May was a busy month! And here it is June already. As mentioned in a previous post, this has been a whirlwind of a year - but ain't they all? I don't know if the years are just going faster and are truly busier or if I'm just not bouncing back as quickly between events. A bit of both I'm sure....Ah, but I have been quilting! And that's something I'd like to share - it's been too long since a little show and tell!
I've tried to take photos along the way to jog my memory.....so in true rambler fashion I'll proceed with the thoughts that come to mind.
First of all - Pixxie, my faithful companion and "professional quilt model" turned 12 the first week in May. Hard to believe that she was a 2000 pup - even harder to believe that it's been that long since Y2K! She continues to amaze and delight me, as well as all who grace our home or my studio. Can't say enough about this precious pup - but I do have lots to share, so 'nough said. On to the quilts and other rambling thoughts!
This one was most colorful - one that could live in my studio and be most welcomed. Here's a few close ups so you can appreciate the fabrics and I hope the freehand custom quilting...
I have to admit that the large diamonds were a creative challenge....as well as the majority of the project...the fabric is the showcase and it's sometimes difficult to come up with a quilting design that compliments ....
...as well as good thread choices...gotta love Superior Threads' Rainbows!
This was a fun quilt to work on, even though I was running way too close to the deadline! Spring Market was just around the corner. Such is life sometimes..
Okay, for all you machine quilters out there - here's the back...if you are like me, you like to see the back!
Something about the design and texture are best viewed with "less distractions" of the piecing (grin).
Whew! The quilt was completed the night before flying out to Kansas City MO on my way to Overland Park KS for the 2012 Machine Quilter's Showcase (MQS). It was my joy and privilege to assist in the A1 Quilting Machines booth for the third year in a row. It's always a "shot in the arm" for inspiration to see all the show quilts, not to mention the fun of seeing quilting friends and meeting new ones. I'm always so blessed when someone comes up to me that I "know" from FaceBook or my Blog - my only regret, I forgot to take photos this year! Thanks for all the hugs - ya'll really made my day!
It can be difficult though to get around to seeing all the beautiful quilts - as a vendor the only "free time" I have is the hour before the show opens - and trust me, that hour is precious, do I see quilts or do I catch a few more minutes of much needed sleep (grin)? I wish it were as simple as that, part of that hour of course is getting the machines oiled and ready for a day of heavy quilting! But it's all good. I did sneak in a few peaks!
I took HUNDREDS of photos of quilts - having only a few short minutes to view them, knowing that I could view my photos once home....but I do want to share a couple with you - as you can see from the poster above, A1 is a sponsor of one of the awards - Rookie of the Year...
I am always totally amazed at the talent of these first year longarm quilters.... This one was well deserving of the cash award!
On my last morning there my co-worker, Brenda Janovy - A1 dealer from SD, and I ran into DeLoa Jones who had a most unique entry in the theme category "Under the Sea".
My photo doesn't do it justice - if you look closely you can see that her quilt is illuminated - there are tiny LED lights surrounding the mermaid....
and fiber-optics lights coming out of the sea cactus. Ingenious! And most stunning in person. I'm sure it will make the rounds in national show circuits so perhaps you can view it in person sometime in the future!
Oh! And I did mention that I was helping out in the A1 booth didn't I? My only regret is that I didn't take more photos of our new A1 owners as well as my co-workers (seems I only photographed quilts - imagine that!)....but I can tell ya we had fun and I can bet the new owners of A1 Quilting Machines can hardly wait for their delivery and set ups in these next few weeks! Yep, I love my job(s).
Ah, but I have to say this was a welcomed sight - flying over Houston eager to touch down and return home!
Moments after touch down I was whirled away to my new daugher-in-laws college graduation and evening party...such is the life of a jet setter (HA!!)
Okay...so it took me over a week to "recover" from all my runnin' around and trying to settle back into a "new normal". I began by taking up my morning walk to the bay...my time to reflect and regroup....so in true rambler style I want to share with you the (mostly) unedited journal-ling I typed on my iPhone while sitting on the pier....be kind of the typos - it's not easy being so wordy and typing on a phone screen!
My morning began as usual ... Stepping on the scales to determine my attitude for the day. Some days I celebrate the least of ounces, other days I hang my head and sigh, defeated once again
So it has been since February 14th the day I "got serious" about loosing weight to be able to fit in my "MOG" dress - mother of the groom - deadline 4/7/12 - "THE Wedding"
Okay, this journal IS NOT totally about weight loss, or the attempts, but that does have a play into my thoughts this morning and what I want to share.
