Monday, December 26, 2011


You can tell by my few blog posts in the last several month that I've not quilted a whole lot. Farmer's Wife blocks for a class I was teaching, memorial quilts that I'd contracted before Sam passed away, the club mystery quilt...That's about it! :-(   Very unusual for someone who usually quilted every single day!!  My friend Jennifer says it's 'cause when I'm sewing at home, I'm usually alone, and too much alone time was resulting in too many tears. True enough, I suppose.

The gals at the local quilt shop talked me into doing Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery.  I got them into Roll, Roll Cotton Boll last year, so turn about was fair play.  Just rifling through fabric and cutting fabric and sitting with them each Friday to work on it together -- all these seem to have brought some of my quilting joy back!!  And after completing a particularly difficult (for me) memorial quilt for a friend, I tied into Sam's Darlin' Hearts!  And today, I finished the quilt top.

And I'm just in awe.

Not of my work. Far from it.

I'm in awe all over again of the beauty of friendships and heartfelt sympathy and prayers and love that was given to me in the weeks following Sam's death. Who could believe people are so kind! And to me!! As I've looked over the blocks, many are from "close" quilting blog friends. And just as many are from people whose blog paths I've never crossed, or if I have, it was a periferal thing. And yet they cared enough to make a block (or two, or FOUR!) and send them to me in the most difficult days of my life!!

There are no words to properly thank you!! I tried to send cards (I saved every card, envelope and note! :-D), but my tears smeared the ink.   Maybe this small recognition will let you know how grateful I am.  Each name is a link to their blog (if they have one and I know it :-D ) Check them out! They are all amazing!

Row 1

Sharon, Miki, Jacque (1 block of 2 she made!), Stephanie (1 of 2 she made! and I think that's the right blog!) and Ann...

Row 2

Selma Jean, Rhonda (the first block I received!), Cassey, and Rebecca...

Row 3

Debbie (the strawberry fabric was a definite clue! :-D), Sarah, and Teresa...

Row 4

Mary, Crispy (this is the one that sparked the quilt name --  because it made me cry like Charlene Darling on Andy Griffith! :-D), Barb (the sparrow story is amazing!), and Janet...

Row 5

Diane (my Hands 2 Help quilt-for-Romania exchange partner through Sarah's blog), Ann (1 of 4 blocks!!), and LuAnn (who also checked on me through Jeff's deployment! Thank you!!)...

Row 6

Sue (1 of 2 blocks!), Jacque, Ann, and Stephanie...

Row 7

Ann, and Sue, and Cindy Lou :-)...

Row 8

Beth, TonyaPaulette, and Staci (this is the only one I'm not sure of...and isn't that a hoot, Stace, since your blog is The Confused Quilter! :-D)...  Correction! :-) The last one on this row is Kate's (Kathleen, below)!! So. is the blue pieced one Staci's!?!?  LOL  Let me know, if you know!)

And Row 9

Kathy,  Ann, Robbie, Kathleen, and Karen.

Many of the blocks came from quilters who participated in Sarah's Hands 2 Help challenge.  Such generous gals!! Thank you so much!

I think the quilt top is just stunning!! I have a couple of quilters in mind to complete it, and then it's snuggle time. :-)

This is the first of three pieced quilts I'll make in Sam's memory -- I'll be piecing one with his boxers :-D (there are 24 pair of them!! :-D) in the next couple of weeks, and I have a bunch of blue fat quarters that my quilt club gave me to use in another. 

I received a quilt from Mary at Quilt Hollow, and it's already a favorite. She won the quilt top, then quilted it and sent it to me to bind.  What a blessing!!

And then I have his t-shirts and other memorabilia to place in quilts for Emily and Will. Sweet!!

Philippians 1:3-8 expresses some of what I feel for you all. :-)  I like the Message translation...

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
 It's not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

Thank you for being God's grace to me.  Thank you for giving from the heart.  Thank you for, as was said of Sam, loving "without filters."  Thank you for being a part of my finding my quilt joy again!  May you be blessed  a hundred fold!!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Angels, Blessings and Christmas

It's hard to believe that another Christmas is here...another year we've been blessed to celebrate the birth of Christ, the gift of Hope to the world, the promise of abundant life to all who receive Him.

