Favorite Scripture


Monday, March 28, 2011

Leaving a Legacy

Why do we quilt?  
Why do we spend time cutting up little pieces of fabric and putting them back together?
Why do we Quilters have fabric stashes to rival Jo-Ann's or some other commercial fabric store?
Why do I stay up til the wee hours of the morning when I'm "in the zone" with my needle or sewing machine?

I think for most of us it's all in the GIVING!  Most every quilt or sewing project I'm working on ends up as a gift.  I have very few of the items I've made over the years.  In fact, #1 Hubby asked for a quilt the other night when the temps dipped down on one of those winter/spring evenings when Old Man Winter keeps hanging on to his icy grip.  He remarked that it certainly was strange to live with a woman who did little else but quilt and the hardest item to find in our house is a Quilt!!

Why do you quilt?  
For me, I see more than A PRETTY QUILT when I look at a quilt my mother made.  I'm reminded of where she was or what was going on in our family at the time of her stitching the quilt.  I can picture Mama sitting on the end of my couch stitching the "Sun Bonnet Sue" quilt and spilling her coffee on two of the squares.  I found those extra squares the other day complete with coffee stains and all.  I'm grateful for not having cleaned those coffee stains!  I touched those stains and felt an instant connection with Mama. Here is the quilt made with the CLEAN squares... however, I treasure the coffee stained squares found tucked away with some old cotton quilting fabric from my mother's sewing box.

We, Quilters, are leaving a Legacy...a Legacy of family, 
a Legacy of Home
a Legacy of Childhood...Parents...Grandparents...

 On my oldest Daughter's Wedding Day, each guest was asked to write a message on a fabric square to be later made into a memory quilt.  I knew so little about the correct way to make a memory or signature quilt as they are often called.  I didn't know I was supposed to put a stabilizer under the fabric to be signed.  I didn't know to mark the seam allowances to keep the signatures from "disappearing" into the seams.

In putting the squares together, I made one of the squares "wonky"... by ACCIDENT I might add.  When I realized it was wonky, the quilt had already been quilted and binding sewed on.  Was I going to rip the whole thing out in order to fix it?  Not on your life!  

My daughter was actually thrilled with the wonky square and told me it made the quilt more like me and even more loved.  She even suggested that I make sure every quilt I made have something "wonky" to be discovered by the recipient.  I told her I wouldn't have to worry about intentionally making a mistake...I would make a mistake accidentally and you could count on that!
BTW, Can you find the Wonky Block??  It's there!!

That little quilted coat at top was made by "BIG GRANDMA" my Great Grandmother.  She made sure EVERY child, Grandchild, Great Grandchild and even Great Great Grandchild had a homemade gift from her every Christmas.  I remember the sweet little aprons she made for me or the precious little dresses& matching bonnets.   

What a Legacy she left for her family!  
Wrapped in white tissue paper & tied in curling ribbon...every child in her world received a present made from Big Grandma!

I only wish Big Grandma had labeled the items she sewed.  I now understand the importance of labeling our quilts/handmade items in order to leave our Legacy once we're gone.

My greatest Legacy is my children and my Grandchildren.  I want the things I make for them to last and to be treasured once they're old enough to appreciate them.  I hope their parents will teach them to honor a handmade gift from Grandmama.  I am much more proud of something I make than something I go out and buy for one of them.

My Mother -in-law taught me to love quilts and honor the quilter.  Here she is with all her Great Grandchildren.  What a legacy!!!  She has made something for each one!



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Apron Love

I don't know about you but I LOVE LOVE to get a package or hand written note/letter in the mail!
Here's a sneak peek at some goodies that winged their way to my house and/or are winging their way to a swap partner!

The Elegant Madame Samm's package to The Lady Jane Hillis

Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt at Stash Manicure  sewed a custom created "Cuppa Cozie" with my initial.  


This little gem keeps your cuppa whatever warm for 2 hrs. or more!  Yep, it works!  M. Samm won an invention contest in Canada some years ago with this little jewel.  So...I asked very nicely and since she is one of THE most generous ladies I've gotten to know through my online "quilty girlfriends", Madame Samm custom sewed a "cuppa cozie" for me and my sister (SHHH!!! It's a secret...Happy Birthday Sarah Beth! Her cozie is PEEKING out from behind my yellow cozie...see it??)

I participated in my first ever apron swap!  I received a super fun package with a half apron as requested with some fun "tuck -ins" to spice up the package.  The apron was made out of the nicest fabric and I loved the garden flower seeds, Spring decoration plus some very colorful buttons for future embellishments.

Here is a recent apron creation which I think is so Springy and fun.  In fact I may have to keep this apron for myself!
Check out the little "coffee steam" plus the ruffle!  I'm actually teaching myself how to sew by making these aprons. My sewing skills stopped at my 8th grade Home Ec class so I have a lot of catching up to do.  I'm watching on line tutorials, reading everything I can about the particular technique I'm attempting to sew, and having fun in my SEWING CAVE as my family has nick named it...Mama's Sewing Cave

Here is a simple polka dot apron with a pocket.  This was my first ruffle and I will make my pockets larger from now on...like I said, I'm learning with each item I sew.
In this picture are some "tuck in's" for my apron swap partner...some yummy melon fat quarter fabric and an Irish Linen Hankie with hand crocheted lace I found at an antique store.  Hope she likes it!

Here are the three ladies blowing in the wind on a dreary spring afternoon.  Yes, the apron strings are very long...that is on purpose.  MY swap partner and I like to tie our strings around the back and then around to the front.  
You can also see how yucky the backyard looks behind my clothesline but if you look real hard you can see my plum trees about to burst forth.  The newest aprons on the farm add a touch of color don't you think?
Oh look, Hank the Border Collie is sneaking up on a squirrel...the squirrel is behind the apron!

