cheaty mc-cheats-a-lot quilt how to!

Forever ago I made this quilt...and promised soon after that I would show you how I did it....and now here I am. :)
For the last one I used a down comforter...full size.  For this tutorial I am using a crib sized one...those lap sized down comforters they sell at Target would be perfect for this too...
So you need a "blank slate" blanket...down is best for making poofy squares. 
Scraps of fabric...size depends on your particular blanket.
Determine the size you want to make your squares...this blanket had 8in squares so I thought 6in squares would look best...
Cut as many squares as you need for your particular blanket...
Play around with the could use a different fabric for each square...or use your kids old t-shirts...or anything...
Then cut out squares of iron on material (I used Wonder Under found at Joanns)
Cut your squares a little smaller than your fabric squares...for my 6in squares I cut 5in squares of backing...
Iron on according to directions...
Arrange your pattern again and iron on...peel paper off first.
Then starting in a along the edge of the square...
when you get to the end of the square...cross the "road" to the other square...
and sew along all edge of that row...when you get to the other end of the blanket...turn the to the edge of that square...turn the corner again and sew down to the other end of the blanket...parallel to the line you just sewed. 
Continue back and forth until you get to the end...
Then...start doing the same in the other direction...if you are doing it in true mc cheats style you will go over some of the stitching you did going the other way...
When you are done you will have sewn around all four sides of each leaving you with nice poofy squares...if you want you could also sew around each square individually.
Perfect puffy cuteness...cheater quilt style. :)
And it's hoho approved. :) 


P.S. the edges will fray...I like that look.  If you don't want this you can zig-zag stitch around the squares. :) 

guilt and grief.

OK...back to some real posting.  I am done with hoho's for a bit...I made 64 this last batch...what was I thinking?  My poor little nubby sewing fingers...

In response to my post about homeschool vs. going to school: guys gave me a lot to think about...if I could, I would live where one commenter mentioned that she can homeschool two days a week and the other three days a week her kids go to a private school.  Yes, please...where do you live?  We will start looking for a place there. 

One comment early on struck me the said something about not making a choice according to the guilt I am feeling.  And sure enough...guilt is smacking me around all over the place.  On both sides of the fence.  Let me try to explain this...

Growing up...I was not protected from a whole lot of anything.  I feel like this started me down a path that has taken YEARS of my adult life to walk back through and repair. And I do NOT want to make the same mistake with my kids.  Are my kids sheltered from the "world"?   You bet they are. They are 3 and 1...and they should be as sheltered as newborn baby.  We pretty strictly limit what they can watch and how much...we don't do Halloween...Doug and I never argue in front of them (not that we hardly ever argue in the first place)...they are never exposed to violence, fowl language, vulgarity of any kind...common sense things that kids SHOULD be protected from as long as possible.  At least common to us.  This is where guilt comes in...two fold. 

Guilt #1-sending my child into a public school where I can no longer control what they learn and protect them.  You cannot convince me that all is well in public schools.  The things that I read that are being taught to our kids these days in hopes of raising "tolerant" kids...makes me sick to my stomach.  I can only imagine all of the unlearning we will have to do once our kids are in school.  Do I want loving and kind kids?  Yes.  Tolerant?  No. 

  Guilt #2-I honestly and truly and down to the core of who I am know that I do not have what it takes to give my kids the best education possible.  It hurts to write that eyes well up a bit just to think it.  I cannot do the best for them here.  I know that.  

Grief #1.  Directed at Guilt #2.  Not being that kind of parent.  The kind that is nurturing and awesome and CAN do it...can teach their kids beautifully and well roundedly.  I mourn for the fact that I am certain that I cannot do it. 

I have to hold onto the hope that God has something better in store for my boys.

I do not think that kids NEED to go to public school to be "normal".  I don't want "normal" kids.  I want my kids to be loud for the Lord, loving and compassionate because of Jesus.  I don't want them to be a peg that fits in a hole.  I want people to know that there is something good and different about them.  I don't want them to be "tolerant" of sin...I want them to stand for what is right. 

Another comment that struck was about our kids being a light in the it public or private (which if I have to make 100's of hoho's to afford...I will).  What if all Christian kids were home-schooled?  Where would the lights be then? Hmmm...that got me thinking, too.

Guilt #3 (please don't throw things at me)  I think that maybe, just maybe, I may end up being a better parent to a child that was at school during the day.  I am kind of terrified to have just written that.  

Grief #2-I am not the kind of mom who loves to be with her kids every. second. of. the. day.  I love to get away for a bit...even a small bit is good for me.  I don't leave them for days...but a small break is refreshing to me...I feel like a better parent afterward.  Do I love my kids with ALL my heart? Yes I DO! 

