Monday, April 30, 2012

chronic pain clinic?

My doctor is suggesting I go to a chronic pain clinic.  Has anyone ever gone to one of these?  I'm afraid they will just tell me what all of the other doctors have said in the past.  The pain is all in your head...literally.  But after having a headach for 3 weeks I'm ready to try anything.  Yesterday was a good day and I thought I was going to get away without having a headach and then bam, about 7pm the headach came :(

Sunday, April 29, 2012

She asked for a pink quilt

My TA has helped me all year by helping tie lots of quilts.  When she asked why we were making them I said they were going to be given to kids in foster care.  She said she is a foster kid and said she has never been given a quilt.  Both of her parents are drug addicts.  Her dad just made contact with her when she turned 18.  She knows who her mom is, but does't want anything to do with her because she is still addicted.  Her foster mom and dad have many foster kids.  She has a 'real' sister who doesn't live with her and lots of other brothers and sisters.  For all of the stuff she has had to deal with, she has done really well.  She is going to a state college next year and wants to be a CSI agent.  I know she will make lots of people proud. 

I hope she loves this quilt.  I'm going to add at least one more row to the bottom and a border around it.  I want her to be able to use it on her bed.

baby quilt done

Love this baby quilt.  It is for my daughter's health teacher.  She is due any day now.
I hope she is still at school tomorrow so I can give it to her.
I just love the Accuquilt Go! Drunkard's path block die.  It makes sewing this design so easy.  There are so may ways to lay out this pattern.

Have you ever done a blog hop?

There's a Red White and Blue blog hop coming up July 1 and there are just a few spots left.  Hop on over and let Jane know if you are interested in participating.  Why would you want to do a blog hop?  Well, you get to learn a lot of new things, you get lots of new readers to come to your blog and for me it forces me to try new things.  I'm a creature of habit (aka lazy) and when I sign up to do a blog hop, I am pushed out of my comfort zone.  I try something I normally wouldn't do.

This blog hop sound fun because it is 100 bloggers making a single quilt block.  Each person will make one block that will be 10.5 or 12.5 inches in the colors of red, white and blue just in time for our nation's birthday.  Imagine if you made all of those blocks and put them together for some great Quilts of Valor.  I'm going to try something new for my block for the hop.  Something I wouldn't normally try on a whole quilt.  If I like it, I may make a whole quilt, if not, I could just make a pillow.  Or, send the block in for the QOV challenge. 

Hurry, most of the spots are already taken.


 As I was looking for some fabrics for my next quilt, I pulled and my whole shelving unit started to collapse!  Ugh, I hate to clean, but I hate to be forced to clean even more.  I got these wire shelves from Target and you can build them as high and as wide as you want.  Each cube is 14 inches and can hold a lot of fabric.  The metal is really strong and this shelf unit is about 9 feet tall.  Since I live in California, I have is fastened to the wall with a metal strap, but after yesterday, I could see that the metal strap wouldn't have done any good in an earthquake :)  Not that being burried in fabric would be a bad way to go.
So, I took most of the fabric off the shelves and popped the metal wires back into the plastic corner pieces and reinforced it with what else?  Duct tape!  Strong and safe and filled back up again.  I forgot to take anotehr picture, but will post one later.  When I got everything back on the shelf, there was one empty spot.  I made the comment to my daughter that I couldn't believe I had an empty spot.  She pointed out that there were still more buckets behind me.  Oops!  Of course, I couldn't have cleaned up and made things neater.  I did find some more orphan blocks that will go into a quilt very soon.  They've been hiding out on the shelf too long.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Make New Friends

Do you remember that song from Girl Scouts?  Make New Friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold?

I think Chris is the golden friend here :)  I met her online through her blog

She was posting that she had some fabric to destash and lived near me.  We met up last Friday at a JoAnn's and she filled my car!  I finally had some time today to go through the boxes and bags of treasures she blessed me with and boy did I have some fun!

I've pulled out all of the boy fabrics to pair up with stuff I have for more boy quilts which are always in short supply for Binky Patrol.  There is some really nice fleece which will be made up really quickly into blankets and given to kids and I pulled out some pink fabrics for my TA who is a foster kid and will be graduating in June.  I'm so proud of all she has accomplished and really wanted to make her a quilt.  I had better get busy on it.  So little time left!

