Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bonus Quilt

 Yesterday when I finished this quilt top, I realized I had cut WAY too many 3 1/2  x 6 1/2 inch pieces.  So, I started sewing them together in pairs and making the twisted block below.  I had enough for this big 4x6 block quilt.  Yeah, I think I went a bit overboard on cutting the pieces.  I still have a few left and they will find their way into another quilt coming up soon.  The top quilt is from my Quilt Book Challenge, and the bottom quilt is from a pattern I got a long time ago and never used.  Do books and patterns have a shelf life, or are they timeless, like fabric?

I've had a killer migraine all weekend and today was the worst.  I took medicine, drank water, went for a walk, took a nap and quilted and the migraine is still there, laughing at me.  I don't think this new medicine is working any more than the old one.  The doctor said to give it 6-12 weeks and this is the end of week 4.  I just wish you knew in one day if something was going to work or not.  Plus, this new medicine (propranolol) gives the added side effect of swollen ankles.  Doctor can't figure out what that's about either.  I went to see him a month ago and he said to try and drink more water when I had a migraine.  So, I started drinking a liter a day.  Not even the recommended 8, 8 oz glasses.  When I told him how much I was drinking, he almost jumped out of his chair and said I was drinking too much.  What?  I think I should quit my full time job and study everything that affects migraines.  maybe I could find a cure.  Sure doesn't seem like anybody else is out there looking :(

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Prom 2013

 Where did the time go?  I must have blinked because she was born just yesterday and now is all grown up.  Soon she will be off to college.

Yeah, I didn't know I was going to end up in the picture so I really don't match these kids.  They are all so beautiful!

In the mail

Finished up this quilt and got it in the mail today.  This is for my first student teacher who had a baby a couple weeks ago.  She wanted to be surprised and found out he was a boy the day he was born.  Very few people wait anymore to know the gender of their baby.  She said there were so few surprises left these days, she was looking forward to being surprised.  I've had that baseball fabric since my oldest was little, probably 20 years or so!  I think it aged just long enough.

Another challenge quilt top done

Here's the second quilt from my quilt book challenge.  Took about 2 hours of sewing this morning.  It was nice to have that much time to sit and sew.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quilt book challenge quilt

 Here's the book I'm starting with on my quilt book challenge, and here is the first quilt top finished in about 1 1/2 hours start to finish.  It's the first quilt in the book and I plan to work my way through the book, finishing a quilt each week.  Then, I will move on to the next book on the shelf.  Hopefully I can make lots of quilts, use up lots of fabric and learn new things.  Once finished, this quilt will be going to a former student teacher of mine who recently had a baby boy.  I picked out a soft flannel backing and hope to get it quilted tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lead me not into temptation

This morning I had to go on Amazon to get some books for my daughter's birthday.  She is so funny and is still asking for more and more books for her birthdays.  She is in grad school for creative writing and has known that she wanted to be a writer since she wrote her first book at age 4.

Well, when you check out of Amazon, it takes you to a Suggestions for You page and guess what books they suggeted I buy?  More quilt books!  Good thing I had to go to work or I might have been tempted to get another quilt book.

Then, at the grocery store, I went down the magazine isle.  Our WinCo has the biggest selection of magazines of any grocery store I've seen.  Even more than WalMart.  I looked at a couple of quilt magazines and one had quite a few quilts I thought I would make.  But then I thought about my challenge and how I haven't even started the first quilt yet.  Surely I could make it through a day without buying a new quilt book. 

Someone needs to stop me.  There is just too much temptation out there!

Off to cut up some fabric.  I have a baby quilt to make.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quilt Book Challenge

Take a quick look on your shelf where you keep your quilting books and guess how many you have.  I would say I have about 50.  Not a lot compared to some, and quite a few compared to others.  But, take a closer look and from those quilt books you just HAD to have when you saw them in the quilt shop, or online, how many quilts have you actually made using those patterns?

I tend to make the same quilts over and over again.  While this isn't such a terrible crime, I decided it was time to challenge myself to branch out and actually use the quilt books I purchased.  I'm always so tempted to buy the next quilt magazine, when I'm not actually making any of the quilts in them.  Two years ago, I bought a HUGE stack of magazines from the local quilt show.  I would go through each bundle and pick out the magazines with quilts I liked.  And that was it.  The magazines went back into a bag and are now stored under my bed.

