Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eating holes in a quilt

If you haven't seen Natalie's quilt, check it out here:

Here's a picture:
Well, look at the top row, in the middle, then down several rows from that. Looks fine, right? NOT if you'd been in my dream last night. I have Smith dreams. It's on my dad's side. One of my dd's does this, too. We have the wildest, craziest dreams. Some would say it's medicine we take causing them. I don't buy that as we've done this all our lives.

I posted this quilt last night & already have a bid on it. I went to sleep thinking about it, I guess, as it was in my dream. Apparently, I had a thing for eating quilts. They tasted REALLY good in my dream. I pretty much ruined another one buy eating it. Then, I ate holes in THIS one. I made nice big circles, but the edges looked like someone had used pinking sheers rather than teeth, as they were zig-zag shaped. I thought, "Oh, my word! What have I done? Someone has already bid on this and now I need to fix this!" I had no idea how I was going to fix it. That's when I woke up. In my dream, at least. So, I'd had a dream in a dream. In the dream after I woke up (in the dream--ha, ha), I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thought, "I am SO glad that was just a dream."

I told Natalie about it this morning. She asked, "What were you, a rat?" The day went on & I'd not thought of it again. Until I started browsing blogs. I found a blog post about repairing holes in quilts---made by mice! The post was from Friday but I didn't see it until about an hour ago. Is that not the weirdest thing? Here's the blog post: Holes in Quilts

Do you ever have weird dreams? I dream in living color. What is LIVING color anyway? Remember when tv's were just coming out in color & the ads for shows or movies would say, "In LIVING color." Anyway, I dream in color and in detail. I cannot count the times I've dreamed I was pregnant. No, I am not. Or times I was trying to find the "right" man, and I'd meet different people (usually I'd known in real life) and it wasn't the RIGHT one until I found Phil at the end of the dream. I also dream about losing my kids in busy places. I still worry about that in real life & they are 12 & 14. OH, another recurring theme is that I am teaching in Waco again. I am always late & always in trouble. I really didn't care for the administration when I taught in Waco. Sometimes I will dream we are in Africa, but we go between here & there in my dream.

Who knows, maybe tonight I will dream about posting on my blog!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Natalie's Quilt!

Be sure to check out the rag quilt we are auctioning to help Natalie raise money for summer camp!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mom's Day Gift for My Mom.

Here is the bag I made for my mom.

 I didn't make 2 bags! This is reversible. It's made using precut 5" squares that come in a set called a Charm Pack. It's a stack of about 40 squares with each print in a fabric line. It's like buying the whole pad of Basic Grey paper instead of just a few sheets, for my papercrafting friends. These 2 fabric lines are both by Moda. At the top, in blue and yellow, is Summer Breeze. I am in love. I want to marry this line of fabric, but I think Phil might object. I will, however, be wearing a dress made out of this line for his mom's wedding in June! The second line is called Sunkissed. I love the bright cheerful colors. Every time I see something made of this I think, "That is so sweet!" 
The pattern I used was a free download called "Sweet Sixteen." I downloaded it (a free download) and there is no url on the pdf. I feel like I'm talking in secret code. I just searched but can't get a page to open. If I find a link I'll post it! OH, LOOK! I found it!

I used my i-top to cover buttons for both Mom's & MIL's bags. Here they are minus the bag!

Tonight I finished a bag I started  for Natalie a while back. Will take pics of that another day. We have more projects we are working on! 

Have a wonderful day. And hug your kids. Even if they are smart mouths who walk in while you're typing and say, "Wow, your mother's day gift was for your mom. I would have thought it would've been for your uncle or something." LOL!

Mom's Day Gift for MIL.

I made bags for my mom & MIL for Mother's Day. I have had this fabric for my MIL for a few years. It's panels & then I found the coordinating print. I still have 2 more so she may get pillows for Christmas! She is the Bird Lady. She has over 30 birdhouses (maybe over 40) in her backyard. She has a few bird feeders, too. Since she lives right on the lake (well, right BY the lake---LOL!), there's always a nice breeze so sitting out birdwatching, even in the summertime, is a nice activity.

These are the front and back of the bags.

I did free motion quilting on these. Here is a close up. If you click on the picture it should enlarge it.

Here is the inside.

What I thought was the most cool thing about this, though, was right after I quilted. You can't see this part on the bag, so I took pictures before I sewed it together. Since I stitched as if I were drawing around the images, THIS is what showed up on the back of each front/back panel.

I checked a book out from the library recently that was about quilting on the back side of your quilt. Basically, they suggest using a fun print with some type of design that you could quilt around on the back. You just go around the design (ie flowers, triangles, etc.) on the back and on the FRONT you have a cool quilted look like this bag has on the inside!

