Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scraphappy Saturday - Wrapping up Red

It's the last red day today and I'm off to my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.  Nothing red to report, but I do have some fabric squares ready for signature blocks to turn into a memory quilt.  They are diamonds actually, but the idea is the same.  I hope you are all finishing off your last bits of red this weekend, I'll put the new color up as soon as we are back again.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Butterfly Homes

My AP Bio kids are raising butterflies.  They are supposed to be accounting for all of the biomass in the  ecosystem and doing some math with it to support the idea of biomass pyramids.  So far they have had fun playing with their little caterpillars and watching them form a chrysalis.  Now that the little guys are all safely ensconced in their cocoons, we needed a bigger habitat for them to hang in.  So, here is my prototype butterfly habitat.  I think I'll try this one out and see what modifications I need to make before I go into mass production.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday - Red Runs On

It is hard to believe that as long as we have been working on red, there is still one more red Saturday to go.  Red is a fairly "big" scrap color for most people, so I hope that gives you a chance to dig into your baskets and use it all up.  I managed to come up with more variety in my red postage stamps than I thought and ended up with five monster blocks to add to my rainbow collection.  Still a bit of catch up to do for green and blue, but it will be a nice collection when it all comes together at the end I think.
How about you?  Still finding lots of red to keep you sewing?  Use misterlinky below to share your progress.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainbow Catch Up

I finally had a home day to sew to my heart's content.  The combination of time and motivation has been hard to find lately, but yesterday my stars all aligned.  I started by finishing up some red postage stamp blocks for August.  Each of these monster blocks will get a white frame and then another band of  colored blocks.  
Then I did a little inventory to figure out what colors were missing and dug into the blue and green bins.  There are some aqua strip sets in there as well, but probably not enough for an entire block quite yet.
I am starting to get into a routine again with school.  It is a big transition for everyone, but we are all getting there.  There bigger issues of budget cuts, increased workload and evaluations to think about, but on a daily basis, the teaching part is still the same.  I keep telling myself that and it seems to be working so far.  I spent a few hours last night getting things ready for the week, so I am hoping that will help me keep my head above water this week.  I'll deal with next week when it gets here.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Afternoon Break

I was making nice progress on my postage stamp blocks when the girls decided they wanted to go to fun town for roller skating.  Since I put them off for lack of planning last weekend, I thought they should be able to come this time.  I have a book next to the snack bar.  They seem to be having fun and I'm sure to finish a few blocks when we get home again.

ScrapHappy Saturday - Rouge

My original plan for today was to make some postage stamp blocks with 1.5 inch strips.  Now that I have the bag out though, there isn't a great variety of fabrics to work with.  I might have to visit the scrap basket and see what can get turned into strips.  I do plan on enjoying some quality time in the sewing room to celebrate the end of the first week back to school.  What scrappy plans do you have going on today?  Use misterlinky below to share your rainbow scrap projects.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of School

 The kids are all SO excited about the first day of school.  The girls have picked out just the right outfits and coordinated their accessories.  We talked Ryan into brushing his teeth.
It will be Ryan's first day of middle school.  He and Anna ended in the same math class so I had to go back yesterday and change their schedules.  Anna was ready to torture Ryan if they were in class together.  She isn't so happy that Ryan is accelerated in math and will be in the same level with her anyway.  He really loves math though.  Sydney will be the last one in elementary school.  She seems pretty glad to have the place to herself.  Her teacher is the same as last year, which she was really happy about.
For the past two days, instead of being in my classroom getting everything ready, I was on jury duty.  The judge didn't seem very sympathetic to the idea that I didn't want to miss the first day of school.  Fortunately though, I didn't get picked for the jury and got to go back to my classroom yesterday afternoon to get everything ready.  I'm still feeling a bit behind, but I'm sure I'll get it all caught up by the time the weekend rolls around.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013


We had SO many colored pencils and crayons that I just didn't want to buy anymore for back to school.    I promised the girls that if they would use the supplies we already have, I would make them an adorable little container to put them in.  I had pinned a tutorial for colored pencil rollups on my Pinterest page that looked like it would be just about perfect.  It was based on a crayon rollup tutorial with different measurements.  Having made two of them, if I do another I will make it taller 'cause the pencil tips stick out over the top.  Other than that, I think these will work nicely for the girls.  Best of all, I got to use things we already had hanging around the house.  I love it when that happens.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

ScrapHappy Saturday - Red Tales

These are the red projects still in progress from last week.  There is some red crumb fabric ready to be used, a pile of strip set spaghetti for nine patches and even a tiny stack of finished nine patches.  Back to school has started for teachers and so my sewing time is going to be limited for a while.  We teach an extra class this year due to budget cuts, so it is sure to be an unusually busy year.
We have a principal and two assistant principles at my school, they take turns evaluating teachers and split up all of the administrative duties.  On Friday, Jim, the assistant principal who takes care of facilities and disciple, called in to say he wasn't feeling well.  He went to the doctor, but they sent him home again.  That night he had a massive heart attack and died before the ambulance could get him to the hospital.  He was 47 years old.  Back to school this year was a bit unusual.  Instead of the usual meetings on Wednesday we had a session of everyone remembering and telling stories.  They had a team of grief counselors on hand for people to talk to.  There was a memorial service last night and this morning is the funeral mass.  So I will sew for a few minutes and then get changed to go to another funeral.