Thanks again Chrs for all of this wonderful fabric.  It will be put to good use.  Lots of kids will be warmed in the coming months.  Keep watching the blog.  I bet you will see lots of your fabrics in quilts here!

Another baby quilt

This baby quilt is for one of my daughter's teachers.  She is due any day and I really should have started this quilt a couple of months ago.  But, at least it is getting some attention now. Some of these blocks were started way back when I did the Valentine's tutorial with the Drunkard's path blocks, so I guess you can say I did start the quilt way back when  :)  I just need to sew the blocks together, quilt and bind it and it should be ready on Monday.  I just hope the new mom can hold out that long!

the three week headache

 Anybody else out there have migraines?  I've had them since I was in high school and they got really bad when I was in my early 20's.  Lately they have been lasting longer.  This one has been every day for the past 3 weeks.  I used to get nautious and have to lay down or sleep, but have learned that they don't go away and it is just a waste of my time and life, so have learned how to work through them.  Yes, they are painful, but if I stopped every time my head hurt, I would never get anything done.  When we switched to Kaiser 2 1/2 years ago, my new doctor sent me to a headach clinic and the asked lots of questions.  I was hopeful they would find answers. They ran a CT scan on my brain while I was having a migraine and I thought they could figure out what was causing them and maybe give me some new breakthrough medicines to cure me.  Well, it turns out they have no idea what causes migraines.  There are about 7 zillion triggers for them and those can all be combined so that what triggers a migraine today won't necessarily trigger it tomorrow.  Donuts will usually trigger a migriane, but not always.  Why donuts and not chocolate cake?  What special ingrediant is in a donut?  Bright lights will usually trigger them too, but not always.  And why will I get one that will go on for 3 weeks?
So far this school year I have worn a different tshirt every day to school.  I think I need to get this one and start wearing it.  I wonder what my students would do if they saw me wear this every day for 3 weeks.  I have good students, but I think they might make fun of me if I wore the same clothes every day :)

Proud of this one

A friend at work is retiring and loves to fish.  I knew I had to make him a quilt.  I looked for a fishing themed quilt pattern and even ordered one but when it got here it was paper pieced.  Yikes!  I've never done a paper pieced pattern before.  So, instead of trying that, I designed this!.  I've never made a quilt set on point before either.  SO, for the first quilt I've ever made set on point and to have to design it with the tshirt in the middle and have to figure out how to get the fish to fit around the outside of that, to say it was a challenge is an understatement!

I thought I could write up a tutorial for this pattern, but, well, let's just say I didn't do things in a traditional way.  There are some things in this quilt that the quilt police might not be too happy about.  In the end, the quilt turned out just the way I had pictured it in my mind's eye and I'm so proud of it.  I can't wait to finish it up this weekend and gift it in a couple of weeks.  For me the hardest part about quilting is holding onto a quilt until it is time to give it away.  I love making the quilt and giving it away as soon as it is done.

Out of th 9 quilts I need to finish by the end of the year, this makes #2. No time to rest!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A walk through my garden

 More things are blooming in my garden and I love to walk outside and see what is growing and blooming, especially when the weather is nice.  Here are some deep pink bell flowers.  Anybody know what they are called?
 Purple and yellow iris go well together.  Some roses bloom in the background.  I even pulled weeds after taking the picture.  You know it must be nice outside if I'm pulling weeds instead of quilting.
 I think this one is called Jolt.  I love the bright yellow iris.
 I love the dark purple iris too.  This one is a new one I got last year from the town of Winters.  My friend got them for me and I had no idea what kinds they were.  It is a nice surprise to see all of the different kinds that are now starting to bloom.
 This one is one I got from Colorado. My dad got me a whole bunch at a sale.  This one is variagated and I love the flowers.  Usually the iris with the pretty leaves don't have pretty flowers too.
 I also have some really pretty calla lillies blooming.  When I was a kid, we used to pick the centers out of these and pretend they were corn for our Barbies.  Sorry mom!  You probably wondered what was eating the centers of your flowers.  It was our Barbie dolls :)
 Apricot colored iris that also came from Colorado.
 I may be weird, but I love the brown iris.  They remind me of chocolate.  Yum!
 Snapdragons have always been some of my favorite flowers.  I liked to make them talk when I was a kid.  If you pinch the sides of the flowers, you can make their 'mouths' open.  When I tell my students about them, they think I am weird.
 From above...
And from the side, another brown pretty

