Saturday, June 25, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Blue Saturday

 My big accomplishment for the week was finishing off this t-shirt quilt.   
It is huge.  She wanted it full sized and it is large even for a full sized quilt.   We were both bad at editing though, and ended up keeping fronts and many of the backs from the shirts as well.   I finished up the binding during an all day marathon of "The Flight Attendant".   The lead character just kept making one bad decision after another. I guess it does help you feel better about your own life not being a total train wreck.  

Sydney's t-shirt quilt is waiting patiently on the wall.   Hers will be twin sized to live in her college dorm room.  
Another beautiful day has begun.  It has been brutally hot in the middle of the day, but the mornings and evenings are still idyllic.   That means more time to sew in the middle.   
Given that this is the last Saturday in June, I will mention that July is going to be the purple month this year.  Which is perfect for me given all the little purple bits I have leftover from the t-shirt quilt.   


Saturday, June 18, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Home Again

 What a long strange summer it has already been!   It hasn't felt much like a break yet, but I am starting to settle into a new summer routine.  We drove back from Virginia on Monday.   It is about 12-13 hours by car and we are getting pretty good at the drive.   When Kurt goes up for work, he will fly, but with all the kids and the supplies we are still taking back and forth, it made more sense to drive.   

With the new job, I am working this summer, but it is a minimal amount.   I have two mornings a week scheduled in the office during June and then I'll bump it up to three mornings a week during July.   So far I am doing most of the normal summer work that I would have done on my own.  What a nice change to pace to have them offering to pay me to do work.  That isn't something that often comes up for teachers.   In addition to college advising, I am also still handling gifted, homeroom and new teachers.   This week I started on the gifted curriculum and paperwork planning.  Next week I will jump into the homeroom lessons.   

That still leaves plenty of time for quilting though.  First up is to start working through the list of three t-shirt quilts that I am supposed to do this summer.   With so many requests piled up, I decided to invest in a heat press.   It makes quick work of getting the stabilizer attached to the shirts which is always the longest and most tedious part.   
The first quilt is a full size quilt for a wedding in July.   So much bigger than I usually make t-shirt quilts, but with the new press I had all of these shirts ironed and cut in not much more than a day!   There is still one more row that doesn't fit on the design wall, but you get the idea.   She is  a fan of purple and lilac, so I tried out three shades.   So far I am liking the lightest one best.   Not sure if I will go with cornerstones or not.  I prefer them for sewing the rows together, but it adds more color to an already busy collection of blocks.   
How are your blues coming along?  Clearly I am not quite there yet, but Anna has moved her things out of the sewing room again, so I can get things set up again soon.   This should have been the last time that she came home again to stay.   She is going straight from her summer job to her new grad school apartment in the fall.   I will shift the sewing studio into Sydney's room when she goes off to the University of Florida at the end of August which will leave us two extra rooms for whoever is home to visit.   That is the working plan in any case.  Things seem to change quickly around here.   


Saturday, June 11, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Blue Skies

Not lots of blue scraps yet, but plenty of blue skies.   We have worked so hard at the cabin for the last two weeks and it has been so much fun!  I sleep like a log every night and then wake up ready to start again the next day.   Much of the work is just new house things like cleaning and organizing, picking out paint colors.  All much fun.  Then there is the land that has been sadly neglected.  So much trash to haul away and lumber from old out buildings to be burned.   So far we have only dealt with the main three acres.  The upper seven remains untouched.   I haven't taken many photos because everything is half done.  These are a few of the structures which have been taken down.  I am watching the fire now as we try to burn the last of what can be burned and Kurt hauls a load of the rest to the dump.  We have made quite a few trips to the dump and had quite a few fires!   Still more to go, but progress is being made.  

Ready to head home again and switch gears.   I will be working some this summer with the new job and I have a couple of T-shirt quilts to make.  One for commission and one for Sydney to take away to college in the fall.   

Saturday, June 4, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Let's do Blue!


It's a brand new month!  Looking forward to making some progress on blue.  Why is there so much blue in my bins?   I've whittled down lots of colors, but blue always seems to fill up first again. 

