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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving - An Action Verb

Tomorrow is the day in America set aside to be thankful for family and friends, for food and home.  But Thanksgiving is not just a's also an action verb.  Giving thanks should be as natural as breathing to us but sometimes we take our blessings for granted.

Let's give thanks for our military personnel who leave their homes to serve us.  Let's be thankful for missionaries and their families who leave their homes to serve God.  Let's be thankful for one another...let's put hate out of our hearts for good and replace it with love for each person, no matter their color, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, financial status, no matter.

And let's take it a step further than just giving thanks.  Let's show thanks, in little ways as well as big ones.  Let's write a thank you on a post-it note and stick it to our coworker's desk, the mirror in the bathroom at work for the person who keeps it clean for us, in the mailbox for our postal workers, in our child's lunchbox for being someone so special, anywhere and everywhere.  Let's make love viral.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Little Blog Updating

One of the things I like to do on my blog is keep a list of blog buttons on my sidebar.  It's amazing how many people who visit me then click on one of those buttons to see who I'm reading.  :)  If I don't have your button there and you'd like to be added please just comment below.  I'll come over and grab your button and/or picture and add it.  Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt is such a supporter of other stitchers and their blogs that I'm following her example in my own way.  If you don't have her button (or mine) here's how to do it:

1.  copy the html code underneath the button on my blog
2.  go to your layout, click on add gadget, then on HTML/Java Script.  In the big box there paste the code.
3.  Save it and your good to go!

And while you're at it, how about saving the button for the We Support You blog hop!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Smiles and Confusion

Last week I made an apple pie.  From scratch.  Well, sort of.  I bought the crust - but I had to unroll it so that's nearly homemade.  :)  But the filling really was homemade.  Some of you are saying "what's the big deal?"  The big deal is I've never made one.  Apple pie isn't my favorite, or wasn't.  I think that's because I don't care for other people's apple pie - mine was delicious!  It made me smile, and apparently my pie liked it too.

I cut a few slits and this is how it ended up!  :)  I followed Madame Samm's directions exactly....I put a tablespoon or so of tapioca on the bottom crust, then put my thinly sliced apples in.  I had mixed them with some cinnamon and a little brown sugar and after they were in the crust I sprinkled nutmeg on top and a few thin pats of butter.  Then the top crust went on.  Oh my goodness it was delicious!

My Christmas cactus must be a bit confused.

It bloomed early last year too so I'm renaming it from Christmas cactus to Thanksgiving cactus.  :)

I had a little oral surgery today.  Yuck.  I had a tooth that was abscessed and fractured...they cut it out and did a bone graft.  In about four months I'll have an implant and then four months after that they'll put a crown on it and I'll be back to normal.  Except I'll be minus many dollars.  :(  For the next three weeks I can have no carbonated drinks, can't use a straw (I'm like addicted to drinking with a straw!), and have to eat soft foods.  The doctor smiled and said thank goodness at Thanksgiving you can have dressing and mashed potatoes with gravy!  Which reminds me, have you ever bought Bob Evans brand mashed potatoes in the deli?  I hadn't until today.  My husband picked up some for me and oh my goodness - they taste real.  I have no idea if they are or not but when I woke up enough to eat something late this afternoon they were wonderful!

In between naps I'm doing some stitching and oh I love this!

It's going to be a pillow and is going to be so cute!  I found the pattern in a Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine.  The background is cotton and the ornaments are wool.  I appliqued it with a blanket stitch and the pine branch is embroidered.  I used Valdani wool threads on all of it.  This will look so good paired with the Holiday Lane pillow I made for a blog hop a year or so ago.

I liked Jingle so much I prepped two of them so I could send one to a friend.  Since I'm going to be down for a couple of days I might get them both finished!  And speaking of being down I've just taken another pain pill so I'm off to take a nap!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pot Holders....and Twas The Night

I opened a drawer in my kitchen this week and one word came to mind....yuck!  Does anyone else have pot holders that look like this?

There were some my mother crocheted....worn so thin I have to use two instead of one to keep from getting burned. My mother died in 2004 so that tells you how old they are.  A couple of them were a gift from a friend and they are still pretty thick but oh so stained.  What in the world stains blue?  They're clean because I'm careful to wash them pretty often but, oh my they're ugly.  So I just made myself some new ones.

I literally used scraps of fabric left over from other projects, and orphan blocks from somewhere or other.  I always save the pieces of bindings that are left ( I'm notorious for making too much binding) so I dug those out of the bin  and, on a couple of these, I used the old pot holders for the middle stuff.  On the rest I put a layer of InSulBrite between two layers of cotton batting and quilted it all together.  I got the idea from one of our bloggers last week....though the ones I saw were a little more elaborate and a lot cuter.  I do like the girl from Harry Potter there....she makes me smile.  :)

If you need some ideas for quick projects then be sure you check out our bloggers on the Twas The Night hop this week!

