Thursday, April 29, 2010

Moda Man comes over

Tuesday night was sewing night at my house, Pat, Becky, and Karin were able to come over. I was really excited that Karin made it this month and that she brought a special guest, Moda Man and his new companion, Bolt. I love what he has done with his car!! Becky and Karin were working on bindings, and our fearless Thimble leader was knitting, yes inglorious knitting. She said it was a washcloth, but I really think that it might have been the beginnings of a bikini. I was working on my Halloween stitchery. I only have two more blocks after this one. I am hoping to have it completely done by Halloween. Special thanks to Becky for the wonderful "sugar free" dessert she brought over. Joe has already told me I need to get her recipe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paper piecing

A couple of weeks ago I took a paper piecing class at Sweet Home. I had the best time. Debbie Fry was the instructor, she is like the queen of paper piecing. The quilt that we were doing is on the wall behind her, Untitled a pattern by Karen Stone. I had a little experience with paper piecing, but just what I had picked up on my own from reading and looking online. One of the things we had to do was have the fabrics for one section of the block selected and cut to size. I wanted to go with a scrappy look, but was concerned about some of the fabrics that I had selected. I am really happy with the way the block turned out. I was afraid that the light yellow in the middle section would look washed out (which it does in the photo) but it added a lot to the block. This is definitely something that I will finish at some point in time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Annual trip to Gatlinburg

Each year the 4th weekend in April, Gatlinburg, TN has their annual Wildflower Pilgrimage and Festival. We have gone for the last few years, and it is a lot of fun. (too bad it is the same weekend as Paducah). This year the weather wasn't so great and we had to spend a lot of time in our hotel room. The guy to the right decided to stay out of the weather and spent most of his time right outside of our door.

On Saturday morning the session we attended was about Native People and their way of life. It was very good. The leader of the session was Karen Lemer, a native Ho Chunk, it was extremely interesting. She told us all about the native foods, where the were obtained, how they were prepared and the significance behind each food. We even got to eat some wild rice, with some hoe cakes, very bland it definitely could have used some seasoning. Of course I was more interested in the clothing they wore and the history behind it. Had a few pieces of native dress along with some beading using porcupine quills and beading on leather, (which I am very interested in).

Karen with a "ribbon shirt" worn by both men and women of the Ho Chunk tribe.

A special treat was one of the participants in the program was a member of the Cherokee tribe and a flute player, Randy McGinnis. He just happened to have some of his flutes with him and gave us an impromptu concert. It was wonderful. Of course we had to go find one of his cd's before we left Gatlinburg.

Our afternoon session was somewhat of a bust, it was a fern walk. I like ferns but really just wanted to know the common name, I'm not interested in their Latin names nor do I care to know about their sex lives. It had started to rain by this time so the talk/walk was cut short. Thankfully. All in all it was good weekend. It was great to get away for a few days and forget all about testing and everything that needed to be done in our yard. Now back to the real world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Great Read!

I just finished the latest book from Jennifer Chiaverini. It is the latest in the Elm Creek Quilter Series. I really enjoyed this one. I don't want to give too much away, but this entry into the series features Bonnie Markham. Bonnie is visiting a friend in Hawaii who wants to open a quilt retreat and has hired Bonnie as a consultant. I would definitely recommend this one. I am now really interested in Hawaiian applique. The book goes into some detail and I am anxious to try it. I have looked on line and found the basics, can anyone recommend a good book to purchase?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Administrative Professional Day

I have to be honest, Administrative Professional
Day snuck up on me this year. I had forgotten all
about it until Saturday afternoon. I usually make
something for the people at our school. I was rushing around my sewing room, looking for something cute and quick that I could make four of before Wednesday. I suddenly remembered the Smart Bags that I had purchased the iron on pattern for that I had never used, luckily I had four of them. I quickly found it, then had to dig through my stash to find 8 fat quarters that I could use for the bags. I tried to match the bags up to the people that were getting them, I think I did, hope so. I finished them last night, would have done so earlier but decided to sew buttons on them, that meant that I had to dig through my box of buttons to find some that matched. These bags are really easy to make and I think everyone liked them. I need to order some more of these patterns in case I need other quick gifts.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Last Friday night I went to Thimbles, and did we have a great time. We are a very diverse group, we not only quilt but make clothes for our grandchildren, knit, make rugs (yes, we have some hookers in our group). That is Karmen showing off the rug that she recently made. Our fearless leader is on the phone I think checking on her trip to Paducah this week.