I find myself drawn to the story of God made flesh -- even though it is old and familiar, this year it seems amazing to me again in a way I hadn't experienced in a while.  Perhaps because I'm remembering the birth of my own children.

We've been singing a song at church this month by Chris Tomlin called Hallowed Manger Ground.  The last verse begins, "The Son of God, here born to bleed, a crown of thorns would pierce His brow..."  And I wonder that He came at all, knowing all that was in store for Him.

And I'm struck that another son -- my Sam -- was also known by God, and sent by Him, and all that has transpired this year with his homegoing and our loss....none of it was a surprise to God, and He is still working a plan, the fruit of which I have yet to see.  Hard to fathom! Hard to understand. Hard to take, sometimes. :-) And yet, as Mary must have understood, we have to trust God.

I guess I've cried just about every day.  But blessings abound.  Some new angels on the  mantle...
"Remember" from a friend at church. So appropriate, so perfect.   Just to the left of Remember is the "Angel of Summer" that Mary at Quilt Hollow sent me last Christmas because Jeff was deployed and she knew there'd not be much under the tree for me. :-)  What good friends!!

Another dear friend gave me "Heart of Gold," also a Willow Tree figurine...  just the perfect representation of our Sam.

Sam's Boot Camp friends gave us ornaments from a race he ran last winter called the "Jingle Bell Run." :-D  Last year's race photo becomes the current year's trophy ornament...and the Boot Campers checked out the engraving, contacted the company and added Sam's name to it for them and for us to have as keepsakes.  Awesome! :-)

Sam is number 110--'bout fourth in the start, and he looks cold, but not as cold as those guys without shirts! LOL

So many changes this year.  I look back over all that I've written here in the last several months...It feels like eons ago.  It feels like yesterday!!  I'm in awe at what God has done and is doing. 

Ephesians 3:14-21 (The Message)

14-19My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!  

Just like the angels sang to the shepherds on that first Christmas morn!
"Glory to God in the Highest!"

May every blessing of Christmas be yours today and in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We had a very large package arrive on our doorstep a few days ago.  One I'm not too excited about...

The freight guy wasn't thrilled either.  This thing was over 300 pounds!! So it wasn't going any further than the front porch 'til Jeff got home!  After a brief chat about politics (he was a conservative like me, so we were able to groan about the state of the union together! LOL), Delivery Guy skedaddled and left me with this monstrosity.

Jeff has high hopes for it.
He spent the better part of the evening assembling it...
I'm still not impressed.
It's in the basement.  How can I convert the basement into a Quilt Cave (like Teresa's over at Fabric Therapy) with this THING in the way!?!

He expects I'll use it.  Maybe.  If I can figure out how to unfold it!! Goans!!
This is normal me (see, I don't have on my Mary Kay face yet! And don't mind the facial hair!  LOL).

This is me contemplating the use of a treadmill.

Definite groans!!

I seriously don't know why Santa has covered his face.  Maybe because he doesn't have one!! I don't really like embroidery, so this is one block of a wall hanging I may never get done!  It's a beautiful pattern, but I'd rather applique than embroider.

I probably will use the treadmill, eventually.  But not right now!!  I have mysteries to solve!!

I've been working on Orca Bay, Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt.

Amidst the chaos of my sewing room is this pile of my progress...
I've almost finished the blue strings, and I'm still working on black/neutral quarter and half-square triangles. 

In the meantime, I've also got Farmer's Wife blocks to finish (my class is finishing up the last of the 111 blocks this month!), a memory quilt to finish for a client in time for Christmas (oh the pressure!), a Mary Kay open house and several parties to complete...

And all I wanna do is play in this....
Not a real snow yet.
But it could be.
It will be.
Soon, I hope!! :-)

Timing is everything.  A white Christmas in Kentucky!?  Maybe.

God knows all about timing.  In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul talks about the coming of Jesus.

"But when the time had fully come," Galatians 4:4 tells us, "God sent his Son..."

I've no doubt the snows will come to Kentucky.  They've been here before, and I've relished their beauty and the joy they've brought.

Just like God's grace.  I've seen it and felt it, experienced it daily.  His timing is always perfect!

And when the snows come, I just might give that old treadmill a try!