March 31, 2014

Our Toddler Nature

Devotion for the Week...

Aiden will be 12 in May, so over the last almost 12 years I have spent a lot of time with small children. There have been my own three boys, of course, but also the kids belonging to my friends and the kids I babysit. While the kids have all had their own distinct personalities, there have been some obvious similarities.

1. They all throw fits when they can't have something. Have you ever taken something from a child because they're not allowed to have it? Their little fingers grip so tight you have to pry them off the item in question, and once you take it away they howl as if you actually cut off their fingers.

2. They all take what they want, when they want it. Their sibling has a truck they want? No problem. They'll just snatch it and start playing with it. How many times as parents (or babysitters) do we take a toy from the snatcher and hand it back to the child who had it first?

3. They all head straight for the things they know they're not allowed to have. Whether it's an electrical cord, an older sibling's ipod or a kitchen cupboard, they want nothing more than what has been forbidden. As soon as they think the adult in the room is distracted they make a beeline for it. You can tell they know it's wrong by how they react when they see you coming. They either drop it and try to look innocent or they grab on tighter as if daring you to take it away (see point #1).

4. They all push limits, testing how far they're allowed to go before they actually get into trouble. If you say 'no' to something, but then allow them to do it with no consequences, you can be sure they'll do it again, and they'll push a little farther next time.

5. They all hate to clean up their messes. Spreading toys and books all over the floor is fun. Picking up those same things to put them away is awful, capable of inducing whining, complaining and crying.

Gradually, with plenty of work on the parent's part, these traits are replaced by things like self-control, sharing, patience and responsibility. I find it interesting, though, that toddlers reveal our true nature as humans. As adults, we like to believe that we are good people and, for the most part, we are good people. But we're still people who have the nature of those toddlers, even if we have been trained to behave in a more civilized manner.

The Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and looking at toddlers we see that this is true. No matter how sweet a child may be, there are always times when selfishness or disobedience shows up. A child has to be taught to share, to follow rules, to consider how their actions affect others.

Even when we are grown, there are times when those less-than-desirable traits show up. Maybe we get angry with God because we aren't getting what we pray for or maybe we're pushing the limits, testing how far we can go before God disciplines us, or avoiding an apology we know we need to make to clean up the mess we made with our words or actions. Whatever the case may be, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that our inner toddler is not completely grown up.

I love the book of Romans. It's a tough book to understand, but there is so much food for thought in there that the effort is worth it. We might be tempted to think the apostle Paul had it all together, that he was perfect in his thoughts, words and actions. After all, he wrote a big chunk of the New Testament and God uses his writing to help us learn how to live a godly life. But Paul struggled too. "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (Romans 7:15). Can you relate? I know I can.

Though we work hard to live godly lives, there is no doubt that we are working against what our human nature wants. Our human nature is like a toddler - selfish, demanding, wanting to explore as far into the forbidden as possible. In short, sinful and in need of Jesus.

March 27, 2014

TGIFF - And Sew On

I am so excited to be hosting TGIFF this week for my first link up. When I told my mother-in-law about the link party she laughed and asked if I'd be serving tea and sandwiches at the party. Believe me, I would if I could, but cookies not sandwiches. Chocolate chip or peanut butter?

I am celebrating today because I have finally finished my And Sew On wall hanging!
I have had so much fun with this project. First of all, Kristy's patterns are so cute, even when they have a ridiculous number of pieces (I'm looking at you, sewing room block!), and they come together surprisingly well.

Then I started playing with the free motion designs. I tried spirals and wavy lines.
Then more spirals and some straight lines.
Some spirals all by themselves and lots of feathers in the border. I loved this quilt more with each new design.
I didn't know what to do for the sewing room block, so I left it for last. I ended up just outlining everything in the picture because I didn't want to add anything that would take away from the piecing. Unfortunately, I'm still not all that great at free motion quilting along a seam line, so there are lots of wobbles.
I tried to remember to stay more than 1/4" away from the edge while doing my feathers, but a few of them still disappear into the binding.

For the back, I randomly stitched rows of 1 1/2" strips of fabrics used in the blocks on the front, along with a few pieces of the backing fabric.
And yes, these pictures were taken with the quilt laying on the snow delivered by the blizzard that just blew through. Hopefully this is the last of the snow!

