Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's after 11 and I'm still madly quilting. It will take a miracle for all of the quilts to be finished by Christmas. I've gifted 3 more quilts this week, 2 snuggle Bargelloes for 2 grandneices, and a disappearing nine patch for a grandnephew.
This is in addition to 2 train quilts, 2 bargelloes, 1 simple stars, and 1 monkey wrench(also known by churn dash).
There is a Kindergarten teacher in Arkansas who must hate me! One grandnephew is so tickled with his train quilt he took it to school for his nap quilt. I teach K, and I know what a stir that quilt caused when I took to school to use as a visual for my lesson on quilts. (Quilt is a great Q word!! )
I have pieced 2 Tessellating Star tops for my in-laws and need 2 others. These really need to be at to the flimsy stage before the new owners can know about them. A note with 'some assembly required' will be attached to each flimsy and backing. I will return them quilted by the end of the month.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wacky Week of Weather

This has been the weirdest week of weather in Central La.
Monday was a windy day, with a front moving in.
Tuesday brought a tornado touching down just about 2 blocks from the school, during the school day! My Kindergarteners got a special lesson in 'ducking and covering' and 'practicing to be safe' using their naptime covers. They really enjoyed the change of routine and were very cooperative with staying down and covered. I was terrified the tornado would move our way. Thanks to the Lord it did not. The kids thought they were practicing like we do for fire drills and lockdowns.
Wednesday added lots of rain and very cold weather. It didn't make it out of the 40's. Central Louisiana, remember. It was in the upper 70's Tuesday!
Thursday brought rain/sleet/snow throughout the area. School is closed because of the danger of putting the busses on the road with icy streets and overpasses. No chains around here, we expect hurricanes, not ice.
I can't wait for Friday!

Thanks to Julia, Scrap Happy Quilter

Julia sent 3 quilts to be given to children who do not have covers for nap time in my Kindergarten class. They are beautiful quilts, cherished by those who received them. I have not told the children the quilts are theirs to keep because the others would riot. Have you ever had 13 really angry Kindergarteners on your hands? LOL. I will send the quilts home at the end of school this year. I will post pics as soon as I have them. It is the next to last week of school before Christmas.
Thank you, Julia

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks given for Thanksgiving!

I do not have to work this week! School is closed for the week. I can sew and quilt until my fingers are numb and my heart is content.
I am working on Christmas presents for a lot of my clan. I have 2 train quilts ready to be quilted. They required a lot of applique. I don't even like to applique. But the boys will love them, as train crazy as they are. I have another ready to be sandwiched to be quilted. I have the fabric pulled for a soccer playing boy's quilt. I need one more boy quilt and 3 little girls' quilts. I have fabric for one. That's only the ones needed by Dec 6.
I have a third train quilt that is now being enlarged to twin-sized. His new room will have a train theme. Mom asked me to make his quilt big enough to be his bedspread. He won't get his quilt by the 6th.
I need to make quilts for mil and 2 sil, and one neice for the 25th.
In all of the quilting and piecing yesterday, I made christmas tree napkins.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Renovation of the quilter

Progress is being made on the quilter. I was mulling over the lack of ability to keep the quilt poles from moving freely on the quilter. This is a flaw in our design I discovered while working on the wonkey monkey quilt. I had to hold the finished quilt pole at times after it got heavy with quilted quilt.
I keep thinking on the way home from school about the different things I saw on line to keep the quilt tight on the various frames. Things that clicked and held, stopping the reverse movement. "Kinda like a ratchet." Click and hold, click and hold , like a ratchet... LIKE A RATCHET!!! Ratchets have a thingie on the back to switch from righty tighty to lefty loosey. That will allow one on the right end and one on the left end to click and hold in the same direction.
I came up with the idea of welding sockets to the poles. Then attaching the sockets to a ratchet on each end. The rachets will be secured to the sides of the quilter to keep them from moving. This would allow me to move the poles to advance the quilt, and prevent the poles from slipping backwards.
Master craftsman Buck agreed that the ratchets & welded sockets idea would work. He has to replace 2 poles because he can't weld the metal of the original set. Hey, I didn't know what could be welded or not. He is even donating 6 ratchets and 6 sockets to the cause.
We'll probably get the poles tomorrow afternoon, but work on the quilter Sunday. We are racing Saturday. Thank goodness we're taking the motorhome. I won't freeze.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wonderful Weather!

