Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm the Winner!

I entered a fabric giveaway a while ago at Embroidery Treasures. I was the lucky winner of a fat quarter bundle. It came in the mail today and just made me smile. I love the bright and happy colors! I've been in a happy colors phase lately, maybe as a rebound from my patriotic colors phase from before. I have a buttons and bow ties WIP that has happy colors, and I might try to work some of these new fabrics into it. I also think it would be really cute with the Crazy Mom Quiltalong star block quilt, but I shouldn't be starting anything new right now. I love new fabric and all the new possibilities it brings. Thanks Serena for the fun giveaways.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Girls Night Out Part 2

Tonight one of the ladies from work arranged for a girls night out at a local spa. The spa offers free services to try to get new customers, and the girls bring food and wine to share. I guess the services vary depending on what staff they have, but tonight it was massages, facials, pedicures and haircuts. I am now well fed, relaxed, and exceptionally well groomed. It was a very nice way to celebrate my birthday/anniversary.
Our vacuum cleaner blew up last week. I'm not sure exactly how it blew up, there was just a message from our housekeeper saying there was an unfortunate explosion, and the vacuum was in the shop. The damaged turned out to be severe. Considering that she was 14 years old (A wedding present), we decided to lay her to rest and order a newer model. I hope he fact that the new one showed up today doesn't make it my birthday present. I once got a Roomba for Christmas, but I think this is going too far.
I didn't have a chance to work on the OC tonight. Just when I think I should be getting done with everything at work, I get pulled back into something. I spent today breaking down a fish tank, cleaning rubbish out of lab desks, and discussing curriculum issues with two of the new teachers. Now if I could only get to some of the things on my actual to do list, I could be done for the summer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Girls Night Out

Tonight I went out with a group of friends for drinks. They all have a usual Monday night thing after tennis. I don't play tennis at all, but it was still a nice time out. One of my running partners invited me out to celebrate my birthday. She reads my blog, so I have to say, "Thanks for the girls night out." It was nice to get out of the house AND to spend time socializing.

This is the osprey that we watched devour a fish last night during our cookout. I saw the white head and thought for a minute it was an eagle. There are a couple that nest new the back of the neighborhood. After I took the picture, I zoomed in and got a good look at his head. Definitely an osprey. I really do need to get my eyes checked.
I put together a few of the leaders and enders blocks yesterday to see how I like them. I think in general it's pretty good, I'll have to watch the contrast and make sure I don't get too many lights in the outside rim. It is certainly an easier pattern than the Irish chain to keep track of.
I kept working on the OC quilt today, and got all of step 4 done, along with a big chunk of step 5. I didn't get any pictures taken yet, but I'll be sure to get the camera out tomorrow. It was a nice relaxing day, and I alternated between quilting an laundry. Not much of an alternation I guess since those are such similar things, but I caught up on my recorded shows for the week while I was at it. I've been DVRing all of the crime scene shows as preparation for my forensic science class next year. Tomorrow is still a work day, even if it is post planning, so I should call it a night.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Choices

Kurt organized Memorial day celebrations this year. I was willing to let it go with a couple of steaks on the grill and a day off, but I guess he was feeling festive. He went to the store for hot dogs, watermelon and 'smores fixins, and then set up a fire to cook it all on. To top off the day, he promised the kids they could all sleep in a tent in the backyard. He's been out there with them since bedtime, I should think about joining them, or at least feel guilty about not being out there. Instead I'm enjoying lots of uninterrupted time to sew.
I got quite a few of the OC blocks put together, but finally quit after I had to unsew two seams in a row. The orientation on the spinning star blocks kept getting turned around. I'm happy with my color change, I think the new colors look happy together. I'll have to take a closer look at the setting triangles in the morning. Definitely a task for a fresher mind than I have right now.
I have found my next leaders and enders project. I picked up a copy of McCall's quilting magazine dedicated to patriotic scrap quilts. I really liked this one with blue squares and big appliqué sunflowers. I was ready to move on when I looked at the block construction and realized that the basic block was four four patches.
Each one has three dark squares and one light corner. I don't think I can do monochromatic from scraps, but I could easily make a rainbow thing with one color per block. I still have my scrappy Irish chain going as leaders and enders, but this might take it's place when I get it finished up.

