Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

So much to get done!  Where did this week go?  I had back to school night on Wednesday and common planning the same day.  My day started at 7:30am and ended at 9pm.  What a long day which made the week extremely long!  I had a great turn out from parents and was able to get a lot of information out to them, which means I should get fewer questions throughout the year.

This weekend I have lots of quilting plans.  I haven't sewn anything all week.  So sad.

I've got four quilts to make
--my sister in law's quilt from her mom's clothes
--the quilt for my friend's grand kids.  My friend drown last year
--Blood donor t shirt quilt
--quilt for a friend at work whose sister is in the hospital with cancer

I also want to get at least 5 quilts quilted to keep me on track for the end of the year goal of 100 quilts by Dec 31.

Three days off, maybe I can get one thing done from my to-do list :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

take that motivation!

So, I never did feel like quilting today, but with so many quilts waiting patiently and so many kids needing hugs, I just did it.  I could either sit on the couch and feel like a lump, or do something productive.  I chose the 2nd option.  That's 5 quilts for the week.  I have to do at least that many if I want to get 100 more done by the end of 2012.

no motivation

This is quilt number 800 that I've quilted on my Janome :)  Wow, that's a lot of quilts.
I have been just so lazy this weekend.  Yesterday I finished up a quilt top and pinned the first quilt to the frame, but after my nap and hand washing dishes, I just didn't feel like quilting anything.  I've got to kick my butt into gear and get busy!

Today, the mother of the girl I made the quilt for who has cancer saw me at church and told me how thankful she was for giving the quilt.  Right there is motivation I need to get working.  So many people could use a quilty hug and I've got the fabric.

Friday, August 24, 2012


That's where I'd like to be, but instead, how about a quilt that reminds you of the tropics?  For now, that will just have to do!  This is my 2nd quilt towards my new goal of 100 more before the year is over.  I must get more done on the weekends, because I'm beat by the end of the school day.  At least my new migraine medicine seems to be working.  I find that if I don't take it at exactly 12 hour intervals, my migraine comes back.  So, whatever it is doing, works for 12 hours at a time.  I know just enough about brain chemistry to think that it is blocking my overactive neurotransmitters and keep my nerves from uptaking the ones that say "PAIN"  Once the medicine wears off, the signal is sent again and the pain is back.  At least that's my theory.

Oh, and my new dishwasher leaks!  The last two times I have run it, it has flooded my kitchen floor with a nice big puddle that covers the entire floor :(  Guess I have to hand wash dishes for a while until I can get someone to fix it.  Bummer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First one

I quilted this one up this morning before taking my little guy to his first day of school.  I can't believe he is already a 3rd grader.  I actually remember a lot about 3rd grade and hope he has as good of memories as I do.

I remember making a carved totem pole out of balsa wood with my best friend Connie Skoczylas.  I loved spelling her last name.  We worked really hard on that project and when we were done, one of us got to take it home.  I'm not sure how I ended up with it, but I still have it.

I also remember during that project wetting my pants.  There was a huge puddle on the floor and my pants were wet.  The teacher asked the whole class who had peed on the chair and under it.  Nobody raised their hand.  How could she not have seen my wet pants?  Really?  I was so embarassed, I think that was the last time I wet my pants :)

I also remember having to sit next to a kid named John the whole year.  He was a talker and trouble maker and I was the goodie-goodie (except for the pants wetting I guess)  When I became a teacher I vowed never to do that to any of my students.  It's my responsibility to discipline students, not other students.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

134 days left this year

Do you think I could get another 100 quilts done in that time?  I will never reach it if I don't try.  With going back to work, my quilting time is much shorter and I'm sure there will be days I can't do much of anything, but it's worth a shot!

100 quilts in 60 days

I can't believe I did it.  When I challenged myself to 60 quilts in 60 days, I was hoping to reach my goal because I have so many quilt tops waiting patiently to be quilted.  Then, when I reached that goal with many days left, I wasn't sure if I could meet the new goal, but I'm sure glad I gave it a try and finally have completed it.  After the summer I've had (mother in law getting sick and they passing away, migraines every day but 13 out of 79) I'm glad I have something good to talk about tomorrow when I go back to work.  Nobody wants to sit and listen to bad news.