We have rain! Wonderful, beautiful rain!!! It has rained for most of 2 days. I can't remember when we got so much rain! Wait, it was during Hurricane Gustav. Before that, it was a very long time since we got 2 days of slow rain. Gustav rain was hard fast flooding rain. Too much at one time! This is good rain.
I spent Veterans' Day up in the attic quilting. Actually it was appliquing. I am making 3 of Sindy's (fatcatpatterns) All Aboard train quilts for Christmas presents. I made 21 boxcars yesterday (pics to come). I have the pieces for the 3 locomotives and the 3 cabooses ready to applique. I have the backings ready to piece.
I quilted my first quilt on the quilting frame Buck made for my old Kenmore. It is basically a whole cloth quilt with a narrow border. It is about 45" square. It is a jungle animal theme using 2 matching prints. You know, prints from the same line. I have the 3rd print I bought to make Prairie Points with, but I don't think I will waste the fabric on this ugly mess. It is pathetic! It is hilariously wonky. It is too bad to post a picture of. I may have to frog some of it and redo some stitching just to be able to use it to throw on the floor for Brayden. But it was a great learning quilting experience. I learned a lot from my mistakes.
Using my quilter for the first time pointed out some mistakes with it. I adjusted some things such as taking the front connecting PVC pipes off. I adjusted the Craftsman (screwdriver) stylus. I also sewed bias binding on the leader that did not use the selvedge.
I am using up stash fabric for quilting practice. I will use the 3'x4' practice products as nap covers in my K class. Some kids don't have any cover for naptime. I gave some of them the mat they sleep on in the first place. They won't get covers from home either. I'll just have to use new batting and thread as the fabric will come from my stash. It is amazing how much fabric I can identify as being bought to make clothes for the kids (and not used).
The baby has thrush. He had lots of tests Monday to diagnose the cause of the hydronephrosis. No results yet. He is on prophaltic (sp?) antibotics which probably caused the thrush. He got the first round of shots Tuesday. Poor little thing!
I haven't seen him since Sunday morning when David picked him up. They were so exhausted Saturday night after the Pecan Festival Buck and I kept the baby overnight. Brayden didn't keep me up all night. He would grunt every 45 minutes to an hour. I'd locate his pacifier for him. He'd go back to sleep. I got up with him at about 4 because he had "muddy britches". He would have keep sleeping. Muddy britches don't bother him. But he did decide after he woke up that he hadn't seen food in forever.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No quilting today!

Today I will not quilt, piece, or do any other sewing. Today, I will be mawmaw. I will rock, change, and feed Brayden. He will be with us until about 9 this evening. We will read, rock, and visit. We will enjoy ourselves enormously.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New buzz in my head

I have an idea for a quilt I want to make buzzing around inside my head. It is inspired by the children's book Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott. I read the book to my K class yesterday. I could hardly read the book for thinking "This would make a great quilt. It's even angular. Look at the colors against the black. I've got to start drawing up designs for a quilt." I have already purchased fat quarters in rainbow colors with yardage in black. I've been turning ideas around in my head for a rainbow quilt set in sashings of black. I'm still thinking of rainbow strings with black. AND this fabric I used in Brayden's Busy Boy quilt.Got to get to the fabric store to see if any is left!! I can't wait to see where this will end up.
Errands call- 1. Vote 2. cleaning supplies from Wal-Mart 3. Nora Robert'sTWO new books 3. pick up Brayden for the afternoon. Yep, save the best for last.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

I hope all had a happy Halloween yesterday. I spent the day today sewing. However, I have been making Vanessa a pirate costume for belated Halloween party tonight. See what we do for our kids.
Brayden slept through his first Halloween. He dozed off just as Jenn and David left home to take him on his first Trick or Treat tour of the family. He woke up just as they got back home. He stayed up most of the night.
I found a onesie for him today. It is white with red writing: Silent Night? Yeah right! It is perfect for him. He is still working nights.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Finished Quilts, WIP

This is the quilt I worked on the day Brayden was born. I saved the binding project for the delivery day 'cause I knew I would need busy hands while waiting. The chick was handpainted by Buck's brother Steven. I disassembled a toy from Wal-mart to get the book and the teething rings. (and the squeaker in the chick) Can you tell I'm an Early Interventionist? This is one stimulating quilt.

This the Meghen's quilt. My mama taught me this block. It was probably the only one she knew. She HATEDHATEDHATED sewing. I made a quilt for Matthew when he was born using this pattern.

Here is a quilt I made using one of Marcia's patterns again. This is her woven ribbons pattern with a little tweaking by me.

These is a rail fence. He need floor quilts. It is flannel.

This is his crib quilt for my house. It is a serger quilt. I found the pattern online. It is a quilt as you go pattern. Each side is the same.

Last week of October? Already?!

I can't believe this year has flown by so fast. I have less than a month before I will put up my Christmas tree!!! Have I bought any gifts??? Yes, 3. 3 trucks for the littlest boys on my list. The 3 who still like gifts, no matter what they are!!! I'd better get into gear.

