Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Wonderful Weekend in Hamilton

Just a few more days of summer vacation left for me, ugghh!  I have gotten a lot of quilting done in the last couple of months and that has been wonderful.  I haven't given school much thought other than, "not thinking about it right now." However, it's almost time to start thinking about it.  Thinking about what I want to do differently, how I want to change up some things that went well, but could be improved upon. Things like that.  I love my Facebook group of FCS (Family Consumer Science) Teachers and reading everything they are doing in their classrooms, but man oh man, there are a lot of beginner and second year teachers on there!!  Plus, they come from all over the United States so their curriculum is a bit different from ours here in Texas.  Still, it's a great source to pull things from.  I guess since it's almost time to go back, I need to get on there and start downloading files of things I want to do and plugging them into my plans.  (not that I always write down plans, but I do have a file in my head.  Things would probably get done better if I actually wrote down the plans from my head, LOL) 

Got back a few days ago from a quilt retreat up in Hamilton, MO with my mom's quilt group from Northwest Arkansas.  My mom and I had a great time up there with 35 other women.  We sewed and shopped all day, played games mid evening before everyone gave up and went to bed and then for us late nighters, we stayed up and sewed into the wee hours of the morning most nights.  Fun, fun, fun!!  If you ever get the chance to go up to Hamilton, do it.  It is something every quilter should have the chance to experience at least once in his/her lifetime.  13 stores full of fabrics, notions and fun fills up the entire town.  It's wonderful.  Plus, if you are lucky enough to schedule a retreat there, it's even more fun to watch and experience the town life.  (Friday nights the farmers and Amish have a small farmers market - don't miss out on the hand pies, fresh breads, fresh fruits and veggies and homemade noodles.  (last year they even had two kids for sale, baby goats)  Now, I haven't tried the noodles yet, but we got some this year on the word of one of the ladies that purchased some last year that raved over them and then proceeded to purchase all they had except for the one bag we happened to get.  Now I have to decide how I want to use them. 

This is the only one I have access to.  I had to download it from a Facebook page, but you will be able to see something that I worked on over the weekend.
She wanted to make sure she could see me, but left off one entire column of blocks.  Oh, well, it still needs a couple of borders which I hope to get on this weekend.  (if I can ever unload my machine from my car) 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Three New Bags

I am scrolling through a blog and wanting to read what the blogger has said about what to do with your farmer's market finds and some recipes of how to cook these items and all I get are advertisements!!  I really, really hate that a lot of my favorite blog sites that I used to read everyday or at least every couple of days have totally sold out and allow all these advertisers to come into their blogs.  A lot of the time I don't even read what they said because I am having to wait so long for all the advertisements to load, that I just get frustrated and leave that blog.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Is anyone else totally annoyed with this problem?  I am so glad that they have found a way to make money off of something they used to enjoy doing - and may still enjoy doing, I don't know because I have stopped reading their blogs due to all the advertisements! 

A lot of my favorite quilt bloggers are now famous quilters and have moved on to pattern making, fabric design and other things, that they either don't blog anymore or it's all about selling their items.  Don't get me wrong, I am excited for them that they have found a way to make the money doing something they apparently love.  I am sad that I no longer get to read about their fun innovative ideas, about their lives and what they were creating.  They have all moved on and reading blogs and getting inspired by what I was reading and then creating my own version just doesn't happen anymore and it's a sad change in my world. 

I have been busy creating items since school got out.  I made three bags recently.  I made them to take on our recent shop hop excursion.  One for me, one for my fellow traveling companion and friend and the last one I will probably sell.  I have more fabric and plan on making several more that I will, more than likely, sell.  I have posted them on Facebook and Instagram both, but not on here.  I guess those are easy posts that I can quickly make from my phone and posting over here is a little more involved. 

This last one is my favorite one.  I love the fabric and colors in it and have some more to make another one just like it, but I probably won't. I will make a different style bag with these fabrics.  Not sure what since I don't use a pattern and just wing it.  However, I will try to post here first this next time. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Schools Out For . . . well, almost out

We are so near the end I can almost reach out and touch it!  2 days with students and one to finish grades, finish cleaning and putting away and finish with school!!  I am ready for it to be over with.  Don't take it wrong, it has been a good year, fast, full of stuff, but a good year, I am just done.  I really wasn't in this mood until memorial day weekend.  having a three day weekend just before the week of finals was poor planning!  It made me not want to return to school today, it made me ready to be done and it made me want to just sit and sew all day long.  Which is what I have planned for my summer!  Or, I should say the next 8 weeks since that is all of a summer we have this year.  I am sure that will fly by quickly and I won't want to return to school in the August, but we will see what the future holds.  I am making my bucket list of what I want to get accomplished this summer and maybe I can get some of that list done, unlike a couple of years ago where I only got a few items marked off.

I was scanning through my pictures I have downloaded and there is nothing new to show.  They are all still on my phone so I will have to do better and get them on here to show you what I have been working on, because I have been working.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ever have this disease?

