Stars and Stripes


Over a decade ago I met one of the most interesting people I have come to call a friend.  We met in the Where’s Willy forums.  He is a veteran living in Ohio.  We’ve had some serious heart to heart conversations.  He is intelligent and funny and thoughtful.  He has interesting hobbies, a fascinating life, and a great family.  The popularity of fb gradually lured us to other ways of social media and we don’t connect as much.  I miss it.  While still in northern BC I came across a quilt pattern in a magazine that immediately reminded me of him.  Over three years already!  The cut pieces came with me to Manitoba and I managed to complete the project last summer.  My bad waiting so long to get around to posting once it was completed.  I know it was last summer because that was the summer we had the purple paint petunias bracketing the bench on the front veranda.

DSC_0289

I quite pleased with this one.  I used my favourite sort of fabrics, reproductions of civil war designs – blues that incorporated tiny stars, and red with stripes.  The finished quilt was lap size.  I think that bed size quilts are presuming too much.  First colour preferences, second bed size, and this one was a surprise, so I couldn’t very well ask.

I mailed it off end of summer.  They were surprised, and delighted, I think.  They sent a thank you stating as much, my friend commenting it would be most welcome once the cold weather arrives.  This quilt carried many prayers with it.  Serving in the navy does not come with a plethora of good memories, especially when one serves in a way that sees atrocities done to bodies that no one should.  The thought gives me a heavy heart and an ache in my throat.  It’s becoming more and more difficult to witness the hatred and violence of the world.

DSC_0292

The quilted design of loops and stars was applied by The Quilty Guilt.  So blessed to have a long armer in the house.  This quilt is one of the first to not have a flannel back.

DSC_0291

2 Chronicles 14:13  Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until no one remained alive; for they were broken before the Lord and his army.

 

Advertisements

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.

dsc_0570

dsc_0573

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.

dsc_0575

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.

A Triple Double IC


What is not a basketball term , a surgery procedure, or a specialty coffee of some sort?  An experiment in quilting, of course!

dsc_0282-2

What to do with way too many brown and red 2 1/2″ squares?  I’ve always wanted to construct an Irish Chain.  Straight forward is not my style.  The idea formed to combine a double and a triple Irish Chain. The result was some interesting secondary patterns.  dsc_0282-3

The use of a so many colours makes the contrast  a little difficult to discern.  On the right is a grey scale copy that shows the pattern a little better.  If you squint to look will be even more noticeable.  It give me the urge to make another one.  Bigger, better.

There are many of my favourite fabrics in this project.  Upon completion it found a permanent home on my bed.  It makes me happy.  Mood adjustment, I fall asleep feeling better, and wake up comforted by loveliness.

    But come on, all of you, try again!
    I will not find a wise man among you.
     My days have passed, my plans are shattered.  Job 17:10-11

It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

DSC_0698DSC_0749

The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
DSC_0708
I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

All the Pretty Little Horses


DSC_0576This Christmas past I gave my son and his partner a gift certificate for a restaurant in my home town.  It was a bribe, pure and simple.  We live over two hours away from them.  Naturally they would need someone to watch my granddaughter and I would be the most logical candidate!  Worked like a charm.
A couple months ago they indicated they were coming up for dinner and a concert and asked if they could stay with us. Absolutely!  AND, then suggested we all go to the zoo the next day.  Coincidentally I had come across a pattern in Quilty magazine my granddaughter would LOVE.  I dropped all my other projects and started right away.  I had a charm pack which came as a free bonus with an order I had placed.  Just in case I also ordered three yards of cream from the same line.  The 5″ squares needed a little tweeking, all the horse tails have a seam, but otherwise it was exactly the right amount for each pony.  I changed the sashing so each horse was set apart.  I used all the scraps for the border and to make four patches in the sashing.  Just like my granddaughter it is sooooo cute!
Her mom has sung the lullaby “All the pretty little horses” to her almost every day since she was born.  This was the first project I was actually giddy with delight as I sewed it up.  It turned out perfect.  I quilted it by stitching in the ditch and FMQ’d some of the lines from the lullaby on the sashing.
This past week they drove up, dropped off my 2 1/2 year old sweet heart.  She loved the quilt, so horse crazy.  It was a fabulous couple days, enjoyed every second of it.  Such a blessing.
DSC_0579DSC_0581 (2)
The zoo visit was so much fun, especially the polar bears.  I miss her already.

Zechariah 1:8   In the night I saw a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.

Two Weeks in the Whirlwind


It’s been a tough two weeks.  The not hoped for, daily prayed about, inevitable happened.  God’s everlasting light shines upon my father.  I will miss him dearly.  Presiding at his funeral was the most uplifting experience, difficult but affirming.  Ever held in the love of God, Dad went to tend the fields of heaven.  I love you.

George with hay

Luke 6:1-5  One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

Abundance


We have had an unusual amount of rain this year, a blessing because it greatly reduced the need to water the gardens.  The rose in the front yard benefited greatly.  Hubby cut it a couple of days ago because the weight of the blossoms had bowed it to the ground.  I have been unable to accurately count how many blossoms there are, at least eighteen or so.  I’ll let you know once all the petals fall.

DSC_0247

2 Corinthians 9:8  And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.