Blue apron on left was found at a flea market...very utilitarian.  
Christmas apron and green apron belonged to my sweet little Mama.  She ALWAYS wore an apron...everyday...all day...for every occasion!

This is the newest apron on the cutting board...I Love this fabric and Large Polka Dot Print.  This little lady is going to be a full size bib apron with a large pocket going along the width of the bottom to hold cleaning or craft items.

Vintage Apron Pattern featured 

If you love all things APRON, then you WANT...no you NEED this treasure of a book.

My quilting endeavors have taken a back seat this past week to allow a some creative room for my


Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Blessings

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Gmama Jane

May Joy and Peace surround YOU
Contentment latch your Door
And Happiness be with YOU now,
And Bless YOU evermore.
                                          Irish Blessing

Isn't this little St. Paddie's Lady just the cutest thing ever??!!
My heritage is Scott-Irish and would love to know more about my family in the old country.
How many of you have seen the TV series that takes famous people and searches their genealogical roots?
So, fascinating and has made me want to take what I already know about my heritage and go to the next step.  I've joined Ancestory.com and hopefully will add information to my family history particularly on my mother's side.
Here is a picture of my favorite little leprechaun
 James spending time with Aunt LaLa
Progress Report:
This little leprechaun stood for 30 minutes with minimum support last week in physical therapy!!  As most of you know, James has Cerebral Palsy and he is making such great progress!  He is currently enrolled in Horseback riding lessons which mimics to the brain the act of WALKING!! Isn't that miraculous???
James must work hard to keep his balance while on the horse and the slow gait of the horse makes the brain think that James is walking.  I never realized how important walking is to all stages of development across the board.  
James WILL WALK independently one day and what a glorious day that will be!

I've heard from several Grandmothers out there who have grandchildren with developmental issues and I am amazed at the unconditional love we feel for these precious gifts.  Our lives are richer for having them in our lives!

BTW, here is an interesting contest so I thought I would bring your attention to it just in case you're interested.  I did something wrong when I copied the linky info but you can read the address at the bottom of the picture.

Today's post is short...I have lots of quilting and sewing projects to complete.  I am in an apron swap which needs to be mailed out on Monday!  
SEW.....let's go SEWing!!!

I know...it says Happy new Year but I thought it looked more like St Patrick's Day than New Years so I used it anyway.  I can do that if I want...I'm a big girl now and can do whatever I choose.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty
Old Irish Blessing
Gmama Jane

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quilt Heaven

in the

I'm back home!  I've just spent an entire week in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee among some of the most beautiful QUILTS as well as QUILTERS I've ever seen.  This was my very first Quilt retreat and I had SOOO much fun!!  Not only did I have a reunion with an old High School friend after 40 YEARS, I  was also surprised by a reunion with my oldest sister and her family after TWO YEARS of not seeing each other!!!  Can you believe it??

The picture below was taken off the back deck of our mountain cabin on Friday morning! It began snowing late Thursday night and we woke up to a winter wonderland Friday morning.  It was spitting snow on Thursday evening. # 1 Husband built a roaring fire and I warmed up a pot of Wednesday's chili for supper.  I had classes all day Thursday so it was nice to come back to the cabin, relax with the fire, have supper already cooked, watch the snow and Sew/Quilt all evening!

So much joy, yet I feel so conflicted...the same time I am reuniting with friends and family,  a half a world away, people are dying in one of the world's greatest natural disasters!  

The tragedy in Japan has devastated the lives of so many and the horror of what happened is beyond belief.  I hope we will all pray for Japan and donate to the charitable cause of choice.  I intend to contribute to the Red Cross!

I have so much to share about what I saw and learned about quilts, tips to make things easier, new trends, new fabrics, etc...but I need to unpack and get my house back in order after having been gone for a week.  I need to get back into a routine of housework, blogging, quilting, and family time so give me a few days to get my ducks in a row!  

Today, I'll share some Quilt eye candy and please forgive the quality of the pictures.  My camera doesn't do justice to the fabric colors, and intricacy of the stitching.  I was blessed to be able to take a few classes from some of the Quilt gurus such as Bonnie Hunter, Elsie Campbell, Darlene Zimmerman, Jo Morton, etc..!!

 This quilt was so unique in that each of the roses/flowers are freezer paper appliqued and HAND PAINTED!!!  You should see the shading and detial in each flower...STUNNING!!

Spectacular String Quilt by Elsie Campbell

Girlfriends, I was like a child in a candy store for the first time!  My #1 Husband came along to be my gopher, chef, chauffeur, and all round Prince CharmingHe even noted that this was the first time in our marriage that he could remember me taking an entire week for myself!!  I agree it was about time!
The intricate hand applique and quilting in this quilt was stunning!

I loved the placement of stars in this quilt

Flower Baskets

This quilt was put together from sun Bonnet Sue blocks that a daughter found after her mother died.  She put the blocks together and quilted it in remembrance of her mother!

The colors in this quilt were so beautiful and my photo doesn't do it justice.  It won second place in one of the categories but I can't remember or read the small print on the ribbon!

My next post I'll share some info from my classes.  If you live within driving distance of the Smokey Mtns, you NEED to plan to attend Quiltfest 2012!!  Wouldn't it be great to have a meet-up of those of us who have met here in blogland and on Stash Manicure?????  It could happen ladies!!!
I'm just sayin"....................

GMama Jane
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