Monday, March 31, 2014

final March quilt

You would think someone would pick that sock up off the floor.  But who has time for laundry when there are quilts to make :)?
This is the final quilt quilted for March.  It's a Quilt of Valor that the quilt guild asked me to quilt.  I have one more for them and that will be on the machine next.  The quilt design is called A Hero's Heart and was a free design.

March quilts

39 quilts this month.  Remember, I'm only doing the quilting on them.  I made the purple one start to finish and i think that's it this month.  I helped with the checkerboard flannel on the bottom row too, but the rest were just quilted by me.  And even those were quilted by the robotic machine.  So, while it seems like a lot, it is really a lot of people working together to make all of this happen.  I'm very grateful to be a small part of such a big project.  Each quilt represents a big hug.

Machine troubles

My friend Judy brought her friend over yesterday.  Her friend just got a new quilting machine that is similar to mine and she wanted to see how it worked.  The best way to learn is not to read about it or even watch videos, but to actually get to play yourself. I had this quilt loaded and they watched as it stitched away.  I have my hand it heart quilt design on it and things were going along fine.  I showed them many of the tricks Carla showed me, how to start in the middle of the design, how to change the bobbin, how to set the design and advance the quilt.  It was nice playing teacher on something I love.

Once this quilt was finished, I loaded a new quilt and started it up.  After a couple rows, the machine stopped.  I changed bobbins and the needle went down and got stuck.  Turned it off and on and nothing.  That's my usual fix for most things.  When in doubt, turn it off and on.  Since it's a computer, that usually fixes most things.  Just give it a restart and most things reset.  I couldn't get the needle to come up, so I took the needle out.  It took some wiggling and I had to remove the bobbin in order to get the needle to finally come out.  Still, the shaft that moves the needle wouldn't move.  The wheel that moves the shaft up and down wouldn't budge.  The motor would spin, but the gear wouldn't engage.  I took the plastic housing off that covered the gear and belt and watched as the poor motor tried to get the bobbin area to spin and nothing.  Off, on, off, on.

I worked on my machine for about an hour to try and figure out what was going on before deciding it probably was just tired.  I've been working really hard trying to get my numbers up this weekend.

Then, my new friend called and said her machine was doing the same thing.  How weird is that?  Her brand new machine was stuck with the needle down.

So, I decided I would take a look again and see if I couldn't find the trouble.  I looked again at the bobbin area and could see the bobbin area was stuck.  There is a little metal piece that holds part of the bobbin area and keeps it from spinning and allows part to spin.  Well, the screw was loose and the metal part had slipped and was preventing the whole bobbin area from spinning.  After taking the whole bobbin area apart and putting it back together, the machine works again.

I tell you, if you get frustrated easily, quilting is not for you.  It's just a giant puzzle that needs solving and is really good for the brain.  You never know what is going to present itself on a daily basis from thread tension to strange noises to machine issues to math calculations, quilting is good for keeping you on your toes.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I love Accuquilt!

 I came home Friday to a box from Accuquilt.  I had won a contest and was waiting to spend my prize money for when they had a sale.  I have been wanting to get one of these rag dies for the longest time.  I get a lot of flannel scraps donated and while I love the feel of flannel, sometimes working with it is a pain.
 I also ordered the triangle die to go with the hexagon die I got a few years ago.  I have a zillion hexagons cut out and have never sewn one together.  I don't like Y seams and the thought of having to sew a whole bunch of Y seams to make a quilt gave me the shivers!  So, I called up Accuquilt and asked them which die went with the hexagon die I already owned and they said this one.  It's a 2 1/2 inch finished isosceles triangle and it cuts 6 at a time.  What could be better than that?
 So yesterday while a quilt was quilting, I picked out a few pieces of flannel and loaded them up on the die.  The rag die not only cuts the flannel, but also cuts out the fringe at the same time.  Double yahoo!
I'm trying to decide if I want to try and put the first quilt together with batting, flannel scraps or nothing inbetween just to see how it comes out.  I have to find some more pieces first, but this made quick work of flannel that has been sitting around for a while.  I can see lots of flannel rag quilts in my future!

