Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Weddings and Summer Stitches

Everywhere I look on blogs this summer I'm seeing wedding photos - love is truly in the air!  My second oldest grandson (we have 8 grandchildren, 4 boys and 4 girls) got married this month.  Jacob graduated from college in May and his sweet  bride is a senior.  They might look too young to make this step but they are older and smarter than Jerry and I were when we took the plunge!  :)


They went to St. Thomas on their honeymoon and that sweet young man texted me when they got back home so I could quit worrying!  :)

As a comparison, and just because I'm time traveling today, this is a picture of Jerry and I when we got married in 1964.


Yes, I had auburn hair, was skinny as a rail and had pencil legs.  I also wore 3" heels to try to be taller - Samm that's for you!  :)

Now on to a little stitching....I stopped by one of my favorite quilt shops at Greenwood, Arkansas on a recent trip to my son's house.  Lucky me, she had a sale and you won't believe it but I got these two sweet fabrics for $2.50 a yard!  I bought all she had on the bolt.  :)


The border print I turned into a couple of pillowcases for my sister, who loves all things roses and pink florals.  Plus a couple of small drawstring bags with her leftovers.  I still have fabric left of course but I'm not sure what I'll do with it.  The other floral is being used in a redo in my sewing room - I'll show you that when it's finished.  I wish I had more of it and may end up doing a search....




While there I also bought this piece of fabric....Holiday Shimmer by Hoffman.  It, of course, wasn't on sale.  :(


It's going to be eventually two pillowcases - one is now done and one is on the way.


I didn't realize the thread was showing so much on those french knots - guess that means a redo.  :(

Some time ago I decided I wanted to hand piece an apple core quilt.  Hmmmm, temporary insanity I guess.  :)  This is what I ended up with.



I couldn't figure out what to do about the binding on this and ended up buying a double fold bias, which was absolutely awful.  I used feed sack scraps for this so I should have made my own with some  muslin and may eventually replace this one.  But since I plan to use it as a table topper on my deck I think it will work.

And finally, a great nephew and his wife are having their second baby so some burp pads were needed.


Not a great picture but they were very cute.  :)

And just to make you smile - I took this at my son's house recently.  I call it A Boy and His Best Friend.



Hope your summer, as it winds to a close, is a good one!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Chores

I really do not like weeding.  It's a necessary evil and when you've been traveling and before that ignoring flower beds....well, let's just say they get their revenge.

While I was at my sister's last week we made a trip down in the country to the Dutchman's Store...a Mennonite market that has some of the best stuff.  On the way we stopped at a produce/flower store, another Mennonite venture, where I bought some herbs to bring home.  I have a small herb garden that is mostly in the shade and doesn't do really well, except for the thyme and rosemary and oregano, and I wanted to make a new one that gets a bit more sun.  Well when I went out to plant these new ones I realized that the weeds had taken advantage of my neglect to practically take over not only the herbs but also the flower beds around my deck.


Just look at that!  Thyme is at the bottom of the photo, rosemary in the middle and in the upper right, so covered by weeds that you can't see it is lemon balm.  I don't know what that awful vine is in the rosemary but it will take over everything if I let it!


Well the herb garden is better - that's oregano in the bottom left - but the Carolina Jasmine in the upper right corner, out of the herb garden - was about to be choked to death by a different insidious vine, this one with thorns!  And then I noticed a wild grape vine had wound it's way down at least 20 feet of the fence so out it came too.  And you know when you see one thing it leads to another so the flower beds around the deck...well that took two days to finish!  Before I finished I had several piles of weeds and trimmings that looked like this.


But it was all worth it....the new herb bed was done, the flower beds looked a lot better and I'm sure the shrubs and herbs planted there are all breathing a bit better.

I've got some sage, golden oregano, spicy oregano, thyme, lemon verbena, a lavender different from the French and English I already have (don't know the name of it) and one lone tomato plant in this bed.  The tomato is a leftover from the ones we had there earlier in the summer.

