Monday, July 30, 2012

After a long day of teacher training

I came home and quilted this.  I sewed the top together yesterday.  It is just 8 1/2 inch squares with a 6 1/2 inch border and it made up really quickly.  The pieces were cut on the Accuquilt Studio last December and cleared out a box.  Just enough for a quilt.  This one will go to Colorado when it is finished.

I have several 'must do' quilts that I really should be working on.  One for my sister in law out of my mother in law's shirts, one for a teacher friend's daughter.  My friend died last year in a canoe accident and I finally got her clothes a couple weeks ago.  I offered to make a memory quilt for her grand kids.  The blood donor shirt.  I keep collecting more shirts but I need to just say, "ENOUGH" and make the quilt.  If I get more shirts, I can either wear them or make another quilt.  I only have 3 weeks left before I go back to school, so I had better get busy.  The next two days will be taken up with more training.  We haven't had any paid training in at least 10 years, so I figured I'd check it out.  It is a cooperative learning strategies that is 'bigger and better' than all the rest, but it really just takes stuff I learned in teacher credential school and puts new names on it.  Why didn't I come up with something like this?  It's also geared towards elementary students, but I've gotten a couple of good ideas out of it, plus they fed us breakfast and lunch.  Can't complain too much.  If only they let me cut fabric while listening.  I really can multi task :)

for a grieving mother

This one is for a friend of a friend whose son killed his girlfriend and then killed himself.  Whenever there is a tragedy like this, I feel for the parents.  We do the best we can with our kids and then send them out into the world and hope and pray they make it ok.  I don't know why this young man did what he did, but he has devastated his family.  All I can do is pray and make a quilt that will hopefully bring some comfort.

This is the Take 5 quilt pattern. It is based off of 4 1/2 inch squares, 4 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 in rectangles and 8 1/2 inch squares.  It went together really quickly and since I have the die cutter for my Accuquilt Studio, it cut out even faster.  I love the black squares in there for punch. I was just going to make it in all teal/blues, but then the black fabric was sitting on the pile of blues and looked good together.  I have to start thinking outside the box like this because the end results are worth it :)

Hug your kids today!

I'm off to a teacher training.  With all of the budget cuts in California, that hasn't happened in about 10 years. I hope it is a good one :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I was thinking

Yesterday when I was at the airport for 3 hours waiting for my daughter's plane to land, there are a lot of people in this world who are trapped in situations like mine, waiting around with nothing to do.  It's too bad I didn't have my collection of sewing machines, fabric, Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter and some tables.  I bet I could have gotten quite a few volunteers to help me sew some quilts.  I had heard there was a display of antique sewing machines at the airport, but when I asked the information guy, he didn't even know what a sewing machine was.  I wandered around the international terminal and found the display of bicycles and the airplane museum, but couldn't find the sewing machines.  I'm sure they were in one of the other 3 terminals.  I didn't want to get on the tram and then not be able to get back.  When I was in Denver about 6 years ago with three of my kids, we had about a 2 hour wait for the plane to take off.  I took my little guy who was about 2 at the time and we went on the tram that goes between the terminals.  Problem was, we went too far and it took us out of the boarding zone.  We had to go back through security!  It was a good thing I had brought my tickets and license with me.  I left everything else with my older kids who were watching all of our luggage.  We waited in security for over an hour and barely made it back to the plane as they were loading up the last of the passengers.  I had two very worried kids who didn't know if they should get on the plane without us or wait and miss the plane.

I didn't want to take a chance last night of getting dumped somewhere and not being able to get back to pick up my daughter.  It's funny, but I am breathing easier today :)  I had a pretty good day headache wise and then all of a sudden, right before dinner, I got hit really hard with a really bad migraine.  I am tired of trying to understand how this thing works!  I have another appointment with the neurologist on Thursday which may have to be changed because it is the same time I have to take my daughter to the airport so she can begin the next adventure.

Puzzle quilt

This little cutie has crayons and puzzle pieces.  I love the bright colors.

Friday, July 27, 2012

off to the airport

Had time to quilt up this quick little strip quilt before heading out to the airport to pick up my daughter.  I haven't heard back from her, so I hope she shows up :)

Love the quilting

This simple quilt made a great canvas for some beautiful quilting.  I got a little creative with some flowers and leaves.  I really enjoyed doing something a little different with this one.

My daughter has a time machine

My oldest daughter is in Hong Kong, teaching English.  She is due to come home on July 28.  Or, at least that is what I had on my calendar.  In fact, she is due to leave Hong Kong on July 28 and arrive here on July 27.  She left this morning, which is actually tomorrow HK time and comes home tonight, which is yesterday.

Hong Kong is 15 hours ahead of us and the flight takes 14 hours, so she will arrive one hour before she left.  If that isn't time travel I don't know what is :)  It's a really good thing she emailed me from the airport this morning because I was not going to be there to pick her up.

She lost her phone in HK and so I had it shut off.  She found it and just told me that too so I was able to turn it back on.  Hopefully she will be able to check her email and phone before she gets back to San Francisco so she will know I'm coming to get her and so she knows her phone is working again.

Boy have I missed her.  She will be here for a few days before going to Florida for a week to see her boyfriend, then off to Oberlin to pick up all of her stuff and then off to Washington University in St. Louis to start the next chapter of her life...grad school, which she says isn't college :)  I can't wait to hear all about her adventures and see more pictures.

She survived a level 10 typhoon and a whole bunch of 12 year olds :)  I'm not sure which was worse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another strip quilt for Colorado

Here's another strip quilt, this one was made with 2 1/2 inch strips.  It is like the jelly roll race quilts, but the strips are much shorter and I really love the colors on it.  It will be bound tomorrow hopefully and on its way to Colorado.  Is anyone else out there planning on sending out a quilt or two?  You can join the Facebook page to get the shipping address.

A different kind of strip quilt

This one was made using up some 3 1/2 inch strips I had leftover from other things.  It's like the Jelly Roll Race quilts that were all the rage last summer, but goes together faster because of the wider strips.  Although I'm not a big fan of the Jelly Roll Race quilts, I do like this quilt, maybe because of the colors, or the wider strips, or just something about this one.  It didn't take very long to put together, cleaned out my 3 1/2 inch strip bin (about 6 months ago!) and is a nice size about 52x70 and will be headed to Colorado hopefully on Friday.  I have three quilts to bind now.  I've overloaded my binding buddies with my 60 quilts this summer and they are having a hard time keeping up with me.  I think I need to pull out a sewing machine, sit in the living room and put a video on and do some binding myself :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

quilt number 60

My goal of 60 quilts in 60 days is complete and I still have 26 days left to go.  I wonder if I can get 100 quilts done by the time I go back to school.  My headache was really, really bad today, but rather than sit and feel sorry for myself, I had a friend over and helped her quilt up a quilt she is making for a friend and then quilted up the stretched stars quilt for Colorado.  I did have a couple of pity parties for myself and emailed the doctor to get my medicine switched again.  Here's hoping this new one does something different. It's another anti seizure medicine (like the Topamax that worked really well for several years) so fingers are crossed.

I also tried yoga with my TV and found out that my carpet smells really bad. :)  It's good to keep your sense of humor.  They do say laughter is the best medicine.  That and quilting I think.

New migraine medicine and Yoga?

So the indomethacine isn't working and now my neurologist is switching me to Depakote and suggests I start yoga.  I think he thinks I need to laugh more.  He hasn't seen me to yoga before, but every time I've tried it, I just can't get past the silly names they have for each of the poses.  It is not relaxing, it just hurts and makes me giggle.  But, I did say I would try anything to get rid of the headaches so here goes nothing.  My daughter loves yoga and we have a wii fit program that has yoga on it.  I'm going to have to program the DVR to tape a few yoga programs and give it a try.  What's the worst thing that could happen?  Other than laugh myself to death :)

Just needs binding

and this one will be ready to send to Colorado. Have you joined the Aurora Colorado Emergency Response Quilts Facebook page yet?  They have a big goal and can use all the help from lots of quilters.  I sorted through all of my larger quilt tops and have another 5 that will be quilted this week and boxed up to send out.  I have a bunch of these types of scrappy squares that will be made into at least two more quilts to be sent as well.  The Accuquilt Studio will be seeing some more action and cutting up more scraps very soon.  Plus I will be working on my Christmas in July quilt inbetween projects.

If only my headache would go away.

The fridge repair guy is supposed to be coming this afternoon...or is it tomorrow.  They called yesterday and said he would come today, but then sent an email saying he was coming on July 25.  So, I'm not sure if they got the date wrong or the day of the week wrong.  It's ok, I've been waiting for the roof repair guy to show up for 2 1/2 weeks now.  He said he was coming on July 6 and I haven't heard back from him since.  I should just call another company, but that would require me to look up another company and then make another phone call.  Too much work and it isn't raining.

I'd rather spend my time quilting :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just keep quilting

when the world is going crazy around you, it is nice to have something stable...quilting keeps me sane :)

Aurora Colorado Emergency Responder Quilts

Here's the address if you are wanting to help out the first responders in Colorado.  The goal is 3-400 quilts and I'm sure that will be easily reached by the quilting community.  The lady who is organizng this has started a facebook page that you can join here!/pages/Aurora-Colorado-Emergency-Responder-Quilts/401592493230782

Aurora Communications
Dispatch Ctr
Attn: Julie Buck
23911 E Arapahoe Rd,
Aurora, CO 80016

