Thursday, January 18, 2018

say this; not that

I'm in an admittedly irritable mood.

Probably something to do with being sick for days.
(I'm no longer miserable,
but I don't yet have energy to actually do much of anything,
and I assure you -
there are all sorts of things that need doing...)

But what I'm fixing to talk about 
has bothered me for almost 2 years now,
so it can't be blamed on my irritability.

The reason I'm actually addressing it 
quite possibly 
of the aforementioned mood.


Once of my Instagram friends 
shared a personal story of a long time dream
finally realized.

Most responses were a variation of 
my favorite, "I am so happy for you!"

But there was also at least one
"I'm so jealous"
which is what sent me here.

Can I just tell you,
as someone who has sacrificed greatly
and worked very hard to achieve a goal,
that is an absolutely awful response!!

Be happy with me,
don't be jealous of me!

It's not congratulatory.
It's not a compliment.
And it's not kind.

Stop saying it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

here lately

Despite all of my precautions,
I've been flat laid out by the vile virus
that's been making its rounds.

Since I finally have enough strength to type
(not hold my head up and type,
mind you,
just type...)
I figured I'd pop in here for a few minutes.


Based on my cooking thermometer,
the kitchen was 50 degrees this morning.
That's with heaters in the kitchen, dining room and LEM
going full blast all night long.

The living room
(another heater - full blast all night)
was only slightly warmer.

I am so ready to be out of this house!!


I'm also absolutely overwhelmed
with all of the work we still have to do
for that to happen.

I told Tyler that when we moved
 - and by moved, I mean our bed; not everything -
we are taking at least 2 weeks off.

We are closer to moving today
than we've ever been.
So there's that.

(I stole that line from my sister in law :-)

Let's see.

We did all camp out in the new house 
on Christmas Eve
and woke up nice and toasty
and had a warm and peaceful morning.
Well, whole day, really.

not that I like mess or anything - but this makes me happy because there is room for mess, without Momma freaking out.

Brandon's closet is finished

I love it so so much!

so all his room needs 
in order for him to move in
is baseboards in the closet
and we need to nail, fill, caulk and paint
the baseboards that are already in place around his room.

Something to cover the window might be nice too.
And a doorknob.

Of course there's plenty more that needs doing,
but that can come later.


The kitchen cabinets are painted!!
(picture to come when I feel up to walking out there
 and snapping one)

We opted to pay (big) money to have them
professionally painted.

I wasn't overly excited about the idea,
but the thought of all that prep work
(and how long it would take!)
persuaded me.

I'm not thrilled with my color (SW Watery) choice
(or rather - how it looks on the cabinets.
I'm still bamboozled about this,
because I am good with the dot of paint on the can)
but I am choosing to be happy with them.

I'm sure I'll like it better 
when we've added knobs and pulls
a black walnut counter top
and a backsplash.


Tyler helped me get the boards ready
(seriously - the prep work on all of these projects!!)
and while he was gone on a business trip last week,
I finished staining them,
sealed 'em,
and then
Lily and I built the closet shelving in the master closet.
(she was the only non-sick kid)

the shelves look really narrow, for some reason, but they're 11 3/4". 

I left an embarrassing number of nails
for Tyler to cut off.

there were so many,
it passed embarrassing
and went to downright ridiculous. 

I told him I am losing all of my badges
in the home stretch 😖

I still need to buy the rods and rod hangers
but those aren't needed for the baseboards to go in.
Baseboards, you may know,
 mean one giant step closer to carpet.

And carpet means 
we can move the bed in!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sojourner, a finished quilt

This was a fun one,
and I am so so pleased with how it turned out!!

Back in April,
Billie told me she'd like to order a quilt.

That started off a flurry of messages,
and sending links back and forth
so I could get a feel for what she liked.

We ended up choosing Kathleen's Gypsy Wife quilt
as inspiration.
I thought at the time
that it was not an actual Gypsy Wife,
because her fabric choices 
made it look so different from all of the others I'd seen
but Hydee assures me it does follow the pattern.

Not knowing that, though, 
I drew up my own pattern /map.

I told Tyler and Brandon during a brain storming session
that I wanted a name that was similar to Gypsy Wife
but more appropriate for this quilt
and for Billie and Andy,
and when somebody tossed out 'sojourner',
I knew we'd found it.
You see,
Andy and Billie are currently living in Bosnia
teaching English,
using the Bible.
Not only are they currently literally sojourning,
they live their entire lives
with a Kingdom focus,
as if this earth is not their home,
so the name was doubly perfect.

I ordered lots of fabric
and even ordered a couple of jelly rolls for greater variety
(there are at least 156 different fabrics in this quilt!)

and started piecing on May 23rd,
not long after finishing up my niece's epic quilt.

and then sewed the backing.

We went with a wool batting and lawn backing
to produce an exceptionally luscious quilt

I didn't actually start on the quilting until mid September
because I quilted Sparkle first,
so I could give it to my sister sooner
and also so I could just get in more quilting practice.

Using a quilt of Kathleen's as inspiration
was rather intimidating!
I'd already told Billie that my quilting
wasn't going to look anywhere near as good as Kathleen's,
but still, I didn't want her dissappointed,
ya know?!

I watched videos
and practiced practiced practiced
a whole bunch of new to me quilting motifs.
And then,
to make sure I was ready,

All of that paid off,
and I am ridiculously proud 
of the quilting on this one!

I feel like I have grown so much as a quilter this year,
even though I was sooo busy with building 
that I only made a few quilts.

I know that Angela Walters says
that seam ripping doesn't make you a better quilter,
so you should never un-do your quilting,
but I unpicked quite a few 
less than excellent lines of quilting anyways.
It might not make me a better quilter,
but it makes the quilt better,
so it makes me a happier quilter.
And that's better ~ right?

