Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Progress

I finished my Christmas Tree Skirt top. I love the design and the fabrics, but somewhere along the line I messed up and I'm afraid the quilting won't go smooth at all.

See how it doesn't lay flat? Well, I got the tutorial here. It wasn't very detailed and didn't give measurements on many pieces. I shouldn't have attempted it, I guess. I'm not advanced enough to understand why it didn't lay flat. Maybe one of my readers can tell me. If you know, do you also have any advice for quilting the wavy top? Or am I going to have to scrap it?

In other quilting progress news, I basted the QAL Simple Sampler Quilt. I used a vintage 100% cotton batting. It will be my first experience with cotton batting. I didn't pre-soak it so it should look nice and antiqued when I pull it out of the dryer. I won't start quilting it until next week so don't look for it to be finished soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Project in the Works

I've been working on this:
Mind you, not at my normal full speed ahead pace. I've really been having a hard time getting to my sewing room lately. Other things have been calling my attention. It will be a Christmas tree skirt for our white tree when I finish. I started it last week and hope to finish the top by the end of this week. I will most likely hold off on quilting it for a little bit. I want to get my sampler quilt top quilted before this tree skirt.

We sat out on the porch yesterday at dusk and I captured a few photos of the hummingbirds. They were fighting and really getting mad at each other! I counted five of them at the most.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Word for the Weekend

1 Peter 1:7 --
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ
I went to a visitation yesterday. My best friend's (since forever) sister's husband died. He was 25; my age. He left behind many sad family members including a loving wife and one year old son. There were many people there to pay their respects and speak whatever they could think of to his wife.
When I stepped up, there was mutual understanding in both of our eyes of knowing each other most of our lives and never thinking we would be hugging through this occasion. Of course, I didn't know what to say. I mean, what do you say when something that tragic happens? It is the kind of pain that many people will live their whole lives and never experience.
What stunned me is that she said, "I'm praying for you." What I had gone through recently was hard but nothing as hard as she is going through now and will continue to feel. In her pain she was still thinking of others. I had to ask myself if I would have been the same way. I wondered how could someone who is going through what she is, be praying for anyone else?
She is going through a trial of faith just as Peter talked about in the verse above. She is being tried with fire, that is for sure. It is a time when most people would be questioning God and perhaps not even praying to Him out of their anger. But she was praying for me.
The verse goes on to say that the trial gives praise and honor and glory to Jesus. This woman made me give praise and honor and glory to Jesus that in her trial she is not only still praying but still thinking and praying for me. Isn't that like Jesus? While He was going through His trial on the cross, He was thinking of each and every one of us.
She can find peace in this trial of fire because it has given her the opportunity to show a little of Jesus' light to each person who came and hugged her or talked to her. It is through trials that Jesus works quietly calling more people to Him by us viewing a grieving widow and seeing the face of Christ.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me;
see, on the portals he's waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home;
ye who are weary come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling,
O sinner, come home!
--Will Thompson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reading Material

I went to my local library yesterday and got a library card! I haven't had one since I was a little girl when my Granny took me and I read about every book in the children's section. Since we moved into our first home last year I have wanted a library card. The library was pretty close to the house would be convenient for me to stop by from time to time. So, I finally did it!

Well, I was a little bit disappointed in the quantity and age of the books they had. It is a very small library. I did manage to find some quilting books. The book at the top is called Aurora and is kind of a biography about a woman living in the 1800's who quilted. It has lots of nice color pictures to go with the story.

The next book is called The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt. It has lots of black/white photos of various quilts along with a little history about quilts.

I picked up Country Fabric Scrap Crafts because I have a lot of scraps that happen to look country! Lots of cute ideas in there for every season.

Then we have The Complete Book of machine Quilting. This book was written in 1980 when machine quilting was just getting popular. Did you know that there was no foot for your machine to quilt then? People just either used the presser foot to do straight lines or took it off and used no foot to do free motion quilting! I would have sewed my hand to every quilt I made!

I've been making Christmas presents still and, of course, reading these books. I think I'm going to start on a new project today or tomorrow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quilt Along Top

Last week was the final week in piecing blocks for Amy's Quilt Along. This week we are putting together the top. I worked on mine all morning and into the afternoon hours and am finally finished!
I'm guessing next week is going to be quilting and binding. I plan to quilt each square differently and with the pattern of the square to keep with the sampler theme. I bought batting over the weekend, but it is a thin one and I think I may get a thicker one to get a more country feel to it.

I've also been working on Christmas presents and I can't show you those yet!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Word for the Weekend

I finished my study of the Harmony of the Gospels yesterday and today I begin looking at the Psalms in my quiet time. I wanted to share with you Psalm One.

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

I have shared the whole Psalm here but I'd like to look mostly at verses one through three. Verse one gives us a lesson in how to live. The first lesson is we will be blessed if we don't seek counsel, or advice, from the ungodly, or unbelievers. The opposite of seeking advice from unbelievers is seeking advice from believers. Thus, we need to be sure that whenever we are looking for advice on a life situation or problem we need to seek out those trusted believers in our lives who have made wise choices in their own life.

The second lesson verse one gives us is we will be blessed if we don't stand in the way of sinners. While I was seeking the counsel of the Holy Spirit on this line, I took it to mean we should not be around sinners. If we are around people who consistently do not follow the law of the we will soon begin to think it is not such a big deal for us to not follow what the Lord would have us to do.

The last lesson is is close company with the second. It tells us that we will be blessed if we don't sit in the seat of the scornful. The definition of scorn is open dislike or disrespect, according to the Webster Dictionary. This verse, to me, means we will be blessed if we are not disrespectful to others. If we are always complaining or talking about other people in a disrespectful way we are being scornful. Thus, we would be sitting in the seat of the scornful. No one wants to be around someone who acts in that way.

Looking ahead to verse two, we see that the blessed man delights in God's law and meditates, or thinks, on it all the time. He is someone who is always keeping in mind what God would have him to do.

Verse three gives us a view of what the blessed man's life looks like. He is someone who "brings forth fruit", or does great works for the Lord. Also, the verse tells us that, "his leaf also shall not wither," or he never gets tired of doing good works. Lastly, the verse tells us that the blessed man prospers in everything he does. He may not always have things go his way, but they always go God's way and something good comes from everything that God is in.

To sum the first part of this Psalm up, if we seek counsel from believers, keep company with believers, and keep a spirit of respectfulness we will be blessed. Likewise, if we also meditate on God's Word consistently, we will have good works and will not grow weary in those good works.

May Psalm One be like water for your tree and teach you how to live out your life as the Lord would have you to.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christmas Tree Skirt

I finished my tree skirt today! I was worried about the amount of dark fabrics compared to light and the high pattern content but it turned out great, don't you think? I'm excited to use it this Christmas under our green tree. I plan to make another one for our white tree that is more modern.

I got a quilting idea from one of the blogs I read. I quilted it free motion style with stars and loops. It wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated and I am pleased with the result.

It has little ties in the back to secure it around the tree.

Quilting this skirt wasn't without incident, unfortunately. I broke my needle because I sewed over one of the safety pins by mistake. I'm glad I wear glasses because that thing popped right in my face and could have taken out my eye! It went better after I replaced that needle and began again.

This project definitely got me in the Christmas mood already!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quilt Along Blocks Week 8

Here are my blocks for this week! Amy had more triangles for us again! No worries this time though, I am sailing right through them. These are the last blocks to make for the quilt along. Next, we will be bordering all the blocks in white and sewing up the top. How exciting!
The left one is called a Star and the right one is a Mosaic style.
I've been working on a Christmas tree skirt. I have the top all together I just need to quilt it. I'm gonna try and get that done by the end of the week.
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Word for the Weekend

Most people whether they be Christian or not have heard of the ten commandments and could even name a few. However, they may not know that Jesus gave us a new commandment that sums up all of the ten commandments. If we obey this one commandment Jesus gave, we will surely obey everything else.

Jesus said:

John 13:34 & 35: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John also later wrote about this commandment:

1 John 2:7-11: 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Jesus told us that people will know that we believe Him and uphold His characteristics if we love our brother. The term "brother" in this verse basically means everyone. God's children should have love towards all people no matter what they have done. Jesus says to love as He has loved us. Jesus has loved us unconditionally and even laid down his life for us. That is the kind of love we are to have for our fellow people.

John goes on to say in 1 John that if you don't love, you are in darkness (or sin). He also says that the darkness can blind us and make us not know where we are going. If you don't love others and have that sin in your life we can be blinded to even more sins. For example, you have to examine why you may not have Christ's love for someone. Are you jealous of what they have? Are you conventing their possessions? Have they done something hurtful to you? Jesus tells us we have to forgive as He forgave us (Matt 6:12).

Sometimes it is very hard to love someone because they may have hurt us or hurt someone we love more than what would seem forgivable. When we feel like we can never forgive or never love someone we need to ask the Lord to help us love as He loves. Jesus can love through us when we find it difficult.

Remember, how do unbelievers know that we are Christians? It is because of our Christ-like love towards others.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I've been working on sewing some Christmas presents and have successfully completed one project. I can't show you yet because I don't want to spoil the surprise! I have a few others to work on but I need to get some materials before I begin those.

I have started a Christmas tree skirt using this tutorial. It is pretty simple and I will share pictures after I take a few. It has been very hot here and we are under excessive heat warnings. Needless to say, I am staying inside!
Since every post needs a picture, here are two pretty flowers from my flower beds. One is a Knockout Rose in white and the other is called Naked Lady.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scrap Disappearing Nine Patch

I finished the disappearing nine patch quilt made entirely from my scrap bin I have been telling you about! It didn't take me long to quilt it, but I had a little trouble with the binding because I made it smaller than I normally do.

I debated and debated over if I should put a border on this quilt. You can see I decided not to include one. I didn't want it to take away from the scrappy scattered pattern of the blocks. I am so happy with the end result. Taking it out of the dryer, I was pleased with how well the fabric wrinkled and got the comfy look to it.

The back is a vintage sheet. I like how the browns of the flowers go well with the pieced top. Again, I am thrilled with my final product! It is exactly what I hoped for!

This is the quilt's final resting place. It is waiting for someone to get a chill and need a little snuggly!

I'm going to work on a few Christmas present projects before I get started on my next quilt. I plan to make a Christmas quilt in a week or two.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quilt Along Blocks Week 7

Here are my blocks for week seven of Amy's Simple Sampler Quilt Along. I'm finding my technique for the half-square-triangles improving because my seams are lining up a lot better. I'm also not wrestling with them as much. Granted, I'm still not totally enjoying the process of making them, but I am getting better.

This week's blocks are called Dutch Windmills (green/white) and Practical Orchard (pink/blue).

And here they are all together...

Tomorrow I'm going to be bumbling on this all day:

It needs quilting and a simple blue binding. I've been wanting a spring/summery quilt for cuddling and I am finally getting time to do it. You may be able to tell in the background of this picture that it isn't my normal sewing room. I had to move my necessities downstairs into the guest bedroom until this suffocating heat passes. That little window unit upstairs is doing nothing for 100 degree temps!