“I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you. “ Exodus 31:6

“O Thou who art the all pervading glory of the world, we bless Thee for the power of beauty to gladden our hearts.
We praise Thee that even the least of us may feel a thrill of the creative joy when we give form and substance to our thoughts and, beholding our handiwork, find it good and fair. “.
Walter Rauschenbusch


"Come, and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.
I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD woud not have listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" Psalm 66:16-20

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The kids are home !

Praise the LORD, Kelley and family arrived in OKC last night at around 10:30p.m., after many weather-related delays in Washington, D.C. 

Grammy got them safely back to her house and all was well when I spoke to them after midnight ! 

*****welcome home *****

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stuck in the home......

...loving it !   Good day for working !

I started off the day with sweeping and mopping, while washing dishes and clothes. 
Then I decided to rearrange my bedroom.......I always love rearranging furniture !  It just gives me a real boost.  The room feels brand new, with the added bonus of knowing that you cleaned really well while doing it !
I then settled down to quilting by the light from the bedroom window and got in a few hours. 

 The first photo shows that I finished quilting that corner.....Woo Hoo.......and up to where the marked vertical lines stop.  I need to mark this last border's lines, but the other end of this border has one hoop's-worth already marked, so I may quilt there tomorrow. 

 I went ahead and snapped a few additional shots of the quilt while I had good light to show the contours of the hand-quilting.
Pictured above is your basic feathered wreath.........
and below.......
my best gal-pal, Wanda, designed this feather-quilting design for the inside corners of the quilt.  Isn't it fabulous?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yep, we got it !

Atleast 6 inches of snow here, and sleet balls have been coming down on top of that for atleast a couple of hours now.

But we're snug as two bugs here in our little nest, as long as the power stays on ! I haven't heard yet whether our daughter's flight is still on time, so we'll wait it out this evening hoping for word. We just got a call from Kelley, and they're staying overnight in Washington, D.C., waiting for OKC's airport to reopen and let flights in. Praise the LORD, they've reached the homeland safely !
Thank you for the many prayers on hers and her little family's behalves.

I didn't get alot of quilting done today.......not sure why, as I started fairly early. I did go outside to sweep the porch hourly or so, and I took the time to make that pot of bean soup today, so I guess that took its toll on my quilting progress.

Still, the quilting on this, even if tediously unending, is very SWEET....... which is to say that the fabric (muslin) is very soft, and the batting is a nice, thin polyester low-loft, so there's no painful push-and-squeak, as in some cotton battings and stiff fabrics.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

EDITED: to add today's quilting progress.......It's a comin' this a'way !

This may not look like much, but it is a huge milestone ! See that red border corner? That signifies that I am now quilting the last corner on this quilt, thereby leaving just one long border left to quilt. Yes, this will still take me awhile, and Yes, I still have to go back and quilt the paisley swags eventually, but

WOO HOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel !
******end of edited portion*******

It's coming............the ice and snow, that is !

Oklahoma, look out.......today is your day......keep those driveways as clear as you can while it's comin' down. And if you sprinkle your walkway with salt, don't forget to wash it away later or you'll ruin your concrete !

I'm quilting right now.......clever that way, aren't I, to be able to quilt and type at the same time. Hmmmmmmmmm.......not QUITE honest.

Okay, I've been quilting already, and hope to do more right after serving lunch, ....... better?

I didn't hand-quilt yesterday, as I cut out pieces for 28 'T' blocks, but got stuck on picking a background......stuck between what I would like, and what would look good for a 4 year-old boy's room ! (one of them there dilemners). As you can see, they're not little boy colors (by that, I mean that it isn't the cutesy kiddy prints that I usually use for kids)......I'm thinking he could use this for years as it's going to be big enough to cover a twin-sized mattress, hopefully. The prints almost all are something for him to pick out.......footballs, tiger stripes, spiderwebs, houses.....etc. I planned to put it on the blue, but it looked so good on EQ5 with a golden background.......but my tan is not right, and my golden is too bright (I didn't photograph the golden).

This is the way I designed it, above, but I layed it out with the 'T's all going one way, and I really like that because you don't have such a long stretch of background between the letters.

I like this layout better, but still don't care for my backgrounds. I'm trying to use what I have so it'll be interesting to see what I decide !
So, the 'T's sit while I quilt. I have more cornbread muffins in the oven, and am planning a big pot of 15-bean soup to have ready, just incase we lose power.......I guess I'd have to light a match under it to heat it, huh? Well, I also have a fresh loaf of white bread and a jar of peanut butter, so we won't starve !

