Saturday, March 8, 2014

Unfinished Projects....



Many of us have those unfinished projects.....and I have lots of them also. I am showing a few of them here.............
Our 2nd son was born with many medical problems and we had to travel for his surgeries - we traveled about 12 hours each way for these surgeries.......and stayed anywhere from a couple of days......to 5 weeks. We took all of our children and started these trips when we had 3 children, then as more were added to our family, we kept taking all of them. Lots of kids,medical supplies, luggage, and more. We decided that we had to be apart during surgeries, but we were a family and we would be together when we could, so we chose to keep the kids with us rather than with a babysitter hours away.
  Trying to keep the kids interested in travel after we went on the same trip again and again.....was hard. After a while, "Oh, Kids, LOOK at that ______." ceased to be exciting.

We took these trips between 1 and 7 times every year...........and we did this for about 11 years. That's a lot of trips........that's a lot of travel time.

I didn't want the kids to just think of these trips as horrible trips of sitting in the van, not able to move around.... to go to the hospital and sit in waiting rooms, so we tried to make them fun - as fun as a hospital trip CAN be. :)

 We have stopped at free things along the way - parks, fossil beds, lakes, rivers, historical and educational places - mainly whatever we could find that was free.  Money was tight already and so many trips, hotel costs, medical supplies and more limited things greatly........but God provided places for us to visit and we had fun. Of course, we always took our schoolwork also.....one of the benefits of homeschooling.

 I bought little fun toys, activities and surprises at garage sales and saved them for trips. I would make up baggies of trail mix for each child....and they loved being able to make it last....or eat it right away.

The funny thing is that the kids have fond memories of these trips....they don't seem to remember the hours and hours we sat in the waiting room as much as the fun of the trips. What a blessing. :)
 I also read books on tape and we played those in the van....or listened to music....or messages. Sometimes I took craft project materials....like the time I took some yarn with us and I cut out circles from a cracker box after we ate the crackers and taught the kids how to make pom pom balls.....they LOVED it....my husband had to make one when it was my turn to drive. :) Then we used these little yarn balls to play catch in the hotel room....they were soft and didn't hurt things so it was a really good project.

My husband and I shared the driving duties....and I tried to take projects to make my time useful....so I would cut out some quilt pieces and start on a quilt top....all by hand.  

 I would work on these mainly while we traveled, and I didn't work on them at home as I was way too busy there. It was pleasant to create something pretty and keep my hands busy and still be able to interact with my family.

There was a problem, though. Eventually, the quilt top would become too big to spread out and work on in the van or the hospital.
 So........I would start another one, which was smaller and more manageable........I didn't buy new fabric, but used what I had to save money, so sometimes I would run short and had to change plans....sometimes I would make them bigger.

My husband teased me that the one that was "supposed" to be for our queen sized bed would maybe be far enough along to finish for him to use as a lap robe when he gets old. :)
 This quilt is one that I ran out of fabric while doing - the blue floral on the off-white background......I ran out. Remember that some of these were planned and cut out while riding in a van....and I had to work on my lap, so planning wasn't perfect. Many times I would take a few pieces of fabric and see what I could come up with. God provided some fabric that was a REALLY close match, then I had to adjust the pattern so that the 2 fabrics weren't right next to each other, which is why there is a yellow border around the central part....but this is part of the creative process. :)

One time when we had to go on one of these trips with a 4 week old newborn.... and I forgot a bonnet - in the summer. :(  I checked my sewing bag and I pulled out the fabric and made this cute little simple bonnet w/ ruffles, lace and ribbon. It was cute and protected that sweet little scalp from sunburn as we walked back and forth to the hospital.
Well, anyway......I realized again lately that I have many unfinished projects....I need to make time to finish them..........someday.  Once I started them all by hand, I just didn't want to use a sewing machine on them. I took the pictures of these and put them back away........I did work on this one during a ladies video series at church and made some progress, but it is a long way from being done.

It is fun to look at these again....and someday I plan to finish the tops and then make them in to quilts (or lap robes!!! :) . For now though, there is much more to my life and I just don't have time.....and that is okay. These projects are worth the space to save and finish at a later time. Right now, raising kids, making meals, gardening, herbal research, being a good wife and mother, etc are more important.

I have had projects that I worked on years ago, but decided not to finish....like things that were popular at one time, but weren't really what I liked....so it felt good to give them away and not keep them around. Sometimes I wondered WHY I even saved certain projects as I really didn't have a use for them. Others I finished up and I was so glad to have it done....like the braided rug that I finally finished up about 3-4 years ago and my girls love using in their room.

It is good to evaluate these things periodically -  but not just in our craft cabinets.......we also need to evaluate our lives....is it time to go back to working on some old "projects"....... like being kind? being more frugal? learning to love more like Jesus wants us to? being better than the neighbors? having more than others? Hmmmmmm.........some of those "projects" need to be thrown out. As we grow and realize that being better than the neighbors or having more than others is not something we should ever do again, we can get rid of it......and turn our attention to more worthy pursuits...those that will honor the Lord. Do you have some unfinished "projects" that need to be evaluated? I think we all do and need to keep checking to see that we are only keeping the ones that are worth keeping.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23,24

Thank you for visiting my blog today......and I hope that you have a great day!  :)

Shared on................




