Thursday, December 1, 2016

Preparing for Christmas, Lighting the World

December is a busy month for those who celebrate Christmas.  It's also a time when most people are more generous, kind, and thoughtful than usual.  This year our church is offering the theme "Light the World" and suggesting 25 ways over 25 days that we can follow in the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and thoughtfully incorporate His example into our daily activities from now until Christmas Day.  I'm thinking of this as a service Advent calendar.  I hope you'll watch this beautiful inspirational video for a brief introduction. 

Each day has a theme based on some action or teaching of the Savior accompanied by suggestions/ideas for service activities which follow His teachings.  There is a clickable "calendar" here.  When you click the date you'll see specific suggestions for the theme of the day.  You can also download an advent calendar of "In 25 ways. Over 25 Days" here.

These are the themes go to the video introductions and ideas for giving service on each date.  (Click the date to view details)

December  1 -  Lift others’ burdens.
December  2 -  Honor your parents.
December  3 -  Help the blind.
December  4 -  Worship.
December  5 -  Serve the sick.
December  6 -  Read scripture.
December  7 -  Feed the hungry.
December  8 -  Pray for others.
December  9 -  Visit the lonely.
December 10 -  Help the disabled.
December 11 -  Serve children.
December 12 -  Teach others.
December 13 -  Show humility.
December 14  - Cloth the needy.
December 15 -  Worship through music.
December 16 -  Show compassion.
December 17 -  Care for your mother.
December 18 -  Honor the Sabbath.
December 19 -  “Calm the storm.”
December 20 -  See potential in others.
December 21 -  Forgive others.
December 22 -  Show gratitude.
December 23 -  Be a peacemaker.
December 24 -  Care for your loved ones.
December 25 -  Follow the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Isn't this a wonderful way to emulate the Savior and keep Him in mind during this Christmas season?!   I hope you'll join me. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just in the Nick of Time - November's OMG Finish

As I was debating how to organize my afternoon  I decided to see when the One Monthly Goal posts for November were due.  I had several half-blocks on the edges to finish quilting.  Good thing I looked because tonight's the deadline.

I quilted this afternoon so I could finish and meet my November monthly goal and link to the November finish link-up at Elm Street Quilts.

Regarding deadlines:  I often imagine things will take less time than they actually do.  Other times I imagine I have (or will have) more time than I really do to finish.  Either way I find myself racing to meet the deadline.  The only times it's a problem are when I haven't made a decision about what I'm working on and/or I've started way too late.  I try to avoid these situations but they sometimes creep up on me (like today).  November's been a busy month.

I debated how to quilt those plain squares in this quilt.  I tried the stitching pattern on the left but decided against it.  I went with the easier (and less time-consuming) lines on the right.  (But who knows, I may go back and add a triangle within those triangles.) 

Next I'll cut and sew binding, but I probably won't get that done this week.

I'm linking this post to One Monthly Goal - November Finish Link Up at Elm Street Quilts. Thanks for hosting, Patty.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you a rich bounty of blessings during this season of gratitude!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Winning Aurifil Autumn

In early October I happened upon Carole's blog, From My Carolina Home, where I found the post Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along and Giveaway.  Carole presented a tutorial for making 9" maple leaf blocks and included instructions for using jelly roll strips to make them.  Autumn is slipping away and I have yet to make a maple leaf block but who doesn't love those autumn colors when winter white (or grey) hems us in?!  I'll make them during a less busy season.

The giveaway Carole offered was for Aurifil Mako 50 weight thread in Autumn colors selected by Sheena Norquay.  I was surprised -- and pleased -- when Carole emailed me to say that my name had been chosen.  The thread arrived a day or so ago.  Wow!  There are a dozen regular-sized spools and they are gorgeous!  Maybe the most beautiful thread I've ever seen.  Thank you, Carole.  And thanks to Aurifil, who sponsored Carole's post.

