Sunday, June 24, 2012


Oh oh cruising through blogs is so much more fun than the report I need to write for tomorrow.  It will be my final instructor assessment report.  But that is not why I am procrastinating.  I am procrastinating because I don't want to write it!

I observed a good instructor...good interactive class...  So it's not why I am procrastinating.  It will be a good report.  But hmmm....  I'm tired of writing them :)  I have written 23 reports since September.  Twenty-three reports.  Most department chairs write two a term, total of six a year.  But I made it my mission to catch up the former department chair's assessment reports.  So, 23.  As he returns, he has to be happy they are all caught up.  And I can walk away knowing I don't have to do any more!

Meantime, I have one more to write.  I'd rather be outside riding bikes :)  Picture me like that kid who is standing at the window looking out as he is holding his violin, watching his friends play ball...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Finding Comfort Without Food

I am looking to find ways to get some comfort without turning to food.  I would love to hear some ideas to help me get through weeks like the following:
It has been a very rough month between overworking, constant pressure, a fibromyalgia flare up, and exhaustion.  All I could manage is to crawl home, take more ibuprofen, and cuddle myself with attempts at comfort foods.  Activities are impossible when I can barely walk. 
So I have been self-medicating with food.  I want to find a better way to help myself.  I took myself to the coast for a few days and found the salt and the sand and the sea brought much comfort.  Too bad I can't have it in my kitchen all the time :)

Sunset on the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast


Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's the Journey

Now it is time to put on borders.  I wanted something to contain all the pieces but not add to the confusion.  So, I used a dark small border to frame the top.  But the quilt is a bit wild and I wanted to let that continue.  So I used the wonderful fabric that I had found in my first attempt to converge.  I do love this fabric!

The finished top is long twin sized.  I have a neutral backing for it.  I will be donating this quilt to my college's Christmas Adopt-a-Family program.  Some of my quilting friends and I make a quilt for every child in the program.  Last year we gave away 48 quilts plus as many pillowcases.  It is larger quilts for the teens that are often too short.  I think a teen will love this crazy colorful quilt :)

It was a fun journey to get here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking for Some Action

It is time to put the pieces together in this quilt.  After a long think, I realized I didn't want anything that would compete with the strips themselves, but wanted something that added color.  I also wanted something that would give it some movement.  Ah-ha!  Flying Geese!

 I selected as many bright colors as possible to make the geese.  I didn't have a more beige background, but the off-white would have to do. There are so many methods of making Flying Geese.  I used the Eleanor Burns' Flying Geese method (see instructions), making four geese at a time.  I don't have her small Flying Geese ruler but it worked out just fine.  I made enough for two rows of geese.

In the middle strip I wanted something different and remembered the Bow Tie pattern.  Both it and Flying Geese are simple and yet can bring something good to the table.  This pattern can bring color and movement to the quilt top.

I made one row of the Bow Tie to run down the middle.  Now let's see how they all look together:

I like it!  Next step is the borders...  I have to look through my stash and find fabric that will bring it all together.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deciding What to Put where

Gathering the blocks, it is interesting to see how they all play together.  I am undecided what to put between them.  I like using some of the blocks in a different way--blocks of checkerboards within blocks somehow.  I like the idea of either black tone or dark happy fabric.

I will be gone for a week without Internet access. Hopefully I will have an idea when I return!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Interrupt This Program for an Important Message

 Help Get The Word Out–Another Stolen Quilt!

Please be on the lookout for Sally Schneider’s “Farmer’s Daughter” quilt. It was last seen on January 26, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was being shipped to Martingale & Company, home of That Patchwork Place. It was to be included in her book that will be published in January 2013.

This quilt is 95″ by 95″. It combines the scrappy look with cream. The background is Moda Grunge. This quilt is machine pieced and machine quilted.

If you find this quilt, please contact Sally immediately at

Thanks!   It takes a pretty low-life to steal a quilt.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On to the Fourth Block

This block I decided not to curve the background fabric but to sew straight lines. I am not sure if they will work as well as previous blocks, so we will see. I decided on fabric that might pop out, but not be redundant to previous fabric.

As this is the final row, I wanted to match the first row in size and placement of the strips. So I matched each checkerboard pattern with the same size strip of background fabric, just as I had in the first block. The major difference is I didn't have to unsew (take out stitching) any strips! I be a good learner :) Lay them out and sew them as if they are laid out :)

Not a bad result. Not as exciting as the first block/strip but it works.  Now, what to do inbetween the rows? Time to put on my thinking cap :)  peace~~~

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Time It Was a Bit Different

One of the things I want to do in order to keep this quilt top interesting is change out each row of blocks. I decided to make the second block with the four-patch the second alternative.
I like the colors and the movement it creates.

The next block I wanted to do something completely different. Instead of cutting the background fabrics and resewing them, I cut out curves on the checkerboards.

I think it gave it an interesting movement. Looks almost like a river to me. I decided to keep the background simple: one fabric. I tried a bunch of different ones, but the prints kept getting in the way. I finally settled on two. The first side is a grey with gold swirls. The second side is a 30s fabric, purple on cream.

I also decided to sew the background onto the checkered in a different way. The first block I had different sizes of strips and I sewed matching sizes together. The second block I had the same size strips throughout. This time I had different sized strips, but didn't match sizes so the background was different from the checkered.

On to the next block. I have no idea what that will be.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Second Block Decisions

The second set of blocks for this quilt, based on what Ricky Tims calls "Convergence," will take some thinking. I want to do something different than the first, but not too weird.

I started with the background for the checkerboard blocks as a large 4-patch.  The fabrics used for this
are The Blended Collection IV by Sharon Yenter for In the Beginning fabrics and Floral Carpet by P & B Textiles. The sunflower fabric is a Hoffman batik and the yellow is something pulled from my scraps.

I layered the 4-patch and the checkerboard blocks and decided to cut them at equal widths. I decided a 3"strip was sensible without getting too small, but small enough to allow the pattern to show through the checks.  Then I laid them all out and took a peek.

 Here's the original layout:
 What would it look like if I switched things around?
Here's another alternative:

I'll let you know what I decide.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Is to Select the Fabrics

In order for this little project to work, I have to have great fabric behind the checkerboards. In a perfect world, I would buy some beautiful 1930s reproduction prints to go with these blocks. But alas I want to only use fabric from my stash and I had no stash of 30s.

So I played with different fabrics, mostly rejecting choices because the fabrics were the wrong tone. I finally came up with these possible choices for background for the checkerboards:

Okay, now I had to cut two squares of fabric and create something interesting with the fabrics. I did this by layering the two fabrics (these are "Happy" by Jennifer Heynen for In the Beginning fabrics, and a 30s reproduction fabric from Robert Kaufman designs) front-to-back so they are both facing up with the fronts. I then cut any design I wanted.

I pieced the two fabrics together: These blocks will create the design "behind" the strips of the checkerboard blocks.

One of the things I didn't understand by reading Ricky Tims book, Convergence, is that it is important to cut each piece and lay the cuts out in the appropriate design before you start sewing. Ask me why I know this... Yes, I did have to do the "frog stitch" on many of the strips. Takes time to rrrrr-i-p-it rrrrr-i-p-it rrrrr-i-p-it this much! But I did finally get two blocks together. Next: finding the second strip design!

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Have This Little Project...

An old high school friend sent me some quilt blocks that her grandmother had made many years ago. She asked if I would be willing to put together a quilt to donate to someone. She warned me the blocks were not particularly attractive, but if anyone could pull something interesting off...well she believed in me.

The truth is, the blocks are rather dreary. I kept thinking about them, rearranging them in my head, and returned them to their box. It seemed that no matter what I did, they were still drab and dreary, creating a drab quilt top. I love '30s fabric, but these...not so much.

The problem for me was the size of the blocks (19 inches--I couldn't get past the huge squares!) and the colors (green and beige/green and orange/green and steel grey). Plus some blocks are green/whatever matching and other alternate, so making a large single checker board was impossible.

I was stumped, so I toss a cry for HELP on the Quilting Bee on Delphi Forums. Many great suggestions, but the one that hit home was working with Ricky Tims' Convergence idea. And I just so happen to have a personally autographed copy of Tims' book!

Over the next few weeks I will be working on this quilt top project. Let's see how it turns out!