Guilt #4- I am kind of looking forward to being able to focus a little more on my business and have day dates with my husband.  

Earlier this week I asked Doug "Do you expect me to get a job once both boys are in school?"

He said "Yes".  My. heart. dropped.  I almost cried.  Then he said "Just kidding".  Which I think I knew...I just needed to hear to make sure that I wasn't thinking home-school just to get out of getting a "real" job...

PUHLEASE tell me that I am not the only one who feels this way...and please don't read any of this as anything negative about home-schoolers...those of you who are doing it right have my utmost respect and I am envious of you...

I guess what I am trying to that I am leaning towards sending the boys to school...public or private will likely depend on where we live then...and if neither is an option where we are...then I know God will equip us for what we have to do. 

I know I had more floating around in my head...but I have had a long week of late nights and early my brain is not quite functioning at 100%.

Plus...the bat came back!!!!!!!  Those of you who bought hoho's recently have unknowingly paid for a chimney sweep to come and clean our chimney and make it bat proof.  This time was much less exciting...Doug spotted him between the glass and the screen of the fireplace...we called animal control and they sent a FIRETRUCK FULL of firemen.  They got rid of the bat in about 3minutes...with no screaming.  And we all lived to tell about it.  AAAaaand our fireplace is currently sporting a coating of duct tape until the sweep comes to do his thing. :) 

Feel free to leave feedback about the whole school thing...I am SO thankful for all of the comment and emails I got from you have given me a lot to think about and ponder for some time. 

Thank you and goodnight!!

random...and a discussion please.

First...does summer make you lazy cook too? 
We've been eating a lot of salads and sandwiches...or grilling.  If I do make a "real" dinner it looks something like this.  Do you have a favorite lazy summer meal?
And speaking of lazy...this is sometimes how we end our afternoons in the pool...throw in a little baby wash and you have yourself a bath.  The boys don't seem to mind...and it extends our time outside just a little before bed. 
The boys sharing a little breakfast time "dap".

We took the boys to play on UVA's campus...with their Virginia Tech football. :)
I think there will always be something about a college campus that I love...even if it's the campus of Tech's biggest rivals.  Moses, proving to be Doug's son, has been asking everyday when football starts.
And if you have never met our hoho...this photo pretty much sums him up.  Cute. Little. Stinker.  AKA a Happy Hoho monster. 
And speaking of hoho monsters...I'm working on a HUGE batch.  I hope to get them listed by the end of the week.  If you haven't asked me to reserve one for might want to think about doing so...they go fast.  :)  They would make perfect gifts...because I can guarantee they won't have one. :)
And there will be PINK ones...but I won't be reserving those this go round...

And for the discussion.  I'm still on the fence about whether or not to homeschool.  Doug is over the fence and doesn't think we should...but I still want to pray and research.  Of course I would never oppose him if he says no...because I know that if we are supposed to...then God will change his heart.  For now I plan to do a "dry run" next year...since Moses birthday falls after the cut off date we could have a school year to try before it effects his public school experience.  

So this is where I want to hear from you homeschool and why?  Were you homeschooled and hated it or loved it?  Why would you never homeschool?  Anything to do with homeschool I want to hear about. Ok...thanks friends!

Happy Monday and happy week! 

$1 fun.

I'll keep this simple.  $1.  Lots of fun.
I put it on a baking sheet...all of it out of the can.  And said...go for it.
They looked at me like I had a third eye.  Then they got over it.
It was a good, quiet, messy, fun 45minutes to an hour.
It smelled good. 
It wasn't long before they started to cover themselves...
Every so often they looked at me like "are you sure this is ok?"
And hoho only tried to eat it once.  That was enough.
After they were done...Moses spent another chunk of time painting everything in the backyard with it. 
And when we were completely done we hosed everything down. 
Good as new. 

Thanks for the idea Meg


be secure. period.

I mentioned before that I am reading Beth Moore's "So Long Insecurity".  
Unless you are part of the minority of women who have NO insecurity issues...then I highly suggest that you read say it has been phenomenal is an understatement.  So many of the points she makes and how she shares them have me screaming "YES!!!" in my head of course (I don't want anyone thinking I am crazy---hehehe)

There is SO much I want to share with you about this many thoughts are racing through my brain that I can hardly contain them but I thought that I would start with four points that she makes about the "quick" path to security.  So you don't have to wait until you get to this chapter of the book I thought I would share them...since I truly feel the same way and could have written them in much the same manner myself. 

The points are hers...the discussions are mine with her influence.
 Once again I realize that this may just be a journal post for me...and that is ok. 

Some ways to start on the path to being a SECURE woman draped in dignity. 

