Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quilt Top Finishes and Mac-N-Cheese

Although quiet here on my blog, my life has been far from quiet.  The stunning events in Japan have held me transfixed for a week now - I'm going to do something to help but have not decided what to do yet.

Observing in classrooms is awesome.  This week I hit 10th grade World History, 11th Grade U.S. History and 12th Grade Economics.  I'm becoming emotionally invested in the students that I observe  - I just can't help it.  A few of them know that I am the sister of another teacher at the school but it seems to make little difference - they are all great kids.  I have now completed 20 of the 45 hours required for the course.  I'll finish up with 30 at the high school and then move on to do the remaining 15 at the middle school level.  

A few quilt top finishes this week:  
School Yard top is finished.  I have backing and binding - may tackle spray basting for this one.

WooHoo!  Sliced Coins top is finished!  LOVE IT.

Picked Broccoli, Cabbage, and Green Onions on Monday. 

Back for Open Windows quilt for my son.  Just waiting for the binding.  
Yes, this is the biggest floor space in my house - barely fits this XL twin size quilt.

Birthday Cake for my 15 year old.  
I like boxed cake mixes especially Duncan Hines (my mother thought they were the best so I follow her lead) but I usually think bought frosting is especially disgusting.  I whipped up a batch of Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Frosting and then used a carrot slicer to carve shavings from a Milk Chocolate Bar for the shavings on the top.  Looks great until the one blowing out the candles blows the shavings across the table!

Mac-n-cheese for the birthday boy. 
Made this from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook by Ina Garten.  You can go here and get the exact recipe.  Very yummy!

Just uploaded Episode #5 of the History Quilter podcast so go listen!  

One last thing....I've been working so hard to finish existing projects so I can participate in this!

I'm so excited about the Supernova QA with Lee of Freshly Pieced.  The design is amazing and I can't help but love the name.  A little Muse inspiration perhaps?   Easy to jump in and say yes but hard to figure out which fabric to use!  The Flickr group has photos from people who have chosen fabrics and the ALL know what they are doing. Time for more learning.  

Got to finish this up so I can go cut fabric!  I'm home alone and ready to sew up a storm. 

History Quilter Podcast Episode #5

Hello Everyone!

My sincere thanks to everyone who commented both on the podbean site, here on the blog and on iTunes.  You all rock!

Links to items I talked about in this episode:

If you are interested in checking out more oral histories from the Federal Writing Project (FWP) which was part of the WPA please check out this link.  They are fascinating.  You can search by state or keywords.  If you search for documents with a keyword, that keyword will be highlighted in the oral history that you select.

How Stuff Works website regarding WPA projects that still exist:

Stuff You Missed In History Class - Great podcast if you like history.

1941 WPA - Federal Art Project poster promoting the War effort.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quilting Update and a new History Quilter Episode

Hello Everyone,

An amazing day on the soccer field in Anaheim, CA was a great way to usher in the month of March.  I'm taking one for the team though today by staying home and letting my younger son escape the misery of soccer game watching... it did allow me to record History Quilter Episode #4 and work my son's Open Windows quilt.  Photos of the back to come very soon!

Check out the show notes for Episode #4 at  and check out the new (to me) quilt shop I visited in Anaheim, CA.
Quilter's Garden
428 Lakeview Avenue
Anaheim, CA  92807

Enjoy your Sunday!

History Quilter Episode #4 Podcast Notes

My apologies for the late recording of Episode #4.

Today I spoke about Quilting Periodicals from the 1850's - 1920's with most of my research found from a terrific article written by Ms. Wilene Smith in the Uncoverings publication produced by American Quilt Study Group.  For more information about Uncoverings please check out this link:

I spoke about a new Quilt Shop that I discovered by chance yesterday located in Anaheim, CA called Quilter's Garden.  Great quilt shop with very friendly and helpful staff.  For more information about this quilt shop please visit their website at:

For more information about the 2011 Southern California Quilter's Run please check out their website at:

I'm working on this monster for my son right now:
Open Windows quilt top
This was the panel I purchased at the Quilter's Garden that I loved but had no clue what to do with.
"Petal Pushers" Riverwoods Collection from Troy Corporation
This is the "food" quilt kit I purchased from Quilter's Garden.  The main panel photo is below.
"Potpourri" by Grace Pullen
Thank you for visiting and for listening,

Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Mumblings and Open Windows

Did you watch the Academy Awards?  I did.  I am not much of a Television watcher but I do love to go to the movies so I do usually watch the Oscars.  As my boys are getting older I am in that transition stage of not having to take them to movies (thank goodness - can't tell you how many times I have fallen asleep during a kid film) but also not having time to see the kind of movies I want to see.  So of all the movies nominated last night I had only seen one movie.  Guess I saw the right film - being a Colin Firth fan has it's benefits.

I'm finishing up my lunch of leftover Indian food I made the other night.  Between Indian Food and Sushi I could live the rest of my life and be happy.  Indian Food is easy to make as I live so close to a large Indian community (access to spices, etc.) but the Sushi - not so easy to make.  A foodie friend of mine was out of work for most of 2009 and we used to go out to lunch every other week or so and have sushi - don't get me wrong we weren't living it up, but a local sushi place had a $9.95 lunch special that was out of this world.  She  found a job in early 2010 and so no more foodie lunches.

Made some incredible headway on the quilt for my older son which I have named Open Windows as my son always enjoys having his window open.  His birthday is next week so I'm on overdrive to get this completed.  The top is finished and now on to the back:
Open Windows quilt top

Open Windows quilt top
This baby is huge!  My son told me he wanted black and white stripes for the back - 100inches x 6 inches and now after getting this monster together, there is no way the strips on the back are going to be that narrow.  I'll figure that out tomorrow.  I am going to quilt this myself with straight lines but I haven't come up with a pattern yet.  


Friday, February 25, 2011

History Quilter Podcast #2 Quilt Shows

A very happy Friday to you all.  Here in Southern California we are expecting a very cold storm this evening and into tomorrow and before I forget, I must go out and put sheets over some of my plants in the yard.  A few years ago we had such a bad frost here that I lost two bougainvilleas in my yard. Bummer.

Here are the podcast notes for Podcast #2.
Topic for the podcast was Quilt Shows.

Road to California Quilter Conference and Showcase:  January 19-22, 2011.

International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati, OH:  April 8-10, 2011.
I mistakenly spoke of this Festival being held in Columbus, OH - my apologies.

International Quilt Festival/Long Beach, CA July 29-31, 2011.

Kingwood Area Quilt Guild  Kingwood, TX
Impressive guild website with updated links throughout.  The Show and Tell & Guild Pictures are worth a look for inspiration.

Article in the Greene County Messenger about the quilt show held by the Greene County Historical Society and Museum that I spoke about.  Story by Heidi Jo Wise.

National Quilting Association Quilt Show, Columbus, OH  June 15-18, 2011.

Here's a photo to reward you for reading through all those links!
Beginning of a quilt for my son

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An MRI is not an enjoyable Work In Progress

Oh boy, what an experience!  I got home a little while ago (after a stop at The Coffee Bean to get myself a well-deserved Hot Chocolate) from my first MRI experience.  The claustrophia part wasn't the real problem as I kept my eyes closed and did my best to think about dinner ideas, my 2pm Econ test or fabric, etc.,  but making myself be still was the challenging part.  At about 3/4 of the way through the 20 minutes or so that the test took, I almost lost it.

Was this  (imagine an illustration of my fingers inserted here - I cannot draw so I won't pain you) close to shouting to the tech to stop the test.


Kept it together though and finished it hoping that the 20 minutes or so of the uncomfortableness was worth it to find out what is going on in my L5-Sacrum area which vexes me.  I've never been one for easily explainable ailments so this one with my back seems to be par for the course.  I can run, jog, play soccer, garden without a problem but when I sit for too long of a time or when I lie down (yea, sleeping is real fun) that lower left region of my back starts to scream at me.  Why an MRI?  Well, we (still) have health insurance and although I am not one to milk insurance of any kind, this has been going on for over two years now and Chiropractic care, tons of stretching and exercising and even a new bed have not changed my symptoms so therefore, an MRI.

So that is my back issue WIP.  Now on to crafting!

Finished Blocks Four and Six and have cut out the fabric for Block seven and eight and nine are look real pretty on the computer.   I will do both but probably not do the appliqué on Block eight as appliqué scares me.
Block Four

Block Six
When I got "Kona'ed" about a week ago, I immediately set out to cut six inch squares with most of those fat quarters for a quilt I am making for my older son.  He began laying them out in a manner he liked then got bored so I finished it up.  I needed a photo so that when I finished sewing the columns I would have a reference point.  I'm sashing this with Kona Coal and so far I have sewn up two columns - I'll save photos for the big finish!
Quilt for Older Son
Other WIP's
Sliced Coins QA
School Yard Quilt
FQ 2010 Mystery BOM

No more I say!  I'm not starting anything new until at least one of those items above get finished.  

A few more gratuitous photos of what winter in So. Cal looks like:

Looks kind of sad, but that is an Early Girl Tomato with onions in the foreground.

Flowering Plum Tree with my Eureka Lemon on the right.  Nice electric pole, eh?  
Off to study and come up with something spectacular for dinner.  Ha!

Please don't forget to check out other great WIP's at Freshly Pieced with Lee.  I can always count on some great eye candy there every Wednesday!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Podcast Notes for Episode #1

Although quite short at 5 minutes, this podcast was my first!  

I spoke about going to see the Road to California Quilters Conference and Showcase in Ontario, California on Saturday, January 22, 2011.  Web address for the show is  Next year the show is January 19-22, 2012.  

Square One pattern by Camille Roskelley in her Simplify book.  I've named this quilt School Yard.  Fabric is American Jane's Punctuation Charm Squares & a Honey Bun.  Kona white is used for sashing.   

School Yard Quilt
That Girl..That Quilt, quilt along.  Used Camille Roskelly's Bliss fabric and Kona Red and White for sashing.  This was a great quilt along - please go check it out here.

Bliss quilt for my niece

Bliss Quilt for my niece
That's all for today!  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First History Quilter Blog Post

Good morning,
It is approximately 10am here in California and I have just created this blog for The History Quilter Podcast.  Full show notes for the first three episodes will be coming shortly.  Stay tuned!

History Quilter Podcast Episode #3 is now available

Hey everyone,

Episode #3 is now available on both iTunes and podbean.  I have now created a blog for The History Quilter in Blogger as the podbean site is not all that user friendly - you can get it here:

Complete podcast notes will be available (once I get a chance to create them) for all three episodes will be on the blogger site.

No photos today, sorry.  I've been very busy the past week with a lot of school commitments, braces put on for my younger son and a few doctor appointments for my father.  After the husband wakes up from his morning nap we will be off to my garden plot to check out how the rain we have received over the last two days affected the garden.  Thanks to Shelley at The Rebel Homemaker for some great ideas for my garden - I can't wait to plant potatoes!  By the way, she posted a super cool Star Wars pillow the other day - go check it out.

Tomorrow should be a very well deserved catch up day with the boys off from school and the husband back to work!  (hehe)