Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Getting Ready!

Twice a year, a bunch of my Quilt Club gals and I get away from it all for three days and two nights of games, food and quilting!! It's always a hoot -- and I was so afraid I wasn't going to get to go!!  Jeff was scheduled to return from Afghanistan this same week, so my plans were to skip the spring retreat and hope for the timing to be better in the fall.

But the army is never predictable! LOL and Jeff's Welcome Home ceremony is Sunday!! Which means, I get to go to retreat (which ends Saturday), AND I won't have to keep him waiting at the armory while I diddle-daddle with the gals! :-D (As if I would!!)

So I've got double duty for getting ready.  Retreat stuff, the house, my toenails!! :-D
(Don't mind the grime; I just fed the cats and chickens -- and Oh! Look at little "Smokey" (? tentative name since we don't know if it's a he or a she, yet! :-D)! It's a wonder my feet didn't scare the little thing!! LOL

I've got most of my sewing stuff ready to go:

I always take way too much.  I wanna be prepared for whatever I'm in the mood to sew, you know? That's the thing with UFO's ....the reason they are UFO's is that you get out of the mood to finish them!

Some things are mandatory, though.
My leaders-and-enders 2" squares.
Chocolate (the good stuff! :-D)
My annual hauling out of the scrappy-spools-which-I-have-already-made-two-large-quilts-and-one-lap-quilt-of project:
Then, of course, there's the new project that I'm totally inspired with and wanna get started on!
I spent the better part of this week sorting my scraps by color. I'll eventually cut  them into Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User's System, but I had to sort them so I could find scraps for this quilt by Edyta Sitar in her Friendship Strips and Scraps book!!

The pattern calls for 1" strips!! I'll be using some small stuff on this one!

(What is it with me and spool quilts!?!)

So after cleaning up my messes and packing clothes (I should probably wear some on retreat! Jeff probably won't mind if I don't! LOL), I'll be ready to walk out the door. 

I can't wait! No dishes. No phone calls ('cept to check on the young-uns). Just friends, fabric and fun!

And Jeff on Sunday, home for a good while, thank the Lord!  I'm so ready!!

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready."
Revelation 19:6-7


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Things to Remember...

Is it my age?
I'm getting so forgetful!! A few really nice things happened to me this past week that I forgot about...!
I'm straightening up the living room, and what do I find?  Some beautiful mail!

Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies sent this beautiful mug rug and lovely encouraging letter AND post-it notes!! How did she know I love, love, love post-it notes!?! :-D  I even have post-it note fabric in my All about Me quilt!! Very cool, Thelma! and thank you so much.  She sent the gift to me for finishing Eventide, a Miss Rosie pattern quilt-along she hosted.  It was such fun to do -- and she's giving me a gift!?! Awesome!

I also got my fabric from Diane in the Hands-2-Help Challenge over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict!  The quilts we make from this challenge will go to orphans in Romania.
I'm seeing pinwheels or something equally light-hearted and playful with this bright fabric! Fun, fun, fun!  
Joanne over at Thread Head is hosting two weeks of practicing your free-motion quilting! I've not officially joined (I'm so intimidated!), but I practiced and managed to passably quilt one of my UFO's for this month.  Pick Up Sticks is a Jo Morton quilt, and I used my walking foot to quilt in the ditch between the "sticks" then free-motioned the feathers on the border.  The back doesn't look as good as the front (I should have used a better matching thread to camouflage my mistakes!! LOL), but it's not too bad as one of my first efforts on my home sewing machine.

 Finally, I got this in the mail yesterday:
The Mary Mannakee Quilt block-of-the-month from Common Threads.  I have NO recollection of ordering this BOM! LOL None!! But I love it -- and it's red and green and so pretty!!!!  So, whether I remember it or not, I'm NOT sending it back!! LOL  It goes on the list. Or I may break over and start it...

If I don't forget!!

Psalm 103
 1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

On this Easter Sunday, I dare not forget His benefits -- the most important being that He conquered death, hell and the grave!! -- and that He did this for you and me!!

Praise the Lord!

P.S.!!  I almost forgot -- the Traveling Stash!!! chose number 37 from the entries:  Jen W who said, "Would love to explore this box!!!  I've got MANY things to add to it also - just never want to GIVE away good sewing supplies...I always want them to go to a good home where they'll be used. Awesome idea!!!"  An email is winging it's way to Jen!! Thanks to everyone who commented!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

He's a SHE!

It's been an interesting week so far at the ol' Casada homestead! I'm diligently working on my #4 UFO, "Wilfred and Cloves" with it's applique'd center (which I've changed, of course! :-D), but I've been thwarted somewhat in my sewing plans....

