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)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WIP and thoughts on the week

Ahh, it is Wednesday but even better...I slept wonderfully last night.  For as long as I can remember I have had a restless leg problem which usually bothers me in the evening but does not interrupt my sleep.  Sunday and Monday night's sleeps were fairly miserable as I could not get the restless feeling to go away - iPod, meditation and willing it away didn't work so both days I woke up bleary eyed.  Strange how our bodies work.

A few quiet weekends left before Club Soccer ramps back up here in So Cal and I am really looking forward to it.  My older son is playing Volleyball in high school and that also begins in a few weeks and can't wait to see him play.  I was so lucky when I was in high school as my father (who worked at home) came to every high school soccer game I played in no matter where the location.  He would always be the lone person in the visitor's section whenever we played at locations which were far from our home.  Twenty plus years later, my father attends every high school Basketball game that my younger brother coaches.  In fact, I am taking him tonight to my brother's last game of the season.  It will be a bit sad for both my brother and I as this may be the last game my father goes to watch.

Gardening:  I have tomato and eggplant seedlings coming up and just transplanted them to bigger containers yesterday.  I harvested Cauliflower from my garden plot the other day and have Spinach, Red Cabbage, Yellow and Red Onions, Garlic and Shallots and Kale growing nicely right now.  Can't wait for the Kale to get bigger so I can begin harvesting as I love Kale!  One of the rules at my garden plot is that we may not plant Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant before March 1st so I play by the rules and planted an Early Girl tomato in my backyard yesterday.  50 days from now I should be munching on my first homegrown tomato of 2011.

I have almost finished piecing together my School Yard quilt that I am making for a teacher friend of mine.  Just need to add some solid sashing all around and need to finding some fabric for the backing.  BTW, the pattern is called Square One and it is from Camille Roskelly's Simplify book.

School Yard Quilt
I have completed Blocks 1-3 for the Blockapalloza and am working on Block 4.  I have decided to skip block 5 as I didn't know when I bought the fabric and began this project that there would be so many flying geese involved and I'll admit right now that I am not a fan.  I am looking forward to Block 6 by Happy Zombie tomorrow as she always has super cool ideas.
Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

History Quilter Podcast: 
I am working on content for Episode #3 where I will be talking about Quilt Blocks published in Newspapers across the United States in the early twentieth century.  I spent about an hour this morning going through the Historical Los Angeles Times and am excited at the wealth of information out there to share with listeners.  

I have to go read for my Econ class and eat a light lunch as I have learned not to eat a heavy lunch before a 2pm Econ class or I might fall asleep!  

Check out what others are working on this week with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, February 4, 2011

History Quilter Podcast #2

I just recorded podcast #2 and if you are so inclined you can hear it at or on iTunes and search for History Quilter. 
Thank you all for your very thoughtful comments on my latest post.  Glad to know I am not the only one out there with sibling issues.  

Very busy today with cleaning house, a bed delivery, tooth extractions (not mine), making dinner and just the usual whirlwind life I lead. Tomorrow morning I will take the CBEST test to test me on my basic writing, reading and mathematics skills.  I did take a practice test yesterday and did just fine.  Phew!
Progress on Sliced Coins

Blockapalloza  Block #1 front

Kind of think the back is more interesting!
Hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work-In-Progress Wednesday & a finish

Work in Progress first:
#1 First is the Sliced Coins QA.  Dreadful photo - I should have put these down on a sheet or something as my carpet is bluish/green (seriously - came with the house) but in person these coins look great!  Didn't lay it out with the sashing yet.
Sliced Coins QA
#2 Working on something fun for a teacher friend of mine.  I had a charm pack and honey bun of the American Jane Punctuation line and I am making a quilt using the Square One pattern from Camille Roskelley's Simplify book.  It is coming along nicely but I forgot to take photos while I had it out.

#3 About to start a XL Twin sized quilt for my older son.  We finally bought him a XL Twin bed (the boy is way too tall for a Twin sized) and he has requested a quilt made by me!  I'm actually thrilled and can't wait to make it happen.  

#4 Blockapalloza QA - completed block one, cut out fabric for block two and looked at block three.  Hmm.
#5 Fat Quarter Shop BOM - behind by three/four months.  Another hmm.  

#6 - organizing all of the above into an area the size of a shoebox!  

Had a pretty rotten couple of days last week.  Last Thursday night was my first education class for the SS Teaching Credential and so during the day I was a bit nervous - I always get a little anxious before first classes but then it passes and all is fine.   What then added to that minimal stress was a texting fight I got myself into with a family member at about 4pm - two hours before class time.  Not enjoyable one bit.  Do any of you have a sibling that you have practically no connection with, but have always wanted to?  Have always tried to but whatever you do it seems to never be right?   

Two hours later at approximately 6:30pm, as the teacher is telling us how MUCH work it is going to be not only this semester but the entire credential, I started having doubts.  Doubts about whether I should go for it, whether I could do it, etc.  When I got home from school that night I burst into tears on the couch with my husband and poured out all of my thoughts.  How can I put this credential program before my family whom I've put #1 for almost 15 years?  Most of the classes are at night - family hates that.  I need new clothes for observing in the classroom and student teaching! (Stay at home mom uniform for almost 15 years - do I have any work clothes?  No.) 

My husband was very supportive and helped to calm me down.  Had another good cry Friday morning after the children were off to school and then righted myself.  It was hard to have both of those events mingle in my head - I'm very sure that if I had not already been stressed out by my sibling then what I learned in class would not have mattered so much.  Almost a week later now and I'm full steam ahead with the credential program and no where with the relationship with my sibling.   

If you read all of that, thank you.  I appreciate it.  Here is a bonus for you:

I finished the That Girl QA!  Well, almost - I'm too scared to wash it! What if the Kona Red bleeds?  Please any ideas on what kind of detergent I should use would be appreciated.

If any of you listed to my first History Quilter podcast, then Thank You!  I am planning on recording another one this week and upload to iTunes.

Don't forget to check out what others are doing with their WIP's at Freshly Pieced.  I know I will!