Thursday, December 30, 2010

Project Intuition Quilt Challenge

I have decided to do the challenge project with the 15 minutes of play blog. Here are my pictures so far. I think I added too many pictures all at once and the up loader is being a bit slow. While we are waiting, here is the story. As you know I have been cleaning off the top of my cutting table so I can actually use it if I want. I have been cutting larger pieces of scrap fabric from leftover quilts into squares ranging from one inch to 5 inches. (see last post) ooh, yea! pictures have loaded. The one below is of most of the leftover scraps and strings from a pile off the cutting table. You might recognize some of the fabrics from previous quilts. I used the bits and pieces to make these blocks to put up on the wall along with some 9 patch blocks from several, several years ago. I know, the picture isn't the best, but you can kind of see some pinwheels, logs and those 9 patches along with a house and some other things all put together from the scraps. After sewing some of the one inch strings into log cabins (see on the wall) I took what was left over and made the blocks in the next picture and kept putting them together and finished the day with what is on the arm of my sewing machine. Now, don't think that I have been doing all this in one day. No way! It has been a totally space out project. Matter of fact, I had all the blocks on the wall 4 or 5 days before Victoria made her challenge. After reading it, I decided that this is what I am going to do with all those blocks. So, then the below blocks came into being.

I have played off and on for the last two days making a little and leaving it on the wall or small table then coming back and making a little more. Just playing around with what I have in my pile. I put some of it together at lunch today and put it on the wall, moved items around and then just walked away.

I liked some of it like the log cabins down the side, but not all that white. I know that it is going to need some more white somewhere so the initial white of that pinwheel doesn't stand out so much, but not all together like I have it on the wall there. This evening I went back into my studio and looked at the wall and just took the blocks down and played some more. Another house, another 9 patch something else on point. That's the ticket. More and more and voila here is what I have on the wall when I finished tonight.

I kind of like this one. I am going to have to sleep and let this one simmer for awhile on the wall and see where we go from here. I may have to pull out more scraps from the large tub and see what needs to be added. Working on this reminded me of when I worked on another quilt - one of my favorites. It is made in this same vein. I will blog about it in the near future. For now, my brain has been pieced to numbness and I must go see what the boys have gotten into while I sewed away.

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas Sewing

I have been sleeping alot this past week. Trying to get well and back to feeling much, much better. I think I am on the right track, but it is taking a bit of time. I tried to run errands and go to the grocery store today, but got so exhausted after one stop I just picked up some lunch and came home. I guess that I had totally worn down my body this fall semester and am in need of this rest. I only have little less than a week to get back up to speed, so I really need to settle in and work on that and on getting the laundry done. I really am about to run out of clean clothes.

So, when I have been awake, you saw one of the things I made one day while I was playing around with the scrap fabrics from my cutting table. (the Merry Christmas quilt from the last post) I have been trying to clear it off and get the scrap fabric cut into squares or strips so they can be easily used in scrap quilts. I go anywhere from 1 inch square (you know for those tiny quilts I sometimes get the urge to make) up to 5 inch charm squares. I won't let myself go any larger, yet. Now I need to find a place to put these little squares so they will be accessible and not get tumbled around in another scrap box. LIGHT BULB!!! I see two empty recipe/index boxes right here on my desk. What a great way to store these squares. I have several more at school that I have collected that students have left behind. They now will have a home in my quilting studio! What a great idea! Thank you light bulb.

Now, on to two other things I have worked on during the holiday. The place mats that still aren't finished. I just need to hand stitch the binding on two! that's all. Just two of the 4 place mats and they will be all finished.

The other thing that I just finished today and that was because I decided to go ahead and add the flower to the front and then I decided to hand embroider some extras to help it pop a bit more. (yes, it is hand appliqued. Thank you for asking)

it is a Kindle cover. I was going through Moda Bake Shop looking for a quilt that used two honey buns (because I finally found another Arcadia by Sanae for Moda honey bun - yea me only $12!!) Anyway, I was looking through and this is one of the patterns that came up that uses honey buns. Well, how fortunate. My sisters and I got my mother a kindle for Christmas. How much fun would it be to make her a cover? So, I got out my box of 1 1/2" strips - what? I am not using Arcadia for this! - and got to sewing. There are parts of this pattern that I liked and parts that I didn't. One of the things I had to do differently was that I had to draw out my own applique patterns. I tried to download them, but since it had been published so long ago, the site where they are housed wanted me to sign up and pay for membership. I didn't want to do that, so I wasn't going to add any applique. Then this morning I woke up and decide to play around with some card stock to see if I could draw the pieces to my liking. They are definitely not perfect, but that is what I like about them. the second thing is that the pattern calls for a 3/8 inch seam when sewing on the binding. I didn't take into consideration for the extra seam allowance when I turned the corners so my corners are not very good. Nowhere close to being near perfect. Matter of fact, I haven't had any perfectly mitered corners since Gerri's birthday quilt. (feeling great remembering those perfect corners!) Again, I am drifting off subject. Even with those two things, I like the pattern and am going to have to make at least one more. They go together really quick and if I knew more people that had Kindles I might could make some and sell them. Of course, I may have to make some severe changes to the pattern to be able to sell them. I will have to check and see. Wonder if my nephew would want/use one for his NOOK or think it was too girly? yea, you're right-probably too uncool and girly for a 17 year old. (I promise I wouldn't put the flower on the front of his!) We'll see....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here's hoping everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cold (Flu that is)

I had such big plans for being off work for two weeks. Sewing, cleaning, quilting, reading. None of this (or at least very little of this) is happening. What is happening is a major head cold. I can't remember the last time it was this bad. Major, major sinus pressure, headache and chills. Which also comes free with fever, runny nose (when it isn't blocked) and sore throat! Yuk, yuk, yuk! And all right here at Christmas time. I crawled out of bed yesterday and went to the doctor. Got a shot and several meds to help me get through this bout of "flu". And before you can ask, I did have the flu shot(first time in 14 years), but I am sick anyway. Today is worse than yesterday. Sure am glad I went to the doctor yesterday.

