Praise !

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? I Corinthians 3:16
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

"I LOVE QUILTING

A few days ago, I got the idea that it would be easy to baste a quilt INSIDE in two sessions......basting one half stretched on my basting frame, and then unpinning, repositioning, and basting the second half.  I thought that this would be much better than experiencing the heat outside under the semi-protection of my carport.

WRONG.  I set up the frame in my small front bedroom, which was cramped with just HALF of a 63" x 81" quilt top stretched out upon it.  After basting the first half, it was a NIGHTMARE getting the second half properly stretched in place.  I do believe it actually took me atleast a third again longer than the traditional basting time.

ANYWAY, I finally DID finish that chore late that afternoon, and my hubby was perplexed at how crippled up I was walking and how worn out I was.  He said, "you don't really have to do that, do you?"

Sigh...........I said, "honey, after your being in the hospital for five days, and then ending up with a diagnosis of Lymphoma, I have just been WAITING, HOPING, LONGING to get back to some semblance of normalcy."    And for me, a day spent doing anything connected with quilting spells normalcy.

To misquote a long-ago-spotted bumper sticker, even a physically depleting day spent quilting beats the best day spent beside a hospital bed !

So, the point I was going for is, I GOT IT BASTED, and yesterday I spent a wonderful day machine-quilting in the peace and comfort of my pretty newly-painted aqua bedroom.

And I fell in LOVE with this quilt .  I felt "ho-hum" about it before, disappointed that the setting of it wound up being assymetrical, which drives my sensibilities bonkers.  But, crazily, I am taking the time to use my walking foot and quilt in the ditch of EVERY strip, and even go down the center of the widest strips.  And I LOVE how it is looking already.

Another lovely bonus is the back of the quilt.  I had forgotten that I bought this 5-yard piece of fabric at some ridiculously low price at our local WalMart.  I found it stuck away in a drawer of my quilt-fabric chest of drawers, and I will share a photo or two of it also ,  .......soon, hopefully.

As far as news of my husband, today he underwent his first hour of chemo, and he goes back tomorrow morning, EARLY, Lord willing, for a 4-hour session.  He's feeling just fine tonight, with a good appetite, and I am feeling very thankful.  Praise God, we couldn't make it without His provision, mercy, and loving compassion. The hospital chaplain that he met today is a motorcycle enthusiast, as is James, so he enjoyed their talk and asked him to visit again tomorrow !






Friday, September 16, 2016

HUBBY'S HEALTH

I don't want to write much right now, as I am going through all kinds of emotions.

My husband was just diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, which is an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. 

Chemotherapy is being scheduled.......so the journey begins.  Thank GOD, we do not have to traverse this valley alone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Improv

This isn't much to share today, but for my own records, I want to remember this project.

I ordered a 9-yard bolt of 80% cotton/20% polyester batting (with scrim) from Walmart.com, and I am supposed to be able to pick it up on Friday, September 9th.  I have never used batting with scrim, but the reviews made it sound good, so at $29.00, I decided to give it a try.

So, wanting to be ready to baste something right away when it arrives, I started searching for something to use as a backing for the recently finished Fall quilt-top.  Having little successs, I instead starting trying to clean up the mess of fabrics left on the cutting table from the top's piecing.

Then it occurred to me that I could PIECE a back FROM, rather than PUT UP, all this fabric.  I mean, I piece backs all the time, but usually out of  big lengths of fabric that are just not wide enough or long enough by themselves to do a ONE-piece big back.

But these are anywhere from one yard (rare), to 1/2 yard pieces, to PIECES, literally.  But it's been interesting........maybe the MOST interesting fact has been that it's taking so much more thought and time than the original top did.
Here's a photo of my progress thus far.  It doesn't look like much here, but it is actually quite striking in person.  I especially love the horses !  The piece is more green than it appears here (I also have it in rust).  I've had that piece in my stash for years and never found a place for it.   I think I'll enjoy it here !  Did you notice the little log-cabin-surrounded tree, too?  That was my original inspiration block, remember?  So fitting that it gets to ride along on the other side.  I may just quit calling it a BACK.......in fact, the piecing at the upper right looks like a number '2', so I'm thinking of this as 'side two' !

This is fun !

