September is…..

I can feel it in the air: it’s a little cooler in the mornings and evenings, and the bright green of the trees is starting to fade to yellow. Fall isn’t far away, and it’s back-to-school time.

Like most people, I went to school as a child, so I grew up thinking September was the time for a fresh start each year. Even after I graduated from college and began working, September was the time when everyone was back in the office after their summer vacations, ready to start work on the new sales campaigns and catalogs.

Once I had children, all of whom I homeschooled, September was still back-to-school time, even if we’d been homeschooling all summer, because the neighborhood kids went back to school and our subdivision became very quiet during the day.

Now my youngest is in his 20s, and it’s been several years since we finished homeschooling. I’d like September to become just another month. But the sign out front of the neighborhood school says “Welcome back!” and the stores are filled with displays of school supplies on sale. There’s no escaping it: even if we’re not back to school, the rest of the world is.

The Resurrection Lily

A few years back, I was at a church rummage sale where a lady was selling plants. She talked me into buying a resurrection lily, saying that it would pop up all green leaves in the spring, then before long it would look like it had died, and then it would reappear with lovely flowers a few months later.

So I planted it and it did well for a while before dying and disappearing. Then, at the end of summer, it returned in the form of a lovely flower.

This spring it was visibly larger and green. Then it died off and I forgot about it until a few weeks ago, when I found this:

IMG_20150810_184759(1)The next day it looked like this:

IMG_20150811_131053(1)And by the end of the week it looked like this:

IMG_20150814_145531When my grandchildren get a little older, this will make a great object lesson for explaining Jesus’ (and our eventual) resurrection, don’t you think? Sure wish I’d had one of these plants when my own children were young.

“Daisy Days” Quilt

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This quilt might also be called the “Never Too Late” quilt, because I made the top about 13 or 14 years ago, when I was still homeschooling, then carried it from house to house during our various moves before finally machine-quilting it this past winter.

“Daisy Days” was one of many Thimbleberries fabric lines (which are no longer produced). I bought this as a kit after seeing it hanging on the wall in a wonderful quilt shop called “A Touch of Amish” in Barrington, IL, and I had to have it. Who knew it would take me so long to finish it? But given how busy I was when I was homeschooling my kids, I’m amazed I even got the top made when I did.

As for the machine quilting, I did it in alternating rows of daisies and leaves, which I learned how to do at Lori Kennedy’s fantastic blog.

Memorial Quilt

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Our aunt passed away a few years ago. I say “our” because even though she was technically my husband’s aunt, after 35+ years of marriage, she had become my aunt too.

She was a lovely woman, full of life right until the end of her too-short life. I offered to make our uncle a quilt to remember her by, and he gave me a couple of boxes of clothes to work with.

I was expecting the bright colors she often dressed up in, but what I got was a few dressy things and a lot of her leisure wardrobe: knit tops, t-shirts, and knit shorts. I set aside the clothes for a while so I could figure out what to do. And then I learned about rag quilts, and the light bulb went on.

Using the fronts and backs of a dozen shirts including several from our aunt’s favorite vacation spot, Myrtle Beach, I was able to make a quilt large enough for our uncle to take a nap with.

Tidal Quilt

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I’ve been busy making quilts but have had trouble getting photos of them on this blog. Now I finally have some photos to share.

I made this particular quilt last fall for someone who suffered a tragedy in her life a year ago. I used batiks to represent the colors of the ocean as she mentioned that she had decorated her bedroom with a beach theme. In the border I quilted one of my favorite Bible verses, one that greatly helped me during a traumatic time in my life many years ago. The backing is sand-colored Kona cotton.

The pattern is the “Double Slice Layer Cake” pattern from Missouri Quilt Co., which I’ve used before. The batiks are from Connecting Threads and I quilted this in a stipple/meander pattern using Aurifil thread, to which I have become addicted.