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New Scrap Quilt on the Floor

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yesterday I went to my scrap fabric basket. I rarely go there to take stuff OUT; usually it is to stuff more scraps and then quickly jam the top on and shove it back under the shelf so it will stay (somewhat) closed.

Not today. Today is a day I decided to do a withdrawal and see what I can come up with.

My idea of original design can be rather far fetched. Most people I know, when they decide to make an original quilt, get out the drafting paper, pencils, rulers and colored pencils. Not me.

I get out the scraps. No pencils, paper or colored pencils for me! That isn't because I dont think all that work is a waste of time; it is because I have never learned HOW to draft on paper.

So I use my floor. And Winsten helps, too, as you will see further on down.

I don't put up my big design wall because the cats always pull fabrics off it and then try to climb it. The floor is much easier!

I begin with a general idea in my head as to what colors I feel like using. Then I grab all those colors out of the scrap basket and put them aside.

If I find blocks or stips that were sewn but never used, I put them off to the side too. It doesn't really matter what colors these are, because I have no idea where I am going at this point.

Then I start pulling the OPPOSITE of my "feature" color out and make a pile of those. Example, starting with red, I now haul out greens.

Now it is time to get SERIOUS! I grab a piece of my feature fabric, head for the cutting table, and cut one square. This is the beginning of a new quilt.

I frame that square, then the fun begins. I start placing other fabrics around the square, making little piles all around it.

This is where my "what if" brain starts checking in.

"What if I put this one THERE, then put these OVER HERE?"

Slice, stitch, place, rearrange, and grab the next one.

I piece together small sections, then decide where they should go, or where they will fit, and stitch them together.

I like what I am seeing, and continue to add "rows" to each other, enjoying the process very much.

And so it goes.

With this last photo, I will leave you curious as to the outcome of the quilt. this is because this is how far I have gotten so far.

This is to be a very special quilt for a very special lady. When I finish the quilt, I will tell you all about this lady, and how she has impacted so very many lives. It will be a story you will never forget, I guarantee it!

So that's what is going on in my world these days.

I sneak in my walks when my back and knees begin to protest about too much time crouching and crawling all over the floor. My DH reminds me to eat. Winsten lets me know when we have been working long enough, and now it is time to play a little.

The catty girls? They fall asleep among the scraps.

Time to get off the computer and back on the floor. emoticon

Just remember, Dear Friends, that all quilts are made one block or strip at a time, and if we take it slow and steady, a true work of love will emerge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMIKO75 2/4/2010 9:19AM

    I love your blog and the mystery you put into it. I also like how that fits in with life and how some of us manage our days.
I have always wanted to learn to quilt, but have just kind of muddled through. It has me eager to dig into my pile of un-used fabric and start an easy quilt when I get off work today!
Blessings to you and hope to meet you on one of the walks Karen keeps putting together.

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LOULOUBELLE2 2/2/2010 5:34PM

    After reading your blog I feel like I have been to one of your classes........You know I have always wanted to take a class from you. emoticonWe just live to far away...that process is amazing....I kind of do mine on the paper with colored pencils....then I need to find the fabrics. You already have your fabric and go from there. emoticonHope you teach some more "online" classes and I too can't wait to see the finished Rose quilt. emoticonblog.

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SLKIDDER 1/30/2010 8:27PM

    Your quilt is beautiful. I wish I could make a quilt like that. I use graph paper and rulers because I have to.

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CHATERJOY 1/30/2010 6:27PM

    Very Cool. I can't wait to see the finished product and hear about who it is for. emoticon

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GCHUNG 1/30/2010 6:06PM

    I love the story - You are more courageous than I in designing this way. What you do on your floor I do on my computer. I love the design aspect.

This quilt is fantastic. I can't wait to see the finished product. I love the colors you've chosen and all I can say is your stash is amazing!!!

Great job.

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BEVPRESLEY 1/30/2010 5:20PM

    I love it, that will be a fantastic quilt. That is basically the way my mind works too. I just hate to waste anything.

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MPENNE 1/30/2010 3:10PM

    Great quilting lesson. I am almost inspired to take up quilting.

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BLACKPRINCE2 1/30/2010 2:15PM

  Great job. I'm a quilter also. Today I quilted a large log cabin with three stars within a star. I used one jely roll and some fat quarters for the center.

