A Lovely Holiday Movie

My husband and I, lovers of old movies, stumbled onto a good one that’s perfect for the holidays.

“Remember the Night” (1940) features Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in the story of a district attorney whose effort to get out of town so he can get home to Indiana in time for Christmas results in a shoplifter being detained in jail until after New Year’s…unless he takes responsibility for her over the holidays. So he drags her along on his road trip back home, where she meets his kind family, who treat her much better than most thieves would expect.

My husband is a Hoosier, with several wonderful relatives still living “back home in Indiana,” so the movie had special relevance for him. But I liked it a lot, too, and I’m amazed that Stanwyck and MacMurray could play characters that are so very different from those they played in “Double Indemnity,” their most famous movie pairing (and not a movie for kids).

This is a different kind of holiday movie with a surprise ending; we really liked it, and will probably watch it next Christmas, too.

Easy Zippered Bags

I found an article about two-minute zippered bags in my quilt file, which means I tore it out of a magazine at some point over the last 30 years. It’s a bit misleading, because it would take two minutes if you used one piece of fabric for the outside. If you use a string-pieced sample, as they did, but you don’t have one lying around, as they did, it’ll take you a while longer. But it’s worth the effort:

That was fun, so I made another one:

Since I have a little plastic bag of zippers that I bought at an estate sale not long ago for 50 cents, I decided to make a few more. They did indeed take a few minutes each. These are for my grandson and my granddaughter:

I put the zippers at the top of these bags to make it easier for them to use. I figure they can put crayons or their little cartoon figures in them.

I’ll probably make a few more little bags for myself when I get the chance. In fact, I’m already setting aside a few pieces as I go through my stash for just that purpose.

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: