Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Romancing the Needle

I started making (or at least trying to make) quilts around 1993.  The message from the local guild was all about machine quilting...Machine piecing was a given. 

I remember members not being especially impressed with people that hand quilted; all the cool people were mastering machine quilting.

Hand stitching is a slow process.  I  think of it as "slow for my soul". 

Hand stitching offers no speed, no glory for lightning fast completions, and very few adrenaline rushes. 

But with mastery of the needle, one gains much more than speed;
deep satisfaction, peace, and joy come to mind.

My world may be spinning off its axis, but with just a few quiet  needle-fulls of stitches, peace will enter my heart again.  This never ceases to amaze me!

If hand stitching intrigues you, please make an effort to try it.  Then practice it again and again.  I think we prefer to skip the practicing but it's a necessary part of learning something new. As your skills increase, you will relax and reap the sweet soul food from your time spent stitching.

I'm thankful to have a machine and it is the perfect answer to many projects. 
But now my hands get some of the projects, too.  Those tend to be my favorites...the ones I get to know the best.

many blessings,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project 40 Update

Last week I delivered 5 lap blankets that were made from Project 40 strips.  I took them to a local nursing home.  It was sooooo much fun!  The staff loved them and couldn't wait to share them with the residents.  They assured me that ALL the residents will want one! 

Thanks for sending strips and helping this to happen.


Monday, February 25, 2013


Hand pieced tumblers....added just a few at a time.

Time passes whether I learn something new or not.

Time passes whether I add a few stitches to a quilt (or knitting project) or not.

Time passes whether I pray and seek to know God or not.

Time passes whether I love my neighbor and family well, or not.

Time passes....

My dear MIL has been in intensive care this past week, so the passage of time and being certain that I spend it well has been on my mind a lot.


Linked to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quilting the Long Jump

I've been following Audrey at Quilty Folk and have been itching to hand quilt again. 
(which proves that you really can get over the emotional trauma of hand quilting a king size quilt!!)

I pulled out a bulls-eye top where I played with solids.  Decided it needs a border.  I like this evergreen color.

Or maybe it needs a small inner border to break it up.

When I climbed the stairs for another picture, I caught these quilt fairies practicing for the quilting long jump competition!

I hope you are having a fabulous day!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines for Africa!

Hi Friends.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Just wanted to remind you of the Living Water Quilt project.
We are giving away a quilt to raise money for a well in Africa.

This is the Living Water Quilt during the quilting stage.
My sons are holding it up.  They are now 15 and this was quite
a while ago.  They might not even have to stand on chairs now!

Please take a moment to donate $10
(or more, of course!) to spread love, in the form of clean water, in Africa! 

Every $10 that you donate puts your name in the drawing for this quilt.  3 times in the drawing for each $25 donation.

Your donations go to Blood Water Mission and are tax deductible.

Please help give the gift of clean water to Africa.

You can learn lots more about this quilt here and here.  By the way....It's finished now!  I have plenty of unfinished projects that I can send along with it, BUT this mega-size quilt is really done!

May your day be filled with much love.

You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
You encourage them, and You listen to their cry.
     Psalm 10: 17


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This and That

Hey, Hey!  I have a finish to report!  Well, sort of.  It's finished as far as I need to take it.  This is a top for the Quilt Ministry.  The center section was donated by a quilter.  It came as a large quilt top.  My job was to take some of it apart and create 2 quilts from it.  This is the second of the 2.  I just finished adding the borders and will deliver to Sarah tomorrow for quilting. 

I plucked a random sample from each of my sheep as we changed their jackets.  Yes, my sheep wear little jackets.  It's always sort of odd to explain to visitors why my sheep wear coats.  The first question that I usually hear is, "Are they cold?" 

Nope.  They aren't cold, but they are messy.  I spin their fleece and make yarn with it.  It's yet another of my odd crafty interests.  I bought my 3 little Shetland sheep last year.  This is the yarn / knitting equivalent of  growing cotton in my garden and then weaving my own quilting fabric with it.  (no, I don't....not yet, anyway!)

Fiber crafts are a slippery (fun) slope! 

Project 40 is rolling along.  I have enlisted a Project 40 friend to help sew up the strips!  Hooray for Karen A!!  Karen just put these 2 lap blankets together with strips from assorted "Strippers".


Time to share another off-beat tidbit about myself. 
I hate processed food.  I've been learning to cook with whole foods for a number of years and have been gradually weaning my family off of packages, mixes, and cans that have ingredients that we can't pronounce. 

A couple weeks ago, I found an e-cookbook that I love!  It's full of favorite recipes that I haven't used in a long time.  Katie Kimball has refurbished these old comfort foods and given us new (old) recipes.  She cooks them the way our grandmothers (or at least great grandmothers) would have made them.  Maybe we should call this Vintage Cooking!

Check out this great e-book!

In less than 2 weeks, I've already used 4 recipes from this book!!  Definitely a record for me.
My family loved them all and I didn't have to feel guilty about dumping a bunch of artificial chemical mixes in any of them!

Here is what we've enjoyed so far:
Cheeseburger Helper (you know, like the box with the gloved helping hand on it!)
Black Bean and Chicken Impossible Pie
Chicken and Biscuits Casserole
Beef and Potato Hash (I think it had a fancier name, but I can't think of it).