There is still plenty of work keeping us busy in the mountains.  Yesterday we tried to free some apple trees from vines and made a trip into town for supplies.  Then we cut fire wood and made mulch.   The next time it rains or gets too hot outside, I will finish getting the kitchen put together.   Always nice to give everything a good solid cleaning before getting too many things put away.  I will bring a sewing machine the next time we come up and try to find a desk to put it on.   One thing at a time.....

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

New Month, New Color

I love that each month brings a fresh color. A chance to clear out the leftovers of the old and sort through something fresh and new. So now it is time to put away the greens and dig into the blue bin. Like green, blue is one of those colors that tends to dominate the scrap pile. Feel free to divide and conquer by focusing on the bright and dark shades. Save the light and baby hues for another month. 
 No new photos to share yet as we are running on cell phone data for the moment. The internet people will be here tomorrow though, so looking forward to having more than two bars! I caught a horrible head cold just before the trip up to Virginia and then tried to ignore it and power through. We were all having so much fun getting settled in. Ryan (middle son) is tearing down sheds and Kurt (DH) is trimming trees while I run around behind them hauling rubbish away. It is sorted to be taken to fire pit, compost heap, chipper shredder or cut into logs for the fireplace. I've also been mowing and trying to kill some of the grass to replace it with lower maintenance ground cover. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'll keep working on cleaning out cabinets and installing shelf liner. That will help with the organization as nothing seems to have a home quite yet. We did find some $3 pots at the flea market though, after realizing that we forgot a few essentials along the way.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Green Day

It is the last Saturday in May and I have sewn 0 green scraps. June will be blue (bright and dark), so I will try to catch up then. Thursday was the last day of school, so finding sewing time should get much easier. First though, we have a bit of time at the cabin which will involve very little sewing. So far I have not even migrated a sewing machine here. We'll be back soon though and the organizational process will be ongoing. I brought hexies, so hand sewing will keep me busy in the evenings after battling the wild outdoors all day. More updates to come.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Rush to the Finish


Anna graduated from college last night and will be off tomorrow to nanny for a new baby in New Hampshire before starting her graduate program in Neuroscience at Virginia Tech in the fall.   I was not there.  
Because Sydney was also graduating from high school.  She will be working this summer at Pac Sun before departing for the University of Florida in the fall.  

It has been quite a week!  I have been working diligently to move out of my classroom and begin preparations for my new job as a Career and College coach at the same school where I have been for the past 12 years.   The students seem excited to have someone available to guide them through the process and are already asking for help.   

And because nothing good ever happens in isolation, the movers are coming any minute to pick up the furniture we are having taken to the cabin in Virginia.  It would have been so much more efficient to just keep the furniture where it is and buy something new for up north, but I thought our existing stuff would fit better with the mountain vibe.   I am excited to pick something more beachy and less wood and leathery to live here.   We found something we liked looking online, but we will be sitting on lawn chairs until we get around to going and looking at it in person.   We have a day bed from Anna's room to sleep on, so if we can find a card table somewhere, all of our basic needs will be met.  

The green scraps are still sitting happily sorted and trimmed waiting for things to calm down for a hot minute.   Just to top off all the crazy, I have jury duty on Monday!  Life just keeps trucking along.  I hope you are having some nice calm sewing time though.  I will enjoy your progress and wait for the relative calm of summer break.  I will only be working two or three half days each week which should leave plenty of time to catch up on green and move on to the new color for June.  

Saturday, May 14, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Catching Up


"Life move pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"

My life has moved faster than usual in the past week.  I think it was last Thursday when they posted a new job opening at my school.  The district is creating a new position at all of the middle and high schools to have a new College and Career Counselor on staff.  I knew that they were going to be creating the job, but I assumed it would require counseling credentials.  When the announcement was finally made, it was listed as a "specialist" instead of a counselor and I met all of the requirements.   Thinking that this might just be the change that I need right now, I discussed with the family and eagerly applied.  Much drama ensued and the job description changed several times during the week, but in the end, it was a job that I wanted very much to do and it was offered to me!   

