Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stash Bash & Needle and Thread

This week's Stash Bash and Needle and Thread post is actually a collection of what I have been working on over the past few weeks. I haven't been blogging much again lately, but have written a number of posts in my head. Does that count for anything?

I am just beginning to build up a nice little stash of material. I love quilting. It is my new passion. I love the creativity of it and the amount of skill it requires. I love challenges and quilting is definitely challenging me. It is mathematical art. It is the first hobby that I have tried where I actually look like an artist. I can follow knitting patterns fairly easily, but have difficulty creating something new. Now with quilting, I am trying new things and they are actually turning out.

This quilt was a request from my husband. I had leftover rectangles from Noah's Star Wars rag quilt (which is still a WIP) and with hubby's help, came up with this quilt top. The Darth Vader block was the most challenging piece of the whole quilt. It is paper-pieced using this free pattern.
The original pattern was too small, so I enlarged it by 200%. I really like how it turned out. Afterwards, I showed hubby how to prepare the applique star ships. He did all of the prep-work and ironed them in place. I just did manned the sewing machine for him. He loves how everything tuned out and keeps bugging me to finish it. We need some backing fabric.

I finally finished the second mug rug for the mug rug swap. I just learned how to applique and am surprised at  the final outcomes. I want to get my mug rugs in the mail this weekend because my swap partner lives in the USA and our postal service is slow. I really hope that my partner likes it. 

I also managed to finish a few more blocks for the My Favorite Quilt Block Quilt Along. I made a new wonky log cabin because my type A personality didn't like the first one.

This is made from stash material and retro fabric that I thrifted a while back. I am hoping to turn this into a retro-looking sampler quilt.

This the reflections block, I have material cut to make some six inch blocks. I like the look of the six inch ones sewn together to make a 12 inch block.

This owl block turned out so-la-la. I might make this one again using different circle sizes. It looks nice, but I want to experiment a little with the look of it.

As far as reading is concerned, I have been reading a lot of writing assignments as of late. The following is one of Maria's. She used quilt block names in a story. Her inspiration comes from similar stories that we found in a few 1983 quilting magazines that we thrifted with the above fabric. All of the words in uppercase are names of quilt blocks. Enjoy.
Little SUN BONNET SUE’s mother sent her to bring her GRANDMOTHER’S FAVORITE, some CORN AND BEANS with VEGTABLE SOUP. SUN BONNET SUE obeyed her mother and set out at once. First, she must go through the ENCHANTED FOREST and keep on the PATH THOUGH THE WOODS. While she was on the path, in the ditch she saw some BROKEN DISHES that looked like DRESDEN PLATES. She wondered who’s PRIZED POSESSION they were, so she went over to place them in her basket. Beside the BROKEN DISHES was a beautiful LEAFY BASKET so she picked it up also. When she picked up everything, she decided to go back to the path. The BROKEN DISHES and the LEAFY BASKET had been so far into the woods that she couldn’t find the path. So she started wandering around through the TANGLED BRIARS. After walking quite a while, she saw a little LOG CABIN. Close by it were big PINE TREES with BOW TIES on them. By the biggest DOG WOOD of them all,there was a tiny PINWEEL. It was pink and blue. She picked it up and ran to the LOG CABIN and knocked on the door.  And before she could say TUMBLING BLOCKES, a young man opened the door.
“Hi,” said the man. “My name is OVERALL SAM. How can I help you?”
“Um,” SUN BONNET SUE replied. “I am lost. Do you think you can help me find the DRUNKARD’S PATH?”
“Yes. Why of course!” exclaimed OVERALL SAM.
Then he brought her to the path. He then gave her a ring with a diamond on top and told her not to lose it. Then he ran to his LOG CABIN. When SUN BONNET SUE got out of the ENCHANTED FOREST she saw SONNIE’S PLAY HOUSE so she went over and said hi to Sonnie.  Sonnie suggested they go to the FARMERS FIELDS and make a FRIENDSHIP CHAIN. SUN BONNET SUE said she must be on her way. A little while after, by the CHURCH STEPS, she saw a COUNTRY GARDEN.  In it were lots of flowers.  SUN BONNET SUE picked some SUMMER STAR FLOWERS which were her favorite, some BLACK EYED SUSANS, AUTUMN FLOWERS and ROSE BUDS. Then she put them in the LEAFY BASKET, for her BASKET was full. Then she went down the GARDEN PATH and walked along the RAIL FENCE and past a BALLOON GIRL. As she walked along she remembered the WEDDING RING and wondered what it was for. She took it out of her pocket and put it on her finger, but it was much too large so she put in in the LEAFY BASET with the flowers and it fell to the bottom.  She tried to pick it up and put it where she could see it, but it got caught on the bottom of the BASKET and the diamond on the top twisted.  Then a gush of wind came and all of a sudden it was dark all around. She fell face first on the ROAD TO CALIFORNIA and then came some FLYING GEESE calling CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.
She was so scared so she grabbed the ring and said “bring me to my grandmother’s HOUSE ON A HILL.”

