" 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


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a little bit Amish......

.....when my dear friend, Terri, visited this summer, she brought me a stack of solid fabric fat quarters that she had bought from an Amish woman when she and our other dear friend, Wanda, visited  Pennsylvania. 

Looking for inspiration, I browsed around on Flickr and came across this beauty.  I won't share the picture here, but you should definitely click on the link and look at ALL of the pictures of this quilt !  Outstanding.

I was really taken with the core design. of this quilt;  it has stayed in the back of my mind for over a month now, and just had to come out today.  Having enough fabric to make a wallhanging, I wanted to be sure that I would actually hang something in our home to enjoy; so I went with the blue and the black from the stack of fabrics (the wallpaper in my kitchen has blue in the floral bouquets).  I added the blue and white print for a nostalgic look, and to coordinate with the quilt kit that Wanda gave me (more on that later when I have a bigger space of time to make that quilt).

So here is what I came up with.   I cut it out and pieced it this afternoon.  It's around 20 inches square.   I'll probably machine-quilt this one and I hope to get to that very soon.

Tomorrow morning I'm supposed to keep Allyssia for a bit, and I want to give her all my attention.  I so seldom get to play with the little ones, so I'm going to give it my best.  She's such a sweetie pie.

Gladiolus of the day...

This one is similar to the gorgeous one of the other day, but the coloration is actually a little bit different.  But look at all those blooms up and down the length of the stalk !
Today's new one






The one from a week or so ago.



















And this new one is a delicate peachy-pink color.

This is my single Rose of Sharon that the deer made a meal of.
  It is persevering and is my favorite because it reminds me of the ones I had on Draper Avenue in Shawnee.  Rose has one growing in her yard that looks like softcolored pepperment swirls.  She gave me a couple of new starts this Spring......I hope that one of them is like that.  Coming in the mail this Fall is a three-in-one, with pink, white, and blue growing all together.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blushing Bloomers !

Is that just the worst name you've ever heard of for a quilt?  So sorry...........I want to keep the 'blushing' part of the name, to identify with Natalia Bonner's pattern , and there ARE four blooming flowers in the corner of the quilt !
See, there are my BLOOMERS !

Anyway, bad name or not, I finished binding the quilt yesterday, and got to sleep under it last night.  It's been a while since I made a bed-sized quilt with polyester batting, and I can't say that I like it as well as one that is made with cotton batting;  but it's a nice light weight, and warm, and I couldn't be happier with the coloration and design of the quilt itself.

It fits the twin-sized bed very well, although I do need to find a nice eyelet dust ruffle to hide the boxspring.  Finished dimensions are approximately 62 inches by 90 inches.  That's after adding 2 extra rows of blocks to the top of the quilt, and an extra border of pieced strips to each side.  I'm very happy to report that I have almost NO scraps leftover from making this quilt.  I did not use jellyrolls of fabric, as the pattern calls for.......I just cut strips from different favorite fat quarters and yardage, besides using 1 1/2 yards of 90 inch-wide white fabric.  But Natalia's instructions are very good if you have general experience in putting together a quilt. 

For the back of the quilt, I bought 5 yards of a polkadot fabric from theTeddyBear picnic line, found at Hobby Lobby, because I liked the fact that the dots were almost faded looking, rather than bright.  The fun 'mood' of the dots fits the quilt just perfectly, I think.  And as I said yesterday, the binding was made by joining leftover strips and cutting them down to binding width.  

Because of a comment that was posted, I wanted to mention that I used a dinner plate for  two of my 'bloomers' and a 1/2 inch smaller bowl for the other two. The pattern calls for you to come up with the applique shapes on your own.  I liked Natalia's leaves better, but stayed with mine once they were cut
.
I have yet to put a label on this one, or wash it.  That just shows how READY I was for a new quilt to go on MY bed !

Thank you, Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt, for a wonderful adventure.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Long day today......

......had to drive to Nashville, but hubby finally saw surgeon about closing off opening from peg tube in stomach.  Surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, so that will be another trying time, but God is watching over all our needs, and blessing our days.

I got two edges of the Blushing quilt bound.  I always have so many leftover strips or pieces when I make a quilt.........I ALWAYS cut much more than I need..........but this time I was wise.  At first, I put the leftovers in the storage box as usual.  But then when I needed more width on the quilt, I went back and pieced lengths of strips together to make borders for the two sides.  And now, when I needed binding fabric, I once again pieced together lengths of the leftovers.........lights for the top and bottom, because those two edges were white background fabric; and next, Lord willing, I'll piece together the colorful prints for the side binding pieces.   And, I REALLY like how that's looking so far  !   Photos soon, hopefully.

Tired now.......going to bed soon.  I awakened at 4:30 a.m. in anticipation of my drive today, and we had school bus traffic/slowdowns in both directions.   So glad to be home !

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The machine-quilting is done.

I just finished machine-quilting the Blushing Quilt.  It was very boring doing all the seamline stitching, but I got to play a little bit by quilting some loops/petals into the flowers.  I'll post a picture one day when I've bound the quilt, which I hope won't be too long from now.  I don't know just yet what I will use for the binding.

News (or really, no news) for personal friends and family.........the judge gave the wrong date for the second review.  It's really supposed to be September 17 (which we will make a point of rechecking with the clerk's office beforehand), so today was a wasted trip.  But it was a productive quilting day, praise the LORD!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Enjoying life !

Yesterday was a most productive morning.........I got my quilt top basted AND I gave the little tiller a try.

She's a strong little worker (the Mantis tiller, I mean), and makes the dirt look like sifted flour !  And considering the workout that she gave my arms, I may just get a little strong myself !   This Fall I hope to rework several of my flower beds and I have bushes on order with Michigan Bulb, and of course, I still have 2 lilacs and 2 rhododendrons and 2 azaleas to put out !  That's a lot of digging !

The quilt top took me 2 full hours to baste by myself, but could I have any more beautiful surroundings and conditions in which to get it done?  The wind was still, the temperature, beginning around 9 a.m., was around 72 degrees with the sun shining down.  I am so happy on this little acre of land where the LORD has chosen to bless us !

I am now quilting this quilt with the walking foot, using my 28 year old White sewing machine.   I only got it out of the closet because I wanted to use the triple zigzag for quilting.  You know, the stitch that goes 3 stitches to the right and then 3 to the left?  But then I saw that you can't use my walking foot while doing a zigzag stitch......DUH !  
I'm following the seams of the quilt, but instead of quilting in the ditch, I'm actually stitching on top of the seam allowance that is pressed to the side.  I'm doing this because the white fabric that I used was a great price for 90 inch wide fabric, but turned out to be a very low thread count which wants to fray very easily.  Stitching on top of the seam allowances will hopefully 'bind' them in place where they can't fray away to nothing.  I've made so many rookie mistakes with this quilt, it's just not funny.  I meant to cut away from behind the appliqued flowers, because you can see the stem behind the yellow one.  But I totally forgot until I already had it partially basted and noticed it. 
Knowing that the white fabric's longevity was questionable, I decided to buy quilt light polyester batting, rather than my favorite cotton/poly mix........no need to make this a large investment.  So,  this quilt is going to be a pretty, lightweight quilt that I hopefully will just use until it falls apart.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mama got a new toy !

And, yes, I DO KNOW that it's not for HOUSEPLANTS !

Hubby and I had just finished assembling my new Mantis Rototiller/cultivator, and I mentioned that it would probably never be this CLEAN again.  So we snapped a couple of quick photos. 

I'm kindof intimidated by it, actually, even though I was so excited at the thought of having one of my own.  I watch my neighbor, Rose, use her small one and even a much bigger one, and she's a little 90 pound, 5 foot tall lady.  But man, she can do it all !

But with a choke to contend with, the instruction for starting it reminds me of my chainsaw, which I loathe.  So, this may be a love/hate relationship.......let's hope it sweeps me off my feet--BUT NOT LITERALLY !

Beautiful flowerbeds, here I come !

And speaking of flowers, here's my latest gladioli.......

Oops, I told a fibber !

I didn't mean to, but I totally forgot a quilt finish from my hiatus.













One week when I didn't think that I could hand-quilt a bit longer, I pulled out the blue leaf quilt and machine-quilted it !












I meant to stipple behind the leaves, and do some artsy veining on the leaves themselves, and then try some swirling-water-quilting over the center squares.   But it was coming out uneven in the heaviness of the quilting. 














As is, the quilt is a little stiffer than I'm happy with, due to the smaller size of the meandering that I wound up doing all over.  I just went with what I started out doing in the background of the leaves as it was too dense to remove after I'd gone a ways. 

