Friday, August 28

simplicity?

So, what do you know? I speak of things on my heart, a simpler life and I then received my "Far Above Rubies" magazine in today's mail. As I was reading along and turning the pages of this little bundle of wisdom, I came to an article entitled "Simplicity" and a picture of very crude little cabin with children sitting on the front steps. I must admit as I hesitantly looked at this image, I was afraid, very afraid. I thought to myself, Lord, you have got to be kidding me. You want me to really consider simplicity in this manner? I quickly laid the little magazine down (without reading anything further). Once I gained enough courage to pick it up again, I did open it up to the page with the article and timidly read it. While this family sought God in what seemed like an ongoing search for simplicity, the actions taken were moderate in the beginning. Then they moved to a simple one room cabin on top of a mountain in Virginia. They had an out house, an out house for crying out loud. OK at this point you know I am thinking Lord, Lord? I continued the read. Bottom line is the house they moved from did not sell, so after living in the cabin for six months they had to move back to their nice big home in Wisconson. OK.. This was a relief (to me). Marisa, who wrote the story of their search to simplicity comes to the conclusion after much prayer, a move or two and much more prayer; that simplicity is a state of the Heart! Whew! I breathed another sigh of relief.

I am sure you know what I am talking about. You pray about something and the Lord speaks to you through song, articles, people around you or whatever He chooses. When I got this magazine I thought this was going to be one of those times. Indeed it was, it confirmed what I had felt simplicity was for me at this season in my life.

For more information on this publication you can go HERE.

Thursday, August 27

living the simple life

Living the Simple Life, that is what I desire. I have been reading about the simple life a bit here lately. It is what I am seeking (again), and I know it will find me out. It isn't as if I don't know what the simple life means for me, I have been there before. But it seems lately some things have snuck in, snuck in not so much in my physical life but mentally. You see I say, for me because what is a simple life for me may not be the same for you. Reincorporating these and other things would bring more simplicity to my life again:

  • having a cup of hot tea on the back lawn listening to the critters on a cool fall morning with my journal (when the mosquitoes are not in season...otherwise I have to get complicated with my repellent which defeats being simple..*grin*)
  • having time to take a walk every day
  • going to bed at a reasonable hour because I have simplified and no longer need to stay up restless hours getting things done.
  • knowing when to say "no". As I have said before, someone very wise has said to me on many occasions; "Just because there is a need does not always , mean it is a call of God on my part to take care of that need."
  • taking all thoughts captive to Christ...
There are other things that I practice to keep simplicity in my life. When I say simplicity, I really mean peace. What are some things you have done that most other women could do that would bring a bit of simplicity to their lives as well? Please feel free to share you wisdom by posting a comment.


Thursday, August 20

simply charming



Aren't "charm packs" great? Charm packs are a collection of 5 X 5 inch squares of Moda fabrics. Franziska (my BFF) and I discovered the beauty (no cutting) of charm packs on her last visit. Like anything, there are many books that have been published with creative quilt patterns for the charms. A quilt shop that I recently paid a visit to, Quilts 'n tiques had a bunch of their charm packs marked down 30%, so I did buy a few! I don't quite have this one sewn together yet.. but here is a picture of what I have done thus far. I do love the way the blocks contrast against each other giving the illusion of a big square.

Tuesday, August 18

OK, so its not Heaven...

Two Janome's under one roof!? Woo Who.. we must be in Heaven! When my BFF arrives for a visit, rest assured Janome is in tow. The same goes for me; when I travel to the mountains to visit her, mine is also in the mix! We have really been blessed in that our trips are long enough to have some creative sewing time! This past visit she and I worked diligently on learning the Kaleidoscope Quilt pattern.


I love this picture.. it tells a story... a story of confusion! She was getting ready to cut some triangles for the Kaleidoscope pattern and wasn't all to sure that she knew what she was supposed to do.


Our kids, once again, had a super time hanging out together. Henry is very proud to have two "sisters" to claim as his own. I look at their lives and find myself being so very grateful that they have each other to mesh with, to grow with over the years and to challenge each other in areas of their lives.


OK, so its not Heaven, but when I am afforded the time to visit with my BFF and her girls (aka my girls), I am so very grateful with a heart full of peace and contentment! Happy Sewing to you.

Monday, August 17

giveaway - beautiful quilted patriotic table runner

I still need to add the binding to the table runner and once it is finished, I will put up a new picture.


Who doesn't love a giveaway? I have ended up with a few extra blocks from the Drunkards Path Quilt I am working on and decided to finish up a beautiful table runner to offer to my readers as a thank you!

Quilting has been so much fun for me. It has been a wonderful creative outlet to use the giftings that I have been entrusted with as well as (hopefully) bring joy to those who receive my quilts as gifts. I started quilting while I was in my 30's and hope to offer as much reviving as possible to this beautiful "craft". In my spare time (or not so spare.. lol) I have taught different ones to quilt. It brings me most joy, I think, when those interested in learning to quilt are under 20 years old. I wish the best to all of you!

