Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP Wednesday--School's Out!

Right after posting this I'll be off to school for the students' last day of classes.  I'm in my final week at my beloved school before moving to Virgina.  A school there is holding a spot for me, but I'm still praying that all the paperwork works out (aka-I'll feel better once I've signed a contract).

To calm the anxiety caused by so much impending change, I sewed more of Krystal's beautiful quilt inspired by Block Party.

After trying many layouts I settled on this:
 I had minor dog interference as I sewed strips together...silly Ellie!
Then I finished the top...I still feel like I need work getting large blocks of fabric to feed easily.  Suggestions to prevent puckers?
Now I'm starting to piece some stripes for some blocks for the back.  My inspiration, also from Block Party.

So...that's where I'm at right now!  I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Here's hoping finalizing grades today helps ease my anxiety.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A whole mess of random...

There are SO many things I've been wanting to blog about so I guess I'll use my iPhone photo stream as a guide and go stream of consciousness style...

First: A reminder to myself that I need to do a tutorial on these cool, colorful pieces to adorn classroom walls.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture before my students took down all my sentimental drawings and notes that were pinned to these.  One kid liked them so much that he jokingly tried to sneak two out under his shirt :)
 Second: the quilt for Krystal was going strong through Friday when it ground to a screeching halt.  But I did make all the squares and tear off all the freezer paper...

 Then I laid them out various ways and got stuck...should I go with the way the book does them:
 Or this:
 Or maybe this: (update...this is what we chose)
 Or perhaps this...
 All the quilting stopped and prep for the bridal shower began Saturday.  By far the coolest, most unique gift was this from Aunt Cate.  It's so that we never forget starting our lives in DC...
We had a great time at the shower!  The two alloted hours flew by and then most guests stayed late.  So fun!  And Mom's lobster dip and melon bowl were huge hits!  Oh, and she made perfect peanut butter fudge on her first try.  She's amazing.

Some color inspiration arrived in the garden...then Roxy had to investigate.

 Then, after the shower and having free time to work out (lots of cycling with Dad...I'm SO sore!), I could no longer fight the urge to plan how to decorate our new living room in the apartment.  After many trials of suggested palettes, I chose this:
 The green will be the accent wall and I'll use the coffee color and white for this:
It's a four part wall hanging that will sit over our couch in the living room that currently looks like this:
I was inspired by a picture on pinterest that I'm sorry to say is not linked to anyone's blog.  The best trace I can find is here.

I think that about sums up the random...until tomorrow that is...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIP Wednesday...

Means a new project while the old ones hibernate...

I'm working on some blocks for Krystal.  She's been an amazing friend for my first four years of my teaching career, and she deserves something warm and comfy.

Each block takes about 10-20 minutes now that I've got the method down.  I love the "string" blocks (is that what they're called?) More details are on an old post here.

It started out as a bunch of random strips:
 And some freezer paper and solid fabric squares:

These are the blocks so far:

And I think this is my favorite:
Or maybe this one:

In the meantime, I keep sketching out designs I can refer back to later when I have some free time.  Whenever that is ;)

BUT the biggest WIP of all is...
...the wedding...that's 1 MONTH AWAY!!! We're SO excited!'s a constant work in progress...

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday.  Thanks for checking out my project!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tutoring relief...a quilty pursuit

After three different review sessions today I needed a I tried a block that I'll be making soon in Krystal's fabric of choice.

It's from Block Party--The Modern Quilting Bee.

I wanted to try an overall pattern on the large triangle (and I love it...especially that it looks better messy).

 Still not sure about the stripes...stitch in the ditch may be my favorite so far.

 I'll be linking up tomorrow to Quilty Embellishment Day at Pat's Color Me Quilty blog (a new favorite of mine :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

One more work in progress

I forgot to add one more free-motion doodle to the some past posts.  If you want to see more of what I've been working on try here and here.
 And...after bringing Jamie her tree skirt Krystal wanted me to make her a quilt.  Here's the fabric we picked...much more to come on this later!

