Saturday, November 30, 2013

Still on the Road

We are still off visiting Kurt's family in North Carolina.  Yesterday we went to see Hunger Games and today there is a shopping trip in the works.  I'm enjoying keeping up with everyone else's sewing progress until I can get home again. 
Use misterlinky below to share your progress on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  There will not be a new color for December, so feel free to catch up on any color you missed along the way or start putting your blocks together.
Use the misterlinky below to share our progress:

I hope it is working now, it was giving me fits earlier!

Friday, November 29, 2013

On the Road

It is sad to be away from home on the first day of a new mystery.  I have plenty of handwork to keep me busy though.  Yesterday was full of turkey and ham.   Because my mother-in-law was not feeling well, I was put "in charge" of Thanksgiving dinner.  I delegated to Kurt to run his mother's kitchen, but still ended up doing most of the cooking.  Kurt's brother's wife, Barbara, wasn't able to make it, leaving most of the men hanging out watching sports.
The plan for today is to take everyone out to see Catching Fire, but we aren't allowed to leave until after the Iowa game.  Until then, I hope to get some serious appliqué done.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

X-mas Quilt Kit to GO

The Christmas Applique quilt is all kitted and ready for the road!  Two blocks are completely ready to stitch and the other 15 have rough but fabrics on freezer paper templates grouped into bags with background fabric.  I think a 16 block quilt will hang quite nicely in the foyer.  I might enlarge the pattern for larger blocks and make a bed sized quilt someday, maybe.  For now though, it is nice to have seasonal quilts to change out.  Not getting four seasons is one of the things I miss about living in Florida, so it is nice to pretend.
Mostly today I did laundry and started packing.  Sydney finished a book she has been struggling with for a book report so we went out to celebrate with manicures.  Anna got lots of Thanksgiving baking done while I cooked a few things to carry along.
It is going to be a calm and quiet two days at school and I hope to catch up on some grading while the kids are quietly coloring the male and female reproductive systems.  They laughed uncontrollably every time I said egg or sperm while discussing meiosis last week, so I'm thinking I should avoid talking and just let them snicker quietly until vacation.   

Slowdown Sunday Car Trip Preparation

 There is nothing like the prospect of 22 hours in the car to get handwork preparation underway.  I bought a pattern for Christmas Poinsettias a couple of years ago and finally decided to get started on it.  The flowers are a lot smaller than I had pictured in my head.  I was somehow envisioning a finished 12 inch block instead of a finished 7 inch block.  Am I the only one that wants to do get one block done to see what it looks like before committing to all of them?  The directions were for fusible applique, but I've never been a fan.  Instead I used freezer paper and glue stick to prep the pieces for hand applique.  I've been using this method since seeing some tutorials over at Fabric Therapy.  I think I'll work on some more to keep me busy on the Thanksgiving trip.
Next up is this stack for binding.  The bottom is green crossroads for Phyllis, the middle is an orphan block quilt that Anna practiced on this summer.  The top is Reach for the Stars which just got its binding yesterday.  I love to to binding in the car, it keeps me snuggly and warm as we head north the bitter cold.  It is supposed to get up to 50 in North Carolina today, but a front is moving through early this week and the highs will be in the low 40s (That is 15 and 4 for the sane people who use the metric system).  I know it seems balmy to the northerners out there, but considering that we are still just considering turning off the air conditioning in Florida with a cold front bringing us out of the 80s, it will be quite a change.  I'll be happy to have that coat that I bought to wear to Boston.
Have you got any handwork happening this on this slow and steady Sunday?  Head over to Kathy's blog and see what other people are working on.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday in Need of Chocolate

It has been one of those weeks that left me desperately in need of chocolate.  Desperately.  Thankfully we are still fully stocked up on leftover Halloween candy around here.  Sadly, my machine is still in the shop.  The faceplate is broken and a new one is still on order.  Not that I have had much lately for sewing.  Catching up after my weekend away has kept me busy.  We did however, just find out yesterday that instead of hosting Thanksgiving here we will all be driving to North Carolina.  The thought of 22 hours in the car got me prepping a new applique project to keep me occupied. The reason for the change is a suspicious spot found on my mother-in-laws lungs.  She was still planning on making the trip until the bronchoscopy yesterday went awry.  They will try agin on Tuesday.  It brought flashbacks of my mom's lung metastasis followed by a problematic procedure.  On the upside though, that means I can sew today instead of turning the sewing room into the guest room.  I'm still working on a proper quarter inch seem for my backup machine.  At the very least I can do some crumb blocks.  What chocolate covered projects have you got going on?  I hope you can find a little creative time before the start of a hectic holiday season.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday Brown

Here sits my same stack of brown scraps.  Still hanging out and waiting patiently.  I'm in Boston today learning about brain based learning.  Hope you are all sewing something though.