It started Sunday afternoon as I was returning home from Asbury University where I'd dropped my daughter for another week of school.  I called home to check on the boys, and they told me about a huge rat/mouse the cats were playing with on the porch. Lovely!!  (not) "I'll check on it when I get home!!"

So an hour later, I'm looking at this thing Lucky cat has under the paws....
And it's moving.
And it's got a tail like a rat/mouse...but the head is not right...

It's a KITTEN!!!!

Lucky is not, as we'd assumed -- as we'd been TOLD by my brother who brought him to me after rescuing him (um, HER!) from the motor of a car -- a MALE cat!  He's a SHE!!  Lucky had ridden into town inside the whirring motor of a car and survived to tell the tale, thus the name and my brother's subsequent rescue and arrangment of our adopting him (HER!).  We'd have never taken a female (for obvious reasons).

But the kitten....Sigh.  Sweetest thing. EVER!  It's little eyes aren't open yet, and Lucky cat is the sweetest mama cat ever.  What's a chicken-owning, quilting, homeschooling mama like me gonna do!?  Fix her, of course.   Ironic, really, that he's a she I was lamenting a few days ago about the identity crisis of my chicken.  Apparently there are LOTS of secrets on this erswhile homestead of mine.

See what happens when your husband goes to Afghanistan!!?!

And the bees swarmed.  They COULDN"T wait until he is home in a couple of weeks. NOOOOOO! They do it now. 
Kittens. (Well, blessedly, only 1 kitten!) Fine.  I can handle that.

Swarming bees!?! NO.  I worried about killing Jeff's bees through neglect, and the dern things have prospered and multiplied until there's enough for two hives!! The chickens, which I actually kinda liked, are knocked off one by one by varmints or pestilence or neighbor's villainous dogs, and the bees which freak me totally out are taking over the place!!

Where's the justice!?! Where's the fairness of it all!?!

In Afghanistan, apparently.  As usual, my beloved if annoying husband gets the last laugh! :-D 

Oh well.  I'll tell him my stash has reproduced in proportion to the bees.

Those piles of fabric on the tables and chairs are SWARM.

Hehehehe.  Maybe there is some justice in the world after all!! LOL

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?    Micah 6:8 (NASB)

 Did I mention my husband hates cats!?! God is good. All the time!! :-D


P.S.  Don't forget to qualify for the Traveling Stash drawing!!!  You'll find the post here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Give Away: Traveling Stash!! and some finishes (Yippee!!)

Yesterday, I got it in the mail; opened it up and spread all the wonders inside out on the table around the box:

Patterns and fabric and quilted blocks and panels and lace and pin cushions.....

I won the box from Anne at Write Here, and this box has been making the rounds in blogworld!!!

Here's how Anne told it:

"So far, the box originated at the next stop was then on to next it traveled to and then to Kelly at Kelly split the growing stash into two boxes, and box #1 came to me. Yippee! Box #2 headed to" So from Kelly to Anne to me -- and now to you!

I like how Anne says, "Yippee!" My kinda gal, for sure!!! :-D

I pulled a few goodies out of the box.
And put a few goodies INTO the box (but you'll have to win it to see what!!)  But just to give you a little hint, here are 20 things I put inside:
 So if you wanna be the recipient of this marvelous traveling stash, you need only to comment, and I'll randomly draw a winner and send the stash to you.

You take what you want from it, put some more stuff in and send it on its way!!

Fun, huh!!! I love it!!

It was a great mail day for me.  Besides the stash, I got some "Pie Crust" muslin of Primitive Gatherings' Primitive Muslins line by Moda.  Yummy aged muslin that's not too dark.  It's creamy and light and has some agey character colored into it.  I got some patterns from Mary at Quilt Hollow  (Thank you so much, Mary! I love them!!). Wonderful stuff to use some of my Jo Morton stash! :-D

And I've been productive this week!
I have 46% of my Farmer's Wife done! Yippee! :-D (Can you tell I'm a homeschooling mom who's been teaching perccents!?)  51 of the 111 blocks are complete:

And today, I finished February's quilt top UFO #10 Moon and Stars Whimsy.  The last of the appliques went on the border and it's ready to be happen sometime between now and Christmas since Son #1 (Kid #2) has claimed it for his own. :-D

I love finishing things and accomplishing something with my hands! :-)

I read this and it makes me feel wonderfully blessed:

Psalm 90:14-17

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

In some translations, the word "favor" in verse 17 is translated as "beauty." May the beauty of the Lord God rest upon us and establish the work of our hands!!


