Pinwheel Wreath {June 2014}

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This wreath was actually just an update to a previous wreath I had made. Sometimes you can simply add to a wreath and achieve a whole new look! This update took me about 15 minutes to do.

You could easily add pinwheels to one of those raffia style wreaths just as quick as I updated this wreath if you don’t have a simple wreath you want to add too.

Supplies:
Felt (I used 4 colors out of my stash. I did double layer pinwheels. If you do single layer ones you could do it with 2 colors.)
Scissors
Quilting pins
Wreath (one to update or a raffia wreath)
Ribbon (for hanging)
Lighter or Fray Check

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Cut two squares of the same size for each pinwheel.

Starting at each corner, cut towards the center of the square stopping between an inch and a half inch from the middle of the square. Cut each corner.

I cut the first square and then stack the squares and cut the second square. I find it easier.

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Lay your squares onto the wreath in the place you want it to be when completed.

Fold up one flap and pin in the center.

Go to the next cut and repeat folding and pinning. You will do this at each cut.

Place an extra pin (or two) in the last flap. You can cover them with a button (by hot glue) if you wish but I didn’t. The pin heads are small and not very noticeable.

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I cut two different sizes and clustered them together.

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Cut a length of ribbon (3-5 feet). Double it and slide it under the wreath bringing the loop to the front. Through the hole slide the loose ends of the ribbon. Pull tight. You can secure the ribbon with pins at the back of the wreath if you want so it doesn’t slip around.

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Knot about 8-10 inches above wreath. Hang over hook and tie bow underneath the hook so it will hang securely. (My bow is not very pretty. I haven’t mastered bow tying!)

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Stand back and enjoy!  A lovely but simple wreath!

~Hope

Handprint Quilt Part Two: Binding the Quilt

Yesterday you saw the quilt all ready for binding and today we will finish it! There are many different binding methods but this is a simple way to bind quilts without using a bias tape binding or hand stitching so you can catch both edges.

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This method of binding uses the backing of the quilt essentially wrapped around the front of the quilt to bind all the layers. It’s a fairly simple method and is relatively quick.

You need excess around your quilt of at least 4 inches (you’ll have a 1 inch binding; if you want a larger binding increase your excess).

You will be working on one edge at a time, rolling two edges first (from opposing ends of the quilt) then we’ll miter the corners.

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Fold the raw edge in to meet the edge of the top of the quilt. (Bottom left photo)

Fold over again meeting the edge of the top of the quilt. (Top right photo)

Roll over the edge of the quilt enclosing the raw edges of the top. (Bottom right photo)

Pin like crazy!

Time to miter those corners…it’s not that hard I promise!

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I mark the point where the quilt top ends in my previously rolled binding (the side I already rolled up). You will be folding a triangle down without passing this point.

Now you are going to roll the side like you did for the previous sides that you already rolled. Pin and sew!

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Here is a picture of the girls gifting the quilt to their teacher!  It was such a fun project even if it did take me weeks to finish!

Sorry if my explanation wasn’t clear. I hope the photos help where my words fail. Ask questions if you have any!

~Hope

Handprint Quilt Part One: Embroidery Work

For Sister’s teacher, I made a keepsake quilt with each students handprint and their name embroidered over the top of the print. It turned out beautifully and I wish that I could share a full image with you all but I can’t for privacy reasons. But I can show you snippets and give you the tips and tricks of doing your own quilt.

I also plan to save Sister’s handprints and names so that I can make her a quilt at the end of her high school career. Each year around the middle to end of the year I’ll collect her print and name to save for her own quilt later on. I’ll do the same for the other kids as well. I’m pretty excited about that!

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Each hand was traced onto printer paper cut into an 8″x8″ square. I actually cut the squares out so that parents would know that it needed to fit inside that square. None of the kids have huge prints but some did spread their hands out fairly wide so I am glad that I designated the size. I then taped the page directly onto the muslin that was stretched in my hoop. (I did cut away the excess paper prior to stitching.) Embroider the entire print and then carefully begin tearing the paper away. I found that it was easier to pull away large sections first then to actually hold the stitch line between my fingers while pulling away the remaining paper. When using 3 strands of embroidery floss you will see more stretching (bubbling) of the stitches, with 6 less. Just a tip you might want to take into consideration. 🙂

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Here is the corner label I did. Straight lines are much easier to pull paper away from, of course.

I did give the kids a strip of paper for their name that was 2 inches by 8 inches. Some filled the whole space, some wrote large letters, and 2 wrote their names at less than a half inch tall…I had to use tweezers to get the paper away from some letters, especially e’s or any letter with a center.

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Here is a photo prior to the edge work but after it was pieced and tacked. I love how it turned out.

Come back tomorrow to find out how I did the binding!

~Hope

Thursday is Trash Day: Cleaning Routine

Sorry this post is being posted so late in the day. We had field day today at school (PTO run) so I have been busy!

Even on my busiest days my home still needs to run effectively.

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I use a cleaning calendar to keep me up on my cleaning. I use the Motivated Mom’s Chore Planner . I actually have the app on my phone then I write it onto post – it notes for my planner.

This is the system that works for me but I’m sure different people prefer different systems. There are tons of free printable cleaning calendars available out there or you can create your own. But keeping a cleaning schedule can make a world of difference! 

