Friday, February 12, 2016

Fiber Friday

I finished the edge of my Stitchd Prayers wall hanging on Sunday and could not wait to put it up on the wall.  Today I thought I would share the history of this piece and hopefully answer some of the questions that have been asked.
I stumbled on to this idea of prayer pockets a number of years ago.  I can't find the reference but it was a fiber art exhibit where the artists had made little fabric pouches with prayers sewn inside.  I tucked the idea away in my someday file.  After mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I made a few small quilts for Ami Simms' Alzheimer's art quilt initiative.  But I wanted something to keep, something that would help me tuck away the sadness that I was feeling as mom's memories slipped away.  A friend was making prayer stoles for her nieces at the time and it reminded me of those prayer pockets. I had also seen the Prayer Flag project popping up online and the idea for this piece began to emerge. The base is a linen kitchen towel, the kind that is used to appliqué or embroider.  I started pulling little squares of fabric and arranging it on the cloth.  Then I cut smaller pieces of muslin and used a permanent pent to write a prayer.  As I stitched the fabric squares, the prayer was sealed inside.  I don't remember what is behind each fabric but I know they were prayers for mom, for dad, for my siblings, and daughters, and for me.  
Along the way I found some fabric printed with the definition of memory, a piece of ribbon with the word Remember, and a small piece of lace from mom's sewing drawer.  The sun/flower reminded me of singing You are my sunshine with mom and the piece of blue silk came after she told me that blue was her favorite color.  All those years I had thought it as pink but she told me that pink was the color dad like and she loved him so she wore it most often.  
I added the row of pockets because I want to use this as a place to put more prayers.  I have a small notebook that I'll fit in one of the pockets.  I imagine little bits of paper in those pockets and perhaps some embellishments.  It is finished but I'm not done with it yet.  There are many prayers yet to come.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Books and yarn (finally)

I have really been stalling on my knitting.  This vest starts out with a chart on 240 stitches and I really had to pay attention.  But last night I hit the place where there is a bit of chart at the front center but the rest is stockinette so it should move along more quickly.  
My current read is Nothing to Envy.  I picked this book up on a recommendation last year and it showed up on the reading list for the book group at church so it seemed a good time to read it.  My last book, Flunking Sainthood, was fun but I abandoned it after a few chapters.  I read a very similar book last year.  I might try it again in the summer but for now, I retuned it to the library so another reader could give it a try.
I had to use an alarm clock for the first time in a very long time today.  Looking forward to a four day weekend and some time to unwind a but.
Happy Wednsday!
linking up with Ginny today.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Kitchen Mondays

Welcome to Kitchen Mondays.  I have spent the last eight years learning how to eat well and cook whole foods.  I am fortunate to live near a great store that offers wonderful classes.  They also have a great online recipe database. 
My journey began when I picked up a copy of Clean Eating magazine at a friend's house.  She and I agreed to start the school year by trying to follow the meal plans in the magazines and holding one another accountable.  It was just the shift I needed.  After much trial and error, I have come to a point where eating whole foods and weekly food prep are a habit. 
About a month ago, I took a class on foods that cool inflammation.  The class was taught by a nutritionist and a chef.   The nutritionist gave the chef a list of the ingredients that are good for calming inflammation and the chef created the recipes.  As she prepared and cooked, she shared tips.  The tip that has really stuck with me is about making your own broth.  I have done this a few times but it can be time consuming.  Her idea is so simple.  As you prepare you veggies each day, put the parts that you are not using in a large Ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer.  Onion skins, the ends of carrots and celery, the bits and pieces of asparagus and peppers.  Even the greens from beets go right into the bag.  She told us that many of the nutrients are in the skin and the greens. (No cabbage or cauliflower - she said this will make your broth bitter).  When the bag is full, dump it into your soup pot with 10 cups of water, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for an hour.  Strain all the veggie pieces out and you have lovely, homemade vegetable broth to use for soup or cooking lentils and rice.  I put my broth in jars with about 2 cups in each jar and freeze them.  When I pull out the last jar, I usually have another full bag of veggies ready to make another batch.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you have a kitchen tip to share.  I am contemplating using a link app so you can share you own Kitchen Monday blog posts.  Happy eating!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

slow stitch Sunday

I finished the quilting on my Stitched Prayers quilt last night.  I was going to do more embroidery along the lower section but now I have decided to add some pockets so I can put prayers on slips of paper and keep them in the pockets.
I am excited to get this quilt finished and hanging on my kitchen wall where I will see it every day.
And speaking of the kitchen, I am going to try a new weekly posting to share tips and ideas about eating clean and cooking with whole foods.  My plan is to post every Monday and I would love for you to stop by and share some ideas too.  I am contemplating a linky app so you can share your own blog posts on healthy eating.
Hope you will come back tomorrow.  Today, be sure to visit Kathy and see all the lovely slow stitching shared on her blog.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Super Fiber Friday

Earlier this week I got confirmation for my second choice class at Quilter's Affair (part of the Sister's Quilt show).  I had told myself that I would send in my request and if I got into a class, I would head down to Oregon for the show.  Yesterday, I opened an email from the workshop coordinator letting me know that a spot had opened up in my first choice class.  Did I want it?  YES please!  So exciting!  I had to restrain myself from starting to pull fabric for the class - it is 5 months away after all.  Instead, I opened my pink/red fabric bin and cut some circles for this first week of February.  I have a paltry red/pink stash so it is good that there are only 29 days in this month.  
I have my first Cuppa block ready for stitching.  I am excited to get to the embellishment stitching.  So happy that the weeknd is ahead with time for stitching.
Hope there is some fiber in your Friday.