 1)Stop making comparisons. 
We are each made in the beauty of God's eye.  Each with our own set of plans, skills, abilities and everything.  Why why why do we as women feel such a need to size each other up?  Admit walk into a room full of women and mentally start to compare hair, clothes, weight, height, how their kids are dressed and behaving, etc.  WHY do we make our own brand of crazy like this?  You wouldn't go to the market and compare the price of apples to cucumbers and then go on to complain that one is red and one is green...that one is sweet and one is not.  Right?  And why? Because they are two totally different things...meant for two totally different purposes.  And it would be crazy to compare them like that.  What makes comparing ourselves to other women any less crazy?

Let's make a deal. I will working on it if you will.  I will walk into a room with my OWN skills and looks and abilities and be confident that God did not make a mistake with me.  We cannot be compared to another for there is no other like us.  

2) Start personalizing other women. 
I think it is SO easy to forget that we are all in this together.  That there is NOTHING that we can go through that someone has not already.  As moms and women we have all struggled with the same issues...though some to more of a degree than others in different areas.  Then why do we find it so easy to forget the details of being human in that we all have feelings, dreams, cares, loves, hates, joys and sorrows and struggles.  I think if we can project THOSE thoughts onto others we would be making a HUGE leap into cementing our own security.  As in...seeing another woman (person) and our first thought being something like "I wonder what they are dealing with today...what are they happy about...what is bringing them down". 

I choose to remember this by the following scripture:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.
  1 Corinthians 10:13
And God's word does not lie to us.

3) Don't trip another woman's insecurity switch.
Oh my goodness...this one makes me crazy because it happens so much.  It KILLS me to see women doing this to each other.  And not only do women to it to other women...but truly our society does it to women (and men) all the time...via our culture.  Just think Victoria's Secret, or magazine ads or R rated movies.  There are things everywhere that are set and waiting to prick at our insecurities.  But society at large is one thing...woman to woman is another matter.     

 Not tripping another woman's insecurity switch includes shying away from things like...dressing provocatively(um always)...especially if you are going out with friends and their spouses...flaunting your wealth in front of friends you know are struggling...basically we as women(and humans) need to watch out for each other and avoid setting up a situation where we will make others feel out of sorts and insecure. 
Beth does point out, and I agree, that some people will feel insecure no matter the lengths you go to avoid it...and that is there battle to deal with.  
The bottom line has to be, in every situation, did we do everything we could to a healthy extent to for everyone to perform at their highest capacity? Did we act in love? We were looking our for others and not the cheap thrill of attention getting actions?    

AAAhhhh...I love it.

4)We must be examples of secure women.
This is a sort of "change starts with us" point.  If we want to influence a culture of confident, secure women...then it has to start with us.  The same as anything else...want some light? BE a light.
It's that simple.

And that my just a glimpse at the awesomeness that is this book...I am going to read it again and again I is that important.  I don't plan on losing another day believing lies that aren't Beth states:

"We are surrounded by a superficial world making deceptive claims".

I don't know if a truer statement could be said about our present day culture.  And I, for one, will not be buying into it any longer. 

As always...would love your feedback if you would like to share...if you act ugly will be ignored.  :) 


another glamorous makeover.

This is what started my whole cleaning binge this past weekend.  I needed more space to work and store my stuff.  And that is a fact.  In the next house we buy...which I am praying will be sooner rather than later...there will be a sewing room.  Or we won't buy it. 

But since I don't want to spend my days annoyingly whining about not having one now...I had to make do with what I have.  Above are the before photos...and believe it or not...they were taken about half way through me pulling everything out.   It was crazy in there...I had stuff on top of stuff...things I didn't know I had...fabric that I had forgotten about...I found spools of thread stuffed in was a huge unproductive mess.

So I gutted it...
The coats moved away...and when needed will live in my new mud room. 
Anything that wasn't mine was banished to a new home.  
Then we went to Lowe's and bought some simple lumber and brackets.  I spent most of the day Sunday organizing and purging.
I measured and installed...Doug cut and sanded.  The shelves were easy peasy...and cost maybe $60 total to make.  

There is a place for everything...even a spot to hang some cute on the wall. 
Most of the colorful bins have been collected from Target over time...the top shelf holds things I don't use often and my Cricut...that I want to ensure is not touched by tiny hands. 
The prints are my own making...the "create" cards are from Michael's.
I love it...and I consider it a tiny version of what I hope to have one day.
Once again I love that there is a place for everything...and I know where everything is!
I can display some of my favorite things in a place that is not cluttered with cars and blocks and trains.
And this my friends, is proof that anyone can have a craft "room".  You just have to find a place for all the stuff in your closet. :)

Thanks for all the kind words about my mud room...and for understanding my crazy.
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