Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Old Quilt And Sawdust!

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul. ~Author Unknown



I have a long standing love affair with fabric!! Some of my favorites are civil war reproductions, wools, homespuns, ticking, linen, prairie cloth, muslin..... do you see a pattern here??? I guess I have to say that I honestly just love textiles!!! Take me to a good quilt shop with wonderful primitive fabrics, and you would think I was a kid in a candy store!! It IS pure eye candy for the stitcher, and I get energized and inspired by the many shades of red, mustard, brown, black, blue, rust, and tan, and imagine all the many things I can create with those luscious colors!!



So imagine my delight when I came across an old quilt with all those colors in it, done in a log cabin style, AND in my price range!!! It is a wonderful old quilt, and is pretty large, but had some damage around the edges and is basically a cutter, but that didn't matter to me as I had PLANS!! There is a good part of it intact, and I decided to keep that for myself as I love having quilts folded up in a large wooden box under a table in my living room, but the edges could be removed and the perfect squares would make PERFECT PINCUSHIONS!! So that has been my latest project!!



I removed the straight stitching between the blocks and made a back for the block out of black prairie cloth, which I felt really added to the look of the piece. After stitching the two pieces together, I filled the square with clean sawdust. Now, if you have never done that, it sounds pretty simple, but I must tell you that it takes some TIME and PATIENCE and the CORRECT TOOLS to do it right (at least MY WAY, anyway). I use a funnel with a large hole in the end, as the sawdust can really get clogged and stop up the funnel!! I just thought you poured it in and it just filled up like magic.....SILLY ME!!! I also use a metal chopstick as wooden ones have a tendency to break, and I just keep pushing the sawdust to the corners first, and then squeeze it and keep this process up till it feels full!! This can take a while and be a bit messy too, so I put the sawdust in a pie plate and use a long handled teaspoon to add it to the funnel and also to spoon the final amount in to get it as full as possible!!



When it is just the way I like it, I stitch it closed, and then do small x's all around the edge to finish it off with brown thread! Not only does that reinforce the outside, but it also gives it a really nice finished look!! I do stain it afterwards and let it dry really well, and then embellish it with old rusty pins, an old shoe button, and a handmade tag!! I have already made 5 of these and have sold 2 of them and plan to make more soon!! They have been so much fun to create and to be able to use something from the past and remake it for another purpose is so gratifying!! I can't wait to make more!!



Wishing you inspiration my friends~

Julie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Good For What Ails You"



I have not posted in a while due to some difficult situations that have weighed heavy on my heart! They are personal, and I have shed some tears, fretted and struggled with my emotions lately! Many of you reading this may no doubt be going through your own issues of the heart and my hope for you is that you will find peace, and good friends who will offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and comfort, as I have!! The circumstances may not have changed, but I have been able to let go of much of the burden and am grateful for that! Life can be really hard to deal with at times and I am just taking things one day at a time! I hope you are too!

Because of all this stress, the other day my sweet husband Jeff suggested we just take a day and go to visit a wonderful place nearby called Point Defiance. He is an ordained minister turned wedding officiant, and had just performed a wedding earlier in the week in the Rose Garden there, and wanted me to see how beautiful it was!! Point Defiance is also a State Park, and has many trails, breathtaking views of Puget Sound, and a wonderful zoo, so you can spend the day there, which we did!



We started off with a lovely lunch at Anthony's, a wonderful seafood restaurant, and since this is peach season, we had the dessert.....oops, forgot the main course first!! It was a seafood tempura, which we shared, some clam chowder and THEN, the fabulous PEACH SLUMP!! All I can say is....YUM!!! We sat at a window seat and just relaxed, watching the water and taking in the view which was so peaceful!!







From there we took the 5 mile drive, took lots of pictures and of course, Jeff made me pose in most of them because he said it was helpful for people to get the proper perspective of the size of the tree, or the view or just because he thought it made the picture look better!! Now you know why I married him!!!

The temperature that day was in the 90's but as we drove into the forest, it felt more like 70's and it was SO QUIET!! The air just seemed so clear and fresh! Of course I had some silly shoes on that were NOT appropriate for hiking and so between stumbling and almost breaking my ankle and then jumping when I heard rustling in the woods, we had a good time laughing at me as the true "nature woman!" I am always afraid there will be a lion, a tiger, or a bear....oh my! It was really fun though and the drive was beautiful! The trees are huge and one tree in particular called "The Mountaineer Tree" was dated to W. Shakespeare's time of 1500's, was 218 feet tall which Jeff calculated to be about 21 stories, to give you perspective! Boy did Jeff feel small in front of that!!!







We ended our drive, parked and walked to the Rose Garden and it was just a RIOT of colors and the smell of the roses was unbelievable!! Jeff showed me where he performed the ceremony, how the chairs were arranged, and how he had to face the sun the whole time. During the wedding one of the flower girls actually passed out and I could understand why as there was NO SHADE!! ( She didn't hurt herself and the wedding went on as planned)! Not only are there roses, but there are also many more varieties, hydrangeas, primroses, and more that I can't name or spell!! It was a true feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul and I felt like I had been given a prescription for all the stress, sadness, and worry I had been feeling!! What a special place and a special day! I feel encouraged and refreshed and am so very thankful!! It is a beautiful place and did my heart and my spirits much good!!!





























I hope that you enjoy my pictures and that they lift your spirits and brighten your day!

Wishing you joy my friends~

Julie