More Than a Quilt

 

IMG_5708

Last week my husband and I had the fun of watching our granddaughter graduate from pre-school. (My husband doesn’t quite understand the concept of graduation at that age but I have assured him that it definitely is a thing now.)20190523_17422132531125.jpg

I was able to give my granddaughter her quilt that I had made from blue jeans and flannel shirts from her dad, uncles, grandpa, grandma, great grandpas and great grandmas. I am not sure she totally understood the memories in that quilt but she did enjoy using it to sit on outside and play with her brother.

It did make me smile inside and out just watching them sit on that quilt playing. It made all the hours of making it worthwhile.

I love the thought that new memories will be made sitting on top of all those old memories. I love the fact the fabric in that quilt has a history. Maybe someday, if that quilt holds up, my granddaughter will want to know what some of those memories are. If and when she is ready to ask I am going to be more than willing to answer!

When she decides to ask, I would love to tell her about her Great-Grandpa who served in the military and came back home to farm and raise a family. I want her to know her Great Grandma who raised five children and then went on to cook at the local Christian high school for many years.

It would be good for her to know that her other Great-Grandpa wanted to go to the military but could not; due to stepping on a pitchfork as a child. It would be good for her to know that he worked hard and took care of the family he loved.

She should also know about the Great Grandma who sewed pretty much all the clothing her children wore. I would love to point out the pieces of flannel in the quilt that came from baby blankets that were sewn by that same Great Grandma for the grandsons who would become her dad and uncles.

I want her to know  what her Grandpa did for a living and what he did for fun. I am hoping she wants to know what her dad was like as a boy….the things he enjoyed and the things he did not. It would be a wonderful thing for her to know about her two uncles and how they looked up to her dad, their older brother.

There is so much history in that one small quilt. We are much like that quilt….there is so much history in all of our lives if we just stop and think about it. Good history, sad history, and all the stuff in between.

It is good to pass on those stories for the next generations. It is good for them to have a connection to what makes up their past. If it takes a quilt to pass on those stories….it is a wonderful thing.

It will be a wonderful thing to see all the new memories made on that quilt. Memories that someday can be passed on to the next generation of this family.

Each day of our lives
we make deposits
in the memory banks
of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll

 

Reclaimed Treasures

20190515_1710131355728317.jpg

This past week was wonderful. We had a few days that were absolutely perfect, weather wise. It was dry and sunny with a light breeze and it was glorious.

I took advantage of those days and spent as much time outside as I could. The lawn got mowed. (Which is more work than it sounds; as we use a push mower for our farm….and it is not self-propelled.) I got a few more things planted in my garden and I had a great time potting herbs. I planted chives, rosemary, mint, thyme and have one pot just waiting for sage.

The pots I used were saved from the junk pile of my in-laws several years ago. They were the pots we all bought in the 80’s that came from Mexico. A couple were slightly charred and one is pretty rugged looking. (I told my husband it had character.) I had some fun-colored spray paint on hand; and set about sprucing them up a bit.

It is always amazing to me what a bit of paint can do for things. It does not completely cover the flaws and that is okay. It does renew those items and I am also good with that!

I have a feeling we are a bit like those pots…at least I am. We might be a wee bit worn or a lot worn. We might have dents and dings, scratches and scars and other flaws but with a bit of paint, also known as love, we are made beautiful again.

It is wonderful to know that with time and love, we are renewed…not like brand new but we are reclaimed. Our lives are still flawed; but they are beautiful and have purpose. It is also good to remember that perhaps we can help in the restoring of someone else.

Like my pots, let’s look for the beauty that may not be readily in view. Let’s allow things to get “messy”….because restoration is messy and takes time….but the end result is worth it. Let’s see the blessing in the cleaning, the painting and planting that makes us reclaimed treasures.

People, even more than things, have to be restored,
renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.
– Audrey Hepburn

 

Frayed Edges and Quilts

20190422_1740071203907887.jpg

About a month ago I started a project. I began making a circle style jean quilt. I found boxes of blue jeans in my laundry room and thought that perhaps I should do something with them rather than just let those boxes take up space.

