Friday, December 28, 2012


THE Quilt is officially done! 

It measures 102" x 102".  I took this picture leaning off the top of the staircase. 
King size with wool blend batting.  Hand quilted over an eternity.  I think I started this quilt in 2006 (but don't hold me to that...I'm really not sure!)

A bit closer.  Just standing on a chair to get this picture.  The big print setting blocks were inspired by some Kaffe Fassett quilts.

Without a flash trying to show quilting detail. 
Washed and dried it this morning while holding my breath.  I tend to get a little nervous when a big project goes in for a dunk.  Batting pulled up just a bit giving some definition to the quilting. 

This quilt was made for my Dad to fit his king size bed and satisfy his long-standing love for the color orange.  After much prayer and soul-searching I know that this quilt is no longer for Dad.  It is destined for another mission.

My heart has been breaking lately for communities around the world that do not have access to clean drinking water.  It's hard for my brain to even wrap around this concept having lived my entire life with clean running water available in my home.  I've never even had to walk outside to get it!  There are places where people walk miles each day with jugs to get water for their family.  Guess what?--many times the water that they are gathering isn't even clean. 

So with all that in mind, this quilt will be raffled in an attempt to raise money for a well in Africa.  I'm working on the details of that and will share them soon.  If you would like to stay abreast of this project please sign up for the email notification in the sidebar.

I'd like to give this quilt a catchy name.  Any ideas??  Please share them.

Many blessings to You.

"Love your neighbor as yourself." 
Luke 10: 27

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas

True confession.  I love the days AFTER Christmas!  These are the days when the peace and joy of the season really fills me.  The days when my children's brains turn back on.  The days of wanting, wanting, wanting are over.  The hype of the season is gone. 

Jesus remains.  Life is good.

This is the view out my back door.  It's snowing.  Those are my sweet animals.  I'll tell you more about them another day.

I had a birthday just before Christmas.  My sister's birthday was yesterday.  How did my Mother ever manage with 2 birthdays the week of Christmas?!! 

And what birthday would be complete without bunny ears?!!  (Love you, Honey!)

I've been cutting fabrics today from one of my scrap baskets (even the baskets have started multiplying!)  Does anyone EVER see their scraps diminish? 

I started a new project today!  I L-O-V-E starting new projects!  (finishing, not so much....but give me something to start and I'm all over it!)  This is the humble beginning of a scrappy sawtooth star quilt.  This one will be hand pieced thanks to a stamp set by Cindy Blackberg.  I took a class from Cindy a couple years ago.  She's delightful and she has this hand piecing thing all figured out. 

Here is my first little star!  Hooray!

Many blessings to You,

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to  you; He is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2: 10-11

Friday, December 21, 2012


A dear friend of mine had twin boys last week!!  They are both strong and healthy, each weighing in at over 6 pounds!!  This sweet family is adjusting from having 2 children to having 4!  They don't really need another person hanging around while they go through this transitional time, so I'm going to busy myself making quilts for them instead.

Times like this make me glad for one of my odd habits. 
I like to piece blocks without a quilt in mind.  I just sew the blocks to play with the fabric and the block design, knowing that I will pull them out at a later time and grow them into a quilt.  I tend to get bored working straight through on one quilt from start to finish, so I work in this piecemeal method instead.

Here is my collection of solids with some scrappy blocks that I pieced in 2010.  I don't typically remember when I piece blocks, but I clearly remember sewing these blocks while living with my mother-in-law after our house flooded.  Making these blocks was one of my methods for stress relief.

Playing with the blocks.  Auditioning some different fabrics.  This is one of my favorite parts of quilt making.  I love playing with blocks and assorted layouts. 

Switching gears to grey.  This has potential I think.  Normally I prefer brighter solids to bring blocks together, but I think this grey makes the scrappy blocks sparkle.

And here it is with smaller blocks in the corners.

Now onto my  next dilemma....what to do for the second quilt.  I  don't have a lot of these blocks left.  I could do a simple design like this.

OR....Here is another quilt start in my bag of tricks!  Very different from the other.  It's a lot larger.  I could cut it down though.

Here's another view that shows the coin strips better.  It's all scrappy without much rhyme or reason other than having green as the primary coin color.

Any suggestions??


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Light of the World

The flags are half-mast at the Post Office and other buildings. 

Our hearts are saddened. 
There is so much darkness in the world.

I found 3 packages at the post office from people that I've never met. 
The packages are filled with strips for Project 40.
All of these strips arrived this week.

Thank You for connecting me with generous knitters who graciously give their time, talent, and money to help make Project 40 lap blankets.

Please use our humble offerings to Your Glory.