So, I picked out a quilt book that I've been staring at each time I quilt.  It is on the top of the stack of quilt books on my shelf and I bought it for the title, plus the quilts inside are cute and quick to make (or so the book claims).  I sat down the other night and made a post it note for each quilt.  There are 10 different ones in this book, and I listed how many fabrics were needed and how big to cut the strips.

Now to take things one step further and actually start cutting and sewing.  I'm going to put the book on my cutting table and challenge myself to make a different quilt every week.  In 2 1/2 months, I will have made each quilt in the book (there are 10 patterns) and then will move on to the next quilt book.  Hopefully I can keep this up as I work through my stacks of quilt books and actually use them to learn new skills and make new quilts.

Will you join me in this challenge?  Even if it isn't to make every quilt you have a pattern for (sometimes I do buy a book for just that one quilt pattern) I hope you will take a second look at all of the ideas and inspiration found in the pages of the books you own.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Doctor Visit today

I made the appointment on Saturday (I do love Kaiser for their online services) because my ankles have been swelling up since I started my new migraine medicine.  I went in today, fully expecting my ankles to NOT be swollen because every time I go to the doctor, my symptoms go away.  Well, luckly, or not, they were still swollen.  My doctor has no idea why.  He is running some blood work and wants me to get an EKG just to check and make sure my heart is ok. The new migraine medicine is a beta blocker and is supposed to lower blood pressure and make your heart beat regularly.  Mine skips a beat more often than before I was on the meds.   I was able to get the blood work done, but have to go back tomorrow for the EKG.  I'm hoping that nothing is really wrong because the migraine meds seem to be helping quite a bit.  Last week I only had a migraine 3 times instead of 6 :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

busy, busy

 This quilt top was pieced by a member of the local quilt guild and donated to Binky Patrol.  The lady who donated it said she just couldn't see herself finishing it up so do with it whatever we wanted.  I just love the color choices and how perfectly her corners match.  One day I will get this precise too!
 This one is a mish mash of leftover pieces, cut 3 1/2 inches x 6 1/2 inches or 3 1/2 inches square.
And this one was made by my friend Rebecca who sewed together many 1/2 square triangles we cut with the Accuquilt Studio at one of our quilt days at Carla's house.  The top left block had a hole in the middle, so I just sewed a heart over it and I think it adds to the quilt.  I know these quilts will be loved soon.  They will go to my binding buddy, Rhoda tomorrow and she can get them all bound in an afternoon.  That lady is quick!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

UCLA wins

My daughter sent in her letter of intent last night and will be a UCLA Bruin in the fall.  I'm so excited for her.  She got a UCLA Alumni scholarship and will be part of a great mentoring program.

We also filled out the housing request last night and she is excited for the next chapter of her life to begin.  Of all of the UC schools we visited, this was by far the most beautiful.  I grew up in So. Cal (Long Beach) and visited UCLA when I was in high school.  I do not remember it being so pretty, but that was a long time ago.

She has been interviewing like crazy for scholarships and so far has $5K.  There will be some major loans taken out I'm sure and I hope the investment pays off.  I remember back when I was in school and it was only $1500 a year tuition.  Surely I can't be that old!

I LOVE this pattern

Quilted this up this morning, inbetween laundry and shampooing the carpets.  Oh, joy!

I just love this quilt pattern and promise one day to make this for myself.  I believe this one will go to West, Texas after binding.  I am sending a dozen quilts this afternoon.  I know they are needed.

Ordered more batting

I've got about half a roll left of batting so that means time to get some more.  I always order this Kodel batting from and am very happy with it.  50 yards for $58 including shipping with the 50% off coupon on the website.  I can't get batting cheaper locally.  It is 48 inches wide which is perfect for most of my quilts.  Bigger quilts just get a strip added to the side.  I don't sew the batting together and because it is poly, it sticks together and doesn't clump up or stretch to make holes.  The quilts wash up nicely too and are just the right amount of fluffy.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sending quilts

I heard on the radio yesterday that a church in West, Texas was handing out supplies and feeding the families.  I sent them a message and they said they had a request for blankets so would be happy to pass out any quilts I sent.

First Assembly of God
 PO Box 443
West, Texas 76691

Here's the address in case you want to send a quilt or to as well.  I will be sending a box out later today.

I also read that Judy is hand delivering them in June if you are still working on something.  Check out her blog
to get an address to ship to.