So now I need to move out of my classroom and get a new teacher ready to take over AP Biology, learn how to handle all the new job responsibilities, attend training sessions and planning meetings and move into an office.  I also need to wrap up the semester, submit final grades, pack and move furniture to the house in Virginia..... I am sure there is more, but right now I am just making lists and contemplating the future.  I did get to start in on the green scraps though.   I got all the ironing and trimming done.  I was just ready to start sewing blocks together when Anna declared that she was coming home for the weekend.  Most importantly though, I need to make some serious progress on Sydney's t-shirt quilt, because graduation is just 6 short days away.   

Saturday, May 7, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Rainy Day

The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play. Not an outside day, and the sewing room has been filled with everything that used to be in Ryan's room. On the up side though, Ryan is home for the summer!  We are all going to see the new Dr. Strange movie as a family and then I will tackle the sewing room and make some room to move out the green and sage for May.  Sydney's T-shirt quilt is first on the list.  Conveniently, she has requested sage and forest for her dorm room colors at the University of Florida next year.   Just 13 days until graduation, not that we are counting down of course!


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Home Again


This was the before photo that I posted while we were away this weekend.  The sellers took care of quite a bit of cleanup before the closing, but we found plenty to keep us busy.  

It is amazing how relaxing hard work and fresh air can be.  We got half of one of the chicken coops taken down.   There was lots of wire and posts and mesh all intergrown with vines and roots and all sorts of fun.   I used the empty space in front to set up compost bins, so hopefully there will be some compost in progress the next time we are back.  

Kurt and I both took turns pressure washing.  I love to pressure wash, but there was also lots of random scrap lumber to be hauled to the fire pit and so many bags of mulch to be spread.  
The pressure washing made a huge difference.  The rubbish removal is an ongoing process.   There isn't trash pickup there, so we learned how to drop off at the local dump.  

Sunday, May 1, 2022

New Month, New Color

 The colors for May will be sage and forest green. 

We got a lot done today.  Here are some before photos as we are not in a Wi-Fi rich zone here.  We cleared out lots of rubbish, though there is still lots to do.   We pressure washed and took down a chicken coop and spread lots of mulch.   

 We made a burn pit and had a huge fire, though there is still more to go.   It was wonderfully relaxing even though we are both tired and sore from hauling rocks and wood and random bits of everything.  We met our new neighbor and learned how to get to town and back.  Tomorrow is back to real life again, but it has been fun living in the mountains for the weekend.  

Saturday, April 30, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Late Start


Off to a super late start today.  We are at the new cabin for the first time after closing on Friday and I had to wait for Kurt to install an internet thing on the roof before I could get a signal to post.   The closing was super smooth, although we were all sweating a bit due to lack of communication ahead of time about the broken septic system.  It is all fixed now though and we are starting to settle in.   We walked around the property yesterday after closing and met a neighbor who drove us around the upper acreage that they seem to use mostly for hunting.   We are pressure washing this morning and clearing out rubbish.  I will be sure to post more photos when the internet is less sketchy.  

Saturday, April 23, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Transitions

 Every week, I keep thinking that things will calm down any day now.  Sometime soon it will be true.  The end of the school year is in full swing.  AP test prep, end of the year presentations, celebrations, awards.  All good, just as always, all at the same time.  

I do have time to sew this weekend though, after a couple of power grading sessions to get caught up.  Less than a month till graduation!   I guess I should get to work on Sydney's t-shirt quilt again.  Deep calming breaths.  All is well.  

Saturday, April 16, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Chaos

Its been crazy around here.