Pinterest was a great place to start looking for patterns for the quilts I wanted to make. (And no….I don’t get any kickbacks from Pinterest!  I just really like Pinterest.)  I had in mind I wanted to make my grandchildren smaller quilts that would be sturdy enough to use for picnics or tea parties. Blue jeans and old flannel shirts seemed to fit in with that idea.

The flannel shirts that I used came from my husband and my dad-in-law. I also had some flannel leftovers from baby blankets made years ago. The blue jeans were worn out ones that came from family members. I really liked the idea that these would be quilts with history.

I spent days cutting circles out of the jeans and squares out of the flannel. (I know for a fact my husband thought I was a bit nuts to go through all the effort…..I know this because he told me so LOL) I thought it was a great way to keep busy while the weather was to miserable to be outside!

The quilt is 15 circles x 15 circles and ended up being about 4 ft 8 inches square….a very nice size for picnics or tea parties!

Right now; it is hanging over a chair….mainly so that I can admire it and marvel that I got one done. I also have stacks of more jean circles and more flannel squares.  Two more grandkids; so two more quilts!  (I am not even asking my husband his opinion of that!)

Making that quilt was fun. It gave me time to reflect on family and life and all the stuff that goes with family and life. I love the variety of the colors…the plaid flannel pieces and flowered ones….the shades of denim that tie all those colors and patterns together.

That quilt and all it’s variety is a wonderful reminder that every family member is different and yet tied together by a strong bond. The colors blend and mesh when put together, in a way I would not have thought possible. Families blend and mesh in much the same way….everyone unique with their own personalities and yet alike in so many ways.

I liked this pattern because the circle edges remain raw.  They will be allowed to fray and soften the look of the quilt. Another reminder that life and families are not always tidy and neat.

Sometimes things unravel and have lots of loose ends that seem to go nowhere. Sometimes the edges of life and family appear downright messy and that is okay as long as they are still strongly tied together. There is a beauty to the fraying….a testament to life lived fully.

I think frayed edges are just fine. They soften the rough spots…..they add interest.  I will take the fraying that comes…in life and in quilts.

Life is a Crazy-Quilt of Suffering and Joy.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 

Families are like Quilts…
Lives pieced together-
Stitched with smiles
and tears, colored
with memories
and bound by
Love.
Unknown

 

Dinosaurs and Love

 

20180309_163955.jpg

There are times in life that you agree to do something that you later wonder what possessed you. Maybe you have never had that experience but, for some reason I seem to have that every so often.

Last August, when I went to my children’s home to babysit my grandkids…I had such a moment.  My son had a stuffed dinosaur that he thought would be great as a bigger stuffed dinosaur…..I am sure you can already see where this is going.

For some reason, at the age of 33, he still thinks his mom can do things. He requested that I make a larger version of this stuffed dinosaur. My daughter-in-law and I, dutifully went to the fabric store and roamed the aisles looking for the appropriate colored fleece that was closest to the original dinosaur.

I took that fabric home and for the longest time it sat….in the same bag…..in the same spot by the sewing machine…..it sat…..and sat some more. I was reluctant to start on it as I had no pattern other than the original critter to go by.

One day I decided to just take the plunge. I hauled out some heavy paper to use for a pattern and cleared the kitchen table. I soon found out that it is pretty hard to make a pattern from a 3 dimensional object. That fluffy dinosaur would only squish down so far so that I could draw around it. It had a alarming tendency to spring back to it’s intended shape every time I took my hands off of it.

I ended up making a drawing on a hand drawn grid. Then I made a larger hand drawn grid and transferred the dinosaur drawing to that. If you are struggling to grasp what I am talking about…do not fear…..I am still not entirely sure I understand what I was doing!

I had thought to iron some fusible stuff on to the green fleece for the spots. I thought if they were a little more solid they would sew onto the orange body a little easier. Did you know that if you iron fleece, even with a dish towel to cover it…..it will melt? This gets very messy on your iron! I do have to point out; the upside of that, is the fact that you can still learn things at the age of 60.

After much trial and error I did manage to produce a larger version of the original. I am not sure how true to scale it is but I have a feeling there will be no complaints. l did fulfill the basic requirement….it is a bigger version of the original.

I often wonder why I agree to take on projects like this for my kids. I think it is because they are my kids and I don’t want to let them down. I want them to know that know matter how old they get, no matter what good or bad choices they make, no matter how successful they are or how unsuccessful they are, no matter how far away or how close they live….they will always be my children. I will always love them and if at all possible I will try help them out.

Sometimes, a mom’s love can take the shape of a large fleecy orange dinosaur.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

Card Making and Youth

20171106_105354_film1.jpg

I spent some time a couple weeks ago preparing to help with a girls organization called GEMS. This is a church related group that always has a theme verse for the year. I found out that this year it is one of my favorite verses… Micah 6:8 ” He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

My part of the evening was going to be helping with the craft and I was going to help with card making. Last week, was the week I got to have the fun of helping out with that group of girls.

20171106_143517_Film1.jpgIt was a little hard to decide what type of cards I was going to prepare for a group of young girls. It is always kind of an experimental thing knowing what someone else will like. Of course I had to include a chicken card!

They did seem to like that one and it was fun to hear the stories of moms and grandmas who also had chickens. It was also fun to try figure out if I knew those moms and grandmas!

The stamps for the chicken cards were a set from Stampin’ Up called “Hey Chick”. I love this set for obvious reasons! Some gold, white, and navy cardstock, markers to color chicks with and we had a finished card.

The other two cards we made, are in the picture at the top. Not quite as “fun” but they still had a good time making them. All the stamps used on these three cards were from various set from Stampin’ Up. The cardstock and paper came from a variety of places…..Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Stampin’ Up and some really old scraps from Creative Memories. (Nope I don’t get any compensation for mentioning where the stuff comes from….just thought it might be helpful.)

Watching those girls make cards and listening to their comments was wonderful. It gives me great hope for the future. These girls were polite, full of funny comments and they freely helped each other with ideas for their cards.

It should probably be mandatory for everyone over a certain age to spend time with young people. Their view on life can make a person feel young again and see that the future is full of promise. They give you the feeling that anything is possible and bring a joy to life that is catchy.

I have always told my kids that my goal is to get old but not grow up……and after that evening I know why. (Oh….and my kids have assured me that I am doing just fine on my goal.)

It is good to have the joy of a young person. It is good to see the endless possibilities in life. Some days are easier than others to find that joy but it is a wonderful thing when you do. I pray this finds you full of joy and possibilities.

 

The good thing about being young is that you are not experienced enough to know you cannot possibly do the things you are doing.
Unknown

Youth is not a question of years:
one is young or old from birth.
Natalie Clifford Barney

Another Crafting Day

 

20171026_143601.jpg

This past week was another busy one.  Some things made for busyness because of the time of year. Things like daisies needing to be dug out, due to night temperatures dipping below freezing to hauling the pie pumpkins into the house from their place on the porch.

Other things, were fun things that were added in. One of those things was a crafting day with friends. This time around we decided to try decorating bottles for the Christmas holiday.

To prepare for this we collected quart mason canning jars, wine bottles, garage sale decorations, ribbon, spray paint, sparkly letters and of course glitter. It is amazing to me how many empty wine bottles people have! I am not sure if that is bad or good….having so many empty wine bottles.

We decided to hold this crafting effort at one of the friend’s lake house.  The plan had been to spend the night but the weather forecast for the following day was “iffy” at best. The four-letter Snow word was tossed about as well as the Ice word. We decided to believe the weatherman and cut it short to one day.

The day dawned grey, cold and windy……really windy. The view from the lake house patio door was white caps on the lake.

20171026_141405.jpg

Coots Riding the Waves

Before we ever got to crafting we had to make a pit stop at the Hobby Lobby in a town nearby. We weren’t even sure what we were really looking for but spent lots of time in the Christmas decoration parts of the store.

It was fun seeing what we all chose to put in our cart at Hobby Lobby. It was also fun to see how we used all those purchases.

Arbor Mist bottle

An Arbor Mist bottle started this project. We used Rustoleum gold paint for the base and then dusted it lightly with a metallic glittery spray paint. (not sure what kind as one of the friends brought that). The tree farm picture on the front was from a tablet of Christmas paper by Paper Studio. (purchased at Hobby Lobby and no…..I do not get anything out of letting you know which products were used or where purchased. I just thought it would be nice for you to know).

