Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mail Call

I got a package in the mail today!

There was a blog hop in February - where you hop from one blog to another.  And prizes!  I won a prize! See this post from Quilt Jane.  Click on her Home button, also, to see her wonderful creativity.

I won $25 from Green Fairy Quilts.
I chose 3 charm packs that I had to pre-order because they were not in stores yet.  They were NEW fabrics!!  I have lots of old fabric.  But now I have some new fabric, too!

(Make new friends,
But keep the old:
One is silver and
The other is gold!)

I will use these in something this summer.
Or maybe I will keep them until they are old friends.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Number Our Days (This is Math?)

When our children are young babies we give their age in DAYS. Eventually we speak of how many MONTHS old - and then we start to round to the nearest YEAR or half a year.

When telling how old a child is, the real problem is - IT CHANGES EVERY DAY!!

Seems like a good opportunity to incorporate MATH.

This week's "This is Math?" helps you focus on some facts that your children just ought to know.  Most kids know their own birthdate.  Teach them to love their siblings by knowing those birth dates, also.  (Teach them the birthdays of Mom and Dad when they are young and they will be able to remember your birthday when they go away to college or have families of their own!)

I believe you should be able to copy this Tic-Tac-Toe board and paste it to a word processing document. Each student should pick THREE (or even more!) squares and then complete each task in each of those squares.  They might want to try make a tic-tac-toe.

How many days in a week?  What are their names?  Can you say them BACKWARDS?
How many month in the year?  What are their names?  Each month is given a number in the order they occur in the year.  Learn these.

How many days in a year?
How many days in each month?  (Learn the little poem)
How many weeks in a year?  How many weeks before June?  How many weeks before Thanksgiving?  Christmas?

How many years old are you?  How many weeks old are you?  What about your siblings?
What is your birthdate?  How many days until your birthday?
Learn to tell your birthday using numbers.

Learn the birthdates of your family members. Learn, also, that DOB means "Date of Birth".
How many days old are you?  Your siblings?

You could expand your exploration into other languages - learning the days of the weeks and the names of the months in another language.  You could also learn to count up to 31 in another language.

With the months of the year you can play a game - even driving down the road.  You name a month, the kids have to figure out what NUMBER is associated with that month.  Or, you give a number between 1 and 12 and they name the month.  Make it a contest if it would be fair, or take turns, asking easier questions of the younger children.

You remember the poem about the number of days in each month?   You can google this - and you might also find a little devise using your knuckles to help know how many days in a given month.

Number your days, but count your blessings!

Psalm 90:12 says "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Box #2

Last November I opened a box in my closet and was thrilled to find old ties in the box. (see this link)  I got carried away with sewing on those items (imagine THAT!) instead of blogging about my intentions.

But I DO have a number of really interesting boxes in my sewing room.  I opened a few last weekend, and want to share one with you.  It will probably take a few blog-posts to cover all the items!

It is a box full of OLD items (mostly unfinished) that have been given to me.  They found a home in my room - and someday will turn into a useful item.  Some of the items are OLD . . maybe you would even say VINTAGE.

This is an apron printed onto thin, handkerchief-type blue fabric.  It is obviously ready to be embroidered - and would be lovely.  My question: should I preserve this in its original state or complete it as was intended?

Here is another - a full set of yellow 'scarves' to go on top of a buffet and a table-runner, I think.  They seem to be made of a lovely golden linen.

To the right of each of the large pieces is a close-up of the label inked onto the fabric.
Again, I wonder if I should preserve these in their original state or complete them.

One more item in this state:

Apparently this is a 'boudoir pillow'.  It is the same kind of 'handkerchief' type fabric as the blue apron above.

I'm hoping that some of you out in blog-land will have an informed opinion - or even expert advice about what I should do with these items.

Leave a comment so I can know whether to preserve them as-is or (eventually) add the embroidery and finish them up.

Come back in the next day or so - and I'll show you another pillow that makes me laugh and laugh.  I have NO IDEA where I got this!  Here is a little teaser picture:



Friday, April 20, 2012

Bloggers BOM - Update!

I have caught up with the Bloggers Block of the Month!!

I still really like these colors!!

Here are all the squares in one photo:

 You can see all the other Blogger's Blocks at this Flickr page.

Back to the sewing room!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fractions are Half the Fun (This is Math?)

This week I have just a few ideas to introduce fractions.  Well, halves.

Have you ever watched "Finding Nemo"?  The sharks' pledge includes "Fish are friends, not food".  Well, in math you may have to repeat this pledge:

  "Fractions are our friends". 

