Thursday, November 23, 2017

Giving Thanks in Mourning

Will and his grandbaby Milly
Like everyone else, I think about all the blessings in my life--my husband, children and grandies. Appreciating them today is different, however. Although I thought it impossible, I love them more and I appreciate their coming today so we can all be together. And with good reason. This Thanksgiving is different. Very different. Even with all this love, today was also difficult and sad. 

A small family in our close community lost their only son. A 20-year-old who just moved out of his parents' home. Who was planning to propose to his girlfriend. Who was on the brink of beginning his adult life. 

Two young men spent a day playing: riding their ATVs, practicing with their bows and arrows, tinkering with their noisy trucks, just having fun and laughing and making wonderful memories.

 In a moment those memories became a nightmare. The friend, not knowing that assault rifles stand ready to discharge a bullet even when the clip is out, bumped the trigger. In a instant Jake was dead, his friend in police custody, and the world was turned upside down. 

Lane and Dusti
So tonight I'm thinking of the parents who just yesterday made funeral arrangements for their son, called family and friends with such horrific news, and decided where to bury him.

Rory and Meggan
My own boys were and still are beautiful children, but they were also boys. They did those boy things that are silly and goofy and (sometimes) stupid. They had all the dangerous things that outdoorsy boys have: ATVs, guns, campouts, parties. I wonder how close we came to being the parents to face the worst of circumstances. I realize, too, that despite all we did to teach and guide them, it's impossible to know which end of the gun any child is on when things go awry. 

Jenny and Adam
I am thankful for so many other graces that we rarely think about until it comes home to us in the worst of ways. Those things came to mind as I sat with a mother who checked off the things her son will never do: celebrate his 21st birthday, marry and start a family, buy a home, find a better job, make big life decisions, build a future. When she asked why, why my baby boy, I asked the same question. 

I knew Jake. I watched him grow up. Our families shared holiday meals together. He called my children's grandparents Ma-ma and Pa-pa, even though they aren't. We are friends who choose to be family. He could not have had better parents, more love, a better support system. 

Alayna and Jenny

Jake sat in my classroom and struggled with writing and came to my house for tutoring. I taught his friends, whose silly jokes were sometimes at my expense. Today I hugged them like a mother and learned more than I ever taught them as a teacher. 

Caki, Marley, and Sophie

I thank God for my children and their families today. At the same time I am heartbroken. For a beautiful young life with a good heart and a kindness for everyone he met. For parents who can never be the same. For a friend who made the worst mistake of his entire life. For several young men who will carry a casket for the first time. For a fiancee who will never hear him say the words, "Will you marry me?" For a community that is reeling and doesn't know how or why and never will.

But I am also thankful that I was blessed to have known Jake, his friends and his family. Perhaps I am most thankful that I believe with all of my heart that today Jake is flashing that bright, silly smile in a place we call Heaven.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pin It Weekly #223

see yaHappy Thanksgiving to everyone whether you are in the U.S. or some place that doesn't really do the whole turkey thing. Enjoy your day, eat well, spend time with family, remember your many blessings. Do that and you've had Thanksgiving. 

A few pins to show you what I am thankful for. 

✯ Saturated sunribbons♡♥♡

Up in the air... somewhere in Germany (2009)

photography, travel, beautiful, girls, clouds, airplane, air planes, sky, air plane, *--*, tumblr, sunset, beautiful viewWant more photos of Amazing places from around the world? follow Clara ♥ ballet's board 'Amazing places.'

Dark clouds and pouring rain during a summer storm. Description from I searched for this on

Beautiful sunset. So many picture perfect moments can be captured at the beach.This is a breath-taking sunset.

Florida Sunsets

This is so cool. Took planning and patience.This site has beautiful nature photography

Artist-grade canvas is spline-finished over wooden stretcher bars by skilled artisans. Hand-coated with multiple layers of a UV finish insuring archival properties. Individually handcrafted canvas is

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Giving Thanks

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta- this beautiful side dish is full of fall flavors and colors that is perfect to make for the holidays!If you are anything  like me, you'll be so very tired of holidays in just a few days. But the problem is that once they are gone, we have to wait an entire year before they return. So we try to push ourselves to do it all and do it perfectly.

Do you ever feel that way? Like a child worrying that the holidays will come and go so quickly that you'll miss them? Do you ever get tired of the decorating, company, food, noise and everything else that comes with the holidays? 

I feel both--I love the holidays and want to enjoy every moment, and I get tired of everything happening at once. This is partly, I'm sure, because of my bipolar depression, but also because we seem to go from holiday to holiday without even a pause between. 
Orange Flower Table Setting                                                                                                                                                     More

thanksgiving table setting inspiration with calligraphy and magnolia leavesI need that pause. In fact, I need to make a full stop. Period. An empty blank wall. I just can't roll with those people who start Christmas before Thanksgiving. I do not want to shop for gifts before we've finished eating the Halloween candy, or the Thanksgiving turkey, for that matter.

I don't want to be so tired that I am cross or snappy with the people I love, so I make sure to get some quiet moments each day. I've also learned to let go of the perfectionism that made me miserable. 

Chocolate Acorns are the cutest Fall or Thanksgiving treat! Made with Hershey’s…

Family is more important than a perfect table or piles of gifts that won't mean anything a few weeks after they are opened. 

I recommend that you find a way to do the same. Schedule a few minutes to sit quietly and let your mind rest. Fight the need for perfection. Be kind to yourself so you can truly appreciate the ones you love. For now, let's have some holiday fun by giving thanks for all of the good in our lives.

