December 23, 2011

Week 52

Hard Things

It's been a hard couple of days. And that seems to be the way life goes, sometimes we're asked to do hard things. A sister in my ward is dying from breast cancer. Kris has been fighting the battle for a few years, with its good and bad times. I am not a close friend, but I love and admire her courage and her spirit. She was a Relief Society teacher when I was moved into the ward. A few weeks ago my friend and new RS President Pam Price asked me if I could help her make a simple quilt for Kris from the Relief Society. I said okay. We were planning to do it next week--after the Christmas rush. When Pam asked, I immediately thought of a quilt top I made several months. I thought about Kris as I sewed it, and wanted to make it for her but I let my fears of not really knowing Kris and worrying what she'd think of me stop me from doing what I felt was right. I was sad that I didn't make a better choice, but I let it go and hoped I'd do better in the future. Now I was being given an opportunity for a second chance to follow the prompting from this summer and I happily offered the quilt top to Pam.

I was blessed. Second chances don't come very often.

Pam called Wednesday saying Kris was in the hospital, doing really poorly and may not make it to Christmas. Pam wanted to know if we could get the quilt done immediately. She bought 4 yards of backing fabric and delivered it and the top to my house. I cut and sewed the back pice together, pressed it and the top, cut batting and finally spray basted the layers together. Pam tied the quilt overnight, then brought it back Thursday morning. I squared it up then made and attached the binding. Pam picked it up after lunch and was going to deliver it later that day.
My angel was Jenna Patchett who came over and "babysat" my puppy Taffy which kept the pup away from dangling iron cords and fabric that she loves to chew. While I put Taffy in the kennel whenever I leave the house, I haven't put her in the kennel while I'm home since she's been potty trained. I didn't want to hear Taffy whine and cry as she heard me moving around the house--that would be way too distracting. Taffy and I sure do love Jenna!

The quilting wasn't hard. The emotions were. I thought of my grandmother who died from breast cancer December 20th over 30 years ago. I can remember that Christmas so clearly. And I remembered giving a different tulip quilt to my mother less than a week before she died. That was almost 20 years ago, but the tears still fall on days like today. I quilted my hope that Kris receive comfort and peace. I quilt my love for my mother and grandmother and Diana Jergensen and Shelley Horman Fuller and so many other great and nobel women. I quilt my knowledge that life is going to change for Kris' family and it will never be the same but somehow they'll find a way to get used to it and be happy again. And mostly I quilted my testimony of Jesus Christ that He keeps His promises. Families are forever. And then I cried some more. The tears do stop and the joy of living returns. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

It was a hard thing. It was a joy.

Weeks 28 to 51

To meet the goal I established with this blog I needed to:
create a quilt item each week,
take a picture,
transfer the picture to my computer,
sign into the blog and
write something witty, or at least spelled correctly,
During this year I have been challenged by each of these seemingly simple steps. Here's some of the projects from weeks 28 to 51.

July 14, 2011

Week 27

I had six of these 3 fabric strips in my scrap bin. I love the colors. These must have been leftovers from something--not really sure what they were supposed to be.
I saw the pattern for a quilt titled, "carnival". It's in my friend Wendi's May 2011 Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. I thumbed through the isse, thought of these peach colored scraps, and borrowed the magazine. Wendi is back from Hawaii and is going to want her magazine returned, so I made this quilt this week.
The process of making this quilt reminded me of a parable included in Luke 14: 28-30. My comments are in parenthesis.
"For which of you, intending to build a tower (sew a quilt), sitteth down first, and counteth the cost (measured the fabrics in my scraps and stash), whether he (that would be me) have sufficient (compare fabric on hand to the materials list on the pattern) to finish it? Lest haply (perhaps), after he hath laid the foundation (cut six fabrics), and is not able to finish it (two unsuccessful shopping trips to match an apparently discontinued fabric)? Lest haply (frustratingly), after he hath laid the foundation (sewed all those little pieces into bigger units and from bigger units into blocks and from blocks into a quilt top), and is not able to finish it (even making it much smaller than the pattern I didn't have enough fabric to finish the corners), all (that's you) that behold it begin to mock (laugh at me) him, Saying, this man (silly woman) began to build (make a quilt following a pattern), and was not able to finish."
In other words, a little bit of planning at the beginning of the project would have saved me hours of frustration near the end of the project. The amazing grace of the week--I love how it looks, even without the corners.

Week 26

I acquired a new book recently. It's "the biggest patchwork issue ever!", or so it claims. It's better, it's so much better! I have read it, and read it, and turned down the corner of pages to mark favorites (tntc--too numerous to count) and practically sleep with it under my pillow.
For my first project from my new book, I made the first patchwork project, a scrappy composition notebook cover. I used my scraps, so it looks different than the picture in the book. Then I made a second one without a pocket (pockets are a pain!). And then I made another notebook cover to see if I could make it quicker.

Turns out my new book is pretty fantastic! And that's simply the first project.

July 10, 2011

Weeks 24 & 25

My "creative" energy these two weeks was spent finishing other projects. I did start these two different star blocks--one each week.

Weeks 16, 18, 20 and 23

Week 16 I started a baby quilt for Meg Irish. When I make a quilt, expecially a baby quilt, I like to think about the things I love about babies. I sew my love and cuddles and tickling their tummies into their quilt. I sew a comforting arm around her when she's sad and I make sure there's a soft place to wipe her eyes and dry her tears. She may never know the story of her quilt, but I believe she will feel my love when it's wrapped around her. Every baby deserves to be loved.

Week 18 I realized I had a problem with Meg's quilt. It was going slow. Really, really slow. The baby wasn't due for a couple weeks, so I had a little time, but I couldn't seem to get it done. I had a long, heart-to-heart talk with myself and realized the problem wasn't Meg's quilt, it was Addie, Grace and Kate--Meg's older sisters. Those little girls are sweet and adorable and in need of a new quilt as much as the baby. And why should the baby be the only one to get a present?

Solution--make three more quilts!