Monday, May 21, 2018

Thoughtful Tuesday: On Our Own? Book Date. To Do Tuesday.

Thoughtful Tuesdays
This post from Lesley at Life in the Spacious Place blessed me immensely.  I was reminded that we are never alone in our journey for the LORD is always with us.  We were never meant to go through life alone - ever.  I hope you'll hop on over to Life in the Spacious Place and be encouraged!  

High Quality Thank You Blank Meme TemplateThank you, Lesley, for such a  comforting reminder of our Father's love!


Book Date -Currently Reading
Image result for the story the bible as one continuing story of god
I'm enjoying reading at least a chapter a week of The Story   I highly recommend this book!  I did fall behind while we were on vacation and then while recovering from the vacation!  Doe that happen to you as well? 
I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
I have yet to pick up I Am Malala since our vacation, but will be reading again regularly very soon.  It's interesting, but I read her book in spurts as I realize I need time to digest all she shares.  
I finished All Things New by Lynn Austin!  It's a great book about the Civil War and left me with a new understanding of how life in the South after the Civil War.  Very interesting.  

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition)
I decided to abandon Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  I wonder if I would've enjoyed the book more if I hadn't seen the movie first?  

Light from Heaven is a new audio book I'm enjoying.  It's light and humorous.  Perfect for me right now.  

The Tenth Circle: A Novel
I started The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult but just realized it was removed from my RBdigital account.  I guess I took too long to read it.  I'll be checking it out again to finish it.  I was enjoying it!  :)

Last Times' list
1.  Make at least 6 yo-yo flowers to add to my quilt. Done!  Here's the link to four of them - will you trust me that the other 2 got done?  :)

2.  Finish up the yellow and blue flowers for my afghan - the Maria's Blue Crayon Spring Granny Afghan Crochet. Nope!  

4.  Sew a few more of fun four patches inspired by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Some 1/2 squares were made.  I'm collecting those and then moving onto sewing them together.



3.  Contact the organizations to give out the drainage bags. Nope.  

This Week's List
1.  Make at least 3 yo-yo flowers to add to my quilt. These are the fabrics I'll be using.


2.  Finish up the yellow flowers for my afghan - the Maria's Blue Crayon Spring Granny Afghan Crochet
3.  Sew a few more of fun four patches inspired by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  
4.  Contact the organizations to give out the drainage bags  


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Still Stitching #9. Happy Tones Quilt Pictures.

Still Stitching #9
Last time we discussed  this point not staring at our loved ones’ life.  We also talked about focusing on our own lives and issues.  By doing so we can become so much more emotionally and physically healthier! 

https://www.amazon.com/
Courage-Change-One-Time-
Al-Anon/dp/0910034796
So, how did I begin to do this?  For about a year, I read Courage to Change every day and then joined a 12 Step Program for families and friends of alcoholics/drug addicts.  

I began collecting tidbits of wisdom - tools you might say.  When I found myself staring at my loved one's life, I "changed channels in my brain and began focusing on God and my own life thus giving myself the opportunity to grow stronger and wiser.  I also gave myself the opportunity to heal.  

Am I "there"?  Do I have perfect peace?  
No.
That will only be found in Heaven.  But, I do have a more strength, hope and faith.  I hope you find the same.  :)
#1stitchaday
Happy Tones Quilt Pictures
I had forgotten to post the pictures of this cheerful HST quilt using Happy Tones by Michael Miller.  

Again, my thanks to Stephanie, my long-arm quilter for making it shine!



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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Saturday's Song. Slow Stitching.

Saturday's Song.
During difficult times, I pray - of course.  But now,  instead of praying forever (or so it seems) an interesting change is transpiring:  instead of crying the blues all day and worrying, I cry (because that's what I do) and earnestly pray for about 5-10 minutes.  Then I start to praise God as I listen to praise and worship music.  Last time a crisis hit, I heard this song: 
Wow!  Praise hit me like a ton of bricks.  
God is always with us, even in the depths of our pain and worry.  In fact, it's then that we should praise Him all the more and cling to His promises!  

