T-Shirt Quilts

A year after my daughter had her first baby, she decided that many of the craft projects she’d been working on pre-baby were never going to get finished, so she cleared them out, but not before offering them to me. I felt bad letting the many t-shirt squares she had cut up so carefully go to waste, so I offered to finish the quilt she had intended to make.

T-shirt quilts are easy but time-consuming. In this case, I was working with 6” squares and one big rectangle. I paired up the squares with a 5” scrap of batting in the middle (I had tons of batting scraps from previous quilts I’d made) and sewed an X across each pair.

Once all 250+ squares were stitched, I sewed them together in rows using a ½” seam allowance, making sure to keep all seam allowances to the front. I cut the rectangle to fit, paired it with batting and backing of the same size, and arranged the squares around it.

I also cut the edges so that they will ruffle nicely once the quilt is washed. This is very time-consuming and, if you don’t want your hand to get very sore, requires the use of a certain kind of scissors.

Here’s what the quilt looks like on the back: 

I had enough squares for an ample-sized quilt for my daughter and son-in-law, and a little one so Baby can have her own:

I hate waste, so it felt good to make something warm and useful out of those squares. And now I have more room for fabric in my sewing area since I used up all my excess batting scraps on these quilts. 🙂

The Blind Leading the Blind

My Bible reading today includes the following (partial) verse:

“…and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 15:14

It occurs to me that with the advent of the Internet came forums, where we can commiserate with others in our situation, whether the topic is medical issues, parenting, homeschooling or something else.

But it’s one thing to befriend like-minded people, and another to take their advice when they don’t know much more than you do. It’s still wise to find an expert to consult, or read books by experts.

When you don’t know any experts, you can always pray for some. When I was a young mom with four kids running around, I really craved the advice of an older woman. But my own mother was not accessible at that time. So I prayed for mentors, and sure enough, over time God led me into friendships with several older women in my church. What an inspiration they were! A couple of them continue to inspire me, long after I moved to another state, because we’ve kept in touch.

So don’t fall into a pit; find someone who’s familiar with the path.

 

Homeschooled Young Woman Succeeds in the Music World

My husband and I love the Internet show “Live from Daryl’s House.” It features a variety of musical talent who take turns visiting musician Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates) and jamming with him and his band.

One of the best episodes of the show so far features a young woman named Kandace Springs. I was curious about her, so I did a little research and learned that not only is she a big fan of Ella Fitzgerald (as I am), but also that she was homeschooled. Good for her!

Check out one of the songs she performed with Daryl Hall on his show:

More Jobs Not Requiring College

My kids are grown and my grandkids are little, so college isn’t really an issue in our family right now. But for homeschoolers, it looms large, so I like to share news of what’s going on in terms of whether or not teens can or should go to college. Lately I’m seeing more articles about companies no longer requiring new hires to have a college diploma, like this one and this one.

I see this as a good sign. I have nothing against going to college; in fact, my college experience was a great one. But I think that requiring every potential employee to have spent six figures (probably borrowed) to get that diploma is ridiculous, and I’m glad to see the landscape slowly changing.

Run, Don’t Walk, Away from Public Schools

I’ve been accused of being negative about public school. It’s true, I’m guilty. When I was an inmate, er student, in the public schools, I thought it was a big waste of time. When I became a parent, I chose to homeschool my kids instead of putting them on the big yellow bus with the neighbor kids.

Public school was bad enough back then, but look at it now. Teachers complain that the students don’t listen to them because they’re allowed to be on their phones in class. Public school grads arrive at college unable to read at grade level or write a coherent paragraph. Meanwhile, political correctness and political bias run rampant.

Just recently, a Boston public school allowed a tombstone with the name of President Donald Trump at a school-sponsored Halloween event. On the other coast, a California school sponsored a scarecrow contest where one of the scarecrows was clearly meant to represent President Trump. This would never have been allowed in the schools I went to, as flawed as they were.

Of course, these specific behaviors, while condoned by the schools, are the fault of parents. But the schools allowed their behavior instead of forbidding it. While the institution of public schooling itself is one giant mistake, some of the families involved in the public schools are also problematic. How else can you explain parents who send their children to their local public library’s Drag Queen Story Time?

Run, don’t walk, away from the public schools (read John Taylor Gatto’s books for encouragement). If you’re not up for homeschooling, find a good private school. Don’t sentence your child to years in a failing system.