Blessed to Be a Blessing

God Blessed me Super-Abundantly yesterday – and I just HAD to share the story with you!

 

In short, a sweet older lady who lived in the area moved to Heaven a little over a month ago. Her 5 adult children came down (from 5 other states) to clean up and list her house for sale. They were dumbfounded by the quantity and variety of things she had amassed over her lifetime. They had only 4 days to do everything that needed to be done before they returned to their Job’s and families.

Her posessions were divided amongst them, and what no one wanted was to be listed for sale – all except for 1 rooms contents. They didn’t have any use for it, and didn’t have ant idea what to do with it all. So, they boxed it all up – and asked me if I wanted it.

My reply – “Praise God – YES!!”.

They’d found out I used such things to make donations to our local Senior Centers at Christmas time, and thought maybe I could put the items to good use for our charity – which would have pleased their mother greatly!

I still have to go thru most of it – but here’s a peek at some of what they sent home with me:

 These boxes actually measure about 25 inches tall, 20 inches wide and 4 foot long!!!!

 

 Yes – that is a LARGE spool of YARN you see!!

                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Side Note:  None of the many bags/boxes of Embroidery projects, Cross-Stitch projects, Ceramics, Painting projects, Wood Crafts or Canvas projects/supplies are pictures here because I have already delivered them to their “Crafty Recipients”.    😉    It made their day!!!!)

 

Praise God!!!

That’s all I can say is Praise God!!!!

 

Some of the items (Tatted Crochet, Candlewicking, Double Hook Crochet) I’ve never attempted before, but am looking forward to learning in order to compleat the many, many projects she had started over the years! At least there are enough works-in-progress to show me the way (and many out of print instruction books too)!

Most of all – Praise God they didn’t just toss it all into the trash to be lost forever!! Thank God they asked me to put it to use instead. And so I shall – and some Seniors at our local centers will be very Blessed this Christmas because of their generosity!!

Mrs. S’s handiwork (with a few finishing touches from me) will not be wasted, lost or forgotten – but will instead be loved/used as it was intended!

And THAT makes me smile!    🙂    

Have a great day!

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Finally…..”It’s Time”

Have you ever noticed how it seems like the only time you don’t “feel guilty” about working on something for yourself, is when you are completely done working on things for everyone else??

As long as someone else’s project is “in the works”, working on something for yourself always seems to take the furthest back burner in your agenda. That is okay – to a point. The bad thing is that you always seem to have something else that you need to/should be working on – and your item becomes a perpetual U.F.O. (an UnFinished Object in quilters terms).     😦    

I’ve been quilting for about 10 years now, and I have NEVER made a quilt for myself. Nope – not once!

I would start one – draw up the design, pick out fabrics (not always in that order), cut the fabric, and occasionally even get as far as starting to sew the pieces together…..and then, WHAMMO! I would think “So-and-so would really like/love this”. That was it – at that point, the quilt was no longer “mine”. It became “theirs”, and would be finished/gifted accordingly.

One of my “Goals” (read “Resolution” here – I don’t make “New Years Resolutions”, only “Goals” – they are more forgiving and don’t have a “Fail-Factor”) for 2010 was to FINALLY make (and finish) a quilt for myself.

I joined a Quilt-Along hosted by Bradie Sparrow (amazing, talented lady), picked out some fabrics (I decided I wanted a purple quilt), and made it all the way to the large center medallion block. Scott was my “helper” who critiqued/approved each finished block along the way – fascinated by all of the color combinations, techniques and emerging designs. My son laughed at us saying I was “corrupting” him (Scott).    🙂     

Then….. August 22 happened.

My world changed. Our world changed. Big time.

 I couldn’t even think about/look at that quilt for a long time after that. I emailed Bradie and let her know what had happened, and that “someday” I’d finish the quilt – just not then. She understood completely.

For months my sewing room sat “abandoned”. Closed for business. The now “abandoned” blocks for the quilt were left hanging on my design wall – I just couldn’t take them down, and I couldn’t bring myself to finish them. So, they just stayed there. A reminder (sometimes – okay, most of the time – painful) of the past several months of my life. 

Then, one morning, I got up (see previous post I Confess) and the “quilting bug” started nipping at me. Not about “my” quilt, but about another one that I had left unfinished for someone else.

