Source: Bing clip art

The years have slid by so fast. However, the years of using quilting to teach basic math and life skills to my kids was so worth it. Quilting and homeschooling can go together amazingly well if thought out and planned correctly.

Our kids, both male and female, learned housekeeping and life skills. These skills included: sewing, cooking, changing tires and oil, cleaning, laundry, and gardening.

Math was taught by cooking and sewing. The nice thing about homeschooling is that learning can be taught in ways that make sense to the teacher and student(s).

However, since quilting and homeschooling is the topic of this post, below I have some simple suggestions:

For young ones:

Spools of thread are great for teaching colors and counting. They also work well for doing simple addition and subtraction.

Wooden spools of thread
Source: Bing clip art

Fabrics can be used to teach colors.

The various shapes used in quilt blocks can be used to teach shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, hexagons, etc.

Simple shapes worksheet
Source: Bing clip art

The kids used to lay out fabrics and/or cut pieces on the floor and make their own quilt designs. They were learning critical thinking skills and having fun while doing it.

For Early Elementry Grades:

Following simple written instructions, such as a magazine, book, or website.

Source: Bing clip art

Measuring using rulers or measuring tapes. Here in the US, the kids should learn inches, feet, and yards.

Measuring tape
Source: Bing clip art

Multiplication and division using the “how many blocks ___ size do we need to make a quilt ____ size?” question.

Multiplication and division
Source: Bing clip art

Learn to use the Table of Contents or Index of a book to find quilt block photos and directions. The same skill can be used on websites like Quilter’s Cache.

Encourage creativity. Kid’s have a great imagination and come up with some neat projects.

For Junior High Grades

Safe ironing, and cutting skills. If the kids have not learned by now, this is the time to teach using sewing scissors and rotary cutters.

Workmanship by learning to sew even and correct size seams. Accurate cutting also falls into this.

Geometry by making their own basic quilt block patterns.

Source: Bing clip art

Algebra by teaching them to figure out how to change the size of patterns.

Source: Bing clip art

Currently as adults:

Homeschooling was hard work for me. Quilting encouraged me and allowed me to create a quiet place within all the chaotic daily grind.

But the legacy of homeschooling and all the hard work that went with it is that my adult kids have good research skills, critical thinking skills, and so many life skills. They can and do have real conversations with others of any age. All have college degrees and hold down jobs they have chosen for themselves.

They know how to think for themselves, and why they believe what they believe. All are productive members of their communities.

And yes, they still sew and quilt.

The real and life skills they learned via basic sewing and quilting is an ingrained part of their lives.

3 quilts hanging on a wash line.
Source: Bing clip art


Four quilts on a wooden fence

Quilters love to show off quilts to anyone who will stop long enough to look – we are just like that. Yep, we are show-offs, at least when it comes to our quilts. I thought that starting off this week by showing off quilts would be a great way to deal with Monday.

A sampler quilt
A sampler quilt

All these photos were taken in June 1995 in Montana. A co-worker allowed me to “borrow” the old barn and wooden fence on her family farm for a personal quilt show.

Dresden Plate made from my Grandma's real feed sacking
Dresden Plate made from my Grandma’s real feed sacking

I like doing my own outside personal quilt shows. It is fun to see them hanging outside in natural light. Plus the different surroundings make them look very different from being on a bed or wall.

Hand quilted fabric panel
Hand quilted fabric panel

Supplies to do this are minimal:

  • Permission if private property
  • Some sort of rope or thick string
  • Clothespins
  • Tacks
  • Small hammer
  • Pliers to pull out tacks
  • Dry weather that is partly sunny seems to be the best for lighting
Basket quilt

When people tell me they do not have time to quilt, I nod. However, in my head I am saying “really?”. In 1995 when these photos were taken, I had:

  • children under 12
  • was homeschooling said children
  • working 30 hours a week in town
  • being a loving wife and mom
  • raising a large vegie garden
  • getting 4 – 5 hours of sleep nightly
Quilts on the side of an old barn
Quilts on the side of an old barn

Honestly, we make time for what is important to us. And what is important probably changes over time.

Another scrap triangle quilt with lots of small triangles

I make no claims at being “Super Woman”, but I do like to make my time count. At the end of the day, I need to know that something good was accomplished. I work because I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. But creating is how I feed my soul. Quilting gives me joy.

Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts
Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts

Just Do It

If quilting is what makes me happy and “fulfilled” I will make time in my crazy schedule somehow. Even if some days there is only 15 minutes crammed in before I go to work, I will make it fit.

Flying Geese, and Friendship Star
Flying Geese, and Friendship Star

My totally unsolicited opinion is to please look at your own daily schedule. Make a list, and see where changes can be made so there is more time to quilt.