I love Accuquilt!  Great company, great product and it has really changed my quilting life.

The end of March

 March is quickly coming to an end and I'm quickly trying to get my quilt numbers up.  My goal this year is one quilt quilted a day.  So far, I've surpassed that goal, but I never know what each day will bring, so when the weekends come along, I quilt like crazy.  Ignore the socks on the floor.  Obviously, I don't do laundry like crazy :)
Even though purple isn't my favorite color, I do love this quilt.  The border really makes the rest of the colors pop and I love the dark, diagonal stripe in the middle.  This weekend I started really attacking some scraps and making up more quilt kits.  I'm frustrated with my lack of organization and know if I could just have a system that works better, I could get more done.  I'm constantly jumping from project to project.  I have several people who would sew more quilt tops if I could have the kits ready for them.  I have lots of fabric donated, but just don't get around to cutting efficiently.  Everything is everywhere and so yesterday I spent a bit of time trying to move some things to make cutting and sorting more efficient.  This is about the 73rd time I've tried re-arranging things and probably won't be the last.  What I really need is a barn about the size of a football field with 46 full time workers and a chef to cook my meals, but until that happens, I will keep moving things until I find a system that works for me.  If I can cut quilt kits while Rebecca the Robo quilter quilts, and then get the kits out, and make the backings out of the bigger pieces as the fabric is donated, I wouldn't have the big pile up in my front room.  It all seems to make sense in my head, but in reality, my plan never seems to work.  Too bad I have to go to work to make money so we can live :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

and then there are those other kids

So Friday is the end of a very long week.  I felt like staying home, pulling the covers over my head and just sleeping the day away.  But, I knew that wouldn't solve my troubles.  Yesterday was my last day of prednisone and the last week has been bad migraine wise with all the extra stress added in from student/parent issues.

I got to school and unloaded my car.  I had about 10 quilts that need binding.  I have a friend at work who has now been doing a lot of the binding for me since my friend Judy hurt her shoulder.  I grabbed the armful of quilts, mustered my strength and figured I had no choice but to face the day.

At school, some days I have to walk through the mine field of a kickball game to get to my classroom.  This isn't kickball like I remember it.  These are high school kids and it's version 9.0.  They are out for blood and you better be on your game if you want to stay alive.  They kick that ball hard!

So, I'm holding quilts and trying to watch for the ball so I don't die and from way across the field I hear someone yell, "I love you Mrs. Lewis!"

I can't tell you how much that made my day!

Most mornings I'm greeted by several students like that, but not quite that loudly or enthusiastically.  This particular child made sure the whole school heard her.

Of course, it was my friend Carla's daughter.  Then she asked, 'what did you bring me?'

When I offered her one of the many quilts, she said, 'no way!'  I think she has had her fill of quilts, like my kids.

I walked a little quicker that morning (and not just to keep from getting hit in the head by the ball).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Here's to the weekend

 Love the rainbow effect on this tumbler quilt.  This will be headed to Washington.  I used the hand in heart quilt design I created.  It's a free quilting design you can download at the top of my blog.  It quilts up quick and looks cute.
 This one's for Margaret's Hope Chest
This one was made by kids at my high school on our last Binky Patrol quilt day.  A quick 8 1/2 inch square quilt cut from flannels and is super soft.  This one will be headed out to Washington after it gets a binding put on.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

to motivate

On a terrible day, when the kids don't behave and take the pencils you just bought with your own money and break them and throw them across the room and fail the test you spent two weeks preparing them for and you come home with a terrible migraine and all you really want to do is crawl up in a ball and cry, it's so nice to get a picture like this to motivate you to suck it up and do something else.

