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"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:

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"Come, and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.
I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD woud not have listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" Psalm 66:16-20
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Finished Quilt/Floating Nine Patches/Sewing Studio Trial

Well.......I gave the new sewing room setup a good trial run, and I'm pretty happy with it.  I make small changes as I need them, but I'm a happy camper !

Here's the story, (long).

Somehow, without making a really conscious decision, I have embarked on a quest to make each of my brothers a generous-sized couch/recliner quilt.......I think of them as nappers.

I have given the first two brothers a quilt (links to blog post following).

John's quilt blog post--- https://dollyshome.blogspot.com/2014/05/diamonds-in-dirt.html

Jim's quilt blog post --- https://dollyshome.blogspot.com/2016/12/star-trails-finished-quilt.html



Now, the top for this third brother's quilt was pieced sometime last year, and I just got the tug to get it quilted last week, when I realized that his birthday was coming up quickly !

  To back the quilt, I tried a backing fabric that was extra wide, but was too 'pretty'.  Then I remembered that I had a few blocks from this top that were left over and waiting on my design board.
 
 
   I started auditioning them on pieces of fabric, but either wasn't happy with the look, or didn't have enough yardage to make it work.  I searched our meager Walmart inventory, and had no success, but stumbled across just the right yardage at a small local fabric/flower shop.
 Having pieced the back together, I moved furniture around and set up the basting frame on Friday of last week.  I spent 7 HOURS altogether, making sure that I hand-thread-basted this quilt closely enough that I didn't think it could 'run' from the foot and make tucks.  I was wrong.

But, still, I quilted on it a little bit on Saturday evening, and then again on Monday and Tuesday.  Binding followed.  Now that's another story.  I had a few leftover strips of the fabric that made the two vertical sashes in the quilt top.  There wasn't enough of it to make the binding all the way around, but there was enough for me to make the two SIDE bindings wide enough to really carry out the vertical sashing look.  Then I bound the top and bottom edges with the same fabric as the bigger backing fabric.
 I was IN LOVE with the flat look of the quilt when I finished.  With those vertical quilting lines one inch apart, it looked SO GOOD and CRISP.
BUT

I didn't want Jeff to be upset if he washed it and it crinkled up, thinking that he had messed up somehow.  So...........I washed it.    AND MAN DID IT CRINKLE UP !

 Now, this is usually my favorite part, but this time I had my heart set on flatter look.  I even turned the dryer heat down on LOW , but.....it is what it is.

  I found this piece of labeling fabric that I have saved for who knows how many years ! It reminded me that he currently drives a BLUE car........so it was perfect for his label.  PLUS, this backing fabric looks very much like grape leaves, and he works in the woods gathering grapevines from which wreathes are made !   SCORE !
So, tomorrow is his 64th birthday, and I hope that the weather is decent enough for me to get out and surprise him with it.

Three down, two more to go !




Friday, January 10, 2020

First finished top of 2020, and THE TABLE

I was browsing through my boxes of things in my sewing room, and I came across a box filled with 5" squares that I had forgotten.  I marked the light ones with a diagonal pencil line, and then I sewed a seam a quarter of an inch on either side of the line, making half-square triangle squares.  Playing on my design wall, I came up with these squares-on-point.   To make it a bit bigger, I sewed 2 borders around it, the first one made up of lighter whole squares, and the second one from dark blue and black squares.

It's a strange size, at 56" x 64", but I think that it is finished.  It's a usable throw size, and it looks good hanging on a wall, I think.

Then, this week while browsing in a second-hand store, I came across a big, heavy, beautifully made dining room-type table.  I was able to pick it up for the price that I saved on groceries this week, so I got my brother to bring his pickup to fetch it home for me, and to help me to get this heavy thing into the house, and the legs put back on.
The stickler in the whole deal was that I had to trade rooms in my home, between my then-existing sewing room and my bedroom.  So, I spent yesterday, and the day before, moving things back and forth between the two opposite ends of the mobile home.

  The goal I had for the new table was to be able to "catch" quilts that I am machine-quilting, so that they don't flow off of the back of the machine cabinet onto the floor, pulling on the needle of the machine.  Can hardly wait to try it, but today I also had to swap the closets that went with each room.


But, as a result of 3 days of work, I now have a cozy little bedroom, and a good-sized (for a small trailer) sewing 'studio'.
I think I'm just about finished with the changes, and am excited that I purged alot of things at the same time.

