Sunday, January 27, 2013

and one for the little guy

His school is the Foxboro Foxes.

Hugs and Kisses
Here's the schedule for the upcoming blog hope hosted by Jane.  My day is Feb 14, which also happens to be Valentine's Day :)

I had better get busy on my project so that it is finished in time.  I just never seem to have enough time in the day anymore.  Between the migraines, walking with hubby, my new embroidery machine (way too fun) and feeding the family, the day is all gone.  I need to carve out a bit of time for myself.!

New Business?

So, what do you think?  I figured out how to get the embroidery directly onto the beanie caps and am going to see if the Robotics kids want to buy these.  I went to a different WalMart this morning and bought 15 of the grey ones and 16 of the black ones. (that's all they had left)

I also got some purple ones and some black ones in kid sizes for my son's class.  His school colors are purple/black/white and their mascot is a Fox.  I'm planning on making those up and giving them to his teacher.  She has an auction every few weeks for the kids to buy things that are donated.  They earn tickets for the auction from doing their homework and behaving in class.  I hope the kids like the idea of a specially made beanie.  Nobody will be able to buy one in the store.

Maybe I have found a new business opportunity.  I might even be able to pay my daughter's way through college!  Ha, if only she wanted to go to a community college :)

Mr. Roboto

I haven't seen my son much these last couple of weeks.  Build season started for Robotics and this year's challenge is to make a robot that can play frisbe golf.  They have goals the frisbe goes into and earn so many points for each goal.  At the end of the challenge, the robot has to climb up some steps of a ladder.  The higher it goes, the more points they get.  I believe this is the prototype robot.  They still have to build the real one.  He competes in three different competitions this season and is really looking forward to those events.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I hate wasted days

Super bad migraine today so I didn't get anything done that I wanted to do.

I did try embroidering right onto the stocking cap and LOVE the way it came out.  SO, I decided to head to WalMart and pick up some more hats.  Went to the local WalMart and they didn't have a single hat!  The one in the next city over had about 100 of them on Wednesday.  But, I wasn't feeling well enough to head over there today.  I hope I feel better tomorrow and that nobody else gets the idea to buy them all :)

I did have a great surprise this morning when I decided to take my car in for its smog check.  My car has been smoking since about last May.  It does it randomly, sometimes in the morning, sometimes after school, sometimes when it is hot, sometimes when it is cold.  I took it in back about July and the guy at both the Toyota dealership and our regular mechanic said it needed a new engine.  They couldn't find where the leak was, but they said it probably needed a new head.  I have no idea what a head is, but I guess it is pretty important for a car.  The guy at the Toyota shop said that I had missed too many oil changes and had been running the car without oil and that's why it broke.  Who knew?  I just figured the oil would get dirty, not go away.

I should know better because I'm always oiling my sewing and quilting machines.  But, those are more important to me than a car.

So, today I decided I had to at least try and get it to pass smog.  The renewal is due in March.  When I took it in, I was so nervous.  I just knew they were going to call a tow truck and take my car away from me right then and there.  But, 20 minutes later, the guy came out and said it passed with flying colors!  Woo Hoo!  I guess I had better keep up with those oil changes from now on and hope I can get another 2 years out of it.  By then child #3 will be going off to college and we will be poor again.

So, I guess the day wasn't a total waste. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Friday, January 25, 2013


My son's robotics team is wanting to buy beanies with their logo on them.  I'm playing around with some ideas before pitching to them that I can make these for less than they are going to pay online.  I did the design on felt and then sewed it to a premade hat from Walmart.  Cost me about $3 to make ($2 for the hat) and the team was going to pay $22 each.  I have a second hat that has a smaller logo and an oval around the design.  Not sure which I like better.  I just have to figure out how to sew the patch on straight :)  It starts off straight and I pin it, but when I'm done sewing it is just a tad bit crooked.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

All Northern Honor Band

Here is my son after the band concert.  He is getting so big :)  He plays trombone and has really come far in the last 5 years.  He also was selected for the All State Honor Band in February in Fresno.

These kids only practiced Friday and Saturday for the concert today.  They were crazy good.  There were about 100 kids in the band.

Here's a link to the band playing on youtube.  Thanks to the guy standing behind us taking the video:
Video 1

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Easy and cute

This is the first blanket i made with the quilt tops from the middle school kids.  Carla cut the fabric for Super Size 9 patch quilts and the kids sewed them.  150 of them since September.  We have not been able to keep up with these kids, but I think this will work well.  I just sewed flannel to the back, without any batting and then did the cute heart embroidery design in the middle with my embroidery machine.  I'm thinking I might go around the center piece with a straight stitch, just to hold it together a little better.  The red heart is ironed on and then stitched around because there was a hole in the fabric there.  I cut the heart with my Accuquilt Go fabric cutter.  I have to find a pattern for embroidering these on to the fabric, because I use them all the time to cover up little holes in the quilts.  Sometimes the stitches come out, or aren't sewn all the way and I end up with a hole.  Rather than going back and hand stitching the hole together, I just tack on a heart.  Cute and practical.  I have to make some more so I'm ready for the next hole.

