Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Dinner was so good I had to keep a record of it so that I could reproduce it later...
...okay, so I started eating before I took the picture...if you could've smelled it you'd understand!

Recipes used:
French Potato salad with mustard vinaigrette
(I used more lemon because we had too much potato...also accidentally bought russets.  I don't make potato salad--ever--and was shopping without the recipe)

Lemon Coleslaw by Kay at The Church Cook
This is delicious!  You know it's good when your husband requests it a second time in the same week and it's a vegetable!  I halved the mayo (healthier!) and used any onion we had laying around (green onion and red onion thus far).  Also, I just used a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Oh my goodness, it's better than being back in Texas because it is cooler in VA and the beef tastes the same!  I used 16 oz of barbeque sauce instead of the ketchup and 1 c. ketchup instead of the chili sauce.  We bought beef ribs (2 lbs)--boneless and short ribs.  Cooked overnight, refrigerated all day, and then did 1.5 hours on high to warm back up for dinner!

Our stomachs are full, and we're happy after long days at work.  Pretty good day I'd say.  Goodnight all!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More relaxed...

...with every passing day.

Each minute spent at my new school seems to be having a calming effect on me.  Normally, as school gets closer, I cannot free my mind for a moment from the swarming thoughts of children incoming.  It's not exactly worry, more of an overwhelming, consuming crush of new ideas, inspiration, hopes, and dreams.  One cannot help but think about one or another aspect of teaching.  Now, approaching the middle of the week of "teacher workdays" (read: overlapping meetings mixed with prep time when you can find it), I'm feeling a bit less worried, a bit more confident, and (a great relief to me) more and more able to enjoy my time at home with my new hubby!

I've tried to sew a little each day.  Mainly I've worked on projects for school (I can justify spending time on those easiest!), but soon I'll be back to quilting the charity quilt and the bunny quilt.

I've made some quilty labels...I liked the idea of labeling the parts of the room with animals instead of group numbers.  And my awesome sister-in-law gave me the idea of posting the scientific names of the animals along with them.  And so I give you:
Loxodonta africana

Chelonia mydas

and Hypsypops rubicundus

They're so fun!  The dolphin, snail, and salamander are in cue to be quilted.

I even think my stitches are getting a bit more even:

I also felt like my room of mismatched furniture--we're about to undergo renovation and will have a BEAUTIFUL building with new furniture--needed a facelift.  So I made a ruffle curtain.  Anyone else hate attempting to sew really long, straight seams???

I love that you can hide things behind it...invented storage!

I also love the curtain because when people walk into my room I can figure out if they love craft or not based on their response to the table ;)

I've also done a lot of knitting while listening to guest speakers...

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday; there's always such great inspiration to be found there.  I hope to write again soon!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trying Echo Quilting--New Classroom Project

In honor of freshman Bio, and because I felt like making more cute cartoon quilted animals after the bunnies, and because I need practice echo quilting...I have a new project...

I came home and drew up some designs:

Then used Pellon's Wonder Under fusible to prepare the pieces after tracing them on my lightbox (aka our windows).

All the pieces are fused:

And the turtle is quilted and ready for binding.

I am even okay with the way the back turned out!

I'm so glad I decided to do'll make great little breaks (and FMQ practice) as I work like crazy to get the classroom and plans ready!!!  I really love that it's almost all made with scraps from my grandmother (in law) that really helped inspire me to start quilting.

I'm linking up with TNT Thursday at Happy Quilting by Melissa.  Her blog is great; be sure to check it and the other projects out!

Tomorrow is my first day on site at my new school.  I'll meet other new teachers and some of the staff.  I'm nervous and excited!!!  I really want this school to be my home for a long time!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Well, it's been a busy week...professional development has started, and I just have to say, it's hard getting back in the swing of things but I LOVE my new school district!

I've managed to get a few projects worked on.

First a FINISH!  In the works since Christmas, it's my new Every Way Wrap by Okmin Park.  I made it with Malabrigo (LOVE) in Vetvier.

Then, I finished a few more hexagon flowers:

Total is 10!!!

Then I started a pair of knit socks, Miss Babbs Yummy sock yarn in Neptune's Beard.  I have to keep my hands busy while listening to guest speakers...I listen better.  Anyone else that way???

Good luck to all my SC friends welcoming their new students today!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Basted and Ready to GO!

The quilt back got finished this morning and spray basted together with the top:
As you can see, the only space in the apartment big enough to lay the quilt out is our generously sized bathroom. (I LOVE our bathroom.)  It's perfect for a 60"x60" quilt so that will probably be my max (or quilt-as-you-go) while we live here.

 I pin basted it more than usual too, I know this will be a work in progress for a while.  I'm thinking these designs from Leah Day's magnificent 365 Free motion quilting designs will make an appearance:

So now I'm ready for my first quilt guild meeting ever (with DC Modern)!  I'm looking forward to meeting Katie and Anjeanette and many others!
In other news, since going into work on Wednesday I've been in studious hyper-drive trying to prepare.  I'm going through a Chemistry for Biology Students book and designing six versions of four different quizzes to go along with the book.
Hellooo school year!

I also managed to roast (or over-roast) my first chicken and give the Kitchen-Aid mixer its inaugural run making early-birthday cupcakes for Cynthia.  I used my grandmother's old secret recipe: one can of cherry pie filling, plus devils food mix, plus two eggs.  Makes a really light cake with a texture like Angel food, and it's oh so good!  I prefer to food process the cherries so they "hide" in the cake, but this time I just blended them in the mixer.  Still tasty, but the cake looks like a cherry chocolate cake.

Well, more chemistry awaits...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday

It's my last week before returning back to professional development and teaching.  I've been keeping busy's been so much fun!  I'm really looking forward to meeting a community of quilters here in Northern VA.  DC Modern Quilt Guild is hosting an event this Saturday, and I'll be there working on some of these things perhaps...

The charity quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids:
I've started quilting it using the circuit board pattern from the Free Motion Quilt Along.
The other bunnies have faces...which do you like best?
I like this one (although I hope he looks shy/embarrassed but not sad!)

And the quilt top is almost finished...I made some log cabin blocks for the four corners of the outer border.  I just need to cut the four strips of white and sew it together!
I'm enjoying them so much I'm not sure what I'll work on next...
I could keep working on the hexies...
Or pick up the owl quilt again...
 Or another baby quilt that will allow lots of free-motion practice
Or maybe a modern quilt for myself:

My sister starts her first teaching job tomorrow!  My heart goes out to her as she starts her biggest WIP yet!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday, Quilty Embellishment Day, and the Free Motion Quilting Project (even though I'm quite a few weeks behind!)  Check these blogs out...they're wonderful and so are the projects people are linking!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Busy weekend and my last week of freedom...

My dear husband kept us busy this weekend!

We rode our bikes around the tour route at Antietam and dropped in to see some of his reenacting buddies.  It was great exercise and gave me some car time to work on one of my newer projects, some hexie flowers!
Fabric is Kashmir by Jinny Beyer and Kona Bone

Then on Sunday we enjoyed Olivier's christening.  It was my first chance to meet his parents after hearing so much about them from John.  They were amazing hosts!  And their house was right next to JoAnn's, so I picked up some fabrics to round out my selection for what I hope will become a modern quilt.

Now I'm back to working on the baby quilt for DC Modern's 100 Quilts for Charity.
The top is finished:

The back is in progress:

I must really enjoy the planning process because I doubt most people go through all this
before they improvise a quilt back.  I guess I can't really call it improv at all???

How much work do you do before piecing a modern pattern?