Sunday, August 26, 2018

FQS Fat Eighth Fruitcake

I survived my first week back at work! It was lots of meetings and paperwork--the kids don't come until Thursday. I even managed to come home and sew a couple of evenings. I received a Bonnie & Camille Smitten Fat Eighth bundle and a background for one of their shortcut quilt projects--Fat Eighth Fruitcake Quilt. It will tentatively be revealed on October 23rd. Friday night, I drank a glass of wine and headed to my sewing room to start cutting it out. These are mostly Smitten fabrics, but I added in a couple of other B&C fabrics. All 30 of my blocks are almost done--that proves it is definitely a fast one. I have another quick project that is also secret sewing for the Fat Quarter Shop and I will probably use the scraps leftover from this one for it too...No B&C scraps go to waste at my house!
 While I headed back to work this week, my daughter ventured to Iceland! She scheduled a stop over there for a couple of days on her way to London. She traveled alone in celebration of her 20th birthday--and she loved solo traveling. One day she spent touring Reykjavik
 and the next day, she took a horseback tour of the Golden Circle. Then, she caught an early flight the next day to London. She will be in London for the whole semester and already has trips scheduled for  Venice, Munich for October Fest, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Spain. Several of her friends are also on their semester's abroad, so she will be meeting them all over Europe and taking advantage of staying with them. She loves to travel and spent her summer working to pay for it. I am so excited for her adventures!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Back to Work

Tomorrow is my official report to work day, but I have already been easing in by organizing my classrooms. This amazing Cow Quilt was made by my mom for a local charity silent auction. She used Lori Holt's cow and zinnia patterns as well as the flying geese blocks found in Lori's Farm Girl Vintage book. The charity is our local children's shelter and they are having a barn dance/silent auction in September.  Since we live in ranch country, she thought the cows would be appropriate with the locals and the barn theme. I know the people who own the gorgeous barn venue where the event is being held and I suspect this will be staying with them! While she was over, we dug into my black and whites tub for another cow quilt she is making with black and white cows. This is for sure on my make one list and hopefully soon!
I have been working on these Scrappy Trips blocks--I am planning on 36 blocks and so far I have made 17. Each block takes awhile despite making them from strip sets. I am using this free pattern from Bonnie Hunter
I have a white going down the diagonals of my blocks, but the pattern does not show this. 
I will be cranking out some more today as I binge watch Bosch on Amazon Prime and enjoy my last day of summer.
I also need to spend some time today slow stitching this label for my Spelling Bee Quilt.
If all you are interested in is quilting, stop reading now. The rest is about my teaching...
At one of my schools, the principal gave of us this fascinating book they are going to be using this year for professional development. I have been teaching for 23 years and I know I connect really well with kids and enjoy teaching, but this book gave me some insights as to why. We took an online quiz where you had to answer each question within 20 seconds. The quiz figured out your top five strengths, then you read about your strengths in the book so you can focus on them more in your teaching. My strengths were:  competition, strategic, achiever, relator, and significance. The achiever and competition were no surprise as well as the relator--I win kids over and make them want to learn and perform for me. I see many of these same strengths in my quilting habits too!
When you work at three schools, you have to take some shortcuts when setting up your classrooms especially when your room is shared and used by other people when you are not there. I really like to use black and white and then an accent color to spice things up. I love aqua/turquoise, so that is my accent color. We have to post our daily learning objective for each subject, so I had my hubby spray paint some clipboards black to hold my laminated aqua card stock. He made me three sets! The tissue paper flower I found on Pinterest and I have made a bunch of them--they are inexpensive and can add an extra dimension and pop of color.
I bought a roll of bulletin board paper that looks like barn wood. This room is used for a conference room when I am not there, so I was trying to keep things looking clean and organized.
I painted the paper mache READ letters myself--for on top of this bookshelf. I made another set in aqua for a different room and I am not sure if I have space for some in the last room. I still need to alphabetize my books--another bookshelf collapsed last year and the custodians just shoved my books into this replacement.
I strongly believe that the right books turn kids into lifelong readers, so I have this wall space labeled with each student's name so they can put a post it up with what book they are reading. My name is up there too--I read kids books and try to guide kids to books I think they will enjoy. The more the kids talk about their reading with one another, the more they read!
I actually have to move out of this room midyear, so I like to make banners because they are easier to take down and relocate. I think this simple "Choose Kind" banner says how I expect the kids to behave...I need to remember this as I sit in lots of challenging meetings this week!

Friday, August 10, 2018

August Is Awkward

August is always awkward because it is still summer, but back to school looms! I start to prepare for my back to school--working at three schools means three classrooms to set up. I move away from quilting mode to back to school mode. I finished all of my Summerville quilt blocks, but I have not sewn them together yet. I am not sure if I am going to make it 70 inches square as the kit is designed or go bigger with extra blocks or a border, so it is in limbo.
Our garden is producing lots of zucchini, so I have been making delicious zucchini bread as well as stuffed zucchini. The tomatoes are trickling in and the peppers are kind of pathetic--it has just been too hot for them.
We had a going away gathering last night for a colleague who is moving. She loves green so I used some of my leftover half square triangles from my Clementine quilt to make her a zip pouch.
This is the back of the pouch and I lined it with the same left over Clementine fabric.
I saw this Scrappy Trips quilt on IG--an oldie from Sherri @aquiltinglife and I want to make one of my own--isn't it gorgeous? The pattern is a freebie you can find here:
I want to make 36 blocks, so I need 180 color strips 2.5"x 16.5" inches along with 36 strips in white because I want my blocks to have a center diagonal of white. I have been slowly cutting my way through the color tubs in my stash. I hope to finish up the cutting and start sewing the strip sets this weekend.

I also have a few projects for my classrooms--painting some clipboards, painting some paper mache letters, cutting some bulletin board goodies, etc. I like prepping my classrooms ahead of time because then I can actually focus on the teaching if my classroom environment is organized, clean, and cute--kids appreciate it too. I report to work on Monday, 8/20--I will try to enjoy my last week of summer!