Here's another quilt I did last night.  I can't say how much I just love these quick stripie quilts from that not only sew up quickly (thanks to the ladies in my Binky Patrol group) but quilt up fast too.  They take about 15 minutes to quilt.  Then, off to my binding buddies for a quick binding and you have a finished quilt in about 2 hours.  Need a quick baby shower gift?  Nothing could be more easy than one of these guys.  I am betting you could even quilt these on a sit down machine, just do straight lines along the skinny strips.  I haven't tried that yet, but maybe I should, just to see if it could be done.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reminds me of Colorado

I pieced this top about a year ago and it has been hanging on my curtain since then.  It fits perfectly on the backing fabric which is flying eagles and will make a nice quilt for a boy, possibly in Colorado, or locally.  I never am quite sure where the quilts will end up.  My daughter used it as a backdrop for a video she shot for her World History class and I never took it down.  It has aged nicely :)  Sometimes things need to hang around for a while just for the perfect time.  I quilted water ripples in the blue sections and leaves and loops in the animal part.

Oh, I just noticed this is my 750th quilt!  Wow!

Number 55

Wow, almost reached my goal of 60 quilts and I still have a month left before I go back to work :)  Do you know how happy that makes me?  But, there are still a lot of quilt tops here and I'd love to get them all done before I go back to work.  I'm sure by then I will have lots more quilt tops to quilt at the rate my gang of quilters gets these guys sewn together, but I'm ok with that.  I love always having something to work on.

This morning I was up early and got the sewing room cleaned up, went for pizza with my son's friend (who showed up 1 1/2 hours late) and am home waiting for the party to start.  I'll be hiding in the other room, with a super bad headache :(  I took some medicine and hope it kicks in soon.  There's cake to eat and dinner to go to!  Can't spoil the party!

First Responders in Colorado

Have you been watching the news about the shooting at the Batman movie?  My sister's family lived in Aurora for a while and my parents and sister live fairly close now.  Colorado is having a hard time this summer with the fires and now this.  When I saw the police chief give the press conference and start to cry as he talked about his first responders and how they were all having a difficult time dealing with the tragedy, I wanted to do something, but didn't know how I could help.  Our Binky Patrol group doesn't have a chapter in Colorado.  (Want to start one?  It's easy-just go to and there is a link)  So, I knew I would have to wait until some of the quilters in Colorado organized and put the word out they were collecting and distributing quilts.  Quilters tend to think alike when it comes to providing comfort quilts in times like these.  This Facebook group was started as a way to organize quilters from all over to get quilts for the police, fire and other first responders who are dealing with the Colorado shooting.  There is an address to ship quilts to if you would like to help out.

Fire relief quilts in Colorado

And they are already being handed out!  I love it :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finally some quilting time

After a full day of cleaning and organizing the sewing room, I finally got 15 minutes of quilting in before bedtime.  I love these warm, snuggly flannel quilts.  They are just random size strips, but are coordinated by theme and I know some little boy is going to love this one.  This is #54 out of 60.  Tomorrow is a full day of kid stuff planned.  My son's best friend from middle school who moved to Alaska last year is coming through for a short visit.  We are meeting them for pizza and frozen yogurt and then my daughter is having a sleepover, hence the cleaning marathon.  I still have a bit of stashing to do in the sewing room.  I wish on days like this my sewing room had a door I could just close :)

QOV done

I'm trying to clean my house and this project was in the way and just needed binding.  I had binding that was also in the way, so combine the two and you have a finished Quilt of Valor ready to give to my friend who will give it to a wounded soldier who is traveling through Travis Air Force Base on his/her way home.

My daughter is having a sleepover tomorrow for her 17th birthday and she is going crazy making sure the house is spotless.  While I love having her help clean the house, I'm tired.  I'd rather be quilting!

Do you remember your dreams?

I have not been sleeping well for the past month or so and having strange, violent dreams. I can't remember most of them, but last night I had a really weird one.  My husband and I are working in the front yard and cleaning out a huge flower garden that has overgrown.  Almost every evening, when it gets cooler we go out there and trim trees, dig up overgrown bushes and pull weeds.  I'm sure this helped with the dream.

So, in the dream, we were cleaning up an old house.  We went into a room and there was this strange insect nest (like a wasp nest) coming off the ceiling.  Now, I've never seen my husband run faster than when we chopped up an old couch that had been sitting on the side of the house.  We lifted it and tried to get it in the trash can and it was too big, so we dropped it on the ground and out flew about 50 wasps.  He took off running and made it to the street in about 2 seconds.  I was laughing so hard!  But, in my dream, he grabs a stick off the ground and starts poking at the insect nest.  I was laying in bed, looking up at the nest, thinking, this isn't a good idea.  All of a sudden these giant termite/wasp creatures came crawling out.  They started flapping their wings.  There were about a thousand of them.  My husband says, 'Do you have the bug spray?' and I just said, "I don't think it was a good idea to be poking around there before you grabbed the bug spray,'  We were both very calm.  Then, the bugs started to come after me and I woke up.

I had a massive headache!

The past two days have been relatively headache free and a weird dream gives me a headache?  So weird.  How am I going to explain that to the doctor?  They will lock me up for sure :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

$306 later

And my sink is fixed.  The best part is, the repair guy didn't make me feel like an idiot for trying to fix it myself.  When he came in and I explained what had happened, he said, 'oh, let's get that snake unstuck first' and then explained that he thought the grease had built up over time and clogged the pipes under the house.  Since I hadn't been running food down the garbage disposal when it clogged and it just stopped running on its own, I guess he knew what he was talking about.

Then, he showed me on the outside of the house where you are supposed to clean out the kitchen sink when it gets clogged up.  Who would have thought to put the clean out trap out there?  Not me!  Well, he snaked out all of the house drains and my husband was about to take a shower when all of a sudden a whole bunch of gunk came squirting up the shower drain.  He jumps out and comes running out (after getting dressed again, thankfully!) and the plumber guy says that I probably loosend up lots of stuff when I ran the Drain-o down there last night and that was the path of least resistance.  He was running the snake and hit a chunk of stuff and out the drain it came.  At least we know we got our money's worth :)

He put everything back together, stoped the waterfall under the sink, got everything running again and now I'm back in business.

Who would have thought that I'd be spending my day dealing with sinks today?  I had plans to be quilting :)

I also started working on my scrap buckets and cutting 1 1/2 inch strips for my insanity quilt.  It's the zig zag rail fence quilt I posted a couple days ago.  The blocks will be 3 1/2 inches when finished and there are about a million of them.  I hope I finish it by Christmas :)

Comedy of errors

 Ok, so my attempts at fixing the sink were a total failure.  At least I know when to admit defeat and call in the experts.  I probably cost us twice as much by attempting to fix things myself so don't tell my husband ok?

I went to the hardware store this morning and got some new washers and started taking apart the joints so I could get the snake I bought through the pipes.  No problem there.  It went through all 25 feet just fine.  Well, then, what was the clog?

I put everything back together and water started pouring out of every joint!  Hey, that's not supposed to happen!  I twisted and tightened and took everything apart and used plumbers tape and put it all back together again.  Still leaking like a sieve.  Then, I used that tape you wrap around the outside, they sell it on those infomercials.  Supposed to stop a fire hose, you know, can float your boat and everything.  Yeah, except stop a sink from leaking!

Plus, the sink would not drain!  Really?  Where's the clog?

So, I decided to run the snake down the sink.  BAD IDEA!  Now I have a snake stuck in my sink and I can't get it out.  I hope the plumber can get it out and he doesn't laugh at me too much.  I'm about to cry.  I feel like an idiot.  Ugh.

Big Plans for today

I loaded a really long backing piece onto the quilting machine this morning and quilted up this really cute flannel top that was donated and have several more that will go with the backing piece.  The goal for today is to get through the backing fabric.  There are 30 days left before I have to go back to work and if I could reach my goal of 60 quilts by the end of today, I'd be way ahead of schedule and could double my goal before going back to school.  That would almost clear out the quilt tops that are waiting around here...I think.  There may be a bucket of quilt tops waiting in the garage, but I'm a little afraid to go looking :)  I will come across them as I clean out the garage, a yearly summer chore.  I'm not sure how the garage fills up every year, but somehow every summer I spend a lot of time going through buckets of 'stuff' and getting rid of things we no longer need.  This summer I'm purging with a vengeance because of what we went through at my mother in law's house.  If we haven't used it or needed it since last summer and I can't see a use for it in the near future, it is going to a new home at the local thrift store.  Our thrift store supports the homeless shelter in town so it makes me feel good to support them with my donations.  I love to shop there and know they need things to replace everything I buy :)

But first I must run to the hardware store and buy the stuff to fix the kitchen sink.  I am not a plumber, but I do try to keep the house going.  Thanks dad for teaching me to fix things or at least give it my best shot before calling in the experts :)  I hope I can pass along some of what I've learned to my kids.  My older son loves to try and fix things and he is getting pretty good and helping me out.  We fixed the broken garage door and it has held up for a long time.  I know it makes him feel good to be able to use his brains and hands to make things better.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Now it's the kitchen sink

When it rains, it pours around here.  Today, my head is feeling better, but something else has to go wrong.  After they delivered the fridge, I noticed the sink was clogged.  I figured no big deal, I would just use the plunger and get it to unclog like I always do.  No such luck.  I dumped drano down and nothing.  All day I kept going back and plunging and running the garbage disposal and working at that sink.  Finally, I went to the store and got more drano.  Nothing.  I figured somehow something must have made it past the disposer and really plugged up the sink and I would have to take it apart.  Well, I finally got the sink apart and now it leaks something awful.  I will have to go to the store in the morning and get an new seal for the pipes.  And I don't think I unclogged whatever was stuck either.  I'm going to have to get a pipe snake while I'm at the store.  Do not call me a plumber!

But, I did get 4 quilts quilted today :)

Keeping busy

 And this is how I clean my house.  I put quilt batting inside the quilts.  That gets three quilts out of the 'to be quilted' pile and the GIANT roll of batting almost finished off.  It is off the floor and out of the way.  I just need to do one more quilt I think and it will be gone.  Maybe two, if they are small ones like these.  I have one little guy that is going to get borders to use up the backing fabric I have on the machine and then I will start tackling the rest of the sewing room.  I fell in love with a new quilt yesterday that takes 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric.  I'm working through my scrap bucket and sorting the smaller pieces out to be cut.  Just what I need...another project.  But, I tell you, I was up half the night dreaming about that quilt.  Take a look and see if you don't think this quilt is just gorgeous!

New fridge is here

And it is so pretty!  Now to wait for it to get cold so I can fill it up :)  It is a Samsung and we got it from Lowe's.  They called last night to say they were coming between 9-11, called this morning to say they were coming in 10 minutes and arrived right at 9am.  Took a whole 15 minutes to take out the old fridge and install the new one.  Great customer service from purchase to install.  Definitely recommend them to anyone looking to purchase a new fridge.  Our old one came with the house and we've lived here 8 years.  I'm sure it was purchased with the house, so 1992 making it a 20 year old fridge.  It has leaked since we moved in and I never could figure out why.  It only leaked sometimes, on a full moon, or if the tides were high, or if the earth spun backwards.  There didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for why it leaked.  It didn't leak every time it made ice, or on Tuesdays, or when you opened the door so I just put a towel down.  I'm just glad I don't have to do that anymore :)

I have a huge magnet collection, but I don't want to put it back on the fridge just yet.  I'm loving admiring the clean look of the black fridge for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I always feel better

after I do a little quilting.  This morning started off normal and then my oldest son said the fridge made a weird noise and then stopped working.  Great, just what I didn't want to happen, spend my day looking for a new fridge.

I went to three different stores looking for some place that had same day delivery.  Wouldn't you know, nobody delivers fridges the same day.  What's up with that?  How can you live without a refrigerator?  The best I could do was get delivery for tomorrow, so I decided to go home and do some research before spending so much money on a new appliance.

While I was out, my son texted me and said the fridge started working again. So, now what, take a chance and not get a fridge, and just hope that the old one would keep on going, or go ahead and get the new one delivered while we still had a working fridge?  Hubby and I went looking after lunch and found one on clearance and saved about $1,000.  It's last year's model so they are trying to clear it out.  I've never been one to have to have the latest and greatest, so I'm ok with having an older style.  Plus, we never have visitors so nobody (except all of you :) will ever know!

But, that meant coming home to clean a path for the delivery guys tomorrow, which led to cleaning the entire kitchen and cleaning out the old food and getting ready for the delivery tomorrow.  I'm also tackling my sewing rooms which meant not much time for sewing.  I was feeling miserable between my headache and hating to clean so decided a small quilting break was in order.  I justified it by saying I was cleaning up the batting by putting it in a quilt :)

Ok, I have to tell a funny story on myself.  I've had this stereo forever and it stopped working.  I pushed every button and knob and couldn't figure it out.  While cleaning the kitchen, I was just about to get rid of it because I haven't had it work in forever.  I asked my son to see if he could figure out what was wrong with it.  He looks at it and 2 seconds later it starts working.  I asked him what he did to fix it.  He says, "mom, I turned the volume up.  It was all the way down."  Wow, Really?

Christmas Block Blog Hop Schedule

Here's the schedule for the Blog Hop.  My day is August 2.  Can't wait to show you what I've been up to.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To finish off the backing piece

I love when I have a really long piece of backing fabric and lots of tops that match.  I can load the backing fabric once and today got 4 quilts out of it.  NICE :)

discouraged but not defeated

My migraine is really bad today and I emailed my neurologist saying I'm discouraged that the new medicine isn't working.  I started taking the increased, maximum dosage yesterday and was hopeful because I had a good day yesteray.  Today, the pain is back and nothing I take or do help much.  He says that since I have had migraines for so long, there is no quick fix.  Maybe a good cry would help

I've started cleaning up the fabric in the front living room and although it doesn't make my head feel better, it sure does make that room look better.  It only took about 2 hours and wow what a difference.  I've been able to bring in 2 more boxes of fabric from the garage as well.

