11/28/16

After the Year of Mercy

                This past year two things occurred which prompted me to want to read A Call to Mercy, Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve – Mother Teresa .  The first was Pope Francis inaugurating the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The second was the canonization of Saint Theresa of Calcutta. While she didn’t say the word Mercy often, she surely lived a life of Mercy toward the world around her.
                Some time ago, I had read a biography of her life and was familiar with this woman of faith. She touched me in ways that found me reading eagerly news stories and articles about her and her work. In this tome, in a compilation of her words and wisdom, editor Brian Kolodiejchuk, lets Mother Theresa explain to the reader  the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  In the process we learn much about this new saint.  There is one chapter for each of the works. In her words:
For the hungry – “Before Jesus taught the people, He had pity on them, and he fed them…”
For the naked – “…I was naked and you clothed me…Whatever you do to the least, you have done it to Me.  And this is what Jesus again and again told us; to love one another as He has loved us.” Losing dignity can also leave us naked and this too must be addressed.
To Counsel the Doubtful – Give what you have…Give Jesus a free hand to do with you as He wants…”

 Throughout the book, testimonies of those close to her bring out her examples of prayerful and faith-filled actions.  There is much to learn, absorb and contemplate in this book. Each chapter ends with a reflection and prayer.  I wish I had found this book at the beginning of the Year of Mercy, however, I understand it came my way now to educate me more about this 21 Century saint and how I can strive to do the works of Mercy.

I received this book (published by Penguin/Random House) from Blogging for Books for this review.  I am so glad I did.  A Call to Mercy is a keeper - a book I will read over and over - sure to encourage spiritual growth.

11/27/16

Some of This; Some of That

Spending some time slow stitching this Sunday
and I want to add a halo to my Christ Child in the manger:
What do you think?  Should the halo be at a different orientation?  I'm going to hand stitch it with some metallic thread. And the FM quilting on the panel is moving right along.  You can't tell very well but most of the people are done.  Now need to think how I'm going to handle all the night sky.  I may leave it alone as this will be a wall hanging.  I'll see.  Think with some Swarovski glitter in the stars it should be enough.  With the 2 yards for the backing my YTD stash busting is up to 52.97 yards used.

It's raining here - very gently - perfect weather to be inside stitching. We're finding it a nice ending to a big holiday.  I'm linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching. Button under linky parties tab.

Blessings on this first Sunday of Advent,

11/25/16

Holiday WIPs Be Gone

This is a bit late for several reasons:  It's a holiday weekend.  Lot of eating done; not much sewing. Away from the machines; no time for hand sewing. Once home too full to play in the studio - lol.

Today, I finished another column of the green, scrappy baby quilt.  The treadle is humming along.  I oiled it the other day.  Boy, there are a lot of spots to add oil.  I'm thinking of doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery that started today on the treadle next.  How about you?  Are you attempting it?  I'm just going to do a portion of it.

I also have a commissioned quilt to finish by December 9th.  This is another panel so no blocks to make.  Added two borders. 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  No shopping for me. Enjoying the quiet and restful time.  We will be visiting friends this evening - another get together for this holiday.

Blessings,

11/20/16

Some of This; Some of That

I used a yard to make a grocery bag. Not totally happy with it, so making another.  I'm holding this one so that's why it looks so big. It's only 13 x 8 x 14.

I've started another baby quilt.  This time I just took fabric from a scrap bag. It was mostly green fabric, so I decided to make a green quilt from these larger scraps.  The squares are 3.5".

I've finished one column and it's on my design wall: 

It is slow going because first I had to learn how to use my new-to-me treadle machine.  DS#2 brought it from Colorado back in June, 2016.  He had a renter who left it behind.  When I was there in 2015 I saw it in the garage and couldn't believe my eyes. I've always wanted one because that's what I first learned to sew on in my home economics class in Junior High School.   Discovered it was made in 1902.  It is a Singer 27.
I had it serviced.  Brought it home and began the process of trying to make it work for me.  Happily, the manual is available online.  The machine was hard to get going; found it needed to be higher so the peddle would clear the carpet.  DH got some boards and that was taken care of.   Then the belt had to be tightened.  At the shop it worked okay, but for me the thread kept breaking, skipping stitches, and the bottom part of the stitch looked awful - too loose. 