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Carla's Quilting

This QOV was quilted by my friend Carla.  She does quilting for lots of people and has a really great quilting business.  If you live in Northern California, or need a long arm quilter to finish off your quilts, you should check out her website.  She has a robotic quilting machine, but can also do freehand quilting designs to fit your quilt.  She is pretty amazing!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Exact same magazine/book? Weird

How weird is this?  I just picked up this magazine at JoAnn's on Friday and today I'm looking at blogs and see this book posted

It's called Cut your Scraps.  Exact same picture on the cover, just a different title and has half the projects.  How can they do that?  Same pictures, same projects, one is a magazine, one is a book.  Very weird.

I love the projects in the magazine, now I have to go look up the book and see what other projects are missing from the magazine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My daughter's May Fair quilt

My daughter loves to make quilts and enter them in the local fairs.  This year she made another twin size quilt and got it done early enough so we weren't up all night the day before.  THe elephant fabric was the inspiration for this quilt.  We used the Accuquilt Studio cutter for the pinwheel blocks and they finished at 12 inches.  She wanted the elephant blocks to be really big so you could see the fabric since she loved it so much.  She did a great job quilting it too!  I think I have inspired her to love quilting.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Babies inspire me.  They are so cute and cuddly and fun.  I have many babies to make quilts for and this one was born a couple months ago.  This quilt is for the baby of my oldest daughter's tennis coach.  I can't believe it has taken me so long to make.  I started it yesterday morning and finished it this afternoon.  It probably took me 4 hours, start to finish.  It is boxed up and ready to mail tomorrow.  I have 8 more quilts to make before school ends in 6 weeks.  I only wish they were all baby quilts!

Setting triangles  Here's a great chart for figuring out the side and corner triangles when setting blocks on point.  I'm working on a quilt where I'm setting blocks on point, and I had no idea where to start. Boy, do I love the internet!  You can find almost anything there.  What did we do before it was invented?  Kids these days have no idea what life was like before the internet.  Remember when you actually had to go to the library and look in a book?  Of course, it actually took less time to find the information, because now, you go on the internet, find the information in about 3 seconds, go on Facebook, check everyone's status updates, go on 27 blogs, check out all the great pictures on Pinterest, read the news updates and 3 hours later forget what you went on the internet for.  A week later, you see the paper laying near the printer with some random bit of information you printed out that took you 3 seconds to find and remember how life was before the internet :)

Picnic Day at UC Davis

My son is a huge Dr. Who fan.  Yesterday when we went to Picnic Day at UC Davis, the last thing we did was walk down to the Battle of the Bands at the duck pond.  They have lots of different bands from lots of different colleges.  Each college picks a different theme.  UC Irvine picked Space TV shows and they had Star Treck and Star Wars and Dr. Who.  Of course, he got excited and had to have his picture taken next to the Tardus.

We even took a picture of the band members who were dressed as the Dr. Who characters.  My son was in heaven.  I'm sure when he goes to college, he will join the band and suggest they dress up like Dr. Who characters.

 I'm working on a Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf for him now.  I'm about half way finished with it.  It is going to be 13 feet long!  The things a mother will do for her child :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Iris season

I hope you can take some time today to smell the flowers.  This time of year is always my favorite in my garden.  I have a huge collection of iris and when they all start to bloom, I love to go out each morning and see which ones are opening up new for the day.  I never remember which ones are where and have no idea what their names are, those things aren't important to me.  I just love seeing all of the different color combinations there are.  I would never put some of these colors together, but some how they work well in flowers. 

I'm also reminded that I have some weeding to do!  We have had a lot of rain recently and that's my excuse :)

This is one of my favorites.  It is in a shady spot and the bright yellow can be seen way across the yard, calling me to come over and take a better look.  It reminds me to let my light shine in the shadows.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tax Day Giveaway-Winner

Using Random Generator
Comment 42 was picked


She said:

I blogged about your giveaway at

Why don't you hop on over to Sallie's blog and see what she is up to?  Looks like she posts links to lots of giveaways on her blog and she is one lucky lady!