And to the GIRL’S JOY she was standing at the bottom of her grandmother’s HOUSE ON A HILL. She climbed the hill and being so exited she ran right through her GRANDMOTHER FLOWER GARDEN. Then she walked on the FIVE SQUARE tiles that lead to the house. Inside the house she saw her grandmother’s PUSS IN A CORNER. The room was dark so SUN BONNET SUE opened the window in her grandmother’s bedroom. Then the two of them had a picnic inside the house. When it was time for her to go to home, she went outside asked the ring to take her home, then twisted the diamond and the ring took her safely home. From that time on, whenever she needed to go somewhere alone, she used the ring.

That night when she was in bed she asked herself “Why did OVERALL SAM just give me the ring?”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yarn Along ~ February 27th, 2013.

It has been quite awhile since I have participated in a yarn along. There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is that I have fallen in love with my sewing machine and prefer to sew than knit. It is not that I don't like knitting, but rather that the sewing machine is much quicker at producing a finished piece than my knitting needles. But, that being said, there is also nothing like a hand-knit piece of love. I call it a piece of love, because it requires love and dedication to make create it.

Right now, I am working on a Milo for my middle guy. He loves cuddly stuff and asks me constantly how his vest is coming along. He can hardly wait until it is finished and in truth I hope that it is soon finished. I want him to wear it over his white dress shirt for Easter. It is still really cold here (usually) for Easter. I am using Berrocco Vintage DK in the color pumpkin, in case you were wondering. I am loving this yarn. It is so soft and easy to knit with. It is the same yarn that I used to make hubby's hat a while back. It is also machine washable (a bonus with boys). I normally steer clear of acrylic yarn, but the blend of this with alpaca is pleasing to the touch. I know that Owen loves it and he picked the color, so it is going to be a winner if I can get it done before he outgrows it.

This week I am reading...


I bought it on sale a long time ago, but never actually read it. It is a really interesting read. I am completely oblivious to all that goes on behind Vatican doors. I am naive and just trust in the process, but I must say that it is fascinating to read about the last days of the life of Bl. John Paul the Great and the buzz surrounding the choosing of a new pope. I am only a few chapters into the book and I have learned so much. I am one of those poorly catechised generation x'ers with so much to learn. What are you working on or reading? Please leave a comment and then venture over to Small Things to see what everyone else has on their needles and side tables. God Bless friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Adopt a Cardinal

Adopt Button
Did you know that you can adopt a cardinal? Well, not like you would adopt a child, but you can spiritually adopt a cardinal. Eva, from Untrodden Paths blogged about it yesterday on her blog. Basically, all you need to do is to enter your name, your email address and a code to prove that you are human and you will be assigned a Cardinal to pray for.

