BE…Bold Challenge & A Giveaway!

For those of you who are new to my blog, let me fill you in on what this BE business is all about!  This year we’re going through a block of the month series called “Beyond the Block”.  Member’s of The Sugar Block Club are receiving a new block pattern each month, along with a favorite recipe, and a personal-growth challenge where we really dig into a particular topic, and challenge ourselves to improve in that area over the course of the month, hopefully making the changes a permanent habit.  I post the personal challenges up here on my blog as well, just as I’m posting here today, but if you want to receive the monthly patterns & recipes, you can sign up for the club here- don’t worry, I’ll catch you up on all that you’ve missed).

Here’s what we’ve stitched and baked up so far this year!

August SBC Collage
I do hope you’ll join in, if you haven’t already!  Here’s what I’ll be challenging myself to work on this month in the Beyond the Block portion of the series…

Be Bold
Now stay with me.  This isn’t going to be one of those take no prisoners, never look back, no regrets kind of posts.  Remember, all these challenges are born out of my own struggles. And the funny thing is every time I think I’ve got some little bit of life figured out, something—usually something I do and then immediately regret, reminds me just how much I have to learn.

Early last month the girls and I were having lunch at a little deli a short way from our house.  As the girls sat happily munching their sandwiches, my chatty little love bugs drew the attention of two ladies who were sharing a table beside us.  They seemed to be enjoying the girls’ conversation and one of them eventually piped in, “You must be about kindergarten age,” to Nora. The woman added that they were both retired public school kindergarten teachers and asked Nora if she knew who her teacher would be in the fall.

Nora, without missing a beat, informed them her teachers would be Mom & Dad because she would be home schooled in the fall. Although their response was courteous, it was easy to see their feathers had been ruffled, as they quickly ended the conversation and left within just a few seconds.

After this encounter, I felt self-conscious and frustrated at the perceived judgement, and proceeded to actually discourage Nora from making any more public announcements about our homeschooling choice, unless I brought up the subject first.
After some reflection, however, I felt bad about coming down on her for being proud of our decision. Privately, I bemoan how marginalized homeschooling is among the majority of American culture, , but publicly, I didn’t even want to mention it. I suppose I figured, why open up that can of worms if we don’t have to, right?

Not quite.

You see, there are a host of reasons why we decided to homeschool, and we feel really strongly about all of them. Ultimately, we felt it was the best option for our children and the best for our family (you can read more about our choice here). But if I am confident and proud of that choice, which I absolutely am, then I can’t forget that the more bold I am about it, the more I help to chip away at that social judgement, at the stereotypes and assumptions, which I hope will eventually make this decision easier for others to make, or at the very least, understand.  My avoiding sharing about it, just because it feels uncomfortable, doesn’t help anyone.  I need to be bold, even when I don’t want to be, and I need to encourage my children to be bold—to stand behind their decisions and not worry about the judgment of others.  I need to be part of that movement that brings my choice out of the margins and into the mainstream.

That’s why I’m challenging myself this month to Be Bold.

For you, the call to be bold may come from some other area of life.  It may mean following your own taste with a quilt pattern or fabric choice, or standing up for a religious or social conviction that you have.

One way to look at it is to ask yourself, before making a decision, if it’s something you feel strongly enough about to defend. Can you defend it even if doing so makes you feel uncomfortable?  I recently heard someone say we should get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s where the rubber meets the road for me. Being bold to the point that I am a little uncomfortable. Being able to answer that question can also help us make better decisions if it gives us pause to consider the reasons why we are making a certain choice or supporting a certain cause. In that way, this month’s challenge ties back into the previous challenges to Be Intentional, Be a Teacher, Be an Explorer and Be Present.

I hope you will join me in this month’s challenge to be bold- to stretch your comfort zone and push yourself to stand strong, to speak out, to boldly raise your hand when it might be so much easier not to.  If you have a personal story to share, or a comment, I’d love to hear it!