Be safe and warm and I'll catch ya later..................Dee, thank you for that beautiful prayer you posted in my comments.....I shared it with my daughter, and she much appreciated it !

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday's quilting

(Today's background is in honor of my little sick pirate, T.J. )

I wasted spent alot of time today on EQ5, wanting to play in the sewing room before I had to knuckle down to the hand-quilting. I didn't actually cut anything, though, but I loved the linear look of this design (for a quilt for T.J.)

I spoke to him this morning, and they were all coming off of a bout with food-poisoning, after eating at their favorite Chinese restaurant one last time before moving back from Germany to live in Oklahoma again. They fly home on Thursday, God willing, and hopefully not stalled by the icy weather that is predicted to hit mid-America that day.

There's a possibility that I might go with these American flag type of samples that I got from friends in Oklahoma a few years ago. I've really been saving them for a quilt for Kelley, though.

Around 2 p.m., I settled down to quilt for awhile, and family promptly stopped by, so I quilted under a light that is situated over hubby's bed. I didn't get as much done as yesterday, but enjoyed good company and conversation all the while.

6 year-old, Zoe, asked me if I could come to the airport, too, when Grammy picks them up on Thursday evening. I said, "baby girl, you know that Nana lives a whole day's trip away from Grammy !" She said, "oh, yeh,..................................................................... then could you be there the next morning when I wake up?"
Tore my heart out to have to say no ! I said, "PawPaw's not well and can't travel that far right now, so I'll have to wait for you to come to me soon."

Hmmmmmmmm........we'll have to see which is harder--having them so far away, as in Germany, or having them so close and not being able to get there anyway ! Atleast we'll be through with the time-difference and international long-distance, so that I can call whenever I want !

Because you are all so dear to me, I would love to request that you lift an extra prayer tonight for safe passage home for my dear little family of five....Kelley, Tim, Zoe, T.J., and Seth ! Thank you so much !

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boring accountability

That's what I'm going to call it.

Warning.....the next few posts may be incredibly boring (I mean even more-so than usual !), as I'm attempting to use this web log as a tool toward accountability. I really want to finish this Feathered Star quilt, so I'm thinking that I'll post each day just how much I accomplish THAT DAY ! Hopefully, I'll feel that I have to keep trudging ahead.

(Keep in mind that this trailer has no overhead lighting, so my best quilting light comes from sitting in front of this big window. That means that I don't get to wait until evening, when I'd like to curl up and do my hand-quilting, after getting to play in the sewing room all afternoon. No, I have to get my morning's housework done, and then settle down in front of the window, quilting for all it's worth until the light fades beyond usability.)

So, with that in mind, here are today's photos:

I think I'll put them side-by-side for comparison.............

Morning--fresh area hooped and ready........
Evening--approximately 55% of hooped area quilted.
Poor China couldn't take the boredom !
(And just for the blog record, we had snow flurries today.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday........

......to my brother, Jeff !
54 years old today, he rode with me to Church this morning, and then, after Sunday School was over, and I picked up hubby for regular Sunday morning service..........well...........then it was MY birthday---------well, kindof !
You see, I was baptized this morning ! I've started fresh; I am a new creation in Christ !
Wednesday night, I told our pastor that I would like to be baptized this Sunday morning if it was possible. I told him that I had been baptized before, when I was 14, but that I had not understood exactly what it was all about then. (God has been an ever-present source of strength and healing for me for about a year and a half, now, since He helped me realize that I DID NOT KNOW HIM. I gave my heart fully to him, then, in 2008.)
My pastor said that it would be just fine.
I went this morning, prepared to be baptized by the youth pastor (I know, I know, I'm not THAT NEW), because he does most of the baptisms......and he did come back to the baptismal and get dressed in the waders in preparation. But just before the pastor announced that we were ready, the youth pastor sent word for my other brother, John, to come back there. I could barely see over to their side of the baptismal readying area, but I could tell that there was some changing of clothes going on ! It turns out that the man who was going to baptize me felt that the LORD told him to ask my brother, John, to do it. I saw that the other man had re-dressed, and now John was wearing the waders, and I asked the friend waiting with me, "Is John able to baptize?" She said, "yes", and I just started praising the LORD for this sweet favor he had granted me this morning !
So, there we were together, hubby and brother Jeff in the balcony, and John, and I in the baptismal, today, on Jeff's natural birthday, and my new baptismal one...........I never could have imagined a year ago that such blessings and changes could have come my way in the short spanse of a year.
God is faithful. God is ever present. God is merciful. And yes, God is patient.......Praise the LORD, he is patient ! And He is so sweet !