While you're here, have you entered my giveaway to win a Craftsy class? Click here if you haven't. Who wouldn't love a free class?

Now what are you celebrating this week? Link up your finishes (and only finishes, please) so we can celebrate with you. Then visit a couple of other links to celebrate their finishes too, and don't forget to leave some comment love. We all love comments! Please include a link in your post so others can find their way back here and join the party.

March 26, 2014

Spring Dreams!

Welcome to my stop for the Flags on a Stick blog hop! As always, thanks to Mme Samm and our cheerleader Thearica for getting us started and keeping us in line. These hops are always so much fun.

I have named my flag Spring Dreams because we are still very much dreaming of flowers and grass and warm temperatures. In fact, that flag is planted in yet more fresh snow, and we have a blizzard warning in effect for Wednesday night/Thursday. I'm ready for flowers, so I made my own!

I started out by piecing the background, then fusing the flowers. Then it was time to fuse the flower centers. Unfortunately, this wasn't as simple as I thought it would be. The fabric I had planned to use was too dark, so I had to figure out a Plan B. This was the scene in my kitchen after I dumped out one of my scrap bags in search of the right fabrics.

Nothing really struck my fancy, so I taped the flag to a wall in the kitchen and played with different possibilities.

At this point I wasn't liking it much. It felt really flat, like there was no life in it at all. But I didn't have enough time, or inspiration, left to make anything else, so I moved on to stitching around the flowers.

 What a difference a little blanket stitching makes! I'm back to liking it again.

 A dark green binding and my flag was ready for display.

My husband made me a flag holder out of an old railing and a dowel, then I headed out in the backyard for a few pictures. I see more flags in our future as I'm quite pleased with both this flag and the holder Paul made. I think this will find a permanent home in the front of the house once the snow melts.

Everyone shares so much creativity during Mme. Samm's hops. If you've never taken part, head over to Sew we Quilt to get in on the fun.

Don't forget to check out the others who are sharing their flags today.

Thanks for stopping by! If you haven't entered my giveaway to win a Craftsy class, click here. Also, I'm hosting TGIFF this week, so come on back to check out my And Sew On finish and to link up your own finish. See you then.

March 24, 2014


Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever been working on a quilt for so long that you just got tired of it and put it away for a while? The Noah's Ark quilt I started for Aiden when he was a baby took 6 years to finish, mostly because I kept putting it aside for months at a time.

I hand quilted everything back then which meant big quilts took forever. Even after working on it for a week or more, I still felt like I wasn't getting any closer to being finished and I'd want to switch back to something where I could see my progress.

There are lots of things in life that we get tired of doing, but we can't always just set them aside and ignore them. I'm thinking especially about people who are caregivers for aging parents or a spouse. It can be exhausting and the need can feel overwhelming, while the caregiver's resources of strength, energy and even patience can feel completely inadequate. Serving others is often a thankless job, whether we are caring for small children, teaching in a school or serving on some committee. We don't always feel appreciated by those we are serving and not feeling appreciated can sap the energy right out of a person. You don't want to keep doing what you're doing if you feel no one appreciates your efforts. 

In Galatians Paul wrote, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers"(Galatians 6:9, 10). God sees our tendency to get tired and want to give up. He understands that some things we do are just plain exhausting, but those things are often exactly what He wants us to do. After all, we are meant to be servants to those around us, following the example of Jesus Himself who "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

Understanding our weariness and desire to give up, God offers us a reason to continue doing good. "For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (v.9). We don't know what that harvest will be, but there will be some benefit from all the good we do if we do not give up. Maybe it will be a change in someone's life because they see love and grace in us. Maybe it will be a restored relationship. We can't know what will come of our efforts, but we can know that nothing will come of us doing nothing. Just as Aiden's quilt would not be finished if I had given up on the quilting, so the promised harvest will not happen if we give up on doing good.

What good should we be doing? That seems to be a pretty broad category. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (v. 10). 'As we have opportunity' suggests that we should be alert and watching for those opportunities to present themselves. Sometimes they will only be small opportunities, easily missed, like the chance to offer a smile and friendly chitchat to a cashier. Other times they will be bigger opportunities, like being caregiver to a parent for the last few years of their life. Whatever opportunities we have, we should be doing good.