We should regularly pray for our clergy and this gives a great opportunity to pray for someone who with the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be electing our new Holy Father in the upcoming days. If your house is anything like ours, there are lots of learning moments with regards to the election of a new Pope. We are watching videos shared on facebook, looking at the activities shared by fellow bloggers and homeschoolers. This is a moment in history to be remembered, a teachable moment. I am learning so much about this process each day. I wasn't practicing my faith during the previous conclave and election of Pope Benedict XVI. This is a real learning curve for the whole family. It is exciting and enriching. 

Before I carry on and on, make sure you follow this LINK and adopt a cardinal. Let's be prayer warriors together. God Bless friends.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday #77 @ TN&TN

Hubby watched baby for a good share of the weekend, which allowed me to get some sewing time in. I bought some onesies a few weeks ago for the sole purpose of embellishing them. My youngest is wearing through most of the hand-me-downs. After 4 kiddos, who can blame him. He wants something new, too.

I spotted a cute little onesie vest on Pinterest (the cause of much wasted time) that I really wanted to make for him. Hubby doesn't prefers to dress baby in sleepers all of the time because of their simplicity, comfort and warmth. But, I however, think that baby should get dressed once in a while, especially for Mass. In creating the outfit below, simplicity, comfort and warmth were of utmost importance. The vest and pants are made out of homespun cotton. They are really, really soft, comfy and warm.

The vest is lined with brown poly-cotton which gives it stability.
I made the pants using the Fuddie Duddies pattern, but added different pockets, shortened the waistband and added an elastic waistband similar to that of maternity clothes. 
I admit, the suit turned out looking a little retro, but we don't mind. We love retro.
I think he likes his new little suit. Now we are ready for Mass, Easter, Weddings, you name it.

Now, I just have to make a few more outfits and this little guy is set for a while (I hope). Hubby was very generous this weekend, because I also had time to patch my daughter's jeans. She had been bugging me for a while now, but I felt so uninspired until I visited Pinterest. I patched her jeans using a lace inset. She loves these jeans and wears them all the time again. I also love that my machine sews scribbles. That was fun.

In case you missed my Monday post, I finished the first of two mug rugs for the mug rug swap. First of all, I want you to know that I have never done any applique quilting before. It terrified me. I have no idea what I was afraid of. It still scares me a little, but I am getting over it. You should see all of the mug rugs in the swap. Just click the link to see them on Flickr.

I also have been receiving some little packets with new fabric in the mail. Does your heart skip a beat when you have new material in the mailbox? Mine sure does. I can't wait to make something with them.

I forgot to take a picture of the material I will be using for Mia's Easter dress using this pattern. I made her a top with this pattern for Christmas. It is a great pattern and I can't wait to make the dress version this time.

I also received the following program. I am not a designer, but this program sure makes you look like one. Even my kids were designing quilts with this program. I can't wait to actually make one of the creations I have designed.

Lenten Prayer

Today is Ash Wednesday and this marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent.  Are you ready for it? Are the plans all laid out?  Or are you like me and draw up plans at the last minute? Do you ever get caught up in looking at what other people are doing and wonder how do they do it all? I know that I do and that I must humbly step back and look at what is possible, pick that one thing and do it. I really need to stick to one thing and not get caught up doing too much and inevitably fail when I attempt to do it all. No one should throw in the towel after just one week of Lent.

For this reason, in the past few years I have attempted to direct the focus of the family towards one particular aspect of Lent. It is not that we neglect the others, but rather that by focusing on one aspect, we have one goal that is far more attainable and thus fruitful. This year, we are focusing on prayer.

We are going to spend each day of Lent praying and offering up our little sacrifices for a particular person, organization or group of people. I made up a chart that I would like to share with you.

