Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday 13

I haven't pulled out my UFOs, so here is the quilt rack in my living room: Thirteen quilts!

(I had a small problem with Photoshop...I hit save before I changed the file name, so then I had to paste the cropped part back into the original, and you can see the seams. OOPS!)

Anyway, here are some details...

From the right - my pineapple quilt from the 2006 longarm challenge, a four-patch, and two versions of Ricky Tims Caveman quilts.

Next, we have a zoo quilt (you can just see the corner on the right), then a bright Batik pinwheel with a checkerboard border, my Christmas bargello, and Stack-n-Whack treasure boxes.

Finally, from the LEFT this time, my Grand Canyon photo wall-hanging, the black and orange is the back of a Halloween banner, the circles from my Jane Sassaman class, and a Big Baby Star whose binding needs to be finished and mailed off as a baby (actually toddler by now!) gift!!

And here's an extra...Baby K's big smile!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pool Time

I spent yesterday in the quilt studio with my mom. I was working on the Yellow Brick Road - a graduation present for Elizabeth. I hope to have it done by Saturday...done as in quilted AND bound! I have a pantograph picked out, so the quilting should be quick and easy.

Baby K kicked back in the pool...

Grandma bought her some pool toys and we pushed her around in the floaty seat for a while.

The Knitting Diva is having a contest centered around the question, "What makes a good knitting blog?" (interchangeable with quilting blogs, in my mind) The common denominators seem to be pictures and sharing your life. I know I enjoy seeing everyone's WIPs, so I try to share mine as well. I wish more quilters would share designs...even if it is a sketch of something they do freehand. I guess that could open up the door for copyright issues, but in an ideal world, that's what I'd like to see more of!

Monday, May 28, 2007

What I've been doing on my summer vacation

Yay! Saturday was a totally lazy day. I played on the longarm and finished a sample for the shop. Mom pieced beautiful taupe triangles and I did a simple continuous curve design. Here's a quick sketch from Microsoft me, the stitching looks better in person, but this gives you an idea.

The points below the triangles show how I moved from one to the next as a continuous line.

Then I was a couch potato for the rest of the day, because I discovered this show on Bravo:

It's called "Shear Genius" and it's a reality show about hairdressers. Fabulous! My favorite was a challenge called "Hair through the Eras." Each person had a historical period that they had to design a hairstyle for...from Medieval times, to Victorian, Elizabethan, 1920s, 40s and 60s! Really fun.

Sunday was another relaxing day. We went to church in the morning, then out to my brother-in-law's house for a holiday barbecue. It was an all-American menu: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fruit, and root beer floats!

Then I came home and curled up with a book - Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. It's about a school shooting, which is a disturbing topic, especially for a high school teacher. But, the author handles everything well, and it's an interesting read.
On the agenda for today - binding the orange quilt, piecing the blocks for the Yellow Brick Road, and another swimming date for Baby K at Grandma's house. This time I will remember the camera!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

School's out!

I know some parents dread this day, but it's wonderful from the teacher perspective! I have to go in for an hour or so and post the final grades and turn in my keys and then I'm free to concentrate on quilting! And I'd better get to it...I have three shop samples waiting for the longarm!! my only complaint is that I don't have a local source for my favorite thread (A&E PermaCore) and they no longer make thread charts, so I have to bug my friend all the time to match colors before I order online. Big Hassle!!!

Since I have no fiber content, I will leave you with two gems.

Potentially addictive, simple game: Boomshine!

Quaint prints from Sweden (and baby K's birthday is coming up, hint hint): Isa

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Sewing

I finished quilting the Orange Delight! I used one of Linda V. Taylor's pantographs. This is the back:

Maybe I can get the binding on this week. I have until June 4th to finish...the foreign exchange student whose gift it is leaves then!

Baby K has been very interested in Daddy's sock progress...

I am working the gusset decreases:

Obsidian from Blue Moon Farm has a wonderful variety of rich browns, blacks and flecks of grey. Perfect for a man's sock!

Here's Baby K's latest trick - Climbing!

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thursday 13

13 things to do this summer

Our last day of school is next week – yippee!! Here are a few of the things going on…

1. Basketball! Season tickets to the WNBA Phoenix Mercury. We’re going to the playoffs this year…hope springs eternal.
2. Graduation parties. Tis the season. Kinda strange when baby K is just 9 months old and all our other friends have kids in college now!

3. Machine Quilter’s Showcase in Kansas City. I am scheduled for three full days of classes with very talented longarm quilters.

4. Continuing education with my school district. I am going to learn “Blackboard” which is a program that a lot of colleges use. Maybe someday I will be an online instructor!

5. Back to work at Cotton Fields. My parents are taking a trip to China and I’ll fill in at the shop a few days while my mom's gone.