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So how about we wrap this post up with a GIVEAWAY???  Sound ok to you?  I have a $25 gift card from my newest sponsor, Southern Fabric, to give away to one lucky reader!!!  
Southern Fabrics Button 500
Like @southernfabric on Instagram, then enter yourself into the drawing via the box below (if you don’t have Instagram, you can also like them on Facebook).  Sugar Block Members (no matter when you joined) will receive an extra entry!  Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ann Dunn says:

    It doesn’t look like I can earn a point being a Sugar Block member if I don’t want to follow Southern Fabric via Facebook or Instagram. Too bac.

    • Stitchery says:

      Hi Ann- Following Southern Fabric on Facebook or Instagram is mandatory, since they are graciously donating the prize, but after you’ve done that, you may add your additional SBC entry. :)

  2. Janet Green says:

    First off I want to say big applause nd a huge whoop whoop to you. Good job!!! I am a little older than you well ok a lot older than you and I think when someone comes to the realization that our lives and decisions may make others think twice I really honestly believe we have to be true to ourselves. And BOLD. Is one of the harder ones. I spent afar too much time in my life worried about others, when I finally learned to be BOLD a everything got clearer. It’s sad that Nora received that response but I honestly feel that teachers are not always “teachers” those people are few And far between and you and your handsome husband will be perfect. Your children will have more patient and more caring educations and will learn at a much faster pace because of it. OH AND I love the block!!!!!!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I love the block! And just have to say you’ve made a paper piecer out of me! I had not done any before Sugar Block, your tutorial is so easy to follow–thanks!

  4. Congratulations on being bold. I know what you mean about being bold even if it makes you uncomfortable, only for me it’s others who can be uncomfortable. That sounded bad, I’ll explain, I have been seriously ill for 10 years now, but I look perfectly healthy. People who haven’t seen me for a while will ask me how I am and I have found myself saying “I’m fine” automatically even when I’m anything but fine. I decided to tell them if I’m terrible when they ask, because I don’t want to lie just because it might make them a little uncomfortable. I know people expect to hear “I’m fine” and to move on to something else, but I’ve found that the people who really care about the answer want an honest one (and appreciate how rare the days are when I can say “I’m fine” and mean it). Those who don’t quickly change the subject without even asking me what’s wrong.

    • Stitchery says:

      Good point!!! The discomfort can be your own, or it can be someone else’s…and I guess they circle back to one another since we are also made uncomfortable when we see others around us made uncomfortable about what we just shared. Thanks for bringing this to light, and for sharing your personal encounter with this idea. One a side note, I am so sorry to hear about the health problems that you are struggling with, and hope you experience healing and restoration soon!

  5. cdahlgren2013 says:

    It’s so hard to be bold, and I applaud you for making it your goal this month. My personal goal every month is to speak up and ask a lot of questions when my doctors want to go a certain route in the treatment of my illness. I have to be able to take charge of my own health problems, and any doctors that don’t like that quickly get asked to change or I’ll go to someone who is willing to listen and do what’s best for me.

  6. Being Bold is very hard!!
    I am an admitted ostrich and would rather look the other way (or hide my head in the sand) at any type of uncomfortable-ness.
    I am SO non-confrontational that I can’t say a word until I’m alone afterwords; then I tell them ‘what-for’ (even though they will never hear it) LOL.
    I’ve been up against quite a few relationship-type issues and I know I’m supposed to pay attention to this and stand up for myself and what I believe in; but it’s SO HARD!
    I will take your post to heart and at least TRY …. a little… LOL.
    And the block is bold and will nicely showcase some large prints :)

  7. Rosalie Roberts says:

    This block is great. I love the bold. And I come from a family of teachers and have a lot of my family now that are in education, but I am into home school in a lot of cases. Sorry you were shocked but you will be prepared next time. I am really enjoying these blocks and recipes and keeping up. They are usually the first one I do. (Even tho I don’t like paper piecing!) I manage to survive it for your blocks. I am just new on face book and don’t have it on this computer yet. It is on my I pad and I phone. A grand-daughter-in-law is coming next week to try to straighten me out.