'Let us do good to all people' seems pretty self-explanatory. All people. Even the ones we don't like much. Even the ones who don't seem to deserve it much. Maybe especially those people.

'Especially to those who belong to the family of believers' is like saying I should serve my own family more than I serve the people I meet in town during the day. Fellow believers are our spiritual family members, and we should acknowledge those family ties by making a special effort to do good to and for them.

So, are we alert, watching for opportunities to do good to those around us? It won't always be easy, but if we don't give up we can look forward to reaping whatever harvest God has in store for us.

March 23, 2014

Craftsy Class Giveaway!


Have you taken any Craftsy classes yet? I love that I can learn from the best teachers right here at home. I mean, would Angela Walters ever be teaching a free motion quilting class in small town Newfoundland? Not likely! I also like that I can go back to the class as many times as I want and that my access to the class will never expire.

So, would you like to win a Craftsy class? Click on the link below to enter. You'll be taken to the Craftsy site to enter and you'll need to sign up for a free Craftsy account if you don't already have one.

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

This giveaway will stay open until April 3rd. Good luck!

March 18, 2014

Free Motion Fun!

I have been trying out some new free motion designs on my And Sew On quilt, which is almost finished.

Just look at those swirls! They actually look the way they're supposed to look! When I finished stitching them I stood looking at them for a good long while, feeling amazed that they worked. When I told my husband that he said, "I think most people would have tested it out on a practice piece first." Hmmm...maybe so. But, thanks to the many spirals on my Scrappy Log Cabin quilt, I knew I could make the basic shape and I had spent time drawing these swirls on paper, so then I just grabbed the quilt and jumped in. And it worked! Mind you, the stitch length varies from teeny-tiny to rather large, but I figure I'll get better with that in time.
 I stitched these cute little flowers in all the cornerstones.
And I did these feathers all around the border, with a little stippling to make them really pop. Then I stood looking at the quilt and grinning. I am so excited about how this quilt is looking.

I'm especially pleased that there are no ripples in the borders. I've always just pinned like crazy around the outside of the border, done all my quilting in the center and then moved out to the border. And I always ended up with ripples and places where there were puckers or other problems. Then, while watching one of the Angela Walters' Crafsty classes on free motion quilting, I noticed she had stitched about 1/8" from the edge of the border all the way around.
See the line of stitches just at the edge?
So I tried it. After I stitched in the ditch around all my blocks I stitched just inside the edge of the border too. I think that's why this quilt is so ripple/pucker free all the way around. I will certainly be doing that again on all my quilts.

This quilt just needs binding and a sleeve for hanging and it will be ready for its big reveal. I can't wait to share it with you when I host TGIFF on the 28th. Do you think I should maybe figure out how to work the linky sometime soon?

Have you heard about the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge? Head on over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict to learn more.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict
In the meantime, I link to these places.

March 17, 2014

He Had Compassion

Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever noticed that being a parent offers plenty of opportunities to practice being like Jesus? There are lots of times when what I want to do is not what I am actually doing. Like when I want to be quilting, but I'm getting Nathan ready for bed instead. Or when I want all the boys in bed so I can be off  Mom-duty, but the two oldest boys are staying up late so we can play Settlers of Catan after Nathan is tucked in.

In Matthew 14:13-14, after John the Baptist was beheaded, we read, "When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."

Jesus wanted to get away. His cousin had just been murdered, which must have horrified and saddened Him deeply. He wanted to get away from everyone and grieve in peace. As a mom, I can relate, on a much smaller scale, to that feeling of wanting to be left alone. Of wanting to tend to my own needs, my own thoughts and my own feelings for a while. But before Jesus could even get the boat to His destination, the crowd had already started to gather.

Did His heart sink as He stared at all the people waiting for Him? They were all needing and expecting something from Him. Did He wish they would just go away for a while? I have certainly felt that way at times, and the demands on me are much lighter.

But He had compassion on them. He put aside His own needs and healed their sick. I imagine that meant listening to each person describe their problem (and you know how people can drone on about their sicknesses!), then healing them before moving on to the next person. I also imagine each person felt truly heard, as if they had His undivided attention for as long as they needed, even with the huge crowd that surrounded them. And make no mistake, it was a huge crowd. This was the same day Jesus fed five thousand men, plus women and children, with the lunch donated by one little boy.

