Praise !

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Isaiah 41: 28,29

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.

"Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die):
Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches--feed me with the food allotted to me;
lest I be full and deny You, and say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God." Proverbs 30: 7-9

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Scattered Stars........Use it up !

When JoAnn asked me to make two of the "Hero's Tribute" quilt tops, she sent me an OVERLOAD of fatquarters to use.  Many of them were medium-browns that were too dark to be used for backgrounds.   When I finished the second top, I found that I still had about 15 good new pieces of these browns.

So I asked her if I could put together one more top for her.
Here is the design that I came up with, using EQ5.

I used the few pieces of reds, blues, and golds that were leftover from the earlier stars construction.  And I am amazed at how well the colors from EQ5 match the colors I had to use.
This is what I came up with, finishing the piecing today.  The final measurement of the top is 51 x 71 inches.  It could be quilted as is, or have a border added to it.

 Either way, it makes a generous-sized couch/nap quilt......my favorite type of quilt !  I hope she likes it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UPDATED WITH BACKING PICS.....Golden Goose , small quilt

It's funny how exciting it is on the day that the snow is falling, atleast here in the south where we don't get a lot.  The beauty of those huge flakes coming down at a 45 degree angle is just awe inspiring to me.

We wound up finishing up with about 3 inches, just enough to quench my desire for snow, but not enough to be really aggravating (for me, since I'm not going anywhere until the roads are clear again, LORD willing !)
The one thing I forgot to stock up on before the snow was BIRDSEED !

And, it looks like the sunshine is already taking care of that detail.

In the meantime, I am happy about a recent finish of a work that I began after the first week of January was past.  I've had a sketch of this little work in my graph pad for a year or more, and it finally beckoned me to produce it.

Seeing how all of the yellows and gold light up on the wall when the sunlight comes in, I am very happy to have it to decorate our little home.  It measures approximately 46 by 51 inches, just right for the quilt rack that hangs on my living room wall.

Now, I sit and look at my new charm squares, and my black friday fabric purchases..........and don't want to cut into anything until I'm SURE that it is JUST THE PERFECT project for these pretty pieces !  Ugh, it is so BINDING to my creative process !

I finally got enough light in here to take a picture of the back.  I used a creamy yellow solid and stripes from the inspiration fabric.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Second "Hero's Tribute" top finished

I started out the new year with a commissioned piecing project.....actually the second-half of last years commission to make 2 "Hero's Tribute" tops.  This is a pattern that was featured in Love of Quilting magazine, designed and pieced by Liz Porter.  I believe that it was presented as a 'Quilt of Valor' idea at the time.
 JoAnn sent me all of the fabrics, and asked for one made with a blue border and one with a red border.
 I completed the first one last year when the weather was good and I was able to get a nice photo on the clothesline outside.

This one was begun about a week ago, and these are the only photos I got besides a poorly lit one on my phone.

I still have quite a few fabrics left over from the original purchases for these tops, so I'll have to put my mind to coming up with something else to piece, maybe.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The 'blessed' Christmas EVER !

How good it was to have all my grandkids around my Christmas tree !  I had forgotten how wonderful it is to hears squeals of delight and giggles of excitement.

 There was plenty of good food, even though I never got around to making the sugar cookies, and my fudge didn't harden !  But I think that everyone was satisfied......I know I was.

And the warm weather made for good times on the new scooters that all 3 kids received.

Now they have resumed their trip, and arrived at their new destination for the next 3 years of Tim's army service.  I hope the kids adjust to their new schools quickly, and make good new friends.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pictures from Jen's quilt


Here are the awaited photos.......such as they are.  My little home is not big enough to lay this quilt out and get a photo of the whole thing.  It finished at 97 inches by 108 inches, and I hand-quilted it over the last 4 1/2 months.

And, blessedly, it has reached JoAnn in time to be given back to Jennifer, the embroiderer, as her finished Christmas gift.  JoAnn is thinking of putting it on her own bed, and letting Jen 'discover' it when she brings her hubby and Jo's granddaughter over for Christmas.  Sneaky, but how I wish I could see the reaction !
The pictures were taken inside, and lost their quality when I lightened them enough to see me holding the quilt.

Jennifer embroidered the blocks over the last several years, and then her mother sent them to me, along with finishing fabrics, to be assembled into a quilt top. After returning it to her to be basted, I got it back again for the hand-quilting.   I don't do a lot of hand-quilting anymore, but Jennifer grew up alongside my own daughter, both of them seeing their moms sleep, eat, and BREATHE quilting.  I promised her when I moved back here that I would hand-quilt ONE last quilt for her.  It was a huge undertaking, but I'm glad to be a part of this one.  She's done SUCH beautiful work on the embroidery !

