Friday, January 28, 2011

BRB action

It may not appear that anything more has been done to this, but there are 20 more blocks (except for the missing row that is still next to the machine for piecing). The overall layout will now be 10x12, equating to roughly 60"x72" before borders.

No more action tonight though on this.....I'm pooped!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today I ...

Set no records. BUT.....enjoyed some weather!

the afternoon was BEEEE-UUUU-TEEEEE-FUL!

For those of you who live south of the "cold belt" may not understand this next comment....BUT....

today, it hit 30 degrees! It was NIIIIIICE! Upon arriving home at 3:45 (Yup....ditched out of school almost instantly today)....the sun was shining more than it has in the past few weeks; parts of a blue sky were trying to peek out from behind some clouds; the road was almost free of snow/ice (enough for me to tread along a patch of pavement); very little to no wind. I HAD to get out and enjoy the sun while it lasted!

Since DH wasn't home and I still don't feel okay leaving the girls home alone, I ended up doing 4 "laps" along the small section of road in front of the house. Psht----the girls didn't even know I was gone. They played with the dog the whole time. In fact, I was back and already in the house making preparations for dinner when I saw Caitlyn head to the end of the driveway in search of me.

Distance: 1.25 miles
Time: an enjoyable 13:26 "back-for-the-first-time-in-months" pace ;0)
HR: nothing too scary: AVG: 165 BPM (beats per minute)
My left knee did kinda say..." haven't used me in a while----please pay attention to the little discomfort I'm giving you." But after the first lap, I felt pretty good; other than a slight burning in my lungs. {{ MAY have been "nice" at 30 degrees, but it's still COLD on the lungs}}. I haven't set any goals of running x times per week; it just kinda happened today. So......**shrug**....we'll see!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design wall; Blue Ridge Beauty action

My design wall hasn't seen much of a change over the past week (yeah....NO change at all!) Since I spent the weekend catching up on some quilting for my MIL, I decided tonight would actually see some more "blue" work.

I spent a couple of hours trimming up some more blue and light scraps. Naturally, I wasn't JUST working on cutting 2" scraps for the Blue Ridge Beauty but also some 2.5" scraps for my Blue Star Struck. Twenty more blocks are needed (MINIMUM) for the BRB before I'll start piecing the blocks together into a (most likely) lap-sized quilt.

I finally broke down and dished out a few dollars to purchase a small portable heater for my sewing room. It's COLD down there!!!!! In fact, yesterday morning I gave up on the 60 degree basement after finishing up a MIL quilt and spent the rest of the day upstairs in the wood-heated area!

Cailtyn enjoyed some Yoga time on the Wii yesterday. She was also enjoying the 80 degree temperature in the house from the wood heat. Even *I* ended up with shorts on by the afternoon!

More downfalls about the winter months........STATIC! I've given so many kissy-shocks over the past few evenings when tucking the girls into bed! Tonight I remember to touch their arm to discharge us before giving the goodnight kisses. Otherwise, those are some powerful 'zappy' kisses!

Anyway---it felt good to get some weekday sewing in. This is one of my more enjoyable times of the school year; Prep in the morning, Math 7 advanced section 2nd block, Math 7 regular section 3rd block, then Study hall supervision during 4th block where I assist students with math and science work or anything else they may have to do. Makes for a stress free schedule and a stress free Amy :0)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Knitting Knobby" progress

While watching the Packer game, I continued along with the mindless knitting with this "Knitting Knobby" (thanks for the name, ladies!!!). I foresee a rug once finished. Roughly 6 (?) hours have been spent with this already. I kinda lost track. Besides, I wouldn't say I worked continuously during the game; too many white knuckled moments at the edge of my seat.

The girls are in the tub and then I'll be spending some more time with this while watching the Steelers/Jets game.

Happy Sunday everyone. Hopefully your week looks promising!

YAYYYYYY!!!! GB goes again!!!!!!!!!

What a year this has been! I'll be the first to admit that I did NOT anticipate the GBPackers to STILL be playing in their season! WOW!!! Great job boys!!!!!!

