Friday, June 27, 2014

Update on all the "excitement"

In addition to working 10-hour days and then spending the long weekends with the kids, this long weekend, I'm dealing with an issue that cropped up this past Monday...

It's official.... the motherboard gave up the ghost.

My laptop is now residing with my favorite computer doctor along with the new laptop, awaiting for the data to be transferred from one to the other.   *sigh*

In the meantime, the tiny house book has arrived and I've been studying it!

I can't copy the paper-piecing templates 'cause my laptop has kicked the bucket and I'm not sure I can use the copier/printer  without it being attached to the laptop.  I may try in a bit tho...

And... the big news here is that I have only ONE more work day (Monday) to go before I'm off work the month of July!    *doing a happy dance*

Sunday, June 15, 2014

On the Trail of Tiny Houses

I was studying the tiny houses quilt, trying to figure out how the size of the blocks and how exactly they were made....  and so small too!

I did a little online sleuthing and found that "Brenda (Canada)" made this quilt, using the book:  Down in the Valley: Paper-Pieced Houses and Buildings by Myra Harder and Cori Lee Derksen (link).

The houses and trees are sooooo tiny but they are paper-pieced!  So... looks like I will be practicing my paper-piecing while working on this project.  I have ordered a copy of this book to help...   methinks I'll need all the help I can get on this one!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tiny Houses

Ever since blogging buddy Roos started her little houses project (link), I was intrigued.  Roos does almost all her sewing by hand and also the quilting as well.... she's amazing!

The house blocks are tiny.... here's a block with a spool of thread for size...

You can even order a stamp to print the pieces on the fabrics (link) to save time messing with templates and doing some persnickety cutting.

Then I found this tiny house quilt on Pinterest!   Love all the wonky houses.... and wouldn't this be a great way to use up all those small scraps of fabric that I can't bear to throw away?   I even like those little blocks with trees.   I think this would be a long-term project...  maybe have a basket of scraps and just sit down when I have a few minutes and make a little house block...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Quilty Project

When I started quilting, I wanted to made a quilt for each grandchild.  Then a niece graduated from college and I made a quilt for her.... and if I make a quilt for one, then every niece and nephew needs to have an auntie-made quilt, yes?  This morphed into making a quilt for everyone in the family, including in-laws.   Well, I'm down to one nephew without a quilt so...  I need another large throw-size quilt for Drew.

I needed something manly and decided on a single Irish chain with the Moda Bella Solid "Paper Bag" as the background fabric.

This jelly roll comes with two blues, two greens, two reds, and a brown, as well as a black and two cream/beige strips.  

I probably won't use the black or beige/gold strips but we'll see....

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Second Quilty Project

Once Thanksgiving is over, I will need a holiday table runner for the table and, again, browsing Pinterest, I've found a few options.

I think this place mat would make a great table runner and I've already done the math to lengthen it to table runner-size.  I don't think I'd do the appliques... just let the design and fabrics speak for themselves.  Plus, I'll have Christmas decorations on the runner as well.

If the fabrics I have in mind for the stretched log cabin runner won't work, I may go with this style.

I also like this runner and it would definitely work with fabrics from stash!    Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Planning Quilty Projects

Now that the school year stress is behind me, the creative part of the ole brain is starting to percolate again thankfully.   For a while there, I thought it had died or something...

I'm actually in the process of planning projects for the coming year since I'll have time this summer to not only get some sewing done but to track down fabrics for said projects.

Having a nice table runner for the dining room table encourages me to keep it cleared so one project is to make a fall table runner.

Pinterest, that complete time suck, has provided a number of ideas that I'm considering.

Not only just fall/autumn options but good options design-wise... that would require more appropriate fabric selection to make the runner autumnal.

And I don't want to find a pattern, free or otherwise because....

I'm crazy and like doing all the math!  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Deep Sigh of Relief

Students were released mid-day yesterday to enjoy their summer vacation and a lot of the pressure / stress went along with them.  Not so much that the students themselves cause the pressure / stress but there are fewer deadlines and other constraints.  I can relax a bit.

I know I've mentioned what a difficult school year it has been for me work-wise... there wasn't much, if any, creative energy left to think about quilting.  To give you some idea of the unusual year it has been for me, I wanted to share the following graph showing the number of cases handled by each psychologist over the past year.

A "busy year" would 80 cases with an "average" year being 50-70 cases.  Yup, that big tall blue column is me...   if anyone would like further explanations of this graph, I will happy to respond via email.   

Another measure of "busy-ness" is the number of banker's boxes one fills up over the course of the school year with an "average year" filling one box to 1.25-1.5 boxes.   Here are the boxes I filled...

There were a lot of times this year where I honestly didn't think I was going to make it.  And yes, I have mentioned the uneven distribution of schools & work loads to my supervisors.

While we're in "work mode".... I thought maybe some of you would like to see my office at one of my schools....  see where I spent three days of the week.  To the right of the door as you enter is the "testing table.  Behind that is the ESL teacher's desk and some of her stuff.  The two file boxes are mine... I was getting ready to take them out to the car.  The "window" looks out into the 7th grade hallway... that's right... no natural light.

Just to the left is the following....  the desk is mine along with the dark file cabinet.  I have tried to bring some color into the vanilla-bland office and it does help.... at least for me.

The other file cabinets are storage for other stuff, like inactive files, ESL files, etc.

My granddaughters provided some office decor... you can figure out which two...

Yes!  The phone is in an obviously inconvenient location... but look at that super long extension cord.  Of course, the desk is too small for the phone to sit on.  

In addition to sleeping in this morning and meeting a friend for lunch, I've been planning my "summer sewing projects" list... more on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pillow Cover #2: Another Finish

Are you proud of me... finishing two projects?   Well, I'm pretty pleased to have both pillow covers completed!

I love the colors for this one...  so cool and refreshing.

I did the back the same way as I did the first pillow cover.

Now, I just need to get them down to my son and DIL!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pillow Cover #1: A Finish

Thanks to the end-of-the-year testing, there's not been much sewing going on after work.   I don't want to get into my thoughts/feelings about end-of-grade testing...  so I'll let it go at that and turn to a much more cheerful subject...  a finish!

The Barrister Block pillow cover is complete and stuffed.  It was hard getting the pillow form pushed into the corners but it will get better with use.

The edges are finished with regular old binding, just like a quilt.  This way all the raw edges are covered so it can be washed at need.

I lined the back of the pillow cover to give it some body/strength...  (three grandsons will be living with this pillow) well as cover the raw edges around the zipper opening.   Now, I just need to finish the other pillow cover.