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Do I have a problem?

I can't seem to pick just one blog background and stick with it !
There are so many neat designs out there, just free for the taking...........how could a person turn their head away? So, enjoy today's change.........who knows how long it'll last?

I couldn't resist putting up the new photo of China as my banner, though. She was posed so daintily, but the colors just didn't match the old blog skin !

I don't have much to share today........it's been a very busy week. I got a pot of soup/stew made today and some cornbread muffins, so that I won't have to cook tomorrow.

I was supposed to be cutting my brother's hair this afternoon, but he hasn't called me back yet to tell me to come over there. I told him that I'd cut it (buzz it, really), but it had to be at his house so that he had to clean up the mess.

I finished the quilting in the hoop where it was positioned on the 'monster' quilt, and removed the hoop, putting the horrid thing quilt away for another day. I still don't have a solid idea for the T.J. quilt, so I haven't attempted cutting anything. I may mess around with an idea using the "T" quilt block.......I'll need to open up my EQ5 and play for awhile.

I know that posts without photos are boring, so I'll leave you with this.......
a photo of the sewing machine I have that
belongs to my daughter, Kelley.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm still here

Just had a couple of off days.

In fact, they were so off that I decided not to accept the nomination that Dee gave me for the 'Lemonade stand' award........thanks anyway, sweetheart, but my face has been dried up like it hit pure alum the last couple of days !

I'm seeing daylight again, but haven't ventured into the sewing room for a long enough period of time to let the fun begin. That's the therapy I need !

I did make myself pull out the 20 year quilt.......MONSTER........so that when I see it, I'll feel guilt-ridden into working on it. Now, seriously, is that going to bring the grin back or what............NOT........unless I were to accidentally FINISH it in the next 3 days, which AIN'T gonna happen.

But, there's Church tonight, and that always perks me up again........there's nothing like the fellowship of God's children.

Loving you all and wishing you a blessed night !

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A reward is in order !

That's right.........in honor of finishing Zoe's quilt, I presented myself with a little reward today.
Nothing major.......
I didn't order the $69.00 quilt kit that I saw in the new Keepsake Quilting catalog, and would LOVE to have...........

Nor did I send off for the Girl Scouts quarter yard medley (I know that this has been her first year in some section of the organization, but I just MADE Zoe a quilt ............before I knew that this collection existed !)

Nope, neither one of those goodies.
I didn't even get myself a set of size 13 Clover bamboo knitting needles to replace the one poor little (big) guy that I left behind somewhere on Monday, when I packed up my scarf to come home.

my little reward was these guys !

......and I'm truly excited about them !
I've been wanting to try them FOREVER.......curved basting safety pins. I bought two packages at Wally World, and plan to pick up another pack every once in awhile, until I have enough to pin-baste a fairly large-sized quilt.

I want to try them out on a baby quilt or a wall-hanging, foregoing the basting frame and just laying the whole sandwich out on my cutting table to baste. Could be nice not having the threads to remove later, from the center of the quilt. Of course, I'll still need to baste around the edges, I guess.

So, that's my big reward !
Now, for my birthday......................I know, I know, it was almost 2 months ago, but someone very special to me just sent me a little money to spend on myself, for it................so, I bought myself a couple of watches, too,..........I mean, I needed SOMETHING to store the pins in right......thus, the empty watch box ! (well......one of the boxes.) Maybe I'll buy some of those self-threading needles for hiding thread tails, and store them in the other box. Awwww, what am I saying? I can only wear one watch at a time, so I need the other box to keep one watch nice while I wear the other one right (or atleast to keep it where I can FIND it, when I want to switch !)
You know......sometimes I read my posts back to myself, and I sound like such a smart mouth !
I truly don't mean to, friends ! That thing I said in the last post, about no one offering advice on binding......I didn't mean anything mean at all by that, but please forgive me if it sounded like it.
It's all Dee's fault. I read her blog and it just makes me all sassy with myself ! Shame on you, Dee ! (there I go again !)
Anyway, now that I've found a place to lay the blame, I'll get back to matters at hand.
It's time for me to plan the next, bigger quilt (besides the wallhanging that I want to try out the pins on).
T.J. needs a new quilt for this move they're making, too ! Something very boyish ! Gotta go pick my brain........hmmmm.....this could take a while to find it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Two sides to every story......