I have this HUGE roll of really thick batting that was given to me.  It think it is the 6 oz weight and I was using it when I did the tied quilts, but have decided I can split it for the quilted ones.  I'm trying to clean it up by using it up.  Same goes for the piles of quilt tops.  I have them sort of organized, but rather than put them away, I'm hoping to get them all quilted up by the end of the summer.  I counted 44 hanging on the rack in the kitchen, there are more in the bucket an more on the rack in the sewing room.  I have a bucket in the garage labeled quilt tops and I think another bucket in the sewing room.  I know when I run out, Carla has about 5 million more waiting for me, so there is no end in sight and just like the fabric, once these are gone, more will show up :)  I love it!

my son would not like this quilt

It is covered in SPIDERS and that boy hates spiders.  I have no idea where he gets his fear of spiders, but he can spot them from across the room and will freak out and come running to me to kill one!  Two nights ago, he woke up around 1am and came and got my husband because he saw one in his room on the wall.  I don't think he has ever been bitten by a spider, but he surely does not like them.  Isn't it funny how we all have something we are afraid of?  I'm deathly afraid of heights, although I've never fallen off anything high.  I almost drown once (my dad would probably say otherwise--we were on vacation and swam every chance we could get and I let go of the ball and went under and swore I was drowning!) but I'm not afraid of the water.  I did jump off the really high diving board, trying to dive in the swimming pool when I was about 10 and did a belly flop, but I was more embarrassed than anything.  I tell that story every year to my freshmen science students when we talk about surface tension and how the surface of water acts like a solid when you smack it :)  I embellish the story just a little and they all laugh at me, but they remember surface tension!

But, I know some little boy (or girl like me!) is going to love this quilt.  I love the diagonal pattern the orange squares make across the quilt.  I didn't see it until I took the picture.  I love how that happens sometimes.

A couple more yesterday

 Got this one quilted yesterday but boy did it give me some troubles.  I was about 3/4 of the way through the way through the quilt and all of a sudden there was a clunk on the machine and the thread broke.  The machine jumped and scared me.  I'm not sure what happened, but I figured it hit a seam or the needle hit the foot or something and then when I tried to re-thread it, the thread just broke and the needle made a couple weird holes in the quilt top.  I felt the tip of the needle and it had a burr on it so it was time to change the needle.  I know I'm probably bad, but I don't change needles as often as is suggested. I have read online that you are supposed to change needles after every quilt, or after every couple hours sewing, or at least once a week (at the rate I sew), but I can't even remember the last time I changed my needle.  It was so bad that I couldn't remember which direction to put the needle in.  That's the only thing I don't like about my machine.  I have a Janome 1600P DB and it has a round top needle, so you can put it in sideways or backwards just as easily as you can the right way and there isn't a picture on the machine to remind you how to put it in the right way.  It has a groove on one side and a little dip on the other.  The groove goes on the left and the dip on the right.  I should remember because the thread wants to travel down the groove into the hole and come out the dip.  Maybe I will write it on my machine, so 100 quilts from now, I will remember.  I put a needle in and tried and tried to get it right, but the thread kept breaking.  I finally had to look up the directions on line.  Once I got the needle in the right way, I was off again and it was so nice to sew with a new needle :)  It's like cutting with a new rotary cutter blade.  You put up with the old, dull one for so long and then when you finally switch out to a new one think, why did I wait so long?  I have a blade sharpener that I like a lot.  I got it half price at JoAnn's and it is just a little manual one, but it really does make the blade sharper.  It doesn't work forever and eventually I do have to put a new blade in, but it sharpens the blade several times before I have to buy a new one.  Every penny helps.
And one more quilt, just to test and make sure the new needle works.  Yep, no thread breaking.

Oh, and those feet I ordered for my machine, way back on July 4?  Well, I checked yesterday because they still haven't come in the mail yet.  They are out of stock.  I never got an email saying they weren't coming, so I emailed the company and let them know I wasn't happy with them.  They should have let me know they weren't sending them yet.  I'm doing ok not having the foot, but the thread still does catch on the foot when I move to the left at 45 degrees so I have to be careful when I am quilting not to move in that direction.  I'm just really frustrated that a company wouldn't say they didn't have something in stock.  I went back to see if they put it online and sure enough, you can still order the feet and there is no sign they are out of stock on the website either.  I won't be ordering from this company in the future.  They never responded to my email either.  Bad business practices.
This is the website I ordered from in case you are wondering.

They had the best price on the Janome feet, but I'd rather have the feet when I need them for $5 more and not have to wait 2 weeks to get them.  Disappointed :(

The least they could have done was send me an email to explain they were out of stock so I could make a decision to order somewhere else or wait.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Quilt of Valor

I had the center of this one done a long time ago and didn't have any more fabric so it sat in the 'what do I do with it?' pile for a long time.  Today I decided to add the triangle borders and then put the red with white stars.  It isn't my favorite quilt, but it is now a finished top and will hopefully be quilted and into the hands of a wounded warrior soon to say thank you for serving and protecting.  I have to keep reminding myself that finished is better than perfect and sometimes it is ok to not love every single quilt.  The red and blue center is just so busy, especially when you look at it closely.  It makes me dizzy (or maybe it is the medicine).  I increased my dose today to three pills this morning and boy am I dizzy!  Good thing I don't have anywhere to go this morning :)  I do love my summer vacation!

