Friday, March 28, 2014

Communication in Parenting Home School Kids

Our two sons are 17 months apart in birth dates, we are very close as an adult family. We are comfortable having thoughtful and engaging conversations with each other. We're OK, in saying the unpopular comments about things that you worry about. They too, say things that are not be taken as the gospel because we "know" each other like best friends. We all say stupid things sometimes and we apologize and move on.

Our friends comment to us that they see how close we are as a family. We talk on the phone at least once a week, then we'll leave the conversation and carry on with our respective lives, knowing in the certainty of acceptance that "the conversation" is safe until  brought up again. You always hope that your children will like each other?

When we started this crazy and loving story we talked at length about after  bedtime quiet began. "Growing a citizen who thought about stuff and tried to make a difference" we both piped up. This style of citizenship was an important part of raising two small boys that became men. How would that look in your head if you were parents? How would you define this if you taught it?

My hubby and I talked about what we would teach and how. We asked ourselves these questions, they may be important questions you might want to use to decide on this subject yourself. Please go ahead.

  1. What does a good citizen look like? Write down your ideas of what makes a good citizen? Would this be someone who has a high degree of honesty and shows leadership? Would it be the way your child votes? How will your children learn about this decision of yours?
  2. What does a good Dad look like? If we'd had a girl and boy, this would start off differently, but in our case, we were raising boys to be men who respected women and stuck up for his principles. Not bend to the popularity of fist over mind.
  3. What makes a person care about the environment, the small creatures who can't speak up in a language human's understand. How would this person behave to speak up when no one else does?
  4. How will this person make a living? Pay for his own bills and keep a lawful life earning respect among his peers. How will he learn about the world?
We wrote this questions down and talked at length before we made any decision to share the idea of home learning with our sons. Well before we announced a meeting of the family to make an special offer to our sons, all of 7 and 6 years old, we began asking questions of our sons like "Jon, if you could do your schooling at home, would you like to do that?" or "Paul, what do you like the most about your kindergarten class?" The answers were predictable. At first, they had no idea it was an option to do schooling at home. They asked a lot more questions of us. We were prepared, we told them, we were new to the idea of schooling at  as well, but maybe if we work together we can do it!

Nature walks and projects that grew in importance about all things that buzz, howl and growl were obvious places to start. These projects grew into more involved full scale presentations by Gr. 7 aged boy on what war had done to the countryside and what they thought of war. 

Big stuff for a 12 year old, but with an open slate to make opinions we heard some very interesting responses.

We were certainly not wealthy and often we were down right poor, but for the most part our sons didn't know what poverty was until they grew older and the cruel world of consumerism caused many family meetings around this topic.

We had a schedule for exercise, entertainment and field trips! But we left the schedule when life presented us with new learning opportunities at every turn in our path. We began home learning in 1994. The Internet was just really starting to become a thing everyone was talking about. But few of our home learning families were hooked up and online. 

 Sorry for the quality of these photos, they are photographed by me and simply popped into this post, but they serve to show the variety of learning that we did, it was simply life. We left no stone unturned in our venture to create learning as fun and a life long activity!

 We believe that children want to be involved and valued for the effort they put in to everything we did. Now this is not to say that our sons were little angels and never were unhappy. But we did some very important things as we lived through those early years and it was talking and communicating our concerns and our successes.

We tried to expose our sons to as much as we could afford to travel and see new areas of our continent. But the fact of the matter is that when Mom or Dad stays  home full time to teach the children, they are not adding income to the family bank account. Tax wise, they are not contributing to our old age pension. These things come back to haunt you when you are my age. Its a factor in my life right now. 
 Our program was driven by Mom, but their father, Rick was a weekend teacher lending his valuable set of survival skills to the list and regularly took the boys out to the wilderness to learn how to make a fire from scratch, to build a shelter and what to do if found themselves lost!

Life gets in the way and in this case, I broke a foot and was limping around for a couple of months, but we continued on and the boys watched and learned valuable caring lessons on what happens when you brake a foot!

We used every learning opportunity available to teach and to lend our experience!

 The boys were a part of everything, they learned about how to take care of a car, math calculations are required when discussing gas mileage and keeping track of all expenses. We issued them a weekly stipend of income earned for real work around the house and on the property.

