Monday, October 29, 2012

change of pace

I learned to crochet when I was about 10.  I used to make all sorts of things from crochet flowers to stuffed animals.  I think I even have the scarecrow I created when I was about 12.  I will have to dig it out :)

I've found that crocheting helps with my migraines or at least numbs me enough to feel a little better while I am crocheting.  I'm working on baby hats for my local hospital.  I've probably made 1,000 hats in my lifetime and it is nice to have a simple pattern that doesn't require any thought.  I found this new one and it is very simple.

The first 4 rounds you double crochet, starting with 12 and going to 24, 36 and then 48.  If you know how to crochet, you know how to get there.  Once you have the base rounds done, just do a simple shell stitch around and around.  Single crochet, skip a stitch, three double crochets and on the next row alternate.

My local hospital asked for baby hats for the cold months so these will get some good use soon.  Today was in the low 80's.  Sorry for all of you in the middle of a storm, but that is why we pay so much more to live in California!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I can see clearly

 My neighbor at the end of the street is an electrician.  His wife is my friend on Facebook and when I posted that I was looking for recommendations for an electrician to install a few things, she volunteered him to come over.  He put up three of these lights in the bathrooms.  The old fluorescent ones haven't worked since we bought the house 8 years ago.
 He put up three of these outdoor lights.  I couldn't figure out how to open the old ones to change the lightbulb.  We haven't had lights on the front of the house in about 5 years.
And he rewired the old Air Conditioner outlet to 110 volts and installed the outlet for the sprinklers.  Now, I won't have to worry about them shoring out when it rains.  They were hooked into the orange extension cord by the landscaper.  Now he can come back to get his extension cord.

I'm one happy lady.  Let's see what else needs fixing around here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I really like this one

This is probably my favorite quilt I've ever made all by myself.  I've started on a second one almost exactly the same and will eventually have to make one for myself.  The blocks finish at 12 inches and it is quick to make.  I'm betting it would look great in multiple colors.  It's a great way to bust some scraps as the smaller blocks are 3 1/2 inches (finish at 3 inches).  I'm giving this to a neighbor whose mother just had a double mastectomy.  My neighbor is recovering from some weird blood cancer and Carla and I made her a quilt.  She said it really helped her get through her treatments.  I'm hoping this one does the same.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

seeing PURPLE

My friend Nancy gave me this link to help new parents remember that babies cry.  Sometimes they cry so much the new parents don't know what to do.  Sometimes those new parents shake their babies to make them stop.

This website and the efforts it promotes makes baby hats in all shades of purple to remind parents that it is ok for a baby to cry and that crying won't hurt them, but shaking them will.

I have made baby hats for my local hospital for years and am now going to include some purple ones with the website address so new parents can learn how to deal with a baby who cries and won't stop.

If you love to knit or crochet, maybe you will want to join the effort.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

older than dirt?

I wear a different tshirt every day to work.  I teach high school students.  Today I wore this one and my kids asked me what it was.  They thought it was an old fashioned phone.  Really?  Have they never seen a typewriter before?  I felt really old.

Pajama Quilter's having a sale

If you don't know who this is, check out her website.  She has made two DVD's and workbooks on quilting.  I have both and love them.  They have great ideas for quilting designs that a beginner can use.  I often go to them for my inspiration.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A really bad day brings quilting time

I got the pattern for the hearts at the above website and then added 16 patches for the filler blocks.  I could see this one as a Quilt of Valor, but it is going to my friend whose mom is battling breast cancer.  I hope she loves it!  I sure do and will have to make myself one just like it.  Yeah, who am I kidding?  I don't think I have kept one quilt I've made for myself.

Today was the worst migraine in a very long time.  I've felt so sick all day and am happy that I have a hobby like quilting where I can sit and mindlessly sew all day long.  I finally figured out how to make my sewing chair comfortable for long periods at the sewing machine.  No fancy back rest for me.  I just rolled up an old towel and can position it just right in the small of my back for support.  Wish I could quit my job and just sit and sew all day, every day :)  Retirement is way too long off.

Can you help with a quilt?

There are still quilts needed to comfort the families of those killed in Aurora as well as those injured.  Do you have a quilt in the closet that would be perfect?  How about trying out that new pattern you just got, but didn't know why.  Have a pile of fabrics stashed away for a rainy day?

I know there are so many good causes out there with in need of a quilt or 10.  But, can you think/pray about helping this one?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

81 years young today!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I have a new backyard

And I am so happy with it!  I can't walk on it for a month, but I can't wait until I can.  The grass is called RFT and is supposed to be great for dogs.  When they pee on it, it won't die.  The sprinklers were a great idea because now it won't die when I forget to water it and the sprinklers also water the trees and rose bushes.  I'm happy dancing tonight!  I think I will be spending more time in the backyard now.  Gotta get an electrician to wire up the sprinklers and fix the front porch lights.  Gotta get a pigeon exterminator to get the nest of pigeons out of the roof and gotta get a gutter cleaner to go up on the roof and get the top gutters.  Lots of work still to do, but this has made such a huge improvement in such a short amount of time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh, no, price of batting increased

I buy 50 yard rolls of this Kodel batting for all of my quilting.  It is 48 inches wide and I can get about 30 quilts out of a roll.  I wait until JoAnn's has a 50% off coupon and then get a couple of rolls.  I pay about $38 each with shipping.

I just checked today because I have a 50% off coupon and the price of batting has increased.  Not by a little, but by a LOT!  It is now $89 regular price instead of $59.

Do you think it has anything to do with the price of gas almost being $5 a gallon here in California?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

another one quilted

Did this one with one of my favorite patterns, Baptist Fan.  I like that quilting design on the traditional quilts.  I will definitely be making more of these types of quilts in the near future.

Backyard progress

 We have lived in this house almost 8 years.  When we moved in, the backyard was just dead or dying grass and weeds.  There were sprinklers, but they didn't work well.  It didn't matter because we bought the house because the backyard was big enough for a tennis court.  We put a tennis court in shortly after we moved in. I landscaped the back of the yard, behind the tennis court, but that is a normal size for a yard.  It is hard keeping up with the landscaping.  There is no water source back there and I have to have a hose that goes across the patio and along the fence.  In the summer, I have to go out to water every day because things dry out quickly.  I have lots and lots of iris plants out there and come canna lilies (which aren't doing well-probably not enough water).  I have now planted some Butterfly Bushes back there and they are established after 3 years.  I put in a pond that I got for free off Freecycle, but that has since cracked and the water only stays about half way in the pond.  I got fish for the pond, but we have raccoons in the field next to us and I have come out and found half eaten fish laying on the ground.

Two years ago my husband and I got out and really cleaned things up.  We put a border all around the 'lawn' area with a raised garden area for my vegetable plants.  Then he hurt himself and had hernia surgery and the yard fell apart again.

So, last week I called a landscaper.

For just over $2,000 he cleared the area of weeds and dog poo :)  He dug and laid sprinklers.  He brought in tons of top soil and compost and cut down a tree that volunteered to grow right up against the house.

He is coming back tomorrow to lay sod.  I almost can't wait to see what it is going to look like when it is done.  I am so excited!  I will finally have a really nice backyard that I want to go into.  We can kick a ball around, or just chase the dogs.  I know it is going to be one more thing to keep up with, but I'm still excited. Even after putting the tennis court in, there is still such a big lawn area (hey, we are in California, so most people get about 100 square feet for a yard!)

It has been hard keeping the dogs off the yard for 2 days.  They love the smell of the compost and want to go roll in it.  Um, no thanks!

Kicking Butt

I haven't been doing much quilting lately because I am always so tired at the end of the day.  Not sure if it is old age or what, but this year is really taking a toll on me.  So yesterday, I decided to take control of my exhaustion and just do something!  I loaded and started the Christmas quilt yesterday morning and finished it last night.  These quilts are bigger so take about 30 minutes to quilt.

This morning I had to take my son to school so he could leave on a robotics trip.  He had to be there at 5:15.  He got home last night around 11pm.

After coming home this morning and sleeping, I woke up at 8 and saw that the landscape guy was out working.  I figured I could either sit on my butt or kick it into gear and get another quilt done.  About half way through it I wanted to sit down, but then looked out at the guy installing sprinklers and digging holes.  I felt guilty for wanting to quilt when all I'm doing is stepping sideways and moving my arm :)

Hoping to get one more at least loaded today.

Goodwill is having 50% off clothes today, so I may be tempted to head out and see if I can find a Cardinal's T-shirt for my daughter who is going to school in St. Louis.  Neither one of us likes baseball, but I do love the Cardinal's uniform.  Who could go wrong with a red shirt with a bird on it?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do you have UFO's?

Take a look at the link on the side bar and see what you can do with them?  There are many groups wanting your Un-Finished-Objects or UFO's as we quilters call them.  They can be fabric you no longer like, orphan blocks left over from a project, quilt tops or anything inbetween.

I know that I get a LOT of donations, usually from someone whose mother just passed away and they don't know what to do with her stash.  My group, Vacaville Binky Patrol takes these boxes and bins and turns them into quilts for kids.

There are other charity groups out there looking for your UFO's.  Check out the button and help some kids or adults who need a quilty hug.