Now to figure out a new challenge for the rest of the year.  I still have a whole bunch of quilt tops and my friend Rebecca gave me about 40 more when she went off to college.  I at least want to get all of hers quilted up so she can see them on Facebook.  I will have to do a count and see how many days are left in the year and then set a goal for myself.  Do you make big plans and set high goals?  With all the fabric I have around here, I need to get working faster!  Too bad I haven't figured out a way to quilt in my sleep :)

will I make it?

this is quilt 99 (actually 109 for the summer) for my challenge quilts and I'm not sure I will make 100.  I have the worst migraine right now, but I think the goal may just be strong enough to keep me going a little longer.  I even put a binding on a quilt that's going to be gifted tomorrow.  It is for the former Vanden High School student who has leukemia.  While I never had him as a student of mine, we become one family.  My husband taught him and another friend will be delivering the quilt for me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


yep, this is quilt number 98 in my 60 quilts in 60 days challenge.  Only 2 more to go to reach my new goal of 100.  And tomorrow is my last day.

The Frog Gang

When my oldest daughter was in 7th grade, she had a bandana made out of this frog fabric.  The principal at the middle school made her take it off saying bandanas were symbols of gangs.  We have teased her ever since about being in the Frog Gang.

only 2 days left

My summer vacation comes to an end on Monday and I have 5 more quilts to go to reach 100 quilts in 60 days.  No big deal if I don't make it, but it still would be fun.  Since my summer vacation started, I have quilted 105 quilts.  Not too shabby considering I've had a migraine all but 13 days this summer.

Yesterday's migraine was super bad.  I was so wiped out, I had to lay on the couch or in bed most of the day.  So glad this morning I woke up feeling good.  I went for a walk already and did some yoga stretches as suggested by my doctor.  He also says to drink more water.  I think I could be a doctor.  Seems their solution to almost any problem is to exercise and drink more water.  If I didn't exercise, I wouldn't be as thirsty and wouldn't need the water.  Hmmm, wonder if they have stock in bottled water.  Speaking of, I don't like it.  It's heavy to carry and so expensive.  I can spend 7 cents for 100 gallons of tap water or 20 cents for a 16 oz bottle of water, plus I have to carry it from the store!  My husband and kids love bottled water, mostly because they play tennis and it is hard to carry a garden hose with you in your tennis bag.

Friday, August 17, 2012

can you spread the word?

Kyle was a student at the high school I teach at.  He has leukemia and they are trying to find a match for him.  They are trying to get more ethnic people to sign up with the donor match program, not only for Kyle but for all other patients waiting for a match.

I registered about 21 years ago and haven't gotten a call yet.  But one day, I may be needed to donate to help save a life.  Back when I signed up, you had to give blood, but now they just do a cheek swab.  How easy is that?

I'm sure if you do a google search for Bone Marrow Donor, you will find a location near you so you too can sign up.

this one is cuddly

I find that the more quilting I do on a quilt, the stiffer it is.  This quilt got minimal quilting and is so cuddly.  I think some times in our efforts to make the quilt fancy, we take away from the purpose of the quilt, which is to bring comfort.  There has to be a balance between just the right amount of stitching to keep the quilt together and not too much quilting to make the quilt stiff.  While I admire some quilters who do really fancy work, I wouldn't want to pull one on me to cuddle under.

another cute farm quilt

I love this one too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

my favorite quilt ever

Can you see the cows on this quilt?  They are too cute.  When I was in college at UC Davis, I had a cow my freshman year.  Her name was Liesl.  She was a dairy cow and I tried to train her to walk in a circle, stand still on command and set up (move her legs into a specific position).  We had a contest and showed off our cows.  I think I came in 5th out of 8 cows.  The night before the show, I washed her and brushed her and then slept in the dairy barn next to her so when she pooped I could clean it up and she didn't get dirty.

