Monday, June 30, 2014

June quilts

For some reason, I can never come out with the right number of quilts when I go to count them at the end of the month.  I know I did 30 quilts and yet there are 31 in the picture.  Oh, well, one snuck in here twice.  On to July!

I did it, 30 quilts in 30 days

 7 quilts done today, even with a terrible migraine.  No excuses for being lazy.  Some days I get more done when I feel terrible because I feel worse when I sit around doing nothing.  Tomorrow I get these and all the rest to my binding buddies and then let's see what I can get done for July.  Hopefully twice as many since I won't be going anywhere and won't have any work.  There are three quilt days planned for the month, which means lots of quilts cut out and hopefully sewn together.

just keep quilting

 Wow, horrible migraine day today.  Not sure if it's the heat outside, the food I ate today, the stress level around here or just what, but I had a headache last night after taking my son to swim lessons and woke up with it again this morning.  I just can't seem to get rid of it today and it is getting worse as the day goes on.  I've taken just about everything I can throw at it and it only makes it worse.  What else can I do, but just keep quilting.  I have one more quilt on the robot and one more on the manual machine, which leaves one more after those are done to reach my goal for the month.  Not sure if I will get them all done as I can barely stand up.  But, maybe after having dinner I will feel better.  Surely I couldn't feel worse!  I even tried taking a nap today and that didn't help.

remember these quilts?

 I had the goal last summer to finish them all up and then I found another box of quilt tops in the garage.  I STILL have a whole bunch of them waiting patiently to get finished.  It's times like these that I'm so happy to still have a whole bunch of them.  I have 25 quilts done for the month and it's the final day.  With my goal of a quilt a day for the year, I have 7 quilts to do today.  Out come these little guys and I've got 2 done so far today.  7 quilts in a day is doable when you have these little guys at the ready.  Throw on a whole bolt of backing fabric that was recently donated and load these guys on one after another and before the day is over, I just may be caught up.  If I can get both machines going, I may be caught up by lunch :)

Trying to play catch up at the end of the month

 I can't believe this is the end of June.  I'm behind in my quilting goal of one quilt a day and will have to do 6 more quilts to catch up.  Not sure that's going to happen, but I will keep working.  Next month I don't have work or travel.  That means more quilting time.
It's a good thing I have places for all of these quilts to go.  I could make 100 quilts a day and still have need for more quilts.  Plus, enough fabrid to keep up with the demand.  The only thing holding me back is me!

little swimmer

 When I drove down to pick up my daughter from college, my youngest son came with me.  Every time we drove over a bridge, he would get really scared that we would fall in and he would drown.  I didn't realize he had such a phobia of the water.
 I'd taken him swimming in the summer before, but he had never had swim lessons.  Some time in the last year, he decided that water was a scary thing.
 So, I signed him up for private swim lessons this summer.  His first swim lesson was last Tuesday.  The instructor was great.  She is really patient and spent the first day just getting him used to the water and encouraging him to put his face in.  He wanted nothing to do with that.  Yesterday at his second lesson, he jumped in and went under!  Wow, talk about a quick learner!
At the end of the lesson yesterday, I had a hard time getting him out of the pool.  I'd say the lessons are a success so far.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

sometimes simple is perfect

I love this simple 8 1/2 inch squares quilt made with blues, greens and browns.  I need to cut more of these colors and send them over to my friend to sew together.  Sometimes simple is best.  I quilted it with the new quilt design I did yesterday called wood grain.  It is a simple design, but sure takes a long time to quilt out and uses up a lot of thread.  It adds a lot of texture to the quilt so in the end is nice, but I like quick quilts.  I have so much fabric to get through and so many kids needing a hug, I need to be able to quilt 5 things a day, not have one quilt take 5 hours.  Let's see what I can come up with today.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm designing again

 I'm working on some new quilting designs and you can find them on my google drive linked at the top of the blog.  This one is supposed to be wood grain, but may remind you  more of an oil spill.
This was supposed to be fire, but my son said it looked like deer antlers or branches and I thought it looked more like a coral reef.

