School Decisions….

I’ve recently started the slow process investigating colleges for my oldest. Mostly, examining what will she need to be prepared to take entrance exams, qualify for scholarships, etc.? She’s twelve, that seems a bit ridiculous. However, I’m learning it’s not given how many factors and variables there are.  Maybe in like 12 years, I’ll write a post about college decisions, but for now, I’ll keep this one to a topic a little less novice for me: “How do I decide what primary education my children will receive?”  I often get questions about homeschooling or sometimes just comments.  They go like this:  “How do you figure out how to educate three children of different ages?” or “I could NEVER do that, I just know it is not for me!”  Yes, juggling three different age children has its challenges, and well, maybe homeschooling is not for you.  I’d like to back up away from these particular details for just a moment, because, while these are important thoughts to consider, maybe there are some big-picture items to look at first.

I spoke to our mom’s seminar today at church about schooling.  Before I did, with the help of some wise more experienced women, I prepared a list of discussion questions.  I’d like to share those with you today in hopes that it might help others navigate their schooling choice.

These questions come from a Christian perspective and do not infer any one decision is best for all families.  There is liberty in navigating your particular families needs and the season you are in.  Some families find that public school is the right choice, some private or parochial, others homeschool some or all of their children at various ages.  Some people send their children off to school with the intent of bringing them home for later years.  I’ve known some families that do just the opposite and that works great for them.   I think more important than the actual choice you make is how you arrive at that decision.  The process of getting there and considering the decision from of the angles.   School Choice Questions for Reflection and Discussion

What questions would you add to this list?


How to Make Quickie Valentine’s Cards with Fabric Scraps

I’m not so much into holiday cards…That’s cool if it’s your gig, just not mine!  I do like giving a handwritten note once in a while, especially with a gift to my children.  I always buy them a small treat and a little something to go with it for Valentine’s Day.  A simple way for them to wake up on Valentine’s feeling warm, loved, appreciated, and special.

Currently, I am working on a quilt, so naturally, there are scraps pieces ALL.OVER.MY DESK!

So here is my solution: Handmade blank notecards for the win!

Cardstock (I used 8 1/2″ x 11″) Cut in half width wise.. so they are now 8.5″x5.5.”

Elmer’s glue stick

Sharp small scissors

Tiny fabric strips at least 5.5″ long.

Fold the notecard in half matching the two short ends.

Glue the fabric strip 1 in from the bottom of the front of the card.

Trim the ends even with the edge of the card and any loose or stray strings. 

Use your favorite pens to write your own personal message inside the card!  

(Note: I did also stitch the fabric down; however the school glue will hold well enough to give your card. Heat set with an iron before stitching)

Work in progress… 

Last year I guest blogged for my friend on how I set my creativity free.  Today, I’m putting it into practice…

I’ve pushed myself beyond my quilting comfort zone… trying new free motion skills…  I still have huge improvements to go.  I know that, yet am pleased with where I am right now… Learning new things is a dance between being gentle and kind to yourself about where you are currently and stretching to grow past current skill level!  Today I’m spending a little time celebrating how far I’ve come, rather than beat myself up for not being where I want to be.  I’ll get there!

Is am adding small pebbles as a filler around the feathers, and this quilting will be done! I can’t wait to share it with you all!  

Slow down…. 

At some point, it has to be about more than just a finish… a check box that gets marked off, a line drawn through a to-do list! The process, the ride, the journey has to count for something meaningful! The present is where we are learning and growing.. this is where we become who we are meant to be! I decided I would not rush this quilt to be done just to be able to move on to the next quilt…oh how I want to get on with it! However, the people I love benefit greatly when I’m patient, and when I persevere…how am I ever going to learn that if I don’t practice it! Just like I took practicing feathers a few steps at a time, I’m working a bit on patience here so that when it’s required of me for REALS, there will be a bit of muscle memory… I’ll flub it up, need grace, have some “bobbles” like my quilting…but intentionally slowing myself down will help it not be so foreign when it comes to those I care most about! 

Scraps practice on Spare Parts Delight

Whittling down my work in progress list without starting any new big quilts has proven to be a test in my perseverance. I’ve had the Rainy Day Quilt by Lindsey in my stack of unfinished projects for well over a year… last week I got the top finished….and I wanted to branch out into quilting feathers… enter this baby quilt…

These are the curved scraps from the raindrops…a little wonky because, Hello! Scraps are  fun to just play with… sew them together without a plan, see where they take you!  

This is where my scraps took me…

Pieced along with some muslin scraps into a baby quilt…

 All the negative space was delightful to fill in with feathers… I used a Full Line Stencil and some quilt pounce powder to mark it. (Um, the quilt pounce pad was not working very well, I used a cheap foam brush.  A trick I learned from an Ann Peterson Craftsy class! )Finished it with more scraps for the binding… it’s like a spare parts delight!  I have never quilted feathers…they are quite the challenge, even with a stencil!  I started with a paper template pulled from a digital file and practiced stitching without thread… tempimageforsaveYou never will if you don’t try…

Always learning, The Meadow Quilt

Last year I set out to expand my quilting skills!  I wanted to take a few classes and push my current abilities beyond my comfort zone…

Enter the Meadow Quilt.. a class by Fabric designer Lizzy House.  I pushed my color comfort zone and learned to inset circles and piece curves, and more curves!After debating on sending it out to be quilted, I finally realized that this quilt already had so much “learning” involved, I might as well push my free motion quilting skills!  As hard as it is, the only way to get better is practice, and practice on a nice sized quilt is the best way! It’s been so unseasonably cold at night, so it immediately went into service as extra cover on our bed! The backing was a fun sheet, but it wasn’t wide enough, so of course I pieced in a bit of Lizzy House Meadow fabric to pay homage to the pattern on the front! 

I loved making quilting goals and intentions for 2016, then reflecting on what I learned, and how far I came!  I’ve expanded my intentionality for 2017!  I’d love to hear your creative goals for this year!

They broke bread… 

This year we will be more intentional about eating together, enjoying meals together, passing food, breaking bread, while sharing our lives and our faith. Being part of one another’s stories! So to that end, I don’t want to arrive at the table ragged from slave cooking an elaborate meal.  I want real food prepared without a large amount of prep time! Enter this Artisan Bread that took me exactly 7 minutes of hands on time! 5 last night and 2 tonight! 

“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46 

Bread for breaking!