Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quilt Tutorial, Block "A"

As promised, here are the steps to make the quilt square I started working on.  We'll just be making the top part of the quilt in this tutorial. 

We'll just skip an introduction and get right to it:

1)  The first step is to pick your fabric colors.  I chose 2 contrasting colors and a neutral color (white, beige, etc. works great.)  Mess around with colors by using crayons or markers on some graph paper.  Or go to a fabric store and have fun!  I used the 45" fabric, but you could use the 60" and have extra that way.

If you want to make a twin size quilt, buy:  (otherwise, use any fabric you have on hand)

                                           -1  1/4yd (+ extra just to be safe) of neutral color
                                           -2/3 yd EACH (+ extra just to be safe) of the contrasting colors

2)  Next, cut 4" strips of each fabric, cutting a total of 12 strips for the neutral color and 6 EACH of the contrasting colors.  If just doing one square, use just one strip each contrasting colors and 2 strips of the neutral.  I left my fabric folded in the middle.  You can iron it before you cut if there are wrinkles since that could keep you from having a straight cut. 

3)  Now, UNFOLD your strips and put RIGHT sides together (the nice side of the fabric faces each other, so the outside part is facing out) of a neutral color and a contrasting color.  Match them up as evenly as you can. 

4)  Using a self-healing mat, quilting ruler, and rotary cutter, cut 4" squares from each combined strip.  Each 45" strip will give you 10 squares. 

5)  Next, you need to cut each square into triangles.  You can cut each square individually, or not move any of the squares you just cut and cut those diagonally (see photos below.)

THIS way ... (red side just happens to be up)

or THIS way (white side just happens to be up.)

6)  Once I have my diagonals cut, I stack them alternately (see photo.)  This makes it easier for me to chain piece them together.
You can see the contrasting colors peaking out from under the white.

7)  Sew a ¼ “ seam on the long side of the diagonal for all the triangles.  I used red thread for the red fabric and blue thread for the blue fabric.  So I would sew all of one color first, then the other color.  But, you could just use the neutral color for your thread and not worry about changing it out.

Once sewn, iron the seam towards the dark fabric.

Next, just follow the sequence of photos below to see how to make the Quilt block.

Top row

Middle row

Top, middle, and bottom row.

Stitch all rows together and voila, you have Quilt block "A".
The trick is to not sew over the points, but match the points up.  This gives a nice sharp line.

Make a total of 8 "A" Quilt blocks if you want to make a twin bed size quilt.  Otherwise, you could make pillows with just one quilt block by adding a border and backing.

Stay tuned for how to make Quilt block "B" (and finish the quilt) for the next tutorial.


Friday, October 21, 2011

A Homeschool Fun Friday (AKA "Staying Sane")

It's been a long year. 

If you've been following along from the beginning of our traveling/blogging adventures, you have laughed with us, cried with us, and probably marvelled at us sometimes (either in a "wow" way or a "scratch your head" type of way.) 

We first started traveling in our RV for ministry purposes September 2010.  Until now (October 2011) we have lived 10 of those months in our RV. 

You may think that sounds kind of fun and adventurous.  In some ways it is, in others it means some sacrifices.  Those that have actually been inside our RV can understand.  200 sq ft of living space (which include kitchen, bathroom, beds, etc) can create the perfect conditions for explosive pressure.  Fortunately, we have defused quite a few possible eruptions.  But none the less, one's sanity is tested a little more than the average family in a regular home. 

Constant traveling also means we homeschool. 

Homeschooling itself can challenge one's sanity.  So even though we have been back home for a week +, the schooling has not stopped.  In fact, we seem to finally have some form of consistency.  And I proclaimed today and consecutive Fridays as Fun Friday. 

A Fun Friday will be a special treat for having good attitudes and good manners, I will reward the kids with an academic movie (think History Channel or Science or other) instead of their regular lesson.  We'll also be a little more lenient on the schedule for the day.  Maybe they can sleep in an extra 30 minutes, or stay in pajamas. 

We'll also have fun like having a special dessert before lunch or maybe I'll create a Mystery Jar with things like, "Skip doing a Worksheet" and "Act or tell my report instead of writing it".  You get the idea.  The point is for both the students and teacher (me) to get a little break and look forward to Fridays.

As a kick-off, today we had dessert before lunch and a special History Channel movie.  This one was on the Exodus of the Israelites.  The kids had to listen carefully and try to figure out what was Biblical fact and what wasn't.  The person with the most correct got to go out with dad for a B1G1 (Buy 1, Get 1) DQ treat.  It will probably be something different next time.

But when the movie was done we discussed it and read the passage about the plaques and parting of the Red Sea to validate what was true or not.  It was really fun and the kids learned alot.

Speaking of learning, Josh and Robert have been quite busy with projects.  Josh, as you may know, started selling jewelry he makes to get some side cash.  Because of that little venture, we actually have a couple who owns a salon who would like to partner with us to sell our jewelry (I'll be making it too.)  If this takes off, we hope to expand that into other places.

