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, July 24, 2010

Here's What I've Been Up To This Week

A simple Rail Fence makes a quick baby quilt but adding the "Love U" at the top really sets it off, don't you think? I made this last weekend.....haven't sandwiched it yet but I hope to get it done in the next week or two. I had this small Christmas piece ready to applique and embroidery so I made it this week too. It's a pillow cover that I'll put a pillow form in when I decorate for Christmas.
And I made these three Schnibble pin cushhions that I want to give as presents before I leave the mission. I hope to get several more made this week.

I found this old piano bench in a bathroom over in the gym and carried it home to use in our apartment. It needed a little work first though - it was covered with spider webs for one thing!

Can you see it here where I'm using it as the seat at my computer desk? I had my husband spray it with some leftover black paint and I covered the top with a fabric I found that helps brighten up the apartment. I moved things around in our living room too. That desk used to be behind the door that leads into my office.

I finished the embroidery on this rooster tea towel so it adds little color to the kitchen and the clock is an added touch too - it was hiding over in a storage closet in another building.

I'm working on a small wallhanging now to put on the wall here over the table using the fabric that I used on the piano bench. I'm hand quilting it and it's pretty small so it won't take long - I'm hoping next weekend to put the binding on it and get it hung.

And look at that antique lamp I found on the top shelf in my office closet! I could tell it used to hang on the wall because it still had some concrete clinging to the back. :) It was a shame to hide it in a closet so it had to come out.

And this picture was in the bedroom in a totally inappropriate place but it adds a nice bit of color behind Jerry's chair. There was already a hook there so I didn't even have to add a hole to the wall. :)

We had three groups of volunteers - short term missionaries I call them - here this week. They came from Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana and varied in age from 10 to 68 maybe. There were lots of musicians in the groups and they loved the small musical instruments from other countries that I have for sale in the gift shop - lots of those instruments went home with them. One couple worked most of the week on the landscaping here at Sager Brown - trimming shrubs, weeding flowers, etc. Others put together kits that went to the country of Georgia and painted classrooms for a local Head Start.
The one low point in the week was my dental visit - I had a crown put on but there's a 50/50 chance that I may still have to have a root canal. I've got that high on my prayer list - I sure hope it doesn't happen! It was a busy week here at the mission. How was your week?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Saturday Drive

On Saturday I decided to drive down to Houma, Louisiana to visit a quilt shop there that I found in the Quilter's Travel Guide Book - The Quilter's Niche. Houma is about 50 miles from here so it was an easy hour's drive. I had a little trouble finding them because they didn't have a sign. Their sign was blown away during Hurricane Gustav a couple of years ago and they haven't been able to get anyone in to replace it. But with a quick phone call I solved that problem and had a great visit with the owners. It's a really nice shop and I bought several pieces of fabric - two coordinated packages of fat quarters and a couple of yards that I needed to finish some things I was working on that I'll show you a little later in the week. What I really want you to see today is this wonderful house! I was in a long line of traffic going into town when I saw this house off to my left. I nearly had a wreck trying to get a look at it!

Since I couldn't get off the road right then I waited until I was on my way home and made sure I let everyone pass me before I got to the point where I could pull off to get a couple of pictures.

I only had the camera on my phone so these aren't great but isn't it beautiful? It's quite large and obviously many years old. I sat in my car looking at it and thinking about what it was like to live in it when it was new. There wouldn't have been vacuum cleaners; heavens, there wouldn't have been carpets on the wood floors, just rugs. The rugs, as heavy as they were, would have been rolled up and dragged outdoors to be "beaten" clean. There wouldn't have been a washer or dryer or hot water tank so water would have to be boiled to do laundry. And no washing powder - just a bar of lye soap to shave off into the boiling water! Lights would have been kerosene lanterns or candles, and quilts would have all been done by hand. No phones, no television, no local quilt shops, no internet, no WalMart, no toilet paper!
Here at the mission we live in a two room apartment and I miss the space of my house. I have to go down the hall to use a washer and dryer and have to wait until after 4:00 or on the weekends to do my laundry. There's a very small WalMart here but it isn't open all night and it doesn't have all the things my WalMart at home has. The water on this campus is perfectly safe but it smells like sulfur and the iron in it is turning the towels and my white clothes yellow and we have to drnk bottled water. The treadmill I walk on every morning is set on a particular program and won't move off it - I have to change the setting every 2 or 3 minutes or it will get way to fast for me. Do you hear what I'm saying? I have two whole rooms for just Jerry and I! I have a washer and dryer and wonderful bottled water in my apartment and a treadmill in the gym so I don't have to exercise outside in the heat. This afternoon I asked Jerry where the cable came into the apartment (thinking about moving the furniture). He said, "we've only been here two months and you want to move the furniture?" I said "I've been here two whole months and I want to move the furniture!" :)
It's all in how we look at things - how often do we forget to be thankful for what we have? Every day...I forget to be thankful every day. So today I'm remembering. Today I'm thankful for the electric throw on my bed that keeps me warm in this air conditioned apartment. I'm thankful for a refrigerator that keeps my milk cold so I can have a chai tea latte over lots of ice every day. I'm thankful for my car that has 140,000 miles on it and still drives great and takes me to that little WalMart 5 miles down the road so I don't have to walk it or ride in a horse drawn buggy. I'm thankful for quilt shops that carry the most beautiful fabric and gadgets that make quilting sew easy. I'm thankful for cell phones that allow my son to send me pictures of my granddaughter leaving for church camp for the first time ever - 5 minutes before she leaves! And for cell phone plans that let me talk to the people I love every single day if I want. And for blogs - I'm so thankful for blogs and the friends I've made out there in cyber space.
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thought For The Day

