Monday, January 22, 2007

For My Mommy

This is a table runner from mount redoubt designs called Midsummers Dream that I made for my mom for Christmas this year.

The flowers are 3 dimensional.

I love the artistic quality of Mount Redoubt designs. Her quilts are so artful and I truly love working on them! This was a new and fun project for me, and a break from the typical quilting patterns and strip piecing that I typically work on.

I quilted waves in the pond, and meander quilted the lily pads and the borders as one piece to reinforce the flow. My hubby purchased an clear acrylic extension for my new Pfaff so that I could quilt with a little less stress on my neck and shoulders. What a sweet guy, huh!

I found a quilt store in AK online that had all of her patterns with kits, something that is very important to me as I want to use the fabrics that the patterns were designed for. I have another quilt kit waiting patiently in my closet for me to begin. It is of children floating in space, exploring and doing wonderful things. To me, it was the perfect piece for me, one that showed so clearly the brave and adventurous nature of children, showed them joyfully exploring. I cannot wait to begin it because that one will remain with me and will grace the walls of my future quilting studio! When I start it I will post in progress for you to see.

Dino Mite!

My little guy drew this dinosaur to make invitations for his upcoming 4th birthday party. Not bad, huh!

A quick and easy blanket

Ok, for those who don't have time, energy, or skill to sew, I wanted to share a quick and easy gift that you can make in just an hour with (almost) no measuring.
All you need are 1 yard each of 2 coordinated fleeces. Lay one on top of the other and trip them even, you can cut off length if you wish and make it smaller, as most fleece will come at 54"+ wide.
After triming them even, place make a cut, approximately 2-3" long every inch or so. You can lay a ruler on the edge to measure every inch, but I simply eyeballed it. Before moving to another side, choose 3 or 4 cut strips to tie together, securing on piece of fleece to the other. After cutting all 4 edges and securing several on each side, you can tote the blanket with you to finish tying all the strips together.
When you are done, you have a super-cool, cheap (about $7 if you get the fabric at Walmart) and quick blanket!
DD outgrew his quilt that I made him for nap time at school, so he practiced his tying skills and helped me make this one to replace it.

Whats New Pussycat?

Think she'll learn to play like mommy?

In other words, the cat has claimed dominion over my guitar case! She actually shoved the neck to the side so she would fit!

Getting a little stitchin done!

Well, we got nothing but ice and freezing rain last night, so I closed the center today. Last night I completely neglected my pending classroom assignments and took the opportunity to do a little catch up work on my BOM club (is that playing hookie??). Before the applause that I know you are preparing to offer as I have again found the time to quilt, you should know that the two blocks below are from months 1 and 2...and I am currently awaiting month 7....please tell me that I am not the only one who does this!

I really like this BOM because the blocks are from a book of Biblical Quilt Blocks (top left of picture). This sampler will have a total of 14 blocks, and each one has a verse to meditate on while you work. These two blocks are called Star of Christmas (the one with the nine patches) and Solomon's star. I joined through and those ladies are so super sweet! They have offered a backing, but I think I will visit my local quilt shop for my border and backing.

I really need to work on my piecing, because these both came out at 12 3/4" when they are supposed to be 12 1/4". Oh well, that is one of the reasons for this project, to give me more complicated piecing and allow me to practice.
I had to do this on the kitchen table, because (alas) I am still a quilter without a studio, but that will change! After rubbing the kinks out of my neck, my hubby promised that we will begin working on the room soon. Otherwise my chiropractic bills will require me to take on a third job!
Perhaps once I have the room, I will get more done because right now the 30+ minutes to set up and tear down all my things really takes the wind out of my sails when the urge to quilt hits me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Only Your load, Lord....

At times it seems that the choices we make in life are so easy. You don't sleep on a heating pad, you always kiss your kid goodnight, you tell your husband that you love him at every possible opportunity, and you get up every morning, say "Hello!" to the Lord, and do your best to be his representative that day.
When big descisions come my way, I have always prayed, and the Lord has always clearly guided me. He never has, and I know He never will, let me float adrift without Him.
It seems as of late, however, that I am drifting.
I know that this is due to me, and not to Him. I also realize that I am not to be motivated by feelings.
I have also learned that I am a Martha, not a Mary. I need to learn to put down my "To Do" list, sit at His feet, and simply enjoy his company.
I am reading a book right now entitled, "How to have a Mary heart in a Martha World". In this book, the author retells a story that spoke volumes to me. Below, I paraphrase:

A man was walking along and he met the Lord. The Lord asked him, "Will you serve me?" The man, excited to have an opportunity to serve his Lord, agrees wholeheartedly. The Lord asks him to take a small bag of stones to the top of a nearby mountain. The man cheerfully accepts this light load, places it in his wagon, and begins his journey.
As he happily walks along, he comes upon a friend. So happy is he to be serving the Lord, he tells his friend of his task and his excitement. His friend responds by saying "Wow! That is great. Hey, since you are going there anyway, would you be willing to take this stone to the top of the mountain for me? It would really be a blessing to me." The friend agrees, loads his friend's stone, and resumes his journey. After encountering a few more "friends", he agrees to take even more rocks to the mountain, all with good intentions, or because he didn't want to say no. As he begins up the hill, the load is heavy, he begins to sweat, and the wagon wobbles with the too-heavy load. No longer praising the Lord for this opportunity to serve, he is now grumbling and mumbling about why the Lord gave his such a heavy burden to bear.
Suddenly the Lord appears. "Why are you angry with me? The load that I gave you was light and easy to bear. I did not ask more of you than you could handle, it was you who took on the additional load. " The man removed the burdens others had given him, and immediately realized the joy of bearing the lighter load the Lord required.

Lord, help me pare away those things in my life that keep me from You. Help me recognize the things that I have committed myself to do for that are in excess of what you have asked of me. Help me enjoy the process.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hello again

Well, it has been since ~gasp~ November that I have posted anything. There really is no valid excuse aside from the chaotic excitement of the holidays. Between visiting family, finishing projects (I am very proud to say that I made many gifts this year), a sick kid, losing my assitant at work, and resuming my masters classes, I have been a busy gal.
Christmas was quite lovely this year. Our christmas card was a huge hit with the family and friends!

So much has changed since November.
First, I had to give up my quilting room, but for a very good reason. It was converted into a guest bedroom for my inlaws to stay with us over the holidays. This was actually a wonderful surprise, and I truly enjoyed their visit this year. I was able to rescue my late grandmother's furniture from our basement, and it was nice to have her things in use again. I found some of her handmade items, pillowcases with hand embroidery, table runners, etc. in storage that I put out and it gave the room a really nice touch.

And my kid and my doggie have grown so much, it made me gasp! The dog is entering her teenage angst years, and DD finally grasps the concept of aquiring things you want from the store if you do not already have it.
Recent conversation:
Darrin, "Mommy, do I have a Tigger to have at school tomorrow in class?"
Mom, "No, honey. I don't think we have a Tigger, but we can take one of your other bears to school instead."
Darrin, "Well, I think that we can just go to Target and borrow one. If that is what we want to do we can just do that. Ok?"

Anyway, I am going through serious sewing withdrawal. My best gal pal K. gave me a super-sweet basket for Christmas tagged "To help you turn lemons into lemonaide" and filled lemony-limey goodies including batting and some yummy fat quarters that I am just dying to get my hands on, but alas, without a space I am adrift! The good news is that I have a little extra money and hubby has agreed to allow me to begin working on my downstairs quiliting studio! We have a large, unfinished basement, and there is an area designated for my studio and my son's playroom. Perhaps pictures of the project will make it to the blog, who knows?