Daily cleaning can make a big difference when organizing and decluttering your home. For example, you won’t keep 7 half empty tubes of toothpaste if you wipe down the bathroom sink everyday. So when you decide to declutter the bathroom, you won’t have as much to do if you clean it each day.

Do you have a cleaning system or calendar you use?

~Hope

Thursday is Trash Day: The Minivan of Gross

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This week I tackled…the minivan…duh, duh, duh! The van is like our home away from home and it’s definitely been a mess. I don’t routinely clean it out like I should in the winter because of the cold weather. Then in the spring it seems like it starts raining every time I get started. So it’s probably not been cleaned, like really cleaned for (cough, cough) at least 10 months…. Forgive me when you see the before pictures.

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I know it’s rough! I honestly had not realized how bad it was before I started snapping photos.

My staging area was the driveway next to the car. Prime real estate!

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I took everything out of the car, even the car seats. It was a little gross under those seats but nothing compared to this find:

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I have no idea when I even bought pears recently. Whoops! 

The smell definitely improved after I chucked that sucker in the garbage.

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Everything is out and I’m ready to vacuum. While we had the car all cleared out we vacuumed the seats and the floor plus cleaned all the windows (Inside and out), and wiped down all the hard interior surfaces. It’s looking nice!

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I really went through the car pile with a critical eye. I wanted to make sure it was necessary if it was going to go back in the car. In my trunk I have the single stroller and jumper cables. Then in the front I have some general care and health items. I also have the car seat pillows in the back seat, otherwise the car is pretty empty.

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This is one item that didn’t make it back in the car. It was a center console that wasn’t built into the car. Basically it was a piling station. The top left is the before and the lower left is the after. I’m pretty excited to not have that mess in there. I am thinking that will be a great spot to stick the diaper bag when we hop in the car.

I am very happy with the way it worked out and how nice it’s looking. Sadly as I pulled in from school pickup the wheel barring went out in the front passenger side and so now it’s in the shop but such is life. Right?

~Hope

Thursday is Trash Day: Decluttering Tips

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Today as we get to work cleaning, decluttering, and organizing I think there are some basic tips that everyone could benefit from.

Take before and after photos.

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Taking photos of the area you are working on can be really helpful as you work. One, you can look back and see what wasn’t working and what might have been working. For example we keep a laundry basket right inside the door of our laundry, even though I hate having it there I know that if it weren’t there then the laundry would just get thrown there anyway. Two, as you work and possibly feel a little overwhelmed,  you’ll be able to look and see progress. Three, having after photos gives you the ability to really look at the work you did. I know that one may sound selfish but when you complete a big job sometimes it’s nice to really be able to show how much you truly accomplished.

Create a staging area.

When decluttering an area or even just a shelf, it’s easier to clear everything out of the space then it is to work around things. This staging area doesn’t have to far away. When I clear off a shelf I use the space on the floor beside it. If I clean out my car, I use the patio area as a staging area. Just remember don’t hike a mile but make sure you have space to work.

Create 3 zones when clearing a room: belongs here, trash, doesn’t belong here.

I know you expected the original trash, donate, keep zones but I prefer different categories.
■ Trash is obvious. If it’s broken, or junk then throw it out. Don’t hang onto trash.
■ Doesn’t belong here are things that go in other areas of your home. For example, a dirty shirt doesn’t belong in the car.
■ Belongs here are things that belong in that room even if you don’t plan to continue using them there. For example, chairs belong with my dining room table even if I decide to swap them for a bench later on.

After everything is categorized, then break your categories down again. Keep in the area, remove for use in another area, remove for storage.

I don’t suggest donating or selling anything for at least a month. You may decide to put that item back in the area or you may decide to use the item in another area even if you originally decided you weren’t going to use the item at all anywhere.

Be prepared for the long haul.

It will probably take you longer to complete organizing an area than you think it will. It will also take you a while to adapt to a new system of doing things. If you have been accustomed to throwing your dirty laundry on the floor it’s going to take some work to carry it into the closet and put it in the laundry basket. It may not be hard tasks but it will take a while to form new habits. Don’t expect it to happen overnight. But it will happen with work.

I hope that you find these tips to be helpful as we get started on our journey to cleaner, less cluttered, organized homes.

~Hope

Thursday is Trash Day: my son, the hoarder!

Today is trash day. Every Thursday (that we’re home), when the truck rolls in Brother runs to the window. He watches the garbage man set up the dump system, lift and lower the dumpster, compact the trash, and drive away. Then Brother cries and blubbers about how he wants his trash back.

My son will be a hoarder.

Have you seen an episode of Hoarders? We don’t have cable (gasp!) but we do stream Netflix so we can watch old episodes that are available. I can’t even fathom how people can let their homes become so nasty and then I watch my son cry because the garbage man is taking our trash away.

I am definitely not a minimalist by any means but I am trying to keep the clutter at bay. But it does worry me to think about what my son’s tendencies might be as he gets older. So in an effort to discourage the “keep it all and have a lot” mentality I am working on cleaning, organizing and eliminating the unnecessary things we have cluttering up our home. I don’t plan to be on the opposite end of the spectrum either where people throw everything away because they don’t want anything. I’m hoping to find a balance: not too much, not to little.

I am definitely a beginner when it comes to this but I thought you all might enjoy following along with me. Each Thursday, we’ll talk about strategies to clean areas of the home, organization tips, decluttering tips, selling items you don’t want or need, as well as other topics.

So join me each week for my Thursday is Trash Day series.

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