Will post later with my Mom's bag.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I stamped!

Don't fall off your chairs, but I actually stamped some cards! I used Kitchen Sink Stamps Bluebonnet set. Sadly, it was so late when I did these and I hadn't stamped in so long that I had no idea where my light blue inks were and didn't have time to hunt for them. Still, these turned out pretty cute. Just love what Maria does with 2 (and 3 and 4) step stamping!

These were our Happy Mom's Day cards for our moms.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Rest of the Story about the Quilt

In respect of the family of this sweet girl, I have attempted to edit it to protect her privacy. I just HAD to show you the smile on her face.
The story of the quilt mystery
At some point in the year, another Girl Scout mom said she would like us to make a quilt as a group project & asked if I would head it up. She also said she thought this girl would be a good recipient. We asked the older girls to choose if they wanted to work on the quilt project or something else. 5 of the older ones chose the quilt. One of them was this girl. Now, THAT was fun trying to keep this a secret! Of course, having all the girls make a square was a rather generic thing to do for a troop quilt "to be given to someone later." We WANTED them to personalize it for this girl, but knew that would likely not work with her right there. Instead, we found pictures featuring her over the years in Girl Scouts. This girl went to the quilt store with us when we went. This girl was at meetings when we worked on the quilt. This girl was in my house arranging squares for the quilt. I am so happy to say that NOT ONE SINGLE OTHER GIRL leaked the surprise this whole time. They all knew! They all kept it quiet. Yes, TWENTY girls and moms kept this a secret! PLUS all but the leader's daughters knew about THAT quilt, so we kept TWO secrets for a LONG TIME!

At the Girl Scout banquet, I had all the girls come up front and the 5 who had worked on the Quilting Badge (all the girls worked on the quilt in some form) stood in front, with this girl front & center. I had typed up a little something for each girl to say. 4 of them had the same page. This girl had a different page. The words only changed at girls 4 & 5, so we hoped she wouldn't notice, and it worked! When they got to the end, they announced, "This quilt is for YOU!" Her mouth dropped open and she said, "WHAT???!!!!" then threw her head back in laughter and glee. Oh, what a sight it was. How much love those other girls poured out to their dear friend that night. How many tears some moms and dads shed!

Let me explain why this was so significant. You will need tissues. You might recall that about a year ago two of my dear friends were diagnosed with cancer. My friend Kathy was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It was aggressive, but the doctor assured her very treatable thanks to medicine available just in the past few years. Our other dear friend (Kathy was one of her dearest friends) was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Stage 4. She had surgery a few weeks after Kathy had a mastectomy. They began getting chemo within 2 weeks of each other. I sat with each of these friends in the chemo rooms at some point. Our other friend appeared to be faring so well, physically, throughout her treatment. Emotionally and spiritually, we had never seen her looking better. She went from someone who rarely mentioned her faith to someone who could not give God enough praise for what He was doing in her. She believed He would heal her on this earth. She wanted to speak to other women going through this to encourage them. This is a lady who didn't even like to talk to a group of 4 people at a time. The transformation was amazing.

Then, just after her 3rd chemo treatment (out of 6 treatments), her mother, who had been her rock during these days, suddenly became ill. She was hospitalized. After a rocky 2 weeks, she lost her battle. Our dear friend had to say good-bye to her precious mom in the middle of battling cancer. She continued her chemo treatments, but we knew her heart was aching as never before. Still, she appeared physically to be doing well. Then, the week of her last chemo treatment, she didn't seem like herself. I picked her up on Wednesday (she had 2 days of treatments each time) and she was extremely lethargic. She said she just hadn't slept well as her mom's death certificate had arrived. On Thursday another friend took her home and said she was very tired still. On Saturday she collapsed at home and was taken by EMS to the hospital.

We learned in the days and weeks to follow that she had developed an infection, and even more disturbingly, that the chemo had not shrunk any tumors and they had, in fact, spread. She spent 5 weeks fighting for her life. She was prayed over. She was cared for by nurses. She was doted on by her husband. She wanted to live to see her baby (a teenager but still her baby) grow up. On December 1st of 2010, our precious beloved friend was healed. However, it was not the healing we'd wanted. It was the ultimate healing. She was home free. She was out of pain. She was with her Lord and with her sweet mama.

We don't know why the Lord allowed this. It seems unfair. It is unfair in our eyes. Yet, we trust that He will bring beauty from ashes. He will use this to His glory. We have seen Him already paving the way so that our friend's husband could stay home and continue homeschooling his daughter. He stepped into a world unknown to him and has become a hero in our eyes.

The sweet smiling girl in the picture above is our friend's daughter. She lost her grandmother and her mom within a few months. She was quite angry when she lost her grandmother but, amazingly, through her mom's illness at the end, we saw this young lady grow by leaps and bounds. She told me at one point, "If my grandmother had lived, I would be sitting at home right now doing nothing instead of all the things I've been able to do with (names of families)." It's as if God gave her that ray of hope to see that He would care for her and give her hope in the midst of anguish.

As her friends, these Girl Scouts wanted to shower her with that love in a tangible way. Kids don't often know how to comfort someone who is grieving. For that matter, adults don't often know how. As I thought about it, as far as I know, all of us Girl Scout moms still have our own moms living. We've not experienced what she has. But these girls found a way to love on their friend. When their friend uses this quilt, she will know that her friends love her. She will also remember the love her mom had for her.

The last pictures on the quilt were these: 1) A picture of her with her mom and a few other scouts several years ago at a Girl Scout Event  2) A picture at the Christmas party this year with her dad and her older sister in the background. I put the words of a Girl Scout song that seemed so fitting:

Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other's gold
A circle is round. It has no end.
Thats how long I want to be your friend.

We miss our friend so much, but because we know she is with the Lord, we know we will see her again because her life had no end, and our friendship has no end. Dear, dear child, I don't know if you will read this, but we want you to know how much we love you, and because you love Jesus as we do, we know our friendship will have no end.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Girl Scout Quilt, Take 2

Last night I posted that I was going to share pictures, then couldn't get Blogger to let me upload anything. I'll tell you about the the quilt in this post, then share about the recipient in another post, as that story deserves its own post.

Our Girl Scout troop is different from most. We are a homeschool group. We are also a multi-level group, meaning we start with Daisies (Kindergarten) and go through Ambassadors (junior/senior in high school). Because of those 2 facts, we have sisters in the troop in different levels. The troop as it is has been together for 6 years. Prior to that, some of these girls were in the troop as Brownies even earlier. The best way I can describe it is like growing up in a small town where the kids all know each other. These girls really know the others in the troop, and many are the best of friends. Most of us have also been in the same homeschool co-op group for years. In THIS troop we are Christians first and Girl Scouts second, which makes things work well, at least most of the time!

Each girl created a quilt square representing something about herself and Girl Scouts. Most chose to use fabric markers, but embroidery was also incorporated. The squares are all different. It was interesting to see that some did choose a similar theme, such as badges, but even those were totally different. Some reflect our troop, some reflect the activities we've done (such as selling cookies or camping), and some reflect awards (badges and special awards).

I found the Girl Scout fabric online. They do sell some at local fabric and quilt shops, but to get a bigger selection, I found online shops were the best source. I picked out about 8 or 9 different prints. For the back, a local seamstress donated several pieces of fabric. She has taught sewing in the past and "happened" to be the sewing teacher for our quilt recipient, so she knew her interests. She included some large pieces of cat themed fabric. The girls sorted through these and chose the ones they liked for the back.
Once the fabrics were cut into pieces, a group of girls arranged the squares for the front as they thought looked best. I filled in empty spots with picture squares. They also arranged the pieces for the back and we pieced the rows, then organized them for the back and sewed them together. Some of the girls did a lot of sewing for the back part of this. At a troop meeting, we had the girls tie the quilt. Each girl tied at least one "string" to hold the quilt together. When it was all put together another mom added the binding for us.

I've been asked how I put the pictures on the squares. I tried an iron on transfer first (mainly because I picked up the wrong package at the store). It did NOT transfer well. So, I got some fabric sheets to print on directly. I used June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers. You can click on the link to order. I found mine locally. There is no prep for printing, but after they are printed there is a little work to make them set. You heat set with an iron, rinse in cold water, then heat set again. They can be washed in cold water, no detergent, according to the package. They printed really well, even with my old not so good printer.

I will try to get "the rest of the story" posted soon. Thanks for stopping by! If you like the quilt, please leave a comment that I will pass along to the girls!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quilt 2, which is really quilt 1, part 1

Because it is after midnight and my husband is sleeping in the same room with my computer (okay, so it IS the bedroom) and he says my keyboarding wakes him up (though he can't hear anything else) and because I've been dealing with an asthmatic child the past 2 days and because my kidney hurts and the doctor did NOT call me back yet and because I'm tired of this run on sentence, I am going to end it. Actually, I'm going to post a couple of pictures for you of the wonderful surprise quilt we made. Well, the making it wasn't a surprise. The recipient was. I can't can hardly wait to share the story with you!

Except there is a problem. I can't get the picture uploader to open. Come back later and I'll try again!