Friday, September 2, 2016

♪ ♫ An-ti-ci-paaaaaaaaa-tion ♪ ♫

September has arrived, and along with it we received a COLD morning on this second day of the new month.  I was able to turn off the central airconditioning unit last night for the first time in atleast a week, and open  my bedroom  window.  I turned my little room fan on high and went off to La-la Land.  In the middle of the night, I woke up cold, and I had to close my window !   Then this morning, my husband wanted me to join him for coffee on the front porch, but I weenied out, saying it was too chilly !   Kindof made me dread seeing the end of Summer, but that's silly, since I've spent most of it hiding inside under the air-con.

Anyway, the anticipation of Autumn found me designing a new quilt.   I thought that it was for my husband, but now I have someone totally different in mind.  The funny thing to me is where my inspiration came from, and how different the top became from what I first loved.

My two inspirations were  THIS QUILT

StashStars by Quilt Expressions (blog)
And, this little block that I made once while playing with leftover triangles and scraps (it's a 4" sq)

This is all I can  show right now, but I hope to finish it soon.



T

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cool weather prep...

...also known as 'making hay while the sun shines' !

This week I decided that it's prudent that I get some things basted up to be worked on over the cooler months (even though the hubby insists on running the heat so high that I hardly know that the seasons have changed except that I am stuck INSIDE.)

So, I resurrected this quilt top that I pieced last year, I think.


I started out basting it under cover of the carport, but as the day's heat and humidity increased, I got the idea of moving the frame inside.  I knew that I didn't have room to put the frame back onto it's legs, but I could stand it on it's edge.


I pieced a back for this top shortly after I made it.  It was so nice to have everything ready to go when the mood struck to baste.

 I had done about 1/3 of the basting, and was able to take my time UNDER THE COMFORT OF AIRCONDITIONING to finish the rest.

My biggest problem now is that everytime I see the basted quilt lying around, I have a huge impetuous urge to QUILT IT NOW !

So, today I pulled out some scraps and this little tree block that I've been staring at daily (it has been on my design wall), and I pieced some 12-inch tree blocks.

 My idea is to buy several Autumn-hued solid-colored fabrics to use as all of the different backgrounds, and then use my scraps as the tree fabrics. I hope to mix the size of the blocks also, but I'll just let it develop as I go along.  For now it is a good diversion from THE BASTED TOP !

Tonight we had a real BOOMER of a thunderstorm, putting off my mowing once again, but the power outage has been corrected.  I still hear rumbles out there, so I guess we're not quite through it yet.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ribbons and Redo

Well, a week has passed since I entered my quilts in our local county fair.  I was excited to go to the fair on the first night and find out if I had won anything.

THEN............I had mixed feelings.  Walking into the exhibit room, I was THRILLED to see ribbons on my quilts.........but disappointed to see that there were only TWO other quilts, a wallhanging, and 2 sets of placemats entered into the competition.

But, hey, it's a start, and hopefully word will get out that our fair is doing this once again after many years of NOT having home exhibits,.........and hopefully next year, there will be LOTS of beautiful handwork to admire !

In the meantime, here are my awards.....

I asked a young man who was standing in the room to take my photo,....it's a bit blurred, but better than not having one at all.


the GardenWalkQuilt won first place in quilt, pieced, hand-quilted.

the TropicTriStarQuilt won second place in quilt, machine-quilted

and then the Best in Show Ribbon was awarded to me for the Green Garden Walk Quilt !

When I went to pick up the quilts on Sunday, they gave me a check for $30.  $10 was for a first  place ribbon, and $20 was for Best in Show.  Not bad return for the $5 entry fee !

But, in the meantime, I've been busy changing my bedroom into a bedroom/sewing room combination.  Now, I know that I may regret this change when the room becomes a wreck while I am in the throes of a magnificent quilt-making revelation/machination !  But, for now, it allows me to make the other room into a sitting/late night can't sleep room.   We'll give it a try and see how it works out.  With it being just the two of us here for most of the year, we can make changes whenever I'M up to the work of it.

Here are photos of the newly painted room.
I also painted my old wooden chest of drawers to go with the white bedframe.  Having lived with it the other way for over 30 years, I am happy to see this new look.



I now refer to this as my 'princess and the pea' bed, as I have taken an extra mattress that I was storing, and added it underneath my memory foam mattress, so that I no longer have to take up room with it in a corner of the room.  It's actually quite enjoyable being up so high.  Lottie and I FEEL like princesses !  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fair-entry day !

