Monday, September 24, 2012


I am in between teaching sessions right now.  My last set of classes ended September 16th and I finished grading their final assignments on Friday Sept. 21st.  My next session of classes doesn't begin until October 8th which means I do not have any teaching obligations until October 7th when I have to prep the online classroom(s).   This also means I have a little more time that I can spend in the sweat shop which is good because the holidays are just around the corner!

The timing couldn't have been better. This last week was incredibly stressful.  I had two exams and a class in three days.  One of the exams was in Statistical Methods which is not my strong suit.  I get the math, I just don't get the interpretation (what does getting this number mean? I have no clue).  I've gotten a tutor as a result of my grade on that exam.

Anyway, I needed sewing therapy.  I've been working on a Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I'd heard you could finish it in an hour.  I think those people who said so are on crack.  There's no way you could finish it in an hour - two or three possibly, but definitely not one.  It took me an hour to prep the strips and sew them together end to end.  Then another to create the bulk of the quilt and another 15-30 minutes (approximately) to cut and sew on the borders.  Here's the flimsy on our bed. (Please excuse the boxes and totes, I am slowly working through the closets and prepping for a charitable donation.)  Obviously, the double-wedding ring quilt is the quilt we have on the bed during the summer - so ignore that peaking out as well.

I used Coffee Cake Treat Strips that I had found on sale ($29.99 instead of $39.99). I'm still not sure how I feel about the quilt top.  It's pretty, but not what I was expecting.  I really thought there would be more diversity of strips together.  Instead, most strips are placed every other strip which is a bit too close together for me.  I bought that fabric collection because of the neutrality of the colors.  I think it will be a nice addition to the living room.  We have a fleece blanket on the couch promoting the hub's favorite NHL team, and an afghan for my recliner which is fine for the fall/spring, but in the dead of winter, the afghan's composition (holes between stitches) makes it not as cozy as the fleece or a quilt. was having a sale a couple of weeks ago and I bought a nice 90" wide cream/natural flannel for the backing.  I will quilt it next weekend.  I'm really looking forward to this quilt this winter! 

Then it was on to the next project.  This one has a deadline and I needed to complete it while I'm on "break" from teaching.  I'm afraid this is all I can show you right now, but not to worry.  Once I send it out, I will post pictures.

So far, I'm pretty pleased with the project.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Women's Suffrage/Grandmother's Choice

In full disclosure, I feel that I should reveal that my BA and MA were both in History and Women's Studies. My specialization was the politics surrounding the US Equal Rights Amendment.  Since changing my field to Political Science, I am still following my heart and pursuing research in gendered policies, but am now able to continue my research into the 21st Century.  

That being said, I am fascinated by Barbara Brackman's newest block of the week project: Grandmother's Choice

I have always been attracted to this type of memory quilt and Brackman is certainly not the first to offer a pattern to commemorate women's history.  I think it is important to remember the women who came before us.  Prior to this I was not financially in a position to work with a BOM or BOW and obviously, I am not able to complete this project right now, but I am saving the instructions and block PDFs that she is posting and hope to get to it this winter.  Brackman has outlined some color options for those commemorating the US and British suffrage movements.  I know exactly the colors I will use.

So, let me ask you this: Are you participating in this BOW?  If so, what attracted you to it? Or are there other BOM/BOWs that you are participating in and what are they?

Mary's Tea Cozy

I sent her a trivet made from the same collection as well.  I hope she likes it! 
Happy belated birthday, Mare!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Feeling like Fall?

Despite the 90-105* weather here, I have been craving a fall craft.  I happen to have this adorable wall quilt all cut out - which I did about 7 or 8 years ago and packed away for three moves to new states over that time.  

Obviously, it was time to take it out.  I've promised the hubs for three years that I would get it done for Halloween, but this time I think it's actually going to happen except that school keeps getting in the way.  

I managed to put all of the pumpkins together the week before classes began.

Then during the first week of classes, I put the blocks together.

Then last week the momentum slowed way down and I only got one strip of candy done.

I'm supposed to be canning tomorrow, but I'm going to fit in a little sewing as well.  What do y'all think? Cute so far, eh?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Feeling Foolish

There are a number of reasons why I'm feeling foolish.  

First, I really thought that I would have more time to sew than I have had.  You see, my classes began again last month.  There was a graduate student orientation on August 15th which was really more of an informational lunch, but I went anyway.  Then classes began on August 20th.  I'm taking two online classes this semester which has been a true challenge for me.  Staying on top of the online lectures and electronic homework has thrown me for a loop. I'm working to keep better track.  In my foolish optimism, I thought I would still be able to fit an hour or two into my week despite taking three doctoral classes, driving five hours round trip once a week,  and teaching two classes. Haha.  How foolish I've been. I am working on a project, but finding time to sew between road time, reading, classes, lectures, teaching, and maintaining my relationship with the hubs is beyond difficult.  It's also why I've been quiet on the blog.

Second, I received an email from a close relative criticizing me for forgetting an important date for them.  I feel miserable about this.  I did not forget the occasion.  I bought a card. But anyone who knows me well, knows I am the queen of procrastination.  If my professors provided any give in the deadlines for homework and papers, I would put them off until the very last second.  This relative is not the only person I have not mailed things to, either.  They are not even the one who's waited the longest! I just sent a card to our niece whose birthday is in May.  More embarrassingly, I mailed a birthday package to my youngest sister today - her birthday is in March.  I told you. I procrastinate to an embarrassing length.  One need not look further than my current sewing/quilting projects to find evidence of my procrastination (a quilt from high school more than 20 years ago and a wall quilt I cut out 7 or 8 years ago).

However, there is good news for you, dear reader. Because I have finally sent her package, I am now able to show the tea cozy I made for her.  A few years ago (further proof of my procrastination) I asked my sisters to pick out some fabric collections they found attractive so I would be able to make them things in styles they liked.  Two of the three chose collections and I purchased two charm packs then and there.  Now they both have tea cozies from those charm packs and I have a pretty firm idea of what they like now. Anyway, Mary chose the Minick and Simpson collection: Flag Day Farm (that shows you how long ago this was).

I was going to show you the end results... but I've thought better of it.  I want my sister to be surprised when she opens the package so I'll show you on Monday or Tuesday.   

Have a lovely weekend!