Oh, and I have to share what I got today at JoAnn's.  They are having interfacing on sale 50% off and their serger thread is $1 a spool.  This weekend is also teacher appreciation weekend so I got 25% off everything.  I got thread and interfacing and saved over $106!  I only spent about $40 so I feel like I'm making money on the deal.  I'm sure they want me to feel this way, but I'm a happy camper.  I have enough interfacing to last until the next 50% off sale.  I already bought a bunch for regular price.  Never again.  This year I'm going to try and buy things only when they are on sale.  Makes me feel better about my purchases. :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Frustrated with lack of accomplishments

With school being back in full swing, I'm feeling frustrated that I have nothing to show for my 'free time'.  Maybe because I'm not finding much free time, or maybe because I'm trying to figure out what to work on next.  I have a lot of projects that need attention: a memory quilt for a friend who lost her mother last year, another memory quilt for my sister in law, a quilt for my daughter, a baby quilt for a friend at work whose wife had a baby last week, and a whole bunch of quilt tops that need attention.

So, when I do go in the sewing room to work on something, I just don't know where to start.  I look around and feel overwhelmed and then go sit on the couch and crochet another baby hat.  Baby hats don't take any thinking.  I just grab the next color of yarn and crochet away.  It takes me about 30 minutes or less to make one and so I feel like I have accomplished at least a little bit before the day is over.  I'm collecting them all and hope to deliver them to the Nurse Family Partnership soon.

I've recently started making burp cloths out of the scrap flannel pieces I have laying around.  Those are even quicker than the baby hats.  This morning in about 15 minutes before having to go to work, I made about a dozen of them.  Just lay two pieces of flannel wrong sides together and serge around the outside.  They are all coming out different sizes and I figure I can drop them off with the baby hats and they will find good homes.

I'm also making flannel blankets the same way.  Two pieces of flannel, wrong sides together and serged.  I have a TON of flannel and little by little am working through the buckets.

I also have another idea for using up the flannel, by sewing it as a backing to some of the quilt tops.  Carla just gave me 150 quilt tops that the middle school kids made last semester.  There's no way I can keep up with the rate those kids are making the quilts, so I'm thinking of just sewing right sides together, the top and a piece of flannel, turning and then top stitching.  I want to put an embroidered something in the middle, to hold it together, and then be done.  The idea in my head seems to make sense, but I won't know for sure until I try it out.  I'm hoping this weekend to get a bunch done.  They shouldn't take very long and will make nice lightweight blankets for the spring and summer babies.

Lately it has been SOOOO cold here.  I know, those of you who have real winters are laughing at us in California, but it gets down into the upper 20's some nights and only into the lower 50's during the day.  Today was so warm, it got into the low 60's and I actually walked without my coat for a little bit, after I had warmed up.

Hubby and I are still walking and have done just over 50 miles so far this year.  That's 1/20th of the way to goal of 1,000 miles.  I've had a migraine almost every day this week and today's was the worst.  I also missed two days of walking this week and wonder if the two are connected.  I walked today with a terrible migraine and while the walking didn't make the headache better, my head was pretty numb while I walked.  Hopefully it will help in the long run.

 Three quilts I've finished but blogger wouldn't let me upload.  Now it seems to be working again :)

The weight isn't coming off, but I'm not gaining either.  I'm eating more vegetables and have almost completely cut out sugary snacks.  I can't remember the last time I had a cookie and I've resisted donuts twice when they were 'right there calling my name!'

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blogger troubles

anybody else having troubles with blogger lately?  For the past two days I have not been able to upload any pictures.  I got an error message this morning when trying to sign in.  Frustrating :(

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nothing newsworthy

I haven't posted in a very long time because life is just marching on and I really didn't feel like I had much to say.  I am back to work after a great 2 week vacation and have to work a whole 5 more days before getting a day off.  I do love teaching :)

This morning I started cleaning and sorting and organizing and went through 6 boxes of stuff that was donated to me from a lady whose mother died.  I have at least another 20 boxes of stuff.  Most of the stuff I went through today was cross stitch kids, fabric and misc notions.  Makes me question some of the purchases I've made over the last 20 years and how my interests have changed, yet I still hold onto the stuff of the past.

 One way I clean is to take the scraps of fabric and batting and make a new bed for my big dog Mandy.  She loves getting a new bed and will sniff and smell it and then climb up and go to sleep.  I use weird fabric that would not be really useful for anything else as the outer cover.  Then, when the pillow gets dirty and full of hair, I put it in the garage where she sleeps at night.  She has about 6 of these pillows out the and it keeps her up off the cold floor at night.
I finished up the last tennis patch yesterday and cut it out after taking this picture.  My husband has been spending $10 a patch for the last 20 years.  He gets 10-20 patches a year.  It is so nice to be able to make them now.  Just wish we would have though of this sooner.  