Lifesaving lessons were a required part of the plan, and learning to be comfortable in and out of water was a must for us! We've always lived near water of some sort. Both our sons earned all the certificates of swimming lessons.

But most of importantly, both partners must  be a real, live part of the plan. Otherwise the Parent/Teacher gets burned out and the whole plan crumbles.

You can see the intent learning going on here, so much that neither of the boys realized I was snapping photos!

If home learning is what  you want to do and you're not afraid to stand up for your rights as a parent in BC, to teach your own kids, then feel free to email me at carli the quilter at gmail dot com if you want some help or just to ask about resources, I sat on the BC Home Learning Assn Board of Directors and can help you if you need it, its all confidential and will not be shared in this blog.

We have fought hard to keep the right to teach at home in the BC School Act. Its there to protect your rights.

Most important in this very long post, is the message that as a couple, home schooling is not easy, its stressful sometimes, its demanding and most of everyone you meet will have their own opinions on home schooling! 

 Find the time to take couple time too!

Hope your day is a lovely one with lots of learning going on!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Spring Bag- Super Tote Pattern

I need something new to swing over my shoulder and hold a ton of stuff.

I few months ago, I bought  the Super Tote pattern from that sweet Anna Graham who has She is really a sweetie. I had some issues with downloading and she happily helped me work it out and get to my PDF. I appreciate that kind of customer service.

I had it my mind to use 100% cotton spring colors from my stash, after all I'm still culling and using ONLY my stash as per the arrangements with the Fabricholics Anonymous.

I have several bits and pieces as well as yardage in Bark cloth. I love bark cloth lets face it, I've made whole complete slipcovers for my couch and several chairs I've reupholstered. Sorry, this was  before my blog and you know its good! But I have nothing in photos to share of this adventure. I did my first slipcover back in 1985 when we as a young couple with a family on the way, we bought this old fashioned couch which had a really unique name like Fold Up Couch. I made it from recycled corduroys in beige, green and brown. It was a great idea and after several throw ups from babies, we unfortunately took it to the dump.

My goodness I've digressed!

Back to my new spring bag. I have made up some of the pieces and this is where I'm at so far, this is an interesting tote bag for sure and I think I'm going to make a few more for my girl friends.

Nice straps are coming along.

I decided to quilt my pieces for the outside of Noodlehead's aka Anna Graham's Super Tote Bag.

New bark cloth from my stash and re-purposed curtains in the little hexie's.

So I'm having fun and continuing on, its finally spring here, despite new snow coming down today.

I'm linking up with Nina Marie and her Off The Wall Fridays!

Hope you are having a great day stitching in some way :)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CQA 2014- New Winter Crazy, you'll be delighted!

Hello my faraway friends!

It snowed  here last night and its fitting that I'm still feeling like I'm hibernating and so this Crazy Quilt Along is still going along and has taken new turns as it has evolved.

So welcome to my blog and a little about me, Carli the quilter, I'm still on my Fat Burning Soup and working on slow quilting these days. 

But I'm really happy to share with you the finished Winter Block that will become part of the "Four Seasons Crazy Quilt" where the participants will make four crazy quilting blocks and learning and stretching to step up your game!

Now earlier in the year, I posted a different winter crazy block and I was working on it, but it lost its flavor to me, something about it was just not working for me. Its speaking a different language and needs a vacation in my sewing room. 

There is something weird about this block?

It could be that it was formed and done while I was under pain in a very severe way. When I look at this block it says darkness and disorganization and maybe that was my state of mind?

It needs a lot more love! Let me know what you think about the connection between pain and creation?


Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Sew Kitschy block

I'm really learning more about paper piecing from participating in Quiet Play's BOM. I can tell you this pattern is making me feel more confident with paper piecing.It all started with January with re-purposed and new blended together in the first block. Remember I'm still on the trot to keep my promise and not buy any new fabric for as long as possible. 

I'm really happy to report that the epidural I had a few weeks ago has given some relief. The kind of relief that makes you feel wonderful, after such a long lost summer and winter. I wait for a surgeons appt in April.

I'm using up all sorts of vintage scraps and sheets too! Its fun to find the right color for the right reason.

Grooving on a couch tonight!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Walking with our Sisters Project

Sometimes life just rolls along like a horse at gallop speed. You are a busy person, doing your job, playing with fabric, keeping to my soup diet, even though you've  hit a snag of feeling very hungry. Then you open your email inbox and you find a delightful message of heartfelt familiar message on recycling and wastefulness.