We started looking into having our townhouses painted a couple of years ago, but someone (my dear husband) talked everyone into second guessing the decision and it all fell apart.   Fast forward though and everyone is on board.  There are four units, and trying to get everyone in agreement on colors and placement has been a logistical challenge.  Everyone is so busy being flexible and friendly that nobody wants to decide.   I've been having a blast with the Sherwin William color visualizer tool and running in for paint chips.   The painter is coming this morning to take a look and then give us a start date.   
While all of that is going on, the pavers that we ordered months ago have arrived!  They started two days ago and have already made a lot of progress.  It looked like they ran out of fill late yesterday, but are back already this morning.  It will be nice to have some outside space on the ground level for chairs and maybe a fire pit.   
Despite all the upheaval though, the sunrise was a peaceful as ever.  A flock of gulls happened to fly by just as I was getting ready to take my daily photo.  I worked on my Blackford Beauty blocks yesterday, the chevrons are done, I just need to make a few more four patches.   The main project has been log cabin blocks. I am halfway to the 256 that I will need.  
I also did some touchup on the barn quilt yesterday and started the process of getting it sealed.   This is going to go on the shed at the cabin which is still scheduled to close at the end of the month.  We had a bit of a logjam over the septic, but it all seems to be back on track now.   


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Scrap Happy Craziness

I was so busy sewing up more log cabin blocks that I was afraid I might run short of logs.   There is something so calming about trimming random scraps into nicely organized pieces ready to be used in blocks.  I should be good for a while now!  No photos the of the log cabin quilt progress because I filled both walls and started collecting blocks into groups of 10.  I need more than 200 blocks for the quilt that I want to make, so I will just keep plugging along.   
It is actually turning into a busy weekend.   A friend and her husband met us at date night last night to catch up and unwind before the end of the school year.   We are meeting an old school friend tonight for the symphony AND the school musical is this weekend so we will catch the matinee performance of that before heading to dinner before the music starts.   School is so crazy right now with end of the year festivities.   The kids are so appreciative of having all the old traditions back again.  Covid has taken a bit of a spike again, but nothing like the two earlier peaks this year, and so we keep moving forward.   Things seem to be on track with the new house after a bit of a hiccup over the septic inspection.   It should all work out in the end.   The closing is scheduled for April 29, assuming of course the sewage system is fully functional by then.   


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Wrap Up

I've been adding blocks to the log cabin quilt.  
The pink bulls-eye blocks are also up on the wall.   As each of the colors is done, I free up those strips to make their way into the log cabin blocks.  

 During the evenings I have been diligently hand stitching at binding.  Thursday during the live stream of the awards ceremony for science fair, I put the last stitch into "Squared Away".  This was the Rainbow Scrap Challenge project from 2018.  It was a collaboration project with Mari, The Academic Quilter.   Directions are still available here and here.   
I put some orange peels into the  cornerstones and ribbon candy in the lattice strips.  The blocks themselves just got a smallish meander.   Is going straight into the wash with some color catchers now.   There was a bit of bleeding going on with the reds.   Hopefully I can clean that up. 
After getting back from science fair, Sydney had prom on Friday and grad bash on Saturday.  The seniors all get bused to Universal after close and ride all the rides until the wee hours.  I had to pick her up at school at 3:30 am.  She was one tired kid!
I am linking up today at Oh Scrap!  and Slow Stitching Sunday.   

Saturday, April 2, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Digging into Pink

Looking forward to the new month and digging into a new color.  Look how happy those pink scraps are to come out to play!   There is nothing more fun than a new color and another fresh start.  Please share your own pink plans using misterlinky below.

Saturday, March 26, 2022


The yellow blocks are done!  I didn't go quite as crazy as with the red, but there is a bit more going on this month.  I will enjoy putting away the yellow and digging into some pink for April. 
I was able to add a few more rows to the log cabin quilt.   It has spilled onto the second design wall.  Always a good sign of progress.   Our neighbors daughter is getting married in the back yard this weekend.  Kurt is just back from a trip to Virginia for the house inspection and a business trip.  Sydney is off to state science fair on Tuesday.   
Yesterday was the annual Wildcat Challenge for our junior and senior homerooms.   There was tug of war, wheel barrel races, volleyball and other fun for all field day games.   Prom is next weekend along with grad bash.  It is starting to feel normal again. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Happy Chaos

What a long strange week its been!  Spring break was busy and productive.  Last Saturday we began our driving tour of the Southeast with a drive to the kids favorite amusement park which is on the border of North and South Carolina.   It was quite chilly, but the girls had a great time and rode almost all the roller coasters.  Then the big event was a trip to Virginia Tech where Anna has definitely decided she would like to go to graduate school.  She said she had a good vibe with the professors she met, and would enjoy working on their research.  We all loved the area!  Kurt and I both grew up in college towns.  The energy and activity had us thinking back to the good old days.  

Then we drove over the eastern part of the state to look at some properties.   Kurt is working more out of the DC office and we are talking about having a home base nearby.   We traipsed around several properties in West Virginia on our own because our realtor does not have a license to sell properties there.  We found one with an amazing view, but it is quite far out from the city and the neighborhood was... rustic.   Then the next day we were scheduled to meet with the relator that Kurt had been working with online.   After several hours in his office sifting through the options we were finally off!   We had primarily been talking about property on which to build a log cabin like house.  Existing houses pop up from time to time, but always seem to disappear before we can have look.   We  did add one house to the list though, because it had an ideal location and we wanted a baseline for comparison.  That was the one that we fell in love with of course!   10 acres nestled on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park with a little house and plenty of space outside.  We are working through the paperwork now and nothing is final.   Wish us luck though.   We put in several bids on different places before successfully buying our beach home.  Hopefully we won't have to go through all of that again.  

Clearly there was lots of driving time between all those activities for hand sewing of hexies.  I am so happy to be back home with my machine again though and have almost finished off my yellow blocks for the month.  Misterlinky is below.  Please share your yellow progress with us all.  

Saturday, March 12, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Sunny in Spring

Spring is here and its all been a rush so far.  Sydney has two lacrosse games a week right now.  Anna is trying to choose a graduate school program.  Ryan is trying to find an internship for the summer.   I am just trying to survive the rest of the school year.   This is our spring break week though, so I am sure that I will make it for a little bit longer.   We've been having walkouts over the "don't say gay" bill that the governor is ready to sign and people on both sides of the issue are angry.   There are lots of new parent's rights bills going into effect next year over what we must teach and must not teach.  Saying anything about anything is tricky at the moment.   Still, I did mention that this is our spring break week though, so all is well at the moment.   
My sewing for the next few days will be by hand as we all have a trip to Virginia in the works.   Grad school tour, meeting with a relator, enough festivities to make it feel like a vacation.   Lots of hexies to stitch by hand in the car.  I hope your yellow and golds are progressing nicely.  Please use Mr. Linky below so that we can all enjoy your projects.


Saturday, March 5, 2022

ScrapHappy Yellow Begins


And so begins a new month at Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I was happy to make enough progress with aqua to not feel bad putting it away to make room for the yellow and gold parade.  It is utterly a coincidence that the colors of the Uranian Flag are yellow and blue, but I plan to lean into that this month.  I am thinking a nice blue string block with a yellow Dresden Plate would be a fun idea to play with.  I will keep you posted of course!  I had just gotten to the point where all the yellow was out and starting to get organized when Anna decided to come home from college early for this weekends trip to Rhode Island which was a replacement for last weekends trip to Rhode Island which was cancelled due to snow.  She is there now, with her dad and I am getting regular updates on all the news.  Sydney is in Orlando at another science fair.  I drove her over last night for the set-up and she insisted that she was perfectly capable of driving herself there today.  She is also reporting in regularly with status updates. 

So far her board is set up and she is ready for judging to start at 9.  Notice the colors on her board, they represent the pigments that she extracted to construct dye-sensitized solar cells.  

So other than keeping tabs on everyone else, it should be a calm weekend to sew.   I found a nice stack of yellow HST unit all ready for the Carpenter's Star block.   I might try another version with a blue center star.  This is a huge block and would make a nice table topper on its own.

I hope that you are all looking forward to digging into yellow for March.   Misterlnky is below, please share your projects and plans with us all.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

March Color

 The March colors are yellow and gold.   Something bright and full of sunshine to welcome in spring and chase away the winter gloom.  