That's the name of Zoe's quilt.

......no, really, that's the new name of this quilt !

All bound, washed and dried !

Can you see how flat her binding lies? I took some tips from a quilting forum, since not one of you dear friends had any advice to offer when I asked ! I actually measured and cut the binding to the measurement of the center of the quilt, and then pinned it on before sewing, so that it didn't stretch, thereby drawing up the edge of the quilt.

Oops.............did I forget to tell you that I made it totally reversible?

I did ! Oh, my bad ! Yes, yes.........this is in homage to the wonderful quilters from these three blogs..... http://www.filminthefridge.com/ and http://www.redpepperquilts.com/
fromthehandbasket.blogspot.com/2009/11/weekend-progress-r... (and bits and pieces from most all of you whose blogs I visit.......you know who you are, and if I need to mention you, give me a nudge.)
You all inspire me DAILY and I had to start machine-quilting, just so that I could try some of these wonderful pieced quilts and backs, like you make. Thanks, girls !

Yep, loving the brights one week........the next week, I'm a purple girl. Actually, the purple bigger blocks were pieced for the front, but I didn't like them there.......and the back just came together ! (yeh, dolly, after about 7 or 8 hours of hair-pulling, rearranging, cutting, piecing, ripping...........)

I love this........all ready for snuggling under........the next best thing to a hug from Nana !

And now, let's give THIS little girly a big hand ! A beautiful, useful quilt, totally made on her little surface. She's been with me for 31 years and has NEVER let me down. Of course, she's been around alot longer than that, and probably could tell tales of gorgeous quilts extraoidinaire............but she's very modest. She sits quietly in a corner, unnoticed, with a sweet little Mona Lisa smile playing around her bobbin case. We get together weekly, and like me, she tends to 'run on' a little bit, as my best gal, JoAnn, remembers, but she's left her mark on me and my quilts.......in the best possible way.

She deserves a name, but, alas, she's never told me what it is, and I would feel like I was imposing MY personality on her if I tried to give her one now. Maybe someday she'll share it with me during a quiet moment, but for now, we understand each other, and names aren't necessary.

Thank heavens........after all, I've changed mine so many times, she'd be thoroughly confused !

Wait a doggone minute ! What's this??????????

I don't wanna talk about it..........I'm fine.......really! I'M FINE.......mean old quilting fairies !

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No pictures now........

.......but, hopefully, a finished, washed and dried quilt tomorrow !

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yucky day behind us !

Hooray, and PRAISE THE LORD for strength to get through things that we dread !

Hubby's all day evaluation is behind us, and we made the drive safely there and back.

I decided to buy a white skein of good ol' RedHeart acrylic, and start another scarf like the red one.........that, along with a copy of the Living New Testament, and my personal journal, kept me occupied and entertained through the day.

I only had two near misses on the highway, thanks to the angels accompanying us. Once, on the interstate on the way up there, I started to change over to the right lane beside me, and didn't see a car coming up in my blindspot. Close call.
Then, on the way home, on a two-way-traffic highway, a pick-up truck decided to pull out in front of me to enter the highway, when I was really coming up on him too close for him to have done that. Blessedly, my brakes worked well, and I was able to avoid hitting him.

Needless, to say, we were glad to get home and relax. Don't get me wrong,......it was not a white-knuckle, stress-filled day........the LORD almighty gave us strength, and confidence and even ease-of-mind to get the job done.

Now, I need some advice. I know I've been quilting for over 30 years, but my quilts are drawing up a little on the edges after binding. I'm using a walking foot, and using straight, single bindings. Should I switch back to bias-bindings? Single or double? I don't measure the binding and cut it to a specific length......never have. I don't remember having this problem many years ago, but I did use a lot of bias, double bindings.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I've been quilting today !

The quilting is done.

Now it's time to choose binding fabric/fabrics.

It's not quite as long as a twin-sized bed.....

I wish I had made it one row longer !

I can hardly wait to wash and dry it.

I wish I had done some prep work on another project, like I talked
about on someone else's blog comments !
Our doctor's appointment got moved up to this Tuesday,
and this is all I have to work on !
It'll take probably and hour and a half to
hand-stitch the binding, and then I need a good book !

Hey, there's an idea.....I can go to the library
after tomorrow morning's activities.

'Night all !

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Going nowhere.......

....for awhile, anyway.
At first, the snow was so dry that I
watched our neighbor blow it off of his
But within 30 minutes, his progress had been obliterated !
Hubby and I just walked out to the road and tried to scrape the snow aside with our shoes........unh-uh !
It's slick underneath !