I drank the last of my water yesterday and had to go refill all my bottles this morning. For those of you that don't know about Odessa water, you don't want to drink it straight from the tap. It really does not taste good at all. The majority of the residents in Odessa either have an RO system at their house or buy their water from the store and then re-fill their gallon jugs. I don't have an RO system at my house so I have gallon water bottles that I take to one of the windmill water stations around town and periodically fill them up. Unfortunately for me, I had been putting off filling my bottles until this week. Since I was already out and about, I stopped at Mickey D's and picked up some breakfast to bring home and enjoy. I sure didn't feel like cooking or even eating much, but it sounded good at the time. I ate a little bit and shared some with the big boys then ended up throwing about 1/3 of it in the trash. It's hard to eat when you have to breathe and eat through your mouth. I think I took a couple of naps sitting at the table trying to eat breakfast! It is crazy how tired I am. I could just doze off anywhere. Unfortunately, I am only getting a few minutes rest here and there. It's the breathing thing. doze, sneeze, sneeze! If I could just breathe I could sleep and let my body heal itself, but I can't breathe!!

I still have to quilt my tree from my previous post and am working on cleaning up the cutting table so I can spread it out and baste it for quilting. I need to finish the binding on two place mats - Note to self, next time to make the binding bigger so you can just turn it over and machine stitch it down and not have to do it by hand. I am headed into the quilt "studio" to see how much work I can get done today before I give it all up and decide to crawl back into bed for an hour or so nap. I watched "Despicable Me" on Monday so I think I will put in "Shrek" for todays entertainment. And, to go along with that and because I am tired of blog posts with no picture, here is a look I get all the time from Taegan:
oops, lost it, hold on, wait for it, wait for it . . . oh foo, I am going to have to go find it once again. back in a second. Okay, here it is:

If you can picture a gray shih tzu with these large black eyes looking up at you. That is what I see all the time. Just like this. (except with those changes I just mentioned)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tree top done

here is the top for my le petite tree challenge. I need to lay it out and baste it. I plan on putting some beads on it to decorate it after it is all quilted. Stay tuned and for the final product, hopefully before Christmas.

I am currently working on some placemats. But for now, I need to take a nap so I can cheer on our Idalou Wildcats as they play in the state championship game for the first time ever!! Go Cats!!

Edit: OOPS! I forgot you could see the blocks behind the tree. That block is a cakestand block from our year-long-prepare-for-December-stir-fry-class with Debbie Caffrey. More posted later on that class/quilt

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just Talking - No Pictures

Just a quick blog here. I have been wanting to check in, but life was very, very busy last week. My culinary class along with the hospitality and fashion design classes hosted our Holiday Showcase to our friends and faculty. We made lots of food and goodies while our fashion design teacher decorated the restaurant. It was beautiful!! I just wish I had remembered to take my camera with me that day. Thank goodness my mother brought hers and took pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have copies of them to share, but I will as soon as I can.

Now that life has slowed a little bit, well as much as it can at this time of year, I have been able to sew. I finished the binding on "The 3 Crosses" quilt for a friend - see previous post - and added a label on the back. It is now ready to go. I have 2 secret santa parties Friday morning and I only have one gift made- note to self, take a picture of gift before you wrap it - and have absolutely no clue what to do about the other gift. I will have to find something tomorrow for sure. It's not that I am lazy and don't want to shop. I have looked. okay, only a little bit, but I have looked. I just don't know what to get her. Something will come up. I mean, it has to, right?

For the first party tomorrow morning, I have to make cinnamon rolls. I am making the fun and easy rolls that my sister shared the recipe for and I have improved upon where you put them in the oven over night and turn on the oven in the morning and voila! beautiful, perfect gooey cinnamon rolls. The only problem is that if I do them at school and leave them overnight it will be about 16 hours before they are cooked. That is not good. Way to long to proof in the pan. We will have huge cinnamon rolls and dough that has possibly jumped ship (pan). The solution? I will make them at home and take them to school with me and put them in the oven there. I just hope my oven is large enough to hold the huge pans overnight. (little bitty oven here) I may can cover them and put them on the counter top. I will have to find the recipe and see what my options are. I just know that I can't make them at 3 Thursday afternoon and expect perfect cinnamon rolls at 7 the next morning. Lots to do tomorrow and the dogs are barking - literally, along with the neighborhood dogs. I will share pictures, etc. in my next posting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

DONE!! well, almost

Just finished this quilt for a friend of mine that recently became an ordained minister. I didn't get to go to her Ordination ceremony since it was more than 12 hours away, but I have had this quilt in my head to make for her since she told me about the ceremony.