Granted, some friends are difficult.  Some are hard to understand.  But we are loyal to friends.  We like our friends.  And SOMEDAY you will be glad that fractions are YOUR friends.

Some of the activities I included today would be good in the car. You know when.  Kids start to whine.  Mom starts to whine.  Mom can start the "Even or Odd" game by calling a child's name and a number and asking "Even or Odd?"  (Hint: a number is even if it ends in 2 or 4 or 6 or 8 or zero)(the zeros might be hard for the kids - but you can teach that even if you are driving the car!).  If your clever child gets too complicated for the others - say that the numbers have to be less than ten!

I believe you should be able to copy this Tic-Tac-Toe board and paste it to a word processing document. Each student should pick THREE squares and then complete each task in each of those squares.  They might want to try make a tic-tac-toe.

Count by twos.
(Older children count up to 100, youngest to 10)
Start at 50 (or 30 or 100) and count by twos BACKWARDS.
Play the “Even or Odd game.  “It” gets to choose a number and the contestants decide if it is even or odd.  If the contestant is right, they become “It” and ask another contestant.
Roll two dice.  First one represents the tens digit in a number, second die represents the ones digit.  Write the number.  If it is even, what is half of it?
Give each child a pile of small toys like toy bricks, stuffed animals or blocks.  Ask them to put them into two equal groups.
Learn how to deal cards with just two people playing cards.  Count how many cards you have after they are dealt.  How many cards are there all together?
(Remove the face cards & call Aces “one”) Play “War” with just two people.
Play the “Halves” game.  “It” gets to choose an even number, the contestants determine what half of it is.
How can you divide an odd number into halves?  Practice this at snack time or dinner.  5 cookies, 2 people?  15 crackers 2 people?...  How many potatoes so everyone gets one half?

Repeat after me: "Fractions are our Friends"

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I am slowly catching up with my UFO list.

One evening in 1990 I was at the library as it closed.  I quickly checked out my selected books and headed for the door.  As they locked the door behind me, I noticed a meeting of some sort in a room outside the library-proper, but still in the building.  I looked in - and they were showing quilts to one another!!  I had happened upon "Quilt Chat" and they invited me in.  This group met monthly and was a very loosely organized group of ladies.  Each summer, however, we would do some sort of exchange or round-robin event.

These homespun 4-patches were part of an exchange we had sometime in the 1990's.

I am pleased with the result!  I was afraid that it would be very "Country" as that was the style in Texas in the 90's.  As I put it together, however, I really liked the bold colors and the disparate plaids.

It was a little hard to get a picture today - with the wind.

I plan to have this quilt top quilted by a dear friend who is in the process of purchasing a long-arm machine.  I hope it will be a good top for her to start with.

I end up in the yard often, in the spring.  This slows down my quilting - but has some good results:

 And the holly trees attracting a swarm of butterflies last week.

I love spring!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baseball (This is Math?)

Welcome to the third installment of "THIS IS MATH?"  (Sorry I missed last week.) (I still hope to post these activities once a week)
Take me out to the Ballgame!!!

If you don’t know anything about baseball – NOW IS THE TIME!!!  It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame!!  Have your student(s) pick three activities from the chart below.  I've included some notes and details after the chart.  Remember: this is supposed to be FUN.

Learn the song: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
This song is traditionally sung in the middle of the 7th inning.
 Sing it once a day for a week.
List the names of all the major league teams in
(choose one)
a) your state 
b) the American league
c) the National league
d) America
List what the colors are for major league baseball teams.  (see box to the left to choose a group of teams to research their colors).
List the names of the baseball parks where the major league teams play.  Find the cities on a map of the United States.
The next time you mow your yard, just mow a diamond in your grass to represent the infield.  Have races around the bases. 
Pick a team and follow it for a whole month.  Every day record if they win or if they lose.  Calculate their winning percentage every morning.
Pick a team and examine their batting averages today.  Put the averages in order from highet to lowest to see who is the best batter on that team as of today.
Find out: How many players are out on the field at a time.  How many innings are played.  How many strikes make an out.  How many balls make a walk.  How many “how many-s” can you think of?
Pick a favorite player to follow this week.  Calculate  his batting average every day.  Do this to make sure the newspaper or web do their math correctly! (see below)

You can check out sing-a-longs on YouTube so you can learn the words and tune to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”  There is a good chance you will learn the whole song if you sing it 7 days in a row.

Have your students make NICE lists.  They can surely try to use neat handwriting – maybe even using the correct colors for the teams!  You can play games with these lists.  “Which team in Texas is red and blue?”  “Which team plays in a ballpark called Fenway Park?”

