Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Sampler

150px Summer Sampler Series BadgeI've joined in with my first blogging quilt-a-long! I'll be joining in with the Summer Sampler Series as seen on these blogs: Swim, bike, quilt & Freshly Pieced & Fresh Lemon Quilts.  Be sure to check them out!

Greek Cross

 Each quilt-a-long (QAL) that catches my eye makes me want to buy fabric and start sewing - there's so many great projects floating out there.  Usually I bookmark the project so I can come back to it later, but this time I decided I couldn't pass it up.  

My list of projects has diminished somewhat so I have the time to work on this and actually complete it.  It helps that this QAL is only 12 blocks & I'm looking forward to making some different blocks.
Virginia Star

 I originally wanted to do this in all solids as I've been trying to bring in more of those into my quilts. However, once I started pulling from my stash I decided to go with the scrappy look - though I did coordinate colors! I paired it all with Kona cotton in Medium Grey.  

I'm all caught up on the first three blocks and ready to go for the next round this week and ready to go on the next set!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshot #5

So here I am - about to run my first ever race!  The Community Fund Run 5k to help raise money for the local non-profit organizations.  It wasn't too hot and there was lots of cloud cover, thankfully, but there was lots of humidity - not so good.   Most of the groups benefitting from the Run set up tables about themselves - you can see ours here too! 

I ran most of the race, only walking a bit here & there, and was quite proud of myself for making it through.  I guess it was inevitable that I finally sign-up for one of these races as D&M have run several marathons.  I thought I had a good time considering I didn't really train for this specifically and it was my 1st race.  5k in 35:57 minutes!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I open at the close

I'm still a bit amped up from watching Harry Potter 7: parts 1 & 2. That should quickly wear off, but oh was that awesome!  It's been awhile since I'd seen part 1 so it was nice to watch that again on the big screen.  Also, it helped build some of the anticipation for the final installment - which did not disappoint.

There weren't a whole lots of costumes that I could tell - mostly HP shirts and scarves and similar accessories instead.  My favorite was the family with a 5 yr. old boy dressed as a house elf!

Part 2 picks up just where we left off and is a wild ride from start to finish.  I mentioned I'd been to almost all the movies at the midnight showing and was so glad I could do it one last time to finish it out right.  It's a bit sad to know the movies are finished.  That the years of waiting for the next book, re-reading while waiting for the next movie and the progression of both the characters and the actors, is over for this series.  Watching it on screen makes me want to re-read the books again because that's where the story can be relived over & over.  If you wussed out   ;)    and couldn't go see part 2 tonight/this morning, get out and go once you have the time because it is awesome!

I'd love to hear your thoughts after you see it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

news notes

With all the wacky weather going on around the country, it's only fair to mention that it is HOT here in west KY.  The last couple days started with a heat advisory and quickly went into the red zone with excessive heat or dangerous heat warnings.  Our highs hovered around 98 degrees and then with the heat index added in we hit 113-115 degrees for several days.  I was glad I worked inside those days and not under direct sunlight because it was not pretty. Just walking from the car to inside was more than enough to set you thinking of pools, ice cream, frozen drinks & cooler temps.  We've had some storms move in and that has at least broken up the high heat temps. a bit so that's a giant plus in my book.

As a follow-up to the last posting, I managed to reach my summer reading goal and stopped by the library to turn in my paper for prizes.  I read 13 books (and 1/2 way through another) and earned 2 points for attending an evening lecture which was interesting.  So I won a notebook, t-shirt & tote bag for my efforts - go team!

Le Tour de France is in it's 2nd week of racing (out of 3) and has earned the nickname tour de crash for this year.  It's been a messy 1st week of crashes and lots of riders have withdrawn from the race due to injuries.  Tomorrow starts the mountain stages in the Pyrenees and it'll be fun to see how that shakes up the standings.  So far it's been a joy to watch the sprint finishes and cheer on American Tyler Farrar & the fastest man Mark Cavendish.  Thanks to Versus 7 NBC for the evening replay/recaps so that us working people can watch the stage & the always exciting finishes each day.  :o)

I'm super excited because tomorrow is Harry Potter day!  I'm going with L & some friends to the double feature here - 9pm #7 part I followed by the midnight showing of #7 part II.  Should be pretty awesome and I was thrilled the ticket for both only cost me $12.  I've been to almost all of the midnight shows for the HP movies so it'll be a nice way to finish 'em out.  Can't wait!

