Monday, April 28, 2014

Indian Paintbrush

The Indian Paintbrush have been blooming here for a couple of weeks along with the Bluebonnets.  They are almost done for the season.  It is always so pretty to see them on the highway where I drive to work.  However that highway is being widened so many of the large patches are now under what will be more lanes but there are a few patches and hopefully will spread.
I haven't had a chance this year to take any pictures but found some Paintbrush pictures I took last year about this time.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Subbing and Sewing

 I teach preschool on Mondays and Wednesday.  I have a sweet group of 4's.  The last couple of months, I have been substituting more at the elementary school where I used to teach.  I do this on some of the days I'm not at the preschool.  It seems that I have had less sewing time especially now that it is gardening weather also. Here are some of my more recent projects. 

I finished this baby quilt back in the winter from scraps I had left from my brother-in-law's Strip Twist quilt that I made him for Christmas.  I used a striped shirt for the binding....I cut it on the bias as I wanted the bias stripe.  I wouldn't cut from a shirt for a bigger quilt as there was lots of piecing the short pieces. A shirt doesn't have a big area for cutting bias.  I sent this to a quilter who lives in Washington who was collecting quilts for the victims of the mudslide.  It's good to have a quilt on hand with no designated recipient.

In March, my quilt club did a 3 day retreat.  We go to my family's homeplace that the family uses for weekends.  I worked on this Boxy Stars quilt, another freebie on Quiltville.
I took this class with Bonnie Hunter in McKinney in early January.  It's an easy pattern but it was great to take as a class because she gives little tips to make it come out better.  I decided to make mine to fit our king bed so I made lots more of the stars.  I am planning on borders but have put this aside for a bit.  It was made with scraps left from other projects, fabric I had stashed and not used, and FQs.  I think I only bought one FQ to have more yellow.  The background is Kona that I bought with a gift card my brother-in-law gave me for Christmas. 
Bonnie showed us how to scrimp just a bit when you sew a second seam when adding squares to corners. You end up with slightly smaller seams but you end up with useable HSTs.     
I used the HSTs to make tiny pinwheels and I turned them into 5 little doll quilts that are for some special little girls.  I'm in the process of binding them. 
I started a quilt for someone and here are some blocks that are going to go into it.  Just a peek for now. The plaid is more turquoise, green, and yellow than it looks here.  I love the vintage John Deere fabric in the centers. It will be a scrappy lap quilt. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Some Summer Stuff

I doubt know you are wondering what we were up to last summer.  I left out some fun things from my "I'm Back" post. I can hear you cheering from here!

 These are the chairs we painted and distressed for Emma's kitchen table.  I made the cushions.  We had a butcher block table that we gave her.  
We painted and reupholstered 2 chairs for her living room but can't find those pictures right now.  She is using lots of aqua and pink.  

In late July we spent a day at a Korean Heritage Camp in the Dallas area.  Emma went to these type camps every summer in Tulsa from the time she was small until she was big enough to attend as a counselor.  We took quilts that I had finished up from blocks that campers had drawn the previous summer.  One of the camp sponsors takes trips to Korea periodically with birthland tours.  She will take the quilts to the agency that many of our adopted children came home through.  

 Don't you love the cheerful drawings?  The kids at camp love knowing that they are making something that will go to Korea to help children there. 

I cut squares of white Kona and ironed them to freezer paper squares which stabilized them.  We taped them to tables with painter's tape and gave the kids Crayola brand fabric markers for their drawings.  I peeled the freezer paper off and heat set the drawings by throwing the squares in the dryer on high for 30 minutes.

I'm Back!

I can't believe I haven't posted anything on this blog since last summer!  I love reading other blogs but have been super busy and then had some issues with the way my server works with blogspot.  So I will attempt to keep this as brief as possible to update you on all that's been going on. 
Daughter got moved into her apartment in August to prepare for her first year of teaching.  I spent some time with her helping her unpack her apartment and setting up her classroom.  It was determined the second week of school that the enrollment for her grade was too small to justify keeping her at that school.  So in the matter of about 3 days, we packed up her kindergarten room and moved her across town to another school to teach first grade.  While this was traumatic on her and her students, it has worked out great and she has a wonderful class for her first year.  
I am still teaching preschool two days a week and have a small fun class.  I am subbing some at the elementary where I taught for 10 years before retiring.  It is fun to see some of my former kindergarten students all grown up into 5th graders!

My niece married in October and I spent quite a bit of the fall making a surprise for her and her husband.  I made a small quilt for them from their moms' wedding dresses and some scraps from the alterations on her dress.  I didn't have a pattern and made it up as I went. While it was scary making the first cut into my sister-in-law's wedding dress, I think the quilt turned out very nice.  They loved it. 

Later in October, a friend that teaches at the preschool had a sweet little boy.  Here is the quilt I made for him.

In this picture you can see the topstitching on the seams and binding.  It's a quilt as you go quilt.  I thought it needed more definition on the seams.  It was really quick to quilt up.  (The blue leaf in background is the back of a quilt on which the striped quilt is lying.)

 I  made a quilt for a friend from Sunday School class who fell while moving and broke her neck.  She is doing well now and has started a new job.  I didn't get a picture of it but here is another quilt made for a lady who had some major surgery.  I used the same pattern but the first quilt was white, pink, and aqua.  Cat not included with either.  The color is a little off on this one but best picture I can find. Backing has the teal, wine, and gold color in a floral.

