Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday fun and more!

I saw this commercial on someone else's blog and had to share it here. :)

I decided to figure out something for the Madrona Road Challenge.  I would have liked to try to think of something brilliant and creative, but since nothing brilliant was coming to my mind, I just decided to try a couple of blocks that I have always liked and never done. 
Churn Dash and Greek Cross - actually the same block!
I planned the four blocks out using EQ7 and although I didn't have the Madrona Road fabrics in my fabric library, I made do with similar colors and prints.  These blocks are going to be big, like 23 inches each, I think, so the final quilt will be kind of crib sized or large wall hanging I guess.  Anyway, I think I like how it's going and maybe I'll get it done in time to add it to the Flickr group for consideration to be shown in the Michael Miller booth at QuiltCon.  It won't be chosen, but one can always try, right? 
One block on my design wall

 I had some more fabric acquisitions this week using a little bit of Christmas money I was saving for QuiltCon (oops, but the money went to a friend at a good price rather than a stranger at a high price, so I think it was a good decision) and a delivery that was part of a Christmas gift.  My BIL and SIL (Alex) got me a 2 month subscription to the Stash Stack Club at Pink Castle Fabrics. 
I probably wouldn't normally buy purple fabrics, but I love these! 
 The purchases from my friend Becky were these:
Some Hometown text yardage with nice words :)

Some Tula Pink Hushabye

 Becky is actually a friend of my MIL since 7th grade.  Again, I'm so thankful that I met and married my husband, not only because I love him, but because through him, I have met (or become related to) some really wonderful people. 

Speaking of becoming related to wonderful people and Alex, she suggested that next time she, my MIL, and I were together, we should do a Jelly Roll Race.  I think that would be fun, so I already got my jelly roll from Becky. 
V and Co.  Simply Color
So I'll be stitching up some Madrona Road today and hopefully tackling this soon:
Outer border for my Romans quilt blocks

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sewing Day!

This past Saturday, the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild had a sewing day and it was a lot of fun.  Not Alot of fun....that's this guy:
Actually, this is Alot of stitches. 
Some of you may be saying "Huh?  Why did she make that ugly animal thing?  I don't get it."  I was inspired to make this from this funny post. 

Anyway, the sewing day!

I got there at about 8:00am and helped set up as people gradually arrived.  Counting all people who came to participate, I would guess maybe there were around 16-18 total.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was really wanting to get stuff done. 

I did finish this tote with the feather blocks.

I quilted the empty space to look like another feather.
I also finished the first two blocks for the Sister's 10 Block of the Month at Gen X Quilters.

Again, I wish I had gotten up and taken pictures of the stuff people were working on because there were some really cool projects.  Here are a few photos I did take:
Sherry was working on an idea of her own with various shapes.

Leila, who provided the sewing space, worked on lots of things, but here are a couple of pillows she made for her living room.

Penny worked on blocks with pinwheels and stripes and blues and greens and maybe a lot more work than they originally seemed. :)

Tricia had a pretty and colorful bunch of fabric she was sewing together.  I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes.

Doris made an ironing board cover and happened to find that cute chair pincushion in matching fabric on a quick run to JoAnn's in the middle of the day.  She also worked on quilting a really cool table runner.

Dawn was working on something she started something like 5 years ago.  I admire her for jumping back in with it and working on it!

It was pretty chilly in the room all day, so Crystal borrowed her granny's warm shirt, complete with sparkly bling. :) 

Crystal was working on her Weekender bag.  I love it and I think it will be a really cool bag when she's done. 
 At one point I asked the group if we should have more sewing days and the room resounded with "YES!!!", so we're hoping to do one each quarter.  I really like these ladies.  They all bring different skills and personalities and tastes to the group.  They challenge me to try new things and make me smile with quick witted jokes or stories of their lives.  I'm so glad I've found this group and look forward to knowing them more. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Comforted by Ominpresence

If you are unfamiliar with the term, omnipresence means God is everywhere. The word omnipresence isn't in the Bible, but the concept is.

Psalm 139 is a really good psalm teaching God's omnipresence.  I have learned this fact about God in the past and I'm sure I've acknowledged it as a good thing, but I've recently been comforted by it. 

