Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not one, but two....

Sewing machines that are down at my house now.  My main machine is out of timing so that every time the needle goes down, it smashes into the bobbin assembly and breaks the needle.  This is not conducive to good quilting.  Sigh.

So, on I go to return to my old reliable standby sewing machine.  It worked along just lovely for about 10 minutes and then began making the most horrendous bird's nests on the back.  I have rethreaded and changed bobbins and changed adjustments, etc. and nothing corrects the problem.  

My main frustration is that I am in the middle of a baby quilt that is just starting to come together beautifully and I am so excited to get it finished and now I am stuck.  I can use my Mom's sewing machine later in the week, but I won't be able to do it at home when I can catch a few spare minutes here and there.  Sigh.

I could take them in and drop them off for a little check up with the tech at my LQS, but one session will cost half of the original price of the machine (both of them).  I know, I know, cheap, crappy machines, but they served their purpose for the time.  They allowed me to sew when I would normally not have been able to afford a machine to sew on.

So, again I find myself in a situation with very little spare cash in the budget and needing a good machine.  Maybe I will look for a used one with a little better quality level. 

Something to think about!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Raffle Tickets

I teach at, and my kids attend, a local Christian school. We work for very low wages because we truly believe in the mission that this school has set out to accomplish for Christ.

My kids are thriving there, especially DS13, my aspie. It takes a special blend of compassion and acceptance to work with a kid like him and this school does so very well at making him feel like he is part of something bigger and that he is accepted by all staff and students alike. And he truly is accepted. That is a rare thing for an aspie. With bullying on the rise, many kids could use some acceptance at school. We don't tolerate bullying at all. We're proactive about that and it helps keep our kids and students safe.

We have no debt as a school. But, we got into a lease agreement to use a school building with a strong possibility that we could purchase the building in time. Unfortunately, due to changes in the economy, the building will come off of the market and won't be sold to anyone. Next year is our final year in "our" building.

We have located property that is wonderful and have put money down on it. We are desperately trying to raise money to pay off the land and build the building without inurring debt. Debt would make tuitions rise sharply and we are trying to keep tuition low for families that really need our school.

So, we are having an amazing raffle! Tickets are $10 each and there are numerous prizes (with more being added daily) including a week in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a week at a Lake House; free tuition for a year, jewelry, and more! We are waiting confirmation on some airline tickets and possibly a car to add to the list. For a complete list (updated daily) check out our school's website here.

All that to say that if you would like to support our efforts to bring Christian education to lots of families or if you would just like to win cool prizes, let me know in a comment and I can get with you to get your ticket to you. Thanks!

Either way, we would love to have you praying for our success! Thanks!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

News Release on Youth Birding Competition

This is the official press release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources:


I can't stand myself; I am so proud of my kiddo and his friends!!!

Chaotic Kestrels Win!!!

Tonight, we are celebrating! DS12s birding team won 1st place in the Georgia State Youth Birding Competition, locating and identifying 100 species in 24 hours. I am one very proud mama!

From left to right: Gif Beaton (author and event judge), Ethan Hatchett, Daven Hayes, Tim Keyes (Event Coordinator), and C.J. Armour. Not pictured is my hubby, the exhausted, but very proud couch who is currently snoring on the couch!

Time to stop?

Have you ever sewn or quilted late into the night and didn't stop until you heard that small, nagging something that convinced you that you might be better off with a little sleep.

Tonight, it was the machine needle breaking and leaping into my left index finger. For some reason that made me think to call it quits for tonight.

One small part of a seam came apart. I tacked it back together by hand, but I am worried about it. The flannel fabric will tend to ravel and baby quilts are laundered alot.

I am going to have to ponder this one. Funny how I thought I was done with this one, but like it so much better now with the extra stitching.

Afternoon at Dee's

Okay, I will take credit that I kind of got my Aunt into quilting. No, it's not that she was unaware of quilts or even had thought of making one, but she doesn't want to take on a huge hand quilting project, so she never had really pursued much of it.

After she admired my Crazy Shortcut Quilt, I bought her a copy of the book and answered a few questions and shared some websites that I like. Well, she has taken off and run with it, that is for sure.

Ahem. Today she rocked my socks off. Not only has she been amazingly prolific with her quilting, she was teaching me more than one thing that I didn't know and recommending some new websites!

Yikes! I have created a monster (a good one, a quilt monster)!

So, now that Dr. Who is over, I am adding extra quilting on the baby boy quilt I did recently, using the technique that she showed me. I am adding circles of quilting to add interest to an otherwise okay but not terribly inspired looking baby quilt. Glad I hadn't bound it yet!

Can't wait to finish it and see how it works out. Photos soon, I promise!

A good find!

Since this is the weekend of the Georgia Youth Birding Competition, DS13 and I have had some quality time together as hubby and DS12 participate.

So, in and among my other errands, we stopped in to check out a small thrift shop that I had never really noticed before. It wasn't associated with a charity like most in this area. When I was a kid, we called these places "junk shops." I like junk shops!

Anyway, I scored some remarkable sheets. See?

