Spring has Sprung

Happy Spring!

My poor lonely sewing machine! I haven’t sat down to sew in almost two weeks! As the weather gets warmer and just plain lovely outside, I’m struggling to sit down and do anything. I want to plant something. (For the record, I really stink at gardening. It’s a skill I would love to learn.) I want to work in the yard, and wander around it making plans. I want to clean every little thing in the house! As you do…

On an interesting side note, I’m taking money quite seriously these days. I’m learning how to manage it better as a function of being a good wife and homemaker. There have been plenty of money posts here on the blog, and I thought I would give you some good tips in the coming days for evaluating where you are monetarily.

We’ve also had a rash of family birthdays this month, along with Easter. Preparing for holidays always takes a few days each, and so my time has been spent making sure my loved ones know they are indeed loved! It’s been a good few weeks of making merry and enjoying life.

What are you up to these days? Have you been enjoying the spring weather?

 

Contentment

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1 Timothy 6:6-10

 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.

 For we brought nothing into this world,

and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

I’ve spent the morning meditating on this passage, as I prepare for the weekend and tend to the many homemaking chores. It’s so easy to take our eyes off of Christ, to get sidetracked by the “to do” or “to purchase” lists. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting that next thing, promotion, skill, whatever. We get into the “if only’s”. “If only I had ____!” “If only I could learn to do ___.” “If only we could do ___.”

Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I have “to do” lists and a budget like everyone else.  It’s good, and natural for us to take care of the people in our lives by doing their laundry and dishes. It’s good to purchase things that are needed for our families. But in the midst of all the living, I want to live each day thankful and alive in Jesus. I want to keep Him the focus.

**The graphic above is yours for the copying. Right click on it, save it to your computer, then open it as a picture. Right click again and “set as background”. It’ll bless your socks off when you turn on your computer!

Cleaning Hours

There’s an article in Good Housekeeping UK that shows how things have changed in the last 60 years. The article says, with the dawn of convenient appliances, the hours spent cleaning have been drastically reduced. The article also states having a spotlessly clean home was a status symbol in the 1950’s. While I agree with the article for the most part, I have to marvel at my grandmother’s generation.

Recently, the Lord prompted me to take a look at my time management. My husband works at least 8 hours a day, plus a commute. In real terms, that means he puts in a ten hour day, every day, to ensure that we have a home, cars, food on the table, and a little leftover! Am I putting in that kind of time into my work?

Fifty seven hours a week is quite a lot of cleaning. However, my husband puts in 50 hours each week for our family. I’m prompted to look at my time commitments and rethink how I might need to spend my time. There’s no doubt I’m thankful for a washing machine and dishwasher, but I also know that things don’t magically clean themselves! While I do wear other hats, I’m inspired to clean a little more!

How about you? How many hours a week do you clean? Do you have other members of your household help you?

 

 

Time for Homemaking

I’m taking a “back to basics” approach to my homemaking this week.

First, I’m making sure the systems of my home are running smoothly. Laundry and dishes are the two main things that come to mind. With six people in my household, those two things need daily and sometimes twice daily attention. Don’t get me wrong, many members of my household are doing their own laundry, but I’m still on the hook for some of it. I’m also making sure to have a plan for meals, which makes life so much easier at 5:00 in the afternoon! =}

Second, I’m sticking to a task for each day of the week. I’ve broken down all the tasks that need doing in my household into five major categories. Each day has a few major chores to be done that have become almost automatic. This includes my grocery shopping day, so that it’s also put on autopilot!

Third, I make a daily list. Besides everyday chores and weekly ones, this helps me remember things that aren’t normally on my list. This serves as a good place to put things that my husband has asked me to do!

If you’re struggling to make your home run smoothly, I hope these ideas are helpful! Sometimes it’s really good to assess what is and is not working in our routines!

What have you changed in your routines lately? Do you feel as though your home runs smoothly?

 

 

 

 

 

Utility Quilts

Do you make distinctions between utility and fancy quilts?

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Simple squares and half square triangles make good, solid quilts for heavy use. A rag quilt comes to mind when I think of utilitarian quilts, something that is abundantly sturdy and can withstand wash after wash. I love a good basic quilt, and you can bet the majority of the quilts in my house fall into this category, especially those on our beds! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a burst of your chosen colors to make quilts that will fit with a fresh, clean décor.

There will always be a place in my life for quilts that have a fleeting amount of lifespan, the kind that go in the wash every season or sometimes more often. Knowing which ones those are takes a little self-awareness! I’m considering allotting  a little of my quilting time making fancier items, but also to make plain quilts like the one pictured! My son loves the Star Wars quilt already, although it will have to wait for batting to be finished!

How about you? Do you make simple, utilitarian quilts for beds, especially for children whose tastes and interests change often?

 

A Craft Group Tale

In real life, I was a member of a crafting group. These women were a part of my community, with whom I had a high number of things in common. The last meeting I attended resulted in a loud, obnoxious conversation, insulting and berating anyone who did not believe a certain way.. I’m far too polite to have angrily interrupted, and far too soft spoken to get a word in edgewise. Bear in mind that these are all women, with whom I had spent several months crafting, teaching and learning from one another.

In response, I’m choosing healthy options. I’m choosing to focus on and nurture other friendships with some sweet ladies who do not state their opinions at high decibels! I’m also not mincing words. That behavior is bullying, intolerance, and hate speech. I’m not angry or bitter; I would much rather know their true character sooner rather than later. I’m choosing to move on, to appreciate and be appreciated by ladies who are not bullies.

I hope, in your real life, that you don’t find these words too close to home. If your political or religious discussions often turn into arguments, I hope you’ll consider politely leaving the situation. Or, if you are the one yelling, STOP.

 

Around the Frame

What mental picture do you see when we talk about a quilting frame?

We don’t often consider the frame alone, rather surrounded by quilters, huddled together over intricate piecework. A “quilting bee” used to mean a communal gathering, a group of friends and neighbors. Thus, the frame became a community of (mostly) women, of varying ages and skills, who were adding value to the life of the hostess.

I love the whole idea of a quilting bee. Before I started quilting, that’s what I thought  quilters did! The frame holds no magic, and neither does the fabric or thread. Even beautiful, tiny stitches have no special qualities of their own. No. The one element of a quilt frame that makes it worthwhile is the surrounding community. Without people, we’re just sewing. Without valuing the community, it’s just fabric. Without building one another up, it’s just a hobby.

What value are you adding to your quilting community? Can you teach? Can you perform a service for others? Are you encouraging new quilters? Are you fostering the kinds of friendships that withstand a lifetime of quilting bees? Would you like to see the bee make a comeback? =}