I sure am enjoying the big ol' pot o' chili, though !

Think I'll go and see if I can't get the basting frame out, now that I've willed my cut finger to my cousin, Janet ! (sorry, girl !)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thank God for........GOD !

Oh, I just had the best night at Church, I'm fairly busting with energy !

There were only two 3 year-old boys in the class tonight, but I had such fun with them.....oh, their imaginations are just limitless !
Imagine trying to fit in the story of the Three Kings' journey, mixed in with an alligator brought along to eat the baby Jesus ! UH-Hmmmmm.......had to straighten that one out a little bit ! What fun ! I pray that the Lord is using me to plant a seed in these little hearts that'll bring about wonderful loving fruit one day !

Speaking of loving fruit, my dear cousin, Janet, you know I mean you !........my cousin sent me new (old) photographs of my mom and grandmother.......such a treasure to me. I added a couple of the photos to my sidebar, and made copies of all of them today to share with my brothers that live here.
She's even graciously offered to share with me some knitting needles that my grandmother used............I can't even convey what THAT means to me ! I can remember her sitting in our backyard when she would come from Canada for a visit, knitting or crocheting little things while she watched us play around her. Surely my love of the handmade originated with her quiet patience.

You know.....today has been a most wonderful day.......they're warning us of an impending snowstorm, so I stocked up on groceries, bought the hubster a little pizza for lunch, had a nice visit with a couple of neices, and made a nice, big pot of chili and some cornbread muffins. After the fun night with the 3 yr. olds, I am truly feeling God's favor, right here, right now..........and I'm sending prayers up, right this minute for anyone reading this post........his peace will be on and in you, right now and through this night.

All my love........

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Red Set

I finished knitting the scarf last night, and was very pleased with its squishiness.
Then, the usual search for a hat pattern began. I wanted a Fisherman's Rib hat to match, but this stitch really eats up the yarn, and since there was probably less than a third of this skein left, and the hat called for a wide cuff, I knew that it wasn't going to happen.

Then, today, I dug out the old Calorimetry pattern and gave it another try. My yarn was a different weight from the sport weight I used last time, so I just took a guess on how many stitches to begin with, and it worked out just perfectly.
I started with 88 stitches, in worsted weight yarn, on size 8 needles. I think I worked until there were 28 stitches in the middle between the 2 markers.
I gave it the 'itch' test just now. I went for a short little run outside, and the set felt good. That's saying something, since it's about 27 degrees out there. But, I was warm and itch free !

That's a funny thing, by the way.......maybe it's something new for 2010,.........but I started running yesterday, just little bursts, like to the mailbox and back, and it felt GOOD !

I've never been able to enjoy running because I was so well endowed in front, if you catch my drift. But menopause has taken its toll there, thankfully, and I'm a little more well contained in my clothes now. Anyway, I ran a few times today, just out in the field behind the place here, and I love it ! The neighbors will probably be calling the loony wagon, since the neighborhood dogs all think it's a new game, and are running right along beside and around me, trying to knock me over. But, it's exhilarating !

So, this year is starting out to be different. I knew it would, but I guess I really have NO IDEA just how different. What an adventure, huh?

Friday, January 1, 2010

First post of 2010

I stayed up until around 1:30 a.m., seeing in the new decade, knitting.
Slept late, and woke to the sun shining beautifully.

Got a load of laundry done and hanging out on the line......hope it doesn't freeze ! Baby, it's cold outside !

The rest of the day is shaping up to be a lazy one......I can't baste the white quilt, as I have some kind of little cut on the end of my right ring finger, and it keeps getting re-opened everytime I bang it on something........I don't even know where it came from. But I won't take a chance on it ruining the white fabric, so instead I'll just keep working on this new scarf I'm making.

I've found that as much as I love working with good quality wool, the scarves and hats really make my head and neck itch ! So I went downtown and bought myself a super skein of good ol' Red Heart, and started myself a Fisherman's Rib scarf based on the demo seen here. Aren't those the fattest ribbed stitches you've ever seen........it feels so good ! She didn't give any instructions, so I'm just winging the beginning and edges.

China just seemed like the perfect backdrop for a quick photo.......I moved things around in the computer room, and now she has a sunny window to lie in all day. She rarely comes out of here anymore, but she is very grateful and lets me know it. So, she tolerates my photographic efforts.
Gonna get back to knitting now........ta ta !