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. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winner and Life, but on to the next 100

Thank you to everyone that commented (or tried to) to my last post.  It seems that a couple of people had a hard time posting a comment or either didn't want their comment available for public viewing, so they e-mailed me personally.  Thank you for that.  So, since they took the time and trouble to actually find my e-mail address I couldn't leave them out of the count, but I don't know what number they would be, so I couldn't do a random generator to pick the winner.  Hmmm what to do?  The next best thing of course, old school! - literally.  I wrote out all the names on slips of paper and had one of my random students - he had come up to my desk to get some lotion, that means he volunteered to be the chooser.  I jumbled them all up over and over again and told him to pick one.  He studied them carefully - they were all folded and he couldn't see any names - he asked what it was for - he knows that I have them, on occasion draw for jobs, recipes, seats, etc and wanted to make sure this was a fun drawing, meaning that he wouldn't be stuck washing the dishes - after getting all the information I was going to give him - just draw one, it's for me. for my blog. for a giveaway.  JUST DRAW ONE!!!!  He finally came up with one that he deemed would be the winner and the name that he drew ...... drum roll please.......... Ellen!  congratulations you are the winner of this fat pack: 

I still have your address in my e-mail files - yeah for keeping the good old e-mails - and it will be on it's way to you tomorrow.  Congratulations!  This was fun.  Be on the lookout for more giveaways in the future.  I won't wait another 100 posts before I have the next one. 

Now on to my life.  School is winding down and finals are here.  Am I ready?  NO!  Do I have my final made out?  NO!  Do I have to give one tomorrow?  YES!  Okay, it's only one student so I am okay with not having it completely finished.  I can give her the practice test as her test, it doesn't have to be the same as the rest of the class. She is my only senior in a class of predominately sophomores - yes, feel very sorry for her, she has put up with a lot this year

Since our district is trying something new this year and having the seniors in the afternoon classes take their exams early (6 days counting weekends and Memorial Day) I won't feel bad if I don't get another exam typed just for her. 

This is me telling myself that it will be okay and won't be a problem.

Okay, I think I may do that.  I will try and get the other exam finished tomorrow morning, but if I don't, I am okay with that. 

I know, I really should be typing it right now, but it's almost my bedtime and I don't want to go downstairs, out to the car and get my thumbdrive and the practice test, come back upstairs, plug in and start typing.  Just too much work and not enough night ttime left.  You are also asking, why wouldn't you get it typed in the morning?  Well, we are hosting lunch for about 100 tomorrow and it is being run out of my kitchen.  I am not cooking - thank goodness  - but all the "stuff" is in my restaurant/kitchen/refrigerators.  We are having hamburgers cooked out on the grill.  Not just any grill, but one made by our welding classes.  It apparently has it's own trailer so it can be hauled around.  It apparently is massive.  They say it is larger than the last grill they made and it was almost the size of a Hummer.  It was made to resemble a train and had a bell inside of the cab.  Really cool.  I will try to remember to take my camera with me tomorrow - and new batteries - and get some pictures.  The welding teacher is coming over to cook, our other foods teacher has had her students cutting tomatoes and onions and baking some cookie - she knew I was busy so she didn't ask me to do anything and I am sooooo glad.  I will help her set everything up tomorrow morning.  Okay, she totally cheated and used store bought dough, but it's the end of school of  everyone.  We are all busy and having this lunch was a crazy idea, but it will be a fun time. 

Busy?  Whatchoomean busy? 

Well, in the last three weeks we have done a dinner for 21, lunch for 16, a retirement party for 200 and today, a breakfast for 16.   Plus, I only have two more days to get everything washed and put away for the summer!!  (tomorrow is included in those two days!)  I am hoping I don't have to sweep, scrub, squeegee and mop the entire kitchen by myself along with washing and putting away all of those dishes.  That is one reason I am totally okay with using the practice test as the real test and not re-typing the entire thing.  There is just tooo much to do in one week especially when three days of that week we are not even in school.  whew!  Busy, busy, busy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

100 and a giveaway!

I can't believe this is my 100th post.  If you will post a comment I have a fat pack of fabric to send you.  I don't know what it will be yet, but I do know it will be one of my fat packs from the store.  It will all be a surprise! 

Now, for the reason for this posting other than it is my 100th.  I just finished making another wall hanging.  When I started this, I planned on giving it to my assistant director and may still do so, but it didn't turn out like I thought it would.   I wanted the vase to blend and I think it blends way too much.  Here, look at the picture and let me know what you think.   

