Monday, February 20, 2017

Scrappy Bear Paw Block Tutorial

This is a tutorial for a 14" finished scrappy bear paw block. These are the directions you should use if you are participating in my Bonnie and Camille Scrappy Bear Paw block swap on Instagram. Follow me there: @wifeoferp

Above is an example block that we will be making in this tutorial. For the Instagram swap, blocks need to be made in Bonnie and Camille for Moda fabrics. Blocks can either be scrappy navy/royal (as shown above), or scrappy red. The red can have some pink in it, but only use pink fabrics that have red in them as well. Background will be Moda 97 White.

To begin, each block needs the following:

 Four color squares measuring 4.5 inches, eight color squares measuring 3 inches, and one color square (not pictured) measuring 2.5 inches. Set the 2.5" square aside for now.

Eight white squares measuring 3 inches, four 2.5 inch squares, and four rectangles measuring 2.5" x 6.5 ". Set aside the 2.5" squares and the rectangles.

Take the 3" white squares and mark a line diagonally from corner to corner, as shown below.

Repeat for all eight squares, and then pair each of them up with a colored square.

Stitch 1/4" away from the line on each side of the marked line for all blocks, then cut each block down the center line to make two half square triangles (HST).

Press each of the units open, with the seam pressed to the colored fabric.

Trim each unit to measure 2.5" square. You should now have 16 HST units measuring 2.5" square.

 We are now going to lay the HST units out with the larger colored squares. This is really important, at least for your first block, because the HSTs will need to be sewn together two different ways to match up correctly.

When you are happy with the layout, sew the small HSTs together in sets of two. Press towards the darker HST. Lay the pieces out again, and now you will sew one set of HSTs to the 2.5" plain white squares, and the other set to the large 4.5" colored squares, as seen below.

Press the unit with the large 4.5" colored square towards the colored square, and press the smaller unit with the white square towards the white.

Now you will sew these two units together, again, make sure you have layed out the block and the HSTs are laying the correct direction. I like to pin these and sew with the smaller unit on top so I make sure I am not cutting off any points for the HSTs. (In the picture below, the center unit with the pink pin is where you need to be sure your seam allowance is not cutting the point off. A proper quarter inch seam will help this block be the correct size.)

Once sewn, press the seam towards to side with the 4.5" square.

Lay out the complete block now with the 6.5"x2.5" rectangles, and the smaller 2.5" colored square. Sew the 2.5" colored square between two rectangles as shown. Sew the other two rectangles in between two pieced units, as show. Again, make sure you are pinning so that everything aligns. Remember, for a swap you want to put forth your best work, and blocks that are the correct measurement! If they do not measure within an 1/8" of the correct size, they will be sent back unswapped, so pin, pin, pin!

You should now have three units as seen above. Press the top and bottom units towards the center, towards the white rectangle in between them, and for the middle unit, also press towards the white rectangles, but this time you are pressing away from the center.

Again using pins to line everything up nice and neat, nest your center seams together, and sew the outside units to the center strip.

You should now have one beautiful scrappy bear paw block that measures 14.5" square.

We will be swapping in groups of 5 blocks, so to make six blocks (keep one and send the other five in for swapping) you will need: (48) 3" colored square, (48) 3" white squares, (24) 2.5" white squares, (24)  2.5"x6.5" white rectangles, (24) 4.5" colored squares, and (6) 2.5" colored center squares.

India: our last week

Holding for blog post

India: Weekend in the Golden Triangle

Holding for blog post

India Week 3: Delhi

Holding for blog post on India

Saturday, January 07, 2017

India Day 8 and 9: Goodbye Chennai, Hello Delhi

Saturday morning we finished packing our bags and one of our Rising Star drivers, Sankar, picked us up from our apartment. Rising Star had planned a fun morning for us at the zoo after our week of hard work with them.

