15 August, 2016

Prayer vs. Talk

There's much going on in my life right now; without a doubt there's much going on in yours too. I am thankful to God for all the many blessings that are bestowed upon me every day; but, I am guilty of not being as disciplined in prayer as I might be. I need to stop talking (as much) and start praying (more). I am even more grateful to have a heavenly Father who knows this about me and loves me anyway.
Life is Good!

08 August, 2016

No Shame

I wandered through a new (to me) quilt shop the other day. I was surrounded by beautiful and inspiring colors and patterns, enveloped in the heavenly scent of new fabric. What did I need? Not a thing. That is not the same answer to the next question: "what did I buy?"; no, not at all. I bought some red and white pieces for my future magnum opus quilt. I found an intriguing pattern that I just had to try... someday. I picked up some civil-war type fat quarters for the Quilt Block Bible project. Am I done with all my other "pending" quilt projects? Heavens, no! Am I ashamed to add more inventory to that list? Absolutely not. I make no apologies for collecting supplies and inspiration for the future. I will use it all; eventually. One day I'll select a piece from the shelves in the stash closet and be transported to that new (to me) quilt shop all over again, in my mind; the colors, patterns and yes, even the scent. I will smile and I will remember. My heart will be happy; sufficiently motivated, I'll start that new project. Yeah, I'm cool like that.
Life is Good!

01 August, 2016

It's A Wrap

"Summer Breeze", completed earlier this month, is ready for gifting. I went to the store yesterday intending to buy a gift bag for presenting the gift. I didn't like any of the available offerings and changed my mind about purchasing a gift bag at all. I came home empty handed. I looked at the quilt, neatly folded and thought: "how can I wrap you?"  Then it dawned on me-- Summer Breeze needed a pillowcase of its own!  I had scraps left over. This afternoon I stitched up the perfect, at least to my thinking, gift bag! Not only is it useful, but it matches and can be the ideal storage container when the quilt isn't in use. I believe this impromptu wrapping idea to be the most excellent complement to a quilt gift. I have a feeling this won't be my last.
It's a wrap~
Life is Good!

31 July, 2016

Nannie's Recipes

It's blueberry season, my Dad and my sister went picking on Friday morning. I asked him if he wanted some of Nannie's recipes (his mother, my grandmother). "Sure" he replied. I have her recipe for Blueberry Cake and the recipe pictured here, in her handwriting, for Blueberry Pudding. I have made the Blueberry Cake recipe many times, it's always perfect-- even for breakfast! This Blueberry Pudding recipe is one that I remember eating at her house, but never preparing. I scanned the recipe in and e-mailed it to my Mom. She called yesterday: "have you looked at Nannie's recipe?", she asked, "there are no amounts!" Oh. I admit, I really hadn't read the recipe through for content; Mom was right. This made me laugh. I asked my mother if she was going to try making it, she wasn't sure. Two things that I am sure of though: 1- this recipe was delicious when my grandmother made it (however she did that!), and 2- her Blueberry Cake is a winner. You can make it by clicking on the link to get her recipe, it's a post from three years ago. Enjoy these recipes, from my family to yours; 'tis the season!
Life is Good!

30 July, 2016

The Build-A-Barn Book Goes To...

...lucky commenter #2; Ka Holly, it is you! 
Congratulations to KaHolly, you were the second commenter on this week's blog post: "A Barn Is Born"; two was the lucky number this time! Julie will be sending you an autographed copy of the book so that you can make your own barn right away! Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway, and thanks to Julie who wrote one fantastic book and is so generous with it, this was fun; please do look for Julie's book at a quilt shop near you.  Every time I type Build-A-Barn I think of something humorous; don't confuse this book with those workshops at shopping malls with a similar name.
Let me tell you a funny story. We lived overseas from 1996 until 1999; things appeared stateside during that time that I had no knowledge of until after I returned home, one of those things is the above mentioned mall store. Someone recommended the store to me and encouraged me to visit it when I shopped at my hometown mall again. I thought I heard them recommend a store by the name of "Bill Debair", in my mind I figured this to be a designer-- like Ralph Lauren. I went to the mall one day and looked high and low for the "designer" store: Bill Debair. I finally had to ask a fellow shopper. They directed me to the store with the huge logo as pictured above. Oh.

So, go--Build-A-Barn! Not Bill Debarn. I believe I will build a farmhouse next, my barn needs one.

Life is Good!

28 July, 2016

What Is Ministry?

I am blessed to be a part of two ministries that have nothing to do, necessarily, with a church in particular. I always believed that the word itself, ministry, implied the church. My understanding of the word is broader today: I think of it now as service to others; of meeting a specific need. Webster defines ministry this way: "a person or thing through which something is accomplished". So, what ministries am I referring to? Nap Blankets, for one. Our local quilt guild supplies nap blankets to the schools that offer a pre-K program. There is a criteria for the schools that offer this program: 75% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, these are children in need. The Bee (small quilt group) to which I belong has adopted a school, we have committed to providing three classes their nap blankets (45 students) for each school year. The little ones choose their blanket on day one and they nap under it all year and take it home forever on their last day. Suffice it to say they LOVE their nap blankets-- and our Bee loves making them.
The second ministry I am blessed to participate in makes pillowcases for children with cancer. I couldn't be more grateful to have a LQS which supplies the classroom space and the fabrics! We gather once a month to make cute, colorful pillowcases to lift the spirits of hospitalized children and to brighten their otherwise grim and clinical surroundings. 
This pillowcase maker has just begun sewing again after a thirty nine year hiatus from her machine; she did a fantastic job! What ministry have your sewing skills brought you to-- right here and right now? Even if you might not think of a local project as a ministry, it just may be that. We ARE the church, no matter our background, our denomination or where we sit on Sunday mornings. Know that God is calling all of His children to take care of each other today-- right where we are.
Luke 12:48 -- "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required..."
Life is Good!

27 July, 2016

Twinkling Bug Jar

I would like to introduce you to M.J. (Mason Jar); he's the latest addition to the natural area just off the side porch outside the studio.  He guards the birdfeeders and the birdbath by day with his whimsical good looks and bug-eyed, rustic charm; but it's after dark that M.J. really goes to work!  Equipped with a solar collector inside his lid, which powers a rechargeable battery, the tiny string of LED lights twinkle for hours on end after the sun goes down. M.J. was a gift from Mr. Goodneedle's cousin and her husband, who visited with us earlier this month. I was hopeful that he would prove a deterrent to the ravenous deer who patrol at night to partake of our Hosta, Day Lilies and Black-Eyed Susan (you can clearly see a few of these nibbled off flowers directly behind M.J.), but so far I don't think that the deer have been fazed. Oh, well, no matter; I just love the night magic that's happening in the garden currently.  You can enjoy it too!  
Life is Good!