Friday, February 20, 2015

"The People of the Cross" Project Quilting Challenge 4

Ever since I saw the first news clip about the 21 Egyptian Christian men who were beheaded by members of ISIS, to send a message to "The People of the Cross", I have not been able to get it out of my mind.  Those men were someone's brother, husband, father, fiance, son, grandson.  They were executed for their beliefs. Beliefs like mine.   Rather than become morose, I decided I needed to create something to remember. Something to remind me, especially during this season of Lent, to pray for other Christians who do not have the freedoms we do here in America.  To pray for those who choose to follow Jesus despite the persecution or even death that may come because of their belief.  And so this wall-hanging, "The People of the Cross" was created.

I have always wanted to try matchstick quilting and decided that this was the project to try it on.  It lent itself to making a "quilt as you go" project.  I marked my white fabric every 1 inch to keep things fairly straight.  I also drew an outline of a heart with the cross in the middle, to serve as a guideline for adding fabric strips.

I used my walking foot for this entire project, and learned a great deal about how that fabulous foot works.  At first I found it difficult to keep my little fabric string from getting caught in the walking foot when I would start sewing on the strip.  I found that slowly taking one stitch at a time, while using a straight pin to hold the fabric in place (a stiletto is too big to get in the opening of the walking foot next to the needle) worked.

Originally I was going to stitch the word "love" in white and let it be a surprise when you really looked at the quilt.

I changed my mind when I realized that love is the most important key to life.  Why shouldn't it also take a prominent place in this wall hanging which was meant to remind me of something so important. I am pleased with the simplicity of this wall hanging. To see details for this particular challenge head over to Persimon Dreams  and consider joining in the fun!

"The People of the Cross"  21"x 23"
The last part of this blog post is going to be a more in depth journaling of my thoughts.  I understand if your beliefs are different, and you choose to stop reading at this point.

I commented to my son the other night, that I sometimes worry about what my children and grandchildren will have to face to continue to be Jesus followers.  His response was, "I'm sure every parent before you has thought the same thing."  He is not worried.  He is only 17.   Never had to stand up for his faith, never had it questioned.  In reality, neither have I.  I have just had 22 more years to become aware of what could be.  Here in America we are blessed with one or more churches in every town.  We don't have to worry about people storming through our doors to harass us.  If that happened, could I stand?  Or would I denounce the very thing I claim to believe?  I pray that should a time like this ever come in America, I would be able to back up what I say I believe.  That I would not turn tail and run, just to save this earthly hide of mine.  I am placing this wall-hanging in my kitchen doorway as a constant reminder to never forget those who have died for their faith and the ones who are left behind to mourn.  As a constant reminder to never forget how blessed I am to be able to worship any way I want here in America.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Quilt Shop Gal February Free-Motion Quilting Challenge

This month Darlene at Quilt Shop Gal hosted Leah Day as this month's expert. There were three choices for February's pillow.  Since I have been looking for more background fillers, I chose Option 1.  Leah has a great video showing how to free-motion quilt her design, "Railroad Tracks".  I found this background rather relaxing to quilt.

I love the orphan block I choose to use.  Being in the midst of winter, this block gives me a taste of spring.

I used the railroad tracks in the background, but due to the print, the quilting blends in.  This picture shows the quilting from the back side.  I chose not to put another fabric on the back of this square, since I was making it into a pillow.

I auditioned different thread, but any color other than white would have distorted the dragonfly print.

I am especially pleased with the flowers.  It is fun to add shape and depth with free motion quilting.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bloom Where You're Planted; Project Quilting Challenge 3, Season 6

Bloom Where You're Planted

This week Kim Lapacek, at Persimon Dreams, challenged us to take an orphan block or UFO and finish it.

It was actually fun to pull out my box of orphan blocks and reminisce about past quilts.  My daughter found this block which was a reject from a former project. The yellow fabric outlining the star caused this block to stand out to much compared to the other blocks in the quilt.  She fell in love with it and wanted me to make a wall hanging of some sort for her room.

She and I both love quotes, and I was in the mood for some hand work. We found this quote on Pinterest and I used a chalk pencil to freehand the lettering, then embroidered it while my boys watched the Pistons play on TV.   The wallhanging finished out at 18".

Monday, February 2, 2015

Outside Frozy, Inside Cozy

This morning we awoke to new snow and temps below zero.  A cow decided to have her calf in the pasture, and so the boys and I quickly bundled up to help my husband bring the cow and calf home to a warmer bed.

Frosted Mini Wheat for the cows!

I decided that since I was already bundled up and outside, I would experiment with my camera.  After I couldn't feel my nose any longer, I headed inside.

20 of these snowflakes will make a border around
the Elsa and Ana panel.

I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon working on machine appliqueing snowflakes for a friend.  She had 20 snowflake blocks to do, so I agreed to help her out and brought nine of them home with me.  Some little girl is going to love the "Frozen" blanket she is making.