Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Taking Time Out For Charity Sewing

"God finds us best when we are lost in others."
--Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

After my surgery I was basically bedridden for a month.
I learned very deeply what it is to be dependent
on the help of others in so many ways.

It's a humbling experience, and one we all should
go through at least once if only to help us understand
how necessary it is to give of our time and talents
to others.  We are not to be just individuals, focused
only on ourselves, but part of One Body.
We are "knit together" as St. Paul says.
St. Paul was a tent-maker, a fellow-craftsman who speaks our language!
We are called to help each other out.
To not keep our light under a basket.
To not bury our talents.
To lay down our life for others.
A revolutionary way of thought back then...and, sadly, still today.

Thankfully, I'm not a tv-watcher so
I did a lot of thinking while laying there.
Pretty sure the meds helped out there too! <wink>
While stewardship is an idea I was raised on, I began
to give deeper thought to how there are always more
ways to give, always more to do for others.  When you
have even the simplest abilities taken away from you,
you see what you should never take for granted.
Hopefully, you vow to put them to better use,
and to start doing more for others because
God has given us all talents for that very reason.

After my recent surgery, I was required to use
a walker for a time. At 44 years old, this did
not exactly make my day but I did stay cheery
about it and cracked a few jokes.
I even offered to race a few elderly patients at the
hospital, bringing laughs and smiles to their faces.
And I was reminded of my college days when I
worked with patients who often used walkers.

Many were poor, and often just a grocery bag was
tied to their walker for keeping belongings handy.
Which brings me to my project.
Finally.  You were wondering if I was going to get there, weren't you?

I wanted to make a bunch of these walker bags
for...well, for whom?  A quick check with a friend
who works at the local VA hospital and yep,
I discovered there was certainly a need.
I also tossed this idea around to some friends and
family and we are now up to a count of 29.
It's my goal to have 40 or more by the end of this
month so that they might be delivered by July 4.
I thought Independence Day was a fitting day to
say "Thank you" to our Vets.

These are my 10 bags.  I found a sturdy black on black stripe fabric
that would coordinate nicely with many fun fabrics that I used
for the pockets and linings.

It can be very overwhelming when we think of
all the "need" out there but we can't allow that to
stop us from action.
God will put the right "needs" in front of us.
We just have to be still and quiet long enough
to listen and to see.

My sister's 15 bags.

It could be as simple as making a baby quilt for
a friend who is expecting.  Or a little bigger
project like walker bags for those who have
given service to a whole country. 
"Our neighbor" comes to us in many different
ways and with many different needs.

Who (and with what) have you set time aside for lately?
I'd love to hear more ideas!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Star Quilt Mostly Done

Busy week around here, which is how I like it.

My husband has been building a pergola and a fire pit
in our back yard while also tackling some of my
lawn and garden work that I'm unable to do right now. 

And then there were the house honey-do's
which included a new ceiling fan in my sewing room.
Let's hear it for better lighting!
So I decided I needed to clean up my space.
(and I mean thoroughly clean!)
I'm still healing so this was a 2-day process.
Old things moved out to be donated; my sewing
cabinet only works with my old Bernina so away
it went, too, till maybe some day one of my girls
will put it to a third-generation use.
Temporarily, my machine is on my ironing table
which is higher and actually quite nice to work on.

With my chair on it's highest setting, this actually makes it easier for my healing--
which is going well by the way.  Just slower than normal but I'm healing
and that's what matters right now!

My room is as spacious as it has ever been--and ever
will be.  I already have my eyes on a desk and cabinet
at IKEA so I'm planning on a trip up to KC with
my girls in a few weeks, or whenever I am up to it.

With everything now clean and tidy, I set back to work on
my star quilt and completed the top in no time.

Well, I'm minus a good border fabric yet so, for now,
it's time to start quilt top #2 of the summer.
Below is a sneak peak at the gnomes I've been wanting
to work with for a couple years now; a timely sale
allowed me to fill in the coordinating fabrics but...  

I did just realize yesterday that a friend is due soon
so perhaps the baby quilt first.
And even before that, I've been working on a little
charity sewing for some Veterans.
More on that next time.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nine More to Go

Spring time in Kansas = tornado time.
And they're popping up all over these days.

The rain looks to be continuing over the weekend
but hopefully Monday will find us all safe and out
by the pool enjoying some quality family time.

Here's a quick look at the progress on the design wall.
Again, these are in no order and minus sashing.
Tomorrow is filled with appointments but hopefully,
I'll still get time to make those last 9 blocks.

I'm already thinking about my next project, of course.
For now, I'm just making tops till I can peruse the 
clearance racks during the shop hop in the fall.

Hoping everyone has a safe and fun-filled
Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Do Stars and Mango Key Lime Pies Have In Common?

They come in pieces, of course!

Our wonderfully rainy weather here has been
perfect for sewing and, though my progress is
kind of slow, the star quilt is coming along nicely.

A side-note/update:
Somehow my incision got infected (extremely painful!) so I'm trying to step
back to limiting my movement more, which means the sewing is slow-going.
 I think I am finally responding to the antibiotics now, though.  
Set-backs are frustrating, but I'll get there.  

Piecing takes some concentration; I've made ten
blocks and I'm still checking the directions!  
This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I'm still on pain meds!

I finally have a design wall--just a curtain rod with clips, mounted over
the closet doors.  I love that I can keep it put away till actually needed.

Yesterday's sewing break resulted in a
Mango-Key Lime Tart.

I avoid recipes with sweetened condensed milk
in the ingredients but I really wanted to try this one
 from the latest Southern Living magazine.  
And my new tart/quiche pan.

Of course, it was almost sickening-sweet, 
but the family loved it.

Maybe I'll figure out how to make it another way
but for now, back to the sewing room.

Blocks in random order; sashing to come.
I'll get a better pic for the next update!

There is more rain in the forecast and I've made
arrangements in my room to keep from having to 
get up and down quite so much (to iron and cut).
I prefer that movement because sewing is such a
sedentary hobby but, for just these few weeks,
I'll "cheat".

Maybe I'll call this the Lazy Star Quilt.  ;o)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kicking Off Spring-Summer '16 Projects

This just might be the Summer of Quilting.

I miss working in my garden but let's face it--
the quilting room is not a bad alternative.

I have this UFO that needs binding but I'm not
allowed to bend, lift or twist, so maneuvering
a quilt on a machine is probably not a good idea.

Ugh!  This one just needs binding!

Maybe I could, maybe I couldn't. 
Who knows, but after what I've been through,
I'm not taking any chances.  Ever again.
Those that know me well see a completely different person here, post-op!
  So, yes.  I set an "unfinished" aside.

You can see Chloe was about as bothered by this
poor quilting etiquette as I was...

On to choosing that first
(and second, if we're being honest!)
project of the summer. 

Keeping my fabric "fresh" and to a minimum is a
priority so I quickly zero'd in on an aging layer cake...

...and a pattern that has yet to be tried.

Pay no attention to the name atop the pattern!  
Cinch is apparently a relative term.

I haven't felt up to par for many months, 
and I sure haven't been interested in quilting 
during that time.  Sad, I know.
But now, it was good to be able to at least do
something useful and creative so I set to work,
albeit rather half-heartedly.

Seeing a lap-quilt left too much of my layer cake
untouched, I moved on to the twin size.
Lap quilts are my preference for enjoyable machine-quilting; 
bigger ones get more difficult.  Let's hope this was the right decision!

I can't say these are my favorite colors but at this
at this point, my interest was getting piqued.

And here we'll stop to ponder something:
exactly how does this whole stash-busting thing
really work, anyway?  You see, I'm realizing that
I'm going to need an ivory background, 
some sashing, some borders...  

Nothing will get you into the
quilting mood like a trip to the quilt shop.

I'll catch back up in a day or so after I have
a little more progress to report.

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