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Plans Change

What a long strange week it has been.   On Monday, the older of my two daughters found out that she had been accepted into graduate school at Virginia Tech.   She was so excited!   Then on Tuesday she learned that she was also in at Rhode Island University.   Now she has to choose!  So we hastily scheduled a trip to Rhode Island to get a feel for the campus.   

By Wednesday we had plane tickets, a rental car and a hotel along with lab tours, lunches and meetings for Anna to get check out the program.  I had sub plans and filled out leave paperwork and told my kids to be good while I was gone.  I even found my coat which hasn't been worn since 2017.  In normal times there would have been in person interviews, but given the state of Covid, everything was online.  Then we found out that there was going to be a big snow storm moving into New England and everything was cancelled.   Poof!  All that planning for nothing.   So now the same plans are now rescheduled for next weekend and Anna was able to do a Zoom meeting with two of the professors she would be studying under at RI.  We have a driving trip planned for Virginia over spring break.   Kurt and I have been shopping for houses or land outside of DC, so we will combine both trips. Sydney, the younger daughter, is coming along as well so we will throw in a theme park visit for her.  
Then, just as things were settling down again, Sydney has found out that she is accepted to the University of Florida, which is now her first choice of colleges.  Fortunately, she has already been on tours and seen the campus, so she is excited and happy.   
So I have an unexpected weekend at home to FINALLY sew some of my aqua scraps.   The quilting frame was set up for three weekends in a row and I focused hard on getting 10 flimsies quilted.  So far only one has been completely finished with binding sewn, but I will share each as a I finish the last stage.  New York Beauty was a quilt of my own design.  I sketched each of the blocks out and then charted them onto freezer paper with a compass, protractor and rulers.   The fabrics combined batiks with my favorite hand dyes from Vicki Welsh.  I started in 2014 and then finished it during the lockdown of 2020.   It was first on the list because I took it in for a faculty and staff art show at school.  So now the dog has been walked, the husband is off playing tennis and I am ready to play with some scraps!  Misterlinky is below, please share your own scrappy progress.  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Marathon of Quilts

Rainbow Crumbs is fresh off of the frame.  I used a square spiral in grey thread.  I was afraid that it would have too much contrast against the white, but it seems to blend in just fine.   

That brings the finished count to 8 so far.   This is the third and last weekend that I plan to leave the frame set up.  Two weeks ago was a three day weekend and this is a four day weekend.   Tomorrow it will be time to get back the family room.   First though, some celebration for flimsies quilted.  From top to bottom of the stack: Rainbow Crumbs, New York Beauty, Hollow Nine Patches, Temecula Sampler, Chopsticks, Connecting Threads Star Sampler, Squared Away, and Streak of Lightning.   I shall be sewing binding until the end of time, but that is something to think about on Tuesday when the quilting has paused.  
The closet isn't even half empty though.  Still in waiting from left to right: Yellow and Green Chevrons, Sister's Choice, #FullStop, Baby Nines and Churn Dashes, Garden Trellis, Dear Jane, Strings, Sprouts, and Postage Stamps.   I can comfortably cross two more off the list today and tomorrow.  Piecing the backings and getting the quilt loaded on the frame are the hard part.  I've taken care of the easy finishes, everything else will need a bit more effort.  

Saturday, February 19, 2022

ScrapHappy Saturday - Diversions


I haven't gotten much further than ironing and cutting on my aqua and teal scraps.  With the quilting frame set up temporarily in the family room, I am trying to focus on getting as many flimsies quilted as possible before it is time to disassemble everything on Monday.  I have a sampler quilt which was a block of the month from Temecula Quilt Company many years ago.   I didn't want to start it until Dear Jane was done.   I'm trying out different quilting ideas because quilting the Dear Jane is a terrifying thought.   The bobbin ran out just in time for Sydney's Lacrosse game last night.  They have won one and lost one so far.  

There was a second sunrise this morning over a cloud bank.   It is colder today than yesterday, but still beautiful compared to the bitter chill of last weekend.