This little guy got one of the quilts we worked on.  Some kids cut out the strips several months ago.  One of the ladies in the group sewed the quilt top together, I did the quilting and finally a fourth person put the binding on.  The quilt was passed on to the little guy in the picture to help him as he gets treatment for organ transplant rejection.

I don't often get to see who gets the quilts we work together to make, but pictures like this really make me want to get busy and work harder.  Takes my mind off my own troubles and makes me realize that a few broken pencils isn't the end of the world.

I am glad to say that tomorrow is Friday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A better day

 Today was a better day.  Between the Prednisone (steroids) and the Botox, my migraines have been better.  Yesterday was the first day in a week I took medicine.  I haven't gone a week without taking drugs for my headaches in at least 6 months, maybe even a year or longer.  And that was probably the last time I was on the prednisone.  The botox has made my forehead completely numb.  It is such a weird feeling.  I can't give the 'teacher look' anymore.  I can't raise my eyebrow to look sternly because the nerves that lift those muscles just don't work anymore.  And then sometimes, they just move on their own and I feel like a freak with my eyebrows lifted up for no reason.

So, I'm kind of scary, but not for the right reasons :)
Good thing I don't have to be a scary teacher to get kids to do what they are supposed to do.  Wow, this picture is really freaking me out.  What is wrong with my eye?  I'm trying to raise my eyebrows and that's all I can do!  Just make one eye bigger.  No wonder the kids just laugh at me!  Yesterday a kid asked me if I was on drugs because my eyes were dilated.  I thought they were crazy, but now, looking at this picture, I can see what they are talking about.
Today I had a headache again, but didn't have to take anything and it has settled down.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend of quilting and cleaning.  We are supposed to get a bit of rain and the flowers are blooming.  A few more days of steroids and I will be back to normal and hopefully the stress will settle down.  Parents will get over the shock of grades (they only seem to care a couple times a year and then they all care at the same time) even though they have access to grades 24/7 with the internet and me sending them a progress report every week.  I guess we are all a little too busy these days.

I'm hoping my rag die comes soon because I'm excited to try it out.  It will cut out flannel squares and cut the edges so you don't have to make all the fringes on them.  All that's left to do is sew the blocks together and you have a finished quilt.  Super quick, no quilting involved and the kids at the middle school can sew these for us.  We have lots of flannel scraps and lots of kids who like to use the Accuquilt Studio cutter, so hopefully this will be a big time saver and we can crank through some of the fabric stash.  It should come in this week :)

a different perspective on teaching

This is what one of the teachers at my school posted proudly on Facebook yesterday.  It was his lesson plan.  He thought it was funny.  He was recently awarded this silly thing we do at out school where each month a crystal apple is passed from one teacher to another as a way of saying, 'you are a great teacher and we appreciate you'.  The person giving the award gets up and gives a speech about how great the person is and what great things they do for the school.

And so I quilt...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Quilts for Washington

 If you've been watching the news and have seen the crazy pictures about the mudslide in Washington State this weekend you might have just as hard a time as I'm having wrapping your head around the whole thing.  I found these pictures showing the comparison between what the area looked like before and after the slide.  A whole neighborhood wiped off the map.  Here we are in California wishing for rain and look what too much can do.
Well, I can't go and help dig and I can't send money, but I do have fabric, some time and can make some comforting hugs.  If you have the desire to help in some way and want to send a quilt or two, Layers of Hope, Quilting 911 is collecting quilts.  They are located in Washington State and will personally deliver any and all quilts to the victims' families and 911 responders who are helping with this tragedy.  There is a button on my side bar at the right that will take you to the blog with more information and a contact, or you can search Facebook for the group.

After the terrible day at school I had today, it's nice to come home to stop thinking about myself and focus on helping someone else.

I had my meeting this morning with my student who threatened to bring a gun to school's parents.  Can you believe they were mad because they had to have another meeting?  Who were they mad at, their son?  No, I heard about 73 excuses for his behavior, which he never admitted to.  They were mad at the school for making them miss work again.  They were mad that he isn't passing his classes and that he is frustrated because he is making bad choices.  Excuses for why they don't hold him accountable and why dad hasn't been around and why mom lets him get away with everything and they wanted to know what the school was going to do to make everything better.

