Monday, July 29, 2013

God be with you 'til we meet again

In friendship we think we have chosen our peers.  In reality a few years difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university over another, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting-any of these chances might have kept us apart.
But for the Christian there are strictly speaking no chances.  A secret master of ceremonies has been at work.  Christ, who said to his disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.
Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out.  It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.
                                                                                                                                            C.S. Lewis-The Four Loves
Last week, a dear friend of mine lost her battle with cancer and with her passing the world lost a truly beautiful soul.
Jan was a vibrant woman of substance.  She had uncommon wisdom.  I valued her thoughts and opinions.  She was, to me, a mother/sister/mentor/friend.  I don't know if she ever knew how very important she was to me.  After my first meeting with her (a meeting that should have only lasted about 30 minutes but ended up lasting for three hours as we chatted and laughed the afternoon away) I went home and told my husband that I wanted to be like her when I grew up.

She was and will continue to be my role model for aging with dignity, grace and style.  In fact, as I was looking at the 1999 picture of us together, it struck me how much I have unconsciously adopted a similar look as I have aged.  Do you see it or is it just my imagination?

Our life paths had led us apart and since moving I hadn't had as much contact with her as I would have liked but it was comforting to think of her back in Texas "doin' her thang".  I will miss her.
I believe that Heavenly Father puts certain people in our paths to teach and bless us and I know without any doubt that he placed Jan in my life for those and many other reasons.  I don't flatter myself that I had near the effect on her that she had on me, but I hope that in some small way I blessed her life in the years we were close.
Whatever the case, I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed in this mortal life.  I will never forget her.

I added a new entry to my Names of Christ page.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Local culture

Last weekend we decided to take the entire family on a little outing.

A demolition derby!  I know, I know, it's a pretty red-neck thing to do but I have to admit it's SO fun.  At least it's not a monster truck rally :)

There was plenty of crash, boom bang...

an engine fire...

and even a dance contest during intermission.  

The po-dunk band got more and more off-key as the evening progressed, but somehow it only added to the ambience of the evening.  

The sentiments expressed on this vehicle got some big cheers.

You know it's been a great derby when they have to tow the winner out of the ring.  

Mason loved it.  

Since then, I've been busy working on Bethany's quilt.  

Whenever I want to get a quilt done quickly I chain stitch all the blocks at once. 

It makes the quilt top come together very quickly.  

Here's a sneak peak at the finished top.  I'm hoping to have the back sewn and the entire thing quilted by the end of the week.  
Well Bethany, what do you think?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The 4th, some sewing and a tutorial

There is nothing like a small town 4th of July. I love everything about it.  The parades filled with local kids riding their decorated their bikes.  The rinky-dink carnivals set up in mall parking lots. Somehow, everything just seems more homey.  Big cities try, but they just can't capture the feeling.

This year we packed up the family, took our blankets, lawn chairs, sparklers  and headed to the local high school for the fireworks show.  It was so much fun!  Truly, I LOVE fireworks! I cannot get enough of them.  Here in Utah we're allowed to shoot them off on the 24th of July (Pioneer Day) as well.  I'm counting down the days!

Here is my latest finish, for no one special.  It's just another of my UFO's from the closet. It's  a simple design with simple meander quilting.  It's nice to have some quilts hanging around in case I need to give a gift. This will make a great gift for a baby boy.

My next quilt is a commission for an old friend's daughter.  I had to order the fabric online so while I was waiting for it to arrive, I decided to work on some easy, fun little projects.
About a year ago, I found this fun selvedge print on Spoonflower.  I snapped up a couple of yards even though I had no idea what I would do with it.
Lately, I've been seeing embroidery hoop wall art all over the internet and Pinterest so I thought I'd give it a try.  What do you think??

Next, I've had this cute apron pattern  sitting on a shelf for quite a while now, so I decided it was time to "get 'er dun".

Here it is.  This pattern was fast and easy!  I finished the whole thing from cut out to the last stitch in less than two hours.
It's reversible, so here's the back.  I'm definitely going to make more of these.  They will be great for gifts.

I did a little shopping and look what I found!  Cloud 9 Fabrics, one of my favorite lines of designer fabrics, has released a new line exclusively for Jo-Ann's.  It used to be that this type of fabric was only available through specialty quilt shops but I'm so glad to see them coming to a big box store!  Between Denyse Schmidt's line (DS Quilts) and now this,  Jo-Anne's is one of my go-to fabric shops.

And finally, the tutorial.  About three years ago I bought these cheap, boring barstools at Target with the idea in mind to recover them.  Can you believe I'm just now getting around to it??

So, I decided on this lovely Chevron canvas.

The first order of business was to remove the ugly tan fabric which required taking out all the staples from the back side.

Believe me when I say this was not for the faint of heart.  It took me over an hour for one stool and nearly ruined my manicure!  But with a flat head screwdriver, some needle nose pliers and a LOT of elbow grease, I prevailed.  Take that rusted, nasty upholstery staples!

Once the fabric was off, I used it for a guide to cut the chevron.

After that, it was just a matter of tugging and stapling until the fabric was smooth.  Once that was done, I re-stapled the old black backing on and...

Voila!  Lovely, updated bar stools for under $10.  Me likey!

And Bethany, your fabric just came.  Your up next!  But, it will have to wait until Monday.  I've got Mason this weekend.  Yippee!

Just FYI, I've added another entry to my Names of Christ page.

Have a great weekend.  I know I will!