Friday, December 30, 2011

Blocks, Soup and Burp Cloths - not in that order

Finished four more burp cloths so I am done with that for a little while.  I then moved on to the Blogger's BOM that is going through Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.  I have drawn out the four patterns onto gridded cards, written down all the cutting information and which number the block is and who designed it. 
I have even color coded some of them with the area and then the directions in the same color so I can keep it straight in my head. 

After reading many of the quilter's blogs, I, too, have decided to make two of each.  I also made that decision after I made the first one with a white Kona background and I thought it looked too blah.  I made the second one with the green print and liked it a lot.  Once I put them on the wall together I decided to make one with a green print background and one with a white. (or at least they had to have those fabrics in them.  Below are my version of the four current patterns available (that I know of).  I love the Kaffe fabrics that the designers were using and thought about making mine totally out of those fabrics, but I like the mix of some Kaffe, some modern and some traditional fabrics.  This one will be a fun one to watch grow in the coming year.

 Today I went out to lunch at a new place in Midland called the Harvest Cafe.  A co-worker recommended it to me last week so I decided to try it out.  OH MY GOODNESS!!  I have fallen in love with the Baja Chicken Enchilada Soup.  I could take a bath in that it was soooo delicious.  Now I am going to have to experiment and come up with my version of that soup.  Unbelievable.  I can't wait to go back and get some more.  Unfortunately it will be at least a week or more before I can return.  If you are in the area, go try out their soup!  I highly, highly recommend it.  (If it would have been okay, I would have totally licked the bowl).  Those of you that know me know that I am not this blown away with soup - even though I have a few favorites, {Jason's Deli - Broccoli Cheese; Campbell's - Split Pea and Ham; Homemade - Tortellini Soup}(Okay, maybe I do like a few soups) Anyway, . . .

Wow - something major must have happened out on JBS and 42nd or somewhere near there.  There have been sirens blaring and honking through that intersection for the last 3 or 4 minutes. 

Anyway - back to the soups and the Harvest Cafe.  Stop in there and have a cup or a bowl.  I would love to go along with you, if you can wait until the new year.  Enjoy - 

whew!  I went to spell check this thing and thought that I had totally erased the entire posting.  Thank goodness for auto save! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Retreat Quilt 2012 - first view

Here is my quilt top so far.  I finished my 9 blocks and just couldn't go any further.  I tried, I really did, but my mind just said STOP!!!  Yes, it was almost that loudly.  Once I put these blocks together, I felt better and have been able to work on other things while auditioning fabrics for borders.  Sometimes it's good to listen to your brain when it tells you something.  Or at least it is for me.  I did nothing for a couple of days because I really thought I needed to make 20 blocks for a lap quilt, but this quilt had something else entirely in mind for itself.  The fabric that is on the right side trying out for the role of outside border has since been replaced by another fabric that works much better.  Once I have that fabric on, I will take another picture of the finished top.  This is the quilt I will be teaching at our retreat in February. 

I have made a couple of blocks for the Blogger's BOM.  After the first block, I have decided to change the background fabric and need to re-make that first block along with the other two blocks.  These are 8 inch blocks so I may be making two of each pattern.  I may need to make more or come up with a way to put them on point.  I guess I will wait until the end of the monthly blocks to see how they set them before I make that decision.  I have 8 more months for that. 

I have also made 4 burp cloths and have another 4 cut out and ready to sew together.  It seems like almost everyone I know is having a baby!!  (or at least 6 people I know.  Actually I know of 7 at this time that are preggers and one that delivered early - before Christmas.)  I used to have a stash of baby blankets, etc. on hand to give as gifts, but I guess I sold most of those a couple years ago at the Bazaar and now I don't have anything!!  It has been on my brain to make some more blankets, but, you know, it was stalled by that quilt at the top of this posting!!  Now that I have it all cleared up, I am up and running on the other things I need to get done.  Now, off to do some sewing - until next time.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

The snow is starting to melt and every once in a while I hear a loud boom!  It is sliding off the roof in large chunks and hitting the roof over the back porch.  I jump almost everytime!  At first I thought someone was out dumping trash or throwing snowballs, but all is fairly peaceful outside (except for the cars going down the alley looking at the lake and park behind my house).   I have put in all the new numbers from my sister and nephews new Christmas phones from Santa, read several blogs, my e-mail and facebook comments.  Played a little bit of Garden of Time and now I really need to get moving and on with the day.  Hope everyone is enjoying a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm not Dreaming it's a White Christmas

Here's the view out my home office window!  It's been snowing since last night and is still coming down in large flakes even as I type this.  Most of you don't know how rare this is for us.  I can't remember the last time we had snow for Christmas.  It usually doesn't snow here in the desert until January, if at all.  We have had two really good snowfalls already this year.  The year of the drought.  It's great to not only see the snow, but look at the lake!  It's full once again.  Remember this picture from this summer? Okay, I can't seem to find the picture I took this summer.  It was probably that one that I deleted just a little bit ago of my screen, looking out the window.  I thought I had another one besides that one.  Okay, let me describe it for you.  Looking at the current picture, everywhere you see water, was brown, dried up lake bed.  I mean, everywhere.  There was no water at this end of the lake.  You could walk across the lake bed and I saw several people do just that!  Where you see white snow, picture it as dry, brown grass.  No rain, equals dry grass.  The bushes along the fence are purple sage, but with no rain, all you have a gray leaves - no purple flowers.  It was a bleak picture outside my window for many months.  The good thing about being so busy this summer was that I didn't have time to get depressed looking out my window. 

Now, is the time for me to get busy sewing.  I have three classes I am teaching in the early spring and one lecture I have to prepare for.  Thank goodness, one quilt top is totally finished, but it still needs to be quilted, if there is time.  I now have 9 blocks done for my retreat quilt and am debating whether to stop there or continue on to 20 blocks.  I have a few blocks done for my lecture quilts and need to add to those and put them into tops at the very least.  Finally, I need to finish my Inspiration quilt top and decide if I have time to get it quilted before April.  I have bits and pieces done, but nothing finished.  I can't blame the computer for distracting me since I haven't had it for several months.  I just need to focus and get going.  I need to set a plan, work on one thing at a time and not let other new projects distract me.  HaHa!!  I am always distracted by the new and fun project which is why I have such a nice collection of quilt tops.  I have quilted several quilts lately, but those are the small tops, some of which have been sitting around for more than a year.  (10+ years for the color wash quilt)  edit: oops!  didn't realize I hadn't posted pics on this one.  Made the center many, many years ago.  Then several years ago, I added the border.  I was planning on making a pillow out of it, but then I decided how to quilt it and put a hanger on it so now, it's a small wall hanging.  See it hanging off my yardstick? I came up with that system so I could photograph some of my small quilts. 

Okay, I know, get off this computer and go get busy.  But, first lunch!  Now to decide what to have?  This may take awhile.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'M BACK!!!!

