Beginnings of a Soccer Watching Quilt

October 19th, 2014

by Nancy

Now that I have some good soccer ball fabric, I’ve been able to put together the beginnings of what I hope will be a warm soccer-watching quilt. I cut some 5″ squares of the soccer ball fabric and laid them out with the first three appliqué letters to see how it might look:


I think I’m going to need to lay out all (or at least more) of the appliqués blocks in order to decide how I want to arrange the other blocks – in some kind of pattern or randomly? So, to that end, my goal for next week is to appliqué one letter a day so that by next weekend I will have all of Nicholas’ name finished.

In other news, we returned to school this past week after fall break. Everyone was a little tired the first few days, but we got back into the routine and things are going well. My 2nd year students are, for the most part, getting a handle on the dative case. We made a foldable in class Tuesday to practice for the speaking part of their Unit Test, which they took on Thursday.


This weekend is homecoming for IU. They play Michigan State in football, which isn’t likely to go well, but we did have beautiful weather on Friday afternoon, and I was able to go for a long run.



Fall Break Appliqué

October 12th, 2014

by Nancy

Last weekend, while I was watching a soccer game in chilly weather, I was struck with inspiration for my next quilting project: a warm quilt for soccer game watching.  Since Nicholas’ and Andrew’s club soccer team colors are red and white, I decided to use red and tan.  Here’s what I found in my stash:


My plan is to do some machine applique letters to spell the kids’ names, soccer, and their club name, Cutters.


I haven’t done any machine applique in a while, so my first practice letter wasn’t great, but after I looked up the directions for how to pivot on inside and outside corners, things went much better.



Since it was fall break, I had quite a bit of time to work on it, especially since the weather was bad and the kids were visiting grandparents for the first part of the week.  I really wanted to find some good soccer print fabric, and I went to all 3 fabric stores in town but didn’t find anything I liked.

I did do a few other things besides sewing during fall break, such as cleaninIMG_0508.JPGg out some closets and making cinnamon rolls.  Yum!


On Saturday Andrew had a soccer tournament in Indianapolis, and there was enough time between games to visit one of the quilt stores.  They had just what I was looking for:


So far, I have the letters of Nicholas cut out, ready for applique…



Fall Break

October 5th, 2014

by Nancy

We’re on fall break next week, so I’m looking forward to having some sewing time. I’ve been thinking about making another reusable shopping bag. I started looking through my scraps and found some fabric left over from Mira and Audra’s quilts. That led me to the blue flower fabric, which is extra from Anna’s quilt, and I have quite a bit of it and some coordinating fabrics. We’ll see what I end up doing…




My week started out well – when I walked into my room Monday morning, this was waiting for me on my desk:


My laminating order was finished!!! My school just switched over from do-it-yourself laminating to “we’ll do it for you so people stop breaking the laminator.”  I couldn’t be happier – I’ve always been intimidated by the laminator and afraid of being the one to break it, so I hadn’t tried to use it yet.  Now I can just leave it up to the pros.

Later in the week we found out that our new photocopier was even better that we had first thought:


It punches holes!!!  I’ve never heard of a copier doing that.  Wow! For people like me who do guided notes and hole punch them to encourage students to keep them organized in a binder, this is fantastic!  As you can see, we’re still plugging along with the dative case – the last part, dative prespositions!

Fall arrived almost overnight this weekend.  On Thursday it was 80 degrees, and by Saturday morning it was in the low 40s for Nicholas’ soccer game.  The leaves are starting to change, too.



Week in Review

September 28th, 2014

by Nancy

Phew! Things have finally calmed down at school enough for me to write a blog post.  Here are the highlights of the past week…

On Sunday Andrew had a soccer game in Batesville.  I’d never been to Batesville before.  As we drove into town, Andrew looked around and said, “In Batesville they make hospital beds and baskets.”  Eric replied, “That’s caskets, not baskets.”  Sure enough, Batesville is known for making caskets.  In fact, they have a soccer tournament called the Batesville Casket Cup!



Monday morning got off to a great start when I walked in to the world languages office and found we had a brand new printer/copier. I was so excited that I took its picture and tweeted it right away. Of course, later that morning, the internet and the phones went down, making it impossible to send anything from your computer to the new printer/copier, but at least we could make copies!

On Tuesday one of my students gave the best reason I’ve heard so far in my teaching career (ok, so during my first 2 years of teaching in 1999-2001 students didn’t have cell phones) for possibly needing to use a cell phone in class:  He was expecting a phone call about a cattle transaction. Disappointingly, the call did not come during my class.

In German 2, we’ve been plugging along with the dative case.  We started talking about dative verbs and put our first four up on the Outlaw Verbs wall.


Due to school and soccer, I haven’t had a lot of time for quilting or other crafty activities.  Since finishing Anna’s quilt, I haven’t started any big projects.  I did spend some time this week working on pressing and cutting up scraps from my scrap basket.


Inspired by this quilt on Pinterest, I’ve been making some simple 6″ blocks using my 2.5″ scrap squares.


Both boys have had a lot of soccer games, and I’ve been doing some crocheting on my granny stripe afghan, both on the way to the games and at the games. It’s getting big enough that it keeps me warm while I’m working on it, which is a plus as the weather gets colder.


I’m making granny squares that follow the same color order as the stripes.  My plan was to put the granny squares on the edges of the blanket, lining up the colors of the granny squares with their corresponding colors in the stripes, but the squares are a little bigger than the stripes, so it may not line up exactly as I’d planned.  Still, I think it will look nice.


Ready to Go… I hope!

August 3rd, 2014

By Nancy

School starts Monday, so on Saturday afternoon Nicholas, Andrew, and I went in to school to hang up my quilt. Everyone agreed that it should go on the wall above my computer, and hanging it was quite easy. I used Command removable hooks, which seemed to work well. Hopefully it will still be on the wall when I go in Monday morning!


Quilts in Traverse City

July 20th, 2014

By Nancy

Earlier this week we were in Traverse City, Michigan. We went in to a bookstore downtown and found quilts on display:





This week’s Crackpot Projects

July 13th, 2014

by Nancy

This week’s crackpot projects have mostly been the non-fabric kind.  I went in to school for a while on Monday to  work on room set-up and organization.  I am not nearly as good at classroom decorating as some of the elementary teachers  I used to work with or many of the teachers whose  rooms I see on Pinterst.  Thankfully, the expectations  for high school classrooms aren’t quite as high, but I do still want my room to have some color and organization.  The board below is for posting the agenda for each of the different levels of German I’ll be teaching.



On this bulletin board I have written the German expressions I use a lot in class.  Then I’ve posted our class “tools,” which are online dictionaries and verb conjugation sites that we use a lot.  Finally, there’s a place to post “outlaw verbs,” also known as irregular verbs.



I also worked on organizing the cabinets with student supplies like white boards, dry erase markers, glue, scissors, index cards, etc that I want to be easily accessable to students.  It’s starting to feel a bit more like “my” room and ready for the school year, which is a good thing since school starts in just over 3 weeks!


July 6th, 2014

By Nancy


Anna’s quilt is finished! I finshed sewing the binding on this past week at the Quilting Ladies, and then I put a label on this weekend. I am not very good about putting labels on my quilts, but this time I did it. Now all I need to do is give it a wash, and it will be ready to go to Anna. Yay!

I’ve also finished machine quilting the tulip wall hanging for my classroom, and now I’m working on the binding for that.




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

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: