“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

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Sadly, no kids for Christmas at my house.

But....when I finally found out that my own family wasn't coming, I accepted an invitation from my dear friend, Darleene. 

I enjoyed laughter, hugs, good conversation, and a killer mustard potato salad !  What a precious gift to be allowed to squeeze into another family's Christmas celebration.

And Mama Jo was very pleased with her Dresden Plate table topper.

I hope your holiday was happy, and that the new year brings you closer to them and to the Lord who blessed you with them in the first place !

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

What did YOU get ?

Merry Christmas to all ! 

I got the most wonderful gift this morning !
God woke me up and told me that He loves me with an EVERLASTING LOVE ! He even wrote it down in a book so that I could NEVER DOUBT IT or FORGET IT !
He said He's trying to give this gift to people all over the world, but not everyone recognizes that it is THEIRS.
So what doesn't get claimed today, He is putting into an open account with a lifetime guarantee of availabilty. Turns out, no matter what stage of life you are in when you accept it, the gift is THE SAME; no bigger, no smaller. I DIDN'T WAIT TOO LATE AFTER ALL ! (But I sure could have used it earlier if I had been smart enough to realize what I was missing!)

 This book He left me says that He loved the world (who knew that was ME?) so much that He gave His own Son a human body to come and tell the world that God wanted them to live forever with HIM (in THIS life AND the next. God gave Him a human voice to tell us that we had hope in the middle of our greatest challenges, and that no matter how many people we had to part with in this life, we would never be alone !
That book says that this son, named Jesus, whose birth, coincidentally, we celebrate today, even laid down HIS own life to save ours !

(You've got to read this book--it'll LITERALLY change your LIFE !) It's called 'The Bible', and you can find it almost anywhere.....actually, you may have one in your own home and didn't know it or have forgotten it was there!)

Sorrowfully, this book even says that some wouldn't believe this truth even if someone rose from the dead to tell them. (His Son did that very thing !)
That's a hard fact and yet I recognize the truth of it. I kindof knew it was true, but didn't choose to live like I knew it for most of my life.

But, I know that He meant what He told me this morning, because He chased me down like a love-starved teenager, pursuing me until I had no choice but to surrender or know forever that I was making the BIGGEST mistake of my life.

Anyway, I couldn't go on and enjoy this day without sharing the knowledge of that GIFT with all of you. I hope that you've opened yours!


Monday, December 23, 2019

Jo's table-topper

Another dear friend asked if I would be willing to take on a small commission for her.  She wanted a table-topper made to coordinate with the drapes that hang in her living room.  Seeing a Dresden Plate topper on my own table, she said that she would be happy with something similar.
I visited her and took this photo of her drapes, and then I set about trying to 'shop' my stash for coordinates.  I think that I did pretty well in matching her colors.  The navy is a bit darker than I'd prefer, but it worked.
I wrapped the finished quilty and gave it to her at church yesterday (no charge), but she's waiting until Christmas Eve (tomorrow evening) to open it.  I hope that she is pleased with the finished product.


On another note, I reminded Facebook friends of a couple of baby quilts that I had for sale, and a friend spoke up for this one.

When she came to pick it up, she saw the second one,

 and asked if I could make her a deal for the two, together.  We worked it out.  
She has a baby and a toddler grandchild who will receive them for Christmas, and she AND I had big smiles on our faces when she rode away with both quilts !

Merry Christmas to ALL !

Sunday, December 22, 2019

More (Nolah's) Cardinals

In my last post, I shared photos of a little Cardinal quilty that I used as my Christmas gift at the widows' luncheon.  Well, that quilt was originally started with the idea of giving it to one particular friend/widow.   When she saw it, and didn't WIN it, she was very disappointed at her loss, and asked me if I would make another to sell to her.

Well, that didn't seem right since she had been the original inspiration, so I got busy, unbeknownst to her, and designed a second one JUST FOR HER.

I presented it to her at Church this morning, and she was SO SURPRISED !  It was heartwarming to see her response..........just exactly why I treasure this gift of quiltmaking that the LORD has blessed me with.