I left the meeting with such a terrible headache and then was expected to just put it behind me and teach.  Teach kids who needed me as much as that other kid needed me.  They needed me to be at the top of my game, to pass on knowledge and give them attention, to entertain and make them laugh and love science and air pressure and wind, when all I wanted to do was take a nap and cry.

So, yes, today was a terrible day, but I'm thankful for my hobby that allows me to forget the day and hopefully comfort someone else who is having a much worse day.  At least I got to come home and hug my children.  And pray for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

busy and busier

  This crochet afghan has been a long time in the making.  I finally sewed the ends in yesterday and now it is ready to head out to warm a baby.  It was made from leftover yarn from my son's Dr. Who scarf.  I like having a project to work on when I'm watching TV and a simple round and round afghan fits the bill nicely.
 This one worked up pretty quickly and is a corner to corner crochet afghan.  I found a bag of white yarn and it's another pattern that doesn't require thinking.  I love the texture on it and it's great because it could be for a boy or girl.
 12 hours yesterday were spent grading.  Yep, 12 whole hours.  But, to make sure I got up to stretch, I threw some quilts on the machine and at the end of each row, got up to push the button to stitch some more.  Here's a little one with horses.
 And spiders and snails.  I really love the snail quilt design I came up with.  It stitches out so cute.  It's a free design you can find on the top of my blog page.  Even if you don't have a robotic machine, you can print it out and then follow along with your lazer pointer or make a stencil for your own quilting.
And here's the backing of the next quilt.  This is another quilting design I came up with.  Cowboy boot and hat and this one stitches out so cute too.  I'm still in shock that I could draw something that actually looks like the idea I had in my head.  I'm not that great of an artist.  One thing I loved about teaching first grade was the compliments I got from the kids.  Oh, Mrs. Lewis, you are such a good drawer!  Why thank you!
And the front of the quilt.  So, yes, 12 hours of grading lab books and science fair projects and staying inside when it was 80 degrees and beautiful outside does have some benefits I guess.  Today is more grading time and more quilting.  I have to put some backings together before I can quilt anything else.  I wish they would put themselves together.  There are some 'least favorite parts of the job' and making the backings is one of those, but it must be done, so no more procrastinating.  My papers are calling me.

Oh, and I get to have a meeting tomorrow morning with my shooter boy's mom and the police officer and the district office big shots and we will see what comes of it.  They already had one meeting where he lied and said he didn't say what he said.  Now, let's see what his story is when I'm there too.  Should be interesting to say the least.  He's been really quiet in class the last couple of days.  His dad asked him if he wanted to go to a different school and of course, he said he didn't.  Kids...  He did say that if he was going to bring a gun to school that nobody would know about it.  Gee, that makes me feel so much better.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A day in my life as a teacher

I need to get this down in writing just in case.

Last month, we had the local police come out to do a 'training' on school safety.  It was really, here's a whole bunch of bad things that have happened since 1966, now lock your doors.

My classroom door locks from the outside.  It is a steel door and there is no window.  I can't see who is knocking and you can't hear who is on the other side of the door.  It was suggested that I have a student answer the door whenever someone needs to get in.  Kids go in and out to the bathroom or to bring passes for other students.  I totally disagree that a student (or my child) be the responsible one for letting in an unknown person, especially since we can't see or hear who is outside the door.  The logic is that if it is a school shooter, they won't knock on the door, they will just look for an open door and if it's locked, they will move on.

I'm not afraid of school shooters.  Especially some random off campus shooter that randomly comes to campus to make a name for himself.

Fast forward to the present.