I have been seeing everyone else's cross block quilts and thought it would be fun to make one of those quilts and then this came up and . . . couldn't have been more perfect. I free motion quilted it using the pebbles quilting since I wanted the crosses to really stand out from the background even more than just the color jumping off the quilt. All I need to do now is finish stitching down the binding and the hanging sleeve and add a label. Then I can mark this one done. I think I have caught up with most of the quilts I have had in my head for a few months.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Home sick from work yesterday and I got in a little bit of sewing between naps. I took some left over strips from my liberated quilt and cut them up and sewed them back together to create two large mug rugs. they are a bit on the large side - almost small pot holders really except they don't have any insulated batting in them. Maybe they should have. Anyway, I am going back in there to do some more sewing until I can't keep my eyes open any longer and must take another nap. I added a dark brown border around the Butter Churn quilt and I am liking it better. Now to decide on the final border on it and to get ready for Debbie Caffrey's Stir Fry class this weekend. Got to get well for that and our Hospitality Showcase this next week. I will post pictures later.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another quilt a long finished

here it is, another quilt-a-long finished top. This one was with That girl...that quilt. I changed mine up a bit, then I was bored with that and changed it up some more. I like the look of it now. It has a kick to it that it didn't have before.
Now I just need to make a back for it, quilt it and bind it. That's all. Ha! It will probably live in a stack for awhile and then move to a hanger in my closet and then, when it is really old and dusty, I might remember to get it out and quilt it. Maybe it won't follow the same path the rest of my tops have followed for years. Who am I kidding? We are talking about me here. The queen of "a lovely collection of quilt tops". Gotta run - just found a pattern for my next quilt top to live in my closet and I've gotta get sewing on it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Le Petite Second Top, Butter Churn, done

Second post of the day. I know, there was a drought on my blog and now it seems to be raining!

I have previously said that last year I "joined" in on the year of schnibbles and made the first couple of schnibbles and then life got busy and I only made one or two more after that. I also, never figured out how to get them posted to the blogs that do the parades so I gave up. This year, they are doing a new challenge called, Le Petite. I have done the first quilt, Paganini, and blogged about it here. This is the second of the projects (okay, third, but I think the first one was optional and even though I need a new ironing board cover, I just haven't gotten around to doing that yet) This one I tried to find a pattern for, but the one store I looked at was sold out and I really wanted to get started on it. So, I just printed out a picture of the quilt and saw how simple it really was - just a modified Jacobs Ladder and Monkey Wrenches along with some half square triangles. A cinch! I decided on my block size - 9" and that determined how large to make the half squares on the outside (2/3 the size of the block - 6")

Here is my next Le Petite quilt top, Butter Churn:

After going back and looking at Sinta's quilt top, I am definitely going to have to put some borders on this one. I thought I was totally finished with it, but I guess I am not completely done.

Food - enough said

Finally got my pictures to download out of my camera. I thought I was going to lose them forever! I don't know about all of you, but I have had a couple of really hectic weeks, up until this week, that is.

At school, we had an advisory lunch, advisory meeting and a luncheon for 40! That last one was a bit scary, but we did it! My kids pulled it off. We plated and served almost 40 people. They were an hour late getting into the restaurant than what they had previously told me, but thank goodness for my hot/hold we were able to serve a great meal when they finally arrived.

a couple of days before that, I got the chance to go to Frisco to their culinary showcase. The students of Friso and Wiley teamed up and created a wonderful menu of delectable items that was beautifully presented and served. It was a wonderful experience to get to go there and view what they are doing and see the possibility of what my students will one day soon, be doing.

Here are some pics of the food: Okay, I thought I uploaded my pics. Let me try one more time. I don't think I was patient enough for them to completely load last time. Here we go: This is what we were served:

Butternut squash soup with cinnamon creme fraise (don't know if that is how it is spelled or not - pronounced fresh) with caramelized shallots

Field Greens with cranberries and sugared pecans with a round of fried goat cheese

Braised short rib with root vegetables served over blue cheese polenta (which was very creamy and wonderful)

and last, but not least - and my favorite of the night even though everything was simply delicious - apple dumpling with cream and a caramel sauce. Just let me say that I have never liked cooked apples and apple dumplings until this year when my mother made me some of the Pioneer Woman's apple dumplings. This is my next favorite apple dumpling recipe. Speaking of which, I need to e-mail that chef and ask for the recipe.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and I didn't make you, too hungry!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Birthday Quilt

I made my friend a birthday quilt last night and wanted to share it with you. She celebrated her 70th birthday with a fabulous tea party given in her honor by her daughters and granddaughters. It was a blast! The table decorations were unbelievable. I wish I had my camera there just to take pictures of the decorations. There were 4 large tables and each table had a different vignette. One had a collection of old hats on stands. Ours, had glasses, boas, jewels and lots of bling, bling, bling. Table number three had little tea sets and large tea sets and bling. The fourth table had clear glass ware and candles. It was all beautiful. What more can I say, but if you are going to have a party, these are the people you want to come in and decorate. Very professionally done.

Friday night before the party I got a picture of a quilt in my head that I needed to make for my friend. However, I was told - I think - by the birthday girl herself not to bring a gift. So, I didn't make that quilt. However, when I got to the party, almost everyone had brought her a gift. Well, that did it. I was just going to have to make that quilt and take it to her. So, I made it yesterday and here is a picture of it. It has perfect binding on it. I mean, my mitered corners have never, I mean, never been so perfect in my life. You can't tell where I started and stopped this binding because my connection is perfect. I am so proud of all the things I have learned from other blogs, friends and teachers and they have finally come together on this quilt binding.

Happy Birthday my friend and here's to many more and more perfect bindings for the both of us!


Last weekend I went to the Midland Gem and Mineral Society Show. I have been wanting to go for a few years, but other things had been happening at the same time and it always got pushed to the end of the list and I never got to attend. This year, I put it at the top of the list and it was the first thing I did Saturday morning. If you will recall from a previous post, I was out quite late at the sit and sew in Andrews with my friend Kathy and didn't get home until 1:30 a.m. or so. I just want to say that I love minerals and gems. I have always been fascinated by the colors and texture and just love the finished product, even though I don't wear much jewelry anymore. I love opening an oyster an pulling out the precious pearl. I have several I have collected when they used to have them at the South Plains Fair in Lubbock.