  8. Cecilia Therese says:

    Hello. I just started following your blog after I watched your wonderful Craftsy Block of the Month class. You were so inspiring I just had to start following your blog. The first post I got to read was your post on homeschooling, so it’s great to see the topic revisited. I’ve got three little boys and have plans to homeschool them once they’re school age, right now the oldest is 3. I was a product of public education from preschool through college and I discovered the concept of homeschooling in my freshman year of highschool when I did some independant study. I fell in love and decided right then I would homeschool any of my future kids. That was only 22 years ago. :) I’ve been researching tons and found a fun book you might want to look at called Teaching in Your Tiara she does a good job at answering the critical public. Be Bold. You can do it.

  9. Linda Mahoney says:

    As a former 6th grade teacher I have to say I’ve seen home schooling go both ways as far as the results. When parents are dedicated and have a good knowledge of what they are teaching, students do well. You need to stay true to yourself. I was on a quilt retreat last year and met a girl who was 17 years old. She had been home schooled and I must say she was one of the most delightful girls that I have ever met. She was extremely well educated and her values and manners were excellent. I think you will be very successful and should not feel that you have to defend your choice. These are your children and if you and your husband are willing to home school them that is your decision. Be proud of what you are doing and hold your head up high. Say that you can’t wait to get started and are very excited about your decision.
    By the way – I love this month’s block. I started taking classes from you when you offered the BOM on Craftsy. I finished that quilt with Leah and I get so many compliments on that quilt. Thank you for being such a great teacher!

  10. wendy Carter says:

    I love reading your post. They really lift me up. Nice knowing I’m not the only one struggling with the same issues! I, too, have a great family and at times they are more bold than I. I love how I learn from them every day, even my grown kids. They are truly and inspiration to me. My youngest two are in 1st and 5th grade. I, too, am thinking of homeschooling. But just my daughter the next 3 years for Middle School. The school they have us in now, not with my first 3, is not a good school. The test scores are low and it’s in an unsafe neighborhood. I have had friends home-school. Some who I felt did/do a great job and others I feel didn’t. We have a great schools and some that aren’t. I have received support from most everyone but those who aren’t supporting me are the ones I wish the most would. Yes, they are family. Really it is only 1 person that makes me sad. Every negative thing has been pointed out from I can’t do it because I’m not “qualified” to it just wont work. But my daughter is so excited about those 3 years. I’ve looked at every option from home-schooling to getting a job at one of the schools. Thanks for the reminder that if I feel that it is right, it is right. The Lord will help me when problems arise, and I’m they will. But I should trust more and worry less. Good luck with teaching your kids, it will be great! Have a great day.

  11. April Jaehn says:

    Hi Amy, great block this month, and an incredible message! Question regarding July’s block. I’m having a terrible time getting the QST squared up properly. I’ve done you tube searches but they are not helping. Can you point me in a direction for how to do these. Thank you so much!

  12. Amy, you are wise beyond your years. Be proud of your decision to home school. My son just graduated from high school and home schooling was not for me but so what. We all have to make our own choices and do what feels right for us. Also, who knows, you might change your mind. You just have to do what you and your family feel is right for you right now. I am so enjoying the Sugar Block of the month club this year. I am 60 years old and have been quilting for about 20 years but this is my first block of the month project. Thanks so much for your teaching and your insights about life.

  13. peggy sahmaunt says:

    Read your post after returning from a quick trip to the grocery store this morning. There, I was definitely bold… feeling crowded by the man in the line behind me who was about my age — mid 60s. He already had his money plopped down on the counter area before I had finished checking out. I politely smiled at him and told him that he was in my social space, to which he responded, “Social space?” My response to him was a gracious, “Get with the program.” Maybe irrelevant, but I felt bold as he backed away slightly.
    And just by the way, I love your teaching style. Will you be doing another Craftsy class… or somewhere else?
    Gotta love those girls!


