Friday, July 29, 2011

Mrs. Williams' Duck Wallhanging

Mrs. Williams is 'Mama Duck'

This is Mrs. Williams, she is the other half of my Boy's dynamic duo teacher team.  In fact, she calls Mr. Tracey her 'work husband' and they are really like school parents. They are a true team.  I am pretty sure she has been D's favorite teacher, she on more than one occasion showed how much she cares for him. She calls herself the Mama Duck for a number of reasons one of them is that when she walks down the hallway, all her duckings follow behind her.

So it was easy for the boys to choose a theme for her quilt. They didn't know what to do, just so long as it had a duck on it.  I found a greeting card pattern online for a duck and then added the feet. Using scraps of fabric in shades of blue, I made a scrappy background. I couldn't decide if I wanted the duck to be fluffy or not, I tried it with batting under the yellow fabric to make it look more like a stuffed animal but I wasn't really feeling that look. So we just stuck with a bright shade of yellow and orange minkie. My original plan was to use blue dotted minkie in the border but I didn't really like that either.  I ended up carrying the middle around in the car with me for like a week until I could walk into a fabric store and find borders I like.  I happened to be in Black Mountain and stopped in to see Marti. I just love her shop and I wish I was in the area more often so I could have an excuse to fondle fabric in her store. Anyway...these are the borders we came up with:

The quilting goes like this.  The patchwork center has duck feet.
The duck is blanket stitched by hand.
There is a black filigree bead for the eye.
The outer border has rubber duckies (think Ernie) and daisies in the corners.

I think she liked it. I have my fingers crosses (as well as emails in to the principal) that my Daughter gets these two as teachers next year. ;)

Mr. Tracey's Sudoku Quilt

Mr. Tracey's Teacher Quilt

As you know I have 5 kids, all of them are in Elementary School. Yes, my house is a zoo and I am guy with ugly pants, a whip and a chair.

The school that the monkeys are assigned to was designed for Kindergarten through 5th grade. A few years back the district built a sort of middle school/elementary school for the 5th and 6th grades to take some of the load from the Elementary as well as the Jr High Schools. The kids are sort of eased into the higher grades by having 2 teachers, one for English and Social Studies and another for Math and Science. The school teams up a pair of teachers and they swap kids back and forth. Somehow both of our boys ended up with the same teacher team. I still don't think they know how lucky the were to get the teachers they got.

Can I just say that my kids have has some amazing teachers but I don't think any of them have made as much of an impression on Jay as Mr Tracey. He truly loves what he does and it shows. I am sure that once cannot teach (especially math) unless they truly love the subject. Mr Tracey is a self proclaimed math geek and he has a way of teaching the kids that I am sure non of them have ever said 'when are we EVER going to use this?' Anyway, Jay saw a picture of a Sudoku quilt and (being a math geek himself) thought it was genius!!! Right about this time, the boys found out that not only was Mr Tracey's wife pregnant but that they were doubly blessed with twin girls on the way. As is my tradition to make teacher gifts and I had already made a quilt for Mrs. Penny's baby girl, they boys decided that both the babies should have quilts too. We had already discussed the idea of making something that a math teacher would 'get'. They were on a mission to make matching sudoku quilts in shades of pink and purple. I talked them into making ONE that could be a wall hanging.

So we picked out a few fabrics and he dug out a puzzle book and solved it for me. That became my pattern, which of course I didn't take a picture of for my blog (d'oh). This was a really fun one and I plan to make more of these in the future...maybe the math teachers will get these every year.
'Manly' quilting ;)
Aren't my boys handsome?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grocery Sac Holder

I understand that anyone who has read my Facebook rants about grocery store sacs may be confused about this post. If you haven't...lemme splain. I am one of 'those people' who insists on taking my reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. I have very strong opinions about not being wasteful and needlessly destroying this beautiful planet we live on. I have not gone completely hippie-living 'off the grid' or anything but I think that if you can do small things everyday to make a difference then DO IT! Not using plastic shopping bags that eventually end up in a landfill or even worse down the gullet of a whale is a simple, easy change we can make and make a small difference.

Now that you had to sit through my preaching, I will tell you what my usual rants consist of...I have a problem with people who do not possess the most basic common sense. As far as I am concerned, logic should be one of those things that all people should have a basic understating of. In addition, like traffic laws, there should be repercussions for not following the 'logic rules'. For example, if a customer comes into the market with a stack of reusable shopping bags, logic would indicate that she does NOT want her milk (that has a build in handle) in a plastic bag. She also does not want her 5 lb sac of potatoes (that are already in a bag) placed into TWO plastic bags, and so on and so forth.  I swear I am going to make up business cards that offer classes in logical of charge even. OK, I'm off my soap box...on to the crafty item. ;)

Quilting and decorative stitches.
Even though I feel so strongly about this subject, my husband has been slow going on this. He is starting to come around now that he cuts grass all day and sucks up rouge bags in his mower. lol So I occasionally have bags in the house either from my hubby doing some shopping or from me not paying attention to the store bagger as he is putting the meat into a bag to then put it into my shopping bag. I do keep them around for cleaning out the cat box.
I found this pattern somewhere some time ago and have finally gotten around to making it. I wasn't sure how it was going to look so I used fabric I didn't really like all that much but now that it is together I don't completely hate it.