We used Mod Podge to glue it to the bottle and rubber bands to keep it stuck there till it dried. We then garnished with second hand shop finds of raffia and berries. I think I will be tweaking mine a little more as I prefer some greenery to use with it.

We spray painted quite a few bottles and it will be interesting to see how we each actually finish them.

20171026_165530.jpg

It was so much fun to spend the day with friends. It is such a blessing to have friends that know exactly who you are and like to spend time with you anyway. It is something to be truly grateful for. I am also full of gratitude for the fact that we actually were able to figure out how to use the timer on my phone to get a photo of us! That is truly amazing!

20171026_170921.jpg

I hope you have someone to call “friend” …..someone who cares how you feel…..someone who laughs with you, cries with you, prays with you, gives you a hug when you need it and who also isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Those are the best kind of friends and I am blessed.

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island…
to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune;
to keep him is a blessing.
Unknown

 

 

Crafting Day

20170919_174354

Fall Crafting

A while back two of my friends and I decided that we really needed to have a craft day.  Today was that day. All three of us have a penchant for trying crafts of various types. We had planned to make a fall craft and we did!

I had empty bottles from my Young Living Ninxgia Red that I had been saving because I thought their shape was so cool. This seemed like the perfect time to make use of them.

Paint was purchased at Menards.  Rustoleum paint plus primer was used and worked pretty good to cover the jars and their labels. We decided we would paint them without the caps on as we wanted to be able to put flowers, grasses and things like cattails in them for fall decoration.

The paint colors I used on my bottles were Rustoleum Claret Wine, Fire Orange, Strawflower and Oregano with a satin finish.

One of the gals owns a Cricut and she cut the vinyl letters for us to put on. A earlier visit to Hobby Lobby and Michaels yielded some extra stuff to bling our bottles up.

The plan was to spray the paint on the bottles outdoors; so we wouldn’t have to worry about fumes and overspray in a building. Unfortunately, the day did not dawn bright, sunny, clear or glorious! It was, instead, hazy, slightly foggy, damp, chilly and not conducive to spray painting outdoors.

Plan A was scrapped and Plan B was implemented. My husband backed the car out of the garage, put cardboard on the floor, and set up three stations for spray painting. His word of advice as he left the garage……”shake the crap out of the cans before you spray with them. When you think you shook enough…..shake some more.” So we did.

20170919_102811

Spraying commenced and before long we were inhaling the fumes from three constantly spraying paint cans. We did have the garage door open (complete with hog panel to keep out stray chickens) but the fumes did seem to hang out in the garage with us.

We were tentative sprayers at first. However, it did not take long and we were in the thick of spraying.  It also did not take long; and we noticed one gal’s feet had a nifty orange tinge to them. It kind of looked like a bad spray tan.

Once we were done with our spraying we had to wait for our bottles to dry. We decided we would head out to a nearby town for some dinner (or to the city people…..lunch). We found the little local drive-in was still open and we also found that Slade’s Drive In still serves amazing food!

We also decided we needed to check out the second hand store in town…..Lost But Found. It is a second hand store that is a non-profit and benefits a local charity. You just never know what you might find there.   That is what makes it so much fun.

Once we returned home we decided we would finish our decorating at our own homes when the paint was really dried nicely. Cars were packed up and it was decided we really needed to have tea and sample the muffins that the other friend had brought along. It was a great decision!

We also decided we needed to try our hand at a selfie with our painted bottles. I am not totally sure how successful we were on that score! But we gave it our best shot! And it is what it is!

20170919_154413

Selfie

Despite the gloomy start to the day it turned out to be a wonderful time! It was definately an “Ooh, Shiny” kind of day. I would argue that any day spent with friends turns out to be that kind of day.

It was great to craft with them, but it was also so great to spend time with friends that know who you are and love you anyway. We may not be sisters by blood….but we are definitely sisters of the heart.

I hope you all have someone who is family of the heart. I hope you all have someone who knows you well and loves you anyway. Life is so much better with friends like that.

“I have learned
that to be with those I like
is enough.”
Walt Whitman