  • Prize: Drunkards Path Pattern Table Runner
  • Ending Date/Time: Midnight September 1st 2009
  • Winner Announced: by Midnight September 3rd 2009
  • Rules: To enter this drawing leave a comment below answering this question: What is your all time favorite dessert?
  • If you follow my blog I will give you an additional entry (for a total of tw0)
  • Please make sure I have an email addy if you are not a blogger (so I can contact you if your name is drawn)

Sunday, August 16

quilts, quilts and more quilts

Since I started sharing my recently (within the last year) finished quilts, I felt compelled to load up the other beauties and let you see them too! It has been harder to give some of my quilts away most recently. When I first started quilting I did not want to keep any of them, or should I say it was hard to keep any of them. Some of the first ones I made were completed with hand quilting and were/are very beautiful. In fact, the first quilt I made for my oldest son is a blue and white log cabin in the barn raising lay out - stenciled with intricate designs and then hand quilted... each stitch in love! What are you currently working on?


video

Saturday, August 15

looking for a new home

Have you ever seen anything so precious? (OK, OK surely babies are more precious) But in all of today, I did not see anything more precious than these sweet little kittens. Kittens are so delightful. I told my friend, who is trying to find homes for these little guys, that if we didn't already have six cats of our own I would take these home with us. It was really hard to get in the car and drive away knowing they all need a home. I am also reminded of something a wise person once said to me: Just because there is a need, does not always mean it is a call on my part.





Friday, August 14

turning twenty again and again...

Have you heard of the Turning Twenty quilt books by Tricia Cribbs? While I really enjoy laboring over a quilt with intricate design it is nice to have a "no brainer" quilt to work on every now and then! My BFF and I bought a few of Tricia Cribbs books and have really enjoyed the simplicity of these quilt patterns which allow you to literally put a quilt top together in just a day or so. I have chosen to meander all of the Turning Twenty quilts that I have made thus far. Enjoy the pictures of my Turning Twenty quilts.


The one above is currently being finished for my sister as a house warming gift. Congratulations on that house!

This one and the one right above were made with the Shangri La Moda fabric line - LOVE IT. This quilt was finished and given as a gift to one of my son's teachers this past school year.


Turning Twenty Again was the pattern I used for this quilt. I worked on this last summer to have it finished for one of my dear cousins which was given to her at our family reunion last July. There is a teal T appliqued on the quilt for "Theresa". It was fun to play around with all the different lay out possibilities.


Where there is a quilt.... there is a cat (in my house anyway).


While I had already made a quilt for our oldest son, this was a bittersweet project for me to work on. I literally finished this quilt the very day he left home and drove off to Florida. He chose the fabrics, which are the Sand and Surf fabric collection.


While this one is similar it is not the same as the one above. I made this in record time as well for my adopted daughter, Sarah's graduation. If you look closely you can see the pink square somewhat off to the left center. It is the only pink the whole quilt. It was put there as a representation of herself as I see her; separate, set apart. In addition, I asked her for some of her favorite scriptures, sayings, etc and used a permanent pen to inscribe those throughout the quilt top.

a smile



A smile increases face value.
- sign in a London shop

Thursday, August 13

a stitch in time -(updated) -

Since my original post on this topic, I have met with my quilting friends and have a few other Mid Mad quilts to show. This one above was done up in Kaffe Fassett fabrics by our very own teacher.


I am sorry I did not get them to hold this one up.. it is a gorgeous quilt! This one is also made using the Mid Mad quilt pattern, I still don't know the real name for this pattern, but plan to get it! This one was made by Anne, another lovely lady in our quilting group.

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A few of the beauties that I have completed this past year...

These next 3 quilts including the one up above were made using the pattern that we were introduced to at our annual 'Midnight Madness' which was held our teachers home. I do not remember the name of this pattern, but it is like a square in a square. I love this quilt. As you can see it was an easy one to make as I have made a total of 4 of these. A couple of the ones I made using this pattern are baby size quilts and a couple toddler size. The one up above was the one I started the night of Midnight Madness, it is one of my favorites.


This one was done in the Aunt Grace fabric's and has been finished and currently hangs on one of our quilt racks here at home. One day it may go to granddaughter or it may end up with us forever just being snuggled under by the grands when they visit. OH, I can dream can't I!


The blue beauty... I finished this one and gifted a sweet friend with it for their newest addition to their family.


Doesn't this one look delicious, like you could just eat it! As I neared finishing this quilt, my BFF asked me who it was for and I told her some one's baby. I didn't have a recipient in mind just yet, it was just a sweet finished baby quilt. She informed me that she NEVER had a baby quilt, so guess who this went out to? There is no way she could continue on in life without ever having received a baby quilt.


This year we made several quilts using some of Deb Tucker's rulers. These two are both made using her Hunter's Star Ruler. Many of the ladies in our class made this very quilt. Deb also has a petite Hunters Star Ruler, which is just beautiful as well. You can find more information out about Deb Tucker by clicking HERE. The quilt above was finished and given to my sons principal this past summer.


I completed this one May a year ago, for my father-in-love. This is backed in flannel and has a great masculine feel to it. This was made using Deb Tucker's Hunter Star Ruler as well.


This past year has been one of the most productive "quilting" years to date. I have had times when sewing came with much ease and then other times in the past year where I had to seek out the time for sewing. I know I have sung her praises before, but I am so grateful for my quilting teacher and her willingness to continue teaching a bit longer, thanks again Wendie!

I am currently working on a charm pack quilt, which I shouldn't have started since I have so many other fires going. The other "fires" include two kaleidoscope quilts that desperately need my attention so they can get finished. Hmmm lets see, Oh, then I have 4 quilt tops that need to be set in and quilted. I do hope this sounds like a familiar story to you fellow quilters.

I hope you enjoy looking at my interpretation of colors in each of my quilts. I have been sitting in my sewing room a bit the past few days but cannot seem to get myself motivated to sew, it sure isn't for the lack of things to do.

Wednesday, August 12

the eleventh hour

Here I am starting to applique the basket in the center of the block. I love my Janome 6600!

Pretty! Now for the leaves...

To put the final touch on, I will hand stitch two yo's yo's on as flowers near the leaves.


Eleventh hour = Latest possible hour that you can do something
(by the way.. did you know this "saying" comes from the book of Matthew 20: 2-16)

The eleventh hour, that would be when I finished a project that has to be ready by early morning. The quilt group that I belong to does not meet on a regular weekly basis in the summer and fall months but rather once a month through November. Our August monthly meeting is tomorrow morning (Thursday). Our class starts to meet regularly in January, so last summer we started what we call "Pass The Bag Quilt". Get a peek of what I was working on at the eleventh hour and stay tuned for how the "Pass The Bag Quilt" project has worked in our group.

Tuesday, August 11

cowboy quilt round up!







Aren't these fabric choices just darling? This quilt was made by a lovely mother for her little cowboy. She did a great job picking out fun fabrics with a cowboy theme and feel. I was commissioned to set in and machine quilt this project for her. She chose a pattern similar to the "Turning Twenty" and I thought stitch-in-the-ditch quilting (SITD) would work well with this pattern. So I selected a decorative stitch and finally got busy.
I picked up the finished top sometime in mid-May knowing that it would be some time before I could get to it. Due to some unplanned travels I have gotten a bit behind my planned finish date, but I am almost ready to cross the finish line! The young lady who I am doing the work for is anxious to get this back so she can put the finishing touches on her little boys room.

Monday, August 10

snow in august?





As I sat near the window with a chill on this morning, I took these beautiful pictures of last nights snow fall! OK, so I didn't take them this morning and I didn't have a chill. Last night when I was looking at pictures that were taken over this past year these just made me long for some cooler weather. On a hot day like today, I whole heartily welcome a snow covered lawn! Surely as the sun shines the cooler days of fall will be upon us.

Speaking of the fall, yesterday I took a trip out to a great little shop, Just Country NC that always has something desirous to claim as my own. I say a trip, because it is quite a drive from home but well worth it. I have to use some self control and remember that I need to um.. pay the mortgage, and buy groceries and various other things. When I do have some extra spending money, this is one of my favorite places to visit. I know they will always have a delicious scent or two for my tart burner and possibly a sprig of this or that with a fall twist for one of my fall vases. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Saturday, August 8

happy birthday dear mother-in-love














Today is my husbands' mother's birthday!

Happy Birthday to you, Mom!

You know, I have always been a bit bothered by the term used to identify your family members by marriage (by law), in-laws or perhaps it is really the negative connotations that usually come with the identifier -"in laws". I do understand that one becomes family by law , but they also become family members because of love. With this in mind, I call my "in-laws", "in-loves". My mother-in-love has really always been a gift to me। From the beginning I was welcomed with open arms and a heart full of love - before she really even knew me. This always really amazed me. It isn't as if I wasn't worthy of love or even that I did things to repel her love, but it just always came unconditionally and still does. She is one of those mothers who fully gave their son away on his wedding day. I am so grateful that she trusted God in that, I was good enough for her son. Far too many folks are suffering with pain due to mothers not being able to let go of their sons upon their marriage. I have been married to her son for 23 years now and as one can imagine our relationship has had some ups and downs, but so has my marriage. That is part of developing a relationship isn't it? Over the years we have had some really great times together and I pray I have been as much a blessing to her as she has been to me. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you.