When I was a junior in college, I lived in the dairy barns.  In exchange for helping with the feeding one weekend a month, I got free room.  My room mate was crazy and had a boyfriend in Japan that she would spend hours every night talking to.  She chewed tobacco and put her spit in bottles that she left around the room.  It was so gross, but I loved getting up at 4am to help move the cows and feed them.  We had to shovel tons of alfalfa cubes and grain into the troughs and then lift and throw bales of hay and straw.  So tiring, but I loved the smell of the cows and the feed.  I loved the baby cows being born and watching the milking process.  Oh, those were the days.  I used to take my kids out there when they were little and they didn't find the smell so wonderful.

My new kitchen

 This was the old stove and microwave.  The microwave hasn't worked for at least 7 years.  I think it worked for a little bit when we first moved in and then BAM, it just stopped.  It is probably as old as the house, so about 20 years and dirty and ugly.  I could never get it cleaned no matter how hard I tried.  Bye, bye!
 This is my dishwasher.  The front cover had fallen off so many times and after duct taping it back on and it still falling off, I finally gave up.  It worked, but the kids would complain that there was always one cup that got flipped over and all the nasty food would end up in it.  It was LOUD.
 And here's the new stove and microwave.  It's going to take some getting used to to start using the microwave up here instead of the one on the counter.  I'm still keeping that one because my 8 year old can't quite reach this one yet.  Once he gets tall enough, probably next summer, I can get rid of the counter microwave.
And the new dishwasher.  So quiet, I can't even hear if it is on.  There is a little light saying how much time is left and that's pretty much the only way I know it is working.  Every once in a while I will hear the water drain, but even that is really quiet.

After all the trouble getting these things here, I'm so happy with them and wonder why we didn't do this 8 years ago when we first moved in :)

I got them all from Lowe's and they all had to be special ordered because they are black.  It took about 3 weeks of back and forth calls (at least 20) to finally schedule their delivery and installation. So crazy.  But the installers did a great job.  Would I buy from Lowe's again?  Probably not if I had to special order something.  I would buy something they had in stock or just expect it was going to take 3 weeks to get what I wanted.  I'd also only buy one thing at a time because they had the hardest time keeping track of all three of my items. At one time, they were going to deliver a dryer instead of the dishwasher.  Hey, they both start with a d right?

Now, everything is checked off my TO DO list and I'm not motivated to do much of anything else.  I need to call someone to see if they can get the pigeons out of my roof and plug up the hole.  The pest guy said he wouldn't do that yesterday (eventhough pigeons are pests!) but their poop is making my roof leak.  Sorry guys, you are just too messy to share living space with me.  I love having the other birds nest in my roof and hearing the baby birds in the spring.  I used to raise pigeons when I was a kid and had one bird named Charlie that couldn't fly.  He also had babies that died before getting feathers.  There was something genetically wrong with that bird, but I loved him none the less.  So, I don't hate pigeons, I just love them to live out of my roof :)  Maybe if I built them a nice nest box, they would pick that instead of my roof, or maybe they would tell all of their friends about me (like the mice did) and I would have an invasion!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

so lazy today

Today was a lazy day.  I checked the last MUST DO off my list and that was to have the pest guy come out and spray for wasps--so bad this time of year, and see if he could help me figure out where the mice are getting in the kitchen.  I've battled them ever since we moved in, but have reached the last straw.  The other day I was in the kitchen getting ready to cook dinner and my two little dogs started going crazy.  One of them grabbed something and ran into the sewing room with it.  The other was barking and carrying on.  I went in to see what they were up to and they had a mouse that was almost dead.  They were tossing it back and forth.  After disposing of the mice and praising the little dogs, I pulled out the stove to see the mice had chewed a hole in the wall behind the stove.  Ugh!

Yesterday when the guy came to install the new microwave and dishwasher, we found another couple of holes in the wall behind the dishwasher and there was so much mouse poop on the over the stove microwave.  So grossed out!