Aurifil Mako 50 weight thread in Autumn colors

I've not sewn with Aurifil thread before and now I find myself wishing I had time to cut and sew some autumn leaves.  Perhaps I can make some after Thanksgiving and if not then, they'll have to wait until January's winter white swirls outside my windows.

Carole is a very talented lady who quilts, sews, rubber stamps, decorates her home, and more, all of which she shares on From My Carolina Home.  Maybe you'd like to visit?


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dividing the Buckeye Beauty Blocks

I started making Buckeye Beauty blocks months ago.  They were a jumble of colors, which I usually love, but the layout seemed unsettling to me for some reason.  (Click the link above if you want to see the jumble.)

I decided to try dividing the blocks into two groups:  cool colors (primarily greens and blues) together and warm colors together.   I haven't done anything with the warm colors but I laid out the greens and blues. 

I realized I had a lot more green than blue blocks and that I was lacking blocks with light centers, so I set about making some more blocks in the blue/green range.

They're not sewn together yet.  I don't know whether I'll like a quilt with blues and greens any more than I liked the jumbled-colors layout.  I'll sew these together, lay them out, and then decide.

I have a little time to sew this week but I/we have some other higher priority activities to finish before next week.  There's no deadline for these blocks or this quilt so a little time here and there, now and then works.

I'm looking forward to both older daughter and her family and younger daughter coming for Thanksgiving.  It will be exhausting having three little ones here (ages 4, 2 1/2, and 10 months) but the joy of spending time with those "babies" will more than make up for any tiredness.  What fun!

I'm linking this post to
Let's Bee Social #151 at SewFreshQuilts
Midweek Makers #46 at Quilt Fabrication
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Thanks for hosting, ladies.

I hope you're having a great week.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quilters Madder -- Slow Sunday Stitching

My hand quilting stitches are crooked, uneven, and a little

longer than I'd like.  (I'm out of practice.)  But they do the job of holding the three layers together.  

The backing for this little quilt is Country Classic Cotton from JoAnn, bought and used for some other purpose with enough left over to back this quilt.  The color is perfect but it is not a particularly hand-quilting-friendly fabric (which may be contributing to my less-than-best stitching).

This quilt is destined to be used as a doll or perhaps on a table, but never for the walls of a quilt show.  Though I wish the stitching were better I'm not really concerned about those crooked, uneven stitches.  They'll probably be much better by the time I finish (and maybe, by then I'll have another quilt layered and basted so I can move directly to hand quilting it).   Once finished, bound, washed, and dried I doubt anyone will notice crooked stitches.

I'm linking this post to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Kathy.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank You, Veterans

With a grateful heart I thank veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  Without their service our freedoms would be curtailed and our lives would be much different.

I sometimes wonder if the burden of soldiers in and returning from active duty is greater than we realize.  They sacrifice time away from family, friends, and regular civilian life.  They return with images of war and loss burned into memory.  And sometimes they live the rest of their lives with mental or physical losses and/or medical challenges.

While the words "thank you" seem so inadequate for all our veterans have given, I will say them because I am grateful for the sacrifices.  Thank you to out veterans. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Sad First

This is the first time I've folded an unfinished quilt top to put it away for a while.  With the holidays coming I knew it needed to be up off the floor, but I am so sad to do it.  For me, out of sight is out of mind.  I need to see a work-in-progress to make progress on it.  I'm afraid this will languish in the depths of storage somewhere and I'll never pull it out again. 

But this top had been on the floor for more than a month and I hadn't made a decision about that final border.  I was making no progress (though I was thinking about changing/adding to the second border from the outside).  It had to be moved.

I've put blocks away, in a stack, on a shelf, or in a box, but I don't know how to fold a quilt top that needs another border.  When I open it again I know it won't lay flat and then how will I measure for a second border?

The sadness of it all....  I hope this doesn't become my first true UFO (other than tops waiting to be quilted).

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