I'm also working on some designs of my own and playing with the trial version of SewWhat Pro which is an editing program for the embroidery machine.  I'm having a lot of fun and learning lots of things about the program and my machine.

I'm hoping to get some quilting time in today, but have to run out and pick up my son from the County Honor Band in just a little bit.  He is so busy now that Robotic build season has started.  He has the County honor band this weekend, the Northern California one in Stockton next weekend and then in Feb the All State Honor band.  He is also trying out for the Solano County Jazz band that he got to play in last year.

I'm not sure where he gets his energy from :)

Oh, and the principal called my husband and I in this week to congratulate us and our daughter for making Valedictorian.  She still has to keep A's this semester, but was told to start writing her speech.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Spicy Hot

Hot chili peppers.  Another great boy quilt.  Harder to make for some reason, the boy themes are in high demand everywhere!


Cute dinosaur quilt and my son approves!

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

A great boy quilt, made this morning while my embroidery machine was stitching away.  I love that it works while I'm doing something else.  Too bad they don't make cleaning machines that will pick up and put things away.  Oh, yeah, those are called kids.  I think mine are broken :)

Margaret's Hope Chest

If you've followed this blog for long, you know I've sent many quilts to Margaret's Hope Chest.  They exist to give quilts to kids of people who are in prison.

Well, they are now starting a new program called A Mother's Hope.  There is a local program that helps mothers who have postpartum depression.  They need some quilts for the moms.

Take a look at the post and see if it is something you might want to help with this year.  I have pledged 6 quilts.  I think that is very doable.  Especially since they are girly quilts.  Those are so much easier to make than manly ones.  This will balance out the Quilts of Valor ones I'm making this year.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to waste a day

So glad I found a bit of time today to get this quilt done.  This morning I had to take my daughter's car in because it wouldn't start yesterday.  We just got a new battery about 2 months ago and when she tried to start it, there was nothing.  No clicking, no sputtering, nothing.

So, I jump started the car all by myself (had to ask my son to come out and help me take the cables off cuz I was scared I was going to electrocute myself) and then took her car back to Sam's Club where we got the battery.  After an hour and a half, they had figured out it was a bad battery and put in a new one.  No cost, but time.  I came home for lunch, quilted up this little guy and then went car shopping with my husband.

Nothing more fun than car shopping, except maybe walking on hot coals, or pulling out your hair one by one, but we went to the Nissan, Toyota and Dodge dealerships and found a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 he liked.  After going back and forth many times, we got the price down about $4,000 less than the asking price and got a few oil changes and tire rotations thrown in for free.

This truck is huge!  We don't really need a truck and we definitely don't need a truck this big, but it will be nice to haul things around in.  I just need to find some things to haul now :)

Anybody need help moving?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

That feels better

Got one quilted after dinner.  Now for a little crocheting and TV watching and off to bed.  I'm tired!

Make it stop!

My vacation seems to be racing by so quickly.  I can't believe there are only 4 days left before having to go back to work/school.

Today was the dentist day. :(  While I do love my dentist and his staff, I hate going there.  They always tell me I need to floss.  Yes, I know I need to floss, but I have only had one cavity in my life and that was because the dentist scraped off enamel so he could seal it.  Then the seal fell off and I got a cavity.  That was about 20 years ago.

My two boys and I all got a clean bill of health, no cavities so we are good for another 6 months :)

I was able to put the border on another quilt, but haven't quilted it yet.  There is still time in the day, so maybe I will get a chance while dinner cooks.

I am also still working on more and more and more snowflakes on my embroidery machine.  I am having way too much fun with that :)  And I played around with an embroidery software program called Embird which allows you to make your own embroidery designs.  It is so complicated and I have so much to learn that I don't think I may ever figure it out.  I want to learn how to make my own embroidery designs so I can make patches for my husband's high school tennis team.  I found a lady that will digitize them for me and I'm going to go with that for now.  Maybe this summer I could take the time to learn how to use the program.  It is pretty expensive too, the basic program is $169 and the add ons are $150 and $20.  Just to make a patch.  But since he has been coaching, we have spent way more than that on the patches we buy.  They are $10 each and we get 20-30 a year.

Ok, off to make dinner and maybe find some sewing time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First quilt of the new year

I love the boy colors on this.  It may end up being a Quilt of Valor for the local wounded returning through Travis Air Force Base.  My friend Rebecca pieced the top.  I love her color choices.

Quilt labels

Just playing around with my new embroidery machine (Brother pe770) and making some quilt labels.  I sewed these onto flannel, no stabilizer on top or back.  They are soft and will be sewn to the back of a quilt.