Well, the pest guy came out and all he did was put sticky traps out for the mice.  I could have done that :(  He did spray for the wasps, but now I have to deal with stuck mice if they decide to come back.  I just wish I spoke mouse so I could tell them they aren't wanted here and they should find some place else to live.  I've probably caught 100 mice since moving in 8 years ago.  I used to use the live catch trap and let them go about a mile away, but I think they just told their friends about me and now I have a reputation for being the mouse safe house.  NO more!  Be gone you pesty critters.  I'm tempted to get a cat, but then I'd have to feed it and clean up after it and it would probably be like my last cat who just got fat and looked at mice like they were her friends.

Tomorrow will be a more productive day.  Maybe.

Bowls With Borders Blog Hop

 August 14th

I hope you take a minute to hop on over and see what everyone else is up to today.  Here's where you go to see the other things the awesome designer, Regina Grewe, of the Bowl pattern is up to.  I especially love the cat paper pieced pattern.  My daughter would love a quilt made out of these blocks.
Here's where you go to get the pattern for the paper pieced bowls.

Here's what I did with my block.  I know, not very impressive compared to what most of the blog hoppers are up to, but I joined the hop to help me get over my fear of paper piecing.  This little block took me about 30 minutes.  I'm not sure I did everything correctly and when I tore the paper off, some of the stitches came undone, so I need to be a little more careful I guess.  But, I did accomplish my goal of facing my fear of paper piecing!  Now, if I go on the show Fear Factor and one of the challenges if to paper piece a quilt block, I will know that I could handle it.

I love blog hops that challenge me to try something new so I can get better at quilting.  I hope you will join up with a blog hop the next time you get the chance.  
If you hear of a blog hop that features applique, that's my next hurdle.  I have so many different applique dies for the Accuquilt, but just can't bring myself to sit down long enough to try them out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

one closer to goal

This is quilt 89.  Can you see the quilting on it?  The thing I love about the quick strippie quilts from is they have just the right amount of space for my smaller quilting machine.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey, not fair! I wasn't looking

My son is 15.  When did he get taller than me?  Must have been in the last 2 weeks or so.  I'm 5' 11"
My husband is 6' 1/2"  It won't be long before this kid is taller than both of us!

How cute

 These smaller quilts are just what the doctor ordered.  I'm getting burned out on my goal to get 100 quilts done by the time I have to go back to school/work next Monday.  I have just a few left and it's time to get some of the quilt tops that have been sitting around here for a long time done.
I have a bunch of quilt tops still waiting patiently for their turn on the machine.

One week left.  I can't believe my summer is almost over.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blue's Clues

This cute little cheater quilt was so quick to quilt up this morning.  Love the little quilts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chargers fans?

I'm hoping there are some Chargers fans out in Colorado.  I had a couple of yards of Chargers fabric and made three quilt tops.  This is the first one quilted.  I hope it finds a good home :)  This is also my 85th quilt since starting my 60 quilts in 60 days.  I have 9 days of summer vacation left.  I wonder if I will hit 100?

How long to make a quilt?

This one only took 5 years!  I made the quilt top 5 years ago when I was on the Sudoku kick.  I probably made 10 of them and I think this is the last one.  Why did I wait around so long to finish it up? Who knows, but probably some other new, fun, quick quilt pattern came along and distracted me.  But, now it is done and ready for binding so it can be sent to the Aurora Colorado Emergency Responders.  I love the colors on this one.  Maybe I should make another :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

for a friend

These three quilts were quilted for a friend who made the tops for the Aurora Colorado group.  She had no way to quilt them herself, so asked me if I could quilt them.  She does such a great job on her piecing, I was a little afraid I would mess them up, but they all turned out great.  She also did a 4th quilt that I posted yesterday.  I know some people in Colorado are going to love these quilts!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Winner picked from the blog hop

I used Random Number Generator and it selected #38.

Diann said...
I have made quilts for project Linus.

