“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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Setting the tone.....

Years ago I heard it said that whoever you kissed at midnight on New Year's Eve was who you would be kissing all throughout the next year.  Well, hubby and I did it right, marrying on New Year's Eve, just to make sure it was a LIFETIME committment.   I don't regret that decision, so tonight I'm setting up 2011 in a different way.  

Some rows are pieced and some aren't.......that's why they don't match up.  whaddya think? I can't sew?  LOL !
I'm piecing a little quilt top tonight, to ensure that I get to spend lots of time quilting in the new year ! 

I am so very thankful to my LORD and Saviour for another year of freedom, good health, hubby's companionship, family and friends.
Here's wishing each of you loads of blessings in the coming year, and lots of time to sew and quilt, too !

Thursday, December 30, 2010

20 quilts from 2010....

I think I've finished all the quilts I'm going to this year !

But that's not a bad thing.......it was actually a VERY GOOD YEAR !

Praise the LORD !

Next idea running through my head looks a little bit like this.......I see them all over the net/ I think that Kaffe Fassett did one of these in a book of his.

Oh, and here's a shot of my VERY MOST FAVORITE Christmas present !

Monday, December 27, 2010

Well, the mad rush to make the perfect gift is over for another year !

We had a very nice, quiet, WHITE Christmas. 
We got just the right amount of snow, praise the LORD !  

About an inch covered most of the grass, but left the roads clear for travel.  Hubby and I joined my brother Jeff and his family for Christmas day dinner, after spending a quiet morning with the window curtains open to watch the snow softly falling. 

Gifts under the tree were very generous, and we are appreciative to everyone who remembered us with greetings, or cards, or packages.  You are so dear !

As for decorating, we started out by cutting down a wee, little Cedar tree at the edge of our lot here, but after a week of inside heat, it was so brittle that it was a lethal weapon to be around.
So, out came the little 1 foot, stand-by, artificial tree that has served me well before.  We just adorned it with the few handmade, leather ornaments that hubby-dear made back around 1984, and a couple of others that couldn't be left off.

I must mention that Kelley, my daughter, took the hint and bought my Christmas gifts from my Etsy favorites that are displayed in my sidebar.  I got yummy new charm squares and triangles to play with, and my head is spinning trying to decide what I'll make !
Waiting for that inspiration to hit, I spent a few hours yesterday and today knitting Piper a new sweater.  I left the armholes plain, without picking up stitches for sleeves, as it seemed that they would just hinder the movement of her little bitty legs.  I see from the photo that the armholes look a little odd, so I may try to knit just a couple or so rows there.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Keep your eyes open this week.......

.........ever watchful for the BEST gifts !

We found them 'round here !

Over the last few days, two of the most wonderful gifts were opened............HEARTS--full of love, and  MOUTHS -- full of laughter.

This Christmas, I have truly felt the closeness of family that I have so long missed .........not only that first, excited, reunited love, but the deeper, 'there every day, a real part of my life now' love.

I could not know this kind of happiness without first acknowledging the most important fact........my heavenly father loves ME.........I have done not one thing to deserve it, but am reminded daily of what a deep and abiding and unforgetting love it is.  I could never earn it, but knowing about HIS love and accepting it, I have a desire and a responsibility to live in a certain way and to share that love with those around me.

For all of my friends who read this and my family who checks in here too..........I have a need for you to know that I love you, more than you will ever know........your presence in my life is the second greatest present I could ever, ever, EVER ask for.  The best thing I can wish for you this Christmas is to be as blessed as I am........and you are.  If you don't feel it, or can see no sign of it......find out why.  Seek God's presence in your life and the first, most precious gift that HE gave YOU, the one that we're celebrating this weekend.    Please......claim it and know peace and joy no matter what else is going on in your life.

Then, you too will have a

and the happiest of new years !

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

News for family and personal friends

Hubby's evaluation went well yesterday, may have more, won't know until first week of January.

My appointment was postponed, due to his news, until May 9.

Praise the LORD, this means a Merry Christmas for us.............AND we wish the same TO YOU !