While living in Oklahoma for over 30 years, I learned how to make quilts.  A fun part of many years was spent preparing entries for the county fair.  I always hoped to someday move back to my little hometown and get to enter quilts here.

Well, when I moved back, I found that they had discontinued the wonderful room full of exhibits that I remembered from my childhood.  I was SO disappointed !

But this year, the fair board has decided to bring back the old tradition, and I am going out today to enter 2 quilts.  They have started out small, wanting to re-learn how to do this, and have even mentioned that I might be able to suggest ways to improve things in the coming years.

Right now the two categories for quilts are "quilt, pieced, hand-quilted", and"quilt, machine-quilted".

So I entered my Garden Walk quilt,


and this one that I can't remember the name of.  This is the one I made when I won the new Melody BabyLock sewing machine in the Blogger's Quilt Festival drawing.








Here's hoping that the next time I see these quilts, one of them has SOME KIND of ribbon on it.
It's been YEARS since I won one.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Short (visit),but sweet

I got to see my daughter and her family a couple of days ago.

She was headed to Oklahoma for her 20 year high school reunion, which I think I mentioned in a post in the last couple of weeks.

It's such a long drive for them now, starting in Virginia, stopping over with us in Tennessee, and she suffers terribly with pain in her hips and back when she has to sit for that long a time.  In fact, she can't sit in one position long enough to do much of the driving, so Tim blessed her by taking over that chore.

They stayed overnight, and drove on for the other half of the trip the next morning.

My grandbabies are growing  up.  Zoe is nearly as tall as me (she's 12 1/2), Seth (7) is nearly as tall as Tim, jr., who is 9.

I gave the kids my bedroom, but Seth wanted Nana to sleep on the living room floor with him instead of on the couch or in the recliner.  So I lay down with him there until he went to sleep, and we enjoyed a good long chat of this and that.  So fun to finally 'connect' with my youngest grandchild.
















Tim, jr., and I bonded over coaxing Lottie dah out from under my bed, where she inevitably winds up spending any time that the kids, and especially Sophie, the Westie, are in the house.  She's declawed and knows it, so she hisses and scats when she sees what she perceives as a threat.
















They should be driving back this way on the 3rd of August, heading home to start the new school year, with my daughter Kelley starting her new position as third grade teacher.  They've said that they'll spent TWO nights with us this time !

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finished all 63 string blocks

I put a rush on the final blocks, because my daughter and family are coming over the weekend, and I need the sewing space for sleeping. 

No photo yet, I'm still in the process of removing the papers from the back side now that the entire thing is pieced.  I even stay-stitched around the perimeter so that I can add borders without stretching out the bias edges of these blocks.

No one told me what a labor it is to maneuver the top through the machine as you're sewing the last of the long seams with all that  paper still attached.  I'm kind of enjoying removing it, though.

It now measures approximately 63 inches by 81 inches, so I'll probably try to bring it up to atleast full-size, 72 .x 90.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

61 blocks made ! String Quilt

Was thinking of making 63 blocks.  I've trimmed these down to 9 1/2 inches, from the 10 square papers I started out with.  7 blocks by 9 blocks would give me a top measuring 63 x 81 inches before adding borders to make it fit a twin/full bed.

Not happy with the selection of strips I'm down to new, so I don't know that making more blocks would be a good idea.  Then, again, I don't really want to be left with a bunch of strips...........unless I want to make a piano-key border.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

String quilt update

No photo tonight.............but I have string-pieced 29 more blocks.  That brings today's total up to 45 !

But the basket of strips is waning fast !  So, I don't think I'm going to get to make this top as big as I had hoped...........unless I enlarge it some other way than with string blocks.

Another note.........I basted the I SPY + quilt last weekend.  It  is just waiting on an opportune time to quilt it by machine.  I'll probably take it to quilting day and work on it there.  I backed it with flannel AND used a cotton batting, so it's fairly heavy for a baby-sized quilt.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Just a quickie..............

..............before collapsing into bed !

I've begun a new project.

