Frayed Edges and Quilts

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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

 

Card Making and Youth

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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

Crocheted Coat Hangers

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The last couple weeks have been spent working on prepping cupboards, painting cupboards, installing cupboards, installing counter on the bottom cupboards, putting cupboard doors on the top cupboards and now sorting through the boxes and stashes of craft items that I am going to be putting into those cupboards.

I think that by the time I get it all put back together and organized; I am going to be very ready to start crafting again instead of organizing crafting supplies.

There are some things I do like to work on at night as we just sit and watch TV. I do like to do crochet or knit projects.  These projects only involve needles or hooks, the yarn and a pattern. It is a pretty tidy way to do crafts…..except when the ball of yarn rolls over the floor and tangles through stuff.  Last month I spent evenings crocheting coat hangers. I should probably say crocheting coverings for wooden coat hangers.

I was fortunate to have a Grandma who crocheted and knitted and was incredibly thrifty. When my Grandma Boogerd was still living, and before she developed macular degeneration, she knitted and crocheted an unreal amount of hangers.

Every Christmas each grandchild and great-grandchild received a set as a gift. She and Grandpa had at least 20 grandkids and many  many more great-grandkids.  Those coat hangers were more colorful than Joseph’s coat. She used up every leftover scrap of yarn when she made them.

I really took a shine to those coat hangers; as they are wonderful for keeping clothes from slipping off the hangers. I have not yet started to make them every Christmas for my kids and grandkids…..I might have to consider that as a project!

I have made them as gifts for various occasions from playing bingo on Christmas Eve to birthdays. I have a sister who loves it when she gets a set. They are a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn when you don’t have quite enough for a large project.

If you would like to give them a try; here is the pattern I was taught by my Grandma.

Crocheted Coat Hangers
Size F crochet hook
wooden coat hangers
any 4 ply yarn


Directions:
Chain 80
Row 1: 5dc in 4th ch from hook.
*Skip 3 ch, sc in next ch, skip 3 ch, 6dc in next ch.
Repeat from * ending with sc in last ch.
You will have made 10 half shells.


Row 2: Turn * 6dc in bottom of half shell, sc in bottom of sc.
Repeat from * to end of row.
You will have made 10 full shells.
Fasten off.

For each hangar you will need to make two of these.
I use a contrasting color for crocheting both sides together.


Put both sides together with right sides facing out.
With contrasting yarn color, sc in each stitch, starting in center where the hook of the hangar will be.
Once you have sc  half of the “top” portion and all along bottom edge, insert hanger and finish sc around to hook of hanger.
I like to leave a long tail of the contrast color. I cut two more pieces of yarn and tie a bow around the hook of the hanger to finish off.  Weave in any loose ends that might still be hanging around.


My Grandma used to make pom poms to tie at the base of the hook ;but I have never mastered that art so I stick with an easy bow.

Grandma always made these scalloped ones for the girls and she knitted very plain ones for the guys. I usually just make all scalloped ones as my husband really does not care what his clothes hang on.

I do enjoy making these hangers.  I love using them in my closet but I also love the link it gives me back to my Grandma. I can still see her sitting in the nursing home with yarn strewn all over her bed. She was choosing which colors to make for specific people.

She felt so bad when her eyesight became too poor and it became too difficult to keep making them. That was the year I learned to crochet coat hangers; as I finished the Christmas hangers for her.

Maybe someday I will have a granddaughter who decides she wants to try doing some of the things this Chicken Grandma did. I think that would be a very fine thing.

“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”
Philip Carr-Gomm

New Years Resolutions

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I used to make resolutions for the New Year. I try not to do that anymore.  I guess I have resolved not to make any resolutions.  I am not sure how that actually works out when you try to make logical sense of that concept.

My husband has never made resolutions for the new year. His view is such that if an idea is good enough to try…..why wait till New Years day to implement it. I think he might be on to something with that idea.

He gets a little bent out of shape by the thought that most of us don’t worry about how much we overeat during the holidays and gain weight (himself included). Suddenly January 1 hits, the sweets disappear, ads for gym memberships are everywhere and Marie Osmond keeps telling us how to lose so many pounds in just one month. I am not sure why this bothers him but it does.

In googling quotes on New Years Resolutions I found this one (which I must confess I really understood):

My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with
the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.
Nia Vardalos

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/resolution.html

 I think the three thousand pounds works out when you add up all the pounds lost, regained, lost again, regained…..you get the idea.  I have yet to hear anyone resolve to gain weight in the new year…..or anytime for that matter.

I think that when it comes to age and our physical condition; the Jello theory kicks in. When you see Jello in a pan or in a mold it looks really pretty good.  You take it out of that container and put it on a plate it kind of splats out and loses that nice form. My advice to those of us of a certain age and physical condition……keep the Jello in the pan.

My husband thought it would be a fine idea to resolve to hibernate for the winter months. When the weather gets below zero around here I think that is a brilliant idea….now if we could just figure out how to make that one work.

I also hear about resolutions to start certain projects for the interior of the home and/or craft projects.  I think I should just resolve to finish the projects I have started….some from several years ago. (Anyone else have this issue?)

I have boxes of blue jeans that are ready to either be made into blue jean rugs or cut into squares for blue jean quilts. Perhaps I should resolve to start cutting and sewing squares together.

Then there is the box of yarn in the closet. In my defense on that topic….I have been making a dent in that box and turning the yarn into covered coat hangers, dish cloths, and pot holders. I am feeling pretty good about my box of yarn. It is slowly dwindling.

My latest project is a little bigger and involves participation from my husband.  I have been painting cabinets that we took out of a house that is going to be torn down. These are destined for my laundry/craft room. I cannot wait to get them finished and put in. I am hoping it brings some organization to the chaos.

When I do get those cabinets in and organized I am going to have to invite Anne and Malcolm over to critique my efforts. The floor will still be plywood but hopefully they will be gracious and overlook that detail! I will just be grateful to have cupboards!

For all of you (and me) who really don’t like New Year’s Resolutions but still really want to get something accomplished in this coming year….take heart.  We still have 364 days left in this year to get things done! (If you are like me……we should start this week.)

Happy New Year a little late!

Resolution One:
I will live for God.
Resolution Two:
If no one else does, I still will.
Jonathan Edwards

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/resolution.html