Friday, 11 May 2012

Public singing

Tonight we went to the Acoustic Music Club night in a local cafe. The idea is that you put your name on a board, then when its your turn you get up and perform.  Son#1, who is a huge ukulele enthusiast, put his name down.

So the first time we go we end up singing. I was stunned he put his name down, he is much braver than me. I sang with him on the chorus of Hey Soul Sister by Train. He looked as cool as a cucumber, but said he was shaking! And he was as high as a kite afterwards with happiness. Son#3 also got up for the chorus, and was applauded, mainly because he is cute and does a lovely bow at the end! Here starts the family singing group - watch this space.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Where I work, we have a lot of fun, but not many of the kids are actually striving. Cruising is a major mindset.

This past weekend, our school has hosted a speech and drama competition, and the vast majority of the kids there are focussed on doing their very best. Striving is a huge part of their nature, and the competition and the teams pushing each other on is so inspirational. And the Mass where everyone there is a trained speaker and has just done nearly 48 hours of religious education of one kind or another - its like a completely different thing to the standard Sunday affair.

Its being with those kids who are prepared to work and who want the rewards it brings that brings into focus my everyday clients. It makes me re-assess where I am and what I am doing. I wonder if I shouldn't be brave, and seek a job at a richer school with kids who have academic ambitions. I know it would be more stressful. I'd have to mark more, prepare more and there would be many more parents breathing down my neck.

Which actually reminds me of why I'm not looking for that kind of job. Tonight son#1 and I cooked an elaborate dinner, then went out to the garage to work on his latest project. We spent ages setting up his brother with a new something (ask me not what) on the internet. Right now, I want to have that time to spend with my sons. Not someone else's sons! And everyone seems mostly satisfied with my present work.

Perhaps when my kids don't want to spend so much time with me, I'll consider a better harder job for me. Daft thing is - it'll pay the same as now.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Sudden winter

We were enjoying a lovely autumn with sunny warm and windless days. Today was on and off cloudy, and the air temperature has dropped. When I walked the dogs I took a beanie. A Beanie! It means its getting C O L D .
Went to a ukulele orchestra or lesson last night and it was fun. Lots of people there, and a range of abilities. Also an Huge range of ukuleles. There were the cheap ones like the schools buy for their class sets. Quite a lot of those. And some mid-range type ones like mine - still plywood but not quite so mass produced. And then there were a couple of Really Expensive ukuleles. I immediately got instrument envy - but I'm not sure I would want to spend too much on a ukulele, especially a soprano one. Sure they look nicer, but the tone is not so different as the price tag would suggest. I reckon almost anyone could hear the difference between a cheap mass produced violin and a expensive hand made one. Even when played by the same person. The ukuleles all sound fairly similar to me - the soprano ones it might be because they are so small. There is not enough wood there for the vibrations to be substantially different perhaps. Dunno. Perhaps it would sound more different if I heard them being played by the same person one after another. We tried it in the shop though, and there is not much difference to my ear.

They can look pretty though.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Motivation of responsibility

As said yesterday, I now own the house in my own and only name. Today was ANZAC day, so no school, and another sunny windless day. So with the knowledge that I was working on my own home, and not his, I did some work round the place.

Ages ago I started painting the laundry window. As I hadn't finished I had not re-connected the window fastenings. So for about 3 months, every time we open the window there is nothing to stop it blowing right back. Today I painted two coats of top coat on it, and fixed the fastening back on. It still amazes me how FINISHING these fairly small tasks (it took about an hour all up but in stages) makes me SO happy. My painting skills are improving - definitely looks good.

Then I went to son#2's window and chiseled out the putty that was still hanging in there, and replaced it with new fresh putty. Strangely, I love putting putty in windows. There is an element of sculpture to it, and because putty is a soft oil based mouldable goo, I can carve it and smooth it, and generally play with it much the same as kids play with their food.

Just goes to show - I haven't changed from being a kid, except that I know where and when to do the fun things.

Son#1 got out of bed at 0400 this morning so he could go to the Dawn Service for ANZAC. I normally have to beg, plead and eventually yell him out of bed in the morning, so I didn't believe him when he said he was going. So I was rather surprised to find the kitchen light on at 5.30 this morning. He biked into town. Not meeting anyone particular there - but being a small town he saw lots of people he knew there. IN-DE-PEN-DANT.There's more going on in that head than comes out that mouth... He turns 12 tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sun befuddled ramblings

Its been amazing weather lately. After the summer without sun and without drought, we now have the autumn with both sun and drought. The garden is bolting along due to me putting water on it, while the lawn is starting to burn off. They call it global weirding.

