Tag Archives: grace

For the love of baby quilts (and hexies too)….

First I want to say that having basted hexagon paper pieces with glue and thread, but not on the same hexie, I find thread basting just as expedient as glue, and so much easier to sew together!  There’s more give in a thread-basted paper piece, so I’m not constantly nicking the edges of the paper.  And I can sit on the sofa to thread baste, unlike standing at my sewing table to use glue.  However, those glue-basted hexies won’t get lost in the shuffle; Little Miss, Miss Em, and their folks came to dinner tonight, and my nearly three-year-old grandgirl fell in LOVE with the glued hexies!  Oh my goodness, she was totally head over heels for them, which made this abuela very happy.  We made more hexies for her to take home, solid colours that her parents like; green and purple for dad and mum, and yellow for the nieta herself.  I think she chose red for her little sis, I was just trying to glue fabric onto paper hexagons as fast as possible.  I will see them on Wednesday, when a trip to the craft store will be in order for more paper pieces, and perhaps a wee bit of fabric too.

The initial laying-out of the fabric. Nothing I tried felt at all pleasing, just meh all round.

But this entry isn’t so much about paper piecing as it is traditional machine sewing, although this quilt for a chap due next month came together in a rather odd manner.  I thought I wasn’t going to have time for it, but I did, yet it was a little tricky to design, but then suddenly I’m ready to start quilting it.

Then voila, here’s the end result. I didn’t snap pics in between, just trying to stay in the moment, allowing Grace to do the heavy lifting.

Funny how surprises enter the equation, and even when things seems ultra-tricky, a treasure emerges.

So on Friday morning, I woke with the notion that yes, I was going to make a baby quilt for a fellow I’ll call Tibby.  Actually, his middle name is going to be Tiberius, and if you know your sci-fi, there’s only one Captain James T. Kirk which springs to mind, ahem.  I’m actually not a  Shatner fan, but as soon as I heard about Tiberius’ moniker, I knew the fabrics I wanted to employ for Tibby’s quilt.  That was if I could find the time to make it.

Late on Friday afternoon, the blowy wind made photography difficult.

As I said, Friday morning the time was NOW, um, okay….  This is what I inwardly call Quilting by the Spirit.  There’s no sense in attempting any other work, just let my actions be guided by Hands far more aware than mine.  And that’s what I did, gathering fabrics, then putting them on the quilt wall.  I didn’t want to chop that galaxy into pieces, in fact the more I played around with it, I wondered if I could pull it off.  The saving grace, and I mean literal grace, was that I KNEW it was going to work out.  I had no idea HOW, other than to just keep faffing with those cottons.  Eventually something was going to stick.

While basting today, I did want to capture the moment.

Maybe that’s why I had to start basting hexies with glue, just so Little Miss could nearly lose her ever-loving little mind over them, lol.  Grace permeates the most innocuous part of life, even quilting.  Or maybe especially quilting.

There’s something very relaxing about basting, what I also find with thread and hexagons.

Certainly grace was in force this past weekend, as Tibby’s quilt came into being.  By Friday night the top was done, flannel scraps chosen for the back.  I did some writing Saturday morning, then in the afternoon sewed up the back, also cutting strips for the binding.  That night I sewed together two large batting scraps, then watched the San Francisco Giants beat the Dodgers in like fourteen innings, oh my goodness.  I went to bed, plans for basting in my head.

Luckily the wind wasn’t as strong today, or maybe a basted quilt withstands a breeze better.

But not with glue or thread, just old fashioned safety pins; I started before we left for church, wrapping up this afternoon.  Those binding strips are attached, but in need of pressing.  However, a quilt sandwich now awaits my attention, when just days ago I wasn’t sure if this baby blanket would see the light of day.  But for the Tibster, well, let’s just say I wanted to explore strange new worlds, boldly going where I’ve never gone before.

It was nice to have a wide strip of yellow for the back, complimenting the one on the front. No new fabrics were purchased in the making of this comforter, keeping in tune with my year of using what I have.