Finally by reading the manual, and many hours of adjusting and checking,  I got the tension right [You have to adjust the tension with the presser foot down], yet still kept breaking thread.  Then found the needle was in reverse.  I did what the manual said about how to put a in new needle. Turns out the photo for the needle is backwards.  Once I put it in like my other machines, everything fell into place.  It has a beautiful stitch. BTW: it has a cylindrical bobbin - another learning curve.

De-stashing grew with the one yard mentioned above and the 1 1/4 yds for the baby quilt.  New YTD total for de-stashing is 50.97 yds  used.

Did you get to sew this past weekend?  Leave me a note and I'll come by to see your work.  Blessings as we start a new week.  I'll be linking to some parties listed under my tab for those.

11/17/16

Wips Be Gone Finishes

Were you able to work on a WIP?  I did and surprisingly, I finished three:
Here's my little mistletoe quilt - measures 8 3/4"x10 1/2"  - that I said I'd tell you more about in my previous post.  It was for our Steal Game at our November Guild meeting.
The guild board gave us these plastic stands for our little quilts.  The quilts shared were so varied and beautiful.  It was a great showing of creativeness.  The top photo shows the quilt on the stand.

I also finished quilting that baby quilt:
 The back reminds me of a modern quilt with the two colors of thread and the shapes of the motifs.
 I was happy to find a pink fabric so close to the front fabric for the binding


Lastly, I made another SS block.  It called for paper piecing in the center part, but I just used a stripy fabric instead.

Are you WIPPing?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by and check your progress.  Winter is edging into our part of the country. Guess it's time.

Blessings!

11/14/16

Off the Wall for Applique Tuesday

Off my design wall is my mistletoe square now a rectangle. It's become a block.  I'm so tickled pink with this Crafty Applique method. Used two fabrics that aren't batiks and no fraying in sight.

More later. Off to bed.  I'm linking up - see linky party tab above.

11/13/16

Some of This, Some of That

Today is the anniversary of my falling and breaking my right hip in two places. I'm thrilled to report (just as the Doctor said) that after a full year I am back to normal.  I still have to be careful - that will be for the rest of my life - however I can now go up and down steps like we normally do. I can walk a full mile without needing to use my cane. Praise God!

Now to usual stuff - last week's winner of a mystery quilting book is Meloney of Mel's Quiling Blog .  I've sent her an email.  My new YTD total for de-stashing is 48.72 yds  used.  This 1.34 yards increase was due to a practice technique that produced 4 hour glass blocks, one SS block, the backing to my mistletoe block and 5 leader and ender blocks. Most of my time I spent machine quilting.

Today, I'm continuing with that wavy line of hand quilting.  It's beginning to look like quilted:
It would be so nice to go into the new year with this almost 30 year old WIP quilt finally on my bed!

Lastly, DH has a new friend:

We think this is a domesticate bunny (he's not afraid of us) that someone dumped in our neighborhood. We're right next to a river and this happens.  He's plump - twice the size of the wild rabbits we see outside of our yard, and a different color - they are a pale tan.  Any of you rabbit afficionados know?

We just call him Bunny.  He's been around a couple of weeks.  This is the first time I was able to take a photo.  Bunny is coming closer and closer to the patio.  Don't know where he sleeps. Hope the coyotes, raccoons or skunks leave him alone.  Last week he had a tangle with one of those in the middle of the night. We thought he was a goner when DH found a tuff of fur in the lawn the next morning, but he survived.

I'm linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching and Judy's Patchwork Times.  You'll find their linky party buttons on the tab under the header.  Are you quilting today?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by.  Blessings on this beautiful autumn day.