Joshua's "Shop" at our RV spot (believe it or not he was able to make over $50 profit)

Making a pair of earrings (the pink one I'm holding up)

Finished product

Making a display for his jewelry

Robert has been working on a new engine design, what he calls an "impeller" (vs. a "propeller".)  He's been experimenting with PVC pipe to see if he can design a system that can move you through the water without having a propeller on the outside of a boat.  This is coming from the same kid who hates to read, unless it's a car manual or engine book.  Go figure!!  (Wish I had know that years ago when I was pulling my hair out trying to get him to read Dr. Seuss books aloud!!!)

Robert modifying a weed-eater motor

The miniature boat he made to test on

My favorite sane spot when we are home...

So, here's to sanity and the creativity in homeschooling!  And a restful weekend...

  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"  Romans 1:16-17

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Under Construction

It's been a while coming, but I've decided to tweak the blog style/template once again.  Down the road it will probably change again only because we will most likely be switching over to Word Press (a content management system that is all the rage lately... although I have messed around with it and like it.) 

For those of you that don't like change, sorry.  I know it's hard to get used to something and the rug gets pulled out from under you.  It will be OK.  Sometimes change is for the better. 

I hope to also add much more information about Believer's Bridge so folks can have a full understanding about what that is and what we do.  And we'll go from there.  I've noticed Blogger (which is where this blog is hosted) also keeps updating the way we can tweak things, so I'll be exploring their new additions to see if there is anything worth adding.

If you view this blog through your mobile, you may not notice too many changes since it will only show the basics (makes for easier reading I think.)  Beyond that, I enjoy graphic design and doodling on the computer/internet so I think of this as my "Becky" time. 

"I am the first and I am the last;
   apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
   Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
   and what is yet to come—
   yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
   Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
   No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Isaiah 44:6-8

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The other, that, and this

"This, that, and the other, Part II" seemed too obvious.  Just go with it.  :-)

So, over a week has gone by and I'm finally posting.  It's been a  l-o-n-g week.  I'll endevor to give some highlights, seeing as I can't remember everything.

Let's start with some things I forgot to mention before.  A few praises in the support-raising efforts.  We visited Calvary Chapel Birmingham 1 week before we came to Florida.  The first week we were here we received an email from them saying they felt God had us meet for a reason and they would like to support us for $30/month.  Woo Hoo!

We also submitted an application for missionary support to another church in the Birmingham area before we left and hope to hear back from them soon.  Our main reason for visiting Florida was to follow up on our request for support from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.  Bill thinks it could take up to even a year to get support from them, but God is amazing and He is in charge.  Keep praying for the doors to stay open and the process to move effeciently there.

This past Sunday we just had some friends tell us they'd also like to support us.  Awesome! 

The kids visited ReachFM radio station today and got a fun tour.  See photos below.  It is also home to Creations Studies Institute, which has a museum and they also offer Elementary and Middle school science classes.  As we walked by, they were having a class for some homeschoolers.  I ended up talking to the teacher and she invited Andrew back for the afternoon for a free class.

Bill ended up taking Andrew, and in the course of events, he and the teacher got to talking about Believer's Bridge.  I guess our ministry really touched her because she ended up giving Bill some money for the ministry. 

SO, there is some encouragement on the support raising side.  The numbers aren't high, but the hearts behind the supporters are gold. 

We have been meeting with friends and friends of friends.  In fact the next few days are already booked!  The other highlight was Bill was able to share about Believer's Bridge on ReachFM this past Sunday night.  I'll have to see if we can get the recording so we can post it.  From that, he met a man who works with Food for the Poor, where we will be taking a tour tomorrow. 

Tonight Bill is meeting with the man we first met when we got here who helps with translating Chuck Misler's work into Spanish.  Who knows where that will go!  God has this intricate way of weaving an incredible tapestry of time, events, and people.  Some things may seem weird to us, but if we have learned anything on this journey, it's to obey.

We will be wrapping up our time here soon and be back in our Alabama mansion (anything will feel like a mansion after weeks in our little RV casita.)  From there we hope to continue meeting with other churches to request financial support and see how they can partner with our minstry.

Here are a few photos of things we've done.  Enjoy!

Andrew making an "omlet-in-a-bag".

Once you put your scrambled egg(s) and desired ingredients in the bag, you boil it for 3-5 minutes.

Little blurry, but voila!  "Omlet-in-a-bag."

ReachFM (94.5 in Fort Lauderdale) studio (and no, it's not live.)  This is where they can record and broadcast later.

Not the best photo, but this is the live studio and the DJ is behind the computer monitor.  Bill and Robert on the left.  The gal in purple is just visiting.

Robert by the entrance to the Creation Studies Institute.  They only open on the weekends, so we weren't able to tour it.  But this wooden dinosaur was pretty cool.

As water reflects the face,
   so one’s life reflects the heart.
Proverbs 27:19