Saturday, 28 March 2020

A Bit of this, and a bit of that..............

While scrolling through the photo files to see what I could use for the blog, I came upon these of a recent sewing session. The President of our group was scheduled for some major surgery, and the committee thought it an idea to make a quilt for her. That's what quilters do isn't it? A couple of the girls chose the fabrics, and a design of Friendship stars was deemed to be appropriate. The fabrics were scanned into EQ8 and hey presto the measurements were all worked out. The fabrics were all cut and machines set up ready for an evening of stitching. They commenced sewing at 5pm and by 9.30pm that evening the top was done.

Next morning I loaded it onto Max, and quilted with an allover pattern of needles, thread and cotton reels.

Many members of the group wrote get well messages and signed the back of the quilt, and it has now been given to the recipient. Many hands make light work, and we had an enjoyable evening working together, and hope the quilt will help in recovery.

I found a few customer quilt photos in the files, and the first was made by Linda, for her grandson. The fabric had construction vehicles on it, so a construction allover pattern was chosen.

Francine is a new quilter, and has been bitten by the bug of starting another quilt, before she has finished the one already started. Don't most of us know about this?? This simple pattern that showcases the fabrics, was quilted allover with Whatever.

Helen made this triangle quilt, with Japanese fabrics, and it was quilted allover with Buzzing Bees.

Suzie made this as a wedding gift, using a fantastic mixture of her scraps. It was quilted allover with Modern Waves. It's a pity that due to the virus, this wedding has been cancelled to a later date.

Just a quick glimpse of part of this amazing quilt, with more photos to come later.

This small quilt was made by Erica and quilted allover with Clouds.

This was loaded onto Max early in the week, and is still waiting. It will be edge to edge, with separate border.

I did a stocktake of the contents of my freezer this week. I usually keep good supplies ready for catering for retreats. It seems like that won't be happening for some time now, so I cooked up some ready to heat meals, to take to my 91 year old neighbour.

Hand sanitiser has been unavailable for some weeks now, and I knew I had some in my house somewhere!! Have been searching in all the likely places with no luck, but when I opened the oddments drawer of my desk this week, look what I spied!!

I received a large offer of cash for this bottle a few days ago, but I said no, it was more valuable than gold! (It is also well travelled as it journey around the USA with me 2 years ago).

The Quilters Guild of SA announced recently that they were having an online Mystery quilt, and so I didn't have a case of FOMO, I decided to join in. This is the sewing day you have, when you can't meet face to face. It is lots of fun to see the fabrics chosen that members are posting photos of. Of course, I am running late as they had already released Part 1 and Part 2 came out yesterday. I should have used scraps as there are plenty, but I couldn't make up my mind, and finally decided that to save time I would just use 3 fabrics, and these were still on the table from when they were delivered last week.

Last night, I got "stuff" out ready for a start today. As I wasn't using scraps, I could cheat and use the Go Cutter to cut strips, instead of 144 little squares of lots of fabrics. I purchased this machine 20 months ago, and it has not had much use yet. It is much heavier that the Pfaff I have been using, so when I do sew, it was easier to use the older, lighter machine. Due to the current circumstances that  noone is coming into my house to sew at these tables for some time to come, it means that I can set up the machine and it doesn't need to be put away for now. So time to bond I thought.

About lunch time today, I was having second thoughts about my choice of a fabrics, and decided to choose a "less busy"yellow. There seemed to be too many "circles" in the photo above.

So, take 2, and my strips are cut and instructions out.

But wait, how do I wind the bobbin? Long time since I did use this. Need to find the manual! Were was it? Thought it was under the seat of my Horn chairs, and looked to no avail. So then I went on a hunt everywhere I could think of that the manual might be. I might have tried to work it out without it, but there were other settings I had forgotten too. (Is there a pattern happening of too much time spent looking for things lately??)

Ta Daa....... I found it! I checked in under the seats of the chairs again, and found one chair I had not looked in!! So 30 minutes later I was able to wind bobbins, and begin.

Some 4 patches happening, all still connected, so out came my Gizmo.

And after an afternoon sewing here is Step 1 and Step 2, and waiting for the next lot of instruction some time this week. There was about 450 members of this group last time I checked, and it's fun to see that they are from allover, local, interstate, and even overseas. Such a variety of fabrics being used, so it will be great to see the quilts come together. I have enjoyed my afternoon of sewing and getting to know my machine.

That's enough newsfromjude for this post. I will be back soon with some more news of this week's happenings.

Blessings, From Jude

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Uncertain Times.......

I have been mulling over this post for a few days now. I find it is much harder to get the words right for the "deep and meaningful" posts, than it is to say I did this, or I went there, or post another quilt photo of the recent family gathering, so hope this comes out ok.