I took a jewelry making class in college and purchased some loose tourmalines in solid pink and solid green. I put one in a ring during that class and found out that I will never become a jeweler like I always wanted to be since I can't stand the sound of a file on metal. Nope, not going to do that again.

About 8 years ago, my mother and I went to Montana to dig for sapphires. I have a lot of loose - mostly un-cuttable - sapphires. I have a few that I need to get heat treated and cut, but will have to send them off back to Montana and I would rather spend my money, at this time, on fabric. But, one day . . .

As a young girl, we always had geodes in our house. When we would go to Colorado, my dad would pull over on the side of the road and we would pick them up and then take them to someone to cut them for us. I just loved waiting to see what beauty these ugly round rocks would reveal. Let me tell you, my dad almost always picked a winner. We had some of the most gorgeous geodes I have ever seen - even to this day, displayed on bookshelves around our house. Well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to purchase some rocks and have them cut open for me while I waited that wonderful Saturday morning. I picked up a rock, set it down, picked up another, set it down. Then walked off. I didn't need to buy any rocks. I don't need to spend money on this. Remember, I like spending my money on fabric. Well, as you can see below. I not only bought one. I bought three! They are all different and unique in their own way. I plan on giving a few away as Christmas gifts so others can share in the beauty.

I knew this one would have something unique about it because on the outside of the rock, you could see where it may have shifted in it's formation. It is amethyst even though this picture doesn't show it's true beauty.

This one I kind of went, hmm. I wasn't really impressed with it at the show, but when I got it home and pulled it out. WOW! I really like it. It is a very dark smoky quartz and has some crystal shards that have stacked themselves to create a little mountain inside. Beautiful.

This one has crystal quartz, with shards of crystal laying on top. Small, but pretty. My least favorite, but still beautifully unique.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Irish and Taegan and McCallum, too

"Mom, we want what you are having. What, it's not Irish and Taegan food? But, we still want it. See how sweetly we sit? See how sweetly we bat our beautiful eyes? "

McCallum, "Hey, you guys, get me out of here! Mom, if they get some extra food, I want some."

"Please, Mom. Don't let McCallum out. We still want some food, but please don't let McCallum out."

"Those guys are no help. I am never getting out of here."

Sit and Sew @ the Sewing Cottage

Friday night was spent in the company of my friend Kathy at the Sewing Cottage in Andrews. Norma, the store owner, had a sit and sew from 6 to midnight. Since Kathy and I had gone to the Midland one a couple of weeks before, I called her up and suggested we try this one, also. This time I would definitely take pictures of everything that was going on. Well, turns out, Kathy and I were the only smart ones to take Norma up on her all night sewing fun. And what fun we had. Can't wait until the next one! We will definitely be dragging more of our Odessa group up there to join us. We talked, and sewed and ordered pizza which Norma's daughter was brave enough to go and pick it up for us. (apparently that was an education no one would have wanted).

As I said, we talked, even when we slowed down enough to eat. Of course we had to have our cokes from Stripes or we wouldn't have even been able to begin sewing.

Here's mine next to my ugly bag and my eye glass case. I really need to make a prettier bag. I was experimenting with the zipper and putting it on like I had seen in a TV show, but couldn't exactly remember how to do it. It works, but it doesn't look great. I keep using this bag since it is so handy. One of these days I will make another one that is much prettier. What's in it? All my little things that I need when I am on the road (even when I am not on the road. It sits in a partially opened drawer next to me when I sew at home) Oh, yes, you did ask what was in it. . . extra needles, wound bobbins, screw drivers, buttons, seam rippers, pens and markers. Everything a quilter or her friend might need.

speaking of bags. Here is Kathy's cute carry all bag.

she carries all her sewing stuff in there and has for quite awhile now.

Here is my purse.

Not looking so good. Today, I even discovered that my tote bag that holds all my school papers is ripped. I guess I will be getting two new bags this week. Or next. Or maybe even when we are off for Thanksgiving. Yea, that is probably the only time I will have to go to the store and even look at bags. My two have served their purpose.

I am sick of my pink bag. I bought it this summer when the purse I took to conference was WAY to small. I couldn't add anything to it and I had a hard time zipping it closed. That meant that I was carrying my cameras around with me along with my notebook and water bottle. So, quick trip to Target and I purchased this messenger bag. Worked great all the way through the first 6 weeks of school. Now, it is WAY to big. Nothing stays in it's place and everything falls to the bottom. Good thing that flashlight we got at the Ogallala retreat is still in there. It comes in handy when I am trying to find something.

This is what Kathy worked on after she finished up her retreat quilt. Sorry, can't show you pictures of it until our retreat. (What I really mean is, I didn't take a picture of it when it was all done)

Those are the greens she cut circles out of so she can put together project bags for her girl scouts. They are making yo-yo's into a tree. It is a really cute project, but we will all have to wait until next year to see their finished product since Norma and I talked Kathy into waiting until then to make them. The girls were only going to have about an hour or less to start on them in the meeting and Kathy expected them to take them home and finish the tree. How many of you would have finished your yo-yo tree when you were in 8th grade if you had never made a yo-yo before? "Not I," said the fly. So, that is why she is sooooo ahead on her Christmas project for next year. Now she has plenty of time to look for those little metal stars to go on the top.

