May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013 On To The New Year

Since 2013 started with a broken wrist for me, it could only get better along the way.  But first I had to trudge through the rigors of physical therapy and exercise to regain strength and mobility.  I learned a lot about what a fracture and a cast do to muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc. It takes quite awhile to regain functionality.  Thanks to a wonderful husband, life at home continued with him doing most of the cooking, washing, driving, etc.  By  the middle of March I was back to driving and beginning to resume a somewhat normal schedule of activities.  Writing this in December makes me realize that I've come a long way from the middle of March.  I still deal with stiffness, a bit of pain, and a bit less than full rotation of my right wrist but I can function....Praise God!

As I look back, I realize that I actually accomplished a lot of quilting despite the restrictions of my right hand.  Actually, working with the rotary cutter and sewing helped in the healing process as a form of exercise.  I made several community quilts, worked on various tops and completed a quilt for my niece's birthday and one for friend, Genene. For Christmas I made 5 pillowcases for gifts and a doll quilt and PJs for Violet's doll, Annabelle.  I didn't attend Road To California this year but I've got my reservations in for month! 

Travel was light this year in comparison to all the foreign travel of the last few years.  We managed a trip to Mendocino in March for our anniversary and I got away to Carpinteria in April.  We flew to Floriday in October for a Callaway family reuion and visit to Disney World.  In November, we went down to Los Angeles to say good-bye to Grandpa Roy and to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

The big project of the year was remodeling the master bath.  We are delighted with the new walk-in shower.  It is so convenient for our "aging-in-place" years coming up.  

Family has been well and happy and I have felt blessed each day.  I continue to feel at home here in Alameda.  I still have (and always will) moments of sadness missing Stephen.  Those times often hit suddenly. I take great pleasure in working at my DGDs school, being a part of the GrandPerson's Club and quilting with my guild friends.  Bible study continues to be an integral part of my weekly routine.  

It's been a good year.  May all the praise go to God for all He has provided. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting Ready For Next Christmas

I became the recipient of several Christmas fabrics through my quilt guild.  They weren't of the highest quality or the latest style but I played around with them anyway.  I added a green and red that I had on hand and found a polka-dot for a little flange.  I almost had the top finished for this Christmas but sadly it all got put away and ignored in the rush of the holidays.  So here it is after Christmas and I have finished the top.  The plan is to actually finish it up within the next month so it will actually be a quilt not just a top.  
Just enough thread to finish the last border!

Top finished.  I'm liking how it looks in my living room.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

Last year's Christmas season was colored by the addition of the red cast on my broken wrist.  Despite pain meds and the cumbersome cast, I did a teeny bit of decorating.  I also put a smile on my face and tried to enjoy the family love around me.  But it was different.  

This year, the wrist has pretty much healed with most of the function back.  So I got out the seasonal decor and started to decorate and enjoy the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I developed a personal mantra about as much or as little that will make me personally happy without stress.  Turned out that I put out quite a bit of stuff.  Every evening I found myself delighting in the decor as the lights would come on around the living room.  I would smile and feel joy that actually only comes from the real reason for the season....The Savior's Birth.  
One of my favorite decor items is  modern and simple wood carvings of the Manger scene that my in-laws bought for us in Mexico.  We put it out every year and I've begun to add a few angels to it.  I've been in a constant search to find just the right animals to someday add.

It has become the family tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve at our house.  This year Lissa's mom, Linda and her brother, Matt joined us.  I prepared dinner and we enjoyed each other's company.  The girls got to open new pajamas and so did I.  We ended the evening with what has been our Sorenson family's Christmas tradition.....reading the Christmas story from Luke and reading "twas The Night Before Christmas". 
This year was really special.  Makayla read from her Bible and Violet read from a book that I had given their family several years ago.  The memories of years long ago when Jon and Stephen would read the stories filled me with nostalgia and I felt tears in my eyes.
Christmas Day was spent at Jon and Lissa's home as we all took turns opening gifts.  Jon prepared the annual traditional morning treats of cheese and salami and crackers.  He even bought cheddar cheese from Pea Soup Anderson's to add to the festivities.  Jim wasn't able to come over because he's been suffering from a nasty cold. 

