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.

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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quilt A-Peel....progress report

Today is March 1st.........HOORAY !  And it is time for an accounting on this Orange Peel top that I am attempting to make.
At this point, I actually like the look of space between the 'peels', instead of edges touching, but I didn't cut the squares big enough for that (because WHO DOES?)  Maybe, NEXT QUILT !

I think that I have appliqued approximately 56 or so 'peels' at this point.  I had some good momentum going , getting about 6 done per day, but then I went and donated blood........that afternoon, as soon as I started using a needle again, the end of it found it's way into the hole they had pricked while checking my hemoglobin level !!!!!!!!!!!,.....can't go THERE !

So, I set the appliqueing aside for the rest of the week.  Finally, last night, I was able to do 3 more blocks.  I need 140 for the center of the quilt, 60 for the outer border.........and then I'll piece in empty squares for the 'inner border'.
I think I'll have to sprinkle a red or pink in here and there....what do you think?
I've run out of background fabrics, with NO new ones to be found locally.  I also needed atleast 3 more turquoise fabrics.  I was counting on hubby's eye checkup today for a chance to visit the Hobby Lobby in the town 45 minutes away.  But they had NO backgrounds that I wanted to use.  I want WHITE with grey or sparse black print.  I WAS able to buy 3 new turquoises, and they are waiting to be dried right now.  And I am looking at a text print that I spied on Etsy......the dealer is going to send me a scrap, to be sure it is one that I can happily use.

So, for now, I'll just keep appliqueing on the ones that I have prepped.

In gardening news, I jumped the gun about a week ago, and raked leaves out of my flower beds.  A couple of days later, I discovered that the deer had nibbled away the new sprouts that had appeared when the leaves were removed ! ! !

But in the front yard, the beautiful Crocus are blooming around the base of the Oak, and a few Buttercups(that's what I've always called Jonquils) are blooming too.  Lilys have sprouted, and the Maple trees are budding.


yesterday,............ I attempted to burn some of the many Oak leaves that have accumulated at the edges of the yard.  I made the mistake of raking a pile too close to my burn barrel, thinking that it would be easier to just reach down and grab some to add to the barrel as they burned down.  Uh.........I didn't realize that a huge crack had been rusted through the bottom-side edge of the barrel, and suddenly there was fire all AROUND the base of the barrel, spreading quickly into my huge piles !   Hubby and I made quick work of stomping out the fire (we haven't reconnected the water hose yet!) before it could spread............PHEW !

Yep, you just see it coming, can't you ?  And I didn't HAVE A CLUE !
 So, additional leaf-burning will have to wait until I can buy a new barrel.....AND, I will not surround the base of IT with piles of leaves !  LESSON LEARNED, and praise GOD, catastrophe averted !

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Quilt A-Peel

I'm setting out upon a new quilting adventure.

For many years now, I have been all about making quilts as quickly as possible, including switching over almost exclusively to machine-quilting.

But I am starting a new quilt that I intend to keep for my own bedroom.  It will be hand-appliqued, and may take a LONG, long time.  Then again, maybe NOT.  I don't know, but I'm fine either way.  I would even like for it to be hand-quilted, but that decision can wait awhile.

I've collected white/grey, and white/black backgrounds for awhile now, thinking that I was going to make some kind of PLUS quilt with them.  But now I'm cutting out Orange Peel pieces, and I am hand-appliqueing them to 5 inch squares of these white background fabrics.    

My main color will be a range of turquoise fabrics, but I intend to mix in some greens and blues along the way.

Here is my EQ5 mockup,

and here is my meager beginning.

I've spent the afternoon readying several blocks for needle-turn applique, so most of the blocks in the mockup are not finished.  I have a better mixture of fabrics than what are seen here, too.  I hope to have blocks ready for anytime I have a few minutes to sit down and work on mindless applique....including trips to doctor's offices, or whatever opportunity presents itself. I go !  I'm EXCITED !

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 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 to me loudly enough that I gave in to my great desire 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 !



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, 


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