In the next post I will show you what I worked on all night. It took me most of the time to just cut everything out. Plus eating, shopping, talking, looking around the store and of course talking.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time and New Projects

I have been sewing a little and lazing around a lot! I need to get into the sewing room, but by the time I get home, feed the dogs, check out facebook and play a couple games of bejeweled blitz - okay, a lot more than a couple, it is almost time to go to bed. Where does the day go? I know I am getting out of school later than I have in 8 years and I am even sometimes staying later than that (4:30/5:00), but it really seems like there is no time to do ANYTHING!! At least I know what I am wearing tomorrow and it is clean. I need to do a couple or 4 loads of laundry. Do things ever pile up for you like this? Laundry, kitchen, refrigerator, puppy, trash? It's a never ending cycle. I think I will take a break from it all and go to Andrews for a sew-in Friday. Maybe I will get more done at this one that I did at the one in Midland. I have enough to keep me busy, I just need to work on it.

This past weekend was our Quilt-in with our Bee friends group and I worked on my quilt-along with That Girl - That Quilt. I saw her drawing and just started out on my own not waiting for her instructions. Sounds like me, huh? I was not liking it and still am not totally sure about it. I haven't found the layout I want or the spark that will send it over the edge. So, I won't be working on that one on Friday unless it comes together in my head tomorrow.

Also on the blogs, I am doing the layer cake quilt along with moose on the porch. The first block pattern came out Monday so I printed it off and need to make it. I am not using a layer cake with this one, but am using 12 fat quarters I picked up at the Andrews store almost a year ago. I must have been saving them for just this occasion.

I am also doing the la petite sew-along even though I didn't get my paganini into the parade. [didn't know how to do it :( ]You have all seen it before, but I will post it again.

I didn't add the wavy border or cut out the wavy border. I like it just the way it is. (can you say chicken?)

Now, for le petite, there is a new pattern, but the one store I looked in for the pattern was all out. So, I printed out a picture of the quilt and I am going to make it using larger blocks. The top consists of churn dash (my favorite), jacobs ladder and half square triangles. How simple is that? I love the way it is arranged. You will just have to wait and see unless you go to one of the websites and check it out for yourself.

Well, it is almost 10 and bedtime once again. See how time flies?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Math my Way

This is what I have been working on since last night and most of today. I used the abacus block from the block party blog. For some reason, my blocks weren't even which made for a bit more wonky look, but I like it even better. It is about 30" X 39". I don't plan on adding anything else to it even though I considered adding borders. I think I will quilt it and bind it in the hot pink to add a little extra zing. It is made using stash fabric and Kona Ash and Kona ? (hot pink? - I don't have my color chart here in front of me). The picture could be a little bit clearer. I probably should have used a flash, but I had on all three of my bright lights and it didn't look like it was giving shadows, but I guess it did. Now to decide on what I will be working on this weekend at our Bee Friends Quilt In. I know that I have a lot of UFO's that I could be working on, but which do I want to do? That is the question of the week. One of them needs to jump up and say, "me, me. Finish me!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I took my camera with me last night to the first ever girls night out at the quilting patch in Midland, but didn't even get it out of my purse to take pictures. There were about 11 of us there and everyone with a variety of skills and talents. One lady was making embroidered Christmas ornaments with her new embroidery machine. Another was working on her crazy quilt blocks that she did with her embroidery machine. One lady was just sewing down her binding on a cute monkey quilt she made for her grandson. When I saw her, I thought, I could have brought my quilt and done that. Because you know I had the hardest time trying to decide what to take with me to work on since I had already finished my Paganini schnibble top. I used Sultry by Basic Grey and Kona Chocolate for this top.

Now all I need to do is make a back, sandwich, quilt, bind and label. that's all.

Back to Girl's night out. One lady was working on heart blocks for women who had had a mastectomy. They were shaped like a heart and fit under your arm pit to help give relief and some added pressure. Those were cool. I wished I had copied her pattern. I will have to look on line and see if I can find it. Kathy finished her tree blocks for the row quilt group and worked on her top for our retreat. Which, by the way is scheduled for February 25 - 27, 2011 at Mitre Peak. More information later on that one. I made my heart blocks for our upcoming workshop in December. The name of which has completely left my head just now. oh, well.

Now, I need to make one or two more blocks for our December meeting and I will be totally caught up with our assignments.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Friday!

yea! I can't wait. My friend Kathy called the other night and asked if I was busy Friday. Of course I had volleyball, but might be willing to cancel. What did she have going on? The Quilting Patch in Midland was having an all night (well, 6 - 11) quilting fun. I e-mailed and cancelled my volleyball and Kathy signed us up and we are going to go sit elbow to elbow and sew, sew, sew! It will be loads of fun. I will take my camera and take plenty of pics so you can see what everyone worked on while there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mr. McCallum

I finally decided on a name for my new baby and it is McCallum. He had to go to the vet this morning. He has this sort of asthma cough thing going on especially when he is running around or eating too quickly. So, I called and they were going to squeeze me in since he is coughing. I had to leave him in the car and go in and register. Then I had to sit out in the car with him until a technician came out to get us. They take this precaution with puppies because they could be very contagious and cause all their other animals to get really sick. So, we watched the other dogs and cats go into see the vet and McCallum chewed on my fingers and shirt buttons and sleeve cuffs and enjoyed the cool morning. Once we got in he was feisty! He wanted to check everything out. He wanted a snack - we were on the cat side and they were cat treats, but the tech gave him a couple anyway. He wasn't' too sure about them once he got them but eventually ate them. I am glad that we got to see my regular vet - you never know when you are a walk-in/squeeze-in who you will get to see. He doesn't have kennel cough! Yea!! However, he does have swollen tonsils and is on an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs, but no fever. She said he is very healthy except for that and looked good. That was a relief.

I have tried and tried to take a good picture of him, but he always moves at the last second and blurs the picture. Maybe soon I can post a better one of him because he really is a cutie pie and I don't think he will have black hair for much longer. As my vet said, "he has great reverse highlights."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday's Sewing

I have been sewing and watching some football today. Here is the layout I decided to use with my fan blocks from the Ogallala Ceta Canyon retreat.