It is simple, write in a name for each day of Lent, including Sundays and Holy Week and dedicate all of your prayers, works and sufferings of that day for that person or group of people. Spend a little time in the morning talking about the person of the day. We like to do this during breakfast. After our breakfast dishes our cleared away and everyone is dressed, chores are done and are fit to start the day, we gather in the living room. It is here that we begin our morning prayer. It is up to you whether you pray for the person using special prayers or just include that person in your daily intentions. The point is to make an effort to offer up some sort of prayer for this person. I also encourage my children to think of this person when they are struggling with their schoolwork or are having a difficult time with something. I use the opportunity to teach them about offering up and uniting their suffering with that of Christ's. This is much more than mumbling a bunch of words, it is prayer through actions and deeds.

To get you started, here is a little list that is by no means conclusive, of people or groups to pray for.
  • individual family members
  • your parish priest
  • all priests
  • seminarians
  • your bishop
  • all bishops & cardinals
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • the election of a new Pope
  • the new Pope
  • Godparents
  • Blesseds and Venerables on their journey to Sainthood
  • teachers in general or your childrens' teachers  (perhaps piano, dance etc.)
  • the coach of a team or instructor
  • the catechists in your parish
  • Dad's employer(s)
  • the elderly in general (or specific person)
  • the sick (or specific person in hospital or suffering from illness)
  • the homeless
  • candidates in the RCIA program 
  • those endanger of abortion 
  • abortion industry workers
  • the souls in purgatory (or deceased family member)
  • expectant mothers (or one you know in particular)
  • neighbors
  • friends (or list specific friends that may need extra prayer)
  • children waiting to be adopted
  • pen pals
  • family doctor, optometrist, dentist etc.
  • anyone else you can think of
This list is meant to help get you started. Let me know of anyone that I have missed. We don't have our chart completely filled out yet.

We will also be doing other activities and I plan on sharing them with you as we do them. Please feel free to use our chart and any ideas that we are sharing. I do my best to share what works for us (after all of the stumbles and falls) and hope and pray that someone else can be spared the struggle.

 God Bless from our home to yours for a Holy Lent.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11 Daybook

Outside my window... it is very dreary looking. I am hoping that this is due to the fact that it is still early.

I am thinking... that we are getting a new Pope next month! Wow! That was unexpected news this morning.

I am thankful for... anniversaries. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of our closing on this house. I can't believe that we moved in two years ago! It is also exactly 6 months since our little Adam Gerard was born!

From the lesson plans... Lent, Lent, Lent. I have to get some things organized and ready for Wednesday.

From the kitchen... meals without potatoes. We have really tried to embrace the paleo way of eating. Although we still consume the odd beans, potatoes has been hard to scratch from the grocery list. After one week off of potatoes, I have kept off the 5 pounds that I lost. Not only that, but the boys are a lot calmer without potatoes, who knew?

I am wearing... track pants and a three quarter length shirt. They don't really match, but they are so comfy. 

I am creating... mug rugs for the mug rug swap, another dolly placemat for Patrick and whatever unfinished projects I have time to finish.

I am planning... to get stick to the plans and routines that are working for us and tweak those that are not. I also plan to get to daily Mass more frequently. We now have a vehicle. Yeah! Hubby now has a company van to drive to and from work. We are no longer stranded (which I don't mind so much), but a vehicle can be handy.

I am reading... a bunch of different books all at once. I don't spend enough time reading for myself, but I plan on digging something out to read for lent.

I am hoping... for a great Lent. We have so much to prepare for as I mentioned in my last post. 

I am hearing... the kids at the breakfast table waiting for me, so I better hurry up here.

Around the house... the old palms are all taken down and returned to the church. I want to update the prayer table to reflect Lent. That will mean giving the living room a thorough cleaning.

I am going... to persevere. I am a little over one third of the way through the T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge and am slowly starting to see some great results. 

I am praying for... our priest and fellow parishioners. Without them, I am positive that my husband would never receive his confirmation. Their charity is amazing. I thank God for leading us home to them.

