Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Design wall - a bit late this week

I took my own advice, sort of. After making a total of 450 3-inch four-patches, I decided to put them aside and finish the last two blocks of the Southern Stars quilt. I was so close to getting the next to the last block finished Monday morning in time to post at Judy's blog, but had sewn two of the half square triangles in backwards! I hate unsewing. I took the block to work with me and unsewed during my lunch hour.

And here's the very last block, ready to be put together. Then it's on to the sashing.

Anyone watching the royal wedding Friday? We plan to get up early to watch and make "wedding waffles" for breakfast.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the fabric on the ironing board is for the border of the quilt.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

What was Easter like when you were a child? I remember every woman and girl always had a new Easter dress, and usually hat, shoes and purse to go with it. I remember the excitement of hunting the Easter eggs first thing in the morning. If it was raining, the Easter Bunny hid them in the living room. My Easter "basket" was usually a new sand pail, for playing in my sandbox, one of my favorite activities. I would love to have one or two of those pails now! I think I need to check out eBay and see if I can find any.

Then came Sunday School, where we'd do a crafty gift for our parents like a new Bible bookmark, or something. My mom's Bible was stuffed with those bookmarks - typically a length of satin ribbon with a sticker at the top. Then home to family and a feast. My grandmother would bring me a shoebox full of flower transplants from her flower beds. To this day, the smell of stock takes me instantly to my grandmother's side.

My mom was born in 1915, and her childhood Easter egg experience was a bit different than the standard egg hunt. On the day before Easter each child (with my grandmother watching closely so she could "direct" the Easter Bunny later) found a secluded spot near the house and built a "nest" with leaves, twigs, grass, etc. Then on Easter morning they would go to their nests and find the colored eggs left by the Easter Bunny in the nest. Seems like this would confuse little ones - did the bunny lay the eggs? Did he bring a hen friend along? Oh well, these were country kids, they probably knew exactly where eggs came from from an early age.

Being a clergy family, my husband has always been out the door by 6 a.m. on Sunday (or earlier) for the sunrise service at church. We had to be creative if he was going to experience the fun of watching our daughter hunt Easter eggs. For the first couple of years we had Grace convinced that the Easter Bunny came to our house on Saturday evening (he has to start somewhere, right?). We'd also have our big meal then. If you don't know, Easter, and all of Holy Week, are exhausting for church staff. Joyful and emotional and stressful, but most of all exhausting.

When she was in about the 2nd grade, we were getting her Easter basket ready for the next day when Grace wrote a note for the Easter Bunny. At the end of the note she drew an "x" and line and wrote, "Sign here if you are real." So after she went to bed I sort of messily signed "Hippity" with my left hand. When she woke up the next morning she looked at the note and said, "Just what I thought, Dad's handwriting."

Hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday, confident of God's sacrifice for you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On my design wall

Hello again! I can't believe I've gone so long without posting. Life is just so daily, as Mary Engelbreit says! I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things. Nothing major happened in these last few months. Work has been tough, but it always is. We're dealing with the same budget cuts every one else is. But as my boss (the college president) says, we can't control what the economy and the state government are doing, we can only control how we react to our circumstances. And one of my best ways to deal with stress is to sew!! (The others are pray and cook!)

And on that note, here is my design wall today. There are 10 blocks of Southern Stars by Pacific Patchwork and a bunch of double four-patches in a setting I love from a book called Triangle-Free Quilts by Judy Hopkins. Las Colchas did the Southern Stars as a bom a couple of years ago. (Hi Francine!). I started making the double four-patches a couple of weeks ago when I had a bunch of leftover 1 1/2 inch brown and beige blocks and strip sets from my sister's choice quilt. I needed a fairly mindless activity to occupy my hands and free my brain from too much junk, so I just kept making and making and making 3-inch four-patches. I thought I'd use up all my brown and beige fabric, then hunt for a block that incorporated the four patches and then I remembered the Judy Hopkins quilt. I did buy some new fabric for the bigger squares in the four patches. My small four patches are so incredibly scrappy I wanted some consistency in the large ones.

Please don't point out that in much less than the time it took to make the 200 3-inch four-patches I've made so far I could easily have made the other two Southern Stars blocks and put them together and had a finished top to show for it! That makes way too much sense!

Two great things that are happening this week: it's Sylvester's day to clean my house today (he comes every other Monday) and it's our second four-day work week in a row! So today is really my Tuesday! And I'm really busy at work, so time will fly by.

Time for Bible study/devotion with my pastor spouse. We try for every morning over coffee. It doesn't always work out, but most of the time it does.