Current quilt project (one of several)

It’s been quite some time since I have blogged about my quilting. Rest assured, I am getting back into quilting full swing. During Tim’s illness and for the first 9 months or so after he was gone, I had very little desire to do anything creative. Now, the creative juices are beginning to flow again.

Quite some time ago, I went along with a friend to Mill End and ended up coming home with fabrics for myself (Lesson learned: don’t ever go with a friend unless you have the budget to handle a purchase of your own!!)

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This is what the quilt top ended up looking like:

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As you can see – I have 17 black squares that need to have something pretty spectacular quilted into them in order for the quilt to look halfway decent at all. After spending a good amount of time searching online for anything that could work as an Egyptian design, I had nothing to show for it. So, like a good quilter, I sat down and just started flipping through my books to see if I could find inspiration – which I did! I found a pattern for this table topper:

Egyptian quilt pattern 1

I really liked the lines it presented, which you can see a little easier here:

Egyptian quilt pattern 2

I traced just the lines I thought I wanted onto tracing paper:

Egyptian quilt pattern 3

But, what I had traced was only about 3 inches across. My black squares need a design that is 8″ square. So I enlarged the design, turned the original on its edge, put it in the middle of the enlargement and recopied it:

Egyptian quilt pattern 4

Then I realized that the design was too cluttered, so I played around a little and took out some of the detail. I ended up with this as a final quilting design for the black squares:

Egyptian quilt pattern 6

And here’s a pic of the first black square to get the Egyptian design put on.

Egyptian quilting on a block

I used Signature M10 Variegated Citrus thread. It’s a perfect match!! I can’t wait to see all the black squares with this fun design!

(The table topper design and pattern are found in Weekend Quilting Wonders edited by Jeanne Stauffer & Sandra Hatch, published by House of White Birches, 2007.)

Playing the hostess

Tonight is my first “party” that I am hosting in our new home. I am SOOO excited to welcome the Sparks leaders from last year to come have a midsummer celebration of last year and a sneak peek at next year. I am looking forward to welcoming guests to our home to begin a new habit of hospitality in our home. (If nothing else, this habit will help to keep our home neat and tidy!)

I have also finished the second Eagle Scout quilt for a friend. We will be presenting it to her son tomorrow after church. I can’t wait to see if they like it. It is very much a brother quilt to the one I made for this Scout’s brother last year! I will post pics of it AFTER it has been presented to him tomorrow.

Other tidbits in our life: Luke is off earning a few bucks mowing a yard and then hanging out swinging his golf clubs with a friend. Micah is still recovering from his three weeks of intense activities. He’s currently taking a nap under his bed. Simon is prepping to go to camp with his best friend tomorrow. He’ll be gone for the week.

I am horribly behind on my seminary class. Summer is just not meant to be a time for serious academic pursuits! I struggle to get the motivation to read, think or write anything. I sure hope the grading is a bit lenient during summer term!

For those of you that are praying for my medical stuff – My MRI/MRA went just fine on Wed night. I am going in to consult with the neurologist on Monday, mid-day, to get the results. I don’t even know how to ask you to pray. Selfishly, of course, I would like them to see something that can be easily and quickly treated with ideal results. But more deeply than that I do desire that God be glorified in all things. I wonder at times if both can be attained, but I know that it is not always so.

Prayer warriors – please also pray for Luke just now. He is very much like a boat that has lost its anchor. He really seems to be drifting in and out of things that are not good choices. He very much misses his dad and has not yet found his way to anchoring himself in Jesus yet. I am daily praying that Christ covers him in heavenly protection until Luke finds his way to Him.

I’ve seen two Eagles

My new house is so beautiful. We are set right into the most gorgeous display of nature – we’ve seen deer, wood ducks, muskrats, geese and more. But what I find the most admirable is the two Eagles I’ve watched – Eagle Scouts that is!

I am now in the thick of my second Eagle Scout display quilt. And the most awesome part of it all is that the second Eagle Scout is the younger brother of the first one! Micah Fernandez has earned his Eagle Scout achievement and will be celebrating in just a few weeks – which certainly doesn’t give me much time to get his wall quilt finished, but I am working away to get it done in time.

Since Micah has been in Scouts a little longer than his older brother, Luke, he has a few more badges, so his quilt will end up a bit bigger. I’ve adapted the design of the first one to make a matching, but slightly different design for this display. I truly feel privileged to be part of this celebration at all, let alone as the designer and maker of his display quilt.

Here is a bit of a sneak peek:

blocks with patches

If you happen to know Micah or his parents, Kevin and Kari, be sure to congratulate him on this defining achievement!

Back to Quilting

Originally, this blog was created to primarily show pieces of quilting that I was working on and finishing. Ha Ha…

God had another plan! About 4 months after starting Life Stitches, my life’s stitches came apart! And so (sew, lol), I have used this blog in a very different way than I had first thought I would.

But now, I am excited to share a bit about my quilting again. I haven’t done much quilting over the past couple years, but I hope that will change once I’m in my new house. My sewing room there is so beautiful – I hope to be spending a lot of time there.

