Tired and Retired


 

How does time pass so quickly?  It has been over two years since I have completed a quilt?  If you could see the pile beside the ironing board you might wonder, “How that could be?”  I have at least a half dozen tops that need binding, or sandwiching, or quilting.  Big Sigh!  I have been much too involved with work and just can’t seem to carve out time for hobbies.  I am tired.

May 2018 a colleague retired as the Executive Director of an important mission in the city and accepted a part time position as the Minister of Word and Sacrament for a rapidly growing indigenous congregation.  They refer to themselves as Oji-Irish, walking a blended spiritual journey of Indigenous and Christian belief and ceremony.  A person of great strength and immeasurable compassion.  To honour the occasion I designed this stole and it was gifted at a regular meeting of presbytery.  The colours of the Dakota Star and the cross are those of the Medicine Circle.  There are four bear paw blocks at the bottom of the stole.  These represent the individual as a member of  the Bear Clan. The eagle fabric on the back was chosen as it is part of the recipient’s name.   I know God’s Spirit will rest always upon them and richly bless their ministry.

Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Friendship Ties


Our denomination encourages her clergy to pursue continuing education opportunities.  The seminary from which I received my degree offers courses in the summer that are often of interest.  In July of 2017 I flew west to attend a course on Sacred Dying.  Part of the attraction to return is spending some time with my friend, mentor and now, colleague.  She is wise and faithful, caring and lovely.  I have learned so much from her.  I have had the pleasure of staying with her and her husband on many occasions.  About time I brought a token of my gratitude for their hospitality.

This quilt is similar to one draped over the sofa in our living room.  The bow tie blocks had already been sewn together as an accent wall hanging to complement the throw in the living room.  I couldn’t envision a way of hanging the finished project, it was the width of a block and twenty feet long.  I ripped them apart and reconfigured them into this quilt.  Now my dear friend and I share similar quilts, in fact, the centre block that is slightly different from the rest in the quilt is exactly the same as blocks on the back of my quilt.  We are tied together, in faith, in friendship, in affection.  I give thanks to God for her.

Proverbs 17:17  A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.

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.”

Borders


The top is finished!  Now to wait for DH to get the Gamill put back together and think about how to quilt it.  Maybe will use 1 Kings 7:36 as inspiration …
DSC_0526
Faith crosses every border and touches every heart in every nation. 
~ George W. Bush

1 Kings 7:36  On the surfaces of its stays and on its borders he carved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, where each had space, with wreaths all around.

FP – Black Snowballs and Summer Flowers


 

DSC_0897This is my woobie.  I finally finished quilting the last half dozen black snowballs and threw it in the washer this morning.  It crinkled up really nice.  The fabrics were purchased at various quilt shops on our Tofino holiday.  It’s been cold this winter, so I must confess I have been using it for some time. It was on my list of things to finish before I could start piecing another top.  Check!  DSC_0896

UFO is Still Three


This project has been waiting patiently for completion for almost 6 months.  I’ve been distracted with other ‘stuff’ and deadlines.  This one is for me, to curl up on the couch with.  I finished the gift and got it in the mail yesterday, so it is back to picking up unfinished objects and making some headway there.  This particular one just has to be quilted and then it will be ~finished~!