Thursday, February 28, 2008

AMAZING GRACE

We moved my parents to Sarasota this past weekend. We left early Sat. morning and arrived at 3:30 that same day. For 80+-year-old people they did the trip very well. I was proud of them. They are now living in a Mennonite community and they are happy. I sure will miss them but know they will be much happier where they are.


Tuesday night was our last night with them and mom and I were hanging her pictures I had such fond memories of doing the 3 cross-stitch pieces I did for her. After they went to bed I was taking pictures and was draw to this piece. I am sure many of us have sung this precious hymn. I love the song and it’s message. If you want to read about the hymn writer go to this site.
http://www.anointedlinks.com/amazing_grace.html

Wednesday was my parent’s 65th wedding anniversary. Can you imagine that? Most people are in awe of it but for mom and dad it is a blessing and as Mennonites working out any problems in your marriage was the only option. If I were to ask dad about the reasons he might joke and say you always have to let mother be right or something like that but if he were serious he would say it is because of God’s Amazing Grace. I can remember him singing this hymn in his tenor voice many times and with the look on his face that He fully knew and understood God’s Grace. Dad and mom live what they believe and I have never known them to waver a bit in their faith. This is why I did this hymn for them.

Tonight I just want to honor them by saying :I love you mom and dad and I thank you for teaching me by your walk with God. I too understand how much God loves me.” Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MY FIRST SQUISHY CAME




WOW!
I see so many projects when I look at this stash! I opened and felt each piece of fabric. The colors are so rich and have so many possibilities. I want to make a tea cozy and these might just end up in one…. we will see. The laces are so pretty and sure will dress up seams and add texture and I love beads and charms. I am one happy lady looking at all of this.

A special lady named Jill sent this to me and now I will pass one on to another lady waiting for her squishy.

I was thinking today about life and sharing. I was happy to sign up to do this exchange. It is fun to find fabrics and things to embellish our creations. It is part of the art of Crazy Quilting. Sharing our finds is also a huge part of our groups and swaps. But how are we at sharing all we have.

When I was a child growing up in a Mennonite Community I was taught to give the best we had to those who were in need. If we could not wear an article of clothing because it was worn out we did not give that to these folks but the best we had. The same with toys or food we were asked to share. It was a lesson I really learned. Look at it this way…someone is down and out and maybe living in a shelter and they receive some clothes and hope they will be clothes that may help them dress for a job interview. They open the bag and find a sweater with small holes in it or something that was out of style for years…. how does this make them feel. I know how it feels. You feel worse and lower than you did before you opened it. But if you open your gift and see new or gently used articles you gain some confidence and are ready to look like the job you are applying for. Why do we think folks are to be thankful for whatever they get? Shame on us.

I was working a food pantry some years ago and was looking at all the cans we had to wonder about because they were out of date and some by several years. Or strange foods that one would have to be a creative chef to even begin to use. I watched the people coming in and I knew they were grateful for what they were receiving but how does one cook a meal with a can of cranberry relish, pumpkin pie filling, and a pack of jello? They need flour, milk, eggs, fresh vegetables or at least some good canned vegetables, juice (not sugar water), here in the South cornmeal and rice. What I mentioned like the cranberry is useful as a side but not as a meal. I hate to use boxed junk and eat all they have added to make it instant so why would I think the poor need that when they really need wholesome food? I do not use out dated stuff so why think someone else must just because they are in need.


What I am trying to say here is we need to always pick out the best we have and share it….the lady that sent these things to me did that and I feel so blessed. I want to make sure I carry this to all areas of my life as I get the chance to share food, clothing, my time and talents. The Lord asks we share the best we have. This is a mandate not a suggestion.
Thanks Jill!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

ANOTHER CQ BLOCK



You know how it goes...the machine is out, the fabrics are out and ironed and they just call you to do one more.... so last night I gave in to that call and made one more. I had the middle fabric for a long time and thought I would build around that. It is kind of hard to see but there are reds, blues, green and a copper tone. So I tried to match those.

My stash is very limited because we lost all we owned 3 years ago and when we had to get the necessary things to live there was little thought for a hobby. I will be honest too and tell you for 2 years my creative side was dead. I made cards to help generate money to eat but very little stitching went on. That was a dry time for me and I felt stagnant and dry inside. I still enjoyed nature but had no urge to apply it to fabric. The second Christmas I felt some coming back and I did a few needle books. Than I found the pattern for a vest needle book on line in the CQ Magazine and it triggered me again. I had a bunch of men’s ties someone sent to John and they were not used. So I took them apart and began to use them for fabric for little CQ projects. I found threads here and there at carport sales, Goodwill and some was given to me. I hunted buttons and now have a few to spare. It is taking time but I am getting there with the stash I so want to have.

Back to the square...I had trouble with one block.... the right hand side at the top.... it is fabric from a sari that a young lady gave me here at the apartments. I metallic silver on it is hard to get to lay flat but I finally got it to do OK. That seam I will have to make sure and embellish. I have one light color at the top on the left hand side. I did that on purpose and hope to do some oriental motifs and use that block as light or the sun and go from there to darkness...I may not be able to pull this off. Only time will tell if I do this or change my mind.

