Monday, July 9, 2012

How big is that?

I made a decision before I went on vacation. This quilt I was working on is going to be the quilt for the XL Twin bed we have in the extra bedroom. That is huge. Way bigger than the lap size quilts I have made already. All of the sudden we are getting much bigger and quickly.

In case you are curious, an XL Twin is 39 x 80 inches. The biggest quilt I have made is 42 x 42. So this is like two quilts put together. That doesn't sound that bad does it?

Here is my sketch. Each square is 9 inches finished and 9.5 unfinished (.25 seam allowance). My quilt will end up being 54 x 90 inches if I use this sketch - which I am kind of attached to at this point. And I don't want to move things around too much...

The shaded gray squares are for my focus fabric. The blue jacks. All the white squares will be individual blocks that I am making as I type. Well not really. You can't sew and type at the same time. Not enough fingers!  

So I will need a total of 40 blocks to fill the white squares... So far? I have 14 done. 1 that is half done. It is right in the middle of the picture. It is made of scraps - and I don't have enough yet. But there will be three or four of that square - if not more. So just you wait. So I have about 26 more to make. Not bad. Plus some of the long strips of focus fabric. But that came in the mail today - so that will be done before dinner!

Long story short? I love this quilt. I especially love that it is hanging on the wall in our dining room. I adore that I have moved the blocks around so many time. I am trying to keep them looking balanced. It is fun. Every time someone comes over, the pieces move again. I also love that if I get frustrated, I can walk away from this quilt, do another project and come back to it without much consequence. 

Here are some of the newest blocks. And some of my favorites. And some of the more interesting ones to look at. And some boring ones for symmetry.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Avalyn Grace

While the power was out for most of the DC area on Sunday, a lot of my family was hanging out together, in the hospital, waiting for our "niece" to be born! After a long day Lesley & Steve welcomed a beautiful girl named Avalyn Grace (Name pronounced - A-VA-LIN - the first A is a long vowel sound.)

She is just precious! I was still at the beach until Monday. And they went home on Tuesday. Wednesday was July 4th. So I thought the soonest I could visit her was Thursday. and visit I did!

She is beautiful. I cannot imagine her being any prettier! Are you ready for a lot of pictures? Because I took a lot. Like I do. 

I mean seriously? Could she be any cuter?

Steve & Lesley are getting the hang of this whole parenting thing pretty quick! Avalyn is a very lucky lady already. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


On Wednesday, we turned in our keys at school. Then Colleen & I went out for lunch and got mani-pedis. We spent the rest of the afternoon packing because we were going to the beach!!!! For 18 days. !!!!!!! EEKS SO EXCITED!!!! I am still so excited I don't even know where to start writing.

Okay so from the beginning. Last summer Colleen & I decided that we were going to the beach. And we were going for two weeks. And we were going when we wanted to. And then everyone could join us. In the past we have had a group and tried to make it work for everyone for a week. But it is so much hassle (no offense to our friends).

So on Thursday morning, we woke up and finished packing. At 11:30 Colleen came over and we finished packing the cars and had lunch. Then at 11:56 we were off!!! We had a wonderful drive over the bridge and to the shore. We stopped at Elmer's farmer market for tons of fruit. And then it was onward to Grandma's house!

Colleen's grandmother is one of the nicest grandmother's I have met. She was so great about the dogs staying with her for a few days. The dogs made themselves at home in the living room. Thursday evening we rode our bikes down to the beach and around Bethany. We bought Fisher's popcorn and walked the boardwalk.

And then the days started blending together... in a wonderful way. On the first Saturday, we spent the day at the beach. Then Colleen went and picked up the KEYS TO OUR HOUSE!!!! The house was great. The upstairs had two big bedrooms with queen beds. And the living space was awesome! A nice kitchen with more counter space than I have at home, and a big living room. No big space for eating, but that was what the dock and porch were for. We made it work every time.

So let's see here. It was just the two of us while we were at Grandma's house. On Saturday, while we were unpacking, Colleen's BF joined us. He "chaperoned" us for three days. During which, we did nothing noteworthy... We went the grocery store, the beach, the boardwalk. On Saturday, we went crabbing off the dock. John was super successful! 

And then we had crabs for dinner. Not the same ones we caught. They tossed those back. Yum. Crab dinner.

We completed our first puzzle and blew up an outlet. I was cooking dinner, and we smelled smoke - but not from my food... it was strange. We couldn't find the smoke for a little while. And then there was smoke coming from a cabinet? Nope. The back of the fridge?!?!?! Nope. The can opener? Yup. From the outlet where it was plugged in? Yup. Oh. Okay. Colleen called maintenance and they took the outlet apart. They had to break into the garage to find the breakers. Smart people. Seriously. The next morning an electrician came and fixed us up good. 

John left us on Tuesday. We had about 6 hours before my hubs showed up. We spent the day on the beach and we each got burned... and at some point a frozen pitcher showed up on the beach... and the bike ride home was questionable at best. 

On Wednesday, two of Colleen's brothers joined us. One biological and one less so. With their ladies. We spent the day at the beach and had a great time playing cards late into the night.

On Thursday, Leela & Rachel joined our group. Matt & I went to visit family who were 30 minutes away. We finally got to see our cousin Adam's new home. It was such a nice treat to be with family.

Friday. It rained all day. All day. All day. So the ladies took a trip to the outlets. Colleen did a great job spending all the monies!

For the weekend, we had a full house. Lots of people joined us on Friday. Karaline, Meaghan, and Jackie. John came back on Saturday. And Alicia joined us too.

We spent another Saturday on the beach and then had crabs for dinner. After dinner we played corn hole and had midnight canoe races. Colleen's Dad and Alicia smoked everyone else's times! They were quick.

Sunday was another day on the beach. There was a pattern here I think. And then most of the ladies had to leave.

Leela, Colleen, John, Matt, & I were left. But John left on Monday. And Roxy & Scott joined us that night. Shenanigans.

On Thursday, Matt & Leela went home in the morning. Roxy spent the day on the beach with us and then took Scott home. And Alicia came back with her roomie for dinner! Alicia was trouble! She could not drink her drink to save her life. But boy could she wear it. So we gave her a sippy cup.

They were gone Friday morning. And then it was just us again. We took the dogs to the beach. As expected, Misty went in the water with me (not with Colleen) and Bones was fine until he realized that the ocean was made of WATER!!! We spent the rest of morning cleaning up and getting ready to move out. And then we spent the day reading on the porch.

Saturday we packed and left our house. It was hard to say goodbye to the house. And then we spent the day on the beach. That habit was sure hard to break. We were biking home when we realized that we left our magnets on the fridge. So I went and knocked on the door only to realize that I knew the people staying in the house. WEIRD! It was my student's family. Hi. That's awkward. I thought I had seen the father earlier in the day around the house but doubted myself until he let me in the house. And there was my student in the kitchen with a box of cereal suspended in the air - like what is my Spanish teacher doing here?!?!?!? But that was fun.

Sunday, we had every intention of going home. But there was a huge storm at home Saturday night. And we didn't have any power. But Grandma did. So we stayed another night. Which meant another day on the beach!!!

We ended the trip the same way we started it - on the boardwalk watching people trip on the sidewalk while drinking beer.

Monday we came home. And we started planning for next year!