Friday, February 7, 2014

Look Mom! It can be done.

I decided that it's time I make a quilt again, but before I buy fabric I need to use up what I have on hand. So these are all my flannel scraps. They are mostly pinks, but my daughter helped me dig out some bolder scraps to add some punch to it. We both agree that it still has too much pink in it, but what can you do? I am using up what I have and this is what I have.
So I have been wanting to try this block for a couple years, ever since I learned that it's possible. I can't remember what it's called, so if you know, please tell me! If you look at each block you wonder how to match up the corners. I'll show you how it's done. It's pretty simple and quite brilliant!
So you take your first strip and start to sew it onto your middle block. Don't go all the way though! Match up one side of the block with one side of the strip and then stop a couple inches or so before you get to the end of the block on the side where the strip is hanging off, like so:
Then sew the next strip across the top. See how the side strip isn't sewed all the way on?
Then you can do your next strip down the edge. Notice how I messed up on the measurements. I forgot to take into account seam allowance, so all my blocks should have been half an inch bigger, or my strips half an inch shorter. Oh well, I just trimmed the excess on the strips:
Then sew the last strip across the bottom and you should have this much done:
Then you can finish up that first one and just finish sewing it on!
And Wala! YOu have a finished block that will make people think you must have had to do something complicated and super talented with the corners...
When this is finished I think it will be about a lap sized quilt. Pretty impressive for not spending any money and using up my scraps. It's so liberating to use up scraps. You feel all frugal and I love the challenge of coming up with something from nothing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pocket Chore Chart of Choices

I have a hard time throwing things away. Like old pairs of pants that are torn up and can't be worn. It's still fabric you know and I just can't bring myself to throw them away. So I've been collecting pockets from our old worn out pants for the past while and have been pondering what to do with them.
Add to that, the fact that I've been trying to teach my kids to do chores. To not much avail! They fight me on it and I'm terribly inconsistent. So this is what I came up with.

The Chore Chart of Choices

I was experiencing the big dilemma of rewards vs. punishment. It seems like most people claim rewards work better and are better, but I have a certain child who doesn't really care if there is a reward, she just refuses to do chores if she doesn't want to. This leads me to be inconsistent with the consequences of her disobedience and depending on my mood I do anything from ignoring her and just doing the chore myself, to getting angry and doling out random punishments. But then I realized that it's not really fair to her that I randomly just ask her to do a chore every few days and expect her to do it on my own time, or suffer an unknown consequence, or none at all.
So all this pondering led me to the choices chart. I thought, why not combine rewards and punishments and teach the kids about choice and consequences. In other words, accountability. It might sound complicated, but it makes sense to me.
So they will be required to choose some chores from the chore pockets each day. They may choose to do the chore if they wish and when it's done they can pick a reward. If they choose not to do the chore they can pick a punishment. I really think this will save me from getting frustrated and angry because I don't really care what they choose (don't tell them that though) as long as they are learning a lesson here not only about helping out with chores around the house, but also how every choice brings consequences.
The chores are age appropriate things they can accomplish mostly on their own. The rewards range from getting a piggy back ride to having some screen time. The punishments are also age appropriate and range from sitting in timeout to losing toys.
I think in life we can make choices and sometimes we have a good idea of what the consequence will be (If I don't pay this bill, I'll probably be fined) but sometimes we don't comprehend the consequence until it happens. So, the punishments vary but I try to match them to the chore.
We'll see how this little experiment works. I already know that one certain child of mine will be excited to do the chores and pick the rewards every time. I am curious to see how the other one reacts to it, and how often she will choose to just take the punishment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Floppy eared puppy quilt

While I was Black Friday shopping with my mom last week we were checking out a used bookstore. We found this book:The only quilt I liked in it was the one pictured on the cover and I think I can figure it out on my own (without spending $10 for a used book!). It looks super simple. Anyway, while I was trying to sketch out the dimensions I also came up with my own pattern. What do you think?
So be totally honest with me, which type of dog do you like better? My husband doesn't like mine, but my daughter does. The quilt will be for my 2 year old son and he couldn't care less which one I use.
Or, if you know of any better patterns, that would be great too. I did a little search on the web and wasn't too impressed with anything I've found. I want something simple yet cute. I already have some fabric and I'm excited to start another quilt!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hearts and Butterflies Revisited:

I guess I kind of gave up on this blog. It seems like right after I started it I started to hate sewing! Well, I'm back to quilting again so we'll see how long I last this time.