Slowly (sometimes in only 5 minute intervals) – I started quilting again, finishing up the gift quilt just in time for Christmas. By the time I had finished piecing the top on that one, I was actually able to resume sewing again on 2 other half-finished quilts that were also due at Christmas. Once these were done, I actually felt like creating again – and 4 Tablerunners, 12 Placemats, 11 Rice Bags and 1 Pillowcase joined the ranks as Christmas gifts. I was even able to finish them all up by their “deadlines”!    😉   

Somehow, God’s Grace showed up and re-awoke my desire to make quilty-things again.

“Thank You” God. I feel better now.     🙂    

Now….enter the illustrious Pat Sloan into the picture. Miss Pat decided to have a New Years UFO Busting Party/Luau.

I only had 1 UFO left – that purple quilt still on my design wall…..

So…… I took a deep breath, asked God for help (LOTS of help), and said “Okay…this will be the UFO Party project”. I then posted a picture for Pat of what I would be “Busting” at the party.

You see, this quilt represents so much more than just “a quilt for me”.  It represents the very last of my creative projects that Scott helped with/was involved in from the beginning. It stirs up sadness, tears, pain, memories and happy moments in my mind (that I hold dear) which all come flooding back every time I look at those blocks.

But, it is time. It is time to finish it.

So, with God’s help, I am determined to finish that quilt. It will NOT be a gift for anyone else. Ever. It is mine. It could never hold the importance, significance, or memories for anyone else (with only the exception of my son who was there during this quilts journey) that it will forever hold for me.

Therefore, I have resumed work on it. I’ve pulled out the last of the pattern notes on the quilt, picked out the final fabric combinations to pull the whole thing together, and have started piecing all of the little parts that make up the final center medallion block. After that, it just leaves the sashing and borders to do. It is going slower than expected – but, it is going!    😉    

So, Miss Pat, “Thank You” for the UFO Busting Party kick-in-the-butt. I am not finished in time to meet the end of party deadline: but, I am “in progress”.     🙂    

I will keep you all posted on how it goes. If you would like to see photos of the blocks I am working with, you can click on my Flickr Feed over on the left column of this blog. Just look for all of the purple and green blocks.

🙂

Christmas Quilty Things

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things I made for Christmas presents this year (now that all of the recipients have received/opened them). Some of these have been “in the works” since last Christmas – and it was nice to finally finish them up.

See…. I really do still occasionally turn on my sewing machine!    😉

Super Secret Squirrel Stuff!!

Ok, I can’t show you exactly what I’m working on at the moment since it is for a book submission – but, I can give you a little peek at what I’m using for it….   😉    The only hint I can give you is that I’m not making quilts this time.  🙂 

The fabrics for this one are “Clara” by P & B Textiles (top fabric), and “WaterColours” by Alexander Jullien – this one is from my stash, about 4 years old, and not your standard quilt shop fare (it was supposed to be a sheet) – but it matches nicely for its purpose.

And this one…..isn’t it gorgeous!!!

These fabrics Liz and Beth (the Lizzie B Cre8ive girls) sent me a couple of months ago from their new fabric line “Whimsyland” for Henry Glass. I just LUV them!!! I’ve been saving these fabrics (actually it’s a bundle of Fat Quarters, but these 2 fabrics are the one’s that I’ll be using right now) for something special. Now,  I’ve went and designed something that I think this fabric is PERFECT for!!! So, I’m going to use THEIR fabrics to make it !!  🙂  So exciting!!

 They are such AWESOME ladies, who are too much fun!! In fact, they are going to be in Paducah at “THE Quilt Show” on April 21 – 24 at the new Pavillion in Booth # 4322, so everyone stop by and tell them “Hello”!! Just look for “Whimsyland”, and “follow the smell of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies”!!! Seriously!! That’s the directions they are giving to their booth   😉  

In the mean time, I’ve got to get back to work, so y’all behave and I’ll check back in later.   😉 

Nighty-night!

Shady

A Chance For YOU To Get Published!!

Did you read the book :  101 One-Yard Wonders ?

If you did, you know that this book was geared at all of us “Fabric Aquisition Committee” members who have an overabundance of one-yard cuts of fabric, and just can’t decide what we want to do with them.

Well, I was just notified that due to the books great sucess, they are doing a follow-up book – and want new submissions – FAST!!!!

The new book will be titled : Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard WondersIt will be published next year, however, the project submission deadline is April 1, 2010 and they are wanting projects made from EVERY fabric that you can think of!!! How exciting is that?!?! Cottons, corduroys, silks, velvets, etc…..

