Tuesday, July 23, 2013

19 Days!

Summer?? Summer? Where are you going? I can't believe the summer is almost over! We only have 19 days left - and that's if I count until the very last YOU MUST GO BACK NOW day. *sigh* My summer to do list isn't very done. (I'm almost caught up on Mad Men on Netflix - does that count?) I've basically got jack nada ready for school next year. Today I had a meeting at work and I'm pretty sure my blood pressure has been elevated since being surrounded by happy people chirping to get started. So I made a list of things that I could work on at home to alleviate some of the pressure I felt. You know - those cute, fun things that go straight out the window once school starts. (Well, I'm hoping maybe I might get one or two cute things made during the school year.) At the end of last year I decided that since I'm moving to a new school, a new grade level, and a new program (S.T.E.M.)I should redecorate my classroom - ala Schoolgirl Style, with my own Raven Style. Ha! Let me tell you about that . . . . so I made a project off Pinterest to feel better about myself. It's one of those write/wipe perpetual calendars. Upon completion I decided it needed to have had gray paper instead of white in the back. But oh well - I'll use it!!

Now on to my dreams of having matching clothespins for all the wonderful student work I'll be hanging this year . . .

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thank you Henry Ford . . .

Last spring, my students had to do a research report on a famous inventor. I had three students select Henry Ford. I heard all kinds of interesting Henry Ford "facts". (Emphasis on interesting . . . apparently not enough time was spent on fact vs. fiction!) I waited patiently for each student to discuss the impact Henry Ford had on car manufacturing . . and waited . . and waited . . but alas, not one person mentioned the assembly line!! Which is why, after creating the first three blocks in my Uncle Sam's Bow Tie quilt, I then realized - THERE IS A MORE EFFICIENT WAY!!!

I spent two hours laying out all the cut pieces into stacks that would make one block. (see previous post) Why? When each individual bow tie had to be made before they were joined as four to make a block?? I could have just chain pieced the bow ties and then put them into blocks - ala assembly line!! Also, I realized that when I planned this quilt, I paid no attention to the finished block size - 12 inches. Really?? 16 12 inch squares for a baby quilt?? I stopped at six - I think with the border it will be the perfect size.

The colors look wonderful together - even though I have no choice but to despise anything orange and blue on account of my allegiance to FL State, this quilt looks adorable. Perfect for baby Nate! Now I have to figure out binding . . .

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

From vacation to vacation . . . .

We survived our trip to NC with my parents! Actually, there wasn't a lot of hardship to survive or endure - my parents are wonderful traveling companions and easy to get along with. The worst part of the trip was the drive - we broke it into two parts on the way up, but ended up stuck on I-95 for two hours SITTING at the SC/GA border. (Nelly - can you come with a song for this one?) And as I was the "driver" I was stuck with nothing to do! Overall we had a blast and the wedding (the purpose of our trip) was beautiful. I also started my first "car" quilt and a little hand piecing of some half square triangles. I had a charm pack of MODA that was eons old, and then these little squares of Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille.

I am in love with every fabric in this line. Seriously. I am in the process of convincing myself that even though I vowed to only buy fabric I need for a project I have already planned out, these could be an exception. I envision skirts, dresses, quilts, placemats, bags . . . I need this fabric! *sigh* I'll keep you posted on my resolve!

There are only four more weeks of summer vacation . .

I also got another project cut out and got caught up on a little more Mad Men. (Season 4 Episode 10 here I come!!)
This is a baby quilt I am working on for a dear friend of mine who works at my *old* school. (Still feels weird saying that since the new school year has yet to begin.) She is a Florida Gator all the way, so I tried my best to embrace the orange and blue. I choose to use the Uncle Sam's Bow Tie pattern from Issue 5 of Quilt It magazine. It says easy, so it should be right up my alley. The baby shower is next weekend so I guess I need to light a fire!!

Hubs' 40th birthday was yesterday, so I've also got a few things left to get ready for his party on Friday night - Superhero themed! I can't wait to share photos of my party games!! (And hopefully a finished quilt!! :) )
xoxo, Em

Monday, July 8, 2013

We didn't win . . . . .

But we had a fabulous time! Doing what?? Shop hopping! And what kind of shop hopping . . . . well, only the best kind, fabric shop hopping!! This year I challenged myself to get back into sewing, and to (hopefully) meet some new sewing friends! I found the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild, which meets at one of my favorite local quilt shops, Inspire!, and went to a meeting. The meeting was okay - but one of the ladies told us about the Tampa Bay Area Shop Hop! Score! I needed to spend more money on fabric, so my mom and I were on our way! The shop hop lasted the entire month of June (sorry friends - you could do your own hop) and consisted of 12 different stores. There were 7 stores we had never been too! It took us four different days to complete the hop, and we had a blast! At each store we entered raffles (which we didn't win) and at the last shop, we turned in our store passport to win a sewing machine. (Which we also didn't win.) I found two more stores that I REALLY like (one of which carries Art Gallery fabrics). Here is some of the haul from our shop hop extravaganza!!

I was mostly looking for fabric. On the left side of the picture, you can see this great Amy Butler vinyl we found on sale!! Can't wait to make a cute new lunchbag with it!

I had a plan for each store: if nothing else, find a solid that matches this crazy Dear Stella print that I love! It worked out well in some of the stores that weren't really my "style" of quilting!

Uggh. I'm making a FL Gator baby quilt for one of my (former) co-workers who is a HUGE UF fan. (Umm, Go 'Noles!) I was able to find some great fabrics that are a play on the traditional orange and blue.

Both my mom and Hubs thought these fabrics were hideous - I love their vintage feel! They were also on sale for $4.00 yard! With no minimum cut requirement! Who can pass that up??

So even though we didn't win any prizes, spent a little more than we wanted to on fabric we didn't need, and drove ALL OVER west central Florida (Hudson, anybody??) we had a GREAT time!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day . . . .

I'm working on patience. Waaay back in March, I decided that our boring bathrooms would be an easy first room to tackle in the "Make the House a Home" project. Most of the work was comprised of one person jobs, but there were a couple that I needed Hubs' help with. So this summer, I added "Finish Bathroom" to my list of summer projects. I thought - this will be easy. I can check this off the list . . . . So now its July and the bathroom is halfway finished! The original plan was to "Frame the Builder-Grade Mirror" (all the rage on Pinterest right now!), paint the walls gray, add new fixtures for hanging, and new shower curtain and towels with embellishments. In March, I painted. And in July, we upgraded the mirror, and hung fixtures. But I have to be patient - these projects are not going to be finished at the snap of a finger or the wave of a wand. And since I sometimes have about eight projects going on at a time, I need to pace myself. Here are some pics of the work in progress.

This is Hubs working so hard on the mini-frame we decided to use around the hooks for the towels. The towel bar was industrial and boring - it needed to go!

These are the blocks we used in the corners of the mirror frame. We don't have a miter box or a compound miter saw (WE WISH!!) so we felt very clever when we saw these at Lowe's. I'll have to patch and paint the small space in between the trim and the corner.

An in-progress shot. I think I was twinkling with joy every nice time we put a new piece up! Seriously - framing the mirror makes a huge difference!

Isn't Hubs so cute?? (Ignore that tackly purple shower curtain behind him!) He had a great idea to stagger the pictures on the wall!

So, hopefully, with some patience (and probably better time management) the bathroom will be finished by August!! More pictures to come soon! GO FRAME YOUR BUILDER GRADE MIRROR!!! Everyones doing it and it looks GREAT!!

xOxO, Em