Friday, April 19, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

 I have been so upset over all the suffering and injustice in the news since Monday that I have not been able to work on a blog post.  My Mom helped me remember that life is lived in moments, and we can't let the bad moments ruin the good ones.  So this post is a summary of good things that happened to me this week.

Saturday I met with the Wisconsin Quilt Study Group at Millhouse Quilts.  We studied Amish quilts this time, and thinking about them brought me back to living near Amish families in southern Indiana.  On summer Sunday nights we'd see the young couples taking buggy rides, with a lantern to see by and a chaperone in the back.  Amish farmers shoed our horses and plowed our garden, but we never got to know them.  They are a world apart.
On Sunday, I baked Old Order Amish Bread, from a Bernard Clayton cookbook.
Here are the loaves, cooling on a wooden rack I bought at a restored village in Tennessee.  They were good, slightly sweet, with a nice crumb.
While the bread was rising, I worked on recycling two old crib sized comforters.  Both were pinkish, both tied with yarn, and both had wool batting.  I think the teddy bear one dates from the 1930s and the zoo animals one from the 1950s.

 Biddy always has to get involved.
Don't these bears look like they belong in old cartoons?
 The wool batting inside the teddy bear quilt was in terrible shape, as you can see below.
 Biddy was inspecting.  Smells like sheep!  Are there any sheep in here?
The batting was matted, with holes.  However, it may be able to be re-carded with new wool.  The batt inside the other quilt was nice, still puffy and soft.  I saved them to take to my friend who does carding on some seriously old machinery.
Below are the fabrics after they were washed.  I'll be able to use them in another quilt or two.  I need to think of something special for those teddies.

On Monday, I finished binding my Dutchman's Puzzle quilt.  This is one of the six on the Pick Six list.  So I get to choose another quilt to work on.  I'm still thinking over my options.
 Finally, all done!
 Thirty 12.5 in. blocks, made from scraps of 1930s reproduction fabrics.
 For the binding, I went for a blue and white polka dot, just to jazz it up a little.  (I've turned up the side for you to see, this is not a corner.) The backing is from Connecting Threads, and is called Canning Day.  Very appropriate for me!
Here's the block itself.  These were fun to make and quilt.  This was done with a quilt as you go technique, where the sashings are doubled and top stitched down.  It promised (and delivered) no handwork, but I'm not totally satisfied with the look of it.  Plus it used up TONS of fabric.  I think this method works better with thinner sashing.

On Tuesday, I went to Kenosha to visit with my daughter Amy and her children, Henry and Evelyn.  We had such a good time, coloring and playing.  It was warm enough to take a walk and to play in the sandbox with Henry for a while.

On Wednesday, we had our monthly quilt meeting.  As usual, it was wonderful.  We're a small group, but there are so many creative people there.  I am always inspired.  Plus we have the best snacks ever.  Joan L. and Colleen had lots of fabrics cut and ready for charity quilts, and had investigated where our quilts were needed.  I took home some homework, hope I can get it done soon.  One of our members made the quilt below from blocks she won at a meeting.  Mine is the star with the red points in the bottom row.  This photo is from our quilt show last year.

On Thursday, I got good books at the library on gardening and knitting.  And even though we're having a weird spring, my green pepper plant is starting to make tiny little peppers, here in my windowsill garden.

Thursday evening, my daughter Connie and her son Gabriel and I played a silly game called Headbands.  It's a guessing game like Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.  We were all laughing.

Friday is today.  This morning, I talked to my Mom on the phone.  She helped me put things in perspective.  Plus she's just fun to talk to.  I spent this afternoon happily sewing in the cleaned-up basement, working on charity quilts.
I am so grateful for my life, my family, my friends, and my home.  I hope that by making something for someone else, I can pass along a small part of what I have been given.

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