Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekend Quilting????

See my weekend quilting?  Actually the quilt was made quite some time ago--it's the one my daughter's been using lately when she's cold while watching TV or doing homework.
The magazine is one I hope to get to sometime before bed tonight.
The flash drives?  I've been copying and editing files for learning tasks for my younger students at the Gulag.  I hope to get them converted to pdf-s for printing so these students can start being productive--instead of screaming all day "No no no no no no no!" or "No!  I want to play!"

Here's what I made last weekend when I felt "stuck".  Preprinted panel.  It's now hanging on my front door at home.   First picture isn't great; I thought I used the flash, but it doesn't look like it.  Other pictures are details.

 Back to file editing and conversion.  I'd be happy to get to any sewing today, even if it isn't a quilt.  (It  could happen.  My daughter's off visiting and then working at our church's Halloween festival.  I do need to make yogurt--but that's less than an hour of work followed by three hours of letting it make itself in the playmate cooler.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wonderful, Versatile Quilt Pattern

Check out this link to a wonderful, fun quilt from the Moda Bake Shop:

Lots of fun, easy, entertaining for quilter and recipient.

Then stop by Mary's blog to see another quilt made from this pattern.

Love it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn Cooking and Getting Stuck

One of the things I love about fall is the fact that using the oven is so much more pleasant.  On my treadle sewing machine list a topic of conversation has been cleaning pans after cooking.  I confess, that's something I don't really concern myself about, since I can always clean my pans in a few seconds.
That wasn't always the case.
About six or seven years ago, one of my friends told me about DeMarle at Home.  By now most people probably know about Silpats, even if they haven't bought one.  At that time I hadn't even heard of them; then my friend began selling DeMarle products--and I fell in love with cooking nutritious meals and cleaning up (in a hurry).  DeMarle products are made in France to extremely high standards.  Their products are made from silicone and a glass mesh--and have almost nothing in common with the silicone cooking products you may have used or purchased elsewhere.  They literally clean up in seconds!  Other people make gooey or messy foods in pans that they throw away or soak for hours after cooking.  I no longer hesitate to make gooey or messy foods.  I do make the concession of using a silpat on a perforated aluminum tray beneath the Flexipans when there's likely to be a spill or bubble-over. The acorn squash above could have been a mess because I had to cut off the very pointy end of one of the squash halves to get it to sit upright--and then before it was done cooking, the buttery, spicy sweetness inside ran all over the bottom of the pan--creating what would have been a caramelized challenge if I hadn't had access to a Flexipan.
(The other cool thing about these pans, a trick I use with the muffin pans, is that they can be turned inside out to make clean up even easier!)
I don't work for the company--but I would if I could manage it!
Next up:
Ever just get stuck during the quilt-top process?  I'm stuck right now--and neither EQ7 nor a mechanic ;-) would help. Over a month ago I picked out these for a quilt for Mary's birthday.  Some of these fabrics are gifts from Mary--she's given me quite a few fabrics for prayer quilts, and she really, really deserves a quilt.  But I just can't get moving on it.

It's not the only quilt top I'm stuck on.  I'm also stuck on a purple/gray/white one for a nephew--it's a prayer quilt.

And I'm guessing that despite how much I need quiltmaking therapy, I'm not likely to get much of it with the really long commute that begins Monday and will be part of my life for the rest of this academic year.
Trying to stay positive--a lot of niceness from fellow staff members at the school I've been at for seven years has been gratefully received in the last week--and I banked it in memories and am going to be drawing on it frequently, I'm sure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew In - October 2010

Okay, no actual sewing--but it could be the planning part? Maybe???
There was also the long soak in the tub with 2 cups of Epsom Salts and a few drops of lavender oil.  I'd forgotten how taxing packing all those boxes, lifting them, sealing them, shifting them could be.
Hope I can move in the morning!
Sweet Teen is marching in the parade that precedes the Estancia Punkin' Chunkin'.
Then she plans an outing with friends to a mall.  Her mama hears the call of the fat quarter sale at Busy Bee Quilts.  I really hope I'll have enough energy that I will be able to participate in quilt therapy tomorrow!
Sad thing: it takes a lot of work to pack up a thirty year teaching career. I threw away a forest full of trees in paper. Makes me sad, but on such a short time frame, I had no choice. I still have all the teaching stuff in the store room that hasn't been pulled out this year. What an immense job!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Storm Damage

I lost.
67.6 miles--1 hour 23 minutes according to Google Maps
Yes, that's a daily commute of more than 135 miles!!!!
--Except I'll be driving during rush hour.
Terrible things have happened at that work site.
Having trouble figuring out what good can come of this.  (And, yes, I know it's not about me--but I'm the one who has to live it!)  Ooooooo, looking forward to winter, right?
140 days to go! (plus weekends and holidays, of course!) picture...and really don't want to post one of my tear-swollen face (the normal one is scary enough!)

Only good thing so far.....aside from the principal negotiating enough extra days for me to participate in parent conferences at current that one of the boys who's had a notorious reputation for several years shared why he and another guy used to have such outrageous behavior.  "Well, those teachers just kept giving us warnings over and over and over.  They never did anything, so we figured why not? Then we got in here and you only warned us once or twice and on the third time---hot slip!"  Wonder what will happen with their behavior after I leave?

