Monday, June 28, 2010

June's BOM is finished. I waited until the last minute again this month. This block really appeals to me, both in the design and in the fabrics, and I didn't change a thing.

This next picture was painted by Tao, an elephant. Sorry about the picture quality...the sun was glaring, even with shades drawn, and the flash only made things worse. Oh, and the frame is not wonky, it's perfectly rectangular. I've had the painting since 2001 and never had the wall space to hang it. Yes, every bit of my walls are covered....from floor to ceiling, and I've been taking some of them down and doing some regrouping and rearranging. I'm also eliminating several of them, as they no longer appeal to me. So anyway, I've had this painting for years and there is some controversy about the humanity of having elephants paint. At the time of purchase, (and I don't even want to tell you what I paid for this!) it was recommended by National Geographic and that the proceeds helped both the elephant and the elephant's trainer. It provided food, shelter, and protection for both. Recently, I've heard that it's not as wonderful as they once thought, although I believe that it's still a better life than trying to simply survive without basic provisions.

Tao painted this when he was only 4 years old, and recent articles say that his painting style has "matured!" He was born in Thailand in 1997 and has been painting since he was two years old. The canvas is a little rough, with what I'm assuming is a little elephant snot and a few smudge marks here and there. None the less, I like the colors that he chose and his "composition."

Here's Tao doing his thing. I have this little picture of him on my bookshelves. I pray that he continues to do well and that he does find enjoyment in painting!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We’re thankful for our fathers, Lord,
They’re special gifts from You;
Help us to show we honor them
By what we say and do. —Sper

Good fathers reflect the heavenly Father.

In church today, we sang "This is my Father's World", which is one of my favorite hymns. It always brings tears to my eyes, no matter how many times I hear the beautiful lyrics.

My first "encounter" with God was when I was very young and my Dad would take me for walks in the woods. My Dad knew every tree, plant, bird, and animal, and loved to share his knowledge with me. He knew each bird call, what plant to eat, what plant to avoid, what leaf came from what tree. I learned to love all of the critters, from snakes to spiders, as my Dad would tell me that people only feared what they did not understand and that God had a purpose for each and everyone of them. I'm so grateful that he passed the love of animals and nature on to me. When I'm feeling overwhelmed and lost, I still retreat to nature to restore my soul. It's where I go to feel surrounded by God's grace and centers me and brings me peace.

Today, (and everyday) I'm thankful for the love and guidance from my Heavenly Father and from my earthly Father. (Miss you Dad!)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Yesterday was a full day of wonderful quilting with wonderful friends! Six of us (only four were able to be there yesterday) made two blocks each, to put into a quilt that is destined for the annual Mennonite Auction to raise funds for hunger relief. We've had the blocks done for quite awhile, but didn't have a plan to put them together......the layout.....color choices......sashing, etc.

Here's Joyce, Fran, and Lois (Kathy and Bev were unable to join us) and the keyboard pieces that were to become the outside border.

Here is the quilt before adding the outside border. We laid everything out on the floor and auditioned the sashing fabric and the cornerstones. The original plan was to use black for the sashing but after we laid everything out, we decided that the green made it a softer, happier quilt.

This is the finished quilt top. We were all very happy with the end results. The blocks in this quilt all represent different Psalms and the appliqued blocks have the corresponding Psalm embroidered on them. We now need to have it hand quilted. Unfortunately, this auction will only accept hand quilted quilts, although the piecing can be done by machine. We are hoping that someday they may expand their quilts to include machine quilting. This auction is always extremely successful and if they opened it up to machine quilting, they would get many, many more entries to auction. Although I am able to hand quilt......I do not enjoy hand quilting a large top. I would also not be able to get it finished in time, so I will be contacting a local church group to see if they will be able to quilt it for us.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh boy! New backgrounds.......I'll be playing with these and changing frequently! Thanks Blogger!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here's the completed cross stitch project that I posted about a few months ago. In that post, I took a picture of the sorted floss and was concerned about getting the project finished. Well....this is not the result of those particular threads. After considering the time deadline and the amount of work involved, I changed gears and started an entirely different project.

This pillow was for my dear friend Kathy's birthday and I wanted it to have a special meaning for her. I started with a kit, but didn't follow it beyond the green outline pattern and the corner quilt patterns.....the rest evolved as I stitched. I didn't even know what size or shape it would end up being. I think I have over 40 hours of stitching in this, even after I thankfully switched to a simpler pattern. It just takes time, even if you are doing the same stitch and same color, over and over.

I added this scripture to the middle square, as it is one of Kathy's favorites.

Overall, I was pleased with the end result. I decided to make the cross stitch into a pillow, and then added piping to make it stand out more. The back is zippered so that the pillow could be replaced if it was ever necessary or the cross stitch repaired if the threads got snagged.

And here is a warning that I doubt many people really have any problem obeying.....Kathy got me a little box of DeBrand Chocolates that are made locally. They are wonderful and I never have any problem eating them while they are fresh. I wish I had enough willpower to leave them alone to spoil!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Five wonderful friends + three quilt shops = the perfect day! It's hard to get five ladies to find one day that they can get together for a mini road trip, but few weeks ago, we managed to do just that. Here's my haul from the day (some are just small pieces from the remnant bins). Of course, even better than the fabric was a blessed day of fellowship!

I finished May's BOM today, just in time to pick up the next block on Thursday. As usual, I substituted a couple of the fabrics.

And lastly, I had a sweet visitor land on my rhubarb. It stayed while I zipped inside to get my camera and let me take several pictures of it before it flew away.