If I belong to Him, it doesn't matter where I am.  He is there as well.  My son gets scared of the dark and I'll admit that I don't like to be in the basement in the dark and may or may not run up the stairs like something is chasing me if the lights go out.  Verse 12 of Psalm 139 says "Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day.  Darkness and light are alike to You."  He is with me in dark places.

It can be actually kind of scary to think of God being everywhere though because I know that he sees my sinfulness.  What if my heart is the dark place? 

The end of the Psalm is comforting for me too.  David, the psalm writer, asks God to search his heart and know his anxious thoughts and look for his hurtful ways.  Why would he want God to show him His sinful thoughts?  So that he can repent and be led in the everlasting way. 

God's presence is to be a comfort because He loves us.  He is the light we can cling to in dark places and if that dark place is our heart, He will clear out the dark and replace it with light if we repent and let Him be our God. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday funny - Meet the Robinsons

Several months ago, my son got a copy of Meet the Robinsons.  I hadn't seen it in a while and we watched it as a family.  It has a few scenes that are quite funny and highly quotable.  Here are a couple good ones:

And as long as we're going with funny and quotable movie scenes, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is good for that also.

Friday, January 18, 2013


It feels like my week has been fairly productive, but at the same time I feel like I don't have much to show for it. 

My husband and I decided that we should probably be more careful with both our diet and budget, so one thing I did was get the MealBoard App.  It was kind of fun to get it all set up and use although I don't think we have followed the plan I made for the week at all!  I take that back.  I followed it Monday night.  Anyway, I didn't buy a bunch of stuff we didn't need at the grocery store and I've planned some fairly healthy meals, so hopefully we'll be doing better. 

I also went through our budget to see where we were leaking money.  Guess where?  Eating out.  So minimizing that should help our waistlines and wallets too. 

By the time I had worked on those things, it was Tuesday afternoon and I hadn't done any sewing since the Thursday before and I was looking forward to stitching some stuff up!  Oh, by the way, the sewing I did on Thursday was one of the bee blocks for my quilt. 
Light pink mo-stash bee block
Here are the blocks I have now.  Waiting for 6 more and I need to make 1 more.  I think I'm going to love it!
Anyway, so Tuesday I decided to take another stab at the Anna Maria Horner Feather Bed pattern that I had messed up previously.  This time I read the directions a little bit.  :)  I ended up with six of them and they are kinda big.
feathers being assembled
I had thought of making a tote bag with three feathers on each side, but that would have been a really big tote, so I went with two on each side and then the two leftover feathers are becoming a table topper, I guess.  Why not? 
The two sides of the bag
I'm working on quilting and assembling the tote and I might set aside the table topper for later.  Tomorrow the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild is having a sewing day and I hope to cross a few items off my list.  Not that I need to start anything new, but I think I'll join in on this block of the month club at Gen X Quilters. 

One night this week, my husband sat down at our piano and started to play.  I like when he does that.
   I remember when I was a teenager, my mom played piano for church and would play and practice on Saturday mornings at probably a reasonable hour.  I, however, was sleeping in!  I remember feeling so grumpy and aggravated that she was disrupting my sleeping in, but now I feel thankful that there were hymns being played on the piano in our house.
  I understand the words of those hymns so much better now.  And it's good to get them stuck in my head.
My sister made the quilt above the piano.  I love it and it goes in the room so perfectly.  Also, I love that guy.  He goes with me so perfectly. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

that believing you may have life

I've started a Precept Bible Study on the book of John and began by reading John's purpose for writing the book, found in chapter 20, verses 30 and 31:

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

The next part of the study so far for me has been to find instances of the words "sign", "believe", and "life" since those are key words in John's purpose for writing.  It has been really neat to read John with that purpose in mind.

If you haven't read the book of John or it has been a long time, I highly recommend reading it, especially watching for those words and how they relate to the telling of John's gospel.  My prayer is that you would know Jesus and believe in Him and have life in His name.   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday - bee edition

I'm pretty excited to have joined two bees, both starting this month.  The first is the Mo-Stash bee.  Again, you can see what people in the group are making by clicking on the button to the right side of my blog with Tom Selleck on it. 

