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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Again

Late yesterday afternoon the doctors released Blake to come home!  His fever had been down for 48 hours and the allergic reaction was beginning to get better so of course we were all thrilled.  Coming home they drove through the most horrible thunderstorm ever and it was really scary.  We're always afraid of things we can see but our God carries us through both the seen and the unseen alike.  Blake's illness and the thunderstorm have much in common.  They both came on suddenly, they both seemed overwhelming while he was in the middle of them, but they both passed on and left a great peace that was a welcome relief.  I'm so thankful that I can now picture him at home instead of in that hospital bed.  I'm also thankful beyond words for each of you who said a prayer for him or wished him good thoughts and who carried him in your heart for a few days.  One of God's greatest gifts to me has been the friends I've made in life, both in person and here on this blog.  I thank Him for each of you.

On a sadder note one of our own blog friends, Angie at Can You All Hear Me At The Back, has also gone home from the hospital but her journey was a bit longer.  She is dancing in Heaven now, baking and decorating cakes again, and has thrown away that wheel chair.  She was the most faithful of blog followers and she made me laugh more times than I can say - like a few days ago when she was astounded to discover that Fonzie lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  For some reason Angie always thought Milwaukee was in Idaho. :)  For those of us who are American that is especially funny.  Picturing Fonzie in Idaho....oh my.  I often say I'm geographically challenged and I think Angie would be right there with me!  My prayers are going up for her family and her friends.  She shone so brightly - she will be missed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One New Thing

Well, maybe more than one....
Several days ago I showed you a sneak peek at the new thing I was allowing myself to make after finishing a UFO.  That's my goal for the year - One UFO means I can make one new thing but I can't make a new thing until I've completed a UFO.  I might have missed the mark just a small bit but not much.  First of all I finished this top today:
This is Creve Coeur by Dawn Heese for Linen Closet Designs.  I used Moda's Maison de Garance - a layer cake.  I love these fabrics!  You might remember I also made a quilt wrap out of these fabrics a couple of weeks ago.  I'm going to use a dark brown binding but haven't decided how to quilt it or what the backing will be.  Obviously, feathers are called for somewhere.  :)  Maybe the ecru border....

I've also made the first three of Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilt blocks.
The one at the top is Seven Sisters, on the left is North Star and on the right is Catch Me If You Can.  She has given us Tears for Texas and Kansas Troubles but I haven't made those yet.  I'm hoping to catch up tomorrow.

For those of you following the saga of my grandson, Blake, he is still in the hospital - he's been there since last Tuesday.  They have offered up several diagnoses but I think they are settling on a staph infection in his lymph nodes.  His fever has been down for nearly 48 hours now but night before last he developed an allergy to his medication and is broken out all over his body in a horrible rash.  They've changed the antibiotic but he can't leave the hospital until the rash starts to improve and right now it's only getting worse.  Thank goodness it doesn't itch!  We're hoping for a trip home tomorrow.  They have at least lifted the quarantine so he can now have visitors but I'm not sure he's feeling up to it or if he wants anyone to see him with this rash.  It's that bad. Thank you so much for all the prayers and crossed fingers!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Don't you think it's odd how sometimes we can write a post every single day for weeks and then we have to go "AWOL" for a while.  Sometimes we're just not able to write.  Other times life interferes with work, children, grandchildren, trips, etc.  For me it was grandchildren this week.

I've had two sick grandchildren this week but one in particular, Blake, has been in Children's Hospital for several days now.  Blake is 12 and has a combination of symptoms that have completely perplexed his doctors.  Today is the 12th day he's run fever.  He has a very swollen lymph node in his neck as well as several smaller ones.  He's having some joint swelling and a rash.  He's thrown up a time or two but only when the fever gets high or he tries to take oral meds.  They've tested him for everything from cat scratch fever to non-tuberculin micro bacteria!  They've ruled out several things but ruled in nothing.  And even now they say his strep test has been negative twice but it could still be that.  If the non-tuberculin micro bacteria test is negative, it could still be that.  It could be both bacterial and viral.  It could be....bless their hearts they're trying but it's just not standing out as any one thing!  Obviously he's pale and tired and weak and wants to go home.