After cutting strips for DAYS, I starting sewing strips onto these 10-inch foundation papers that I purchased from Missouri Quilt Company.  It is slow going, mainly because I am having trouble with the strips that are cut widthwise of the fabric, you know, from selvedge to selvedge.  They want to lump up, stretching ahead of the presser foot, and  a walking foot didn't seem to help.

MAJOR TIP:  Cut your strips on the lengthwise grain !   Why haven't I read this anywhere lately while doing my string quilt research?

Anyway, it's a GOOD START.  I'm dying to stitch together the 16 squares that I finished today, but I'm afraid that I will run out of these colors and have to add in a bunch of new fabrics, and then the next part of the quilt would be noticeably different.  So, I really need to wait until I've pieced ALL the blocks, and THEN put them together.  YUCK !

But, it's looking so good to me, that I really DO want to make it some kind of BED-SIZE.

So.............PATIENCE is called for. Praise the LORD, this is fun, though !

Well, I also mowed the yard today and cut the hubby's hair, so I'm done.

Night all !

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I SPY + baby quilt top

I put together a small yard sale two weeks ago, and was disappointed that my fabrics and quilts and tops didn't sell.  My prices were RIDICULOUSLY low because I was desperately trying to free up some room in my sewing room and shed. 

I personally made a total of $68. at the sale, and some of that was not quilting-related.  This past Tuesday, I went to the senior center to quilt with the local gals, and I took my leftover yardsale goodies.  The girls were TICKLED PINK to get to purchase quilt stuff, and I came home with $76 !  And, even at that, I had slashed prices even further.

But, I still have quite a few leftovers from what I had gathered up to sell, so I spent the morning at the center cutting out pieces for a plus quilt.

I started out cutting kiddy prints, and without a specified size in mind, I wound up stopping at babyquilt size.  Because I have to lay out the whole design before piecing it, I always wind up stopping at that size.  I SO admire people who follow through all the way to making a BED-SIZED plus quilt !  But, that ain't going to happen as long as I don't have a wall or some other place where I could lay out something that big and be able to leave it until it was totally pieced. 

After finishing this one, I realize that it is way too bright and busy for my current taste anyway, so I am glad that it didn't grow any bigger.  SOMEDAY, I would like to make one in softer, low contrast colors.

Back to the fabrics.........
....I still have much more to go !  So I'm studying what shape to cut next, hoping to make better choices as I go !

In preparation for my quilting day with the gals, I finally bound this little quilt that I made from the piecing I bought at the Food Bank for $1.00.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out, but I hung it on the quilt rack in the living room to admire it, SO NATURALLY, I WENT OFF TO THE SENIOR CENTER WITHOUT IT !   Duh !

That's my Lottie - dah .....and the back of the quilt.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sibling Saturday Picnic

For the first time in nearly 3 years, all 5 of my daddy's kids were together in one place !  We celebrated with a Fathers' Day picnic.

I'd have to say that a good time was had by all, and I'm so glad that we got this shot that shows that too ! I praise God that we are all alive and healthy.  My love goes to my half-brother, who lives in Murfreesboro,  and my half-sister who lives in California, as well; I wish that we could have ALL been there !




In other news, (big to me, if not anyone else)  I took the plunge and cut off all that hair !  Phew !


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Satisfying Saturday

Well, it's VERY hot now, but this morning was nice enough for a bike ride around our little town, looking at yardsales.  I came across a nice laptop case for this new baby of mine, for only 25 cents, and got my morning's exercise in the process............not a bad hour's activity.

Yardwise, my Poppies have started blooming...
.......much better than previous attempts to raise them. I have the most of them out in front of my storage shed, including some double poppies that were shared by my neighbor, Rose.  
Each one is just such a perfect work by the Master gardener, our Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth and all therein !  I get such joy from my morning forays to see what's new out there !  

The lovely Nasturtiums are  such bright spots around the yard, and I am eating around 2-4 blossoms per day, for all the amazing benefits that the plant is said to offer.

The entire plant is edible, but I'm not much on greens.......still having trouble swallowing them.........but I enjoy munching the fresh blooms, which taste like the leaves of a radish plant....YUM !
My Sweet Williams have gone to seed for now, 
but the Hardy Hibiscus are just getting covered with buds (and the occasional Japanese Beetles). 

 My giant Daisies are in bloom in the mailbox flowerbed, and the Cannas are growing nice and tall.

