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.