December 31, 2011

"nothing is impossible"

I am so thankful for my friends and family.  Your prayers for my sister's illness and support for our family have sustained us. My sister has been truly touched by the outpouring of kindness.

I reached my sister's home and was immediately directed to a package from Kathy, there were  2 copies of an inspirational book included, "nothing is impossible"; one for my sister and one for me! What a wonderful surprise.

 Reading through the book, we started to develop our own feelings of, "Yes, we can conquer this", and adopted the title of the book as our mantra.
Momentum has to start somewhere, and this was our start.  Thank you, Thank you!

Allow me to back up to the part where I was packing to for this trip...  my sister and I talked about what projects to work on while I was there, so I threw those (projects) into my bags.  And, at the last minute, I grabbed my copy of The Sunbonnet Sue Primer, embroidery flosses and muslin... it occurred to me that this might be the "right time" to begin that wall-hanging that I intended to make for my parents long ago.  *Groan*  When I arrived at my sister's home I showed my family the project, and my parents chose 4 transfers from the book.
The theme is going to be "Keeping Busy" (as girls, my sister and I, would accompany our parents into the woods as they collected firewood; it would usually involve an entire day, and so my sister and I would always find things to do to keep ourselves busy).

My mom and sister went through embroidery flosses and chose colors for these dresses. 
I made the decision that the dresses would be the same through-out the project.

My sister is in the Blue dress and I am in the Yellow.

As you can see, I am not doing a Redwork project - I've opted for a vintage-look.

To really make this look really-vintage, there will be crazy-quilting around the blocks which is why a couple of the blocks are off-center; room for a little extra, here and there.

My sister had planned to knit to heart's content during this time, but that didn't happen until much later; instead she was content watching me work on "the girls".  From time to time she would hold the block that I was embroidering on and just kind-of run her fingers across the stitches... adding her energy to it.

I finished all the girl's dresses and bonnets while there.  The rest of the embroidery got done during Thanksgiving weekend, here at home.

Toward the end of my visit, my mom and I helped my sister get out her paintings.  We photographed them, and several pictures were put up on the walls for everyone to enjoy.  As we finished that bit of fun... we came across a Christmas Tree Skirt that (Joy) started yearrrrrs ago...

This is approximately 44" wide.

She did this all by hand.  Did she tell me that she was a Quilter?  No!
Just add this to her many artistic talents.

This skirt was inside out when I picked it up, so I had no idea just how pretty it was.  Then I realized that I was looking at Victorian!  I said we needed to finish it, so I brought it home with me to top-stitch on the sewing machine.  A little added quilting along the fans help to keep the skirt from losing its shape...  

I have this favorite Bible verse I'd like to share with you, it's Psalms 26:2; I recite it daily...

Test me, O Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
for your Love is ever before me,
and I walk continually in your Truth.

Honestly, I am ready to start that bible verse with another set of of words... Test me not, for you know my heart and my mind. "Walk" could be replaced with "skip" or "crawl"!  We've had a variety of  "oh-no's" since the beginning of October ( I haven't shared everything here - it's been a little surreal how many bad things can happen all at once)  and just as we were about to celebrate our daughter's college graduation walk, a grandparent who had traveled by car to join us fell ill (we didn't know how serious this was until later) .  By the grace of God, we made the trip from the college to our home,got Granddad into the hospital, and assigned to a wonderful doctor. "Each day is precious... let your family and friends know how much you love them".  

Christmas day was beautiful.
Snow fell the day before, so we were able to enjoy a wintery-white scene.  Indoors, it was all smiles as we enjoyed being together... and, of course there were those long-distant phone calls to loved-ones.

You know how I mentioned at the beginning of last year that I wanted to do a better job "following my instincts"...?  Well, here I am; busy moving the Grandparents into our room for their extended stay, getting prepared for family to come visit Grandad... when I got a fun idea (keep reading!).

Did I mention my in-laws brought their dog?  It was a surprise to us!  We mentioned early on that our son had adopted a Redbone Coonhound, and no one wants to see the big dog go after the little dog!  So, it was our understanding that the little dog would be left with friends... she is!
I'm doing my best to keep the dogs separated, and to keep everyone HaPpy (myself included).

Mooch is a really teeny-tiny "Chi-WOW-wa".  Approximately 6" tall and 3lbs.
Simply loveable.

My mother-in-law bought a couple of "Diva" jackets for her dog and brought them out for us to see.  So cute!

I decided that Mooch needed a sweater!
I stopped everything I was doing and started to sew one for her.

Using one of her jackets as a pattern,
I traced the shape onto brown paper.  Mooch is a XXS, so I didn't need a lot of fabric for the project; there happened to be leftovers from when I made the family robes...


In no time at all, we have "loungewear" for the pooch.  Here is my mother-in-law with her dog, Mooch, in matching colors.  Pretty color!

This little gift brought a "light moment" to the grandparents... so needed.

I'll have to sew a jacket for the Coonhound... can't leave her out of the fun. *smiling*

I will be in the Pacific Northwest for one more week, then it's back to the Midwest for a time.
I'm planning another visit with my sister, but in the meantime... I made her a really-cute apron.
(I hear she's enjoying being back in the kitchen - she is after-all instigating a Family Apple Pie Contest)

My mom doesn't know it yet, but she's getting a matching apron.  I used Simplicity's  E2011.

Instead of making a peek-a-boo pocket, I did a simple version with this pretty brown print.

Happy New Year... I hope 2012 is a happy & healthy year for all my friends and family.


  1. Thank You,Sherry. I know that every prayer is heard! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers... hope 2012 is filled with happiness and health.

  2. Jess - So happy to see you post again. My thoughts are never far away from wishing your sister a healthy year ahead and you and your family a wonderful New Year filled with much love and happiness.

    Love your little grils - how sweet and adorable!

  3. Nicki, That is so sweet. Thank You.

    I just rummaged through fabric boxes and found something that might work as sashing (for "the girls"). I'll know better when the sun is up; it was cold and dark out in the garage/office... what was I thinking going out there at 9pm?!

    My sister is learning what it is to become a "survivor"; you can't do it alone though... it takes a lot of help from family & friends.

    I am soooo thankful for the prayers!

  4. Thank you, Nicki, for gathering those wonderful cards for my sister. She has them up on the wall! Her hubby was just saying how he missed having the cards up(the original cards were taken down for Christmas decorations), he loves the "good energy" it brings.

  5. All the love you put in your projects, new and old, certainly lifts the spirits of your loved ones at just the right time. Beautiful tree skirt and great doggie wear. :)

    1. Thank you for those kind words! thank you, thank you!


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