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

The LORD is the everlasting GOD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary,
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

"The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Isaish 50:4


Friday, April 30, 2010

It's really hard !

It's hard to post and not share photos of what I'm working on.   Unless I can completely finish a quilt every two days, it's impossible NOT to bore you with partially finished projects ! 

I finished making the top of my baby quilt today, got it marked for quilting as I went, which was new for me, and then basted it in my frame on the front deck.   I don't find myself using the safety pins for basting these bigger items.  I guess I'll save them for smaller wall-hanging sized quilts.  I thread-basted, and what I really love about that is that it lets you start to get an idea of what the quilt will look like when it's actually quilted.
I mean, not REALLY, because it's basted in a grid, nothing like the quilting design, but still, it starts to look like a quilt, right?

I got 3 loads of laundry done.....some hard work, huh, using a washing machine !  Anyway, I got them on the line to dry, pieced and marked my top, rode my bike to the nursing home to spend some time with a friend I made while hubby was there, and then back home to visit with family and baste the quilt.  Here's just a little peek, so that you can see the fabrics.

I'm longing to put a few stitches in, but stuffed myself on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, green beans, and chess pie.   I can hardly move enough to sit here and type.  God is so good to us !   Hubby's feeling okay and we took a little road trip with the niece yesterday.  Kept her baby girl quiet while she had an appointment, then browsed Hobby Lobby together. 
That's where I bought the fabric for the baby quilt, and I found this lovely pink bauble that I thought was just perfect for a sparkle-hound like myself, and would look lovely in my little dish I found recently.
After lunch and a trip to Baskin Robbins, we headed for home, satisfied. 

I don't hear alot from my daughter right now.  Bless her heart, she's finding that working full time, and keeping up with her 3 kids, hubby, and the household is very time-constrictive, and, yet, yielding very little economically !  Blessedly, Tim isn't stuck on gender roles..........he cleans and cooks as much as she does, if not more.  For the two of them, I pray for guidance in prioritizing their time, and awareness of how precious these years are while the kids are little.  I hope they can start to prosper soon with this job, or figure out how to cut back so that they can do without it if they want.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No photo of my quilt this time.........

.........but, I'm so excited !

I've got my idea for the baby quilt I'm making !

It's not a simple whole-cloth quilt, like I said I'd make, and for that I apologize.......didn't mean to lie !
But, I think it's gonna be good.


I showed pictures of Aunt Edith's quilt all the way through, until I was almost sick of seeing them, so I'm gonna wait about photographing this one for now !   But I've got a good start on it, and I'm going to bed happy with anticipation !


I will throw in THIS photo...........
Saturday night my two best friends from high school are coming to town from south of Memphis, and from Louisiana, and we're going to the local steakhouse for dinner and fun !  35 years to catch up on......I hope they don't throw us out of the place !!!!!!!
One of the girls who is coming, Diana, is pictured here on the left, with the long dark hair.  I'm the crazy in front with the short hair.   A week before senior year was out, we decided to get into a little mischief by changing the signs on the girls and boys bathrooms.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I just love reaching the finish line !

Hoorah !  Hoorah !   Another little quilt under my belt ! 














This quilt is intended for my mother's twin, Aunt Edith, in Michigan,
who will be celebrating their birthday on May 17, as she turns 85.


 My beautiful aunt is enjoying good health, still driving herself to Church and about,
and, God willing, will have her 3 daughters with her to celebrate the occasion. 

I so wish that I could be there,
 but instead I'm sending a hug in the form of a handmade quilt. 
You can see the size of the quilt here, compared to a queen-sized bed,.........
hopefully, the quilt is just the right size for covering her lap and legs.
Old-time quilter that I am, I finished it with a label. 
The one thing I didn't do is add a sleeve for hanging.  I hope
that wasn't a mistake, but I wanted her to actually use
the quilt while reading or watching t.v., and
I didn't want the top edge to have the stiffness added
by a sleeve.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Which came first........

the chicken or.........


NO, wait !   That wasn't my question !


Which came first................the pillowcase dress or the mad search for vintage bed linens ?   Cuz' they certainly don't seem compatible.   You find this GORGEOUS pillowcase in primo condition, and know that it would make the most precious little dress for granddaughter, sweet niece, orphaned darling in Haiti, ........but , then.......this picture of the most luscious, girly, English-garden-type quilt starts tickling you 'round the edges of your psyche !  What to do !