A long time ago I started working on a scrappy heart and butterfly quilt to make for someone's baby. I can't even remember who. Anyhow, I got so sick of it I packed it up in a box and put it away never wanting to see it again. I had a little change of heart recently when my friend was complaining about how some people don't finish what they start and I decided to pull it back out and finish it. I also decided to stretch it out and make it into a twin size quilt for my three year old girl who desperately needs a big enough blanket for her bed.

So, I'm still not quite done yet but I will finish putting the borders on this week and then I will be setting it up at my friends house to hand quilt it. So, anyone who wants to claim a couple hand stitches in this quilt, come on over and have a little quilting party with us! It will be fun. You can meet my old lady friends!
Alright, enough talking , here's what we've got so far:
The lighting isn't the best in this picture but I'll take a better one after I get the borders on. I have gone through ups and downs with my feelings on this blanket, but as of right now I like it. I don't really love it, but I like it. I know it will change even more with the borders and and being all done though so I'll tell you what I think when we get there!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Really almost done now!

My Mom just sent me some pictures of the quilt being quilted. I got to go with her to take it to her friend who has a quilting machine while I was visiting and I got to pick out the designs to be quilted onto it. Basically just hearts and loop-di-loops. Here's how it's coming along:
I love it! And btw Wendy, I have done some handquilting before. Not much, but sometimes I get together with my old lady friends and help them handquilt baby blankets for grandkids. I still have yet to do one of my own though. I think I will try it next with my hearts and butterfly's, and you'll have to come help me! Otherwise it may never get done...

Monday, March 21, 2011


I accidentaly just posted about the quilt on my family blog and it's supposed to be a surprise for my sister and she gets the emails from my family blog. Argh. Oh well. So here's what I posted and deleted over there:
I probably shouldn't be posting about this quite yet as I still need to add the final border. I'm just so excited about how far I've come though so here you go. You get two pictures because I could not decide which to post:
After I finish sewing the final border on tonight, it's off to my Mom's to finish the rest. She and I will pick out some backing fabric, get it machine quilted, bind it, then ship it off to the happy couple. It has been a fun and bumpy ride getting this thing sewn. I have enjoyed it for the most part and it has been especially nice to have my friend working with me and helping me all along the way. It helps it go faster and be funner when you have someone to work with. This quilt wouldn't win any ribbons at a fair, but I'm proud of it and I think my sister will like it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Square'n em up!

Can you believe it?! I have finished all of the blocks. Last night I was so frustrated because everything seemed to be going wrong and nothing was matching up. Of course this was after I had been up with sick kids all night, sewing all day, and it was 10 pm. I was so mad I went to bed thinking how I was going to pack up this quilt, and put my sewing machine in the closet out of sight for a few months and not even think about sewing for awhile!
Ok, that was the exhausted me last night. Today I started squaring out (is that even how you refer to it) the blocks I already had done. That was going so well and was even kind of fun. After I did that for a bit I went to unpicking and resewing my squares that needed resewing. I actually finished them all! Now I just need to finish squaring them and then sew the borders on. Then I can sew them together and send it to my mom to finish and I'm done!
Anyway, it pays to live next to a quilter. My friend loans me her nifty tools that I can't afford to buy yet. This is a square that you can line up on top of your blocks and cut them all down to the exact right size. See the diagonal line from corner to corner? That helps you get it exactly strait. I find that when I put it on and think I have it right, then check the diagonal line I might be way off, so it's nice to have something exact. Our eyes can be decieving.
This is my lovely stack of perfectly sized blocks that I can now begin sewing borders onto!Don't they look perfect?