clean your machine

Just a friendly reminder that it may be time to take off the cover plate and give your machine a good cleaning.  Mine was skipping stitches and I clean out the bobbin area every time I run out of bobbin thread, but it's been a while since I took the plate off and gave it a good cleaning.  I had a feeling there was quite a bit of lint in there and the thread was catching on something.  Sure enough, I got out quite a bit of lint and now it's working good as new.  Just takes a minute to keep from getting frustrated :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Binky Patrol Sunday

Woke up this morning with a super bad migraine, but what's a girl supposed to do?  How about quilt?  And then take a picture upside down :)
Headed out to Binky Patrol, not thinking I would return with a van full of quilts, but that's what I ended up with.  There are 5 boxes of quilts that will be shipped to Alycia in Colorado for the fire victims and a couple thrown in for the Quilts of Valor.

And to think I started off the day with my tubs empty.  I called my friend Mary who does deliveries for me and said to come over and take all of my quilts and blankets! They need to get into the hands of the kids and I'm not able to do it now.  We had a great talk and she left my house with her car loaded.  I'd say she had about 75 blankets.  How did I fill up so quickly?  I will probably keep about 10 blankets on hand, just for emergencies, but get the rest out as quickly as possible.  I have a couple of friends who adopted some kids and they love to take blankets to CPS for me.  Their kids love to talk to the kids who are waiting for forever homes and to give the blankets away.

Susan Lewis' obituary

susan lewis

hamilton county

Susan Michelle Lewis, 68, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 8, 2012 surrounded by family.Susan retired from the Masonic Homes of California in 2007 after 18 years of service. Music was a part of her life from the time she was a child; she sang professionally and in the community. The last 20 years Susan sang with the Douglas Morrison Theatre Chorus in California. Susan never met a stranger and will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved her.Susan was a loving dedicated mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was preceded in death by her grandson Thomas John.She is survived by her children, Rex Lewis, Stan Lewis, wife Marilyn, April Vroom, husband Robert; grandchildren, Joshua Lewis, wife Jenna, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Lewis, Emily Lewis, Joseph Lewis, Michael Lewis, Allan Fischer, wife Nakita; greatgrandson Isaiah Fischer. Memorial services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Hixson First Baptist Church located at 5800 Grubb Road in Hixson, TN.In lieu of Flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Douglas Morrison Theater (22311 N. 3rd Street Hayward, CA 94546) or the American Cancer Society.Advantage Funeral Cremation Services Franklin Strickland Pinkard Bryan Smith Funeral Directors 1724 McCallie Ave 423-265-4414 is honored to be serving the Lewis family.

I didn't die :)

I woke up this morning with a super bad migraine.  I would say a 9 out of 10 so after taking my medicine and not getting any relief, I decided to hit the elliptical.  The most time I've ever done on it has been 6 minutes.  This morning I plugged in a Patsy Thompson DVD on quilting feathers and made it a whole 10 minutes!  And you know what?  I didn't die :)  I thought I might after 7 minutes, but with the distraction of trying to pay attention to what she was doing, I was able to push myself those extra 3 minutes.  I'm glad I took the time yesterday to move things around in my second sewing room/exercise room so that I could see the TV.  I don't feel any better, but maybe now I can start to work off these extra 10 pounds I've gained this summer.  Between changing my medication and feeling so terrible, I've been eating more and moving less.  The Topamax I was put on 8 years ago helped me lose 30 pounds.  About 2 months ago, the doctor said it was making my blood too acidic and he has started taking me off of it.  Well, guess what?  The weight is starting to come back on.  That, plus the new medication I'm on (Indomethacin) must be taking with a full meal which means I'm eating more.  Vicious cycle.  I'm just worried I won't have any pants to wear once school starts back again.  I have plenty of t shirts :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Puppy love

This little cutie was calling out to be quilted.  He's been waiting long enough and I found a backing piece that was just wide enough without having to add any extra.  I love it when that happens. I may get another quilt top to fit the backing piece as well.  Little things make me so happy sometimes.

Finally Finished

I made this Quilt of Valor way back in May and had my friend Carla quilt it.  It has been sitting on my sewing chair since then, patiently waiting for the binding.  Why does it take me so long sometimes to finish a quilt?  It finally got some attention today since I had binding cut and ready to go from the other QOV.  It will go to Alycia as well. I have one more QOV that is partly done that may or may not get some attention tomorrow.  I want to get the box in the mail on Monday and this is the motivation I need to get working on these UFO's.

QOV finished

 Here's the front...
and the back of the Quilt of Valor.  A small way to say thank you to a service member who gives so much to protect my family's freedom.  This quilt will be on its way to Alycia in Colorado on Monday, along with lots of comfort quilts for the Colorado fire victims.  We are having a packing party tomorrow at our Binky Patrol meeting.

Do you hold your breath?

As you know, my oldest is in Hong Kong, teaching English this summer.  She has been gone almost two weeks (tomorrow) and I find myself checking my email and her blog about 73 times a day to see if she has updated.  I didn't realize until this morning that I hold my breath every time I do.  Surely that can't be a good thing!  She has been so busy with work (don't tell her that I laugh) teaching and the joys and trials of being a teacher (I teach high school science) that she hasn't had much time to do anything but collapse at the end of the day.  I totally understand because the first week back from summer vacation, my feet hurt and my brain hurts (more than normal) and if I say more than 2 words to anyone in my family it is a miracle.  I've talked myself to death at school I just don't have any more words to say at the end of the school day.  But, I have read her blog posts at least 1,000 times and looked at her pictures and read and read and read her emails.  Crazy?  Probably, but boy do I miss her.  When I'm awake, she is asleep.  Hong Kong is 15 hours ahead of me so she is celebrating tomorrow already.  I told her she should pick my lottery numbers since she knows the future :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

QOV ready to be quilted

Quilt top finished and ready to be quilted, maybe tomorrow, I just don't have the energy tonight.

Jarod Takes a Wife

On my To Do list as a Quilt of Valor.  And, I've recruited my son to help me out.  He needs a community service project and I had him read Alycia's post and he agreed that it sounded like a great place to help out. Yippee!  He did all of the sewing for his robotics team last year and was in the 4H sewing project so will put his sewing skills to good use.  He also loves to use my Accuquilt Go fabric cutter.

You have to read this story

And when you are done, I hope you join with me in making a Quilt of Valor today.  I have one QOV that just needs binding, one that is a top needing borders and one that you saw yesterday that is all of the blocks finished and needs putting together.

I love making Quilts of Valor, but somehow they get pushed to the back burner with so many other quilt needs.  I make a LOT of kid quilts but after reading this, I'm going to make a commitment to make at least one QOV a month.

If you go to the official QOV site, there are a lot of rules and regulations, but if you send to Alycia, she takes quilts in all colors, with or without a pillowcase.  That's why I love to send to her.  She makes it easy to help out our veterans.

Have you ever made a QOV?  Will you join me in making quilts to say thank you?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

circus quilt

this simple little quilt is just using a border print and four strips of solid colors.  I love quilting up these quick little quilts, it makes my numbers go up quickly :)

more Red, White and Blue blocks

Today I made another 12 blocks and my daughter helped me lay them out.  I'll be sewing these together, adding a border and quilting them up soon.  They will become a Quilt of Valor soon to thank a returning wounded soldier who is protecting my freedom.

Charlie Brown

This is a really cute Charlie Brown and Snoopy quilt.  #37 out of 60.

Ready to gift

All done and ready to gift this morning when I pick my boys up from their tennis camp.  Hope it brings joy to the recipient.

Kitchen Sink Quilt

I've named this one the Kitchen Sink Quilt because of all of the pieces in it.  Lots of scraps, 3 1/2 inch squares, Churn Dash blocks and 6 1/2 inch triangles.  A real scrap quilt.  This one will be finished up this morning and gifted to my kids' tennis coach whose son was in a motorcycle accident last week.  He wasn't expected to live, but is doing very well.  They say he will most likely lose sight in his right eye and have some memory loss, but he is up walking around.  He is on suicide watch right now :(  I think he needs a quilty hug!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

100th quilt for the year

If you are looking for the Red, White and Blue blog hop, look down further on the blog :)

this is the 100th quilt I've quilted so far this year!  Woo Hoo!
No, I didn't piece all of the quilts I've quilted, you see we have quite the assembly line going around here.  I'm the area coordinator for Binky Patrol ( and we get together at least every other month, more often in the summer to make quilts for kids.  I have about 20 loyal committed ladies and teens who work on these quilts.  Some gals love to cut fabric with my Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter.  We make lots of these quilt kits from the pattern that can be found at  Some love to sew the tops together and then they bring them back to either me or my friend Carla.  We quilt them up and then pass them along to either Rhoda the binding beast, Judy or Nancy to finish off.  Then, they give me a call and I pick them back up and find homes for them.  I pass them off to Kathleen or Wendy who take them to Solano Child Protective Services where they are given to foster kids, they go to Mary who takes them to NorthBay Health care, or they go to Nurse Family Partnership for moms and new babies.  Some quilts get the personal hand delivered touch and go to kids I know.  I teach high school and hear about a lot of kids who need a quilty hug.  I give them to the counselors at my school to pass along or friends of friends.  I get emails from friends all the time saying they heard of a family who lost a parent or someone was in a car accident and needs a quilt.  I always keep a few quilts on hand for emergencies, but can whip up a quilt pretty quickly if needed.  I just timed myself and made a quilt for a local girl battling cancer in 5 hours and 40 minutes.  She loved it :)

I'm quilting up another one to give to my kids' tennis coach whose son was in a motorcycle accident.  He got out of the hospital yesterday.  The doctors said it was a miracle he is alive.  I believe in miracles and I also believe in quilty hugs!