A Christmas Wedding


Christmas is always crazy for clergy.  Multiple worship services, parishioners ill because of the weather, wind-up parties, more often than not a funeral, even more rarely a wedding.  Add in all the personal preparations for Christmas and you have a recipe for an abundance of stress and little time to sit still in awe of the reason for the season.

Today there was a wedding.  Lovely, appropriately white and red colour scheme for Christmas.  Two 30 somethings, 14 children between them, tattoos and pretend bling, chaos and nerves.  It has been my practice to give a quilt as a wedding gift.  I had this top finished for some time, the Quilty Guilt quilted it yesterday and I spent the rest of yesterday and this morning binding it.  Turned out beeeeeautiful!  Hubby didn’t think I should give it away, but I did.  It really did turn out nice.

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As usual, I didn’t have enough fabric for the back.  I pieced in an orphan block and a few other odds and sods to make a piece big enough.

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It was quilted with hearts, perfect for a bride and groom.  Wrapped in God’s love in grace I pray them all the best for their new life together.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

UFO Progress


I’m being very deliberate in attempting to finish some projects. I’ve had these bow tie blocks finished for some time. I bought four charm packs of Seasons Gatherings in Fort St. John, BC over four years ago. I love this fabric, it began my love for reproduction/traditional/civil war type fabrics.

I had no motivation to finish this one since I didn’t have anyone in mind to give it to, and I didn’t have suitable fabric for the back.  When we moved into the new house we needed living room furniture.  A local furniture store was having a sale and we picked up a lovely chocolate brown leather couch, chair and loveseat.  This quilt compliments perfectly, recipient me!

I pieced the back with more Seasonal Gatherings fabric.  I used a variegated thread for the quilting – perfect on the solid black back.  The only drawback is a solid colour shows all the dog hair, so don’t look too close.

Ecclesiastes 9:4
Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

Strength for Today


It has been a trying year.  Too many prominent members of the congregation have died with difficult circumstances surrounding their deaths.  It is emotional fuel for continued conflict and hurt within the leadership.  Too much personal anxiety around mental health issues in immediate family members, inheritance details, feelings of isolation, and decreasing hours of daylight has given birth to a silent litany of “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care” as a way to cope.

I’ve been quilting, constantly, but not finishing a single project.  I’ve started three major pieces in the last month, all with deadlines.  I get almost finished, pull it down off the design board and start something else.  I contemplate whether my inability to finish mirrors my inability to let grief go.  Daily I begin by praying I will have enough emotional resources to get through today.

14729352_10202070259313637_5136655464477300416_n A couple of weeks ago the widow of one of the recently deceased members celebrated her 65th birthday.  Attempted to celebrate.  It has been very difficult for her.  The first anniversaries after a loved one dies typically is, the first Thanksgiving, the first birthday, the wedding anniversary, the baptism of a grandchild.  Christmas is going to be bleak.  I managed to finish this quilt and gift it to her.  I named it “Strength for Today, Hope for tomorrow.”  A line from the powerful hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I pray it brings her comfort and some measure of peace.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Lamentations 3:22-24   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Strawberry Jelly


It only took two years.  I began this quilt in March 1014.  I’ve had all the material necessary to complete it, other stuff just kept getting in the way.  The Quilty Guilt is back up and running and this was a rather large project for a domestic machine, the blame could be assigned there.  I’m glad I am one UFO closer to reaching this year’s goal to clean all of them up.  Mostly it’s quilting tops, I have only three or four partically cut and planned.  I’m getting better.

Pink is not my colour.  I love some of the fabrics in this, and it turned out quite nice.  I have a dear friend who will love it.  I’ll try to get it in the mail the beginning of next week.  It should arrive close to her birthday.  Maybe she will stop begging now.  Hahaha.

John 11:44 – The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Flower Cakes and Charms


I have a soft spot for fabric lines.  I don’t have to make the effort to co-ordinate colours and patterns.  This was one of those lines I couldn’t resist.  I bought a layer cake, a charm pack, and a couple yards.  I separated them into blues and purples.  (Of course I want the latter for myself …)  I’ve wanted to do a sampler sort of lap quilt for some time using pinwheels.  I made them using the 5×5″ charms and bordered them with strips from the layer cake fabric.  Throw in a few modified nine patches and a couple log cabins and voila!  Very pretty.  I titled it “Song of Solomon 2:12” chosen for the flowered fabric and flower quilting.  It gave me a chuckle, people grabbed a bible to look up the verse and then asked, where are the turtledoves?!

This one I donated to our church’s annual bazaar.  It sold.  A congregation member purchased it as a baptism gift for her new grand-daughter.

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Song of Solomon 2:12  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

And Two Shall Become One


Yesterday was the first wedding I officiated in my new congregation.  It was a long and lovely day.  The bride looked beautiful, the groom handsome, and both, very nervous.  Both are quite shy, hating to be the centre of attention.  Their vows were barely a whisper.  They got through it and the second highlight was the piper leading them out of the church.
I had been working with them towards this point for over a year.  It gave me time to sew them a quilt as a wedding gift.
I designed it with two different blocks, Bridal Path and Honeymoon, using the colours they chose for the wedding.  Repeating hearts was a theme through their engagement, only made sense to quilt it with hearts.  The Quilty Guilt did a lovely job.DSC_0867DSC_0869DSC_08641 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Up is Not the Only Way


DSC_0736 DSC_0738I love the way trees look, their textured trunks, canopies of leaves, and the tenacious hold they have on the earth.  These are Manitoba Maples, aptly named.  I think the first one would be an ideal place to stage a family portrait.

I often wonder what they have seen, the history that has been absorbed through their roots, the stories they might tell if they could.

Leviticus 23:40  On the first day you shall take the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.