The bee has several groups in it, each with 6 members.  I was assigned to the Magnum P.I. group and given the month of January to choose a quilt block for each member of my group to make.  I can't resist a rainbow of colors and I love wonky stars and it seemed a good use of several fabrics from each person's stash, so I chose this quilt.  Each person in the group will make two blocks and I've already received four!  It's so fun to open the mailbox and find squishies (Squishy --An envelope full of fabric, especially one that comes in the mail as a result of an exchange or mail-order purchase.)
These are the blocks I have received.  Pretty!
I let everybody in my group pick which colors they wanted to use and then took whichever two colors were left.  I will be doing red-orange and light pink.  I think I'll try to get the light pink one done today, but I'll save the red-orange one until I have the red block and the orange block so that I can pick my colors to fit in between the two well. 

The other bee I've joined is the do. Good Stitches bee and I was assigned to the Harmony circle.  There are 10 people in the group; 5 stitchers who just sew blocks together and send them in and 5 quilters who assemble the blocks and turn them into quilts.  All quilts in do. Good Stitches go to various charities and the Harmony circle makes quilts that go to Project Linus

For January, we were instructed to make low volume postage stamp quilt blocks using low volume prints and solids, with white, off-white, tan, pale grey backgrounds.  Here are the three I made:
I'm not sure that I'd ever make a low volume quilt myself because I love bold colors so much, but it was fun to put these together and I'll be interested to see the final quilt. 

Yesterday I made the crochet hook case for Crystal as exchange for the adorable owl hat she made for my niece.  I looked up several tutorials and Crystal had sent me a few pictures of cases she liked.  I had to kind of use bits and pieces from each tutorial and mostly I looked at one case in particular and tried to make something similar, with a couple minor changes.  This is the link she sent me, so I take no credit for the design.  I know people can get upset about designs, patterns, and such being copied or stolen, so I hope that this is not a problem.  Crystal chose the fabrics and had certain specifications that she requested.  So here's what I made:

Anyway, I guess there weren't many actual works in progress in this post, but I do still have several things I need to work on, like several of these things.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas - Part 2

I had said at the end of my previous Christmas post that the next day I was going to show you how I used my generously given gift cards and then I realized that the next day was Sunday when I don't post to the blog and the following day was Monday when I do Bible stuff.  I figured it was best to keep that schedule and put God before fabric. :) 

Yup, I bought a little more fabric and I don't intend to buy any more for a while.  I like having a set amount of money I can spend and then trying to figure out the best deal.  So here's what I got:

From Hawthorne Threads - foxes seem to be becoming a theme for me.  I don't know why.  I guess I just find them cute!

From the Fat Quarter Shop - some fun background/text prints

This one is "Ironing a Shirt" - huh. So the iron is for clothes, too? ;)

This one is "How to Make a Pillowcase".  I especially like the "Ta da!"

Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets - These were at Fabricworm

Lizzy House Constellations - also at Fabricworm

I like this print that uses various characters from her previous fabric lines.

Some charm packs from the Fat Quarter Shop - Denyse Schmidt - Chicopee, Tula Pink - The Birds and the Bees, Aneela Hoey - Posy, and Tim and Beck - Apple Jack

a fun music print in the Apple Jack pack - anybody know the song?

also in Apple Jack and perfect for using in the Mo-Stash Bee.  By the way, the button with Tom Selleck works now!  Go ahead, click his mustache. :)

From Tula Pink's The Birds and the Bees.  A perfectly centered squirrel!  What will I do with a perfectly centered squirrel?  I have no idea, but he'll be useful someday. 

A couple of prints that were on sale for a great price at one of the above named sites...not sure which.  oops.

Sarah Jane's Out To Sea from the Fat Quarter Shop.
My in-laws also gave me a swively (spell check says that's not a word!) cutting mat, some pinking shears, and a kaleido-ruler. 
Okay!  Time to go use this stuff!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Sometimes God says no.  It has been a bit discouraging because He seems to have said no to a few of my requests lately, but this morning I looked to His Word to see what the appropriate response is to Him when he says no. 

One example of God saying no is in 2 Samuel 7.  King David looks at his fancy cedar house and remembers that the ark of God is in a tent.  His plan is to make a great temple for God.  The prophet Nathan even thinks this is a pretty good plan.  But then God tells David, through Nathan, that David will not be the one to build the temple.  Was it because it was a bad plan?  Nope.  In 1 Kings 8:18, we are told that the Lord told David "Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart."  God was pleased with David's heart.  His request was not a bad one, but the answer was still no.  Actually, God tells David that He will build a house for him.  He's not talking about the fancy cedar one.  He's talking about a descendant of David who will rule forever.  He's talking about Jesus.  David wanted to do something great for God, but God had something better in mind.  David responds with worship and amazement at God's goodness.