 I now have good access to my design wall and my cutting table as well......and room in the closet to hang my quilt tops.......maybe I'll actually get some of them quilted this year !!!!!  Go 2020 !

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Sadly, no kids for Christmas at my house.

But....when I finally found out that my own family wasn't coming, I accepted an invitation from my dear friend, Darleene. 

I enjoyed laughter, hugs, good conversation, and a killer mustard potato salad !  What a precious gift to be allowed to squeeze into another family's Christmas celebration.

And Mama Jo was very pleased with her Dresden Plate table topper.

I hope your holiday was happy, and that the new year brings you closer to them and to the Lord who blessed you with them in the first place !

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

What did YOU get ?

Merry Christmas to all ! 

I got the most wonderful gift this morning !
God woke me up and told me that He loves me with an EVERLASTING LOVE ! He even wrote it down in a book so that I could NEVER DOUBT IT or FORGET IT !
He said He's trying to give this gift to people all over the world, but not everyone recognizes that it is THEIRS.
So what doesn't get claimed today, He is putting into an open account with a lifetime guarantee of availabilty. Turns out, no matter what stage of life you are in when you accept it, the gift is THE SAME; no bigger, no smaller. I DIDN'T WAIT TOO LATE AFTER ALL ! (But I sure could have used it earlier if I had been smart enough to realize what I was missing!)


 This book He left me says that He loved the world (who knew that was ME?) so much that He gave His own Son a human body to come and tell the world that God wanted them to live forever with HIM (in THIS life AND the next. God gave Him a human voice to tell us that we had hope in the middle of our greatest challenges, and that no matter how many people we had to part with in this life, we would never be alone !
That book says that this son, named Jesus, whose birth, coincidentally, we celebrate today, even laid down HIS own life to save ours !

(You've got to read this book--it'll LITERALLY change your LIFE !) It's called 'The Bible', and you can find it almost anywhere.....actually, you may have one in your own home and didn't know it or have forgotten it was there!)

Sorrowfully, this book even says that some wouldn't believe this truth even if someone rose from the dead to tell them. (His Son did that very thing !)
That's a hard fact and yet I recognize the truth of it. I kindof knew it was true, but didn't choose to live like I knew it for most of my life.


But, I know that He meant what He told me this morning, because He chased me down like a love-starved teenager, pursuing me until I had no choice but to surrender or know forever that I was making the BIGGEST mistake of my life.

Anyway, I couldn't go on and enjoy this day without sharing the knowledge of that GIFT with all of you. I hope that you've opened yours!

MERRY CHRISTMAS !

Monday, December 23, 2019

Jo's table-topper

Another dear friend asked if I would be willing to take on a small commission for her.  She wanted a table-topper made to coordinate with the drapes that hang in her living room.  Seeing a Dresden Plate topper on my own table, she said that she would be happy with something similar.
I visited her and took this photo of her drapes, and then I set about trying to 'shop' my stash for coordinates.  I think that I did pretty well in matching her colors.  The navy is a bit darker than I'd prefer, but it worked.
I wrapped the finished quilty and gave it to her at church yesterday (no charge), but she's waiting until Christmas Eve (tomorrow evening) to open it.  I hope that she is pleased with the finished product.

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On another note, I reminded Facebook friends of a couple of baby quilts that I had for sale, and a friend spoke up for this one.

When she came to pick it up, she saw the second one,


 and asked if I could make her a deal for the two, together.  We worked it out.  
She has a baby and a toddler grandchild who will receive them for Christmas, and she AND I had big smiles on our faces when she rode away with both quilts !


Merry Christmas to ALL !

Sunday, December 22, 2019

More (Nolah's) Cardinals

In my last post, I shared photos of a little Cardinal quilty that I used as my Christmas gift at the widows' luncheon.  Well, that quilt was originally started with the idea of giving it to one particular friend/widow.   When she saw it, and didn't WIN it, she was very disappointed at her loss, and asked me if I would make another to sell to her.

Well, that didn't seem right since she had been the original inspiration, so I got busy, unbeknownst to her, and designed a second one JUST FOR HER.

I presented it to her at Church this morning, and she was SO SURPRISED !  It was heartwarming to see her response..........just exactly why I treasure this gift of quiltmaking that the LORD has blessed me with.