Silhouette Design Store - View Design #98592: thankful & blessed phrase

These Thanksgiving candy turkey treats are so much fun to make with the kids. Perfect for class treats or the Thanksgiving table!Don't skip out on colour for your Thanksgiving table! Use our Fall Acrylic Felt Value Pack and wrap utensils with them to make a unique cutlery holder. The possibilities are endless!

I think I’m in love with this design from the Silhouette Design Store!

One way to wind down is to wrap up in one of your quilts and take a nap. Or you can simply enjoy these...

Scraps quilt by Berta Fernandez Yero

Such a simple design. Very easy to make. Great use for fat quarters.

Another ORB Quilt | To be given as a wedding gift next weeke… | Flickr

simple  Love the monochromatic!  Aqua Blues?

Martingale - Simple Friendships - Kim Deihl"Autumn is in the air and this Handmade quilt will bring the warm shades of Fall into your home. This lap sized quilt is made of Cornucopia batiks."

River Run Designer Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company

Beautiful yellows and reds... cozy and friendly!  Butterscotch and Roses from Fig Tree and Oasis by 3 Sisters

I have to make one of these.  I've seen several lately and I love the horizantal stripes broken up by the vertical white.Made for my 16 year old son.  Still needs binding, but wanted to catch a picture this nice day!  Fabric: Curious Nature by Parson Gray Size: 67 by 90  Blogged at

PatchworknPlay: Daffodils in the Deep!

Giant blocks, each created from just five large pieces, make this zesty quilt  a snap to complete.Kim Diehl. i bought her book because of the gorgeous colors she uses

Autumn Splendor Burgundy and Multicolor Amish Quilt

To enjoy more quilt photos, visit my Pinterest board, "heart, quilts." 

A very happy thanksgiving to you and yours this week and every week of the year. If you live outside the U.S., feel free to take a moment to give thanks for the many blessings in your life. 

Thank you for visiting Fleur de Lis Quilts

How to Make Decorator Corners on Pillows Tutorial

Yesterday I promised to write a tutorial on how to create pillow corners so that the corners look square. They really aren't, but you'll see that in a moment. I'll assume that you've already sandwiched and quilted the front panel of your pillow cover and are ready to make the back and sew everything together.

Cutting the back panels
First determine the size you will need for the envelope backing.  Let's say you are making a 14" square pillow cover. Your back will need to be 14" in length. To determine the width, take that number (14") and divide by two (now you have 7") then add four inches (for a total of 11"). Cut two pieces of fabric 11" X 14". 

Let's do another one just for fun using 18" for the square pillow.
18 / 2 = 9 add the 4" overlap 9 + 4 = 13 so your backing panels will be 13" X 18".

Tip: You can use the same equation for any size pillow--just substitute the very first number (18 in this case).

Tip: I find that adding four inches works well, but you can make adjustments if you want more or less overlap. Keep in mind that more overlap makes getting the pillow form into the cover difficult. Less overlap will distort your pillow.

Hem the panels
Fold and press one long side to form a small ¼ inch hem, then fold and press again so the raw edge is completely enclosed. Sew your hem and repeat on the other 11" X 14" panel. In this next picture you can see how the panels are hemmed (blue arrow) and then placed on the pillow top.

Layer the pieces (RST)
You're ready to layer the pieces. Start with the quilted front of the pillow cover. Lay it down on your work surface, right side up. Place your back pieces so that the finished sides of seams are facing down and are in the center of the panel. In the picture above you can see how the sewn edges overlap each other in the center of the pillow cover. 

Mark the corners
Before you sew, you'll need to mark the pieces so that you can cut off a bit of each corner. A better way to explain this is to show you the outcome.

Notice how the purple and gold pillow has "bat ears" sticking out? The other pillow looks square. That's because I trimmed the corners to give it the illusion that it's square.

The way to achieve this look is actually quite easy. Begin at one corner of the pillow and measure ½ inch from the corner. Using a fabric pen, make a small dot. Now draw a line from the dot to about ¼ of the way toward the center edge like in the drawing. Draw lines on all four corners. Look at the photo below (yes, it's the same as above). You can see the drawn lines on each corner. Notice that I didn't draw lines all the way around the pillow. That's because I will use my normal seam allowance and don't really need lines. (Or maybe because I'm lazy.)

Sew all the way around the pillow cover, using the drawn lines as necessary in the corners. Just keep a ¼ inch allowance where you don't have lines.  Easy peasy! Tip: If you are using your home sewing machine, you should zigzag close to the straight seam to prevent raveling.


Once the seam is complete, trim the seam allowance to ¼ inch in the corners to make turning easier. Tip: Be careful that you don't cut the zigzag stitches.  

Turn and Press
All that's left is to turn the pillow cover right side out through the overlapped back. Be sure to push the corners out to get a nice, sharp point. A good steam pressing should do the trick to keep the seams nice and crisp.

Extra Tips!

When pressing the seams, try not to push down on the center of the pillow so the quilting will stay nice and puffy. 

This method also works for pincushions. Just be careful to adjust how much of the corner to trim down. Small corners mean less to cut off!

I sometimes sew and cut the corners just a hair more than ½ inch. It will bring the corners down and make them more square. Be careful, though, too much will give the corners a rounded look. This purple and gold one is a good example of that. 

Now it's your turn! Tell me about this tutorial. Is it detailed enough? Did you understand each part or is something about it confusing? Seriously, let me know if you would use it when making pillow covers. I've been thinking of writing a few more tutorials now that I have a little more time, so your feedback is important.