Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lotto Fever

I was hoping this post would say I won the lottery and quit my job, but alas, the good Lord has other plans for me :)

Lottery fever struck and I bought in with my co-workers.  We all put in $20 and got $260 worth of tickets.  I think we got back like $7 in winnings.  Woo Hoo!  I just hope the investment goes to a good cause :)

I remember waaaaay back when they first started the lottery in California and we voted whether to allow it or not.  It was pushed as a way to help California schools.  The deal was something like half the money raised was supposed to go to the schools.  Well, the part they left out was the money funded by the lottery that was currently paid by taxes was going to be taken away and given to other things, so really schools haven't gotten any more money than they did before the lottery came to California.  In fact, we are getting less and less.  Schools are a huge cost in California and whenever there is a need to cut spending, education is the first place anyone looks to cut.  I wish someone would ask me.  I have lots of ideas on how to cut spending.  But, nobody asks. :)  When you work in a school, you see just how much waste there really is.  The big guys who make the rules don't ever see where the money goes, but they tell us how to spend the money.  If there were any kind of incentives for saving money, we could really save.  But they tell us if we don't spend it, they will cut our budgets, so we spend.  That's dumb.  How about letting us decide on how to spend the money we get, since we are the ones teaching the kids?  We would be way thriftier that they ever could be and could probably save 25-50% just by shopping around if we knew we could spend the savings on other things we wanted or needed for the classrooms.  But because we can't, we just spend it like they tell us to and waste is everywhere.

Anyways, I have a quilt to finish up for the QOV Blog hop this week and I have to go back to work on Monday :)  So, off my soap box and back to work!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do you EQ?

I've been drooling over the EQ (electric quilt) programs for a couple of years and every time they come out with an upgrade, think that maybe I should get myself the program.  I just can't seem to justify spending that kind of money on a computer program.

What are your thoughts on EQ?  Do you have it?  Do you use it?  Do you love it?

Right now, EQ7 is about $189 and EQ5 is about $109.  Is there that much difference between the two programs?  That's a lot of money!  With 4 kids and all the 'needs' these guys have, it is hard to justify spending that kind of money on a fun toy.  I have so many quilt patterns that I could never make them all, but when I'm trying to design this quilt for the blog hop next week and I can't quite see what it is going to look like, it sure would be fun to have a computer program to do the work for me. 

But, then I might just be tempted to play on the computer more and quilt less.

What are your thoughts?  Do you EQ?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This looks like fun-half square triangles

Check out this upcoming blog hop, challenge, tutorial, and half square triangle extravaganza!  I always look forward to learning and trying new things.  I don't get time to get to quilting classes and love it when I can learn a new thing or two. 

Won't you join me?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Go! for a Star

Check out the blog hop that is coming soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

banner quilt quilted

I'm feeling better today and got the quilting done on my son's drunkards path quilt today.  It didn't take very long, just a simple meander.  This is about the biggest quilt I can do on my machine, I think it is about 65x90 and just perfect for him.  He designed the layout of it and it has taken me too long to get it quilted and I hope to get it bound this week so he can start using it before it gets too hot.

I'm also working on a new quilt design for a QOV blog hop next week using the Accuquilt Go! and a tshirt.  It is coming along nicely, but of course taking longer than I had hoped :)  It will turn out nicely when finished.  Just hope I feel good all week so I can keep working on it.  Stay tuned for more details on that fun event.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I should be thankful, but I'm really just mad.  I haven't had a migraine this bad in a while.  I hate when they come along and steal my time and energy and happiness.  They hurt and they suck the life out of me :( 

Yesterday the power was out at school when I got there and the kids were wound up.  I had a migraine in the morning and it got worse as the day went along.  Of course the kids don't really care how you are feeling, everything centers around them.  The power came on right before lunch, but the kids didn't really care, they wanted to go home.  They didn't think they should have to do anything because something was different with their day.

I'm pretty sure this migraine was triggered by the stress of Wednesday.  The school I teach at has no principal this year.  We have one in name, but he doesn't do anything.  He makes no decision and doesn't want to ruffle anyone's feathers, so is letting the teachers make the decisions, or pushing things off until next year when they can hire a real principal.  We had two meetings on Wednesday the Abraham Lincoln saying of "Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth a remove all doubt" quote sure rang true. We have some very foolish teachers at my school.  I wonder how they ever became teachers in the first place.  There were some very foolish things said and it got me pretty upset about how the world is headed, at least in my little part of it.

After school at the staff meeting, things didn't go much better and the stress level just increased.  I wish I had a stop button or could just learn to let things go.  Maybe I need to take my mp3 player and listen to music instead of the foolishness that is said at these things.  20 years from now it won't make a difference, but tomorrow it will.  I just need to not care so much.  That would help too.