Jesus put aside His own needs for the needs of others. As a mom, I get plenty of chances to do the same thing, to make my own character match that of Jesus. He came to serve others and He expects me, as His follower, to do the same. Unfortunately, I often get it wrong. I get frustrated with Nathan when I'm reading and he brings me a book to read to him. Or I tell Zach we'll play a game some other time, secretly hoping he'll forget all about it. Even when I do agree to do whatever it is they're asking, there are times I'm whining in my head, wishing I could just get back to what I want to be doing.

Thank God I know "that he who began a good work in you [and me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). So there will be more and more opportunities to improve my character until I get it perfectly right every time. And we all know when that will be, right? 'The day of Jesus Christ.' In other words, not until Jesus comes again. But God won't give up on me. He won't decide I'm a hopeless case, throw up His hands in despair and move on to more promising prospects. He has compassion on me too, forgiving me when I confess my selfish attitude and lovingly providing me with more chances to try to get it right.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
What about you? Do you identify with Jesus' desire to escape the crowd? Do you struggle with setting aside your own needs for those of others? Do you find comfort and hope in knowing He had compassion on the crowd that day, and in knowing He still has compassion on us today? I certainly do.

March 13, 2014

Taffy Anyone?

There was no school today due to snow and freezing rain, so this afternoon Zachary and I broke out his Candy Chemistry kit.

Salt water taffy anyone?
This was our first attempt at making taffy and it resulted in something more akin to hard candy, but it's tasty nonetheless. The whole taffy pulling process was actually a lot of fun, and a bit of an arm workout, especially near the end.

It made way more candy than I thought it would.
Once we finished I Googled possible reasons our taffy was so hard. One site recommended adding glycerin to the mixture and only heating it to 265 degrees, rather then the 270 most recipes call for (including ours). We'll certainly give it a go again sometime, following those recommendations.

I think we're moving on to gummy candies next.

March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday-FMQ

My And Sew On quilt is basted and I've done all the stitch-in-the-ditch around the blocks. Now I get to play!

This design is one of the diamond variations from Angela Walters' Craftsy class, Dot-to-dot Quilting. It was very simple to stitch, just using chalk to mark the lines through the middle of the block for reference. I'm pretty sure there's not a single straight line in the whole thing, though. Practice, practice, practice, right? I'll get there someday.

It shows up a little better in this shot of the back. I think next time I use this design I'll keep the diamonds farther from the sides of the block so I have more room to fill in around them. I think that would help make the diamonds stand out more.

I'm still trying to decide how to stitch the paper-pieced blocks. I'm thinking swirls in some of them, but that sewing room block has so much detail I don't know what to do with that one. I'll have to ponder and stare at it some more, I guess.

I link to these places.

March 11, 2014

And the Winner Is...

The winner of my anniversary giveaway is Kelly, who blogs at Where's My Seam Ripper? Congratulations Kelly! Your package is already in the mail.

March 10, 2014

Being Used

Devotion for the Week...

In this house, we're all big fans of the group Third Day. So much so, in fact, that Paul and I surprised the boys with tickets to a concert on our way to Florida last summer. We didn't tell them a thing about it until we were in the parking lot of the Six Flags in Agawam, MA for the Rock the Flags event.

One of my favourite Third Day songs is I Need a Miracle. We once heard an interview with lead vocalist Mac Powell during which he told the story behind the song. He said that after one of their concerts a lady came up to them and told them about her son, who had been planning to commit suicide. He turned on the radio to hear one more song before killing himself and the song he heard was Third Day's Cry Out to Jesus. The over-simplified gist of the song is that whenever you have troubles, whatever they are, just cry out to Jesus for help. The son cried out to Jesus and did not follow through with his suicide plans.

Every time I think of that woman telling her story to the band members, I wonder "What does that do for you as an artist?" To hear that God has used your talents in such an amazing way, when you knew nothing about this man or his troubles, must make a person feel astounded. Humbled. It must validate all the hard work and leave you so grateful that you followed the path God laid out for you.

For those of us hearing stories like that, we often think, "Wow, God is really using them" After all, look at the results. People's lives are being dramatically changed. 

But what about when we can't see results? Last week I started reading the book of Jeremiah, prophet to the people of Judah. He spent years warning them to turn from their evil ways, to stop worshiping idols and return to God. He warned them that if they didn't change disaster would come. Did they listen?