Congratulations Sallie.  As soon as I hear back from you, I will get your gift certificate on its way to you.  Can't wait to see what you get with it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have you voted yet? Accuquilt Barn contest

If not, voting ends tomorrow and there are some beauties to choose from.  I was going to tell you which ones I voted for, but I've decided to let you pick yourself.  I'm voting for ones that you can actually make using the Accuquilt Go! dies.  I know that isn't part of the contest rules, but I think the winning barn block should be something I can make myself. 

Take a peek and pick out your favorites.  I had a hard time picking.  I didn't enter, so no, you can't vote for me :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

QOV Challenge

Don't forget the QOV Challenge.  It ends May 31, which seems like a long way away, but will be here before you know it.  I know, my daughter graduates college around that time.  How can that be, she was just born on May 5, 1990.  That was last week you know.  I was there.  I remember it!

The QOV challenge is really easy.  You can make quilt blocks.  You can make a quilt top, or you can make a whole quilt.

The colors need to be red, white and blue.  All of the details are on the link at the right of this blog, just click on the button over there :)

There are some great prizes.  My favorite is the Accuquilt one.  I just love mine and love to cut shapes out and sew them together.  I probably love cutting pieces more than sewing them together.

The more blocks, tops and quilts you send in, the greater your chances of winning are, but even if you don't win a prize, you win by helping comfort our returning soldiers who are serving our country.

Strange adventures

So yesterday was the last day of my 10 day Easter break and finally a really nice day to get outside.  About 2 years ago, I took this old loveseat out of the front living room for a couple reasons.  First, it was old and icky.  Second, because I wanted the extra room.  Nobody ever used it.  That room used to be the kids 'game room' for playing video games, but the light came in at all the wrong times and made it hard to see the TV, so they moved their video games to the family room and the love seat just took up space. 

I put it in the side yard and it got rained on and the yellow jackets made a couple of really nice homes in it.  I've been wanting to take it to the dump for a long time, but couldn't fit it in my van and am too cheap to pay someone to haul it away for me.  Now that my son is old enough to work with tools and loves to do things like that, I talked him into chopping it up so I could throw it in the trash, piece by piece.

At first, he was going to use this old tree saw to chop it up.  I was laughing so hard, I thought I was going to wet myself.  He was working away and it probably would have taken him about 2 years to cut the couch up.  Boy, did that laugh feel good.  Even looking at this picture makes me laugh again. 

I got a recriprocating saw and he had the thing apart in about 15 minutes.  Now, can you tell me why it took me 2 years to get a saw?  Really?  Why do I put things off so long?  You can see there is a huge pile of other junk here that will be gone over the next couple of weeks as the trash man comes.  I just let things pile up and don't really notice it until it gets this bad.  We had a few palm trees cut down and those have to go piece by piece, week by week because the pieces are so heavy they can't all go in the green bins at once.  That was a huge job for the guy with the chain saw.  He even broke a chain cutting those down.  If I had cut them down when they were little, it wouldn't have been such a job.  Lesson learned.

The best thing was I found an old birthday card with $20 still in it inside the couch.  Of course, my son said it was his.  There was no name in the card, so it could have been his card and since he did all of the work, I let him have it :)  He was happy.

Do you remember these?  It's a Furbee.  My daughters had to have them.  You push their beak/face and they talk.  It was soaking wet from the rain and the super creepy part is it still works!  "Tickle me!  Ah, me, coco!"  Or something like that.  It's pretty creepy.

And we found a couple really big lizards living inside the couch too.  These guys did not want to move out.  They were happy inside the warm couch and not too happy with me when I evicted them.  Sorry guys, it's moving day!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax Day Giveaway!

Here in the United States, April 15 is Tax Day.  This is a day that usually brings fear, stress, depression and sadness.  Most people have to pay money to the government.

