Saturday, July 10, 2010

Garden Whispers


The garden was calling me today and so I stepped outside
to see what it wanted.


I didn't think it was water, it rained yesterday and all the hanging
pots got a drink last night.


I waited patiently, enjoying the moment to clear my head and
not think about all the things I need to do today.


I heard the buzzing of the bees and saw the flitting
of the dragon flies.  A bird sang it's song up in the tree.


But then, somewhere in the coneflower it became apparent
that something was wrong.


There is a visitor in the garden and not a flower
is pleased at the arrival of this guest.


The Japanese Beetle has come to town and is 
planning a large family reunion.


The roses and the hollyhocks wished me farewell as they
will be the first to go.  A reminder that while we remain
on this side of heaven, there will always be the unwanted
mixed in with the breathtakingly beautiful.

May we pause among the flowers today and thank God for the blessings in our lives.

Hugs,





Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Pretties

Today, for Friday Pretties, I am calling this "The Beauty of Ordinary Things".  I love being in my sewing room and tried to capture the beauty of the things I see and use.  When you look through your camera lens you often can see an object quite differently and I challenge you to do the same.  It's fun!

Aunt Gracie fabrics make me smile


This iron is pink, surprisingly enough!


Oh to meet the lovely lady that embroidered this apron...


Quilt binding in "Hunky Dory"


This caddy is never far from my hands


I want to unroll it, but I just can't, too pretty!


I wonder how many times my hands have held these items?


My current project

For more Friday Pretties, visit Joyce at I Love Pretty Little Things!

With joy,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Sewing


It has been incredibly hot in Michigan for the past few days.  I am not complaining since the sting of this past winter is still fresh in my mind as well as the gray every-single-day of January.  So I'll take the heat, literally.  Since the weather has forced me inside, I've been able to cross some things off my project list.  I've been wanting to make this top for my daughter for quite some time.


The pattern is Amy Butler's "Sun Surf Halter Tunic Top".  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, lining and all.  I was careful to take good measurements as my daughter needed the size three times larger than what she normally wears.


The pattern was written quite well, easy for even this novice clothing maker to figure out.  My daughter loves it and loves the fact that no one else will have it.  I hope that it encourages her to try her hand at sewing as well.  We'll see!

Joyfully,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun Quilting Blog


I am in love with a blog that is new to me and wanted to share it with you today.  Over 1200+ people follow Red Pepper Quilts located in Melbourne, Australia.  Rita is the creator behind these wonderful quilts and I just stand it awe of her creativity.  



Rita takes the most basic, simple blocks and with her use of color and pattern turns a quilt into a breathtaking work of art.  Her color palette is much different than mine but I am drawn to it like a magnet.


The colors in this quilt are stunning and I love her random use of aqua for a bit of interest and variation. Be sure to stop by her blog for a visit and check out her Flickr for photos of other outstanding quilts.


Blessings,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Trash to Treasure


Yesterday I was looking for a simple project and after cleaning my sewing room I remembered I had a footstool I've been wanting to recover.  


I was excited when I found this at Goodwill for $9.50.  I already had the rose decorator fabric and so I got to work.


I decided to add some vintage yo-yo's and make some leaves just to add some whimsy.  I really like the way it turned out.  What are you up to today?

Joyfully,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Something Old to Something New


I hope that all of you experienced a safe and festive 4th of July.  I had a bit of time to sew this weekend and have been wanting to try a pattern I have seen on two blogs, Cottage Cozy and Sweet Cottage Dreams.  Carrie and Becky both made beautiful blouses and since I don't usually make clothing, I thought I would give it a try.  I didn't want to use any "good" fabric since it's expensive and I didn't know if I would be able to figure it out so I search around in my pile of goodies and found two vintage tablecloths that had bad stains in places and had been purchased to make into something else.  I used the floral cotton cloth for the front and back and used a linen, crochet trimmed cloth for the sleeves.  I really like the way it came out and as my post title states, something old became something new.


I did learn a couple of things that I want to share.  First of all, pattern sizing is not like purchased clothing items.  I normally wear a size 10-12 top and needed to use the size 16 pattern for the blouse.  It's important to take your measurements.  I know we all get hung up on numbers (I'm one of the worst) but we are what we are, beautiful any size, and it would be so frustrating to finish it only to find out that you couldn't get it over your head.  Also, the grain of the fabric is important.  There is not a whole lot of stretch with a cotton tablecloth, but the little there is should have been placed in the opposite direction for sure.  You want it to bend and stretch where you do.  For a test sample, I'm quite pleased and plan on wearing it.


I ventured outside to see how the garden stood up to the intense heat on the 4th and caught a shot of this dragonfly.  Honestly, it hung around so long that I thought it was posing!


I couldn't resist sharing this fantastic lily with you.  I love it's ruffled edges and intense center color.  It seems to me like it's sporting a fancy ball gown.  I hope this day finds you thankful and rested from the weekend.