Well, thankfully for me, the local second-hand store is closed on Tuesdays, so it was no difficult decision for me to just look through what fabric I had in big enough pieces to make this little dress !  Wanda Gayle had sent me this pretty, big floral fabric when I moved here last year, and as much as I like it for a quilt, I thought it would serve in a more timely manner if I used it RIGHT NOW, to make a dress. 


What this is leading up to is the fact that .......


I DID IT !


I went to the local meeting, after calling first, and finding out that
#1.  They schedule a 4-hour meeting because they actually WORK together......just like me and my girls in Shawnee !    No  ---""""""MEETING""""---, no Robert's Rules of ORDER !  Just quilters enjoying each other's company, and occasionally working on a joint project.--------which brings me to
#2.  today, they had decided to all bring pillowcases or fabric and make the pillowcase dresses for the little girls of Haiti who have been affected by the earthquake.
And,
#3.  They tell me that I can arrange to get the room where they meet anytime that I need to use it to baste a quilt or whatever !   WOO-HOO !  They said that because I am 52, I can pay $5.00 and become a senior citizen, and then I have access to use the room ! 


Hey, Jodie, remember when we visited the senior citizens when I was about 32 and they said that I could join them as soon as my hair turned grey?   Glad I don't have to wait on that, unless they'd count the little bit in my sideburns !  Goodness, that was 20 years ago !  


Anyway, it was a fun time..........there were either 5 or 6 women there, I can't remember all the names, but there was a "DOT", and each time someone called her name, my head would pop us in response !
I brought the fabric to make a little dress, but didn't bring a machine or iron, and since I was slowing down those who came prepared, I decided to save the dressmaking for home, and just sit down and hand-quilt.  When I told a woman named Edith that the quilt's name was "Flowers for Edith", she said "thank you, I never expected you to give me a quilt, .....why we've just met !"   Yes, they're a fun bunch and I will definitely try to make it a regular visiting place now.  Some of the same ladies belong to the needlework group which covers knitting, crocheting, embroidery, etc.  , so I may check it out too.














Here are a few photos of the only big quilt that was shared......it's nearly a finished top, waiting on a decision to be made of what to put around for a final border.














The buttonhole stitch was all done by hand, and the patten just looked right up your alley, JodieAnn !
Status update on Edith quilt.........
quilting finished,
top and bottom fully bound !



Monday, April 26, 2010

Nearly finished with the "Flowers for Edith"

I always think that there is a beauty to hand-quilting that just can't be duplicated by machine.  
 I have become a real fan of machine-quilted quilts, made quickly,
 to be used with love.......even used UP, with love.  


But when it comes to looks alone, there's just something in me that longs to see
 that beautiful in-out look of the hand-stitching, as opposed to the flat-line
 look of a row of machine-stitches. 
If only a machine could leave that little gap between each stitch,
 I could let these callouses heal, make a quilt per week (or two, or three.....weeks, I mean) !

Just one more border left to quilt, and I'm on to the binding. 

Tomorrow is our local quilter's meeting.  I've been back living here for a year, and with one excuse and another, I have yet to get to one of the meetings.  
They hold the meeting from 1 to 5 in the afternoon, at the local Senior Citizens' Center.   A four-hour meeting makes it seem a little daunting to just 'drop in'.  
We'll see if I can dial up my courage tomorrow and see what they're all about.   I have such a LONGING to connect with someone IN PERSON (again) that loves to do this crazy stuff like I do !

OUTLAWS, I miss you TERRIBLY ! 
Go with me in spirit.......'kay?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just for fun......

......it's a rare thing for me to drive somewhere by myself, just for fun, just to spend a little money on myself.   I'm not trying to be modest or anything, it's just not been a part of my life for a long time now.   Since I've come back to driving, I mostly run errands or go to Church......or those seemingly frequent doctor's visits.

