Skagit Valley Sprint

Skagit Valley Sprint

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon

To bring you my entry for the Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. First of all, thank you Amy for organizing this twice a year event and thank you to all the sponsors that donated prizes! It's always fun and inspiring to gaze at all the quilts that are entered and read their corresponding stories...when I checked my blog today after work, there were already over 200 entries!
Not one to be left out, I sat down at the machine this evening after dinner and finished quilting my entry around 8pm..Fast forward a few hours and it's now almost 1:30 in the am on the West Coast and this bit of quilty loveliness is all bound and hanging on the design wall. So, here I am, almost 2am on an early Saturday morning, full of creative energy and well, doesn't it just make sense to take the time to blog about it now, rather than wait until (later this) morning? My DH would totally disagree with this rationale, telling me that we creative peeps are lunatics to stay up so late to finish a project...all while toddling his way off to the bedroom to go to bed! What can I say? I'm a nightowl and one must take advantage of creative energy while it's flowing, right?!
Okay! Now, onto the story behind the quilt...Once upon a time (hey! I'm getting punchy here...give me a break!) I started and finished the top to this quilt for a coworker's (Jackie) baby shower back in early August (another late-night adventure) using the tutorial by Oh Fransson! A week or so later, a beautiful baby girl was born on August 8th, while my family and I were celebrating in Montana my Mother-in-Law's 60th birthday AND mine and my DH's 20th wedding anniversary. Sometime in September I got around to piecing the back, sandwiching and pin-basting it, started the quilting and... lost my momentum. It had a little (well a lot really) to do with an emergency trip to Montana for less celebratory reasons and more recently yet another trip to Montana for my Mother-in-Law's funeral.  So here we are almost a month later...let me add here that I didn't finish the quilt just so that I would have an entry, but more so, because Jackie is coming back to work on Tuesday and well, between the two, it was just the push I needed to get it done! She brought her beautiful girls into the office on Wednesday and I got some snuggle-time with her newest addition, who was smiling and cooing and smelling all baby-like....ahhhhh, life renewed!
 What have I learned in making this quilt? That puckers in the backing continue to be a nemesis for me! I'm hoping that they will blend in after it's washed an machine dried, but if not... Jackie's Mom is a fellow quilter, Jackie understands the quirks come with all things handmade...I know that this quilt will be well-loved and well-used. Furthermore, I love the bright colors, it was fun, quick and easy to make and I would definitely make another one (in fact, I have the fat quarters set aside on the ironing board!)
So here it is...take into consideration, the hour at which the photo was taken...I just couldn't wait until tomorrow to get this posted...well, ahem, so I guess it is tomorow, being 2-something now in the am...uh, that would be my cue to put my weary self to bed...good night all!  Good morning...again! I couldn't leave y'all with that awful photo from last night on the design are a couple more artistically pleasing shots taken outside...thought you might like to see the back as well!!  Enjoy your perusing of all the lovely quilts...I am off now to do that myself

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


It was another hard, sorrowful week.  My Mother-in-Law Linda passed away on Tuesday, October 4, 2011.  Her funeral was this last Monday, the 10th at the Belgrade Baptist Church.  My family and I hopped in the car and made the long, 9 hour, 545 mile journey to Belgrade, Montana, traveling with my husband's cousins and aunt.  Though the journey's purpose was mournful, we had a good time texting, making facebook posts and drag-racing along the way.  We arrived and helped assemble poster-boards full of photos taken throughout the many years of Linda's life, we had a campfire in the back yard and visited with not-often-seen relatives and as a tribute to her, I made a floral arrangement full of the flowers that she loved, sunflowers, roses, carnations, gladiolas and her favorite of all...butterflies.  We attended the memorial service and listened for an hour as many in the congregation shared stories of Linda and how she touched their lives. Pastor Curtis's eulogy was more of a reflection on Linda's Bible study notes and how, despite the disappointment of the certain death she faced, Linda still read scripture and studied God's word in search of of the last things she told me is that everything would be alright and to read my Bible...and I mean to do just that (I have been lax in that department)

I learned many things during those 4 days, some of them disappointing as many of you I'm sure can identify with, given the nature of people...I learned that a wife and a mother can't possibly console a husband and 2 young men at once (even worse is that my boys are impossibly tall, which makes hugging difficult) that it's beyond heartbreaking to watch your children experience life-changing loss, knowing that you can't begin to comfort them or take away the pain they are going through.  That Linda was a woman of deep abiding faith despite what had to have been a huge disappointment to learn that she was losing her fight against  leukemia and lymphoma.  Despite that disappointment, she still was eager to let you know that she wasn't afraid to go, that she knew her Lord and Savior AND most important of all, she wanted her friends and family to know Him too...which brings me to the real purpose for this post.

Bible study...

As you can see, I was given a Bible by my church when I should have gone through Confirmation in 7th grade.  In high school, I became a Christian and started reading the Bible, even taking a class my senior year called Bible as Lit.  We read through the entire Bible as if it were common literature, this was back in 1982-3 and you could still recite the pledge of Allegiance but any Bible study had to take place off-campus. I attended those weekly studies and have attended church over the years, but still am left with a burning question of how does one go about studying God's word???...this is where YOU might come there a certain book that you would recommend? I've known enough to read a Proverbs and a Psalm a day.  I've listened and read Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen's tv show and podcast, but still that curiosity remains...WHERE to begin? I am open for suggestion on where to begin this journey...

On a quilty note, I hope to regain the creative spirit soon...there's much to finish; ome small section of machine quilting on a baby quilt for a sweet little miss born in (cringe) August, the camper quilt, one more section of large stitch hand quilting on the bento box swap quilt, some stitches to pick (and re-cutting a couple of rectangles that I just didn't pay attention to the proper size) on the portrait gallery quilt, courage to either lop off the edges of some hexies or hand sew the borders on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and do some applique on the final large border...yes, I so need to get out of my funk and get motivated!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saying Goodbye

It's been a rough week, and for as rough of a week as my family and I have had, it's been a lot worse for my dear Mother In Law Linda.  She has battled Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for 15 years and Large Cell Diffused Lymphoma for the last year or so and now, her fight is ending. Hospice has been called in to make her last days comfortable, my husband's cousin Amy (who was a bridesmaid in our wedding 20 years ago) has flown in from Boise, Idaho to be her constant caregiver (it's what she does for a living) and we couldn't have left her in more capable and loving hands.  It became evident that chemo wasn't working, so we (my DH and sons) packed our bags and headed to Montana to give my F-I-L Mark and S-I-L Connie a break. It turns out that we were fortunate enough to spend the last lucid days that Linda would have with her and my In-Laws. It was the hardest and most blessed week that I have ever had, sharing last moments and conversations with her. But, saying goodbye and watching my DH and sons say goodbye and struggle with emotions about ripped my heart out! Oh, if I could only take that pain from all of them, I would bear it myself in a heartbeat, just to save them from the agony of it all! After phone calls from family tonight, it seems that the end is very near and I pray that it is, that she would finally be at peace and without pain.  That is my prayer for her... 2 Timothy 4:6-8 comes to mind when I reflect on her iminent passing..."For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." I love you Linda Hall, may you rest in heavenly peace until we see you again...