At lunch I sat outside, in the sun, alone. The others sat inside and talked to each other about impressively mindless things. I like to sit and chat most times, but I often go back to the class room more peopled out than I was at the start of break. I sat outside and soaked up the sunshine, and relaxed into the quiet. And went back to class, ready for the noise.

In fact, class was quiet last thing, as I tried to explain linkage to tired and heat befuddled year 13's. I'm not sure any of us made much progress. At least there is no school tomorrow, so we have a day to find and engage our brains. Then a two day teaching patch, 2 day weekend, 5 day teach, 3 day weekend. Its a strange term...

Oh, and today the exband got his payout, and I got a mortgage.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

End of a good thing

Tomorrow it's back to earning my living, and the boys go back to school too. Its been a great holiday, I think in part because we had no great ambitions to achieve anything. We did do a few things - the vege garden has several new plants, and less weeds, the house got cleaned, we visited some people and made lots of extremely good food. But it all just flowed along rather than being strained over. That's what we will miss when school starts - its all stress and deadlines. Dead lines.
As of tuesday I will be a separated woman - he will have his payment, and I will be sole owner of the house. I will also have a mortgage - did you know that translates to death grip??!! Lovely.
One of the things I finished in the holiday was son #2's blanky. It is a length of material, cut in half and sewn together to make a large rectangle. Then pinned to a polar fleece blanket , stippled and bound.

Cheap blanket - $20 - cheaper than batting

I discovered the power of the blue tape.
Works better than white or green!
The whole room was full of blanky

Used Leah's tip on zig zagging the binding
One very happy customer - the best kind!
I should note the blanky goes round him twice in this photo. I only stopped stippling when thread ran out, and the size is pretty consistent, and LARGE. I have several new skills thanks to Leah.

So now I have to bind the asian fabric quilt and the holiday projects are finished. FINISHED.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The third day

It's the third day  of my holiday, and also the third day of Easter. We went to Mass tonight. Son#2 has to sit with us now and stay out of the crying room. He doesn't cry in there - it sounds like he is organising the super bowl though! yelling and banging.

The exband bought son#2 a length of fabric printed with sharks. I don't mind that part, but it seems it is my job to turn the fabric into something he can use. Which as I have a 'to do' list longer than I can actually recite I find his attitude ... annoying! He must think I don't have anything much to do with a full time job and full custody!!! But onwards.

I am pinning the fabric to polar fleece and turning a boring blue blanket into an exciting quilt. And I get to stipple the whole thing if I want to so should have big scale stippling sorted out by the end! Pinning it is really hard. The pins don't go through easily. Either the fabric is very high density - it sure looks tough - or pinning through polar fleece on an angle is hard because of all the threads. Dunno, but my fingers sure hurt.

Cleaned up the back yard today - swept, trimmed and weeded. Looks fantastic. Checked when to move the rhubarb and its June/July, so its a long wait to finish the final garden off. Ate first feijoa yesterday - feel so clever eating fruit out of the back yard.

Friday, 6 April 2012

The first day of the holidays

I  did a load of washing.

I went to put the irrigation on in one of the gardens, and when I turned the tap, the fitting snapped. I found a spare fitting, and fixed it. And put the irrigation on!

I cleaned the oven. (I don't like this job. It takes ages, is lots of work, and smells disgusting. I used to do it every holiday so it never got too dirty, and wasn't such a horrific job. I've been lazy for at least a year, and it feels great to have the job done, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed doing it.)

I finished quilting my asian fabric quilt, and tomorrow I will go and see if there is suitable binding in the local quilt shop. If there isn't, I am going to the neighbouring town on Tuesday, and they have 3 quilting shops so I have options. You have no idea how unusual that is!

I finally bought a new ballet album off itunes. Then I gave myself a class; then I used the music I liked to make a playlist for using next time. I've never used the playlist function before. I will use it again.

I walked the dogs, cooked the dinner, cleaned the kitchen with help from the boys, and then watched a movie with them. I'm off for a shower, and then to sleep.

So far, holidays are busy, hard work, and immensely satisfying.

What I learned: when tidying up the threads from quilting with an easy threading needle, do not put the needle in your mouth if you are chewing gum. Just saying...

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Six days

The alternative title for this was "I'm a single lady, I'm a single lady", as tomorrow I go to the lawyers after work and sign the separation agreement between the exband and I. I sent this agreement last year to him, after we agreed to it verbally, and it has taken a WHOLE YEAR for him to sign it. He has been through three lawyers and cost me quite a bit of money getting to this point. I'm gonna feel so relieved (and a little sad) to finally sign.

Onto other news, its six teaching days to the first holiday of the year. We aren't going anywhere much - I offered to take the boys up to see their father, but he said not to bother (!) so we are staying home. It will be good to chillax at home. And maybe catch up on keeping the place clean and tidy.

Quilt wise, I managed to buy the batting and backing for the Japanese print quilt and have started quilting it. The first material I looked at was $80 for 2m, but I found something cheaper (tea dyed muslin), then the first batting was going to be $70, but I got that down too, and the total for the cheaper versions of BOTH was $60. I'm going to be making a few shopping decisions like that over the next little while. Once I have done this one, I will make Hami's blanky which I don't have to buy anything for.

I'm gonna learn to quilt on the cheap!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Back from the break

Have been working away on a quilt top. Bought the charm squares about 4 years ago at the Quilters Symposium in Palmerston North. Went there with my mother, and we had a Very Good Time. The credit cards where slightly bruised by the end of the weekend though! Mother also bought me some fat quarters to give me a bit more to work with. A couple of weeks ago I went to buy Plain Muslin and came away with this rather sumptuously patterned fabric. A quiet palette, but definitely sumptuously patterned. The pattern is from Amy Butlers site - though I took no notice at all of her measurements and just used the biggest square I could get out of the charm squares after they had been washed, which was 6.5 inches. That set everything else. The photo does not show the whole quilt - for two reasons. One: its a big quilt top! and Two: I have one more round of squares to attach, so it ain't finished, quite.

And here is one of the dogs, wondering why I'm taking photos of her late at night

I have two Westie's, this one is called Shinty. She thinks she is in charge of everyone. Everywhere. My other Westie is the opposite, and prefers to be told what to do - she is very shy. They get on really well together.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Wagging the quiltalong, and sulking the report

I haven't done the last couple of assignments for the quiltalong. The first one was to practice quilt as you go. When I was trying to describe how I felt about this to a friend the only word I could use was
"despise": I despise quilt-as-you-go. I dithered for a while about doing it anyway, then decided I would listen to my inner voice (and outer voice too), and not learn to do something I would never do on a real quilt.

This week is quilt a UFO week. I know it is weird, but I don't have any UFO's. The part of quilting I like the best IS the quilting. Piecing is okay in a neat freak kind of way, but it is the quilting that I like, which means nothing sits around waiting for that to happen. As long as work isn't biting me.

Which it is at the moment. I have this Very Thick report to produce, some of which requires a large number of weasel words. I looked at the last section in the weekend and just about cried. Today my very lovely department helped me produce some suitable weasel words that press all the pc buttons, and I am nearly done on the hard stuff. I think the report is a good idea, just there is a lot of overkill in it at present. I will feel better about my whole life when I hand this report in.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Living the high life

When the exband and I separated, he decided to go and live with his parents a six or so hour drive away from here. At the time I felt a great deal of relief as I didn't have to deal with him except over the phone. So no fraught child exchanges on the weekend. I had my boys all to myself, and I liked that.

Today my boys went down to their friends, and when I went down there to ask if they could stay while I got the groceries, their mum said "Have a coffee as well", and I did. I very rarely get a break away from either work or the kids, and most times I don't mind. I do go to dancing while they have a baby sitter, but I am rushing home to save a buck then. Today there was no need to rush. I sat in a cafe and read a design magazine for a while, and then had a look at what was in the garden centre.

It felt absolutely grand.

So now I can see that if the exband was a little closer, there would be an upside. But you know, when I think about it, I wouldn't change my situation at all. Except for an hour off every now and again, when I don't have to rush. I'm sure that must be possible!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

invidious comparisons

At ballet tonight we had the star of our school in our class. She is a very good dancer, who injured herself late last year, and is doing the adult ballet class as part of her recovery program. When I compare what I do with what she does I just look plain awful.

On Monday we had the beginners class. We had about three students doing their first ever ballet class, and compared to them I look absolutely fabulous.

So which is true? Actually both are true, which shows how useless comparisons really are. They are such a sliding scale, and there is always something to improve or celebrate. I could puff myself up, or I could make the whole thing utterly depressing, so much so I give up.

Most nights at ballet I don't look at anyone, cos I'm working quite hard to do what I need to. I'm in that quiet space where I don't notice what is around me. It's a great spot - my brain stops going blah blah blah and I focus. I get in that space sometimes when running too. And occasionally when writing.

 I suspect enlightenment might mean living my whole life in that space.

I suspect enlightenment is a long way off!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Starry starry night

So our FMQ task was to go stipple round some objects - I did consider not doing this one, but then got inspired about doing some stars on a place mat - I want six large quilted mats to put on my rather delicate table. I've done three as part of this project, so why not continue?

So I did:

Four stars in a stippled ground

One of the stars.

I found doing this pretty easy. I'm happy with the stippling, and having a plan was a sensible way to get the job done. I also got to practice using a stencil and FMQing round it without spinning the quilt. The back is very dark, with a matching dark brown thread, and you can't see anything in a photo, so I haven't shown it.

What I learned: Having a plan is a good thing.

Major success story: I didn't 'have' to OR accidentally break the thread for the stippling. So I only had the start and stop threads to hide.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Happy birthday me

Today I had my birthday - the woman who works beside me turns 29 every year, but this year I am turning 44 for the first time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Star so bright

Our assignment was to go round and through a star. Leah said you can't do it 'wrong', and that you can sort of do it your way - or I hope she said that, cos its what I did!

First we had to stipple in a shape - Leah did not go around the square in the middle, but I couldn't help myself, and I did. It looks So Wrong to me to go over that square - so I didn't. Let's hope I don't get told off...

Rather small stippling from the top. I used a chalk pencil to mark the sandwich - almost like my first stencil?

First square from underneath

I have lots and lots of this red fabric - a shop assistant and I had a maths accident, which I still have about two metres left of. It was a really big accident, possibly involving a decimal place...

Me and son #1 really like the above star, and plan to turn it into a cushion for the window seat.

The second star looks fine - I definitely was using a stencil thing to make the pattern, and there are different sizes of stippling. So assignment complete! But this didn't come out looking so good to us, we thought it looked too busy and the middle star is drowned by all the busy stippling both in and around it. 

This week I used a cheater needle, and I'm terribly impressed with how much tidier my starts and stops were.

The underside of the second one is a bit munted where I forgot to put the foot down till after I'd done a few stitches, but I forgive me! That doesn't mean I'ma gonna show youall!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Insane homework levels

Both my kids have eNORmous amounts of homework this year. I guess it looks terrifying when they get it all at the beginning of the week, and then if we whittle away at it the job is not as bad as you think. But homework is obviously going to be a major part of what we do with our lives this year!

Apparently some parents believe its a good school if there is a lot of homework. It means there is order and discipline and Work Being Done. I'm a little under convinced myself. I suspect it is nothing to do with education, and all to do with Looking Good.

Doesn't matter what I think though, imma gonna haveta 'elp 'em wit it. Dammit.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The calming influence of vampyres

Had a very annoying conversation with my exband who is on medication for his mental health issues. His version of reality and mine are not the same, which makes signing a separation agreement very hard. Or at least, he has not been able to sign the one he was sent, I've spent about $1500 in the past year doing stuff for the lawyer he has now fired (and described as unhelpful), and now he wants to sign the original agreement. Which means the past year has achieved absolutely nothing.

So my head was blah-ing on about all this crap (above is a very brief summary) all day Saturday. When I saw a box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I knew what to do! After several episodes, I am once again grateful that I don't have him in my life on a day to day basis. I have a happy life now, and I know it.

Also there is less wallpaper in my bedroom, cos I have stripped two walls. That was therapeutic too.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A lack of fitness

I have now been at work for three days, and I feel like I have been run over by a series of buses. Probably three, ay?

I am ahead of a couple of things - photocopying and planning for lessons. I am behind on a major thing - a scheme for teachers to follow at year 9. It weighs on me!, and I will feel better once that issue has been addressed.

The holidays feel like three weeks ago!! So praise God we have a three day weekend starting on Friday afternoon due to Waitangi day. And then we will have to work without ceasing till the next break. I'm sure I'll get my work fitness back - after all, I do actually LIKE my job.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Back to work

First, we had a meeting in the chapel. With singing. Both songs were EXTREMELY repetitive, one took one powerpoint slide repeated ad nauseum, and the other song consisted of repeating two powerpoint slides. Note to self: its more interesting to sing if the words change a bit.

The chapel is now closed for the rest of the year due to it being an earthquake risk.

Then we had a meeting in the staffroom. For two hours, on the founding orders of the school.

Then lunch, then a department meeting for an hour, then another department meeting for another hour.

Praise God, that was the first day. I'm betting life gets a lot more interesting from now on.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Getting ahead of the schedule

When Leah said to try quilting in a straight line while free motion quilting I freaked out. I could see myself wobbling all over the place, and it was going to be All Too Hard. This year one of the things I want to do is learn to listen to my internal voice, and then either change it, act on it, or confront it in some way. When I heard all this Too Hard crap, I thought I better actually have a go before I talked myself into being too freaked out. Besides, its  quilting, and a practice sandwich to boot. What matters if it is really terrible?

Quilting on the fabric line:

You can just see a couple of the lines on here

This is the underside where I tried going in different directions

This was quilting in the ditch
This is the underside of quilting in the ditch

This was going round a pattern - I've outlined trees.

You know, for all the fuss before I started I loved doing this. I knew where to go, which is part of the trick with stippling. And I can see I will definitely use this. I don't have any stencils, so I couldn't try the stencil part, but I've always had a wish to make an amish style quilt with the elaborate feathers etc and I will need to do the stencil thing then.

What I learned: shut up and quilt!

Thursday, 26 January 2012


I did these squares in a rush last night - I want to keep up with the quilt-along, but the VCC rally has been a big time commitment. I'm guessing school won't be a great help too, so I am going to have to get a lot more quick about getting to the machine and getting it done. No fluffing around on the internet for me!

Here is the little one:

And the medium

And the large

All three together:

You could dig holes in these if you felt so inclined - the whole lot were done in about 15 minutes, and they are pretty rough. But actually I felt really empowered to be choosing my scale. I have quilted large and also Very Tiny before, but I didn't feel in control of choosing. I went with what was comfortable for the pattern, and then was stuck with that for the duration of the project. I'd also not thought of using an object to keep the scale constant - I've always just eye-balled it. And as I learnt last week it's quite a lot harder to see quilting from the top of a patterned quilt, so eye-balling can be hard cos you can't see your lines very clearly.

This week I learnt I control the scale, and that I can do it. Also using an object to set the distance between lines is really very handy.

And I also discovered that even 15 mins of quilting can be quite relaxing during a very busy fun and still stressful week!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Free motion quilting #2

Better late than never! Have been making placemats for my practice bits. The sons have chosen their own material...
The top of son #1's mat

The bottom of son #1's mat
 This came out OK. I used pin basting and the stitching is good tension wise. The scale changes quite a bit, and one side is definitely a larger scale than the other. Totally invisible faults from the top.

My mat top

My mat bottom

My mat bottom close up
My mat was a pig's bottom to quilt. I tried spray basting and must have used the wrong stuff. It was just caused spray adhesive, but in my defence it had a picture of a quilt on it! The needle got covered in glue, and then the top thread couldn't flow through and it would break. A LOT. The second photo of mine shows how often it broke, and its like that all over. But I liked the fabric and it is going to get a thrashing with food and going through the machine so I perserved. All the problems are invisible from the front.

What I learned: some huge quilting problems are all but invisible under patterned fabric, so chillaxe. And don't use dodgy spray adhesive on quilts. Work on keeping a constant scale! (How timely)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Unexpected eek

Went to the concert for the car rally tonight. We have to wear necklace passes to get into the venues, and they are terrifically strict about no pass, no entry. Just as we were leaving when son #2 demanded sandwiches. Son #2 is immediately not flavour of the day!

Off we go. We get to the venue, and are just getting out of the car when son #2 (again) announces "I don't have my badge!" - turns out this translates into No Pass. So I have to go home with son #2 to get the pass (and the mandarin and water he forgot - deep breathing).

At the venue we are walking in when I realise he has the necklace but not the badge - he dropped it in the carpark. Must admit, there was a little more than deep breathing this time!

Back we go, and successfully enter for the Proms Concert, Wanganui style. Lots of people have come to this one, and we enter and stand at the back, scanning tables for the family. Behind us, up in the bleachers, there is a shriek. Then I see son #1 coming down from the bleachers to me: "Please tell me that shriek was not your Grandmother?!".

But no, of course it IS Grandma. They had gone upstairs to be able to see better, and as the first row meant the safety rails were in the way, they had gone to the second row. Grandma can't walk so good, and she had travelled round the long way so she would avoid the big step/seat to the second row. When she saw us arrive, she didn't send son #1 to get us, she tried to step forward herself, and she had forgotten she was a step up. Crash. As she has a knee replacement and another knee that isn't a great deal better, she has no ability to catch herself. She stepped into empty space, and fell on the rail and then to the floor. Thank goodness she didn't fall down out of the bleacher area.