I'm trying to come up with simple textures, but the more I work on them, the more complicated they become.

big quilts for big kids

 It is so much easier to make and quilt little quilts for little kids, especially little girls.  Most of the fabric that gets donated is flowery and pink and just cries out to be made into quilts for girls.
So, whenever I can and whenever I remember, I try to get people to make quilts for bigger boys.  When I got the text asking for quilts for the kids displaced by the fire last week, I had plenty of quilts ready to go for the girls, but nothing ready for the boys.  I'm busy cutting more fabric that my daughter matched up for some boy quilts and will pass that along to my friend to give to her mom.  She can whip out these twin size boy quilts in no time.  I gave her about 10 and she had them done in 2 days.  I only wish I could keep up with her in the cutting, quilting and binding department.  Good thing we are having 3 quilt days in the next 3 weeks.  July 7, 20 and 21 if you have those days off and want to join us.  Two will be at Carla's hour, the Mondays and one will be at A Quilted Heart.  All promise to be productive work days full of cutting and sewing.

Friday, June 27, 2014

quilts finding homes

While I was in Colorado, I got a text message asking for quilts for a couple of families whose homes were damaged in a fire near where I live.  The link above will take you to the article and news coverage about the fire.

When I got home, I called my friend who does the bindings and asked her if she had any quilts ready.  She quickly got 7 quilts bound.  Of course, we have more girl quilts than boy quilts, so I quilted up some more boy quilts and dropped off a big bag of quilts today so the kids could pick out a favorite from the bag.  There were 6 kids and I dropped off 15 quilts.  The organization that asked for the quilts works with the local homeless population as well as low income families so the rest of the quilts will find good homes very soon.

I think I've found my quilting mojo.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sewing Video - Bind the edge of a Quilt with the Quilt Binding set

Wow, this makes me want to buy a Janome sewing machine just so I can have this quilt binding set.  How cool is this?  No more excuses for unbound quilts ladies! (and guys)  No more pulling and tugging on quilts and it is done twice as fast because it does both sides of the binding at the same time.  I'm going to look into how expensive it is.  I'm seriously considering getting this.

Here at Ken's Sewing Center, it's $149.00.  Wow, that's a lot for a sewing machine foot, but if it saves as much time and for as many quilts as we make, it might be worth it.  It will go on my Christmas list :)  Plus a new sewing machine because I think it only fits the Janome.  I have a Janome machine for my quilting frame, but you can't use it for both because you'd have to take it off the frame and that would be a pain.  Plus, you can never have too many machines you know!

my mom's hip surgery

 My mom is 80 years old and her right hip has been hurting her for a long time.  The joint has deteriorated to the point that replacement was necessary.  The way they do it now is to cut off the top of the leg bone and replace it with a metal ball and then add the socket to the hip bone.  That is screwed into place and the pain is gone.  We got to the hospital early and were ready to go.  The paperwork was all filled out and we were waiting for the nurse to take my mom back into her room.  This was a beautiful hospital in Denver.
 The nurse said everyone pulls out a camera once the hat goes on.
 My parents have been married 50 years.  This picture shows the love they have for each other.  My dad just had a pacemaker put in 3 weeks ago and now it's his turn to take care of my mom.
 This was her doctor.  Everyone who heard that she had Dr. Chang had nothing but great things to say about him.  They said he was the best at hip replacement and had the quickest recovery times.  They made us think she would be skipping out of there.
 Her nurse, Greg, was very friendly and took great care of my mom.  He made sure she had everything she needed and got us out of there on time on Friday.  Sometimes all of the paperwork can take forever on the day of discharge.  My mom was ready to go about 8am as soon as the doctor said she could go.  My dad and I didn't show up until noon because we had some garage sales to check out first.  We knew she wouldn't be ready to go so early, but she was ready to get home and into her own surroundings.  We were able to leave around 1pm.  While she could have walked out on her own, they figured the distance to the car would be too much for her.
 Her physical therapist, Cole, was nice too.  She liked how well my mom did using her walker.  She was very encouraging.  My younger daughter talked about being a physical therapist a couple years ago, but has since changed her mind and thinks she wants to be a mathematical statistician or business economics annalist.
Home and happy!  Well on the road to recovery.  They say she may have to use the walker for 6 weeks, but I saw a big improvement after only 4 days.  She may be skipping soon after all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hey look, it's a quilt