Monday morning comes along and the principal sends out a picture of a student and asks us to identify him.  Says there was an incident on Friday and she needs to know who he is.  I had to laugh because the look on his face was very similar to the look he gives in class.  Blank stare like, 'hey, you want me to answer a question?  Was I supposed to be paying attention?'  I just laughed and wondered what he had done.

So it turns out he was causing problems at the school dance and wouldn't give the principal his name.  Silly kids, that's a one day suspension.

So, he comes back to school Tuesday and I asked him why he wouldn't give his name and he says, she never asked him for his name.  Then used about every foul word he knew to describe the principal and said he hated the school.  I said he was going to have to try harder to get kicked out of my class.  I understood he was upset for getting in trouble, but he needed to learn to deal with his frustration in a better way.

So, he told me why he was really angry.  The PE teacher only brought out 5 balls and there are 6 basketball courts.  He and his friends are smaller than the other kids and they don't get to play.  Yeah, that sucks.  That isn't fair.

But, let's do some science and have fun.  Here, there's enough stuff for everyone.

So about two minutes later he says he's going to bring a gun to school and shoot up the whole school, now go tell someone so he can get expelled.

I told him ok.

And then we did the lab.

So of course I had to tell someone.  They called him in with a parent yesterday and of course his whole story changed.  No, he never said that, I overheard him talking about another school shooting, no he likes our school, no, he doesn't want to leave.

But, what really frustrates me is that nobody asked if he has access to a gun.  Do either of his parents own a gun?  That's the first question I would ask.

This same police officer who told me to lock my door is now telling me that I have to let this student who threatened to shoot up the school back in my room.  What good is it to have a locked door when the threat gets to walk in every day?  Teacher's word means nothing.  They didn't even call me in to verify his story.  His word against mine and his has more validity.  Of course, I heard wrong.  Who has more to lose by lying?  Why would I make up a story like this.

And that's just one student in the day.

There are the 7 parent emails asking why I lost their child's homework, when their child comes in and finds it in their backpack or on the wall of no name papers, or admits they never did the work.  Do I ever get an apology from the parent?  My lunch is spent every day helping one child after another get caught up because the kid stayed home every time they sneezed.  What?  You need to eat and go to the bathroom?  You want to sit down and take a break?  You can't do that.  I need attention now.  There's the two or three kids every period who just need that extra bit of attention, because mom or dad or both aren't home until 9 or 10 at night and there isn't anyone to listen to the story they just have to tell so instead of doing their work, they just want to talk.  The 17 pencils I pass out that I purchase with my own money because the district hasn't provided pencils or paper since I started working 23 years ago because kids don't bring them and if they don't have a pencil, they don't work and you can't expect parents to provide them.  I can get fired if I send an email home asking for supplies, so I go out and buy them and smile every day when the same kid asks for another pencil knowing they just want the attention that goes with the daily interaction.  I bet if I checked their backpack, they would have 83 pencils in there.

And then there's the other teachers I work with who don't seem to understand deadlines and meeting norms and collaboration and shared responsibilities.

So as I get ready for work this morning and face the challenges of the day with a smile and wonder what's in store, I also know that some kid is going to make me laugh.  They always do.  That's the best part of my job.  I laugh every single day.  Kids are the best kind of people.  Most have no filter and whatever pops into their head comes right out of their mouth and then they look around as if to see if someone else just heard what they said or if perhaps someone else just said it.

I will more likely die laughing than from being shot by a student, but know that when one of these school shootings happen, the warnings were there.  Nobody took them seriously and the student's word was given more validity than the teacher's.  It's just sad.

