Archive for June, 2014


Sunday, June 29th, 2014

by Nancy

Here are a few updates on Crackpot project progress this week:

At school, I cleaned out a third filing cabinet drawer. Three down, one to go! (For this summer, anyway…)

The binding has been machine sewed to Anna’s quilt, and now I’m working on hand stitching it to the back. I got one of the four sides done, working on it a lot while watching World Cup Soccer. I’m very happy that the U.S. and Germany made it out of the Group of Death.


I basted the top, batting, and backing of the Tulip Quilt for my classroom.


And I started quilting it!  (The window work is finished, so my sewing machine is now back in the sunroom.)  I’m quilting in the ditch around the flowers with clear monofilament thread.


My Classroom Needs a Quilt

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

by Nancy

In August I’ll be teaching full time for the first time since Nicholas was born 12 years ago. The opportunity came up before I was really thinking about teaching full time again, but full time German teaching jobs are few and far between (this is the only full time German teaching position in the county – the other two high schools only have part-time German teachers), so I decided to take it.

I’ll be moving to a different classroom – across the hall to the main German classroom from the room I was in this year, which is the “part-time” world language classroom. One nice thing is that my new room has windows, which my old room did not. It wasn’t that bad since I was only there until mid-morning, but a whole day without natural light or knowing what the weather is outside would get pretty long.

So, one of my summer projects is going through the files and materials in the German room and seeing what I want to keep and what can be tossed. There are three file cabinets full of stuff that goes back several German teachers! My goal for this summer is just to get through one file cabinet.



I also cleaned out all the cabinets to find out what all was in there and to put things back where I could find them. I forgot to take a before picture, but here is how they looked once I got them emptied:

Phew! While I was working, I noticed that this wall behind my desk and computer looks pretty bare:

Since I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time in this room, I’d like to have something that makes me smile hanging on the wall back there. So of course I concluded that the wall needs a quilt! I don’t have a ton of time to make a quilt this summer, especially since my top quilting priority is finishing Anna’s quilt. But a relatively simple wall hanging should be possible, right? I looked through my books and magazines for inspiration and then remembered some scrappy tulip blocks I played around with before going with a different design for Helene’s quilt. I had several made already and only needed 16 total for a wall hanging, which I was able to do without purchasing any fabric. Here’s how it looks so far:

Current Crackpot Crochet Project

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

by Nancy

On the crackpotty crochet front, my current project is these crochet mandalas:

They’re from a pattern by Lucy of Attic 24, one of my favorite crochet blogs. She warns that mandala making can be addictive, and she’s right!  I had a great time making the first purple one, just picking the colors as I went along.  Then, I made the middle one by reversing locations of the purple and yellow.  I liked the purple one best, so I made another in that color pattern.  My plan is to hang them somewhere in my classroom at school.

The Story of Anna’s Quilt

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

by Nancy

Well, no one has posted yet in 2014, and I think it’s time someone crackpotty posted something crackpotty, so here you go…

Back in May 2013, a fantastic young woman, Anna, graduated from Bloomington High School South. I had the honor of being her Confirmation Sponsor at First Presbyterian Church and wanted to give her a special gift for graduation. Of course, a quilt came to mind. This idea didn’t come to mind with enough time to make a quilt for her graduation, but I did think of it in time for her graduation. So, I gave her a “quilt to be made” for graduation. That way, she could have some say in the pattern and colors.

In June 2013 Anna and I made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics. She didn’t have any definite ideas about colors or patterns, but she said she liked red and wasn’t opposed to flowers. After lots and lots of looking, we chose these fabrics:

Then, over ice cream, we chose this pattern from Quiltmaker Magazine:

The colors would be a lot different and there wouldn’t be appliqué in the borders and there probably wouldn’t be as many hexagon flowers, but we had a starting point. I didn’t know if I could finish by the time Anna left for college, but my hope was to have it ready for her when the weather got colder.


Umm, well. Then in July I got a part-time German teaching job and life got much busier. Time to adjust expectations. But there has been progress…


Even when my sewing machine had to be relocated temporarily for the sunroom windows to be refurbished, I continued working.

The quilting is done, and now I am sewing on the last of the hexagon flowers! My new goal is for her to be able to take it with her when she returns to college for her sophomore year.