I feel blessed and loved to have made it through this year.  God slowed me down with an injury and He taught me the lessons of patience and persistence as I asked for healing and pain relief.  I was led to find a wonderful Advent book of devotions - The Greatest Gift - by Ann Voskamp.  Evening readings kept me on track.  I enjoyed celebrations and outings with friends and family. A year in God's presence is always a good year.  Praise you Lord!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Annabelle's Pajamas

Finished!  The gift set for Annabelle the doll is all set for wrapping and putting under the tree.  I had such fun making the last part....the PJ's.  I haven't done garment sewing in ages so doing it with 1/4" seams for an 18" doll was a bit of a challenge.  But I only had to rip out once.  Now that I've got the hang of it, I could really get into doll clothes and accessories.  That will have to wait for after the holidays.  What I really want to do is teach the grand-daughters to sew doll clothes......and of course, quilts. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Annabelle's Quilt

DGD, Violet received an 18" doll for her birthday at the end of November.  That definitely meant that Annabelle (the new doll) would need a few gifts for Christmas.  So I have bought a pattern.  YIKES.....I had no idea what patterns are costing these days.  But it does have patterns for lots of basic outfits that can be embellished and enhanced.  I already made the poncho.  I couldn't wait.  I had to give it to Annabelle ahead of time.  It matches on that I made for Violet.  It pays to hold on to those scraps. 

Looking cute.  Now Annabelle has one to match.  (No pic yet)

Of course, Annabelle needs a quilt.  And if she needs a quilt then she needs a pillow and pillowcase to go with it.  And of course, Violet needs a pillow case to match so they can all sleep in matchy matchy comfort. 
Quilt is not quite done but it will be ready for Christmas.
 Annabelle's "mom" has also requested pajamas for her so I guess I had better get busy.  Who knew that making doll clothes and accessories could be so much fun.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What Can You Do With Scraps?

I am really enjoying playing with scraps.  Mostly I've been doing Bonnie Hunter's technique of Leaders and Enders to make 4 patch blocks out of 2 1/2 inch scraps.  I've been trying to pay no attention to colors and pattern unless there is something glaringly odd.  With the latest 4 patch squares, I added a SnS side to put them on point.  Then I got the idea of using them in a chevron pattern of some sort.  I pulled out some neutrals, measured and came up with this: 
Scraps, scraps, scraps

As you can see, this is a work in progress and there will some shifting of blocks before it is put together.  Then I'll have to let it marinate for awhile before I add borders.  I'm having fun with it and that is what is important.  It will eventually go to community quilts.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Special People In My Life

I met my husband in 1965.  We dated for four years before marrying in 1969.  One of the special gifts of our relationship was my introduction to his parents.......two wonderful people.  Roy and Jean became a second set of parents in my life.  I was accepted immediately as a second daughter.  On October 24, 2013, Roy passed away peacefully at the age of 94.  Jean's heaven date was April 2006.  For ever and always, I will be thankful for having had them in my life. 
Jean Elizabeth Morgan ca. 1934

Wallace LeRoy Allen Sorenson ca. 1940's

Roy and Jean 50th anniversary 1989

Friday, November 1, 2013

Family, Fall, Fun and Friends

We left on October 9th for a trip to Florida.  It started with a few days in Orlando where we attended a family reunion of the Callaway Family Association and then moved on to WDW for four days. 
catching up with my cousin once removed....also named Leslie

Ready to greet the other members of the family at the banquet
Then we headed out to "visit The Mouse" at Disney World for four days.  We stayed at the Caribbean Resort, used the WDW transportation and basically had a grand time on a grown-ups trip to WDW.  Unfortunately we both caught colds but we trooped on determined to see it all.  Disney was all decked out in their Fall finest. 
Only cost $2. for a bus from downtown Orlando to Downtown Disney.

first stop Epcot.....our favorite
something new......Disney Hollywood Studios

We've always loved the Muppets
The Castle has been updated

Disney is always memorable
Florida skies are beautiful.......Humidity not so much