They’ve asked us to not only submit our projects, but to inform everyone that we can about this – via our websites, blogs, stores, whatever – since there is so little submission time left. So, I am placing all of their info/release here for you to see and tell YOUR friends about!! Go ahead and send them your patterns/creations – you just might be in the new book!!! Whatcha’ got to lose? See info/release below:

FABRIC EXTRAVAGANZA : ONE-YARD WONDERS

Hey there, Seamster Extraordinaire!

We are excited to invite you to contribute to our second book in the One-Yard Wonders book series!

Inspired by the success of 101 One-Yard Wonders, Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard Wonders will be geared towards sewers with at least a little experience and a great love of fabric – ALL fabrics. 

We all know that committed sewers are prone to buying “a yard of this and a yard of that,” with no particular project in mind – and we know from experience that these fabrics are not limited to printed cottons.  With this book, we are setting out to fill a need that so many of us have: what to do with that single yard of special, coveted fabric you bought on impulse.  Looking at our own personal fabric bounties, we realized so many fabricaholics have a wonderful variety of fabrications waiting to be used.  We often find ourselves asking the question how best to use these treasures? What are the best projects for silk, taffeta, velvet, chenille, corduroy, knit and more?  Not only that, but why are we afraid to use these fabrics?  We are expanding this approach to new, exciting projects for sewing enthusiasts like you to help you use up your beloved fabric stash!

While the original 101 One-Yard Wonders book was divided by project type, Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard Wonders will be divided by specific fabric types.  Possible chapters include the following fabrications:
 
  • Knits
  • Flannel
  • Linen
  • Fleece
  • Printed cottons
  • Faux Fur/Chenille
  • Home Dec/Upholstery
  • Oilcloth/Coated Cottons
  • Silks/Satins
  • Woolens
  • Corduroy/Velvet
  • Double Gauze/Voile
  • Quilting Cottons
  • Denim
  • Seersucker


As with 101 One-Yard Wonders, we’re focusing on projects that take no more than one yard of fabric to complete. Ideally your project would use nearly the full yard of fabric (no quarter yard projects please, unless they are part of a group project which takes up a full yard).

By all means, please feel free to add trims, zippers, Velcro, buttons, interfacing — whatever additional stash stuff & notions might be necessary to complete the project. We only ask that your project uses one– and only one–yard of a single fabric.

We invite you to contribute your original designs for home decorating items, baby items, personal accessories, toys, garments (for men, women, and children), outdoors, pets, seasonal projects … whatever! The categories are open ended, and the possibilities are limitless!  We can’t wait to see how you want to use your different fabrics!

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2010. Projects will be considered as we receive them, so try to get them in sooner rather than later. The only stipulation is that your original designs may not have been previously published in a book or anthology.  Email notifications will be sent May 1, 2010 with detailed next steps.

If you would like to participate, please be sure to fill out the on-line submission form at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/oneyardwonders

Along with your completed survey, please also email good-quality photos of your completed project, along with step-by-step instructions (Word .doc format preferred), and any necessary instruction illustrations (rough sketches are fine) to oneyardwonders@gmail.com no later than April 1, 2010. Be sure to include your full name and preferred email address with your emailed submission (this will help us link up your survey with your project submission).

Please note, it is NOT necessary to send a completed project at this time.

If you would prefer to send us a hard copy of your instructions, you may mail it to:

One-Yard Wonders
c/o Crafty Planet
2833 Johnson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Please note that we must receive both a completed survey as well as separate project email (with photos and instructions) in order to consider your project in this book.

You are welcome to submit multiple projects – as many as you want, but please do so in separate emails.

If your design is selected for inclusion in Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard Wonders….

  1. We will either request your actual, original sample from the photos you submitted, or you will be provided with the editors’ choice of fabric in order to produce a sample, which will be photographed for the book and kept for a tour and trunk shows.  Please note that if your project is accepted for inclusion in the book, your sample will not be returned.
  2. You will also receive a letter of agreement and consent form asking for the one-time right to publish YOUR pattern in Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard Wonders.
  3. Upon book release (tentatively scheduled for August 2011), we are pleased to be able to offer compensation for your project – you will be paid for your submission.
  4. In the published book, you will receive full credit, along with your bio, information about your business, and a link to your website, if applicable.
  5. You will be one of the first lucky sewers to receive a complimentary copy of the published book (please note, in our experience, these are typically mailed from the publisher after the book has been released).

 

Remember, the submission deadline is April 1, 2010. 

We’re hoping very much that you will want to be part of Fabric Extravaganza: One-Yard Wonders book, and look forward to hearing from you!