Henry and Sanka, riding on the tram

Sankar drove us to the Arignar Anna Animal Park in Chennai. We have been to the zoo many times, but it was a whole different experience in Chennai. For starters, we got tickets for the jeep safari. It basically meant we had a whole little tram to ourselves that drove us to each animal exhibit. Considering that it was hot and humid, this made the whole crew much happier touring the park.
Secondly, at this zoo the animals were actually active! Usually at the zoos in the US, if you look carefully you can see the big cats laying around in the back of their exhibit. At this park, all the big cats were roaming through their cages, putting on a show for us. They are such beautiful creatures.
Emma, Ethan, and Henry with the tigers.
They were only three feet away from us!

And lastly, we saw black swans. Definitely none of those in America!

 interesting Hindu sculpture at the zoo.

 Dinner. The kids were a little shocked by this.

 And then this dinner made them sad. haha

Someone has a sense of humor!

We were so hot at the zoo, we decided to get ice cream.
After we ordered we noticed the server was dipping the scoop
in water between each order... we were worried we would get sick from it,
but luckily no one did!

When we had finished at the zoo we drove back to our hotel in Chennai. One of Elliott's coworkers is from Chennai originally, and her parents still live there. They were so kind and invited us to a lovely dinner. The food was amazing. Unfortunately our kids still were not fans of Indian food, but Elliott and I were spoiled by the smells and flavors. I wish I had gotten some pictures. It was lovely to be in their home and experience more of the culture of this beautiful country.

The next day was Sunday, and although we had an afternoon flight to Delhi, there was plenty of time for us to go to the LDS church ward that meets in Chennai. There were quite a few of our friends from Rising Star at the church, which is a long drive (2 hours?) each way from the school. We were hoping to share an actual Sacrament meeting with the people there, but they were showing General Conference, so we watched a few talks and then went to catch our plane.

busy street outside the chapel

the church building

 The best seatmates I could have on the flight to Delhi!

Indira Airport, New Delhi.
Emma and I were pondering the meaning of these hands,
and a kind gentleman saw us looking at them and explained they have meaning in Hindi
(which he explained, but I can't remember, sorry!)

Finally, we arrived at the airport in Dehli. It only took us an hour to get our luggage this time, and we were so, so happy to arrive at this luxurious destination were we would be spending the next three weeks!
Lobby of our hotel in Gurgaon, outside Delhi.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

India, Day 7: Our last day with Rising Star Outreach

Friday, Oct. 7, was our last day with Rising Star Outreach.  In the morning, we attended the school-wide assembly where we thought we were just going to give a short speech letting them know about the books that were being donated through the generosity of our many friends. But actually, it ended up being a bigger ceremony. Since the fundraisers were part of Emma's Personal Progress Project, she spoke for our family and handed over a ceremonial stack of books to represent the books being donated. Then we were garlanded with these pretty ribbon garlands made by the teens at the Peery Matriculation School, and given friendship bracelets. It was really a lovely ceremony (and funny for the kids at the school too, when Henry decided to turn around and shake his bum at all the kids.) This was supposed to be a solemn type of assembly, but Henry was pretty much done with the whole thing, and wasn't afraid to show it! My kids definitely keep me humble. :-)

With Dr. Susan and Dr. Joseph. Dr. Susan runs Rising Star Outreach in India,
and Dr. Joseph arranged everything for our stay.

After the assembly we were off to our final leper colony. This was not really a colony though, it is actually more of a home for people with leprosy and no one to take care of them. The man who runs the home, Ilango Yesu, referred to the residents as "orphans", because they don't have any family connections available.

Can't remember this guy's name, but he sure was happy!

Let me tell you about Desappan, the man on the right in the picture above. One day Ilango (the man who runs the facility) got a call from someone asking if the home had room for another resident. They had found this man, Desappan, on the street. Ilango went to go see Desappan, and when they first met, Desappan had been in the street for an unknown amount of time. He was deathly thin and smelled of rotting flesh. 