What do grandparents do when grandchildren are sick?  We worry.  Because we have no control of the situation.  Don't you hate that?  When we were the parents we were the ones asking the questions, talking to the doctors, calling the nurses, holding the child's hands.  Now we have to step aside and let their parents do all that even as we're chomping at the bit to do it ourselves.  After all how can we trust those adults who once were our toddlers with sagging diapers, who picked up a Snickers off the parking lot and stuck it in their mouths, who started talking back about age 12....   It isn't that we haven't accepted them as adults a long time ago, it's just that we want to take it all back and say move aside, let Mama handle this.  :)

But we can't handle it so we stitch.  We sit quietly, try to keep our mouths shut, and stitch.  This is what this grandmother is stitching on right now.
Twas The Night Before Christmas by CrabApple Hill.  Embroidery is so soothing.....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

UFO #6 and A Sneak Peek

UFO # 6 out of 32 is finished.  :)  Yes, I said 32.  That I counted.  I refused to count any more after that ... I was tired.
This came originally from a kit I bought...somewhere....some time.  I can't remember where or when and that means it must have been a very long time ago.  Or last week.  Anyway I think I changed the background fabric but truth be told I had this cut out so long that I'm not even sure about that.  :)  Doesn't matter - I loved it, bought it, put it on the back of the shelf and forgot it.  While organizing and cleaning I rediscovered it and loved it again. I figure if you love something twice it must be a keeper.  And for the very first time while free motion quilting I stopped, stood up and did a happy dance.  Spilled my tea but danced on.  I finally "felt" the rhythm.  I knew every single time I got off the rhythm.  :(  But at least I knew when I did it!  That doesn't mean all those stitches are even or even exactly where I wanted them to be but it does mean that I'm gettin' there.  And you can't see it in this picture but I added some blue crystals to some of the stars and they glitter when the light catches them.  :)

If you read an earlier post I said that I had promised myself for every UFO I finish this year I get to make one new thing.  So of course, I've started my one new thing.  Here's a sneak peek.

The fabrics are Moda Maison de Garance and I love them!  I made my quilt wrap that I showed you here from that same line.  I think this one will be pretty fast, which is a good thing because I'm supposed to be working on a mug rug (Hi Jane!) and have lots of ideas rolling around my head for that but can't choose.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere!

Everywhere I look there are things I want to make!
This black and white quilt with the red center - so striking!

These embroidered Santas are awesome and look at the quilting in the borders!
Another red and white one with embroidery - do you think these might be my favorites?

I actually have the embroidered blocks done for this quilt so it's on my UFO list to be done soon.  I even have all the fabrics gathered together!
And a sweet friend sent me this pattern a couple of years ago and I haven't even started the embroidery but I want to!  Oh I love this one!

And this pumpkin, isn't it scrumptious?  I have the kit...waiting....waiting.

And look when I took this picture - 2 1/2 years ago!  I have this pattern too.  

Do you do this?  Keep pictures of things you want to make, gather all the stuff, then put it aside and not get back to it?  Is this a sickness?  If so, is there a cure?  Help!  If it were only these few things I wouldn't worry, but there's more and I'm beginning to think I might not live long enough to make them all.  Is it too much to ask to live to be 120?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I promised ya'll I'd be back to quiltin' stuff today and I'm trying hard but my computer has thwarted me again! You've all experienced it so I'm sure you know what I mean when I say I want to yell at it...loudly. But it's a computer and it doesn't listen. Kind of makes you think it must be male, right? :) Just kidding! My computer decided about 10 days ago that it didn't want to be wireless any more. That's like saying I don't want to be short any more - growing taller at this point in my life is just not going to happen. And my computer has to be wireless. Don't ask me to explain that because I'd have to go into this long drawn out explanation involving logistics, the temperature in one room versus the temperature in another room, FOX news, wireless cards, loose antennae, yada, yada. My grandson, the computer wizard, will be looking at it again tomorrow and if he can't fix it then it's going in the trash. (not really, but if I say that maybe it will get scared and go back to acting right). Anyway, for now I'm using DH's computer (hate it) to tell you my sad story and to say if you're looking for me I'm the one in the corner moaning and gnashing my teeth while my computer thumbs it's nose at me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a new Daily Deals website that is similar to Groupon, but took the post down because I couldn't decide if I should or shouldn't.  I try to be careful what I post on here because I feel like all of my readers are such good friends to me.  We've shared so much with each other - good times and bad.  The new business is called Moolala and has been "birthed" by my nephew and a couple of friends so you can see my dilemma - this is family!  And there's nothing more important than family....except my best blogging buddies.  :)

