Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Memorial Quilt Honoring A Memorable Man

One of the first family members I met while dating my future husband was his brother-in-law, Craig.   I felt welcome from the start, thanks in part to his kindness.   He was at my wedding.  He loved his wife, my husband's sister.  He helped thousands of people during his short life.  He loved always. He supported our family in numerous ways through difficult challenges. He loved my children. Craig was a tease, a prankster, and a spiritual giant. He was a pill.  I adored him.

Last July, almost exactly a year ago, cancer took him away from us.  He fought a hard fight with his wife and 3 kids by his side continually, not to mention with the support of countless friends, church members, and extended family.   He is missed every day.

While staying in his home with his wife and daughter after the funeral, a wild idea popped in  my head.  I wanted to make a Memorial Quilt for his wife, Janet.  I wasn't sure how to approach it, but I just did.  I asked her how she'd feel about giving me most of his shirts so that I could make her a quilt. She was immediately for it.  So, away we went, purging closets and drawers.  Her requests were that 1), it be red, 2), that the University of Utah shirts be at the bottom, and 3), that a BYU shirt be in the middle since SHE was a BYU fan, and she was the one left behind.  (The rivalry between those two colleges lived strong in their household).  I came home with a suitcase full of shirts and with hope to make something wonderful.

I'm not going to lie - this quilt was a challenge.  I had  made a t-shirt quilt before, but that one didn't have the weight of sadness with it. Sometimes I just couldn't think about it.  Also,  I had more cotton shirts than t-shirts for Craig's quilt, and I wasn't sure how to use them well.   I pondered, researched online, asked my friend Carrie for help, played with it, put it away, played with it again.  Sigh.  As the months went on, all three of Craig's children got engaged!  I decided that before the third one got married, I would finish the quilt.  So, the last few weeks have been busy!!

I faced many fears with this project.  It had to be beautiful and nearly perfect for  my dear sister-in-law.  This quilt had to be strong for years to come, for children and grandchildren.  No pressure, huh?   I am mathematically challenged sometimes, so when I design a quilt, (which I rarely do), I have to think it through a long time and check and re-check my calculations.  And, I knew that I had to do some free-motion quilting on the t-shirts, which scared me to death.  What if I messed up???   Ugh.  Lots of pressure.  I do this to myself frequently.

I  marched forward - I finished it 2 days before flying to Utah for the third child's wedding!  It would now be my wedding present to Janet, for marrying off all three of her dear children.

The moment of giving the quilt to Janet will forever be in my mind and heart.  She loved it.  She will cherish it, I know.  I hope during those moments when she misses Craig, that she can wrap up in it and feel his large, strong arms around her and feel some comfort while she waits for the eternities.

I love you, Janet.

Now, here are the photos:
On the Long-Arm, quilting away
Up close
C and J in the blue 4-patches, which were made out of his button-down shirts

A Stacked- Coin row of strips from his shirts, and the row below it
is a row of his pockets from the same shirts

This is his company logo - notice the right side from top to bottom.... see the cars?
All done and waiting for the Binding!

My dear sister

C and J Forever 

Christmas Quilt of 20-Something

Remember when I used to blog?  Yea, me too.  Today I shall blog about quilts.

I made this quilt for a Christmas present last year, but it was for Christmas the year BEFORE.  Follow that?  Haha....   It was for my brother-in-law and his family.  It was made from a kit I purchased at a quilt show.  

Well, here it is:


Up close, you can see the pattern used on the Long-Arm Machine 
The Kitties didn't want to give it up, but..... they did.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Remember.... Sigh.

I remember back when my goal while grocery shopping was to not pay more for cereal than $1.99, and that was a good-sized box.  I remember when green onions were about 29 cents.  I remember milk being a little over $2.50 or so.  I remember going to the store for a few things, and it costing way less than $50.

Was all this back in the "old days",  you ask?  Like maybe when you were a kid,  you wonder?

No.  That was in 2007.

I remember when  I would wake up in the morning and America  made sense.  I remember when I didn't worry about politics.  I remember when I didn't fear for the future of my children and their children.

When will I again not have these concerns?

Well, I think we will have to WAIT a very long time for that....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013! Yes, Happy!

I have had many thoughts over the past few days about this new year.  I am sure you have as well.  Sorry my last post was a downer - just call me Debbie - the Downer, that is.  I am working on that!

2012 was a year of growth and challenges, of joy and fun.  The best things about 2012 would be:

~We were blessed with a wonderful vacation with all five of us to Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  We stayed in a nice home right next to the beach.  We love love loved it.  I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Dang- a few of us are getting chubby.... gotta work on that!
~ I was able to serve the wonderful women of the Columbia Stake in many ways.  One of the most favorite would be planning our Women's Conference held in April.  WOW - what work that was!  Many sisters enjoyed it, and that is the point.

~ I went to "Time out For Women" with my good friends Carrie and Diane.  Tons of fun there, I tell ya!

~I visited Arizona and helped my niece recover from surgery by helping to take care of her little adorable baby girl. She recovered quickly and we had lots of play time!  I loved being with my nieces and nephews and their families.  They are such a joy.

~Hubby and I went on a 28th Wedding Anniversary trip to a lovely place in Virginia.  It was a pleasant get-away together.  L and I went to a family homestead in New York.  See that same blog post for information.

~I finished a couple of quilts.  I should have finished more - I will do that THIS year!

~We spent Thanksgiving with family in Tennessee.  YAY!

~I supported Hubby through two minor surgeries.  He is becoming quite a good patient!

~We worked on a lot of home improvements!  We are almost done with the necessaries.

~I have gotten to play in the Nursery at church on Sundays now for a couple of months.  THAT is pure fun with those little angels - well, except when a few are crying, but they are learning and getting over it and that is a blessing!  They are so dear!

~I discovered The Pioneer Woman.  I shall blog about her soon.  I love her.  I think I mentioned that.

~My teeny small business runs well and grows without me trying to grow it.  That is cool.

~I spent lots of wonderful time with my daughter sewing, laughing, and working on projects.  We gained a love for the TV shows Castle and Dr. Who.  In spite of her health problems, she is still a joy to me in so many ways.

~I discovered SongPop!  Oh you  know that game?  It's too much fun.

~Christmas was fantastic.  B and B were home with us. I got spoiled. Hubby does that.  I love him.

So, there are some blessings!  Wow - I feel so  much better.  I should count the joy more often.  Yes, I think I shall.

But you'll have have to WAIT a little while for more of that!