Monday, January 24, 2011


The days seem to fly by. There never seems to be enough time to get in the things that I want to finish each day. I'm getting more diligent about making daily lists and bought a planner book for that purpose. It also holds the many schedules and events that need to be worked around. My book shows a week at a time, with nice lined sections for each day, it seems like I turn to a new page far too quickly.

Rachel is doing a different flying, she left yesterday for Paris to meet up with her group and is, as I post, on her flight from Paris to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa. At left is her visa picture, she was not thrilled with it but the smile tells it all. This is a much anticipated and planned for trip and my hope for her is that she finds it all she expected and more. She'll be gone for 10 days, I doubt those days fly by for me, though I'm sure they will for her!

Quilt ideas are flying from my brain to my fingers these days. Each time I wonder if I will be able to come up with anything new, I sit down with my pad and colored pencils and start to draw and one or two more ideas come flowing out. I feel like my brain flies a mile a minute while I try to put all the different pieces of this venture into some semblance of order. At left is a peek at one of the new designs.

In addition to working on new patterns and tops, I'm hand quilting on the Celtic and Posies. Not only do I want to finish this one, hand quilting time is really good thinking, praying, and meditation time for me. It's so relaxing for me to hand quilt that my jumbled thoughts have time to sort themselves out. I lot of ideas and solutions to problems have come to fruition while hand quilting.

Ruthie continues to "fly" as well. She strings more and more words together, is nearly always able to easily communicate what she wants and can be quite bossy at times. Where words used to be great effort for her, they come much more easily now. She used to never react verbally, the words didn't come quickly enough, but now we hear "oh my" or "donnit!" (darn it) and other various comments on things happening around her. She loves to sing, though it's still very rudimentary, few words, mostly vowels and not really in tune, but she clearly has the idea of her voice moving up and down for notes. This is a skill we'll work on as it will provide her much pleasure. Very few activities these days don't include a lot of chatter and she'll call out to anyone passing by her to tell them what she's doing. She likes hiding and will climb into boxes, the pantry, under blankets and then call out for someone to come see while she pops out.

She's doing more counting, identifying colors, starting to identify letters, and her problem solving skills continue to improve. Her smile lights up the room and she still garners attention everywhere we go.

Life is good! And I hope the same for you.

Happy Quilting!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Updates and New Beginnings

Happy After Holidays! I LOVE the holidays and this past holiday season was a particularly joyous one for us. After many years of financial struggle, things seem to be looking up and we had our least stressful holiday in a very long time. We still have a ways to go, but feeling like we're making progress, and not peddling in vain, sure helps a lot!

The newlyweds are doing very well and are hoping to close on their first house early next month. Brian was able to find a job in his field so reluctantly left a job he enjoyed, but didn't pay very well, for one with better pay and a brighter future.

With the lease not being up on their apartment, an opportunity presented itself for Joshua, our oldest, and he is going to sublet and spend the next few months looking for a place he can afford with a friend who will be needing a place to live. It will be a big change, but one he is ready for and quite excited about. It's a little easier to see your kids leave the nest when they are staying in the same tree! Both the new house and the apartment are within a couple of miles of our house.

Rachel took some classes at the Community College last semester and is taking a full load during the one coming up. Before she starts that, she'll be taking a 10 day trip to Africa with an organization through which she's sponsored a child for almost 3 years. She will get to meet the little boy who calls her his "Jesus mother" and spend a day with him. She can hardly wait. My little town girl is flying on her own to Paris to meet up with the group that will leave from there to go to Africa. She's well prepared and so looking forward to this adventure.

Jonathan and Lucas are also doing well, they are keeping busy with schoolwork and friends. Jonathan and Joshua went winter camping this past weekend, on one of the coldest weekends we've had this winter, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Lucas will often don shoes and coat and run around outside all by himself, tossing a ball around, practicing his juggling, looking for ice patches to break up and generally just wiggling off some energy.

Ruthie is doing wonderfully. She loved "mismas", is getting more and more verbal, and has found her sense of pretend, which is a hoot and is also developing a sense of humor. She keeps herself busy from the time she gets up until she goes to bed at night and we are all excited and entertained watching her learn.

As usual, it's rare for me to go a day without quilting. I worked on Rachel's quilt (pictured at right) up until 3:50pm on Dec 23rd, she got home from work at 4:00. She had no idea I was making the quilt and was so very surprised when she opened the box. The kids were most excited to see that gift opened, I think, they were all in on it.

The Christmas quilting was followed by a quilting job that I got a few weeks before the holidays, which just went out in the mail this morning.

I also got a baby shower invitation just after Christmas, the shower is this Saturday so I've been hard at work finishing a quilt for that, it's pictured at left, still in the hoop and on track to be finished for the shower.

Once the baby quilt is finished, finally, after a couple of months of delays, I can get back to work on my new venture. A series of events, many of them precipitated and/or encouraged by Bren have led me to designing patterns and also taking in quilting work. A new venture means a new blog to focus on it, this one will remain predominantly about my family and personal quilting...though I'm sure there will be some crossover!

Visit me at Quilt in Piece Designs and hopefully watch me grow from the ground up. And I do mean ground, it's quite empty over there!

It's rare for me to be without something in my hoop, so once the baby quilt is done, the Celtic and Posies will be getting some attention.

I also have to quilt the "Tablecloth Quilt", but have decided that will make a better anniversary gift than birthday one, so I have some time. I do plan to mark and baste that one in the next few weeks.

So that is my very long update. There is a lot going on right now and I look forward to each day!
Happy Quilting!