Friday, October 30, 2009

Leaves Leave Us!



It's that time of year again, leaves, leaves and more leaves coming out of the trees, falling all over the place! The weather was warmer today, though by the time we went outside, the sun had disappeared behind some clouds. Daniel raked up a couple of piles and the boys loved playing in them. Don't you think they are just the cutest little boys you've ever seen?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cami Bag Pattern!


There's a new contest (contest over) on the Sew Mama Sew blog, so I decided to give it a whirl. The ScrapBusters challenge is to use scraps in a new way.
These small bags can be made from any size scraps, as one uses up strips and the other uses pieces approximately 10"x13".
I named this bag the Cami Bag because I think it looks like a camisole with a neckline and thin straps. The white/purple one measures 9"x12". The scrappy one is child-sized, about 6"x7".
I have seen bags similar to this and decided I could figure out how to make one. A quick project that doesn't take a lot of fabric, depending on what size it is. I've made it in three sizes now, and I think I like the white one the best, though the small one will be a great gift for my little four year old granddaughter.

Ok, here's a sneak peek at the pattern, now available on Craftsy:
The Cami Bag


Made from scraps or two fat quarters of fabric, this handy little bag has a pocket on the outside and one on the inside.
Small darts give the base of the bag some shape, but may be eliminated, as desired.

Read each instruction thoroughly before sewing, to avoid costly mistakes. Click on photos to enlarge to see detail.

All seam allowances are 1/4”, unless otherwise noted.

Strip piecing instructions are at the end of the full instructions.



Materials:

Scraps to equal 2 pieces 10”x13” plus 5”x5” for pocket (or one fat quarter for exterior)

Scraps to equal 2 pieces 10”x13” plus 5”x5” for pocket (or one fat quarter for lining)

2 pieces cotton batting 10”x13”

42” Extra wide double fold bias tape (or two inch wide bias strips double folded and pieced to 42”)
       (36" for child size bag)

1 closure: i.e. magnetic snap, button/loop, etc.

Pockets:

1.  Place pockets and linings right sides together and stitch all edges, leaving 2” opening on one side for turning. Trim corners and press seam allowances back on the side with the opening (left edge in photo). Turn right side out and press.
2.  Attach pockets to exterior and lining by topstitching 1/8” from edge of pocket as marked on pattern, backstitch well at upper edges to secure.

3.  Mark darts on exterior, lining and batting pieces. Sew darts by folding on dotted line (right sides together), matching solid lines. Stitch on solid line from raw edge to point. Press toward center on exterior and toward sides on lining.

On batting, cut darts out on solid lines (photo on left) and butt edges together and baste, keeping batting flat (photo on right). (Use matching thread, contrasting color was used for photo only.)




4.  Place exterior pieces right sides together and then place one batting piece on either side. Stitch around sides and bottom, leaving “armholes and neckline” open. Trim batting close to stitching. (photo on right) Turn right side out (photo onn left).
5.  Place lining pieces right sides together and stitch around sides and bottom, again leaving “armholes and neckline” open.

6.  Place lining inside of exterior piece, wrong sides together. Match “neckline and armholes.”

7.  Apply magnetic snap at this point, through lining and batting for stability. If using a button/loop closure, baste loop in place before applying bias tape. Button may be sewn above or on pocket, but make sure it will not interfere with bias application, otherwise, it may be sewn on later.

For the full pattern, visit here

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Testing, One, Two Three

This is a Test

It is only a test. If it had been a real emergency, you would have been informed of what to do and where to go. This has been a test.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Quilt Contest

Visit the Nature's Best Quilt Contest
Natures Best Quilt Contest and vote for my quilt "Poppies". It would be a vote for my mom's design and my rendition of her pattern. It's really a pretty wallhanging, if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This is my latest project, little portraits in fabric of the boys. When I get a little further along, I'll post how it is done. Here are Middle D and Big D, in their colorful glory!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hideaway Totes








This week I have been working on these cute and practical totes. The tote tucks away into a wallet size case, making it very portable. I found the book when I was at the AQS Knoxville show. The designer is Jeanne L. Perrine and her instructions are well thought out and enjoyable to follow. I met her and saw the samples at the show and she was very nice. There are three sizes and complete instructions for all in the book, along with several other styles of bags. The website you can order the book W.O.W. Bags from is here. She is self-published, though you can find the book on Amazon, I recommend buying it from her website, so she gets full payment rather than royalty.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hope in God

Have you ever lost hope?

