Quilting A Life


quilt

The quilt before you is my first attempt at something other than square blocks.  In fact, until recently, the only quilts I ever made were square blocks sewn together and my mother would finish them.  I’d help her “tie” them but I never actually quilted them or put the binding on.

I decided after getting a great deal of fabric from mother’s stash that I wanted to dive into quilting.  Knowing my personality I knew I would require assistance.  I searched online for a kit and class I could buy. Craftsy was my source and this quilt was quite the learning experience!

These are my other helpers, isn’t the little girl adorable! I’m a tad prejudice.    Yes, my husband helped because he is a contractor and cuts with precision.  (He’s a trooper for helping me, I would have given up if not for him!)

family-quilt

There were moments of feeling like a failure, frustration, and uncertainty while creating this lap quilt.  Which this reflects aspects of my own life, especially in the past few years, there is more. The bold colors make me happy when I look at them.  Their brightness and solidarity is something I hope to reflect in my own life. Something that is coming in view once more.

All the colors are so very different yet they are harmonious when placed in the same area. They become a union of sorts and create a warm reflection with the soft white bringing them completely together.  Do you long to live this way?  In a common union with harmony and wrapped in the warmth of goodness?

craftsy-quilt

This quilt not only holds beautiful colors and straight lines and areas of strong precision sewing, it holds much more.  For instances,  crooked lines, the fabric that was missed while joining two colors, and the miter corners are pretty rough. When I look at this quilt I feel it represents a few different things but mostly a reflection of life (at least for me.)

My life has so much that is good, warm, loving, and solid.  Yet at the same time it holds messy, sadness, and struggles.  While those threads are unraveling in one area, the threads that are tightly sewn tug even harder to keep the strength up.  I feel stronger with each day.  The process isn’t a quick one, just as this quilt wasn’t to make, but I’ll get there.  I’ll get to the place of balance I once knew.  I’ll be stronger for it and hope to help others from my experience.

If you find yourself in the darkness, whether it’s been for 20 minutes, 20 days, or 20 years you can still step out of it.  Just as the quilt would not be as strong if sewn with loose stitches, rally together a friend or two, a pastor, a doctor, a mentor to help you.  Just start with a baby step into the brightness.  I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

Until next time!

Julie

 

Sewing Generations Together


K, my middle daughter  had a close relationship with my mother.  It was closer than I ever had with Mom and at times I will admit I was jealous.  But my mother and I were quite different, just as my daughter is from me. With both relationships I can see more of myself in my mother than I ever thought and the same with my daughter and me. There were hiccups made along the way by all parties, but we never let that completely break the bond of family.

mother-daughter-and-daughter

The relationships we have with family, in my opinion, is what enhances what we are or will become.  Every occurrence, including family creates something to one’s life, whether it’s more of a connection or a disconnection.

My daughter is about to become a mother (to twins)  herself and in the course of her pregnancy we’ve become closer. Actually since she moved out of the house across the country six years ago our relationship improved and grew. (Sometimes distance is good for a reality check folks!) During those six years she moved back quite close, and  my own mother passed away leaving a hole in both our hearts, along with the rest of our family.

If you’ve followed along here at all you’ve probably noticed my mother was one that could sew, craft, paint, basically create naturally. I don’t feel I got that “create naturally” talent but  I dabble in sewing and crafting.  When I did quilt it was with my mother.  K. enjoys sewing and she spent time with her grandmother learning to sew and embroidery.

I figured out the best way to honor my mother, share about a generation that is gone, and give my daughter and grandson’s a gift to treasure was to make baby quilts.

quilt

At my daughter’s baby shower this past weekend I gave her the quilts, it was a surprise. This is what I placed with the two quilts I made telling the story for generations to come.

 to-my-grandsons

As my daughter read the card and opened the boxes I could tell this gift meant a great deal to her.  She didn’t say much as she isn’t a touchy feely kinda gal but she didn’t have to. (hint: one thing we differ at, but I still love her!) 🙂  I think my Mom would have liked this.

quilts

Just as my mother sewn one generation of love into blankets and outfits,  I  followed her lead.  Someday it will be K. sharing the story, making blankets, and loving her grandchildren.  I hope these are still around to share!

In today’s world, whether it is a family unit, friendships, any collection of people seem to be torn apart like a piece of fabric loosely sewn. The different personalities, selfish mindsets, non-respect, and many other factors from the outside word are participants to make this occur.

Folks, gather your people and keep them sewn tightly together.Weave a bond that even in the darkest time you are still united in some form.   For when they are gone there will be a rip in your heart and only memories to share. Let’s sew the generations together, shall we?

Julie

Feeling Like A……


Today I totally felt like I was rockn’ the housewife gig!  Yep!  The homemaker!

A year ago I began this journey as a stay at home mom/wife.  I only have one child at home but it was time to step out of the workforce and focus on my family, community, and myself.

After a mini vacation with the other two household members I found myself in one of my favorite places today.  THE KITCHEN!  I had ordered 3 boxes of Colorado peaches and they arrived this week.  That meant I would be making peach jam galore!

Peach jam is my favorite to eat and it is the first type of jam I ever made.  It’s a little labor intensive due to the fact that you have to peel the peaches and then chop them.  It’s worth it though.

Peach jam

Yes I could and sometimes do use my food processor but I find that chopping them by hand the jam turns out better.  I like the texture of a little chunkiness.  The act of chopping the peaches actually is therapeutic for me and I feel that it puts my “kitchen love” into each jar.

