Sunday, July 31, 2011

Facebook friends?

I know there are a lot of different people reading my blog now and checking my quilt progress. I wanted to tell you that I post pictures of my completed quilts on my facebook page so if you are interested in being facebook friends, and would like to network with another quilter, I would love that. Simply send me a friend request and include a message that you found me through my blog. My full facebook name is Lesa May Brassette.

Until tomorrow ....

Amish Circle Quilt Project - Block #20 - "Pumpkins"

Block #20 - "Pumpkins"

Started on 7/7/11
Completed on 7/8/11

Technique: Applique'

Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin bread? Pumpkin spice? The idea makes me almost giddy for Fall to arrive. My wonderful husband, Mark, usually carves at least one pumpkin with the kids each year. I discovered early on that I don't like the ookieness of a pumpkin's "guts".

I like to buy a couple of small pumpkins to decorate the kitchen or dining table. I love the look of pumpkins. And I suppose I like the smell of pumpkins. I've never been fond, though, of the taste or texture of said pumpkins. But more power to all of you who like them. Whatever floats your boat.

Father, thank You for the change of seasons. Thank You for Fall, especially, with its cooler temperatures and the beauty of the falling leaves.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - Block # 19 - "Surprise Quilting"

Block # 19 - Surprise Quilting

Started on 7/7/11
Completed on 7/7/11

Technique: Piecing and Template

The writer of the letter that goes with this block describes a surprise quilting that was thrust upon her at her own home. Several women showed up with lunch and helped her complete a quilt she already had on the frame. And she was thrilled!

I have two very distinct, mixed feelings on the idea of such a thing.

If a group of women showed up at my house this minute I would be too mortified to let them in. The house is strewn out and in need of cleaning. (This is the norm, no special excuses or circumstances.) I would have no chance of enjoying myself with the current state my home is in.

On the other hand, I would give anything to gather around a quilt frame with other women to catch up on their lives and to relax and have fun quilting! Women need this. They need to circle up and giggle and cry and be a part of each other's lives.

Father, thank You for the friends I've made in Grand Junction. Thank You that I have a number of people I can call on when I need an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - Block #18 - "Schoolhouse"

Block #18 - "Schoolhouse"

Started on 7/7/11
Completed on 7/8/11

Technique: Applique'

One room schoolhouses. Anybody else find them to be totally cool? I love to see pictures and movie or television scenes set in such schoolhouses.

I've been watching old episodes of "Little House on the Prairie". I'm on Season 3 now. I love this show. Watching it is the perfect thing to do while working on quilt projects in my woman cave. Miss Beatle is currently the one room schoolhouse teacher.

The idea of one teacher offering instruction to 30 to 40 children of different ages and grade levels floors me. I teach two children at home and going back and forth between them gets kind of nutty sometimes. I forget William can't read cursive writing yet and that Trinity can quickly add math facts in her head.

As a child I aspired to be a teacher. As an adult I was afraid I'd lose my religion on the first parent that took me to task on the education of their own little angel. (I considered Veterinary Medicine after that. However, since I knew I wanted to stay home with my babies it seemed really futile to go to school for 8 years for a degree I really didn't want to have to use.)

Anyway, now I'm a stay at home mother who gets to be teacher to my own children and it is my dream come true.

Father, thank You for your faithfulness. Thank You for making simple dreams come true. Thank You for giving me a husband who supports our family and my endeavors to train up our children in Your service.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - Block #16 - "Maple Leaf"

Block #16 - "Maple Leaf"

Started on 6/28/11
Completed on 7/8/11

Technique: Piecing and Applique'

I love this block. I probably didn't do it properly but I had a hard time figuring out the best way to do the stem. I pieced the leaf parts together and then applique'd on the stem. Probably not proper but I like the way it turned out.

The writer of this letter and designer of this block talks of watching the leaves fall from the trees in September and October. That is something I adore about living in Colorado. I grew up in Texas where we seemed to have only one season. It was called hot and humid. In Colorado we have four very distinct seasons and Fall is my absolute favorite.

We live very near the Grand Mesa and it is a very popular spot for viewing Fall foliage. When the Aspens start changing colors it truly is a sight to behold. Pair that with the refreshing, cooler temperatures and you will find a little piece of Heaven on earth.

Father, thank you for the beauty of this world. The trees, the mountains, and the splendor of Your works let me know that I come from a God who shares my love of expressing creativity.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - #16 - "Apple Orchards"

Block # 16 - "Apple Orchards"

Started on 6/27/11
Completed on 6/27/11

Technique: Applique'

The writer of this letter and designer of this block talks of apple orchards. I love apples. For someone who in general is not a plant eater, I do really love apples.

