Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Breathing new life into old jeans

I made a startling discovery a few weeks back: I'm a closet jeans hoarder. 

It all started when my husband needed new jeans for work. The jeans he'd been wearing every day were wearing thin and already had a few holes at the corners of the back pockets. So, we picked up a few new pairs and I promptly rotated the old ones into the closet as back-ups (I think I see now why I have a problem...) and too out the old back-up jeans (three pairs) thinking I should probably toss them since I couldn't imagine thrift stores wanting jeans with holes in them.

And then, since I'm easily distracted and can be rather lazy when it comes to cleaning, the old jeans sat in a pile in our bedroom for a week or so. Every day I saw them sitting there, and for some very odd reason I just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. 

Finally, it hit me: maaaayyyybe I could make a jeans quilt out of them! I knew I had a few more pairs of old jeans in the closet, so I started digging. 

I found two extremely worn and tattered pairs of mine that had holes in the knees and were completely unwearable. They were hiding on a shelf high up in my side of the closet.

Oh, and then there was that pair in my drawer that I never wear because they fit waaay too loosely in the waist.

A little more digging in the closet produced another mystery pair of jeans. What's going on here?

A quick check of my kids' closet revealed two very ratty pairs of little boy jeans, complete with patched knees, and a very old pair of little boy jean shorts. Also too ratty to wear.

So, final count (including the original three from my hubby's closet): nine pairs of jeans and one pair of jean shorts. Most completely unwearable.

What happened to me? When did I become the crazy jeans lady?

Yikes. Well, I figured this was as good a time as any to put my crazy jeans collection to work.
I spent about a week cutting each pair at the seams, then carefully rotary cutting denim rectangles to leave as little waste as possible. I even figured out that I could squeeze little more denim out of each pair if I cut up the back pockets (most of them had holes at the pockets, so I didn't want to incorporate the entire pocket into the quilt).
Now that every single pair of jeans has been sliced and diced, I'm left with a hefty stack of denim rectangles. What you see below is able half of what all of those jeans yielded. Next up, I need to pick up a denim needle so I can start piecing them into strips!
The plan is to make it into a twin-sized quilt, with a Lightning McQueen sheet that I have in our linen closet (washed, but never used) as the backing. Then, a some light straight line quilting and it will be off to our church's St. Vincent de Paul ministry so they can give it to whoever needs it most. Hopefully, it will help keep some sweet little guy warm this winter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nurturing Catholic culture in our home

Sometimes I think it's hard for adults to share our faith with friends and even family. We worry that we might offend or make someone feel uncomfortable. Heck, I've sat here at my computer for the last 10 minutes wondering how I should start this post.

Children, though, don't carry all of the worries and social filters that we do. They ask the tough questions without realizing how much they're making us squirm. They don't beat around the bush. And they aren't shy about sharing their faith and love for the Lord.
Watching Miss C. (and now Master W.) attend Catholic school these past few years has been an incredible experience for me. Intellectually, I understood the both the secular and spiritual value of a Catholic education. Heck, I attended Catholic school myself until we moved the summer before 6th grade, and eventually went on to graduate from a Catholic university. 

But it wasn't until my own children were attending Catholic school that I realized just how completely I had underestimated the true value of a Catholic education. Sure, we said prayers together at night and before meals. But in the last two years I've come to realize something about myself:

I've been running on a spiritual cruise-control for a looooong time. And it's time to get in gear.

So, here I am muddling along, trying to strengthen my own faith, teach my children about theirs, and create a home filled with Catholic culture. Here and there, I'll slip in a post about what we've been up to. I hope you enjoy a little peek into the Catholic side of my life.