Making a list

 So for the last two days, I have made a list of quilting things I wanted to accomplish before the day was over.  It seems to be helping keep me on track.  When I get into the sewing room, I get so distracted by all of the projects I'm working on.  Yesterday I got everything done except pinning the 2nd Charger's quilt I'm making, so of course that went on today's list and got done first thing.  I'm almost done with today's list and BAM my migraine is back.  I've had a couple of good mornings.  My doctor gave me the injectible imitrex and I had the hardest time giving myself a shot.  I finally had to get my husband to do it for me.  It didn't hurt as much as I feared so I think the next time I could maybe do it myself???  So far, it isn't working and I think because I worked myself up so much being afraid of the shot and waited too long.  Ugh.
On a funny note, we got a new fridge a few weeks ago.  It has been a comedy of errors to say the least.  The repair guy has been back 5 times to fix the ice maker.  It makes ice, just wouldn't dump it.  The repair company working for Samsung has come to fix it without any parts.  They write things down and then go away.  Today finally the guy came and said he didn't have the part.  I told him I was pretty frustrated that they kept coming back to fix it, but didn't seem to know what they were doing.  He left and called me back about 15 minutes later saying he actually did have the part in his truck and would be right back.  As I was writing this blog post, I finally heard the ice maker dump the ice all by itself.  Maybe it is fixed?

Now, if only I could get my new dishwasher, stove and microwave delivered.  That has been another nightmare of phone calls and people not knowing what was going on.  One day I will look back and laugh at the comedy in the situation.  I wonder how these people stay in business!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blog Hop winner will be picked on Wednesday at noon

Be sure to check out the quilt I made for the blog hop and enter the giveaway for the $25 gift certificate to JoAnn's.  I will be picking a winner tomorrow at noon.  Good luck everyone!

Trying to be productive

As the summer winds to an end, I'm finding it harder and harder to be productive every day.  The past two days I've felt like I was going to die, most likely from doing yoga and walking every day.  So, I mostly just laid around on the couch watching the Olympics.  Good excuse to sit still, but so unlike me.

This morning I woke up feeling a little better, but with a massive headache.  Not the typical migraine, but all across the top of my head.  I can't win for losing :(

So, I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish today and so far have about half of the things done. Two more quilts just need binding for the Aurora Colorado Emergency Responders.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Feeling funky

I've been in a funk the last couple of days and haven't done any quilting.  I'm working on a couple of quilt tops for the Colorado Emergency Responders but between my headaches and being sore from doing yoga and walking in the evenings, I've mostly just sat around and watched the Olympics or taken a nap.  Last night after my walk, I decided I'd had enough and quilted up this pink and green quilt.  The colors are terrible in the bottom picture and are more true to life in the top one.  My quilt helper had to get in on the action yesterday :)  He is usually my photographer, but wanted to try this quilt out and see if it was warm or cool.  Oh, the stories he will tell his children!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

She's a winner

We went to the Solano County Fair yesterday because my daughter got a letter saying she had won a prize.  Turns out, she won Best in Division and Best in Show for both her narrative essay and her giant elephant pillow.  She is so talented in so many different areas!  She got a lot of first place ribbons for her photography and jewelry too.  She loves to enter because for a small investment, she usually makes out pretty well in prize money.  Smart kid!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Keeping the local kids covered

While the focus has been on quilts for Colorado, I still have to keep mindful that there are local kids needing hugs too.  These two are so soft flannel quilts for babies.  My binding buddies are having a hard time keeping up with me.  My friend Rhoda tore off her fingernail and is out of commission.  Earlier this summer she had surgery on her other wrist to remove a growth.  We joked that she needs to learn to sew with her feet!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

More quilts for Colorado

If you are here for the blog hop, scroll down the page :)

Here's a scrappy quilt using 6 1//2 and 4 1/2 inch leftovers.  Just sew them end to end and then into the quilt.

Here's a quick strippie from with side borders to make it wider for an adult.  I had the backing fabric already loaded and needed a top to fit.  This one fits the bill

The top was made by a friend.  I added the borders and quilted it up today.

I love the colors on this modern baby quilt.  Not your typical color choice for a baby, but the browns all play so well with each other.

blog hop quilt is now quilted

I love the bits of blue in the reds and greens.  I'm going to be cutting up more fabric to make another one of these soon. It made up so quickly and is such a nice size.

