My favorite block

My favorite block
Spinning Snowball block

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Somebody Moved My Cheese

I had a principal a few years ago who in an effort to get our faculty to embrace change, read us a book during inservice about mice in a maze trying to find their cheese.  The principal has moved on to bigger and better things but her legacy remains.  Whenever anyone on our campus faces an unanticipated change, we joke about who moved our cheese.  Well this time, my cheese is being moved.

I started my teaching career 23 years ago teaching kindergarten.  After teaching for 3 years, I decided to get my Masters degree in early childhood so I would be a better kindergarten teacher.  I was two classes away from finishing when my then principal decided to move me to 1st grade.

I did not want to change grades, but once there I LOVED teaching first grade.  First graders could already tie their shoes, knew how to go to the bathroom, and were so able to be challenged.  I happily taught first grade for 13 years before beginning to feel burnt out.

Just in time, a new challenge came when I was asked to teach a computer program to both Kg and 1st grade.  It's been a very busy and challenging position, but with no papers to grade or lesson plans to do, I finally had spare time to begin my life-long dream of learning to make quilts.  Then, as the result of budget cuts, my cheese has been moved again.

Next year, my 24th, I will begin a new journey as a Pre-K teacher.  My first reaction, was NO!!!!  I didn't want to have to bend over that far, sit in those itty bitty chairs again, and I gave all my Kg. teaching materials away.  But 10 minutes later, all the positives came flooding to my brain.  I still will have no papers to grade or standardized testing to do, my fellow Pre-K teachers are the sweetest women in the world, I will have a bathroom in my classroom, and four-year olds are still sweet, loving and eager to learn.  And............. I'll still have spare time after school to quilt.

But what really convinced me that this is God's plan for me, was when I looked on the back of the teaching materials that a retiring teacher friend gave to me.  She was the teacher across the hall from me when I started teaching Kg., my next-door neighbor my last year in Kg., and has remained a close friend ever since.  On the back of most of the posters, books, games, etc. that she gave me, is written my name, in my handwriting.  Life really is a circle of love.

So, somebody moved my cheese.  But I'll find it in August, and with it a rediscovery of the joy of teaching.

Boot Scootin' Boogie

I dropped two western baby quilts off for the long-armer two weeks ago.  Boot Scootin' Boogie was a pattern from a 2005 issure of Fons & Porter Love of Quilting.  Quilters Emporium got permission from the original designer to teach it as a class.  I had fun raiding my stash for all the different fabrics.  I added an extra border to the original pattern to make the boot blocks stand out more,  This is one of my favorite boots on the left.  I also had to have an Aggie boot as both mom and dad are Texas A&M graduates.

I had so many piano key strips left from the outer border of the first quilt that I decided to make a second quilt for a boy about to be born.  It was a pain to remove all the pink cowgirl fabrics and Aggie squares, but well worth it in the end.  This quilt is going to a baby from a family who are avid University of Texas Longhorn fans.

Baby Quilt Delivered

Well I finally finished a baby quilt in its entirety and delivered it to the intended baby.  My "ugly" quilt turned out much better than expected and mother and baby loved it.  Little SSJ played on it last night and mom reported that she loved exploring all the different patterns. 

The original pattern was Picture Frames by Cozy Quilt Patterns.  It was a strip club project, but the two different blocks together with the wild fabric was just too busy for me.  So I ended up putting sashing between each type of block and making two different quilts.

The second quilt is waiting for binding and a recipient.  I just have to decide who to give it to.