Now that I am looking at the picture of the quilt, it might not be so bad.  I have always wanted to try my hand at making those roses/flowers and they are a lot of fun.  It was interesting putting them into the vase.  I really had to use my 15 minute play skills that I have learned to get them to go the way I wanted.  I am glad that the background has a lot of  visual texture to it since it has been pieced and re-pieced.  The leaves are appliqued on and I really wanted 5 leaves, but one of them just didn't make the cut and I don't want to re-make one leaf so it looks a little blank on the right hand side.  However, after all my criticism, I kind of like it.  Flat, but interesting.  It may just make it to her office, yet. 

Now, back to the giveaway. (by the way, this is my first and if all goes great, it may be the first of many)  Answer this question, please:  What color is your favorite go to quilting color?  What I mean is, which color do you always gravitate towards in the store, when choosing fabric to start a project, when you look around your stash is there one color that is more dominate?  What about which color do you find hard to work with?  Is there just one, or do you have more than one? 

I tend to lean more towards the greens and pinks.  They are my two favorite colors and I love them in combination.  My least used color is probably tan/cream.  I don't have a lot of those colors because to me they seem colorless.  I love color and tan and cream seem to not have any color to them, in my opinion.  Now it is your turn.  I will try to pick a winner by Wednesday. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

99 and counting

This is my 99th posting!  I can't believe it.  Stay tuned and I will try to do a giveaway on my 100th posting.  I have never done one of those.  It will be fun.  Now to think about what I want to give. . . .
In my spare time, I have been playing and making fabric.  I am still working with the same set of scraps that I have been playing with for the last couple of projects.  I know it seems like there is a lot in this grouping of fabrics, but there really isn't.  I think I have a couple of pieces that are about 5 X 14 and they only started out maybe 8 inches larger all around? Maybe not.  Wait a minute.  This is getting toooo technical.  How about this.  I have the first cuts from this selection of fabrics and that is what I have been playing with.  From the first play, here, to the hexagons, here, and now these two.  I started sewing fabric together with the plan of making a quilt 9 X 12 for the AAQI, Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (  ) as part of Victoria's challenge from 15 minutes play blog.  So, I sewed and sewed and cut and sewed, you know how it is and then I saw this solid purple laying there so I picked it up, cut it into 1 1/4 inch strips, cut my play fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips and made some log cabin style blocks.  Not bad, but it needed something.  Cut some 2 1/2" squares from the play fabric, add the purple then the play fabric on two adjoining sides and now, I have a block that is the same size and it makes it interesting.  I put together the 6 blocks I had and . . it's too long.  I don't want to cut it off then I would lose the pattern so I knew I wouldn't be able to send this for the AAQI.  hmmmm I will sleep on it.  Next night I made 6 more blocks which meant making some more fabric since I had used up almost all that I had made the previous night.  Sewed it all together into a 3 X 4 block wall hanging and I think I am liking this as it is.  However, you will notice it is still up on the wall so that may mean there is more to come on this one.  My mind may not be finished with it. 

So, with the leftover 1 1/2" strips I put together this little friendship bag.  I had to cut some extra strips from the other fabric, not all the strips are from made fabric, only about 8 of the 16 are made fabric strips.  Anyway, I saw on someone else's blog somewhere and it stuck in the back of my mind - quilted flowers.  How wonderful!!!!  I wanted to do some so here was the perfect place to practice.  I stitched 4 on each side along with a leaf or two on each of the stems and some grass at the bottom of the stems.  I don't have a picture of the bottom of the bag - I don't even have a picture of the finished bag, but it is finished.  I really wanted to show the quilting details so here they are: 

I think if I keep practicing my machine quilting will one day be decent.  I still spaz some on this freemotion quilting. 

I got a phone call from our fashion design teacher and one of her students was working on a quilt - just a simple 4 patch with sashing - anyway, the teacher knows that I am a quilter (she is not) and asked if her student could come down and I could help her out.  She had all the blocks made, some a little wonky which I loved, but unfortunately they were not intentionally wonky.  I instructed her on how to cut her sashing and what she needed to do to adjust for those wonky squares.  I can't wait to see what she gets accomplished this week.  I hope she has enjoyed the process so far and is a lifelong quilter in the making. 

