Friday, May 17, 2013

New Beginnings

Today is the first day of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, sponsored by Amy at Amy's Creative Side.   I decided to share a Butterfly wallhanging  that I made a number of years ago.

My quilt guild had a challenge that year and the theme was "New Beginnings".  All participants were given a fat quarter of the fabric pictured below and we had to use it in some way in the quilt.

I  used a butterfly block pattern that I found on the Quilter's Cache website.  The challenge fabric was used in the butterfly in the middle row on the right.  The finished quilt measured 36 inches square.

 The individual blocks were paper pieced butterflies.

If you look ever so closely, you might be able to tell that I hand quilted 2 little antennae at the top of the black body.  The rest of the quilting was done on my home sewing machine.

I wish I had better photos of the quilt, but I don't have it anymore.  I gave it as a present to a young lady who was making her First Communion that same year.  It seemed like "New Beginnings" was an appropriate theme for the occasion.

How wonderful it was to receive a note from her in the mail a few days later:

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Worthwhile Things

I saw this poem reprinted over at Vintage Crafts and More and I just had to share it here.  It originally appeared in an issue of Needlecraft Magazine in 1926.


Worthwhile Things
by Doris Wheeler Blount
I’m a busy wife and mother, too.
And life has been good to me:
And for all the joys that have been my lot,
I’m thankful as can be.
But each day in my heart a longing creeps,
As the hours come and go,
For a little time I might call my own,
When I could sit down and sew!

When I awake in the early morn
This thought comes first to mind –
That surely, before the day is done,
An hour of two I’ll find
To embroider a bit on the luncheon-cloth,
Or finish that scarf for Nell.
Or make French knots with those dainty silks
On an apron for Cousin Belle.

I’d like to hemstitch some towels, too,
And make a silk cushion, gay.
And dress up my windows with curtains fine,
Trimmed with cretonne and applique!
And the baby’s rompers with stitching blue,
And the blouses for Betty and John –
With the ducks on the pockets and ’round the hems –
Shall I ever get them done?

For the dishes and pails must first be washed,
And the chickens watered and fed.
And the little ones set at some childish play,
While I bathe and dress baby Ted.
There are sweeping and dusting and beds to do,
And dinner to plan once more,
While the basket of clothes all ready to iron
Must wait till these tasks are o’er.

And then, when the sun is sliding west,
There are lamps and plants to tend.
And the baby to cuddle and feed again,
And the stockings and socks to mend.
But as soon as the supper-hour is past,
And the bedtime-story read,
And dear little white-clad forms have knelt
At my knees while wee prayers are said,

Then the house is still: and I think at last
Here’s the time I have longed for so
But my eyes grow heavy – I cannot see,
And my weary head droops low,
So I fold my work and climb the stair,
Yet deep in my heart I know
That I’ve spent my day in a worthwhile way,
Though I couldn’t sit down and sew!

Thankfully, I don't have chores like tending the lamp or feeding the chickens, but I do know the feeling of putting the chores ahead of the sewing and then being just too tired at the end of the day to pick up needle and thread.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Friendly Skies....

Once upon a time, which was really just last week, I was afraid to fly in an airplane.  It had been 14 years since I last crossed the threshold from walkway to jet.  A lot has changed about air travel since then.

A not-to-miss family celebration in Ann Arbor, Michigan was coming up, and I really wanted to go.  I knew the time had come to break the travel dryspell and get myself on an airplane, so we made reservations.  As an added incentive to fly, my husband told me to find a quilt shop in Ann Arbor where I could  treat myself to some fabric as a reward when we got there.

Friday morning came, and I found myself boarding the plane and climbing into the skies.  All the doubts I had about whether I could do it or not were put to rest at last.  (Okay, so a little medication helped!)

We got to the hotel and headed for the elevator.

A quilt block on the elevator floor was one of the first things to greet me!  I joked with my husband that I should use the design as an inspiration for a Michigan quilt.

On Saturday afternoon, we had a bit of free time and I had an opportunity to visit the quilt shop.  I looked through the patterns and what did I find?  This:

How perfect!  It was almost the same pattern as the design in the elevator floor!  Now I just knew it was meant to be.  My daughter was with me, and together we had fun pulling together the following fabric combination to use with the pattern.

The rest of the weekend was a wonderful, and the weather was perfect.  The return trip on the airplane was easy now that I had one trip under my belt.  I didn't even need the medication this time.

I can't wait to get started on my Michigan quilt which will represent so much more to me than just a serendipitous chain of events during a celebratory weekend.  It will remind me of all the encouragement I got from family and friends to make the trip,  my wonderful and understanding husband who came up with the perfect incentive,  a new found confidence that I can travel outside my comfort zone, and a fun and fabulous afternoon spent with my daughter.

Can't ask a quilt to do more than that!

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Almost wordless Wednesday

Just a peak at the fabrics I'm using for my next project.   These are just 1 inch squares that I cut from the scraps so that I could play around with color arrangement.
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