Is my life any better after the crisis?
Yes.  
Did God answer my prayer the way I had hoped?
Yes.

But that's not the only reason why I'm better.

I'm better because I learned to truly praise and trust Him and His will in the storm, in the depths of my pain.

I pray that you will be inspired to do the same.  It's comforting and empowering.  
Fear is a liar, remember?



Slow Stitching.
Lately I've been all about slow stitching.  My yo-yo quilt is finally getting some love. Here's a picture I shared from my last post....so pretty I just had to share it again!  ;)

I'm also making progress on my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I've connected the first three rows and am almost finished with the fourth row (the colored hexies).  Here's half of the 4th row.  
When putting rows together, I work with "half-rows" and then stitch them together in order to avoid having to maneuver such large pieces.  
I'll be working on attaching the white flowers today.  Once that's done, they will join the main quilt.

I hope you'll check out these link ups!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Still Stitching #8. Scrappy Four Patch. Slow Stitching Therapy.




Still Stitching #8


In our last post we learned about not staring at our loved ones’ life. 
We can stare at our loved one’s life forever and ever – and this won’t change a thing.
We can discuss our loved one’s life forever and ever – and this won’t change a thing.
We can mull over our loved one’s life forever and ever – and this won’t change a thing.
We can worry about our loved one’s life forever and ever – and this won’t change a thing.
We can……

Do you get the point? 
I’ve done all of the above and nothing changed – and I was miserable.

I have no control over my loved one.
I only have control over myself.

Learning that when I point my finger at someone else, I need to look at how many fingers are pointing right back at me.  I know, it sounds weird.
After all, we are the one holding the family together, taking care of (rescuing) our loved one. 
Ahhhhhhhh…..then why are we so miserable?
Because we are so focused on our loved one,
we aren’t focused on our own issues – and, Honey, we all have issues.
Though it’s so much easier not to look inward, I’m learning to focus on myself as I strive to be as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible. 

As we work on our own issues,
we will become healthy enough to deal with our loved on
IN A HEALTHY, RESPECTFUL manner.

What made me finally understand this theory was the speech we hear from the airline stewardesses.  It sounds like an oxymoron, but, truly, we have to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of others.

Give it a shot, you might find that you like it. 

Scrappy Four Patch.
I'm sure you all have heard of Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, right?  She has the best ideas for creating projects out of scraps and this idea is no different!  

A few weeks ago I shared that I'm copying her scrappy four patch quilt called "Lost in the Crowd".  This is a great leader/ender project as well as a mindless sewing project.  
Here is the next group of fabrics to be made into squares!


After I go through my 1.5" squares, I'll be using strips of fabric from my stash.  Thank you, Amanda Jean for such a fun project!

Slow Stitching Therapy.
I've needed a mindless sewing project such as my Scrappy Four Patch quilt.  Life has been a tornado lately.  As one friends gently told me, "You come from a challenging family!"  And this month we have had our fair share of challenges. (Hence my disappearance from the blogging world.)

I have found slow stitching to be soothing to my heart, so my yo-yo quilt is getting some attention again!  I started it in August of 2016 and made progress!  After a long hiatus, it has continued to grow.  

These are some of the yo-yo flowers I've made this month.  


Do you like my granddaughter's tennis shoes?  :)

This 4.5" stack of fabrics is waiting to join the other flowers!  

I hope you'll check out these great link-ups!










Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thoughtful Tuesdays: Whose Voice?

Thoughtful Tuesdays:  Whose Voice?
During our walk with Christ, we have so many distractions, or voices as Lesley from Life in the Spacious Place stated.  Technology, doubts, opinions of others can bombard us, but I like what Lesley said:  we "have to be intentional about which voice we listen to."  

She shares a beautiful song called Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns.  Go on over there and be encouraged!  I bet you'll be raising your hands in praise to the God Almighty - the true voice of truth!  