We had our 3rd annual family pumpkin carving contest Thursday.

Jenn proclaimed herself the winner. She says she made the cutest pumpkin this year. I have to agree. He's adorable!

We always have lots of fun.

Brayden and I made Hot Chocolate while everyone else carved pumpkins. Who can ask for a better helper.

We had an off year. We usually carve more pumpkins than 8. Too many conflicting schedules.

I was shooting these pics in the dark. I don't know how to improve the quality.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Good Sunday Morning to ya'll.
We've already had a breakfast of french toast. Vanessa is off to work. Her boss is going to get fussed at by his mother-in-law because Vanessa can't have Sunday dinner with her granny today! Vanessa works at a local grocery store managed by her Uncle Bradley. Granny is going to fuss because Vanessa had to pull a shift today. Bradley is very good about not favoring V, and she works very hard for him. BUT Granny doesn't seem to think she should have to miss Sunday dinner.
(A bit of southern vocabulary - ya'll is the plural you, rhyming with ball; dinner is the midday meal, supper is the evening meal, children eat lunch at school)
David raced last night. He was top 5 in the feature with 14 cars in his class. He was able to drive the car on the trailer, and nothing was destroyed. All in all, it was a good night for us. We put Brayden's name on the car. David refused to allow me to even order it until Brayden got here safe and sound. Our graphics man, Michael James of Apple Signs, didn't charge us. He said first grandbabies were on the house.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The joys of Fibromaylgia

It is finally cool here in Louisiana. The low last night was in the 40's. We will be in the upper 70's or low 80's today. Later next week, the temp is expected to stay in the upper 60's!!!
HOWEVER, along with the cooler temperatures, I am having a major fibro flare. I have over taxed myself this week and am paying for it now! We had that cold front move in Thursday while my K class went to the zoo (zero parental support, NO chaperones came, NONE), I attended the LAECA conference out of town Friday driving about 6 hours, and today will go out of town again for the races another 3 hours in the truck and being outdoors 5 or 6 hours. I can't leave out babysitting Brayden last evening.
I have a good pain meds on hand. I think I'll go down and find something to help ease this pain. I'm going to have to go for the big guns today. I always try to dull the pain without taking the heavier meds in order to be able to continue to teach. I will not take my more powerful drugs and go in to teach. I want to know I am not loopy or going to become loopy in the classroom.
I'm not going to whine anymore. I'm just going to go away.


Monday, October 20, 2008

This and that

Things have been very busy in our neck of the woods lately. Brayden is here now. It's wonderful to have a brand new baby in the family. It's been a while since we've had one. He weighed 8 lbs, and is 20 inches long. He was born Oct 8. Brayden in his Moses basket. Buck and I babysat him on the 15th.
Brayden and Aunt Vanessa
Buck has my quilter built. I have to learn to use it now. I'm just a little scared to try machine quilting with the frame. The carriages roll very easy. I've been practicing tracing a pattern with the "stylus" without stitching. I just have to take a deep breath and give it a go!
There is a surge protector mounted between the 2 cabinets. The machine and the light plug in there. The machine can go from end to end without any tangles. The foot pedal reaches the floor. I guess I can nudge it along as I quilt. Or maybe it needs its own carriage and track, too.

I guess I'll see the design flaws as I begin to use the quilter. If anyone sees something that needs to be changed, please let me know. I will appreciate the experience you can bring to me. I don't have to reinvent the wheel, or make a mistake someone else has already worked through. I don't intend to make quilts bigger than about 4'x6'. I think that the space around the lower pipe will accomodate the batting needed for a quilt that size.
Details of the stylus: Buck will never use this screwdriver in the shop again!!!
Side tensioning devices: eyebolts, bungee cords, and clamps on a keyring
The camera didn't like the light, but it is really very well lit. The light clamps on the pvc pipe almost anywhere I want it. I can see the design I printed from Simone Struss' website very easy. (Yes, you do see staples in the design paper. I didn't have any tape in the house except duct tape or electrical tape. I'm just practicing moving the machine over the design right now, not stitching yet.)
The carriages:
This is my bonus room upstairs in my house. The contractor told the appraiser that it was a completely finished room AFTER we signed the papers to build the house. So... I got a completely finished room instead of an attic storage space. We built our house in 2005. Remember Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? Yep, they delayed our house. In fact, the bank stopped the "45 days until closing" timeline because of them. We were blessed not to have any damage to the house from Rita. (We didn't even get rain from Katrina in our parish.) But the door factory in south La was literally blown off the face of the earth, and our carpet could not be delivered from the mill in Georgia.
I am converting this space into a combination guest room and sewing room. I had been using my son's room downstairs for a sewing room until I got to buy a baby bed and a rocker for Brayden.
I moved junk all weekend.
The cabinets are red oak with a raw plywood top. I don't know what I want on the tops yet. The cabinets were in the kitchen of the house we used to live in before we built this one. We tore it down before it fell down. (The upper cabinets are in the garage.)
Don't you like the decorating theme? It is truly Early American Attic!! It includes one very ugly, but comfortable recliner from Buck's grandpa.

