Where have you been?

My occasional readers may have been wondering–where have you been?  I haven’t seen a blog post in months!  Well, big changes have been going on in our household, and will continue for several more months.

My husband had a wonderful ministry opportunity present itself, and so we made the difficult decision to leave behind our friends in Jefferson and our home in the woods.  This new adventure has been great so far, but we are still working on the logistics of finding a house and getting all our stuff under one roof.

Which brings me to our photo today…

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When we moved to Jefferson, my motto I reminded myself of was “bloom where you are planted.”  I felt a bit uprooted, and so I was encouraging myself to “dig in” to the new place.

The motto for this move is “There is a place for you.”  We have been blessed with a temporary home for as long as we need it, and this picture shows my humble little sewing nook.  Most of my stuff is still packed away, but there is a place just for me.

IMG_2439And of course, I packed projects for this in-between time.  This little quilt was hand-pieced while attending kung fu class with a certain young man, and I recently finished it.  I think it adds a nice touch to the sewing nook, don’t you?

 

Couch quilt

IMG_1658Ever since I made a denim cover for our couch, it has been my intention to make a napping quilt just the right size for it.  I was looking at all the thrift shop shirts I have deconstructed for fabric, and thought, “These would look great with denim!”  And I had just the pattern in mind–Scrappy Mountain Majesties, from Bonnie Hunter.

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I made a few sample blocks, just to make sure we were compatible, and then set off.  I had great fun arranging these blocks on my design wall, and trying to make them deliberately random!  My arrangement is different than that of the pattern, but I like it this way too.  Some of the shirts came from Goodwill, but several belonged to my father-in-law, and one stripe was a scrap from a suit I made my son 24 years ago!

Since this is a summer quilt, I used no batting and backed it with some dotted flannel.  A bit of quilting, and it’s done!

Civil War quilt top is finished!

civilwarquiltIt took over a year to get these blocks all done and assembled, but here it is!  This was a block-of-the-month project from Barbara Brackman called Threads of Memory.  I purchased reproduction scraps on Etsy, and had so much fun deciding which fabrics to use for each block.  The construction for some of them was pretty advanced, so it was good practice for me.

If you are ever appalled at the price of quilting fabric, let me assure you that quality fabric really does make it easier!  I’ve worked with everything from cheap to expensive, and the good stuff is wonderful, and rather forgiving about mistakes and do-overs.  And keeping an eye out for sales and coupons helps keep the cost down.

My tentative plan for quilting this is to do it by hand!  It is small–44″ by 58″–so it is a manageable size.  It’s been a good while since I did any hand quilting, so this will be another area of practice for me.  It would be nice to have it done in time for the quilt show next January–we will see!

 

Civil War quilt – revived!

It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I began my block-of-the-month Civil War quilt, Threads of Memory!  Unfortunately, I got busy after the second month, and did nothing except save the patterns in Evernote.  But now that several big projects are behind me, I am catching up!

Here are linked pictures to those first two blocks:

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I have finished four more blocks in the past few days–

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Some of these blocks were more challenging, but I persevered until I got them to work right.  I purchased reproduction scraps on etsy for this project, and it has been so much fun to pick out fabrics for each block.

 

 

As I mentioned before, each of these blocks has a fascinating story about slavery in this era, with lots of pictures and links to primary sources.  Barbara Brackman is the history teacher you wish you’d had in school–she makes it all so interesting!

 

 

 

Encouraging Quilts

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Today I am participating in the R16:16 Blog Hop!  Our theme is 1 Thessalonians 5:11–“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  I want to share with you ways to use Scripture as an encouragement in your quilts.

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The first quilt that came to mind was this one, made for our preacher’s daughter on the occasion of her marriage.  I had all her friends (and her and the groom) give me their favorite Bible verse.  I printed these on transfer paper, and ironed them onto white muslin squares.  I then hand wrote the friend’s name by the verse they had contributed.   It turned out quite well, and I’m certain she found encouragement in those scriptures and the love of her friends, especially when they moved far away.

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Another quilt I made did not have scripture on the front, but a special one tucked away on the quilt label.  It was Psalm 119:76-77:

Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.

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My friend passed away from cancer all too soon, and it is my prayer that this scripture was of encouragement to her in those dark days.

Use the gifts God has given you, and share his Word with others!  They will be encouraged, and you will be blessed.