And to kick it all off -

Last week, a friend took me to Mill End with her, she needed to pick up supplies for a quilt retreat she was going on. I was just along for the ride – or so I intended. UNTIL I started looking at the batiks. Just one caught my eye, then I noticed another one that was similar, then I saw the same one in a different color, then I found the central piece to the set, and on and on it went until I came home with this:

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I really have no pattern in mind for these fabrics – so if you are a quilty friend and can think of the perfect pattern – please let me know your thoughts! I am planning for this to be my first creative project in the new sewing room. That should give me the motivation I need to pack up this house and get to the new house! (Unless I go fabric shopping again…)

Spring Quilt Retreat

Quilt Retreat was last weekend. It was a marvelous get away for me. I am so thankful that I was able to pull all the details together for a short reprieve from my daily grind.

I spent time renewing friendships that have developed slowly over many quilt retreats. And yet, these friends are dear to me in their own way. Holly, Mary, Jane, Connie, Jean, and many others are women that I know only in November and March at Lake Beauty. But when they see me at camp, they come to put their arms around me for a weekend of restoring myself and relaxing. They understand if I cry, but enjoy laughing with me when the mood strikes.

This is the first year that I have actually slept in. On Sunday morning, I actually slept in until 10:00!!! I can’t even remember that last time I’ve slept that late. I slept right through breakfast! Good thing I thought ahead and brought my own muffins with me.

I was able to put together a twin size quilt, which I will blog about separately, the beginnings of a special quilt, which I’ll talk about in a second, and a crib quilt. All were fun projects to work on, and it was wonderful to just take my time and enjoy relaxing while working on them.

The special quilt is a gift that I gave today, so now I feel free to talk about it and share pics. A special young man earned his Eagle Scout today and his mom had asked if I could make a quilt that we could put some of his badges on. So I designed a quilt with a white star in the center of each block that we could sew his badges onto.

Here’s the God-moment. About three years ago, I had purchased some gold Scout fabric with the fleur-de-lis emblems on it. I really had absolutely no reason to purchase it as I have no Scouts in my family. I’ve had it in my stash ever since and done nothing with it. When Kari approached me with this idea, I immediately thought of this fabric. We pulled it out and were amazed to see that the fleur-de-lis actually have eagles in them!

After a couple of mid-project adjustments, we ended up with a project that this Eagle Scout will cherish for many years to come.

Luke's Eagle Scout Wall Hanging is 48" x 48". Kari wanted a patriotic theme, and the gold Scout fabric worked in perfectly.

The center of the quilt shows Luke's Order of the Arrow, Troop number, and the 100th Anniversary Eagle Scout badge, which is absolutely stunning.

 

 

This closeup shows an alternate block that we designed for the corners, as we had four larger badges that wouldn't fit in the star blocks.

This is the opposite corner, with probably my favorite badge. In the corner, there is a badge that shows a beautiful mountain and the phrase "Duty to God" written in the sky. Stunning and meaningful all at the same time.

 

 

Quilt Retreat

Ooohhh~ I am getting quite excited for my upcoming quilt retreat – it’s next weekend, the 16-18th.  I have about 6 or 8 projects that I’ll be taking with me. I’m excited that I will be taking a new/old friend to quilt retreat this time.

My best friend will just be returning from a trip to San Diego, so she decided to pass on quilt retreat this spring. Instead, I will be taking a friend that I have known for a long time. She used to attend my church years ago. I never really knew she was a quilter until recently. So, Jolyn and I will be off to Lake Beauty next Friday. It will be her first time coming to a Lake Beauty Quilt Retreat.

Three blessed days of being away. Spending some marvelous time with my Lake Beauty family. Spending time working on some quilting. Some me time. A friend pointed out last week that the only time I leave my house for myself is on Tuesday mornings for Bible study. I realized how true that was. And that makes me long for and look ahead to quilt retreat all the more.

For all you pray-ers out there: pray that Tim’s family arrives safely, as they will be staying here while I am gone. Pray that the PCA’s that come in the mornings and evenings will do a wonderful job of caring for Tim as they get him out and in bed each day. Pray that I would be able to completely relax while away. Pray that the boys will behave themselves while I am gone!

When I get back, I will post pics of at least some of the projects I work on while gone. And you can be sure that I’ll have a big smile on my face, too!

First day of “retirement”

Since Tim would have been home this week and next anyway, it really doesn’t feel much like retirement. It feels like he’s home on vacation – which is exactly what he is!

It was so nice to let him lounge in bed for a while longer this morning. We had no rush to get him out of bed to be ready for a bus that would end up coming 20 minutes late anyway. I will certainly not miss that! He did bring his work laptop home in case he needs to email with anyone, but I don’t think I will let him even plug it in until his vacation is over anyway! So we have at least two weeks of just relaxing time for him.

I think I will end up getting more done now than when he was working fulltime. It may be a very good thing for him to be home. It will keep me on my toes and not let me slough off quite so much. I have already done a dishwasher load of dishes, a load of laundry, a hand-washed load of dishes, filled in some paperwork that should have been done a month ago and am on to what I will work on next. Whew! It’s only 10:30 am.

I’m hoping to continue working on his secret Christmas present too. He knew I was working on a lap quilt for him, but then my quilting foot for my sewing machine broke. He doesn’t know I was able to get a replacement part already. I’m hoping to have the quilt finished and under the tree for him. The hardest part will be getting the binding done. Now that he’s in the house, I will have to work on it in the basement and it’s a bit chilly down there for handwork like that. I’ll just have to crank the space heater up.

 Well, off to the next projects for the day: clean all bathrooms, clean out the old homeschool classroom space for Luke to use, email two guidance counselors for the kids, and hopefully hit the sewing room. Busy day ahead!