So, I really like the looks of it, and since it's a great piece for hanging on a wall, I think that it's okay that it's a bit stiff.   I hope to hang it this Fall, above my couch, continuing the blue-y feel in the living room.
 
I pieced the back from several bigger pieces that I had, and threw in a tree that I had free-pieced at the time that I was into piecing the leaves.   Because the quilt could be used as a wide or a narrow quilt, I pieced the back the long way.  But I put the sleeve on for it to hang the other way, as that fits best in the area I have for hanging.


I found this post in my list, marked as a draft,from way back in May of 2011, so I don't remember if I ever shared it or not.  If so, some of you may not have been reading my blog then.  And some of you may have already seen it.  Either way, please indulge my bad memory since I don't seem to be able to post pictures tonight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I finished the applique

I left the 'blushing' quilt top in three sections to do the applique, for ease of handling.  Parts of flowers or leaves that covered a joining seam were left unfinished until that seam could be sewn.  All of the applique is now done, and the three sections are joined.
I know it's not a great photo, but it's the best I could do
at this time of evening.  Maybe when it's bordered,
I can hang it on the clothesline during the daytime for
another shot.

I thought that meant that the quilt top was finished, but
#1.  The design included a white 2 inch strip across the bottom and down both sides, in addition to the one I already have pieced across the top.
#2.  After laying the top out on my bed, I realize that it would do nicely to have a 3 or 4 inch final border around it, especially since I know that quilting will cause it to come out just a little bit smaller than it is now.

I'll probably choose some sort of pretty green as a final border.   I really like this quilt.   Hubby likes it too.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Slowly but surely........

....work continues on this quilt top.  I've been piecing the lower section of the quilt in preparation of appliqueing the flowers to the lower left corner.

I may be the first person to hand-applique these flowers, but that's actually a more comfortable process for me than using a machine to do it.
I didn''t want to have to cut away the back layer behind these appliques, as the white fabric
is really loosely-woven and will probably fray like crazy.  But I can clearly see the dark green of the stem through
that yellow, so I think I'm going to HAVE to trim .


Friday, August 10, 2012

"'I'm Blushing" Quilt.......

....renamed currently, "I'm Rushing", because I just love how this quilt looks, and I just don't want to stop sewing on it !   Every coloration I see in it, I don't know, it's just so 'clean and crisp', somehow.

The blocks are just preliminarily laid out in this photo.  I did some moving around before I started sewing, but I have alot of the top of the quilt pieced.  Soon I'll have to stop and plan the flower part at the bottom left, and do some applique.   Loads of fun to look forward to !   I love it !

I found that I can't take applique orange peel blocks to the auction with me, as I am too busy paying attention to what's being bid on, and can't concentrate on my stitching.  But I hope to make enough blocks to have a companion wall piece to go with this pieced quilt that I'm making.
UPDATE
Dora's comment below reminds me that I did get a couple of shots of my white gladiola,......granted, it's not as detailed as the shot of the pink one, but I'll document it anyway.

I love the drops of water.  My husband has just used the hose on everything,
as the rain missed us entirely this time


  Thanks, Dora !

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Glads are blooming ........

....and shamefully, just a few days ago, I vowed to never purchase any again, as they are so straggly-looking when planted by themselves.  Today's gorgeous blooms make me rethink that statement.  I need to just be sure to plant them among other flowers, maybe even other tall ones, in order to truly enjoy their presence.  If I could afford the extravagance, I'd consider blowing up this photo into a poster size to mount on the green bedroom wall.  This photo just came out so beautifully balanced and clear.
This peach color is gorgeous, too, but I love the shading on that top one.
I have a pale yellow/white one blooming that I just can't get a good photo of today.


In sewing news, I started piecing the blocks for the Natalia Bonner quilt.  My-size version will require 15 large blocks and 31 small blocks.  Today I finished all 15 large ones, and made 8 small ones, so far.

In court news, for personal friends and family, the case has been deferred for second review on August 22nd.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

More rain......

....blessedly, we received a little bit more rain and some cooler temperatures over the last couple of days.

And it seems like since I decided I need a new quilt, the options just won't quit flitting through my senses !

I don't know WHAT design I'm going to do, but I've taken another step atleast.    I set up my cutting table at the end of my kitchen, so that I can keep the 'guest room' bed set up still.

I'll probably play around with a few ideas before starting in earnest.