To sum up the " unpleasant " topic of scales let's just say I let numbers rule ... way more than they should. Sometimes to the detriment of my health, not to mention my sanity. I met my first goal of 10 pounds gone by the wedding, but still struggle with the remaining goal of 20+ more gone, gone for good.
So began my attitude this morning ... The scales were not in my favor, again. For the record I have had my "best days" 12 pounds less than my beginning weight back in February, but I seem to fluctuate between 10 and 12 total loss never dipping lower than my lowest and quite frankly that has been discouraging.
What to do? Maybe ignore the numbers for a few days? Maybe a weekly weight in instead of daily? Hum that's a thought. And with that I headed out the door for my walk to the bay...
I listen to my iPod as I walk - filled with wonderful uplifting praise music. I was thinking of a new beginning - not just in my weight loss but in my daily attitude and habits. As I watched the squirrels in the trees along the way, and watched with interest one walk "a tight rope" power line, I pondered that I needed a slogan, something catchy to remind me of my goals. "Summer of Surrender" came to mind, I still have the Bible verse " create in me a clean heart" from last years women's summer Bible study with that name...although I do embrace those thoughts that wasn't the catch phrase I was looking for.... Summer.... Summer what? Summer Savings came to mind - surely I've been doing too much shopping lately! No. That's not it.
Stay strong. You know, the song by the Newsboys. That began playing on the iPod. Followed by the lyrics "strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord" - from the song Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster .... Okay, that's it! My theme "Stay Strong Summer"
Now, what does that mean? Hum.. As I sit here on the pier I am reflecting on that very thought. What does this mean? What are my goals for this summer and how does that reflect the theme I've been given?
Well, as a follower of Jesus my first thoughts are knowing that I am weak and He alone is my strength. That's sometimes a Christian catch phrase, a true one none the less, but one I feel needs expounding, to make practical so to speak....
When I am weak and tempted to eat the whole pie I will rely on His strength to just take a small slice, everything in moderation (gin) oh, and not every day - food indulgences on special occasions. Relying on His strength to help with my weight loss goals.
Ok, what else? I said this post wasn't all about numbers on the scale..there's got to be more...
How about relying on Jesus to give me strength to do my job - jobs. By goal setting, having a framework to help keep the balance, and trusting Him to direct my paths and giving Him permission to interrupt my calendar (grin)...
Ever thought about that? Giving God permission to throw an obstacle in your day? Ever have those days when there seem to be more interruptions, distractions, problems than production? Ever look at the situation with heavenly thoughts? Maybe that person who wants to chat while you are focused on that goal just needs a kind word - you never know if your kindness is just what someone else needed to lift their spirits, to not feel so alone in the world, or to give them a word of encouragement to continue on their journey...
Of course, there's the need for discernment. Sometimes distractions are just that, distractions that keep you from the task at hand. It's times like these that I need to be mindful and ask the Lord "what do you want me to do?". And then learn to listen.
Okay, problems. We all have them. So how am I going to face them? I hope I remember to once again let Jesus be my strength. I hope to remember to hold on to the One who is holding me.
I think more than anything I hope this stay strong summer gives me the opportunity to give God glory for the things He is doing in my life. Simple things like self-control (yep, we're back to talking about the scales again), self-discipline - in setting and meeting goals both personal and professional , and self-denial. - esteeming others better than myself, always being willing to help others and to offer a word of encouragement. And yes, one other important factor that tends to be overlooked. Rest. Not just sleep, but rest from labor, rest from worry, rest that restores.
He leads me beside still waters... He restores my soul. To God be the glory!
With renewed purpose I began my walk home....ready to "hit the day" and get back to work.... Stay tuned for more quilt details on the memory quilt taking shape below...it's made out of suits, ties, and old photos...
And to end this on a good note, not to mention beginning and ending with special pups....
I leave you with Lady's farewell...God answered prayers concerning finding a new home for my "grand puppy" Lady - seems once Eric and Katie wed and moved into an apartment there was no yard for Lady to roam...this photo shows her on her way to her new home, where I hear she has already won their hearts!
Yep, if you held on this long dear reader you will see why I called this a multitude of rambles...I do hope to share more in the future and more often...I can't wait to see what and how God is going to work through me in this "Stay Strong Summer"....so hang in there with me! Life's journey is best spent with friends!