Last night at Teppan Edo in Epcot

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Currently In Progress

Finally!  I am almost done with the pillow from last year's Holiday Lane blog hop........the one where I came home with a broken wrist from Spain and therefore was not able to finish.  The dear pillow has sat around watching me heal and reminding me that I want to have it done for this Christmas.  So here it is October and I have finally pulled it out with all its bits and pieces and basically finished it.  BUT, I don't have enough polyfill to finish stuffing it.  I will get to Beverly's.  I will finish stuffing it.  I will sew its final seams.  It will get done before Christmas.   So for the moment, it joins a few other random acts of quilting that adorn my design wall.
no stuffing yet

a tiny bit of stuffing

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pretty Thread from Laura

Two weeks ago, I took a class with Laura Wasilowski.  Previously, I had made her pattern Pressing Matters.
Taking the class from her was a great way to really understand her Chicago School of Fusing techniques.  I ended up buying another pattern from this series.  I had so much fused fabric left over from the class, that I was able to make this, Pretty Thread.  It just needs its embellishments and finishing. 
The size is a little different since I had to play with left-overs.  Looking forward to finishing and hanging it in my sewing room.  There are more patterns in the series.  I would like to do them all.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Road Trip to the Gold Country

Today I went on a road trip to Sonora, CA with my quilt guild.  Along the way we stopped at Bearly Quilting before the quilt show.  Of course we had to help the local economy, so I came home with:
Fabrics and books and thread, oh my!
Several things were on sale including some pre-printed sashiko panels.  I am happy and ready to get creative.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sewing Right Along

I've definitely been in the sewing mood the last few weeks.  Maybe that is because I have so many UFOs and partially begun "idea projects".  Today I finished a baby quilt for our community quilts group.  I just have to snip some loose threads and add a label.  
a little stylin' with Teddy

a funky pieced back to go with it.
Then I hauled out the purple/green community quilt that is totally not at all the colors I like to work with.  But I took the challenge and picked them out from the community quilt stash.  Hope it doesn't sit around as a top for too long.  I'd just as soon turn it in.  I have even already made and prepared the binding for it. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Little Back To School Giftie for the DGDs

I think I bought these composition books last year with the intent of making covers for them and presenting them to the Darling Grand-daughters before school.  They sat on a shelf and every once in awhile I would think about making those covers.  In the meantime, the year went by and the project never got started (or finished!).  So today, inspiration hit and I just set to and looked up an easy tutorial on the internet.  Ta Da!  Started and Finished! 

I even used the alphabet on my sewing machine to add their names.  I hope they enjoy them.  They sure weren't difficult to make. I didn't make them quite as fancy or add the button closure.  It is an idea with lots of possibilities.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mug Rug for Margo

Lifetime good friends are the best.  My friend Margo has stood by me through childbirth and through the loss of a child.  We don't live close to each other any more but I know she is always there for me.  She shares her birthday with Stephen, the son we lost too soon.  I'll be sending her a little gift this year. 

The pattern is a paper-piecing pattern called Southern Star created by Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Winnings! and Progress

I was very faithful and I viewed and left comments for all the Ho Ho Ho Blog hops.  Yipee!  I won at Ravelly1. Thank you Rhonda for the wonderful Santa wall-hanging.  It will join the other Santas that I put out at Christmas.  I will also find use for that pretty red Christmas fat-quarter. 
For the progress, I gleefully post a picture of the Asian Scrappy Road which is well on its' way to actually becoming a top.  I have already made the decision that I will send it out for quilting.  It is intended as a gift for my dear niece Cheryl.....shhhhh don't tell. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Own Little Corner of the World

When we lived in Maryland, I had a loft all to myself.  It was lovely and good size and unfortunately on the fourth level of our townhouse.  There was a TV and an accessible design wall area.  Plenty of room for creative mess. 

Then we moved back to California and down-sized to a three-bedroom one-story much smaller home.  I'm not complaining.  I am not missing all those stairs.  But I am missing my space.  My current space is my office/quilting/creating place.  At one time I thought it would share space with a bed for guests.  That didn't quite happen.  Not enough room after I moved my stuff in.  Sorry guests.  It's the sofa or a hotel. 
Small ..... but it is all mine

Many, many, many of these

Need to make this bigger someday

Ironing board turned into Big Board by hubby

Some of my stash....lots more in baskets and drawers

My faithful Bernina retirement present to myself.