I DID get a template made for this orange peel design that I'd like to start for carry-around work.
I have the photo labeled with the name KTQuilts.....credit to her, whoever that is (I find so much inspiration while I'm surfing quilty blogs !)

I go to a fun little auction on Tuesday and Saturday nights quite often, and I'm always lamenting the fact that I don't have any hand-work to do while I listen to the auctions that I DON'T want, waiting for that super bargain deal !  Appliqueing these peels onto 5 inch squares could be just the ticket, and the only way that I would ever get this type of quilt made.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I need a twin-sized quilt.....

...for my own bed.

Since moving into this home and down-sizing to a twin-sized bed, I've been making-do with larger-than-couch-size quilts, or with store-bought WONDERFUL microfiber blankets.  But it's time for me to get started on a quilt that will actually cover my toes this winter.

I'm thinking of using this tutorial, and extending the length of the quilt an extra three pieced-block rows.  I  like the varied colorations I've found of this pattern, like this and
this one

 that I don't have a link for, but have labeled "  Blushoz from Germany".    

 But I may need to buy background fabric (gonna try a little somethin' I've got first.).  Speaking of background fabric, have you seen the sale going on over at Connecting Threads for a couple more days?  Their solids and Mirage fabrics are on sale for $2.96 per yard !

These are the fabrics I've got set aside at this point.  Most of them were in a baggy, being collected from all the fat quarters that JoAnn sends.  She always slips a few into any commission that she sends for me to work on.......she's just sweet that way !

Anyway, it turns out that although they've been picked up here and there on many shopping trips, most of them will go together wonderfully in ONE quilt (actually, while I have them out, I hope I'll be smart enough to cut extra squares to put into more than one quilt).

What's holding me up is the fact that I haven't yet RE-TRANSFORMED my little bedroom back into a sewing room.  So, although I have access to my ironing board and my sewing machine, I have to set up a cutting board in the kitchen/diining area, and that creates too much of a mess to leave out for more than an afternoon.   And this looks like I could be cutting for several days, not to mention squaring up blocks as I go along !  Ooh, it sounds so fun, I've just got to make it happen !

In other news, the baby shower is this afternoon, so I hope that the little 'River' quilt will be a happily received gift among all the always-welcome diapers and cute clothing !

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lottie's back in her favorite perch

I saw this storage thingy from Ikea for sale at a yard sale and just knew that it looked more like a kitten toy to me.  Sure enough, she has a blast jumping in and out of the different layers, chasing paperwads and yarn balls in and out of it.  She even escapes to it to foil Piper's attempts to rough-house with her.

Lately, though, since she's been just a bit slower for the past week, she can be found in the bottom layer, taking a nap !

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sports Gives Me The Blues !

I finished the baby quilt for my great nephew-to-be !

It finished approximately 37 1/2 inches square.  The fabrics were mostly given to me by my galpal, Jodie Ann in Oklahoma.   She's always buying novelty fabrics to use in I-Spy quilts and such, and she sends me her leftovers.  I can never imagine, when I receive them, just what they'll become, but they always wind up being greatly appreciated, and pretty cute to boot !

I used a polyester batting, and a piece of light green stars fabric for the back.  The quilt feels really good, .....lightweight, and yet, warm, at the same time.  I didn't know what to quilt in the border, since nothing was going to show up very well, so I just quilted around each of the soccer balls!   They just poofed right up !

I received a package in the mail from Jodie today, actually.  She sent me a couple of new Olfa blades for my rotary cutter.  She gets them for half-price at the Hancock fabric store's sales.  Oh, how I miss Hancocks !  I mentioned them at our local quilter's meeting yesterday, and the girls looked at me all confused-like.  Only one knew what it was, and she mentioned that they're found in Kentucky.  I knew about Alabama, 'cuz that's where they directed me when I tried to find the closest one to my home, when I first moved back here !

Thank you, Jodie Ann, for the blades AND these fabrics !  I hope you enjoy seeing what I've made with them.

In gardening news, the deer are bothering my Rose of Sharons !   I have one poor little tree/plant that nearly died over the winter, but miraculously re-grew from the base of the old seemingly dead stem.  It was just getting to be about 2 1/2 feet tall and was sporting quite a few buds when........I went out a couple of mornings ago and all the branches were bitten down about 4 inches or so !

I've taken to putting this chicken wire around the closest other tree to protect it at night.  It's a double purple variety, and has just started blooming good.  Gotta protect my babies !  Durned deer !