Sunday, September 18, 2016

Today ...

Today …

Love One Another
Today I prayed for Margie. I don’t know Margie’s story. I met her on the streets of midtown New York City. I had joined a team from the New York Relief group and we were just walking the streets of NYC looking for people we could help. Margie came walking toward us. Well really she was shuffling, she was bent way over as though she carried a heavy load and her feet and legs could barely move. She is homeless. Her friends on the street call her Speedy but we found out her real name was Margie. That is how I think of her – Margie. 
Today wasn’t the only time I prayed for her. She’s been in my thoughts ever since I met her so every day I pray for her.

Today though I thought I would share with you my experience. As the team leader begin to converse with Margie and see how they could help her. Other team members helped Zan set up an easel, blank canvas, paints and brushes. Zan does worship painting and the Lord has led her to take it to the streets of NYC. Zan and I began to add some paint to the canvas and as people came up we invited them to join in the painting. Some held back and watch, some eventually came forward and painted. 

We waved to the team leader to bring Margie over to join us. She came but held back saying she wouldn’t be able to reach the canvas. But we convinced her that she could just paint in one corner.
Margie made her way to the canvas and started. Soon she was a little straighter and could reach higher. There was a delightful smile on her face. She was enjoying it. We talked a little as she painted. She’s in her late 60’s, not much younger than me. We talked about abstract painting. There was a wonderful smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye as she painted next to a five year old girl who had also been invited to paint. 

Another New Yorker, a stranger to the two painting, stooped to help and encourage the young painter whose mom and dad were also enjoying the scene and taping their daughter painting on the streets of NYC. It was an amazing experience I will never forget.

We had to leave Margie to the streets that night because the shelter bed had been given to another lady one of the other teams had met. So I pray for Margie, for her needs, for her protection, and in gratitude that I was able to share a few hours with her.

To learn more about the New York City relief project visit To learn more about Zen and her worship paintings which she sells to support herself and her ministry check out her Facebook page or her Etsy shop

When was the last time you stopped to look in the eyes of a stranger and smile?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Here We Go Again!

It’s Tuesday and I meant to post this last night as one of my tips and tricks posts but I didn’t get it done (actually this was written one week ago). The tip is at the end of this post. Okay now for a little update on my UFO’s, UFO Challenge for 2016.
March UFO Crazy Quilt

March’s number didn’t even get touched. Why? Because I was busy, busy, busy making things to go in the quilt show that my local guild holds every year. I thought I would do a little bit on that project but it didn’t happen. April came along and the number pulled was a good one – number 1 the small aloha quilt. 
April UFO Small Island Quilt

I can handle that. Not. I’m still working on it and here it is well into May. 
May UFO Birds In Flight Crazy Block

May’s number is 7 the Birds In Flight Crazy Block. Now really I should be able to get both of those done this month.
For my tip I was working on this small mini quilt to go in the silent auction held during the previous mentioned quilt show. 
View From My Window Auction Quilt

The small flowers were re-embroidered by me by hand but the fabric was not a quilt quality fabric and I was not happy with the results once I had pieced the blocks together. They were not the right size, and they were not consistent in size. So I did something I rarely do, I took it all apart and started again. Since the flower fabric was a fairly loose weave I decided to stabilize it by adding a muslin backing. I thought the best way to do that would be to use a spray on quilt basting glue. I really didn’t want to do that in the house but I didn’t want to set up a large table outside either. Then I spied this:
TV Tray

Now I know some have covered these and made them into a small portable ironing surface and/or cutting mat. My thought was to cover it with freezer paper (shiny side out) and use that as my glueing table. Worked perfectly and now I have something I can use outdoors when I’m using a spray or a glue that needs a lot of ventilation. I can also use it when I have just a little painting to do. When the freezer paper gets too bad just replace it with a fresh sheet.
Freezer Paper Covered TV Tray

How simple is that!
Oh and the quilt show? My rag dolls “The Slow Stitchers” took second place in their category Textile/Fabric Items.
The Slow Stitchers Rag Dolls

Happy creating!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Monday Tip on Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and I meant to post this last night as one of my tips and tricks posts but I didn’t get it done. The tip is at the end of this post. Okay now for a little update on my UFO’s, UFO Challenge for 2016.
Samantha Doll with refined hair