While I was showing her what to do, part of my class - who had an assignment and should have been working - were watching and listening (who knows - more quilters in the making?  maybe?) So, one of the boys asked if I made quilts - I chuckled - told him yes and asked if he wanted to see them on my blog.  "what? you have a blog?" To them I am an old woman even though I am not yet 50 and it is amazing that I can even use the computer, i-pod or cell phone.   He made a comment about spending all my time on the computer blogging and I corrected him.  Told him that I hadn't been on in awhile, but that I needed to blog tonight.  He asked that I blog about him.  So, other than what I have already said about him, here is his own paragraph. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Long Posting and Lot's of Pictures!

I received my 12 x 12 challenge quilt from my trade swap partner - can't say trade since since I send to someone else and we aren't trading quilts.  It is from Helen who lives in New York State.  It is a BIG Apple and has the New York subway map on the back.  It is wonderful!  Now I need to send mine off to my partner.  I also need to send off my signature block to Victoria.  I made this first one and while I like it okay, I don't like how I had to piece the background to make it meet the size requirements

Which allowed me to create this one.  I truly love this one.  Can you say that about your own creations?  Mom's say it about the children they create, so I am going to say, yes.  Okay, now that I have analyze that, I can say, I love this one!!  I started with the same background fabric as above, but used the back side of the fabric for the center.  I made the sides the same width as my middle block and knew that I was going to do my funky star thing, but I wanted it outlined.  I first did the light blue and then went back and added the red on top.  I layed it all out and nope, didn't quite meet what I wanted so I took a leftover red bit of fabric and snowballed two corners of the center square.  Looks good.  So, let's do all four corners and put it together.  My original thought was to have the corners of the star block to be a totally different fabric - still a blue floral, but different, but it was too distracting and I decided to go with the same background all around.  After everything was sewn together, it was too small.  ARG!  What else to do?  Make more of a statement with the borders and cut the star block even smaller so I can add more light blue on the outside.  I really, really like how this one turned out.  Added my signature in the middle and off it goes tomorrow to Victoria for her quilt. 

Since I had out the pen and I needed to send off the 12 X 12 challenge before May 16th I needed to make a label.  Below is the label for my quilt and it is sewn on and ready to go. 

I know that I told you all about the Ogallala festival back at the first of April - wow one month ago - time flies when you are busy, huh?  Anyway, I took Yvonna Hays, Dashes and Patches class and here is my quilt without the final borders.  I have it layed out with the top and bottom border strips, but they aren't attached.  I don't know what fabric I am going to use for the final border.  My friend Molly was pointing to fabric after fabric saying this one or that one should be the border and I agreed with her on everyone of them.  Problem is, I don't have enough of any of those fabrics to make a border and I can't find them on the internet! I have had them in my stash for so long - or I got them on clearance - that nobody has them anymore.  I know that I want to do a large print floral in these colors.  I am thinking something by Kaffe,  Phillip or someone else along those lines.  Now, I have to just find that perfect fabric that will set this off to perfection.

I know this blog is getting long, but just hang in there with me just a little bit longer and I will be done.  I haven't posted anything in over a week and I didn't want to break it up into three or four posts one right after another, so here goes the rest.  The quilt below is my friend Kathy's Manzanita tree.  I love her fabric choices in this one.  The leaves - glass leaf shaped beads!!  They were expensive, but I think they were totally worth the price because they just make this quilt!  

Kathy took my Divide and Conquer class at the Ogallala Festival and after making all of her blocks she decided that they were just tooo wild for her and she couldn't stomach them right next to each other so she grabbed up some brown fabric that was just laying around her quilt room and she sashed those blocks.  It is perfect!  I love it.  It just adds a new dimension to this pattern/quilt.  Great job Kathy!

These last two pictures are what are on my design wall.  I am - okay, don't faint or anything - actually doing English paper piecing.  I am enjoying the work and don't know exactly how big I am going to make it - probably not too large - but, you never know.  I wasn't ever planning on doing more than one or two hexagons ever in my lifetime so - you just never know. 

This last picture is fabric that I made this past week during little bits and spurts along with off and on during our quilt in with Bee Friends.  I don't have any idea where or how I am going to use this and it may morph somemore before I use it since I really think some areas are quite large.  I know that I am going to cut it up to use it again, but . . . stay tuned!

I pushed the spell check button, but nothing is highlighted - I hope it is all spelled correctly.  If not - it's the computer's fault!