 Trying to get my thoughts into some sort of order has not been easy as the situation changes every day. Who could have foreseen what is happening now. For a start, it seemed to be distant and happening in countries far removed from us. But now, it is on our doorstep, and today the border between us and Victoria was closed to visitors, in a bid to reduce the increasing numbers of people with the Covid-19 virus.

While I am not making light of the very scary situation in our midst, the reality of the figures is still a long way from the death toll of the Spanish Flu (1918 - 1920) which came to 500 million worldwide. (Figures from Mr Google).

We need to take adequate precautions such as washing hands, social distancing and following the guidelines of experts, while trying to remain calm and without fear. Psalm 46 sums it all up beautifully with the following words, that God is our refuge and strength and help in trouble. We can remain in peace if we remember that.

When looking back through history we can see that previous generations have endured wars, depressions, plagues and other crisis, and came out the other end, although perhaps with scars. As I said before, I am not trying to minimise what is happening now. But I do think that perhaps we could learn much from this. I know there will be a lot of hurting people, without jobs or livelihoods, and the economic fallout will be huge. (The huge fall in the markets, and superannuation funds could not have come at a worst time for me, who is about to reach the "magic" retirement age)!

On the positive side, many people are able to use computers and internet, and work from home. We are able to keep in touch (whilst socially isolated) with family by video calls, which means we can "see" them, and notice how much the little ones are growing, and help them to remember who Grandma is. There is online shopping so we can still order things, and online classes to continue studying for lots of students. There is even a US company organising an online quilt show, with judged quilts, vendor malls and online classes. People are organising to keep in touch with elderly people and those in isolation to pick up chemist items, or food for them. Many business' are no longer meeting customers face to face, but using internet or phone to keep themselves functioning and safe. Churches that can no longer meet are using the internet to broadcast services online.

We (some) had become a somewhat wealthy, privileged society, who were too busy and involved in so much, going here and there, and leading pressure filled lives. (I have my hand up on this, and plead guilty). Perhaps an enforced slow down, and staying home, might lead to simpler times?? With a shortage of some food, and more time, perhaps some might learn to cook? Perhaps there will be less wastage of food, and more mending and making do? We might learn to value our own company if we live on our own, and families might actually spend time with each other? We had become a throwaway society. As a society we think that we have it all "under control", but the reality is that things can change in an instant, and we are helpless. I am hopeful that many will turn to the one who is in control to find their peace. 

While "chatting" to a retired friend online this week, she said that she was enjoying a more relaxed life at home, and catching up on lots of things, and even thought she might reassess the things she would be involved in after this was all over! Perhaps we might learn to look out for those who are struggling and make sure they are ok. And there will be many people in need after this is "over".

I know that there are many quilters out there, who are relishing this isolation and many are busy finishing old projects, or making new quilts. Our state guild have commenced a mystery quilt online, and in the past week over 300 people have joined up, and the numbers are still increasing. (And I am one of them, but have yet to choose my fabrics!)

Well, I think i have rambled on enough, and you get my message. May we all band together through this situation.

May you all know God's blessings, and Peace
From Jude

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Another week has gone by...........

Here we are again, and it's Sunday evening, so it must be time for an update of newsfromjude for the last week. I must be getting slower in "old" age, as the weeks seems to be going by faster than ever. Perhaps that is because I have plenty to keep me occupied. I can't imagine ever sitting around feeling bored.

Since the last retreat, which was 2 weeks ago now, I have added the borders to this quilt. I am really pleased with it, and is a great use of stash scraps. There are still lots of 2 1/2" strips in the drawers, so will have to try out some more colour combinations, and I don't think there will be a shortage of scraps to cut into the half square triangle units either.

Another bundle of fabrics have arrived to reside at my house, and they are sitting in the corner, waiting for their turn in the scanner, and then to appear in a mystery kit sometime.

And, Ta Daa, I have finally finished this quilt, that has been in progress since last July. (Probably should not claim to be finished as there needs to be a label made for it yet.) I have to think about the right words for the label, as it is going to a good friend, who was there for our family over many years, through thick and thin. And for those who are wondering, I ended up custom quilting it, so that I did not have to decide whether to use coloured thread on the black, or black thread on the colours!!

Those dahlias that I planted very late, after they had tried growing in the cardboard box, have rewarded me with some lovely blooms. Amazing what comes along to brighten the day, in spite of the neglect they received.