So here is Nolah's tablerunner, and the original sketch for it's making.  Feel free to use it to make one of your own.
                               MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF MY BLOGGING FRIENDS !

May the sight of a Cardinal this Christmas season bring wonderful memories
 of your loved ones
 who have gone on before you

Saturday, December 14, 2019

CARDINALS at Widows' Luncheon 2019

Today was our annual Widows' Luncheon.  Our church has a ministry for the widows of our congregation, and they have some sort of get-together for us about once a month.  This time of year they always treat us to lunch at the Junkyard Dog restaurant, where we have a big room all to ourselves.  We eat, and talk, and laugh, and just generally enjoy each other's company.   For this Christmas Luncheon, we all bring a wrapped gift, and we play what THEY call Dirty Christmas.

For a change, I decided to make a gift rather than purchase one.  I'd be happy if ALL Christmas gifts had to be handmade/homemade.

Anyway, I rolled it up on a cardboard tube, wrapped it in foil paper, and tied the ends with ribbon, like a big candy roll.  It went totally ignored/picked-over until the very last participant got their turn..........I felt like it was kickball time on the playground again, and I was last to be picked !

But, when it was opened and the lady was heading back to her seat, she was stopped multiple times for people to ooh and ah and make a fuss over the quilty.  Several people suspected that it was my work, and they asked and I nodded, yes.

Many people associate the sighting of a Cardinal with an angelic visit from a passed loved one.  I don't, but do find it a nice reminder of someone who's  passed.  But, for whatever reason, gifts with Cardinal representations are very popular with our group, and I saw more than one gift containing them.

In fact, the ironic thing was, the lady that got my quilty had 'stolen' a candle/lantern containing a cardinal from another player, and when it was later 'stolen' from her, she chose my 'candy roll', and was happy to have Cardinals after all.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

My other post.

Something was not working right with my previous post.  This one came out fine.  
I could not get rid of that tiny print in the previous one .  Some portions came out big, but most came out ridiculously small.  Tried lots of fixes.  Sorry, again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Today is my birthday !

And it has been a very blessed day.........seriously !   It is a bit overwhelming to look upon the declarations of love and good wishes that have been showered upon me today !

But I thought that it would be a good day to do a bit of catching up here at the end of this productive couple of months.   I have neglected to journal my quilting endeavors, and hope to remedy that a bit right now.

Let's see......I think that I did mention that I was hoping to undertake the hand-quilting of a top that JoAnn made many years ago.  Gary and Jennifer sent it to me, along with some of Jodie's fabrics and things that they thought that I would enjoy.

Well, I started the quilting around the first of October, and finished it one month later.  Here are a few pictures of the finished quilt.

A close-up of the simple quilting.

 After completing that in such a hurry, I had a scare with my eyesight, and all I could think was, "what if I can no longer quilt????????????????" 

Anyway, I had developed a penetrating headache behind my left eye while pushing to get the borders quilted and the binding done.  Then that eye's sight became fuzzy.  So I donned an eyepatch that I had left from a problem that James once encountered, and I wore it for three days while requesting prayer for the situation.  After 3 days the headache was gone, the vision cleared, and I was very THANKFUL !   I no longer take my vision for granted , and I try not to push myself so hard either.

So, the next thing that I tackled was a design that I had laid out on my design wall.   I had been struggling with whether to do a diagonal setting, or a straight one.....
I wound up choosing the straight set, much to the disappointment of many on Facebook of whom I had asked an opinion.  Partly I didn't want to fool with the trouble of piecing setting triangles; but also, I just really liked the different look of it as a square.
And that's where it still stands.  It's kindof an awkward size , so I haven't moved forward, but it will most likely get quilted without adding any more size.
The geese were made in a 'sew and flip' type of construction, buiding each goose on top of the last one pieced.  I made them in lots of 6, with the idea of using them as this sashing.  The setting squares are the little Lorraine Mooney string-block variations that we shared on Facebook.