Post Script: Today this same child, who once was so angry that he was incapable of empathy, brought me a little stuffed toy from the Madagascar movie [I think], and a letter expressing appreciation that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
The local NEA-NM representative brought me at least 20 boxes to help with moving--and said they will do everything they can to be sure that the next collective bargaining agreement has a clause that in cases of involuntary transfer during the school year, the district will provide a truck and personnel to load and unload it.
I wish we could negotiate a contract that would require them to pay for additional mileage (not that that would truly compensate).
Ah, well...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Storm Clouds - Prayers Needed

Thank you, friends, for your prayers and kind words of support. My Sweet Teen asked why God does these things to us. I reminded her the doesn't but there are evil people who do evil things. Think I'll make sure my Bible travels to school with me for a while.

I don't think I've ever done this before--but I really need prayers from prayer warriors.
I think we've all had too many reminders of how desperate the economy is.
I really am grateful to have a job and that my job is one that makes insurance possible, and at reasonable prices.

One of the downsides of my job is that it's over 60 miles from my house. it takes 60 to 70 minutes to get there and an equal amount of time to get home--that's on a "normal" day.  When my children were little we used the time to our benefit.  It been harder at times of busy construction on the interstates or local streets.
My school district has told me I'm being reassigned to another school another 20-30 minutes further away--if this happens, I'll be spending 3+ hours commuting each day.
I believe that I should not have been reassigned because my qualifications outweigh those of the other teacher according to our collective bargaining agreement.  Some administrators made a decision without all the facts.  If we can't get them to take into consideration the "real" facts, my long commute will begin Monday.

Obviously, it's pretty difficult to pack up a teaching career and move to a new site in so little time.  The collective bargaining agreement says they have to allow the teacher two days to "settle in" before teaching duties begin, but that means they don't have to give me any days to pack up.

Prayer warriors, I need your prayers.  I'm praying that the person whose program and experience I outrank will be the person who has to go.  (It will not impact her commute as it will mine.--I'd hate that she'd have to do it too, but at least it wouldn't wreck her life.)
Please pray for us.

As soon as I can get a decision, I'll post at the top of the post that the situation has been resolved--whichever way the decision goes.

Obviously, in this economy and with the financial mess our publicly funded schools are in, there's no such thing as a job closer to home.

In the meantime, I'm trying not to cry--more able to do that sometimes than others.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Eye Candy - POV

These are my idea of eye-candy.  Sweet Teen informed me yesterday that her idea of eye candy is the high school cross country team!
Ohhhhhhkay!  Definitely different points of view!
See that crib and railway crossing in the first photo?  That picture could have been a portrait of  Enright Elevator between Gridley and El Paso in Illinois---or any of hundreds of rural elevators at other sites that dotted the Midwest 50 to 75 years ago--or more. In autumn I really miss such sights (although I readily admit I'm not missing all the dust from harvesting corn--since corn is one of my big allergies).
Since I won't be getting back to the Midwest this fall, I was so pleased to learn of Wilmington Prints Autumn In the Air fabric--it brings back soooooo many memories from past decades of activities and happy events that are probably a lot more treasured because of their distance. (The fabric became available months ago, although at the time I was busy with other things and didn't even notice it had been released; that turns out to be a good thing, since I got it on sale.)
The fabrics are not in my usual colors--and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a hard time finding the violet and red-violet fabrics I want to put with these.  However, I just couldn't resist.
As for the yarn, it's time to add a few more pairs of socks to my cool weather wardrobe.  Sweet Teen really dislikes socks and wool too--another difference in point of view.
Hmmmm....I'm thinking I'll stick with my preferences although her preferences do make me wonder what Maxine, of cartoon fame, would think of as eye-candy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dreamin' By the Big Muddy

A couple of years ago I was given the left over fabrics from someone's Mark Twain quilt. The Mark Twain fabric was a kind of multi-colored toile from Windham Fabrics.  I'd already purchased some Mark Twain fabric and some coordinates (although they weren't from the same fabric line), and ended up using them in a quilt for my brother-in-law.  However, I still had the original gifts to use and began piecing them into blocks.  I put those blocks with some more fabrics and came up with this:
I finished it this morning.  It's not shaped like an hour glass, but the wind was blowing, so it looks a bit deformed.
Here are some details:

The center panel of the steamboat was quilted with Fil-Tec Bobbin-Line around the details of the scene.  The rest of the quilt was done with a variety of  Fil-Tec Glide--one of my very favorite threads.  Some quilting stores and on-line shops carry them, but I order them directly from Fil-Tec.  Their on-line site is and they now manufacture and sell a wide variety of threads including pre-filled bobbins and what they call "mini-spools" of a wide variety of Glide colors--their minis are 1,000 yards!
This is a prayer quilt for our Victory Quilt ministry--in truth, all my quilts are now prayer quilts!
These are soooooo not my colors, but that Mark Twain toile just inspires me, and I have loved making both quilts and hope I have enough of the toile to make one more for a friend. Next time I'll do a few things differently.
I really wish Windham would print a lot more of these historical celebration fabrics because they are so inspiring--and if they printed more of the Mark Twain fabric (originally part of a fund raiser for the Mark Twain museum in New England), I'd have to buy more!
Of course, it's true that growing up near the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers while loving to read Mark Twain  and watching nature and clouds meant this quilt gave me ample opportunities for reminiscing.  (And, yes, I sooooooo wish I could be in Central Illinois for fall festivals like the Spoon River Drive.  I wonder if the Spoon River Mission Council choir festival is still held?)
Of course, it's been busy in central New Mexico, what with Albuquerque's Hot Air Balloon Festival. We've been blessed with truly beautiful days and even a couple of evening rains--a double blessing out where I live.
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