Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Very Productive Weekend

     Regular readers of this blog know that once a month I get together with a group of about forty other quilters for a quilting weekend at a local hotel. We don't spend the night, but instead just quilt during the day. This month, the organizer scheduled an extra weekend, and I'm happy to say that I got a lot accomplished. First, I finished this mini turkey quilt just in time for Thanksgiving Day. The flip side features a pumpkin.  Next, I added borders to a music themed quilt upon which I have been working. The graphic design is made up of black and white musical note fabric. I love the borders that I have added and will post a photo when I can get someone to hold up the quilt so that I can get a good photo.  Wait . . . there's more. Maybe two years ago I purchased a kit for an adorable Christmas quilt. I was able to get a lot done on it this weekend, but that photo, too, will have to wait. All in all, it was a very productive weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Milton Teacher's Big Surprise

Dr. Jane Foley and James Moonan

     I spent yesterday morning at the Pierce Middle School in Milton, MA. Only a very select few knew the reason for the visit by Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, a few legislators, and a number of invited guests The spirited high school marching band traveled over to the middle school to get the program started. After a few welcoming remarks by the superintendent and the principal, the eighth grade girls chorus performed. What beautiful voices they had! I could have listened to them for an hour. Next,  Commissioner Chester spoke about the importance of dedicated, wonderful teachers. He then introduced Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president, at the Milken Family Foundation in California. She had come from California to notify sixth grade math teacher, James Moonan, that he had been named a Milken Family Foundation National Educator. To learn more this prestigious award, please visit MFF NAtional Educator Award. James was the only teacher named in Massachusetts this year to receive the award and only one of forty who were named across the country. The announcement also comes with an unrestricted $25,000 financial award.
     From the thunderous reaction of students and teachers, it was clear to see that Jim is a well loved and respected teacher. Pierce Middle School was a very happy and exciting place to be. Why was I there? Well, for those who don't know, back in 1999 I was sitting with my eighth graders in a junior high auditorium when then Commissioner David Driscoll made the equally stunning announcement that I had been named a Milken Family Foundation National Educator. Overwhelmed and shocked don't begin to express the feelings that I had. Each year, we veteran Milken Educators are invited to the notification ceremony to welcome the newest member into the family. Watching the ceremony brings back a flood of wonderful emotions for each of us lucky enough to have received this award. Jim became the forty-first educator from Massachusetts to be so honored. The entire process is very, very mysterious, and one never knows how the recipient is found and selected by the Milken Foundation. To read more about what the foundation is doing to help make advances in medical research and in education, please visit the Milken Family Foundation.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

This and That

     Here's a table runner that I recently completed. I love how it looks with this ruby glass bowl that my parents received as a wedding gift.  This bowl, which my mom always loved, has been on the credenza for as long as I can remember.

      Most of the trees in my yard have lost their leaves, but this maple in my neighbor's yard is still providing a bust of golden color.  I raked up a big pile for my cousin's little girls to jump in 

when they came yesterday for a visit. Later in the afternoon after leaf jumping, playing with Emma, going for lunch, and visiting the park, they thought it was great fun to help gather the leaves into a big barrel and roll it to the edge of my property so I could then dump it into the woods. Who knew? Somehow it's never that much fun when I'm doing it by myself.


  One last photo . . . last week I snapped a photo of this impressive pumpkin outside a local breakfast/lunch spot.  Pumpkin pie anyone???

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Busy, Busy Weekend

     It was a jammed packed wonderful weekend. My friend Laurel came on Friday for a day of quilting. I worked on my Venetian landscape and finished preparations for a talk that I was giving that evening at Heart in Hands on how to create an art quilt from one of your photos . I'm happy and relieved to report that my presentation was well received.  Thank goodness! It was great fun to once again to be in full teacher mode. Speaking of my quilt piece, here is where I am with it now. You can see that one home finally has windows and a bridge to get from one side of the canal to the other. :-)
      The Herring Run Quilt Guild met on Saturday morning. You should have seen all the wonderful quilts and wallhangings that were shown during the Show and Tell portion of the meeting. (The same could be said about the Heart in Hands meeting the night before.) There are some extremely talented quilters in both groups.
     After the meeting, I dashed home for a bit before heading to Watertown for a birthday party for a very special little five year old. There is always a cacophony of joyous noise when all seven of the little cousins are together.
     On Sunday afternoon, I went to a birthday dinner at the Mill Wharf in Scituate Harbor in honor of my Aunt Joan's 90th birthday. I took a photo of her standing surrounded by her five sons. . . "Joan's boys." I don't recall any of them ever calling her "mom;" they have just always called her with affection by her first name. When I was young that seemed strange, but of course by now it seems totally natural. Aunt Joan is doing well and still lives in the house that my Uncle Buddy built for their young, growing family in the fifties. I'm going to get a frame for the photo and perhaps Emma and I will stop by for a visit later this week. Yes, Emma loves visiting Aunt Joan, too!