So here is Nolah's tablerunner, and the original sketch for it's making.  Feel free to use it to make one of your own.
                               MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF MY BLOGGING FRIENDS !

May the sight of a Cardinal this Christmas season bring wonderful memories
 of your loved ones
 who have gone on before you

Saturday, December 14, 2019

CARDINALS at Widows' Luncheon 2019

Today was our annual Widows' Luncheon.  Our church has a ministry for the widows of our congregation, and they have some sort of get-together for us about once a month.  This time of year they always treat us to lunch at the Junkyard Dog restaurant, where we have a big room all to ourselves.  We eat, and talk, and laugh, and just generally enjoy each other's company.   For this Christmas Luncheon, we all bring a wrapped gift, and we play what THEY call Dirty Christmas.

For a change, I decided to make a gift rather than purchase one.  I'd be happy if ALL Christmas gifts had to be handmade/homemade.

Anyway, I rolled it up on a cardboard tube, wrapped it in foil paper, and tied the ends with ribbon, like a big candy roll.  It went totally ignored/picked-over until the very last participant got their turn..........I felt like it was kickball time on the playground again, and I was last to be picked !

But, when it was opened and the lady was heading back to her seat, she was stopped multiple times for people to ooh and ah and make a fuss over the quilty.  Several people suspected that it was my work, and they asked and I nodded, yes.

Many people associate the sighting of a Cardinal with an angelic visit from a passed loved one.  I don't, but do find it a nice reminder of someone who's  passed.  But, for whatever reason, gifts with Cardinal representations are very popular with our group, and I saw more than one gift containing them.

In fact, the ironic thing was, the lady that got my quilty had 'stolen' a candle/lantern containing a cardinal from another player, and when it was later 'stolen' from her, she chose my 'candy roll', and was happy to have Cardinals after all.

(NEXT YEAR, I THINK I'LL PUT MY CONTRIBUTION IN A GIANT GIFT BAG.  THEY GET CHOSEN FIRST ! ! ! ! )

Thursday, November 28, 2019

My other post.

Something was not working right with my previous post.  This one came out fine.  
I could not get rid of that tiny print in the previous one .  Some portions came out big, but most came out ridiculously small.  Tried lots of fixes.  Sorry, again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Today is my birthday !

And it has been a very blessed day.........seriously !   It is a bit overwhelming to look upon the declarations of love and good wishes that have been showered upon me today !

But I thought that it would be a good day to do a bit of catching up here at the end of this productive couple of months.   I have neglected to journal my quilting endeavors, and hope to remedy that a bit right now.

Let's see......I think that I did mention that I was hoping to undertake the hand-quilting of a top that JoAnn made many years ago.  Gary and Jennifer sent it to me, along with some of Jodie's fabrics and things that they thought that I would enjoy.

Well, I started the quilting around the first of October, and finished it one month later.  Here are a few pictures of the finished quilt.





A close-up of the simple quilting.



 After completing that in such a hurry, I had a scare with my eyesight, and all I could think was, "what if I can no longer quilt????????????????" 

Anyway, I had developed a penetrating headache behind my left eye while pushing to get the borders quilted and the binding done.  Then that eye's sight became fuzzy.  So I donned an eyepatch that I had left from a problem that James once encountered, and I wore it for three days while requesting prayer for the situation.  After 3 days the headache was gone, the vision cleared, and I was very THANKFUL !   I no longer take my vision for granted , and I try not to push myself so hard either.

So, the next thing that I tackled was a design that I had laid out on my design wall.   I had been struggling with whether to do a diagonal setting, or a straight one.....
I wound up choosing the straight set, much to the disappointment of many on Facebook of whom I had asked an opinion.  Partly I didn't want to fool with the trouble of piecing setting triangles; but also, I just really liked the different look of it as a square.
And that's where it still stands.  It's kindof an awkward size , so I haven't moved forward, but it will most likely get quilted without adding any more size.
The geese were made in a 'sew and flip' type of construction, buiding each goose on top of the last one pieced.  I made them in lots of 6, with the idea of using them as this sashing.  The setting squares are the little Lorraine Mooney string-block variations that we shared on Facebook.

Next, I got the opportunity, just last Monday, actually, to go to Franklin with a friend and shop the JoAnn Fabrics store.  Let me just tell you that I was overwhelmed with the selection of fabric.  In my little town, we have a small fabric store (blessing there!) and Walmart.  Otherwise I have to use Hobby Lobby in the town that is 45 minutes away.
  Anyway, long story, short, I found a batting and extra-wide fabric backing that I needed, at a great pre-Black Friday price.

  Sooooooooooooo......I moved the furniture back against the walls, and I finally got to baste the quilt-top that I had pieced with James' flannel shirts.  I finished it in time (machine-quilted) to present to my daughter and her bunch this past Sunday, when we celebrated my birthday AND Thanksgiving together at my house.  She was thrilled.
 
 I made it big enough to be a generous snuggle quilt to bring comfort on cool evenings, sick days, and just "I miss Pawpaw" times.

The bright flannels are from his shirts, and the small black and grey check is new.  The backing that I bought was also flannel, and the entire quilt turned out very soft and snuggly. Obviously, it is machine-quilted.  The square grid is accidental, and I love it.  
Cat approved !
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My granddaughter was born on my 46th birthday (best birthday gift EVER !), and she turned 16 years old today.  Since they're now living in Clarksville, she's not really wild about being a new driver in that heavy traffic, so she's taking her time pursuing the getting of her full driver's license.  I think that that is a very wise decision.  

And, T.J. has grown by leaps and bounds, and played on a football team for the first time this Fall.  Look how much taller he is than Seth !  He's quickly becoming a young man.


Well, that's a pretty good wrap-up of what's been happening in my world.  Not sure what I'll get into next, but it's always fun getting there. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Absent But Not Idle

I have been working on several projects at once, but I finally have one finished and able to be blogged.

I call this quilt, "Mooney Over The Mountain".

A string version of this block swept through a group on Facebook (Scrap Quilt Enthusiasts).  It was shared by Lorraine Mooney, and many, MANY versions of it are being shared there.  I made this quilt from a 7-inch variation of the block. Most of the fabric that I used was scraps sent to me by a very dear friend of whom you've heard me speak very often, JoAnn.  It is a big departure from my usual bright fabric creations, but I really like it.

I machine-pieced the top, and hand-quilted it, using a polyester batting for a change.

I hope to gift it to an acquaintance of mine that is wheelchair-bound.  It has finished at 41 inches square.

If you remember, earlier this year I blogged that my friend, JoAnn had passed away.   Her family had a sale recently, and picked through and saved many quilting items for me.  I received a surprise BIG BOX in the mail, and found lots of goodies inside.  More precious than that was the sweet grateful thought of them remembering me in this way.

Along with the quilting goods was a quilt top that I can remember JoAnn piecing probably 20 years ago, if not more.  Her daughter, Jen, has commissioned me to finish it for her dad, saying that it would be special to him.  Of course I agreed, and hope to be able to share the finished quilt with you within the next few months.  I managed to get it basted earlier this week.  I plan to hand-quilt it too, if possible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

County Fair time !

Over the past year, I've developed a new friendship.  Having someone who enjoys doing the same things as me is something that I have DEARLY missed since leaving Oklahoma 10 years ago.

This lady, who goes to my church, approached me to accompany her on visits to the widows of our church, seeing as how I had become widowed myself and might understand their feelings and concerns.

Once I quit working at Walmart, I had free time to join her, and it has been a wonderful blessing to us both, and hopefully to our sisters in Christ.

When she discovered my love of quilting, she mentioned, enthusiatically, that she would love to learn to quilt.  I've heard this from many people, but in discussing it, I could tell that she meant NOW, not just 'someday'.   So I agreed to teach her.

Well, fast forwarding to this summer, and her approaching a finish on her first quilt, we had been talking about her entering it in the local county fair.   She was very much interested in that, and had lots of family support urging her to do so.

Monday, August 12th came, and we dropped off our quilts....mine got entered into a machine-quilted category, and hers in a 'first quilt' category.  Well, on Thursday, they let us in to view the judging results without having to pay a 'Fair' admission charge.  Imagine our surprise when we walked into the exhibit room and both had ribbons on them !


Darleene's first quilt won her a second-place ribbon, and you can just
SEE the joy on her face !   I was equally proud of and for my 'student' and new friend.

She rejoiced with me, too, as we saw that I had gained a first-place ribbon, and the overall "Best in Show" ribbon over the category of all of the Home Economics class.
You may recall me sharing the finish on this quilt a while back HERE


I love the tradition of county fair exhibits, and so hope that people will continue to support them and participate.

But in the meantime, I now have a new quilting buddy !