Well, look here, it's an actual quilt picture on a quilt blog.  Stranger things have happened!  This was quilted before I left for my week's vacation in Colorado and I took it off the frame today to add another quilt.  That one is almost finished and ready to photograph, but I think I have room on the backing fabric for one more quilt top.  not sure I will get it finished tonight.  I just can't seem to get back into the swing of things.  Being at my parent's house inspired me to clean my house.  There is a long way to go to get it close to presentable.  I just don't have the room for all the stuff I have accumulated and I have a couple of options.  One: get rid of stuff (which is the most logical, but least appealing).  Two: use up all the stuff I have here, which will take the most time, but is the path of least resistance because it will require the least amount of effort right now.  Every day, I will have to eat the food in the kitchen, sew with the fabric that is right in front of me and wear the clothes that are unfolded on the couch.  Three: put everything in the backyard and start a bonfire.  At the moment, that option is most appealing.  Of course, it would attract the most attention from local authorities and neighbors and would probably land me in jail.  But in jail they do provide three square meals a day and you don't have to do your own laundry and I hear you get free cable.  Hmmm.  Tempting.  I guess I had better get back to cleaning the kitchen and quilting.  I've proven the law of entropy enough around here.

my sister, my mom and technology

 here's my much older sister.  She is 16 months older than me and was 2 years ahead of me in school. The cut off date for school was December 2 and my birthday is Dec 21 so I was one of the oldest kids in my class.  She was always better than me at everything and I decided that rather than compete, I'd just let her win at everything.  It was much easier to take the easy route and get the B's.  Of course, she's probably smarter than me, but having that excuse made things easier for me.

I gave my mom my camera and showed her which button to push.  I put my arm around my sister and told her to try to be pretty.  That got us giggling.  But, then my mom tried looking through the little hole in the camera and said she couldn't see our heads.  She was pointing the camera at the floor.  We told her to point the camera up, at us and she kept pointing it down farther and farther and saying she couldn't see us.  We just kept laughing harder and harder.

That made my mom laugh more and more and of course the picture came out blurry.
 So, then she hands the camera to my sister's oldest son.  He's 18 and surely he knows how to use a digital camera right?  Well, he knows how to use a camera phone, but not an old fashioned digital camera.  He says we are too far away.
 Nope, too blurry.
I told him there is a zoom on the camera, so he gets up and points the camera in our faces.  That was just too much.  We never did get a good picture of the two of us.  But, this is how I will remember my big sister.  And my goofy family.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stories to tell