And the thyme and rosemary and oregano in the bigger bed are looking good!



And to make my week even better my Grandmother's Rain Lily has bloomed!  I'm so thrilled because I thought I'd lost it but it was just resting I guess.  This lily was in a pot on my grandmother's back porch for many years in California.  When she died about 40 years ago my cousin took it home with her and several years ago shared it with me.  Now my sister has one too and hers blooms all the time on her deck.  I think it likes her better than me.  :)

The herb beds and flower beds all need some fresh dirt added and some mulch on top of that so we're headed to the dirt store this morning.  Well, it's not really a dirt store...Lowe's is way more than that and gets way too much of my money!


Wouldn't this make a beautiful quilt?  If only we could capture the colors like God made them.....

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer...

I'm not posting much this summer but I have good excuses.  Really I do.  I can't remember them all right now but I'm sure I do.  :)

My biggest excuse is travel.  My husband and I went to England and Ireland for a couple of weeks.  I won't try to post a lot of pictures because, frankly, it's going to take me weeks to get them sorted and cataloged but I will share with you my very favorite place of the whole trip.


This is Anne Hathaway's family cottage.  For those of you who have forgotten your history - like me - Anne Hathaway was William Shakespeare's wife.  :)  I honestly felt like I was standing inside a postcard here!  The flowers were indescribable.  The scent of lavender was so strong in the air I just wanted to sit among the flowers and breathe it in.


Sweetpeas, hydrangeas, roses, daisies....oh my goodness.


And vegetables happily grew right in the middle of it all.  I'd never seen artichokes growing so that was a happy surprise for me.  :)

Ireland was beautiful, just as I expected, but in my mind the English countryside was not only stunning but also comforting.  That's an odd word I know but it was so neat and tidy and literally looked like a patchwork...a field of golden ripe wheat beside a a field of green oats beside a pasture of sheep.  Loved...

And here's a picture of my husband and I having dinner in Dublin.  Our 50th anniversary is this coming October so we were celebrating a bit early.  :)


Unfortunately the day before we got home my sister had a second stroke so, of course, I immediately got in the car and came to Jefferson City, Missouri, where I am right now.  She's doing fine...her speech is slow for her since she's usually a speed demon talking :)  and she is weak and tired but we're so thankful that it wasn't worse.  She assures me she didn't really have a stroke, despite the fact that she felt like a gun went off in her head, she couldn't talk, she couldn't see, etc.  Her ER doc and the other two doctors she consulted tell her she had a stroke, she has all the symptoms of a stroke, but her philosophy is if she doesn't believe she had a stroke maybe the whole thing will go away!

Yesterday I drove her down in the country to the Mennonite store to pick up a few things and in the afternoon we canned 7 quarts of tomatoes and 4 pints of salsa.  Today we'll can a few potatoes.  The garden is about finished now and it's time to plant a few things for fall but she's fighting dizziness so that's going to have to be put off another week or so.  She's a strong person, and strong willed too.  :)  So it will all get done even though it might be a bit slower than she likes.  We work a little, rest a little, work a little.  It's not a bad way to do things.

I'll just be here a few days before I head home to attend one of my grandson's wedding - I wouldn't miss that!  And when I get there I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the sewing room getting ready for the next two blog hops!


Can't wait to see what everyone is making!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just A Little Winter Stitching!

I've gotten just a bit of sewing done lately - nothing much to brag about.  Well, maybe one thing I'll brag about....I've gotten one of my projects for the See You In September Blog Hop done!  And this is July!  And it's a gingham one!  I can't show you now, though.  That's against the rules.  But in September....

I finished a couple of candle/mug mats/rugs.  They're really candle mats but I use them for mug rugs.  The first is for Valentine's Day.



And this one is probably intended for April....showers, you know.  But we've gotten a lot of rain this summer so I can use it any time!


And then there's this Christmas quilt - I know several people who love cats so this one will be well loved I'm sure!


This was a panel I must have bought 15 years ago or so...maybe 10 but I bet closer to 15!  I added borders and did a little quilting.