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jennifer's States quilt, FINISHED

Just one quick photo, since the recipient hasn't received the quilt yet.

I just wanted to document the fact that I finished Jennifer's "States" quilt.  The last stitches were hand-stitched into the binding yesterday, and then I quickly bundled it up and sent it to JoAnn.  I started quilting on this one in the first week of August, this year, 2015.  It finished at 97 inches by 108 inches, too big for me to get a photo of the entire quilt layed out properly.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving !

And,


HAPPY BIRTHDAY


to my beautiful twelve-year-old granddaughter, Zoe, who was born on MY 46th birthday !  We're the turkeys today, girlfriend !


Today I am thankful for the gift of health, being able to prepare this big meal for my husband and myself, both being able to eat and enjoy it !  Praise God for his goodness !

I am thankful for my daughter's post cancer surgery recovery, and, again, HER being able to prepare the Thanksgiving turkey for her and extended family !


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dax's quilt, finished

I didn't get a really good picture of the finished quilt.  It was evening when I finished putting the label on, and the next day, I tied it up with a ribbon right away, so this is the best photo that I can share.

This is for my niece's newest expected arrival.  She has two beautiful little girls already, and they are excited to be expecting a BOY.  Their last name being Norris, my brother teased them, as soon as he found out the sex of the baby, that they would have to name him "Chuck".  Well, we figured, NO WAY !


So when I got the baby shower invitation, and I saw that the baby's name will be Dax Charlie, I HAD TO NICKNAME HIM CHUCK !  So I added that to the quilt's label.  My niece told me at the shower that I am TOO MUCH  like my brother !  LOL !

The back, which is not pictured, set the tone for the colors that I used.  It is a beautiful, flannel snow-globe print from Connecting Threads, in the colors of aqua, grey, and poison green on white (with a touch of red, which I didn't use).  I also used the snowman print to make her a diaper-changing pad, backed with a plush towel, and a bib that features one white star, just like the one pictured above.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dax's quilt in progress........

........I'm working on a baby quilt for my niece.  She is expecting her third child, a boy, to be born sometime in December.

This is the design that I worked up while using EQ5.

I think I have come pretty close in translating it.

The zigzag is a quilt lying beneath this top, but I love this idea for a border !

 I have pieced the top from some favorite fabrics that I have been hoarding for a quilt for myself!   I HOPE that it is appropriate for a boy, but am a bit worried.  I do think it's beautiful, however.

I got it basted yesterday, and am contemplating how to machine-quilt it today.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Counting blessings !

I finished another quilt, this one's recipient really rending my heart in two.

 Just over 3 weeks ago, our daughter, Kelley, was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, which is a fancy way of saying that they discovered a large tumor on her right kidney.  It showed up in an MRI while searching for a different problem, but I know that it was no accident that it was found while still in Stage ONE.  I give God the glory and praise for leading them to discover this tumor.

She was told that they would need to remove her right kidney because of the size of the tumor, and I tried for  DAYS (and fitful-sleep nights) to figure out how I could be there with her for this.  (She's in Oklahoma, and I'm in Tennessee.)      But my husband wasn't up to the travel, (actually, I probably am not even up to the drive myself), and several other factors just made it impractical to go.

I couldn't stand it.  

I felt peace about her well-being, 

but I WANTED TO BE THERE.    

My baby girl.........CANCER?

But...it wasn't happening.




 So, I did what I do.

 I prayed 

and I quilted.

   I wanted to make her a special quilt to wrap her in my love while she recovered; and, while searching my brain for what design to use, I ran across a quilt top made up of blocks that were made for her when she attended quilt group meetings with me when she was in her teens.  The blocks were pieced for her in 1992, when she was fourteen years old.  Back then, she was MAD about Hoffman fabrics, which were too expensive for her mother to use very often, so we provided a white-on-white background fabric, and the ladies of the group each used Hoffman prints for their flowers.

I assembled the blocks into a partial top when she received them all, but I never went any further with the top.  It got buried for 23 years !

This week, I pulled out the partial top and added (saved, thank goodness) background fabric to enlarge the top.  I moved almost EVERYTHING out of my sewing room, giving me just enough room to squeeze around my basting frame, because it was too damp and cool to baste it under the carport.  This worked out great, because I was able to baste half of it, retire for the evening, and then finish basting the next morning.

After that, I set up my BabyLock Melody sewing machine, and machine-quilted it.  I used the serpentine stitch, making rows the length of the quilt, moving over about every inch and a half.  I had a huge piece of fabric that I had hoarded, hoping to make my mother a quilt (about 20 years ago?) and, sorrowfully missed my chance.

 But it made a beautiful back for this quilt, and is still between a mother and a daughter, so I think that it was very appropriate.

I wrote out a label to be sewn into the backing, and pieced it into the green strip running off-center down the back of the quilt.







When I bound this quilt, I decided that I wanted a wider binding because there was SO MUCH white in the top.  The binding wound up finishing around one-half inch wide, and I like that big touch of green around the perimeter.

I got the quilt finished and sent to her on Wednesday, and she had it covering her last night, (Friday), just 10 hours after her surgery.  The surgery went wonderfully well, taking over an hour less time than they had expected.  She is such a brave woman, and I wish I were with her.

But she texted me today to tell me what an amazing surprise it was to see a FINISHED quilt out of those blocks that she had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN !  She said she has had it covering her all night and day from the time her husband brought it to her last night, and she has had the best stroll down memory lane, looking at all those beloved fabrics, and reading all of the signatures of women she remembers from her childhood.

So......all is well.  God gets the glory for her deliverance, healing, and well-being.  She, her husband, and kids, her wonderful mother-in-law, who IS there helping out, and without whom we'd be lost..........all of us are counting our blessings for another day granted to us, to love and be loved in return.

Linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pink Lanterns--finished quilt

I'm a little slow in posting this finish because I haven't yet heard back from the recipient.  But it was to be delivered by a family member, so I'm thinking that she has received it safely.   I just heard that she received the quilt last weekend,  and that she can FEEL the love that went into it when she looks at the quilt that is keeping her warm.  So glad ! GLORY TO GOD for the ability that HE has blessed ME with......I could not do this ministry without HIM.  This is my ministry ..... that's all.  It is not ENOUGH.  I could never do ENOUGH; my God is so wonderful.

These are not the best photos, but they were the best I could get at the time.

I called this an original design, and that's sort of silly.  Most variations of block and design configurations have been used and reused since quiltmaking began, and probably SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE has used the courthouse steps blocks in just this manner.

What I meant to say is that I didn't see anything put together in just this way, and I came up with my own measurements, setting, and coloration.  When you've been quilting as long as I have, you just pull from experience, I think.

Anyway, I used about 6 or 7 different pinks for the top, along with one consistent gray print fabric.  I can't remember, and usually don't note, designers names or lines of fabric, so I can't help you there.  I just buy what I can get a good price on, and use it as the mood or design dictates.  It seems like the gray fabric's designer's name was Jay McCarroll or something like that, and I got yardage of the fabric at an outrageously good price online several years ago.  It has little plain and polka-dot, gray and pink tomatoes all over it.

One of the fabrics had messages of love on it, and I tried to fussy-cut it as reminders that Ruhama is wrapped in love when she's using this quilt.
Sorry about the poor lighting, but this was the only shot that showed how big the quilt is compared to a twin-sized bed.
The quilt finished at about 46 x 68 after quilting/washing/drying.  I machine-quilted it on my old black-headed Singer, Model 15.  Using a walking foot, I quilted in the ditch on all of the pink strips (the lanterns), and then I free-motion-quilted the remainder of the quilt in a medium-sized meandering pattern.  Boring, perhaps, but the meandering always gives me that wonderful puckery look that I want in a laundered quilt.

I guess I'm out of practice, because after 4 days of machine-quilting, especially 2 afternoons of holding the arms up level with the machine-bed for the meandering, I could HARDLY MOVE my right arm and neck on Friday morning.  I was CRYING in pain !  But time and Tylenol 3 took care of that, praise be to God.

The back of the quilt is a solid colored flannel, a soft medium-pink, pieced in the middle.  And, then, I added one final heart, for the label.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Time for some catching up !

This has been a very strange year, weatherwise, it seems to me.  Spring was SO LONG in coming, and our August weather was so very mild, even cool at times.  And now for these first two weeks of September, we have had what daddy used to call 'dog days'.......almost unbearable hot for Tennessee folks..atleast an old one like me.  Of course, having lived in Oklahoma for 30 years, where summer temperatures stayed in the 100's for weeks at a time, I feel like a wimp complaining about these 90's !