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NOTFATCAT 1/30/2010 2:01PM

    You are amazing. I wish I had a tenth of your talent.
Seems you are always thinking of and doing for others. Another trait I wish for.
Your last comment about the quilt being made one block or strip at a time is very much like our lives, is it not? It is a good way to think of our life changes and progressions. If only mine didn't need so much mending..............
Thanks for the insight.

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TRIGFROST 1/30/2010 1:55PM

    emoticon Roses, just in time for Valentine Day... I bet you will be the "Special Lady" so you can keep this one. emoticon

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KAROUSELL46 1/30/2010 1:35PM

    Can't wait to see the finished quilt. You have lots of help with Winsten and the kitties. Winsten looks like he is in deep thought...now where did I put that bone emoticon...mmm

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SUESMITH73 1/30/2010 1:27PM

    Looking forward to seeing it when it is finished & to the story about the special lady. It's going to be very special indeed. Made with love.

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TINYC887 1/30/2010 1:15PM

    that is so kewl, i never learned how to quilt. My dog woulda been laying ON the pieces,lol

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LOVESCAMPING 1/30/2010 1:07PM

    Pictures of a true artist at work.

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Christine and the Polar Plunge

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Isn't she SOMETHING! This is my beautiful granddaughter, Chrisine. As you can see from the photo, she is jumping into a pool of water. Not just ANY pool of water; this one is cold, Cold, COLD!

Christine is doing the Polar Plunge to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a camp for children who are fighting for their lives by battling life threatening diseases.

Chrisine lives in Massachusetts, and the Polar Plunge was held on Mt. Wachusetts. You can see from the on-lookers that it is VERY cold outside.

But my brave little darling Christini (called that by ONLY family members), has about the biggest, bravest heart you'd ever want to get to know.

Camp Sunshine is very important to our family. While Ally fought for her life against Leukemia, that Camp kept the family together many times.

It is a wonderful place where kids, no matter how ill, can be kids. No one stares at them, or points fingers at them, or laughs at them. No one avoids the kids because they are sick and look "different".

These children are loved and encouraged to challenge themselves far beyond what the parents think their kid can do. The kids come there sick. They leave there with much more confidence, wonderful memories and new friends.

It is a place where God has laid His hands, and it is blessed.

Over $10K was raised for this wonderful place.

How blessed we are that our family knows that to be "complete", we must all serve a Higher Cause than ourselves.

Christine did just that, and I am so very proud of her!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESCAMPING 1/28/2010 3:32PM

    What a beautiful grandchild. It looks like Christina has inherited her grandmother's deep caring and desire to do good for others.

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DARCEYOH 1/28/2010 2:23PM

    I get chills just reading about her jumping in there! brrrr!

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BIONICBETH 1/25/2010 11:02PM

    BEARWIFE, I know you and Cindy must be very proud of Christine. She's not only beautiful outside, but clearly beautiful inside as well. (And perhaps just a wee bit insane...I'm from S. NH...I know how cold it was that day!!!)

Thank you for posting, and sharing the cause with everybody!

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THE_SILVER_OWL 1/25/2010 9:35PM

    Christine is lovely, inside and out. What a wonderful example you have set by the work you do making quilts for children with Cancer.

I can not think of many gifts we can receive that are any sweeter than this: Show by example, and then see our children (or grandchildren) pick up the torch and blaze a new path of giving.


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BIZEEMOMTO3 1/25/2010 8:04PM

    You made me cry

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RELGRAM 1/25/2010 4:15PM

  Good for her! And good for your whole family! You, especially are an inspiration to SO many. YOU GO GIRL!

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/25/2010 2:53PM

    You have good reason to be proud--go Christine!


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NOTFATCAT 1/25/2010 10:58AM

    I sure wish there wasn't a need for places like Sunshine Camp. Kids shouldn't have to experience such dreadful experiences.
But, it is good there are people like your Christine and yourself that help those same kids have glimmers of good while they are experiencing their personal tragedies.

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SUESMITH73 1/25/2010 12:56AM

    We don't hear about the good things that kids do nearly often enough! Thanks for sharing this. You should be proud! emoticon

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BEVPRESLEY 1/24/2010 11:34PM

    Generous and brave, nice combination. The camps do a great service for suffering families. I'm proud of her too.

