Sunday, November 30, 2014

Giving Thanks

God is good.  His promises are true and He is faithful.  While I can't always understand why He allows terrible things to happen, I KNOW that through it all He loves me and knows me and everything is for His glory, that everyone would be drawn to Him and have eternal life.  Through the incomprehensible loss of our precious grandson, Charlie, in April, in His mercy our daughter and her husband discovered they were expecting again.  This precious gift was to be born near THANKGIVING!.....and she would not be affected by the genetic disease that took the lives of her two older siblings!!  Babymomma finally got to have the kind of birthing experience she had wanted and we welcomed Zoe Alexandra into the world two days after Thanksgiving.  To top it all off, the babymomma's brother who works overseas was able to be home.
We are so very grateful, even though there is that chunk of heart that aches with the disappointment that she will not be able to play and squabble and know in a physical way her big sister and brother.  Such a rollercoaster but He is with us every step of the way.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Endings and Beginnings... Quilt.Project Updates

In the midst of things, I do try to work on quilting.  Like a jigsaw puzzle, there is something soothing in being able to pick up pieces and make something whole.  I have two table runners actually FINISHED...a rarity for me.  I fell in love with an easy pattern and beautiful batik fabric and have two finished; one for spring/summer and one for fall.  I only have a picture of the fall one so far.

My daughter picked the border fabric which I also used on the back.  It is not something I was leaning toward at all, and when we were in the quilt shop I did not have the runner top with me so she just guessed.  I love it!

Besides having great difficulty usually finishing something, I realize I also have a tremendous problem getting something STARTED!!  On a crazy black Friday event probably five years ago, I picked up some yardage (at 5 am) that just appealed to me.  I had no pattern, no idea who it would be for.  Just two or three yards of fabric.  

I don't know if it was 2012 or 2013, but I fell in love with "Swoon" by Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms.  This is a picture from her blog.  A beautiful block I could see myself trying.
  By now, finding more of the fabric I originally purchased,  "Etchings" by 3 Sisters for Moda was near impossible.  Designs are introduced, fabric made, sold and that's it, on to something new. No fabric reprintings!  I managed to find a fabric bundle of "Etchings" last fall and brought it home eager to make a Swoon quilt for my bed.  The pattern called for fat quarters.  The bundle I purchased so eagerly was a bundle of fat eighths.  NOT enough to create the large blocks.   Disappointed, I set it aside till I reread a quilters' Blog Hop and found a block that intrigued me by the same designer.  Simply called "Building Block."  It was a free download for the block.  Early this summer, needing a distraction from grief and empty house, I spent a week of evenings pressing and cutting out just about ALL the fabric I had in this line.  Then began piecing.  Seven pieces of fabric sewn together to make one 6 1/2 inch block.  After about 30, I was feeling a little overwhelmed!  The free download included instructions on using the 6 1/2 inch block as the center of a 12 1/2 inch block!  I had enough left over material to try it, and I loved it!!!  Now to scour the web to try to find more material to make these bigger blocks!  
I was only able to find enough to make 9 blocks.   Laying it out, adding some sashing, this will be the center of my quilt top.  All the smaller block have been sewed and are waiting to be grouped together around this central square.  It looks a bit odd, clothes pinned to my living room curtain.  No pattern to follow for this other than the block, so I keep laying it down on the floor to play with it and come up with some sort of design.  It's a bit random but that is a perfect reflection of me ~ a lot of chaos hopefully coming together within a design that my husband will be ok with.  It's also made me think that is how I live my life ~ a bit of impulse, reaction, and a whole lot of procrastination rather than with forethought and intention.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

It has been a trying few months, leaving me a bit numb and churned up all at the same time.  While facing a second year without our precious Amber, a first without Charlie (I still cannot wrap my head or heart around the fact that he is not here), waiting the arrival of a new grandbaby the midst of this a shocking aggressive cancer return for my mentor - our choir director.   Late August he was experiencing tremendous back pain, endured some treatments in September and in October was home on hospice.  He lost the battle Saturday afternoon.  I am trying to be joyful, for his relief from pain and suffering, for relief for his family having to watch his suffering, knowing I will see him again but the heartache of his absence is just so heavy.....and I know it will hit his wife and sons hard in the days and months to come.

I have had the incredible pleasure of being choir accompanist under his direction for a very long time, close to 20 years?  I could not sight read music when I began.  He would give me music ahead of time so I could learn it before coming to choir, but almost always on a choir night he would hand me a new piece of music to work on that night, with a sly smile.  For that agony, I am forever grateful.  He was a gentle giant, with a slow manner of speaking, a great sense of humor, perfect pitch.  He had a rich and gorgeous voice, he played brass instruments beautifully.  Rode a motorcycle, took his family across country camping every summer as he was a music teacher.  He was a Gideon, and handed out thousands of new testaments.  Anyone who worked on his house, car, while in the hospital, all were handed a small testament.  He was genuine.  Never apologizing for who he was, content to be who he was and so very calm and easy going.  Choir continues, with a new director, and we will have to learn that silent language of trust.  I cannot fathom the gaping whole for his wife and sons.  He was 67.

The last week of October, my hubby and I spent a week in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Such a bittersweet place, full of memories.  We began going here to visit my parents when our 27 year old son was a month shy of a year old.  This week we did not return to places that were precious to us with Amber and Charlie.  We created some new memories, did lots of hiking, a bit of quilting.

The rock cliffs in the middle of the picture are Cathedral Ledge and White Horse.  These are popular rock climbing spots.  There is a road to the top of Cathedral Ledge where we have gone almost every year.  Last year we spotted the fire tower across the valley so this year we have a different perspective, from the fire tower.

Another view of Cathedral Ledge and the mountain ranges beyond.