My computer is back!  I don't know if you remember or not, it's been forever, but I killed my computer.  I took it to our tech person and she was able to save and store all  my info, but didn't have the time to work on my computer and suggested I have the students in our computer tech class work on it.  I agreed and finally, finally I have it back.  They had to wipe the hard drive and re-install.  Then re-install when that crashed again.  It took them forever to get it done, but it is finally back and I am on-line once again. 

I have soooo much to show you and don't even know where to start.  I need to download a bunch of pictures I have been taking because while I don't have computer to play games on every night, I have been sewing!  So, lots of goodies to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.  That's all for now, just a tease for tonight. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Our Bee Friends Quilt Group has a "stay at home" quilt retreat 4 times a year.  I know I have mentioned it before, but I just love those weekends.  We start at 3:00 on Thursday afternoon and go until 3:00 on Saturday afternoon.  We held our fourth and final one of the year, October 27th - 29th, right before Halloween.

My friend, Gerrie, brought a bunch of quilt patterns, marked down to one dollar, that were in her daughters garage sale, but they didn't sell.  She offered them to us for free, if we would just take them.  So, being the nice friend - who, by the way, doesn't need anymore patterns or junk in her house - I went over to look at what she had.  I looked them over and said "no, thank you", but the more we stood there and talked, there were two patterns that kept calling my name.  So, I said I would take them.  This was on Thursday night.  This pumpkin pattern kept yelling at me to make it so, that night when I got home, I reached into the batik buckets and pulled, without really looking, a bunch of batiks to make this quilt.  Did I tell you that this pattern was done in dark wools?  It was very country/primitive looking, but there was something about it that I liked.  I don't really know why I pulled batiks, that wasn't the plan before I got into my quilt studio, but that is what I came up with for this quilt.  After school, when I got to the quilt-in, I started drawing off the pattern onto the paperbacked fusible I also pulled Thursday night.  There were some fabrics that didn't work at all and some that only a bit of it would work.  I wanted the background to be a darker fabric, but I didn't have enough to make it work and it really wasn't dark enough for me.  This blue fabric was the only other piece that was large enough to use as the background.  Then, I went from there, selecting one by one the fabrics I was going to use for each piece.  The only one I re-did was the middle of the eyes.  The second color was going to be that dark orange and then the little bit was a dark blue and there just wasn't enough contrast.  Everything else stayed the same as what I haphazardly decided on, even the mouth - which I thought was too busy, but after adding the stitching for the teeth, it needed to be that dark.  Of course, once I ironed it on, it was staying there no matter what. 

This is really not the final picture.  I have totally finished it.  Yep, bound, hanging sleeve and label!  Amazing, I know.  It is ready to put out next year.  It also has these curly lines of perle cotton stitching that twirl out from the jack-o-lantern and some buttons.  It is really cute and I thought I had that picture, but nope, you only get the partially finished product.  At least it is a better picture than the previous ones and it, too, was taken with my tablet.  So, now I have a cheery halloween quilt to hang.  I have also finished the top from the other pattern  - oh, wait, the funny part of this whole thing?  After I started working on this quilt top, Gerrie decided she really liked the pattern and took it back to make her one, also!!  I told her I would sell it to her for one dollar, but she wasn't going for that!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two new small quilts

Over a year ago, my friend Kathy and I joined an Art Quilt Guild in Lubbock.  The first meeting we attended we made a wonderful black/white top. I don't have mine finished to show you because I am not sure what exactly or how exactly I want it to be.  It was a lot of fun to make and just to be sitting in that room with about 14 other art quilters was inspiring.  Then, with the scraps and other things we made a couple of other projects.  This is one of the projects.  I used the leftover cutout pieces from my black fabric and made some more of that pattern in other colors.  I put it on a lime green background and there it was for almost a year.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to make it into a quilt.  I had fun quilting around the edges and off the edges.  It is bound in dark purple and is about the size of a sheet of paper.  (I don't have exact measurments.)

One of the assignments from that day was for strips and one shape.  I made this next quilt top and invisioned fish swimming among the reeds and seaweeds in a lake.  Everyone else that saw it just went, "yeah, that's good."  They couldn't see my vision.  After I quilted it, my friends thought it was wonderful.  Of course, now you can clearly tell that those black blobs are actually fish.  It all makes sense now. 

Okay, I can't make this picture turn the way I want so just turn your head to the left to see it the way it is supposed to be seen.  It is also about the size of a piece of paper. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

McDuffy Quilt

this isn't a very good picture and I apologize for that.  I am still a little bit in limbo computer-wise, but I am trying to make a go of it between several electronical devices.  I e-mailed this picture to my school computer three days ago and it finally showed up today.  It's a little bit slow, but that is probably due to needing to be re-charged.  Who knows.  I will try and do better in the future.  (If I can figure out the new high tech devices) 

this quilt is my version of the schnibble McDuffy.  I have loved that pattern since I first saw it and now I have finally gotten around to making one.  A couple of weeks ago, Midland Quilter's Guild, held their bi-annually quilt show.  that is where I picked up the charm packs, Etchings.  I loved the front of that pack and flipping through the stack, I thought it would make a great quilt.  After opening up the packet, I realized that there were a lot - - I mean a lot - - of light colored fabrics.  I don't usually work with light colored fabrics so putting this together was a bit of a challenge for me - not piecing it - that was simple - just dividing the lights from the darks.  there were more lights than darks so some of the fabrics are both a light and a dark depending on which other fabric it is paired with.  I like the look of this quilt (sorry again about the poor quality) it might be turned into a baby quilt for someone since I have about 6 friends and family that are pregnant and due sometime in the early new year!!  It's baby crazy here now adays.  Be looking for more from me in the near future since this isn't the only picture I e-mailed to my school address.  I am back to blogging!  It feels soooo good.  Now it's back into the kitchen for me and my students. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

a quick check in

I know it has been forever since I have posted, but I just wanted to touch base here and let you know that I am still alive and quilting. School has become busy, busy, busy.  We are in labs 2 or 3 times a week and that means trips to the grocery store.  The good thing is, last week we made focaccia bread for the first time and it turned out pretty good.  They had never made a yeast bread before.   I had never made that recipe and it was good, but needs some tweeking before we make it again. 

The good news is volleyball is over for me for the year, unless there are playoff games they call and ask me to work.  One of the basketball coaches wants me to keep his books, but I haven't told him yes yet.  I keep putting it off and thank goodness he didn't ask on Friday. 

This week we were in the lab today - didn't go great, burned cookies, yucky brownies - just not a good day to bake I guess.  Tomorrow we are serving lunch for 24.  Then on Wednesday we are serving finger food for a series of meetings held here at our school.  We made some mini muffins for that today.  Tomorrow will be extremely busy!! 

