~ dove, waiting for the feeder to empty ~I've always heard for every foggy morning in August, there will be a snow in the coming winter. In past winters, that's always held true. The snow may not be fierce or a goodly accumulation but there have been snows, including flurries, for every foggy morning in August. Thus far, every August morning has been foggy, very foggy and, usually, we can't see more than, maybe, one hundred feet in any direction. Around here, the talk is, "wonder if this winter will be like last winter?" Last winter was fierce in length, intensity and snow depth. There were weeks when we didn't see the fence posts, due to snow drifts, and going to the barn mean breaking waist deep snow merely by falling forward, standing, walking two paces and doing it all over again. The dogs thought it was great fun, the first few times, but then began to wonder why Mom was letting this continue.
Tonight is Quilting Bee at Thompson Valley Community Center and I'm excited because I haven't been able to go for several weeks. What I should do is stay home and prepare for company coming this weekend but, God willing and I don't change my mind, I'll be going to quilting.
The TVCC is always a happening place. Currently, there are plans for a second community cookbook, always a fun project, and proceeds will go toward new playground equipment and software for the new computer lab and WiFi spot. October 2 is the Craft Festival, just in time for Christmas, and a great place to buy quality hand crafted merchandise at excellent prices. There's a small lending library and book exchange and each winter there are community suppers the first Saturday of each month.
~ Abbie and Donna ~On quilting night, usually, Abbie rides along with me because she loves to go and people enjoy her as well. Abbie is a well behaved Jack Russell because she's been well trained and because she gets copious amounts of exercise to temper the breed's high energy level. I always take a blanket for her, the floors are cold hard and Abbie has old bones and needs her comfort level kept higher than when she was younger. We always have snacks, for the humans, and Abbie always asks, politely, for her share. If we're not forthcoming as quickly as Abbie requests, she'll stand up, wag her little tail and, softly, growl. It's not a mean growl, it's a "are you listening to me or being a stupid human?" growl and, should we not respond to her growl, she'll give a sharp bark. If that doesn't work, she'll stand on her hind legs, usually against someone's knees and bark more sharply.
At first I thought people would get annoyed but these are women who appreciate humor, especially in little dogs and, after much teasing...probably much more than Abbie thinks necessary -smile-... they share with her.
~ Donna's beautiful Double Wedding Ring quilt ~In November, I'll have my four year anniversary quilting with this group of women and I cannot tell you how they have blessed my life. Yes, they have taught me to quilt but I've learned so much more besides. We've gone through weddings, showers, birthdays, deaths, funerals, community suppers and some of us attend the same small country church. When Dave's mother lived with us, in her last days, they listened to my frustration when we were having a rough patch and they never passed judgment, at least not to my face -smile-. They allowed me to rant and rave, cry a bit and I would return home determined to do and be better.
My quilting skills aren't up to Donna's but never have I heard an unkind word about someone's work. All I've ever heard are words of encouragement even when the maker points out little problem areas or uneven stitches or places where they made mistakes. It took Donna several years to finish the Double Wedding Ring quilt and, yes, it's all hand quilted.
~ happy quilt ~Unfortunately, I cannot remember who made this quilt but isn't it happy!? A lot of work as well as all those flowers have many individual petals and pieces. A lot of these women can finish a quilt like the one above in about a week, but that means a week of intense work, doing nothing much else except quilting.
~ more happiness ~Polly put this bright, colorful and snuggly warm crochet throw together. In your family, are there people who use the wrong, but close, word for things? For example, my Grandmother used to say "isn't this a beautiful African?" when showing off her afghans. Another thing she'd say when people told her she had a pretty little dog, "Tiny is a pure bred Pandamonium!" and, yes, Tiny was a Pomeranian. That memory always makes me smile although Grandma wasn't a person with much of a sense of humor. She'd lived a harsh life with many disappointments but her attitude was always positive. I'd ask about how she grew up and she'd say, "Just like everyone else back then but the future is in front of us. Look forward, not back." Grandma was a believer in positive thinking and hard work long before Norman Vincent Peal.
~ Christmas placemats ~Speaking of looking forward, Anne made these appliqued Christmas placemats.
~ snowflakes ~Each snowflake is machine embroidered and there are several on each placemat, each different as in life; very nice work indeed.
~ veg cookers ~Esther made these veg steamers. You place vegetables inside, place it in the microwave and in just minutes your vegetables are steamed to perfection. Clever!
~ hand tied baby blanket ~Gaynelle made this hand tied flannel baby blanket. She's always making something for someone else and her sweet smile accompanies the work of her hands and heart.
Each year, we do a community project in addition to our individual projects and, last year, each of us made baby quilts and blankets for one of the Shriners children hospitals. The Shriners International provide free orthopedic and burn care to children under the age of 18 and I applaud the work they do. Many decades ago, an extended family member received excellent medical care free at the Richmond, VA Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital. His parent's were young, poor and without the Shriners, my cousin would have had a miserable life. Thank you, Shriners, well done!
~ fennel ~We're hurtling toward autumn and the nights are getting a bit cooler while the days are still hot and steamy. I've been canning jam, making pesto and preparing for winter and the house is having a bit of work done while the farm buildings are being readied for this autumn's workshop with KC Willis.
~ raspberry jam ~I'm burning daylight and chores need to be done so I can do errands...again! Some weeks it seems all I do is keep the roads hot, running here and there on errands. My to-list is long and, lately it seems, my pleasure in marking things off the list isn't happening as quickly as I'd like although I seem to be going full tilt boogie. Do you have days or weeks similar? Sometimes it seems all I can do is keep my head down, my nose to the grindstone and breath but, today, the carrot in front of my nose is Quilting Bee. So I'll take a project, a snack and Abbie and, for a few hours this evening, leave farm work behind. While I'll be in the here and now, I'll work for the future as fabric for a Christmas quilt flows through my fingers. Quilts are a precious reminder of love made tangible so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Blessings ~ quilts ~ quilting bee ~ raspberry jam ~ Abbie ~ errands ~ chores ~ work ~ play ~