This is what he says, "To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it" (Jeremiah 6:10). The intro to Jeremiah in my Bible says he carried the Lord's message to the people for between 40 and 50 years. And the people didn't listen. Can you imagine? It's hard enough to speak up once or twice and be ignored or ridiculed. How could a man do it for decades?

If we heard of a man like that, speaking for God and seeing no positive response from the people, would we think God wasn't with him? Would we wonder if God really called him to that task? What about ourselves? If we have a work we feel God has called us to do, but we don't see the results we expected, do we begin to doubt that God gave us that work? After all, if He wants us to be doing it He must expect something to happen, right? Yet that doesn't seem to have been the case with Jeremiah. Here was a man sent to proclaim truth to a generation who refused to listen. There were no visible results of his work, and yet God Himself says He called Jeremiah to it. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations"(Jeremiah 1:5).

Being used by God won't always mean saving someone's life or anything nearly so dramatic. He certainly does use some people that way, but not most people. God used Jeremiah as His voice to a people who didn't want to listen. Their refusal to heed Jeremiah's warnings does not change the fact that he was doing exactly what God wanted him to do. May we also be willing to be used by God, and willing to focus on Him rather than on searching for results.

March 08, 2014

2 1/2 Rows!

Slow and steady wins the EPP race, right? I'm sharing yet more pictures of these same flowers, but now they're joined into rows. 2 1/2 rows, to be exact. Only 4 1/2 left to go!

This step is actually going faster than I expected. There are only 4 seams between each flower and connecting pair unit, so I guess that's why. I can usually stitch a couple of seams in the mornings before the arrival of the little ones I look after, and a couple of seams every day adds up. Of course, it helps that I like to pull this out whenever I have a spare couple of minutes, or when I have a cup of tea, or any other chance I get.
It's fun to see each chain grow longer. When I finish stitching, I always hold it up by one end to get a good look at the progress I've made, even if all I had time to do was add one connecting pair!

Have you entered my Anniversary Giveaway yet? It's open until Monday morning, so there's still time.

I'll be linking up with Hydeeann's In Hand EPP party again this month.

March 05, 2014

Matchstick Quilting and Almost a Top

I've tried a little matchstick quilting. My scrappy log cabin has 7 rows and in each row one block is quilted with something other than spirals. This is the last one of the different blocks, leaving me with only 6 blocks left to quilt with the spirals. Plus sashing and borders, of course. Someday this will be finished.
From the front
Matchstick quilting is supposed to feature straight-ish lines and mine certainly have the emphasis on the 'ish' part of that, as seen clearly from the back. Still, for a first attempt, I think they're passable. I do like the texture this style of quilting adds and I'll probably give it another go on a larger scale sometime.

Last night I stitched most of the quilt top for my And Sew On wallhanging. Only the borders left to add! I'll be hosting TGIFF at the end of the month and my goal is to have this as my finish that day. How's that for incentive?
Have you entered my Anniversary Giveaway yet? If not, click here.

I link to these places.

March 03, 2014


Devotion for the Week...

Nathan is counting down the days to his birthday (March 21). Every morning when he wakes up he goes to the calendar on the fridge and counts all the little squares and then gives me an update. He'll be 6 this year.

Which means at this time six years ago I was hugely pregnant. That big belly made everything difficult. Do you remember those days? Zachary was still young enough he wanted me to crawl around on the floor playing cars. Getting down there was hard. Getting back up was almost impossible! My back ached, especially when I spent time cooking or washing dishes. As for driving...well, the snowbanks at the end of our driveway made it like driving out of a tunnel, and leaning that far forward to see out onto the road was actually painful. Add to that my own quirky pregnancy symptom - a heart rate that would suddenly zoom up to 120 for no apparent reason - and the exhaustion that comes from carrying one child while caring for two others, and you can understand why I was ready for this baby to be born!

I paid attention to every little twinge and ache in my abdomen. I found myself planning the meals for the week and thinking "will I go into labor before we get to eat this?" One afternoon I made cookies and I tried to figure out how long it would take my husband to get home from work if I had to call him to come take me to the hospital...would we be ready to go before the cookies finished baking?