She's at the hospital at present with Grandad, having travelled in the ambulance. Grandad has my car, and they will be home eventually.

I should point out at this stage, when there were St Johns Ambulance people round and a proper problem, both the sons worked really hard on keeping out of the way and being quiet and good. They done good. Eventually.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Riding around in style

For the next week or two I am going to be riding around in this:

Notice the photobomb by the westie!

Its a 1937 Dodge Touring Sedan. Or so I'm told!!

Quite classy eh? The out-laws have come down to take part in the Vintage Car Club Rally here in Wanganui. So we have a lot of rallying and not a lot of quilting ahead.

Friday, 13 January 2012


On Thursday, the first ballet class of the year. Very Slow Plies. Long tendu exercises.

On Friday, the first run in a week or so, went 5km/3m round the river loop.

On Saturday, my intrinsic foot muscles (the sole of my foot) Hurt.

But we guessed that might happen, didn't we?

On the quilting front, and practicing stippling in rows on a place mat. Trying out spray basting. Trying out supreme slider. Having new never before problem - the needle thread is breaking, and its kind of stretch breaking where it frays, then doesn't run then breaks. And another new never before problem - completely missed stitches. Am going to try a new needle, and hoping the spray glue is drier this morning if that is the problem. Any suggestions, anyone?

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Today was the first ballet class of the year - W O O T !  Or that was how I felt till we started the tendus - then the lack of practicing co-ordination started to show, and my brain got fuzzy. But this is the start of Much Better Things, and it is always good to START.

The neighbour has decided he does not want his compost pile any more - his kids played on his rotary clothesline, broke it, and he is putting in a straight extendable line, with the post over the old compost heap. So we took the wheelbarrow over, and brought the compost back. Then I Pulled out the weeds:

This 'summer' has involved A Lot of rain, so the weed and other plant growth can be described as Luxurious.

It looked like this:

As you would expect.

Then I put the compost on and :

Notice the darker colour! Its about 25cm thick. So now I need to get the vegetables in there before the weeds come back even More luxurious.

After all that - I'm knackered.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The joy of tidying up

Over the last two or three weeks, the boys and I have generated a large pile of garden waste. Today I borrowed the neighbour's trailer, and took the lot to the dump. The whole process probably took an hour. Now, every time I walk past that newly empty spot, I feel a smug satisfaction in the clean and the clear.

I should clean up more often.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Working girl

I done been working hard this afternoon on the new year 10 scheme. Even if I say so myself, and as I am the only person who has seen it so the only person with an opinion, it looks damn good. The thought of teaching this is actually quite exciting, which is more than I can say for the year 9 scheme. And I wrote that too.

Perhaps I should change it?

Certainly, as I am the only one in the department willing to do this work, its up to me whether I give myself another job.   .      .       .     No. So there's another decision! Go me!

Went to buy food today and was declined - not enough money. Its the second time in the last month or so, which shows I am a Very Slow Learner. I should see what is in the account before I go mad with the putting stuff in the trolley.

Went to the sewing shop BEFORE the groceries - we have fabric, but no wine. Priorities, priorities :)

Sunday, 8 January 2012


Apparently I need a blog to participate in the free motion quilting project quilt along - so here it is. I'm Toni, and I am a school teacher in New Zealand. I teach science, and have two sons. I do ballet, run, take singing lessons, garden and try to keep up with the kids. I have 2 west highland white terriers, and a siamese cat. There are also goldfish (MANY) and a turtle living with me.

Sometimes, I'm a little busy.

BUT onto the reason why I started this blog - free motion quilting with Leah. Our assignment was wiggling. Here is the wiggling:

I started on the right - the stippling is the last bit.

As you can see the stippling was going good till I got to a funky bit top left. Its the first time I had tried quilting such a tiny little sandwich. And I still lost concentration!!!

This is from underneath - the tension is wrong!

The bobbin is too tight - this was done with the feed dogs still up, and stitch length set to zero. It is a LOT better than with the feed dogs down, so I will continue to experiment with this. Obviously I still need to play with the tension dial, but not so much. First useful clue! 

Just for information, I am using a Janome MemoryCraft 4000.

Leah talked about writing on a quilt - one of my first quilts had writing on it. It was for Son #1, and I quilted his name down the sides of the quilt - here is a wee section of it:

I wanted to make the quilt unmistakably his - this succeeded!