As each of my kids went through Kindergarten (at home) we would get to their a-a-apple unit. We loved it. We would buy one of every kind of apple we could find and have a taste party. I learned as much as they did about apples and their uses and flavors. I discovered I loved Fuji and Gala apples.

At the end of the unit we'd bake an apple pie together. When I went through this unit with Trinity I had never baked an apple pie (or any fruit pie) before. So I had to find us a recipe which I did on-line. Gotta love the world wide web. The recipe below is what we made. I bought ready made pie crusts, one rolled and one already in a pan. We used Granny Smith apples. I'm sharing it in case reading about apples gives you a hankering to bake a pie.

Apple Pie
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  1. Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples; measure to 6 cups.
  2. Combine sugar and cinnamon. The amount of sugar used depends on how tart your apples are.
  3. Arrange apples in layers in pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter or margarine. Cover with top crust.
  4. Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold.

Father, thank You for apples! Thank You for the variety and even the beauty they give us. Thank You for knowing what we would love!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - Block #15 - "Comfort"

Block #15 - "Comfort"

Started on 6/26/11
Completed on 6/27/11

Technique: Piecing

Wow. The writer of this letter talks of the loss of a stillborn baby. When you think about it, that puts any trials and tribulations in your own life into proper perspective does it not? The family took comfort in God's will being carried out and from the loving care of their church family. I don't know how anyone gets through bad times without the love and support of our Heavenly Father and a church family.

My 10 year old, precious daughter Trinity, slipped and fell getting out of the shower on Saturday afternoon. After hollering for us, her dad and I walked in to find blood everywhere and a weepy child saying she thought one of her teeth had been knocked out. She urgently wanted me to look and see.

I took a deep breath and offered a whispered prayer in record time that God would give me peace and the words to comfort her no matter what I found (and to help me not freak out) . From what I was seeing I thought she might be right. Thankfully, once I could check her out it didn't look like any teeth were missing.

We took her on in to urgent care and after a thorough exam and x-rays it was confirmed that nothing was broken. No teeth were loose and she didn't have a concussion. We felt the Lord's hedge of protection as this could have been so much worse. It certainly looked like a worst case scenario!

We were at my mom's house in Bastrop, TX, and although we had planned to head home on Saturday, an emotional Trinity (and emotional Mommy if I'm being honest) really wanted a good night's sleep in a non-moving resting place. So we stayed an extra night.

Fast forward three days ... we are home (from Texas to Colorado) and the swelling has gone down some although it is still very noticeable. Bruising is emerging a little at a time but her smile is beginning to be familiar again. She has looked like a completely different child. Her cousins came home with us and playing with Hannah has helped immeasurably. Cousin Jackson is keeping little brother Will busy and out from under foot. Heavenly Father blesses us in so many ways.

So today, I thank you, Father, for the lives of my children. For their smiles and for the constant instruction and rebuke they bring down on me, ha, I thank You. For what would the sunshine of life mean to us without the occasional moments of shadow? I know we can't even begin to imagine what you protect us from. Thank You! Simply, thank You.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Watermelon Wagon"

Block # 14 - "Watermelon Wagon"

Started on 6/26/11
Completed on 6/27/11

Technique: Applique'

I have never grown a watermelon, picked/harvested a watermelon or sold a watermelon as this writer talks of doing. To be honest, I'm actually not a fan of watermelon. Sliced and salted or not, with sugar or without, it has never really mattered. It just doesn't float my boat.

Watermelon flavored Jolly Ranchers used to rock my world though!

I don't have a prayer about watermelons to share today; shocker I know! So let me offer up a prayer for something that is on my heart. Tomorrow's block will tie in to my Trinity's accident so we'll save that for then.

Father, offer comfort to my friend Kristen's family as they adjust to life without her. Show them Your love can fill in any gaps and can heal the most broken of hearts. Help those of us left behind to manifest Your love in even the smallest of ways for them.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Don't give up on me

When I last posted I thought I'd be out of town for a 3 night camping trip. Since then, a good friend of ours passed away unexpectedly, we've made a cross half country trip, and been on the road.

Today, my beautiful daughter Trinity, who is 10 yo, slipped and fell getting out of the shower. She has a terribly bruised, swollen, lacerated face and mouth now. Please pray for her comfort and healing as she is in a bad way physically and emotionally. Also that we can make our way from TX back to Colorado with as little discomfort to her as possible!

My project will continue once we get home and my baby is okay.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Diamond in the Square"

Block # 13 - "Diamond in the Square

Started on 6/25/11
Completed on 6/25/11

Technique: Piecing

I love, love, love this block! I love the colors and the composition. Crazy lovin' it!

The writer of the letter that goes with this block talks of having a Diamond in the Square quilt in her quilting frame. That's how Granny quilted. She had a huge frame that would be in the den and sometimes tucked into the more formal living room. How cool is it that she would let me help make stitches?