It's nice to know so many people want to help out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

That was quick

I'm getting quilts ready to send to West, Texas and knew this one had to get done quickly.  I'm waiting on an address and then will have a box of quilts in the mail.  If you hear of any place or have a friend who could deliver, could you please let me know?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SOS quilt

 I'm calling this one Save Our Scraps!  I cut a whole bunch of blue scraps into 3 1/2 inch strips and sewed them together with a black square in between.  This one came out to be an extra long twin size.  I will quilt it up soon (I hope!).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston

One of my students' dad was running the marathon today.  Her whole family was there and they left here here because she didn't feel like she could miss too much school.  She came in to class crying and asked if she could try to call her mom.  By the end of the period, she had finally heard back that her family was ok.  Her dad finished the race in just under 3 hours, about an hour before the bombs went off.

My prayers are with all of the injured and those who have lost a family member.  I'm hugging my kids a little bit more today!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Promise to my kids

I just picked up a car load of fabric this morning from a lady whose mother passed away 5 years ago.  She had at least this much that still needed to be sorted and she said she would call me in a couple weeks.

When we left, my daughter asked me to please make sure I gave away all of my fabric before I died.  I'm planning on living until it is all used up, which might just take me until I'm 300.  It's a good thing I have a lot of quilting friends who are helping me use up the stash as fast as it comes in.  Well, maybe not quite as fast, but I do love having all of these choices for quilts.  Gotta dig through these bags and pull out the fabrics for a new quilt :)  And finish up all of my UFO's, so that my daughter doesn't have to deal with that either.

a brown flower?

 I just love iris because they really do come in all colors, including brown!  Who would have throught a brown flower could be so pretty?

How do you feel about minkie?

  • I have a love - hate relationship with it.  I love the feel of it and how soft it is.  I hate how it stretches and makes so much lint and fuzz.  Someone gave me a huge piece of the purple minkie and I'm using it up.  It takes up so much space on the shelf and I've been moving it around for over a year.  No time like the present to get it out of here and used and loved.  I just hope my binding buddy doesn't mind sewing the binding to these two quilts.  Minkie is really slippery too.  Maybe you have a trick or two for sewing with it?  I know they sell a lot and almost every baby I see around town has a minkie blanket.  Someone must have a tip on using it for backing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Putzing today

Today I wasn't feeling very good and my ankles have been swelling up since Wednesday.  The doctor said to elevate my feet, so I've just been putzing around the house.  I must have done 10 loads of laundry.  Seriously.  How can a family of 5 go through 10 loads of laundry in a week.  Plus, I know I've done a couple more loads during the week.  Crazy.

 I decided I wanted to make a 'jelly roll' quilt, but was wanting to use up some of my stash of scraps.  I have 5 small buckets of pieces that are 1/4 yard or smaller and decided that today I would pull out the blue one and start cutting.  I'm cutting them into 3 1/2 inch strips and 2 1/2 inch strips and depending on how much I get of each, will try to make a quilt from each stack.

 This is the 3 1/2 inch strip stack.  Looks almost big enough for a quilt.  I'm going to start sewing these together end to end and see what I come up with.  I want to cut some black squares for in between some of the strips.  I love the look of the jelly roll quilts that have the black squares in them.
Here's my shelf with the other colors.  As you can see, some of the buckets are a bit overflowing.  Most of these fabrics came from my blogging friend Debbie of  She brought me all of these goodies and I've been working through them.  Seems like every time I get close to emptying one, I come back the next day and the bucket is full again.

Speaking of full, I got a phone call this afternoon from a lady whose mother passed away 5 years ago.  She said her mother had a whole closet full of quilting fabrics.  She hasn't been able to let go until now and wanted the fabric put to good use.  I will be picking it up tomorrow.  Sounds like I'm going to have a great day tomorrow and that I also need to get busy quilting!

No more time for migraines or swollen ankles!  I'm hoping that one of these days I will find a medication that takes away the migraines and doesn't have all of the side effects.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

testing, testing

It's spring, which means student testing time.  We had a 2 hour meeting this morning on how to give kids a test.  Really?  We are teachers, I think we got the test thing covered :)  But, really, some of the questions some of the teachers asked left me to believe they had never given a state test before.  I can't wait until we actually get to walk around and stare at kids while they fill in bubbles!  Oh, joy.

