Praise !

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
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.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Really? Me ?

I got a very interesting email in my inbox this morning and followed this link .

Found my name down at the announcement of the BIGGEST  PRIZE -- Melody Baby Lock Sewing machine?

Whoa !

Wow !

Praise the LORD !

Congratulations to all the participants and winners.......it was a fun 2 weeks full of beautiful quilts to peruse !  Thanks Amy and sponsors !  You rock !

Friday, May 30, 2014

Life outside !

Things just get ramped up and busy this time of year and I find myself spending all of my time outside, and very little in front of the computer.

Things are blooming, late but beautifully.......

my painted Lillies (I bought them at an after-Easter sale 2 years ago, but I don't know the name of them)



my Asiatic Lillies



my bigger Daisies that Rose shared with me (these come down from the originals in her mother's garden in the 1960's)

You can just make out the smaller Daisies off to the left side of this photo.  These are easily twice as big !


and another treasure that she shared.....a double Poppy.  She's given me transplants several times that didn't make it, but this time she gave me seed and I finally have my blooms !

The vegetable garden is doing very well,

especially the squash and tomatoes.  As you can see, I tied fluttering strings around it and piepans that clank in the wind.....I've had no more problem with fence-tearers, praise the LORD !

I tried to make myself start a quilting project, but just couldn't get anything going.

Also, after much prayer, I decided not to go through with the second injection into my vocal chord.  I can see small changes taking place in my eating ability and sleeping, so I'm leaving it to God to heal me directly.  If He nudges me back toward another procedure, so be it, but for now, I'm trusting in the Maker to know how to fix His work.  In the meantime, I'm sure He can teach me a few lessons in patience, humility, and empathy......and those are very good, but sometimes hard-learned lessons !

Be well, be blessed, and enjoy the day !

Friday, May 16, 2014

A baby quilt of faith -- Blogger's Quilt Festival second entry

Linking up to the 2014 Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival, this is the second quilt I'd like to share.  This one is entered in the 'hand-quilted' category, and I would appreciate your vote if you really like it.  The actual name of the quilt is........

Dandelions Near The Steps

This is a baby quilt made from the simple desire to sew !  The design is my own, just something to showcase the solid-colored fabrics, picking up the ones that are featured in the dandelion print.  The finished quilt measures 36 inches square.

The batting is Hobbs' Heirloom Premium 80% cotton/20% polyester.
I used Connecting Threads solid strips and a Valori Wells dandelion print for the top of the quilt.

I regret to say that I don't know the maker of the backing fabric, but I am thankful to my friend, JoAnn, in Oklahoma, for continuing to send me her scraps (big scraps!)

 I pieced a few of the gradating solids from the front of the quilt into the back, since I needed to piece it anyway.
I decided to hand-quilt this one since it would show up so nicely against the solid fabrics.  

I love how the light coming in from the window shows all of the contours of the quilting lines.  

Once again, Lottie-dah wants to claim the quilt for her own.   Can't believe I haven't made this girl a quilt yet !

  The quilt has been gifted to a beautiful young woman who is believing God for a baby girl, and has already named her, Abigale Marie Hope !  God IS hope, isn't he..........praise God for all our babies, no matter how old they are, or how long we have to wait !  God is faithful........why can't we be FULL of FAITH?

Thanks for stopping by .   I hope you enjoy the festival and that you find lots of interesting, new-to-you blogs to follow !


Diamonds in the Dirt

I'm linking up to Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival, and I hope to share this quilt with interested quilters that haven't run across my blog before.
This quilt can be found in the "Home Machine Quilted" category,
 if you wish to vote for it.  Thanks !

This quilt








 was made for my older brother, John, in appreciation for helping me through a difficult year.  You see, my husband is disabled and can no longer drive, which leaves all of our normal driving to me.  When I had to schedule surgery to have a (benign, thank GOD) tumor removed from my vocal chords, John agreed to drive me to the hospital and back home again, a nearly-two-hour-drive in each direction.  It was supposed to be an overnight stay, but turned out to be 5 days, during which he drove back and forth to make sure that my husband also got to visit.  Then, he stepped up and drove me for all return trips, which turned out to be quite a few.  But he would never accept any money for gasoline, causing me to hide money within his car on a couple of occasions.

So, a couple of months later, I had just finished this quilt top, which I just 'threw together', trying to use up older fabrics from my much ignored 'brown drawer'.    Falling in love with it, I realized that it would make a perfect couch throw for John, and I started concentrating on finishing it for him.

I basted it outside under my carport on such a windy day that the wind picked up the basting frame and tossed it off of its corner supports !  After that, things went smoothly, and I machine-quilted it on my old Singer model-15 cabinet-model machine, using an open-toed walking foot.


I followed the ditch on the long seams, and then used a soap sliver to mark the cables from a stencil, and stitched them.


Here, I had quilted the first cable with white thread, and found that it
created too much contrast.  I removed these stitches and changed
 to a medium brown, which let the contours stand out rather
 than the thread.
  I switched to my nearly 30-year-old White sewing machine to use a triple zigzag stitch for the wavy lines running down the light strips.