With best wishes,

Patricia Hoskins, Editor, One-Yard Wonders
Rebecca Yaker, Editor, One-Yard Wonders
Deborah Balmuth, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Storey Publishing

P.S. Feel free to pass this invitation along to other designing friends who may want to join in – the more the merrier!!  If you’d like to post the submission on your blog, we’d be even more grateful!

P.P.S Email us at oneyardwonders@gmail.com if you’d like to be notified of publication dates, contests, craft-a-longs, swaps, and more. Or, become a fan on Facebook!

Creativity Run Amuck…..

 

Okay, I have decided that I need to clone myself. I have way too many projects going all at one time, and way too many more that I want to start – like, yesterday! I heard someone say once that if you are a quilter then you must suffer from OCD, ADHD and ADD – just for starters! You can NEVER have just one project going at a time because you were always thinking about the next project, working on the next project already, or coming across a new idea or project that you just HAVE to try out! I can attest to all of the above, in several areas of my life, this week. 

One example is how I’ve managed to spend a lot of time playing in the kitchen this week. At one point, while mixing up something that I’ve made 100’s of times, I suddenly had a new brainstorm pop up! So now I’m  playing with combining flavors in baking that are normally reserved for my meal recipes.  The only hint I’m going to give you right now is that it combines sweet and spicy – in a baked good!! Looks shall be deceiving!! 

I’m not going to tell you too much about this one just yet, at least not until I actually get to try it out on a few volunteer Guinea Pigs first.  😉   After I have their taste buds seals of approval, I’ll let y’all in on it too.  🙂  I’ve just got a few more adjustments to make first! Hehehe…. 

As far as my quilting goes this week – that’s been a lost cause! I did however, manage to get 8 curtains made for a friend, 3 shirts “repaired”, a sewing machine cover created and am now in the middle of working on fixing another pair of curtains for  a relative!  🙂  The 3 finished quilt tops that I need to batt, back and topstitch are still sitting on my ironing board waiting for my attention, poor things. One day soon though, one day soon…. 

That is, if I quit cutting on the 2 other quilts that I’m also working on getting started right now! LOL   😉   I guess I really do fit all of the acronyms required to be “A Quilter”! LOL  And here I just thought I was scatterbrained!!  🙂 

Speaking of scatterbrained, I just remembered that I forgot to show you what the “finished” quilt top looks like that I made during the Camp Sloanie weekend! Actually, I had to participate in the “Extended Student Program” since I didn’t finish getting it all arranged and put together until 1 week later! I couldn’t decide on a block placement I liked, and “life” kinda got in the way that week – on top of everything else.  🙂  So, here it is for your perusal – just remember that it was a “stashbuster” (use what you’ve got), and it is going to be a gift when it is finished. Yes, it IS one of the tops sitting and waiting on me, just so you know.   😉   

 

Okay, that’s enough of a peek into my multi-directional, unfocused and highly disorganized crazy week.  I think I need a vacation, a stunt-quilter and a hot bubble bath. “Calgon, take me away”!!  LOL   😉 

Have a great night/day.  🙂 

Shady

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake and Pillowcases

ConKerr Cancer Project Pillowcases 

The pillowcases have been made, washed, dried, packaged and are ready to ship out for tomorrow. Hopefully they will be in Pennsylvania by Saturday, I may have to Express Mail them, but that’s okay – as long as they get there.  🙂  

The Supervisor (of course) was on hand to provide encouragement, and critique the final outcome prior to washing…….. 

Horratio, Chief Inspector 

He just HAS to have the final say on all sewing matters. How nice of him.  🙂  

I’d hate to hear what he’d have to say if they didn’t pass inspection! 

 

Now, to the fun stuff….. I came across a recipe in the files that I thought you’d enjoy. Chocolate and sewing are a wonderful combination!!  😉  

CHOCOLATE CHERRY SHEET CAKE 

Cake: 

1 pkg devil’s food cake mix 

1 (21 -oz.) can cherry pie filling 

1 tsp almond extract 

2 eggs, beaten 

Frosting: 

 1 cup sugar 

5 tblsp butter 

1/3 cup milk 

1 (6 -oz.) pkg (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Directions: 

Oven at 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13×9 inch sheet pan. 

In large bowl, combine all CAKE ingredients, and stir well until mixed (by hand – not mixer). Pour into prepared pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

In small saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour/spread over still warm cake. 

Enjoy!!!! 

Oh, and have a piece for me too!!  🙂  

Shady