I can think of a great way to cut the bugdet.  How about giving the state tests every other year, or maybe only every other school.  You never know if your kids will be tested, but we cut that budget in half.  Think of all the paper they would save from printing all of those test booklets.  And think, we could actually teach kids!  Oh, the horrors.

I'm still working on these cute, quick 9 patch quilts the middle school kids made up.  I have about 100 more to go, so I hope you don't get tired of seeing them.  I better order more batting soon.  Just waiting for another 50% JoAnn's coupon to come.  Right now the batting I like is on sale for 25% off, but I will wait until I can get it cheaper.  Sending a kid to college next year is going to cut into my charity quilting budget.  I might have to get creative.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quilting time

 Finding a bit more time these days to do some quilting.  Didn't walk yesterday or today so I've added about 2 hours to my life ;)  Making some time to bust through more quilt tops.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A nice surprise today

During class today, someone from the office delivered three cases of wet ones wipes.  I had no idea where they came from and why I was getting them.  One of the boxes had an invoice on it and I had been chosen by a teacher website called TeacherList to receive this nice treat.  I plan to share with my son's class.  They go through antibacterial wipes quickly.  I will also give some to my husband.  Can you tell I was surprised?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Interesting walk today

Hubby and I walk almost every day.  Today we wanted to try a new path and had our daughter drop us off a couple miles from home.  We walked along the bike path for a bit and then past a park.  We had seen on that there was a path from the back of the park.  You had to go through a gate and there was a sign on the gate (that was open) that read, State Land, no personal vehicles.

I wasn't too sure about going that way, but my husband said that since the sign didn't say anything about no tresspassing, we should be good.

We walked and walked and came upon a house.  There was a lady in the yard and a dog ran out to chase us down.  She yells at us that the dog is friendly and calls Pueblo back to her.  He comes after us again and we ran a bit to get away from him.  We kept walking.

We were getting closer to the state prison and could see inside the fences.  There were no prisoners out in the yard and I couldn't see anyone up in the guard towers either.

We came to a building that had a lot of student desks outside and it looked like one of those places you go to get murdered in the movies.

We kept walking and came upon another road that had a speed limit 15 sign on it and a couple signs that said private dump, no dumping.

We kept walking and walking and then saw a police car up at the top of the hill.  He was driving away from us and then turned around and stopped.  We decided we had better go up to him to see if it was ok for us to be on that road and then saw right behind his car a sign that said State Practice Range.

As we got to his car, he got out and asked us what we were doing there.  We explained our walk and he asked for ID.  Of course, we don't carry ID when we go for a walk.  I just carry my phone and hubby carries his IPOD.

The State Police guy said we were WAY out of bounds and he had called another guy to come take us back to our car.  We explained that our daughter had dropped us off and we didn't have ID.  After questioning us for about 10 minutes, the second police guy took us back down the road, asking questions all the way.  He said the house we had gone past was the warden's house and that the lady should have known we shouldn't be there.

When he brought us back to the park, they took our information and warned us not to go there again. 

Now I can say I've ridden in the back of a State Patrol Car and cross that one off my bucket list :)

Will be looking over my shoulder for a little bit just in case they are following me.  I'm sure they have nothing better to do.

Iris time

 My favorite time in the garden is when the iris start blooming.  There is just something about the shape of the flowers and how light and delicate they are, plus you can't beat the color varieties.  From white to purple to my favorite chocolate brown.  I know, a brown flower doesn't sound very pretty, but man, these guys really make me happy.  I didn't buy any new ones last year but all of my iris from a couple years ago are getting bigger and have more flower spikes.  Every place I can think to put them has one or twenty.  They will be showing off for the next month or so.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quilt Day

About 20 ladies showed up on Thursday for Quilt Day.  We worked on string quilts and stitch in the ditch for some of the super quick 9 patch quilts the middle school kids made.  Lots of work was done and lots of laughter too.

Saturday's quilting

 Today was pretty much a bust because I had a migraine all day.  We went for a 4 mile walk which helped a little bit and sat around most of the day watching our son in his robotics competition.  I guess I'm glad I had the migraine because I would have gone out to do things and missed his team winning the whole competition!  Another blue banner will be brought home to display proudly.  They've never done this well in all of their 13 years as a team.

I did manage to get a couple of quilts quilted up and will have a stack ready for Judy, my friend who binds very soon.  Hope you had a better day than me.

UC Berkeley

 Took a trip on Wednesday to UC Berkeley.  This is one more school my daughter is looking at.  So hard to make a decision!