Quilt Quandary Resolved


It has been a long time coming, the completion of this quilt. Colour changes, fabric scarcity, and border indecision have frustrated a finished project. Throw in some procrastination and the result is years between beginning and ending (February 3013 – December 2019). Progress Links are 2013/02/06 2013/03/20 2013/04/04 2013/07/21

As with most projects, completing and assembling the blocks happens fairly quickly. I think the borders took another three years. I couldn’t locate complimentary William Morris fabric to my satisfaction. I finally settled on the narrow white and green borders with fabric from my stash. Then I didn’t have enough fabric for the outside border and had to add the corner pieces. Not ideal, but added just enough for border and binding fabric to finish.

medium, light, medium placement

The next challenge was finding backing material. Again, not enough William Morris inspired fabric. I procrastinated again, settled on something close in colour.

The intent was to use the domestic machine to free motion quilt. I used a stencil I felt was similar to the style of the era of the fabric designs. I used Crayola Ultraclean markers for placement. The markers worked really well, except for the orange, it took some extra work to remove after the quilt was washed in cold water. I was relieved since the design had been marked on the fabric for over a year.

Make no mistake, all the blocks are the same. They are all Aunt Nancy’s Favourite in two different value settings. One is dark, medium, dark, and the other is medium, light, medium placements for the stars giving the overall quilt the appearance of diagonal movement. I am super pleased with the effect.

My sister finally received the quilt at Christmas. She appeared please with it. I have not had the opportunity to see it since the pandemic has restricted travel between provinces.

Proverbs 7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend …

Time Keeps on Ticking …


For Ministers and Pastors in the church, Christmas is not that which is experienced by the rest of the world.  It is a marathon of worship services, stretching organizational abilities to the limit, in addition to all the other typical preparations and demands on time.  Throw in a funeral or two and the temptation to shout ‘I give up” and not get out of bed rises to number one on the to do list.  So it is this year.  A member of the congregation, a long time elder, passes away on the twenty-second.  Gratefully the family has planned the service for January 6th (Epiphany, complicated or appropriate?).  Yesterday a long retired minister on the appendix to the roll died as well.  This will require a funeral service which typically involves all active members on the membership roll.

In personal remembrances, it would have been my father’s 98th birthday on the 23rd, and my grandmothers’ 101st today.  A year ago we had her funeral.  The family is gathering at my mom and sisters’ house for hackaballa soup (Honig vegtable soup with little meatballs).  My non-attendance will result in criticism and puzzled questions why I am not there.

And, yesterday the hot water heater started leaking.  Today a plumber and electrician are in and out installing a new one, in retrospect, much too large for the space.  (We didn’t purchase it, the owner of the company did with out checking first.)

I surrender.
And then, I read this.

There are many kinds of selfishness in this world, but the most selfish is hoarding time, because non of us know how much we have, and it is an affront to God to assume there will be more. ~ “Finding Chika” Mitch Albom

And I surrender again.

Ecclessiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Three Score and a Day Ago


Three Score and a Day Ago my parents were married.  Ten years ago, on their 50th wedding anniversary, it snowed, quite alot.

Five years ago, I managed to get home to celebrate with them.  Dad, even though he still had some physical challenges from his first stroke, marked the day by enjoying one of his most favourite things in the world.  Along with his youngest daughter he burned the grass along the edges of the farm in preparation for the greening of spring.

DSC_0950

Today is Friday, typically a day off.  I putter on Fridays, the only thing I schedule is walking the dog, which I do every morning, and cook dinner.  The rest is puttering, laundry, dishes, quilting.  I catch up on the programs recorded on the DVR, usually it is The Big Bang Theory.  I’m feeling a little blue, the anniversary of my parent’s nuptials heightens how much I miss my dad who died September five years ago.  This was Chuck Lorre’s reflection #589.

Recently I was scrolling through the contacts list in my cell phone, when I came across an entry of a casual acquaintance who had died.  This was a very nice person, someone I enjoyed spending time with.  There was no real reason we didn’t become closer friends.  Just the usual excuses, busy lives, and tossed-off promises of lunches and dinners that would never come to pass.  Anyway, here was all this person’s contact information – email, phone numbers, etc.  Was I supposed to delete it?  I couldn’t think of a reason not to, but pressing the delete button seemed disrespectful, almost irreverent.  To die is one thing, to be deleted is quite another.  Instead, I took a deep breath and called the number.  It went to voicemail (thank God).  I then left a rambling message about how I wished we’d gotten to know each other better, and that I was sorry I didn’t follow up on one of our many threatened lunch dates.  It was a silly thing to do, but when I hung up I felt a small bit of closure.  The my phone rang.  I looked down and saw his name in the caller ID.  I froze.  The room started to spin.  My heart was pounding in my ears.  I took a deep breath, forced myself to press the accept button and put the phone to my ear.  It was his son.  He was confused as to why I’d called his late father.  I promised to explain it over lunch.  Date, TBD.

I have contacts in my phone like that.  Both of my very best friends from seminary.  I can’t bring myself to delete them.  Both deceased, one from cancer, the other a fall (?).  Coincidentally, it is (was) the latter’s birthday today.  My heart is breaking with love displaced to a realm beyond my knowing.

319

Psalm 78:39
He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.

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.”

That Dawg Can Run


Haggis the Collie is gradually settling into the family.  He remains somewhat undisciplined, ripping flannel sheets in an attempt to make a nest on the queen sized bed, barking LOUDLY at any noisy activity from outside the house even at 3:00 AM, jumping up in joy upon our return leaving painful evidence of his weight and unyielding nails on arms and legs, and succumbing to the herding instinct every time a car passes on the twice a day walks.