It's been an amazing week.  I need a few more things in writing before I can share more, but teaching was a blessing this week--that's worth remembering and being grateful for!

I'm linking up to Leah's Free motion quilting vacation link up.  Be sure to check out the other great posts off of her blog!

New Apartment, New Beginnings

I spent my second weekend in Alexandria this weekend.  The first weekend was last month and it was the CRAZY move in weekend.  This weekend I got to spend time unpacking my craft area.  (And I have more yarn than I'd remembered.)

There's still an open spot for my SewEzi table and room in the cabinet for my fabric.  But here's how it looks now:
 And our spiffy new IVAR cabinets from IKEA.  Dear fiance says they were designed by the devil...but he did a great job constructing them!  Note that his is FULL of modeling supplies while mine is a great mash-up of knitting, quilting, and scrapbooking--my great loves.

All the fabric inherited from his grandmother has found a home:
 And my favorite yarns did too (at least the DK and worsted weight). 
It's an absolute feast of color!  I can't wait to have leisure time...but for now it's cleaning and organizing mode for me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Perspectives

I had one of those moments today that make me realize how important we as teachers are...but epitomizes the struggles we face.  I had a student show up for morning tutoring (yay!) and after working with him for about twenty minutes I finally figured out why he's struggling.  It's not the talking, or the joking, or the lack of trying--he cannot comprehend what he's reading.  He's a ninth grader that cannot find the subject of a verb.  I was trained in biology, but apparently I need to get a masters in literacy because I need some strategies for teaching reading.  I'm hoping that now that I know what the problem is, consistent review and practice will help him improve.  Any ideas on how to teach reading in ninth grade science?

In other news...I finished a project!
It's a Christmas Tree Skirt for Jamie...made to match the place mats she received for Christmas!
 Looking back on parts of the project: (Bias tape, quilt sandwich, and pieced backing)

That leaves the following works-in-progress:
1.) Hooterville Quilt (needs a bit more stitching before I can sew the blocks together)

2.) Scrappy baby boy quilt (a few seams to sew...then maybe a border?  Made for practicing zippling.)

3.) Washing and drying of newly adopted fabric stash (airing out the fabric didn't quite rid it of the musty smell...too bad)

4.) Square root of nine quilt (still in the rotary cutting phase)

5.) Baby girl quilt (blogged about here) for free motion practice with borders and squares (fabric washed and starched)

6.)...oh yeah, and my wedding...BUT the invites went out this week!

This will be my first attempt linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday!  Hope it works!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, May 6, 2012

An experiment

The event that kicked off a whirl-wind of quilting in my life was an evening spent with my soon-to-be grandparents-in-law.  I got to stay in the quilting room of a thirty-year quilter and see the Canton County Fair Quilts.  I had quilted and sewn as a little kid with my mom, but had never seriously attempted quilting as a young adult.

With the inspiration, I instantly picked up a quilt I'd tried to start a few years back.  I finished a quilt top only to realize on my old Singer I couldn't free motion quilt.  I was not picturing straight line quilting.

After some research I found the machine I wanted...a Janome MemoryCraft 6600.  Little did I know that a 6500 was under repair at a nearby store in preparation to be sold used.  Everything worked out in a perfect way--I snatched up the machine...and then Dad won a killer scratch-off lottery ticket and helped me pay for it (so sweet!)

Well, the same grandma-in-law that started it all came to town this weekend and brought lots of fabric!!!  She's clearing her stash and her fabric is beautiful.  The only downside is the old smell.  That brings me to the experiment...I don't want to wash the stabilizers and UV protection and all the other things that are used to treat fabric out of fabric that may stay in my stash for a while.  So...I'm letting nature do the job...

I hope 12 or so hours of sunshine and a breeze will eliminate the musty smell without bleaching the fabric.  PS-If you have plastic containers that are stained red from sunlight will remove the stains.  Thank you Mother Nature!