Friday, October 28, 2016

Five Things Friday

It has been very busy the last few weeks and something just had to be skipped on the "To Do" list and the Five-Things-Friday posts with Amanda over at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. are the things that didn't get done. While I didn't share the snapshots of things that made me smile, I was taking note and offering some words of thanks for each one.

So here's a quick look at some of the items this week that brought me the most joy...

I love my chai tea and when Solar Roast in Pueblo, CO had a sale I quickly got my order in! 

I had the help and support of Dave as we emptied the guest room closet of the games and craft stuff left from when the girls still lived at home and made room for the large collection of fabric that my friend recently passed on to me.  I have one more cabinet to go through and then all of my fabric will be in one place!  Woo hoo!

I had the blessing of spending an entire weekend with some special ladies as we served our Lord... this is just one picture of some "down time" between the busy times of getting things in place and completing our assigned tasks.
After four busy days of walking more than 62,000 steps I was welcomed home by our little gal, Shelby... who, obviously did not sleep well while I was gone.  She wanted to be by my side as I got caught up on laundry and other chores but just could not keep her eyes open any longer. 

I haven't had much time in my sewing room this week but I did sneak in there to make up these cute little tea cup pin cushions that will be part of my inventory for next years Farmer's Market days.  The cups and saucers were part of the every-day dishes that my Grandparents had.  I had made several for my mom and for the girls a few years ago for Christmas... It was during the purging of items and moving items from the closet to the basement that I decided it was time to part with the remainder of the set, but kept these final items.  Somethings are just hard to let go of... but I still have the memories 

Be sure you head over to see what brought Amanda (and others) some smiles...

Happy Friday!


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Majestic Mountains

When asked to make a quilt for Jeanne Graber, Lay Director of the Emmaus of the Rockies Walk #168 I envisioned Mountains... She lives in the Greenhorn Valley of Colorado and is a lover of the outdoors - riding her bike, hiking or any other outdoor activity.  

I had considered trying to design my own block or scene or using the Delectable Mountains block.  But when I found the pattern for Majestic Mountains, by Amy Ellis at Amy's Creative Side, I knew that I could quit looking.  And, considering that the Walk is being held in the mountains of Colorado... in the fall... I chose to have a fall setting in the meadow.

As I worked on this quilt the scripture that kept coming to my mind was 

I lift my eyes to the hills -- where does my help come from?  
My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

~ Psalm 121:1-2 ~

Life is full of ups and downs... times in the valley and mountain top experiences.  It is just a part of life.  And we all know that it is the time in the valley where most of our spiritual growth occurs.  We also understand that we are "easy targets" when on the top of the mountain.  I know that it has been and will continue to be the prayer of many that the ladies that attend Walk 168 walk ever closer with the Lord... whether in the valley times or atop a mountain.

What a blessing it has been to serve our Lord with you, Jeanne!



Monday, October 17, 2016

Restoration? Recovery? Salvage? Repair... Yes, Repair!

How would you define the work that this quilt needs?

A restoration? That would indicate that something old will look brand new again. A recovery?  That, to me, means that something was lost. A salvage job?  That brings to my mind a sense of "re-purposing".  A repair?  Yes, a repair - to fix that which is broken or mangled and return to a usable state.   

I would consider this quilt in DIRE need of repair... 

This quilt was delivered to me in desperate need of help...  Its 12 inch blocks were tied in the center as well as ties in the sashing strips - making the ties 6-7 inches apart, allowing it to easily be pulled apart. The "batting was a blanket... actually two blankets joined to make it long enough... I can truly appreciate the thrifty-ness of the quilt maker... I used an old blanket on the ABC Crayon Quilt that I made with my daughter years ago.

This quilt was well loved for 30+ years and the owner was not willing to put it on a closet shelf, allow it to become a "pet blanket" or toss it.  I believe it was made by his Grandma. And I can understand his desire to have it fixed and I understand it.

As I looked at it I knew immediately that it needed some quilting to stabilize it and prevent further damage.  I started with the sashing strips... One of them had a tear nearly the entire width of the quilt. (You can see this in the first picture, between the 2nd & 3rd rows)  

I simply did a wavy stitch to hold down each side of the tear and then did a straight stitch just outside of the waves to secure the fabric.  I repeated the decorative waves on all of the sashings to make all of the strips match.

I then moved onto the stars.  

I used the waves to outline the stars since some of the seams had pulled apart. This secured the seams, preventing further tears.  I started with the blocks that needed the least "help" and progressed to the others that were in dire need of repair.

The final block to receive help was this one...

The printed fabric was cotton and completely worn through... I placed the quilt on my table and made sure it laid flat.  I then traced the star point and made a template.  I dove into my stash in search of some 1980's calicos and found the perfect mate for the block!

After making sure the template was somewhat symmetrical, I proceeded to cut fabric to the proper size and pressed in the edges 1/4". 

 I pinned the points into place I hand-stitched the points over the worn points...

It all took a little patience, but it was soooooo worth it.  