Stash Report Jan. 17-23

Stash Report: Jan. 17-23
Used/week: 4.75 yds
Purch/week: 0.0 yds

Used/year: 19.15 yds
Purch/year: 0 yds

Net Used: 19.15 yds

Nothing spectacular yet, other than the 0.0 yard purchased for the year :0)
This week WOULD have been very quiet on the stash used side if I wouldn't have decided to participate in the Quilts4Military Mystery 24. I did a decent amount of quilting by finishing off four quilts for my MIL, but none of the fabric used was mine. Soon enough those numbers will start spiking! I MUST continue fighting the urge to stop in at the quilt shop tempting!!!!

Watching the Packers beat the Bears.....almost the end of the third quarter. Come on Pack! Come on Pack! Come on Pack!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Remember this? What is it? {{and Quilt Design Winner}}

Hey....any of you have one of these when you were younger? I did, but mine was wood and in the shape of a mushroom. Cassie was given this a couple of years back from my mother per my request. Over the past year it was moved around here-n-there, and today, Candace had it tied to a piece of string and was dangling it from the stairway trying to drop it on my head. {{goofball, I know!}}. BUT, it got me a bit inspired. I came across the needle/hook (?) last week while tidying, so I went to grab it and the yarn I purchased Cassie last month for a school project, and sat for a few hours of this mindless ..... ummm.....crocheting? knitting? yarning? What IS this called and what are these doo-dads called?

When I took a break to make myself a drink, Cassie took over and she's still pluggin' away while we all sit and watch Happy Feet.

And the vote winner both with the Student Body AND the Online votes:

G. G. G.

Oh this is SO exciting! It was my pick as well, and this will be the first year that a MALE's design was chosen!!! :0) I am so excited for this student, because he is one of the quiet ones but makes some poor choices so is often in trouble. I can't wait to share the news with him on Monday!!!
AND, I can't wait to start figuring out the yardage. This quilt will be so fun to make.

Just for record:
Quilt Design: student body votes (online votes)
A: 3 (1)
B: 1
C: 6 (2)
D: 5 (3)
E: 2 (1)
F: 10 (6)
G: 13 (8)

Thanks for your input!!! Heck, maybe I'll offer this as a Quilt-Along???? Why not, right???? I need WANT to make it anyway, so if anyone is interested.......stay tuned!!!! Early February???

Three MIL quilts done

Yes, they are small, but I'm a bit pooped and have an achy back for whipping out three of these lil' guys one after another. I used the "Chinese Crescents" pantograph and it went quite quickly due to the larger looser design.

I'm taking a break; skimming through channels to see if anything worth watching is on. I also plan on counting up the voting slips my students submitted yesterday for their favorite quilt and will add those to all of your votes. I'll post the "winner" later on.

Maltese Star Mystery - Step 2

The Maltese Star - Mystery 24 Step #2 was published yesterday, so I spent my morning hours piecing those together. And naturally, when there is the flip-method suggested, it also means BONUS TRIANGLES :0) So, a little pressing and piecing and I have 60 Flying Geese Units set aside for a potential pieced border. I typically piece bonus Pinwheels from the bonus triangles, but I thought I'd try Flying Geese this time.

Then I figured I'd spend some time today working on some quilting for my MIL. We are getting together next weekend up at the farm for a little get-together with family friends to celebrate a late Christmas. It would be nice to have most of her quilts finished and get them back to her.

So....a little bit of lunch and then an afternoon of some more enjoyment.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today I feel...

The semester is OVER! No more Statistics weekends!!!!!!!!! I dutifully stuck around school an extra hour just to finish up all my Finals grading......All Finals - DONE! All grades reported!!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quilt Design Contest - Care to Vote?