Winning average can be computed this way: “Number of wins” divided by “Total games played”.  Some students can do this statistic on paper – since only a few games have been played the math won't be too hard.  You can let them use a calculator, also.  Give the answer to 3 decimal places.

Batting average is computed this way:  “Number of hits” divided by “Number of at-bats”.  Both of these numbers should be available in your newspaper or on the web on the baseball team home pages.  (The team's numbers will probably be in a big chart... with LOTS of numbers.  Look for the column with an "H" at the top to find Hits.  Look for the column with "AB" at the top to find At-Bats.)  The current batting average will be written there – but how do you know they did their math correctly?  Let your students use a calculator for this – and give the answer to 3 decimal places.  It’s early in the season, so the number of hits and the number of at-bats will still be fairly low.

And having your very own baseball field in your lawn???  The neighbors will envy you!  And it can all be mowed the same height after your races (or at the end of the day) (or next week!)

"I don't care if I never get back!"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day - BAG

One year we received a Texas Rangers umbrella as a free gift when we attended a Ranger game.  It was an awesome umbrella - larger than any I had ever purchased or owned.  It looked something like this, (although our Ranger symbols were on the Red fabric, and the blue fabric was unmarked).

While the umbrella was GREAT, the umbrella mechanism broke.  There were sharp wires sticking out everywhere.  It appeared it would no longer exist as a refuge from rain.

When we attend Ranger Baseball games, we invariably take FOOD. ( My daughter informed me that one item we "always" took to the game was BBQ potato chips.  "I don't know if I really like BBQ potato chips or not, but we ALWAYS had them when we went to Ranger games," she said.

Regardless of the menu - we take food to the game.  And we have to carry the food in some kind of bag.  
This is where the umbrella fits into this story.
I took apart the fabric for the umbrella, rotated the blue triangles, resewed and created a bag for FOOD!!

It just "fell" together.  Everything I cut fit perfectly!!  And it functioned excellently at OPENING DAY.

What a day for a ballgame!!
What a day for a win!
Cathy H

Monday, April 2, 2012

Muslin and Homespun

Well, I got started on my March UFO!!  These are 4-patches from Homespun fabric that I received in an exchange sometime in the 1990's.

It is going together quickly - and it looks better than I expected!
I was kind of expecting it to be very "country" but I think I can make it
more "modern" or at least 21st Century!!

Here are the blocks on a design wall.

I'm joining the Small Blog Meet at Lilly's Quilts.

 Lily's Quilts

Since I am a Small Blog - I'm hoping to encourage folks to stop by once in awhile.
To check on my progress.
To see my ideas.
To be encouraged to be creative -
and to persevere, even when things don't get finished quickly.
Some of my projects are left-over from the time I was raising four children.
A stitch here.  A stitch there.  

I've learned to enjoy the DOING as much as the END.

 I can't post without a picture of spring.  This is from my favorite rose bush (that just barely made it through the rough summer of 2011).  The bush lost 6 of it's 8 main canes - but this is what continues to be produced on the cane that is left!

A crown of thorns beneath the vase is quite appropriate this week - as we look forward to celebrating Resurrection Sunday.  "He bore our sins"


Sunday, April 1, 2012

UFO #3 March: Progress!

I started my March UFO.

Here is is on the design wall.  My goal is to piece it and get it to my friend who is getting her first quilting machine.  These are Homespun 4-patches I received in an exchange . . . sometime in the 1990's.

But I have not finished this UFO.  I will. soon.

I HAVE finished my January and February UFO's in the month of March!  So you see: I am catching up.

Here is the T-Shirt quilt that is my January UFO and the post about it.

Here is the Christmas Star wall hanging which is my February UFO and the post about it.

Additionally, I had a HUGE finish this month:

I have finished my triangle charm quilt called "Charming Triangles".  Pieced. Quilted. Binding on.  Done.

This is Math?

If anyone is interested, I have started a once-a-week feature I call "This is Math?"  I think math should be fun for elementary school kids, so I am providing fun ideas once a week.  This might be helpful to ease some stress if you homeshcool. It might also provide thoughtful ideas for any kid.  Math is fun.  You can access it with the tab at the top of the blog.

I have an out-of-control climbing rose that I did not remove soon enough this winter.  I INTENDED to remove it because it gets in the way of mowing and is overtaking the flower bed.  

But it started to bloom.  So I decided to let it bloom and THEN cut it down.  But some cardinals have built a nest in it!!  I can't tear it down now, can I?  The mowing crew (my husband) will have to dodge the thorns at least until these baby cardinals fly the nest.

 I love spring!

I'm linking up with the 2012 UFO Challenge at Patchwork Times.  Hop over there and see what everyone else is finishing!!