Peaches

Farming Grace Homemade Traditions is what I have chosen to call my little side business.  To be honest I haven’t really kept track of expenses and how much I’ve made.  I tell myself every year that I am going to keep track, I start out good, then get too busy.  I know, it’s not very business savvy but I’m mostly in this for the enjoyment.  Maybe next year!

Today I was able to have my youngest daughter help me.

Peach jam making

This is also one of my little treasures of life.  Having any one of my kids in the kitchen with me is joy to my heart.   I hope she will carry on the tradition of jam making and teach her children.

Making jam isn’t the only reason I felt like I was rockn’ the housewife gig.  This morning I made a meatloaf for supper, peeled potatoes for supper, made peach cobbler, boiled brats for lunch, did devotions, fed my kid, took her to piano lessons, paid bills, took a 15 minute walk, and then enrolled her for 2nd grade.  All before noon!  Then I spent the afternoon making five batches of peach jam.

It’s good feeln’ like a housewife! 🙂

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

When You See Your Mom In You


The older I get the more I see things from my own childhood come out.  Not of my childish ways but of my mother’s qualities.  Things I remember from my childhood are the way she always cooked meat and potatoes meals, did some sort of craft, and the cinnamon rolls and pies were to die for.

I am not much of a seamstress, I know just enough to sew simple things.  My mother could sew  quite well before she incurred a back injury.  Mom has helped me tie a couple quilts for my older daughters and she made them matching dresses for Christmas one year when they were little.  She would crochet and embroider along with paint on fabric.  I recall those Artex tubes of paint and the tablecloths that were laid upon our dining room table like it was yesterday!

Today I made a simple skirt for my youngest daughter after watching a tutorial on YouTube.  I only had to call my Mom once! 🙂   It has imperfections but I don’t mind, which is evidence I’ve grown in the past year.  I no longer dwell on perfection of things but more the small lessons along the way.  The small accomplishment of creating something for someone I love.  She was even very excited and when I mentioned there were a few imperfections her response was pretty sweet.  “Who cares, it’s awesome” said the 7 year old!

When You See Your Mother In You

I recall there being Artex paints, fabric, a sewing machine, and crochet materials in our home growing up.  These are a few of the good memories I shall hold tight to.  I’m glad my Mother taught me some of her talents, I just wish I would have taken more time to listen when I was younger.  I’m blessed to say my middle daughter enjoys sewing and embroidery as well.  This makes my heart happy!

Embroidery 3

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

Hello My Name is Julie & I’m Addicted


I figured the title would catch the attention of some folks that don’t normally read my blog or that are super curious about what it is I’m addicted to.  Some are probably guessing food, which yes by looking at my exterior might be true, but that’s not the topic today!

Hello my name is Julie and I’m addicted to………  are you ready?????

EMBROIDERY

Embroidery 1

I know. It’s not a common addiction but seriously I think I may need an intervention soon.  (Please tell me you are laughing, I am as I write this.)

But seriously, I find myself getting an adrenaline rush when I am beginning and ending a project.  I find myself thrilled when choosing colors and shopping for patterns! Watch out people don’t get in my way when you see me at the store!

My hands may ache and I have to use some biofreeze periodically to ease the sore muscles at the end of the night before bed but it doesn’t matter.  I am back at it the next day folks!

Embroidery 2

My favorite spot to embroider is on my front porch.  On a beautiful, somewhat calm day, with the birds chirping it’s the best!  It just takes all the tightness and worry from my body.  I plan to give them as gifts and possibly sell some at a craft fair in the future.

Here’s the kicker.  I’d rather be embroidering than on the computer.  I KNOW! Crazy isn’t it? That is how I know that I’m addicted.  So if my posts get shorter and less frequent you probably know what’s up with me.

I have succumbed to the embroidery!

And now, my youngest has started stitching too! Yikes! 🙂

Embroidery young

 

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Embroidery 3

Children’s Requests, Hearts Smiling


Embroidery work

Recently I took up embroidery.  My mother had taught me many years ago but I never really did it much. I did quite a bit of crosstitch when my older girls were young.  Since picking it up once again my youngest daughter, that is seven has watched me.  She checks in to see the progress of each project and helps me pick out colors.

This evening she finally asked me if I would teach her how to embroider.  I thought perhaps that might be a tad difficult so I told her I would teach her to crosstitch first.  We dug out my old stuff and I found a pretty simple butterfly pattern.  She chose her colors and the lesson began.

Embroidery

She still needs guidance on almost every line but it’s OK, I don’t mind.  As we sat together on the love seat, both doing needlework I found myself smiling.  It wasn’t just from my face but my heart was smiling.  She was learning a hobby that my mother had taught me.

When my children show interest in something that brings such joy to me, well…. it’s a pretty awesome feeling!   For instance, my middle daughter embroiders too and is quite talented at it.  My oldest daughter loves to cook.  Each child is different and they each take different characteristics from me. I hope they continue these talents and also find new ones to try as well!

As we spent our evening together, I couldn’t help but think of simpler times.  Days long before I was born where families sat around in the evening with no television, smart phones, or any such thing running.  Gathered together visiting, perhaps listening to a story read by the father, while the women mended or embroidered.  During our time together my young daughter shared with me, needed me, and didn’t need me!  She learned how to tie off when finished with a section!

I have found that life is pretty nice when slower and simplier.  I am glad my mother taught me this hobby, I’m glad my children enjoy the common things in life.

Grace is a gift,

Julie