The size of the 2 blocks is 13 by 13. That is a funny size but I use these to cover photograph albums with for gifts for friends. I have made over 30 to give away and would you believe not one is at my house? That is the way it goes. I really want to do a special one for us but as soon as I have it almost finished I decide I need to bless someone else. I think my favorites were 2 I did in all white, cream and off white. I added some pale colors to the one with the flowers and the other just had a few bits of gold.

I need to get off to the grocery store for my parents so catch you all later.

Friday, February 15, 2008

NEW CQ BLOCK, using Spring Challenge



I want this one to be a flower garden theme and so decided to use some bigger blocks. I wanted to use colors that would show off the colors of flowers.


Thanks Melissa for the wonderful tutorial for making a CQ block. I always have hand sewed them because I had trouble getting them right on the machine. Melissa's blog is here:


She sure has a lot of good tips and tutorials for us but how I love the "Eye Candy". So much to look at!


This afternoon I want to spend time deciding what I want to use in this block and get it in the basket I keep with me when I am working on a project.


I was thinking today about all the colors in a flower garden, all of the textures and all of the differences We as friends and acquaintances are like a flower garden. Some of us are colorful and have a personality that draws others to them. Some of us are a more subtle but so warm and inviting when you get closer, some of us are tall and stately, some are closer to the ground and draw our attention to the earth. Some have a wonderful smell and oh how we love to take a deep breath and fill our being with that smell. Than there are the very fragile flowers that will bruise so easily and we handle them in a very delicate way. But all of our differences make a beautiful garden. I have been to master gardens such as Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa or Callaway Gardens here in Georgia. They are so perfect but each time you go it seems they draw you in and you see new things. That is how I feel about friends. I meet someone and their sparkling personality draws me to them and I am in for a lively time. At another time I meet someone for the second time and I begin to feel the warmth of a loving and caring heart. I know this person is trustworthy and will be a loyal friend. Along the way I have met people that draw me to the beauty of nature and to me they are the jewels of the earth. Than we meet a new friend that is in a fragile season of life and we want to nurture them with care and hope they blossom and grow.

Yes, I love a garden and a garden to me is God’s gift to all of us on earth. We just till the ground, plant the seed, water it and nurture it and keep the weeds away from it and than smile. A garden should always draw us to the Creator and we need to take time to thank Him for all he gives us to enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

REDWORK ONCE AGAIN


I found out I had a few more extra days until the swap needed to be mailed out. I took this time to make the hostess of the swap a block too. I wanted to find a pattern that reminded me of her. She loves to work with yarns and really crochets a lot but this was a good one for her. I liked the idea of the lamb also. She is the one of the sweetest ladies I know. Her love for the Lord shines. She and her husband have 6 children and one on the way. Not too long ago they lost their home to a fire and so it has been a hard time. But I see the strength she met this challenge with and I admire her a lot. Heather is a real woman of faith! So hats off to her!
Now off to begin a new crazy quilt block with the other challenge piece I did......

Sunday, February 10, 2008

SPRING CHALLENGE FINISHED

Mom was over the other day and loved the Blue Birds. I have been very busy in the days trying to help them pack and get ready for their big move back to Florida. Dad will soon be 88 and mom soon be 85 and on the 26th of this month they wll be married 65 years. Alone that is quite an accomplishment. As I am out and about with them and they tell someone how long they have been married I see by the reactions that fe people have met someone that has been married that long. Mom and dad have been like a fish out of water in Atlanta. They are Mennonite and so being away from "like minded" people has been hard for them. I know they have been talking to each other for some time about moving back to a Mennonite Community. About a month ago they told me they needed to make this move and the 2 options were Virginia where they had gone to retire or to Sarasota where they had been very active for 20 years+. It seemed to fall in place for them to go back to Florida and they will be moving onto a mobil home in a retirement community. Mom has a brother there and they know quite a few more people there too. The church they were active in is next door. So the 23rd of this month we will be moving them.


Mom loves blue and so I decided to bring out the blue. I beaded the edge with a nice plue glass bead in 2 sizes and also but a pretty blue backing on it. I think I will take it along down and just before we leave to come home I will set it in her bed room as a surprise for her. I really did have fun finishing this and knowing mom will treasure it is a wonderful feeling for me.




Thursday, February 7, 2008

FELT PIN CUSHION

I had just read a book about Russia and thought I need to make a pin cushion that reminds me of this country. As I was looking for ideas I found a site called "PaperCraft Inspirations". Since I love to make cards also I was having fun looking at all the templates they offer free. My mind goes to thinking "can I use that in my stitching or making felt boards for children that are very sick" does it have to be paper? ......and than I came to this template and I knew what I wanted to do.......Page 3 of the download.

http://www.papercraftinspirationsmagazine.co.uk/resources/papercraft/PIN30.templates.pdf

I had to play with it a bit but this is what I came up with and it is a cheerful pincushion to have by my side. I also made one of the hearts beside it but gave it away before I took a picture. I want to make several more of both for gifts.

