The Sweetest Place on Earth…

It has been 2 weeks since I posted last.  We’ve been busy!

We arrived in Hershey PA on Saturday and stayed at the Hershey Park Camping Resort.   We had planned to get a good nights sleep since we were all so exhausted from the long drive but instead found ourselves in possession of “preview passes” to Hershey Park.  We couldn’t possibly pass up an opportunity to have two and a half extra hours of park time.

Staying at a Hershey Resort offered a lot of the same benefits as staying at a Disney Resort – free transportation to the park, a guest only extra park hour and various discounts.

At the bus stop there was a sign that assigned us a chocolate name according to our height and every ride at Hershey Park had a similar sign in front of it indicating which group of “chocolates” are permitted to ride.

The Monkey was a Miniatures…

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the Princess was a Reese…

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and the Professor was a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.HP 3

There were a lot of rides all three could go on, but the Professor found himself pretty bored on most of those.  Still he was willing to take his little brother on them so that he could enjoy himself too.  I was so proud of how kind and thoughtful he was!

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The spinning cups made for a good lesson in cooperation, something I made sure to point out to my little ones.  The Princess and the Professor realized that if they wanted to spin fast, they had to agree on the direction to turn the wheel – not an easy thing when both are so strong willed.  If that wasn’t enough, Daddy went on to explain a little physics to them.

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The preview hours flew by fast but we weren’t too disappointed since we knew we’d be back first thing in the morning.

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We made it back the next morning bright and early and we all had rides picked out that we couldn’t wait to get on.

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For Daddy it was Skyrush…

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for the Princess it was the Sooper Dooper Looper, which was her first upside down roller coaster.   It was a first for the Professor also.  I think it was harder for me to let them do it, than it was for them to go on.  They were so excited but I was very apprehensive.  Sometimes it’s hard to let go and let my little ones grow up but I’m glad I did because they both loved it.  In fact, the Professor decided to take it a step further and tackle an upside down roller coaster that went forwards and then backwards.  He didn’t like that one as much, but I’m glad he was brave enough to try it.

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The Princess cried and cried as she watched her brother walk down the queue.  She was so upset he was tall enough to ride but she wasn’t.  It just wasn’t fair!

She wasn’t the only one upset about not being able to ride the more intense rides…

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The Monkey was pretty disappointed everyone else got to ride the bigger rides while he had to wait in his stroller!  Again, it just wasn’t fair!

There’s always next year!

8 Years…

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The Little Professor turned 8 years old this past weekend and I still have trouble believing it it.

He’s growing up so fast and sometimes I feel if I blink too long he’ll be a grown man standing before me instead of my sweet, gentle little boy.

The Professor has always had a maturity and wisdom about him that exceeds his years.  He is curious about everything and is constantly striving to gain knowledge in a broad range of subjects – from human behavior, to deep sea marine life and even things like…how exactly does the power source Tony Stark created keep him alive.  His ability to comprehend the answers always amazes me.

At the same time my little guy has a very kind and gentleness about him.  He is always watching out for his little brother and sister.  He is quick to help other people and sometimes he doesn’t understand why everyone can’t just be nice to each other.

I don’t ever want him to lose that sweetness about him.  The world has enough tough and hard people in it…it needs people like my little Professor to balance it out.

Someone as wonderful as my little guy deserved an exceptional birthday and since he wanted to go camping we decided to take him somewhere really fun!

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We had been eyeing a campground in NH that has a big pirate ship water slide for a while, so the Professor invited his friend and we made our way to the campground.  It was great!  The pool was awesome and they had make your own sundaes and a huge playground.  The kids had a blast!

Sadly, I hurt my leg on the Saturday and couldn’t do much swimming for the rest of the trip but I enjoyed watching the kids play in the pool while relaxing and reading some magazines.

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The little Monkey even kept me company at times!  He was my mini-me!

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When we returned home, the Professor quietly approached me and hugged me for a bit and said “Thanks mum, that was the best birthday ever!”