A reader of mine contacted me about the wastefulness that she's when in a thrift shop she discovers lovely quilted items, some finished and some unfinished. While its a delight to find them and take them home with you as this reader did as shown in the photo above. It reminds you that your life of making quilt after quilt will come to an abrupt end and someone will have to remove your precious fabric into something for either a garage sale, to family members or to a thrift shop.

But if you take the time to write a will and include what you want done with all your fabric and quilting supplies, its a very important step ladies! and gents!

Yes, do take the time to write down your instructions on how your family or friends will find proper homes for your quilting stuff. But getting back to the wasteful part of this, is it wasteful if someone who loves your quilts buys them and takes care of them?

When you make a quilt, even the ladies out there who can pump out a quilt top flimsey in a weekend, its still your time, spirit and you love the art of quilting, make sure its in your will what you want done with your fabrics, your unfinished projects.

Imagine all these little  unfinished projects, left alone to fall into a stranger's hands. I can only hope that someone as kind and gentle as my new blogger friend Celine Mackenzie Vukson. She wrote a touching story to me of how she found her lovely projects at the thrift store.

Thank goodness my stash of new and re-purposed fabric would fall into the hands of family, friends and quilt loving strangers who will love your unfinished work as much as you do.

Thanks to Celine for that lovely story and being the inspiration for this post. Celine's first quilt is below. Let's welcome First Nations women into the circle of quilting and sharing.

Special thank you to Celine for sharing these photos and inviting us who are not First Nations into this project. Thank you!

I'm really glad to get to know Celine a tiny bit over the Internet, if you want to see the lovely "Vamps"
she and others across Canada who have made a set of vamps for moccasins and donated them to the project of Walking With Our Sisters.

I'm so glad that I met with Celine online and then I googled her name and then suddenly this meaningful project came into my knowing about it.

I urge you to visit this web site and watch the video, read about the very important project.

All the best,


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Silver Linings Crazy Quilt~ the full story!

Hello my awesome readers!

You know all of your comments have made me a 'bold and cRaZy crazy quilter' and recently on my Google plus page a lovely comment came from a reader of mine regarand I posted a link to the original post on my "Silver Linings Crazy Quilt" and as I read over it, I realized that I never really got down to the nuts of bolts of crazy quilting ~Carli Style, you know?

If you want to read the brief starting post on this awesome award winning quilt, you can pop over to the post Silver Linings Crazy Quilt.

So here goes with my story. I had some hurt feelings to be perfectly honest. I was and I still am very concerned that our environment is being threatened. Having said, this at the time, my hubby worked for the government and if you have a hubby with a government job, you ask about the confidentiality agreement all gov. employee's are asked to sign. I was at a quilting meeting and I spoke about the reuse that I do in my quilts. 

This one above was made on commission of a Canadian Air Force female pilot and she had retired some years before and this was made from reuse everything except the little square solid colors in the corner. But I digress, I was astounded at the complete silence in the room. A room of some 20 odd women were so quiet you could have heard a pin drop! I was surprised and tried to stumble through a finish to my little talk and as I started, the Pres. stood up and went on to another topic for the meeting. I was confused and then as the meeting went on, I was suddenly not being talked to and pretty much I got a snub if I ever saw one!

This lovely lady from Smithers was so into re-purposed quilts that she showed me one she had made from the tops of the long winter wool men's socks, it was a double sized and so toasty! Wow!

I stuck it out the rest of the evening, but it was the last time I went back to that group. Funny, no one called about where I was I even months later, no one was sad to see me go, I realised.

I decided then and there that those poor ladies just didn't know what they were missing. I started the award winning quilt on graph paper that night. I'd show those ladies what you really could do with re-purposed materials in an effort to point out that re-purposed materials are just fine. I never suggested that I advocated using rags! So it was born.

Later that year, we relocated to Nelson, B.C. and I was relieved to find that many Kootenay Quilters are on board with reusing. There are many 'hippies' living in Nelson, so they already had an understanding that when supplies are sparce, you use what you have on hand, many quilts have been made from clothing that the women of the house just couldn't throw away! Frugality!

This "Silver Linings Crazy Quilt" was made out of 99% of re-purposed materials. I started with women's sized blazers that had interesting lining colors, all the linings were acetate as usual, so this acetate burns super fast under your iron and so BE FAST when pressing it.

I made this quilt in 9 blocks with a sashing in between. The sashing was made from acetate as  well and really was hard to get it to stay straight even after pressing the 1.4 overlap on either side of each sashing piece. So this made the whole process slow down, it was so difficult to work with that I actually had to press, pin down and then for extra security that each sashing didn't move, I hand basted each sashing down and then over stitched with the sewing machine.

I use this quilt as much as I can in my small home. I lack wall space in this house. So this was in the hallway off the dining room over this past Christmas. This quilt has labels recovered from various articles of clothing, all the embroidery is done my hand, the border sports very tentative swirl of machine quilting. Each edge of sashing has a single line of machine quilting which was done before the border went on to the quilt sandwich.

So I'm hoping that many of you will consider using re-purposed materials in your next quilt or every quilt you ever make.

I'm getting excited, I still pinch myself when I look at the fact that I've got 94 followers on my blog!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Purple Poncho Link Up

Yes, I'm slowly recovering from a nasty bout of carpel tunnel syndrome and sleeping overnight with wrist braces has brought my hands back to life. But what I'm doing is slowly working on the hand stitching of my newest Winter Block. More on that in an upcoming post.

But I've been able to normalize my hands back into stitching abilities with switching to crochet. 

I'm linking up with Rhondda over at Oombawkadesigncrochet!

Hoping your craft day is filled with lots of fun projects shared with others!


We are Warming Up

The winning quilt above is 99% re-purposed from the linings of women's blazers. I'm hoping that many of you who quilt till you wilt will take a turn and remake something from re-purposed fabric found in clothing.

This quilt is called "Silver Linings Crazy Quilt" made by Carli Heinrichs.

Well this is not exactly what you might have thought I'd be posting about right?

But please do check out this video, its very interesting stuff and might give you a slight peace of mind.

Wishing you all a great day, spring has really sprung here, its brown, muddy, puddles of mud and warmer nights, yea!!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Oh Canada Crazy Quilt" Update

I have a passion for crazy quilting. This is no surprise to all of you who read my blog posts regularly! But do you remember the posting I did on the Oh, Canada Flag Crazy Quilt? If not I'll post you a link later on. Anyway,  I made and gave away my 'Oh, Canada Flag Crazy Quilt' to Nathan Cullen. I knew that as soon as I made this quilt, that it really belonged in the company of a great leader. How I knew this is beyond me. I'm no clairvoyant.

Even as I played with the fabric in the creation process, I could tell the quilt was whispering to me, that it was glad I was making it and it longed to go onto to great things.

I have great faith in Nathan Cullen, Skeena- Bulkley Valley MP who represents the citizens of this northern B.C. riding. I believe that he will make a difference in our nation.

Nathan is a busy man as you can only imagine as a Member of Parliament of Canada and a husband of his lovely wife and father to two boys!

He handed to me a ready to be frame photo of him standing in front of the quilt. It now resides in his office in Ottawa, Ont. Canada. So if anyone of you is visiting our fair capital city of Canada, do pop in to see this quilt and meet Nathan Cullen. You'll remember it for your whole life. He is the most engaged politician in everyday issues and the most serious threats to our environment, all the while he's in touch with the need to improve our economy. 

Additions to my quilty work include more blocks on the Log Cabin.

All the best, this warm and sunny spring day in Bulkley Valley.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Schooling at Home

Most of you don't know that I was a Teacher Mom at home with two wiley coyote boys. Yep, I know about mud, rocks and snakes who happen along the couch! I accepted the awesome responsibility of teaching our own kids.

I have several close friends who are teachers working in some system somewhere. I was not taught the conventional way and I guess it rubbed off on me. 

For years in my childhood, my parents had farms that were not really close to any town. We were loners, happily going about our farming lifestyle! Horses were a daily part of the work and play. I did correspondence school via the mail.

Our sons are now grown and we love it daily that they are still as close as we ever were. They don't live in the same area or even in the same province, but we remain close.

Like this braiding above, we are knit together like a rug, hand made and lovingly cared for, we grew together. This is the most clear memory we all took from our years of schooling at home.

Here we are a couple of winters ago, playing our favorite family game, Scrabble!

Hope you are all having a good day, I'm grooving along stitching....


