Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Mom's Last Tree


    If you know me well you know that I have not had a close relationship with my biological mother due to events of my early childhood.  I have not physically seen get since I was 17, but we have kept in touch from afar for most of the last 17 years (Seems odd about the year thing).   On January 15th I received a call from a hospital in Greenville that was almost 4 hours away.   I went to be with my mother as she made some decisions about her care and how she would spend the last days of her life.  She entered into a hospice within 3 days and passed away in 2 weeks.  I spent most of that time with her and will never regret those moments.   As she was passing away I turned this doily into a small quilt.  It came from her house and all the material in it did too. I made this for a Project  Quilt challenge. The challenge was to upcycle.  To use three materials that I would otherwise not use in a quilt to put it together.  I used a silk scarf,  a felt jar openers,  a shirt, 2 pair of pants to make the tree.  I used a lace collar to make the grass. I used another silk scarf for the backing and a container of buttons I found at her house.  I did all of this in one morning.  The last day I received communion with her.  

   One of the odd things is that one of the buttons said est. 1947.  The year she was born.  I originally pulled it out because it was blue, like a blue bird in a tree.  I remember when we were younger she always wore blue. 

     I had a calling to make a tree.  Not sure of the reason, but maybe because she saw her family tree as complete.  In her last 2 weeks, she met all of her grand kids and saw 3 of her children.  We went threw pictures and she told me stories.  My aunts and God, I believe gave me the time with her.  It was a time for healing for us both.  A time to lay the past at rest.  In my heart I believe God gave us some of the most special time.  I wish I had more, but I am thankful for each moment I had. 

     I did a lot of hand sewing during that time.  And know that the comfort of sewing also gave me peace.  I think I will frame this and place it somewhere to always remind me of that time with her! 

     Here she is with me my brother.  One of the last photos she took:(

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lots Of Strings For The First Project Quilt Challenge

      This is the second year that I have participated in the Project Quilt Challenge.  I enjoyed it soooo much last year.  It encouraged me to meet a goal every other week.  I was overwhelmed with Christmas sewing and had not done much for the last 2 weeks.  But on Sunday afternoon when I woke up I was excited to learn what the weeks challenge would be.
     The challenge this week was make a quilt entirely of strings.  Strings are anything under 2 1/2 inches.  I had pinned this photo on Pinterest from Flossy Blossy's blog.  

     My original thought of what I was going to do was a quilt like this,  but since I work a full time nursing job and a part time one, time was not on my side.  
     The 2 other goals I have with Project Quilt are that I try to make at least a throw size quilt each week and that I use only fabric I have on hand.   So off I went to trying to replicate my inspiration quilt. With my work home schedule I only had some of Friday and Saturday to work on it.  

     I decided to cut 8 inch muslin squares out and sew scrap strips to them. I decided to use muslin this time since I hated pulling the paper off the back.  And it does add weight to the quilt which I love.  I did not cut the scrap strips into straight lines. If they were angled they stayed that way. The strips were anywhere from just over 1/2 inch up to 2 inches.  These were cut pieces of fabric left over from my sewing from the last few years. I made 16 of these blocks and they ended up as the centers of my stars. I then cut out 16, nine inch squares of muslin and did the same thing.  

     When I was done with these string blocks I decided that I did not think I had enough time to do the light colored strings.  So I had to make a detour.  I held up my precut squares to my solid color shelf and couldn't decide what color to choose.  So in walks my 13 year old son Waylon and he choose an olive like green.  So green it is as my  background fabric instead of the white strips. 

     I tried something else new this challenge.  I have not sewed triangles in a while.  I have actually only done it a few times.  So I tried the trick where you draw a line down the middle and sew a 1/4 inch on each side.  Then you cut down the middle.  It worked!!! I will definately do it this way again!!!!  So I made all the 9 inch scrap squares into triangles and then squared them up into 8 inch squares!  

     I then laid out the stars and began to sew them together.   It ended up being 60in x 60 in.  I lined this quilt with fleece as the batting.  I then sewed together half a a piece of flowered yardage as the backing to make it long enough.  

    For quilting, I straight stiches a line on either side of my block sewing and then did the middle of the triangles.  I only had a brown variegated thread on hand that matched the top and used a cream on the back.  I bound the quilt in. Scrap bi l that I had.  And yes I machine sewed the binding on.  And this quilt I am calling String Stars!!  While your looking at it see if you can find hidden objects!!

     Out of my squaring off scraps I made a hot pad.  There are over 100 little pieces of fabric in it.  It may not be the prettiest thing, but I have gotten huge on recycling fabric.  So since all these pieces of fabric are under an inch and strips of strips, I see this as a qualifying project if you don't think the quilt is!!  Just thought it looked cool too and I am trying to make something out of each projects scraps!

Hope you enjoyed and read up here on Project Quilt so you can join in next Sunday!!!  Here is their link!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

January Finishes

       So January is coming to a close.  It's been a very busy month with lots of personal stuff.  Every other week I have been working five 12 hour night shifts.  It wears me out:(.  But work is work.  But then life with my dying mother came in.  This month I started the Project Quilt Challenge.    

1- Scrappy Quilt around the world
2- string quilt- DONE
3- crab quilt
4- Rainbow quilt
5- Jean scrap quilt
6- Cindy's moms quilt
7- I spy quilt boy
8- I spy quilt girl
9- Christmas I spy quilt
10- Christmas Tree quilt
11- Cival War Quilt
12- Batik Quilt
13- 2 inch strip quilt
14- breast cancer quilt
15- Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt
16- feed sack quilt
17- rainboot quilt
18- design a block for Persimon Dreams Blog
19- Floor Pillow
20- 37 sunflower blocks almost done
21- Autism quilt for Michael
22- Crown royal Quilt
23- Herbie pocket quilt
24- Karen quilt
25- Herbie Scrap quilt
26- Project Quilt all weeks
27- Bejeweled Quilt
28- Project Quilt bonus challenge. 
29- Project Quilt Monthly Challanges
30- Finish 20 more Ahhhh's- finished 2

    It has been a busy month with my new adjusted work schedule and my mother dying.  My schedule at one hospital is not set, but the other I have now set myself to work every other Sunday night.  I now work at least 4 twelve hour days every other week.  But in the end a nice house will pay off.  A new house.  That should have been goal #1 for 2014!!!

    As I will write in another blog, reuniting with mom before her death took up most of my month.  This month was both a rewarding and sad month when it comes to my life.  More later.

     So back in the crafting world, I finished Quilt #1 of Project Quilt and an extra tease.  A hot pad! One of my other new goals of the year is to make gifts all year.  I decided I would make 1 scrap project for every quilt I finished to use up scraps.  I am hoping that this will do 2 things.  One, cut down on my scrap bin and two, help me be more prepared for Christmas.  The only bad thing is I love to give presents all year so I will have to work harder on keeping extra handmade things!!!
     On to goal number 2 of the month,  making 37 sunflower blocks for a block swap I committed to last year.  That is a lot of blocks.  I was almost done when I got the call about my mom so that will be a new Febuary goal.     

     My third goal of the month was part of Project Quilt.  It was a wall hanging that will be part of that other blog.  

 If you want to participate, come look here

If you want to participate in project quilt take a look at this link html?m=1

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

     I guess this year will be a year of working, sleeping and eating!!!  I worked all of last night, right into the morning, slept all day and I am now going back to work tonight. But I enjoy my job now so I have to do it with a smile!!!

     I am so thankful for all of 2013.  The best part was going back to work at St Francis part time.  But if you ask my son it was the fact that I am now driving a truck, lol.  

    Every year when I worked at St Francis, Julie Johnson brought sparklers for us to light off at midnight.  This year was no different!  The only difference is this may be Julie's last year with us. We all walk outside the ambulance bay and smiles appear!! This year Emily brought party hats to add to the festivities!!!   The antisocial Dr Chag even joined in the fun!!!

     Back to a night at Kings tree tonight!!!