It's that time again! The 4th annual Math 8 Quilt Design. Here are the top 7 designs based on overall requirements met. I did not scan them in; I merely snapped a picture with the camera of each. Leave a comment with your favorite and I'll include these online votes with the votes of the student body :0)

Design A

Design B

Design C

Design D

Design E

Design F

Design G

A total school post

Okay, if this is MY brain, I can only imagine the brains of my Statistics students tomorrow after taking their Final Exam. Whoa----just "took" it myself, and scored 34/40. It's straight from an AP-Statistics study book. Holy cow! It's easy to get overwhelmed, so I'll have to work on the test-taking strategies for the four students (out of my seven) who are actually planning to take the AP exam in May. Study sessions need to be planned. SO....I'll have some break time after this week from Statistics, but the subject will return come April :0)

The good news: I receive an automatic A without needing to complete the written response section. Ya see, that's the deal I made with the students-----if they score 30+ multiple choice out of the 40, they would receive an automatic A. Reasoning: 100% of students who scored 30+ questions on a previous AP Exam scored a 4 or 5 overall (the best scores possible). So, I my students can score 30+, they deserve an A! Hope that makes sense, cuz it's what I'm doing.

Ugh---that makes me think about some grading strategies teachers use. I simply don't agree with some teachers. Case-n-point.....some of you may think...."HM! 30 out of 40.....that's 75% Amy! Shouldn't that be a C?"

Not to me! And obviously not to the College Board either...(Thank goodness!)

Another "issue" I have is the Zero-Factor. {{for those of you still with me....this is what I mean...}}
Most grading ranges are: A's 90-100, B's 80-89, C's 70-79, D's 60-69, F's <60.
F's <60!??!?!!?!? That's a BIG range...!!!! While all the other grade categories are only a range of 10! Seems a bit unfair to me.
How do I go about grading?? Mainly, I flat-out use a letter-grade rubric on my assessments next to each concept tested. (HW is pretty much based on total points and/or completion). BUT, for assessments, EACH problem receives a grade and the concepts are entered into the system (kinda like Standards-based grading).

A = perfect (100%)
B = decent understanding but missing some little things
C = basic understanding
D = missing too much understanding, but has a slight start to understanding
F = no understanding shown
0 - no attempt
I DO use + and - grades as well.

Naturally, our school expects the "standard" grading scale to be used, so I "get around" the Zero-factor by entering percentages for the specific "grades", BUT, the percentage entered for "F" is 50% and the percentage for "no attempt" is entered as a 40%. I know there are some who will disagree with this procedure, just doesn't seem fair to enter a 0% for a grade when the next closest percent is 60% to "not be an F."
For homework though.....this isn't used. HW is pretty simple: total points. BUT, my HW grade is only 15% of the overall grade, while the Assessment grade is 60% of the overall grade.

I USED to grade with total points, but once the "zero-factor" was mentioned to me, I said...."Hm, yeah....that doesn't seem fair." So, I started tinkering with an equal scale rubric (that I currently use).
I USED to grade tests differently and placed one letter grade on the entire test based on the average overall understanding (not total points), BUT.....I would often look back at grades (maybe at a Parent-Teacher conference) and see "Test Unit 3, C" and wonder.....hmm....what was tested???
It's only been two years now where I list EVERY concept tested with a grade for each concept. This way, when I look at a grade printout, I can clearly see which CONCEPTS were not understood.

Whew----didn't mean to put all this out here, just kind of happened.

Bottom line tonight: My brain is fried. Hope my students come rested tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snip Snip Here....

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.........yeah........ Allow me to introduce you to the pieces from the Maltese Star, Mystery #24 from the MysteryQuilts4Military Yahoo Group. I had NO intentions of doing this---honest engine......but when I was pressing, folding and organizing some fabric from the donation boxes last night, I came across this red, and all this I pulled some more of my blues together. And......V'IOLA! The rotary cutter just took over......and now: another quilt in the making!

In my process of going through my boxes of donations last night, I pulled out this gem. AND.....there was 3 1/2 YARDS of it!!!!! Hmm.....maybe a border? Part of the backing for Blue Ridge Beauty??? Or maybe it'll just be admired on the shelf for that next perfect project??? ;0)'ll find itself in a project soon!

Happy Monday!!!
OH! And, for those of you who had a day off today for MLK Day, I hope you enjoyed your day! I'm not quite sure why our school doesn't take vacation on this day. Anyway, today was actually a decent day; the kids were (thankfully) decently behaved for once.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Green Beauty; Rainbow Scrap Challenge; Stash Report

Green Beauty (80" x 94")


...and bound. Ready for gifting to Kathy.

And here is the design I was tempted to start....