Monday, March 10, 2014

Flannette Quilt

I am sure that all of you have  had your share of left over teenager jeans after their owners went off to college?

Some of you may even have thought about it, but thought it would a waste of time reusing. You were afraid to go ahead and make it, all the time you put into it etc. Well this quilter over at Made With My Two Hands

made this gorgeous quilt for a new baby I believe! Made reusing pj's from flannette.

Way to go Karen Shulz

Friday, March 7, 2014

A recycling Grandmother-International Women's Day Special

Let's celebrate International Women's Day!

With a conversation about what each of us can do to reuse more from clothing, instead of giving it to a thrift shop.

This past weekend,  it was a sunny day, but bitterly cold with a cross wind that took your breath away. I drove the crunching driveway to the home of Eve Rippel. I first met Eve back in 2004 when I taught a quilting class with re-purposed fabrics from clothing like denim, corduroy or other re-purposed fabric. 
Eve was a breath of fresh air and still is some 10 years later. While others in the class were confused with how to actually harvest usable fabric from clothing, she was helping with this idea by just getting onto the whole subject.

I think that this year I'd like to impress upon each you to do more to recycle clothing into something or anything interesting or useful.

Eve with her latest great grand baby quilt.

Eve's Mom taught Eve to sew during the 1930's in Saskatchewan, when quilting was done with anything that was available! Thrifting wasn't done with purchases from the thrift shops or garage sales, it was up front, in your face reusing. Including fortrel or polyester type materials harvested from clothing.

Eve is one special and talented lady! She carved clothing out of other clothing as in the denim vests below.

Eve's history is long and involved with sewing for the most of it. In the above photo, Eve's family has been the recipient of vests, jackets and clothing because she could. She matter of factually described the beginning of her sewing was diapers for her siblings to come, Eve was the eldest of 13 children, her job was helping to keep her siblings in diapers. Her Mama taught her everything she knows about sewing. She remembers it fondly, how she started with sewing a rolled edge on the square flannelette diapers.

The blocks in the some,  she has left from her Mom. Her mother was prolific recycler of fabric from clothing going into something new for someone else in the family.

This gorgeous colored  block is in velour fabric, from house coats.

Eve has a unique style, she plays with recycled fabric, enthusiastically telling me the stories of how some years ago now, she bought $20 worth of the fortrel fabric from a shop that was closing in Prince George, B.C. the capital of Northern B.C.

All of the quilts, except for a few are made from the polyester fabric of the 1970's and before. Polyester fabric of those days were everywhere. It makes awesome quilts, stays sharp in color as the day it was first used. In the photo above, Eve's Mom made this Square in a Square all from polyester.

Eve was so gracious, inviting me into her lovely hillside home to talk about reuse. It takes a ton of organization to harvest the fabric from chucks of clothing. Looking at the photo below, all the colors coordinated tells me she has had a ton of polyester fabric to be able to color coordinate this lovely Star Quilt.

Now, this kind of polyester is loosing favour rapidly at many thrift shops. Its piling up and not selling so it goes to the landfill in the end. Why, when its perfectly usable and lasts so long.

Eve doesn't shy away from pointy parts of lovely star quilts. She smiles and laughs as she explained how many she has made for her grandchildren and family. She explains, "And you know, my quilts are being used everyday, I see them on the couch or wrapped around a sick child. Her family is large and they all love these quilts, she has also sold a whole bunch of them over the years. 

They are soft and cuddly.

Eve backs her quilts with an ordinary recycle sheet of cotton or flannelette. They are toasty warm!!

Simple to make, you don't need anything more than a pair of scissors, a simple cardboard template of 3x6 inches and a sewing machine. Eve's tip of the day is to "Pin lots, I mean lots"

This is Eve Rippel, recycler extraordinaire. She is 81 yrs old this year and moves around like she was twenty one. I'd say that a large and lively life has been her path, her early years spent working as a Nurse's Assistant. She is truly an inspiration and a lovely person. Thanks Eve for allowing this story to be heard.

Eve and her crazy quilt made from velour housecoats! Beautiful day and beautiful quilts! She has donated her 12 bags of polyester to a local group of women just starting out in sewing. Thank you!

Thank you Eve, I admire your spunk and will hold your tenacity in my heart!


Robert Cerins Earrings!!

I just love Robert Cerins earrings for the Art To Wear they promote, but also because they use a different non-reacting metal for their han...