My prayers are with families in Connecticut.  May God comfort them, love them, and bless them with the peace that transcends all understanding.

I will worship and praise You, Lord, even in the tough times when I can't make sense of what has happened. 


"I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."                                                                             --Jesus...(John 8:12)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The King Size Hurdle!

Major excitement this morning as I finished hand quilting a king size quilt!  I have to admit that I'm a little stunned.  This is the first (and hopefully last) king size mammoth that I have tackled.  Personally, I'm voting for smaller beds!

Since it is so nice and sunny, I took the quilt outside for some pictures. 

In other news....My oldest son went to his first dance.  He cleaned up nice!

And here's a picture of him with The Crazies invading! 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interesting Project Up for Grabs!

The last thing I need is another project, so I'm hoping one of you will claim this beauty!
I love how the maker alternated colored prints with rows of white.

And Look!  You even get to finish putting the setting blocks around the edges.  I might be tempted to just square it off and use the center...maybe use the star points for something else.  I better quit thinking up ideas before I give in to the temptation and place a bid!

You can find all the details about this unfinished treasure on ebay.

What would you do with this quilt top if it showed up under your Christmas tree? 
Hmmmm.......Would you finish it?  Use it?  Stash it away?  Pin it to the wall?  Make your dog a cushion out of it?  (I hope not, BUT it would make some cute pillows!)  Run screaming from the room?  Take it apart and use the little scrap patches? 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Don't Delay--Cut Up that Fabric TODAY!

Yes, you read that right.
The best way to use your fabric is to start cutting it up!  I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but it took me years to learn! (sometimes I'm a little slow)

Please stop trying to save every piece of fabric as you wait for the perfect project to put it in.  The fabric will win.  In the end, you'll get overwhelmed with your glut of fabric (some of which you will no longer even like).

You may be wondering how I know this.  Years ago, having a mountain of fabric to choose from completely  shut down my creativity.  I was overwhelmed by having so many beautiful fabrics to choose from. I couldn't make a decision and ended up not sewing any of it.  How sad.

I ended up giving away tubs of beautiful fabric to a charity group.  I don't regret that, but I also don't want to repeat the process. 

In my opinion, She with the most fabric doesn't win...She just cracks up.

Here is what I've learned to do:
1.  Choose a few basic usable shapes /sizes that work well in your projects.  I typically cut my fabric into 6 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares, and 2 1/2" squares.  Those are my go-to sizes that I use in scrappy quilts a lot.  I also collect 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips.  These sizes all play nicely for me.  You pick what works for you. You aren't married to the first sizes that you pick, you can always change them.

2.  Start cutting your scraps into these sizes.  Just cut a few pieces each day.  You'll be amazed at how your stacks of squares will grow.  (Unfortunately, you might be alarmed that your scrap pile never gets smaller!  Don't say I didn't warn you.)

3.  Next, go through your fabric stash and pull smaller pieces or fabrics that have grown out of favor.  Whack them up into your favorite shapes / sizes, too!

4.  Here's a tough one, but it's the key to keeping your fabric and quilts feeling fresh and new.  Plus it's the way to actually use those beautiful new fabrics that you bought without making a full-blown decision as to a quilt for them.  Take a deep breath (and maybe a sip of wine or a bite of chocolate)....

Cut a bit off of each new fabric that you get. 

Cutting just a few of your favorite shapes / sizes from a new fabric gets it into circulation.  You'll actually start using it and see how it mixes and mingles with other fabrics!  What a concept!--actually USING the new fabric!! 

Creative miracles await you.

Be a Quilter of Courage.  Cut your fabric Today!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When Passion Meets Purpose

Last evening I received an email from Sarah requesting guy quilts for the Quilt Ministry.  I had been making some scrappy "guy" blocks (that's code for dull colors) for the ministry and realized I had enough to put a top together.

Sarah included a couple Bible verses that she had been thinking of.  This one really hit home for me:
Luke 12:48:  Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.

I have been given so much.  This was a chance for me to give back.

I threw the blocks on my design floor and started treadling my heart out.  I only mention the treadle, because I was so into sewing this up that I forgot to switch to electric (and have some hip pain to prove it!)

I wasn't able to sew all the blocks into rows before bed....It was hard to leave because I knew the layout was in great peril due to its location amidst the traffic flow.  Thankfully, it survived the kids (even when they started a game of jumping over it).

Our sewing group met tonight and I was able to finish sewing the rows together just before Sarah left.  She's going to quilt it on her longarm.  Phew!  It feels good to finish a top faster than my usual turtle pace.

God is good.  This ministry gives my passion a purpose!

May the work of my hands and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord.