Thursday, August 29, 2013

Family Memories

Last night I attended a Memorial Service for Wayne Hinkle, my cousin.  It was an emotional time for the family but all in all everything went well.  Our church provided a dinner following the service which gave the family time to sit, enjoy each others company and remember good times they shared.

This morning I changed the covers on our bed and without even thinking about last night I pulled out this quilt to use as a cover.

Now, I guess your wondering what this has to do with Wayne's passing.  Actually a lot.  The fabric from this quilt was given to me by his sister, Phyllis.  She was certainly a "pistol" and was constantly doing things for our church.  She offered it to me so I could make a quilt for our church auction.  This might have been about the 3rd one I ever made.

And then I had to get it quilted and where did I go for that?  I took it to my Aunt Laura, Wayne & Phyllis's mother.  She was my dad's sister and hand quilted for years.  Now, here's the kicker to this story.  The quilt was put in the church auction.  My husband, Ricky, had someone bidding on it, without my knowledge.  He wanted me to have it because of the family ties. He knew how hard I had worked on it and how much time my Aunt Laura had put into it and today it has brought those family ties full circle.

I haven't had this quilt out for a long time.  Mainly because it is just big enough to cover the top and normally I like larger quilts.  As I laid it on the bed I stood there looking at it, all these memories came flooding back into my mind.  Our loved ones may be gone but they will never be forgotten and sometimes just the everyday task you do will bring them back to you, when you least expect it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thinking Ahead

I know it's about 90 degrees outside and my air conditioner is running steadily to keep my studio at a somewhat cool 78.  With it being so hot today and the rest of the week, why am I thinking ahead? Maybe I am wishing for cooler temps.  Not really, I like warm weather.

I'm thinking of trying to get a jump on Christmas.  So this is what I have just put up on my design wall.

It's "The Nativity" from Mount Redoubt Designs.  This is another kit I have had for years and I'm trying my best to pull them out and work on them one at a time.  If interested in this or other Redoubt designs check out Robin Place Fabrics.  They carry a lot of their patterns and fabrics.

Now I have got to get this together for quilting.  I think metallic thread will look great, plus the kit included crystals to be added around the star and throughout the background.  Maybe I can get it finished by the end of September.

Monday, August 19, 2013

String Blocks

Today I started on 64 string  blocks.  I have never stitched this type of block because I always took the easy way out and just cut squares.  This time I decided I would play along with everyone else.
I'm still working on a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter titled Orca Bay and the strings are step 4 out of 8.  That tells you how far behind I am.  You can find the pattern for this quilt in her new book String Fling.

I found an old book that was big enough to cut my 5.5"  and 3.5" squares from.  So off I go to FedEx Kinko's and the young man cut them for me and gave me all the left over pieces.  I got my machine all set up with red thread on top and in the bobbin.  It's a good way to use up old stuff and started sewing.  Well, here they are, not all 64 but 4. 

These are the 5.5" blocks.  The 3.5" blocks will be in shades of blue and that's on down the road.
I'm going to look through my fabric to see if I can find some other values or shades of red to use.  I kinda' like sewing this way.  It's actually freeing to me because I don't have to worry about matching anything. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Gone Swimmin'

 Ricky and I have had a pair of Emu's for about 17 years.  This year they hatched out 4 babies.  A few weeks ago we moved them to the field right behind our house.  Today I have had the "blahs" but while I was in my studio doing some embroidery, I looked out the window and a big smile came across my face. 

Mom or Dad and a little one in the pond.

Next thing I knew they all were in the pond but one.  I guess it said, "hey wait for me", because it headed for the water as soon as it noticed what the rest were doing.

 This is the first time I have seen them in the water. 
 
 They would sit for awhile and then stand up and walk around.
 
 I have to say, the parents are very good at teaching. 
 
 Finally, a couple of the little ones decided it was time to get out.
 
 So they headed for the bank.
 
 An like "clockwork", one by one they all got out of the water.
 
This was such a treat for me to see.  Ricky had told me they got in the pond, but this is my first time catching the whole family in at the same time.  It's like Mom/Dad is saying, "come on let's go".  Life on the farm is a blessing to me.  Just when I need it, I receive a gift from God and all is well again.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

God's Presence

Today it is beautiful outside.  The sun is shining, it's not to hot, the sky is blue and all looks well.  That's on the outside but what about the inside?  Just how much do we hold on to that we should let go?  I ask myself that question today during our church service.  Our pastor was talking about how we have the chance to stand in the presence of God but so often we choose to ignore Him and hang on to things that take us away from Him.

I came home after church and sat down at my art table and started working in my art journal.  The first page I made I looked at it and wrote, "this is the worst page I have ever made".  Then, while watching Effy's video and listening to her talk about writing and then covering it up, I created this.

 
I wrote and wrote and wrote about stuff that has been hanging in my brain.  I said a prayer to God to help me let it all go and then covered it with a piece of artwork that I am very happy about.  Thanks Effy for the time you put into your videos.

I can actually say that every day I stand in God's presence.  Some days I just don't see it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rocks

Have you ever really looked at rocks?  I haven't until recently when I watched The Quilt Show and saw Jean Wells talking about the direction of quilting she was on.  In that show she used pictures of rocks to create her quilts. 

So the other day while walking I carried my camera. I posted about what I saw along the way.  Anyway, I also took pictures of other things along the way.  Here is one.


I know, it's just a rock, but look at it.  I mean really look at it.  I did and for the first time I saw years of wear and tear.  I wonder how the ridges got there.  I wonder where it came from and do you think it was part of a larger boulder that was broken off? 


Now, look at this one.  What do you see?  I see a facial profile and off to the side I see a bear pointing at the face. 
 

On to the next driveway and I saw this one.  If you look closely you can see the small white pieces that are attached.  At first glance I thought someone had placed tiny rocks on top of it but not true.  They are part of the large one.  And look, in the upper corner, it looks like someone has tried to drill a hole in it. 

I have to thank Jean Wells and also Inner Excavate with Effy Wild for bringing this to my attention.  Through both I have come to realize how much I miss during the day.  I am now more aware of my surroundings.  All of these shapes and carvings are part of time passing and every single day we pass the common everyday items in our world without stopping to look.  We just get too busy with stuff to notice.  I would love to hear from you about your surroundings and what you found today.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Little Hummers

Today I thought I would share the hummingbirds that are around my house. This is just a few that are here for the summer. It's short and sweet. Have a great day

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finishing Her Quilt

Abby is back today.  She called me last night all "giggly" and ask if she could come and finish her quilt.  How could I resist, she sounded so excited.  I picked her up at 7:15 this morning.  After breakfast we came out to the studio and started working.

 Today she is adding the borders to her quilt.  Here she is pinning it together.


Now she is pressing what she just pieced together.  There is a break in the sewing.  Abby is ripping stitches out where she "messed up".  She has decided to make 12" squares for the back of the quilt.  That way she will have one that is reversible.


Now for my excitement.  I just received this book.  I watched a video about Lauren Vlcek on
The Quilt Show.  Lauren makes some beautiful dolls and embellished shrines.  She is teaching a class on the Quilt Show about painting faces on fabric.  I have always wanted to work with fabric dolls and thought this would be a good jumping off place.  There are 3 other artists included in the book and they offer over 50 techniques.

You can read more about Lauren and see her beautiful work here AnLiNa Designs.