Friday, September 12, 2014

Pineapple Progress and Less Lumpy Leaves

Progress on Pineapples and Applique

I finished another pineapple log cabin block this week!  So now that's three down, thirty-three to go in order to make a California King sized quilt.  Paper piecing these blocks is fun and relaxing, and the only downside is that I have strips of fabric in blues, greens, and neutrals covering every available surface in my studio, which makes it hard to work on other projects.  I have not yet come up with a good way to move this project out of the way when I want to work on something else.  I could just toss the fabric strips into three bins according to color, but then they would get all rumpled and wrinkled and I'd have to iron each strip before sewing it to my block.  Hmmm...  I really wanted to be able to alternate between sewing pineapple log cabin blocks on the 'Nina 750 and piecing more 4" sawtooth stars on Bette (the 1935 Singer Featherweight), but right now I can't even get to the Featherweight for all of the fabric strips spread out around that machine. 
 I also found time in odd moments to add a few more leaves to my Whig Rose needle turned applique block.  Ta da:

3 Leaves Stitched, 3 More Pinned and Ready to Go
 Subsequent leaves (top two quadrants of the block) came out slightly less lumpy than the first attempt (lower left quadrant).  None of the little leaves are as perfectly shaped as I would like them to be, but this is a learning project.  Since it's getting better, I'm counting it as a win!

The first two weeks of having the boys in a new school went fairly smoothly.  Their workload is much more reasonable, and they are both enjoying having some time for normal childhood activities like bike riding and shooting baskets in the driveway after school.  Less homework doesn't mean less learning, though.  From what I've seen so far, much more emphasis is put on teaching the structure and process of writing at the new school, both in 6th and in 8th grade Honors Language Arts.  I like that they have an A/B schedule where they have math and language arts every single school day for 90 minutes, but that social studies and science alternate.  After all, math, reading, and writing are the foundation of all future learning in science and in the humanities.  Those skills need to be rock solid by the time they get to high school.  Anders is getting his violin practice done in the mornings before school, and both boys are joining academic clubs this year as well (Chess Club for both boys, LEGO Robotics League for Anders, and Science Olympiad for Lars).  I think Lars is planning to get involved with the school musical, too.  So we're off to a good start this school year.

Best of all, the school principal called me personally yesterday to ask how Lars and Anders were adjusting to the new school and whether there was anything she or her staff could do better.  Can you believe that?  I never got a call like that from anyone at their old school, the much smaller charter school that was supposed to be like one big happy family.  Not even when Lars was the only new transfer student in the entire 5th grade, skipping an entire year of math and having to catch up with kids who had been taking Chinese since kindergarten.  No one from the charter school ever bothered to call me unless there was a problem, or unless they wanted me to donate more money to the capital fundraising campaign.  I am hugely impressed with Community House Middle School!

Since today is Friday and I did finish another block this week, I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that is neat about the kids welcome in school. Most schools just aren't like that - a pity.
Love the pineapple blocks and the applique too.

Elaine M said...

Lovely blocks, great colors. use cardboard trays Safeway from soup cans or cat food to move and store strips and projects.

DelawareKay said...

How about putting a wooden clothes drying rack next to your sewing machine. You could drape the colored strips for your pineapple paper piecing on the rungs.

I hope the boys' new school head finds out about your happiness with her call. That would make her very pleased.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

It is looking good-love the colors of the pineapple. And how lucky are you all to have a good school-priceless!

Anonymous said...

You might get your hands on a brand new, unused extra large pizza box. They work great for keeping cut pieces flat and organized. Maybe three, one for each color assortment. The pineapple quilt is beautiful!
Have fun.
Barbara in AR

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Those pineapple blocks look so effective! Totally agree with you about the reading/writing/maths being super important as the foundations for the other curriculum areas (I teach in New Zealand and that is the priority for my school too). Great to hear about the principal's communication with you, good on her!

Terri said...

I'm paper piecing a couple of things too, and it does create a different clutter, doesn't it! What about stacking your different colors on a full-size cookie sheet ?

Lane said...

So glad to hear the boys are doing well in the new school.

I used to lay my fabric strips over coat hangers, then I could move them around with a handle. And, hide them in the closet when some other project called.

Be well. Lane

Pine Valley Quilts said...

Gosh that was a great call from the school, I only ever got a call when my son was naughty LOL
Love your pineapple quilt, one of my favorite blocks.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Love your leaves and your pineapple

Angie in SoCal said...

Love your applique! And the pineapples look grand too. How lucky your boys are for such a caring school. Thanks for sharing,