" 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


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grandmother's Flower Garden....but not a quilt !

I've been very lax in posting to my blog this year.   I don't know.....I started to feel like I was just posting pictures of my 'pretty work' so that people could tell me how talented I am.....and that didn't feel right.  I am so very thankful for the gift of creating quilty stuff that the LORD has blessed me with, and my desire is to share that with others.   But I find myself checking the blog often just to see if anyone else has commented.  There.......I've put it out there.  Maybe it's a silly thing to share here, but it is what it is.  The Bible says to confess your faults to one another, (James 5:16), and, alas, that has been one of mine that has bothered me.

You know that same scripture says to also pray for one another and you will be healed.  I don't know about you, but I grew up, and grew old, with the feeling that you didn't talk about something good that was happening, because you might jinx it........but the HOLY SPIRIT is teaching me to PROCLAIM the good things of GOD.  So I want to mention right here and now, since the Bible says that about healing, that I run across people ALL the time that are praying for ME.......imagine !  For me !   And I have noticed something the last few mornings.  For months, when I awakened, I would have to do this big, ugly-sounding cough, to clear out the saliva that had seeped into my windpipe while I slept.   Well...............the last few mornings, I haven't had to do that......it just wasn't there.   SEE !   God is restoring that damaged vocal nerve, day by day.  Praise God for HIS goodness, HIS mercy, HIS compassion.  With HIS stripes, I AM HEALED !


Now, having said all that, today I want to share my flower garden that God surrounds me with.  Another gift, a gift of beauty and peace, and a constant reminder of HIS awesomeness, it brings me daily joy !


Tiger Lily
This is my biggest Hibiscus, although it is not my oldest.  It has always been bright white with a deep scarlet eye.  All of my Hibiscus are the hardy type that stay in the ground and come back every year.......I owe their starts to Rose, my friend and neighbor up the street.
This is my original, first Hibiscus, given to me the year that I bought this place, 2011.  A windstorm broke off half of Roses plant, and she gave it to me as a start.
This is the same bush, maybe a week later, but now there's a traitor in the ranks !   I had seen that a new Hibiscus stalk had sprung up about 9 inches away from the original plant, so, assuming it was growing from the roots of the mother plant, I thought, "hooray, I'll finally have another deep pink plant !   I'll move it to where I want it, since I haven't been able to get any of that color when I plant them from seed. 

 Well, ........it bloomed today, and would you just look at that ! ? !  Palest pink !  

 I'd better treasure the mother plant and keep it in good shape, because I don't know how in the world I'll ever have another of that shade !   Actually, the Japanese beetles made a feast of it this year, as always, but it's blooming it's little heart out anyway !


This seems to be my year for Hibiscus.  A new plant started blooming over the mailbox, and is a pale to medium pink, as were two plants out at the backyard-edge garden.


These are morning glories growing in a hanging pot, from my front porch post.  On the opposite side of the porch, the basket contains purple ones, but I haven't gotten a really good photo of them.



Now, this is the three-in-one Rose of Sharon bush that I purchased from Michigan Bulb 3 years ago.  It has finally had a bit of a growing spurt this year and is about 2 feet tall.  They called it red,white,and blue, but it actually blooms in a pale purply pink, and today, a pale true pink.  I don't remember if I've seen a white bloom on it thus far.

This is the purply pink bloom color.  As you can see, they are double blooms.

 This is my favorite of my Rose of Sharon bushes.  It has the same flower as the ones I grew out in Oklahoma, although they SEEMED to grow a lot faster, and grew into small trees.  But, then again, I was in that same location for 19 years, so maybe the passage of time just fooled me !  But, I do love these single blooms !


My Crepe Myrtle bushes were labeled 'dwarf', and they are certainly living up to that name.  


I threw marigold and zinnia seed out all around the perimeter of my garden this spring, and they have really done well on two sides, and not too badly on the other two.  On this side, the tall yellow marigold somehow all wound up down one side WITHIN the fence !  They've just now started to bloom well.


