Triangle baby quilt from 5 fat quarters

I have a dear friend whose sister is due with a baby this summer, and since no other babies are getting born that are close enough to me, I am totally sewing for this new baby.

I didn’t have a lot to go on for colors and fabrics from the mom-to-be, but then the genius idea struck to stalk her registry, and as it turns out she likes greys and blues. Then I hemmed and hawed for FOREVER picking these 5 fat quarters out, and I knew I couldn’t possibly add a single other fabric into the fold, so 5 fat quarters it is.

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Finished size: Approximately 31″ x 43″

To make this quilt…

5 unique fat quarters
1/4 inch foot
pins
ruler with 60 degree mark
rotary cutter and mat

Lay out one fat quarter and mark 4 lines going the length (20″ side) spaced 5 7/8″ apart.

Mark the diagonal lines using your 60 degree mark on your ruler making the sides of each triangle measure 6 3/4″.

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There is very little wiggle room on a fat quarter, but measure and mark carefully and you will get a total of 15 whole triangles and 6 half triangles.

Carefully stack all 5 fat quarters (putting your marked one on top) and cut out all the pieces using a rotary cutter and a fresh blade.

Lay out the triangles in 8 rows. Each row will have 9 whole triangles and 2 half triangles (at each end).

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Play with the arrangement until you like the look!

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Sew together each row, pressing seams open, and being careful to line up points as you go. Use the pin trick from See Kate Sew to line up your points!

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I haven’t finished piecing mine yet, but I needed to get all these numbers out of my head and somewhere to stay for reference 🙂

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LEGO Snapology gator giveaway

As a homeschooling mom I’m always looking for more ways to make learning fun. That was such a cheesy sentence. Let me try again. As a homeschooling mom I’m always looking for more ways to consider the fun stuff in life as educationally valuable. Now that’s better! Kids are learning all the time. Really!

I used to think that was only true when Lily was little and she so obviously absorbed everything in the world around her simply through playing. But now as an 8 year old (OMG EIGHT) I still see how amazing play is for her every day. Sure we do some academic stuff during our homeschooling weeks, but there is so much more to learning in life than curriculum. Playing that board game? Writing in that diary? Playing with those LEGOS? All count toward “schooling?” Heck yes!

I love laying down a strong STEM base for her. We all know how important it is to encourage science and math in our girls, and LEGO sets like this one certainly help. And now I’m so exciting to learn that places like Snapology are popping up all over to offer hands-on learning experiences for kids!

I am also so lucky to be able to give away a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology mascot Sebastian Gator!

 

snapology, snapology gator, legos snapology, lego snapology, stem legos, kids, kids birthday, kids learning, kids legos

Note: this set is recommended for ages 6+. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal.

Want to win a LEGO gator?

To enter this giveaway simply comment on this blog post!

Want an extra entry? Share on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (and come back here and comment with a link of proof) to gain additional entries!

I will choose a winner at random on April 10th!

Year-long knitting

As the new year approaches I find myself thinking of year-long projects to start and (hope) to finish throughout the whole year of 2017. In my searching I happened across the Year in Temperatures and Knit the Sky projects. I thought (and over thought) about how to do these. I just love the conceptual idea of knitting the sky, one row a day, and adding a rainbow in when I see a real-life rainbow. But that would require also having an entire rainbow of compatible yarn on hand. And if I was going to have an entire rainbow anyway I might as well knit the weather as well!

So, I am!

Rebecca and I have decided to knit the weather together–her in Colorado after her January move and me in Illinois. It should be a neat way to compare the differences. I’ve purchased my yarn from Knit Picks and am eagerly await its arrival.

Here are the colors for the temperatures…

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And here are the colors I chose for the sky…

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Both projects will require just one row per day. So far I’ve been picturing a simple stockinette tube with the strands run up the middle and then likely kitchener joining it to be round like a super-sized cowl. That way I won’t have to weave in 365 loose ends, which I would very much like to avoid.

For the sky I will simply observe during my day and pick what I deem the best choice. For the temperature I’ve organized the colors in 10F degree  increments. If you’re joining, please feel free to adjust to your area’s climate!

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I also anticipate falling behind, because that’s easy to have happen, especially on a long term project such as this. So I have created a one-page print out of a whole year calendar that can be used to document one or both projects in order to more easily play catch-up.

One project, row per date:

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Both projects, two rows per date:

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We would love it if you joined us on this knit-a-long! Or get creative! I’ve seen blankets done with this concept, even cross-stitch! I love that there can be so many variations of the same theme–observing and documenting the year.

Homeschooling, fall 2016, age 7.5

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Reading

I still don’t touch this formally as she is an avid reader. She enjoys a variety of reading levels, from “too easy” for her ability to well beyond what I would ever imagine her reading and comprehending.

Once again we briefly used this “reading level assessment” and she could get through the 6th grade words easily and hung up in the 7th grade lists. Her compressension has tested around mid-3rd grade.

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Writing

I’m trying to get better at adopting the Bravewriter lifestyle again for our family. Tuesday Teatime is difficult to remember; maybe we’ll do it as a family after dinner instead. Her handwriting is still tediously slow which means she prefers to dictate to me which I’m trying to feel more positive about because I’m pretty sure the more confident independent writing will come with time. Lily will also attend weekly homeschool classes again held by a group of families at our local library. This includes a writing class where she completes assignments in class and at home each week. She did well with this class last year!

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Math

We have found that Math in Focus is a good fit for her! It is Singapore-style math workbooks and we completed 2A and a lot of 2B over summer. Conceptually she’s ready to advance more but the computations and memorization aren’t quite there, so we’re going to circle around with some review and introducing concepts through stories like Sir Cumference and activities like Family Math. We also play math games such as Clumsy Thief and Mobi Max. I’m trying to convince her that memorizing her math facts will make those games easier 🙂

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Science

Science-y stuff continues to happen informally and happily. Nature class with our homeschool group is a great exposure to a lot of things, as well as being a part of the Jr. Naturalist program at our local nature center. We have also begun to slowly work through REAL Science Odyssey, Life as a more formal curriculum.

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Art

An art class is also included in our weekly gatherings at the library, and they vary from painting to drawing to repurposing recyclables. She also enjoys crafting a lot of miniatures for her dolls for play, as well as drawing along with the Art Hub for Kids YouTube videos.

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History

Story of the World Volume 1 on audiobooks is still a hit, and I have also added volume 2 on her little iPod. We’ve begun to do some activities from the Story of the World 1 activity book. She’s still into reading historical fiction for pleasure, so I will continue to encourage that. Over summer we began reading the entire Little House series and she is a HUGE fan. We will also once again attend a monthly class at our local history center which touches on various topics from Abraham Lincoln to Frida Kahlo.

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Music

Lily is still playing her violin. She started in October of 2014 and has continued to practice just about every day since then. I’m continually amazed by how much she keeps improving at (what I consider) a difficult instrument. So many strings and a bow and fingers!

Physical Education

Also tied in with music is her ballet classes at the local park district. She has also chosen to begin gymnastics classes again. Oh, and monkey bars are a pretty consistent favorite pastime 🙂

Miscellaneous

Lily is also once again involved in Girl Scouts at the local grade school with friends that live on our street (amongst others who attend that school). The troop is bridging to Brownies this year! We make sure to schedule playdates with friends at least weekly. Im confident life will has hit a good weekly groove again once fall really gets going.

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Door County, Wisconsin

We had a great trip with my parents! The Farm was wonderful to visit, as always, and the weather was so pleasant for exploring nature and shops and fun. This was our second trip up there and I feel like it was even better than our first. We’re already planning the next one!

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I love to-do lists

I’m not sure if my love for to-do lists is being transferred to my daughter or not, but they sure do keep me on task and make me feel accomplished when I get to cross off the completed items.

I keep a Google Tasks to-do list (several, actually) on-going with long term and short term items to take care of. And I’ve found that when I have a lot planned for our day it does us best to write it all on our wipe board out so nothing gets forgotten about.

Some of the things on the checklist in the photo are pretty standard for our days, but occasionally they need a little gentle reminding (i.e. not me nagging)…drink water, practice violin, do a chapter of math. Other things we’ve been meaning to do but they keep getting pushed back…read another chapter of Harry Potter together, take a bath (I know, ew, LOL), pick projects for the Junior Naturalist program. And then there were all the things that were just relevant and needed to get done today and I didn’t want to forget because there were so many little things.

A bath is planned, the weather is a little too warm to want to be out tonight so a family board game is in order…and we’ll see if we get around to reading another chapter of Harry Potter or not. We like the book, don’t get me wrong, but it just hasn’t sucked us in like some others have.

There was plenty of time for her to read (a lot), play with toys (a lot), run to Target, go to the library, I sewed a little bit, dinner’s going in the crock pot…I’m calling today a success!

Oh, and Lily’s blog was sparked by her request for a “Laura Ingalls prairie photo shoot” in an overgrown field near my parents’ house. She then told me she wants to write a blog using the photos. We’ll see how far her project goes: https://lilysblog38.wordpress.com