I’m not sure how we’ll top that next year!

Carnivorous Creations…

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A while back we bought the kids the Carnivorous Creations.

It was agreed upon by all that it looked really cool – how could plants that eat bugs be anything but?

So finally today we managed to get some time to try it out and this was our experience…

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The kit came with little dehydrated soil discs that the kids placed into the pot.

I thought this was a great idea because it was tidy and easy…two things I’m all for.

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Next came the water…4 cups to hydrate the soil.  The kids worked together well taking turns pouring the water into the pot.  I’m not sure what it is about pouring and measuring but my children love any chance they get to do it.

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The directions say that the discs dissolve quickly but we found it took a little extra patience then we were expecting.  We waited and waited and eventually….

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it slowly started to break down.  With a little jabbing, mashing and stirring it all came together nicely and the kids had a great time playing with the dirt.

Then we opened up the seeds package and this is what we got.

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This too.

At this point, I started to question whether or not we’re actually going to see any plants.  The kids tried to plant the first little batch but we couldn’t be sure they actually made it into the soil or if they just stuck to their hands or fell to the floor.  The seeds were so tiny in their small little hands.  It was at this point I decided to look at the instructions again…

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and I realized this was not going to be as exciting as I had hoped.  At three months they will only be slightly bigger than a penny and 6 months not much bigger, and that’s if the seeds actually made it in.  I think it’s going to take a year before it looks anything like the picture on the box.

Oh, and remember the picture of the seeds in the little baggy?  That one was separate from the tiny seeds and after adding some water to the baggy it needs to go into the fridge to germinate for 6 weeks before it can be planted in the pot.

We continued on and the kids seemed to really enjoy adding the decorative features the most.

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The box says it’s for ages 4+ but I just don’t see it.  I think it’s probably better for older children who can understand that it’s definitely not instant gratification.  They will need to invest months before they will see any results.

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My advice would be…if it’s about planting, and watching things grow I’d stick with beans or catnip.  If it’s about insect eating plants I suggest you look around for an older plant to buy because it’s going to take a long while before these plants eat anything.

Back to School…

We have made a lot of major changes to our home school this year.

The first change we made was with our school curriculum, as I mentioned a couple posts back.  The Little Professor’s curriculum arrived last Monday and we managed to get it all set up and ready to go.  We started back to school full-time last Wednesday.  It may seem early to most, but with all our travelling and field trips throughout the school year we need to start early to get all the mandatory school days in.  Besides, the kids were so excited to get back to school!

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One of the other big changes we made this year was assigning a designated space to act as a full-time classroom.  This was not an easy feat in our house because we’ve already completely outgrown our space as a family, never mind as a homeschooling family.  In order to make this happen, big sacrifices had to be made – specifically, all my sweet, little children had to agree to share a bedroom.  I wasn’t sure how they would react to this but I was pleasantly surprised when they all shouted for joy at the idea.  The fact that they were so agreeable made it easier but the actual logistics of the plan is a little more complicated and we’re still working them out each day.

In the meantime, the class room is set up and it is working out well.  I have been slowly fixing it up since the weekend and today we took a little trip to Ikea to purchase a few remaining things to make the classroom complete.

Since we left early for Ikea (so that it didn’t take up our whole day) we arrived before store hours, so we decided to stop in and have breakfast in their cafe first.  I have to say, that place is amazing!  Our family of 5 had breakfast for $12…where else can you purchase breakfast for that price and their coffee is so good!

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The kids sat in a special little area designated just for them and watched Cars 2 while they ate breakfast.

After we ate we quickly made our purchases and returned home to assemble our furniture and start our day.

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The Monkey enjoyed colouring on the empty boxes while I built the desk and rearranged the room.  Sure enough, the moment I became absorbed with my task the littlest quickly took advantage of it and left his mark on the new furniture.

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This is normal, everyday stuff in our house.  I gave birth to a multitude of Pen Pirates!