So last night was really fun.   I went out to the tongue of the trailer, where I had grown a tomato plant last year, and had transplanted some Irises that I found on the next lot while that trailer was empty.......(is that bad?  They were being mowed frequently !)  Anyway, I've planted a few Marigold seeds among the Irises and they've started to come up, and I'm really hoping that the Irises themselves will decide to bloom this year.   But seeing as how Irises are already in full bloom all over town, I suspect that it'll be atleast another year before they've overcome their 'mower shock'.......I don't blame them at all; it'd take me alot more than 2 years !  So, dreading few blooms, I dug up the rest of the spot across that end and worked in a large bag of potting soil.......alas, the ground around this trailer is nothing like the fertile soil I had in my Oklahoma yard.   (And I remember complaining about clay in the soil back there.)

Well, knowing that I had stuck away a little rat-hole money over the last few months, I told the hubby that I was heading out to all-mart to get me some bloomers !
I messed around out there for atleast an hour in indecision, picking up this, putting back that,......you know the drill if you know me and spending ! 

Finally, I decided to get me some of these luscious Geraniums that just kept calling to me.   I bought a dotted pot, in honor of my days as ...dotty...,  and have placed them on my front deck where I can see them first thing every morning as I enjoy my coffee.

I also picked up my traditional pink Vinca (I call them periwinkles), and for a change, I bought Dusty Miller to put between them for contrast.   My little gardens always look so pitiful at this point before they grow up and fill in all the empty space......but I have a vision of this Summer's beauty, and look forward to daily visits to chart the growth. 

Lastly, I bought Salvia a few weeks ago, when it was really too early to put out flowers, so I just grabbed something that wouldn't break my heart if they got frozen out.   They're around the mailbox, with Marigold seed sprinkled between and amongst, and I have 3 that I potted and now have on my back porch. 

Hooray.........flowers all around !   And we found a used lawnmower this week and got the yard mowed, Praise the LORD, so Spring is looking GOOD around our little tin residence.  Once again, I say, this is not my HOME, ....that's in Heaven,.......but I'm looking forward to a little bit of God's beauty around me here, for now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What am I doing?

Somehow, I've gone from being unable to decide how to quilt this baby to turning it into a quilting sampler or something !
            Oops, I accidentally left a portion of that little sashing unquilted.  I'll fix that !

 I didn't mean for THAT to happen (making it a quilting sampler, I mean).   I'm hoping to make this a gift to a very special person, and I want it to be pretty.  Please tell me that it'll be fine when it's all done and the border is quilted and bound !

(My favorite row is the one with the diamonds in the squares.  Why didn't I try that on the first row......I probably would have stayed with it throughout !)

Monday, April 19, 2010

A short post and a link to a yummy giveaway !

Today, I decided to walk to the middle of town to pay the electric bill.  I have become way too sedentary since I started driving again, so usually I go overboard trying to make up for it all at one shot !  True this time too !   I started out well and pretty brisk, but by the time I walked up the steps to my front deck, I was taking those steps    ONE     AT     A     TIME    .
But, you know what.......I'm rested now, and so glad that I did it !   Now I can be lazy for another week or so, don't you think?

Another one of my great nieces turned 2 yesterday and I got to go and spend a couple of hours at her backyard, circus-themed birthday party.   So fun to get together with family like that !  And how beautiful Brooklyn and her sister, Maddox, are !  I wish I had taken my camera......Brooklyn's hair now hangs down her neck in ringlets, and Maddox is so beautiful.

Scrolling through my favorite blogs today, I found that "a Stitch & a Prayer" is celebrating her 200th post........this made me check my own number and I'm only on 79 or so since starting over..........and she's giving away 2 charm packs ! 

  My latest little quilt was so fun to do with the charm pack that I had, so I wanted to be sure and qualify for 3 chances at winning.   Therefore, I am fulfilling one of the qualifications right now........by giving you all the opportunity at beating me to the prize !  Click on the second link, check out the goodies, and sign up for your chance !   If you have some extra time, check out some of her earlier posts........her faith is encouraging and uplifting........and the LORD has blessed her with some craftin' capability !
I'm headin' back there right now !

Friday, April 16, 2010

They got their quilts !

Zoe and T.J., that is.   I sent their quilts to them a few days ago, as it looks like I won't be seeing them until maybe this summer.  I didn't want them to wait any longer.  My daughter, Kelley, called me today and said that the kids love the quilts.  Kelley had seen T.J.'s on my blog, but had never seen Zoe's, and she just thinks that they are both fantastic.