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KAROUSELL46 1/24/2010 10:12PM

    I can see why you are proud. Places like Camp Sunshine are so important to the kids and families. Good for your DGD Christine!...Karen emoticon emoticon emoticon

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this Walk was for YOU, Darcey!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today I was looking forward to meeting my local Spark Team members for a walk. Then I got the email that our fearless leader, Darcey, spent some time in hospital last night due to pain, and the walk was called off.

I was disappointed that we would not get together and give hugs, but then I got to thinking "Well, if the walk is called off because Darcey is in pain, I can walk for HER!"

Grab Winsten and out the door we go. A brisk 3.125 miles in 36 minutes, then I hit my "energy wall". I still have my cold, and I am sure that is what is zapping my energy.

But you know what? That's okay. I feel good about walking what I could, and the weather is so beautiful outside that I had fun. Now it is time to do a bit of low key stuff for the day, drink lots of water, eat right, take a nap, and all that has to fit in with MAKE A QUILT FOR ANOTHER KID!

I need to get busy!

Wishing you all a great Saturday, which will include some exercise, too.

Thanks for the inspiration, Darcey.....THIS walk was for YOU!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/23/2010 8:27PM

    God bless you for doing a walk for Darcy. Sounds like you had a great walk too although you are still not up to par. WAY TO GO!!! emoticon
Blessings and hugs,

Comment edited on: 1/23/2010 8:28:27 PM

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/23/2010 4:37PM

    emoticonway to honor your friend by emoticonfor her.
Plus so good for you to. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRDRAPES 1/23/2010 4:06PM

    very nice emoticon

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MPENNE 1/23/2010 3:54PM

    It is great that you decided to walk for Darcey, I know that she would have done the same for you. 3.125 miles sounds like a terrific accomplishment for someone recovering from a cold. My hat is off to you and Winsten.

I hope Darcey is back walking with you very soon.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

yesterday Darcey blogged about her muscles talking to her, and how they wanted to move. Well, I totally understand that one!

It used to be my muscles would cry out to go downstairs and find something to eat. Usually something that I have no business even having in the house.

My muscles remained quiet and dormant while I sat around, took unnecessary naps, spent all day on the computer (I don't have a job, so no excuse there!), and generally avoided any and all physical activity.

Then Bossy Daughter made me join Spark. That was kind of fun, but the real work began when Darcey decided to make a September Challenge in 2009 of walking one mile a day for the month.

I joined that challenge, never believing for a moment I would continue after September, or for that matter, even walk the month.

I have had wonderful supporting friends here on Spark, including my Bossy Daughter, and I just didn't want to let them down or get told that I wasn't doing the program, and I better get in gear. Can you hear Bossy Daughter??

So okay. I began doing Spark exercises and workouts, using the tools available, even those hideous, body breaking videos of Heather.

I danced to Rock and Roll, Reggae and Boogey Woogey Piano music. I did push-ups, ball exercises and calf raises. I walked miles. I bought a resistance band, which honestly, I haven't used very much. I did some weight workouts. I drank water. I did gardening.

I blogged every day. I lost weight and inches.

Then along comes Old Man Winter, and I notice I am using the weather as excuses for not working out. I mean, how sane is it to say I can't work out when I have a rowing machine, weights, resistance bands, and a stationery bike in my ROOM??? Like I can't workout because it is raining OUTSIDE??

Amazing what I can rationalize with very little effort!

Yesterday I was down with a nasty cold. I still have it, but my muscles and organs began to speak to me.

Back said "I'm too stiff from all that laying around yesterday".

Lungs chimed in with "I need some deep breaths of fresh air".

Heart piped up with "I want to get into a groovy beat".

Hips (always a bit testy in attitude) grumbled "i am going to freeze up if I don't get lubricated and moved".

Legs reported feeling cramped up, and needing to stretch.

Arms said "Let's SWING again, like we did last summer".

Butt asked "Can we SPREAD again?"

THAT's when I got up, put on the shoes and headed outside. No spreading allowed!!

Winsten and I put in 3.66 miles today, and it felt great until the last half mile.

Then I could tell that I was really stretching the energy line, and gave myself permission to stop.

I am drinking my water and juice, and taking care of my cold again. But you know what?

I am taking care of my cold with a body that feels MUCH BETTER!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOTFATCAT 1/22/2010 6:59PM

    There you go. Good idea to move.

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BEVPRESLEY 1/21/2010 10:13PM

    Good for you! Listen to those body parts, make them happy and they will make you happy.

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MPENNE 1/21/2010 7:15PM

    Sounds great. I have started walking again after weeks of excuses. It is amazing how the weather affects our attitudes toward exercise. I didn't exercise because it was too cold. It was more comfortable in bed under the covers. Now that is over and I am at least walking again. I took Bailey and Maggie out this afternoon for about a mile walk. They were in heaven.

Blessings to you. . emoticon Hope your cold goes away soon

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KAROUSELL46 1/21/2010 6:37PM

    I hate when things that I've learned to ignore start talking and complaining. I, too, have to accomadate them or they won't shut up. They play the guilty ache on me. Oh, the things I do for myself....Good for you for getting up and walking. I bet Winsten is in excellent health too. Hope you get over your cold real soon.Have a nice hot tea. emoticon emoticon...Karen

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/21/2010 2:33PM


For me, it's all about taking that first step--if I can get my feet on the floor and start, the excuses fly out the window pretty quickly. It's so easy to rationalize why NOT to get moving; way to go in actually listening to your body and doing it without pushing it too far!

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DARCEYOH 1/21/2010 2:25PM

    That's great you got up and out even when you're feeling sick! It's amazing how our excuses can complicate or interfer in our activities so much. Sometimes, their legitimate excuses, sometimes their cop-outs. It's the cop-out excuses we have to worry about and re-think.

Hope you get to feeling better and make it on Saturday!

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Walking and Singing in the Rain BECAUSE I CAN!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today I began with the excuse of not walking because it is raining out. Then I settled into my chair and began reading my emails.

Right away I saw an update on one of my Ally Cat Kids, Cody. Cody just recently had a BMT (bone marrow transplant) and is in the hospital again. Cody is 9 years old.

In his blog update, there it is. He slept for a while this morning, watched the Haiti Hurricane updates on CNN to see how the people are getting help. This really concerns him.

Then, Cody got out of bed and did some SPRINTING around his room, followed by a walk around the nurse's stations to visit.

I was humbled by this posting. I told myself "If Cody could get out of bed to exercise, I sure as heck can get out of the chair and do what I am supposed to be doing for my own betterment."

I got on my shoes, jacket, pedometer, timer, and hat. Out the door went Winsten and I.

Yes, indeed, it was RAINING and the wind was blowing a lot. But the temperature was 49 degrees, so that wasn't so bad.

I began my walk with a song. I actually sang to the trees, sky, rain, Winsten and Cody. I sang "Singing in the Rain", which seemed appropriate.

After the first mile, I let Winsten in the house so he could get dried off by DH. Winsten does NOT like rain. Dropping him off, I continued my walk.

The rain helped me go faster than normal, and I completed 4.5 miles in 47 minutes. But that is not the good news.

The GOOD news is that while walking, I got out of myself. I chugged along, and started thinking about all "my" kids fighting cancer.

What do you suppose those kids would think if they were told they could go out and walk in the rain??

They sometimes cannot even leave the hospital for months at a time, much less say get outside. Some of those children will never again feel the rain on their faces.

They would JUMP at the chance to walk in the rain again!!

So I walked. And I prayed. And I was filled with gratitude that I was walking in the rain.............BECAUSE I CAN!!

I need no other reason than that!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESCAMPING 1/20/2010 4:13PM

    Sometimes God sends us messages in the most unexpected forms.

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KAROUSELL46 1/18/2010 10:04PM

    You are truly a gifted person. Not only can you build your beautiful quilts, you can write some wonderful blogs. I think that the birds were your back up singers...Karen

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KAYDE53 1/17/2010 10:24PM

    Great blog! It's a wonderful work that you do and you're so right about those kids who would be thrilled to be able to take a walk. We just take it for granted; thanks for the reminder not to do that.. Bless you!! emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/17/2010 5:44PM

    No excuses for me either...But sure wish I had a "Winston" to walk with.....Then I thought about it and remembered that I was blessed to have" Jesus" along on my walk.

Thanks for reminding me of that. emoticon

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NOTFATCAT 1/16/2010 12:27PM

    I am always inspired while and after reading one of your humbling posts. I really appreciate your sharing of yourself with us and 'your' kids.
Now, I must go outside in the cold and walk. No more excuses.

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