Second Guessing

I've had the half square triangle units for step 3 of the OC quilt ready for a while now, but I haven't put together the star blocks. Usually when I get stuck on a step like this, it's because I'm not happy with the way things are turning out. I thought the colors looked too washed out compared to all the scraps, and set the blocks aside. I now see that the next step is posted, so I need to fix the problem so that I can move on. The inspiration for the quilt is rainbow sherbet, and the choices are: A) grape and lime B) rasberry and lime or C) grape and icy lime. I know what I think, but Kurt has a different opinion, so I'd like to say I sent out for a consensus. The yellow and orange are the other two colors, and they are sitting just above the blocks. So please vote, it's much easier than anguishing and second guessing.

Weekend Work

I was up early this morning for a run. As painful as it was at the time, I'm glad now that I got it done. It's sad to see how much slower I am now than I used to be, but it's still better to be out there, even if I'm not setting any records. Every bodies already starting to make noises about fall marathons. I'll have to wait and see what they decide to do. I can see another couple of halves this year. I think the half marathon is a wonderful distance, challenging but not deadly. July is really the time to start serious training for those. I can coast for a while longer. Kurt kept plugging away at the bathroom. I think the tub has been out of commission for about 4 weeks now, but it should be getting close to usable again. I'm glad he decided to finish the tub before he tore apart the shower. I know we have 2 other bathrooms, I just like this one better.

My formal living room looks like a fabric store exploded in it! I have a total of 17 quilts kitted and ready to go. After my last session, I made a list of missing fabrics and had a field trip to the fabric store. After a peaceful lunch at Jason's Deli, I got about 5 different solidish fabrics that should allow me to round out the majority of the patterns that remain. They were having a fabulous sale, and the woman in line next to me gave me a coupon for an extra 10% off. She was only buying one piece of fabric and had another coupon for her batting. So for about $24.00 I should be able to come up with at least 10 more kits. Not bad at all. One of my running partners had some more fabric to add to the collection, so I can go through that next and see what I can come up with.
I cut and pieced the border for the Dresden plates quilt while I was at it, and should be able to get that put on today, and piece together a back as well. I don't know If I have any batting in a twin size, but I can always cut down something larger.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I worked on assembling some more girl scout quilt kits tonight and made quite a bit of headway. I got 7 more kits completely ready to go. I have three more tops with no backs, and 5 more backs with no tops. I think I have several more pleasing combinations in my donation stacks, but it was getting late, so I decided to call it a night. I should be running in the morning, so I guess I'll check e-mail and call it a night.

Family Time

Everyone snuggled up in bed last night to watch TV, and I thought it was just too cute. The longer days are starting to have an effect on everyone and enforcing a 7:30 bed time is getting harder and harder. I'm thinking it will have to move up to 8 during summer vacation, but maybe I can make 7:30 to 8 into "reading in your room" time. I've never been one of those moms that let the kids stay up until all hours hoping they'll sleep in. It never seems to work, and I just enjoy the peace at night too much.
I got another load of fabric at the girl scout meeting earlier this week. After I got home from work this afternoon, I spread it out all over the formal living room floor and started trying out different fabric combinations. What fun.! I seem to have a lot of focus fabrics and very few blenders and solids, but there are quite a few quilts in there waiting to be coordinated. I'm anxious to schedule the first quilt workshop, I just need to make sure I have enough kits ready to go and then I'll set a date.
Our troop is scheduled to go to the zoo next weekend on the same day as Sydney's ballet recital. Luckily one is in the afternoon and one is in the evening. I'm the lucky backstage mom helper, so I get to entertain 5 preschoolers for two hours and get them in and out of their tutus! I always seem to be the lucky winner when it comes to volunteering. Someday I'll learn not to be such a soft touch.
Today was the last day with students. I didn't have any finals today, so I was able to get everything graded and entered. I'm most of the way done with the end of the year checklist, so I should have time to finish up my own projects next week. They had a nice luncheon today with end of the year raffles and gifts. I got my 5 years of service pin and won a "day out" gift basket. It has gift certificates for Panera Bread and Macy's as well as little goodies in a cute little fabric thing that looks like it will hold file folders. It's almost frustrating to have a three day weekend when I'm so close to being done, but I'll try to enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Close