I have.

I had hoped for so much more for our sons than how we began our life together. My husband and I were married at 17 years old and had two children by the time we were twenty. In the early years, we didn’t attend church or live like Christians. But, Keith has worked hard to provide for our family and by the grace of God through many hardships and trials, we are still married 34 years later.

As for our boys, one left for Bible college, was headed into ministry, met and married a nice girl. One went to Christian high school and claimed to be called to preach. I had high hopes that the boys would avoid the pits that I had fallen into over the years.

However, they each took their own paths away from God, one led to sin and divorce and a new marriage, the other into a 10 year odyssey with drugs and the whole mess that goes along with them. One has five children and the other has four. Neither one is where they should be spiritually nor are they teaching their children about Jesus.

I wanted God to do something! I wanted Him to perform swift miracles and change everyone. Of course, I said I would give God all the glory for what He did, but was I ready to give Him glory even if He seemingly did nothing?

How does one maintain hope for the future through all that? Even now, they are living their own lives, choosing their own paths with little regard for God.

In Psalm 42, David expresses some of these same feelings. It seems he feels hopeless and he wonders where God is when he cannot see Him working.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
David begins to recount how things were before he felt so down. How he used to lead the multitude to worship with joy and thanksgiving. He remembers God and who He is and puts his hope in Him, no matter how he feels.
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:2-5

Hope in God! (What a novel idea!)

Our hopes for our children should not hinder our hope in God. Human beings will disappoint us. This world will disappoint us. We are not to be satisfied in this world.

“God spends a lifetime allowing the world to disappoint us, so we will let go.” Reggie Weems

…And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2b-5

Look at the progression in this passage: From suffering to perseverance to character and hope. Virtues we should strive to achieve. Suffering is not fun, but we learn to continue on through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13) and in doing so, we develop character and maintain hope.

The hope that does not disappoint us is the hope in the glory of God. He will carry us through; He has saved us for His glory, Praise God!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Faith Thoughts

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

My pastor was preaching on faith yesterday and we looked at the “Hebrews Hall of Faith” during his message. I found myself looking at the verses around his focus and I felt that the Holy Spirit was directing and reminding me of things that I have looked at before. Not that I was distracted from the pastor for long, but this morning I had to go back to the passage and see what God was trying to tell me. I know my pastor would be pleased that I was distracted in that way. He encourages us to study on our own!

This was the passage that caught my eye:
"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:13-16

I began to think of people I know who can’t move beyond their past. They have a great future out there, if they will trust God and keep moving forward. But they are stuck. Since their actions say they long for the past, “the country they had left,” they often repeat past mistakes and God doesn’t seem to stop them.

Romans 1:20-24a says, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts…”

We are called by God and He allows people to choose to follow Him or not. It’s as simple as that! He does all the work, we need only to surrender. Conversely, if we so choose, He will allow us to go down to the pits.

Then, I thought of those who have had to step out on faith, move beyond their comfort zone, and yet have not seen the fruit of their labor. That could be missionaries or it could be an everyday “Joe” like me. It doesn’t matter who or where, but it matters that we trust God completely.

We must realize that we are citizens of heaven, temporarily on assignment in a foreign country. We are looking for new opportunities to serve God and step out on faith. If we lose heart and long for the past, choose to give up and go back to a lazy life of sin, God will allow us to return to “the country [we] had left.” I think He would have allowed me to do that if I had given in to certain temptations not too long ago. A little scary, but we do not have to be afraid. Even so, God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. That means He goes where we go: down to the pits, up to the heights, God is with us! I think the pits are so that we recognize our need for Him, but we should so desire to please God that we would not take Him there.

So, rather than pursue the past, we should pursue Christ.

Paul said it this way, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:8-10

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Curious George Backpack
















My photogenic Middle D is thrilled to have a new backpack for preschool this fall. You can tell by the big grin!

Inspired by an adult backpack I saw on Etsy, I spent several hours today sewing this charming pack from scratch.

I had some Curious George fabric in my stash that cried out for me to make something for Middle D, who is a big Curious George fan. He has a stuffed monkey that we call "George," so I decided to add bright red straps on the pack to let George to ride along.

The upper pack is rounded to allow for the curve of D's neck and rests flat against his shoulder blades, distributing the weight across his lower back, which helps to balance his center of gravity. (Last year, his backpack could pull him off balance any time he moved too fast, which was just about all the time!)

The shoulder straps are crossed in front to help them stay on an active little boy, but d-rings allow for changing this to regular straps and shortening or lengthening as necessary. There is a bright blue horizontal zipper to keep a boy's things safe inside and pockets on the outside and inside for bringing home papers from preschool.

I used heavy interfacing to give the pack body and cotton batting inside the straps to add comfort.

I chose to make the pack now because Sew, Mama Sew is sponsoring a contest for handmade bags. The deadline for entry happens to be July 23, Middle D's fourth birthday, so the ideas all came together at just the right time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Potty Training in 3-D


Here's my sweet Little D, one of the first times he sat on the potty seat. G'pa has already started him standing up, as "men do." Middle D never wanted to use the potty chair, so I decided I would try just the seat. Little D was as proud as he could be to sit there for about 30 seconds, then decided he was finished and wanted down. Oh well, it will all fall into place for him soon.

Yesterday, he actually told me he did his business, in the diaper of course, after he did it. It's a start, baby steps!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fruit Ladies Bag

My latest creation is this cute bag, inspired by the Fruit Ladies fabric by Elizabeth's Studio. The motifs are fun, the ladies are made from fruit and they are at the beach. There are colorful beach towels and the fruit is brightly colored. It makes me smile to look at the fabrics. The diagonal lines in the fabric determined the shape of the bag, so that I could show off the pictures of the ladies to the best advantage. I put pockets around the inside and one on the outside, between the straps. I put a zipper at the opening to keep everything safe inside. The whole thing was interfaced with Decor-Bond, so it will hold its shape very well. Visit my shop, Bag & Baggage on Etsy, if you are interested in purchasing the bag or pattern.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wild Olive

Have you seen the fabulous t-shirts at Wild Olive? They are great! You can click the button on the right to visit them.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Once again, I come to the screen thinking, "it's been a long time since I posted anything...what can I say?" Since the last post, we have been through getting taxes done, the real flu, allergies and a stomach bug.

The best things recently were visiting the Barn at Buladean a week ago and Easter yesterday. God is so good, both events were blessed with beautiful weather! In between, it has been poor, but playing outdoors on our special days was so great.

My sweet boys! They are so cute...so rotten...so loving...so active!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meatless Fridays

I've been enjoying the posts over on Life With My 3 Boybarians, since I have three boys. Darcy has such a great way of showing her sense of humor. For Lent, she's been posting meatless recipe ideas and suggested that others should post theirs. So here's mine:

Couscous & Feta Patties
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup dry couscous
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1 egg
1/2 cup frozen spinach
2 Tablespoons chopped ripe olives
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 jar marinara sauce

Prepare couscous as package directs. Thaw spinach and squeeze as dry as possible. Chop fine if it is large pieces. In medium bowl, combine chopped chives, feta cheese, egg, spinach, olives & flour. Add prepared couscous and mix well.
Preheat 10" skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Using approximately 1/3 cup of mixture, form into patties 1/2 thick. Place patties directly into hot skillet. Fry 4 minutes or until set enough to turn, then flip over and continue cooking until firm, 2-3 minutes more. Serve with heated marinara sauce. May also be served plain or with an alfredo sauce.

These are yummy! If you like to improvise, there are endless possibilities of things to add, you can even add a little more flour and another egg if necessary. Sorry there is no photo, but will make them soon so I can post one!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Free Pattern--One simple block

I thought it was time to share my free pattern (scroll down the page) from my website, Sew Help Me Quilts. One scrappy block, turned 'round and 'round, creates a fun quilt with many variations. The blocks can also be set in a traditional format or anything your heart desires. Simple techniques make this fun and easy!

I ran across this blog "The Adventures of Wonder Mommy" and thought you might like to check out her "Good Folks Giveaway". She's giving two yards of Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks fabric and she promises to give you more chances in the giveaway if you put it on Facebook, your blog or Twitter. Spread the Word!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Buttercup Bag


I came across this bag on the Connecting Threads Quilt With Us Totally Totes group. "Polkadot" posted the link to the bag (here) for a free tutorial. It is so cute and sews up in an hour! You can see others' bags on Flickr, there is a group named Buttercup Bags.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Joy about Middle D

Angelic little Middle D!

The thing about blogs is that people can write about anything, even stuff that has no interest to anyone else. So if you visit this site and find nothing to connect to, I am sad. I hope you will find a love for sewing and quilting and a love for Jesus Christ in these posts that makes you desire the same thing.

Today's post may seem like too much information, but it is a joy for me, even though there is no final solution in sight. God has been orchestrating things in our lives to come to this point and I am in awe of his attention to detail.

So, going back a while, I will elaborate:

While he is a beautiful child, Middle D has been a difficult trial for me. When he came to live with us, he was about two years old and was having difficulty adjusting to new surroundings, was just learning to communicate and frequently had angry screaming fits because he couldn't cope with it all. The more he learned to talk and he became comfortable with the routine in our home, the better he functioned, but there were still many ways that I found him frustrating. Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say he seemed unable to complete simple tasks and out of control much of the time. He spends a lot of time in time out and sometimes seems to totally ignore discipline.

It makes me crazy when Middle D screams or repeats something for the 100th time, my poor menopausal nerves have not been handling this as well as I would like. I am a controller and I want everyone to behave in a certain way. I have been praying for help, because I have no idea how to make him mind. His daddy and uncle, my sons, were not difficult children, they responded to discipline, though my memory is probably not perfect on these things!

We enrolled him in preschool, as much as a break for me as a learning tool for him and we saw leaps and bounds in his social development. He is always rough and tumble and can be pretty aggressive with other kids and came home one day with the teacher telling me he had hit two other children. I am grateful that is not the normal report, but it concerns me, because I want him to love and be loved by other people.

I know he is difficult at church, because he cannot sit still and craves physical activity. He often yells when he should be quiet, he scribbles on his coloring page for 5 seconds, claims he's done and then wants to run and jump. He gets put in time out frequently and misses out on some of the fun.

But, due to God's providence, a woman began assisting in Middle D's class. I had met her previously when she joined a Bible study that I was leading. She is an occupational therapist, interested in working with children. She began observing his behavior and recognized certain patterns in his activity. She felt she must tell us about her observations and yet she was uncertain how we would respond. Many people get defensive when someone comments about their child when it seems to be negative. Luckily, she knew me enough to at least try.

I was very interested in what she had to say. I recognized that her observations were accurate and her conclusions made sense. Where I had felt helpless and unable to figure out what was going on, she brought things in to sharp focus. She suggested a therapist that could deal with these problems and I was pleased to learn that it was located in the same building as our doctors. Then she said the therapist's husband worked at our doctors' office. I recognized the name and knew he had seen the boys a while back.

As soon as I got off the phone, I began to tell K what my friend had told me. Of course, just learning about this made it hard for me to intelligently explain it to him, but he nodded and brought me a column from that day's paper by Dear Abby. It had letters in the column describing the exact thing I was try to explain! Is that God or what?

Later that evening, I read some articles on the Internet and I found more information on the condition "Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID)." In layman's terms, it means that Middle D's senses often give him conflicting information and he cannot sort it out, so he acts out in ways that are often not acceptable. Yelling, screaming, running, jumping, slamming doors, etc. are some of the ways he deals with this conflicting input. Needless to say, it frustrates all of us when he acts this way, most of all Middle D.

But God know me and knows that even with this information, I would have put off making an appointment with the doctor for him to refer us to an occupational therapist. So, Middle and Little Ds spiked high fevers on Tuesday night (the night my friend told me about SID). I would have chosen a different way, but God knew I wouldn't wait after a 104.5 temp.

At the doctor's office, I insisted on seeing the husband of the therapist and he was very helpful and receptive to the idea of referring Middle D to the OT.

So, we have an appointment next Tuesday and I am excited to get help for Middle D and our whole family in the process. Yay God!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quilts



Thought I would show some of my quilts I have made over the years.

The swans is called "Tranquil Reflections" and was made using the watercolor-colorwash technique popular a few years ago. I still like to do this style of quilt, but don't have the time to devote to it these days!

The kaleidoscope quilt was made in 2008 using the book "One Block Wonders". It's called "Under the Sea" because I used a fish print that I had on hand. You can see a strip of the fabric inside the border on the left. I really enjoy doing these kind of quilts. "Stack n Whack" does the same thing and I often look at fabric thinking of how it would look in a kaleidoscope.

Technique Quilt--Stars Over Bali

Here is a quilt I designed and built a series of classes around. Looks more complicated than it is, there are many different techniques taught through the different star blocks.

The New York Beauty block teaches foundation piecing, the Dove blocks are curved piecing, Chain Blocks demonstrate some strip piecing, the Sawtooth Stars and borders teach how to make half-square triangles easily; the Hearts are machine applique; the Asymmetrical Stars use templates and the largest star uses strip piecing to make the star points.

All the fabrics in my quilt are commercial batiks and the photo just doesn't do it justice! You can visit my website if you are interested in the patterns. Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bag Labels

I'm so proud of myself! I designed and printed my own labels for my bags and such. I wanted some small tag style labels to add the professional look, but I didn't want to pay for them when I knew I could make them.

I designed them using Publisher and a template for labels that are 1/2"x1 1/2". The font had to be about 7, but they are completely readable (maybe with a magnifying glass for some of us over 40!). I also used a design that Publisher has included and modified it to suit me.

I printed them on printable fabric from Electric Quilt Company. The fabric is a good tight weave and is adhered to a plastic backing and feeds through the printer just great. Now, I am cutting off rows of labels as I need them. I am not going to worry about the raw edges, because if I cut them straight, they stay pretty much on grain and will not fray much.

I thought I would sew them onto the bags, but really hate that kind of hand sewing, so I remembered I had some narrow Steam a Seam fusible on a roll (which I could not find on their website, so they may have discontinued that product, but other companies make fusible strips sold on a roll). After removing the printable fabric backing, I used the strips to make my little labels fusible!

I feel so accomplished today! I applied about a dozen labels to the bags I have made lately in the short hour I was able to be in my sewing room this afternoon. Every little bit helps!

Monday, February 16, 2009

God Help Me...

I wrote a letter today (amazing!) to my close friend's daughter, who is having some difficulties lately, and I thought I would share it (I am not using her real name). Since it was the Holy Spirit that helped write (maybe I should say wrote) it, I think it turned out pretty good. It all started because I wanted to give her something to let her know I was thinking of her. I chose a small handbag I had just finished, made from denim embroidered with handbags (of all things!). It also had a rhinestone zipper closure, just the cutest touch with the denim! I also enclosed a stone, you will see in the letter why I did that.

Dear Susie, I wrote this in a hurry, while chasing little boys, so I hope it makes sense. While we don’t talk often or much, I have always cared about you since you were in my four-year old class, all those years ago!

I was thinking what I could put in this bag to cheer you up, so I looked for some scripture that had the word bag in it. When I came across David and Goliath, I thought about how you have been facing giants lately.

1 Samuel 17:48-49 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

Satan tries to come as a giant to scare the wits out of us. Sometimes, he whispers giant lies to us. Sometimes he uses other people to create giant situations that are beyond our control. Whatever he does, he does to try and make us afraid or angry and unable to function as God intends.

