Saturday, November 17, 2012

Patchwork lovin

This is Hazel, one of my cute piano students. She has been working on this quilt for a while and when she heard about Comfort Sandy's Kids she knew it was the perfect place to send her quilt. Thank you Hazel!! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unless someone like YOU cares a whole lot!

There is little to no temporary housing for thousands of people who can't live in their homes after Sandy.

An Article from ABC local shares stories from people like Charolette, on Staten Island, who lost all her furniture along with everything else. Her story along with 15,000 other Staten Islanders without homes urge me to do something. Click here for article

Another article talks about many who do have housing but are living in horrible conditions. The article reads "Families are living in deplorable conditions with no heat, no hot water, and disease carrying bugs everywhere". A resident shared "The closets smell because of the cockroaches and the kids have been getting sick because of the closets," She says they have no money to leave. 

If the articles or striking facts above haven't hit your heart in the just right spot yet check out the photos below. 

Perfect Thanksgiving service for your family right? Now... read the post below to learn how you can help! Please comment or email me if you have any questions.  AND PLEASE PASS ALONG! Facebook, pinterest, twitter.... you know the drill. 

My mom and sister are also blogging about our movement.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comfort Sandy's Kids- a new movement

Listen up if you have a heart any bigger than the Grinch's 

Now is the time to ACT if you would like a super-sized heart.
Here are some tutorials to help you as you help others! 
We made our own plus found a bunch of links to other quilting and crafty blogs in case you want to get really crazy. 

Remember, we would love all kinds of blankets, including big ones, small ones, quilted, tied, or fleece. Anything to help our fellow americans stay warm and feel your love. *But please no used blankets or beanies, only homemade or newly purchased.

Blankets for Sandy’s Kids
Blankets range from 54x60 for the fleece and 54x36 for cotton

Blankets can cost from $10 - $20 depending on where you get your fabric. The fleece I just bought at JoAnn’s fabrics was 50% off @ 12.99/yd. so I paid just at $10 per blanket.
My cotton blankets are made from fabric purchased at Wal-Mart they have lots of cute fun prints at very reasonable prices.

Fleece Blankets
1-½ yds. Fleece

Make sure your edges are all nice and straight.  Cutting off all rough edges and salvages. 
There are lots of ways now to do your ends. You can tie all 4 sides of your blanket or you can choose to only tie 2 ends.
Cut 4 inch fringe about 1 inch think on each side you plan on tying. 
Options: tie each individual fringe by itself.
Or: tie two pieces of fringe together in a square knot. (right over left and left over right – so that when it is washed the knot will stay.)

Either method is cute and fun.  You can also find great tutorials on how to sew 2 pieces of fleece together to make a thicker blanket.

Super easy Cotton tied blankets
1 ½ yd. cotton print

1 ½ yd. cotton solid
crib size batting
Quilting needle

Wash and dry fabric (to prevent shrinking after blanket is made.)
On a flat surface lay the back side of your fabric with right side up.  Next layer on top of that your top layer of fabric with right side down. On top of that lay out your batting, pin all three layers together.
Trim all three layers so your edges are all straight and even.  Can use a straight edge and rotary blade if you have one.
Sew all three layers together leaving a 5 inch opening on one side.  Remove pins.
Turn blanket inside out.  Your batting should be in between your fabric now with the right sides of your fabric facing out.  Be sure to push out each corner from inside so you have nice defined corners.  Press
Sew up your 5 inch opening carefully on the machine or by hand. Be sure your fabric is tucked inside along that seam.
Time to tie your quilt.
Begin by marking your quilt with a 5x5 template. (I cheat and usually just stitch according to the pattern on the print.) The purposes of the ties are to keep the fabric together and the batting in place.  In the blanket shown we tied in the middle of every other fish, skipped two rows of fish and started again.  Use your best judgment and just make if fun, cute and consistent.

