Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pint-Sized Blessings...

If you're like me, you have a hard time deciding what to work on at a quilting retreat.  Of course, you want to make sure you bring enough projects so you don't run out of things to do (that has never happened to me by the way), but you have limited space and don't want to over pack.  Generally I try to work on multiple things during a week long retreat, in part because it's more fun.  I can spend days beforehand going through my quilt room pulling out books, kit and fabric planning them all out.

This latest retreat was a bit different.  I went knowing there were 2 projects I really needed/wanted to work on - a raffle quilt my mom and I are making for my niece's school (for the next school year of course) and a baby quilt.  I also brought along a couple of wall hangings I could continue machine quilting if I found time.

I have so many quilting books on my shelves that I have yet to make a single quilt out of.  One such book is Sizzlin' Sixties by Heather Mulder Peterson.

I really love most of the quilts in this book and they can all be made with a jelly roll.  I had an Oz by Sanae jelly roll lying around just waiting for the perfect project.  The prints in it are so happy and fun and I thought they would work well in a baby quilt.

I needed a 60 degree ruler to make this quilt so I went digging in my ruler drawer.  OK, can I see a show of hands for anyone else out there who has a drawer full of rulers that they've never used before?  I can't be the only one.  (At least I hope not!)  A number of them still had the shrink wrap on them.  I was sure that I must have a 60 degree ruler.  I pulled out a bunch of them and used the 60 degree line on my Creative Grids ruler to measure them.  I couldn't find one!  I was completely perplexed until I realized I was reading the ruler markings wrong.  Duh!!!  It turns out I have several 60 degree rulers.

When I started on this quilt at retreat I really thought it would be pretty easy (despite the pattern calling it advanced).  I didn't consider how many bias edges and matching points there are.  I'm glad I made a much smaller version of the cover quilt, 'Oh My Stars' or it would take a very long frustrating  time to finish.  I was able to get the center put together during retreat, but had to order fabric for the borders online (which I'm still waiting on). (I'll straighten the sides when I add the borders.)

I've also picked out a soft minkee backing for it as well.

I already know how I want to quilt it so once I get the borders on, I hope to get it done quickly.  The baby is a preemie and still in the hospital so I have a little bit of time, but I'm praying she'll get to go home soon.  She's had a challenging start to her life and I pray for every good blessing to come her way in the future.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."
Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl...

I've just returned from 5 wonderful days at a quilting retreat on the coast.  How blessed am I?  Just before I left, Gabriel, our smelly sweet black lab celebrated another birthday.  She's 9 now and starting to slow down a bit.  Some of that though is undoubtedly due to the winter weight she has yet to lose!  She's getting a little grey in her muzzle, but she still loves to play with her babies and chase a ball.  Here are a few recent pictures I've captured of her.

Those brown eyes of hers will just melt your heart, and she knows how to use them to her advantage.  It's the main reason she's so fat fluffy right now.

I send my husband pictures like this during the day to remind him why he's working so hard.

FYI - While I've been typing this, my husband has gone for a run without Gabriel.  He takes her with him every other day of the week.  She's so distraught that he left without her, she's been howling at the window.  She sounds absolutely forlorn.  I sure hope he comes home soon!

I think I'll have to go see if a belly rub will cheer her up in the meantime...

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 
1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)