Sandra is showing off the bag she just finished.
Elizabeth is showing off a beautiful block of the month that she just finished.
I worked on my Patches and Pinwheels again. I have almost all of the 16 patch blocks finished, maybe next month I can start on the pinwheels. Becky was working on "White Chocolate"and just absolutely glowing over the announcement of her retirement. Krisite was working on a Jan Patek BOM, not her usual yoyo's. She had class on Sunday and defended her paper yesterday. Havent' heard from her yet, but I know she did a great job. Karin dropped in to say hello and to show off Moda Man. Cindi was working on the Lily Pad, project of the month. Can't wait to see it finished. Sarah was working on some beautiful stitchery baskets. They will make a beautiful quilt.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Too many BOM's

Help, I think I need an intervention! One of my goals for this year was to finish some of the projects that I had started, without starting new ones and use up some of my stash. Somehow I was delusional and thought that signing up for the Star Crazy BOM would help me decrease my stash. That was my first BOM for the year. Then I found the civil war block from Homestead Hearth and just had to sign up for that. This is in addition to the two other BOM's that I started last year from Homestead Hearth: Starscape and Sylvia's Bridal Quilt. Then I read about the Moose on the Porch Block of the Month on my friend Karin's blog and just had to start it. I finished blocks three and four over the weekend. So far all of the blocks have been really easy to make. As you can see the BOM's are starting to take over my life and my sewing room.
Not only do I have BOM's at home but at school, Book of the Month. Each month we feature a special book that the entire school reads. The book for this month is Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco, one of my favorite authors. This month I read the book to one of our fourth grade classes and encouraged them to write their response to the book. I was then responsible for putting up a bulletin board and displays for the book. I have also been busy working with one of our AP's to determine the books that will be used each month for the 2010-11 school year.
Some days when I get an email at school about our BOM, I wonder why are they asking me about quilting, then I remember that I am at school and they aren't talking about fabric or quilting. I think I need help!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sewing Machines

When my mom comes to visit she always tells me that my basement is messy and wants to know why we have so much stuff there. I have to carefully explain that we don't have three storage buildings and have to put our stuff somewhere. While at her house last week she wanted me to help her clean out just one of her storage buildings. While doing so I happened to notice a red box with a handle. I just stood there for a few minutes and looked at it, I had no idea that it was still around. It was my very first

sewing machine!! All of these years I had thought that my mom had either sold it or given it away. I got it for Christmas one year, neither of us can remember exactly when, I think I was about 6. I can remember being so excited that I had my very own sewing machine, and could sew just like my mom. When I opened the case it looked exactly as I remembered. The only thing that is missing is the instruction manual, and I remember there was a little red needle threader, it is also missing. I made sure that I brought it home with me and it will have a place of honor in my sewing room. This brings the total number of machines in my sewing room up to 5. I have a Featherweight that I take to classes, a New Home that my mom and dad gave me when I graduated from high school, a Janome, and a serger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't forget to laugh today!!!

"Laugh often, Dream big, Reach for the stars"

Today is Moment of Laughter Day, yes, there is such a day. When I first saw that I thought what a great idea. Most of us, myself included, don't have enough laughter in our lives. I am sitting her thinking about the last time I had a good, all the way down to my toes laugh and it has been a while. Yes I chuckle or maybe even giggle at least once a day, but a good belly busting laugh I don't remember the last time. I am going to have to remedy that, laughter is good for all of us. Laughter makes our problems seem not quite so large and easier to deal with, it makes you live longer, and makes you happy. Don't forget to laugh today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Break with Mom

This last week was our spring break and as I usually do, I headed to Mississippi. I try to spend at least part of the week with her. Since my dad died, she gets very lonesome and looks forward to me coming home. She had lots of odd jobs for me to do around the house, mostly yard work. We spent one entire day working in her yard picking up sticks and small branches. Since my
mom lives in the country we piled all of the sticks and branches up and had a huge fire. We both thought about my dad, his nickname was "Firebug". He loved to burn things. We also spent a lot of time just doing little odd things, taking "stuff" to goodwill, running errands, cleaning gutters, moving her plants outside and some house cleaning. My mom has a huge yard and her lilac bushes were in full bloom along with her wisteria. The wisteria above is right by her drive way. My mom loves working outside and has beautiful plants, she also has quite a few pieces of yard art, the statue of the angel is "Karen" named after the person who gave it to her.
I got back to Atlanta on Thursday night, with my home to do list in mind. Of course, I have done only one thing on my list, buy shoes. I needed new shoes in the worst way, I now have four new pair of shoes. After shoe shopping yesterday and all day today I have helped hubby do yard work. I had really wanted to clean my sewing room and do some sewing, guess that will have to wait.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tie-Dyed Eggs

I don't have kids but that doesn't stop me from wanting to dye Easter Eggs. I always make an Easter basket for my husband and he loves hard boiled eggs, so I usually make some for his basket. I usually go the traditional route with dye from the store. This year I decided to try something new that I had read about, dyeing eggs using silk ties. I first saw this on Martha Stewart's website, (yes, I check it out fairly often), then I heard a friend at school talking about it, so I decided why not.

I only had three old ties, so I was limited to the number of eggs that I could dye. You first wrap the eggs in pieces of the old tie, then I used muslin to wrap the eggs.

You put the eggs in a pan to boil with 3 tablespoons

of vinegar. They are to boil for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes you remove them from the
boiling water and let them cool before you unwrap them. They turned out OK, I don't think that I had the silk wrapped tight enough around the eggs in the muslin. I also found that the darker the colors in the tie the better it transferred. My hubby was extremely impressed, so I feel it was a successful craft adventure.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter in an Elementary School

There is nothing like a holiday in an elementary school. Today is the last day before we get out for Spring Break so all of the classes are having their Spring Parties. Most of the classes are having Easter Egg Hunts and celebrating Easter. One of the Kindergarten classes brought me a special Easter basket filled with goodies. I have the best job ever!!!