I have been working on quilts.  I even have the pictures to post, but I killed my computer.  Thank goodness our tech person here was able to save everything to one of her computers and I am hoping our computer class can find the problem and fix my machine.  I am going to have to make the trip to Best Buy in Midland to look at getting a laptop.  Too bad our Best Buy here isn't open yet.  Well, gotta go put the cooled muffins and cookies that made it up for the night.  I may work some more on my hexagon quilt top this evening since I can't play games on my computer!  (by the way, I am writing this at school which is why I don't have any pictures)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Whisper and Retreat

Last posting I talked about my whisper quilt.  Even though I have to top completed, I still haven't had the time to quilt it.  I really need to get on that since I have to have it finished in 13 days.  I will share with you a little bit of the quilt I got from Kathy. 

Then I will share part of my quilt. 

Sorry, that is all you get to see at this time.  I shouldn't even be showing that much, but I couldn't keep it all a secret, now could I?  Last weekend was the Ogallala Ceta Canyon Retreat and my friends Kathy and Gerri and I headed out on Friday making the long trek to our getaway.  Of course I planned on getting away much, much earlier than we did, but I really overslept and then I wasn't completely packed and the car wasn't clean and well, let's just say about 2 hours later than planned, Kathy and I were on our way.  Which, it turned out was not a bad thing since Gerri was leaving about the same time we were and we got to meet up in Lamesa.  However, the quilt store there was closed.  Neither one of them have ever been to that store since she has been closed every single time they are with me and we stop there.  I, on the other hand, have stopped there quite a bit.  She has great prices on her fabric and some wonderful  new and clearance items.  I seem to always find a few things to purchase.  Next time we will have to call ahead of our trip and make sure she will be open when we get there.  Too bad we didn't do it this time. 

Since that quit store was closed, we headed on up to Lubbock to the Bernina store - yes, we purchased a few things - and then Sugarbaker's for an early lunch - okay, since I was running late, yada yada yada, it was about lunchtime.  Gerri went to Sugarbaker's and ate first.  When we called to find out where she was, she had already ordered and we were already purchasing so we both stayed where we were.  Then we swapped.  Lunch was good as always, but the Italian Cream Cake was exceptional!!  Since we were already in Lubbock and not going to make it to Ceta by 10 - hah - we decided to schlep on over to Rachel's.  yes, we all found goodies and whatnots there, too.  We enjoyed sitting at the counter getting our fabric cut and chatting with the employees. Then off to Plainview for a Sonic drink and a stop at the Wal-mart.  I know, we have a Wal-mart here, but you know how you have those last minute items you forgot and this is the last stop along the way to pick up any of those items.  We shopped and found some wonderful things that we just had to have - S'MORE GOLDFISH!!!  Have you tried them.  YUM!! 

Now a few more hours and we are at Ceta Canyon.  It looks like we are some of the last to arrive.  There is a table for two and Kathy and I grab that one.  Gerrie had already put her stuff down on a table with another friend, Pam.  It wasn't right next to us, but we don't usually sit really close together anyway.  We need an excuse every once in a while to get up and move and not sitting close is our excuse.  Here is a picture of Kathy with her winning challenge quilt.  The Challenge was to make a small quilt with a "Calendar Holiday".  She chose Johnny Appleseed's birthday.  Yes, it's on her calendar.  Maxine doesn't celebrate it on my calendar, though.  I loved her use of a pair of jeans with a hole it that she used to make Johnny's jeans with a knee hole.  It was very clever and I was so proud of her when her quilt won. 

This is one of the quilts I worked on while there.  Like I have said before, I have been wanting to make one of these interlocking crosses quilts for quite some time.  I have read about them on the blogs for over a year now and I finally decided to just draw one up and make it.  This is some of the fabric that I was cutting and cutting the last couple of weeks.  This quilt is made up of 4 1/2 inch squares.  196 squares to be exact!!  I can't believe there are that many squares, but there are.  It went together really fast.  Much faster than I thought it would.  It would have been faster if toward the end I hadn't sewn some of the rows together wrong and then had to take then out and  sew them back together correctly.  I really like this quilt and plan on making one or two more.  I thought I was giving it for a baby gift, but I think I might just keep this one all to myself.  At least for now.  Anyway, it's not quited and may not be for a few years the way things go around here. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quilt top Done!

I am still cutting fabric.  However, I took some time out to work on my Whisper Quilt this weekend.  I can't show any pictures - one, because I am at school and don't have my camera with me and two, because it is a secret!  That's why it is called a whisper quilt.  This is how it all started.  In April at the Ogallala Quilt Festival, I saw a display from a quilt group out of New Mexico called "Whisper Quilts".  (Or it could have been Gossip Quilts or something else entirely, but for this purpose I am calling it Whisper Quilts)  The premise is you have a group (4 - 8 people) (we had two groups of four) and person number one gets a picture from a magazine (we had my sister in Arkansas pick the pictures, seal them in an envelope and mail them to me and I handed them to the first person in each group)  The first person makes a quilt based on their interpretation of the picture. (they only have one month)  They then send their quilt on to the second person who makes a quilt based on their interpretation of person # 1's quilt. They give # 1 their quilt back and they pass their quilt on to # 3 and so on and so on.  You only get to see the quilt from the person in front of you.  Only the first person gets to see the original picture.  When everyone has had a chance to make their quilt (must be finished - quilted and bound), everyone brings their quilt to display.  There are only 3 people in our group this time and 4 people in our second group because we wanted to get this done before the holidays.  We will display our quilts in October. 

I am so excited!  I have my Whisper quilt top finished!!  I only need to quilt and bind it before the 15th of October.  I can't believe how fast it all came together for me.  I would love to do another one - and may - someday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Scrap Organization and Blocks

This past week I have been reading blogs whenever I have gotten the chance.  Which hasn't been very often.  I have a few blogs that I read first and then if I have more time I go a little deeper on my list.  This weekend, I had a bit of that free time and was going through my list and one block really, really caught my eye.  I got to this blog in a round about way.  So, let me give credit to the blogs - I was reading up on what Quilt Dad is doing when I noticed that during October there is going to be a Quilt-Uberfest.  I picked a random name off that list, Amy Logsiger - October 5th and went to her blog, Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts. Wow, I have been to this blog before.  I have always liked what she has done and I don't know why I didn't have it bookmarked.  Reading through, I came upon her posting about the Japanese + and X blocks.  I was transfixed.  I love this block.  I need to make this block.   I clicked on a link that led me to another link and now, I can't tell you where I found the tutorial on this block.  I have tried to backtrack - I had to backtrack to even write this posting, saved it, looked, write, saved it, looked, etc.  Just so I could bring you all the information I could, but alas, this is it.  I made four blocks yesterday and put them up on my design wall.  I sewed them together already and think I will make it into a pillow. 

Even though I really like this and it uses up my scraps, I think I need to have a lighter "background" like in the ones on the flicker group. I think it is from here that I followed links to the tutorial, but I can't figure out which magic website got me there. 

Last week, or the week before, I made a 15 minute play block for the basics quilt.  I just hope it's not too late to get it to Victoria for her quilt.  It has been hanging out on my wall ever since it was finished.  I need to go over to 15 minutes and see the rules/guidelines for this one and send it off. 

