Organic Quilting?

Have you ever thought about going organic with your quilting?

It’s been on my mind lately,

especially because I already own some lovely Charley Harper fabrics that are organics.

It got me thinking, is there organic thread and batting?

Indeed, there are such things, and one can make an entire organic quilt, it seems!

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I was in a lovely swap, the Charley Harper swap.

I made a pretty, fat little bird and enjoyed using this fabric.

But, now, I have a scrap stack high enough to make a baby sized quilt.

I thought it would be a good stretch of the imagination to sew up something completely organic

out of said scraps for my Etsy shop, and see what happens!

Whilst digging in my fabric closet, I also found some Nancy Mim organics.

These have a totally different color feel to them,

so it might be fun to see what can be made of them, too!

I’ll have to order a few things, like organic solid and backing,

and thread and batting.

But it will be good to see if those will sell well, or if they will languish in the shop!

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What do you think? Is organic important, or just  a fad?

Laundry Realities

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Laundry never sleeps, does it?

Well, it doesn’t in a household of 6!

In an effort to make laundry pleasant,

I’ve used large and vintage jars, added a wedding picture,

and just generally keep the room tidy and clean.

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I have a big, sunshine-filled room in which to do the task,

which will inevitably become much more feminine than it is right now!

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Harsh reality stares me in the face when I go to load this old washing machine, though.

It’s about a half a load sized washer.

It’s a good thing it’s a pleasant task with all the extras, because

I’m doing a lot of laundry these days!

I put up a favorite song lyric just to remind me that I could, indeed, have it much worse.

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Some days it’s a struggle to maintain a good attitude about this particular chore.

With many teens in the house, and a half-sized washer,

it feels like I am continually starting and reloading.

{Incidentally, the dish washer is in the same boat.}

But a pleasant room, some lovely old jars, and reminder art

goes a long way to help me be excited about the task!

Are you struggling with a particular chore?

What are some ways you could make that task more pleasant?

Baby Quilts

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Recently, I posted this picture on social media, and asked a question. My question was, “Which do you like best for a baby quilt?” There were many fun responses, but in the end, we chose the purples on the left.

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They will make a beautiful, trendy baby girl quilt for the shop!

A Charley Harper Mini Quilt

Speaking of quilting….

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I’ve been working in secret on a mini quilt.

The swap theme is Charley Harper.

He’s a well known modern artist, and definitely worth googling!

The basic background of the quilt and the trees, are made from Amanda Jean’s birch tree pattern.

My swap partner probably doesn’t read this blog,

but I won’t reveal her name, just in case!

The goodies around the mini quilt are extras for her specifically and her child.

It was so much fun creating for this person,

and for gathering little things she might like to send along with the quilt!

I would encourage you to participate in a swap or two on Instagram if you get the chance.

There are plenty going on this spring,

so this may not be the last swap package you get to sneak peek!

Quilting for the Lord

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,do all to the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31

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Quilting? For God?

Well, it does sound a little strange, doesn’t it!

I want to encourage you to do whatever you do for God, though.

Whether spring cleaning, or teaching, or sewing,

whatever you put your hands to should be done, “to the Glory of God”.

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That is a commitment to doing something well,

to the best of your ability.

It’s also a commitment to learning how to do that task better.

There are many good resources available to you,

especially in our digital age of information!

Dig in, and learn your craft, be it sewing or some other task.

There will come a day when you are able to teach and do your work professionally, if you choose.

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Would you be interested in a basic quilting course?

Serving God Through Serving My Family

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children,

and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house,

and making your household a church for God,

as you would be if you had been called

to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.”

C. H. Spurgeon

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Service.

That one little word encompasses so many details,

so many things that are only noticed if left undone.

Service, at its core, is a focus on people, more than tasks.

It is a sacrifice to God of your time for others, to His glory.

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Motherhood and wifedom are high callings.

They place us, as women, in a humble position often

{like cleaning restrooms or changing diapers}.

The rewards are so, so awesome, though!