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I have to say, I’m so pleased with our new classroom but not anywhere near as pleased as the Professor and Princess!  They have both expressed their gratitude for a special place to learn.  The Professor and I had a big, one on one chat today and he thinks having a room dedicated to school will help him concentrate more and I completely agree.

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We named our school and hung some maps, posters and charts.

Not only do the kids have their individual desks but…

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we also have this big desk that will do double duty as my desk and the lab/art table.

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All we need now are a few more art supplies and for our science equipment to arrive!

I can’t begin to express how happy and excited I am for this school year.  The curriculum has far above passed any expectations I had and the new room has changed the whole atmosphere of our schooling.

This is going to be our best year yet, I just know it!

Comic Com…Yeah!

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Today we took the two older children to Comic Con for the first time.

They loved it!

In fact, they might have even enjoyed it a little more than Daddy and I – and that says something.

They really liked the variety of costumes others were wearing and would fill me in on the details of each character, assuming I was a novice on the subject.

After all…what do mother’s know about Superheros?

We took a lot of pictures of the kids posing with other costume-clad people.  The Princess would very boldly go up to anyone in a outfit she appreciated and ask if they would take a picture with her.  Of course everyone agreed.

The Professor on the other hand wanted to have his picture with certain characters but wouldn’t ask, so I would ask for him.

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He was glad about most of my selections….

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but some – not so much!  He was definitely not impressed with my choice of Venom, nor was he impressed that Venom picked him up, but I couldn’t stop laughing.

My all time favourite costume today were the two Weeping Angels.

Best episode ever!

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The Princess was more than happy to pose with them.  The Professor was about to until I told him “Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.”  He quickly distance himself after that and he’s never even seen it! It’s just that creepy!

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We met with Mark Bagley and he signed some posters for the kids.  He was a nice guy and I couldn’t believe he had a grandson the same age as the Professor.  How cool would it be if your Grandfather worked for Marvel as a comic book artist?

“Yeah, my grandpa draws Spider-man!”

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Then there was the purchasing of comics.  We gave each of the kids an amount of money they could spend.  It wasn’t a lot so they had to make some good decisions.  The Professor took his time and did a lot of browsing, he made good use of the deals that were available and weighed each decision.

The Princess on the other hand knew ahead of time which comic she wanted – My Little Pony.  They were more expensive, even with the discount for the second day and she only had enough for one but she really wanted two.  After walking around for a while and not seeing anything else she decided she wanted to go back and buy the other one.  I reminded her that she was short on cash for a second one and she replied that maybe the guy would “drop the price” for her.

I was floored!

I asked her where she’d heard that before and she just shrugged.  We went back to the booth and she asked and sure enough the guy “dropped the price” for her.  He had a good laugh about it and said he couldn’t say no…he didn’t want to be the mean guy that made the cute, little girl sad.  I was pretty impressed with my daughter, I wouldn’t have even thought to ask.

It was a great day today, definitely one we will repeat next year.

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Daddy bought me this print of Rose and The Doctor that I absolutely fell in love with!  Sara Richards drew it and I thought it was fabulous! She was even there to sign it for me.  One day we’ll have it framed and hang it in our future game room.  I was happy to go home with it along with some old Archie and Richie Rich comics that I had when I was little.

We left Comic Com today with some new treasures and some old ones too!

I personally learned a few important things today…

  • It doesn’t matter how old or how young someone is – there will always be those who want to dress up and pretend they are much cooler than they really are. (I might be one of them)
  • There are actually girls out there that can make a Tardis costume look sexy. Who knew, right?
  • Never say “Oh look, Todd McFarlane” even while pointing to a label on a section of comics at a Comic Con convention.  It could seriously cause chaos!
  • Being old is a good thing when a bunch of young guys close by are looking at a $10 comic to buy and Daddy declares “Oh I have 20 copies of that one and one of them is signed by Todd McFarlane.

Ha!  Don’t you wish you were 40!

