Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A few Works in Progress

Do you ever just feel like you have a few projects and are never getting ahead on them?!

Well I have just a few of them - and I have been trying to make some real progress on them! Here are 3 of the ones on the top of my list right now.

This one I have had in the works for about 3 years -yes 3 years. It is a very scrappy quilt and so I have been collecting just the right fabrics to use. But I finally just decided to use what I have and get this quilt done! 
Now I have all the blocks done for it - just need to sew them together!

This one I actually just started. I had a jelly roll of yellow/gray/blacks and decided to finally use it!
This last one was another jelly roll that I had. I am really trying to use what I have and not buy any extra fabric - it is really hard!!!
All of these quilts have some great potential! I will be sure and share if I ever make any more progress on them!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

2012-13 Homeschool Curriculum

Due to numerous factors I have decided that I am going to homeschool my kids this year. This is not small undertaking and I have been planning and researching forever. Today I thought I would take a moment and share what I am doing this year for my kids in school. I learn so much from reading what other people are teaching and using. Maybe I will be able to help you out in your curriculum choices. This year I am teaching 6th, 4th, 2nd grades and Kindergarten. I will also post what I think about each of my choices as we move further along in the school year - we started a couple of weeks ago so as to allow more breaks for mom throughout the year!

For my 6th grader we are doing the following:
We have moved around a lot and so I am teaching some things at a 5th grade level to just make sure he knows his stuff. I have found that there are some things he learned and some he did not. We will see if this is a good move or bad move on my part!
Math - Saxon 7/6 -
English - Following the Plan 5
Writing - Writing with ease
Spelling - Spelling Power - so far I love this program!
Handwriting - Handwriting without tears - cursive review.
History - Story of the World volume 2
Science - Scientific America bring science home experiments
Music - piano lessons
Art - Usborne Art Treasury and lessons

4th Grade:
I moved down a level in English here because I found that she just did not know the stuff from previous years.
Math - Saxon 5/6
English - First Language Lessons level 3
Writing - Writing with ease level 3
Spelling - Spelling Power
Handwriting - handwriting without tears - beginning cursive
History - Story of the World volume 2
Science - Scientific America bring science home experiments
Music - piano lessons
 Art - Usborne Art Treasury and lessons

2nd Grade:
This kid is mine is a little bit of an overachiever, and so we are doing some double lessons because he wants to get ahead. I just love that!
Math - Saxon grade 2
English - First Language Lessons
Spelling - Spelling Power
Writing - Writing with Ease
History - Story of the World volume 2
Science - Scientific America bring science home experiments
Music - piano lessons
Art - Usborne Art Treasury and lessons

Math - Saxon math K
English - Sing, Spell, Read and Write. I have used this with two of my other kids and loved it. But he is getting a little bored with the cutting and gluing so we usually skip those pages - ah the joy of being able to custom fit our education!
Writing - I have him draw a picture of something he has done recently or likes and then write about it. He really has trouble with the writing part, and I am trying to get the older kids to just let him do it and not tell him how everything is spelled.
For History, Science and Art he does the same as the other kids but a simpler version.
Music - he is not doing anything right now, but will start piano lessons when he is in first grade.

You might have noticed that I am teaching the kids all the same thing for History, Science and Art. This is just to make my life easier. I am already teaching enough other lessons that I think it it fine to do a bunch together. I do make my 6th and 4th grader do more in depth study with these sort of things.I also do not have a set thing for PE, I think it is important for kids to just get out and play and ride bikes and so I just make them play for a certain amount of time outside. My kids do not do any sports because we live so far out from town, but we try to play a few every now and then in the evenings with the neighbors.

We don't really have a set schedule, but they just have to be started by 9 o'clock. They are not allowed outside to play until school is done. Somedays are longer than others, but I am trying to help them to prioritize and be self starters. We currently do school Monday through Friday, but we do take every other Friday off - or another day of the week if Conan is off.

I am writing this more for me, to help keep me accountable. I will post how I liked certain things for certain grade levels throughout the year as I get more experienced with them. I wish you all the best of luck in the next school year!
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tulip Quilt

Remember that quilt top I told you about the other day? Here it is all done except the binding, she wanted to do that part on her own. Well I actually sewed the binding on, but did not do the hand-stitching part.
I was so excited that she asked me to quilt this, especially since she sews and could do it herself. But machine quilting is probably my favorite part of the whole quilting process! So it was something that was relaxing for me to do!