P.S.  Don't forget to leave a comment to win the Traveling Stash!! I'll close the drawing on Saturday, April 23rd at midnight (Eastern Standard :-D), and announce the winner on Easter Sunday! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who I AM

My chicken is having an identity crisis!
Since her sisters were eaten by coyotes or foxes or wolves or something...well, she's been a little lonely, and I've had a time trying to keep her off the back porch.  I don't mind her presence per se''s what she leaves  behind that is rather, well...not cool. :-D

But she's made some unlikely friends.  Tommy and Lucky, our cats, don't know what to do with her! She eases up and starts eating out of their cans, like she's one of them!

I even put chicken feed in a can for her...She won't have it! She wants to eat what the cats are eating.  Doesn't she know who and what she is!?!

My sister stopped by yesterday and noticed my design wall with my "All About Me" blocks, so far, on it.  I'm working on framing the fabrics that represent "me" a little at a time, when I'm in the mood. :-)
I have a weird assortment of fabrics representing "me."  And my quilt is only going to be a lap-sized quilt.  I've figured out that I'm kinda a boring person! LOL
I've not been many places, so there are no exotic locales represented by my fabrics.  I love movies and  books and quilts and fabrics, scripture and Christmas, and quilts and fabrics, post-it notes, pens, music and ships.  Did I mention quilts and fabrics? 

 I have some army-type fabric for my husband, and school-marm fabric since I homeschool. I have a purse with my name on it -- not because I like purses (that would be interesting!), but because how often do you find a piece of fabric with your name!?!
I'm framing my novelty squares and rectangles with fabrics and colors that I love, and when I'm finished the quilt will be a snapshot of who I am.

It won't be everything....but it will be representative of many things that are dear to me.

It's a very important thing to know who you are, I think.  Especially as women! We are cast into so many roles -- wife, mother, chef, chauffeur, doctor, nurse, teacher, counselor, lover, quilter -- and we excel at multi-tasking.  It's easy to lose sight of those things that are quintessentially "me."
I cannot let my many roles define me.  Rather, who I am should define them.

Jesus understood all about identity!! As you read the Gospel of John,  Jesus takes you on a journey of His "I Am's":

I am the Messiah (John 4:26).
I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
I am the Eternal One (John 8:58).
I am the Light of the World (John 9:5).
I am the Door (John 10:7).
I am the Son of God (John 10:36).
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

He knew Who He was, and that determined all that He did...right down to His gift of death on the cross and His gift of Life through the resurrection!

I suspect my lonely chicken will figure out who she is when the chicks are big enough to roam the yard with her.  On the other hand, she may totally freak me out one of these days by meowing at me!

Either way, I know who -- and whose!! -- I am!!


Friday, April 1, 2011


I've declared EVERY year since I started quilting to be the "Year of the Finish!" -- aspiring to complete things, perhaps even that quilt masterpiece we all dream of doing.

Because of Judy's UFO Challenge, I've actually make a plan and I'm following through, and there are some lovely things happening!

My UFO (#1) for this month was Stars Around the Garden, a Bits 'n Pieces Block of the Month that I ended up "tweaking" a little.  It's now finished (well, the top, anyway! :-P) and ready for quilting! Yippee!

It seems success breeds success... might this actually be a finish year!?! :-D  Just maybe!!!!

I finished quilting -- on my little Nolting Hobby Quilter, no less! -- my Thimbleberries Take 5 quilt.  It was on my 2nd UFO list (the list of quilting/binding finishes I hoped to accomplish) for the month of January!!  One more finish!!

I (duh) forgot to set aside binding fabric, so I found some of the blue-with-dots  "Circle of Love" Thimbleberries line on ebay, and when it arrives, this baby will be DONE!

I'm still in the simple meandering stage of my learning curve with the mid-arm....but it's definitely progress! 

 The Pièce de Résistance (probably for the whole year and beyond!), though, has to be my Log Cabins and Fans...

This UFO quilt top that I completed in January has been phenomenally quilted by Mary at Quilt Hollow.

I'm just totally in awe.  Who knew!?!?  I just don't think of my quilts being anything beyond ordinary, but what Mary has done with my Log Cabins and fans:

It feels so good to see finishes for a change.
And then to see what looks to be a masterpiece (thank you, Mary!)....

There's a verse in Proverbs that echos what I feel about these finishes, the Log Cabin in particular:

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."  (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)  Verse 19 goes on to say, "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil."

Longing fulfilled.
A tree of life.
Sweet to the Soul.

Oh, my yes!!