Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting down to business

This week we have been blanketed with snow twice.  Our backyard shed is almost covered.  It's not melting very much and we're running out of room to put it.  I've been spending a lot of time indoors and keeping busy.
In July, the online Sunshine Quilters Guild lost  Bev Bennett of Alaska, a dedicated and inspiring  quilter.  Bev, a widow, did not have children of her own so she devoted most of her retirement  to making charity quilts for children.  When Bev died, she had an amazing stash, but her step-children were not interested in obtaining it.  Linda, another Sunny, went through the stash dividing it into stacks that would fill Priority Mail boxes and sent them out to anyone in the group who agreed to pay the postage.  When the box arrived at my house in early fall, the first thing I did was to take it to the laundry room.  Bev was a smoker so as I opened the box, I immediately placed like colors into the washing machine.  There was so much fabric that just the thought of ironing it left me exhausted 
The Sunshine Quilters support 2 groups;  Wrap-Them-In-Love (WTIL), and Wrap-a-Smile (WAS). WTIL is a non-profit organization that brings together quilters to collect donated quilts and distribute them to children around the world.  Some of the quilts go to orphanages for children awaiting adoption and to areas that have suffered natural disasters.  This program also supports the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  
Wrap-A-Smile (WAS)  supports a Rotary program called Rotoplast which sends medical teams to third world countries to perform free cleft palate and lip surgery.  When it was  found out that the children were wrapped in paper when they came out of surgery the group WAS started  to make sure each child was snuggled in a quilt they could keep.

I've spent the last few days ironing and cutting the fabric into strips and charm squares that can be used for simple children's quilts.  The timing was perfect because Kelly, over at Charming Chatter is hosting a sewing party  on Saturday.  Participants are asked to work on projects that represent the word they have chosen to guide them this year.  I posted about my word, "Calm," back on January 5th.

Knowing that a huge stack of Bev's fabric has been sitting in my sewing room for months has made me feel guilty for not getting projects done for the Sunshine Quilters.  I'll be taking my time on Saturday, sewing and remembering Bev and the way she inspired everyone who knew her to care about children who need a hug.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011



Stillness; lack of agitation or excitement; tranquility; serenity.

This morning as I ate breakfast, I looked out at the birds visiting the feeder on our deck.  I was trying to decide if there was one word that I felt would describe how I want my life to be.

Kelly of "Charming Chatter" (Home of the Charming Girl's Quilt Club) has proposed that we, "Choose a word that identifies what we'd like to see more of in our lives in 2011 - what we want to cultivate in our lives!  It's a word to reflect throughout the year." 
In choosing my word, I have been guided by the writings of St. Francis de Sales. You don't have to be religious to appreciate what he has to say. 
"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

I think we all crave calm in our lives.  I often find myself stressed because someone else's  lack of planning has caused an emergency in my life or because I can't say, "No!"    Resolutions come and go so I won't be making any this year.  Instead, I hope to  establish a new way of approaching life and developing a calm spirit.  Will I be successful?  I think just making the attempt will make a big difference.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Swaps

I have been trying to get myself back in the groove of posting, but I keep falling down on the job.  I did manage to finish 2 charity quilts that were presented to the Veteran's Hospital by members of  the charity quilt group I belong to, the Quiltniks.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them.

I did manage to take pictures of the items I made for a Christmas swap sponsored by the Sew Delightful Designs embroidery Yahoo Group.  This is the first embroidery swap I participated in and the only thing I knew about my swap partner, Leola from VT, was that she likes Sunbonnet Sue.  I sent her a hot pad and apron with Sue designs,  3 FSL ornaments, and 2 hand towels.  All of the designs are from Embroidery Library.  Sorry for the quality of the pictures, they were taken using the new Fuji camera I got for Christmas.  My old camera did not have 1/10 the bells and whistles of this one and I am struggling reading the manual to learn what I am doing.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the front of the hot pad which was the same color as the apron.  It had a red work embroidered Sunbonnet Sue building a snowman.

My swap partner Leola sent me a lovely Christmas fat quarter, 5 FSL ornaments and a bar of Lemon Verbena soap made by a local company where she lives in Vermont.  The ornaments now hang on our Family Room tree.

Everyone posted the swaps they received on the Sew Delightful Designs group photo pages.  I was delighted with the results and feel more confident about participating in the future.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

In spite of all the goodies our family has been devouring over the holidays, I still felt the need to make something special for our New Year's breakfast.  When my children were younger they liked to make Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls.  They loved the way the tube popped when you opened it and it was something they could make by themselves.  I decided that cinnamon rolls made from scratch would be the perfect start to the New Year.

If you haven't visited Suzanne McMinn's blog, "Chickens in the Road," you are really missing something special.  She has a wonderful take on rural life, crafts, gardening, and recipes.  I used her "Overnight Cinnamon Rolls" recipe and the results were terrific.

The batter was easy to mix.

The dough only had to rise for an hour before rolling out.

You can let them do their final rise in the refrigerator overnight or pop them in the oven after a second rise of 30 minutes.

Every roll disappeared.