For the rest of the week... Ash Wednesday Mass, Lenten and sacramental preparations, and a birthday party on Saturday. Patrick is turning three!

A quote for the day...
"The new pope knows that his task is to make the light of Christ shine before men and women of world - not his own light, but that of Christ."  ~ Pope Benedict XVI
A picture thought...
Winter Birdhouse Mug Rug for the Mug Rug Swap

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rocken the Bobs

My sweet daughter and I have been growing our hair out for some time. We have been wanting to donate our hair. Up until now, we were either too chicken or didn't have enough hair. I also have a few grey hairs and not everyone will accept hair that is grey. Luckily though, we found a great program that we can donate our 'tails' to.
We are donating our hair to The Wigs for Kids Program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They collect hair to make full and partial wigs for children in need. They were inspired to start their program by the "Locks of Love" hair donation program in the US. Mia is donating almost 12 inches worth and I have a little over 10 inches.

The change is drastic! I can't believe how cute my sweetie is. I am so proud of her. She didn't cry at all. She was actually really excited to give her hair to someone else who really needs it.

We love our new bobs! I can't help but feel a lot younger. Now the baby will have less to pull at. Sorry Mr. Muppet. 

We also have other great news!!! Although hubby was baptized Catholic and received his First Reconciliation and Eucharist as a kid, he was never confirmed. I have been praying for him to finally take the step and get confirmed, but it wasn't until recently that he said, "Yes." He asked me to inquire for him. Since Noah was going to be confirmed this year, he wanted to lead by example and get confirmed with him. Before signing Noah up for the classes, we asked our sacramental coordinator if Sascha could sign up, too. Well after talking to the priest and all that, they came up with the idea of having them both confirmed during the upcoming Easter Vigil. Since Owen is making his First Eucharist this year also, he was welcomed to do this during the Vigil as well. On top of that, since Mia is almost of age, she will be confirmed as well. It will be a big celebration and a very special Easter for our family. I am so excited!!! Can you tell? 

God bless friends and have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Needle and Thread & Stash Bash

This week I am joining Elizabeth at the Heart of my Home with Needle and Thread and the Crunchy Catholic Momma for a Stash Bash. I haven't had much time at the sewing machine this week. I used a few minutes here and there to finish things that I started last week and last month. Yesterday, I posted about the pillow I made for hubby's man-cave.

These first two blocks are for the My Favorite Block Quilt Along. I am still one block behind and there are two new blocks being revealed next week.

I spent one nap time getting a bit more of the snowman wall quilt done. I still have a checkerboard border to make and attach, but all in good time. I would like to get it up before all the snow is gone (don't worry, we still have snow until well into April and sometime May). This pattern is from Quick Country Quilting: Over 80 Projects Featuring Easy, Timesaving Techniques by Debbie Mumm.

I am also working on making a few birthday gifts for Patrick's 3rd birthday at the end of next week. He loves our play kitchen. He also likes to have pitnits picnics with his stuffies. He loves bright colors and cherries, so I made him 2 little place mats and a little tea towel. I just have a picture of the one place mat. The other is waiting to be bound.

I am still working on reading  Taking Charge of Your Fertility and  Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women. With the kids, I am reading through  Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt and  Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. If you want to learn a lot about living in the tundra, this is a must read. After reading some of this, I almost feel like I could survive in the arctic, but just ALMOST. Did you know that caribou scat is really good kindling for a fire? 

Don't forget to check out what everyone else has been up to this week. God Bless.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday #76 @ TN&TN

I am really trying to tackle some of my UFO's. This week's project was actually requested by hubby back in November. It is one of two SUPER HERO  pillows destined for the man cave. I struggle sometimes with 'man-ly' fabrics. It's not that they aren't pretty, but that you generally have to fussy cut more and thus waste more fabric. This fabric was a real challenge, but I didn't want to disappoint hubby. After all, he supports my addiction love of fabric. He actually demanded that I buy some extra fabric before Lent. We are doing a NO SPEND month this month and next. He also let me stock up on thread and batting. What a sweetie! So in return, I wanted to get his pillows done. He will have to wait on the second a little longer. He won't mind. Maybe I can share it next week. Take care friends and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Daybook for February 4th

Outside my window... it is still very dark. I can't wait for longer days.

