Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I actually finished the binding on TWO quilts today; and I must say the only way that could have been accomplished was to do it Nines' way.

It took Nines' a while to convince me it was kosher to do all the binding by machine, instead of sewing it on the right side, flipping and hand sewing the back. I still think that way is comforting for the quilt maker...but, once you've sewn it on the back, flipped, turned and sewn down the front with a close-edge seam....well, it's just so much quicker!!

I was having a good bit of trouble getting mine to look as neat as Nines' does, but I stumbled over a trick or two today. Besides using my machine quilting presser foot, I pressed the back side forward (not folded) after it was sewn down. That made the final turn so much easier. I also reminded myself to take it slowly on top and always stop with the needle down. That's real simple, you say. Yes it is - I guess I'm a slow learner; but still not too old to learn a thing or two.

The green quilt is for our DGS Josiah. I really like what Nines' did with the quilting. And I pieced this top from fabric that DS Isobel donated to my stash. The light greens remind me of shells and seaweed, so I'm naming it: "Irish Seashells by the Seashore." Josiah's ONLY criteria for a quilt was to make it green.

The whole cloth muslin quilt was Nines' practice piece...when she wanted to master a new quilting design with her longarm quilter she'd pin it on and go to town. The "blocks" have some great designs, but I think my favorite is her first quilted cursive that reads, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog; and he was a friend of mine.' As if the quilt needed more whimsy!

Nina has a way with quilts!!! Her grandmas would also be proud of her for planning to make her practice piece both beautiful and useful.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Nines gave a friend one of my aprons. The friend soon declared it was MAGIC – it hangs near her kitchen and she says every time she puts it on she gets LOTS of work done. I’m all for making work magic, for big girls and little girls alike.

I had a few pieces of fabric stashed for aprons. (Nina has probably shared her newer ones and hers are looking a bit weathered). While at Nines’ last week I garnered some more of her odds and ends that had no particular destination. This became my week’s task. They didn’t exactly appear like magic, but what fun! Ended up with 23 - half of them are pint-sized as you can see. Nine’s girls wear them like pinafores. My favorite is on the top left – red with ducks. The drakes in the mix are wearing overalls, so naturally that smaller remnant was well suited to Nines’ youngest kitchen helper, Abe.

Least you think four too young to be helpful, I was amazed to see how much he can do in the kitchen – including cutting potatoes for broiling. True, Jacob stood right beside him to make sure he was doing it safely; and he was. It’s quite a treat to watch the Koen kids function together!

Now, if this row of aprons is not magical, it is at least useful…and rather sweet. I like them well enough to keep a couple for myself…But Nines can have the ten pretty tea napkins.

My favorite apron memory is Grandma Oe’s, of course. Her bibs were pinned to her dress sans straps (maybe they hurt her neck, too) and had a generous skirt tied with sashes in the back. Likely the only time I saw her without one was when she went to meeting. If she ever forgot to take it off then, she wouldn’t be the first one, would she?

Saturday, January 05, 2008


ALL THE BROKEN PIECES...I keep going back to that quote, "God can do wonders with a broken heart - if we give Him all the pieces."

One has to wonder...

How many problems go unsolved, how many burdens weigh on bending shoulders, how many sins remain unforgiven; simply because we do not give them up to the Lord? How often do we deprive ourselves of the freedom of whole healing and joy of full forgiveness because we want to hold on?

We want to hold on to:
- that little grudge; bitter memory
- that bit of 'pleasurable' sin
- that reliance on SELF
- that simmering anger
- that gulf of self-pity
- that selfish pride
- that love of money; crippling covetousness
- that block of self-will
- that sin of omission; excuse for neglect
- that ignorance study would cure
- that time better spent with God
- that disappointment, disturst, disagreement, disillusionment in/with others
- that weighty burden of guilt
- that sense of slight or injury
- that paralyzing fear
- that ugly envy
- that lazy apathy
- that grief and pain, or secret sorrow

Well, you get the drift of my besetting roadblocks :) Such impediments to peace are harbored in the hidden corners of the heart. Not hidden from God, but held back from His healing. Let's sweep those corners clean (imagine they host huge spiders that build sticky webs and draw flies) and put the trash in God's dustbin. He will sort it with caring Hands; and we will have complete freedom and joy.

Long for His wisdom
Live in His light
Love as He loves
Let go...and LET GOD.