I think we are racing this weekend. David did very well the last time he raced, 2 2nds and a 4th.This is David's car. Buck and David built the body on this car from sheet metal. It is a Chevy Camaro with original hood and trunk lid.

This is David. I also have pictures of the things a mother of a racing son finds in her way. David's engine blew up this summer. He bought new heads for the new engine.
This is my ironing closet. This is a bonus closet underneath the stairs. The framing crew foreman refused to allow the contractor to leave this space unfinished and without a door. It is perfect for my ironing board. It can stay out all of the time.
Under my ironing board is a set of heads for the racecar. They could not stay in the shop overnight. They could not be left in the garage either. They had to be in the house. They stayed in the house until they were put in the engine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brayden William Jones

It's official! Brayden will be born October 8, 2008. The OB was shocked when he saw how big Jenn was. She measured 49 weeks. Yep, that's FORTY-NINE weeks.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Wonderful Husband!

A couple of weeks ago, I casually asked my husband, Buck, if we had a few extra grand laying around. Imagine his laughter!! When he stopped laughing, he asked what I wanted. I then showed him several longarm quilting machines. He thoughtfully looked them over with only one comment. "Huh."

Believe me, that was it as far as I was concerned. I KNOW we don't have that kind of spending money.

This afternoon, he came into the house from his shop. He had with him 2 carriages he has fabricated out of metal. He welded square tubing into 2 rectangles and added wheels. They stack one atop the other. They glide like butter.
He wanted know if I thought my old sewing machine would work on them. (They are exactly the right size for the machine.)
He explained that he has the wood to make a table. "How wide does it need to be? I have the tracks to move the machine from end to end. "

I guess he paid more attention than I thought. He has also done a bit of research on this on his lunch hour. I've started taking pictures of the project, but he asked me not to include them until he is finished. His reason-he missed a spot when he painted the carriages. As if I care about a bit of welding color.

Just a note- I picked him out when I was 16. I knew he was a keeper

Here I am

I've been quilting all summer, and just today decided to set up my blog. I am not sure I am computer literate enough to do more than read someone else's blog. But here goes, straight in the deep end of the pool.

There is a really, really, REALLY good reason I began to quilt again this year. My first grandbaby will be here October 13! Brayden William is almost here. He really couldn't be expected to sleep under a store-boughten blanket, could he? (grin)
I've made lots of quilts for the baby, mostly small wrap up the baby sized.
This is a 'racing quilt' for the baby. The pattern is a simple rail fence I manipulated for a layout on the design floor some family members think is the foyer. (Silly people) The colors are the colors of flags used in dirt track racing. We have a car Brayden's daddy races. Papaw decided on the color scheme. We needed an appropriate quilt for the racing season next year. The back is a print featuring NASCAR racing. (Machine quilted on a Singer sewing machine.)

Isn't Jenn tiny! Her belly really looks like a fake belly actresses use to pretend to be preggy. Happy 49th, Buck!

Brayden really needs to wait until Friday. My son, David (25), who is Brayden's daddy, just flew out this a.m. for Salt Lake for a conference. He will be gone until Thursday night 9 pm. This conference is critical for his job. He has to get the certification from this meeting.

My DIL, Jenn, really wants to have this baby. She is past the miserable stage. It has been a really rough pregnancy for her.
I have a darling daughter, Vanessa, who is 22.. She works at a local grocery store while attending a technical college for LPN. This is her quilt I made for her in one weekend. She asked
for this quilt one Saturday night. "Can you bring it to metomorrow?" Thanks to Marcia at http://www.quilterscache.com/ for a relatively quick and fast pattern. It is her Square Within Squares 2 pattern. I used a solid purple for the centers of the blocks (the picture lies, all of the centers are the same), and a small purple calico for the top left and bottom right corners of each square. The remaining part is a fabric with an all-over tie dye effect ranging from green thru teal into pink. The back is a short pile turned to the front with an extra deep binding. I machine quilted this thing on a regular sewing machine. I haven't made myself frog (rip it, rip it) the rippled binding yet. Maybe later. This puppy went from uncut yardage Friday night to the bed Sunday evening.

It must be an unwritten blogger rule: quilt spread out, camera ready, someone climbs on the quilt! Meet Breana, my 3 year old grandneice. "I need to read, Aunt Martha." See her books on the bookshelf. She puts them away herself.