Next, I got the opportunity, just last Monday, actually, to go to Franklin with a friend and shop the JoAnn Fabrics store.  Let me just tell you that I was overwhelmed with the selection of fabric.  In my little town, we have a small fabric store (blessing there!) and Walmart.  Otherwise I have to use Hobby Lobby in the town that is 45 minutes away.
  Anyway, long story, short, I found a batting and extra-wide fabric backing that I needed, at a great pre-Black Friday price.

  Sooooooooooooo......I moved the furniture back against the walls, and I finally got to baste the quilt-top that I had pieced with James' flannel shirts.  I finished it in time (machine-quilted) to present to my daughter and her bunch this past Sunday, when we celebrated my birthday AND Thanksgiving together at my house.  She was thrilled.
 I made it big enough to be a generous snuggle quilt to bring comfort on cool evenings, sick days, and just "I miss Pawpaw" times.

The bright flannels are from his shirts, and the small black and grey check is new.  The backing that I bought was also flannel, and the entire quilt turned out very soft and snuggly. Obviously, it is machine-quilted.  The square grid is accidental, and I love it.  
Cat approved !

My granddaughter was born on my 46th birthday (best birthday gift EVER !), and she turned 16 years old today.  Since they're now living in Clarksville, she's not really wild about being a new driver in that heavy traffic, so she's taking her time pursuing the getting of her full driver's license.  I think that that is a very wise decision.  

And, T.J. has grown by leaps and bounds, and played on a football team for the first time this Fall.  Look how much taller he is than Seth !  He's quickly becoming a young man.

Well, that's a pretty good wrap-up of what's been happening in my world.  Not sure what I'll get into next, but it's always fun getting there. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Absent But Not Idle

I have been working on several projects at once, but I finally have one finished and able to be blogged.

I call this quilt, "Mooney Over The Mountain".

A string version of this block swept through a group on Facebook (Scrap Quilt Enthusiasts).  It was shared by Lorraine Mooney, and many, MANY versions of it are being shared there.  I made this quilt from a 7-inch variation of the block. Most of the fabric that I used was scraps sent to me by a very dear friend of whom you've heard me speak very often, JoAnn.  It is a big departure from my usual bright fabric creations, but I really like it.

I machine-pieced the top, and hand-quilted it, using a polyester batting for a change.

I hope to gift it to an acquaintance of mine that is wheelchair-bound.  It has finished at 41 inches square.

If you remember, earlier this year I blogged that my friend, JoAnn had passed away.   Her family had a sale recently, and picked through and saved many quilting items for me.  I received a surprise BIG BOX in the mail, and found lots of goodies inside.  More precious than that was the sweet grateful thought of them remembering me in this way.

Along with the quilting goods was a quilt top that I can remember JoAnn piecing probably 20 years ago, if not more.  Her daughter, Jen, has commissioned me to finish it for her dad, saying that it would be special to him.  Of course I agreed, and hope to be able to share the finished quilt with you within the next few months.  I managed to get it basted earlier this week.  I plan to hand-quilt it too, if possible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

County Fair time !

Over the past year, I've developed a new friendship.  Having someone who enjoys doing the same things as me is something that I have DEARLY missed since leaving Oklahoma 10 years ago.

This lady, who goes to my church, approached me to accompany her on visits to the widows of our church, seeing as how I had become widowed myself and might understand their feelings and concerns.

Once I quit working at Walmart, I had free time to join her, and it has been a wonderful blessing to us both, and hopefully to our sisters in Christ.

When she discovered my love of quilting, she mentioned, enthusiatically, that she would love to learn to quilt.  I've heard this from many people, but in discussing it, I could tell that she meant NOW, not just 'someday'.   So I agreed to teach her.

Well, fast forwarding to this summer, and her approaching a finish on her first quilt, we had been talking about her entering it in the local county fair.   She was very much interested in that, and had lots of family support urging her to do so.

Monday, August 12th came, and we dropped off our quilts....mine got entered into a machine-quilted category, and hers in a 'first quilt' category.  Well, on Thursday, they let us in to view the judging results without having to pay a 'Fair' admission charge.  Imagine our surprise when we walked into the exhibit room and both had ribbons on them !