Best Laid Plans…

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This morning I woke up earlier than normal with hopes of getting a head start on my day.

Today was a Nana J day – where all three children go with Nana J for the day and have lots and lots of fun.  On these days I get about 4 times the amount of things done then I do on any other day.  My plans were to get all my work done, then house work, then dinner ready and then hopefully some quilting!

There’s nothing like quilting to motivate me.

One thing I’ve learned as a mummy is that plans can change in an instant…

As I headed downstairs for coffee, I was met by Daddy and the kids…

and a freshly washed couch.

The Monkey had just thrown up and he didn’t look good at all.

 Suddenly all my plans just evaporated and I found myself cradling my sweet little boy, trying to sooth him through his tears.

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Sadly, there was very little sleep but he did get moments here and there.

Thankfully, Daddy was able to work from home.  It would have been very hard to have taken care of the little guy alone.

He must have thrown up 6-8 times in the first two hours alone and then there was the inconsolable crying that went on and on, going back and forth between Daddy and I hoping one of us could relieve his pain.

Eventually towards the late afternoon things started to look up for the little guy and he began to smile again.  He was able to keep some liquids down starting with ice chips and working his way up to chicken noodle soup and crackers.

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  I was so happy to see him feeling better.  I hope it carries on throughout the night and he wakes up feeling well again tomorrow.

On a more positive note, the Princess’s new curriculum arrived today and it looks great!  I couldn’t be more thrilled with it.  We switched curriculum this year, more so for the Professor than the Princess but went ahead and switched for her too.  We decided to go with Switched on Schoolhouse for the Professor which is a computer based curriculum but since it only starts from Grade 3 on we went with the LifePac for the Princess.

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I love it!  It’s perfect – I especially love the Science curriculum.  There are so many hands on experiments even in Grade 2.  There’s a lot of thinking involved and reflecting on what is being taught and not just memorizing.  I also like that she will be learning cursive writing by the end of the year.

I can’t wait until the Professor’s curriculum arrives…along with the regular subjects of Math, Language Arts, Bible, Science, Geography and History he will be learning Spanish, French, Health and Basic Drawing.  It’ll be a full work load this year but he’s excited about it.

In with the shipped curriculum was a card with a website where we can buy a corresponding science kit that has all the materials and equipment to recreate all the experiments.  Naturally I looked it up to see what we would need and instantly decided we will be making many, many orders with the company.  They have a large selection of hands-on science resources at great prices.  If you’re interested in checking it out it’s www.hometrainingtools.com.

You’re Not You When You’re Tired…

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Have you ever seen those Snickers commercials – the one where hungry people are grumpy and not themselves and are portrayed by various celebrities like Betty White or Joe Pesci?  Their attitude gets adjusted upon eating a Snickers and thus become themselves again.

Well, that’s life with the Little Professor, only instead of hunger it’s fatigue and instead of a Snickers it’s a nap.  When he gets really tired his whole personality changes and it’s not for the better – it’s definitely not Betty White!  He becomes very angry and emotional and every little thing becomes a “my life is ruined” issue and that’s how he was yesterday when he was trying to ride his bike.  Daddy was trying to help him and he was just not having it, especially since his sister was biking around effortlessly.  The thing is, he can ride his bike -he’s very new at it – but he can do it, he was just too grumpy to try.

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After a couple threats of going inside and getting ready for bed the Little Professor adjusted his attitude enough to have a little fun.

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The two of them rode up and down the streets enjoying their new found freedom…

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and the high of controlling their own set of wheels.

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The little Monkey tried to keep up with his big brother and sister but it wasn’t so easy on Mummy’s old tricycle – yes, I actually rode that tricycle through the streets of Quebec.  Well, maybe not the actual streets more like on the drive ways and side walks. Now the little Monkey is inching down the streets of Massachusetts with it 30(mumble mumble) years later!

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Eventually the little guy realized he’d get a lot farther, a lot faster on foot, so he ran and ran and ran.