 Jesus told His followers to watch for His return with the same sense of urgency. At the end of the parable of the ten virgins, He says, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour" (Matthew 25:13). He also warns, "So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him" (Matthew 24:44). We are to be ready, to be eagerly anticipating His return.

Unfortunately, the middle of March 2008 produced an abundance of snowstorms that threatened my sanity. We live two hours from the nearest delivery room, so seeing the word 'blizzard' in the forecast made me nervous. I remember people stopping me the morning after yet another storm, saying, "I thought of you last night, hoping you wouldn't have the baby then."

I had been thinking the same thing, telling the baby, "Wait a little longer, not yet, it's not a good time." I still paid attention to every ache, I was still desperate to regain possession of my body, but oh, how I hoped to wait until the skies were clear and the roads safe.

I have a tendency to view Jesus' return in the same way. How awesome will it be to stand in His presence? To actually see His face and worship Him, knowing that all sickness, fear and death are behind us? And yet my soul cries out, "Not yet! Please wait!" There are so many I care about who do not know Jesus,  who would not spend eternity with Him if He were to come today.

For that reason, one of my favourite Scripture verses is 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." I cling to His patience. I thank Him for His patience and pray it will continue until I see people I love turn their hearts and lives over to Him.

I had no control over when I went into labor, just as I have no control over when Jesus will come back for His church. I had no control over the weather, just as I have no control over other people's response to Jesus. I can only wait and pray.

As for Nathan, he kindly waited until a rainy Friday morning. Good Friday, as it turned out, making it a very good Friday indeed.

March 02, 2014

An Anniversary Giveaway!

As of today, I have been blogging for a full year! I can hardly believe how quickly a year has passed. I guess it does make sense though - after all, time flies when you're having fun, and I have been having sooo much fun.

"For the Birds" hop
"Say it with Flowers" hop

I have taken on the challenge of making projects to follow a theme with Mme. Samm's blog hops at Sew We Quilt. My next one will be "Flags on a Stick" which runs from March 25 - April 3.


I have added to my WIP pile after seeing the cute patterns or quilts posted by other bloggers.
And Sew On BOM by Kristy at Quiet Play
I have participated in a mug rug swap, with my partner living in Australia, and I hosted two giveaways that had me sending projects to Saskatchewan, Texas and Oregon. It has been so much fun to think of things I made living in different places around the world.
One of two mug rugs I sent to Australia
I've even started designing. So far my Craftsy Pattern Store has only one pattern, but soon there will be more.
Portrait of a Snowman
And I have been writing! That was one of the reasons I started a blog in the first place. I wanted to be writing, but with no deadlines and intense amounts of self-doubt, I wasn't writing at all. Now, a year later, I have almost a year's worth of devotions written (I didn't post any while we were in Florida on vacation). You can find them all here on my Devotions page.

So, to celebrate my blogging anniversary, I'm having another giveaway. I shared last week that I was working on some embroidery. This little mini quilt is the result.
The embroidery was designed by Kristyne of Pretty by Hand (a fellow Canadian). Her two samples were turned into a cute bag and a framed piece, but in the interest of being able to mail this to the winner of the giveaway, I made mine into a mini. I don't know if it qualifies as a quilt, since there are no stitches holding the three layers together except around the edges, but it's so small that I don't think that will matter. And I thought quilting would take away from the simplicity of the design.
This gives you a better idea of the size of this piece.
I really enjoyed doing the embroidery. I love the quirkiness of the flowers and how no two are quite alike. I also like how the whole thing was done with only three stitches - stem stitch (which I had never been able to do properly before), lazy daisy stitch and french knots.

It was especially fun to work on such pretty flowers because right now THIS is our reality...
Not a flower in sight. Not even soon to be in sight, judging by the depth of the snow. To give you a better idea of just how much snow we have, this is a picture I posted of our house back in August. See how high off the ground our big living room windows actually are? Right now the mounds of snow keep creeping closer and closer to them. We are lucky to live on a hill up from the road. Many people whose houses are level with the road see nothing but snow when they look out their windows.
To enter the giveaway, and maybe have those pretty flowers to brighten your day, just leave me any comment. I'll keep the giveaway open until next Monday morning (the 10th) so I can link it up everywhere I can think of to celebrate. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Thank you so much for reading over the past year and for leaving me so many wonderful comments. It's great to be a part of this quilting, blogging community.

Here's to another year of having soooo much fun!