Sometimes God says no because there is something better he has in mind and even if I don't know what that is, I should respond with worship.

Another example is in 2 Corinthians 12.  Paul has had some pretty amazing experiences with God and so that he doesn't start bragging about them, he is given a "thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment".  I'm not exactly sure what the torment was that Paul experienced, but he asked God to take it away three times.  God said no.  Paul's request was also not a bad one, but God had a plan for Paul, too.  He told him "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  Paul responds with contentment that the power of Christ is in him.

Sometimes God says no because He wants us to see His power in our weakness and even if the situation never changes, I should be content.

So instead of having a pity party and being discouraged, I will remind myself of His goodness, worship Him, and be content. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A big winter storm blew in a few days before Christmas, allowing my son to have an even longer break from school, a chance to play in the snow, and a good excuse to drink some hot chocolate. I'm not a huge fan of winter, but the snow was pretty and it is nice to have a white Christmas.

 We first celebrated with my husband's parents and his grandma on Christmas Eve and I gave my mother-in-law design walls.
Design walls
Each one is 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide, so there's plenty of space for sticking up quilt blocks to see how a quilt is all coming together.  Actually, they are still at my house.  I bought the foam insulation when I was still driving a van and now they won't fit in my new car.  I'm hoping they'll fit in my in-law's CRV.
Since the foam insulation comes in an eight foot tall piece, I had the guy cut off two feet from each board and voila! I have two small design walls!

On Christmas day, we celebrated with my parents as well as my sister and her husband and kids.  I think my son likes having a new baby cousin.  :)
My friend Crystal crocheted a super cute owl hat that I gave to my niece.  She looks pretty adorable in it, if I do say so myself.
In payment for the hat, I'll be sewing together a case to hold Crystal's crochet hooks.  She sent me the fabric she wants me to use.  I'm hoping to sew it up very soon.
fabric for Crystal's crochet hook case - that girl can't resist a zig zag :)
I didn't do a lot of handmade gifts for Christmas this year, but I did make this pillow for my mom:

My parents love going to see lighthouses all over the place and are even going to Puerto Rico in March on a tour with the Lighthouse Society to see some there as well as enjoy a bit of warm weather.

After Christmas, we headed up to Michigan to celebrate with my husband's brother and his family.  I never can read in the car, but for some reason I can stitch.  So I traced this pattern onto some white fabric and stuck it in a hoop for stitching in the car.  I was hoping to finish it on the way and give it to my sister-in-law as a gift, but we ran into a bit of bad weather and it got dark early so I was only mostly done when we arrived in Michigan.  I finished stitching it up while we were there and I think she liked it.  It reminded me of her and her children.
I also brought along some English Paper Piecing.  I won a mini charm pack of Archtextures fabric and thought it would be perfect for EPP.  Alex (my sister-in-law and now my design consultant) helped me figure out a way to put the pieces together and I'm really liking it.  I just don't quite know what to do with them now.  There are only 5 and I think I need to make a 6th, but I have no more of that fabric.  I'm thinking I'll either make a pillow or tote bag unless someone else gives me a different brilliant idea.
I brought along some Shrinky Dink plastic to Michigan thinking that the kids would enjoy tracing and drawing designs and seeing them shrink in the oven.  I was sure my son would think it was a really cool activity, but he had no interest.  This was, however, I think before he was banned from playing the Nintendo DS.  Anyway,  the rest of the kids, my mother-in-law, my husband, and I enjoyed making them.

Me tracing and coloring in the Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, and some random lion.  I think he's been declared to be Aslan now.

before being shrunk

during - I even convinced my son to watch because c'mon, cool stuff going on in the oven!

After!  I stuck magnets onto the back of the ones my husband and I did and now they are on our fridge.
It was a good Christmas season, but I'm glad to be home again and to have laundry done (for at least one day) and the decorations down and to get back to a regular routine.  Time spent with God is not as regular or as deep when life is busy, so I'm glad to be back to usual.

Tomorrow I'll post pics of what I bought with the various gift cards I was given.  Can you guess what I might have purchased?