I gave my last final today and can see the finish line. I'm not quite there yet -- but it's so close. I've been at school late everyday trying to tie up all the loose ends, and the house is suffering. I'm hoping it can hobble along without me for just a few more days and then I'll have time to do some serious organization and decluttering.
I am in the process of trying to eliminate paper files at work. For years I've kept old worksheets and lesson plans in binders by semester and by year. It seems like a nice idea, but I never refer to them, and when I try, I can never find what I need. So I've disassembled all of the binders and picked the things that I might want to use again to scan as pdf files. I've spent several long hours feeding them through the copier, and several more renaming the files and putting them into folders on the hard drive.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and chaos has come calling at home. I spent half an hour looking for Ryan's class t-shirt, which he's supposed to wear for field days tomorrow, and another half hour trying to find Kurt's passport for our Jamaica trip in July. No luck on the passport, but the t-shirt was hiding in a set of sheets in the dryer. I'm trying not to think about how sticky the kitchen floor is, but I can't ignore the things that smell bad. I guess everyone has a threshold.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This is May. I don't write down the usual stuff like ballet every Thursday, gymnastics, chess club, volleyball, Saturday run. Those things I can usually remember. But when the monthly newsletter comes home that says, "Don't forget frosting for the school party on Wednesday" and "Class t-shirts required for Friday's field trip." I get out the handy calendar and pray that I will remember to check it.
Sometimes I think I'm the only Mom that can't manage to get it all done. Then comes the early morning call to work, "Ryan is the only one not wearing his class t-shirt, and he has to have it for the zoo trip, could you please bring it to him?" Or better yet, "Anna forgot her math homework and is really upset, could you drop everything and bring it to her so she doesn't have to miss recess?"
I know I am not the only working mom at my kids school. I may be a small minority, but I can't be all alone. Are they just assuming that all the moms are sitting at home all day waiting for the phone to ring so they can drop everything and come running? Even if the moms aren't at work, are we really setting up a viable system when we require this level of parental hand holding?
I consider myself a supportive parent. I really do try hard to take care of everything. Healthy food, basic hygiene, quiet time for homework and reading, love and emotional support. I just have trouble juggling the constant requests for everything from white frosting and ice cream toppings to flowers, money and handcrafted scrapbook pages. I really do try, but I'm just not able to make it all happen.
I'm the outcast mom, the one they look at with pity and say, "Oh, that's right, you can't come to the PTA box tops counting workshop, you WORK!" I try to do as much as I can, but I can only take so many sick days, and they are never going to be greater than the number of mother's day teas, music concerts, poetry readings and field trips.
So two years ago, I sat in a room full of stay-at home moms, hoping one of them would volunteer to be a girl scout leader. One mom actually stood up and said she would love to have a troop, but only if it could have just her daughters friends in it, otherwise her daughter would be unhappy and drop out. Imagine, becoming a girl scout, and making new friends, how shocking! We had already waited for two years for someone to find a spot in an existing troop, but they were always full. Somehow at the end of the evening, I was the one that ended up with the job. How did that happen?
It has been a wonderful experience, and I've found time to make it all happen, I'm not sure how. Anna loves being a girl scout and she is so proud that I'm her leader. We have a lovely troop, and we always make space for new girls. We have done some terrific stuff and had lots of fun.
So then the e-mail came out saying that they needed a new school coordinator because the old one had stepped down. It's not a bad job, just slot the girls into open slots, do a little organization and paperwork. How hard could it be? Sit at a little booth at registration, collecting names of girls who want to be girl scouts and then call the leaders to see if they have any open spots. Just a couple of problems. 1. Preplanning is just a little busy for teachers. 2. My school starts two weeks before my kids school, so I'll already be teaching when they have their registration. 3. Nobody ever has open slots, because every bodies troop is already full of her daughters very best friends, and of course 4. Those women don't have a lot of patience or respect for working moms.
So why am I seriously considering the job? Seriously?
We had a little quiet time this afternoon for recreational reading. I got every bodies summer camps booked and coordinated two weeks of teacher training with weeks when everyone was going to be busy. It should be a good summer. Three days and counting

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Today we celebrated Sydney's birthday. She had to count up on her fingers to figure out that she was five, but expected princess birthday treatment all day long.
Kurt let me have an easy day, knowing that I was a little little frazzled after being alone with the kids all week. He even did laundry! I emptied the scrap bag and had a little cutting party while catching up on CSI. I never used to watch it, but since I'll be teaching forensic science next year, I have been scoping it out. Some of the science is good, but some of it is way off. Last week they had this whole thing about making an arsenic test kit out of the acid in toilet bowl cleaner and copper wire -- it was craziness. (Toilet bowls are basic, not acidic!).
My co-leader brought over a HUGE bag of fabric full of fabric for the Girl Scout Quilts. We'll have to take an evening this week and go through it to see what sort of combinations we can come up with. A lot of them are florals and focal prints. There are a few solids and accents. It'll be fun to see what we can make out of it all.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Some Days you Gotta Dance

My MIL sent us a couple of Itunes gift cards, so I spent last night downloading some new songs for the kids and burning them off onto CDs. This morning they decided to go "Ice Skating" on the wood floors. So they put on fuzzy socks and started to boogie. What could be more fun than a spontaneous dance party with slippery socks?
After that I was off to graduation. This is a picture of me with our new physics teacher. It was a very nice ceremony ending with a release of butterflies by the fountain. Kurt took all the kids to beach volleyball so they came back tired and sandy.

Sydney decided that she wanted to go to the gator restaurant just like Anna and get a pie in her face to celebrate her birthday. She kept asking the waitress when she could get a pie in her face, but when the pie actually came she wasn't quite as happy about it as she had thought she would be. Still, the pie came with ice cream, and all was well with the world again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy NOT to be a Single Mom

I made it through the week. It is all a frantic blur of missed appointments and forgotten obligations, but it's over now and I can take a few deep breaths before I have to start again. I had it all planned to the minute, get Sydney from preschool, meet the school bus for the other two, dash to graduation rehearsal, pick up a home baked dessert from the grocery store, feed the kids dinner and get the the cub scout crossing over ceremony just in time. I did not schedule any time in the middle to get rear ended while waiting to turn right at a red light. It was not on my to do list for the day! I guess that's what I get for having a to do list. Oh well, it's just a car. The rear bumper is not exactly a necessary part. Kurt even made it back from the airport in time for the ceremonial crossing of the bridge.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And the answer is...D, none of the above

After much debate about which purple to use, I dug deeper and found a scrap in the incoming lap quilt fabric that was too small to use for lap quilts. Since it wasn't full width of fabric, I switched it out with one of the new purples and used it up for the outside lattice. It is more gray than the one I wanted to use, but hey, it's gone now, and that is a good thing. I couldn't try out the size on Sydney's bed because she is asleep in it, so I cleared of the daybed in the study and tried it on for size. A small outside border should make it just about the right size and it will be done. I'm thinking pink. I would bet a lot of money that Sydney won't use it because it isn't "comfy" enough. She has definite ideas about what she likes and doesn't.
I took the dark purple along with some of the newly donated fabric and put together a few more sets for the Girl Scout Quilts. I can do some cutting this weekend and get those kitted up.
This was Ryan's writing homework tonight. They can write 5 sentences about anything they want. He was very curious about why someone would want to burn down someones house and how they could tell if it was arson. Then he asked what those people would do without shelter. The little people in the picture are screaming while their houses burn. All the fires are out now, only the consequences remain.
I missed the parent meeting for kindergarten orientation last night. There are 5 kids on our block that will be in kindergarten next year! I was the only one that missed the meeting, but I didn't want to get a sitter twice in the same week. I think I know how kindergarten works by now. Thursday is ballet and chess club and gymnastics. I am in the car from 12 to 4 on Thursdays with pickups and dropoffs. Anna and I spent three hours this afternoon trying to do long division while Sydney colored me a picture of fish. Tomorrow is graduation rehearsal and something called crossing over for the cub scouts. I'm supposed to bring a dessert. Kurt should be home tomorrow before bed time, I think I'll have a tiny shred of sanity left by then.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The End is in Sight

We had a test today on organic chemistry, and it was the last before finals! Trying to accomplish anything this time of year is an exercise in futility. The alternative is to admit that you have given up, and that can only lead to chaos. I finally finalized my finals and even finished my budget for forensic science next year. They still won't tell me what else I'll be teaching, so I can't do the other classes yet. We got our end of the year instructions yesterday, so I'll have to start checking all of that off of my to do list.
On the quilty front, I decided on a purple for the Dresden Plates Quilt and got those cut and layed out. The darn quilt has been on the floor for almost a week now, and I need to get it picked soon. I sat with the kids watching pokemon before bed tonight and paired up ALL of the leftover blades. I think I'll use them as leaders and enders for a while and use them for more stripy quilts. I think they would look good alternated with white bands.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Tale of Three Purples

Sydney's Dresden Plates Quilt has been spread out on the floor of the formal living room since Sunday because I didn't have enough sashing strips for the outside border. I have a post by Nines stuck in the back of my mind about "naive" quilts and can't finish this one without an outside lattice. I must have planned to, when I cut out all the bits O so long ago, unless I just ran out of fabric and put it in a box. Finishing UFOs is full of surprises. I guess the good thing about scrappy is that you can pull a partial quilt out of a box and add a few more fabrics to finish it up. That wouldn't work with a color coordinated quilt from a specific collection of fabrics.
I wanted to use purple for the outside and was fresh out. I made Bonnies Blue Ridge Beauty in purple a while ago, and used every scrap of purple in the house. So, knowing that I have several partial lap quilt kits that could use purple, I went ahead and picked out three today as I dashed in and out after work but before afternoon pick up detail and Tuesday faculty meeting. On the left is purple dots, in the middle is dark flowery and on the left is light. Which one looks best? The blocks are in light medium and dark, so I'm a little torn. What do you guys think? Left, middle or right?

The fires seem better today. The wind died down some, so It gave them a chance to get some of the blazes under control. Palm Bay schools all canceled classes, but we were fine in this region of the county. The worst of it seems to be missing us so far, I hope it stays that way. There are collections going at all of the kids schools for supplies for the firefighters as well as the people living in shelters. I have a few boxes of extra girl scout cookies that I'll send in, and then I can make a trip to the store tomorrow afternoon for some of the items of the requested list.
I talked to Kurt last night and updated him on the happenings of the day. I told him he could should look at my blog to see a picture of Anna at the bridging ceremony. He said he doesn't know the address! So I'll e-mail it to him and think about what it means that I have to check his itinerary to see when he'll be back and he has to check my blog to see Anna's Girl Scout ceremony.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Girl Scout Bridging

We went to my school tonight to use the bridge over the pond for our bridging ceremony from brownies to juniors. I gave the camera to one of our moms who took adorable pictures, but since I don't have permission to post pictures of all the girls on my blog, I thought I'd post this one of Anna. She must get her photogenic gene from me.
I cobbled together a little ceremony out of bits and pieces from the internet. I thought it all came together very nicely. We sang two songs, recited the Girl Scout promise and law, included a couple of poems about bridges and friends, and even shared memories of brownies and wishes for juniors. The girls wanted to eat brownies and junior mints symbolically, so we did that too.
Kurt is out of town for the week, and wildfires are looming. Strange things always happen when he goes out of town; from illness out of the blue to subpoenas to court. I'm thinking evacuation for wildfires would be about right. If it weren't too early for hurricane season I'd be checking the weather forecast. We're running the air right now, not because it's too hot, but just to keep the smoke outside. I need to go watch the news to check for school closings. I remember as a kid watching the news for snow days. I never would have dreamed I'd be checking for hurricane and smoke days.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Anna made me breakfast this morning. It didn't come to me in bed, but it was waiting at the table when I got up. I am a lucky Mom.
Sydney was helping me today to make HER quilt. I trimmed the Dresden Plates down to size, and she helped me arrange them and lay down the sashing. As I was ironing the strips and handing them to her, she told me what a good sewing person I was. She said I was so fast and good at making quilts that I should consider entering a competition for sewing. Then she said that was silly, because they didn't have contests like that, but If they did, I would be the winner for sure. This is the same four year old who was diagnosed with a developmental delay in speech at 18 months. I think she's got if figured out now.
After that I decided to work the the next step of the OC quilt. I looked and looked, and couldn't find my easy angle ruler anywhere. Honestly, looking at the space next to my sewing machine, who could imagine that I'd have trouble finding something? I practically had to clean the whole study before the ruler showed up, right next to the machine, under a pair of gloves, scissors, two spools of thread, three bobbins, a drawer of accessories, a phone, a pile of scraps and a cup of corn starch. Just the essentials.