I did more quilting than you will notice - or at least more than I notice.  I wanted it to be simple to go along with the primitive style of the panel so the quilting is mostly hidden in the trees and cats and presents.

Is anybody else getting any winter stitching done?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Heavenly Days

It's summer time and the livin' is easy....well, not really, but it sure is fun.  I've been AWOL from the blog for a bit but I have good excuses.  First my baby brother and his wife came to see me, with baby being relative, of course.  (I had my hair all cut off for the summer - love it! cause I just wash it and go!)


He's a retired policeman....looks like one too, don't you think?  He was a deputy sheriff in Texas for a while too and he reminds me of some of those old cowboy stories.  :)  He did lots of things when he was working - undercover, drug unit, had a dog for a while, stuff I don't really want to know about.  Once when we were both about 30 years younger he came to see me and I didn't recognize him when he came to the door - he was undercover and had long black hair and a long, bushy black beard and was dressed in dirty old clothes...scared me to death!

I made a quick red, white and blue table runner to send home with my sister-in-law.



And then my sister came to see me for a bit of R&R.

She had just spent 8 weeks with her youngest daughter and family after her daughter had some very serious complications with childbirth.  Mother and son are doing great now but I know she panicked when her mama left!  Or maybe that's just me.  I would have panicked!
She sent me three chicken feed sacks some time ago so before she got here I made market bags out of them - two for her and one for my oldest daughter.  They both love chickens...my daughter just has a few but my sister has almost 30!



After she left we bought a new umbrella to put behind that couch - it's mostly shaded on the deck but midday to mid-afternoon the sun hits right there.  I love that the outside is the same color as the cushions but the inside is floral!



Then it was time for the Fourth of July and all my kids and most of the grandkids were in and out from Tuesday night to Saturday night.  They had some water time, even though the water is still cold here at my house.


There was a lot of playing inside the house too - my poor living room!


Cushions, blankets, pillows....all went into the making of this tent!  And games were kept nearby for dragging under there with them.  :)

One of the grandchildren was born on the Fourth of July so we had a double celebration.  She got a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake - sinful cake for sure.



We went into town to a big community gathering to see the fireworks.  There were children playing everywhere.




Even the big kids played!


And then there were fireworks!



The weather was a pure blessing - in the 70s in the daytime with a nice breeze.  I even had to cover up at the fireworks!

And before the weekend was over a wonderful sweet friend was passing through and I got to visit with her for a few minutes!


Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to count our blessings.  But this holiday always makes me thankful - for freedom, for the men and women who fought and sometimes died to give me that freedom, for family and for friends, for the food we take for granted and the homes that shelter us.  My heart and my cup overfloweth!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

See You In September and Orphan Blocks

What does one of these have to do with the other?  Nothing.  Or I guess it could be something.  There's a new blog hop happening over at Sew We Quilt called See You In September.

Shari from Refreshed Intent and Living with Purpose will be coordinating this hop so be sure you join in - it's going to be great fun!  I'm all ready - one of the requirements is to use some Riley Blake gingham for one of the three projects so here's what I'm going to use:

Hmmm, wonder what holiday I might be thinking about?  :)

Meanwhile I'm going to be taking a little trip, no a big trip, in the future and I wanted some bags to put my unmentionables in.  I know those airport folks see a million pairs of panties every day but these are MY panties and telling me they don't even think twice about underwear is like telling me not to be nervous about going to the gynecologist because they see lots of those private places every day.  Is it my age that makes me think private things should be private?  :)


I made a couple of unmentionable bags out of two fat quarters and some ribbon I had left from another project - these are even lined.  But then I thought to myself, "Self, you have tons of orphan blocks....what could you do with those?"  So I made these two, one lined and one unlined.



Before I'm through I'll have enough bags to hold every single thing in my suitcase.  But, really how many of these do I need?  I don't need a hundred so I'm on a quest ya'll.  What else can I do with orphan blocks?  Pot holders would be good but what else?  Got ideas?