The Easter Lillies that I purchased post holiday, last year, have come back wonderfully well.  This picture reflects what's left after having removed 3 or 4 spent blooms.

These Lillies were given to me as a gift last year, and have multiplied enough to be able to share with Rose.

And here's a shot of the other side of the driveway, with the Black-eyed Susans in bloom, among the Hardy Hibiscus bush, the Rose of Sharon and Crape Myrtle bushes, and the yet-to-bloom Gladioli.
I almost forgot to share this photo of my favorite new Morning Glories.  They are a branching, rather than vining type, and I have them growing in window boxes off of my back deck's railing.

And the Phlox are budding this week.  They have really filled up this spot beside the back steps, and there are a few started out in the shade garden.

Our trip to Nashville went wonderfully well last Sunday, with the LORD blessing us with beautiful weather for a picnic on the nursing home's grounds (lovely park-like setting), and good health and attitude for all the family attending.  
Considering the ages of the three siblings, this is a MOST PRECIOUS photo.  Praise God for this wonderful reunion.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I'm still around !

Springtime finds me out in the yard all the time, and having been put on a low-dose blood pressure medication, I just can't seem to concentrate enough to work on piecing or quilting right now. 

But I'm in my element watching things grow and come into bloom, so time is passing quickly.
My old computer bit the dust, and I'm currently using my new laptop.............loving it.

I don't have my old editing program for my photos, so I haven't resized this one.  I want to figure out how to do that again before I post more photos.  I also haven't learned how to highlight text so that I can change the font or size or color.........or copy and paste.  Learning..........it'll come !

  I haven't loaded many photos onto it yet, so this post will just be sharing the picture of my newest plant obsession, Nasturtiums.

I'm planting them everywhere, and having learned of the health benefits that they offer when consumed, I have tried eating the blooms and the leaves.  My health is strangely rough right now...........nothing I can put my finger on, (nor can the doctor), but seemingly more than just the aging process. 

Sunday, we're driving up to see hubby's two sisters, so that will be sortof a stressful day, driving in traffic more than I'm used to.  Lord help !

Anyway, I just thought that I'd better check in here before I lose all of my lovely blogging friends.   Hopefully, I'll have more to share in my next post.

Blessings to you all !

Dolly

Monday, March 28, 2016

Old quilts and new.......

It's been awhile since I've posted.  I am still plugging along on the Orange Peel quilt top, having hand-appliqued close to 150 of the little peels.  I try to do 5 at a time, but don't always meet my quota.  I'm loving the look of it, but don't have enough on the design wall to look much different from my last photo.

In between times of working on that, I pieced up another little project.  Digging around at our local second-hand store, I came across a bit of hand-piecing and some leftover patches that had not been worked.  It was all in a zippered clear vinyl pillow bag.  They charged $1.00, which I was happy to give, so I took it home.  Pulling out the finished part, I found that it was set into 14 rows of 5 blocks per row, making a long skinny piece.  Well, I picked it apart with a seam ripper, between the 7th and 8th rows, and then placed those pieces side by side, piecing it back into a top that was 10 rows of 7 blocks .  Here it is laying on the fabric that I chose for a border.

Looking through the bag further, I found about 10 more finished blocks, and pieces to make more.  I made enough extra blocks (I pieced mine by machine) to be able to piece a backing with a strip of blocks down the center.  This way I only had to buy a 2-yard piece of fabric for the backing, a wonderful peucy-green solid.  Adding a 2-inch strip of the border fabric on each side of the pieced blocks, I had enough width for the backing.

I basted it out underneath my carport a week ago, thinking I would quilt it by machine, probably immediately.  But life, and SPRING, intervened, and it is still beckoning to me from the back of a chair sitting alongside my bed.

It is very roughly handpieced, and had a lot of bagginess to the blocks.  But it is just TOO LOVELY to not be made into a finished little quilt to be loved and admired.  I just wish I knew who made the blocks, and why they gave up on them.

Adding to my quilty enthusiasm is my latest project request from JoAnn in Oklahoma.  She sent me a kit of the Swoon Sixteen Quilt, and asked me to piece it for her.  Over the last few days, I've managed to get the fatquarters cut, and one block pieced.  Tomorrow I hope to drop in on the local quilters at the senior center and maybe get the rest of the white background fabric all cut.