Monday, Nov. 17
Cucki Stitching Cove (Cucki was in an accident and is in the hospital - say a prayer for her)

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Thursday, Nov. 20

Friday, Nov. 21

Monday, November 10, 2014

Twas The Night!

I love, love, love the holidays!  I love seeing all the decorations....trees and twinkle lights, Santa faces, reindeer, candy canes.  And the scents of Christmas at our house - cinnamon and cloves, cookies baking, a turkey roasting - bring a smile to my face.  That's why I wanted to be a part of this blog hop!  Twas The Night says so many things to all of us, not matter what our faith.  The night before a holiday, the night before a birthday, the night before a wedding - the anticipation of that event makes our hearts skip a beat.

Thanks to you Madame Samm for the creation of this hop and for the way you continue to inspire us and coach us and love us!  This hop was a bit different from others because we included a gift giving part to it.  Everyone in the hop sent a gift to someone else in the hop....and I was so blessed to receive a gift from Cori (Creativity Amongst Chaos) She sent me the most amazing pincushions and the sweetest pins to go with them!

Not just one pincushion but three!  And those sweet pins...made by her daughter!  :)

I tried to pick a favorite, really I did, but I just couldn't!  Cori, thank you so very much....pincushions are something I never make for myself and these are going to be everywhere in my house.  One on my sewing table, one on my cutting table, and one on my chair in the sunroom!  My friends are going to be so jealous.  :)

This hop has inspired me.  Really, it kinda made me crazy!  I kept thinking of all the things you could do in a night, or a morning, or just a few appliqued tea towels.

I do machine applique using a blanket stitch for tea towels like this since they will be washed many times.  Find a coloring book or look for coloring pages on the net and you'll find a million shapes!

Or fussy cut some fabric and stitch some ribbon around to frame it.

Or make some Christmas coasters with fussy cut fabrics.

Or maybe you like zippered bags.

One to hold a ruler or two, needles, pins, etc. and a matching smaller one for the little rotary cutter.

Or one to hold a pair of scissors.

Now these...yes, there are eight of them....are for sweet sisters of the heart.  My high school girlfriends - go Zebras! - will be getting one of these.

I bought the pattern for my zipper pouches but there are tons of free tutorials on Pinterest.  Here's one I really like at Sweet Verbena.

This might be my favorite thing I made.  Lavender scented drawer liners and sachets.

That's really a lavender bush they are laying on!

I laid my batting on the fabric, sprayed a little adhesive on it, sprinkled lavender buds all over that, and quilted the whole thing.  Yes, quilted right over those lavender buds.  And the scent - just luscious!

I hope my "make it in a night" gifts will inspire you to get started on your own gifts.  I keep a basket in my sewing room with all kinds of things in it.  When a birthday rolls around, or some other occasion like a baby shower or a friend who is down in the dumps, I pull something out and send it off.  It's so nice to have a little stash of gifts put aside.

What's my next project?  Well, this isn't a quick one but it is a fun one.  After 25 years away from it I'm starting a counted cross stitch project.  I bought a kit of Anne Hathaway's Cottage while we were in England.

I do my hand stitching at night sitting in front of the television.  The chair where I sit is in a dark corner and no matter what I do I can't seem to get enough light there.  So here's a tip from me to you...Beam N Read!  :)  See that light right there next to my project?

Just look at how it lights up the whole area!  Most of the time I wear it around my neck but sometimes I clamp it to the side of my hoop with some clothespin type clamps I found at the hardware store.  It is truly amazing!  It's battery operated or you can use the USB cord they include but the battery seems to last forever.  This is actually my second one....the first one I had I literally wore out.  Oh and there was the little incident of forgetting to take it off and dropping it in the dishwater.  :)  If you are interested you can find it here.  It is so perfect for sewing down bindings, a little hand embroidery or sewing on a button.  I bet you'll be like me and wear it all the time.  Just don't forget and go do the dishes.

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on all the blogs today.  Go see who else is going to make you say, "oh I want to make that!" today.

Tuesday, Nov. 11

Sunday, November 9, 2014

T'was the night Schedule may not know the dictionary definition of it but you definitely know the feeling you have when you're waiting for something!  Waiting is the hardest thing we do sometimes.  Waiting for a new baby or for a birthday or a phone call or a loved one to come home...or for a holiday, we all share that effervescent feeling of anticipation .  No matter what holiday you celebrate or when you celebrate it there are always gifts involved.  The T'was The Night hop is just what we need to give us wonderful make-it-in-a-night ideas!

