Category Archives: adventure

Brave Enough

Once again linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and others for Five Minute Friday.

I promised myself I’d start back up with the Five Minute Friday in May. Here is it Saturday, and the Five Minute Friday post for yesterday is just now going up. But, better late than not at all.

Brave

We often think and even say someone is brave, much braver than we’d be in the same circumstances.

But, here’s the thing, we’re as brave as we need to be at any given moment if we just allow ourselves to be.

When God called my husband home, several of my friends said, “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know what I’d do if it was me.” And then later when I’d do something different, “You are so brave.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First no one knows what we’d do in someone else’s shoes. We haven’t been there yet so how can we know? I certainly didn’t know what I’d do when left alone. Not completely alone of course, God was always with me, and my husband’s memory stays. But, physically, alone.

I just took one step at a time. Sometimes not even whole steps. Sometimes not even steps, I just stood still and let God hold me up. But, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, I muddle through.

It’s the same for everyone. Whatever their challenge, we all bravely face it a piece at a time.

The same way we make a quilt, even a difficult one. We do one row, one block, one patch at a time.

There are quilts I haven’t gotten brave enough to tackle yet, maybe I never will. Yet, there are others that I do with relish. Brave as I need to be for the project at hand.

We are as brave as we need to be at the moment. Don’t worry that you don’t have the bravery of someone else, you don’t need it yet. What are you bravely facing today?

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

and Boost your Blog.

It’s all about Me Applique

It's all about me button

I love blog hops. It’s an easy way to find new blogs to follow and meet new people. It’s also a fun way to learn new things, and sometimes acquire new friends for your blog. The All ABOUT ME, is a just for fun blog hop for me. I’m not giving anything away, and my blog has been all but abandoned these last couple of weeks while I worked on other projects. It’s also slated for an overhaul, which was supposed to happen BEFORE this blog hop. 🙂 It didn’t, and the hop goes on.

Making the fun little quilt was a nice diversion from my other pressing matters and I enjoyed it. Thanks to  Madam Samm, and, Marlene,  of Stitching by the Lake for doing all the work and making this “meeting” of quilters possible

Of course, I’m running behind as usual. I finally finished by block in the wee hours of the morning. This is after I realized I didn’t have the pattern so generously donated by Amy Butler. Then, there was the issue of downloading, then sewing, and now trying to post.

Lucky for me, Amy designed a cute, easy to follow pattern. Not so lucky for me, I didn’t have all the necessary supplies and such. However, since I’m not much for following directions anyway, I just used the pattern as a suggestion and came up, much to my surprise, with a kind of cute wall-hanging.

Because I was in a hurry, and I’m not a fan of hand sewing these days, I used fusible, raw edge applique and quilted around it. I think I’ll try my hand at another one, just for fun now that I’ve made this one.

I made the hair longer, since my hair is long. I used muslin for the blondish color of my natural hair then quilted it with gray thread to give the darker look my hair sometimes has. I went with a stripe background, because, well honestly, that was handy last night. Since I normally wear dark colors (to hide the fat don’t you know), the dress is a black and white print. Which shows very clearly that black isn’t necessarily all that slimming.

I stuck the pincushion on my arm, since that’s where I usually have one, and my glasses are pink, a little like my natural glasses. Since I live out in the country, I used the fabric designed to look a little like leather for the word “biased.”

I think every fabric came from a different source. But then, I’m a little of a mixed up person anyway so this blending of differences suits me.

It really does look too much like me for comfort. What do you think?

IMG_0003Nin, cropped from others 2012

 

 

 

 

Nin 2011.jpg

 

Don’t forget to check out the other talented quilters to see how their little quilt turned out.

You can find them all at Stitching on the Lake, if these links don’t work.

Buzzing and Bumbling
Cherries Prairie Primitives
Kwilty Pleasures
Sew On And So Forth
Sew. Darn. Quilt.
A Stitch In Time
Doodling In My Mind
Moosestash Quilting
Vickie at That Other Blog
Susie’s World

And, if you missed out yesterday, don’t forget to check out these talented quilters:
Just Let Me Quilt
Sunshine Quilting
Karen at That Other Blog
Grammie Q
Gracie Oliver Arts
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
SnippetsNScraps
Sowing Stitches
Pigtales and Quilts
Stitchin’ByThe Lake

 

A Challenge is More than a Dare

It's all about me button

I mentioned here about my newest addiction, blog hops and challenges. And yes, I’ve fallen under the spell of another one. I’m a little surprised that I took the bait on this one. It is far outside my normal range.

Some of the challenges I’m participating in are more like dares. I dare myself to complete the task. I dare myself to stay on track with my goals and resolutions for the new year. A challenge is a dare to myself. In some cases I double dog dared myself.

This challenge though is different. Yes, it is a dare in a way. But, it’s also keeping with my word for the year, change. I’m going to try something different, I’m going to try a change. This challenge is an applique pattern designed by Amy Butler. While I love applique, I don’t often use it in my quilts.