By the time we went inside everyone was exhausted and ready for bed.  This morning when the kids woke up they wanted to go out and ride again!

I’m so thrilled to see my little ones finally enjoying their bikes!

Basic L Quilt Tutorial – You Can Sew This Quilt!

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It was a combination of the colours and design that first attracted me to quilting.  I’ve always had a love for fabric going as far back as I can remember.  My grandmother was a very accomplished seamstress and I remember her sewing everything from clothes, to pillow cases and even a custom tent to attach to the back of our minivan.  When I would visit her she would have piles of fabric and she and I would spend time going through them looking for small pieces for me to use to make Barbie clothes.  Those are some of my fondest memories and because of that love for fabric, quilting has always interested me.

Quilting is an artistic expression.  It’s the same as taking paint and brush to canvas but to me, the difference is that anyone can be taught to quilt because quilting has very basic rules. If you follow and practice those rules you will end up with your own piece of artwork.  I’ve had a lot of people express an interest in learning how to quilt and so I decided to do a very basic, step by step tutorial of an easy quilt.  The reason I chose this pattern of quilt, which is usually referred to as an L Quilt or an L7 Quilt, is because not only is it simple but it’s also a very good quilt to practice a lot of the basic quilting skills.  There’s a lot of straight easy sewing involved to perfect those 1/4″ seams and a lot of attention to pressed seam directions which is another important aspect to quilting.

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The tutorial below is for a lap quilt but I will explain how to measure fabric for a larger quilt if you would like to make yours bigger.  It’s such an easy and fun quilt to sew.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and that is really the most important part of all!!

Before you get started you’re going to need a few basic tools:

  1. Rotary cutter and cutting mat – the rotary cutter is a handy tool to make straight cuts quickly and easily and a mat is essential for protecting the work surface.
  2. Quilting Ruler(s) – At least one ruler that is approx. 6″ x 24″.  I also found a smaller 6.5″square ruler helpful but not necessary.
  3. Scissors
  4. Cushion Square and Blocker – Again, this one is not necessary but I’ve found it is really helpful.

For this quilt I kept it simple by only using two fabrics but it is possible to use more than two if you would like.  The great thing about quilting is you can take a simple pattern and make it your own with a few simple changes.

To make it bigger is simple  – each finished block is 8″ by 8″ so multiply 8 by how ever many blocks you want in the width and length.  So for example, a typical commercial size twin comforter is 65″ x 88″ so if you would like to make your quilt that size you would have to do 8 blocks in a row by 11 rows.  This might seem confusing when it comes to buying fabric, but it’s actually just a little basic math.

Each block takes two 2.5″ x 22″ strips of fabric, for this quilt I used one strip of blue and one of white.  Next take the amount of blocks you would like to make and times it by 2.5″.  My quilt is 5 blocks wide and 7 blocks long, 35 blocks total: 2.5″ x 35 = 87.5″ (88″).  Since fabric is usually 44″ wide from salvage to salvage, when you fold it over you get two 22″ strips out of it, so you need to divide 88″ by 2 and that will give you the amount you need per fabric to make your blocks – 1 1/3 yards.  You will also need fabric for the backing and because this quilt is only 40″ wide, we only need 1 2/3 yards for the back.  Plus you will also need another half yard for the binding.

If at any point in this tutorial you have questions send me an email and I will be more than happy to help.

To make it easy…this is what you need to replicate this quilt:

  • 1 and 2/3 yards of the main fabric – In my quilt it’s the blue, for blocks and binding.
  • 3 yards of the contrast fabric – In my quilt it’s the white, for blocks and backing.
  • Quilt batting approx. 44″ x 60″ – it’s always good to have your batting a little larger than your quilt size.  I like to use Warm & Natural, it has a nice weight to it and gives my quilts a good look and feel. It costs a little more than purely synthetic batting but I find it’s worth it especially when it holds up nicely wash after wash.
  • Thread – enough to sew your pieces together and to quilt it, a medium to large size spool should do nicely.