 I am finally back to civilization and have internet access whenever I want it.  That means I am not getting anything done again!  But, I have stories to tell from my week's adventure and time to document the trip.  Let's start from the beginning and tell them through the end shall we?  Here's my sister's kids, the oldest just graduated high school and will be heading off to college in the fall.  He wants to do something with outdoor studies and got his Eagle Scout award.  He (and his siblings) are looking forward to his flight from the nest and they had a college orientation the same time my mom had her surgery.
 This one is my sister's youngest and he just hit the age where he can eat an entire horse and still be hungry.  I'm sure my sister will appreciate having one less mouth to feed when the grocery bill comes each week. :)
 Keeping with the theme of taking a sip when you get your picture taken the middle child is the perfect child :) (I'm the middle child too!) and she is taking all honors classes and wants to be a teacher or art therapist when she is done with school.  She must admire me or something.  I tried talking her out of it, but kids these days have a mind of their own.  She is smart in thinking you get summers off.  She will be taking over my job of making sure my mom does her physical therapy exercises now that I'm home.  My mom has lots of excuses why she can't get them done and having someone to check in on her every day makes sure those excuses are just that.  The more she does them, the faster she will get better and be back to driving my dad around.
 Speaking of my dad, we had a great time together getting each other in trouble.  When my mom was in the hospital after her surgery, we went out to dinner together and he decided he was just going to have pie.  My mom would never let him have just a piece of pie for dinner so I decided I would just have some pie too.  We both decided not to tell mom that we were being bad.  We came home later and had a real dinner around 8pm.  But, 'don't tell mom' became the theme of the week.  He kept trying to get away with all sorts of things that she would never let him do.  They are a funny couple.  She's always getting after him and keeping him on his toes and I think he likes the attention, pretending to forget things just so she will remind him.  "oh, come on now" was said often by her.
 Here's my mom and much older sister. :) (She's 16 months older than me)  This was my mom's final dinner before her surgery and we went to a restaurant called Cheddar's.  We don't have that out in California and they had good food and a nice ambiance.  We stuck my dad out on the end at the head of the table.  They kept bringing refills on the drinks and the kids practically swam out of there.  The portions were huge and almost everyone brought home leftovers.
Not to be left out, I'm getting good at selfies.  It was good to be back with family and to be spoiled.  My family goes out to eat about once a year.  We went out for every meal except breakfast.  And breakfast had fresh fruit.  I started thinking it was a good thing I didn't take any of my kids with me.  They would have seen what the good life looked like and not wanted to come home.  They would have seen beautiful weather, good food, nice company, and maybe decided they were family people after all.

Monday, June 23, 2014

a trip home is never long enough

  A trip home to visit with the parents is never long enough.  I went out last Monday to help my dad take care of my mom while she had hip surgery.  I had to watch over my dad too because he likes to eat things he isn't supposed to and get himself in trouble.  At 82, the memory isn't what it used to be and he will forget to take his medicine and gave me a scare tripping over his own feet in the parking lot at the grocery store.  I think he just wanted as much attention as my mom got with her new hip.  He saw how much fun she was having (or not!) and thought maybe if he broke something I might stay another week.
My mom had some good and some not so good days.  She has a physical therapist coming to the house three days a week and a nurse coming once a week to take her blood and check the medicine levels to make sure the blood is thin but not too thing so she doesn't get blood clots.  The physical therapist gave her a dozen exercises she's supposed to do and I got my niece to agree to come over every day to make sure my mom does them.  My mom likes to say they are too hard and that she will only do half of the required amount.  Having someone there to encourage her will really help her get better faster.

I'm at the airport now, waiting for the tornado warning to pass and my flight got delayed an extra hour and fifteen minutes.  I'll be getting home after midnight.  Only a true Californian would think having to hide in a tornado shelter at the airport was a fun thing to do.  But, I'm up for almost any adventure.  I did pay the extra $14 a day on the rental car, hoping for hail damage, which didn't happen, until I turned the car in tonight!

I'll be sharing more stories over the next week or so.  I just saw a guy go past with an ice cream cone.  I think that's my next destination!  I have three more hours til my plane takes off and this is a big airport!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trying to be productive with my time

 Before I leave on my trip, I'm trying to be productive and clean and quilt.  I guess I had better start packing.

twin size quilts

 working on some bigger quilts before I leave for my trip to Colorado tomorrow.  They take longer, but take a bigger bite out of the backing fabric I have around here.  500 more of these size quilts and you may see a dent in the fabric.  Too bad I can't quilt 24/7.  I was talking with my daughter about how I need more storage space around here.  She said I just need to stop taking donation fabric.  Ohhhh, I don't know if I could do that.
Yesterday my daughter and I went thrift store shopping and I picked up about a dozen sweaters to make dog beds for the shelter.  I have so many bags of tiny scraps for stuffing and now have no excuse to use those up.  If I can make one a day, I will donate them towards the end of the month.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bringing her home

 This has been a crazy week.  Monday through Wednesday were teacher work days with lesson planning and lots of discussion about why we do what we do.  It is much easier to tell kids what to do than it is to convince other teachers that what you are doing is the right way.  I was exhausted by Wednesday and I know everyone else was too because a couple of the teachers had a huge blowout fight/argument.  I felt like I was on an episode of Big Brother.