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Postponing The Inevitable

I've shown this quilt top in progress several times in the past. After all, I've been working on it somewhere around a year or so. This past weekend I put the final stitches in the last few leaves on the border. I could have had it finished weeks ago but I kept putting it off one more week..tomorrow. I'm not normally one to procrastinate but on this project I did. I think I just didn't want it to end. I've enjoyed doing it so much that I wanted to continue, or at least that's what I kept telling myself.

But the reality of it was more that I didn't want to face what came after. It has to be carefully trimmed and it really needs blocking. How in the world do I block a piece this size? I don't know and it will be a chore to figure that out. Then it has to be sandwiched and basted and I really, really don't do a very good job on that step of the process - I think I've just never learned it good enough to feel comfortable with it. Sometimes I just let my longarm quilter do that part for me. But this one - all that hand applique - no, I need to do the basting by hand. And it needs to be hand quilted. But before I can even get to the point that I have to figure out what quilting pattern I want to do and what thread I want to use I have to decide what to back it with. Do I put a batting in it? Do I use batting or flannel? How about the back - cotton, flannel, wool? Oh my head hurts just thinking of all the choices! And so, even though it didn't need much it took me a long time to take that last stitch.

I'm wondering if I do that in life too....put off what I don't want to face. I know sometimes I want to put things off, even when I can't! A couple of weeks ago I had a tooth start hurting. I knew I should call my dentist (a long time friend who would have gladly talked to me about it any time) and let him know what was happening. But I didn't. I didn't want to have to figure out what to do when I'm 8 hours away from the only man I want to be touching that tooth. :) So I waited until he called this weekend just to chat. He immediately got me a referral to a dentist in Lafayette which meant, since he went to all that trouble, I couldn't put off calling. :( Naturally I figured it would be a while before they could get me in but they were wonderful and gave me an appointment today. Despite my best efforts I'm going to have to deal with this issue!

Postponing the inevitable, or procrastination if I call it like it is, can sideline us if we aren't careful. Or me, it can sideline me if I'm not careful. Now I'm ready to start a new large project. Shall I embroider that redwork Winter Wonderland quilt? Or how about finishing the quilting on the wedding present quilt that I finished two months ago? Maybe I'll finish the border on the applique/pieced top that has been waiting about a year. Or maybe I'll just wait till tomorrow to decide!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Down, Three To Go

We've been here at UMCO Sager Brown for one month. The time has flown by for us and we're still having a joy filled time. I'm way busier than I thought I would be but that's not a bad thing. We've met some wonderful people and had some "God moments" that tell us He knows we're here, He knows we're trying to do what He asked us to do, and He knows that we're still plugging along. A lot of life is one day at a time and this kind of is too. When you're new at something there's a big learning curve but we're beginning to master it. "Plugging along" sounds as if it's drudgery and it's far from that. It's both fun and inspiring. But part of following God's commands is also plugging along, making the right decision when faced with a choice, and doing that one decision at a time. This week we have two 40 foot containers, each holding 31,000 Health Kits, going to a country called Krgystan (it has a couple of different spellings but this is close). That means that even though it can easily get a bit boring volunteers have to keep on putting those kits together one tube of toothpaste at a time, one comb at a time, one bar of soap at a time. Small steps to a large goal! I read something this week that made me think this: What Happens at Sager Brown Doesn't Stay at Sager Brown. What we do here goes all over the world. Just like What Happened at Jerusalem Didn't Stay in Jerusalem. Don't you love that? No disrespect to Las Vegas intended. :)

I did a little sewing this weekend - got my machine out for the first time since we arrived. I made this table runner (super simple!), sandwiched it, and then realized that the machine I brought with me simply won't do free motion quilting. I guess I could do some straight line quilting, and maybe I will, but for now I put it aside.
And I made this throw pillow from the redwork I finished last week. If you remember the pictures I posted about this apartment you know that it's very nice, perfectly adequate. But it's bland....white, khaki, gray. I need color. It doesn't have to be bright, but it does have to be color. So I added a few little things this weekend, like this pillow on my chair.
When we got here the kitchen looked like this.

I added placemats, cushions, a throw rug in front of the sink, a dish towel, and a red spatula by the stove. :) Instant color!

It only takes a little to make me smile. :)