I love the colors that she choose for this quilt, they are just stunning together. Here is a close up of the corner with the tulips in it.
She told me that she made this quilt when they were stationed in Germany and was inspired by a trip that she took while they were there.  To quilt it I did a simple all over design, per her request. This will later be a wall hanging when they move back to South Carolina when her husbands retirement is in full swing!
I have been working on getting a post up about my curriculum choices for homeschooling my kids this year, hopefully I will be able to share that with you soon! And I have a few quilt tops that I have been starting, and then not finishing because something comes up or I get started on another project!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Retirement Quilt

I know that you are all probably sick of seeing all these t-shirt quilts, but I have just one more for you today.

This lady's husband is retiring after over 25 years of service in the Air Force! That is something right there, and she is something else just for being his wife, and supporting him through every deployment and assignment!
This quilt is made from all of the shirts he has collected from different assignments all over the world. 

We then backed it with awesome Air Force fabric.
She was really excited about this, and was trying to keep it a secret from her hubby. Also, when she came to pick it up she brought me a quilt top to quilt for her, which I will share with you later this week.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simple Job Chart

School is starting around here next week. For everyone else that is. I started my kids a week or two ago because I want to take some longer vacations during the year.

But I have a five year old that is starting Kindergarten this year. This boy is not very motivated when it comes to getting jobs done, but he loves to do school - go figure. But I am a person who likes to have the basics done every morning, so I knew that I needed a job chart or sorts to help him out.

I have seen a bunch of different ideas on pinterest and I am sure I saw this one as well, but I honestly don't remember. If you came up with this idea thank you for letting me steal it - I take no credit for it!

I did not want to buy anything to make a chart because I did not want to wait until the next time I am close enough to a store with something cool enough to use. So I went through all my stuff and found these awesome cardboard pieces left over from another project. I think these turned out pretty good.

We decided that Thing #4 needed the job chart, but we made one for Thing #5 as well because we knew he would want one too. I had Conan draw the pictures because he very talented that way. I then just wrote what the job was on a clip to help with learning our letters this year. All he has to do it move his clip from one side of the chart to the other.

Easy Peasy. The jobs my 5 year old has to do everyday are get dressed, make bed, eat breakfast (sometimes this one takes the longest!), brush teeth, morning job (we rotate through the different jobs that have to be done daily in the house), and read scriptures - he actually has Thing #1 read him a scripture story everyday from our scripture reader.

If he gets all of his jobs done in a certain time frame each day he gets a sticker, and after so many stickers a treat. Sometimes a sweet treat and sometimes an extra privilege.

I have to say that so far it is working great. We have gotten all our jobs done last week!

This is Thing #5's chart. He just has to get dressed, make bed, eat breakfast and brush teeth. I usually have one of the other kids helping him out and teaching him how to do the jobs correctly.

A couple of things that I like about these are they are sturdy and won't get bent too much, they can carry them around to help them remember what they we going down to their room to do, they can see from the picture what has to be done and don't have to keep asking me what other jobs they have and I let them color the pictures to help them be excited about the charts.

Like I said this has been great so far, I hope that it keeps us!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

And another T-shirt Quilt

Here is just one more t-shirt quilt I have made recently. For this one the lady just wanted the t-shirts in a collage for the front. That is a little bit harder - it is like figuring out a puzzle without a picture. But I was able to make it work, and this is what we ended up with.
For the back she just wanted some flannel - with no batting in the middle.
This will definitely be a nice cozy quilt to snuggle under while watching a movie!
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another T-shirt Quilt

I seem to be known as the sewing lady around here. Whenever anyone needs anything fixed or sewn they come to me. Right now these T-shirt memory quilts seem to be really big. I made a ton of them before I left Colorado.

This one was a simple one. She was just going to use it as a throw on the couch, and so the size was not that big of deal. I tried to cut all the shirts 12 x 12 inch square, but some of those fitted female shirts are a little smaller. But she had some bigger logo ones that made up for it.
I know I am not the best photographer or my projects, but everytime I tried to take a picture of this quilt my kids wanted to lay on it. I have around a dozen of pictures with my kids on this quilt. Here is Thing #5, in all his glory. I just loved it so much I had to share!
Have a great day!
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap Review

I don't know about all of you, but I have jumped on the 'make your own laundry soap' bandwagon thanks to pinterest. We do a lot of laundry around here, but I have noticed that it is getting better now that Thing #1 and Thing #2 are now doing their own laundry. I think the seeing how many loads it takes for just their clothes makes them not just toss everything into the laundry. It is kind of nice.

I have done it before, but then I got lazy and well I am sure you all know how that goes.