On the quilting front, I've had to take a short hiatus.
Original design, I call it Pink Lanterns.
I finished piecing a 48" x 72" quilt top the week before last, basted it on Saturday, and then, spent many hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in machine-quilting it.  I am happy to say that I finished the quilting and got the binding cut.  But on Friday morning, I woke up with almost unbearable pain in my right shoulder blade and could barely use my right arm.  I mean, it was CRYING PAIN.

So, knowing that I had doctors' appointments coming up this week, I have refrained from trying to work on that quilt OR the hand-quilting project until after I see the doctors.  I started with a visit to a neurologist yesterday for problems I've been having with memory loss, confusion, and a weird thing where I go to write or type something and I leave off the first letter of a word !  It doesn't happen often, but it has happened atleast a half dozen times over the last few months, and I thought that I was developing early-onset Alzheimers .

The good report is that the neurologist thinks that I just need to get more sleep.  Of course, sleeping has been an issue for a long time, but especially so since my tumor removal and the swallowing problems.  I will try Melatonin to start with, and if needed, she will prescribe something stronger.

But first, I am going to see a cardiologist this Friday morning, because I have been having what I call 'crashes', where I get dizzy, short of breath, and my blood pressure has plummeted as low as seventy-something over 45 !  I was too dizzy to write it down, so I can't remember the exact amount of the top number.  The general doctor I saw ran an ECG and said that I might have an enlarged heart, so he has sent me to this guy on Friday.  I've had the 'crashes' atleast 3 times now, so I want to find out how to get past this.  Let's hope he can help me understand.........and the LORD will do the rest !

The yard work has suffered while I'm dealing with all of this, and the ground is dry and hard.  I have put most of my effort into my little shade garden,WHICH incidentally receives A LOT OF SUN this time of the year, I notice !

  Anyway, I planted Caladiums and Coleus out there, and have bought 3 more Hostas that need to be put into the ground.  I also need to find good shady places for the Hostas that I planted under the Oak trees in my side-yard.  The Oaks seem to be sucking up whatever moisture is offered through rain or my watering sessions, and the Hostas do not look very happy.  But the 'shade' garden looks good at the back where it gets the most shade.
 The Seven Steps to Heaven have started blooming.
 They and the Asters are usually my latest blooms of the year.  The Asters have sent volunteers to several places in the yard, but only have a few sporadic blooms showing right now.  I will try to wait until the 'bushes' are covered with blooms before I share a photo of them.
This is the first time that I have attempted to grow Dahlias.  I bought a package of 3 roots when Walmart marked them down, and I almost rotted them by overwatering the pot in which I had planted them.  Two survived, but only one has  grown tall and put out buds.  But, boy, WHAT BUDS !

I counted 9 buds on it, and 3 of them have bloomed, thus far.  I love the fact that the blooms are SO long-lasting !   The first one to bloom has been in bloom for over a week and still looks good.  I wasn't thrilled with the color, thinking it looked like a funeral flower, but the hubby loves them, and I've grown accustomed to them, shall we say?

Hubby was also tickled to see this little volunteer Morning Glory show up in a window box that was used to plant some of my Gladioli bulbs.  It has twined itself around some of the Obedient Plant (Seven Steps).

And, finally, I was able to grow a Moonflower in a pot on the back deck.  The bigger plant, that has bloomed for atleast 3 of the four summers before this, just didn't show up this year.  So I planted this one in a pot and it has been slow progress, but yesterday I got my first bloom.  I have trouble photographing white flowers with my "point and shoot camera", especially against the white trailer wall, but I wanted to document it anyway.  That dead looking fern, planted with it, was transplanted there after finding it the woods, but the new growth got broken off......I am hoping it will try again, so I've left it.

So, that's my catch-up post.......sorry for the length and picture overload !  It takes so long to do this, that I just let it go for other priorities.  Love to all, and God bless you !

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jen's States quilt

The quilting is going well on the states quilt.  I have quilted 7 out of 56 blocks.  I am keeping the quilting to a minimum because of the embroidery, but I don't want to UNDERquilt it.  Not sure whether I'll leave those sashes unquilted.

My camera died for a couple of days again, but it turned out to be a battery issue that was fooling around with my HEAD.  Problem solved for now.

I was able to gather a very small bouquet of odd flowers this morning from the yard, but mostly blooming now are the Crape Myrtle and Rose of Sharon bushes, and I don't cut them.  I have quite a few tall Marigolds, but almost every bloom had some brown on it, so I left them for the butterflies, which are PLENTIFUL.

I saw a doctor about some issues I have been having and he is suggesting that I see a cardiologist, and a neurologist.  Still waiting on appointments to be scheduled.