Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thought for Today

Having a daughter is God's way of saying 
"I thought you could use a life-long friend."

Happy Birthday to my firstborn.

I love you Beth!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pattern for a Valentine's Day Gift from your Sewing Basket

In just a few short weeks Valentine's Day (February 14) will be here, and it's time for me to start sewing something for my daughter. (Don't worry, she doesn't read my blog so the secret is safe).

I found a beautiful heart pattern in Pinterest. The creator/author is a fellow blogger on Blogspot. The link to her page, and to the project is HERE.

Her photo is what first caught my attention. 

Isn't that a gorgeous pillow? You could also (following her directions) turn this into a table runner or wall hanging. 

I have some teeny tiny scraps in my "use it up" bag, and so will be making a set of potholders. If you would like some help in understanding how to construct this heart design, I have redrafted it so that it can be foundation pieced.

And here is my finished product. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

My "Use it Up, Make it Do" Quilt

In the years since my retirement, I have designed and fabricated many banners for my Lutheran church--I think there is a set for every major and minor holiday and festival:
  • Advent
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Epiphany
  • Baptism of our Lord
  • Liturgical Green
  • Transfiguration
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Lent
  • Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter 
  • Ascension
  • Pentecost
  • Holy Trinity
  • Reformation
  • Last Judgment Sunday
  • Saints Triumphant Sunday
  • Christ the King Sunday
  • Thanksgiving
Whew! I list them not to brag but to emphasize just how many banners there have been and (as a result) how much beautiful fabric has found its way into my studio--batiks, tone-on-tones, and amazing, dazzling jewel tones that otherwise would not have been a part of my collection of scraps. 

Many of the banners that I designed were created to give the appearance of stained glass--hence the brilliant colors and batik swirls. On the other hand, the quilts that I typically create for my home and friends tend to be muted tones of green/blue/violet. 

Those banners really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and presented me with an amazing stash of bits and pieces that I simply could not ignore.

So...I designed this quilt. It was fast and fun, and I will share the patterns with you here.

The "W" on the two diagrams below indicates which pieces will be cut from the "White" (background) fabric. All others will be your choice of colored/printed fabrics.

If you want to make this quilt larger than twin-size, you will need to arrange your blocks like this:

Double/full-size = 11 blocks x 13 blocks
Queen-size = 13 blocks x 15 blocks
King-size = 15 blocks x 15 blocks

Suggestions for other color combinations:
  • pink background and print prints for a little girl's quilt
  • black background and solid bright colors for an Amish-style quilt
  • find one stunning small-print fabric and use that as the background--use coordinating solid color fabrics for the other pieces

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Kitties of Italy

In 2006 our family traveled to Italy--we spent a week in Vernazza, one of the five cities that makes up the Cinque Terre. All of us immediately fell in love with the place and the kitties who live and roam there freely.

When we arrived back home I began to work on a children's book--a story of the kitties we had met; I gave the book to my older daughter as a Christmas gift.

I thought it would be fun to share the book (and photos) with you:

My Aunt Carol lives in Italy--Maniago to be exact--a town about 1 hour north of Venice.

Three girl kitties live with Aunt Carol.



and Lola.

In the Fall of 2006 my parents, sister, and I went to Italy. We visited Cindy, Bianca, and Lola, but we met lots of other kitties too!

First, we went to Cinque Terra--5 towns linked by a rugged footpath on the west coast of Italy. We stayed in the town of Vernazza.

And there we were greeted by "Katie." Katie is the ambassador of Vernazza. She greets every newcomer.


Then we met Lily, so named because she "lives" in a flowerpot.


Lily has several friends who like to hang out with her--Marmalade, Marbles, and Chandler.

Marmalade is the leader of the pack.


And the most photogenic.

Marbles is the most colorful.


 Chandler loves to pose.


As we walked a little further, we found Tuffy. No, she doesn't like Sprite, but she DOES love head scratches.


Closer to the beach we found Oreo.

And Nemo, who lives on one of the fishing boats.


And on the rocks we found Gus.


"Bobbi patrolled the breakwater.


Bobbi and Gus are friends.

Bobbi and Gus

This is Jasmine. She lives with Giani, the man who owns the restaurant. He specializes in seafood, so Jasmine is a very lucky kitty.

But sadly, not every kitty has a home and a warm bed.

Others sleep in very dangerous places.

We enjoyed our stay in Vernazza, but it was time to move on. Katy came by our apartment to say goodbye.

There were other places to visit. And even more kitties to see, like this gentleman who greeted us near the church in Aquileia.

We don't know where he lived, but he was certainly friendly.

We had a wonderful time in Italy. Maybe some day we'll return. I know that the kitties will be waiting for us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I've learned 
two important lessons 
in my life. 
I can't recall 
the first one, 
but the second one 
is that 
I need to 
start writing stuff down.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This is Love

I shared this story with my Facebook friends a few months ago. It's so beautiful, I felt it worth repeating for you today.

My next door neighbors (Donn and Trish) have been married for 65 years; they are a lovely, kind, generous couple. 

Several years ago Trish was diagnosed with dementia and Donn vowed that he would always take care of her. He has faithfully kept that promise—she is still in their home. Donn feeds, bathes and dresses her. He doesn’t complain—his only regret/fear is that she no longer knows who he is.

Trish has been non-conversant for the past two years—just mumbling and pointing to things that are not there. And in the past two weeks she has become completely bedridden. Donn can no longer move her by himself—his daughter and I take turns helping him.

But today was different. Today I witnessed a loving exchange between the two of them that was so beautiful, I felt embarrassed to be there. As he was lifting her head so that I could re position her pillow, she looked directly into his eyes, smiled, and said “I love you!"

What an amazing gift!

When Donn and I were finished with our labor of taking care of Trish, we sat down in the living room, next to the fireplace.

"Did I really hear that, or was it just my imagination?" he asked.

I hugged Donn and whispered in his ear, "You might have lost her being here, but not her love for you."