Monday, March 17, 2014

quick strippie quilts

 In case you are new around here, or just have been wondering where all of these quick strippie quils have come from, here's the link to Mary's quick strippie quilts pattern.  We use this one a LOT.  Just as the pattern describes, they are quick and easy.  three different size strips we cut with the Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter and we can get dozens of kits cut in an afternoon.  The thing that takes the most time is picking out three fabrics that go together.  If you had a whole fabric store to pick from, you could just pick off the shelf.  The trouble is, I get donations of fabric from lots of different people.  Some of the fabric sits for a while before finding a friend to join with.  But, eventually the perfect fabric comes along and gets put into a kit and then gets sewn together.  I have a friend at school whose mother put together about 50 of these quilts in a weekend.  Yeah, they are that quick!  But that means 50 quilts to quilt up and bind.  Oh, how I wish I didn't have to sleep.  I'm hoping for some more people to join up with our group that have long arm machines and can help out with the quilting.  We are always looking for more volunteers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quilt Day

 Look what we did today!  We sewed and actually got some things done.  Sooo good.
 Students got together with seasoned veterans to make quilts for kids.  We worked on vintage machines that have sewn countless items and used recycled fabrics to make hugs for kids in crisis.  That's what I call a good day.
 Karen and nancy sewed blocks together and actually got two quilt tops finished and a third almost done.  We never get this much done in 3 hours.  There must have been some extra energy in the air today.
 Nancy only had to take apart her blocks 4 times.  That's a good day for Nancy :)
 One of the students got so much fabric cut out.  I got a huge box of 24 pounds of fabric mailed to me this week and she got almost all of it cut up into pieces that will be sewn together at the next quilt day.  We are always working ahead like this.  One cuts, another sews.
 Here's another quilt top before it got pressed.  Kids come in all sizes so this will be perfect for a wee little one.
 Karen's showing off one of the two tops that were put together out of the 'waste' fabric.  We never throw anything away.  These blocks were made at one of the previous quilt days.  Gail straightened them all up.  She's moving to South Carolina to live closer to her daughter and this was her last meeting with us, but promised to keep in touch and send pictures of her grandbaby that is due very soon.
Here's a clever quilt Karen came up with.  The centers are 5 inch squares and then she went around and around with strings like a log cabin.  It is gorgeous!

And some 7 1/2 inch drunkards path blocks Karen took home from last time to play with.  She loves to try different things.  She sews everything on her Singer Featherweight machine.

Happy National Quilting Day

 Here's what yesterday looked like at the Robotics Competition.  You get a whole bunch of really smart kids together in a HUGE gym with a bunch of robotic machines throwing exercise balls through these targets.  Add to that lots of music and yelling and kids dancing all the time.
 I have no idea how they keep up the energy all day long for 3 days.  They are crazy.  I was tired after an hour.
 Here's most of the team, minus the scouters.  My son is a scouter.  They had to stay in the stands and keep collecting data from all the other rounds.  I asked him if after the whole thing was over they got to take a picture with the rest of the team and he said they did.  They always get left out of the team pictures because they are always working.  They do the 'real' work of the team.  They are the 'real' computer nerds.

So, they didn't win this year and they don't get to go on to the championships.  My son was nominated for a huge scholarship and was up against the teacher's daughter.  She won, he lost.  He was really excited for her.  She gets to go on to the championship in St. Louis.  He came in 3rd place.  The top 2 kids got to go on.  Not sure what is worse, losing or coming in 3rd and being so close to winning.  Oh, well it was a good experience for him to go through the interview process.  The girl who got 1st place did the robotics with kids at the Shriner's hospital.  There's just no way to compete with something like that.  He's just really proud of all of the work he's done with the robotics program and how much he's learned.
And I managed to get this quilt quilted yesterday and finished the last couple of rows this morning.  It's for one of my students who got a concussion at a previous robotics event.  They have a new treatment for concussions now called brain rest.  She's been out of school since December and is supposed to come back soon.  But soon keeps getting pushed back by a month every time she goes to the doctor.  She's just sitting at home doing nothing.  Her mom though she could use a quilt to cheer her up.  I had most of the fabric leftover from another quilt I made and her favorite color is purple so this was an easy quilt to get going.  I'm hoping my son will deliver it to me this afternoon if I can get the binding on it.  Binding a quilt isn't hard, it's just hard to make myself sit down and do it when I have so many other things I'd rather do.