Last Times List
Wow!  It's been ages since I've even looked at a list for sewing.  Between work, the stress of waiting and playing with grandbabies (such an awesome stress reliever), my sewing machine has been on a bit of a hiatus.  Slow stitching is my therapy.  Hmmmm....that would be a great sign!

1) Finish the Covered in Love squares.  Done!
2) Finish a pillow I started last year.  Done!


The fabric makes this pillow so pretty!  I love it!  Here is the piped edging (is that what it's called?)



3) Contact the organizations to give out the drainage bags.  Not yet.
4) Make progress on my afghan - the Maria's Blue Crayon Spring Granny Afghan CrochetDone!
5) Do a fabric pull for the new Y-seams Tumbling  Blocks prototype with my new Accuquilt DieNot yet.

After look at the list, I guess I've done pretty good!

This week's list will be more attainable.  I'm going to go with slow stitching projects as that's where my heart is right now.

This week's list
1.  Make at least 6 yo-yo flowers to add to my quilt.

2.  Finish up the yellow and blue flowers for my afghan - the Maria's Blue Crayon Spring Granny Afghan Crochet.  
4.  Sew a few more of these fun four patches inspired by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  

3.  Contact the organizations to give out the drainage bags.



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Monday, April 30, 2018

Still Stitching #6. Finished Panel Quilts. Book Date.


Still Stitching #6

Still Stitching #5 Still Stitching #7

I'm so sorry, but I just realized I skipped the 6th part in this series, so here it is!  

As you may remember, in my 5th Still Stitching post we looked at how our current point of study can look like within.  But how did I put it into action?  I leaned on my faith as well as past growing experiences.  

I learned that:  “No response is a response.”  I didn’t have to outwardly respond to events.  I could sit still and simply pray.  I learned to give my loved ones the dignity to live with the consequences of their own decisions – even while my own heart was breaking.  This may sound like a cliché, but it works.  I had to let go and let my loved ones grow up. 

This. 
Can. 
Be. 
Excruciatingly. 
Painful.

I sometimes fall to my knees and cry as my heart breaks into a million pieces.
And then, yup, you guessed it,
I turn to my LORD and Savior for comfort.
I remind Him of His Word.
He never fails me.
He is ALWAYS there.

He provides loved ones and friends who hug me and reassure me that it will be ok.
He provides a church where I can go and praise Him and hear His inspired Word.
He provides rest.
He provides comfort.
He provides music.
He provides.

Isaiah 43:1-2 is not only speaking to us, but also to our loved ones. 

As my own loved ones begin to navigate their lives, I repeatedly comprehend that I am not their rescuer, their god, their savior.  Only Jesus can do these things. 

So,
I get out of the way and let Him.
So,
I pray.
So,
I sing.
So,
I believe.

Then I make every attempt to go forth and live my life with His joy.  Happiness is fleeting, but His joy is my strength.

And I apply the next step I learned from the person who visited my meeting:

Until next time, my dear reader.

Finished Panel Quilts.  
As many of you know the end of the school year/semester is a busy time for school/college campuses.  Add to that, the time of waiting I'm walking through, I have found my creative heart is leaning to mindless sewing, slow stitching and crochet.  So, for my mindless sewing, I finished two simple panel quilt tops.  Here is one of them.
I am constantly amazed at how pretty these tops come out!  
I'm sure they will only be enhanced by my daughter's quilting!

Book Date -Currently Reading
Image result for the story the bible as one continuing story of godThe Story continues to captivate my heart.  Pastor's sermon, "How to Pray Through for a Breakthrough", referencing Chapter 16 blessed me immensely.  My faith was renewed and strengthened!    



I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanAs I continue to read I Am Malala, I am struck by her courage and wisdom at such a young age!






I started a new audiobook, All Things New by Lynn Austin, an author who never disappoints.  This post-Civil War is set in the South and explains the circumstances of the newly freed slaves. 