11/10/16

WIPs Be Gone Friday

Working on my SS WIP.  Made #48 - Whim
Not happy with it.  It's those which look easy that aren't!
Still not happy with it.  Maybe it's those pebbles in the lower right - too big in scale.

Don't know if this is any better - maybe a little, but I am done.  It is what it is.  Do you ever have any blocks like that?  I probably should have gone back to the photos of this block and seen what others had done.

What are you up to?  Leave me a comment and I'll come visit and see your lovely work. No linky this week.  I'll announce last week's winner tomorrow.

One last thing - I finished quilting one of the baby quilts - one with really puffy batting. I quilted it simply along the seams.  That batting is not going anywhere.  I go by what the bag for the batting says - a very helpful resource. Here's what I mean for this fusible batting I bought:

Tells you loft, shrinkage, max distance between stitches, what method, what fabrics - even instructions. Save those bags, but then you probably already do so. They didn't save the bag used in the quilt below. Here is the quilt:

Sorry for the blurry photo and too much contrast - I don't have the quilt any more - sent to the clinic. Another St Anne's member made the top. I quilted  and bound it.

11/7/16

Design Wall Monday

Little bits of progress:
 My upside down mistletoe block has joined my string x blocks on the north design wall.
 As you can see I trimmed the sides of the block. Now searching through my stash for the next border.
On my West design wall - the few leaders and enders made so far this month.  What with all the quilting I'm concentrating on - the piecing is slow.

What's on your design wall?  I'm linking to Judy's Patchwork Times to see what others are doing. Leave a comment and I'll come visit you. Blessings,

11/6/16

Some of this, Some of That

First, de-stashing.  Used .33 yd to make a scrap block, an SS block, and some leader and ender blocks. And that's it for pulling from my stash because I've been mainly messing with scraps and FMQing that baby quilt. So new YTD total is 47.38 yds  used.

Second, I'm going to be hand quilting as I watch Father Brown in a few minutes.  It's interesting where we can find ideas for quilting motifs.
This Wave Edge ruler was leaning against the wall behind my quilt chair. I stared at it for a bit and realized that the smaller edge would be great for adding a wavy line of stitching to the quilt between the outside border and the seam between the two borders on my ancient WIP.  So I grabbed a Clover white chalk pencil and off I go.  I'm on the third side already. 
Are you hand stitching?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by and see. Kathy has a linky party where quilters show their work also.  I'll be linking up. 

Giveaway is open for a quilt book. See top right on sidebar. Blessings as you start your new week.

11/4/16

Progress on WIPs Be Gone

This block was so cute I had to make it right away. #76 of the Splendid Sampler blocks - not that I'm that far along. I think I'm missing about 20. As for scraps, let me show you what I think
 is scraps:


I am rethinking what to do with scraps.  The above will be for any collage and mosaic quilts I may want to make.  Anything else will be leftovers and I hope to deal with them as I create them instead of stuffing another bag with fabric.  

Now here's a recent WIP.  I finally decided how I was going to handle the on point block to form a rectangle.  First step:
I made this by using the exploding block in Jenny Doan's method.  Next I have to cut it (scary part) to make it into a thinner shape.

On an older WIP - am quilting the baby quilt with the same thread front and back and it stands out in the back!  I tried a lot of threads and nothing looked right on both sides. So yes, it's going to look different.  What color would you have used? 
Now here's the front.  You can see why there are circles on the back. Yes, the starts and stops show (but their aren't too many) as do the wobbles and bumps, but the stitching looks nice. Three more sections to do and I can start binding it.

So what are you up to these days?  Anything quilty?  I'd like to know about other stuff too. It will qualify for the giveaway.  This week I'm back to offering a quilting book of your choice of three.  I'll send you an email asking for your preference as to quilty subject. Usual guidelines apply: Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight. I'll be linking to several parties.  See tab above. I'll post this week's winner Sunday. Blessings!