I'm going to tell you a little about Moolala and you can decide what you want to do with the information because I don't want you to miss out on an opportunity like this if you are at all interested.  I promise to go back to quilt stuff tomorrow.  :)

Like Groupon, Moolala will be offering one deal every day to interested folks.  Typically the deals I see on Groupon are gift cards to places you might want to buy something, eat something, participate in something, etc. at anywhere from 40%-90% off the regular price.  For instance, I saw a great one before Christmas to Cold Water Creek - a store dear to my heart!  But Moolala will be a little different in that they will be giving you a 2% refund on any deals you buy.  In addition, they have a "matrix" setup where if you invite friends to sign up, and they do, and then they invite friends to sign up and they do, you get 2% back on anything they buy.  It sounds like a pyramid but there's no cost to this at all - it's totally free.  Unless you decide to buy one of the deals, that is.  And the refund you get goes to four levels below you.  There's a video on the site that explains this a lot better than I can.  :)

The deals haven't started yet but will soon.  I'm already signing up people under me though so that when the deals do start I won't miss one and so my friends and family won't miss one.  And the chance to earn a few dollars on this would be great for my fabric budget.  :)  If this sounds at all like something you would be interested in then click the link below or over on my right sidebar, sign up, and then invite your friends to sign up too.  If you're not interested, then ignore this and come back tomorrow to see what quilt stuff I'm working on!     Moolala link!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Mug Rug Request

I had a request to make a mug rug to go with a Cinderella mug....the mug has Cinderella and Prince Charming on it with the castle in the background.  What could be more perfect than a glass slipper!  I used silver thread to add the stars and to outline the just sparkles!  :)  What fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Little Late or Really, Really Early?

Whether I'm late for this year or early for next year....not important!  It's a finish, one of the 32 UFOs I turned in to my quilt guild UFO chairman a couple of months ago.  I think it's #5 of the 32.  And, wonder of wonders, I'm working on #6!  That's another Christmas UFO and when I started going through my Christmas fabrics and kits I was, well shall we say just a tad embarrassed at how many of those I had.  If you could see me through your screen my face would be red.  Thank goodness you can't!  I have no more room on my walls or tables for Christmas things so it's time I passed some on to my children.  Next year.  Or the next.  :)  I know this looks a little crooked on the wall but it's not.  Much.  I did all kinds of machine quilting on it.  Some of it good, some of it not so good. But I did it and that's the important part.  More experience under my belt.  From this point forward I have promised myself I will not start anything new until I have finished something old.  I'll be doing a 1:1 ratio for those of you who understand math and if you don't that just means you didn't have me for a teacher.  And it also means I get to do one new thing for each old thing I finish.  So when I'm done with #6 I'm going to work on ....  I have no idea because I have a dozen ideas rolling around in my head but I can hardly wait.  :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Take On New Year's Resolutions

Does this look familiar?
     Every year after Christmas I put away the decorations, sweep up the glitter and ribbon remnants from the nooks and crannies where they magically appeared, and clean out the refrigerator preparing for the inevitable diet to begin in the New Year.  As I put the house “back together” I find myself taking stock of what needs to be done in the coming year and what I want to accomplish in my role as wife and mother and grandmother.  That can be a little disturbing when I see that the master bedroom needs painting, the laundry room shelves need organizing, the bathroom cabinets need old medicines tossed, the floors need waxing, and the linen closet needs a solution for overflowing stacks of pillowcases.  Add to that the too tight jeans and I can easily get overwhelmed at the total makeover my life needs!

