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!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break Trip

We left last Saturday morning very early on our way to Arizona.  We stopped in N.Mexico the first night and got to Kayenta, AZ the second night.  On Monday, we took a trip through Monument Valley with a Navajo guide.  We had a great time stopping and taking pictures.  On Tuesday we drove to Page, AZ on Wednesday, Emma and I took a tour through the lower slot canyon in Antelope Canyon.  Lots of climbing ladders and over and around rock formations.  The colors were beautiful with the light coming in from cracks in the rocks above.  That afternoon, Bill took a photographic tour in the upper slot canyon. The pictures following are from the lower slot canyon.  I think I have them all turned right - some I took looking up or behind where we had been. The guides were wonderful in showing where to get the best pictures.
 This is the crack where we entered the canyon.  I had a small panic attack as we started down.  Some of the people were larger than me and had made it through so I figured I could too.  Emma is bravely going before me!

Many of the formations had names.  The one above is the US Postal eagle.  The one below was something about a woman, but she looks like a woman in the wind to me.

 The one one above I took looking up.  The one below I had help from the guide.
I think this one was taken looking up also.
Here is our guide Truman.  He was great!  This is the way out!

Friday, February 22, 2013


I am not sure where January went or even February as we are about to head to the end of that!  I seem to get less done in retirement than I thought I would.

Emma turned 25 this week.  It seems just yesterday that we brought her home. . .  and then she was one.  It's the days and nights that get long but the years just seem to fly.  The school she works at was closed on Monday for President's day so we went to a Korean restaurant in Plano for lunch to celebrate early.  She picked out a James Avery charm for her gift.  Then on Wednesday I made red velvet cupcakes to put in the teacher's lounge.  She wanted a strawberry cake for supper so I dug out my grandmother's recipe.  It is always a little dense and never turns out too pretty as the layers sort of want to slide but it was so yummy!  She's been doling out slices to us and some of her friends at work.  
 My cake decorating skills are lacking but it tasted yummy.  Told her next year, she might have to have the number candles as the cake might melt with more candles.

I took some pictures of the few flowers in my yard.

Yesterday I went to Telephone for the funeral of a teacher where I had gone to school.  I went by the place where one of my grandmothers lived.  My nephew still owns the property.  She always had tons of flowers of every kind.  
 I picked myself a bouquet.
Then I went by our family's homeplace and saw 3 large blue herons.  I was able to get a picture of this one.

I have not done much sewing.  I am still working on 2 projects but I did start these little mug rugs for an online swap.  As you can see they are still in progress.  Cookie has been watching birds from the window and decided that she liked the robin on this top one.  It is done except for sewing the binding on the back and a little more quilting.  These are very small pieces with tiny applique.  Still trying to decide how to applique the owl's eyes and beaks.  I want to finish these up this coming week and get them mailed off.