When we are scared or angry, we do foolish things, make bad choices and sometimes blame God for not protecting us. I know that I have done that, even very recently. But fear and anger can drive us to God if we let it.

To be honest, I have been angry with God for not doing things in my life to suit my idea of what should be happening. I wanted Him to change Travis and Sarah and He didn’t. I wanted Him to give us custody of the grandkids and He did. So now, I take care of the kids and I find myself angry with God because I had to leave a job I loved and I feel out of control. I got some of what I wanted and now I find it all frustrating!

My point is that we all struggle with our emotions and Satan does his devil best to widen the gap between us and God as we struggle.

Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

God is slow to anger, even when we are angry with Him. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful. He loves us unconditionally and just asks us to love Him.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? T o act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

That’s it, Susie…walk humbly with God and He will lift you up!

Love, Becky


Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, I see I haven't posted anything for a while. It's because we've been sick, of course! Last week, Middle D brought home something akin to the flu. He was a sick puppy for about five days, then we had to endure another five of attitude when he got well. Ugh. Then Little D came down with it and one night ran a 104.8 fever. We went to the Dr. the next day and came home with more antibiotics for ear and lung infection. Again. Now it's time for Grammy and Grandpa to get it. I tried to fight it off with herbs and homeopathic remedies, but nothing worked completely. I will say I haven't gotten the high fever, but there's always secondary infections around the corner!! Enough negativity...

Last week, I was able to get a quilt top sewn together using my Wordle fabric that I had printed by Spoonflower a few months ago. It is the berry colored fabric with the words from Isaiah 40 printed on it. I think it turned out great! The pattern, called Garden Melody, is one my mom and I designed last winter for her poppy fabric printed by Andover Fabrics. Stop by her shop or Andover to see the fabulous fabric. They don't have it up yet, but her latest line is of Tulips and we spent the last couple of weeks designing new quilts for that fabric. I do the beginning rough work in EQ6 and then she begins in fabric and makes design decisions as she goes. She called me frequently to consult and ask questions. It seems to work pretty well for a long distance relationship! BTW, she's in Oregon and I'm in Tennessee, nearly 3000 miles apart!

I wanted to make something else with the Wordle fabric, so I made this cute bag. It's not very big, but I like it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wordle

I love Wordle: You put in words and it scrambles them into a really cool graphic...They call them "word clouds." Every time a word is repeated in the original text, it is a little larger in the word cloud where the words are only listed once. You can mix them up, changing the color, font and shape of the cloud. It is so cool!

This one is Psalm 40. Click on this image to see it larger:

Wordle: Untitled

Here's another from the words to "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?":

Wordle: Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?
I'm tired of winter. We have had very cold weather for our region for a couple of weeks now and this week we had several days of snow. Today the high temp will be about 48-50, depending on who you listen to. Yay!

Now anyone who has a little one understands how difficult it is to do anything but care for and play with them. Little D is being a pill today...into everything, not necessarily being naughty, but exploring things he is not supposed to. Right now, he has climbed up into his empty high chair and is yelling at me. I'ts not that he's hungry, he just got down from there a little while ago. Five minutes ago, Middle D kicked him off the couch where he slammed into the coffee table. I have yet to figure out what made the huge noise was when he fell. Can't find a bruise yet, it's too early. Can't wait for nap time!

My project today will be to finish the quilt top that I started on Tuesday. I decided to make up the pattern Garden Melody that Mom and I designed last year for her poppy fabric. It's really turned out well, purple, green, gold, berry...a sorts of colors. The impetus was that I had a fabric printed by Spoonflower that has words from scripture on it, the background is berry and the words are black. So I found a print that had the right color in it and then chose coordinating fabrics. It is a very striking combination. I will post a pic as soon as I can, maybe later this afternoon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This may seem like a silly post, but mothers will relate to this small victory: I am happy that Little D actually ate some broccoli cheese soup just now. Granted it was only about a tablespoon, but it had real broccoli in it, something that he has shunned so far. He wasn't sure about the texture, because I could see him wanting to spit it out, but he liked the cheese flavor and so he ate it!