The batting is Hobbs' 80 cotton/20 polyester batting,



and the backing is a Riley Blake print purchased from Fabric.com.

 I used triangles that were trimmed from the front 'diamond-squares', to make the arrows on the back.  The label was signed with the scripture, "The steps of a good man are ordered of the LORD".

I surprised him with the quilt at church one evening.  He took it home and started downstairs to his basement 'study', to leave the quilt on his recliner.   Seeing him heading down, his wife quickly suggested that the quilt might do better duty upstairs where they BOTH could enjoy it.

 Hearing that relayed to me, I decided that it was the right decision, praise the LORD, to make him this quilt; and, I must have done alright, as they do me honor by using it to grace the living room of their beautifully decorated home.
This is me, comfy in p.j.'s in my own little home,
 with the just completed quilt top back in February,
I think.

The quilt started out measuring 56 x 80 inches, but shrunk a bit in the dryer, to finish at a measurement of 53 x 76 inches.  That's a LOT of shrinkage......John is a TALL guy....hope it still fits !  He hasn't complained, anyway !

The pattern was derived from making a few changes to a design that I saw in a quilter's catalog.

Feel free to follow my blog if you don't mind a whole lot of normal life mixed in with bits of quilting and knitting !  Enjoy the rest of the festival !

Thursday, May 8, 2014

So tired.

Short but sweet catchup.

Cucumbers, squash, and okra showing seedling activity.  Rough tomatoes improving.

Tried to straighten shed today in preparation for a yard sale.  So much work !   Really just rearranged.....more to do, so much more.

Doctor said Monday that the good vocal cord has not moved over any to compensate for the lack of activity in the paralyzed one.  He offered to send me to another doctor who performs the same collagen injection that I had once before, but this doctor does it from the outside of the neck, eliminating the need to be put to sleep.  I'm praying for guidance.  This procedure didn't last more than a week  before, and when it does last, it usually only lasts from 2 to 6 months or so.

Still......God is good, He knows what I need, and He will not tarry.  I must wait and see the goodness of the LORD.  Praise God !





Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pride goeth before a fall.....

.... and I was so proud of the job I did re-erecting my garden fence with all new stakes, driving them into the ground by hand.  I repent.  Today I discovered that some rascal, most hopefully four-legged, decided to rip a huge hole in that beautiful fence in one place, and tear several other places.

   Being the lifelong seamstress that I am, after repenting of my pride, I grabbed my curved needle and some polyester reinforced quilting thread and stitched up the holes.  I've since tied selvedges all around to flap in the wind, and added aluminum pie pans to clash around and generally scare the bejeebies out of my nocturnal visitors (I hope).  I even stuck a yard flag out there to flap in the breeze, and hung my favorite kitchen-utensil wind chimes on the fence.  Yep, it looks less than beautiful now, but (again with the HOPE), HOPEFULLY we'll have a nice harvest like last year.

I  pulled dirt up into a row and planted one row of Okra before I realized that it was too much work to do by hand, after the rain having packed the dirt again.  Maybe tomorrow I can loosen it up a bit again with the tiller, and then rake it into a semblance of rows, hills, and walkways.   A raised bed garden is looking better to me all the time.   Sounds great to be able to go out to a lumber-enclosed, raised bed, bend at the waist and plant !   Surely it has it's own aggravations too?

  Anyway, beyond that, the good news healthwise is that my hemoglobin levels were finally high enough yesterday that I was able to donate blood for the first time in about 2 years or more.  I was happy !
  Monday I go for my 6 month post-surgery checkup.  Small things, that make a big difference, have changed, but I still have very little volume to my voice, cough alot, have difficulty sleeping, and MISS SINGING !  But, God is my healer, and time is my friend.  Anesthesia and surgery, on the other hand, are not things I want to tolerate again, so if my surgeon offers to make my voice better, I think I'll just tell him that I'm waiting on God to do that when he desires.

Yard-wise, my bronze-rasperry Irises are blooming down the driveway on either side of the mailbox.
Iris

And I couldn't identify this greenery when it came up, so I left it alone, and it turned out to be Sweet William !   I bought seed and put it out SOMEWHERE once, but I don't know if this is from that or from Rose, or from the birds/wind sharing her garden with mine.  But it is a very happy surprise for me, and I hope that they reseed themselves and hang around for years !
Sweet William

Also, the Purple Salvia that I planted last year have come back as they are supposed to (never had them before and I shaded the area when we built the carport, so I had my doubts).
Salvia

And my newest visitor to our bird feeders is this Indigo Bunting.  I've never spotted one around here before, although this time I thought he was a Bluebird for days before I actually saw him AT the feeder.
Indigo Bunting
And, an interesting thing that I noticed was that a black and white Grosbeak, like I noticed last Spring, showed up on the exact same day as in the photo that I took of one last year.......April 25 exactly.  God is so amazing !  "A time for every purpose under Heaven" !


Grosbeak and Red Finch