Friday, November 15, 2013


We all arrived last night with no issues.  It isn't even that cold.  There is time this morning for a short walking tour before the first keynote speaker. The hotel room has a nice view of the city buildings and the river. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Fabric

Look at the gorgeous fabric that showed up in my mailbox!  Aren't the colors fabulous?   I can already picture a new quilt that will feature these fun spring shades.  What a nice surprise from a quilting friend from far away.  Blogging is such a nice way to meet people with similar interests.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Boston Bound

My bags are packed.  I'm teaching tomorrow and then headed off to the airport.  I just printed out my boarding pass and checked the weather.  It is 32 in Boston right now (0 Celsius).  I bought a coat though, and dug out all my warmish sweaters and long pants.  I even found a pair of boots.  So off I go to spend the next three days learning more about the brain and learning.  One of the other teachers going used to be my student.  Boy does that make me feel old.  Not to worry about the blog though, ScrapHappy Saturday should post automatically on Saturday morning.  Happy sewing!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Scrap Sorting

Today I am sorting scraps.  Kind of fun actually.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

4 Months on the Frame

 I can't remember ever leaving a quilt on the frame for so long.  Life does get in the way of quilting though, and a project set aside is easy to leave after a while. I'm not sure if I'll try to bind this one right away or start the great sewing room clean up.  Tomorrow is a school holiday in any case, so I'll have another day to play.
 Here is the back, a random assortment of blue squares that made a big dent in the scrap bin.  I'm headed off to Boston for a work trip on Thursday, so I really should start to think about finding some warm clothes to pack.  A group of 5 teachers from our county is going to a workshop on brain based learning.  I am really excited to go even though it is another day out of the classroom.  My students seem to miss me which is nice of them.  

Old Fashioned New Fashioned

 After reading Kathy's post from Friday about remains of loved ones, I started to think about a bag of embroidery that I brought home after Mom's funeral in July.  We didn't have to go through and clear out her house as her husband continues to live there.  We do however, fear that he will one day get tired of living among all of her things and gather them for the trash.  He said as much while we were there and so we tried, subtly, to take a few mementos that we could not bear to see thrown to the curb.  Family pictures were gathered as well as this bag of her embroidery supplies.  I tried to get Mom interested in doing some handwork after her first surgery.  She wasn't up to much activity, but I thought some calm stitching might help her pass the days.  She did do a few pieces and even planned a quilt, but eventually gave up on it.   So I thought finishing her projects might be a nice remembrance of her.
A more pressing matter though is this quilt that went on the frame right before I went up to be with Mom this summer.  I was on quite a roll in June and was on track to finish off a good number of quilts.  July was a lost month and by the time I got back, I needed to start getting ready for back to school.  So here sits the same quilt, patiently waiting for a bit of time.  We are having a house full of guests for Thanksgiving and, getting quilt finished up will be the first step in transforming the sewing studio into the guest bedroom.  What are your plans for some slowdown time on Sunday?  Kathy has a link-up for handwork, so make sure you spare some time to see what everyone else is up to.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

ScrapHappy Chocolate Edition

What a week!  Every weekend I think I'll be able to find a little time during the school week to make some sewing progress and every week lately I seem to be going from one weekend to the next with nothing in the middle.  I'm trying to remember what filled the evenings.  Monday was academic team, Tuesday was gymnastics, Wednesday we went out to dinner, Thursday was parent conferences at school and Friday we had Lego robotics.  By last night I was literally falling asleep on the couch at 6:30.  This is a three day weekend though and I plan to enjoy every minute.  Play practice and OM this morning.  Ryan's flag football team made it to the Superbowl which is tonight.  It will be under the lights with real announcers - so exciting.
Sewing?  Still no machine.  I think I will call the quilt shop for an update.  I can do paper piecing or poverty piecing on Anna's machine though, so progress will still be made.  Honestly what most needs to be done is cleaning up the sewing room for Thanksgiving.  Kurt's brother with family and sister and parents as well as my sister and kids are all coming to visit.  I'm guessing they will all want someplace to sleep.
What about you?  Feeling the rich warmth of brown as things start to cool down?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Applique Today

Sunday is such a nice day to settle in with a needle and a thimble.  I just finished up the applique bits on 8 little Dear Jane blocks!  I could have gotten more done, but the usual weekend things were calling my name.  Laundry is more done than it was this morning.  The pool deck is cleaner too and the screen enclosure is temporarily spider web free.  Three houseplants are happy in new pots and 25 beautiful teal and purple cupcakes are ready to take to school tomorrow!  It is going to feel so odd going back in the morning after being out of class for 4 days in a row.  7th period won the contest for best class for the sub.  I even went in for three hours while Ryan and Anna had play practice yesterday and caught up on grading.  E-mail might take a day or two to dig through.  For now I'm just trying to avoid falling asleep on the couch at 8 and waking up at 3.  Daylight savings is already messing with me.  

Slowdown on Sunday

 I made lots of good progress on Dear Jane this week at my teacher test writing getaway.  It did leave me with a backlog of hand sewing though which I will enjoy working on today.  Hand sewing sounds just perfect as I have taken my machine in to the shop.  Driving it back and forth to Jacksonville knocked something loose inside and it is making a funny noise.  I borrowed Anna's machine, but she seems to have lost the quarter inch foot that fits on it.
After I finish off the applique for the 8 blocks in waiting, it looks like there are 12 more blocks in the center section.  I've procrastinated the triangles for the most part, so those will need to be next on the list.  I might go through and see if there are some nice applique only blocks to cross off the list.
I'll link this post up with Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts.  Head over with a nice cup of tea to see what handwork everyone is up to today.

The count so far:
169 blocks with
15 triangles
4 kites
3537 pieces

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Movie Night

Sydney wanted to stay up super late tonight.  We had all settled in to watch a movie together when I looked over to see her snoozing.  It looks like she is getting a head start on her extra hour of sleep for daylight savings.  

ScrapHappy Saturday - Autumn Hues

I know we don't get much fall color here is Florida, but I am still feeling that brown is an appropriate color for the month.  I haven't done much yet with my scraps, but they will be ready as soon as I can unpack my sewing machine from the car and get settled in again. First though, there is a junior high play rehearsal and an OM practice.  The afternoon looks good though.  What are your thoughts on brown?