Desappan when he was first brought to the home.

There was also a plastic bag wrapped around Desappan's lower right leg. When Ilango unwrapped the plastic bag, he found that the flesh on Desappan's leg and foot had been completely decimated by leprosy. All that was left was the raw bone.

The raw bone uncovered.

No one who saw Desappan those first few days thought he was going to live. In fact, when Kavitha (one of our guides) was telling me more about him later, she was teary-eyed, remembering what bad condition he was in. But Ilango thought to himself, "There is a reason that God had someone call me to take this man, so I will do my best for him."
With that thought in mind, Ilango set about caring for Desappan. He was given proper medical care, and adequate nutrition, and after 10 days was doing much better. Everyone was so surprised!
It has now been about a year since Desappan came to live at Anandepuram Home. He told me that he loves living there, that it is his home now.

Desappan now, very happy and healthy.

95 year old resident of the home.

The man who makes it all happen, Ilango Yesu, has an interesting story as well. He gave me the full background on the facility. It was originally started by a Belgian woman who spent many years of her life traversing India caring for those with leprosy.
Ilango Yesu has been running the home for thirty years. His wife lives in a different state, and so he doesn't see her very often, although his son recently moved to Chennai, which is about an hour and a half from the home, and so they meet at his son's home once a month now.

Ilango Yesu - he says that he just works as God's hands.
And he truly has helped some miracles to happen.

After our visit to Anandepuram, we went back to the school for afternoon classes... And our driver stopped off at a shop to let us get some ice cream. We had the nicest men as our drivers that week!

The stall the man is coming out of was the ice cream shop.

View to the other side of the street. The sex ad is for families with infertility issues.

In the afternoon we hung out in the computer lab again, and then went and played more badminton. After a while, some of the teen boys invited Ethan to go play soccer with them, while the rest of us went to the playground to hang out. As I mentioned earlier, Henry was pretty much done with everything. While at RSO, everyone would ask him his name, and try to talk to him, and try to play with him. Everytime he went to the playground he was mobbed by 20 children asking his name and his standard (grade). He is a little bit of a shy child, and dislikes new situations. By the end of the week he had hit his limit. Playground time ended with  me having to take him to the dining hall to hang out and calm down. After a while we wandered over to where the cooks where making the evening meal. I wish I had gotten a picture of the dining hall and the kitchen. It is all open air, and even though their are fans, it is still extremely hot! The women in the kitchen were rolling out the chapatis for part of dinner, and the head cook was very kind and offered Henry one. He loved it. I think for the week we were in Guduvanchery our kids were kind of starving, as they are used to grazing all day. It is a luxury I hope they will be grateful for when we are back home!

Finally, it was time for evening devotional, and then for dinner. Elliott was supposed to be finally joining us for the evening meal, so we were waiting and waiting, but his driver didn't know how to get there exactly so he ended up getting there after the meal was over.

Our final excitement of the night was getting to participate in the delousing treatment of the kids. I wasn't really sure I heard Dr. Joseph right when he asked if we would like to participate. Delousing? That sounds pretty awful. But it ended up being one of the most fun things we did with the school kids that week.

All the kids that live at the school have to get the hair medication that kills lice put  in their hair, whether or not they have lice. They go through this treatment every three months or so. We donned rubber gloves and the kids would come sit at our feet while we would rub the medication in their hair. It sounds weird, but was a great time for the kids to ask us questions about our life. Elliott showed up right as we were getting underway, so all the girls were asking me how long he and I dated before we got married. They were astounded that we dated for ONLY a year before getting engaged!
We had a bittersweet goodbye at the end of the treatment. We were sad to leave our new friends at Rising Star, but it had been an exhausting and hot week, and we were ready to move on to our next adventure.

saying goodbye

Finally we were driven back to the apartment we were staying at. We all collapsed into bed after a long but fulfilling day!