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mitts, mitts, they're easy to knit !

I made a red, handspun wool pair

and a black, mostly acrylic pair.

And I had forgotten to show the back of the little garden quilt........I loved this fabric so much--I tried really hard to get it onto the front, but it didn't make it !
Cool -- Warm

I love how the new little quilties are personalizing my sewing room........and I love how the lamp' light shows the quilting contours of the quilties.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Anytime I finish a project, I'm kindof 'lost' for a bit, refiguring what direction I'll go off into next.

So, today, I picked up the 4 leftover blocks from "Garden Walkways" and put them together for a little remembrance to hang in my sewing room.   It let me do the free-motion quilting that I'd been hankering for without having to commit to the wrestling match entailed with a bigger quilt.
It's fun, it's 18 inches square, and it gives me something new to hang on the wall.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Praise the LORD -- chalk up another finish for 2010 !

This one's a done deal  ! 
I'm going to have to stop and count how many quilts have been finished this year since the LORD led me to learn how to machine-quilt !
For the binding, I cut strips from all the leftovers that I could find, and angled their ends before joining them. 
Then I tried to balance the color all around the quilt.

I wound up not quilting the border at all.   I attempted to free-motion quilt, and the machine kept skipping stitches.........I don't mean one or two stitches.......I mean for about an inch and a half it wouldn't stitch, and then it would start again !   After doing this twice, and my checking to see if everything was right about the machine, I decided that the borders were MEANT to be left plain.

This is a birthday gift for a family member/friend who will be 81 or 82 in January, and who is in the nursing home.  The size finished at about 54 x 76, which should cover the top of her hospital-type bed.

I need a good name for this one, as I've called it several different things while making it.  I don't remember seeing anything like this before I started;  I was just inspired by the simple block when I saw it in a very unsimilar quilt setting. 

 Now today, I ran across a quilt that really reminded me of this one, though the design is a little more structured, instead of so off-kilter, like mine.  So funny to run across it today as I was finishing mine. 

One other thing that I can share now is this little quilt that I made for best Okie pal, JodieAnn, known in my comments as Anonymous. 

It's sadly small,.....only about 16 inches square, I guess.  I started a wall-hanging for Jodie way back atleast 23 years ago, and this one appliqued block was as far as I got.  I made her a totally machine-sewn one instead, which included a pieced sewing machine and  pin-cushion, if I remember right.  The makings for this wall-hanging went into a shoebox and sat on my shelves all of these years.  I pulled it out a few weeks ago, and decided to finish the one block for her, and do some 'big-stitch' quilting with embroidery floss, as I've admired that kind of work around the 'net lately. 

Tuesday was her birthday, and although she received this little quiltie in time, I shamefully forgot to wish her a happy day that day.  Jodie, please forgive me, and know that it's been a crazy week around here.  All excuses aside,  I love you, girl, you know that !

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There's nothing like FREEDOM !

Thank you LORD for my freedom, this and EVERY day !

And a day stuck at home anticipating icy weather will let you enjoy lots of it.  I made the best of it today, I think.  I got up and got my dishes washed and my floors mopped, grabbed my package from the mailbox (thank you, Kelley.......she took the hint and shopped for my Christmas gifts from the Etsy box of favorites in my sidebar.......HOORAY !)  ....and went to work quilting the diamonds.

I thought that I was going to free-motion quilt it, but decided to try using my walking foot down in an obscure corner.  I liked the look and feel of it, so I just continued with it.  Most of the quilting is in the ditch.  I started with the big floral diamonds, and then outlined around the little colored triangles.  Then I decided to stitch two parallel lines down the middle of all the floral fabrics, to encourage the illusion of one continuous fabric diamond.  I like it. 

I marked these lines with an old skinny bar of soap,
and it disappeared so quickly, or was so invisible to begin with, that I had to place safety pins all along it to aim my quilting foot at.  That worked well though. 
I think I still need to quilt something in the borders.......not sure.  I may try binding one edge first to see how it would look as is.  I didn't overquilt, because the polyester batting was giving the quilt a nice poofiness that I wanted to keep. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It nearly killed me !