I am thinking... that I have been very blessed with an amazing husband and children.

I am thankful for... the grace that confession gives.

From the lesson plans... confession and confirmation preparation as well as lots and lots of read alouds.

From the kitchen... lots of Paleo recipes thanks to Tonight we are having rosemary beef and sweet potatoes.

I am wearing... pj's.

I am creating... a cozy home. I have lots of little projects on the go, but hope to finish hubby's pillow covers. He is a huge Marvel fan and I have some pillow covers for the man cave that are donning Captain America, Iron Man and co.

I am planning... to stick to our new schedules and meal plans with optimism. Morning prayers as a family are really helping the days to unfold more gracefully.

I am reading... nothing in particular and lots in tidbits. I need to read more and I just need to fit that into the schedule.

I am hoping... that we can finally make a decision on where to have Noah receive his confirmation. I can't believe that it is still up in the air. We attend Masses at two parishes and can't decide. We could have worse problems.

I am hearing... the kids wake up. I really need to get the day started for them.

Around the house... lots of things to do and clean. When is it any different?

I am going... to do some research on taking an NFP course with hubby. We have never practised NFP and feel that it is about time that we do. Living by chance isn't helping our relationship. Any ideas on what method works for you?

I am praying for... hubby's promotion to come through soon. He will receive a company vehicle and that leaves us with the van. Yeah! We can finally attend some daily Masses and adoration. I am excited.

I am also praying that hubby is finally going to get confirmed. He opted out of it when he was a kid in school and regrets that decision. He is a little scared and need a little spiritual push. Prayers would be appreciated.

For the rest of the week... lots of learning, doctors appointments for the little boys and hopefully some sewing.

A quote for the day...
"Change your ways when fear siezes," he had said. "For it usually means that you are doing something wrong." ~ Miyax in Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
A picture thought...
Hubby's 38th birthday was on Saturday. The kids put 18 candles on it because they didn't want their pieces to have too much wax on it from taking so long to light them all. Lol.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Seven Quick Takes


Meal planning does not come natural to me. I know that it sounds weird, but it is true. We have to eat grain free and it is hard to meal plan on a budget. What I plan has ingredients that aren't on sale, so I ditch said item and buy something else that I can afford. I get really frustrated with this and end up making potatoes almost every night with some kind of meat and veggies. Not the most thrilling is it. I decided to try out emeals. They plan my meals (Paleo) for me now. We are going shopping tomorrow to see if I have better luck getting dinner on the table on time.


My husband's birthday is tomorrow. I still need to bake a cake and plan what we are going to eat. I hope that he has a great day.


The baby is growing so fast. He is so adorable and alert. He has begun rolling and that means we have to do a better job at getting the Legos picked up.


I have been working out for a month now. I T-Tapp every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. This is the longest I have ever stuck to an 'at home' workout. Missing workouts at a gym always made me feel guilty because of the cost. I joined the 60-day Challenge and hope to do well. I was motivated alone by the awful starting pictures that I took.


We began a new morning homeschool routine. After breakfast, we gather everyone and pray the rosary, read some spiritual read aloud or saint stories, a science reader, a book about a composer or artist, and a bigger read aloud. We are listening to Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George as our bigger read aloud. It is really good so far.


I am so excited for Adam's Godmother, who just told us that she is expecting #6. 


I have been very fortunate to get some sewing done almost every day during afternoon nap time. I have been working on Patrick's birthday gift and will post it when it is completely finished. Today, I made the January block for the Bloggers Block of the Month Quilt Along

Hubby is home now, so the weekend is officially begun. God Bless and have a great weekend.
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