Waiting for sacs.

Chelsea's Graduation Gift

Satin Lining

Just the right size for magazines.

Hippie Sac? Why yes, I think so.

Josiah's Monkeys

I think he likes it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hotpad Exchange

Hot pads!

I signed up for a hot pad exchange a couple months back, yes I know it has taken me forever to blog about it. Life has taken over lately so I haven't done a lot of things! Anyway, I am catching up by posting this. My exchange partner was Helen. I LOVE it! She did some homework on my blog and based it on my post about daffodils. Between that and all my 'monkeys' she made this:

I did the same research on my exchange partner so this is  one I made for her. ;)

Now I just need to cook something to use it with.


Mrs. Herron's Bag

 Mrs. Herron's Beach Bag

Isabel decided early in the year that her teacher needed one of the big Hobo Bags I make. I tried to take her to pick out fabric but as most of you know, it is almost impossible for me to go anywhere when the kids are out of school because I have too many kids to fit in the car. lol Then came the project of deciding how it was going to come together.

It went something like this:
'What color should we make?"
As is her usual answer to any question that involves the word 'color' she instantly said "PINK" !
"What kind of things does your teacher like?"
"Butterflies and Flowers...oh and it has to have green in it too, she loooooves green."

 So I had my parameters to figure this out. I made a list of fabrics I needed for all the teachers quilts. Yes, I had this same conversation with the other 4 too. While I happened to be at my favorite LQS I found a pre-cut bundle of these great funky fabrics, it had flowers and butterflies with just a hint of green in it. I usually enjoy the 'hunt' of picking fabrics too much to buy already bundled stuff but this was too perfect not to pick up.  So I had half yard cuts and only needed fat quarters and as is my usual style, I made 2. ;)  So I did happen to be at the fabric store WITH the shorty one and she found the lining fabric.

When she gave it to her at the end of the school year, Mrs. Herron says "I was just saying this morning that I need a beach bag!" She hope that she manages to get LOTS of sand in it over the years!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

And here we are ... the official Friday Night Sew In results....

I didn't get quite as much done as I would have liked but then again, I haven't gotten as much done as I would like everyday for the last 2 weeks! I blame it on the sinus infection and the fact that I only had one glass of wine! I got the blocks joined on the pinwheel quilts I was working on the last FNSI day. Turns out I am 7 blocks short! So much for being good at math!
The second one needs one more row so I am thinking I will take one row off the top, slap it on the side, add 2 more blocks and call it good. It will be 5 x 6 instead of 5 x 7, the sawtooth blocks finish at 2 inches so it should still work. Just don't tell anybody. ;)

I got the inner borders on the one and still have to add the sawtooth border on it (or I could quit here and it would be ok).

 Next I cut the squares for the half square triangles that make up the outer borders on both quilts. I didn't have enough of one fabric to do both quilts so these are the two that I chose. Jaydin drew the lines on for me but I still only got a few stitched out.

I did get the bindings made for both of them though so that is something....
Hope everyone had a productive sewing I am off to surf the blogs to see what y'all did last night.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Silk Wallhangings

Gift to Chai Pani
Gift for Awesome Neighbor
I started these little wall hangings last fall and I am ta-da FINALLY finished with them! I added them to my Phd Challenge so that I knew I could force myself to get them done. I stared out talking about them here and what a pain the silk was to work with. I will definitely chalk this up as a learning experience. I feel like I learn something from every project. Sometimes it is something small like 'trim the ears off of your half square triangles'. Other times it is 'don't do this again no matter how much she pays you!'. This time it was 'if you are going to use silk, do something to keep it from fraying'. I did make it all the way through both of these with out stabilizer or super glue but I think that both of those things may come into play when I find something to do with the scraps.

So I plan to take the one I made for the restaurant in there as soon as I can get a excuse chance to head down there for lunch. I hope the empty spot is still on the wall. Anyone up for a lunch date? ;)

I other one I made for my way cool neighbor. She is an amazing artist so I thought she would like something crazy bright and I hope it does her house justice what with all her own great stuff hanging about. Plus since her roommate got some love last year, I didn't want her to feel left out. ;)  I added a hanger to hers and am somewhat disappointed with it. I had these grandiose ideas of about 10,000 seed beads forming a hanger that attached to the hanging sleeve. It started messing around with some wire and what not. Then I started thinking 'this think is already kinda nuts, maybe less is more'. So I opted to make a hanger with just some fine weight yarn and a few bead to accent it. Since I didn't want it to hang too low or have the hanger be the focal point, this is what I came up with. Like I said, boring but functional.

Here are some shots of the quilting and colors.

K is for 'Kate'