Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It’s Time To Get Out a Few Fall Decorations!

autumn crow table mat fall apron

fall wall hanging Fall Wall Hanging (2) Pumpkin Quilt Frank halloween placemats jacks o lantern wool bluebird wallhanging leaf placemats Wool Fall Festival wool pumpkin pillow wool fall penny rug I don’t think I have enough stitcheries for the fall….I need to get to work!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

She Did What She Could

I read a post today written by Cindy at Letters From Midlife and was struck by the wisdom in what she wrote - so much so that I wanted to share it with you. In this post she talks about Mary from the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible. Whether or not you are of the Christian faith Cindys words ring true - if we all do what we can to help others the world will be a better place. When you see a need and you answer with "Here am I, send me!" it doesn't necessarily mean you leave your home. You can just serve where you are in small ways and in so doing you can change the world. Read it; I think it will touch your heart as it did mine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Preparing To Leave

Out of chaos…..



Comes order….


I didn’t realize how scattered all my sewing stuff was in this two room apartment until I gathered it all up from under the bed, in the corners, and behind the recliners and dumped it all on the couch in the “big living room.”  I sorted, discarded (yes I did discard some stuff I promise!), folded, and found spots for all of it.  Now it waits to be packed into the car for the journey later this week.

Friday morning after breakfast we will head for home after four months here at UMCOR Sager Brown.  This is obviously the longest mission trip we’ve ever done but I can honestly say it has been the best.  We have fallen in love with this mission, meaning the place, and with the mission, meaning the work.  We have made friends who have become our family away from home and who have worked with us, prayed with us, and laughed with us.  We have done work that changes peoples lives for the better.  And God smiled on us as a parting gift this weekend.  How beautiful is His work!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Early Morning at UMCOR Sager Brown



October is coming and the days are noticeably shorter.  Back in June when we arrived at Sager Brown the sun was fully up when I went to breakfast at about 7:15.  Now the morning look is entirely different.  Many, many years ago when we used to go to a river in north central Arkansas to trout fish my mother-in-law used to tell me I should get up to see the sun rise over the river.  I had three small children and was perpetually exhausted like most young mothers so the very thought of getting up early on a weekend on purpose was like a bad joke.  Today I know why she said that.  I look at this scene and it’s like God is saying “Look what I did for you today Marlene.”  The peace that overcomes me when I’m standing there defies description.  It’s a beautiful way to start the day.

Go! Again!

Millie's Quilting is giving away a Go!  Oh my, another one was so lucky that AccuQuilt sent her a Go! and one to give away.  I hope this one is for me.  Unless it's for you.  :)  Go over and register - you never know until you try.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Into Fall

See that little scarecrow over on the sidebar....the cheerful little guy lurking there?  There's a huge bloggers giveaway coming on October 1, which just happens to be my birthday.  Instead of getting a present I'm giving a present to one lucky blogger (this doesn't mean my husband and children get out of the whole present thing!).  On October 1 I'll post a picture of what I've decided to give away.  And if you click on the scarecrow it will take you, on that day, to a looooong list of other bloggers who are having a giveaway.  Watch for it....get ready.....soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Jane's Fabrics and Quilts is giving away a Go! from AccuQuilt.  I really, really want one.  Wouldn't it be exciting if I won this one?  Don't you want one too?  Go quickly and sign up...I'll still love you if you win and I don't.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pinwheels A New Way…Well, Maybe Not New To You

002 While I was in Houma last weekend visiting The Quilting Niche I bought two packages of Moda 12 Days of Christmas charm squares.  I loved the colors in this line, even though it’s way off what I usually buy!  I also bought several yards of Moda Bliss in red – that red is just screaming Christmas, don’t  you think?  Then I thought…what in the world shall I do with these?


My friend Michelle over at Life on The Vine recently posted a video done by Missouri Star Quilt Company that was new to me but exciting to think about.  If you click on Life on The Vine it should take you to watch the video.  But if you’d rather not, here’s what I did:

First I put two charm squares, one solid and one print, right sides together and sewed a quarter inch around all four sides.


Then I cut diagonally both ways.


You end up with 4 half square triangles!


And when you’ve trimmed the dog ears (just do it even though you don’t want to because it makes a difference, trust me) you can make these:


Of course you could make lots of things with them but I made these!


