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.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

December quilts

I did not post a picture of the Christmas quilt I finished in December.  I originally made it for my family's gift exchange game.  Then we had really bad weather on Christmas day and we decided to not travel the 2 hours there and 2 hours back on the icy, snowy roads.  So I still have the quilt.  Either I will keep it if I get another quilt made, or save it for next Christmas!
It is a disappearing 4 patch that my husband helped me to calculate the block sizes and cutting measurements to come out to the size I wanted.  I really like the disappearing 4 patch pattern (I found somewhere on the internet) that ends up with tiny little squares in the middle but I wanted to make this one a little different so we fiddled with the measurements. 

 Here it is lying out for show and tell at our quilt club meeting.
 Here is another view so the whole quilt can be seen but the colors are washed out some.

I also finished up my great niece's t-shirt quilt.  These were t-shirts from her high school years in basketball and some track.  She is now a college graduate but sacrificed gave me her t-shirts last year for the quilt.
  I am still in possession of this quilt but hope to see her soon to give it to her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Posting an email I received today from Ami Simms.  Her efforts have done a great deal for Alzheimer research.

Hello Bloggers,
Please consider helping the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative by blogging this news:
Thank you!
Ami :)
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will most likely reach the $1,000,000 mark in money raised for Alzheimer’s research some time in 2013! The work of your hands and the compassion in your hearts has brought us to this milestone. I will be forever grateful to each and every one of you for your support and dedication.
AmiMommy Ami and her mother, Beebe, in 2006 shortly after the AAQI began.
What began as one person’s response to sorrow and frustration has grown into a national charity embraced by a large portion of the quilting community. More than 13,000 quilts have been donated, turning sweat equity into over $883,000 for research so far. For many donors these quilts were healing works of art which helped them grieve as they stitched for the greater good. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AAQI’s two traveling quilt exhibits about Alzheimer’s. Through this artistry came the realization for many that they were not alone on this journey of heartbreak; others understood, perhaps for the first time, what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s really means. Together quilters have funded 11 research studies at six universities and a medical school. Three more studies will be funded this month and hopefully more throughout 2013. Because of the AAQI, scientists know a little bit more about Alzheimer’s than they did before. Hopefully this understanding will bring us all closer to a cure.
When I created the AAQI back in 2006, I never expected it to become so successful! I also never imaged how much work it would take to keep it going. As the AAQI blossomed, board members and core volunteers have had to increase our hours and pace to keep up. While I find enormous satisfaction in nurturing the AAQI, I much prefer sewing to administrating. I miss just being a full-time quilter.
For this reason, 2013 will be the last year of fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. I hope you will help the AAQI reach our goal of One Million Dollars for research and then at the end of 2013 celebrate with everyone who made this tremendous achievement possible. Please review the important dates below:
February 15, 2013: All bookings for the traveling exhibit “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” must be finalized.
March 1, 2013:  First online auction of quilts from “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” traveling exhibit. Twenty-six Name Quilts will be auctioned during the first 10 days of March, April, May, June, July, August, and September. Payment will be required at the conclusion of each auction with shipping in October 2013 after the exhibit retires. The 54 Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts from the traveling exhibit will be auctioned during the first 10 days of October and December.
July 2013: Last month to participate in the Quilt-A-Month Club.
August 1, 2013: Last day to register Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts. Quilts delivered to scanners after August 20 will be refused.
October 29 – November 3, 2013: International Quilt Festival. We hope to be invited back one last time to sell quilts in Houston, TX.
November 1-10, 2013: Celebrity Invitational Quilt Online Auction
December 30, 2013: Last day Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts can be purchased online.
December 31, 2013: Quilts For Sale and Donation pages will be removed from the AAQI website and all solicitations will cease.
2014-2015: The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will monitor research grants awarded in 2013. The AQQI web page will be left intact for at least six months. Any funds not needed to sustain the AAQI’s final expenses will be donated to research. Remaining assets will be disposed of according to IRS regulations after which time the corporation will be dissolved.
There is still much work to this year as we sprint to the finish line. I hope everyone who reads this will join in, either as a seasoned veteran or a first time quilt donor or quilt buyer. We will continue to make a difference until the very last quilt is sold. Let’s make 2013 the best year ever!
Thank you for your support,
Ami Simms
Founder & Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quilt Classes with Bonnie

I was so fortunate to get to attend a lecture by Bonnie Hunter, ,on her scrap saver system on Thursday evening.  My friend, Teresa, from McKinney and I took Bonnie's Virginia Bound class on Friday and on Saturday we took her Bricks in a Barnyard.  Now just to get those quilts finished.  Both are a lot of work but great fun!  I only bought some solid red for the Bricks quilt and a couple yards of some plaid fabric.  All the other fabric came from my scraps and smaller yardage.  You know - those strips you trim after quilting a quilt and that extra you bought of a color to make sure you had enough!  Bonnie has these patterns in 2 of her books and she suggests ways to recycle men's 100% cotton shirts for the fabric.  I did have a few of these in my fabric.  My friend Teresa searched thrift shops and found some great shirts to use in her quilts.  I'm trying to use up some of what I have.  That's what I love about Bonnie's quilting patterns - you can use all sorts of fabric and turn it into something pretty.  As she often says, "If it's still ugly(fabric), you didn't cut it small enough".

The Virginia Bound comes from her book, Scraps and Shirttails. Here are some of the block parts that I finished.  They are pieced on paper foundations.   

This shows how the 4 parts of the block go together to make the block.  I think I remember the blocks are to be 15" finished.
This shows how the secondary pattern is formed when the blocks go together.  I didn't sew any of my blocks together yet as I want to be sure I have good variety in the 4 parts and I try to use up a strip when I pull it out.  So the same strip my end up in several of the block sections. I want to have a bunch to mix and match.  I just sorted my fabrics by lights and darks.  

The Bricks in a Barnyard comes from her book, Scraps and Shirttails II.  Again I sorted lights and darks but in this quilt I used beiges to tans for my lights and did not include whites.

Each block has 4 sections and depending on how you set them you can get variations.  I'll probably go with her setting but add another row at the top and one at the bottom to make the quilt center 12" longer.
  This is the beginning of 2 sides of the border.  I was using them as leader/enders for each other.  I've always wanted to do a braid quilt or border but didn't quite get my mind around it but directions in class were great.  The sections will be trimmed straight on the sides just before being sewn onto the quilt center. My fabrics on these are actually darker but the camera flash lightened them.

I will leave you with a few pictures of our daughter and pets under the Christmas tree.  Although she is an adult, we've always taken pictures of her under the tree with the pets.  There is also one of Lucy(middle doggie) out in our Christmas snow.

Our beautiful Emma!  I imagine next year she will be in her own place with her own tree.

 Duchess is still rather bouncy and loves to play!

Sophie loves her picture taken but likes to bark at the camera.

Duchess thinks she is being really good.

Lucy does not like her picture taken with a flash!
Lucy figured out how to roll the ball around in the snow and get it coated and then she could eat the snow off of it!