Darleene's first quilt won her a second-place ribbon, and you can just
SEE the joy on her face !   I was equally proud of and for my 'student' and new friend.

She rejoiced with me, too, as we saw that I had gained a first-place ribbon, and the overall "Best in Show" ribbon over the category of all of the Home Economics class.
You may recall me sharing the finish on this quilt a while back HERE

I love the tradition of county fair exhibits, and so hope that people will continue to support them and participate.

But in the meantime, I now have a new quilting buddy !

Friday, August 2, 2019

Finished.-- calling it "2 x 4, Squared"

I just whipped up this little 38 1/2” x 46 1/2”, two-sided quiltie.
I don’t know the name or source of this pattern, as I think that I saw this design in a bed-sized quilt on Facebook, in the group "Scrap Quilt Enthusiasts".

But it's just a simple block made up of rectangles.
Having said that, the block calls for 4 — 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangles of two different fabrics, resulting in a block with a finished measurement of 8 inches square.
Detail....quilted by machine, obviously, in the ditch, both horizontally and vertically; plus, serpentine stitch vertically down the middle of the rectangles .

Making good use of my fabric stash, I also used up some 2 1/2” strips with a favorite hoarded print (I think that you may have given me the bigger piece, Wanda Gayle),  to make the back (which I like almost as much as the front).

Marley Jo volunteered her help during the hand-stitching of the binding.  Thanks so very much, Marley !

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nice Cubes --- finished.

This quilt was started way back in Shawnee, Oklahoma, probably 15-20 years ago.  I really don't know when....maybe it's in my blog archives somewhere????

Anyway, I dragged it out, made a back for it and machine-quilted it.
I don't care for it anymore......haven't in a long time......but atleast it's not another UFO (unfinished object). 

I don't even have a photo of the back of it, but it's just a big piece of crossword puzzle-looking fabric bordered by a 3-inch strip of the same fabric as the binding strips.

The finished size is approximately 54 x 62, cotton fabrics, cotton batting.  Original design from pieced cubes inspiration....machine-pieced, machine-quilted.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Hand-quilting again !

I don't really feel like taking the time to make a long post tonight, but I've realized that I haven't been faithful in posting much at all.

I thread-basted my aqua and whites Orange Peel quilt last Thursday, and I immediately began handquilting it.   I quilted for atleast 5 days, maybe six, and have taken a break today as my under-the-hoop fingers are pretty tender.

But atleast I have some pretty progress to share. 

I was stressing over what to put in the white 'border' that goes between the peels, so I started my quilting out near the edges rather than in the center like I usually would do.  I just happened to have a stencil that fit well in the area, and I'm really happy with the look of it.

Lottie is enjoying the new addition to the house (Marley Jo),  and Marley Jo is fitting in really well. 

I still don't know what I will quilt in the final border, but will probably settle for a cable design that fits.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

They're friends !

Marley Jo has been at our house for a little over 3 weeks now, and peace has been restored.

Lottie started coming around after about a week and a half, and now they spend evenings chasing each other from one end of my mobile home to the other.  That's the kind of activity I was hoping to happen with Lottie.  She is HUGE, and the kitten was tiny (growing a bit already), but Marley has made up the difference by having claws to contend with....something that Lottie is lacking.

Also, my grandson, T.J. became a teenager this week, and my daughter turned 41.  I wanted to go up on Friday, but the younger grandson, Seth, came down with tummy troubles and a fever, so my daughter asked me to wait another week to come.  If I get to go this Friday, their Spring break will be coming to a very busy end.

I saw an orthopedic doctor about my shoulder pain, and he ordered 4 weeks of physical therapy for what he's called 'frozen shoulder'.  I've  been through 3 weeks already, and although they claim to see a noticable improvement, I know that I still have problems with the same movements as before.

Coming up on April 9th, I am scheduled to have my first colonoscopy.  I used the ColoGuard kit, and it came back with a positive reading (which I suspect always happens).  My friend Darleene is going to drive me up there and back (Columbia).

I know I'm all over the place with this post, but I'm just trying to document some of the many things that are going on in my life right now.

I also had a second mammogram, which came out with a clean report.