February’s number was 5. That was a good one for me because I had listed the rag doll I was making for my granddaughter. I’m happy to say that she has received her doll. It took a little bit of doing because of the hair. I had crocheted a cap and then added bangs and a lot of hair to it. Too much hair! So it was back to the drawing board with suggestions from my daughter to start over again. Well I didn’t want to take the time to start over so I stewed over it for a bit. I thought about cutting the cap and reducing the amount of hair at the same time but you know what happens when you cut into crochet work. It unravels! Hummm what to do?
Then I remembered a conversation I had with a quilter at the Houston Quilt Show. She did knitting and crocheting and then cut them up to include in her quilts. How did she keep them from unravelling – she fused them with interfacing. Ah hah! I could do the same. And I did. I’m still not 100% pleased with the hair but it is better than it was so I’m happy for now. I may make some hats with hair attached later but for now Samantha can play with her and I can move on to other works. I’m currently working on three of these dolls for another idea I had.
She Colored Everything Yellow Crazy Quilt

Oh and back to the UFO list AllPeopleQuilt pulled number 3 for March. That is my “She Colored Everything Yellow” crazy quilt. Twelve blocks are sewn and waiting for the hand embroidery. This is another project that will probably not be finished in a month but it will be moved forward.
My tip: Don’t rule out applying ideas from one discipline to another. It worked for me – from quilting to rag dolls.

Happy creating!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Finish It Friday

Well that wasn’t so bad after all. I’m referring to the UFO Challenge I joined this year. No the redwork quilt did not get finished but I’ve got 9 blocks completed and I’m working on the 10th one. I figure if I do one a week all 20 will be ready for the next step in just 10 weeks. 
Nine Blocks and Counting

What is the next step? I’m not sure. Originally I planned to do had embroidery as in crazy quilting on all of the blocks. I did a little on one block and now I’m not sure. I could use my basic machine and do some machine embroidery. The other area I’m considering is putting sashing and corner stones between the blocks. One of the concerns I have is all though I pre-washed all of my fabrics when I sprayed a few with Best Press the red ran into the white areas. Now this quilt is for me so that doesn’t bother me but I had thought to do white sashing with red dots or white with red embroidery. Now I don’t know.

The Samantha Doll
So for the UFO Challenge the next number drawn on February 1 was number five. Number five on my list was something that wasn’t really truly a UFO but I had intended to finish it by Christmas as a present for my granddaughter and I missed that date so I added it to my list just so it would get done this year. I have been working on it though so I’m almost finished with it. Maybe that will be my Finish It Friday today. Just some hand stitching and I’ll be done. And that means I will be done with the February UFO Challenge.

I did take another look at my list though as the doll was something I wanted to finish before I started the next three dolls which have an April deadline and if that number 5 hadn’t have come up I would be challenged to not only finish the doll but work on another UFO. So I wondered what else I had on my list that might be holding up a deadline if it’s number got pulled way after it’s deadline. I’m happy to say everything else on that list passed any concerns I might have had.

Happy Finishings!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What’s On My Wall WOMY

I mentioned my design wall last post so I thought I’d share what’s been up there lately besides the redwork quilt. It gets changed frequently depending on my mood and what I’m doing. I love having a design wall. I really don’t know how I managed without one for so long.
Towards the end of last year I decided it was time for me to try my hand at something I’ve always wanted to do. Art Quilting. I’ve bought the magazines and books, followed art quilters online and heard a view live programs. I dabbled a little over the years starting with this piece created to celebrate my hometown’s 100th birthday.

Then I made a small island scene and a dancer.

All three were wall hangings. I started another island scene. It’s on my UFO list.
Then this month I attended a program by art quilter Deborah Boschert at my guild meeting. The next day I attended her workshop. So from that start these are now on my wall as I consider what stitching I want to do on them.

The first one Winter Sunrise was inspired by photos shown on Facebook by a resident of Mobridge, S.D. I did that one in class. The next day I started putting together one for my series called “Look what Rose did – she colored everything yellow”.

What’s on your wall? Or table. Or floor.

Happy creating!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Tip: Don't Give Up

If you follow my blog you know I’ve been on a quest to finish projects that have been cooling at times, percolating at other times. These are referred to as UFO’s (unfinished objects), WIPs (Works in Progress), WISP’s (Works in Slow Progress) to name just a few. I’ve tried 52 in 52 (one a week), 12 by 12 (one a month), FIF (Finish It Fridays) and other ways to get things done or at least moved forward. Some items did get finished, some have been moved along. But I’ve also started a number of new items – some that were requested, some that I just wanted to try, and some that were “what-if’s”.
So here I am at the start of a new year and a new attempt at finishing some projects. A friend posted an idea on FaceBook and I was off and running. has a UFO Challenge for 2016.