  15. Kudos to Nora!
    She is proud of her home schooling and her teachers -mom and dad – and that is wonderful. I did not home school, but know several families who did; they are accountable for the studies and work as the public/private schools are? Some teachers will be negative, others will applaud you.

    Encourage the children to announce it, …if someone is asking the question they should be prepared for any answer. If they are not, it is their problem to think about. Don’t invite the children to hide who they are.

    All your work is BEautiful and appreciated by many people. Even those of us who barely sew a straight line the first time. You are a very creative Artist!

    Thank you for being the thoughtful person you are to share your work, and teach others. …it’s sort go like Home Schooling us.

  16. I applaud your decision to homeschool and encourage you to boldly enjoy that choice! We homeschooled our four children, who have all gone on to college and grad school. I would do it again in a heartbeat! They are amazing adults! Love following your blog.

  17. Linda Crandall says:

    Dearest Amy,

    Just want you to know I’m a retired public school teacher who whole-heartedly supports your decision to homeschool your children. My experience w/ friends who’ve homeschooled is that they have done an outstanding job. There are, unfortunately, some irresponsible homeschoolers out there. However, it’s by far the majority who give their children many educational and socializing advantages over the public school educational opportunities. In fact, my own grandchildren were homeschooled for several years. I even homeschooled the two oldest ones myself a couple days a week when I first retired.

    It’s interesting that the pressure w/ regard to how you choose to educate your children falls both ways. When my daughter-in-law decided to send her four to a private Christian school and finally to an excellent neighborhood public school, after years if homeschooling she felt very conflicted & even judged.

    In the end, being bold about your decision is very important. And, remember, your decisions don’t have to be set in stone. In fact, my oldest granddaughter is now a part of an academy that is a hybrid homeschool and charter school for middle schoolers as it became clear the public middle school experience was not working for her.

    I applaud your realization that your little girl didn’t need to be afraid to speak about her “school”. She can be just as excited about her school as any child. I’m so sorry you could feel the disapproval of those gals. It’s born out of their ignorance.

    I’m convinced this was an experience ordained by God as a learning experience to encourage you to be bold in your family decisions. And now, you’ve even shared that learning moment with us as an excellent reminder for us! I’ve learned over the years that there’ll always be someone who may disapprove of any decision you make. So we ultimately make prayerful decisions and then go forth with boldness and confidence.

    I know you’ll love teaching your smart, lively little girl! ENJOY!

    Wow! Sorry for the long reply. I promise it won’t happen again. Ha ha

    With much affection,

    Linda Crandall

  18. annieb71 says:

    Hi Amy – I can’t become a member of the Sugar Block Club this year – too busy with my blog and growing my business. I liked Southern Fabrics and follow them and receive their newsletter.

    I think your decision is great and to be bold and proud of it sets a great example to your family. I always stay, “Stand Tall, Stand Proud,” of what you do and your beliefs, as long as no one and yourself are in danger by them of course.

    I’m not sure if you received my last offer about this. I have a ton of children’s books in my home from being a librarian. Those books need a good home. A home school would be a wonderful place. Please get in touch with me at and I would be happy to send them to you.

    All The Best,
    Anne Beier

  19. annieb71 says:

    P.S. I do follow Southern Fabric on Instagram.
    Anne Beier –

  20. Amy, thanks for the challenge. I need to be bold to deal with some stresses in my life right now. Most of the time I just adept to what others want , but it is not working for me right now.

  21. springleafstudios says:

    Hi Amy, just wanted to tell you how much I like reading these posts at the beginning of each month. i need to be bold about my own quilt designing as I work toward getting patterns published. I think you’re well on the way to being bold too. Plan to pass this on to my SIS who is starting home schooling this fall too.

  22. Hi, Amy. I love reading your monthly posts, too! And the ones from your husband are a hoot! What an inspiring family. You will do well — and so will your children — at homeschooling! Bless you!

  23. It gets easier Amy, the longer you homeschool, the easier it gets to be bold about it. And you’ll find that there are so many out there who will encourage you, and praise you, and tell you how wonderful it is that you are doing so. And you’ll start to feel more comfortable around those who don’t agree with you, the more you see how good it is for your family. The more you see them learning and enjoying it. Have fun!