Home Sweet Home
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Vintage Charm
Make It Pretty Monday
Art of Homemaking Monday
Modest Mom Monday

30 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I just realized, I need to look at the quilts more closely b/c I was so caught up in reading, I missed the details. I think you did an absolutely wonderful project w/your children on those trips. We had trips when I was a kid and the point was always get from here to there in record time. Quietly. It was always a long journey and dreaded. One of my acquaintances had trips like you did but b/c they lived near the equator and traveled by land or sea to NE Canada. They stopped at all the monuments and markers. They have very fond memories. It's a good thing. Ya did good!

    With your title and quilt photo on the link, I thought of the boxes of fabrics I have that I have done very little if anything to use up. But, after reading your post, I feel much more ... inspired ... to look at things and take care of priorities. (That's always a project!)

    Happy Pink Saturday! Thank you for your post! Now, to go look at the fabrics you posted and see the details. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you feel inspired to look at your fabric - that can be fun (or overwhelming!:) Thank you for your wonderful encouragement.....we had some of those long trips where we drove Mom and Dad crazy by asking "are we there yet?" I wanted to have this travel time be precious......and it was, for the most part. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  2. You know, I've seen quilts used at tablecloths. That'd be nice for some of your unfinished quilts. Or just a throw-type thing like people used doilies over furniture? Or covering the seat or cushions on dining chairs. Lots of things. Then you'd see them often. ;)

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    1. I've seen that too, but hadn't thought about doing that.......thank you for the idea. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, and your quilts are beautiful....oneday if you don't finish them one of your children might HPS Michelle

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement ......and maybe they will all be done some day. :)

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  4. You shared so much of your personal life. It was very tender and touching as well. I truly enjoyed hearing so much of your family trials and joys. May you and entire family continue to be blessed.

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    1. Thank you.......what an encouragement to hear your kind words. So glad you visited. :)

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  5. I can think of a few unfinished projects...ha! I look forward to having more time to actually complete what I start. :) Blessings to you and your family; you do an amazing job keeping them occupied!
    Denise

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    1. Thank you.......I love having my kids be curious and busy.....but it can get to be a lot of work to keep stuff going.....I hope you can finish some of your projects also.....thank you for visiting. :)

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  6. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

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  7. What a beautiful way to make those trips fun and useful!

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    1. As I look back I remember being so very tired on those trips... amazing that God still helped me turn them into something wonderful. :)

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  8. Those quilts are so pretty! and what a wonderful story, I'm sure your kids have lots of wonderful memories! <3

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    1. They do... it amazes me that what they remember the most... is the fun. :)

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  9. you cant go wrong. Quilts always turn out well........beautiful
    Janice

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    1. There is something special about a quilt... old or new. :)

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  10. What lovely quilts! I so want to do quilting but I am afraid I will not be able to finish it. The idea behind your quilts is very thoughtful. Great having found you in the Blogland!

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    1. Thank you. I hope you will be able to do some quilting... even if you don't get it finished.. but you might surprise yourself and finish some anyway... or put them away to return to at a later time, like I did. :)

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  11. i enjoyed seeing your quilts and hearing the stories that went with them:) did you do all of them by hand? i quilt by don't do the quilting or sewing by hand...i would never finish any of it if i did:)

    i was interested to see that you didn't do any of the quilts in blocks and just join them together when you go home. but the designs look like blocks. i guess you did do it all by hand:) don't mind me, i'm thinking out loud!

    i now have a plan for some summer blogs...how to finish up some unfinished projects. in all my moving lately, i've looked up ways to finish big projects so they will get used up. sometimes it means making them into smaller projects.

    thanks for the great idea:)

    i loved your story and hearing how you made a difficult 11 years into a happy memory for your family. that is no easy task and one for which you should be lauded. the Lord certainly gave you great ideas to make it a happy time for them as all of you waited in waiting rooms. what a challenge as your christian family was able to be a joy in those places.

    as a nurse that worked in a doctor's office for 10 yrs, i can tell you that people that were pleasant waiters (when delays are not always under our control) are not always the norm, especially when it is a large family!

    blessings to all of you. you prepared your family well for the future in ways you may not have even realized!

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    1. Thank you for the beautiful comment! The ones I showed were made by hand, but I do have several others that I did on the sewing machine - and we enjoy them. The ones I did by hand were the ones I could do while away from the sewing machine.....
      Thank you for the encouragement about the waiting rooms - those were some hard times that God brought us through.... and yet there were some REALLY GOOD times also..... and we met many wonderful people. Thank you for visiting today. :)

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  12. What a beautiful post. You have some wonderful quilts started and I hope you will be able to finish them along your journey.

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    1. Thank you... I hope to finish them also, but life is so very busy at the moment, it may be a while. :) Thank you for visiting.

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    1. Thank you... so glad you visited. :)

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  14. Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilts @Vintage Charm!

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  15. Beautiful quilts! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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