Thursday, March 31, 2011

Refuge and Lovingkindness and Joy

"But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength.

Yes, I shall joyfull sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,

for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress."

Psalm 59:16

God is our refuge. And gives us joy. And I'm so thankful.

The little heart above is one I made for a friend who seemed to need it. It's a little prayer pocket pillow - thanks to an idea from With Heart and Hands. Mine is somewhat smaller than hers and not nearly as cute - but it's okay. The pocket is on the back, and I put a couple of scriptures in it, printed on parchment-looking paper.

Lots of things have been going on . . . business at work still finishing up year-end jobs for 2 separate corporations and dealing with various computer issues (electronic health records and practice management programs require lots of computers to be functioning at any given moment....) AND we're in the throes of preparing for/getting a new phone system. Lots of fun. And it's "sick season" which means lots of patients but also ailing employees or children-of-employees and resultant holes in staff.

I've tried to keep doing a little bit of quilty postcard work and have several folks that I really want to send that special greeting to, but I'm kind of behind. Pretty weather saw us working outside getting our garden relocated (which has meant some major fence-building chores) and moving the chicken house back up the hill so we can get chickens again. TSC has little baby chicks that sound soooo cute peeping, and I can't wait till we can get some!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Process, process, process

Process, process, process. It's about the process...the journey...the trying....the learning. I read a number of quilting blogs and a current effort of many is showing the process - they've even developed a widget badge to show they've taken the "process pledge" - in other words, they won't just show a beautiful quilt as though it sprang magically into existence but will show parts of the process which might be anything from rough sketches of an idea to fabric options that did or didn't make it to the quilt to a boo-boo that had to be ripped out. I like that. We're all a "work in progress" after all (WIP in quilterese), and it helps most of us to realize that other folks have struggles, too. This is true for quilt-making or knitting or cooking or walking with God. Some days flow incredibly well and some days you just feel like you're trying to walk through thigh-high molasses. I have had a rough couple of weeks, but God is good and has eased my pain and my burdens. He always does, even though sometimes it seems to take forever. I just need to be reminded again and again and again.

Writing notes is something I learned from my grandmother, and over the last two or three years I have been doing those quilted postcards with embroidered scriptures on them. Well, even though I do want them to be special notes for special people, they just take too much time to be practical or to let me send them to all the people I want to send them to for encouragement or just to say "you're special". So I've begun experimenting with ways to take less time but still have a special and unique item....and I've been inspired by the online community as well. The ones above are some of my more recent experiments (I clearly need LOTS of free-motion practice on little things that are hard to move around and make it oh-so-easy to get a finger or two waaaay too close to the needle). The text on these was transfered instead of stitched, and I was playing with using tiny scraps. The next set I did after the one above I actually printed on fabric (no pictures yet) inspired by Julie Bagamary. If you want to see some very beautiful postcards and baskets and other quilts with scripture, visit her blog! (and you can buy her lovely items at her Etsy shop).

Slow down. Pray. Enjoy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Unfailing love"

"Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone." (Psalm 33:22)

I just love the phrase "unfailing love" - it crops up so often in the Psalms and gives me tremendous hope and encouragement! "Unfailing love" - something I would like to be able to say I offer to my loved ones, but fear it is no more humanly possible for me than for anyone else. (I love them without fail, but I don't always show it without fail) It is my goal, though, to try to remind folks of this unfailing love....that is there, waiting for us, waiting for us to open our hearts to be strengthened by it, to be filled with joy because of it.

We have had an absolutely beautiful weekend. A little holiday is a wonderful plus, too!

I finally managed to take a couple of pictures . . . a little thingy showing my first Dresden Plate attempt, thanks to the marvelous Darlene Zimmerman tool! Then there are a few of my current round of postcards. (hopefully if you click the picture you can read the postcard stitchery) (I have some done on bright lime green but haven't gotten them past the stitchery part and ready to mail yet)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The "realities of heaven"

I love this phrase from the NLT version of Colossians! Also..."let heaven fill your thoughts"...and "your real life is hidden with Christ in God". Powerful stuff here. These go along with John Eldredge's Epic, The Story God is Telling. God put eternity in our hearts, after all. We are just pilgrims. Aliens. Sojourners. I love the commercial for the cruise line where the passengers are treated like celebrities and after the cruise one guy adjusts the blinds in his office (for himself instead of having it done for him as on the cruise) and says, "I look at this as a temporary exile." Well, that's it. We're here temporarily as exiles. This is a foreign land and not our real home.

These are a few of the quilted postcards I've made...embroidery done by hand and small bit of quilting done by machine. These have enough time invested in them that they are for very special folks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time to get with it

Okay....time to get with it. If I'm going to follow someone, I'd better have something here so it doesn't look quite so stupid should anyone click on the doohickey shown when you follow someone's blog. And I happen to know some folks doing some pretty inspiring stuff right now and I want to encourage them. Everybody who's making efforts in good directions and letting it be known to provide help and encouragement for others deserves encouragement themselves.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
In the past I have let various things make me way too negative, and it has been my goal for some time now to become an encourager. I haven't yet figured out what I'm "supposed" to do or what my "gifts" might be (Ephesians 4:7.11-13,15-16), but I surely do figure at least I can offer up some encouragement to folks who are doing good things.
"so that the body of Christ may be built up"

And as my crazy cousin Anne says, "Onward and sideways!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wow! Had no idea it had been so long since I've posted! The Journey has indeed been busy and time flies when you're having fun (and even when you're not).

I showed the quilt for the school auction - well, I went from that to a special graduation quilt for our very, very special administrators - squares with written notes from each of the seniors and squares with their pictures and then squares with group pictures, the commencement announcement, etc. Above are some of the squares as the top was in progress. I managed to get the top put together to show them at graduation but now have to finish it. School colors are purple and gold, so I got a purple Fusions fabric for the strips between and will have a narrow gold Fusion fabric as an inner border and then more of the purple for the outer border. I want the focus to be the pictures - just want them nicely framed!

This year's wren eggs on the left and babies almost ready to fly on the right!

This is a little birth announcement quilt - obviously a tad late in getting finished. I messed up my original plans for birthing it and so will just use this red store-bought bias binding for it.

Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things. I've got big plans, anyway!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Well, I've survived the little quilt for the school auction that wasn't going to be any trouble and also getting ready for and getting through Beth's marathon.


The marathon was yesterday - the Country Music Marathon in Nashville - over 32,000 people raced(23,000 were doing the half-marathon) The heat was dreadful and the humidity made it worse. There were lots of ambulances zipping around, with runners being carried off in addition to all the folks who were treated at the multitude of medical stations at points over the course. It was really hard for me at times when I knew Beth was going slower than her planned pace and there were long periods when I didn't hear from her or know where she was. I could just imagine her in every ambulance I heard or saw. Many seasoned runners fell by the wayside or were much, much slower than their normal pace. For those of who live in the area, it was still almost an overnight change from late winter/spring weather to summer heat and humidity. For the first 11 miles all 32,000 were together, before the half-marathon folks split off to finish and the others went on for the full run. That meant extreme crowding for the runners - Nashville streets just can't accomodate so many folks! I'm so proud of my sweet baby who survived it all with a smile on her face and good spirits in spite of the difficulties.
This is the little quilt I made for the RCA fund-raising auction. It sounded like such a simple thing to do, and I guess it really is. I just seemed to have hiccups at various stages along the way, probably because I was trying to hurry. I dithered over whether or not to quilt inside the blocks of the children's artwork and finally decided against it. Their drawings were the whole point, anyway. I just quilted in the ditch around each drawing and then did 2 rows using a decorative machine quilting stitch on each sashing strip. Next time I'll have smaller blocks so the fullness won't be so noticeable. I DID press it again after this pciture and helped the appearance. And it brought $300, which tickled me no end. (I was just hoping it would bring $50 or somesuch!) The back was black with white polka dots. I tried various fabrics for borders including that one, but they all seemed to detract from the kids' artwork, which was the reason for the quilt in the first place. This quilt marked my first use of the popular jelly rolls - in the interest of time and straight strips, I bought a jelly roll for the sashing between the blocks. I loved using it!

Blessings: a daughter with the strength and faith to accomplish difficult goals, God to protect and bless her, this beautiful world we've been given, the sweet songs of birds in the early morning