Also, this piece is designed to be embellished. I don’t embellish. My quilts are functional quilts. Made and meant to be used. Embellished quilts are seldom put on beds. That’s a change for me, a challenge, to do some embellishing. While it won’t be a traditional functional quilt. First it’ll be too small to put on a bed, and second, it’ll have do-dads (embellishments) on it.

However, once it’s finished I will hang it on the wall. Seeing it will make me smile, and that’s a function.

The hop will actually take place in February. February 21-28 to be exact. We will receive our patterns in the next few days which will give us plenty of time to sew and blog about our beautiful creations, before unveiling them.

Madame Samm is holding the hop/challenge and Marlene, from Stitching by the Lake is our cheerleader.

This isn’t just another challenge though. It offers benefits. First, entering and completing the challenge will help deplete the scrap box. Not a lot, but every little bit helps.

Second, I need to improve my appliquing skills. I haven’t seen the pattern yet, but I’m thinking this will be a machine applique piece. There are times when applique is the only option, for me. Fabric painting, or embroidery are also options. However, they don’t have the appeal for me that applique does.

Here’s a picture of a quilt I made three years ago that demonstrates how much help my applique need.

tyler's baby quilt

Ok, my camera skills need improving too. I don’t think you can see how bad the stitching is on the appliqued boys. Trust me, it could be improved. That’s the goal with this challenge, to improve my appliquing prowess.

It’s not just a challenge for challenge sake. It’s a challenge with a purpose.

Mariam Kobras- Word Scraps Create Novel- Under the Same Sun

What happens when a quilter starts writing?  Scraps of fabric make beautiful quilts, word scraps create wonderful stories. At least in the hands of former quilter, Mariam Kobras.

Mariam has gone from sewing scraps of fabric together to form a warm, comforting, cover to stitching words together to create an entertaining, enjoyable read.  Under the Same Sun, is the second in The Stone Trilogy, and follows Naomi, Jon and those close to them as they try to regain control of their lives after the shooting of Naomi. The event  affected  them all in different ways. Added to the mix is Naomi’s desperate wish to have a second child and her difficulty in conceiving.

Mariam’s characters and situations, while figments of her imagination, are real and she could be telling the story of their lives were they actual living, breathing, people instead of just “real” characters from her fertile imagination.

She expertly stitches events and feelings together to form a tapestry that one can almost reach out and touch. Her descriptions are beyond good. She writes with layers, much like a quilt.  Each sentence another stitch in the written quilt, the story.

Mariam’s beautiful sensory descriptions of each new venue allow her readers, even the most frugal of us, to feel as though we’ve traveled the world with Naomi and Jon. Whether we are dancing on a lakeshore in Geneva with them, shopping at Harrods in London or decorating her house in Brooklyn, with Naomi, we are there. We can see the area, feel the smooth wood of the Steinway or the rough cobblestone road, the local aromas waft around us, as the sounds mingle with those of our real surroundings.

Real life drama fills the book and the resolutions are satisfying and make sense.

Sometimes in reading the story I wondered, “how did she know about that?” Because a portion of my life so closely followed the happenings in the book. There are so many real life situations in the book, that most people will be able to relate to at least one of them. Even if we have no idea what it’s like to be a rock star and have more money than we could possibly need.

While Under the Same Sun is the second book in the series, it also stands alone. That is you can read it and understand who everyone is without reading The Distant Shore, but why would you want to? Reading the books are a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

And of course, Mariam needs to buy a Porsche. How can she do that if we don’t all rush out and buy both books?

I am so happy  to be a part of Mariam’s blog tour, that way I got to read the book sooner. I’d been looking forward to reading it as soon as I finished, The Distant Shore. Now, I am eager to read the final book. Oh. My. Gosh. It won’t be out until next year !

This was the sixth stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the Amazon.com bestseller list on its first day on sale!

There’s only a few left, so order yours now, then while you’re waiting you can go to our blog and click the link to read the first two chapters for free.

But first, write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to win one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)! You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog. You won’t regret it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/23, Mariam will be visiting Carrie Bailey.  Join us there!

Check our blog for the full calendar and more details!

about the author: Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Join Mariam on Facebook,  her blog, and her publisher’s website.

I am linking up with The Nester during the month of October and posting about one subject each day (more or less). My subject is “scraps”.  Check out her website for other blogs writing on the subject of their choice.

Never Enough – Always Enough

It’s Friday. Time to link up with Lisa Jo and all the nice folks at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday. A time to write, unstructured, no editing or rewriting for five minutes on a word. Today’s word? Enough

Start 5:25

Just one more year, month, week, day, hour, minute I begged. Just give us a little more time together. Time to finish our dreams. Time to love. Time to fight.  We hadn’t had enough time I argued.

