Friday, March 30, 2012

Holy Week is fast upon us.....which got me thinking...

that God is the ultimate quilter. He takes joy in the act of creation and desires to share it with those He loves. (That would be us.). He has given us all the things that we need to make a beautiful life. He gives us the materials and time and the freedom to do as we please. (Don't ask me how He does it. Be glad that I am not Him. I wouldn't be able to take my fingers out of the pie.). AND He leaves us to do it.

All of us make an effort to do something with what He gives us. Our efforts are as varied as snowflakes, and none of them are worthy of the materials He has given us. It is inevitable that we bring the pieces pack to Him. Tattered and torn with uneven and puckered seams, the bits we offer Him are a shambles - not even good enough for the dust bin. But how can you toss something that God gave you? How do you fix the unfixable and make it a worthy offering?


You can't. No matter how hard you work, or how long you study, or how many sacrifices you make, you will always be human and He will always be God. He can't accept product that is below par....He is God, we're not. That isn't going to change.


BUT that is okay. He loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His only son to make a way. Jesus was born, lived, and was crucified on a cross as a man so that being like us, we would understand what he came to say. He died and was raised from death so that we would understand that what he said was true. He is the life, and the way. He is God. As a man he is approachable. As God he is able.

All of the nasty bits and pieces; all of the broken promises and poor excuses; all of our inadequacies are made perfect in Jesus. He takes our unsightly UFOs and turns them into holy and acceptable offerings. We don't have to do a thing but let him. (Galatians 2:16)

This is the thing that I struggle the most with.....the letting him. I stubbornly want to do things my own way. I totally understand that my way is less than perfect. I understand that my imperfect works add up to a big pile of imperfectness. No matter how big it gets, it is still a pile of trash compared to the glory that is God. I understand that He can do a much better job with the materials at hand. What I don't understand is why He would ask me to participate in the first place.

The best I've ever come up with is LOVE. He loves me that much. He loves us sooooo much that he would rather sacrifice his only son, than be separated from our efforts. He orchestrated all of time and history to make a way for mankind to be forever in the His presence... in spite of our stubborn imperfections.


Jesus gives us the freedom to run to our Abba with our crayon drawings and wonky quilt blocks and say, "Look what I made for you!". God is a good daddy who looks at our efforts through Jesus's eyes and sees something precious. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

May the fantastic freedom of Christ be yours this Easter and always,



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oh what a lovely day

Yesterday was the nicest day I've had in a very long time. It was even better than having all of my boys home.

My dear husband took the day off to spend with me. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. In itself, that is a little mind warping. When did that much time pass? I really can't remember it happening. They say that is one of the first signs of aging. I believe it.

After we got the kids to school we went out for breakfast. I love going out for breakfast...always have. It is way better than dinning out for dinner. By dinner time I'm tired and just want to be cozy. While we were eating he, yes HE, suggested that we check out the local quilt shops. We could go spend the gift certificate I won at guild on Tuesday night. BUT we were just there a few weeks ago. When I suggested that we amble further afield he was game. We ambled Oklahoma. That sounds like a long way to go....but it is only an hour north. We visited three quilt shops...all new to me...all wonderful.

I found the fabric I wanted for this. I can't wait to make it....for me....with a new name for the pattern.
When we got time to pick the guys up from school...I snuggled under this...
Yup...I quilted it for my a paying customer to Tops to Treasures....I had watched her making it for years and always thought it looked like Cherry Pie with vanilla ice cream. When I finished quilting it,I teased her about willing it to me. Instead she gave it to Gilbert and I as an anniversary gift. I'll take a better picture of it when the sun comes out.

I opened the mail and was greeted.... this funny face, and a lovey bunch of goodies from Nicky at Mrs. Sew & Sow Loves to Create.
She told me she was sending the mini....a celebration give away to commemorate her 1 year birthday in blog land. She didn't tell me about the rest of the swag. Oh my. The fabric scraps are gorgeous, soft, delicate, oh so pretty, Liberty of London. I've never seen fabric like this before. What comes of living in the "Wild West" I guess. The bright blue circle is a coaster commemorating the Queen's Jubilee. (My cup of tea is resting on it now. Iced is still tea. Now I just need some biscuits.....would a Twinkies work?)

Thank you Nicky! You were the icing on my lovely day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

25 Years....

...ago, March 28 1987, I married my best friend.

It has been a wild ride, but I don't want to be any where else.

Happy Anniversary beloved.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Farmers Wife in Your Life

Have you been over to Love Affair with My Brother? Sunni came up with a great idea to encourage all of the would be Farmer's Wives. You don't have to make one of each block in the book. You can use just one block. AND it doesn't even have to be a quilt when you are done with it. Go check out the possibilities.

Farmer's Wife in Your Life

She is also hosting a contest with fantastic fabric prizes from The Fat Quarter Shop and The Intrepid Thread.

I couldn't pass up the this is my entry.

Made in August of last year, I created this mini for DSQ11. It is based on A Century of Progress, the block on page 18 of The Farmer's Wife book.
For inspirations sake, I went through a few drawings before I settled on this setting. Check out what else this block can do....
Wile trying to figure out what I was doing I also made this lovey for my STUD partner.
I hope you've been inspired. Go check out the other entrants.

Farmer's Wife in Your Life

Batting Battle Field Report


If you've just stepped over from The Tulip Patch, welcome.  Welcome if you are here by another means too...and go check out Mary's batting battle post at The Tulip Patch.  Today she is talking about Fairfield's Bamboo.

