Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Leaves Are Turning...

The changing colors of autumn are beauty to behold. The hues are not as vibrant as are sometime seen on these West Virginia hills, due to dry weather and warmer temperatures. They are lovely nonetheless. Yesterday a dear friend and I sat on an outdoor bench and watched as brown birch and sycamore leaves settled on soft breezes all around us. Soaking up the atmosphere of His creation, especially in this season, restores one's soul by varied senses. The fleeting lilts of birdsong scattering through the dawn, the splash of Indian Summer across the canvas of the hillside, the gentle rustle of landing leaves, the rich scent of the woodland's russet carpet; the blue-lit sky of afternoon sunshine, the rhythmic tunes of twilight insects. No way to hurry through all that beauty. No way at all.

Leaves are changing  -- turning color day by day, twisting in the wind as they flutter to the ground. Life is changing - moving in a cadence each its own. If there be some tinge of sadness in the tumbling, turning leaves, there is also hope - for their journey nourishes tomorrows as they settle down to sleep. And like the song says, "I don't know about tomorrow ... ... ... but I know Who holds tomorrow in His hand."

Leaving changes -- and takes a turn at all things familiar. It's October. It has been over thirty years since the tides of autumn brought the passing of a mother. Each October since brings back to heart the changes that her leaving has made in daily patterns. These days the memories are comforting, sweet and gentle; the time for thought a blessing of vibrant memory and closely held love - hers for all her family and yes, for me. It was so difficult in the beginning, but now it seems October was the perfect month for her leaving and the changes that ensued.

Leaves are turning, sands are sifting, songs are drifting. Take time for shifting seasons through October. Souls of faith sustained upon the gentle winds of autumn, will yet turn and settle softly in His reassuring arms of Grace and Beauty.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


In the general scheme of quilty things, a quilt top is completed before another is made from the remnants/bone pile. But, in this topsy-turvy week I put the cart before the horse and made this baby quilt from the leftovers of a larger incomplete top.

The other top? Twelve 16-inch blocks are faithfully sewn from a combination of the birthday gift fabric from my twin sis and hand-dyed fabrics from her late husband's stash. The pieces blended very sweetly, so I will call it the Brady-Leighton Two-Step. Slight delay in assembly comes from Mama not making up her mind. I an undecided about sashing between the large blocks and/or the size of the outer border(s). It needs to grow a bit to become a queen or double; and that will mean finding additional fabric to blend the whole. Off to the back burner it goes.

As for the baby quilt, since it is the cart before the horse and has little wheels in each corner, I think, for whimsy sake, we ought to name it: "The Pink Pony Cart-Wheel."

Meanwhile, my Lord knows how to keep all things in perfect order...He provides the gracious change of autumn, and will ever continue to order His creation in due season to His honor and glory. How refreshing!

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Having 20 grandchildren (17, three with mates) may make it seem unlikely to be positively fair to each of them. Still we don't lose sleep over equal division of attention on that score. We love them each dearly and do our best to show them so at every opportunity. And love is not an equal opportunity employer, it is a constant of heart that cannot be measured or hidden.

On with the story. This is the counterpart to Tim's "Head for the Hills." Same process, different hues. As yet unsettled on a name for it, I rather hope it doesn't end up with something so mundane and "fair share"! Oddly, it did not turn out as I had envisioned beforehand (as Tim's did); but I still like it and think Philip will too. There's a really cool print with shells and snails (several years back it could be "Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails," but that's now far too juvenile for this handsome teen) and the blue batik works for me as well. We shall see what the boys think, eventually.

Now on to other schemes and things. Maggie beckoned this afternoon and for want of any other inspiration, I made ten crumb blocks. Having cut 5-inch squares from random pieces, it seemed 5-inch crumb blocks would partner with them nicely. The crumb blocks in the boy's tops were cut 4-1/2 inches and it was amazing the difference 1/2 inch made ... I do think I much prefer the smaller ones. But maybe they will grow on me. The nice thing about crumb blocks is that they are scrap users and space fillers - little sewing snacks to chew on between projects, no pressure attached. So there's time to grow accustomed. If the larger blocks don't grow on me, they can be trimmed down to fit former fancy.

From teenage boys' orange/brown/green and blue/green/red ... off to prissy pink and yellow. That's where I'm headed once a pattern choice is settled. Meanwhile, leaves are falling, air is cooling, there's a little fire in the stove and DH is making music splitting hickory. Did you know a maul can sing?