The center one is a blue, teal, green, and white fitted sheet that the elastic is shot. The one on the left is a queen flat with blue, yellow, and purple flowers on it. The one on the right is a queen flat that is perfect! I am keeping a large section of it for a baby quilt backing. How perfect is that?

The baby quilt I am planning will be my first foray into using this gorgeous fabric. I can't wait!

I washed them up last night and hope to get them cut today for my swap (and some will be kept of course). I just love that they are soft and pretty. I love that hubby loves these types of colors for our bedding and that in patchwork he kind of digs that "grandmother's bedroom" shabby chic look. But, the best part is that I get to keep on quilting and don't have to spend oodles of money to get a look that I really, really adore!

Such fun!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not shabby for a school night...

Ever since Shop Hop, I have had this yummy flannel fabric ready to make a quilt for the first grandson of a work colleague. It's the sweetest fabric, but I have been trying to do so many things lately, that I haven't had time to work on it.

The baby is due in May! Time to get crackin'!

This is the detail of one of the fabrics. Isn't it cute?

Don't you just love the baby things hanging on the line?
This is the quilt without binding. I don't have any brilliant ideas for binding, so I will likely make a scrappy one from the leftover fabrics on the front. I did this as a quilt as you go project and was able to finish it in about 2.5 hours. I will bind it tomorrow evening. I am already up past my bedtime, as is!

This is the backing fabric with little shoes!

All in all, I think that while it is simple, the fabrics are adorable and it was a good use of a weekday evening! Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Next up is to finish a baby girl quilt for the coming great granddaughter of a lady at church. The top is finished, but not quilted yet. Then, I am making one for DS12s teacher's first grandbaby--another girl! I love making the frou frou stuff.

It's also a good use of material I got on sale. I love turning something small into something much nicer!

Monday, April 19, 2010

500th post!

Wow! 500 posts. A milestone. Too much pressure.

Anyway, I figured that the best thing to celebrate with would be beauty.

So, here it is, the first yellow rose from the bush that sits right outside my back door. Gorgeous, even if I do say so myself. It was definitely worth hauling the composted bunny poop by the shovelful to keep her happy.

But, if, as the philosopher's say, "Truth is beauty, and beauty truth," I must add something of truth.

Hmmm. Tough one!

Today, on my first search for Vintage Sheets to use in the swap I joined, I scored this beauty: a pillowcase with hula girls for $.59. That's nearly a yard of fabric for less than the price of a can of Diet Coke. I mean, can you dig it? It's hula girls, for goodness sake! The are beautiful and kitchy and retro and COOL!!! And that's the truth!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vintage Sheets

Do you remember what sheets felt like when you were a kid? When they were buttery smooth and soft and all broken in? When they were a little bit cool when you slipped into them after playing all day and evening catching lightning bugs? Newer sheets don't feel like that.

My friend, Bev, and I were discussing that earlier this week. Maybe it is all of the chemical treatments and sizings that are put on newer sheet, but they are not as soft, even if you spend way TOO much money on them. Maybe it is the "don't need to iron" qualities of newer sheets. I don't know. We never ironed sheets. Who has time for that? We hung them on the line (usually), took them down, gave them a good shake before putting them on the bed. Neither Bev nor I come from fancy folks. But, the sheets felt so good.

Ironically, while I was reading blogs today, I checked out Amy at A Quilting Sheep as I usually do and she turned me on to a blog about Vintage Sheets. They were having a give away, so I popped over to check it out. Okay, the give away stuff can seem lame, but it is a good way to spread the word about your blog and add to its readership. Besides, I am on a roll since being a winner in the Abbey Lane giveaway!

But, it wasn't just about the sheets. They are using them to make beautiful items and repurpose them in a meaningful way when their original form might not be appealing anymore. Doubly cool!

Then the site directed me to Whimsie Dots blog and etsy shop. Too cute! It's retro fun!

Anyway, head over to Vintage Sheets and check out the giveaway for a bundle of sheet prints. How amazing would a summer time quilt be in that? I guess I didn't think quilting with Vintage Sheets, but maybe table cloths and curtains. Silly me! I think about quilting when it comes to everything else, so why not? Those soft little gems would make me smile and what could be cooler than that?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along Block #4

Okay, it's block 4 of the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along sitting on my ratty ironing board. I actually didn't notice how truly ratty my ironing board cover looked until I saw this photo enlarged a bit--Yuck!

I have enjoyed working on this. A single block at a time doesn't seem too very difficult, even if it is a tough block. I am debating on trying to pull enough stash fabrics together to make another one. I do have a jelly roll sitting around, but I am not really sure if I am ready to cut into it yet.

There is also a pinwheel quilt along at the blog P.S., I Quilt. I might start piddling on one of those just to see what happens.

Having quilts coming together (especially out of stash) can be very helpful at gift giving times! I can give great gifts without spending loads on overpriced consumer junk. I much prefer the handmade!

I also have my log cabin quilt in the frame (for over a week now) and I haven't had a chance or energy to put a single stitch into it. I hate when that happens, but the pollen has kicked my fanny this week.

Photos, photos, photos

I absolutely love it when we are doing photo work. Hubby has a photography business on the side, and while we are still small, he does excellent work.