Hugs,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Scripture


"The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
the will run and not grow weary
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:28-31

Wishing you a wonderful Fourth of July!

Be blessed,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Pretties


I have an unusual Friday Pretty today.  This is my son and he's been on my mind ever since he called last night.  It was one of those calls the Mother of a ball player does not want to receive.  I don't remember most of the conversation before and after I heard, "Mom, I took a ground ball to the forehead tonight."  I realize that it was a good thing that he called and not a coach, or a doctor.   I'm calculating in my head that a 225 pd. twenty-something year old hitting a ball pitched at 89 mph, ricocheting into the ground and my son's forehead.  I squeaked out a "are you alright?"  No stitches, just an incredible goose-egg sized lump/bruise and the makings of a major headache.  I do remember him saying that he was lucky it just missed his eye.  I weakly handed the phone to his father and offered up a thankful prayer to Jesus.


Taylor, who is going to be a sophomore this fall, plays baseball for a wonderful Christian college.  His coach has placed him on a team this summer in New York, far away from us in Michigan.  Though I miss him terribly, it's a great team and he's doing good community service, teaching youths about Christ and growing spiritually himself.  I'm so thrilled with the man he is becoming.  So while my heart aches a bit today and I wish I could see him, I trust that he is where he needs to be.  So he's my Friday Pretty today, cause I think he's pretty special (and pretty cute too!)

Visit Joyce at I Love Pretty Little Things for more Friday Pretties.

Blessings,  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Hunky Dory


All of your comments yesterday about the "Kinship of Women" were a balm for my soul.  Thank you!  I have had some time to do a little sewing this week, another balm for my soul.  The quilt above is for my daughter.  She picked out the fabric, "Hunky Dory", and I had strict instructions to keep it as simple as possible (what is she implying?) She wanted to see big fabric pieces and let the fabric do all the talking (even though she doesn't want to quilt yet, she's got the lingo down).  I had two layer cakes, a jelly roll and some yardage of fabric.  I did some big rectangles, squares and threw in a few rail fence blocks for interest (couldn't help myself...)  She loves it and I need to get it off to the quilter.  I'm planning on surprising her with crocheted pillowcases to match. 


I had big plans to sell this pillow at the barn sale but never got it finished.  Clearly my camera is dirty because there is not a spot in the middle of the pillow (I checked, twice).  I found the piece already embroidered and put red gingham fabric on the back.  It's a big pillow, measuring 26x26.  The redwork is amazing, the stitches are so tiny.


The garden is just breath-taking this year.  I keep bringing fistfuls in so I can enjoy them while they are here, before fall comes peeking around the corner.  I was so disappointed to see some fall clothes at the mall the other day.  Really?  It's not even the 4th of July yet.  Maybe that means there will be some good summer sales!

Joyfully,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Kinship of Women


Any women who sews or knits, or weaves,
blends colors in a tapestry or creates
a patchwork quilt, knows by the feel
that a single thread is weak but the
weaving, the blending, the intertwining
with many others makes it strong.

Any woman alone without friends to
sustain her, to nurture and support,
to hold with loving arms, like a single
thread, is weak.  But the weaving,
the loving, the nurturing of others,
the networks of friendships makes
her strong.

The Kinship of Women 1994


Thanking the Lord for all of you today!

Hugs,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday's Unwrapped

Photo by Birds and Blooms

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear.  Is not life more important than
food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap
or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father
feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

I almost missed the hummingbird.  I've been wondering where they are this summer.  I was caught completely off guard when it flew up to my face and was chattering away, then lighted on the flower near me and set to work gathering food.  I stood there a bit dumb-struck.  It had been here all along.  I just never bothered to stop focusing on all the "stuff" going on in my life to notice.


"And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the 
lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet
I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was
dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the
grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is 
thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you,
O you of little faith?  So do not worry saying, 'What shall
we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run
after all these things, and your heavenly Fathers knows 
that you need them.

The self-inflicted hamster wheel is tiring me.  Most of the things I fret about are really not important at all.  They are simply diversions that keep me from seeing the things that the Lord has planned for me today.  As I fret, spin, not sleep, get cranky, put off my quiet time with God, I waste my day away.  I'm amazed at how something like the wrong dryer being delivered can rob me of joy and change the tone of my day, a day that I will never get back.


But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these
 things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry
about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:25-34

The daisies in my garden have just opened.  They are tilted at an angle, reaching for the warmth of the sun.  Today I will spend some time in the garden, looking for the hummingbird, appreciating the flowers, pondering God's word and what he is telling me through this scripture.  I hope that like the daisy, I will look up, and reach for the warmth of the Savior and let the rest of the "stuff" fade away.

For more Tuesday's Unwrapped visit here

With joy,