This is what I have been up to the last week in that extra free time.  Cutting fabric. I am getting ready to go to the Ogallala Ceta Canyon retreat.  I plan on working on my quilt for the retreat my friend Kathy and I put on each year. 

This is my year to teach and I designed the block below.  You can read more about this block here.  Since it is made up of lots of scraps, I have been cutting my fabric into squares.  You can see my boxes for a few of the sizes on the cutting station.  I have squares from 5 inches to 1 inch.  I don't know what I am going to do with the one inch blocks, but I will do something.  They have been talking to me all day and I am thinking 9 patch or something like that.  A 9 patch block made with 1 inch squares would only measure 1 1/2 inches!!  That is crazy.  I may just have to make it and play with my other size squares.  However, that is in the future.  For now, I need to get this quilt made. 


Monday, September 5, 2011

Just Organizational Stuff

I have added another shelving unit to my quilt studio.  I had to move the ironing board out to put the shelf in and now I don't know where to put the ironing board!  This shelving unit isn't as large as the other three or as tall.  I am not sure it will hold everything I need it to, but I will keep it until it crashes down.  In the clearing out process, I have started going through a box of quilting stuff that has been sitting by the ironing board for several years now.  I have discovered some round robin quilt tops from over 10 years ago when I was part of an online quilt chat group.  I have also come across several orphan blocks, more quilt tops, some batik blocks that I really, really like and can kind of remember making.  There are 8 of those blocks.  Five of the blocks are put together from 4 separate paper piece blocks and the other 3 are the log cabin style.  I just need to make one block in a log cabin style to have a nice wall hanging or center section of a larger quilt.  I will try to get a picture of them this week so you can see. 

I have spent the evening and parts of this long weekend cutting fabric (okay, and being really, really, lazy and playing games on the computer, too).   I need to clear out some boxes and put all my squares in them to get more organized.  I already have boxes that have strips - 2 1/2", 1 3/4" and 1 1/2" - all in separate boxes.  I also have a tub (larger than a box) of multi-size strips.  Right now I use my tub to make spiderweb blocks.  Now that I type this, I need to get back to this sometime in the near future.  I also have separate boxes of 2 1/2" squares and 5" squares that also includes some charm packs.  I have a little, bitty, box (it's actually a recipe box) for my 2 inch squares.  I have squares cut from 1 1/2" to 5".  I went on a retreat a few years back where the teacher told how she cuts her fat quarters into squares and strips getting them ready for later use.  Since then, I have been trying to get some of my larger fabric scraps and random fabric in fat quarters and 1/2 yards cut up ready for scrap quilt use.  I am trying to clear out some of my older and  ugly fabrics.  Well, I just wanted to put something down here since it's been over a week since I posted.  I will try to get a few pictures up here on Wednesday.  I need to get back on a system both here and in real life. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Liberated logs and baskets

I have been wondering and trying to decide what and how I was going to  teach my scholarship class at Ogallala this year.  I took two classes from Gwen Marston - Liberated log cabins and Liberated Baskets.  When I was discussing this with my mother, she came up with the wonderful idea of using the log cabins for the basket.  ding, ding, ding we have a winner!!!   I made two log cabins with orange strips (different fabrics in each) and made one yellow cabin.  These were all from the scrap pile that I use to make "fabric" with for my intuition quilt.  I pulled some brown fabric from a stack of fabric that has finally graduated from the pile by the sofa and made it up the stairs and into my quilt studio.  I had thought I was going to use it for squares in the 6 inch square swap from a couple of weeks ago and decided that I didn't want a solid brown.  It's no really solid, but kind of muddled.  I used a different teal fabric for the handles on each of the baskets and sashed it with a brown/orange/yellow/green fabric that for some reason I really, really like.  (I have been on a brown/orange kick for a little over a year now).  I was going to make the border a large strip of that fabric, but decided that it needed a kick.  So, I went through my teal drawer and pulled a fabric that has little bitty silver strips in it.  The selvage says the fabric was made in 1999 so it is a bit on the old side, but I am so glad that I have it because it works perfectly here.  Now to decide how to quilt this baby.  I want to have a completed quilt for my project instead of just a top like last year.   Now that I think about it, the year before I had three - count them - three completed (that means quilted and bound!!)  quilts for my solids class.  Last years wasn't quilted because I couldn't decide . . . . okay, I won't lie, it wasn't quilted because most of my tops aren't quilted. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

See What I Won!!

When I have time, I participate in the Le Petite Challenge over at A Quilting Life and Pink Pincushion.  My goal was to participate every month, but some months I am a lot more busy than others so that hasn't happened.  However, last month I found some time to make the schnibble entitled "George".  It was a monkey wrench quilt and since that is one of my favorite all time quilt blocks, I knew I had to make it.  I immediately ordered the pattern from Quilt Taffy and started looking around at all the charm packs I have acquired in the last couple of years (began picking those up last year for the schnibble challenge with the same two blogs).  I found a couple that I wanted to explore the possibilities of background fabrics that might work with them (and also what I had on hand since I definitely didn't have time to go to a store).  I found two that I kept going back and forth on and decided to wait another day before making that decision.  I put it all aside and worked on a block for 15 Minutes Play.  That's when I found it.  The "George" pattern.  I already had it!!  I could start on this immediately if I wanted and I so wanted to do that.  I picked up the one fabric that was in the lead (in my head - it wasn't an actual race to see who could be made into a quilt) and started cutting.  I cut, I sewed and I finished it in plenty of time to enter it into the parade, but then life got busy and at the  last minute - after checking the blogs to see if the parade had already started, I e-mailed it to Sinta at Pink Pincushion

It's not the best picture, I know, but it was taken quite late at night.  (or, it could be I am a horrible photographer)  I really like that I used a darker blue fabric for my background.  It makes everything else stand out.  The inside of the wrenches are a variety of blue fabrics from the charm pack.  What all this rambling and going on is all about is . . . everyone that entered that parade won!!  I couldn't believe it.  This quilt (okay, top only) didn't win the big prize, but since there weren't very many that entered that month, Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co (who designs the Schnibbles patterns and this quilt) decided that they were all winners and wanted to award us with a layer cake.  YEA!!! 

