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.