Welcome to T'was The is the schedule of all of our ladies in this hop who are going to be bringing you some brand new ideas, and a few old ones,  for your holiday gifts.  Be sure you visit each one on their assigned day - some will have tutorials, some will have giveaways and some will have something you absolutely, positively cannot live without!

Enjoy the season and be sure to cheer them all. YOU will touch their HEART as well as your own!

Tuesday, Nov. 11

Wednesday, Nov. 12 

Thursday, Nov. 13

Friday, Nov. 14

Monday, Nov. 17

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Thursday, Nov. 20

Friday, Nov. 21

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Mother's Clock

I might have talked about this clock before....I can't remember.  That's okay because time has passed and as it does I get older; my body has changed - not always for the better, my eyesight has dimmed, and while my mind might be a bit slower my memories are strong.  This clock hung in my mother's house for as long as I can remember.  When I was about 10 or so (I think) my mother was in the hospital for something I've long forgotten and my dad bought this for her as a coming home gift.  When she left us to join Daddy in Heaven I got the clock.  Maybe I just took the clock.  :)

There are two things hanging on it that have been there so long they are faded beyond recognition.  One is the tassel from my high school graduation.  The other is the one and only ribbon my mother ever won for one of her quilts.  She'd have won more except that she never entered one in a show or competition....I entered one secretly in the county fair and that's how she won this ribbon!

I look at it every day and I am reminded of several things.  First, that she loved me so much that she kept that stupid tassel right there in sight.  High school graduates were non-existent in her family or in Daddy's.  When I graduated from college they were right there front and center, and when I got my Master's, oh my goodness that was beyond anything they had dreamed for me.

That ribbon reminds me that being modest is okay, but we should all have dreams.  We are empowered by our dreams....moved forward by our dreams....enriched by our dreams.  I'm not one to compete either; I'm so much like my mother in that way.  But whether or not we put our quilts out there for competition is irrelevant.  What is important is that we constantly strive to get better at our stitching, to learn new skills that showcase our ability to improve, and to pass our love of sewing on to others, teaching and sharing wherever we can.  One of the joys in life is seeing something of ourselves in others, or maybe, in our case, on others.  A quilt covering a newborn baby, a purse slung over the shoulder of our sweet teen granddaughter, a well loved Christmas pillowcase, or tooth fairy pillow, a quilt made from a loved ones shirts, .... I could go on and on and on.

Those of you who, like me, spend way too much money on fabric and tools and then make things you give know exactly what I mean.  Your heart is in every stitch.  You pray over the things you make, asking for all good things for that loved one.  I'm so glad I learned to quilt.  I'm so glad my mother and both of my grandmothers made quilts that I can hold so that I am reminded of their dear, sweet faces.  That's what I want for my children and my grandchildren....years from now I want them to pull something out, hold it in their hands, and remember me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Many Days?

How many days until Christmas?  Today, Tuesday, November 4, the calendar tells me it's 50 days....only 50 days!  And one week from today we will begin the Twas The Night Blog Hop!  All of our bloggers will be highlighting gifts you can make in a night, or a morning if you're an early bird like me.  If you don't celebrate Christmas I'm sure there will be other holidays you'll need a gift for - birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  So be sure you join us to get some great ideas for those last minute things.  Or maybe you want to plan ahead, like me.  I'm making lots of little things, putting them in a basket and I'll be so ahead of the time I've forgotten someone's birthday I'll just pull out a gift from my basket.  :)
This is the perfect time for stitching here on the lake - the early morning mist on these cold fall mornings tells me that it will be wonderful to spend a few days inside in the sewing room.

Isn't that beautiful?  This was about 7:00 in the morning and here's one a couple of hours later.

Brrr.....doesn't that view of a cold day just scream, "Go to the sewing room....go to the sewing room..."   And that's just what I did.  :)  If you're looking for an idea for a quick project how about this one.

I searched the internet for a picture of a pumpkin....used some Heat N Bond (I miss my Steam A Seam!) to fuse the wool pumpkin down, did some hand embroidery with Valdani wool threads and then did just a little machine quilting.  I wrote the word "Fall" out by hand with a pencil before I embroidered it.  This would work for all kinds of simple motifs....a rooster or bunny for someone who collects those, a coffee cup for that coffee lover at the next desk, a Christmas ornament or some other holidayish thing.  Oops, holidayish isn't really a word but I bet you know what I mean.  :)  You can make one of these in just a few hours - and if you do, I'd love to see it!