I have a really bad case of the "Idon'twanna"s.  This week my students have been testing on their home campuses and only coming over for the last half of my double blocked class and then returning to their campuses for the last class of the day.  Even though I had big plans on getting things done and graded and cleaned up, I have gotten nothing done at all!!  I take that back. I have gotten several things done, but not what I had planned on doing.  After two entire days of mostly sitting around working on the computer, planning future caterings, etc., today (our third day in a row and our last day) I really have come down with the "Idon'twanna" disease and have spread it to my classroom aide.  As I sit here yawning, waiting for two students to show up before taking attendance for the 20 minutes they will be in my classroom, I am writing in the blog.

My body is ready for school to be out and to move to my summer schedule.  I am having a really hard time getting to bed before midnight (more like 1 a.m.) and getting up by 7 (should be 5:30!!).  I have been sewing most nights working on my row quilt.  It's not a large one - only 42 1/4" wide so far.  I know I want to add a wide border on the left side with maybe a tree or branches or possibly floating blocks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Not Easy Being a Sick Teacher

It's no fun being sick!  I woke up Monday feeling bad, but knew I had to go into work since it was our first day back from Spring Break.  Left school a little early, went home and lounged, but could I sleep?  No.  I woke up almost every hour on the hour!  I couldn't breathe!  However, I knew since we were having restaurant on Thursday, we had to get pies made.  So, into work I go on Tuesday.  Still feeling bad, but not totally horrible.  Needless to say, but I will anyway, my week has continued on in this fashion.  I have been here everyday, I haven't slept much at a time (last night was the longest between wakenings at 4 hours!!) Today, I feel HORRIBLE!!!  I am leaving school here in a few minutes to go to the doctor.  I know he is going to ask how long I have been like this and when I say since Monday, he is going to give me the look.  I am prepared for that look.  I know!  But sometimes you just have to do, push through and hold on until you just can't do it any more.

by the way, restaurant was wonderful!  We served Chips and Salsa, Green Enchiladas - with beef - Mexican style rice and beans and a variety of pies - how many varieties you ask - well, let me tell you.  I had purchased graham cracker pie crusts on sale after Christmas for cheap!  really cheap!  so we made:
 1. Peanut Butter with fudge topping, - this was a first for me.  one of my students found this recipe and it is a keeper!  definitely going into the recipe folder.
2.  My 8 minute cheesecake pie with fresh strawberries - this is always a winner in my book
3.  One of my childhood favorites, Pink Lemonade Pie, YUM!
4.  S'more pie - this was a new one - another student found this and wanted to try it.  It was a medium size hit and is also going into the recipe folder.
5.  Key Lime Pie.  this recipe, that a student found, is lacking something, even though some people liked it well enough.  I think my aunt's recipe is better.  I have it at home and I guess I need to add it to my school folder.
6.  chocolate Cream pie - another student find and it was a flop.  literally.  It ran all over the pie pan.  It needs some help or better yet, I think I will throw that recipe out.  I have a better chocolate pie that I will use next time.
7.  Caramel Banana Cream Pie - this one we combined a couple of recipes to create.  It was good, but runny.  It's a keeper with some major altering of the recipe.  it needs some help being more of a complete pie instead of a banana pudding.
8.  Cherry O Cream pie - I wish the students had made a couple more of these.  It's the standard pie from the 70's.

I think that is all of the pies we served yesterday.  It was a lot and when they ran out, we were out! I tried to stay out of the restaurant and kitchen as much as possible and just let my students run it since I was sickly and they, along with my aide, did a great job.  I could mostly sit at my desk and take in the money the waiters would bring me.  

It was a fun week in the kitchen, but I am so ready for a shot and some meds and my bed!  Can't wait until I can go to the doctor.  (Now, how many people do you know say that?)  I am glad I was here all week so my students could cook, but I have to get well so they can cook again next week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Break is in the Books!

Have had a GREAT spring break!  Started the week taking a two day class with Gail Garber.  The first day we learned how to draft our spectacular stars.  Then after a pot luck lunch, we began making our patterns and paper piecing the pie segments.  I think I got most of one finished before class was dismissed and we took Ms. Gail out to eat at the famous Barn Door steak house.  She was so impressed with the big block of cheese they serve that she just had to take a picture.  LOL She really enjoyed her prime rib and sweet potato fries, too.  Several of us returned to the church to continue sewing our stars and many finished them in time for the next days class.  Gail was so impressed with us! 
Frances' star block

Gerrie's first star block started last year, but finished this week

Donna's star block

Cathi's star block proving you can make magic even when you mess up!

Chelsie's first block.  She was the first to finish hers.

Chelsie's second star block.  She was bored waiting for us to finish so she drafted and made another.

Gerrie's second block drafted and made first and then she finished her other one. 

Glenda's star block

Liz's star block

Ruth's amazing star block.  This took some fussy cutting and patience!