My package arrived this week, but having a full week of inservice has slowed me down a bit and I didn't get pictures made of the prize until now.  I was really shocked when I received my mailing.  I was a little on the fat side for a single layer cake and the reason for that was . . . it was two layer cakes and a pincushion kit!!  BINGO!!  What a great package to open. 
This first one is Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree and Company

The second one is Maison De Garance by French General
Both are Moda Layer Cakes

This last one is an absolutely adorable snowman pincushion by Primitive Gatherings and designed by Lisa Bongean.  It will finish only 4 1/2" X 5 1/2" and includes everything but the threads to do the embroidery and blanket stitch and the sand to fill it.  (I will also need some kind of fusible, but I have that) 

Needless to say that I was very, very excited about my package and want to say a big THANK YOU to Sinta and Sherri for hosting and coming up with such great challenges and a huge, huge THANK YOU to Carrie for providing prizes each month and especially for this past month.  thank you. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Our Bee Friends Quilt Group got together this past weekend for our third quilt-in of the year.  It was decided several months prior that whoever wanted would cut 149 light and 149 medium/dark - 6 inch squares and trade to make  really scrappy 1/2 square quilts.  I signed up to do this project.  Well, we all know how busy my summer was and I got my lights cut before Thursday night, but not my med/darks.  I took that fabric with me to the quilt-in knowing I had a few hours before we had to trade and I might just get all my squares cut.  Thank goodness one of my friends was a little bit late getting there that night because I finished right as she was walking in the door.   WHEW!!  Just by the skin on of my teeth I got all my squares cut and ready to trade.  However, before I even went that night I had decided that I didn't even want to make another 1/2 square quilt.  I have made one or two of them at other retreats and even though I like the looks of those quilts, I was ready for something different.  I was sitting at the computer working one night and knocked off a stack of papers that really, really need to be filed.  After I picked them up and stacked them again - what?  I don't have the energy or time to file them now!  I have other more important (and fun) things to do - like playing games on the computer or reading blogs - which is probably what I was doing when I knocked that pile over.  Anyway, in that stack was one of those patterns you get in the mail along with a solicitation for a quilt book or new magazine or to join something quilty.  I had saved this one sheet because I liked the look of that quilt.  I wasn't sure I would actually make it, but I could use it as an inspiration.  All it needed were 6 inch squares in light and medium/dark fabrics - hey, we are trading those at the quilt in.  Also, I needed 1 1/2 inch strips.  I have a large box of those since several of my recent quilts needed  that size strip.  I am set!!  In brief, easy terms here is how you get these blocks.  Cut your 6 inch square diagonally once.  Sew your 1 1/2" strips to the cut edges of your block.  Square up your block.  Now, the pattern says to square them to 5 inches, but I have been able to square mine back to a 6 inch block.  Here is what I have put up on my design wall so far . . .

There are a lot of repeats in there since when we exchanged, I picked up two of the same fabric blocks (we went around the table several, several times before we decided to pick up more than two - we were tired after going around about 6 times!)  This will look even more scrappy as I put in more fabrics.  I may have to make a couple of smaller quilts rather than a large one.  We will see how this all pans out later. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The New Year Begins and other things

Back at school for two days and already I can tell that it is going to be an "interesting" year.  I am going to hope for the best, but we will have to wait and see what this year holds.  I am looking forward to my classes and what I am teaching, it's just the higher ups that are causing a dislike. 

Last week, being the only week to have completely off for the summer - no outside work - I planned on sewing, sewing, sewing and I got very little done.  I took a nap almost everyday and was a lazy bum for the most part.  I had lots of dog and me appointments - grooming, vets, doctors, etc. and got the majority of them taken care of.  I have a few more on my calendar for this month and I think the dogs are taken care of for a bit.  I really needed to cut my 300 - 6 inch - squares for our exchange tomorrow night and I got 150 light squares cut and ready to go, but I have to cut my darks tonight.  That may or may not happen.  It is thundering outside and I think I have more than the usual one dog afraid of the storm.  I may have to go back downstairs and cuddle with a couple of them to reassure them that the storm is not going to get them. 

A couple of years ago, a major thunder and lightening storm settled over the top of my house.  Being two story it seemed that it may come through the roof at any time.  This was at 2 in the morning and Taegan, Irish and I were fast asleep.  Then BOOM! BOOM!  BOOM!!!!!  Taegan was up and on top of me so fast that I couldn't figure out what was going on.  I thought someone might have broken in and he was protecting me, but no, he wanted my protection from the storm.  He had never been scared of storms before, but that was a scary one for sure.  Ever since then, if it is thundering or there are fireworks or other loud noises going on outside, he comes running for his momma and either climbs in my lap or sits as close as he can get for my protection.  That one storm really scared him.  He was probably fast asleep at the time and it scared him awake.  So, tonight, he has the other dogs stirred up and every time the thunder booms - not very loudly, but still a boom - he starts barking and the others join in with him.   I think Irish is just telling them to be quiet, since he managed to sleep through that storm a couple of years ago. 

Tonight is the final competition night on So You Think You Can Dance and guess what?  Our Fox station is not working!  BOO!!!!  I was looking forward to watching them dance tonight.  I am hoping that I can watch it later tonight on the computer.  I may have to wait until tomorrow night.  : (  That show is one of my favorite shows to watch. 

Well, so much for my rambling on.  I did take a picture of one of the only things I got made last week.  It is part of a new quilt design.  I had originally planned on this being a two color quilt and I wanted to see what it would look like using scraps.  I also want to see if I could make this block without getting technical and writing out all the directions, sizes, etc.  Because if it didn't work, I didn't want to be out all that wasted time when my time last week was spent . . well, you know, you read all the way down to here, now didn't you.  I love a good nap.  I really like the way this turned out.  I can't wait to make the rest of the quilt or at least a baby quilt using scraps.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Le Petite Challenge - George

Now that I am finished with all of my jobs this summer, well almost - still have to fill out all the paperwork for the externship, but I am waiting on the owner of the restaurant to find some time.  Hopefully on Wednesday this week.  Anyway, now that I have nowhere I have to be, I don't want to do anything.  I am not in the mood to quilt.  It may be that I really wanted to have this quilt top finished and quilted by now, but I just couldn't make myself get in there and baste it so I could quilt it.  Here is my "George" quilt from the Le Petite Challenge.  Featuring "Portugal" by April Cornell for Moda with a blue Kona background.  I don't know which blue though.  I did find some time to work on this in the month of July.  I really like this quilt top.  It's small - Le Petite - but it makes a big statement.  I really need to crop this picture so you don't see the "table runner" next to it. 

That "table runner" was started over a year ago - maybe even two - and since I really don't like to make table runners, I was going to make it into a full size quilt.  However, I only did a bit and got bogged down in stitching all the stars on the squares - I even reduced the number of stars by half - and I never got back to it. When I was pulling batik scraps from off my cutting table and the surrounding area, I found the box that this was in.  It still has all the fabrics pulled and in the box with this top.  I used some of the scraps from this box to add to my block of the month challenge and saw why I haven't worked on it in awhile.  The blocks I have finished are the exact same fabrics that are already in the quilt!  I need to make more stars, add in more batiks and . . . finish this quilt top.  But first, I need to cut 6 inch squares for our Bee Friend's scrap swap.  I need 145 light squares and 145 medium/dark squares.  I know it won't take long to kick those out,  but my cutting table is over run with stuff.  So, I am going to have to cut on my small table - which is okay - but it also has fabric on it from at least two different projects plus leftover bits of George!  Gotta go clean that off.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Done, Done, Done!!!

I am done with my summer externship!!  Thanks to all the employees - managers, waitstaff, S. A's, kitchen crew, prep, cooks and dishwashers and the owner for putting up with me for the four weeks of my training.   I learned a lot, got some great insight into what it takes to run a successful restaurant and catering company.  I got lots of ideas I plan on implementing into my kitchen at school and how I want my students to run our restaurant.  It was a lot of hard work, sore, achy feet  and lots of sweating!!  That kitchen is extremely hot and having over 100 degree weather almost every single day that I was at work was not fun.  Everyone said that working char - the steak grill - would be one of the hottest places to work, but I beg to differ.  At least working char there is a place you can stand to catch some cold air.  In the kitchen working the line or expoing there is NO cold air!  It is just hot all the time.  I know I am going on about it being hot, but I am one person that thinks the hottest it should ever get is 72 degrees!  I am all for 40 degree days, everyday.  I am a cold weather person.  I am not one of those that relish the heat and laying out on the beach soaking up the sun.  I am all about the mountains and cold running rivers and opening up the windows and let the cool breezes blow through.  So, needless to say, I was miserably hot this summer and I wasn't even out in the sun! 

I have one more week of summer volleyball league - if they want me back since I have been gone so much of it this summer.  Then, I have an entire week of NOTHING!!! before I have to head back to school for a couple weeks of inservice training.  I can't believe it is almost August.  School will start back - with students - in 4 weeks.  Incredible.  My summer has really been packed with working, conferences and family reunion, but mostly working.  I am one of those rare teachers this summer that is actually looking forward to school starting so my life can settle into a slower routine.  Even though my life is not that slow.  Along with school, the restaurant, possibly a coffee bar, and quilting.  I will be keeping the books for Permian's volleyball team and possibly - depending on who the new coach is at OHS - keeping OHS's books, also.  So, for the first few months of school, my life will be as full and hectic as my summer has been.

I am heading to Staples tomorrow to purchase one of those calendar notebooks so I can keep up with all my coming and goings.  The more I think about it, my life may not slow down until NEXT summer!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Great Food

What is it?  Shrimp and Grits.  I had never tried shrimp and grits before, but have heard a lot about them in the last few years.  They are one of Paula Dean's favorites and she even had another chef challenge her in her magazine.  At least I think that was what that article was about.  I didn't read the entire thing and it was several months ago.  I digress.  Shrimp and Grits.  Last weekend I got the privilege of attending the Culinary Educators Conference hosted by the Texas Restaurant Education Association and the Texas Beef Council.  It was awesome!!  I learned so much and got to practice a lot of what we were learning.  Wonderful conference.  One of the best I have ever been to and I hope to go back next year.  Enough gushing - on to Shrimp and Grits.  Like I said, I had never had theses before, but they have become really popular recently.  We had the honour of having the executive chef from Sandra Bullock's restaurant, Bess, in Austin, come and demo for us.  She made and served everyone this wonderful dish.  Along with her husband who is a chef/teacher at Escoffiet - another culinary school in Austin.  We were at Le Cordon Bleu.  Even though we ate and cooked most of the weekend, this is the only picture that I took.  Period.  I didn't take any other pics the entire weekend.  Okay, what is in this pic?  White cheddar cheese grits topped with spiced grilled shrimp, bacon, chives and a red wine vinegar gastric.  Delicious!! 

Nighttime sewing - Challenge block gone awry.

 I got out of work early last night and found some time to sit and sew.  I decided to make the newest block of the month from 15 minutes play.  I read through all the directions and started in to sewing.  Cut out some reds/pinks/oranges/purples for my flower portion and rummaged through the scraps to see what I could use for the leaves.  There were some greens and blues, but not in big enough strips so I just sewed them all together to make that 7 inch square that was needed.  I cut out my background - going with the darkest gray on this one.  Got the leaf elements done, made the stem and now it is time to square up and put this puppy together.  Decided that it would be easier to make my squares with a 6 1/2" square ruler so I got it out, cut all the squares the same size, sewed it together and it went together like a dream.  One of the easiest blocks to make.


I was happy with the look - even though the stripes on the leaves are going differently than what I wanted, it was still okay. I put it on the wall with the other blocks and . . .


It's a lot smaller than the other blocks.  What could have gone wrong?  I did everything right so something was off.  Maybe the sizes.  No, 6 1/2 and 6 1/2 sewn together is 12 1/2 so that was correct.  What could be wrong.  WELL, let me tell you.  That 6 1/2" square ruler that I thought was 6 1/2" square?  It is only a 6 inch square ruler!!!!!  Why would I have one like that in my stack of rulers?  I know it's an old one and I even thought last night while I was cutting that I needed to get a new one since this one was looking all ratty tatty and the edges were a bit sliced, but still, you would think I would know better than to make that big of a mistake.  I was too tired to do anything about it last night and after sleeping on it I may just leave it smaller.  I am going to "sash" this quilt together anyway, so the "sashing" around this block just needs to be a bit larger.  Who knows, I may just have one or two more mess-up-small-size blocks to go with it. 

You may be asking yourself why I put "sash" in quotations like that and it is because even though I know this quilt will need some separation between the blocks that sashing provides, it may not be a typical sashing.  So, I put the word sash in quotes to show that it probably won't be a single strip of fabric and the blocks may not be set in straight rows/columns.  I don't have an idea in my head how to put this quilt top together because we haven't done all the blocks.  Who knows what else is in the works for this block challenge.  It has been fun making all the blocks though. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sewing Time Again

I finally found some time to sit and sew!!  I planned on doing more this summer, but I have been really, really busy as those of you that know me can attest to.  I have this entire weekend off so I sewed and watched videos yesterday, put them in the mail this morning so I can get some more in the series - True Blood, season 3 from Netflix, I only saw the first disc yesterday.  I can't wait to get the next ones. 

Sew, back to sewing - I worked on the blocks of the month challenge from 15 minutes play and made the three newest blocks.  This first one is called, Beacon Lights.  I wasn't too sure about it when I first saw it on the blog, but it has grown on me.  I was worried about my center block with the large patch of purple left of center, but in the picture, even though it stands out some, it doesn't look as bad as I thought.  And, with all the blocks together - see end of post - it might just blend in with the blocks, especially if I use a large chunk of that fabric in a later block.  I am not changing it like I wanted to at first.  After making each section of this block I started piecing it together and it just wasnt' working.  I thought I had cut things wrong; the directions were off,  I didn't know what was going on.  Then I realized that I needed to square up the quarter square triangle blocks to 3 1/2" and it was amazing how easy the block was to put together then.  some of the blocks were as much as 1/2" off and when you put two of them together it just didn't fit!

I made this Cactus Flower block first and had to find a green that I wasn't going to use a scrap piece in the made fabric.  When I squared up the stem/flower body part, I didn't really center the stem and it is a little bit off, but if I hadn't pointed it out to you, you might not have even noticed.  Here again, I wasn't going to go back and fix the problem.  I am letting everything stay as is for now. 