Because I love adding scripture to quilts,
I quilted in 2 verses;
"How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news"
Psalm 146:9
"The Lord watches over the sojourners."
How perfect is that?!
I love the image of God himself
watching over my friends.

My photographer friend, Lisa,
 was going to take pictures of this beauty for me
but I wasn't done with it at the appointed time : /

I finished sewing on the binding
about 26 hours
 before they were going to be picking up the quilt.
(and still had to make the label!)

Even though it wasn't done done,
all washed and crinkly,
the sun was out,
so I threw it down in a spot of sun 
got a few pics with my phone,
then grabbed the boys

and told them to grab something to stand on

and we quickly ran out in the 15 degree weather
and snapped a few more pictures.

I made the label after everyone was in bed,
sewed it on yesterday,
tossed it in the wash
and pulled it out of the dryer
about 10 minutes before Billie messaged me
that they were on their way.

Cutting it a bit close, eh?!

Sojourner was a joy to make
and I am so happy to get to make a quilt
for such precious people,
and to start the year off
giving a couple of machines
to Rahab's Rope!

Andy and Billie - we love ya!
Thanks for being such wonderful examples of love and generosity.
Thanks for partnering with me.
Oh, and Billie - you know how you said India
is becoming more closed to missionaries?
That's where our machines are going.

linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Saturday, December 23, 2017

moving on, not in

We won't be moving in to the new house by Christmas.

It wasn't for lack of trying,
I assure you.

Between life
and work
and illness,
there is just plain too much left to do.

We do have water in the house now,
not just to it.
And we even have a working toilet!!

We also have a functioning tub
and an almost functioning shower,
and should have a fully plumbed sink
complete with faucet by Sunday afternoon.

We have a water heater!

We have carpet upstairs,
and luxury vinyl plank flooring in 2 bathrooms.

as soon as the carpet installers left,
Josiah had the bag of bolts for putting together his
new to him loft bed that we purchased in the summer.

There are only 3 receptacles that still need to be wired
and all lights (that have been purchased) are installed.

The upstairs closets have custom shelving and rods

built by yours truly and the 3 youngest (but mostly Josiah),
though Tyler stepped in to help on one shelving unit
after somebody had a fit and mini-breakdown
(over what, exactly, I can no longer recall)
and quit temporarily.

We have a railing upstairs at the balcony
(but we still need to build the stair rails.)

obv. this was before install....

Kitchen cabinets are partly installed,
and we have all of our appliances
thanks to Black Friday sales.

We even have ice in the freezers.
Made automatically!
The kids are pretty excited about not having to 
crack and refill ice cube trays.

Little by little,
we're getting there.
We just aren't there yet.

We'll camp in it on Christmas Eve,
so the kids' dream of waking up in the new house
on Christmas morning
can still be a reality
even if we aren't actually living in it yet.
And we'll keep plugging away
until one day,
it'll be done enough
that we can move in.

when I saw this tree a month ago, I wanted it for the girls'room; I knew they
would love it! But funds are tight, as we pour everything into the house,
so spending $80 on trees for my kids' rooms (need one for boys, too...)
 wasn't really an option. Still, I thought about those trees a lot,
and really wanted to surprise the kids with them.
Yesterday, while at Walmart, grabbing a few things that I wasn't able to find
the night before, at a different WM, they announced over the loud-speaker that
all display trees were 75% off. I hightailed it back to the garden center, thankful.

Friday, December 22, 2017

a quilt for Corban K

This is my final 
sewing-machine-earner of the year.

It will be a young man's main Christmas gift,
so I'm thankful that I managed to squeeze in a finish
in the nick of time
(hee hee - Nick of time.
Saint Nick.....
oh - never mind.)

I've never been shy about my feelings
when it comes to making t-shirt quilts.

They are 
 not anywhere 
on my list of favorite things to make.

when that is how God chooses to provide me
with an opportunity
to earn money for another sewing machine,
I will gratefully cut up and stabilize the darn shirts
and make them into a quilt,
honored that folks see fit to trust me with their treasures.

I gave my client a generous
 'single moms are super heroes' discount,
because goodness
those gals have my sincere admiration!

I worked really hard to keep the materials cost
as low as possible,
but they still added up to $97.
Even so,
 I earned *almost* enough for 1 1/2 machines

When I add that to the money I had left 
I'll be able to give 2 😊

Instead of using interfacing,
after deconstructing the t-shirts,
I stabilized them with undiluted liquid starch
after doing a quick search to see if there was any reason 
that shouldn't be done.

After some    ummm    experimentation,
I arrived at a method 
which was ever so much less time consuming

I'm very pleased with the results of starch vs interfacing,
though in the future I would 
either triple-starch the thin super soft Old Navy shirts,
or go ahead and actually interface them 
instead of starching,
because they did want to move a bit still.

I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect quilting plan,
I knew I'd found it.
I added treble clefs 
and an occasional music note
to make it even more perfect.

After a bit of practice,
first with pencil and paper
and then the machine,
I loaded my machine (both needle and bobbin)
with Bottom Line #622
and started my workout quilting.

This quilt
was an absolute beast.
(before I had to take off the 2 1/2 inch outer border
(which I did after quilting)
due to some bad jujumagumbo,
it measured 88 x 110)

Because it was so heavy
(6.8 lbs after trimming!)
I couldn't make large movements at all
and had to quilt it twice as densely as I'd planned.

I bound it with this great stripe
which I thought finished things off really nicely.

I sewed it onto the back first, 
then pressed and glue-basted
and stitched it down to the front
by machine.

Thanks, Jessica, for partnering with me
to help change and save lives 💗
and trusting me with your boy's memories.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts