31 December 2020

The Gift of 2020

I know I'm going to get some strange looks
when I write this but you know what?
This past year has been a gift.

All we have has been given to us and deep down
we know it's up to us what to make of it.  It's also
up to us what we learn from it.  
Many are so ready to throw this year in the trash and
welcome in 2021 like it's a savior.  But our troubles
are not going to be magically washed away with the
flip of a calendar and a new politician in power.
I'm all about positive-thinking but I'm also positive our
fate does not rest in the hands of others but in God's,
and in our own.  Our fate is our responsibility and the
sooner we own up to it instead of allowing others to
scare us into immobility, the sooner we'll stop being so
afraid to live--and God has gifted us this life to be lived!

What did I accomplish in 2020?
Did I challenge myself?
Did I make a difference somehow?
Did I bring beauty, joy and happiness to others?
Some of the answers are personal but today
I want to share the things I made in 2020 because,
after all, this is a quilting blog, with a few chicken,
garden and foodie pics thrown in for variety.

God gave us all talents and the ways we use
our talent for good varies as much as our quilts.
It is said that a good deed never stops.
The effect of the gift of a quilt can never be
fully known or weighed and I think that's
incredibly rewarding.  (And motivational, but
that's for when I plan for 2021.)

Here is what I've accomplished this past year
with the gifts that God has given me:


One gifted to granddaughter


80 X 80

78 X 78

Stash-busting scarf for charity.

Two Blue/gray hats, one to grandson and one
to my niece's son after a hospital stay.


Christmas gift


For family/friends (75); for troops in Afghanistan (25)
and from surgical fabric for a local hospital (350).


Kansas Troubles pattern in "America" colors
Given to son and is now on his bed.


"Scattered & Sewn"
88 x 103
A Christmas gift


Made for our bed

Given to granddaughter

Made for our bed


Christmas gift


Donated to local shelter

  "September Glow"

For our home

Pumpkin Patch
Currently being quilted

Gifted to a friend

Pine Tree Lane
Currently adding binding and label

And that wraps up 2020 for me.
There is a little wood block that I keep on top
of my design wall--maybe you've noticed it in
some of my pictures.  I haven't drawn attention to
it because that kind of defeats its whole purpose.
However my sister-in-law, who is one of those
special people who notices things, saw it in a
pic of a work in progress and it led to a little
text-discussion about the gifts of our talents, etc.
which I won't get into now.  But you see, as a new
empty-nester, I've been really wondering about a
lot of things in our quiet house, mostly about my
purpose and why I'm so incredibly driven to use
this talent gifted to me.  Until that text-convo, I just
couldn't come up with any answer.  Was it right
in front of me this whole time?

Maybe this is all I need to know?

Goodness has no end and therefore I can never know
its reach and may never know its purpose.  I can know
it's priceless and feel rewarded but I really just need
to know that it's for God--to do with as He wills.

These are simple words on a simple piece
of wood but worth so, so much.
May our 2021 and every year--yes,
even 2020--be all for the glory of God.

Happy quilting and may your new year be blessed.

30 December 2020

I Like Thursday #11 and New Year's Eve

 Hello and Merry Christmas!
With all the merry-making, it has been hard to
squeeze in much blog time.  And by merry-making,
I really mean just enjoying time with family, cooking
nice meals and laying around.  That probably doesn't
fit the definition of merry-making but it sounds
like a grand ol' time to me!

Here are a few likes that came up over the last week:

I say all the time how much I like snow.  Here is an
unpredicted snow that we got a couple days before
Christmas.  I was happily working away at my longarm
when I looked up and it was snowing like mad...
and then it stopped....and then flurries and then mad
snowing and then sun...and then mad snowing...
and on it went.  I finally snapped a pic of it blowing
around in the sky as the sun was starting to set.
I can't tell you how much I hope for a white Christmas
every year and it just rarely seems to happen.
This was as close as we got this year and I'm grateful
for that much....I guess.  LOL.

I love this striped fabric I just found on clearance.
Stripes and plaids make the best bindings.
What's really likeable is that I ended up needing
some just a day later on my Peppermint Pines
quilt.  A finish--yay!

I like a well-timed Christmas finish--just in time
to surprise a friend on Christmas Eve!
I like surprising people on Christmas.

I like sharing special family recipes.
My mom used to really hesitate before sharing
those really yummy ones because in her mind,
the more popular they become, the less special
they are.  I get that, I really do.  But I also feel that
when someone does choose to share a family recipe,
they share a part of themselves--their childhood, their
memories, etc.  It is a little similar to why I love to try
regional foods when traveling.  You just learn about
the people a little more that way; you experience
their way of life a little more deeply.
I will try almost any food because of this.

I like that my husband loves to fix me drinks.
Enough said there.  (Eggnog martini, btw.)

I like how this Mickey's Clubhouse turned out for
our grandkids.  I totally winged it!  It's like a 
"sheet fort" that is special made to fit over
their dining table, complete with clear vinyl
windows on the sides.
Another Christmas surprise!

I like finishing all of my projects up in December so
that in the new year I get to start with a clean slate.

Usually, I can pull this off but this year I have
three UFO's that are still hanging on.  They are
on the list for 2021, tho--sooner rather than later!
The above quilt rolled off yesterday and my pumpkin
patch quilt is now loaded and ready for today.
Who works on a pumpkin quilt on New Year's Eve?
Well...I do.
I'll be getting it finished, too.  Honest!

I like letting bread dough raise by a warm fire.
That's old-school, baby!

I came up with a great end-of-the-year activity
that I think I'm going to turn into a tradition.
In trying to finish up "open" things, I pulled out all
of the trimmings that I felt compelled to save over
the last few years.  You know the triangle sets that
just need sewn up to be HST's?  Sometimes I toss
them but a lot of times, I don't.  It depends on how
much I'm enjoying the project I suspect.

I have had eight sets of trimmings set aside that
I am trying to get done while watching whatever
everyone else chooses to watch.  I'm not that into tv
so I usually just go with it....and then sew.
It hit me:  what a great thing to do at the end
of every year!  I don't know what I'm going to make
with them yet but they'll all be sewn up, pressed
and trimmed--ready to make some "cool stuff",
as I always say about them, on a rainy day.
(Or snowy day.  Really prefer it to be a snowy one.)

We all like soup, don't we?
I especially love it with our homemade
broth from our own chickens.  And herbs
and veggies from our garden, too.  That's
pretty old school too but not so old that
 it's very rare.  I like that there are so many out
there that really appreciate the value of these
things, and don't mind doing the work involved.
I get it:  sometimes we have time for that sort
of thing, and sometimes we don't.  It's just cool
when it all comes together at the right time...
in a soup.

Again, merry Christmas and best of wishes 
to you and yours in the new year.
Happy quilting!

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