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Proverbs 31 says, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

In real, practical terms, service means a willingness to put time into your family.

It means picking up stray socks, long nights with sick babies,

and three meals a day. Serving your family each day, every day

takes a commitment that only the Lord can bring,

If you’re struggling in this area, and want to begin serving with a right heart,

I encourage you to pray about it.

Ask the Lord to give you strength and joy in service to your loved ones.

Sewing Machine Maintenance

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While we’re all busy spring cleaning, don’t forget to clean your sewing machine!

You should be cleaning lint and oiling much more regularly than once or twice a year.

Experts say your machine needs oil every EIGHT hours of sewing,

and my tech told me to clean lint with every bobbin change!

Here are some basic maintenance steps you can take to have your machine humming along nicely all year long.

1. Dig out your manual. Oil all the spots it says to oil with a high quality sewing machine oil.

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2. Change your needle. It’s probably dull, and changing it will make your sewing neater and smoother.

3. Clean all the lint. I mean, clean every bit of lint you can find! Use a cheap Crayola paintbrush, brush it against your pant leg often, and get all the lint you can! Don’t forget places like under the plate, between the plate and the bobbin case, and under that bobbin case.

4. Clean all your cords with a slightly damp clothe. Unplug and clean the exterior of your machine while you’re at it!

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Any time your machine is acting up, try these four troubleshooting steps first.

If you do end up needing a tune up or a basic service on your machine,

your tech will be happy to be working on a very clean machine! =}

Spring Cleaning

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Hello, Spring!

The weather’s a little warmer, and the windows can be opened now.

It’s the perfect time for spring cleaning!

Every year, I get the urge to spring clean, and

I forget where to start!

I pull out my home management notebook, a good place to begin.

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Several months ago, when it was still cold, wet, and snowy some days,

I made up a good cleaning list for each room in the new house.

I typed this up in a word processing program, and made it cute!

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By putting this list into a page protector,

 that makes it dry erase, which means it’s fun to mark up and cross off things that are finished.

Now getting the cleaning done is just a matter of following the list,

marking off each item, and working one room at a time!

Also, last year about this time I made something to make my life easier.

I had one of these in my closet.

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 It’s a duster handle.

I got sick and tired of buying refills for said duster and threw it in the back of the closet.

Then I decided, hey, I bet I can make one out of fabric!

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And I did.

I made more than one.

in fact, I sent one to several people to test out,

and together we washed them and used the life out of them!

If you’d like one of these gems, they are less expensive in my Etsy shop than a box of paper refills.

They’re washable, and they last for. ever. =}

Happy Spring Cleaning!

A Merry Heart

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

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I have this aunt. She’s made a habit every day of sending short messages to several of us in the family.

{Yes, it really is quite wonderful!}

This morning’s message was about a merry heart.

She used a different Scripture, but it got me thinking about joy, again.

JOY is my word of the year for 2015, and so it resonates with me.

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I’d like to share what I’m learning about joy. These may seem basic, but they are huge to me!

First, joy is a choice. It’s not all about things going well.

Second, you can have joy when nothing is going your way, because of the Lord.

Third, having joy is both inward and outward. It is something we cultivate in our hearts, but also something we must show others. It takes effort to decide to be joyful on both the inside and outside!

Fourth, joy is something we spread. When you are joyful on purpose for the Lord, it spreads to other people, whether in your family and friends, or complete strangers.

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Amy Charmichael  had this to say, “For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”

On this first day of spring, I’m purposing to renew my commitment to being joyful!

Will you join me?

Creative Notebooks

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Do you all have the plethora of notebooks, places to draw out new patterns and ideas?

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It’s so, so useful to draw when inspiration strikes,

to have available when inspiration seems nowhere in sight!

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In reviewing these sketches, I’ve found some things to share with you all!

I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you are, too!

Note: two of these are sketch books. One is a Gratitude Journal. If you don’t have one of those, they are such a blessing to keep and review! I suppose you could mash them all up, but that might get confusing! =}

What are you working on?

Is it secret, or secret for now?