I wish that I was in a community where I could gather around a quilt frame with other women of faith and have a time of fellowship. A work frolic! Doesn't that make any task sound doable or more bearable? I wasn't even taught to quilt with a frame. Even if I was to quilt by hand I'm supposed to use a large hoop like lap stand I bought.

I'm telling you, the Amish people know what life is all about and they've got it going on!


P.S. Posts may be absent for a few days but don't give up on me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Baking Pies"

Block #12 - "Baking Pies"

Started on 6/24/11
Completed on 6/24/11

Technique: Applique'

I had never made a fruit pie before Trinity was in Kindergarten. We were in the first couple of weeks of our homeschool adventure and she had her "a-a-apple" unit. We bought several different kinds of apples and tried them and then we built our apple pie.

I still make that recipe (that I'd had to look up on-line) every once in awhile. We love it. I use store bought pie crusts. Yeh, I said it. Ha! Saves time and waste by me not attempting my own dough. Even by only cutting up the apples and sprinkling in the sugar and cinnamon it gives me a great feeling of domestic accomplishment.

Do you bake pies? Fruit ones? I'd like to know who among you can bake a good pie and what kind you make.

Father, thank You for the creativity You had to make so many kinds of fruits and for letting someone figure out a way to put those fruits in pies. You are way too good to us.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Pineapple"

Block #11 - "Pineapple Quilt"

Started on 6/24/11
Completed on 6/24/11

Technique: Paper Piecing

This was my first attempt at paper piecing and I am thrilled with the results. It was fun and I ended up with a nice, tight, design. I used greens because that said pineapple to me more than the red that's pictured.

In this letter the writer talks about her relatives finishing a pineapple quilt at their reunion. I haven't been to a family reunion in more years than I can count. There was a great one back in 1998 or so that my Aunt Ilee hosted at her place. It was so wonderful to see my mom's cousins and their kids, most of whom I grew up with.

I also made it to Heiberger, AL, in 2000 (I think), for a reunion on my Daddy's side of the family. I met some relatives there for the first time and saw several I hadn't seen since a trip there in 1983 or 84.

It is important for kids to know where they come from; to look into faces and see eyes and noses that match theirs. It is important for them to witness family traditions and see similarities between themselves and others that share more than DNA. Love covers a multitude of shortcomings, but if these opportunities are available, they should be taken advantage of. I wish I lived close enough to do just that!

Father, thank you for our families and the way they shape us into who we are.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Sadness"

Block #10 - "Sadness"

Started on 6/24/11
Completed on 6/24/11

Technique: Applique'

An Amish man's hat was used to portray this block. I'm not crazy about the stitching I did on this plus I regret not making it in black. So, I've decided I'm going to remake it at some point.

The writer of this portion of the circle letter says, "I have often wondered how people who don't understand God's ways could cope with this." I wonder that myself.

A minister quoted a portion of 1 Thessalonians 4:13 at my Granny's funeral, almost 21 years ago now, "We sorrow not as they who have no hope." All those years ago and that sticks with me still. How would you survive the loss of one so dearly loved if you had no hope; no faith in God or in the existence of Heaven?

Father, thank you for those in my life who have grown my faith my whole life long. Thank you for the promises and the hope you've given us!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Star Baby Quilts"

Block #9 - "Star Baby Quilts"

Started on 6/24/11
Completed on 6/24/11
Technique: Piecing (Flying Geese)

I've made one Sawtooth Star Quilt so far. And I've made one baby quilt so far. (Two more in progress.) But not a sawtooth star quilt for a baby. If I did this one again, I would have made the center square the same color as the points as the sample suggests. But I like this block okay.

I have 34 of the 121 squares done at this point. I'm torn right now because I have a baby quilt I really need to finish. Okay, two I need to finish but one is most urgent. Plus, I have a quilt to finish binding for my bed, a mystery quilt I need to catch up on, and two blocks of the month I've gotten behind on as well. But I'm loving my Amish Circle Quilt project so much that I hate to stop working on it. If I'm being honest I guess I really hate to put away all of the scraps I'm usuing in it to clear my work space.

I need to get these baby quilts done though for reals. I loved the quilts we were given when our children were born. They are very special and I love them still even though my babies are babies no more. Maybe I'll flip a coin.

Father, thank You for blessing me with a craft I love and for making my dreams of creating quilts a reality. You are too, too good to me.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Barn Raising"

Block #8 - "Barn Raising"

Started on 6/24/11
Completed on 6/24/11
Technique: Applique'

I guess when it comes to the Amish community, barn raisings are something that intrigue us Englischers a great deal. It baffles me, truly, as to why a whole church community anywhere can't come together and make that same kind of thing happen for their own members. I guess Habitat for Humanity is a version of this but it isn't near the same as what the Amish accomplish for each other.