Christmas in July Blog day

Contest is now over...thanks for stopping by!

Here's the list of all of the bloggers.  I hope you have a chance to check out what everyone else is up to.

These lovely ladies share the day with me:
Grandmama's Stories
Sandra Kaye Designs
North Hills Quilter==that's me :)
Quilty Doodads
Quilting in South Carolina
The Raspberry Rabbits
Charise Creates
Traveling Quilter
Nancy B at That Other Blog
Selina Quilts

Here is a super easy quilt to make for when you need that last minute Christmas gift.  I know you aren't like me and wait until the last second to get everything checked off your list!  You probably make all of your Christmas gifts during the summer, so you can take your time and relax!  Ha :)

For this project you will need at least 6 different fabrics.  More is better because it is easier to lay out the blocks so things don't match.  I used up pieces and scraps so there isn't an even number of anything.  I am the area coordinator for Binky Patrol ( and we get donations of Christmas fabrics all the time.  I have two big boxes right now that are waiting to be made into Christmas stockings for the troops.  Last year the local high school partnered with us and we made over 300 stockings in a single day!  The National Honor Society kids filled them and then delivered them to the returning wounded soldiers that come through Travis Air Force Base.

Ok, back to the quilt...
You need to cut 4 1/2 inch squares and 4 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch rectangles.  You will need three sets of these per 12 1/2 inch block so just do a little math (it's ok, you can use a calculator, I won't tell anyone) and figure out how big you want the finished quilt.  I make a ton of kid size quilts so I would go with either 12 or 20 blocks.  This one was made with 24 blocks set 4x6 so it is big enough for a tall guy.  But, it you are really ambitious, you can make it King Size.  I made a King Size quilt once.  Yeah, once...

 Start by sewing one square to the end of the rectangle.  You can press these, or not.  I'm not a presser.  If I can make a quilt without having to get out of my chair, I'm a happy camper :)
 Then, sew two strips together, flipping so the squares are on opposite ends.

Now, sew the last strip on, with the square next to the rectangle.  This is your basic block.  I have no idea if this block has a name or not, but I just came up with it while trying to clean out some of my scrap boxes.  I had some 4 1/2 inch squares and was making 9 patch blocks.  Then, I came across the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch rectangles and started playing around

Begin the layout of the quilt.  This can be the fun part or can drive you crazy.  I love having my kids help me with this as we all gather around the quilt and move blocks until they are perfect.  I'm sure they will tell their children about making quilts (or how I tortured them!)

Sew the blocks together, add a border and quilt!  I added 4 1/2 inch borders all the way around, but you can make them any size you want.  Finished size of my quilt is 56x80 inches.  Great for cudding up on the couch with and would be perfect in Red, White and Blues for a Quilt of Valor or any color you like.  This quilt took me about 4 hours to complete.  Like I said, I love making quick and easy quilts.

This quilt, along with many others will be going to the Emergency Responders and those recovering from the Aurora Colorado shooting.  If you would like to help out, join the Facebook page for more information.  We are trying to collect about 400 quilts to cover everyone involved in the tragedy.  Can you make up a quilt quickly and get it sent?

We'd love to have you join us!

I promised a prize for this blog hop since it is Christmas :)

How about a $25 gift card to JoAnn's?  I love shopping at my local JoAnn's and shopping online.   It's where I get all of my batting for the many quilts I make.  I use the 50 yard roll of Kodel brand and with a 50% off coupon can get it shipped to me for about $38.  I love the poly batting because it is thin and makes the quilts lightweight.  Perfect for cuddle quilts.

Here are the rules for the Gift Card Giveaway:
1. Leave a comment letting me know if you are a last minute gift maker or you work on Christmas gifts all year long.
2.  Leave a second comment and let me know if you've ever made charity quilts.  What is your favorite charity to give them to?
3.  Leave a comment if you are a follower of my blog.

Three comments, three chances to win.

Merry Christmas everyone!