Hubby has been successful in letting him loose, thirty foot lead still attached, and calling him back with a shrill whistle when he is in full flight.  I am not so confident, since I doubt Haggis will heed my own weak attempts, so morning walks do not include a headlong dash across the neighbourhood park (field).

DSC_0197

He’s a lovely boy, we are willing to work with his deficits.

DSC_0209DSC_0196

and Collie Makes Three


DSC_0153

On June 9th I flew to Toronto for study leave and my Darling drove to Kenora, Ontario with the Boler to deliver it to my sister.  DSC_0066

After four days at St. Michael’s College and Starting Well at Toronto School of Theology I flew back to Winnipeg.  It was wonderful to spend Father’s Day in Kenora with my Dad and enjoy a dinner of one of my favourites, Sorrel Soup.  Monday we returned to Winnipeg via Anola, Manitoba and picked up a canine addition to our family.  We have been with out a dog for a little over a year now.  My Darling has been missing the click, click of nails on the hardwood. He found this boy on Kijjii, he had been previously owned by an elderly lady who had returned him to the breeder when she went into a seniors’ home that didn’t allow dogs.  Not surprisingly he is a little undisciplined, although he walks on a lead really well.  His worse habit is the impulse to herd cars.  He didn’t anwer to his name (the same as my Darling’s!) so we have renamed him Haggis.  He is 2 1/2 years old (birthday is one before my Darling’s — Whaaaat?!)  He thinks he is a lap dog and at sometime in his life called permanent and perpetual ‘Shotgun’.  Wrestling a 80 pound dog into the back seat for 1800 kilometres was not fun.  He is settling in quite well, a bit of separation anxiety when we leave the house, but it is decreasing all the time.  He is a gentle boy, very friendly and is becoming quite attached to his new parents.  Plus, he is beautiful!

DSC_0156

Something Old – Something New


DSC_0011 (2)April 28, 2013 my grand-daughter was baptised at Notre Dame in my hometown.  She was a vision in an heirloom baptism gown handed down from my son’s paternal great-great-aunt.  It is beautifully and intricately embroidered linen.  I don’t think it is hand done, it is quite uniform and symmetrical.  She looked beautiful and didn’t squawk once during the entire mystery.

Ezekiel 16:13     You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, rich fabric, and embroidered cloth. You had choice flour and honey and oil for food. You grew exceedingly beautiful, fit to be a queen.

Springtime Traditions


DSC_0967Treasured childhood memories for spring is the burning of grass around the edges of the fields and out buildings.  It was an event that we looked forward to with high anticipation.  Dad taught us all the ‘safety’ procedures for burning – starting a line of fire downwind, carrying a shovel, waiting until the wind died down and knowing there would be a heavy dew that night.  We would put on our oldest spring jackets, our Ukrainian ballet slippersindex and out we headed with dad in the lead.  He would start the fire and we would pull up hanks of long grass, twist it, touch it to the fire and then drag it long the edges of the fields to extend the burn line.  If the fire got too close to buildings or ran the risk of escaping, we would stomp out the fire.  That was much more exciting than using our shovels.  Just after dark we would return to the house, covered in soot and smelling of smoke, circles of fire on fields of black imprinted in our vision.  It was great.

April 26th was my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary.  Dad is 18 years older than my mom, and turned 91 this last December.  He had a minor stroke a year ago and has slowed down quite a bit.  My sister got the burning permit for spring refuse.  After dinner she walked the saluki and made the comment that the wind had died down and she was going to burn the ridge along the old garden.  I haven’t seen my father move that fast in over a year!  He was in his glory.  Ribs for dinner and grass burning after, the perfect anniversary.

DSC_0953

Hearts for Baby


DSC_0944 My holidays are going splendidly!  The grand-daughter’s quilt was finished well in advance.  Great grandma (my mom) loves it, my son and his girlfriend think it should be hung on the wall.  Completely their choice.  I was really pleased with the quilting, towards the end.  It took a little time to get in the ‘groove’.  The idea was to emulate the swirls in the border/binding.  It worked, eventually.  It is not entirely uniform throughout the entire surface.  I am not ripping it out, thank you very much, in spite of my anal retentive attitude toward ‘perfection.’

DSC_0941DSC_0939I bet you can’t even tell, unless you click on the picture to enlarge.  (Made you look!)

 

 

 

 

Exodus 35:29     All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.

WIP Wednesday – Weekend


DSC_0910Holidays!  It’s an event packed weekend.  My parents are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.  My brother is turning 47 on the same day.  And Sunday my first grandbaby-daughter is being baptised into the family of God.

Today my two sisters, my parents and I traveled to visit my brother who lives 2 hours away from the Farm.  The day was filled with laughter, strange movie references “These are not the ‘droids you are looking for!”, stories that might have sounded like a kidnapping to someone evesdropping, “You are not listening to me.  I have the pizza.”, and twenty questions on the trip home that started conversations about food, bucket lists, places we’d been and a few tales out of school about school.  Nana, sisters M and N played Wii Dance Off 4 with nephews GR and Y. Even dad had a pretty good day.  Naturally we had to stop at Morden’s Chocolates for Russian Mints, Mixed Nut Brittle, bags of ‘seconds’ and Almond Crunch Clusters (I should have bought some of the latter…).

Pictured above is the quilt I am racing to finish by Sunday for my grand-daughter.  I am half done the binding as I type.  Cute, isn’t it?  Just like my A.A.E.P!