Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lent....And Africa

I would like to share with you all some things God shared with me this morning in the Lenten devotionals I am using this season.  The prayer and benediction especially.
Prayer
Loving God, the places you ask me to go are sometimes scary.  I fear I’ll be alone, or that my needs won’t be met.  Assure me with
your love.  Amen.
Benediction
We have been told in the letter to the Hebrews that Jesus has journeyed to this unfamiliar place before us as a forerunner on our behalf.
Wherever you are, Jesus waits for you as the “sure and steadfast anchor” of your soul.  Trust Him!
As I read these words I was reminded of our trip to Uganda in 2009.  We were leaving Llolwe Island late in the day to go to Bavuma Island. Just as in the story in Luke 8:22-25, “a squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped.”  I’m not sure we were in great danger, as the scripture goes on to say, but we felt we were.  We eventually(after almost an hour) turned back to Llolwe for the night and, the next morning, made it safely to Bavuma.  What we didn’t know at the time was that as we stopped on the lake for the leaders to confer, or so we thought, the motor had actually fallen off the boat.  We had no idea!!  Praise God, they had tied a rope around the motor and were able to pull it back up and re-attach it to our boat.
As I read the above benediction God brought this all to mind.  He is so faithful to remind us that He truly is a “sure and steadfast anchor”.  He cannot be lost in the depths of turmoil as the storms of life swamp my little life.  He is my ever present help in times of trouble(Psalms 46:1). I only need to “Be still and know that He is God(Psalms 46:10).  I only need to Trust Him for He is God!!

The boat is the one we rode in (all 20 of us and our luggage and supplies) and that is the motor which we (almost) lost.  The sunset is what we experienced upon returning to Llolwe.  The squall had died down and God showed Himself in all His glory!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Finish #1

As the month draws to an end, I have one finish to show from my UFO list. 

My husband teaches 3rd - 5th grade Sunday School at our church.  One week they were studying the gifts that each of us has been given by God.  As an activity for the lesson he had them draw a picture of one of the gifts they studied.  He feels sure the kids think he just got rid of their artwork but instead he came home and asked me to make the squares into a quilted wallhanging.  

The quilting is a little wonky.  Hey, I'm a beginner with a new machine.  What can I say?  I don't think his kids will mind the wonky cornerstones.  They will just be excited that their artwork has been saved.  I'm excited that there is actually one UFO finished and marked off my list.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our New Year Started off with a Bang!!!

The announcements have all been mailed so we can now make it public....I'M A MOTHER-IN-LAW!!!!!

That's right!!

They Eloped!!
Michael & Veronica

January 1, 2011
Key West, Florida

"It's with joy that we announce
We had a change in plans
We snuck away at New Year's 
To exchange vows in the sand.
So now we share our happy news
We've started our new life
Michael is her husband
And Veronica is his wife."

The announcements were so cute.  Here are the pictures included on the announcement.  I'm sure I'll have more to share later.



They surprised us on January 3rd with a call saying they had gotten married.  It was just the two of them on a beach in Key West.  It suits them.  We are so very happy for them and so very proud to have Veronica as a member of our family.  I'm not sure where I read this(on one of the MANY blogs I read)but instead of a daughter-in-law, she will be our daughter-in-heart!!

Congratulations Michael and Veronica!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Always Playing Catch-Up

It seems I am always playing catch up when it comes to my quilting projects.  I see soooo many cute designs and opportunities to join in a sew along while I am reading my favorite blogs.  I already told you that I am a joiner.  So here I go again, I'm joining Rachel's Postage Stamp Quilt Along.  You know Rachel, from p.s. I quilt.


Yep, I'm three weeks behind but no fear.  Since the holiday season has ended my work schedule has gone back to the normal part-time status which means I only work 3-4 days a week.  YEAH!!!  I have had the past four days off so I have been sewing, sewing, sewing.  Here is my progress.  To stay true to my resolution to use up what I have, I chose a jelly roll I bought back in 2008 at the NQA convention I attended.  It is Daydreams by Deb Strain by Moda. (I told you I have been hoarding fabric for a long time).

I love all the pre-cuts offered out there.  I have fat quarter bundles, honey buns, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs.  I'm addicted!!  I buy them and then never know how to use them.  So when Rachel started this project I just knew this fabric line would be great.  The contrast fabric I'm using is just a white solid.
So I sewed and sewed and sewed and ended up with all the strips sewn together.
Lots and lots of strips!!  So, then I went back to sewing and sewing and sewing!  Whew, I'm finally catching up!!

Here are four of the forty-eight(yes, 48!!) blocks that I have finished and now I'm all caught up and can stay up with each step as they come.  These colors are out of my comfort zone but I thought the fabrics were so fun.  I guess that's why I bought it in the first place.  DUH!!

Now onto another of my WIP's.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Thoughts on 2011

2011 started off with a bang!!  Not literally because I went to bed around 10pm on New Year's Eve.  I know, how boring can you get???  Anyway, I can't tell you what kind of bang we had around here YET but I promise I will tell you all about it real soon.

Anyway, I have decided that 2011 is going to be my year to Finish It Up and Slash my Stash.  I have so many projects that are in progress.  I know all quilters do but I'm tired of having far more unfinished projects than finished ones.  So, since I got my Janome this past year

I am determined to finish up as many of my unfinished projects as possible.  I am also going to attempt to not buy any fabric except what is needed to finish up those projects.  Now I'm not saying that I might not start some new projects but I will use what I have to do them.  I have so many kits and patterns that I have bought that I just have to get to these or I'm going to drown in my sewing room.  Besides, that way I can buy more fabric and patterns without feeling guilty, right????  I thought so!!