6. Family vacation to Minnesota. Any hints for a plane trip with a baby?!? Yes, we’re taking Benadryl. We hope to see my brother and my great uncle in the Twin Cities, then we’re going to spend sometime in the great outdoors at a friend’s cabin north of Duluth.

7. Weekly movie date with a teacher-friend. Diane and I met at the New Teacher orientation in 2000, and by chance our classrooms are right next door to each other. Most of the time our schedules have coincided so we eat lunch together every day.

8. Quilt Camp in the Pines! It will be my fourth year. My roommate is so fun, and a very talented quilter. I am taking classes with Jennie Rayment, Martha Nordstrand and Karla Alexander.

9. Swimming. Mom and Dad have a pool, and Baby K enjoys bathtime so much that I think she will have lots of fun.

10. Reading. I haven’t reserved a copy, but I’ll have to get my hands on the final Harry Potter book in July.

11. Knitting. With several plane trips on the horizon, I am hoping to get several pairs of socks done. Then maybe I can get back to the sweater vest that is almost finished!

12. Quilting. I have several tops lined up for the longarm and a few things to finish piecing. (hahahaha, the UFO pile might be NEXT week’s Thursday 13!)

13. Lesson Planning. This is one of those eternal inhabitants of a teacher’s to-do list. I taught AP Government for the first time this year, so I need to go back and revise everything now that I have some experience with the subject! Of course, August will roll around and I will be saying, where did all that time go?!?

Monday, May 14, 2007

7 random things

I got tagged for this meme by the Knitting Moose. I've seen it around the Q4P ring, so if you haven't participated, consider yourself invited to the party!

1. I have a freckle on my eye...right in the iris. I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory one summer, and a friend was doing a study on identification systems, and he took a picture of it.

2. I have never been a picky eater - mushrooms, onions, spinach, just bring it on. However, I will not eat beets, mainly because my mom hates them and I don't see the need to try them as an adult.

3. My mom made me cut my hair short when I was about 13 years old because I had the habit of chewing the ends while I read. And I read ALOT!!!

4. Once or twice a year I indulge my sugar cravings and buy a Costco birthday cake...vanilla cake with chocolate mousse filing and buttercream frosting. It takes about 10 days for B and I to finish it. This was also our wedding cake!

5. I have a better-than-average memory for numbers. It makes grading math papers really easy and quick!

6. I read my favorite blogs in the same order every day. It's basically the timeline of my discovery of them along with how I typed them into my Yahoo 360 blogroll!

7. Florence Nightengale and I share the same birthday - October 13th. Nothing unlucky for me about that number!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

First Mother's Day

I have two socks on the sticks. On the left is the April Rockin Sock Club yarn in my alternate pattern. On the right is more STR yarn, colorway Obsidian, for B's first pair of handknit socks. I am trying the circular needle method, and so far, so good. I can't tell if it's the easy pattern or the circular method that is allowing me to go so fast...I think I have spent less time on B's socks and it certainly looks like the same length on both pairs at this point!

Here is my Mother's Day's actually a white gold and diamond pendant, I guess the flash makes it look yellow gold!

Yesterday we had a mother daughter luncheon. Baby K was very excited to hear the entertainment...a barbershop quartet. She had been napping on my lap and perked up with a smile when the men started singing!

And just for fun, here are some bathtime pictures. Her toys are foam letters that spell her name. She likes to have one in each hand, and one in her mouth too!

With seven teeth showing, we have to practice good brushing habits...

Two more weeks of school, woo-hoo! B. and I made reservations for our summer trip to Minnesota. Now we have to figure out how to survive a 3 hour plane ride with the baby... Plan A is Benadryl, but I don't know how far we'll get with the three ounce limit ;-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bunny Show

Baby K is 9 months old. She has seven teeth, crawls everywhere and can stand easily. Sometimes she can even guide herself along the couch.

Posing with the bunny is a challenge, because everything goes in her mouth! And I need a super-high-speed camera to get just the right pose, since she doesn't stay in one position very long...

I was finally able to click at the right moment!

We've been invited to a mother-daughter luncheon with Grandma tomorrow. She certainly will enjoy showing off her little princess! Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday 13

GO SUNS (Thanks for wearing #13 Steve!)

Back in 1998/99 I was dreaming of going to the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. I visited the USOC website on a regular basis and watched for airfare and ticket prices. Sadly, I did not make that trip because of timing. As a school teacher, it is very difficult to take a major vacation in August or September. But hope springs eternal, so I am looking ahead to 2012 in London! I have been to London twice…once on an Air Force deployment, and once on a trip with my grandmother.

For today’s list of 13, I want to brainstorm things I’d like to do if we can manage the trip!

1. Opening Ceremonies ...the tickets are outrageously expensive for this, but I love the pageantry, so if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, you might as well go all out!