  24. Never regret your decision to home school! Our family began the journey of homeschooling in 1992! My children were often asked if it was even legal for them not to be in school. The kids answered they were IN school, just at home. :) I had a neighbor that threatened to turn us in for “educational neglect” even though she had NO idea what curriculum we were following or anything about our educational philosophy! The world was our classroom and we kept right on homeschooling all the way through high school! Our children are now in their late 20’s and early 30’s! They are smart, engaged college educated. As parents we have a terrific relationship with them. Be bold for and never look back. You and Mr. Dock know what’s best for your family. We will always be here in the wings to cheer you on! We’ve sailed this journey, and yes there were storms, but we are better sailors because of them. Sail on!

  25. Melissa Anderson says:


    I am a public school teacher, but I know that homeschooling is a wonderful option for many families. I know many families in my church that choose to homeschool, and their children are getting a great education. The one thing I have experienced is that even though I respect their decision to homeschool 100%, some of them feel I am wrong NOT to homeschool mine. Some of the kids have even said disparaging things to my children because they are in public school. This has been difficult and has strained some friendships. I am sure that you would never encourage that type of attitude in your girls though. I wish you and your hubby much success in homeschooling and I know you will make so many wonderful memories with your kiddos through the process.

    Melissa Anderson

  26. Laura Hall says:

    Be bold. Indeed! I’m proud of all you do. Yes, indeed.

  27. Marianne says:

    I am not sure if I am supposed to leave a comment also?! I don’t do FB or IG but do do the SBC.

  28. Great on being bold, I have to learn to be bold about declaring Jesus as my saviour, my healer, my everything!

  29. I applaud you for realizing how important it is to make our children feel heard and important. I homeschool my 3 boys also and it can be difficult when you come face to face with the naysayers. I have discovered over these past few years there are so many homeschoolers out there. Finding someone that says, “Good for you!” or “I used to be homeschooled and loved it!” is so nice.

    My area to be more bold (my family would tell you I’m too bold about everything lol) is to not be apologetic about the way I raise my children. We practice a very natural (and attachment style I guess) way of parenting and sometimes that’s hard. Finding more friends that share our views and support us has been wonderful and so helpful.

    Keep up the good work mama! And thanks for sharing your story.

  30. Diane Isabella says:

    Amy – a book recommendation for you — “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a short little book and it changed my life. In a nutshell: “Be Impeccable With Your Word” – speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. “Don’t Take Anything Personally” – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. “Don’t Make Assumptions” – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can cmpletely transform your life. “Always Do Your Best” – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

    You are a great role-model, Amy. I love your posts and applaud your love and devotion to your children. You will have a great home-schooling experience!

  31. Diane Isabella says:

    Oops – forgot to check the boxes so that I get notified of new posts!

  32. Kit Flores says:

    Home schooling was one of the best decisions we made as a family. It was a rewarding experience and all 4 children have done well. I am sure you will be blessed by the experience.

  33. Pam Milton says:

    I have lost the email for the August block. I don’t remember the password to access it. Amy can you resend the email?

  34. Philomena Gaslard says:

    I missed out on some BMO and I don’t remember my password to get access can you help me?

  35. Krista Watson says:

    God Bless you!! I am being Bold this year by taking a lead roll in our local MOPS group. I am so excited that the theme for the year is “Be you, Bravely!” Each mom should be who she is and I hope to encourage each one in her own situation. None of us are made the same by our God! One of the topics we plan on having in the spring is a “School Options Panel” Our hope is to showcase Home school, Private School and Public school. As mom’s getting ready to put our kids into school, it is a decision that is preceded by much prayer, soul searching and thought. My prayer is that it can be informative and not leading. I want each mom to make her own decision and I applaud you for making a decision that is best for your family. Some of my Home schooling friends amaze me by what they are putting into their kids even if I’m not willing to do the same. Be Encouraged!!

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