While I was talking on a video call with DD3 and Miss Billie, I walked outside to chat where it was quieter. During the conversation I was aiming the phone at the flowers and showing Billie the bees on the petals. This week we had another video call and she wanted to see the flowers and the bees. I put her off, by saying it was cold and the bees were not there. Later in the day when I went outside, the sun was shining, and the bees were buzzing. I decided to get the phone and do a video to send to her. Not having done this before, I thought I was in action and was chatting away about the colour of the different flowers and the bees. Switched it off and went inside to replay, and all I had was the floor as I walked back inside through the laundry!!?? Take 2, and I succeeded. I sent the video to DD3 and she played it to Billie, who was very excited and had to replay a few times. Possibly will need to do something like this more often now that I won't be seeing her for some time??

I collected the mail from the Post Office a few days ago, and this is what I received from Miss Bridie. These are the good parts of modern technology, being able to keep in touch from a distance.

I have managed to get through a few customer quilts this week, and I will post photos in due course. The bookwork is still spread out on the table as I add figures and get up to date for a visit to the accountant.

Of course, the situation in our country, and indeed in our world has everyone's attention at the moment. It can be quite depressing reading the news, watching the TV and even checking facebook. But occasionally there is something for us to laugh at, which lightens the mood. These are a couple of the funniest things I have seen recently, so hope you get a laugh too. (In reality, those dryers actually point downward, so perhaps you might like to conjure that picture in your mind!!)

Of course there is a lot more to say about this situation, and I have a lot of thoughts going around in my head, but suddenly I feel too tired to put these onto "paper", so will come back tomorrow for that.

It was lovely to receive a visit from my cousin and her husband this afternoon. They are travelling around in their caravan, and live in New South Wales. I had not seen Kathy for a few years.

Be back soon,

Blessings, From Jude

Sunday, 15 March 2020

30 years ago..................

............on March 15th, 1990 our family commenced farming at Bordertown. A lot of water has "gone under the bridge" in the years since then. (Where does that saying even come from?? Had to google it, and I will go with the explanation of "much time has passed").

We moved from a new brick 4 bedroom home that we had built when we were dairy farming on the river to this much smaller 3 bedroom house at Bordertown.......

                                   My baby was just less than 2 years old......................

...............and the girls settled into a new school, travelling each day on the school bus.............

 .........and the years went by until the eldest moved out of home and there were only 2 left.

 We enjoyed many family gatherings while living in this house...... an extended family Christmas....... end of year gathering for my local Bible Study group...........

...............................and a family birthday celebration when I turned 40!!

I found this photo of mum and dad, in their younger years riding our bikes around the farm.

Who would have even thought that I would be living here, in town, on my own and machine quilting for customers 30 years later. While I was very familiar with a sewing machine back in 1990, the world of quilting was still a mystery to me. But not any longer. The road from there to here has been quite the roller coaster.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a video by Rick Warren, and remembered that I had a book of his in my library. This is called "The Purpose Driven Life - What on earth am I here for?", and I remember buying it when I was wondering pondering what God's purpose for my life was. I even put dates on the pages, and wrote some notes as I was reading it, but it is plain to see, that I never got to the end of the book back then. (The date was 2004, 2 months after the death of my husband, and I guess I was wondering what was next?)

As I am rereading this book now, I can see that the words I underlined back then, are quite different to the ones that jump out at me now, 16 years down the track. But, the underlying reason for reading the book, and pondering what God's purpose is for my life remains the same.

I could elaborate a lot more on this subject, but for now I will just say that I accept that I am where God wants me to be, and using the talents he has gifted me with, and be at peace with that.

And that brings me to the next part of my message. (I had decided earlier this morning to write this post, and had drafted some notes before heading off to church). Today I was meant to be driving to the city for a family birthday celebration for Mr 10 year old. But, in light of what's happening in our country, and in fact, the world today, a decision was made to cancel lunch. It is alarming to see how society is reacting to events. I still don't understand why people would be stockpiling toilet paper and not food?? And fights in the supermarkets? Fear and selfishness appear to be in abundance.

We are going into unknown territory in the days ahead, but I am reminded of the verse from Phillipians Ch 4, v 6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". 

And it was reassuring to listen to our sermon in church this morning, which was all about knowing God's peace, and not the world's peace. I am very glad that God is in control of all, and I can trust in Him.

May you know that peace in your life, as we go ahead into future days.

Blessings, From Jude

Thursday, 12 March 2020

10 years old today!

 Today is another birthday, and this time it is GS2, or perhaps Number 5, who turned 10 today. March certainly is a busy month for our family. He is very excited to reach double figures and has had a good day with family, presents, and cake, as well as going to school. We will have an extended family lunch on Sunday, so looking forward to that. This little man has come a long way after a difficult start to life.

It is always good to delve into the photo files to see what I can find, and to look back over the last few years, and see how much they have grown.

Wishing you a happy 10th birthday, lovely to chat to you, and see you on Sunday.
Love from Grandma.

Blessings, From Jude