I'm getting ready to order more of Katie's books

Disclaimer:  Yes, I signed on as an affiliate after trying these great recipes.  I figured I was going to tell you about them anyway, so I might as well make a wee little bit of money for each cookbook that you buy!  The FCC (or some other highly interesting entity) requires me to disclose this.  :)  I'm sure they don't have anything better to worry about.

That's all for now.

Linked to  Sarah's Whoop Whoop! and Finish it up Friday.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flower Garden AND What's in Pam's Van?

Every once in a while I root through my stash of old projects.  I used to fret about having so many unfinished crafty things around, but have come to accept that I'm just wired like this.  I love starting and playing and trying out all sorts of things.  When the thrill is gone (or new ideas push to the front), I put them away.  I try to go through my bins every month or two and see if any projects want to come back out and play. 

Today let's probe the depths of the box marked "Flower Garden".  (do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do---Twilight Zone theme)

I can't remember when I started this, but I'm thrilled to find all of the pieces and parts corralled into one box. 

This was one of my early attempts at hand piecing.  I don't particularly like tracing around templates, BUT having metal templates really improves the accuracy vs. my homemade ones.  As far as templates go, I like these by Ardco with the little grippy stuffy on the back. 

Here are some of my blocks.  I think I had decided to go with the outer round of whitish fabric and was thinking of setting them with pale green diamonds.  I know that old timey solid green color has a name, but it escapes me.

A few more blocks.  I had played with joining a group of small flowers on the left.  Ick.  Doesn't work for me.  I just see the white hexies popping forward when I look at it. 

Now that I've done more hand piecing, I think I'll play with this some more.  My piecing skills have improved a bit so the joins should be a bit more enjoyable.  (as opposed to clenched teeth and shoulders pulled up around my ears!)


So any guesses as to what I've been hauling in my van?

Yes, that's Bob the calf.  Apparently some of you didn't get the memo---Last Tuesday was "Take Your Calf for a Drive" Day!  At least it was around here.  The calf needed to visit the vet and all I could think to do was stick her in the back of the Mom Mobile!  We've hauled chickens, dogs, cats, and skads of kids in why not a calf?! 

We did get a lot of funny looks.  I'm glad no on ran into us while they were pointing and gawking.  She practiced her very loud moo the whole way there!

Bob was much more subdued on the trip home after having the abscess in her navel drained. 

God is good.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And the Winner Is....

Congrats Quilting Babcia!  Please send me your address.

Thanks to everyone that entered with a comment or by making a donation to Blood Water Mission.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Assorted Updates

First up, I have to thank all my Quilty Girls for the sweet response that you gave my email earlier this week.  Wow!  You are so precious.  I fretted for weeks about telling you that I had started a blog and about the effort to raise money for a well in Africa.  It sounds kind of silly now.  I was worried that I would be bothering you and tooting my own horn, or something like that.  Also, since it cost some $ to sign up with the newsletter provider, I had to wonder if it wouldn't just be better to donate that money directly to Blood Water Mission.  I was worried that you wouldn't want to give a donation towards building the well.  I was scared....the enemy was at work.

Once the newsletter was sent, I was filled with joy by your encouraging emails AND your generous donations to Blood Water Mission!!! 

I need to alert you to one more thing.  A number of you that posted comments have your contact info set up as a No-Reply Blogger.  That means that when you write a comment, I can't write back to you!  This is Dreadful!!  PLUS...I WON'T be able to contact you when you win the contest!! 

So here's what you do: 
Click on your blogger profile...(that's your name and little picture), click edit and then make sure "show my email" is checked.  Please get this changed ASAP!

Update on the animals. 

The hen got her splint off last week.  She's walking good as new.  I still don't know what was wrong and she's not telling.  I'm pretty sure she would have done most anything to get that splint off!

Bob, the bottle calf, has been adopted by Bambi.  She nurses right out in the pasture!  It's a beautiful thing to see an orphan be adopted and loved.  Unfortunately the calf keeps having infections in her umbilical stump.  I'm awaiting a call from the vet. I'm guessing he will need to open the area up and peek inside.  I'm sure she will love that. 

Project 40

Strips for this one came from assorted donors.  Thanks!
These strips all came from Val.  I tried to mix these in with other strips, but they were quite
insistent on living together!  The strips were right!  It turned out warm and lovely.

2 more finishes!!  Hooray!!  The "ready to give" pile is growing.  I'll be making a delivery soon.  These are so warm and cozy-feeling in my lap as I stitch them together. 
Thanks to all the "Strippers" that keep sending in 40 inch strips!! 


I am so easily amused.  I have been sewing scrappy 9 patch blocks for months and months.  Lately I've grown weary of them. 

I see this picture:

and I'm off and running again.....basically with just a wee little twist on the basic 9 patch block.  Don't ask me why this slightly altered 9 patch makes my heart just does.

Blood Water Mission Update

We are rocking!!  We just crossed the 25% mark on donations to build a well in Africa!!
What? You haven't donated yet??? 

No time like the present.  Donations made today enter you in 2 drawings!!
You might win the Living Water Quilt AND the "Big" give-a-way! (Big give-a-way ends Wednesday, February 6)


This is the last day to enter the Big Give-a-Way
Drawing for the fabulous prize package happens February 6!

Much love to all of you!
May your day be blessed.

Linked to:  Cat Patches NewFO