After getting all the pieces cut, I chain pieced a bunch, but then had to put one block together all the way to see how it would look. I'm not thrilled about the color combination so far, but I'm going to let it go for now. I'm thinking I should have chosen a stronger green to stand out more compared to the scraps. I was going for a frosty sherbet thing, but I may have gone too light.

Finally, I got four Girl Scout quilts "kitted" One complete yard for the back and then just over a yard of various coordinating strips for the front and four strips of binding fabric. I thought I would be able to pull together more quilts from my stash, but I just don't have that much fabric I guess. Enough to go with lots of stuff, but not enough to make much from scratch. I've got several people who have volunteered more fabric, so I'll keep sorting as that comes in and supplement when I need to. I asked my friend to help me come up with a name for our project, and she suggested Scouting Lap Scraps or Scout Patches. What do you think? Does anyone else have a good idea? The goal is to present 3o lap quilts to elderly residents of an Alzheimer's care unit while caroling this Christmas.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today Was a Home Day

I had my race this morning. It was very nice. Three of my running partners were there, as well as my neighbor and a bunch of people from school. It is the last race of the season. Before long it will be way to hot to run during daylight hours. That leaves "o-dark-thirty" and "dead-of-night" if you want to put in miles for the next few months.
I spent most of the afternoon watching the kids in the pool. Two neighbor girls were over as well so it was a nice little impromptu pool party. I got most of the binding done on Carolina crossroads while I played lifeguard and referee, so it was a productive afternoon.
Kurt worked some more on the bathroom. He decided that he didn't want any more water leaking into the tub surround so he coated the whole thing with rubber. It is dark pink and looks kind of funny, but the tile will cover it. We are overly paranoid about water intrusion around here. After the storms we've lived through, keeping water out is always a big concern. I'm wondering if we could paint the whole house in pink rubber before next hurricane season.
Anna turned 9 yesterday. We are celebrating today. I told her she could choose what she wanted for her birthday dinner. She chose RJ Gators, a local restraunt that puts pies in your face on birthdays. She is looking forward to it. I'll be sure to post pictures tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thanks for the Weekend

I made it through the week -- only two more to go until summer! I have three days to teach, three days to review and four days of finals. I can do that right? All that remains is to proof my exams this weekend and make up a review sheet. That shouldn't be a problem.
I have a 5K in the morning. I've got three of my running partners going with me, so it should be a good time. We have a local running store that has done a lot in the last few years to organize races and events in the area. I can remember not that long ago when I would win a race because I was the only one in my age group. Now even a regular 5K gets enough people to require chip timers!
One of my running partners has the grandmother who is going to be our quilt tester. I'm going to finish the binding on the green and pink four patch stripy tonight so I can give her the first two quilts at the race. Anna wants to be my kid tester and make her own quilt this weekend. She picked out some pretty blue and yellow flowered fabric that will make a happy quilt. I'll have to see how long it takes her and how much help she needs.
My Brownie troop is bridging on Monday, that's when we get to move up to become Juniors. I've spent the evening cutting and pasting bridge related things that I found online. I think I'll print out a copy and see if my co-leader and I can sit down and organize it into some sort of cohesive ceremony.
It's all good. I keep telling myself that. I may be busy, but I'm busy with good things.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Scary Busy

Nothing quilty today. I had to get a sub so that I could go to mothers day celebrations at two schools. How do people do it? I feel like I'm running all day long and I still can't get it all to fit into a day. Other people have jobs and kids, and they make it all work. Don't they? Or is it just like me, and as shiny and happy as it looks from the outside, it's all tangled and messy inside?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Stencil? No Problem!

I went to the quilt shop to pick up a stencil for the green and pink stripy, but they had nothing. I was a little intimidated by just winging it. This is a quilt for someone else, and I didn't want to wreck it. So I found a flowery type design on my computer and reworked it it Microsoft Paint. Then I printed it on tracing paper and used my scrapbooking punches to make a dotted line.
I layed that out on the quilt and got out my handy bag of cornstarch.
Look at that! Perfect little dot-to-dots to follow along.
I got the quilt finished up in no time flat and just sewed on the binding. I'm liking little quilts, they get done so much faster than big ones. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. (I have to pat myself on the back once in a while, my family takes me for granted.)
Speaking of not taking people for granted. I was discussing the Girl Scout quilt project with my co-leader yesterday and she decided that we needed to get a corporate sponsor, or at least find people to donate fabric. Then she remembered that Jo-Ann usually gives a 10% discount for charity projects and volunteered her church ladies to sew down binding for us! Wow, that was a productive conversation. I'm so lucky to have her as my co-leader, she's organized and is great under pressure. She's already found two people who have fabric for us and developed a plan for kitting it before the workshop --AND she finished sewing down the binding on quilt number one.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On the Prowl for UFOs

I'm feeling good about checking things off the perpetual to do list, so I went searching for something else to finish off. This quilt was supposed to be for Sydney's room back when it had a flower garden theme. It has since been redone in a mermaid and castle theme, but the colors still work, so I'm going to finish it up. I was going to do a quilt as you go, but didn't like the way the lattice was working out and put it away to age for a while.
If I move the quilts I've finished this year to the bottom of my list, I can add this one and still maintain 10 works in progress. I'm cheating by adding the Girl Scout Quilts to the done list but not the WIP list. Hey -- it's my blog -- I can make up my own rules!

I have 12 blocks done, two of which are quilted, but I also have 15 more blocks cut and sorted into baggies. I get that part. What I don't get is why I did all that and still kept cutting fan blades. I must have just kept going until all the fabric was gone. Look at those stacks of blades! Exactly how many quilts did I think I was going to make? Maybe I'll use the extras for a modified piano key type border. After that I guess I can make some Chinese coin strips. Hmm, something to think about. I'd better go measure the bed before I make any solid decisions.

Prototype Number 2

I bordered and spray basted the other Girl Scout quilt last night. I really like how the spray baste is working on the small sized quilts, but oh my, what a sticky mess. I rolled up the carpet in the foyer so that I could do it over the tile but still managed to make EVERYTHING sticky. My feet were sticking to the floor making little suction sounds as I walked away. And oh my, it was scary to see the things that they picked up off of the supposedly clean floor. I was planning to run by the Sewing Gallery after work for a flowery quilting stencil, but ended up leaving just in time to start the afternoon roundup. I thought maybe I could bribe the kids with Slushies to go out again, but no such luck. Everyones in the pool now, so I guess we're not going anywhere this afternoon. The library books and blockbuster movies will have to languish in my car for another day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another one Bites the Dust

I am rapidly crossing things off of my to do list, and that is making me feel free to start new projects. Here is a mugshot of my finished Carolina Crossroads. I ended up using a meander for quilting. I was doing a grid, but I didn't like how the back was turning out.
Here is a close-up of one of the stars. They don't stand out that much on my quilt. I think If I were to make this quilt again, I'd fill in the middle with darker colors to make that part stand out more. I'm not sure how my quilt ended up square, everyone else's I've seen have been rectangular.

Anna wanted to help me with my picture taking, she thinks it is so cool that she is on the internet!
I spent an hour this afternoon and whipped up a sample lap quilt for the nursing home. It's about 36 by 42, and I'll have to see if that is a good size. I'm trying to come up with a pattern simple enough for the girl scouts to do successfully while still coming up with a decent end product. I used a quilt as you go technique with a simple stripy pattern. The girls could use the sewing machine to add a decorative stitch, and choose the width and arrangement of the strips. I'm guessing if I can finish the entire thing in one hour, that they should be able to do it during a half day workshop.