It's a rare thing when I'm able to capture a picture from this rose bush BEFORE the Japanese Beetles ravage the bloom.!  This is the original rose bush that was here when I bought the place.
And this is the little garden that I've built up around that original Rose.  I bought the Knock Out rose on the other side for 50 cents in 2011, and it has really done well.  Too bad that the Japanese Beetles find it so tasty.  I didn't get around to replacing the lures in the beetle bags this year, but I find satisfaction in squishing between my fingers every beetle that I can get my hands on !
Poor baby, bug-ravaged, she's still giving it her all !


These are some of the flowers growing around the base of the roses.  It varies year by year.
These are some type of  Wildflower that God has blessed me with in my shade garden near the woods.  I don't know the name of them, but I welcome them !


Slowly but surely, I am attempting to have bushes planted all down the side of my driveway that borders the neighbor's yard.  It is very rough, gravelly and clay soil, but I keep trying.   This year I took my Rhododendron out of the big pot that you see there on the left, and put it and it's twin into the ground, one here, and the other behind the carport.  There is a Hydrangea there next, and then, in the ground, a Coxcomb and a new rose bush.  Beyond that are some Jerusalem artichokes, and then a Rose of Sharon bush.

I finally caught a sale on Hydrangea and purchased this one.  It was purply pink/blue when it bloomed at Walmart and I know that the color depends on the soil content.   It is a new variety that is supposed to rebloom all summer.   It seems to be acclimating itself to my yard, and is starting to bloom again..........white, right now !

It's hard to tell, but this, on the right, is a KnockOut rose that I started from some of Rose's trimmings.  It finally leafed out, and has even had one bloom.  It should be lovely here at the top of the driveway when it really gets some size on it.......maybe 2-3 years from now.....HOPEFULLY !

Well, if you've hung in there through this entire post, I applaud you.  I really just wanted to document for 2014 just how my yard is changing and evolving.

Be well, and be blessed, and GIVE GOD THE GLORY !

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I need a name !

I have finished my first quilt since winning the new Melody BabyLock sewing machine that I won during the Blogger's Quilt Festival.





As I posted before, I pieced the top while waiting for the new machine to arrive.


Then I did part of the quilting with the walking foot (which doesn't have as big a viewing area as the Brother walking foot that I purchased for my old machine)......


and, I free-motion-quilted the background area.  

It took me a while to adjust to this machine..........mainly, getting used to it wanting to make a snarl of threads underneath at the beginning of all stitching.   I learned to try to always remember to hold the threads when I start a new line of stitching.

I used the serpentine stitch between straight lines of quilting in the border.....I was really pleased with the way that looked.
I was disappointed when I wanted to use the alphabet to monogram my name and the year's date on the hanging sleeve.

My fault, there.......I don't keep stabilizer, so I couldn't get it to look right on a single layer of regular quilt-weight cotton.
After trying to finish this quilt exclusively on this machine, I now understand why my girlfriend, JoAnn, who always used new Berninas, had trouble with her  piecing.  Just trying to stitch pieces of binding together, it is difficult to start triangles under the foot.


Let's face it......I've been spoiled.   For me, there's NOTHING on these new machines to compare to the skinny-footed, straight-stitch,

single-hole-throatplate-Singer that I've used for 36 years !

I'm a simple gal, and I love my simple machine.  I'll enjoy playing with the Melody, but my heart belongs to Ernestine !



But, all that said, here she is ......... the finished product....WITHOUT A NAME !

  This is my own original design.  The quilt finished with measurements of approximately 43 inches by 63 inches.

Looking back at this post, it looks like a lot of complaining done by a very ungrateful, small person.   That was not my intention at all.   I only wanted to give a realistic, true-to-self review of this machine, because I went searching for one before I received it and could find very little of value.  I am still VERY thankful to have won such a wonderful prize !