 Zoe uses a bed that is elevated to provide a play area underneath, so with the wooden rail around it, it is difficult to use a twin-sized comforter or blanket.....too much to tuck in.  And T.J. is still in a youth bed which uses a baby crib mattress, just because he doesn't have room for a bigger bed right now.   So although I felt bad about the quilts being on the small side, it turns out that they were both just tailor-made for the situations ! 

I'm frying chicken for dinner, so I need to get some potatoes peeled and cooking.  Going back to work on the little beige quilt now, too.......
Piper wants to be the first one to sleep under the quilt, as she's heard that your dreams will come true......she's always chasing squirrels in HER dreams !

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy days

Yes, I'm still kickin'...........and blessed and highly favored !   So many around me are suffering from this banner pollen Spring !  But not me........Praise the LORD, I haven't even had to look up my box of allergy medication.  I never had to take more than a third of a tablet when I got the runny nose, but I don't even have that yet this year ! 

I did have to drive to Nashville again on Monday......doctor's appointment at 8:30a.m.  Hubster insisted that we needed to leave here 3 hours early, when Google Maps said that it was a 2 hour drive at the most.   Well, we got there at 7:30, but they went ahead and got us checked in and before you know it the doctor had done his thing and we were out by 9:30.  But he wanted me to get an MRI, and the only way to avoid having to drive up there another day was to wait around for a 2:15 appointment at the imaging place.  So, after an hour and a half session in that fun machine.......BANG, BANG, BANG-----KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.....well, we found ourselves traveling down the interstate during rush-hour traffic leaving Nashville.  I wanted to drive the 2-lane home, but hubs wanted to go through the town with the KFC, so he won.   But almost didn't.   Praise the LORD for his accompanying angels.   When I accidentally cut off a little black car while changing lanes, he then SQUEEZED and zoomed past between our jeep and the car in the lane to my left !   I don't know how I didn't receive a little memento of his presence..........well, actually I do, and it involves another very special PRESENCE !
Phew !   I don't want to do that again !

I know, I know......I'll have to go back eventually, but I'll face that THEN !

For now, I have Allyssia to look forward to.........I'm watching her for a few hours again tomorrow. 

I got to play with Autumn Taylor, seen here, 
when she visited today for a little while........what a sweetheart she is too, at nearly 2 years old.   She's another great niece, this time on hubby's side of the family.


I almost forgot to mention that I have started the hand-quilting on the hexagon/beige quilt, and have a request to make a whole-cloth baby quilt for my cousin's first expected grandbaby......a boy !  Gotta do some planning !

Friday, April 9, 2010

And this is the smile.......

.......that made today worthwhile !

I watched her until 3:30 p.m., making for a long day, but she took 4 naps during that time, so I couldn't complain !  What a sweetie !  And Christopher was such a good, adoring big brother, and he can make her giggle like crazy.......she adores him !

Here are some of Lucy's (a neighbor dog), latest puppies.  They're adorable.   The last litter looked like German Shepherds, but these are huge furballs !   My first reaction was that I wanted one, but then I thought about how big they're going to get, and the fact that they're just gigantic flea mops !  I think I'll just admire them from afar.  They were born in February, and as you can see, they're already bigger than Piper !

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I found a really great giveaway......

....great for us quilters and knitters, especially, because we can win something really different from what we ourselves create !

The giveaway is here and the prize is this painting........oh, aren't you glad that Spring is finally here, and doesn't this painting just make you take a deep restful breath !  You can almost smell the blooms.
The drawing will be on April 10th and you have a chance at as many as 3 entries, so go and have a look for yourself if you like !

Tomorrow I get to watch Alyssia again for a few hours, and maybe after that, I'll get the chance to baste the hexagon-appliqued quilt.  I pieced together yardage for the back today (out of necessity, not design.......it's all one print) and cut out the batting piece.  I didn't have a single piece of cotton batting large enough without piecing, but I found that I had an entire full-sized polyester batt, so I'm going to use part of it.  It'll make a really soft lap quilt.......could be a nice change from my norm.   It should hand-quilt like a dream, too.

Praise for my LORD for the way he moves in my daily life........he cares about the little things that can often add up to seem like mountains.  We had borrowed a lift chair to use after hubby's hip surgery, and it quit working a few days ago.  I tried everything I could think of , and today, after confessing to the owner that it was messed up and I would try to pay to have it fixed, it miraculously started working again !  AND we received discounts on two of the nagging medical bills, allowing us to face them with a smile.  He supplies ALL OUR NEEDS ......... and I ADORE him !