     I'm one of those bloggers who is in the Winter of her life and I'm going to Celebrate not only this season but also the New Year and my successful completion of the last one!  I hope you join me in that celebration.

     Instead of focusing on the stuff that needs fixing in our lives, the ways we need to improve, the resolutions we need to make – and keep - this year….. let’s focus on all the ways we’ve been successful in 2010 - the things we’ve quilted, stitched, crafted and/or knitted and ways we’ve made a home for our family!  Let’s celebrate our role as the keeper of the home.

     Let’s look around us….certainly we all have beloved decorations we’ve crafted or sewn – things we carefully store away and then drag back out as a holiday approaches.  There are valentines that remind you of your son’s first Valentine’s Day when you couldn’t wait to make him something with hearts on it even though your husband said “that’s too girly!”  

There’s a red, white and blue throw pillow and even a patriotic tea towel for the kitchen.  

Halloween has all kinds of things you’ve made – goody  bags for the kids, costumes that they fell in love with two weeks before Halloween and hated one week later, and ghosts hanging from the chandelier.  

Oh, and Thanksgiving – well autumn leaves make great coasters, pumpkins tumble down the side of a wall hanging, and placemats grace the table.  And that’s not even touching on Christmas when we all seem to go crazy with Santas and snowmen and Angels.

If you’re reading this post you’re probably a quilter so there are likely quilts on all the beds and even hanging from the walls.  There’s a table runner on the dining room table and a candle mat on the coffee table.  

There are potholders in the kitchen and decorated tea towels hanging from the oven handle.  

There’s an apron hanging on the peg waiting for you to cook dinner.  There might be a purse in that little girls room and a crayon bag in the toy box.  

There are burp pads and bibs in the nursery and a pin cushion nearly finished for your sister’s birthday.  

There may be a hooked rug in front of the fireplace and an embroidered throw pillow on the couch.

Now’s the time to celebrate the things you’ve made from that precious fabric you've been hoarding.  Look around.  Take stock.  Don’t look for what’s left to do; look at what you’ve done.  Grab a cup of tea, sit by the fire, and celebrate you – the glue that holds everyone together and makes your house truly a home.  Life is a gift to you.  The way you live your life - and celebrate it - is your gift to those who come after.

blessings, marlene

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One Thousand Blessings - Day 20

651.  hearing my grandchildren laugh so hard and so long I get worried they can't breathe :)
652.  hearing my adult children talk about games played with their Daddy when they were small
653.  simple meals shared with beloved family
654.  seeing my 2 year old grandson wrestle with his 4 year old sister - and hold her down just like I told her was going to happen if she didn't quit picking on him!
655.  watching a sleeping grandchild
656.  Frosty the Snowman
657.  Fruit Loops and the children who eat them
658.  Acres and acres of Christmas lights at the local botanical garden
659.  The smell of hot chocolate on a cold night
660.  Pumpkin pie made with a pumpkin I baked
661.  Crumbs under my dining room table
662.  Chairs with ottomans
663.  Really sharp scissors - all the way to the tip
664.  Matches that light the first time you try
665.  Forgiveness freely given when I've messed up
666.  Going out to eat with friends
667.  Having a loss when weighing in at Weight Watchers
668.  Venison burgers
669.  Crystal Light Fruit Punch
670.  Index cards
671.  Teddy bears
672.  The HeyTell app on my IPhone so my granddaughter can talk to me from her IPod
673.  My public library
674.  Turtleneck sweaters
675.  Boots that keep my feet warm
676.  Potpourri
677.  Crock bowls
678.  Lamplight
679.  Undershirts
680.  Earphones for our televisions
681.  Doing my regular devotions and finding a verse that exactly fits what I need that day - love that!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Too Much?

Is it too ridiculous if you make your kitchen curtains

and your dish drainer mat and they are color coordinated?  (the colors really do match, just not on blogger!)
I mean really, what's next...matching toaster cover?  Oh...I might like that idea.  :)