Now you’re ready for the fun to begin!

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  1. Start by pressing your fabric to remove any wrinkles or creases.  Some people like to wash their fabric first, I personally prefer not too.  I find it’s easier to handle when it hasn’t been washed, plus I like the wrinkly quilt look that comes from washing the quilt after it’s completely finished.
  2. Fold fabric from salvage edge to salvage edge (this is the way it comes from the store or finished edge to finished edge), it should measure 22″, then cut 2.5″ strips, 18 of each fabric (remember it’s folded in half, so that will actually give you 36 strips).  Set the rest of your fabric aside for later.

 

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  1. With right sides together, place strip A on strip B.  The right side of the fabric is the front side of the fabric or the bright side; it’s the side you want showing.
  2. Sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way down each strip.  I like to feed the strips through the machine constantly sewing, this is called “assembly piecing” or “chain piecing“, not only does this speed up the process but it also keeps the fabric moving through the feed dogs smoothly.
  3. I usually just let the sewn strips pile up behind my sewing machine…it’s fun to watch the pile grow.
  4. Snip the thread between the strips apart and bring them to the ironing board.

 

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  1. With the darker fabric on top, press the seam, this sets the stitches into the fabric.  I like to use my cushion square and blocker when I press because it keeps me aware of the blocks shape and helps avoid the fabric from stretching. When pressing the block try to avoid pushing and pulling the fabric around with your iron, you want your pieces to maintain their shapes in order to get all your seems to match when you assemble your quilt.
  2. Let the block rest while it cools down.  It only takes a moment and it also helps keep the block shape.
  3. Slowly press the the strip open, until the full strip is flat with the seam towards the darker fabric. Again, press it down gently, don’t push and pull the iron.
  4. Check to make sure the strip is square and not stretched out and that the seam is is fully pressed open to give the perfect measurement. If you take a ruler to it now, your strip should measure 4.5″ wide.  There should be 2.25″ of each fabric on either side of the seam.

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  1. Next, lay the ruler flat on the strip so that one of the lines on the ruler runs straight with the seam. There should be 2.25″ of each fabric on either side.  Take your rotary cutter and square off your strip by cutting a small piece of fabric to start.
  2. Now that your long strip has a nice straight edge, line up your ruler and cut your strip into 4.5″ pieces.
  3. You should be able to get four out of the same strip and still have a tiny piece extra.
  4. Get rid of the extra scrap pieces (If there is more than 2.5″ of left over strip I like to save it for another project).

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  1. Lay out your four squares, let’s call them A, B, C and D.  Place two on top (A and B) and two on bottom (C and D).
  2. Take square A and turn it clockwise once – easy, peasy!
  3. Now go ahead and take square B and turn it clockwise twice.
  4. Take square C and turn it counter clockwise once while leaving square D alone.  Now you can see your block design!

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  1. With your squares laid out correctly, simply flip square B on top of square A.
  2. Make sure right sides are together.
  3. Flip square  D on top of square C, right sides together.
  4. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the right side of both sets of squares.

If at any point you start to get frustrated – stop! – set it down, get up and take a deep breath.  Make yourself a tea and relax!  Remember quilting is fun!

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  1. Press your seems and let them rest, then lay them out.  You can see how the front looks by the top one and the bottom is how the back will look.
  2. Notice how all the seams are pressed towards the dark fabric where possible.  That is important!
  3. This is how they will look when they’re ready.
  4. You’ll probably realize that the two pieces are actually the same piece, one is just turned clockwise twice.  Since this is the case, it makes it easy to sew the remaining pieces quickly.