The instructions called for 8 fabrics for controlled blocks and 16 for a more scrappy look. I only intended to make 1 fan block so I grabbed up a stack of fat quarters that I had laying around. I had picked them up at a quilt store on the way to family reunion a couple of years ago for a dollar each. They were a great find. I am usually not a fan of the fan block and machine applique, but I wanted to give it a try. I ended up making 10 blocks. They were fast and easy. My choices at that point were to make some more blocks or stop. Since I was running out of the black fabric. I stopped there. I knew I could just make a 9 block quilt/table topper or use them as the middle of a larger quilt or I could make more blocks later. I decided to make some funky stars since I didn't need a 12 1/2" square of black to make those. I made several 6 inch stars and tried putting them all over and around seeing how I liked it. I didn't. So, I made a 12 inch star. Still didn't like it. You see how my Saturday has been going? I didn't make any blocks today. I just played with the placement. Over and over and over until I came up with this one. Now, I need to decide if I want to add any more. I am thinking not. Not even a black border. I think I will leave it as is and call it done. 36" X 48"

Here is the other thing I have been working on this Saturday, my blocks I made in our Art Quilters Guild back in the spring.

I couldn't decide whether to offset these blocks or mirror them. I am pleased so far with the results. Our past challenge for the Ceta Canyon retreat was black and white and one color. I was going to get this made and add in some dusty rose fabric somewhere. I may still add in the rose color. Or, I may add in some more fusible pattern in the borders. It needs to stay on the wall and grow on me a little bit more.

What have you done this Saturday? Now it's time to take the baby outside again for the 4th or 5th time today. He is getting really good at doing all his business outside. Also, my other two are tolerating him a bit more everyday. Well, they are at least not running off after 1 second. Now they are up to 4 seconds. Baby Steps.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The new addition

OWWWW!!! I backed up in my chair and hit my keyboard drawer when I first sat down and just now, the drawer and my keyboard crashed to the floor. I am glad that my toes weren't down there where they normally would have been. They would have been smushed. Hey, wait. If my toes were smushed, I wouldn't have to go to school tomorrow. Can I get another take on that?

Tonight I went and picked up the newest member of our family. _____________! Drat, I can't decide on his name. I have 4 names in mind and he's not telling me who he is, yet. Here is a pic of all his cuteness.

He is a yorkie. I know, I have shi tzu's, but I really couldn't pass him by. He is too sweet. When I take him out on the back porch, he pees and then follows me around everywhere. Irish was so excited when he first got here and wanted me to put him down immediately. Then outside he was smelling him and touching his nose. Taegan, on the other hand, doesn't want to have anything to do with him. He would stick his head out the doggy door and just look at him until he realized I was watching him and then he would go back inside. He is just too funny.

When I got Irish, I got in the car, my friend was driving, and I held him up to my face and boom! His name, Neill's Irish Sterling, popped into my head so that is his official name. (always knew my black baby was going to turn gray) With Taegan, I kept seeing this sign in Midland and I thought it said Tagan. So, that is how I came up with his name, with a twist on the spelling. Come to find out, the sign really said, Tazar. Oh, well. I saw Tagan. His official name is Neill's Taegan James. Now for this one . . . what will it be. Hopefully you and I will know soon. Gotta go - sounds like Taegan is climbing on stuff trying to find food!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cooking again

Okay, it hasn't been as long as I thought it had been since I last posted. I know, tomorrow will be a week, but I really had thought it had been much longer than that. Yes, life and school are both a little hectic, but not near as bad as a couple of weeks ago. However, it's starting to heat up again. The good thing is that the kitchen is starting to come together. There are a few things I need to work on getting, a few phone calls I need to make and an upcoming luncheon that I need to really sit down with the recipes and plan out. Figure out what I can order from my food supplier, what I need to pick up (can pick up) at HEB or Sam's.

Today, my students got back into the labs and made snacky items for the Principal's meeting after school. Things turned out really well. I am pleased how much better they did this time. However, there is a WHOLE lot of learning they have to do before I think they are up to where they need to be. Believe it or not, I had a student ask me today, "now what does the little "c" stand for?" People, that is what I am working with here. She was even a student that was in a foods class all of last year! It is so frustrating. They paid better attention to what they were doing - for the most part - and didn't seem as frazzled as they did the first time. They even got all their dishes washed (by hand) before the end of the period! Baby steps, people, baby steps. We may have to make something else, before the luncheon to get them back in the kitchen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Touching Base and Baby Pics

Last week was very busy and hectic, but topped off with a wonderful weekend spent with my mother and my friend, Kathy at the Ogallala quilt retreat in Ceta Canyon. For those of you that have never been there, you drive through the flat fields of cattle and hay and all of a sudden you drop down into a canyon. At the bottom of that canyon is the church camp, Ceta Canyon. It is a beautiful place. The project was fun (more on that later - with pics) and the comraderie was great. Got to see people I haven't seen in a year and just spend time sewing, and sewing and sewing.

This week, even though calmer than last week, is still really busy. Last night I worked volleyball at PHS and Friday night I will be working VB @ OHS. My two teams will be playing each other in a cross town rivalry. It will be interesting to see the outcome. Both have great players, but neither one has been able to get their acts together enough to consistantly win. It is really frustrating watching them, because I can see the potential in the players, but can't figure out what they need to take that next step up the district ladder. Like I said, frustrating.

Tonight I have spent some time scanning in pictures of me when I was younger. These are the pics I gave to my grandmother at one time so they have her handwriting on the back telling who they are of (ME!!) and when they were taken. Here they are for your enjoyment.