Then, after school Wednesday, my little guy and I took off to pick up my daughter from college at UCLA.  A long day of work followed by a 7 hour drive.  We got some traffic in LA at 9pm.  Crazy how you can find traffic any time down there.
It was a short trip because we picked her up, got all of her stuff packed up on Thursday and got out of there at 3pm.  We had a good lunch with her friends too.  It was nice getting to put faces to the stories she's been telling all year.  Another 7 hour road trip and she's home for the summer.  She's telling of plans to make trips to visit them all over the summer.  This is the daughter who was worried about making friends and not passing any classes.  She makes me laugh :)

Then, yesterday my husband had a colonoscopy and endoscopy.  Of course, the doctor didn't find anything in either end.  After much arguing and convincing, he has switched some medication and is finally doing better.  If only he had listened to me a month ago, we could have saved so much trouble and worry.  Sometimes it's hard to be right all the time!  Especially when you can't dance around and enjoy being right! :)

Now to get him exercising again, which means I will probably have to start walking again.

Monday I fly to Colorado to spend a week with my parents.  My mom is having hip replacement surgery and I get to spend time with my dad and then time helping my mom when she gets out of the hospital.  I'm glad my daughter is home to make sure things run smoothly here.  She will pick up and drop off the little one during his last week of school and make sure everyone is fed.  We were talking about how she is so much like me and it's nice to know things will be taken care of and that I don't have to worry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

walls and leaks

 They did seal up the wall before leaving on Monday.  This is what it looked liked yesterday morning when I got to work.  I thought they were just closing up the window area, which is great for more storage area in the classroom, but at the end of the day, they were back at it putting the window area back in.  It will be interesting to see how much progress got done when I get there this morning.  I love watching other people work!  At least the temperatures were much cooler yesterday.
And my 'new' fridge has been having water on the shelf for about a week.  I thought it was from a water bottle that was on its side.  So, I moved that and the water was still there.  So, maybe it was coming from somewhere else, but where?  It was on a lower shelf, so maybe condensation from the milk or juice?  So weird.  I finally figured out that the water filter was leaking.  Can you believe this thing cost nearly $50?  Wow!  And you are supposed to change it every 6 months?  Um, when did I get the new fridge?  My son says last summer, I'm thinking 2 years ago.  I will have to check the blog to be sure but I haven't changed it since I got the fridge.  The guy at Lowe's says it probably is clogged and that's why it is leaking.  Talk about hard to get out!  The directions say to just twist it gently a quarter turn.  Sure, maybe if you have muscles and can wrench your arm at a really weird angle you can twist gently!  I had to use all my muscle and stand on my tip toes.  I'm 5'11" so I feel badly for short people!  It still leaked after putting it in the first time so I took it out and cleaned out around the inside and there were only a couple drops there this morning.  I don't want to have to call someone to come out.  The last fridge repair took about 4 calls to fix the ice machine when I first got the fridge.

Today's the last day of work for the year.  We've been having work days and so far it hasn't been as bad as I thought.  We've accomplished a lot and talked a lot about how we teach.  I've felt justified in the way I do things.  I've always been questioned by the other teachers and when we started looking at the way I give grades, everyone agreed that my way was the right way.  You have no idea how awesome that is.  I wanted to jump up and do a happy dance, but I tried to remain calm.  After 14 years of being told I was wrong, it was nice to finally have everyone say, my way is the right way. :)