New flowers for my garden

 They are called Imperial Blue Cape Plumbag and I love them!

Monday, October 8, 2012

another top finished

This has been a rough weekend.  My son had his wisdom teeth pulled Friday and I had these grand plans we would be in and out in under an hour and I would have the rest of the day to play.  NOT.  Took much longer than expected and of course I had a migraine.  Probably from stress.

Busy Saturday and Sunday and I can't even remember what I was doing.  Today another doozie of a migraine, but I was determined to get this quilt top done.

I made this 13x14 tumblers, so a total of 182 (my son did the math for me in his head :)

This is about a twin size and about the maximum size my quilting frame can take.  One day I will get a robotic machine that can do king size quilts and be cranking out quilts while I sleep.

borders on

Good thing we have another weekend in 4 days.  I didn't get nearly as much done as I had hoped, but will keep working and things will get done.  I have a really bad migraine today so am feeling a bit sorry for myself.

This morning I got donuts for the kids (such self control) and got the estimate on my daughter's car.  A couple weeks ago a lady backed into her in the school parking lot.  The estimate is between $1,000 and $2,000 to fix the little dent and rear tail light.  The car isn't even worth $2,000.  Crazy.

Then, I dropped my son off at robotics.  They have their first competition on Friday/Saturday and are trying to get the robot ready.  There are always 27 things that go wrong.

After that, I went to the hardware store and got plants and bulbs for my front garden.  We have been working on it all summer and I've moved a lot of things around.  There are these bushes around here with blue flowers and I've been wanting some for my garden.  Today I found them and bought 2.  They get about 3 feet tall and wide and are just gorgeous.  I will have to take and post pictures and let you know what they are.

Piles of laundry are still waiting to be folded.  Will the fun never end?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yikes! 78 days til Christmas!

And only 85 days until the end of the year.  I have 71 more quilts to make.  Better get busy.

My motivation

Some people think I'm crazy.  And they are probably right.  My house is full of fabric.  I spend hours every week making quilts and giving them away. Most of the time I never know where they end up.  Most of the time I never hear back from the recipients and don't get a thank you.  But, every once in a while, I get a picture like this and it makes all the time, effort and work worth it.

Our church participates in a program called Safe Families.  Instead of having to send a kid into foster care, the parent calls Safe Families and their kids get to stay together while mom or dad goes through rehab, serves their short jail sentence, stays in the hospital or finds housing.  There are a lot of reasons a parent might need help for a short time taking care of their kids, but they know the kids are safe and loved while they deal with their circumstances.

Pictures like these make me want to quilt 24/7.  So many kids, so many quilts, so little time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

never enough time

I got this top sewn together today and now I need to put a border on it.  I'm still looking for something, maybe a red one.  Have to see what is in the stash.

I also cut a whole bunch more of these that I will be sending to a friend who lives in Washington.  She will sew them and donate them locally.  Even though cutting with the Studio fabric cutter is much faster than cutting by hand, it still takes a while to cut out a zillion pieces.  I'm trying to fill a soda box FULL.  I have so much fabric and am so happy to share with someone who will put it to use before I can get there.

I just wish I was 20 years younger.  All this sewing and cutting makes me tired.  So, a nap was in order for today and a nice long walk with hubby.  Now, maybe a bit of grading papers before sleeping again.  Tomorrow is another day

Long weekend plans

I MUST clean up the mess I've made since school started.  I MUST spend at least one hour every day cleaning.  I did that yesterday and can already see the dent I made.  Dishes washed, clothes started (we have a lot of laundry around here!) and sewing room at least has a path through it now.

I also MUST finish up this quilt.  I have a total of 18 blocks and need 20.  Then, I have another quilt to make.  These are for one family affected by the Colorado shooting.

I MUST cut more fabric.  Last night I dreamed about all of the quilts I want to make and how to deal with the overabundance of fabric I have around here.  I have several people who love to sew the tops and are always asking for kits to sew.  Well, I'm out of quilt kits so that's a big priority for the weekend.

I MUST do some more quilting.  To reach my goal of 100 more by the end of the year, I have to get back to it.  I have been slacking lately.

And finally, I MUST call my friend who does the deliveries for me now and get some of these quilts out of here.  I have two big blue tubs in my front room and those are full, plus about 40 more quilts on top.  I'm sure there must be 100 quilts and blankets and afghans waiting for homes.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

starting a new quilt

is always a good feeling, even with a migraine :(

Monday, October 1, 2012

quick, before school starts

Had the backing already loaded from the last quilt and threw this cutie on to quilt.  I love the squares quilts because I can do different things in the squares.  This one is quilted with a flower.  The ladybug fabric is so cute, and it is flannel so makes it extra snuggly.