Lastly, some of you may be shocked at this:  Saturday, I'm running (run/walking) my first 5K ever.  Ack!  It's finally happened, after watching dad run races & marathons and then suck mom & J in too I guess it was inevitable that I participate too.  It's for the local Community Fund Run and sponsors non-profit organizations here in town & helps them raise some money too.  Will be a fun event for sure and stay tuned for details about that!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

summer reading

Okay, show of hands - how many of you dear readers participated in the Sneaks summer reading program as a kid?  *raises hand* I'm pretty sure I did for as long as I can remember.  I recall watching the Sneaks video in library class at school (always a highlight), keeping lists of completed books, trekking to the library to collect each prize and diving into more books & far-away plots than I could possibly count.

I even spent a summer as one of the kid volunteers for the program & got to pass out all the prizes & clues to the young readers. Now that you know how much of a dork I's the point of the story!

Imagine my thrill when I discovered that my local library is sponsoring an adult summer reading program titled Novel Destinations!  Sweet! 

apparently this isn't limited to my library - it's out there for adults at other libraries so check it out!

I got an official book tracking list and gleefully started in on a stack of books.  Each book is worth a point, and there are even several prizes to earn along the way. 
        5 books/points  = a notebook
       10 = t-shirt 
       15+ = tote bag 

So far I'm up to 12 books and still have a week to go before the deadline! It's fun to track my progress & feel like a kid again.  :o)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quilt Camp

best. job. ever. Seriously.  Each year at work, around the end of June we hold Quilt Camp for kids.  Obviously this falls into my job description and I spent several weeks looking for & deciding on projects for the kids, choosing & prepping materials, registering kids, gathering volunteers and working with the sewing machines to gear up for camp.  Then it was time for camp itself where I got to teach kids how to quilt and work on sewing projects for 2 weeks straight.  So fun!  

Here's the breakdown:
 Each session lasts 4 days, meeting each day for 2.5 hours and along with the sewing, it includes a snack and forays into the galleries for inspiration & a stretch break.

Week 1 - mornings - Beginner ages 5-10  - 20 kids
               afternoons - Beginner ages 10-17  - 7 kids
Week 2 - mornings - Intermediate ages 10-17 (learning to rotary cut)  - 9 kids
               afternoons - Advanced ages 13-17  - 5 kids


It was difficult to decide on projects since each level (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced) works on a different project with different skill sets.  I pre-cut the pieces for the beginner kids, so they just sew 'em all together and pillow-turn to finish their quilts.  This sounds easy, but with 20 kiddos it can get complicated really quickly. They made snowball blocks and sewed 'em all together into scrappy quilts.

For the beginners, I cut a total of: 250 - 8" squares, 1240+ 3" squares, plus backing & batting times 20.

The Intermediates learn or refresh their rotary cutting skills, so they get to cut out their own pieces, sew them together, quilt them and attach binding. This pattern is called 'Pave the Way' designed by Karen Gray and shown in the Spring/Summer 2011 Quilt Sampler Magazine. 

 Our Advanced campers also get to cut, sew, quilt & bind their pieces, but are usually working with more complex designs/patterns/techniques.  This year we paper pieced a star and then set it on point.

It's so great to see what color combos the kids put together, how they choose their fabrics and to watch them create a quilt of their very own.  By the end of the week, it tends to be a race against the clock to get that last border stitched in place, the final turns of the binding completed or the label attached & signed.  In the end, as the parents are trickling in to pick up the happy campers, we're working to get everyone to smile for a group photo before they all head home with quilts in hand and smiles on their faces.

*the photos are my samples of the projects - I should have some of the kids' work coming soon!

I've cut more fabric, wound more bobbins, threaded & re-threaded the machines and switched the feet more times than I can count in the last 2 weeks.  Today was the last day and it was wonderful to see all the finished products from these young quilters.  It was just as wonderful to know I had made it through my 1st quilt camp successfully and had loads of fun doing it!  :D