Thread your quilting needle with about a yard of yarn, pulling your yarn through until both ends of the yarn are even.  Make a small stitch at your first marking, making sure you go all the way through both fabrics.  Pull your yarn completely through until you have 3 inches left on the end. 
Next there are several ways you can tie your yarn.  The most important part is that you make a square knot at each mark. 
Here are two ways to tie:
1)    Continue on stitching your yarn through each mark, making sure your 3 inch end stays secure and doesn’t get pulled through.  When you get to the end of your yarn, cut in between each mark, and tie at each stich point the yarn in a square knot.
2)    Tie as you go: after each stitch cut your yarn, tie your square knot and continue on.
3)    There is also a method to tie before you cut your yarn, but it is hard to explain.  If you would like to know how, send us an email and we’ll help walk you through it! J

Finish up: look at each tie and make sure it looks nice and clean. Check the back side of the fabric to make 
sure it also looks nice and clean leaving no crazy yarn pieces back there.  Trim each tie to about 1 inch long.

Viola – you have a fun warm blanket to send to a Sandy family and everyone gets to be warm inside!

If you're feeling all funzy follow these links to get some inspiration!  

For Blankets:


Info. about us: In 2001 we started Comfort the Kids, and with the help of several hundreds of amazing people delivered over 2500 handmade red white and blue blankets to children who lost family members in the twin towers on 9/11. To keep the fun going, we delivered over 500 blankets to victims of some of the California wildfires in 2003, and in 2006 sent over 500 blankets to Houston, Texas to a children's burn unit affected by hurricane Katrina.  As a family we are grateful for the blessings in our lives and feel it a privilege to share those blessings with those suffering.  Please join us and share your warmth and love with the families that are bracing for a very cold winter on the east coast. Please give a blanket, so you AND those who bundle up in your blanket will feel some comfort, warmth and peace this cold winter season. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My cute little life right now equals happy

So I thought that I would give a quick update of what's happening right now! I'm teaching full time at a k-8 charter school in Cambridge, MA. It's a great small school with such a cute community. I'm the music teacher so I see each of the classes once a week. It has been incredibly fun so far! The kids are really cute and well behaved. I think it helps that it's not a public school because the kids receive a lot of attention since there is only one class per grade level.

One challenge of teaching at a k-8 school is that each age group learns so differently and have such different interests. Each class have such unique personalities! I'm building 9 different curriculums for each class that are really based on their skill set and how quickly they learn. k-3rd grade is really fun; we do a lot of short activities and games centered around learning rhythm, solfege, movement, and theory. 4th-8th grades have more of choral pieces, creative writing, more advanced theory, improvisation, world music, and performing. All the kids keep me busy and happy. My classroom is right next to the cafeteria so I get to see all the kids everyday and I LOVE that so many of them stop to say hi to me in the mornings or during lunch.

I get to play the piano for Mass every thursday morning. All the kids walk over to the Catholic church next door for mass and they spend an hour there listening to Father O'Malley, singing, and taking communion. Not all of the kids and teachers at the school are Catholic but a good portion of them are. Playing the piano for the choir is really fun! The choir is getting better and better.

I'm teaching private piano lessons as well and have about 30 students!! The age range for those lessons are from 5-14. I teach the lessons at the school every day (after school gets out). I'm learning so much from teaching privately and absolutely love it. The parents and kids are great and I feel like we are finally in a good pattern of practicing. We have a piano recital coming up on Dec. 15th that they are all preparing and getting excited for. It has been challenging helping my students learn how to practice productively and affectively. That has been the hardest thing. Getting them to sit at the piano 30 minutes a day was just the first step, now they have to learn how to use that time well and actually force themselves to work hard at it every day! So, I'm learning a lot! I'm also learning a lot of patience..... (guess I didn't learn enough of it from teaching in China the first or second time). Third times a charm right?

So I really love my job! I moved to Watertown in September which is just outside of Boston (like 10 minute drive) so that I could be closer to work. I live in a cute house with 3 other LDS girls who are all working and going to school. We love our neighborhood and everything has been great so far. I honestly couldn't have written out a more ideal situation or job for me right now. It has just been such a blessing!

Going home for Thanksgiving next week! Huge family reunion, friends wedding, and some dates.....  I need to find me a man and he ain't in Boston. Did I just say that?