So, today I sit with day 2 of the migraine and feel sorry for myself. 

At least all I have to do this weekend is grade papers :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Go! baby, GO!

I have no idea how many of these contests I have entered, but you can't win if you don't try.  I just need the Go! baby to round out my collection of these handy tools to help cut fabric.  They are great for speed cutting fabric scraps into useable pieces to sew together into great quilts for kids, friends, returning soldiers or yourself!  Hop on over and enter yourself.  But don't cry if I win.  I've been trying for a while.  Good luck :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


cute cow quilt done yesterday.  I love it when I can squeeze in some quilting here and there, a little in the morning before school and a little to destress in the evening.  Just wish I had a quilting machine at school so I could quilt between classes :)

Monday, March 19, 2012


This article is about a woman in my city who was shot in her home while looking out the window.  I found out today that she is the parent of one of my students.  That student just switched schools because she is going to be living with her aunt.

And we want these kids to go home and do their homework.

They go home to an unstable home environment that isn't safe.  This is the second student this year involved in a shooting.  I have another student who came in all excited one Monday asking if I read about his family in the paper.  He said when the cops came to search his house, they took his backpack.  He hasn't done much work since then.  I guess his parents are too busy with their own troubles to worry about replacing the backpack.

And I work at a safe school...or so I thought.


Watch this video to see what my son has been working towards so far this year.  A robot that can stack and balance.  It also shoots basketballs, but that isn't in the video.   Listen to the crowd go wild when it works!

I feel bad for the robot that fell off the top, but that wasn't our fault!  They didn't line up straight when they loaded on top.  Patience :)

More of my blood donor shirts

Here are the rest of my blood donor shirts I have at home. I have two more at school that I was going to give to my friend whose husband donates blood all the time.  I think I've given him at least 10 shirts so far.  Now, I'm going to bring them home and make them into a quilt for her.  She is really sick with lupus and her body is shutting down.  A comfort quilt will help remind her to slow down and rest.  She is a teacher at my school and we share a lot of the same students.  Most of those students are little stinkers and are giving the substitute a really hard time.  My friend feels really bad and wants to come back and it is stressing her out that her students are misbehaving.  She need to just let it go and let the school deal with the bad behavior.  As a teacher, I understand how she is feeling, but it isn't helping her to recover and to rest.

Now, I'm on a mission to get more shirts so I can finish up both of these quilts quickly.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

blood donor shirts??

These were the 7 shirts I got yesterday at the thrift stores.  I have a whole bunch more that I have picked up over the past 4 months or so.  I have actually given blood once, about 5 years ago.  I liked it, but it made me really faint.  I want to do it again, but have never made the time.  Since I am a teacher, they come to my high school twice a year.  The trouble is, I don't have enough time to give during my prep period.  It takes about an hour to do and by the time I'm done, I'm really exhausted and then I'm expected to keep 30 kids busy  and keep them from killing each other.  They can smell weakness.

Plus, with all of the migriane medicine I'm on, I'm not so sure they want my blood right now.  I'm hoping to be able to give blood again one day.  By wearing all of these funny blood donor shirts, I'm hoping to encourage my students to think about giving blood one day.  Most of my students aren't old enough to give blood yet.  You have to be at least 16 years old.

These shirts are going to be made into a quilt for the lady who organizes the blood drives every year for our school.  She works really hard to get everything organized.  I hope she likes the quilt.  I was hoping to get 12 shirts.  I think I might have to dig into my own stash.  Blood donor shirts are pretty easy to come by at the thrift store :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

sometimes when I get an idea in my head

Like yesterday when I decided what a great idea it would be to make a Blood Donor shirt for the teacher at our school who organizes all of the blood drives...

So, today, I woke up and decided I should head out to the Goodwill stores and search for some blood donor shirts.  I found 7 at the three different thrift stores I went to so far today.  What I really should be working on is quilting the quilts I have here, but the search is so much more fun.  Good thing the stores are having 50% off sales today in honor of St. Patrick's Day!  My husband thinks I just wanted another excuse to go to the thrift store :)  He's probably right.

I quilted up this nice big boy type quilts yesterday and it is ready to be bound.  I need to box up another batch of quilts and get them in the mail.  It has rained really hard all week and today was finally not raining.  I need to get to the post office, but just don't have the energy after this morning's hunt.  I also need to get out and get some corned beef and cabbage for dinner, but not sure that will happen either.  My son who loves the stuff is at Disneyland today so maybe we will have it for dinner tomorrow.  His high school band played in a festival in Anaheim yesterday and so today they celebrate with a fun filled adventure.  Too bad they are having a rainy day today.  It never rains in Southern California!  Poor kids!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Loving the bright colors on this quick strip quilt and the quilting on the big strips is fish!  Or is that fishes? It's to go with the theme of the fabric :)  Another boy quilt for the tornado relief efforts.

It's a rainy day here in Northern California, the students will be WILD!  Don't make me go to work :(


This little cutie whipped up quickly yesterday.  Good thing because I was tired after the time change.  I don't know about you, but changing the clocks is getting harder on me as I get older.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

one year ago today

March 11, 2011 Japan suffered one of its greatest natural disasters in history.  A 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck.  That day, I got a phone call from our local Fresh and Easy store that was soon to be opening letting me know we had just been awarded $1,000 for our Binky Patrol chapter.  I decided to purchase an Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter and a couple of strip dies so we could get busy making quilts for the children of Japan. 

Busy we got.  We put the word out and about 3 months later we sent 1144 quilts to Japan with the help of FedEx.  I can't believe a whole year has gone by.

As I was searching the internet, looking for some pictures, I came across this blog that describes their efforts to collect and send quilts to Japan as well.  Just look at the picures of all of the quilts they collected!  Wow.  Lots of comfort in the form of quilty hugs.

Now, on to the next project, quilts for the tornado relief effort, after I finish covering these rock climbing mats for my high school.  I worked from 8-4 yesterday and got 3 finished.  I have two more to go and have to get them done before they suck the life out of me!  I've been working on them for 3 months already.  They are nothing like quilting.  They are these huge, six by eight foot foam mats that weigh about 50 pounds each and are so akward to lift and move by myself.  I have no place to easily store them so have to drag them here and there and can't just move them out when I want to work on them for a few minutes.  So, I decided to just suck it up and work on them all weekend and get them done!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


this quilt top was put together at one of our many quilt days using 6 1/2 inch and 4 1/2 inch strips that are cut randomly from leftover bits of fabic just sewn together.  Just like in the olden days when quilters woudl sew together whatever they had leftover from other projects, we don't throw anything out.  Quilted yesterday morning before school, off to be bound and on to comfort a child in Indiana.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tornado Relief Efforts-How you can help

As most of you know, I'm the area coordinator for Binky Patrol.  Any time there is a natural disaster, we jump into action to get quilts and blankets to the area to comfort the children of the crisis.  Binky Patrol was created by Susan Finch about 15 years ago to help bring comfort to kids and there are chapters all over the US.  Well, the Indiana Chapter needs out help.  If you have watched the news, you have seen the devistation the tornadoes caused to many towns throughout the midwest. 
Angela has run a Binky Patrol for over 10 years and given away hundreds of quilts and blankets over the years.  She is asking for quilts, blankets, hats and scarves to be sent to her and they will be distributed to the families in the surrounding communities that lost everything last Friday.

How can you help?  Do you have a quilt ready to go?  Can you make something in the next week or two?  How about a handmade scarf or hat hanging in your closet that you aren't wearing?  These people are getting snow right now and it is COLD!

Please send anything you can to:

Angela Largent
310 A Knoll Court
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

If you would like to be sure your items made it safely, please include a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope or Postcard to be sent back to you, or note with your email address included.

I'm working with my Binky Patrol chapter to reach a goal of 100 quilts.  Last year we had a goal of 300 quilts for Japan and ended up with 1144, so who knows what will happen :)

I'd love to hear if you are planning on sending things, so please leave a comment.
Thanks for helping out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

puffy batting

This quilt was quilted a couple weeks ago and is now finally getting added to the blog because I had to unstitch about half of the quilting.  I had some really puffy batting donated and it just gave my machine fits.  I was able to quilt a couple of quilts no problem, but this one got about half way through and then the thread broke about every 6 inches.  I gave up, quilted the thin strips and decided it would take less time to unstitch instead of trying to keep going.  Sure enough, two weeks later, it is finished!  Another one to add to the pile to be bound.

Stressed? I quilt!

This is another big quilt that has waiting awhile to find a backing and is now ready to be bound and sent to the tornado relief efforts.  I'm hoping to get a box out of here this week and start another box.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Harry Potter anyone?

This quilt top was donated last year for the Japan Tsunami relief, but I never did have a quilt back to go with it.  Well, if you save things long enough, they will eventually get togetehr with a backing and get quilted and be ready when the time is right. This one is now ready for binding and ready to head off to comfort a child in Indiana.  After contacting our Binky Patrol group, one of the chapters has stepped up and said they will be organizing the efforts to get quilts and blankets to the families affected by the tornadoes.  As soon as I get the ok to post an address, I will let everyone know where to send quilts if you want to help out.  No sense sending them to me first.

