to vote Just click on it, find this picture and click on that and then 'like' the picture.  Simple.  You must be logged into Facebook in order to vote.  Thanks friends!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Call for quilts

My blogging friend Alycia is calling for quilts for our wounded soldiers.  If you have any quilts that are about twin size and can send them to her pretty quickly, she could really use the help.  They don't need to be patriotic colors, she can use pretty much anything to give to the soldiers to say thanks for their service.  Take a look at her blog and see if you have something you've made that fits the need.  I know the feeling.  So many people, so little time!