Monday, June 27, 2011

No Time To Wait...

“There is no time to wait ... only time to prepare.”

I read this anonymous quote and think it applies perfectly to thoughts of a hope chest. Scriptures consistently teach us lessons concerning preparation. Joseph’s provision for Egypt literally saved the house of Israel. The book of Proverbs has many references to the time of preparation. Consider Proverbs 6:9-11. “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest” And your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-8 teaches us to “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest.”

Sometimes we neglect to prepare simply because we don’t recognize the necessity. In years of plenty, it may be hard to imagine a time of need. Those who lack nothing in their growing years can hardly see or understand what poverty may feel like. It is easy to imagine that good things will just continue to come, not fully realizing who will have to provide them. And what things are really necessary, after all? I think it is important for our children to think about these things, and to take a little time to prepare for and provide for their future.

Time is an interesting perception. As adults, we never seem to have enough. So many people tell me, “I don’t have time to sew.” (Or embroider, or cross-stitch, or even cook!) I recognize that people are busy. I understand that our lives are demanding. But that is just the point I’m pondering lately. There is always a natural time given for preparation. God has seen to this in creation. It seems to me that we need to identify that period of time and use it wisely to furnish for the time when that preparation will be needful. It is a certain fact that when the time of need has come, the time for preparation will have passed.

A young wife may learn, when the first Christmas arrives right on schedule, that there is no time to make the linens for the special holiday table she so wants to set. Because the budget is tight, she will have to settle for whatever she can find at the dollar store. A young mother will certainly discover that her child’s first birthday will quickly come, with no time to stitch that hand-made birthday banner she thought would make the occasion so special. “Well, I’ll make it for next year,” she will declare, and perhaps she will find the time.

If home and family joys are important to you, “There is no time to wait ...only time to prepare.”  A hope chest is certainly one way to deliberately consider the future and to take the time to provide for it.

Shared on  Prairie Flower Farm Wednesday Link-up: Building Our Homes Together With Jesus

Monday, June 20, 2011

Darling Baby "Puff" Quilt - a Link

My first grandchild will be born in just about a month! So I have all things baby on my mind and in my workbasket. I've been crocheting and sewing and embroidering, but do not have anything quite finished. And I am having such fun making my first (of many, I'm sure) Grandma purchases. But here is a link to a darling quilt that one of my very talented daughter-in-laws has made. Sooooo cute. I can just see our sweet baby boy squirming around on it. Take a quick peek...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Value Project - Faith

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I turned twelve years old, I became part of the Young Women in my church. Young women are encouraged to participate in a program called “Personal Progress.” This program focuses on eight values which teach me who I am as a daughter of God. The values are: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. Learning and acting on these values will help me be a faithful young woman. I want to help build the kingdom of God.

Each value has a list of several activities to complete. Once I have completed those activities, I choose a project to do that is related to the value. The project must take at least ten hours of work. I started with the value of faith. One of the practices of my church is to pray. I was having trouble remembering to say my morning prayer. So, my mom suggested that I make a pillow with the words “don’t forget to pray” on it. Every morning when I made my bed, I would see the pillow and remember to pray. I thought it was a good idea.

The first thing I did was to make the design. I love cats, so I used a picture of a sleeping cat and some flowers from an embroidery transfer design. I traced everything onto a paper the size of the pillow top. We don’t have a light box, so I taped everything to the window to trace. I found a cute font on the computer and printed the words. Then I taped the words to the design also.

Once I had the design on paper, I took a transfer pen and traced the design onto the pillow top.

Then I chose the colors I wanted to use, and began embroidering the design.

After I finished the embroidery, I made a little patchwork border from fabric scraps and sewed them around the edge. Then I sewed a backing for the pillow top and it was finished.

The project actually took about 16 hours and I love how it turned out. The pillow does help me remember to say my prayers, as long as it isn’t buried under a pile of clothes on my bed. That is another project waiting somewhere down the road, lurking in the bushes. Maybe I’ll report on solving that problem later.

Respectfully submitted by Miss Abigail.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Lovely Magazine - a Link

Remembrance Press is the publisher of a beautiful magazine called The Girlhood Home Companion, as well as other resources designed to encourage both mothers and daughters. They are hosting a giveaway this month for a recent print issue of the magazine. Also, Linda Stubbs, has designed a redwork embroidery project to help publicize the giveaway.

I delight in all of Linda's designs and her blog, Prairie Flower Farm and am anxious to get to know her better in an audio interview with Jill Novak, the publisher of The Girlhood Home Companion. So, if you're interested, go here to see what the excitement is about.

I love the term companion; the idea of a loving partner, helper and friend. I want Miss Abigail to have worthy companions, who will encourage her and help her learn. This magazine could be useful to that end.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tutorial - Crocheted V-Stitch Trim

Here is the tutorial I promised, describing how to make the crocheted trim I posted about here. The tutorial is short because this trim is truly so easy. ;o) If you have any questions, and especially if anything seems unclear, please don't hestitate to ask.

Using size 10 crochet thread and a size 9 steel hook, cast on and chain 4.

In the 4th chain from the hook, make 1 dc. Chain 2.

In the same space, make 2 more dc. Ch 3, then turn.

*In the ch 2 space from the previous round, make 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. Ch 3, turn.*

Repeat the previous round (between the **) for desired length. Fasten off by clipping the thread and pulling the end through the loop. Weave the loose threads in to finish the ends.

That’s it! I told you it would be easy.

I use steam from the iron to block the trim. This removes the twist and sets the stitches. Then I wash and dry the trim, along with whatever fabric item I’m using. This allows the trim and the fabric to shrink, if either needs it. Then, I steam the trim again to make it flat and easy to sew.

Sometimes it is difficult to anticipate the length of trim that I need. The longer the project, the more difficult it seems to be. Because the brands of threads are different, I always crochet at least an inch or more beyond the length called for by measuring. Because of this, I don’t finish the top end until everything has been washed and preshrunk. I do fasten off by clipping the thread and pulling it through the stitches. This is so the length doesn’t unravel in the wash. But if I don’t weave the top thread end in yet, I can make a final fitting to the fabric. Then I can undo that last bit and pull out the stitches that I don’t need. I really don't have much trouble with the thread shrinking, but it never hurts to wash everything together.

Here is a final, close-up picture of the stitches. You can clearly see the double crochet V-stitches in the shells and the turning chains on the outside of the trim.

I hope you can see that you could easily make variations on this pattern. You could increase the stitches in the turning chain to create loops on the sides. You could increase the number of double crochets in the center shell. You could increase or reduce the number of stitches on one side of the shell, or add a chain between stitches, making the trim larger on one side than the other. You could try triple crochet instead of double. There are lots of possiblities in this simple pattern. Just use your imagination and find a bit of time to experiment!

Shared on Raising Homemakers Wednesday Link-up.
Shared on Women Living Well Wednesday Link-up.
Shared on Prairie Flower Farm Building Our Homes Link-up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thoughts about Her Hope Chest

I just read a lovely post about a young woman and her hope chest. Jenny describes herself as an "old-fashioned girl trying to find my place in the modern world." I can sympathize with this sentiment. I often find myself out of step with the culture around me, and it seems that "old-fashioned" is the only way I can define myself. Perhaps I go should go back to the eras beyond old-fashioned even, like the middle ages. Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur! Truly, there are times when I cannot even recognize the world I live in. So, I am always pleased when I find others that are even the least bit like-minded, and you must admit that hope chests are just a bit old-fashioned. So, take a moment to read about Jenny's hope chest. And then be sure to check out her current give-away: two lovely books with projects made for home.
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