How much closer would we be to our brothers and sisters in Christ if once a month or even once a year, the entire congregation got together with the men and boys building a barn or a room or a dawdi house (think mother-in-law suite) and the women serving up an army sized lunch for everyone? If that kind of love and commitment was shown to each other, could anything but growing closer in Christ commence?

Father, help us love each other and see the image of you in others. Help us give of ourselves and our hearts to those who need it. Help us receive the love of others as well.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Health Problems"

Block #7 - "Health Problems"

Started on 6/23/11
Completed on 6/24/11
Technique: Piecing, Half Square Triangles

Trauma, Illness and Depression ... all three of these, no matter how significant nor how brief, they require me to wrap up in something cozy and warm. Even if it is one hundred degrees outside. I used to use a throw size down comforter. Now, I use a log cabin quilt I made for myself and I could almost swear it is even more comforting.

Last summer was a terribly traumatic time for me. I had to break off a relationship with a close friend. The relationship was destructive to my heart and soul. I spent days, in the heat of August, wrapped in my quilt. I was so sad it was hard to utter prayers so my quilt held me together in a way.

Years ago I ended up with an old quilt from my Granny's house. It moved with me from high school to college, to early married life and sits in the home we live in now. Funny how some things never change.

So, do you have a "security blanket"? I'd love to hear about it. I guess I could be out there on my own with this, but I can't be the only one. Surely not. I hope. : )

Heavenly Father, You are the ultimate security blanket and comforter. Thank you for giving us physical items to "hug" us here on earth. I pray we feel your arms around us when we need comfort and warmth.


Friday, July 08, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Laundry"

Block #6 - "Laundry"

Started on 6/23/11
Completed on 6/23/11

Technique: Applique'

One of my favorite blocks! I thought this one was so cute and it made me very happy to create something I like so much.

Now, about laundry. It is one of those tasks that is never complete. Does that bother anyone else or is it just me? My personal preference is to wash all the dirty laundry and fold and hang it up all in one day. I rarely have an entire day to devote to laundry but when I do I feel like I really accomplish something.

I am quite thankful for my washer and dryer. I don't think I would enjoy hanging laundry out to dry on a line. I certainly wouldn't like the feel of line dried clothes. I remember Granny used to hang clothes up outside even after she had an automatic dryer. You won't find me doing that. As tired as I am after a day of laundry I can't imagine how much more work it would be if I had to plunge and scrub and wring out and hang up.

Father, help me complete my tasks for my family that are a labor of love with a cheerful heart. Thank You for giving me loved ones to take care of.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Raspberry Bushes"

Block #5 - "Raspberry Bushes"

Started on 6/22/11
Completed on 6/25/11

Technique: Templates

This block slowed me down a little bit. I wasn't sure how to do it. I knew I couldn't simply piece it together normally. I knew I couldn't paper piece it. Finally, I emailed the book's author and she advised me on how to tackle it. I used templates! I had never played with this method before so it was fun to try something new.

I'm not a fan of raspberries. I'm not a fan of walking through weeds and plants and the bugs that come along with that. So it is highly unlikely you'd ever find me picking raspberries.

I do remember picking some kind of berries behind Granny and Poppa's house, back behind their garden, when I was younger. I remember having to check for (and often finding) chiggers and ticks after we were done. I'm thinking it was blackberries but I really am not sure. Anyway, bugs that hitch hike on my person are enough to keep me away from such activities as an adult.

Oh the good old days of childhood ... before I developed my slightly OCD qualities and prejudices!

Father, I'm not sure why you made such ookie pests. It is one of those things I suppose I just have to trust you on. But know, Lord, that I don't get it.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Amish Circle Quilt Project - "Canning"

Block #4 - "Canning"
Started on 6/23/11
Completed on 6/23/11

I've been AWOL for a few days because we took a family trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Great weather, God's beauty abounded .. 'twas a great time. I did miss my quilting some though!

So block 4 was quite easy and very fun to make. I sure am enjoying small sections of applique' at a time. Bigger blocks that are highly detailed feel insurmountable sometimes.

I was able to match the coloring on this one pretty well. I like the way it looks although I'm not sure there is a light pink jar of anything.

I have never tried to can anything or make jelly. I know my Granny used to make jelly. I loved her homemade grape jelly. It seems like Grandma always had homemade jellies too but I didn't get to see her make them; at least not that I remember.

Anyone out there big into canning? I don't actually have the desire to try it myself but I would love to hear of others' attempts.

Father, I am thankful today for Del Monte and the Jolly Green Giant. For reals, I'm thankful.