This last Tuesday, we took cap and gown photos for our senior class at school. It was exciting. They got to see who would wear honor cords, etc. and they were so excited.

Today, we spent all day taking prom photos, both on location and in our makeshift studio (my classroom). All the kids were all dressed up and looked wonderful and so grown up! I love seeing them.

But, now I am exhausted!

Out of Touch

We were happy on the way to Jekyll Island before the accident.... (actually I took this photo while we were waiting for the cop to write up the accident report)

Here is the driver's side of my car. Well, technically truck.

This is the close up. Poor baby, even the metal ripped. But, we definitely are in better shape than the other guy. Luckily nobody got hurt at all in either vehicle, but it puts a damper on a litle vacation/birding trip with the kids.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Basting Update

Well, here I am, back from Mom and Dad's house for basting. Why am I back so soon, you ask???

Well, it's all Susan Schamber's fault! Look here and see what I mean....

I saw this video about a month ago. I mulled it over. I decided that even though I didn't have the rails to secure the backing and top to, I wanted to use the 'herringbone' basting stitch that she describes. It looks easier to me than the traditional way of basting.

The last time I remember hand basting a quilt top was my friend, Bev's, scrappy stars quilt. That was ages ago. Since then, I have played around with glue basting and safety pins to avoid that kind of basting.

Anyway, Mom and I decided to try it out and we completely basted a double bed sized quilt in 1 hour and 40 minutes! Last time we did it, it took a huge chunk out of a Saturday. This was quick, simple, and easy. More importantly, I can do it! I can do it easily! I dig being finished in a reasonable amount of time.

I will post photos of the basting when I get my frame put together and what not. This is way exciting for me! I love bringing some efficiency to the project!

Woo Hoo--it's here!

Janice and Marcea at Abbey Lane Quilts sent me my prize from their blog drawing. I am so excited. They even included a little note. How sweet.

I have drooled over these patterns for some time, but money is tight right now. What could be better than free? What could be better than gifts made from free patterns? I know 4 folks right now that would love an Abbey Bag and a couple who would dig the purse. Everyone I know would love My Dear Prudence, well, maybe not the guys, but you get the idea.

Hmmm. More projects. I can't wait to get started!

Making progress...

Well I have put my borders on the log cabin quilt and will be off to baste shortly!

Can't wait to put the first stitches in!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I never thought of my blog as anything very special. Actually, I usually operate from the idea that nobody really reads it at all. Every once in a while, I am temporarily separated from that idea for a few moments, but that is all. I write primarily to please myself. I am absolutely ecstatic that Amy from A Quilting Sheep would give me this award.

Aw, Shucks! I am truly surprised and honored. Thanks, Amy!
Now, for this award, I am to link back to the person who gave me the award (see above), tell 7 interesting things about myself and give the award to 7 bloggers that I admire and think do a beautiful job.
Here goes....
7 interesting things about me--
1. I have been married to hubby for 23 years this June. He is such a blessing to me!
2. I have 1 adopted child and 1 biological child (or "home grown," as Amy put it on her blog)
3. I have a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Biology (hence the need to have a blog as a writing outlet).
4. My oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome, a type of High Functioning Autism.
5. I made my first quilt in 1988 for my hubby on our first anniversary. It's terrible!
6. The next two quilts I made were for my parents on their 25th wedding anniversary and for my in-laws for their 25th also.
7. I teach English Literature, (sometimes) Science, and Latin at a private Christian school.
7 bloggers that I would like to recognize with this award--
1. Karin at A Thread of Red. She keeps my LQS blog up in high style!
3. Pat at Silver Thimble Quilts. She makes me laugh!
4. Andrea at Welsh Quilter.
5. Heather at Quiltin' Like Crazy.
6. Michelle at L7 Quilt Co.
7. Edna at Needling Things.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along update

It's done! This is the 3rd block in the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along that I am participating in. I love how the navy and red look against the white of the alternate blocks. Fun! I could see this one in a quilt as you go.

Frugal Quilting

Okay, I am always one to shop sales and clearance racks, but when it comes to quilting, I usually have an idea of what I want to do in advance and it doesn't always work out within the confines of the "clearance room."

Now, due to some setbacks and additional responsibilities, I find myself back at my quilting roots, working with scraps from my stash. I have so many ideas and I really find that I stretch my creativity when I am having to "make do." My stash consists of some old clothes, an old bridesmaid dress, some sale purchased fabrics, stuff my mom gave me, and left over bits from other projects.

Now the challenge is to make as much out of them as possible, buying as little as possible to make good, solid quilts for gifts, charity, warmth, whatever. I'd like to get as much as I can done on my sewing machine, saving hand quilting for the best projects (otherwise, I'd never catch up).

I think I will take the lead from my Aunt who is making fabulous quilts using the "quilt as you go" method. Her color selections are very sophisticated and I would like to take a cue from her, but when you make scrap quilts, sometimes "accidental quality" is the best you can ask for.

We'll see!

I am on spring break this week. Right now I am catching up on laundry and trying to get my gumption up to finish my latest quilt along block and get my log cabin quilt ready for basting.