From my perspective - Bamboo is a fun way to add a little luxury to a quilt project....any project really.  The fiber produced by this otherwise uninviting bit of panda food is silky with a nice drape.  I have found it to be cuddly and just enough warmer and lighter than cotton to make me wonder if I am imagining things.  The price might make it prohibitive....but look for it on sale.

Thank you Mary for pointing out that the anti-bacterial properties make the processing of bamboo a step easier.  I had never thought of that before.  (So that is what those dark bits in  cotton batting are...bug legs and carcasses....just kidding. I really have no idea.)  I do however suspect that the overall processing might be a tad more complicated.  Think about it - wool and cotton are both in a fibrous state when they are harvested.  They have to be cleaned before they can be turned into bat....but they are already kind of thready.  Bamboo, well, it is pretty much a stick that needs to be beat to death to extract the fibers. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

That is some kind of record..

I finished the new quilt last night. I don't think one has ever gone together so "seamlessly". Lol.

I know that having my dh cut pieces and keep them all in order helped. He said he was looking forward to reading to me while I sewed, but it never got to the point where he was job free. We finished this project in two days.

I didn't expect to have it all bound and labeled before my boy went back to school. But I did.

Even so, he decided that he would rather we mail it to his prof than hand deliver it. I don't mind. I even understand his reasoning a little.

We all helped pack the car....even the cat.

So....Noah is back to school. He left about an hour ago....and has a six hour drive in questionable weather ahead of him. It was good to see him. I didn't want to let him go.....ever. Any advise on how to do it without a piece of your heart dying? As excited as I am for the young man, I miss my little boy.

Button was interested in taking the trip....

but we rescued her before he left.

The other two boys head back to school tomorrow. Today, they have a few hours left of holiday. Ben is off playing baseball with his dad. John is killing trolls or some such in an online game. I'm sitting in a quiet livingroom listening to the wind play in our chimney and wondering if we will get the promised rain. The grass would like it.

I hope your weekend has been similarly blessed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

If I was at retreat

This puppy would be finished before bedtime!

But I'm tired...time for a cup of cocoa and some Big Bang Theory.

Not Quite Japanese Cross/ #Shit Doc Says

I've turned this...

Not Quite a Japanese Cross, because I wasn't paying attention, and then decided that I liked this better, into this...

I finished off every scrap of a charm pack of Salt Air. If you look closely you can see a few extra pieces in the pattern.

In order figure out how to make this...

Titled "#Shit Doc Says" for my son's favorite prof.

We are using "Writer's Block" by Iota for Robert Kaufman for the black, and the other fabrics (red,white, and grey) are all tone on tone. I'd still like to make it with Sweetwater's "Reunion". It reminds me of a bit of Chinese news print....very cool looking in a big quilt.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just piddlin'

It is spring break. The boys are home, actually, they are in and out at odd hours, but they are mostly home. Gilbert took the week off.

Yesterday we took my baby to be groomed. We took her in the little truck.

It was a little bit snug.

But the de-fluffing was totally worth the trip.

Between loads of laundry and visiting with kids I finished this today

It is the Bluebird of Scrappiness! He, he, he. He loves a quilters stash habitat, noshing on fabric worms is his favorite thing, AND he doesn't mind a little acupuncture now and again.

I also put together this mini top. I used bits from a charm pack of Salt Air from Moda. The pattern is a result of trying to remember a Japanese Cross block...and not quite getting it. I guess you could call it a "Not Quite Japanese Cross.

I'm playing with ideas for a quilt for my son's favorite professor. This is the man responsible for the amazing scholarship program that my boy gets to participate in. Evidently, he has a colorful way of speaking. Noah regularly Tweets "#Shit Doc Says", and tells me not to read them.

That in mind....I'm thinking he needs a quilt that implies those little marks we make when we don't want to actually print out what someone says. Visual bleeps. Check the out....

I started here. Howard's school colors are Red, Grey, and Black.


Then I tried it with scrappy blocks from Sweetwater's Reunion for Moda....but I lost the + signs.

This one moves the scrappiness to the big patches used to make the x's, keeps the + signs the same fabric throughout its construction, and adds the red centers. Again, I used Reunion for the scrappy fabric.

What do you think?


Monday, March 12, 2012

Fab Little Quilt Swap

I made this....

and sent it off to -------- someplace very far away early last week. It is still in transit as far as I know.

Saturday, completely having forgotten that I would receive a quilt as well, I got a package in the mail.

It was filled with sweet surprises. Have you ever eaten a Mountain? Chocolatey goodness....that you can't get where I live....which is a very good thing. My boys declared them deliscious.

Eeeeeek! Isn't this adorable?!

Karen did an amazing job.

Even the back tells a delightful story.

And....because I know she would want me to share this bit of silliness....which still has me blushing just a bit......

She made this for me too. I have to tell you a story.....

49 years ago a young couple was about to have a baby girl. As most couples do, they thought long and hard about what to name her. They finally settled on Cynthia Anne.

There is a neigh sayer in every crowd, and this family was no exception. Great, great grand-ma was not pleased. She was a very religious lady, had raised two children who became Christian missionaries, and adamant. "Cynthia" was no good. A name like that would eventually get shortened. "Cyn" was not the sort of name that a good Christian girl should have.

Poor, poor, grandma. My name did indeed get shortened. Many of my closest friends and family members call me Cyn. I even sign my name that way on occasion. And now this. Oh dear.

Thank you Karen for all of it! You are a great partner.