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another treasure !

After washing this quilt and hanging it on the clothesline to dry, I got a new appreciation for it's simple beauty.

One year when the holidays were getting close, my girlfriend, Jodie, asked me what I would like for
Christmas.  Knowing her huge stash of fabric, I told her that I would just like to have the fabric for a "Burgoyne Surrounded" quilt.  As I recall, others in our guild were teaching and making their own versions of this pattern.  Well, she said that she'd go one better than that.  Not only would she give me all the fabric needed for that quilt, but she would hold an all-day quilting day at her house wherein I could get the quilt top cut out and mostly pieced.  (Actually, I'm reminded, she even cut me out all the strips for the quilt-top, herself !)

I was thrilled !   She gave me this navy scissors fabric and a white solid cotton, the makings for the most classic Burgoyne.  Hanging here, it reminds me of the old woven coverlets from days gone by.  We had a fabulous day of cutting, piecing, laughing and eating (her hubby, Gary, always provided a scrumptious dinner for anyone spending the day there !)  Oh, what wonderful memories I have of our get-togethers in that house on Madeleine Drive.

Thanks, Jodie Ann !  Wish I could be there now that you're retired to help you pull all those quilts out of your imagination and under the needle !

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So close !

Now, I quilt  !    Now, when the weather decides to prematurely jump up into the 80's, I quilt ! 
Oh, well, whatcha gonna do?  I am so close to finishing that monster, I just have to sneak time in on it when I feel like it.  This is the last hoopful of muslin-border-quilting.   Somebody give me an idea for those blasted big swags.....it's so hard to see the marking or the quilting on them.   Maybe I'll just echo the quarter-inch quilting I've already done on them............BORING !

Thank you for all the sweet comments on my grandkids.  Alas, I wish they HAD been HERE for Easter, but those pictures were shared with me by the wonderful OTHER grandmother, in Oklahoma.  They went to her house and she always does such fun things for their visits .   It appears that she had bunnies hiding in the clover along with the expected eggs ! 
Hopefully, I'll get a turn with the kids again this summer ! 

God blesses us so much that I couldn't even ask for more !  Let's all remember those families that have been touched by the tragic mine explosion.  They have a touching Faith, and as their brothers and sisters in the Kingdom, we can send them prayers of encouragement and comfort.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Introducing the hexes....

....my old hexagons, that is.  These girls were in a pile of offerings when our quilt guild held a little garage sale many years ago.   There were 20 of the blocks, with just a center hand-pieced to a first ring of hexes.   Some of the fabric looks like polished cotton, while some seems to be feedsack material, as they are very coarsely woven, and each flower has a piece of orange solid staying consistent in each block, for the center hex.

 I adopted them, took them home, and promptly hand-appliqued each one to a 6 1/2 inch block.  I had it in mind to sash them or use them in the empty blocks of an Irish Chain quilt.  They got stuck away with other UFO's (un-finished-objects), and I visited them every few years, laid them out, and carefully put them back into storage. 

A couple of days ago, JoAnn mentioned that she was wanting to make a baby quilt, using the Double Irish Chain pattern, and, to finish it off, she wanted to applique a ducky to the bottom of the quilt.  I guess it was the words "Irish Chain and applique" that struck a chord in my brain, and I went to see if the hexagons for MY Irish Chain would possibly coordinate with this current little quilt I'm making. 

Well, the colors weren't what I would hand-pick, but with such a neutral background, I could see that they would spice the quilt up just a bit.  I weeded out the blocks that had too much purple, and came up with 11 hexes that would work nicely.   So I set about UNappliqueing those blocks, and basting them onto this top. 

The sun was out yesterday morning, and the call was just too strong.   I had to sit down in my chair on the back porch and applique just one flower before I could even come out of my robe and gown !   The rest of the day was spent busily elsewhere, watching Christopher and Allysia for awhile, and whatever else seems to take us away from what we REALLY want to be doing, but I got back to them today, and stayed with it until all of them were properly appliqued and beautifully pressed.

Honestly, the prettiest picture turned out to be the one I used in my banner, so I think I'll add it at the bottom of this post (because I know that I'll soon change my banner again...YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE !)but I think that it will be a lovely quilt when it is all quilted and claimed !