The last block I put together last night was this courthouse steps.  I knew when I saw the block on the blog that I wanted a red center.  That is what the old log cabin blocks used for most of their centers.  However, I didn't plan on reversing the made fabric and the background until I realized that I was going to have to make some more fabric if I wanted to make it the original way since I didn't have enough for 2 - 12 1/2" strips.  Here is where I had to piece the background fabric in the 6 1/2" strips to get enough fabric to work.  Thank goodness this background fabric has a little print to it or it would have stood out and been very noticeable if I had used the first gray fabric.  I can't even see where the seams are in the picture.  Each of the two side pieces are pieced 2 times.  One of the solid squares from one of the two blocks above is also pieced, but just on one of the corners. 
Here are all 5 of the blocks on the wall together.  I was worried about not having the same background fabrics on my blocks, but with just these two fabrics it is not too bad.  I have several more background fabrics selected that I am going to use for the next blocks.  I think the one I used last night was probably the lightest gray I got.  It will be fun to see them altogether at the end of the year - I think we are doing this for a year, I am not sure, though.  I will have to take their picture somewhere else since my bulb burned out on my halogen and I only have 300 bulbs left and not the 500 that was previously in there.  (I bought a bunch of bulbs on clearance several years ago and am down to some of the lower wattage bulbs.  I could go to the store and purchase some new ones, but why?  That would mean braving the crowds this holiday weekend and I just don't want to do that.  I would rather sew which is where I am heading soon after I go back downstairs and check on the dogs)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer update

I finally had time to just sit and read through all of my favorite blogs.  It has been quite awhile since I have had that big of a block of time.  Of course, having my dogs wake me up at 5 in the morning has really helped make that time.  It is just a little past 7 now and no, I haven't been reading blogs for 2 hours.  I am considering going back to bed for a couple of hours since tonight may be a late night.  I have finished my two weeks of working for the Barn Door - half way through my externship - and have moved on to the first week of summer volleyball league.  Last night was quite hectic.  The first couple of hours was spent getting everyone organized and where they should be.  First night with the junior league parents who are venturing out into the world of volleyball and summer league is always hectic.

I haven't been in the sewing room much lately, just to busy.  I have added a stitch or two here and there, but nothing is completed or even close to being completed.  I got a lovely little batik square from Helen in New York and some great batik scraps from Ellen in California to go into my pieced fabric challenge blocks from 15 minutes play. (no pictures of these)  There have already been two more blocks posted on 15 minutes play that I need to catch up on sometime in the near future, possibly tomorrow since I don't have to work anywhere for the first time all summer.  Okay, I don't work on Sundays either, but it will be the first middle of the week non work day since Spring Break.  I am getting my hair permed later that afternoon and I do need to call about my phone and see if anyone can come and fix it that morning, but other than that I don't have any plans for Wednesday other than sewing.  Next posting I will hopefully have a few pictures to add to the post.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What's New?

Even though I am not getting to sew and quilt as much as I would like this summer, I am plodding along and doing a bit here and there in my spare time.  I have an idea in my head about a future quilt, so I drew it up, traced it, cut it out and put it together to see if I would like it.  It's not totally what I wanted, but it looked good so instead of tossing it, I made it into a little wallhanging.  I had fun adding the nose, eyes and eye lashes through my quilting.  I learned alot making this little quilt. First of all, make sure you add the iron on adhesive to the wrong side of the fabric.  Both the eyes (both pieces of both eyes) and the face itself are the backside of the fabrics, because I wasn't paying attention.  After ironing the wonder-under to the right side of the purple fabric that was to become the face, I kept telling myself to not make that mistake again.  I cut out 4 pieces of fabric to make the eyes and I ironed my adhesive to the right side of every single one of them!!  argggg!!!  I used them anyway.  I think that maybe the eyebrows, which I had left out of my original drawing, are from some of that same fabrics.  The tongue was also not on my original drawing.  It just needed something else and that open diamond looked like an open mouth and therefore needed a tongue.  Like I said, not perfect, but it works and has actually quilted and bound with hanging triangles so the future owner can hang it on their wall. 

I saw a quilt on Basket Full of Scraps and fell in love.  My favorite all time block is the Monkey Wrench, aka hole in the barn door aka churn dash.  I love this block.  I once made my sister a quilt using this block and lots of plaids.  It is still one of my most favorite quilts I have made, even though the quilt is probably long gone.  So, when I saw that quilt on Basket Full of Scraps I knew I had to make it.  I recently took a liberated basket class with Gwen Marston and this quilt was the perfect combination for me to make.  So, I got started by making my fabric for the basket.

Then I began making my little churn dashes.  I made the two on top first.  They are on the small side.  So I made the three on the left a little bit larger.  Even though I thought the two on top were too small for this quilt, I may enlarge them with a few strips of fabric and use them.  We'll see what happens next.  I am liking the direction this is going, but it is not jumping up and down with excitement and letting me know that I am on the right track.  As a result, I will plod along and make a few more blocks to see what direction this will lead me. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Job

It's going to be a very busy and hot summer.  I can tell that I am not going to be sitting in my nice air conditioned home much the next couple of months.  That means that I may not be sewing much either.  I am hoping to get in to the studio at least once a week, but you never know.  For those of you who don't know, I am doing an externship with a local restaurant.  When I signed up, I was told I would work about 30 hours a week for 4 weeks.  I have already worked about 18 hours and that may not seem like a lot now that I have written it down, but I have had the privilege of being cut two nights so I was scheduled to work 6 more hours - the bad thing for me is that I still have three more days to go!!  I am only half way through my work week!!  I AM EXHAUSTED!!   Already.  It is hot, hot, hot in the kitchen and when you are moving all the time, I bet I have sweated off at least a pound or two!  that is the good thing.  The bad thing is that I haven't been cooking yet and I know it will be much hotter around the stoves.  I think they have fans running on those people.  I have been working where there are no fans.  I try and move to the coolest spot when I get a chance.

Tonight I think the manager felt sorry for me and he cut me 2 hours early and bought me dinner!  I worked 7 hours today!  (yea, it was supposed to be 9)  I am not used to this!  Restaurant business is hard, hard work!  I knew that, but I had only seen it as a cashier or waitress.  I am getting to see it from all sides in the next few weeks.  I am almost looking forward to working summer volleyball where I basically sit for 8 hours at a time.  As long as the air conditioner is working in the gym, it's relatively cool.  Well, I am off to the showers, and hitting the hay.  It's back to work tomorrow morning  to assist in hosting for a few hours and then split shifting at night.  busy, busy, busy!! 

So, if you don't see quilting stuff up here for awhile, you know what I am doing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday, May 30, 2011

Yea!  I remembered to post my Design Wall Monday actually on a Monday!  This is for Judy's Design Wall Monday and today, here is what is on my wall.