What better way to spread a little happiness today than to have a giveaway?  After spending most of the day yesterday at the hospital with my husband (still not sure exactly what is wrong with him), I came home, went online at and got myself a very nice layer cake for a new project I'm working on.  If I couldn't have a real cake, I could at least have a fabric cake!

So, I'd like to spread some of my joy to all of my cyber friends by hosting this Tax Day Giveaway.

I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate to  They have some really great deals and a great clearance section so if you need to build up your stash, you have a wide selection of fabrics to choose from.  I know I had a hard time picking yesterday!

Here's the rules:  This giveaway is open to anyone, international is ok since it is a gift certificate, there is no shipping, but I have to be able to get in touch with you, so make sure if you are no reply, be sure to put your email in the message!

Let me know what you might want to get with the certificate.  What are your favorite kinds of fabrics?  Do you like country, classics, modern, brights?  What strikes your fancy?  Or, tell me what project you are working on now (ha-we know you aren't working on just one thing!)

For a second chance, follow me on this blog.  Let me know in a comment that you follow.

For a third chance, let your friends know about the giveaway, post on your blog, tweet or post to Facebook and let me know where you posted.

That's it!  Good luck.  I will pick a winner with Random Generator on Wednesday evening (April 18), after I have to work :(  I go back to work tomorrow after being off this week.  It has been a nice break.  I have 7 weeks of school left.  That's 34 days.  3 of those days are finals.  4 of those days are STAR testing (standardized testing in California).  And yes, I am counting!  I do so love my vacation days :)

(If I can't reach the winner within 3 days of the giveaway ending, I will pick a new winner)

Contest over, Congratulations Sallie!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

kitchen sink quilt

loving this quilt.  Just needs borders and will be off to Carla's.  I can tell there will be more of these in the future.  Great way to use up scraps, especially since I have the Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter.  The Studio fabric cutter has a great die, the Churn Dash, which cuts the entire block with one roll of the cutter.  Then, you mix and match pieces to get lots of different blocks.  We have about 27zillion blocks cut out, so just need to get busy sewing.  It is one of those mindless projects for when you don't know what to work on, but you feel like sewing.  I've had several days like that.  My husband has been sick this week and things have been pretty stressful around here.  I'm taking him into urgent care in just a minute so hopefully they will have some answers.  Please say a prayer for us :(

Friday, April 13, 2012

Everything including the kitchen sink quilt

Here's a quilt I'm working on that includes lots of blocks that have been piling up for months.  I added two rows to the bottom.  My daughter thinks 'big quilts are best'.  Yeah, sure!  There's some 16 patch and some Churn Dash and some 'what was I thinking? half square triangle blocks in there.  The more colors you have, the more interesting the quilt is in the end.  Hope to get it all sewn together in the morning and then over to Carla's to have her work some magic on it because it will be too big for my machine.  That's my story anyways.  I like the little quilts best :)

Closest we get to snow

Nice bit of hail just fell and I couldn't convince the kids to run outside :0  Either they are really smart, or a bit too chicken.  I picked up a piece and gave it to my little guy.  He wanted to have a hail fight in the house and throw it at his brother.  I think I need to take him up to the mountains and introduce him to real snow.  Poor guy!

Jewels in the Night--finished

Quilted with the freehand Baptist Fan pattern, bound and ready to be delivered.  I LOVE this quilt!  Maybe I should make one for myself!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

German Exchange Program

My daughter (#2) on the left, has had a penpal in Germany for the last 3 years.  Meike, in the middle, is in a nearby city for an exchange program living with the two on the right in the picture.  They were going through our city today and we were able to meet for lunch and had a great time talking and laughing and sharing our lives.  It was so good to finally meet her after all of this time.  It is crazy to think about how she lives half a world away and how finally the girls are able to sit across the table from each other and actually talk.

It was really cool!

Make some music

Any music loving kid will love this cute quilt!  Ready to be bound.  The stack is getting big!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jewels in the Night Quilt Tutorial

My friend Jesse has Lupus and is really sick.  I texted her and asked her what her favorite color is so I could make her a quilt.  She texted back, eggplant, and blue and green and red, but not yellow or orange. Oh, and black.  Really?  That's one color?  Ok.  You asked for it Jesse!  Here's the quilt I came up with just for you!  I call it Jewels In the Night.  I based it off of several Amish Quilts I've seen and several different string quilt patterns I've seen on the internet.  I'm not sure it is exactly a new design, but it is not exactly like anything else out there either, so if you find something too similar, please let me know.  I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes or copy anyone's pattern.  I just want to make my friend feel better and share what I came up with.  I hope it inspires you to create something beautiful and to share your passion for quilting with your friends too.