I'm going to see if now that robotics season is over, my son will invent a robotic binding machine.  Surely he could come up with something that you put the quilt in, it finds the edge and automatically puts the binding on.  Who would buy that?  I totally would!  How hard would that be to invent?  Who needs a scholarship when you could invent something and make a million dollars?  I'm telling you I'm full of great ideas for things for him to invent.  Of course he needs to be studying for his AP tests.  That is after he catches up on his sleep.

Hands to Help

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

The Hands to Help Charity Challenge Sign Up starts today.  Be sure to check it out and see if there's a charity you would like to send a quilt to.  There are so many worthy charities out there that are asking for quilts.  Often I am overwhelmed with all of the requests.  I will fill the local requests first and then if there are quilts leftover, will send them off in the mail.

But, then I have a lot of help and a lot of donations of fabric so can make at least a quilt a day.  Sometimes it's hard to know just where to send that quilt you've been working on all month.  Go where your heart leads you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

2 more for MHC

 This first quilt for Margaret's Hope Chest was quilted with the Paper Doll Girl and Boy quilt design I came up with.  It is SO cute!  I wish you could see the quilting better, but wow, the design is fast and cute and I'm tickled that it worked as well as I had in my head when I drew it out.  They always look better on the fabric than they do on the computer.  I can't even tell you how much fun I'm having designing these digitized quilt designs.  I'm learning so much just by playing around and wish I had the book that went with the program.  Supposedly there is a pdf version on the internet somewhere, but I've searched everywhere and just can't find it.  I even watched 6 youtube videos in German.  I took a year of German in college and understand enough of what the lady was saying just by what she was clicking on and from the English she used to pick up a few tricks.  There really isn't all that much out there for how expensive the program was.
This cute quilt got the giraffe quilt design.  I've actually used that one quite a bit.  It's much slower to quilt out, but so very cute it's worth it when it fits the quilt like this one.  Plus, this is a small quilt, so it's ok.  My son came home with a homework about quilts and the slaves and how they used them to escape.  He wrote up about the rail fence pattern and the message it sent.  I should have sent this one to school so he could show what a real rail fence quilt looked like.  But, then I would have had to put the binding on it.

I've got other things to do.

My older son is in a robotics competition this weekend.  He's up for a big award and will find out tomorrow if he gets it.  If he does, he goes on to the National championship where if he wins that, he gets $100,000 scholarship money for college.  That would be nice :)  I'm hoping he at least gets to try for the scholarship.  That's more quilting money for me :)  He said he thought he did really well in his interview today and was only competing against 5 other boys.  Those are pretty good odds.

happy Pi Day

I almost have a t shirt for every occasion.  Even National Pi day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Patriotic quilt

My friend Judy put this quilt top together and I quilted it for a Veteran's dinner this Saturday.  I hope it helps raise a lot of money to help send some deserving boys to Boys' State.  It's a great program to teach kids about how government works.  My oldest daughter went to Girls' State and learned a lot so I'm happy to support this great cause.  Now to put the binding on and drop the quilt off on Saturday morning.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I guess I was busy

Here's one I did on the smaller quilting machine.  I was trying to get ahead this weekend.  Destressing after the science fair and not wanting to do much of anything besides design quilting designs and make some quilts.  I think that's a good way to spend a weekend.  I never did get out of my pajamas all weekend!

Here's the article in the paper.  I had to contact the paper twice to finally get the article in there.  It's like they only want to print bad things kids do.

 Here's another on I did free hand on the smaller quilting machine.  I can get one of these done in about 20 minutes.  I race myself on the robotic machine.  I can get one of these done in the time it takes the robot to do two passes.
 Quilted with Round and Round.  This one takes a little longer because there is more stitching, but it gives lots of interest to the quilt.
 quilted with Baptist Fan Small.  You can make it as big or as small as you want and the bigger it is, the faster it goes.
quilted with Family of Five design.  This one is really cute and stitches up fast.