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  1. I like to set up my squares next to each other and place square B on top of the square A with right sides together, then sew them on the right side with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This allows the process to go faster.
  2. Set the seams and press them all towards the darker fabric.  Then take your finished pieces and place them right sides together correctly so that they will form your block pattern.
  3. Place your middle seams together so that when sewn all the seams will meet perfectly.
  4. This is where pressing your seams in the right direction will help you!  You will notice that the pressed seams fold in opposite directions and “lock” or “nest” the seams together.  This is something you want on all your major seams because it will help all your pieces line up together nicely.  It’s a little secret that will help you quilt like a pro!

Take your time!  Remember – it’s not a race!

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  1. Once you have all four of the little squares sewn together to make a full block, you might notice the middle bit of seam is kind of bulky.  This will make it a little harder to quilt later and cause your quilt to have little bumps.  So you want to open up that bulky little section and iron it out.  Start by seam ripping the little seams in the middle.
  2. Gently pull those few little stitches out making sure not to go below the seam that is going perpendicular to it. There should only be two or three stitches.
  3. Now do the same to the little seam on the other side, again making sure not too go to low.
  4. Once you have those few stitches removed and you lay your block flat you’ll notice that the four main seams kind of fall in the clockwise direction on their own creating a little square in the very middle.  Use your finger to flatten the square out.
  5. Press the four main seams clockwise around the block so that they are all going in the same direction, making sure to keep previous seams pressed in their original directions.

 

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10.3  10.4

  1. Now you should have your full blocks, properly pressed will all your seams matching up in the middle.  Great job!!
  2. Place two blocks together, we’ll call them block A and block B.
  3. Next flip block B onto block A, with right sides together.  You’ll notice again, where the two seams meet up, they are going in opposite directions so that you can “lock” or “nest” them together.
  4. Sew the two blocks together using a 1/4″ seam, press the seam to set it and lay them out.  Don’t press the seam in either direction yet, that will come later. Sew 6 more sets of two blocks together.

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Next sew three blocks together, set the seams but again, do not press the seams in any direction yet.  Sew together 6 more sets of three blocks together.

Now sew all seven sets of two blocks to the seven sets of three blocks so that you have seven strips total comprising of 5 blocks in each strip.

This is where you’re going to press the seams.  Starting with the first strip press the seams to the left, then with the second strip press the seams to the right.  Alternate the direction of the seams with each strip until all seven have been pressed.

When you go to sew the strips of blocks together make sure the seams line up and “lock” or “nest” together.  This will help ensure your blocks line up perfectly.  When you’ve sewn all the strips together, you’re quilt top is finished!

Congratulations!!  Wasn’t that fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Popham…

Last week while we were in Maine we decided to take a drive over to Fort Popham to check it out.  The kids weren’t sure what to expect and weren’t really excited to be heading anywhere on the hottest day of our vacation.  I knew once we arrived they would enjoy the Fort.

Sure enough, as we pulled up the kids were excited to get out an explore.  The salty breeze from the water mixed with the dampness of the Fort provided us a break from the oppressive heat.

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Fort Popham was amazing!

It was built from large blocks of granite in 1861 at the mouth of the Kennebec River.

The structure was beautiful!

The contrast of the granite with beautiful views of the river through the windows were breath taking.

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Even the kids were completely impressed throughout their running around, climbing and exploring.

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The Monkey discovered a secret room at one end of the Fort which he labeled the stinky room and couldn’t wait to take me there.

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Daddy couldn’t resist a little inappropriateness…one of the many reasons I adore him!

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While the kids and Daddy were enjoying themselves and having fun, I was busy taking lots of pictures!  I just couldn’t get over the views.

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I just wish the sun could have broken through the haze so I could have really captured the beauty in it’s true splendor.

I did however manage to capture the raw cuteness pretty well!

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I love that little one!

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The Professor and the Princess tried their hand at a little history – we didn’t get it right the first time, but we were pretty close.

Who knew baseball became so popular so early?

Not us, that’s for sure!

After a little manipulating of the answers to make them correct the kids wanted a picture taken.

By the time we got back to the campsite we were hot and tired….and the Monkey needed a serious drink of Mickey juice…aka water in a Mickey cup.

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