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition)After watching the movie, I also started Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  I'm not enjoying it as much as the movie.  Does that happen to you as well?  I'll keep reading it for a bit longer, but it may be abandoned.  Do you abandon books as well?

I'm excited to be able to read more than one book at a time!  Yea - chemo brain be gone!  :)

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Saturday's Song: Still Waiting. Slow Stitching Sunday.. Stash Report.

Saturday's Song:  In the Eye of the Storm
.
So many times, we find ourselves in various storms wondering what is going on?  Where is God in all this?  I'm learning that He is with me - He is the eye of the storm.  When my life is falling apart, when my hurts are bigger than me, when I'm uncertain of my future, He is there with me.  

I enjoy learning about the backstories of hymns as well as newer songs.  These real life accounts encourage and amaze me.  The story behind Eye of the Storm is no different.  Ryan has witnessed and experienced more than many of us.  This song is his heart.  After listening to the lyrics of this song, I was so glad I learned Ryan's backstory.  I hope you take a few moments to read it and be blessed! 

Still Waiting
Yes, still waiting to hear results from the changes in my breast.  I was thrilled because the ultrasound tech simply said, "I didn't take any measurements."  Good news - because if she didn't take any measurements, then there's nothing to measure!  I saw my surgeon for an already scheduled 6 month follow up and he didn't see anything on his office ultrasound machine either.  Great news!  

Then I recieved the letter from the radiologist telling me that there is "an area to be followed" in 3 months - unless ""an area of concern prompted this breast exam, please contact your helth care provider..."  Eeesh.  An are of concern did prompt this exam.  

I cried. 
I reached out out to my family for prayer.
Then I had a good night's sleep.  I rested in Jesus' arms.

The next morning, in prayer, He spoke to me.    
"Remember:  your tumor markers have gone down 3 points.  BLOOD DOESN'T LIE!  You were saved and healed by My blood.  Your blood shows reduced tumor markers.  BLOOD DOESN'T LIE!"

I then realized that I have allowed myself to be tossed by the waves of circumstances as I searched for peace from my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As many of you survivors know, this is common.  But, I'm hanging onto the words of my Savior:  BLOOD DOESN'T LIE.

I'll be clinging to those words.
I'll be following up with my PCP and surgeon.  
I'll be requesting new blood work to see if my tumor makers have changed.  
I'll live in faith and when fear steps in, I'll listen to Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams.  
I'll be remembering that the anchor still holds.  
I'll be looking for and listening to this week's sermon from church.  (not posted yet, but it will be!)  (UPDATE: the link has been updated to include the sermon!  :)  )
I'll be living a life of joy because the joy of the LORD is my strength!
I'll be a child of God, living in faith and running to my Abba Father when I cry.  
I'll ask my heart to simply be still and know He is God.  

Slow Stitching Sunday
Today I plan to continue work on my yo-yo quilt!  I've really enjoyed the peace slow stitching gives me!  

Here are the original fabric yo-yos with a few more flowers added.
Do you see more yo-yo flowers at the top of the design board?  I've decided to pause on adding the white borders until I find a layout I like.  Soon, I'll have stitched through my older fabrics and begin to make yo-yo flowers from my cherished 30's fabrics!  
The yo-yo quilt and EPP Grandmother's Flower Garden slow stitching projects will be worked on during alternating months!  Time to get them off 
the design board and onto my family and I!  
   
Stash Report
I finished a pillow as well as two panel quilts!  Yea!  Fabric is finally and just barely in the black!  
Fabric used this week
1.50
To Date used
44.53
Fabric in this week
0
To Date in
44.50
Net barely in the black - used more than bought!
.03
Yarn used this week
0
To Date used
32.30
Yarn in this week
33.5
To Date in
187.80
Net in the red (more bought than used!)
-208.80
I saw this yarn on clearance at Michael's and picked it up!
It's Red Heart's Unforgettable in Sunrise.  I will be using it to make shawls for myself and as donation shawls.
  So pretty!

I hope you check out these fun linkups!