I have to admit that it is really a good batch of soup, using leftover cheese sauce and broccoli from dinner the other night. I thinned down the sauce with chicken stock and milk, added a few dried onion flakes, garlic powder and then chopped the broccoli really fine. I heated it for a few minutes then served with goldfish (to swim in the soup) and whole wheat toast. The boys ate it up!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Latest Bag




I designed a really cute bag recently. It's tapestry in a funky circular pattern. I used a shape I have seen a lot recently and attached straps with D rings and used a magnetic snap, making it look quite professional. The lining is cotton, with pockets on both sides. It is approximately 12"x6"x2". Great for a daily handbag. You can view at my Etsy shop.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday's Sermon

Pastor preached a great sermon this morning on how to be great according to Christ. In Mark 10, the disciples James and John come to Christ and ask to sit on Christ's right and left in his kingdom.

From birth, our desire is to be great, to be noticed or to be first. I see this in our boys. They always want to be served first, have the most of something or to get the last word. If I am focused on one, the others will vie for my attention.

Unfortunately, I see those same qualities in myself. I want to be first, best and greatest, too. I want the last word. I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, not when someone else says so. I hate it when someone interrupts what I am doing. Christ would have it otherwise. Dying to myself, denying my desire to be great, becoming a slave to others is how Christ expects me to live.

I've been struggling with my feelings. I expected to be doing other things at this time in my life. I had my children when I was very young, raised them and expected them to lead their own lives so I could do things I had never been able to do. But, one son cannot handle his life, so we are raising his three children instead.

This is not where I thought we would be. And yet, it must be where God wants us to be, because only by his will do we have custody of the boys. Things sailed through court in a way that no one expected. That had to have been God.

A friend once told me that most anger stems from blocked goals. Meaning that some people who don't get what and where they want, become angry. Between blocked goals and hormones, I seem to get pretty angry. However, I cannot take that out on the little boys. They are the innocents in this. When we see them do things that come from the lack of parenting in their lives, we get angry. When they do things that copy the things that they saw in their family, we get angry. When they just act like little boys, we get angry. We want them to be great. It's a real struggle.

So, Pastor hit it on the head when he said we must die to ourselves and serve others. Christ died serving us and the least we can do is to do the same. Does that mean I will be a perfect servant now? No, but it means that I will try to do better, listening to Him and letting Christ live through me, because I can't do it alone.

Mark 10:43-45: "...Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life is just a...


bowl of cherries? Well at least Little D would eat them! Ha! I have never understood or have empathy for picky eaters and now I have one. The other boys tell me they don't like things, but they eat them when I tell them to, but Little D is another story. He won't eat anything green, doesn't like potatoes (except fries) or cereal like Cheerios (I thought all babies loved Cheerios), hates most meat (except hot dogs and other processed stuff). In general, he likes bread and fruit. I try to supply whole grain bread and unsweetened fruit and he does okay with that. Of course, he likes anything really messy like spaghetti or other tomato-ey pasta things. It's bath time after eating any of that! Last night for the first time, I gave him a plastic bowl and a real spoon to eat his dinner and he really dug in! It was a chicken-couscous thing that I made up with orange marmalade and balsamic vinegar and he actually liked it. He ate it again for lunch today, which is also a miracle, because he hates leftovers, even if it was something he ate well the first time. I can't figure him out yet.

Since his surgery, he is really beginning to talk. Everyone says that it's because he can actually hear now that the tubes are in and the gunk is out. He can say "bye", "meow", "night night", "g'pa" (grandpa), "ma ma" (grammy). There are probably other words I can't think of right now. For a while now, he has answered the question, "how old are you" by sticking his right finger in the air and saying "one"! Sometimes, he turns to look at you and says something with all seriousness in baby talk and he expects that you understand it. It's all very cute.

Websites of note

I have known of Connecting Threads for years, at one time I received their catalogs regularly. I lost track of them a while back and ran across their website Connecting Threads. It's worth a visit because their prices are reasonable, especially on their thread.

