Monday, September 22, 2008

Now a Quilting Knitter Potter?????

Today was my first day of pottery class. Seriously one of the most hilarious days of my life. There are five of us - four females and one male - who left early to cut up trees felled by the wrath of Ike. After checking out the beautiful pottery made by other students, I was given a bag of twenty-five pounds of clay and given my first assignment.

Ah this looks so easy. First piece of art - make a "pinch pot" - which is, roll the clay - stick your thumb in and gently round it out until it comes a nice little bowl. Uh huh. That certainly is easy enough. After building a pot that collapsed on itself three time & thereby smooshing it back into a ball three times, I found it takes PATIENCE to slowly round it out. Finally, I got it. I was so pleased with myself. Never mind the lady on the other side of me just finished a BUST of Frank Lloyd Wright and the lady across the room is working on a bas relief of some Greek goddesss and the other one is making a free form serving dish with leaf inprints - I made a honest to goodness bowl. It sat up pretty - it wasn't going to collapse anytime soon - and frankly, I thought it to be a pretty hot stuff bowl. Until the instructor strolls over over and says - now next week you can add some really cool stuff to it. ADD STUFF TO IT? Is he out of this mind? I have a perfectly good bowl here. It's a work of art. It screams elegance. My right thumb has never been so sore and it took 20 minutes to dig out the clay from my engagement ring - never mind what was under my nails. Is that what they call 'suffering artists'????

Next I get to do a coil pot - once I find something to add to my perfect bowl so it will make the instructor happy. I'm thinking I can roll a piece of the clay, call it a snake and slap it on the bowl or something.

Will I go back next week? You bet I will. I have to find a way to use up twenty-five pounds of this stuff... I need to whip up some elegant coffee cups, a few leaf embossed serving trays and maybe a bust or two of Teddy Roosevelt.

Maybe one day I can write "I am a Potter" ..... not to be confused with Harry.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Not Goodbye - See you Later.....


Yesterday I drove to Columbus, all of 85 miles away from Dayton, to pick up daughter, son-in-law and grand daughter. From there, son #2 drove us to Wellington, another 92 miles away. It is there we saw my father-in-law, daughter's grandfather, grand daughter's great grandfather.

My father-in-law is simply 'dad'. I've been blessed to have three fathers - my heavenly Father, my dad and my husband's dad.

And now my dad will soon be leaving us to move to a much better place. He's been in pain for awhile now as a result of a medication he's been on for years that has rendered his bones very brittle. He bent over one day and ended up with multiple fractures in his back.

I didn't see this frail man lying in the hospital bed in the living room. Instead, I saw the man my husband referrred to privately as "the little stallion" - a name his dad's coworkers called him many times. This is the man who worked hard all his life in construction - mostly bridges. My husband once told me his dad was laid off once and one of the kids got sick and he bartered with the doctor: carpentry for medical care. Money was very tight. He vowed he would never be laid off again - and he kept that promise.

Every time we would take a drive and see a bridge in construction, my dear husband would comment "Dad would love to see this bridge". He passed on to his oldest son the skill of working with people. This skill has served my husband well in his current job in Iraq.

The day before we left, I decided it was time to make dad a prayer quilt. There's a wonderful story behind this quilt. I belong to an online quilting club called "Quilters Who Care" ....and indeed, they do. One of the ladies came up with a database - one can sign up to make a 6 1/2" square with a heart (appliqued or paper pieced), heart on cream-on-cream. I immediately signed up. Anyone can offer up the name of one of the ladies who was having a hard time - whether it be a family problem, loss of a friend - or in my case, my husband leaving for Iraq. Within a month of Riley leaving, 6 1/2" square blocks came in - thirteen of them. Twelve of them made it into dad's small prayer quilt.

I posted to the group a thanks to the ladies who sent in a heart ....and the replies were heart warming. Indeed, these are quilters who very much care.

I'll be driving up once a week to see dad and mom...for as long as dad is with us. He's ready to go anytime - and I have the faith he'll be dancing with the angels soon. It won't be goodbye - but see you later, dad....where we can have lots of laughs when we meet again.

I quilt.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Journey to another Quilt....

There are times when a quilt comes together quicker than anticipated. No stutters or stops or what-if-I-do-that pondering. The young man's preferences were simple...His mom wrote "blue and green, trucks, bull dozers, tractors, trains and loves dirt"....ah the stuff 3 year olds are made of.

Three themed fabrics and a sky blue blender and I was all set to go.

Pieces cut....

and then the blocks start to grow.....

And the quilt somehow magically comes together.....

The backing & the label (alas, not easy to pick up digitally)

And finally the pocket prayer quilt....2 brass frogs attached...
This has to be the journey of miracles. Just enough fabric to complete it and finished it in three days. God's hand was on this quilt....and I felt His presence with me the entire time.

I quilt.