I think that as creative people we can look at template for all mediums and come up with a way to use them in felt or fabric. That is the fun of creating. Look though this site and you will find lots of fun templates to use for cards, or scrabooking or textiles. We have to learn to think outside the box.
The next Russian Doll I do I think I will make from fabric and do some silk ribbon embroidery on her. I would have to do some applique work also I think.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CHRISTMAS BEAR SHADOW WORK


This is a pattern I did for my MIL (Nana) one year. I ended up making her 10 for ladies in her Sunday School Class. Last week mom brought over some fabric I had given her from Nana and this fell out.......just the pattern on Irish Linen. Yesterday I did it. Linen is a good fabric to do it on because you get a good shadow. The picture under this is the back of the fabric. The closer you make the stitches the better the shadow. The head is about as wide as you want to do the shadow work.
I made this pin pillow with it with some edging I had around here and I used some very narrow ribbon to insert into the edging. There is enough room on each side of the bear to actually put a brooch on each side. She would buy a brooch for each lady and add a note on the other side of the bear. This was on the plate of each lady when they came to her home for a Christmas Tea. I remember we had Victorian bears in the middle of the table with beautiful red roses. This was the last tea she gave before she had to come and live with us. It is a beautiful memory and making this bear was a pleasure and I did it in memory of Nana. Enjoy it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

ANOTHER CHALLENGE PIECE





I decided this weekend to work on one of the other designs. I know I need to practice my stitches. I have had a long dry period in creating. I had "spurts" and would make a gift for friends or the holiday gifts but than would just not pick up anything.
I mentioned we were exposed to high levels of mycotoxins and mold. If you want to read about what these can do you can read here:
http://www.mold-help.org/

My eyes were affected and what came easy for me and what I always did by memory was a long time coming back. I still have to look up a lot of stitches in order to do them. I can pick them up again with time. I think the other part of my problem was I lost all my stash and all my books (along with 90% of all our stuff) and I had such a wonderful stash than made those creative juices flowing....you know a special piece of lace and i inspires you or a piece of fabric with just the right colors or buttons and beads.......So I guess I mourned the loss way too long and now I am working with what I have.

I decided to use the shadow work just a bit and the bow seemed right for that. I wanted to see what a variegated thread would do. I used DMC 4210, which is a Mouline Color Variation. If you were to look at it close you can see it. I have Brazilian thread and wanted to use it. So I pulled out a book I got at Goodwill by Dover called "Brazilian Three-Dimensional Embroidery" by Rosie Montague. About 6 years ago I had made several projects that were mostly Brazilian embroidery. I decided I would do the "Crossed needle stitch" for the big flowers. It is an easy one and the thread I had suited it. I used beads for the center because I did not have a good yellow thread for the middle and I used smaller beads for the little flowers. I can sure see where I need to improve but I think this one will also end up as a pin pillow. I may try to put one together tomorrow. It all depends on if I have my almost 3 grandchild Zoe. She wants to "help" and her and the machine will not mix if you know what I mean.
Now back to finishing projects I had started way back when.......

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Award I have been given


I have a most precious friend (more like a long lost sister I always wanted) from Australia.

Jenny has been on a list with me for a long time. I admire first her love for the Lord and how she flows in His love. I love the way she works with fabrics and thread and the end result is a beautiful creation fille with love. Than that love of creating has passed on to her precious daughter Elizabeth who is a artist also. This young lady sews, quilts, does needle arts, takes wonderful pictures and sure can write! I think of them as about the best Mother/Daughter team around!

So Jenny I thank you. I feel like you have honored me.

Please look at her blogs:


He Knows My Name



A Thread In Time



Pass The Pesto Please



Purple Flower Patch In Oz



The Rules:
By accepting this award I must now share with you 10 blogs that I also deem 'excellent'. If you are one of my 10 you then choose 10 blogs that you feel have an excellent quality about them. You can give it to as many people as you want-even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.
My ten are these:
1. Honey Bee's Bliss...I have spent hours at this blog!
2. The Broken Needle....love her work!


3. Gatherings....Pat Winter is one of the most creative people! Great Eye-Candy!
http://gatherings100.blogspot.com/

4.Coffee Tea Book and Me...a real inspiration to me.
http://coffeeteabooksandme.blogspot.com/

5. Posie Gets Cozy...Just delightful!
http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/

6. Kimberlys Cup.....inspiration for me.....
http://www.kimberlys-cup.blogspot.com/

7. Plainsong....she is so organized and I have found ways to improve here.
http://plainsongschool.typepad.com/plain_song_school/

8.Sandra Sews...does beautiful work!
http://sandrasews.blogspot.com/

9. Sunshine's Creations...so many ideas, so little time!
http://sunshinescreations.vintagethreads.com/

10. The Floss Box...love her free patterns!
http://blog.theflossbox.com/