We didn't get to go to our extended family Christmas in 2012 as there was big snow storm we would have had to travel through.  So I saved the quilt I made for the gift exchange and took it this past Christmas.  Enjoy the picture of our living room and the top of my head while you are at it! The fabrics are mostly Christmas prints with some red and green fabrics added in.  Block pattern is called Disappearing 4 patch.  There are several patterns on line if you want to try this block.

You may have heard of a "hard candy Christmas".  Well this was a quilt Christmas.  

Daughter loves chevrons and I made this one for her. I made it for a couch quilt but I think she keeps it at school so she has it when she has hall duty on cold mornings.  The color is really off.  the bottom under the turquoise is an off white and the middle row is a deep pink not red. I really need to work on a better place to take pictures where I can get more natural light. The pattern Chevron quilt is posted at a great blog -  My Quilt Infatuation . Kelly shares some really pretty quilts there.
Here is a picture of it when I took to show and tell at my quilt club. 

This is the quilt I made for my brother-in-law.  
If you have never been there you should take a trip to Quiltville
This is one of Bonnie Hunter's free patterns called Strip Twist. I made it longer than her quilt by adding more blocks and I changed the border.  

And here is the one I made for my husband.  He likes an extra long quilt for his side of the bed.  It looks long here but it was a little shorter than he needed so I added a couple more rows on one end to make it longer.  Adding rows to a finished quilt is a complicated process!  Try to avoid doing that if at all possible like the plague.  This block and layout is called Double 4 Patch.  I found the patten at but I can't seem to find the link anymore.  The top was made from scraps and up-cycled shirts.  I bought the batting and backing but all the rest were in my scrap stash. 


Friday, June 7, 2013

June Already!

Time has flown since my last post.  Today is Emma's last day of school where she has been working as a paraprofessional.  She will miss the friends she has made there and the kiddos she has worked with.  We have been busy ever since she signed her contract for her first teaching position in April.  She will be teaching kindergarten and she is excited beyond words.  As I've told people, I no longer have to have a book burning.  I have many boxes of books in the garage that I weeded out saved for her when I retired from kindergarten.  I took the ones I could use to my room at the church preschool where I work. 
Of course the image is sideways!

We looked for a few weekends and found an apartment that she likes and we feel good about.  More $ than we had hoped but it is in a great location for her and has some amenities that will save money in the long run.
Now we are working on furniture for her.  We've made numerous trips to furniture stores and IKEA.  She finally decided on the sofa she wants from IKEA and that can be delivered to her apartment when she gets moved.  I found 2 of these chairs for a great bargain this week. 

I loved the lines and that the frame is solid wood.  Knowing the look and color scheme she wants, I have a vision for them.  Found labels under the chairs that say they were made at the Paoli Chair Company in Paoli, Indiana in 1975!

 After a few hours pulling staples to get all the layers of the old upholstery off and a couple coats of paint, this is what we have so far.  Emma picked out some great fabric for them.  I used homemade chalk paint. I tried to find it locally with no luck so found a way to make it. Here's a link to the recipe I used.  There are a bunch of recipes out there.
Hope to finish these up in a couple of days.
Then we have some kitchen table chairs and an end table to paint.  Good thing this school year just ended for Emma!

My biggest sewing project to get finished a few weeks ago was this.
This is my favorite picture as I love how it looks out on the green grass! This is just the top before quilting/binding.

Here it is all done.  Feet not included.  
This is the quilt, "Bricks in a Barnyard" by Bonnie Hunter, from her book, Scraps and Shirttails II.  I took this class with her in January.  
I gave this quilt to my great niece, Carly.  She and her husband and my GREAT-GREAT nephew will welcome to their family a little boy from Africa sometime in the next year.  They are having a fundraiser soon and I gave this to her to use at it.

I am making 2 pillows for Emma's apartment also.  I have had vein surgery on both legs in the last 3 weeks so there have been days when I couldn't sit or stand at a machine so I got all the yo-yo's done and just need to get them finished.  The blue tape is there so I would know how large I want the finished pillow tops to be.  

See you soon!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1st

I've never liked April Fool's Day....after 31 years in kindergarten, "the spider on your head" got pretty old.  It's hard when you need to act surprised by every little person's trick. 

Today is cleaning day.  April Fool - you really didn't think I would clean unless I had too.  

We had a wonderful day in Arlington yesterday with family at my brother and sister-in-law's home.  They hosted Easter lunch for the family and there were extended family members from several branches there.  Of course I forgot to take my camera.  

Today I found a link to a pattern for a fabric basket.  
Fabric Storage Bin 
The designer makes them for baby gifts and puts diapers and baby wipes in them.  I decided to make a couple to corral some of Emma's card making supplies.  She has lots of paper stacks and punches.  

They hold a lot of stuff.  I think if I make any more, I will add some really stiff iron on interfacing to the lining.  It would make them more stable.  I picked up the fabric for these at Goodwill last week.  There were a couple of valances made from  4 different fabrics and rick rack.  Each fabric was right around a FQ size.   I got each valance for $3.  So basically 8 FQs for $6. This was nice cotton fabric.  I bought it to cut up for quilting but the pieces were just the right size for this.  The rick rack was easy to rip right off too.

Monday, March 18, 2013

More Spring Break photos

While Bill took the upper canyon tour, Emma and I drove around Page a bit and found this scenic view overlooking the dam and the Colorado river.

We stopped in Winslow as we started our way home.
We took turns "standin' on the corner".

 There was even a flat bed Ford. . .

 Of course I found this sewing machine in the museum across the street!