Last, but not least is my star block

The next day we returned for day two of our class and circular borders.  Since not all of us were finished with our blocks, some of us got to have a 1/2 day class on free form drafting!!  Such fun!  She showed us how to draft and draw our curved pieces and then set us free to draw all we wanted.  She would bring us back from time to time - she did need to go to the other room and check on everyone else finishing up their stars - and teach us how to draft another area.  It was so much fun. After lunch, she taught us how to draft about 10 different circular borders.  Then we began making our patterns and sewing our borders.  That evening we took Gail to eat at Osaka's a Japanese steak house (okay, now that I see it in print, it looks like it would be similar, but they are totally different steak houses!)  Osaka's has the traditional Japanese cooktop there at the table and you get a show and dinner all at the same time.  Plus, the food is delicious!  However, it's really pricey.  It was at dinner that I found out Gail and I share a birthday!  She had never met anyone with her same birthday before and was really surprised.  I think she enjoyed her time with us here in Odessa and I know we all enjoyed having her come teach us for two days.  Here are a few of the blocks with their second and in some cases, third rounds. 

I was going to label them, but every time I try, it highlights everyone and then deletes a few.  So, Frances added dancing Kachina dolls to hers, Liz added a plain green border and then sewed a picket fence border to add around.  I added flying geese in two sizes and then added a squared up border and another small purple border.  I plan on putting it on point in the middle of a larger quilt.  Ruth added a thin green border and then purple points around hers and last, but not least, Glenda added a big/little border she calls Kristy's Mountains around her block.  It has been fun to see how each one has changed and grown. I can't wait to see what everyone does with theirs.  I do know that Frances is adding some big/little mountains around her Kachina's, Chelsie added some pointy dudes around her first one, Gerrie was adding a border around her first wheat one, but I can't remember off the top of my head what pattern she was using even though I assisted with color choices.  Donna is doing flying geese.  So, maybe by next month we will have some semi finished if not totally finished tops ready to be quilted. 

The rest of the week we had an extra quilt-in.  We sewed from 9 a.m. - 11p.m. almost every day.  Of course, not all of us stayed the entire time.  Some days I didn't get there until closer to 10 and some people left before it got dark.  It was a wonderful time with a lot, I mean a lot of people choosing to spend part of their week sewing up at the church.  (about 32 different people came through, with an average daily attendance of around 18) It was a great time and even though I didn't get anything done that I had on my list of things to do this week, I am looking forward to getting back into a routine.  Getting back in the kitchen with my students.  Ready to finish out this school year. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Birds . . .

Don't you hate it when you are part of a group thing and it gets shut down and you aren't told it's getting shut down and you go to it and it's no longer there?  I had a student in my cooperative learning class several years ago (student goes to school half the day and then goes to work the other half) and she went in to work as she was scheduled and the business had closed.  No phone call, no warning, just shut the doors.  Not even a sign on the door!!  She had been at work the night before.  It was really weird.  That is not what I am talking about specifically, but it relates.  Oh, well.  There was no sign on the door, no advanced warning, just closed.  bummer!!  I really enjoyed that group thingy I was a part of for several years.  Maybe those "doors"  will reopen sometime in the future or something else will come along. 

What is not a bummer though is this fun, wonderful, kills two birds with one stone quilt top I just finished. 

This is my Purple Penny Patch Quilt that I finished this weekend (without the top row showing since this was being held up by two of my students, they don't understand the importance of showing all the quilt!  However, the one on the left did put that edge out over the table corner so it would show, just not the top row.  I started this quilt top as an example of using 4 patch units in a quilt.  I had made two blocks, one had a pink/purple print as the large square and the other had a mottled purple large square.  Two of my little cousins (my first cousins children) wanted purple quilts for their high school graduation.  Well, they have been out of high school for at least 4 or 5 years now and I just can not force myself to make them an all purple quilt.  I had cut about 20 fat quarters and tied them all up ready to make either a Yellow Brick Road quilt or a turning twenty quilt.  I just haven't forced myself to make them.  Purple is not my go to color choice even though I like it, it's just not the first color I think of like soooo many people today.  Anyway, after seeing these two blocks up on the design wall, I thought, "Purple!!!  I can use those fat quarters I cut for a purple yellow brick road quilt to add some zing and pizzazz to this quilt." So, that is what I did.  I only made 12 blocks, (12 fat quarters) and that meant that the top was only 48 X 64.  It needed to be wider.  Of course, I can't do things symmetrical so I cut strips from the remaining 8 1/2" segment that I cut my square from and sewed those together.  Once I got my strips sewn, I planned on cutting that long section to put part on the left and part on the right, but decided to put it all on one side.  Now I needed to cut some more strips to put onto the right side, just not the same size.  Looking good.  However the top and bottom look unfinished, but I don't want to add too much to the length so no piano keys for them, just bricks with a little bit of the leftover keys sewn in.  The top has only one row of bricks and the bottom has two.  Love how this turned out and this will be one of the girl's quilts after I get a purple back (already have the fabric for this) cut out and put together to send off to the quilter.  First, though, it is part of the 4 patch class I will be teaching at retreat in a couple of weeks.  two birds, one stone!  Love it!!