Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Great Big Feather Bed Hodgepodge

Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here.

Sort of, not really, but may as well be, considering it feels like the last time I blogged was the last time the Muppets were all the rage.

How about some Hodgepodge mania?

1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

About a 2.   On the fun scale thus far, we've done almost zilch as a family. I haven't been in the water ONCE. No pool, no lake, no ocean. Nothing. I don't have four kids begging me to take them places. I have one son left at home, and he enjoys playing video games. I've also had the privilege--ahem!--of helping him write four papers for English. Sad, but true. I've been sewing a lot, though, and that's enjoyable, but still --when I think of my summer right now, the word is "eh".  We will be taking a vacation to the ocean in August, and I can hardly wait.

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

Aunt Linda, my mom's only sister, has always been my favorite. She was a hippie when I was little and into my teens. Her first apartment had psychedelic hanging beads between the kitchen and living room, and she smoked cigarettes that I liked to "flick out" when the ashes were about to drop.  She wore maxi skirts and halter tops, and listened to far-out music that was quite far out from the Baptist hymns I was used to, let me just say.    Aunt Linda collected antiques and her specialty was antique quilts. She had a bed so tall that I had to use the wooden step stool to climb into it, and when I did, she and I would talk a long time. My sisters and I each got a turn to sleep in that great big featherbed with her when we traveled to her Ohio home with Mama,  having her all to ourselves. She was the adult that every kid needs--not a mom, but a cool adult. She wasn't a Christian; she was rather naughty with her language at times, and would belch quite loudly, and oh boy could she cook! Her culinary skills are top notch.  Nothing ever came from a box or can. She was a fresh produce/fresh meat/fresh everything kind of cook.

When she moved from Ohio to Santa Fe, she opened a bed & breakfast. It's called Casa Pacifica. You ought to check it out if you're in the area, and tell her Zoanna sent you.

I am Aunt Zo, or "Ee-Zo" as my 3 year old niece calls me. Nieces and nephews ranging in age from late 30's down to "in utero."  My youngest niece or nephew is to be next month, right around my birthday!! That will send my summer rating from 2 to 10!

3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

In chocolate? Strawberries.   In cheese? Nachos.

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

Last night while watching America's Got Talent. There was a very young girl who sang with such power and beauty that I had chills. Where does such a voice come from? From God, that's where!

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

Pinterest board, this morning. I was searching for two vastly different things: inspiration for a greige for our rental property that we'll be selling and 2) quilts with a sea creatures theme because I have a gorgeous fabric that needs the perfect pattern.

6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of him. They then lied to their dad that he was eaten by a wild lion. In the king's palace, Joseph was falsely accused of rape by the king's wife, and was sent to the slammer for it. Joseph interpreted dreams in prison, including one that prophesied of seven years feast followed by seven years of famine. He rose from prison to power, all the while longing to be reunited with his brothers and father. When his brothers come begging for food years later because of a famine, Joseph--who has stored seven years' worth of food--has the power to feed or forsake them. He cries in private when he sees them, overcome with emotion. They don't recognize him because he's royal and speaks a foreign language.  All they want is mercy in the form of food. He doesn't just hand them food--he invites them to sit at his table and--to their utter bewilderment--he puts their seating arrangement in birth order because he knows them.  He then reveals himself to them, forgives them of all their sins against him, and bestows blessings and riches upon them.

They are undone by His mercy and kindness.

Why is it my favorite story? Because I'm not so good at forgiving when I've been done wrong for much, much less.  I want to be like Joseph, like Jesus.

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

Portland, Maine (I got a few hours on the southern tip of ME and would love to go back and just soak in the beauty);  St. Paul, Minnesota (just because); Santa Fe, NM (where my Aunt Linda lives but I've NEVER been --gasp!); Cheyenne, Wyoming ("God's country"); Portland, OR (scenery and quilters' mecca).

8. Insert your own random thought here.

 As some of you recall. my 27 year old daughter is living in Louisville, KY for the summer, doing a volunteer internship with a ministry called Love Thy Neighbor. Her stories always elevate my thinking and increase my love for God (and for her). She is working in a bakery with women who have come out of the sex industry. 

Her team makes home-cooked meals every Thursday and delivers them to the dancers at a local strip club. (The dancers appreciate the kindness of the "church ladies" as they call them!) Sarah and others enjoy going to the park to hang out with local families and play with kids. They serve in medical clinic waiting rooms, distracting kids under stress with games and puzzles. They have helped new neighbors move in, they made up a travel basket for a single old man who became a grandpa and was driving long distance to see the new baby. They make themselves available to neighbors by sitting on the front porch and being on the lookout. (Sarah once called it a cop-out, but when that shy old man, who never spoke to them, had his daughter deliver roses to Sarah and her roommates as a thank-you, she almost cried.)

When a Christian parent looks up to a child for inspiration as to how to really live, there's no better feeling in the world.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Bone Appetit

This is the first quilt I've made for Project Linus.  

The coordinator of the chapter near me says that the hospitals could use more boy quilts. Knowing that chemo rooms can be cold, I wanted my quilt to have a flannel back.  I knew I wanted puppies. 

I found this print online and snatched up 2 yards of it.  (After quilting, this is the back.)

I asked on a quilting forum if anyone could donate 6.5" puppy prints for me. 
Well, I was DELUGED by generous amounts. I have enough to make 201 more!
Narrowing the choices I was sent to turquoise, navy, tan, orange, black, white, grey, and red sure 
helped guide my choices.  

Originally I was going to do a simple sashing between blocks. But do I ever stick to original plans? No! They call me Queen Plan B for a reason. 

I played around with sashing (ie borders around blocks) and just had fun. 

I put in two of each print so the child who gets this can play Concentration. 

Most of the dogs are realistic looking, but there are some whimsically colored ones. 
Aren't they cute?

I decided to quilt a bone into each block using FMQ (free motion quilting). 

While making this quilt, I prayed for the boy who will receive it. (Could be a girl, but I'm hoping boy.)  I pictured him either  missing his own dog, or hoping for one when he's well.

I took these photos outside on my deck, with the quilt draped over my porch swing cover
which is turquoise.   It's not part of the quilt!

Bone Appetit!