Three full hours basting that quilt !  Thread basting, because I still think it's the most stable for a big project....


.......not an Outlaw in sight !  (that's our quilting group in Oklahoma)

I called down to the senior center yesterday and asked if I could use a room to baste a quilt.  She said anytime between now and next Wednesday.  I said it'd only take about 2 1/2 hours........"oh, then you can come tomorrow afternoon !"

Hooray ! 

I gathered my things at noon today, and went down to find that I had a whole, huge room all to myself.  I set up the frame, with interested onlookers and chatty comments.  I started at 1:30 and basted until 4:30.  I was dehydrated, and had to stop once to ask for water from the kitchen......no pop machine there.  My back was aching, the backs of my thighs were screaming from stretching to the middle of the frame and crab-walking as I basted from one side to the other. 


I had this extra-wide piece of cotton fabric that was just perfect for the back.
I miss my girls....that's you, Jo, Wanda, Terri, Mary Ellen, Mary ! 
I believe that may be the last fairly big quilt I baste until I can find help !

The good news is, though, I ran into Mildred,the fellow church member whom I've heard owns a long-arm machine.  It was afterwards, and I was grocery shopping against tomorrow's promised ice storm.  There she was and I told her how I was beat from basting, and I asked her how much she charged for her quilting.  She said, "I'm not going to tell you, because you're welcome to use the machine anytime you want."  I said, "don't say that, because I'll come !"  She said, "I mean it......the LORD has blessed me with that machine, and I let people use it anytime they like."   I said, "Mildred, you're a love........I'll CALL YOU !"

So, here I sit with the basted quilt.  I experimented and bought a polyester batting.  I haven't tried free-motion quilting with anything but a cotton batting, but Christina of the quiltalong told me to let her know how it goes if I decided to try this.  I basted it at every block seam and in the middle of each block, so it's basted less than 4 inches apart in both directions.  If I had made smaller stitches, it'd be QUILTED, it's so close.  But, I knew that I had to guard against the slipperiness of the polyester. 

I'll let you ALL know how the quilting goes when I get to it !

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day !

It snowed all day yesterday, the most beautiful swirling, blowing dry snow.  I was driving home from Church and commented that HOPEFULLY, there won't be many times that I'm driving under those conditions, so I needed to enjoy the beautiful scene I was seeing through my windshield. 

We got about an inch and a half to 3 inches, depending on the area.  That means that my appointment was cancelled today........ don't know yet about the hubby's scheduled evaluation tomorrow . I guess we'll wait and see what the temps do today, and then call this afternoon and try to find out what the roads are like between here and there. It's a 2+ hour drive to the west of us on a small 2-lane highway, so I want to be sure I can navigate it safely. They assured us that we can reschedule if necessary........trouble is, when can you count on GOOD weather in December?

EDIT:   I just received a phone call from his appointment's office, telling us that we can change the timing to NEXT Tuesday.   Now, let's pray for CLEAR road conditions, LORD's will prevailing !

In the meantime, I'll share this photo of the mitts that I made for my daughter and son-in-law.  She found that her good mitts had been damp and have molded in storage.  I'm not into complicated patterns right now, so just whipped up these simple garter-stitch mitts.  The pattern is from Lion Brand.....you'll have to join to see it........and it whips up really quickly.  I don't like having to stitch things together in knitting or crochet, but it's really a simple job.  I used 30 stitches, as the pattern calls for, but went 25 ridges, including the row on the needles, for the bigger set, and 19 ridges (I'm still not good at counting rows in knitting, can you believe that?)  for Kelley's set.  This is shorter than they tell you to knit, but with my worsted yarn, and size 8 and 10 needles, the sizing I did is just right, I think.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A productive day !

Ya wanna see?


Okay...........here's a peek.....

And here's the whole thing, scrapped-out border and all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All my blocks are pieced !

Blessedly, I spent the morning watching this little one.........she crashed for a 45 minute nap around 10:30 this morning, after arriving at 7 a.m.

Since she's my grand-niece, I assured her that she TOO is one of my grandbabies.  She loves coming here and I love having her.  Everyone needs a baby in their life ONCE IN A WHILE.

