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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A familiar sight

We had about 4 inches of snow last night. Penny and Millie loved it and ran around like crazy all morning. I had a delayed opening at school, so went in at 10 am. Got a little sewing done BEFORE work. Very nice.

Had to clean the truck off, but it was soft, fluffy snow. It's been raining all afternoon, so the snow is mostly gone now. I am sure we will have more. The weather channel is already showing us snow for next week. Believe it or not, I like a real winter. Makes the spring seem especially exciting.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Creation is messy! Mini aprons done!

My dining room table!! Kinda messy, but I am working on like 5 projects right now. My mom sent me that Home Depot shopping bag, and once you open it, it is HUGE!! I use it to take all of my supplies to quilting class. I think it might be strong enough to hold my featherweight too.

This is one of the strips for that quilt I started in class the other night. I really like the way it looks so far. I am just throwing the pieces together without any consideration for color, etc. I have four more sections to make, then the first border, then the outer border which uses 1000 two inch blocks!! I am determined to be done within 3 weeks though! I DID NOT buy any fabric for this quilt (except for the white) and I am not buying any for the next few either.
I made these mini aprons for a swap at MJF!! I dreaded making them at first, but after walking through Micheals today, I got some ideas and went to work. They are done. Now I am making a tea cozy for another swap (my friend is actually my partner this time!!) and cannot wait to get that one going. I have a fun idea that I think she will like.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A day in history and in quilting

A quilting class I am taking this week is a scrap quilt designed to use a lot of your fabric stash. So, I have to cut about 2000, yes, 2000 pieces before Thursday night. I have made a good dent in it already.
This is what the finished quilt will look like. It is really lovely in person. Can't wait to see it done.

All day and night I have been glued to the television watching Obama's big day (our nation's really). We watched with the kids at school and now I am watching the Obamas attend the parties. I cannot believe how touched I was by this whole thing today. When I think about how far our country has come in my relatively short lifetime, it is almost too much to fathom. I used to teach in an all-black alternative school and I would tell my students that they should aspire to be a president instead of a prisoner (they were all about an inch away from a major jail sentence at all times) and they would laugh and say, "Yeah, right! In our lifetime?" Well, that was only about fifteen years ago and look at us. I wonder if any of them are thinking of our time back then when nothing seemed possible for them. (Some of those kids turned out to be pretty good adults in the end, I am proud to say.) I teach in an all-white school now! Funny how the world turns.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A little

Last night Rob made this little snowdude when he was walking the dogs at midnight.
The yard next door to us. Lots of pretty snow is still on the trees.

Millie and Penny having dog fun in the wild.


He's kind of sideways.
Today I am cleaning the fridge. It is my least favorite job in the kitchen, but needs to be done at least every month, right? Ha! Oh, Ken called and wants to go out to lunch. I am almost done, so I guess I deserve to take a break. :) I hope you all enjoy Martin Luther King, Jr. day. So much has changed for the better in our nation as a result of his work and I try to remember to keep passing the changes on into the future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ready for quilting!!

Close-up of the individual block. After quilting, there will be a yellow button in the flower's center.
Full-sized quilt photo.

Border of quilt.

It's all ready for quilting!! I saw this quilt in a book last spring and had to make it. My husband picked out all the fabric on one of our road trips. He did a great job!! Jessica has challenged me to quilt all of my tops (or at least 20 more) before the end of the summer. This will get done!!
I had auditions for the school play today. We are doing "The Wizard of Oz" which is a fun show. The kids did a great job at the auditions and it will be hard to pick just one for each role!! We had a meeting tonight with parents for the spaghetti dinner too. That is in February and will help fund our Washington, DC trip. Busy times for the next two months, but all good stuff.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Christmas Box (or two)

This is the MegaQuilter that I do my machine quilting on. I really like it because it is so fast and has a bigger throat than traditional machines. I can move my quilt around easily in it too.
Inside of Ken's Christmas box that was made by my father. With a card from Dad.

The top of Ken's box. The checkerboard pattern is all inlaid wood. Each piece is separate and then put in. The cleat on the top is made with wood from a boat my parents had over 20 years ago.

Inside my Christmas Box!!

The top of my box. This is the first time my dad ever made his own inlay for a wood project. It came out so beautiful. Dad is a very talented carpenter (he made my Hoosier two years ago!!) and had made kitchen cabinets for my brother's house and their own house. They are perfect too.

I have been researching the culture of Poland and it turns out that wooden boxes and figures are a very important part of their culture and heritage. Who knew Dad was carrying forward that tradition without even realizing it! (Maybe he did know--I'll have to check.) I did not know though.

This is my lovely daughter, Evelyn. She is the blond in front. Her friend is with her in a bookstore in Manhattan. They are posed with Perez Hilton, who is a Red Carpet reporter or something. They got books signed by him that day. Fun to be a college student, huh?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New apron from MJF pattern in magazine!

Rob's girlfriend posed for this picture. She is just the tiniest little thing! The apron looks a lot different on me! :) I got this fabric while in Connecticut yesterday and had a fun time putting it together. I will make another one this week when I get home from work.

Apron fabric for winter projects

The top apron is for a friend at school who says her kids make her clothes dirty (with jelly, peanut butter, etc) every morning before she comes to work.
The fabric is from a quilt shop we visit in Connecticut called Quilter's Alley. It's such a great place with many different fabrics that you cannot get everywhere. They have a nice collection of Kaffe, Amy Butler and other more modern fabric creators, plus a great selection of Repro fabric (which is my very favorite). This morning after church I cut the pieces so that I can make two of the aprons from the Christmas issue of MJF magazine. I'll probably start sewing them tonight.
Well, my vacation is over and it was so good to be home just doing whatever I wanted for 12 days. Tomorrow at school, we will start an intensive state test prep session that will last for a little over two weeks. Not my favorite, but most of the kids need it since they do not read on their own (declining reading/English scores all over prove this out year after year). My kids do pretty well by state standards, but I would like them to be even higher.
Off for a walk in the wildlife refuge with Kenny. See you later this week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rob's Polish International Mystery Quilt

This quilt was made as part of an International Mystery Quilt class I took a few months back. For a mystery quilt, you sign up, choose a colorway and then when you get to class, you have no idea what the quilt will look like. You are told what to cut, how to put it together as you go and then you will see the finished product. This was Poland. The blocks are anvils and the colors represent the Polish steelworking industry which is still important to their economy. This is considered a more graphic quilt than the others we usually do. I think I like it. What about you? Do you prefer a more subtle look? More blended?
Although it is Poland, I did add a red border that has fish on it. Since I knew I was giving it to Rob, I thought the fish were important!! Actually, the fish on the border looks like a fish that has always alluded him in our river. The border print is a Japanese fabric, so I guess that makes it multicultural. :) I quilted the whole thing yesterday! An allover pattern on the main part of the quilt, then I tried some designs on each border. I did a good job of not having any lumps in the quilt again. I have been using a spray adhesive (that is not gummy at all) and that seems to be better for me than basting or pinning. I get my quilts a lot flatter that way and I can keep adjusting it as I go along.
It is snowing here again!! Just a light snow, but snow just the same. Very pretty and quiet outside. See you tomorrow!
Oh, Rob is in the background playing a video game and his girlfriend is the one holding up the quilt. She is a cutie, but is hidden behind my work.