  • Can daily “chores” be moved around for better time management?
  • What can be gotten rid of completely?
  • Are there items that suck time from your day with no visible benefit?
  • Activities that absolutely have to be done?
  • Can you utilize some time saving gadgets or techniques to gain a few more minutes as you go through the day?
  • Is multi-tasking of “chores” possible?
  • What could or should be done by someone else in the home?
  • How can you stop phone or other interruptions?
Dutchman’s Puzzle

I felt guilty, or allowed others to make me feel guilty, because I “selfishly” took time out of my crazy days to do something that I enjoyed. Then my grandma reminded me that if I am happy I will make a happy home.

And I wanted, and want a happy home. Not perfect, but happy.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Dutchman's Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler
Dutchman’s Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler

So embrace your quilting. Let it bring joy into your life. And when you get a chance, show off those quilts.

Just for fun

Here is a real outdoors quilt show in Montana. Lots of beautiful quilts made by wonderful quilters. So inspiring to be able to see all these quilts and the mountains at the same time.

Source: Bing clip art

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Pinterest

I was recently reminded that there is a need to tread with care when quilting, social media, and privacy are involved.

I was recently contacted by another quilter who wanted to know if anyone had ever shown up at my home and asked to see the quilts I show off on the blog here.

Unwanted visitor

This other quilter (I will call her “Sue”) has a quilt blog. She posts photos of her house, her pets, grandkids, garden, quilts, and basically her life. “Sue” has also not been careful over the years when it comes to quilting, social media, and privacy.

Woman knocking on door
Source: Bing clip art

Hence, she recently heard a knock on her front door. The person knocking was unknown to “Sue”. The “visitor” wanted to come in and see the quilts she has been posting on her FB account and blog. This other woman said she had been driving around the town looking for the house that was pictured on her blog and FB account.

“Sue” told me that she was shocked. Never once in all of her posting had she ever thought about privacy to protect herself from this very occurrence. Then came the questions of why this “visitor” just assumed she could stop? Or that “Sue” would open her door and home to a complete stranger?

We live in a world that we need to lock our physical doors. Personal safety in and out of our home is very important. I think “Sue” just thought that no one would ever just show up at her house because of what she posted on-line.

My own story about privacy

More than 10 years ago, I had a similar occurrence due to my own naivety about how social media and/or blogging are not really private.

I had taken photos of several quilts and flower beds. I then put some on the old blog (this was before I realized that other people were reading my old quilt blog too). The photos clearly showed the front of my home and the house number.

Someone with more time on their hands than I do took the time to do research and found my home. This person brought several friends and drove here from another state. They just showed up to see the quilts.

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Bing clip art

I do not now, and did not then, just open my door to anyone who shows up. Especially not several someones I have never seen before and do not know.

My schedule is and was busy. Each day has a list to accomplish, and in general I am organized and get it done. And I do not like drop in guests – it interrupts my work and/or projects. I do not make excuses for my attitude.

When I looked thru the window of the front door and saw several someones standing there I did not open the door. Speaking loudly, I asked what they wanted. The response was they had come miles to see my quilts.

My response was I had no idea who they were and was not letting them in. The speaker pulled out her driver’s license to identify herself. She acted like it was normal to drive hours and show up unannounced at a stranger’s home, and expect to be let in.

Be careful

Long story short is that we had an argument through the door. They finally left yelling nasty words and threatening to destroy me on social media because I would not allow them in to see the quilts they wanted to.

Personally, I do not think this is normal behavior. At the least, it is rude. I don’t think I know anyone who thinks it is ok to drive miles expecting a stranger to just open the door. Or welcome complete strangers into their home.

I immediately called the police with the license number and the ID name just so they were aware. I next called my husband at work to let him know. Finally, I called my boss and took a couple days off work.

During those couple days, I went back through every post and photo. I fixed the writing that was not private about my location. I took photos down from the blog, or trimmed them up so little background was visible.

A reminder to all of us

We live in world that is very sloppy about personal privacy. The sloppiness could be laziness or just not knowing there is a problem.

Source: Bing clip art

Use caution when you post on other blogs or social media. You have no idea who is looking at your posts. You need to think about the safety of yourself and family.

Photo cropping software is easy to get and use. Mine also has tools to blur faces or writing (like signs). I learned to use the software, and continue to use it.

If you use your phone to take photos, make sure the location feature is off so that does not show up embedded in the photos. I found these directions. To get more specific instructions, google your own phone type.

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Bing clip art

None of us think that some stranger will just show up at our home expecting to be let in. But the world of today is full of ways to invade your personal space and privacy.

When it comes to quilting, social media, and privacy we as quilters like for others to see our quilts. We want them to be liked, complimented on, and seen by others. But do we want those other to invade our homes?

Be vigilant on-line.

I am very careful what I do on FB, which is not much as I am not a fan of the platform. Twitter and Instagram are not my thing at all. My Linked In account was deleted some time ago. Even my Pinterest account is not really personal except for quilts themselves.

We live in a world that utilizes computers. Use the computer wisely, and guard your personal privacy on-line and off.

Besides, it is much more fun to quilt, then sit on the computer all day. Happy quilting.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clip art