It wasn’t to be. It was time for him to go home.  There was no more time for us.

Now, I needed strength. Strength to plan his good-bye party. Strength for our little grandsons who didn’t understand why their Bear was gone. Strength for our children who now had only one parent. Strength for myself to get through the day, weeks, months, years ahead without him by my side. I didn’t have enough strength to do it all, to do any of it.

But, God had more than enough love, strength and caring to give me. Sometimes he gave it to me in the form of our grandsons who made me laugh, just by being there, or the additional grandchildren He sent to add cheer to our lives. Sometimes the strength came from my children, who cried for our loss with me, then helped me with chores, who now call, just to talk. Sometimes it came in the form of friends, who called at just the right time, or came over to help with tasks. He even sent me new friends to help. He gave me people in my life to help me celebrate the good times too.

Next week will mark what should have been our anniversary. I keep wondering if I’ll have enough courage, and ability to get through the day. No need to worry. God has it covered. He’ll be there for me, holding me up, getting me through the day, sending people to help.

I may not have enough of anything, but God has enough of everything.

 

There you go. Me, unedited. Well, except for spell-check, my fingers don’t always go to the right keys so I do check for the most obvious typos. 🙂

Why not join us? It’s fun (really, it is) and a great way to meet others. Just click over on Lisa Jo’s site, read some of the other posts, and add yours.

Another Move

  It’s Friday. That means I once again link up with The Gypsy Mama for five minutes of writing, no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking and linking up with other writers to read their work.

Today, I decided to do something a little different. Yes, I still wrote for five minutes. Yes, I still wrote on the prompt LisaJo provided. However, this time, rather than writing about how the word affects me, or what I think of the word, I wrote it from my character’s point of view.

Meet Elizabeth Clayton Storm, the heroine in my Christian Western. in progress, and read her take on the prompt.

 

START:

GOODBYE

 

I shook my head. Another move. Another Town. Seems like I’ve been on the move all my life. When the Reverend and I married, I said goodbye to my family and a way of life I knew. I came with him from the mountains to the valley.

We moved and moved and moved. Leaving behind people I’d come to care about and have no way of knowing what happens in their life. Now, he’s taking us across the prairie to a place called Indian Territory.

What’s waiting for us there? Indians? Are they wild? Church going people or heathens? With a sigh I repeat the prayer of my life, “Dear God, be with us as we travel, help us to do you bidding. Help me to know what your bidding is.”

With a final look at our last house I turned and hurried to the wagon and my waiting children. The Reverend would soon return from his last minute business and we’d once again be on our way. Saying goodbye to all we know, and going into the unknown.

 

Stop.

Not quite the wagon of Elizabeth and her family, but close.

Wow, that was harder than I thought. Probably won’t be trying this again.

Time Travel

Looking back. Sometimes it’s a good thing to look back at where we’ve been.

On  Katie Ganshert’s blog today her main character, Bethany took over. Katie is looking forward, or at least planning, on allowing Bethany to return to her hometown. The planned trip has Bethany looking back, way back to her growing up years. So far she doesn’t like what she sees, will the view be different close up?

While Bethany is looking at a real traveling visit, The Quilt Show.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, on their Facebook page today asked, “When you chain piece do you sew all the pieces for all the blocks at once, or do you piece a few blocks at a time?”

To answer the question quilters have to look back, in their memories, at quilts they’ve completed by chain piecing and remembering how they sewed the quilt. The answers, on the Facebook page, vary, and are fun to read.

What we can’t read though are the actual memories. Memories about a particular quilt and the problems it caused, or how easily it went together; memories of the reason for the quilt. Sometimes those memories are happy, we are making a quilt for a loved one to enjoy. Sometimes the memories are sadder, the quilt will never be seen or cover a loved one who has left and gone home. Whatever the memories, they’ve been relegated to where they belong, the past, until we are asked to mentally travel back to that time to answer a question.

Returning to our past, either in our memories or physically will help us today. We can see the mistakes we made, both in quilting and in life and adjust our actions to avoid those same mistakes. Staying in the past isn’t good for anyone, but visiting once in a while can help us tremendously.

One thing I learned when I traveled back to answer the quilt question was that I need to sew one block before chaining the entire quilt. That way I’ll know if I’m sewing them right, not upside down or backwards like I did with this leaf block. You can see it looks nothing like a leaf. Ten blocks had been sewn before I

This is what happens when you get in a hurry to finish a block.

realized the mistake. Most of them were ‘unsewn’, however a couple weren’t. The mixed up blocks will be used in the quilt as “crumpled leaves.” Also, traveling back to when the quilt blocks were made, reminded me to take time and verify the correct order of sewing the patches.

This is how the block is meant to look:

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (New King James Version)  “For lo, the winter is past, the rains is over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.”

Have you traveled back to your past, either physically or in your mind? How was the trip? Did you learn anything that can help you today?