" Do you not know?
Have you not heard???

The LORD is the everlasting GOD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth." Isaiah 40:28

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Jesus said,
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive men their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's New Year's Eve !

And that means that, as of 7:30 p.m., I've been married 33 years !
(By the way, if you've read my entire profile, you'll notice that I love Dudley Moore movies........looking at this old photo of hubby, I think I see where that infatuation began !)

What a night that was.........a rare Tennessee ice storm hit the night before, which meant that several people who had planned to come to the wedding just weren't able to get there. Unfortunately, this included hubby's parents !
After the ceremony, everyone left in a hurry, as it was so cold..........that left us to get into my old Nova and make it to our waiting rented trailer ....... and my car wouldn't start !
There we were, in the parking lot of the little country church, all alone on the coldest night of the year ! Blessedly, the car started after about 3 minutes of panic (and no cell-phones back then, not that I have one NOW !)
But the wedding did take place and, as the old saying goes,.........the rest is history.......ALOT OF HISTORY !

Still, I'm happy to be among that ever decreasing number of marriages that lasted. Hubby says that he doesn't remember getting married, so I thought I'd better post a photo and let him know that I have witnesses !
Enjoy YOUR New Year's eve, as we approach a whole new decade and many changes in the New Year, 2010. Our pastor pronounced, "2010, the year we bring the family in!" That's what I want !
So be safe, and be thankful, for this years miracles and memories ! God Bless you ALL !

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quilt top finished

I finished the piecing, pretty simple, and I love the way it looks, but I haven't come up with a name for this one yet; it may just wind up having something to do with shedding threads !

(By the way, that's the collar of my red and black flannel shirt that edged its way into the photo, on the lower left side.........it almost looks like a vulgar gesture to me, so I apologize, but when I cropped the photo to exclude it, the quilt didn't look complete !)

Often, in looking through various blogs, and on Flickr, I admire quilts that are made with lots of white. It has been years since I made such a quilt, and I find that my memory is starting to let me down when I need it greatly. You see, as a quilter with over 30 years of experience, I should remember WHY I no longer make certain 'formulas' of quilts.

#1. There are many, many seams in these blocks, so I chose to press the seam allowances toward the sashes........yikes.....remember that warning about darker seams sticking out past lighter ones, and showing through? Yeh, got that.

#2. Then, there's the fact that since these pieces have all kinds of bias edges, they are fraying differently from straight cut pieces........it's like a little line of fringe along every outer block edge ! (that shows through the sashing, too) !

#3. And lastly, there are 2 million and 47 little threads that have totally loosed themselves from the piecing........mI-Nute threads, which cling to my pin-pricked fingers when I pick them off, to just be redeposited where I reach for the NEXT one ! It's going to be very interesting when I go to baste this top.......I'll be forever trying to get that LAST thread that threatens to show through the top, knowing that more will loose themselves as the layers of the quilt shift around.

Why worry about it right.......boy, I sound anal !

I wanted to hand-quilt this one for Zoe's new room (Kelley and Tim are looking for a house to buy, now that they're coming back to the states), but maybe I should just quickly machine-quilt it, so that I'm not constantly concerned that a 6 year-old is ruining the quilt. That way her mommy can just throw it into the wash everytime a stain shows up on all that white !

Well..........it is awfully pretty, though, isn't it? See why we go through all this hassle? The finished product just feeds the creative soul ! Praise the LORD !

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What quilt are you currently hanging?

I just took down my big Christmas quilt, and put up my "Wear Warm Clothes". It'll hang for the winter months, until Springtime gives me a yearning for flowers and sunshine again.

Some of you may remember this pattern, as it was put out by Red Wagon quite a few years ago.

Members of my little quilting group and I all started our own version one year, doing it together for moral support.

I changed mine a little bit to more closely reflect my life at the time. I put in the spatterware coffee pot and cup because hubby was collecting campware at the time; the black boots are ones that I was wearing, and the socks and house shoes are very similar to ones I had.
Remember those ragg socks? Of course, we all had the skinny, magic gloves that looked like they were supposed to fit a 3 year old child.
I was really into Roberta Horton plaids at the time, so most of the pieces of fabric are from her collections.

The wood stove and coal oil lamp were added as homage to my 'growing up' years.
And, at the bottom, I embroidered a paraphrased version of a line from a favorite Merle Haggard tune, "If We Make It Through December".........I added, "there's always January !"

I had a lot of fun quilting this one by hand, just adding whatever suited my fancy at the time.

How exciting.....

.......to find a comment left by my cousin on yesterday's post ! I don't have her email address, so please excuse me for a moment while I speak directly to her !

Janet, thank you for commenting on my post yesterday, and letting me know you're out there ! Please email me (I've added my email addy to my profile page now), so that we can talk a little !
I'm so excited to finally find another family member that received Grandma Bissell's creative/crafty gene ! We have to exchange photos, too !

She's reminded me of some things that I left behind on my other blog, that need moving over to this one. I'm going right now to retrieve that photo of Grandma Bissell and us little rugrats.

Later !