Well I sewed that the 4 sides – haven’t quite finished with them all but I’m working on them.  Now I have a question for you.  What’s going to happen to the pinwheel pattern when I put these squares together?  Will it merge into another pattern, like a square in a square?  :)  Should I plan to sash them if I want to keep the pinwheels?  This will make a cute little Christmas quilt if anyone wants to join me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day Twelve

400.  A hot shower on a cold day
401.  Local quilt shops
402.  Bloggers who have giveaways
403.  Kisses on the cheek from fellow church members
404.  People willing to drive hundreds of miles to deliver goods to this mission
405.  Rainbows
406.  Indoor toilets (80% of the people in the world don't have one!)
407.  Waiters and waitresses
408.  The Bayou Teche
409.  Small towns
410.  Dogs that mind
411.  Men who ride horses (they remind me of how much I loved Roy Rogers when I was 10)
412.  Finding out something doesn't work well before I buy it
413.  Meat loaf and mashed potatoes (no green peppers in the meat loaf please)
414.  Coca Cola Cake
415.  Italian Cream Cake
416.  Cheese Cake...oh give it up, any cake!
417.  Tea cakes - that's not cake for those of you who never had them
418.  Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches (ok I admit it, I'm hungry!)
419.  Crocheted or knitted dish cloths made out of Sugar and Cream yarn
420.  My Tempur-Pedic mattress
421.  Kitchen scissors
422.  Really sharp knives
423.  Children's choirs
424.  Heating pads
425.  Warm houseshoes in the winter

Monday, September 20, 2010

If I Were Queen Of The World

A little humor...a little serious  :)

1.  No child would ever be hungry again.

2.  Chai Tea Lattes would have zero calories.

3.  Everyone would speak to everyone else with kindness and respect.

4.  Every seam I sew would be a perfect quarter inch.

5.  War and violence wouldn't be in the dictionary because they wouldn't exist.

6.  Every strip I cut would be perfectly straight and wouldn't have those little wavy w's or v's in the middle.

7.  Poverty would be part of ancient history.

8.  I would wiggle my nose and my exercise would automatically be done and my body would respond accordingly.

9.  Cancer and other diseases would be eradicated.

10.  My fabric would be completely organized.

11.  Natural disasters would be a thing of the past.

12.  All of my UFOs would be finished.

Got any you want to add? 

Summer Might Be Ending.....

but here at Sager Brown it's lingering in some beautiful ways!  We're still getting an occasional gardenia.
And the hibiscus have new blooms every day!
  Periwinkles, as my mother-in-law used to call them, (vinca) peek out where they're hidden in the herb bed.
You might have to help me out but I think this is Russian Sage....anyone know?
The Hibiscus are everywhwere!

Sometimes when I look at the beautiful setting I'm surrounded by I wish I was an art quilter and could make a quilt that looked like this.  That's certainly not my gift but it would be so cool!

Don't forget my post from a couple of days ago - it's now 97 days til Christmas!  It's time to be making those gifts.  :) 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Warning and Request

Bloglines is going away....I keep hearing that everywhere I read blogs.  I've never used Bloglines so it isn't affecting me really except in one way.  I do have some readers/friends who use it and I'm afraid when it stops you may lose my blog address.  If you're using it then please click on the followers list on my right sidebar and become a follower - that way you won't lose my address.  If you don't understand the followers thing let me know and I'll try to help you get hooked up with it.  I use the gmail reader and Followers works great with it.  blessings, marlene

Friday, September 17, 2010

Double Digit Days

Ya'll someone told me it's only 99 days til Christmas! If you have things to make now's the time to get started. I sat down one afternoon this week and made this little Santa wallhanging. The pattern is #501 Old World Santa by Bloomin' Minds and is super fast to make. I stuck the pattern and some scrap fabrics in a plastic bag at home a couple of weeks ago and brought it to the mission with me. When I was missing a couple of pieces I thought I had put in I dug through my scrap bag here (don't you have a scrap bag with you everywhere you go?) and used the back of one fabric and another one fussy cut to finish the job. Seriously, only a couple of hours at most. You gotta' love that! And.....I did the machine quilting on this table runner, made the binding and put it on and all it needs now is to be washed so the flowers and leaves can fray. It's a raw edge applique piece and I want the edges to be fuzzy. I'd wash it here but the water is awful for laundry - my white things have some tough rust spots that I'll be spending some time trying to get out when I get home. I love this for the fall....I think it will go on my small bar in the kitchen.