So the first step was to clean up my sewing room.  That started last fall when our daughter went off to college and my sweet hubby took over her room for his art studio.  I took over the formal living room.  We definitely are not formal people here!!  Here are a couple of pictures taken during that process.  Beware, it's a mess!!



I told you it was a mess.  You can't even see my sewing machine in any of those pictures.  Anyway, here is the start of the re-do.  There is still much more to be done but it is in good enough shape that I can get to everything easily so I've been sewing instead of re-doing.



That's better but not done.  The bookshelves hold only my craft paraphernalia.  The cutting table has been moved but still needs a skirt to hide all the junk under it.  I still need more of the storage bins to hold my fabric and scraps.  Well, maybe not once I get finished stash-busting, huh?  So, we'll see if I can finish up the room re-do and stay the course for my project finishes and stash busting.   I'm signed up for a machine quilting class on February 14th so that should REALLY help.  I have so many quilt tops that need to be quilted.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Do You Like My Vue?


No, not my "view", my Saturn Vue.  This is my new ride.  And yes, it is sitting out in the icy driveway.  Welcome to northwestern Ohio weather in January!



Isn't is great?!!!  One of our vehicles died week before last.  After looking at all the options, we decided that we didn't want to put any more money into an old car so we headed out in the snow(of course) to look at what was out there.  After driving seven different SUV's this was our choice(well,mostly my choice...my sweet hubby wanted the Jeep).  I LOVE IT!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010/2011

I just love a new year.  Getting out that new American Patchwork & Quilting calendar and writing all the birthdays in it is one of my favorite things to do during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.  There is just nothing like the feeling I get when I hang that calendar on January 1st.  If you are a golfer, it's like a mulligan.  It's a do-over.  My favorite scripture is in the book of Lamentations, chapter 3, verses 22-23.
  "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are
   new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
I guess that's why a new year excites me so MUCH.  If God's compassion and mercy is new every MORNING, how much greater is it in a new YEAR?

2010 was a good year but full of changes for me.

January started out poorly with lots of snow to add to my grief over the loss of my precious Grandmother.
 
February, March and most of April were spent looking for a part-time job.  I began working for a popular retail store April 22 and have a new appreciation for people working minimum wage jobs.  I won't bore you with my soap-box speeches on that subject!!

May was spent planting our VERY prolific garden.

The first week of June was spent in Myrtle Beach with friends but I received bad news while there that our sweet Scout had died.


In July I received my new Janome sewing machine and I wish I could say it has made a BIG difference in my quilting output but it hasn't yet.  I spent a great deal of time canning strawberry jam, jalapeƱos, tomatoes and salsa.  We were also getting our baby girl ready to go off to college.  She left us on July 22 to attend school in Washington state.  Talk about change!!  It took me almost a month to be able to talk about her without crying.  We had become so close these past 3 years since moving to Ohio.  My, oh my, was that van loaded!!


August was spent working almost 30 hrs. a week and canning.  Did I tell you our garden was VERY prolific?  We ended up with 22 half pints of strawberry jam, 55 pints of salsa, 44 pints of tomatoes, 27 pints of jalapeƱos, and 4 quarts of green beans.  Whew!!!

September was spent working with a short trip back to Illinois to visit friends.

October started out with a trip for me to visit our baby girl.  It was great seeing all the places she talked about and meeting all her friends.  Then after a week home I went with my sweet hubby on his business trip to Washington DC.  What a week that was!!  While he was sitting in meetings, I toured the Capitol, the White House, went to the top of the Washington Memorial, toured several of the Smithsonian's, several of the Art Galleries, the National Archives, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, the Korean Memorial, the WWII memorial, Arlington Cemetery.  I was so proud of myself for figuring out the Metro system.  There is so much to see that even though I was going, going, going all day long for 5 days I feel like I missed so much.  The architecture alone was amazing.  I fell in love with DC and am looking forward to another visit soon, I hope!! Then after a week home we left AGAIN!!  We took a long weekend and went to Florida to visit our oldest son and his fiancee.  That was a quick trip but fun, fun, fun.

November and December are a blur.  Working retail during the holiday season was crazy!  My part-time job became as close to full-time as they could get without having to give me benefits.  Needless to say, I was exhausted  so the New Year rang itself in without me.  I went to bed and slept 2010 out!!  I did get some sewing done for Christmas.
These little goodie bags are a pattern from Better Homes & Gardens Quilts and More, Fall 2010 edition.  Monica from Happy Zombie created them and as with everything she does, they are too cute for words!!  I made 22 of them as gifts mostly for our baby girl's house-mates and friends at college.  I filled each one with some shower gel, hand sanitizer, kleenex, and some sweets.  They were a hit with the girls.  


Excuse the picture, it's just the quilt top.  I forgot to get a picture of the finished quilt.  It was cut out, pieced, quilted and binding sewn on in less than 10 days while I worked 59 hours during that same 10 day period.  I wrapped it on the 22nd and gave it to our middle son's girlfriend for Christmas.  She was leaving to go home the next day.  Nothing like getting it done at the last moment.  But it was done!  As you can guess, purple is her favorite color and I think she really liked it.  I'll try to get her to get me some shots of it finished.  

I even read 84 books in 2010.  (Maybe that's part of the reason I didn't get too much sewing done.)

I'm really looking forward to what 2011 holds.  I see many adventures coming in these next few months and hope to share those adventures with you on a more regular basis.  

Thanks for stopping by!!
Happy Quilting!!