List 12 projects and what stage they are in. They choose a number from 1-12 on the 1st day of the month and that’s the project you work on that month. I can do that. 
My List for 2016

So I made my list – just writing down projects as they came to my mind. Truthfully I probably could list 24 or even 36 projects but I just did 12.
The first number they pulled was 2. Oh, oh. On my number 2 line I had listed what is probably my oldest (that I’ve uncovered so far) and most time consuming project. I was tempted to give up right then. I had hoped for one that only needed a little bit to complete and I would have success the first month to encourage me onward. I even thought about making that second list and then I would have an option to choose which ever list seemed best (read easiest). But I decided even though I would not finish it I could at least move it forward.
At first I found excuses to not work on it but then I realized I could do it – I could! So I opened the project box.
What's in the project box?

It’s a red and white crazy block style quilt with redwork in the centers. Three blocks had been sewn. All of the redwork embroidery was done. 
Where I left it in 2008

When I did those I didn’t know about the wonders of damp stretching my work (thanks Karen). So first I damp stretched all of those redwork embroideries. 

Then I had some cheater cloth of redwork squares that I had re-embroidered. For some reason (probably to protect the embroidery) I had fused some lightweight interfacing to the back of those. This caused the fabric to bubble over time. 
Cheater Cloth re-embroidered and bubbling

First I was just going to accept it as is but then I realized I could peel the interfacing off. So I was able to damp stretch those as well. The three blocks which were already sewn would have to stay as they were.
I have sewn two more blocks, and started to do the hand embroidery on one of the sewn blocks. The month is almost over and a new number will be drawn next week.
Will I put this one away? No it’s going to join my WISP’s. I’ve put the five (oh look now I'm up to six) blocks up on my design wall and I’m loving them again. When I started this project back in 2006 or 2007 I didn't have a design wall. Now I do and it is always a pleasant surprise to put something up there that I've done and let it brew for a while. It will take some time to finish this quilt – but I can do it!
Blocks on the design wall 

So I shared all of that just to say “Don’t give up, small starts count, slow progress moves you to the finish line”.

And that’s my tip for today.

Happy creating!


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Where has the time gone?

I haven’t posted since the end of May 2015. Where has the time gone? Do you think I haven’t done any stitching or anything at all? Well I have been busy so I thought I would give a little year end recap of the last half of 2015. (Okay it was suppose to be a year end post but I was having trouble finding all the photos I wanted to use and then my computer crashed.) Finally got it back from the geeks and so here we go! Warning there are a lot of photos, not sure if there will be a lot of words.
First a little collage of the Block of the Month quilt blocks made for the quilt guild I belong to. It was hard keeping up with these and I think I may not participate officially (as in being part of the year end exchange). I may decide to do some of them though as they are to be stash busters and I could really use some stash busting.

Blocks of the Month
Then a quilt I finally finished for my grandson in time for his fourth birthday. It features monster trucks, one of his favorite things, and he kept asking me when it would be done because he wanted to use it. 

Monster Truck Quilt
His party was a super hero theme and so there were capes to make including a Superman cape for him.
Super Hero Capes Ready

Then there was a birthday for a sweet little girl and this rag doll finally was ready.
The Evalyn Doll

Tutu Apron and Hat
Fabric Paper Doll
Another birthday loomed for my granddaughter and a last minute decision to have a kitchen/baking theme brought forth a tutu apron and a chef’s hat. And then to round out the theme some fabric “paper dolls” as part of the decoration.

Then it was Halloween and the need for family costumes which the four year old decided should be a family of trees. The addition on an acorn hat for my granddaughter was the topping of the forest. The tree costumes became a forest of trees surrounding his tent.
Tree Costume became a Forest

The Wounded Warrior quilt was pieced and finished (quilting by my dear friend Kathryn Pate).
Wounded Warrior Quilt

Before Christmas there was a request for a nap mat similar to the one I made my grandson. This one was for a little girl so cupcakes and pink were in order. You haven’t quilted until you’ve stitched through 8 layers of batting (it really should have been only six but I thought it should be eight) on your home sewing machine.
Nap Mat

Christmas brought a set of six microwave bowl holders for my daughter and then 16 (well only 14 got finished) linen placemats for her table. 
Linen Placemats 

Place Mats in Use
My grandkids received a play campfire with hot dogs and marshmallows.
Play Campfire

Oh and sometime between Halloween and Christmas the dog received a warm cover for his kennel and a new bed cushion. This had been on my list for over a year and then it came off the list. Why?, because he escaped on my watch and had to be retrieved from the local animal shelter. Guess I was feeling a little guilty and so decided to put it back on the list and actually do it.
Dog's Kennel Cover
 And finally to round things out I designed the new bookmark for our 2016 Quilters’ Guild ofArlington program list and the 2016 Quilt Show postcard for the same guild.

I will say though with all that I did get accomplished very few were on my move it on and finish it list of projects. In my favor though, I did not start anything new on Friday. I may have come close by getting it started on Thursday but I avoided the temptation to start anything on Friday. See this post for the reason that is important.

Keep on stitching!