The top left are liberated log cabin blocks from a Gwen Marston class I took in March.  I just got them out and put them on the wall this weekend.  The bottom gray blocks are ones I just finished from the monthly block challenge over at 15 minutes play.   The right side of the wall has a "table runner" that one of our guild members taught last summer.  I don't like to do table runners so I was going to make mine larger so I would have a lap quilt.  There are supposed to be stars in every large square, but I thought there were too many stars in that quilt and haven't put them in.  The extra pieces I could have added way back when, have all the same colors right next to each other and that is probably why I haven't added them.  I found this last week and started going through everything to see where I go next with this project.  One thing I know is that I need to machine applique more stars on squares and cut out some more fabric.  Hopefully I will have the top finished sometime this summer.  That is if I don't start on something else which we all know I will.  Go see more Monday walls over at Judys' blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

15 minute monthly blocks - May and June

I finally decided to make the block of the month for 15 Minute Play blog.  The above block is the one for May.  First you have to make enough fabric (about 9" X 15").  Then you cut it into the parts you need, cut your background, then piece it all together.  It is a really stunning block.  I wasn't going to make one, but every time someone finished one and posted it to the blog, I loved it.  I had a handful of batik scraps laying around that I have wanted to play with for a couple of weeks, but just haven't done anything with them so I thought to myself, okay, this quilt is going to be from batiks.  The background will be pastels/lights and the made fabric from scraps and bits and pieces of my batiks.  Now that I have a semi plan in my head, I wrote down what size blocks and a brief description of how to put this block together and started in last night.  I pulled a darker gray out of my stash for the background, but didn't like it as well - okay, it hadn't made it into the drawer yet, it was laying out waiting to go into the drawer and I saw it and picked it up.  There wasn't enough contrast so I knew it wouldn't work.  I opened the batik lights drawer and wow I have a lot of pale yellow batiks.  That is all I could see when I first opened the drawer.  I rooted around and found this gray.  I love it.  The star just jumps out from the background.  My camera was downstairs, so I knew I would wait to post it until today.  This morning I got on the blogs to just read through and noticed that June's block tutorial had already been posted.  How did I miss that?  I don't know, but I did.  Maybe I didn't think of it as being the June block and thought of it as just something another person posted.  I don't know.  Anyway, I copied down the directions for this one, gathered all the bits and pieces I didn't use from the May block, added some more fabric so I had just enough to cut out my squares for the made fabric section. 

The triangles of the background was simple, just squares cut in half diagonally.  I cut strips for the other ones and followed the directions, but the first pieces didn't turn out right.  I measured and measured and it still didn't turn out right.  So, with the second strip  I decided not to cut it first.  I would sew on the made fabric triangle and then trim the background at the right angle needed.  That worked great, except for two of my triangles I sewed them on the wrong way.  Thank goodness this batik doesn't have a definite right or wrong side.  I simply unsewed, flipped the background piece and sewed it back on the correct way.  That was a simple solution, but it took leaving the house and going to get a coke for my mind to think clearly enough to figure it out.  The frustration and the fact that I don't have cokes here at my house is what sent me out on a Sunday afternoon for a coke at my Dairy Queen.  I really don't like getting drinks on the weekend from there.  Don't get me wrong, it is my favorite place to get a drink - especially during happy hour which is one of the only times I go - but on the weekend is when all the new people start working and some of them don't have a clue!  I try and be patient and I know they probably don't like the people at the window telling them that what they are doing isn't correct, but come on!  I know how much my drink is at happy hour - I buy one almost every weekday.  So, don't tell me it's ____ when I know it's ____.  At least this one today after giving me the same price twice and I kept saying no, that's not right, had the decency to say, well, let me see.  She finally figured out what was wrong - her helper that took the order didn't put the discount in the computer.  Poor thing, she even had to re-make my drink because she didn't do it right the first time.  That happens all the time with the new people.  They don't listen to you tell them what you want.  They just hear part of it and then move on to making what they thought they heard.   Okay, climbing off my soap box and getting back to my quilt blocks.  This second one, the pinwheel hasn't been squared and trimmed.  Below is both blocks next to each other on my wall.  Looking good.  This will be an outstanding quilt when all the blocks are made.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Summer is about to Hit the Fan!!

Okay, no picture of the grill. Although it was a nice big grill and trailer with a metal awning so you don't have to stand in the sun to grill your burgers, it wasn't anything really outstanding, awesome, unique.  You have just looked at the picture and gone, "that's a grill, nice".  See, no wow factor. 

The lunch went well, except for the wind blowing the plates and napkins around.  It was only about 85 to 90 while I was out there around noon for lunch.  We had 3 awnings to keep the sun off our bodies, but you couldn't stay out there for to long or you would completely melt.  It felt really good coming back into the building to cool off.  Needless to say, not liking the heat much, I wasn't outside all day.  I also had classes that I had to take care of.  Next year we will do it before the 100 degree temps start clocking in.  Yesterday we set a record high of 106.  Today, it is supposed to be 110!!  Thank goodness for central air conditioning.  I am going to a ladies luncheon at my friends church.  I know what I want to wear, but I have got to find that little black button that fell off the shirt during shipping.  Thank goodness I found it in the packaging,  Now if I can figure out exactly what I did with it.  I thought I left it on my dining table which means, since I couldn't find it this morning, that Taegan might have eaten it thinking it was leftover crumbs.  I know he has been up there a few times lately since my stack of mail has gotten knocked off 2 or 3 times in the last month.  Plus, I came down the stairs and he was laying on top of the table.  I don't know how he gets his fat little body up into the chair to even get on the table, but he does. 

As soon as school is out I have the weekend before I start one of my summer jobs of working for a local restaurant.  I spoke with the owner on the phone yesterday and he said he was going to start me in the kitchen.  That probably means I will be washing dishes for a couple of days.  Which is totally okay.  This is supposed to be a quick 4 week immersion into the restaurant business.  I have to go in next week to find out my schedule, what I need to wear and fill out all the paperwork.  I will be working two weeks there, then I start summer volleyball, my other summer job, going to family reunion, the food expo, culinary educator's school, more summer volleyball, another two weeks working at the restaurant, finishing up summer volleyball, maybe going to see my friend get her 40 year teaching award in Dallas and then a day or two off before starting back to school.  Sounds really busy, but I also have to put in there somewhere, quilting, reading, cleaning the house and garage and mapping out the next school year and what I really want my students to learn.  WHEW!! That is a busy, busy summer.  I am so glad that I am not going to have to go back to school early, because I don't know where I would fit that in!  Well, gotta go find that button and get it sewn, put some rollers in my hair to make it pretty and get ready for that luncheon. 

I spell checked this post and it says I misspelled trailer and yesterday - what?  I have it spelled exactly how spell check is trying to make me change it to.  I don't think it likes that I had already corrected those words right after I typed them wrong the first time.  It also doesn't like my dog's name, but that one I know it hits every time.