2. Any swimming events! I was a competitive swimmer in my younger years so this is my favorite Olympic sport.

3. Volleyball. Fun to watch, and it’s usually not a headline event, so tickets should be easier to get.

4. Soccer. B’s favorite sport! And bigger arenas mean more seats for less money.

That’s about it for sports, so let’s expand to the other cultural aspects of a vacation to London…
5. The Imperial War Museum. B. is a history buff, and this is a fantastic museum!
6. Westminster Abbey... I made a quick pass through the last time, but I’d like to slow down and explore.
7. The Silver Vaults. My grandmother took me here…the underground vaults that held the silver during WWII are now shops. Cool stuff!
8. The Tower of London. History, and oh my, the jewels!

We can’t forget the food!
9. Fish –n- chips with a pint…since I’m not much of a beer drinker, I’ll take a cider.
10. Indian. Delicious.
11. Chinese. On the Air Force trip, a buddy took us to the Chinese district. His criteria for the restaurant was “No Caucasians”…if the menus have pictures, just point and enjoy!

And for some trips to the countryside…
12. Stonehenge I felt such a calm presence as I walked around these stones. I believe that they were a place of worship for whoever put them there.
13. Dover…seems like a picturesque area.

I could easily list a bunch of places in Scotland that I want to visit also. Maybe I should look into teaching exchanges…this trip could expand from a week to a year very easily!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Baby K took a good nap yesterday afternoon, so I was able to piece about half the blocks I need for Elizabeth's Yellow Brick Road... And I am LOVING the pattern I chose for my Wild Tide sock yarn:

It's a little hard to see in the photo, but there is a ridge of stitches that twists around the sock, and it lands right in the middle of the color swirl. It's just enough texture to really make the socks interesting, and it should be a quick knit!
I haven't had any longarm time, so the Orange Delight is in limbo. As I look at my May calendar, I don't have much free time, so it may be a last minute scramble. Which means I am leaning towards a pantograph. The goal is to have the quilting done and the binding on by June 1st!

Monday, May 07, 2007


The goodie bag had light up needles! Pretty I just need a pattern that calls for size 19 and I'm ready to knit in the dark.

I managed to finish something at the game - the log cabin blanket I started in the hospital when baby K was born. We didn't know if it was going to be boy or a girl, so I picked out some green and yellow yarn. (yes, the colors on your screen are horrid representations!) It's now a doll blanket, because I don't like how the colors sit next to each other. If I were going to do it again with these yarns, I would use the same color on two consecutive sides - put the lighter colors inside and then use the darker colors on the next round.

Since I have quite a bit of yarn left over, I might knit some four patch blankets. In all my spare time. In between socks and quilts. Over the next twenty years ;-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Frog, meet Grasshopper

I turned the heel, using short rows, and knit about 4 rounds of the leg.

I'm loving the yarn, but I noticed a couple things...

There was a HUGE gap between the back and the front. The pattern warned of this and suggested picking up a stitch or two in the gap, and then decreasing the next row. Well, how are you supposed to decrease the stitches when everything is yarnover and purl 2 together?!? Second problem...somehow I dropped 2 stitches on the heel-side. I did not feel like ripping it out and trying again. I had enough fun with the lace pattern on the foot.

So, I pulled out my "Sock Calendar" pattern book, and flipped to October - ta da! It's a basic pattern called "Everybody wants Sox" that has some ribbing and a pretty diagonal twist. I think it will really complement the beautiful colors in the yarn!

Today is another Stitch-n-Pitch event, which means knitting with hundreds of others at Chase Field. Go Diamondbacks!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday 13

Today's list is inspirational quotes. I collected about 180 of them to post in my classroom. Here are the first thirteen!

1. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

2. The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – Oliver Wendell Holmes

3. Enthusiasm…nothing great was ever achieved without it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epicurus

5. One person with courage makes a majority. – Andrew Jackson

6. What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you. – Seneca

7. One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education, never. – Alexander Dumas the elder

8. We will be known by the tracks we leave behind. – Dakota proverb

9. Stumbling is not the same as falling. – Portuguese proverb

10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from the ones you do make. Dare, risk, take chances. – Cicero

11. Never feel that your success may be too hard a climb – the very highest peaks are reached just one step at a time. (unknown)

12. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. – Samuel Johnson

13. Freedom for a country, for a world, is something that must first begin within the hearts of individuals. (unknown)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I was successful finding a ball winder last weekend. I kept the yarn intact as I wound the second ball...the winder wasn't big enough to make jsut one ball!

Here is the top of my April Rockin Sock...

And here is the plain stockinette sole of the sock...the yarn is just luscious!

I will be quilting the Orange Delight as soon as my thread order arrives, and in the meantime I started cutting for my next project. This is a graduation present for our best friend's daughter. She picked out the fabric and chose the Yellow Brick Road pattern. Looks like fun!

Finally, here's Baby K. She really enjoys her books! Some of the covers are tattered from being in her mouth...must be the teething - B. noticed two new ones coming in on top for a total of SEVEN!!!