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Looking at Christmas gifts from 2009

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite gifts..........we were so blessed this year with time spent with friends and family, in person and on the phone...and my husband having been baptized earlier this year, sharing with me the truest gift of Christmas.......that, of course, will be remembered as the biggest treasure from this Christmas.

But on the material side of things, I just had to share a few photos.
Voted most humorous was this gift from my sweet friend, Mary, back in our quilting group in Oklahoma. She took the time to machine-embroider me a set of tea towels and a framed picture with the word "Outlaws", to remind me of our little renegade group of quilters. (I hand-embroidered the maw and paw potholders over 30 years ago, for my daughter's hope chest, but she's too city-fied for them, now.)
Hubby and I laughed and laughed at the 'double meaning' (friends and family who know what I'm talking about, forgive us our 'off' sense of humor) and we promptly put them on display in our kitchen and living room. It'll be interesting to see if people comment, or just ponder. I can just be so inappropriate sometimes........but if you don't laugh, you're liable to cry, right?
Then, for a heart tugger, little Christopher called me Christmas morning wanting to know if I was coming over to PappPaw's for dinner. I said, "yes, I'll be there", and he said, "good, I got you something". His Mimi got on the phone and said that he had insisted that she help him buy something for me.......no one else, just me.
This is it.........this is what he got me !

He stole my heart..........AGAIN !
I took him home with me after dinner for a couple of hours of play at my place, and, as we left his PappPaw's, he said from the backseat, "Aunt Dolly, I love you"........(he's 7). I said, "You do? Well, that works out real good, 'cause I just happen to love you too !"

It's been a most wonderful Christmas that I won't soon forget !
But, the sewing bug calls, and taking a look at the sorry, stained shape that my potholders were in (why do we not notice this sooner?), I decided to take a couple of hours last night to whip up some new ones. Poking around in the 5-cent teacups at the second-hand store this week, I picked up this little sunflower beauty. I've never collected cups, but at 5 cents, I couldn't resist their fragile beauty ( I got another one with Violets).
Having a few sunflowers about my kitchen already, I decided that the new potholders should match.
Now, I thought that I had all kinds of yellow sunflowers in my stash, but the prettiest fabric I could find last night was this one with white flowers, which I guess might officially be called daisies. Anyway, they jumped out at me, and I'm tickled with the finished pieces (wish I'd bound the mitt in the same black polka-dot -- I made it first).
Oh, well.........'til next time.........

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Under the wire......

I managed to squeeze in one more little family gift.........
I started out tonight to make a couple of potholders for my sister-in-law, Judy,
because she's invited us for Christmas dinner tomorrow. In my stash,
I found a panel for making a vest (by Debbie Mumm),
and was going to use the angels from the vest fronts, and just log-cabin piece
around them until they were the size I wanted for potholders.
Then, I noticed that down in a corner of the background fabric was a quote from the Bible.
It was wider than I wanted the potholder center to be,
but I cut it out and started playing around with it, figuring that if it came out too big,
I'd just turn it into a big center-of-the-table hotpad.

After adding a couple of pieces around it, I realized that it would make a much nicer mini-quilt to hang on the wall at eye-level, for encouragement and inspiration.
Looking through my batting scraps, I found a piece wide enough, and then began
my search for a back. The quilt is only 10 inches or so wide by about 8 inches long, so I could have just used a plain piece of color-coordinating fabric. But this is a Christmas gift, and the reason I like to MAKE THEM is so that I can give my heart in the gift. It's not to save money (and yes, we are having to watch the cash flow this Christmas, just like everyone I know), but I've always PREFERRED to give homemade gifts.........I wonder if people secretly hate that ! ? I hope not !
Anyway, I came across another Debbie Mumm piece, a pillow panel this time, with a garden angel on IT. I cut it out to be centered just the way I wanted it, and then was able to use the second pillow square to cut a sleeve for hanging. This way, the print matches up and is uninterrupted. I think that a person could even turn it around for Spring and Summer, and hang it to show the angel side !

I handquilted the little quilt with a big needle and big stitches and, yes, red thread, and then found (in the cabinet under the sink, blessedly) just the right size little curtain rod for hanging.

So, there.........one more little gift, just under the Christmas Eve wire.

(Much thanks to my girl, JodieAnn, who always tosses her scraps my way.........including extra panels of all kinds of things I wouldn't think to buy !)

Christmas treasures

Yesterday, while I was out, the UPS man left me a very heavy box on my back porch.

Now, JoAnn had told me to expect it, and I wanted to wait until tomorrow to open it, but my hubby was like a child on Christmas Eve, and it didn't take much nudging to convince me to go ahead and cut the tape.
Oh, my goodness.......she loaded me up ! She knows that nothing takes my mind off of things like a good project,........and she gave me enough fabric and ideas to last a while !

She even tucked in another one of those luscious cotton battings that I loved.

But, even with all of this, my favorite gift of all was tucked into the Christmas card that was enclosed with the other gifts.
Having read about my new love for old hankies, she sent along two.........one she picked up in Branson and didn't even know why she bought it.......she never buys such things, and says that she must have had e.s.p. The other one, the one embroidered all over with ducks, was given to her by HER MOTHER when she was just a girl. She wanted me to have it as a remembrance of her. That is the dearest thing to my heart.........she has a daughter and two granddaughters that she could pick from to gift this to, but she chose me.

Thank you, Jodie, for your greatest gift to me.......your dear friendship. May GOD bless you and your family this Christmas and always.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas (past) quilt

I thought that today would be a good day to share
another quilt from the quilt guild to which I belonged for awhile.
For a few years, each Christmas we would make 6 inch
Christmas-themed blocks to bring to the annual Christmas party/meeting.
There we would put them all in a big sack, pass it around, and draw a block from
it until they were all gone (atleast that's the way I remember it). You got as many turns
as the amount of blocks you put in. I put together this wall hanging, using 12 of the blocks and some Ginny Beyer stripe for a border. I hand-quilted it myself.......now this was nearly 20 years ago,
mind you !
I'm still in touch with several of the girls, (some are my very bestest friends) and it's nice to have their work around me at this special time of year.
Merry Christmas Shawnee Spinning Spools !

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here we go.....

.....all finished, just in time !
Although,...... I wouldn't mind finding a nice big red
tassel to hang off of the point of
this little banner.
And, this is what it all comes down to, huh?
I wish you ALL the happiest memories
from this Christmas season !

Alas.........the end !

Monday, December 21, 2009

Playing with Christmas fabrics

For weeks now, I've had an underlying desire to make something Christmassy. Each year when I get out my decorations, my quilted things greet me like old friends. Even the ones that I've looked at for so many years that you'd think I'd be sick of them, warm my heart with the memories of Christmases past, friends, and days spent quilting together. Surprisingly to me, they even bring oohs and ahhs from visitors who are seeing them for the first time.

So, today, since the weather was warm, and I could enter my closed-off sewing room without fear of frostbite, I started pulling some fabrics, and seeing what I had. Sadly, I sold off my tub full of Christmas fabrics and blocks when I moved, but the truth is that those fabrics were pretty dated, (yet not dated enough to be 'collectible'). This afternoon, I put together a wall banner of sorts, and the funny thing is that it features two fabrics that I won in a dirty santa game at one of our Outlaw quilters' Christmas parties in the past. I had stuck them away and forgotten them.

I finished the edges with some scraps from one of JoAnn's backs, and even threw in a little Robin Pandolph fabric that she must have given me along the way. Scrounging for a backing fabric, I ran across a much overlooked Hoffman fabric that I had a one-yard piece of, and it had a slight gold sheen to it, just as do the featured fabrics on front.
I raw-edge appliqued the fussy-cut squares and center rectangle, straight-stitching around them about 1/8th of an inch in from the edge. Rather than have to bind the odd shape, I sewed most of the way around the entire thing, inside out, and "birthed the quilt" the way that Eleanor Burns used to do.

Tomorrow, I think I'll get out my White sewing machine, and zig-zag around each applique, as they are starting to fray quite a bit more than I like. I'll try to get a good photo of the finished banner, then.

I don't think this project has totally satisfied my desire for Christmas piecing, though, but I find that I REALLY need to fabric shop before I try again. Still, this has been a fun way to spend a quiet Monday before Christmas.

How did you spend yours?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday before Christmas

It took me just over a year, but I finally finished a set out of the

beautiful yarn that was gifted to me by Wanda Gayle for my birthday last year.
I've had the scarf made for about a month, I guess, but couldn't

find a hat pattern that I liked. They're all beanies,

lately, and hug my head too closely.


this pattern

was meant to be a

bucket that flips outward

towards the bottom, but I liked

stopping it at this point. It just sits loosely

on my head, and I like that. I wanted to do some kind

of ripple, but the one I tried wound up looking like some kind of

medieval helmet on my head when it was finished. I think that this

one will serve me nicely, and these are such beautiful, conservative colors

for the winter


They go well with my coats.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Moving day (for my blog, that is )!

Here are my two girls........really, only China belongs to us.....Gracie, the gray one, is a semi-constant visitor from next door (she seems to be hiding out from her 4 yr. old and 1 yr. old humans !)

I apologize for all of the trouble my loyal readers and friends have had trying to see my blog lately. It has been freezing on me, but would straighten out if I waited a few minutes. But I've been told that it just froze the entire computer for other people. I am hoping that this is due to the fact that I wasn't smart enough to think of resizing the photos that I uploaded.

I will try this new location, and try to be faithful about resizing.......let's hope that that will make the difference.......I've missed your sweet notes lately !

I had the most fun phone call tonight. My girlfriends in Oklahoma held their annual Quilter's Christmas party, and called me to make sure I didn't miss it all. They even conducted the "Dirty Santa" game while I listened and participated from here. Alas, I wanted the gift that Wanda wound up with, but they don't call it 'dirty' for nuthin' ! How great to hear all the girls having so much fun...........I'm sure it won't be too long before I can hug 'em around the neck again, and whip out my trusty Featherweight Singer for a day of quilting and catching up !

Merry Christmas, all my girls.........you're the truest friends in my heart !