Anyone else starting on Christmas stuff?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drive-Thru Etiquette

If I were queen of the world these would be my rules for using the drive-thru window at a fast food restaurant: (Can a fast food place even be called a restaurant?)

1. If your window won't roll down, don't use the drive-thru. If you have to turn the motor off, get out of the car, and walk up to the window, why not just park, get out and go in? And if you ignore this rule, don't get back in your car after you've paid to wait for the food and then have to get out and go back to the window to get your order.

2. If you are smoking a cigarette or cigar when going through the drive-thru, put it out. Neither the clerk at the window nor the people in the car behind you want to inhale your smoke. It stinks.

3. Similarly, but not the same, if you are dipping or chewing don't spit out the window while waiting for your order. Don't spit out the window for any reason. Don't spit in public or on public property. (Didn't your mother tell you that already?)

4. If there are sixteen people in your car write all your orders down before you get to the order window. Under no circumstances should you wait until you get to the speaker to make your decision. If there are sixteen people in your car there should be no special orders. If you don't like pickles take them off when you get your burger. No, they will not make your drink half Coke and half Sprite.

5. If you have multiple children instruct them to stay quiet while you order or they may end up with liver and onions since the clerk cannot hear over their screaming.

6. Always, always, always end cell phone calls before you enter the drive-thru line. The people in the car behind you do not want to know that your sister is having an affair with her podiatrist or that your husband has "bathroom issues."

7. If you are listening to your IPod take the buds out of your ears before you place your order. Yelling "WHAT?" three times will not enable you to hear the clerk over The Jonas Brothers.

8. Assume you will have a clerk who can't make change until the cash register tells him/her how much money to give you and who will be completely thrown for a loop if you give them $10.25 for a $5.20 order. You're less likely to have a blood pressure spike if you just give them a $20 and let the machine do it's work.

9. If you are driving a diesel truck turn it off while you order. If you are driving a diesel truck turn it off while the car in front of you orders. If you are driving a diesel truck turn it off while the second car in front of you orders.

10. If you are using the drive-thru have your money close by before you get there. Do not make everyone behind you wait while you dig through the back seat, get out of the car and look under the seats, and then dump out the ashtray looking for stray coins.

I know you all can add to this - what do you think ought to be #11 on this list?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Finished Stitchin' Stuff...and an Observation

I'm calling this table mat Reclaimed Strawberries. All the wool I used on this piece came from garments I bought at thrift stores, cut up, washed and dried to felt it. It was so fast, not only to qpplique and embroider, but also to finish. I put a black back on it and blanket stitched the edges one evening while watching NCIS reruns. Yes ya'll, I'm still addicted to NCIS and I get all the reruns right here in the mission. :) I am still loving this piece! This one took more than one rerun of NCIS of course, but it was so much fun to sew. The back on it is a plaid reproduction fabric that I also blanket stitched on. Both of these patterns are from Primitive Gatherings.

The LOVE U baby quilt is also a finish - yea! I did some free motion quilting on it so I got a little more practice at that. I can see some improvement so I know that eventually I'll be able to do more than just meander around trying not to cross my stitching. The whole time I'm quilting I'm muttering under my breath, "Breathe, Relax, Do small areas at a time, Breathe, Relax..." I'm sure I look like a mad woman hunched over my machine with gloves on my hands when it's 112° outside, mumbling some sort of mantra, pushing fabric around and around. :)

Observation: Have you ever noticed that when you are completely finished with a quilt, I mean done...ready to put the label see something that's "not right"? I always look and look before I start quilting to be sure one block isn't turned upside down and other weird stuff like that. But as I look at this picture I'm wondering what it is that I've missed, because I always miss something. And then I see it. It's you. No, not you. U. U is crooked! Not much, not even noticeable to anyone else, but it definitely slants a little. I just love that. No, I'm not crazy. I just think every quilt needs a little character and there it is - character in the U! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :)