I just wish my body didn't give out so easily on me.  I can feel my shoulder starting to ache again and now my hip is starting to hurt as well.  Too much standing and quilting isn't so good.  I put the word out to my local group and have had volunteers already willing to help out.  :)

another boy one from the scrap bag

Ugh, you can see that I have laundry to fold :) but here is another boy quilt ready to be bound that was put together yesterday and today from pieces I pulled from that bag of scraps last week.  They were 8 1/2 inch squares already cut out and I have another smaller quilt top sewn together too.  Love it when they go together so quickly and I can be ready to give them away when the need arises.

Now, to go finish up that laundry...

boy quilts

I'm furiously trying to get some boy quilts made up.  After hearing of the destruction the tornadoes caused on Friday, I know Binky Patrol will be asked to help out with some comfort quilts and I'm completely out of boy quilts.  One of our faithful volunteers came by yesterday and picked up the last 4 quilts yesterday for a little guy in her kindergarten class who lost his mom in a car accident last week.  He is 5 and has a 9 year old brother and twin 3 year old brothers.  This is what Binky Patrol is for, ready and willing to give comfort when kids need that extra hug.  She said the kids didn't really know why mom wasn't around and were really confused when their teachers showed up to their house.  I was so happy to have the four quilts ready for her when she called.

No more resting and messing around on the computer!  Back to work.  Hope to get at least one more boy quilt ready to go today.

Just waiting to hear of an address to send the quilts and we will be ready to go.  I love how my volunteers always step up when the call goes out!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


 I love my Saturdays.  Filled with potential, peace, quiet and quilting.  Here's a gorgeous butterfly stripe quilt that I did this morning. 
and a farm quilt that I quilted during the week, but forgot to post.  Good morning Saturday!

She's come a long way

My oldest is about to graduate college.  The local newspaper wanted to do an article on how she got started in tennis and asked for a picture of her.  The article came out this week and I can't help but laugh at just how far she has come in her growth and ability on the tennis court.

Take a look at these two pictures and see for yourself!

The old Ariel

The current Ariel.

Man, I miss her :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

conversations with a 7 year old

Last night my little guy asked me who I was going to vote for for President.  I said I wasn't sure who was going to be the candidate against President Obama. 

He said that I should run for president.  I asked him if he thought a woman could be president since we have never had a woman president before.  He said that we should have a woman be president at least one time.

So I asked him what we would do if I won.  I couldn't be presdient from Vacaville, Ca.  We would have to move all the way across the country to Washington DC.  He said, no, that is just two states above us. 

We had to get a map so I could show him that Washington state and Washington DC are two different places.  He got his State coins map and we looked at just how far away the Capital is.  We have driven to my parents' house in Colorado and that took us two days.  We figured it would take us 6 days to drive all the way across the country.

He thinks and then says, "Well, I would have to miss a whole week of school then.  I'm not sure you should be President."

"But then, you could boss everyone around, except for Alaska, because nobody lives in Alaska.  It is too cold there."

My older son has a best friend who moved to Alaska last year.  I reminded him about that.  Oh, well, except for Kyle.

"Who tells Kyle what to do?"

I say, "There are police in Alaska too.  They boss people around and make sure they follow the rules, even in Alaska."

"What about all of these places?," he says, pointing to the US Territories.  "Are there police here too?"

Yep, even there.

"So, the President gets to boss people around from here (pointing to Florida) to here (pointing to Washington).  Maybe you should be President."

So, if you see my name on the ballot, or you aren't sure which candidate to vote for, just write me in!  My son would be happy to have his mom boss people around.  Of course, everyone in the country would have to learn to make quilts.  That would be the first law I would make.  And the police would come to your house to enforce the law.  The Quilt Police of course!

Happy Birthdays

Dr Seuss is 107 today and I totally forgot, but my Binky Patrol group had its 8th birthday on Feb 26th.  I can't believe we have been around for 8 years already.  I wish I would have counted how many quilt and blankets we have made and donated, but I'm not really good at such things.  Oh, well, I know it is well over 5,000.  That's a lot of warm, happy kids getting hugged!

Today is a day I miss teaching first grade.  I would dress up in my Cat in the Hat costume and read, read, read!  I asked my son what he is doing today and he says they will 'drop and read for 30 minutes'.  I guess by the time you are old and in 2nd grade, you don't get to have Green Eggs and Ham, dress up in PJ's and play all day.  Too much learning to get done!