The above is me at 3 months and the below is me at 6 months. I was born with pitch black hair that gradually lightened as I got older and unfortunately is now getting darker. Life sure is weird sometime.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Classes - both quilting and school

Just finished typing out 3 - count them - 3 proposals for teaching at the Ogallala quilt festival. One is to teach how to make a simple bag like this one:

One is for this quilt, divide and conquer.

And the last one is for the spider web quilt.

All of them would make good classes and I might just propose them for the Andrews store, also. They weren't the ones I was thinking about for Andrews, but any one of them would be great. I think I can make the divide and conquer quilt with a jelly roll and a charm pack. I just need to sit down and do it. I know the bags can be made with a jelly roll, since most of my bags are made up of left over jelly rolls.

I got a lot accomplished this weekend, but there is still a whole lot more to do. (like lesson plans for tomorrow, yikes! gotta get busy)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Liberated Quilt

Just finished quilting and putting the binding on my newest quilt. All I have to do now is flip and sew the binding to the other side and add a label. I think I will then throw it into the wash and see what happens. I don't usually do that, but on this quilt I think I will. It's a small wall hanging measuring about 18" X 24".

I saw a quilt similar to this somewhere in the blogs and decided to do my own version. I used wavy strips a la bumble beans and then cut the quilt apart, inserted a section and sewed it back together. That looked good, but it needed another strip going the other way. Then I cut the top right hand corner and added another 3 strip section and WHAT!! it didn't line back up. My deduction was that the insert was too thick for all the parts to realign, so I had to take it out and go with a single strip. Hmmm. Looks good, but it needs something. I know, I will use the 3 strip section I took out from the top right and put it on the bottom. I laid it out a couple of different ways and voila! The perfect balance. Now, all I have to do is square it up and quilt it. Because I used really, really wavy strips - probably way to wavy and if I do it again, I will not use strips with that much curve on them - this quilt needed a lot and I do mean a lot of quilting. I think there is one little bit of a section that is about 1 inch apart, but the rest is quilted around 3/4 of an inch or closer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

Ha, ha, I know, yesterday's blog posting was not fun (even though I got a chuckle out of it) So here, today, I am going to add - - wait for it - - pictures!!!!!!!!! I know, most of you thought I have forgotten how to download pictures or maybe I forgot how to take them. So, here, without further ado, is a picture:

Bazinga! (as Sheldon would say) I know, not what you wanted to see. even though he is beautiful, but a little bit blurry. that was taken with my new camera with a major zoom in and I need to learn how to hold still while I take a picture. On to more stuff you would rather see than my baby boy.

I am a bit on the excited side. Since my towels weren't delivered and I still don't have hot water, I had my class go through the kitchen today and find out exactly what type of tools we had. We found the rubber scrapers, but they are in poor shape. Don't know what they did with them, but I will be looking to purchase more of those in the near future. After about 6 phone calls, I finally have towels to begin tomorrows cleaning. However, I still do not have hot water, so we won't be doing a thorough clean. Here are a couple of pictures of my kitchen at school.

The stoves/ovens in the top picture sit back to back with the stove/ovens in the bottom picture. It is really quite large! In the bottom picture you can see a wooden top table that is part of the pastry center. Then in the back are a shelf of spices. In front of the spices are a couple of long prep tables. It really is a great set up. I would like a prep sink that is separate, but am lucky enough to have use of one in the other room that used to be the schools cafeteria. Since we are just an annex type school where all the students are bused in from their respective high schools, we don't require a cafeteria. Yea for me that they left an octopus, a large dishwasher and the sinks when they removed the majority of the kitchen at the end of the year. There may be a deep fryer and an ice machine in there also. Oh, yes, the best part is a walk in refrigerator and freezer. Even with all the struggles I am having I asked myself if I would have taken this job knowing everything I do now and I said yes, so I guess I will put up with everything this year and make it a perfect place next year.

Another thing I am excited about is that the paint purchase order finally went through and my maintenance man started painting this afternoon. He taped everything off this morning and was cutting in the bottom half of the wall when I left. I think he will have all the bottom part done by tonight. Can't wait to get back to school and see what he has done. The bad part is that it has been really humid here and I don't know if it will dry enough for him to do the large "chair rail" done before I leave school on Friday.

here is picture of the room's old colors. I wish I had taken pictures of the whole room before I took down the "lovely" decor. The wicker cornucopias stuffed with some greenery and hanging haphazardly were my favorites.

Below is a picture of my samples I painted on the wall of the colors I chose. The top is called key lime pie. (I know, sooooo me) then the bottom is twilight meadow. There will be a faux chair rail of brown velvet that will be a cinder block width since that was the easiest for the painter and I think it will balance nicely. That gold frame thing hanging on the wall in the picture above will be painted the chocolate brown, also. There are two other ones that are not that large that hang on another wall. I also have a nice raspberry color that I am going to use for some accents and canvases.

Now if I can just come up with a new name. I will be all set.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, it's supposed to be wordless and there is supposed to be a picture here. However, the camera is still downstairs and it is getting late so the only pictures I will be seeing are the ones in my dreams. good night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yummo Cotton Candy!!

It's fair time again and my friend and I went on our annual trek to see the sights. Not much there, but we enjoyed what little we saw. Along with trying to win a hand carved wooden pin (2X and missed one by 1 number, shucks), we mostly sat and visited with friends, ate some fair food, (not traditional this time, fajitas) and wandered the commercial exhibits and campers. Of course the final purchase of the night was an extra large bag of fresh, right out of the spinner, cotton candy. It always makes me smile and brings back memories of the South Plains Fair in Lubbock. Of waitng around while my parents and 100 others make plans for opening the ACU Hamburger booth (or ACC for most of that time). Of getting out of school early with free fair tickets and going as a family to enjoy the hamburgers, rides and games. Of going to some GREAT country concerts such as Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys and many, many others that the fair brought in every year. Of getting old enough to go to the fair with a "date". or at least on a group date with a boy you really, really like. Of coming home from college on fair weekends and begging my mother to go with me just so I could go and get me some cotton candy because, unlike today, the fair was the only place you could get this delicious spun sugar and it was a rare treat only gotten once a year. I noticed that the convenience store had some bags of cotton candy for sale this past week and was sorley tempted to purchase some, but I decided to wait until the fair opened and I sure am glad I did.

