Monday, October 12, 2009

Winter Time Prepardness

There's already snow in some areas of he United States in an early blast of cold frigid temps! I am looking at my home and thinking I had better get it in gear to make our home winter ready...we live in a climate of snow and ice~blustery winds with a chill of often 30's harsh condition such as these that require some measures to keep us warm and safe in winter.

My hubby has been doing repairs to our home's siding and windows.  If you don't know, we recently purchased our home, a repo that was a great deal financially for our family with the goal of becoming 100% debt free in five years, so that an older home with needed repairs was the way to go in this "buyers market." But along with this purchase came needed and REQUIRED repairs.  (Be sure to calculate these costs into your home's sales price if you are looking to purchase a home like this...but for the handy, it's very economical...more on this another time!)  So we have a cracked window and a storm window missing.  Today, the window is going to the glass shop and the storm will have to be replaced.  It's not salvagable!  Along with these, I am going to put up a check list of things, some maintence, and others just plain ole housekeeping to get us ready for winter...STAY WARM!

Evaluate your bedding situation.
Do you have enough blankets and comforters to keep the beds warm at night? We turn down our thermostat at night, and this makes for cooler sleeping and needed bedding.  Do you purchase or make your bedding? Begin crocheting or quilting or even shopping for what you need.  We like electric blankets.  I invested in one for each bed several years ago.  Also consider if you lose power.  If you do or don't have an alternate heat source, covers on a bed will make a great difference in comfort and possibly survival...

1. Crocheting a blanket.

2. Quilting a blanket.

3. Purchasing a blanket, quilt or electric blanket.

for Crochet:

Crochet Pattern Central
For warmer blankets, I like 100% cotton yarn:
Peaches and Cream 100% cotton yarns
Wool  and Acrylic yarns
Lion Brand Yarn

for Quilting:
Love to Know~Quick and Easy Quilting
 I've made something not unlike this quick and easy quilt which I have heard called a "cheater quilt."  The biggest difference in the size of the project is this~the size of the pieces of fabric (front and backs with batting) you are working with.  I made both my children 'cheater quilts' about seven or eight years ago. 

Cheryl's Cheater Quilt Method:
Chose two coordinating patterned or one solid, one patterned fabrics.
Purchase 1 and 1/2 yards OF EACH TWICE~this may sound silly, but let the fabric store lady cut two pieces of your fabrics 1 1/2 yds each.
Do this for both top and bottom.  You should have six yards total.
Purchase batting whichever loft for a twin bed.
Bring home and wash the fabrics to preshrink and release dyes.
Take one of the either top or bottom fabric 11/2 yd pieces and cut down the center vertically.
(You should have two long 1/2 width pieces of your fabric now.) Do this for the other as well.
With right sides together, stitch the salvage edges of one top side fabric to the other side so that when pressed and opened, the pattern is facing each.  You will do both sides of the unsplit 11/2 piece with the split 1/1/2 pieces.  This will make your top or bottom a double width of the fabric width your purchased either 36" x2!  Press open all the seams! This will lay ever so nicely on a twin bed as the seems will fall to the edges.
Do the other fabric the same way.
When both are stitched up, then go to your bed or the largest bed  in your home OR on a large table or carpeted floor. I like to use a big bed.
With right side facing the bedspread, lay the bottom fabric down on the bed.  You will see the seams of the bottom where you have pressed them open. 
On top, lay the batting for the quilt you purchased.
Then facing the ceiling, lay the top of the quilt top onto the layers.
Use quilting pins to secure all over.
Begin at the center and work to the edges to smooth any wrinkles.  Pin as you go.
When you get to the outer edges, roll the top over the bottom for a "rolled edge" where the top is seen on the bottom. Pin all the way around to secure your quilt.

The first handsewing you will do is to hand sew with a 'whip stitch" around the edges of this quilt. Short close together stitches with double thread in the needle will work to secure the blanket tighter and will be less likely to come apart. 

There are a couple of options for securing the inside of this quilt:
1. You can stitch around (quilt) any repeating motif in the pattern.  For my daughters, there were butterflies, so I did a certain colored butterfly.
2. You can use a very large bore needle and yarn, running it through all layers and tying it in square knots.
3. You can use flat buttons of any shape, color or variety if you like. If you have them too ;-))
4. You can hand stitch lines like a grid pattern to hold the layers.

Once your quilt is all secure, you are ready to place it on your bed.  These are very nice, and I have found much more durable than purchased comforters which with washing generally come apart.

For purchased blankets, I suggest shopping sales.  I like yard/garage sales and thrift stores as well. To match color schemes, I have made covers for my blankets and comforters to keep costs down.

Stay warm and let's all get prepared for winter's chill with checking on our bedding for the season!

1 comment:

Kristi Maloney said...

Hi there! I have an award for you over at Moms Own Words. Here's a direct link: Thank you for helping so many moms out there!