Starts and Finishes

31 08 2013

It’s been a week of starts and finishes in my little quilting loft. That’s always a good week! And I learned something new, which adds more points to the mix 😉
I participated in the Hexies by Halves Quilt Along over at Pieces by Polly (link on the sidebar) and finished my Christmas Quilt, complete with candy cane stripe binding to match the table toppers I finished earlier:

front

front

back

back

We love it! I haven’t washed it yet, so I can’t wait to see it all wrinkly and cuddly!

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table ;)

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table 😉

End table topper

I also finished a bag for my EPP. It was a challenge, to put it lightly, but I did learn a lot. I’m one of those who just dives into the unknown. It’s stitching. What’s the worse that can happen? Anyhoo, after three weeks of struggling with fabric I don’t know the name of (but it doesn’t ravel and doesn’t slide under the machine nicely) and fighting with that clear plastic stuff – ’cause I want to see what pieces I’m reaching for, and stitching and unstitching a zipper for the back pocket (had never done one of those), and racking my brain and looking at lots of blogs and pictures for design elements, since I was designing as I worked….it is all done! And I do LOVE it!

The front. See my little needle book attached?

The front. See my little needle book attached?

And the best part is how it organizes my EPP…

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access.  I know - I'm brilliant ;)

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access. I know – I’m brilliant 😉

So that’s two finishes this week! And today, I started my Secret Garden quilt from Amy Gibson‘s workshop on Craftsy.

What did I learn? The local quilt guild meeting was this week, and I learned how to make a fabric bowl/basket with cotton clothesline, strips of fabric, and my machine. I can’t wait to make one. Or ten. I think I’ll start with a Christmas one from the scraps of Christmas fabric left from all those recent Christmas projects 🙂 Maybe I’ll put my first tutorial here for that…anyone interested?





Quilting Block Swap Australia

19 08 2013

This block, for Cathy, will be on it’s way to Australia soon:

20130819-175251.jpg





All Things New

19 08 2013

As I sit in my loft today, working on the last two lessons of the Pieces by Polly quilt along, it is quiet in the house, save for the gentle noises of the dryer with a fresh load of towels, my little Viking humming away and the radio, reminding me with song after song that Jesus makes all things new. It’s been a difficult few years for me, starting with my daughter being enrolled in public school, after which I went into a tailspin trying to find my place in my new world. College seemed the answer, but turned out just to be an experiment in proving to myself (and everyone else) that I could’ve gone that route any time I chose. I excelled academically and was offered a full scholarship upon completion of the first two years, but I realized that I’d been quite unhappy pursuing an education, despite the high marks. It just wasn’t satisfying. It doesn’t even compare to homeschooling my children all day. As a matter of fact, nothing compares to that, as I have discovered. For me, that was truly my calling. And that job is done. I have been so lost.

Before I found my feet, my mom had a stroke, my dad’s abusive tendencies came roaring back from my childhood into my already rocking world, and my husband took a big pay cut with a job change when the company he’s worked for the last decade closed doors. To top it all off, my son doesn’t like college and my daughter isn’t happy in public school.

I have been asking myself how my perfect world became such a mess, and I have truly wanted to just give up. What does that look like? For the first time in my life, I lost my optimism.

Sometime in the wee hours of the night, all this became smothered in God’s grace, as I prayed and just lay in his presence. Today, I know that He has got all of this in His hands, and that I need to just be still. He makes all things new.

And so I will go on about my days, trusting God with all those things….and that, I have decided, is how you go about giving up, when you just can’t take any more.