...considering this pile of scraps needed some attention. BUT, instead, I pulled out only the blues and got back to work on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Blue Ridge Beauty. And progress I made! Here are 80 blocks in an 8x10 layout, but I still had units and other scraps laying around, so I kept piecing until it reached a 10x10 layout

My design wall isn't quite large enough to house all the blocks right now (notice the blocks on the left are overlapped??) I'm not a big fan of square quilts, so I will make up 20 more blocks to add to the top/bottom and call it good. That would give me a center measuring roughly 60"x72"; add a border, and it'll be a good throw/snuggler.

Some images around the household today:

Stash Report: January 10 - 16
Used/week: 5.4 yds
Purch/week: 0.0 yds

Used/year: 14.4 yds
Purch/year: 0 yds

Net Used: 14.4 yds


{{Aren't horses beautiful animals?!?!?}}
This is how I want to feel today, and I THINK I'm off to a good start.

Coffee in hand
have enjoyed catching up on everyone's blog
finished up (most of) my Statistics requirements yesterday
no one needs to be anywhere today, so no driving required
and the PACK did their job last night! will be a good day (if only the Bears will lose.......) Go Seahawks????

Breakfast is going to get underway and then I foresee some basement time.

Happy Sunday

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This week and today

Boy, I think this picture says everything, BUT change "day" to "week."

* I avoided temptation after dropping the girls off at a friend's house. I drove past TWO of my local quilt shops and did not turn in to either of them.

* I avoided temptation of starting a new project

* I quilted another pass of Green Beauty (before I gave up to the 60 degree temperature in the basement)

* I practiced my discipline by pulling out the Statistics books instead of waiting until tomorrow.

* Who cares? It's over, and doesn't need to be lived again.



That's what I want to concentrate on :0)

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Design Wall fight...

I headed downstairs at 7:00 tonight after dinner, kids homework, etc..... you know the routine.

And, I didn't feel like quilting Green I didn't.

Instead, I pulled out some of the blocks I had created months ago for Bonnie Hunter's Blue Ridge Beauty just to see how they were looking.....

And it wasn't long before I heard In Flight arguing with the newly placed blocks for design wall space.....

So, rather than insisting that they place nice together, I figured I might as well just bite the bullet and piece the rest of the In Flight rows together to be able to set the top aside.

And rather than just stopping at the quilt-center, I decided to continue biting that bullet and get the borders on right away before this turned into a UFO.

In Flight (67.5" x 79.5")

Yeah...pretty happy with an unexpected flimsey finish tonight!

And now my BRB blocks were happy.......

SEE! They started growing! It's not Saturday, BUT my Scrappy Rainbow Challenge finally saw some action, AND a UFO at the same time :0)

Hey....I even decided to quilt another pass of Green Beauty before heading up for the night too. Maybe that quilting will get finished tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MIL quilting; Green Beauty Quilting; Stash Report Jan. 3-9

This is the MIL quilt I was working on yesterday morning before my body tuckered out on me. I only had one pass left of it to finish up, so shortly after starting downstairs this morning, I was removing this from the frame. I'm not sure who she was making it for, but it's another to add to the pile of finishes to hand to her at the end of the month.

I tried out my new pantograph on it: Watercourse by Lorien quilting. I purchased this for my Green Beauty {{Jared Takes a Wife}} in mind, so I thought trying it out on a smaller quilt was a wise decision.

And naturally, it was a piece of cake, so I spent the morning hours prepping a backing and batting in order to load Green Beauty onto the frame. I've gone through 7 bobbins already and am nearing the finish. But I think this may be where I leave it for the night. My mom is spending the night and is expected any moment; but more importantly, the Packer game has started!!!

I'm not ruling out heading back downstairs later, but....I won't get down on myself if I don't.

Stash Report: Jan. 3 -9
Used/week: 5.2 yds
Purch/week: 0.0 yds

Used/year: 9.00 yds
Purch/year: 0 yds

Net Used: 9.00 yds

End-of-post update... Yup. Mom just arrived, with a GOODIE in tow! :0) Hancock Fabrics from the hometown was having a 50% off sale on batting, so I asked mom to pick me up a roll of Warm-n-Natural. Ya can't go wrong at $5.49/yard for a 20 yard roll.