First, you need to cut 7 strips 2 1/2 inches wide.  I used my Accuquilt Studio Fabric cutter.  You can just cut them by hand with a rotary cutter, but I love the accuracy and quickness of cutting all of these strips at the same time.  With one roll of the Studio, I can have all of my strips cut out and know they will all be exactly 2 1/2 inches.

I got my Studio cutter about a year ago, when we started making quilts for the Tsunami survivors in Japan.  I am the area coordinator for Binky patrol and we make quilts.  Lots of quilts.  If you don't make 1,000 quilts a year, you might not need the Studio cutter.  The Go! cutter might be more your speed.  I have one of those too and love it for my personal quilting. 

One of these days I'm going to do a comparison between the two fabric cutters.  I love them both, for different reasons.  It's like saying pick your favorite child.  Depends on the day :)  I love them all equally, just some days...well, if you have kids, you understand.

Ok, back to the quilt.  You need 4 colors of fabrics, and 7 strips of each fabric.  That's about 1/2 yard of each color.  I got 1 yard of the purple, because that was my friend's first choice and I used it as the inner border color.  You need 3 1/2 yards of black.

Cut 7 2 1/2 strips of each color
Cut 20 13 inch squares of black- you will be trimming those down to 12 1/2 inch after sewing
Cut 6 4 1/2 inch strips of black for outer border

Backing fabric and whatever you want to use for binding (I haven't quilted it yet, so I can't say how much, but I'm going to guess 3 yards and about 7 2 1/2 inch strips, maybe 6?)

The only bad thing about the Studio cutter is the GIANT footprint it takes up.  Here it is sitting on my kitchen table.  No way to fold it up and store it.  It needs a permanant home somewhere in the sewing room, or if you don't mind it as a table decoration :)

I like to pin my strips so I don't have to draw a line.  I can stitch two strips at one time, just pin both strips, one after another.  You want to pin the strip about 1/4 inch from the center of the block.  You don't have to be perfect because you will be squaring up the block when you are all done sewing.  You will need 5 squares with each color as the center strip: 5 red, 5 green, 5 purple, 5 blue.

Sew along the edge of the strip.  I used my foot as a guide and just sewed along the edge of the strip
Take the strip to the iorning board
Press after sewing a whole bunch of blocks.  I get impatient and sew about half the strips and then press, but you can sew all of the first strips and then press.  The pressing is important...don't skip this part!
Sew the second strip to the first strip.  I didn't need to pin any of the other strips, but you can if you need to.  Keep sewing, flipping and pressing each time until you get to the end of the block.  You can see from the next picture, the last strip is a black strip.  There are 4 strips of color per block and one black strip.  I have 5 blocks of each center color and stuck with a pattern for each of the blocks: Red, blue, purple, green, red, blue, purple, green, so if I started with the green, the next color would be red.
Place your block on the cutting board and using your 12 1/2 inch square ruler center the diagonal line on the ruler in the center of the block.

Trim two sides.
It would be really nice to have a lazy susan revolving cutting mat that was big enough to put this block on.  I have one, but it is small.  I love it for cutting smaller blocks.  But, since this block doesn't stretch, it worked out ok.

Flip your block and square up the other two sides.

Lay out your blocks any way you like.  I chose to have the same color stripes going diagonal.  See how the green goes from top left to bottom right.  I also decided to add another row of blocks to the bottom of the quilt. 

The final quilt, turned upside down!  Why do I always do that?  Oh, well, you get the idea.  Now to be quilted over the next couple of days so it is ready to gift on Monday.  My friend isn't working, but I will give it to her daughter who goes to my school.
Before you ask, the paintings in the background were done by my dad.  The woman is my mother.  She says it looks nothing like her, but I think it is pretty good :)  She is the reason I do all of my quilting.  She is the best quilter I know!