Sorry to keep having bad news.  I am sure things will turn around soon and I'll have lots of good stories and quilting projects to share.  I hope so anyway.

So, here is the usual linky list.  Use it to share your red creations.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Practical Arts

As much as I enjoy sewing quilts with no specific purpose or need in mind, sometimes it is nice to make something that is actually necessary.
 So first up today was a pair of liners for the PVC hamper that I made to go under the counter in the laundry room.  There was a white set that I had made earlier, but the kids kept putting wet clothes in them and they got a little moldy.
 These can be removed for washing, but I'm going to warn the kids NOT to put wet clothes in them OR ELSE.
 Next up, Anna wanted to make some more lunchbags for back to school.  The first one is green with a monkey lining for Sydney, next is a floral with pink lining for Anna, then my orphan string block followed by one in red and black for Ryan and finally, the original that Anna made with her friend a few days ago.  We still need the handles, but everyone has scattered to play with friends so shopping will have to wait until the afternoon.  Tutorial for these really handy bags found at SewMama Sew.  Check it out.  
Then, just because I was on a roll of practicality, I found some leftover home dec fabric and recovered the ironing board.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lunchbag from Orphan Strings

Since the girls found a pattern for lunchbags last week with a drawstring lining, I had pondered making one from orphan blocks.  I just happened to find a stack of string blocks while cleaning up today and decided to put them to use for the new school year which is just 13 days away.

After choosing four blocks with blue and green and four more with purple and blue, I substituted the resulting 12.5 inch blocks for the canvas specified in the pattern found here.  Instead of turning under the top edge, I added a binding.  Now I just need to pick up something to use for handles and insert some cording or ribbon for the drawstring.  I definitely see a few more of these in my future.  I am happy to have found another use for a few of my orphan blocks.  

Crumbs and Orphans

At this rate I will never need to buy fabric again.  I think I could sew indefinitely with the leftovers of other projects.
 First up were some red crumb blocks.  These were put together using a coin quilt concept.  I also have a stack of HST bits that are almost ready to turn into blocks.  There always seem to be plenty of triangle shaped bits from putting binding strips together.  These all got squared up to 6.5 inches which seems to be a nice size to save for later.  Then the trimmings from all of that will go back into the start of more crumb blocks and the cycle will start again.
Then I put binding on some orphan block potholders.  I'll save the hand stitching for slow stitch Sunday with Kathy tomorrow.  I'd love to make a few more of these, but I ran out of the special batting that goes in the middle.  I wonder if regular batting would work?
Right now absolutely everyone is out of the house.  Kurt has gone to shop for a new laptop for the kids during tax free shopping days.  They got my old laptop when I switched over to the Mac, but it seems to be getting more and more temperamental lately.  One of these days it will just stop working for good.  Anna and Sydney are both playing with friends and Ryan is at a birthday party.   It's just the dog and I right now hangin' out on the couch.  It is almost too quiet.........

ScrapHappy Saturday is Painting the Town Red

Today is the first day of the red month.  You should have already used up anything that screamed pink, now is the time to use up absolutely everything else.  From maroon to candy apple, dig out your red bucket and start sewing!  Use the linky below to share your plans and progress.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Water Bottle Cozies

We went back to school shopping.  It was painful and sad to admit that summer is about ready to end, but with just 4 days of vacation left, it is hard to deny.  We found some cute reusable water bottles and I have been working on some quick crocheted cozies.  Still haven't perfected the pattern, but I think it is getting closer.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brand New Month

I knew it was a new month today, but I forgot to drop subtle hints about the new rainbow scrap challenge color.  Silly me.  I was out of town last month and took a guess when I announced that the color was teal.  Turns out that teal was supposed to be this month.  Last month was supposed to have been RED for patriotic 4th of July festivities.  So now, THIS month is going to be red.  Instead of a patriotic red though, it is going to be a little red school house red.  

Back to School Crafting

 Anna is obviously too old for a playdate.  Instead she invited a friend over for an afternoon of crafting. In the morning we went to get some fabric and supplies.  Not that I don't have fabric, but she wanted to pick out her own of course.
Look how cute her bag turned out!  She used a pattern from Sewmamma sew which can be found here.      It is nicely insulated with a cute drawstring lining.  The canvas on the outside is cut to 13 by 12 inches.  Sounds like just the right size to use up an orphan quilt block don't you think?  I can definitely see taking this one to the next level.