I finished up with making sure the missing ties were replaced... the owner of this quilt was thrilled with the fix and ready to snuggle into bed wrapped with his Grandmother's love.

Lesson for the day?  Even when you think something is beyond repair, there is always a way to restore it... and most of the time it takes lots of patience.

Something that I noticed as I repaired this quilt was that the cotton fabrics were more worn and in worse shape than the poly-cotton blends. So, this begs the question... why do quilters prefer the cotton fabrics over the blended fabrics if the blended fabrics have a longer life?  

I realize that tradition probably plays a large part in it, as poly-cotton blends did not exist until 50's or 60's (I am far from an expert here, but taking an educated guess, based on clothing styles, etc.).

Do you have a preference for cotton?  
Do you steer clear of poly-cotton blends?  

I would love to hear from you!  Would you have tried to "save" this quilt? What approach would you have taken?  Something similar, or some other plan?  

Happy Quilting!


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Monday, October 10, 2016

Making Dreams Come True...

A few weeks ago I had a dream... I was employed at a quilt shop called "The Quilty Conscience".  I was having an amazingly fun time!  I was helping customers pick fabric for quilts, cutting fabric for kits and helping to organize and teach some classes. 

These are all things I would love, Love, LOVE to do.  I shared my dream with my family and friends on fb and asked "who wanted to open a shop in Trinidad and hire me?" There was pretty much a unanimous suggestion that I open the shop and work for myself. "Make your dreams come true..."

Dave and I tossed around the idea, weighed some pros and cons and discussed the reality of the whole thing. There are a few things that just make sense to us.  Like...

1)  The Wal-mart fabric department (my personal Local Quilt Shop - haha!) would have to be eliminated in order for a privately owned quilt shop to even "stand a chance".

2)  Store front property rental fees in Trinidad are just too expensive and would require an unrealistic amount of yearly sales for it to be profitable.  Which brings us to #3...

3)  Money!  It would take a large amount of cash to start up such a business - considering the amount of and cost of inventory required.  We simply don't have that kind of money to invest and we refuse to tap into our retirement.  And we certainly don't want to take on a HUGE loan... we are debt free and have been for years.

I know that many would argue with us about taking a risk and reaping the rewards.  But...

4)  We are, after three years with a home based business, well adjusted to and accustomed to our life.  We can run errands or take time off as needed.  With a downtown store front you have to have  "regular business hours".  We aren't sure that we want to commit to that.  Weekends away, vacation time, etc. all become a challenge.  And that can quickly lead to burn out... something Dave and I both are too familiar with, and not interested in experiencing again.

When it comes right down to it we are being a bit selfish, (but believe me when I say, we have give it some thought and put it to prayer) but we really do not feel as though a Local Quilt Shop is something God is leading us into, right now.

However, yesterday a sweet friend had let me know that she had fabric (two shelves full) from her mother that she didn't feel she would use... my friend had held onto for over two years.  She passed it on to me.  I had no idea of the amount of fabric that she was talking about!  OH. MY!  I think I could easily open a shop...

There are fabrics of all types... mostly cotton. But there is some fleece as well as some flannel that will be perfect to use as backings for some sweet baby quilts.

Oh, and just to let some of you know that I am not a hoarder... I did bag up some of the fabric that I know I will not absolutely use and am passing along to our local Senior Center for their use in craft items that they make and then sell...  you know... just sharin' the love!

So, do dreams come true??? 

I do believe dreams come true.  Sometimes you have to work to make them come true.  And sometimes you have to wait.  For now, we will wait to see if "The Quilty Conscience" turns up in Trinidad... or if we happen to find one elsewhere.  

If we do happen to stumble upon one in our travels, you can bet that we will recall my dream and and go from there.

Dream on...


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Friday, October 7, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #9

It is Friday!  

That means it is time to review the five things that brought the biggest smile to me...  If you look back over my FTF posts, you will see that most are everyday, normal things that occur.  But if you approach each day with anticipation and excitement, you will see that they really are not "normal" things, but each a special, unique event...  Take time to enjoy the moment!

#1)  Time spent with a friend-cousin catching up after nearly two years of not seeing each other...

#2)  Hot Air Balloons.  Everywhere. More than 600 of them!  Every shape. Every size. Every color.  Amazing!  
This is just one of the more than 300 pictures we took.

#3)   A leisurely drive home via the scenic route - and it really didn't take any longer to get home... less traffic and a slower pace.  The colors through Taos and Cimmaron Canyons were stunning... pictures don't really do justice.

#4)  A Flower-girl with her pearls and sun glasses

#5) The completed repair of a well-loved quilt.  This block needed the most help.  All it required was some patience and hand-sewing to have it repaired and looking as good as new.  

Look around at life... is life happening around you? Are you missing out on the many simple, special moments taking place right where you are?  Be present. S.M.I.L.E.!

Have a great weekend!  And don't forget to smile! ;) Oh, and don't forget to visit Amanda over at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.


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