Also, I found their nice little quilting community called Quilt With Us. Haven't spent much time here, but it looks good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Audio Bible Sent Via TEXT Message

I heard about this on the radio tonight and I wanted to post it so I wouldn't lose it.

Audio Bible Sent Via TEXT Message

Posted using ShareThis

Where I find myself

Here I am in front of the computer again, wondering what to write, and yet feeling the desire to put something in my blog. So I dug up something I wrote a while back and freshened it up with new thoughts and scriptures and here it is:

One of my favorite Bible people is David. I always thought of him, “being a man after God’s own heart,” as so spiritual. But when we studied his life closely in Sunday School a few years ago, I discovered that he had his ups and downs, as we all do. He often did things without consulting God and the results were less than pleasing. When he stopped to “inquire of the Lord”, God gave him great victories. The Psalms are full of David’s prayers, sometimes he was joyous and sometimes like a lost sheep, but always ready to praise God, even when he couldn’t see Him working.

Psalm 28: "To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place…
Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."

Sometimes we look at others around us and think they are so spiritual, especially those at church or who are in full-time ministry. We think they have a special conduit to God and must be really close to Him. But the demands and pace of daily living, can actually be a detriment to a person’s relationship to God. Too busy to stop and meditate on God and His word, we can find ourselves in the wilderness, wondering how in the world we got there! But God is never surprised at where we find ourselves.

God is with me wherever I go, even in the wilderness, though I might not see or hear him there. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me, but sometimes, I choose to leave Him.

Right now, my time is demanded by three little boys who need me, especially Little D, who is nineteen months and every bit a toddler now. Walking, running, climbing and exploring his world, he requires constant supervision. I never leave him or forsake him; I am always nearby and listening, even if I can’t see him at a particular moment. It’s a madhouse here sometimes, as I try to keep up with three boys.

I am glad that God can watch over millions of His children at the same time! He knew where David was when he was in the wilderness, running from Saul. He knows where I am when I am yelling at the kids and He loves me just the same. When David was spiritually dry, he still looked to the Lord. I recognize this dryness in me, feeling like God is not nearby and my enemy (Satan) is triumphing over me. Even so, David was able to recognize God’s unfailing love and write a song:

Psalm 13: "How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."

So, when I take time and inquire of the Lord, reading his Word daily, life is supposed to go smoothly, right? Not always. That is where trusting him comes in.
When I can't see him, he is still there.
When I can't feel him, he is still there.
When I don't look for him, he is still there.
When I don't talk to him, he is still there.

Praise you, Lord. Thank you that you never leave me or forsake me, because I certainly have done both to you many times. Thank you that you are with me. Remind me of your presence and provision and give me the time and desire to spend time with you. Love, Becky

Monday, January 26, 2009

The beginning


I've finally gone and done it...after procrastinating for a long while, I have decide to blog. This seems to be a place to journal, writing my thoughts and recording other trivial minutia. I doubt anyone else will be interested, but here goes.

Tonight I made a good casserole for supper. It was based on lasagna, using whatever I had on hand. So, elbow macaroni, chicken thighs, leftover spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella became a casserole. It was pretty good, if I say so myself. Ha!

As I was putting it all together, Mom called and wanted some more advice on the quilt she is designing. I have been helping her by putting ideas into Electric Quilt and then she works it over on the design wall. I had to put her off until dinner was over, DH and Big D went to a basketball game, Middle D was in the tub and I was in Little D's room sitting on the floor with my laptop and the phone. Little D played with his toys while Mom and I discussed the quilt.

This is for her new line of fabrics, Tulips. We designed 4 quilts last year when her line of Poppies came out. She's not happy with the way this one is coming along, but I think it's a good beginning. We think it needs some darker "solids", but she didn't find what she wanted today, so will look again tomorrow at another shop.

I'm excited to be studying Esther by Beth Moore and am looking forward to learning more about my Lord and Savior, developing my relationship with Him. So, I best quit writing on this and get back to studying!