But I decided that I would make it again. I followed this recipe for liquid soap. She gives great instructions and it was super easy. The kids even helped me measure all of the water. I know there are a bunch of different recipes out there but they are all about the same. I am also a little bit partial to Fels Naptha soap because it was what my mom used growing up for stains.

I also made some dry soap because I wanted to try it as well, and now I use it as an extra when the clothes are extra dirty - so it pretty much all the boys loads this summer! I just used 2 C borax, 2 C super washing soda and 1 bar grated Fels Naptha Soap. Mix together and your done. And I had this awesome container to keep it in. I used this container when I had babies and was making baby wipes - yes I was that mom. But in my defense it was the only thing we could afford when we had our first and it was just one of those things that stuck. Anyway we decorated it with all those stickers from the dr.s office.

I do add some of these to every load just to help it smell good. It is not that it smells bad, but more of there is just no scent. And I like my clothes to have a little something smell so that I know they got washed.

I will let you know how long it lasts. My last time I made this it lasted 4 months. So we will see this go around - now that it is summer we seem to have a little bit more laundry floating around.But it is a great deal!

Oh and I also found this miracle whitening recipe here. I have noticed that my whites are a little dingy - I even used oxy clean, but this is fabulous! My whites were uber white!! And I washed one of Conan's old shirts that was a little yellowish (thanks to a few years on well water) and guess what . . . white again! I have decided to just wash my whites like this every couple of months.

Have you tried this yet and what do you think? I am really curious about what others do and work works best for this laundry soap business.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Picnic Bridal Shower Quilt

Now my computer seems to have nothing wrong! It makes me so frustrated! But at least I get to share another project I finished with you guys.

A little while ago my friend asked me if I would make a picnic type blanket for a wedding shower for her soon to be sister in law.

Of course I was more than happy to oblige her!

I have this pattern that I was given when I went to my first quilting get together. They called it fat quarter something or other - I don't remember the correct name. But I never made it then, but I kept the pattern through all of my moves, because you don't just get rid of a pattern.

When I was thinking about what I wanted this too blanket to look like I remembered this pattern. It was perfect.

I bought a charm pack that had mainly purples and started sewing (I cannot remember what the line of fabric was, but I bought it from the Intrepid Thread, and I would buy from them again in a heart beat!). Here is the top all done. I did make a few changes, and unfortunately my math was not right on the money - but my friend said it was still awesome, and wanted me to keep going. So I kept sewing at it.
Here it is all done. I love how simple it is and so did she. In fact she said that everyone loved it - and that just really made my day, I felt all sorts of awesome!

Here it is all tied up ready for her to give away.
I tried something a little bit different with the quilting. I had seen something on pinterest and I thought that this would be a good time for it.

It was quilted like a tree and they had names carved into it. It was one of the easiest quilting techniques that I have tried. I cannot wait for someone else to get married so I can use this technique again!
However, getting the name in the quilt was not as easy. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly how to do this. This is what I ended up with. I was glad that it was supposed to look like it was carved into a tree because then my letters did not have to be perfect!

I am sharing this at Happy Quilting's TNT, my new technique being the quilting that I did!

On another note, I will probably be sharing some other things than crafting on here. Because of this move and other reasons I have decided to homeschool my kids. My crafting time has been cut into, but we are jumping into this with both feet! So you might see some science experiments, history projects, field trips and the like on here. I hope you will still follow along, but I understand if you don't.

Thanks and have a great week!
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Sorority Memory Quilt

My computer has been playing this fun trick on me of turning on and off by itself.

It is great. I usually get about 30 minutes tops before it turns off. So I am sorry if this post seems a little rushed, I am not sure when I will be able to get back on my computer.

Because of this new problem, I have been trying to get my pictures moved to the hard drive. I try to stay on top of this, but I am sure you all know how it goes. In doing this I found pictures of this quilt. This was one of the first t-shirt quilts that I made. I posted about how I started it way back in Jan, and realized that I never posted the finished product! Remember this quilt?

It was huge! She had around 50 shirts for me to use!When it was done she asked if I could sew some more of her husbands shirts on the back. I was able to make it work and stitch around them so that you could not tell from the front that I had sewn more on the back.

But she loved it and loved how it brought back so many fun memories. Most of her shirts were from college and the sorority and fraternity she and her husband joined.
I used a simple Kona black for the back and then this goldish yellow for the binding. I was glad that I could meet her moving deadline and that she liked it. I have learned a lot about t-shirt quilts since this one! 

Hope that you are all having a great weekend! It is rainy here, perfect for doing a little sewing!

I'll be linking up to the parties listed in my link party tab! Check them out, so many great ideas! And to Live Laugh Love.

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