That’s part of Grace, trusting in the certainty as well as the goodness.  It’s not easy, trust or faffing around while fabrics land correctly on the wall.  But it’s such a feeling of comfort, knowing I can rely on grace, like snuggling under a quilt, or watching as my eldest granddaughter falls in love with simple hexagons.  Hearing her say hexie was music to my ears, and how this will play into her life is just another thrill awaiting my attention.  This is why, despite many inexplicable events that cast dark shadows, life is a precious blessing.  Family and friends, paper hexagons, simple quilts, and walk-off home runs are meant to be celebrated as Grace winds its gorgeous loving way through it all.  Then a post late on a Sunday night wraps it all together, my thankful heart in awe of such goodness.  May this be a hexie-wonderful week for you too.

Lo and Behold….

One of the strangest yet very satisfying parts of writing is finding The End.  Now, let’s not get too far ahead of the tale; I haven’t completed The Hawk.  But just this morning, I finished Part 11.  Getting this section wrapped up wasn’t on my agenda, let me add.  In fact, while I had hoped to wrap it up, lovely interruptions drew my attention away from plot and characters.  We’re leaving on holiday next week, and I’d already decided to take along what I had managed, reading it over to refresh myself for our return.  However, that won’t be altogether necessary.  Part 11 is in the can!

All today's photos are from the summer solstice, which I had wanted to include in a post, but I don't think I did.

Today’s photos are from the summer solstice, which I had wanted to include in a post, but I don’t think I did.

I want to share this mostly to highlight the unpredictable nature of creativity.  Regardless of our best efforts to schedule this or that element of the process, often the process sits outside of our control.  Case in point; halfway through today’s chapter, I had the sneaky sense this was going to be the last chapter of this section.  It was the way Eric….  Well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but he was acting so, so, so….  So let’s wrap this up huh, because there’s laundry to do and lists to make and a Burrito arriving tomorrow and who needs to be slaving away, writing a novel?  I’m smart enough to listen to my characters, but as I ended that scene, only twelve hundred words accounted for, I asked Eric, “So where’s the rest of this chapter going huh?”

Eric Snyder smiled at me, then said, “Talk to my pastor.  Marek will fill you in.”

And this is how my books are written; being very sensitive to one’s writing impetus as well as the story being told.  Literally, I had no idea where the second half of Chapter 218 was going.  My eldest called, asking how my day was, and I told her straight out; “I think I’m ending this part today, but I have no idea how.”  She laughed, posing a similar query; Little Miss is transitioning from two naps a day to one, and how to plan one’s schedule when nap time is erratic?   After she closed the call, I sat back at my computer, reading over what had been written.  I still didn’t know what was coming, but after nearly three years with this saga, I realized it’s not about me.

My friend Laura Bruno Lilly noted recently how my journey with The Hawk has been parallel to my father’s ill health and subsequent death.  That perhaps the extreme length of this book is essential as I travel along a post-Dad landscape.  It’s applicable; I began this novel right before my father made the decision to begin chemotherapy.  That led to a fierce year-long battle which culminated in his death in the spring of 2015.  But even though I knew my father was heading to a better place, it’s a totally different experience living without him.  And just maybe a hawk was sent to guide me safely through that wilderness.

But now it’s August 2016; while I’m still pinning some hopes to complete this tale by the end of this year, if not, it won’t be too much into 2017.  By then The Burrito will be almost two years old, Little Miss well over eighteen months.  Grandmaster Z will already be an official toddler, and as for this abuela?  I’ll be very ready to start my next story, let me just say.  But I don’t want to get too far ahead of where I am at this moment, which is still happily aghast at how the last chapter of this section practically wrote itself and Laura’s astute observation of why this book has been written as it has.  Work from the heart cannot be shoehorned into a convenient time slot, although occasionally that’s how it occurs.  That’s where Grace steps in, and oh man, Grace can just do all it pleases.  Writing by Grace is just as important as living by Grace.

Acknowledging Grace matters too.  Now it’s time for a walk, a trip to the grocery store, and to take clothes off the line.  I’ll return to The Hawk in all due time….