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!