I didn't make this but I thought you'd enjoy seeing it. Some of you may have never seen anything like this before because it's a dying art. This cross was tatted by the wife of one of our volunteers. She sent about 30 of them for him to give away! Just look at the even stitches, the delicacy of the pattern. One of my grandmothers tatted and my mother knew how but didn't really do it. Isn't it beautiful?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day Eleven

342. Friends I've made here at Sager Brown

343. Yellow Hibiscus

344. WalMart

345. Football games on the big screen over in the gym - I have quiet time at the apartment!

346. Every new group of volunteers who come in on Sunday

347. Card games on the computer

348. Bath and Body Works Wallflower (plug ins with wonderful scents!)

349. Days that the water here doesn't smell so bad

350. Cooler temperatures

351. Knowing I get to buy a new car when I go home

352. Birthdays

353. Finding the zebra stripe fabric that I wanted in a wider fabric than I planned on

354. Pregnant women

355. This is a second time but I have two pair :) Sketchers Shape Up Shoes!

356. Hooded sweatshirts

357. Cinnamon flavored candy

358. Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffles Ice Cream Bars (2 weight watchers points)

359. Sewing machines that will free motion quilt

360. Text messages from my son the coach saying "we beat their b_____!" when I just knew they would lose again this week

361. College freshman grandson who likes it well enough to stay there for the weekend

362. Grandson who got 1st chair in his first tryouts (drums)

363. Granddaughter who loves the clarinet and is learning her 2nd song

364. College sophomore granddaughter who has only 14 hours to finish her Associate's Degree

365. Grandson who finished his Associate's Degree and has a fabulous job he loves

366. Granddaughter who loves dancing and being on the stage and dressing up

367. Granddaughter who memorized her first Bible verse last week

368. Grandson who runs everywhere he goes and smiles all the time

369. Children who give me grandchildren

370. Allergy shots

371. The bravery of young people who give the message at our Thursday night worship service

372. The Internet

373. Super B Complex Vitamins

374. Special Olympics

375. Golf Carts

376. Days when my arthritis isn't too bad

377. A husband who understands my need for sewing time

378. Young men playing basketball on the outdoor court next door

379. Police who stand out in the traffic and sun helping the people they serve

380. Seeing a wheelchair ramp my husband has helped build on a church near here

381. Joy filled Sunday church services

382. When the lost has been found

383. Hands folded in prayer

384. Embroidery thread that is rich in color and soft to touch

385. Valet parking

386. Red, White, and Blue

387. Banking online

388. Backpacks

389. The huge live oak tree in Baldwin, LA

390. Lancaster County, PA

391. Fountains that spray water and have enough room for me to sit on the side and put my feet in

392. Massages

393. Pinto beans cooked with salt meat

394. Cornbread eaten with the above

395. Negative CAT Scans, MRIs and XRays

396. People who feel blessed even when life is hard for them

397. Lost children who say "there's my Mama!" when they spot her a couple of pews back

398. Lunch after church with friends I've just worshiped with

399. My very own mansion in Heaven which is, I'm sure, next door to Mama and Daddy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remember Yesterday's Post?

Remember yesterday's post when I asked how I could possibly not gain weight here at Sager Brown? Well, this is how....set alarm for 5:15, alarm rings, turn off alarm, groan loudly, get up & get dressed and go out the door, walk for 45 minutes. This is what I see.

I love it that fall is almost here except that I am now walking in full dark and by the time the sun is coming up I'm in the shower!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stitchin' Stuff

My friend Pam sent me these pillowcases last week. I just love them! I brought them back with me to the mission because I knew they would make me smile every night when it's time for bed. She sent this one for me.... And this one for my husband. He quickly agreed that it was ok for me to put it on his pillow. :)

I didn't quite follow the pattern when I was making this quilt because my fabric wasn't exactly what I needed but I like this setting. It was supposed to be set on point. But it was an easy one to make - I cut it out one day and sewed it up the next. Now if the quilting is as fast I'm good to go!

I have some other stuff finished but haven't gotten it on my computer - maybe tomorrow I can show that to you!

A Multitasking Grandpa

Wonder What This Is About

What in the world would make grown people form a circle and hold hands? How about a breakfast like this?

Seriously ya'll, how in the world am I gonna' keep from losing weight after spending 4 months here at Sager Brown?