Friday, September 10, 2010

School, dinner and shoes

YUM!!! I am sitting here at the computer enjoying my dinner. I stopped by Schlotzsky's for some potato and bacon soup and an original. I am so angry at myself. I always tell them to make it without the onions and this time I didn't. I had to pick off the onions. Now, don't get me wrong, I have been picking off the onions (and other stuff I don't care for) most of my life. I am just angry with myself that this one time I didn't do it and now my room smells like onions. There were a lot of onions on this sandwich today. If I were to chop them up and measure them, they would be about 1/4 cup. That's a lot on a sandwich. While I was waiting for my "onion" sandwich, :) the lady in front of me threw out a piece of paper from her car. DELIBERATELY!!! I couldn't believe it. It looked like a receipt, probably the one from her order, that was folded over and over on itself until it was about 1/2" wide and then that strip was folded in half. (what is the deal with all my fractions tonight?) I wanted to get out my car, pick up her paper and hand it back to her along with a couple of trash items from my car and say, "ma'am, I believe you lost this and as punishment for littering you have to take some of my trash." Then I would smile and tell her to have a good day and walk back to my car. Of course, being the type of person she is, A Litterer!, she would probably just throw her paper and my trash out the window. Just for the record, this woman was well over 50 and definitely should have known better.

I stayed late and worked on getting an ISS assignment together. I am putting together a generic packet so that when one of my students is put into ISS, the teacher there can just pull out my packet and the student can work on the assignments there. I have one that it going in on Monday for a 10 day stint. He must have done something really bad. However, not bad enough for him to go out to the alternative center or even jail. I got 4 days done and brought the rest home to work on this weekend along with my lesson plans, quilting and watching movies.

I wore my Gee's Bend shoes to school today and the people that saw them loved them. I did, too! I will have to remember to take both pairs to Bee tomorrow. I can't wear them because then, I would have to untie them and take them off to sew, slip them back on to walk around and then back off again to sew. Yes, I am one of those people, a bare-foot sewer. (notice I did not get and exclamation point) When I was teaching apparel class at the high school I had to make sure I wore shoes I could easily slip off and on just in case I had to sit down at some one's sewing machine and work on it. I know, I have it really bad.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog, blog, blog

Okay, Ree in her blog yesterday (Pioneer Woman) said to blog no matter how you feel. Yesterday I knew I needed to blog and felt like blogging, but got sidetracked by reading all the blogs. Today, I am excited about blogging and I am going to come here first before I venture off into blog land to read what everyone else has been doing today. I finally picked the new colors for our restaurant at school. The top will be a color called "Key Lime Pie" and no, I didn't pick it because I happen to LOVE!!!! key lime pies. It just happened to be the perfect color. At about chair rail height, there will be a band about a cinder block width of a deep chocolate brown called, brown velvet. It is luscious! Then on the bottom of the wall is a turquoise color called twilight meadow. Together these three colors are dreamy! After it gets painted I will post pictures of the before colors (ugly brown and ugly maroon) and pictures of the new room. I am sorry I didn't take pictures before we took down all the gaudy ugly decorations, but I will post what the restaurant looks like once it gets its paint job and decor. It will be fantastic. I can't wait. Enough about school. That last class wore me out. Trying to take notes with a class full of chatty Cathy sophomore girls and one boy that seems to feel like it is his duty and honor to interrupt you every 5 minutes!! It was like pulling teeth with them. I am going to have to do something majorly different in that class tomorrow. The sad thing is that 1/3 or them don't plan on going into the food industry. They are just biding their time until they can be in cosmetology as a junior. Hopefully they can learn at least a little bit. I am just trying to make it through safety and sanitation.

One of the reasons I was so excited to blog today was that yesterday I got my new shoes!! (can't transfer picture, but you can go here) I started to wear a pair today, but my feet were calling out for some sandals. I was glad I didn't have them on when I hit my elbow on the side mirror of my car this morning spilling my coffee all the way down the front of me causing me to go back inside and change clothes. Let me tell you, it was a rocky start all the way around this morning. I got to our faculty meeting without my calendar, because I went straight from my car to the meeting (one minute to spare). Luckily I had a notepad and calendar in my purse and was able to transfer all the info to my other calendars. Next time we have a faculty meeting I will not be trying to get a little more shut eye as a reward for not having zero hour. I will just get up as usual and get to school early.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Top

It is now finished along with the back and a bag to carry it all around. Yes, I am talking about the Jelly Roll Sampler quilt that I have been working on for several months. I know it's a really bad picture and I apologize, but it is the best I can do at this time. The top has been finished for awhile, but I was waiting on more fabric to complete the back. Plus life got in the way and now it is ready to sit around and wait for the time to be quilted. Everything is good to go. Top, backing, binding and a bag to carry it all around. One more checked off the to do list and placed on the need to be quilted list.

I have really enjoyed making bags to match my quilt tops. It has been really convenient and easy to find said tops. Now all I have to do is look for the bag. I can store everything that goes with the top in the bag and when I get ready to have it quilted, I know where everything is. It's a win, win situation and I have fun designing the bag and practicing my machine quilting.