As soon as she left, I grabbed MYSELF a nice nap and then got back to work on this quilt top.

With all of the blocks done, now I need to find time and space to lay them all out.  I was aiming for 60 blocks, to make a quilt measuring approximately 48 x 80, for a twin-sized hospital bed.  Supposedly, I needed 55 inches of white in order to overcut the background triangles and have enough.  But somehow, even though I had 2 yards of the white, I ran short.

So I've pieced the 58 blocks that I had enough background for, and will attempt to make the top with 6 blocks across and 9 down, for a total of 54 blocks on front.  That should measure about 48 x 72, requiring a 3 or 4 inch border.  That's fine........it really needed a little width anyway  (my blocks had to be cut to come out at 7 3/4 finished rather than 8 inches because the laundered fat quarters would not give me 4   9 inch squares each)

This may be the largest quilt I've yet attempted to machine-quilt.  There is a lady at Church that owns a long-arm quilting machine (or so I've heard)........I may talk to her about using it.  If not, I'll need to go somewhere to baste this one and then attempt to quilt it on my old faithful Singer 15-91.

Monday, December 6, 2010

This is how it starts.

Translation into actual fabric begins..........

Jo, be a sport and ignore the flipped block in this photo !

I decided to use all florals for the large triangles, and use the near-solids for the small triangles.

Arrangement is still full of possibilities.  I've pieced about 17 out of 60 blocks.

The beginning of something fun and cheerful.

Arranging my post gets more and more strange everyday..........thanks for trying (my patience), BLOGGER !

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh, the guilt !

Hubby's taking my cold now.  Yuck.......well, atleast I'm feeling good enough to take care of him........the LORD does provide !

 Today, I made another one of the pleated pouches.  I decided to see what it would be like if it had batting in it, since I didn't have any interfacing to try. 

I also added a 'ledge', as Georgia Bonesteel used to call it, an inserted piece between the two main pattern pieces, just for accent.  I like how it came out. 
The pleated pouch finishes at 5 1/2 x 7 inches.
I was 'talking' to a fellow blogging friend who was thinking about making tissue holders, so I thought I'd try to make a matching kleenex pouch, too.  The pattern, which was posted by the same blogger as the pleated pouch,  was simple, and, once again, I added batting.
While digging through my sewing room, I ran across some special penguin printed kleenex that I think Jodie Ann had sent me at some point, so I made a matching, snowy kleenex holder for them too.
I realized yesterday, while wrapping T.J. and Zoe's hats for shipping, that I hadn't shared a photo of hers since I had finished it.  They went off in today's mail, and just in time for some really cold air, I think.

Note to JoAnn and Wanda.....the date for that awaited evaluation has finally been set, so perhaps things will start moving along again.  Praise the LORD, we have the holidays !

Friday, December 3, 2010

Well, so much for momentum.......

....last post, I had gotten to work in the sewing room, trying to make up a few little Christmas gifties.

Then, the COLD hit........I don't mean the cold temperature........I mean a cold like I haven't had in years.  I spent Wednesday in and out of bed all day.  I'm slowly coming back now, and probably shouldn't have tried to sew.  I needed to make one more Christmas stocking for my house, as I realized that I have never made my last grandson, Seth, a stocking. 

Kelley's decided to buy them all new stockings for her house, now that they've decided that their family has STOPPED growing.......except for pets, that is (they added a new doggy just this week and a kitten a couple of months ago!)

Anyway, my hubby points out that this stocking is THE LEAST elaborate of all the stockings, so I may have to further decorate it sometime or make a whole new one when inspiration hits.

Here's an in-progress shot, when I had finished free-motion quilting the back of the stocking.

And here are shots of all five stockings. 



and Tim's

Oh, and guess what, Kelley.........
all five of
MY stockings
 are the SAME SIZE !

I also wanted to note the new charm squares I got for my birthday. 
Both best-pal gals, JodieAnn and Wanda, in Oklahoma, sent me charms......and they could even go together in the same project, the colors are so similar !