Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Time to Quilt and be Grateful!

Spring continues to play the cat and mouse game with us here in central Iowa.  We get a few days of wonderful weather when I dream of taking all my plants outside to their summer home and then we are slammed with another cold front.  But we are getting wonderful much needed rain that I definitely can't complain about.  The grass is growing green and lush and flowering trees are in bloom wherever I turn.  It's just too cold and wet to get outside and enjoy it.  But our time is coming. 

While the horrible storms were slamming the midwest this weekend I was slammed with the flu.  Talk about a lost weekend.  I was barely able to stick my nose out the door.  When I did finally surface enough to turn on the television I was horrified to see that tornadoes had once again ripped their way through middle America.  Seeing images of homes in ruins my heart went out to those people who have lost so much.  While laying on the couch I looked around the house and envisioned what I would grab while I was running to safety. 

The photo of my parents and grandparents, the old violin that belonged to my grandpa, photo albums, and how could I grab all my quilts??  This wall quilt hangs on the quilt rack above my sewing table.

Of course the only way I would be able to try to save anything is if I had warning and so many times there is no warning.  You grab onto your loved ones, your precious pets and pray that your home will be spared.  There is just so much that I take for granted and in that moment of realization I was overwhelmed by the way we have been blessed.  I am so grateful for the family and friends who make my life so happy.  I determined to not take for granted one little moment but to savor the joy and blessings that each day brings.

This little tulip quilt always makes me smile.  It is so bright and cheerful and says spring each time I hang it on the wall.  I drew the flowers and vines free hand in the middle of the quilt and then on the outside border I used one of my favorite flower stencils.

I have used this stencil on numerous quilts.  It is a fun one to quilt and the meandering lines flow smoothly.

 In the meantime I have been using this rainy time when I am stuck inside to quilt on my current work in progress.  I think the interlocking circles are working nicely.
 While the storms of life blow at us, I wish you all the blessings of quiet time to stitch and enjoy all that we have been given!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Promise of Spring

Spring has finally stopped teasing us here in central Iowa and decided to hang around.  The trees are budding and clumps of green are showing around the garden. I haven't been brave like some of my friends and uncovered my perennials yet but I am off work this week so maybe by the end of the week that will happen.  The arrival of spring is a good excuse to visit Chocolaterie Stam for some wonderful coffee and a few pieces of chocolate.  My girlfriend and I did just that. So Good!!

This time of year there is such a renewal in the air.  It makes me want to re-arrange, de-clutter and soak in the joy of the changing season.

As though it wants to shout Hallelujah to the coming Easter weekend, one of my amaryllis is blooming beautifully.  The other one hasn't decided yet if spring is really here to stay so it's slower to open up and say good morning to the world.  My mother brought these two beautiful plants to me when she moved back here from Georgia eight years ago.  They grew happily in her lovely yard but here in Iowa I treat them with fragile care and they repay me with glorious blooms!

Yesterday it was such a glorious day that we loaded up the dogs in the truck and headed for a walk In the woods.  Squirrels were chattering overhead and a woodpecker was drumming away somewhere in the massive oaks.  I saw this banner ahead of us across the creek and was curious so we had to go that way.  

Two teenage boys had just finished writing the sign below with sticks in the sand of the creek bed.  One of them told us he was going to bring his girlfriend here later and this was his way of asking her to prom.  How sweet!  I told him I was impressed to know that someone his age could be so romantic!  Polly was very interested in the sign but contented herself with a long drink in the creek.

I hope you all can find a little spring magic and romance this weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

To De-Clutter....or NOT!

This weekend I was putting away a few piles of fabric that I had used to make the border on my current quilt in progress.  No matter how much I rearranged there just was not room in the drawers to get the correct colors put back with each other.  How could this be?  I keep vowing that I am going to use up my scraps and I faithfully do it, but then somehow other fabric just seems to show up on my cutting table begging to be included.  I know I could make quite a few quilts using just what I have without making one more purchase.  Why is it that those colorful bolts of fabric just call from the shelf begging to come home with me?   While I was folding and straightening and grumbling that I need more storage space I came across a scrap of fabric that I had used in an apron. 

That led me on a whole other search.  Where was that pattern?  I had made an apron for myself and my sister Laurie. I'm the one on the right.  It was such a simple pattern and it occurred to me that I could use up a whole lot more fabric if I made some of these aprons as gifts.  Since I have been displaced from my sewing room to make it a bedroom for my grandson I have sewing stuff stashed in various places.  One thing led to another and soon I had a mess everywhere while looking for that particular pattern.  I got to thinking that I really should de-clutter.  Do I really need all this fabric, all these pattern books, all these rulers?  Am I a hoarder?  What a thought! I looked around at my mess, at all the lovely patterned cottons, this one was made into a baby quilt, and that one was a scrap left over from a quilt for my mom.  And then I knew.  I did need it all.  I just needed more space to put it.  Another cabinet?  Another closet?  Another room maybe???  I knew that if my husband could be inside my head he would begin to worry.   But in the meantime where is that scrap of lavender?

As I began putting everything away I realized that I never did own that pattern.  I had borrowed it from a friend.  I hope you all have a marvelous day! Quilt a stitch for me……