Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Psalm 23 block seven and a simple sewing project...

Thank you for your caring prayers for Blossom and her family. They are recovering well and almost back to normal - although the issues with scoliosis pain will stay with Bloss throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Of course it's winter here and all sorts of colds, belly upsets and flu bugs are making the rounds so it was inevitable that Mr E and I would eventually find ourselves waking to head cold symptoms one morning. That morning was yesterday. Praise God at the moment we don't have any Covid 19 cases in our northern half of the state, but complacency should not become the norm either. 
With hubby being a teacher and all kids back at school the past five weeks in our state he's been extra careful but teenagers still come to school sick and don't mind sharing it around. Sad.

Anyhow, as I sit here with another large bottle of water at my side and sage infused raw honey waiting to be decanted and used in tea, I'm going to share the next block in Psalm 23 with you. It's July 1st and we're up to block seven this month which also includes the third bonus block.

In the Bible oil most often signifies the presence of the Holy Spirit and when I consider this verse my mind imagines myself as a cup and the Holy Spirit filling me up with His presence until it overflows and reaches everyone around me. 
Because that's what having the Holy Spirit inside of us does...

God wastes nothing and does not give us more than we need, so if my life is overflowing with the Holy Spirit it is meant to be given out to others. How do we do that?

Let us go to Galatians 5:22-23 (because God always explains Himself through the Word) where we are told that the fruit of having God's spirit in us will flow out in our character as -

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

This is challenging, yes? It's not easy to always love or have joy to share...experiencing peace in the midst of anxieties or trials may not come easily, let alone in abundance to share with others...kindness may mean humbling ourselves in order to lift someone else...goodness - well, the Bible tells us that no-one is good except for God so I see this as our need to display the character of Christ each day and grow more and more like Him as the years pass with the help of the Holy Spirit...and self-control - knowing when to hold back, when to die to self, when to abstain, when to move forward, when to hold our tongue.

So I look on this verse as a prayer now.

Lord, anoint my head and heart with the oil of Your Holy Spirit that my character may overflow with the fruit of the Spirit and be a blessing to others. In the name of our sweet Saviour Jesus I pray, Amen.



Over the weekend I just wanted to make something simple, no embroidery, no patchwork, just something pretty and fresh and joyful. 
As you know I recently did a re-organising of my sewing space and when going through the fabrics I put aside a number of larger pieces which I hoped would make cool summery dresses for Cully May and Rafaella. Initially I intended giving the fabrics to Blossom because she's an excellent seamstress and makes the prettiest clothes for her girls and in her shop - but then I realised that over the past few years her ability to sew clothing flawlessly had intimidated me to the point that I no longer even considered sewing for the little ones myself.
Silly me! 

I used to sew clothes for all my girls when they were little and though my skills are not as fine tuned as Blossom's there is no reason I can't enjoy the process of making simple play dresses for my granddaughters. Humbling, yes.

So on the weekend I took the 'pillowcase dress' idea from years ago and used yardage instead to sew a dress each for Cully May and Rafaella using some of the instructions from The Polka Dot Chair tutorial.

Very easy to make with French seams down the sides, bias lining on the armholes and a long rouleau tie for the shoulder straps. The online pattern has ribbons for the shoulder ties but I don't think that's very practical for washing and playing and washing again through our long summers.

Blossom was thrilled when we quickly dropped them over and the girls adore their dresses. Miss Rafaella even wore hers to bed!

I'm so encouraged that you can be sure a few more dresses will be made in the future...perhaps with pockets and a touch of applique?


Knitting Rafaella's cardigan has been slower than knitting Cully May's but I'm on a bit of a roll now and have begun the sleeves. Now that hubby and I need to slow down and rest up while we get over our head colds I'll probably get it completed by this time next week. 

Have you found yourself choosing to buy online more often these days instead of going out to shop?
That's certainly the case here but there have been a few disappointments along the way. I ordered some winter clothing in March when we went in to lockdown (Australian winter is June - August) that only arrived yesterday and was not at all as described. Supposedly cotton, the dresses are nylon. And then there were the long sleeve tops I ordered, also in March, from a different company, that arrived a couple of weeks ago, also not cotton as was described online, but nylon again. 
Truly, apart from the fact these companies lied, no-one wears nylon or synthetics in the tropics.

But joy of joys, a few things ordered have arrived exactly as I'd hoped.


My current read is David Suchet's autobiography (highly recommended) which arrived after a long two month wait from Fishpond NZ and fortunately I bought two copies as I knew Blossom would love it too and it would be a keeper and not a loaner.

I'm also nearing the end of Agatha Christie's "Sad Cypress" (read by David Suchet) and thinking about my next read, perhaps an Elizabeth Goudge.

Fabric and a Tutorial...

Last week I ordered some half-price clearance fabric that is even prettier in real life than on the website. Also, can you see what was attached to the string wrapping?
A little perspex tag with my name. How delightful!

I rarely buy fabric these days, maybe a few yards twice a year, because I mostly embroider and only use small amounts of quilting fabric if finishing a stitchery as a project.
When I was sorting through my fabrics the weekend before last I realised much of what I have now isn't a true reflection of the style and colour which I enjoy working with these days, and it was that 'aha' moment that stirred me on to look for prints which made my heart happy.

In the midst of my organising I came across a small box of charm squares, all at least a few years old...

...and this reminded me of a simple project I shared as a tutorial here on my blog back in 2013.

So with a new second half of the year just beginning and a renewed desire to step into the last six months of 2020 with a refreshed and hopeful attitude, I thought sharing a few simple sewing projects in the months ahead might be fun. It's also a way for me to bring some freshness to our home and 'use what I already have'.

This is the tutorial, a simple split nine-patch table runner...

At the time I used leftovers from a much loved Tanya Whelan charm pack and this table runner is still used all the time, far more than any other table runner in my home today. 

It's faded a lot now but always brings me joy laying across my desk!

Over the next few days I'll make another table runner using the same tutorial, perhaps a little wider this time to cover my whole desk. Not sure which charm pack yet, or whether I'll cut some 5" squares from my scrap box instead (favourite scraps of course), but I'm looking forward to sewing simple projects that bless our nest.

Bible Study...

At the moment in my Bible study I'm slowly meditating on Psalm 37 and the book of Galatians. 
I find so much richness in Psalms, but truly, this psalm has spoken to me like no other this year as I find myself going back to it time and again, which is why I'm going to let my mind and heart absorb it more deeply through these first weeks of July.

Galatians engages my mind in a different way, almost reminds me of the year, when as a young Christian, I went to Bible College and everything I read seemed too much to comprehend until I broke it down verse by verse and did not rush but allowed the Holy Spirit to lead He does.


Simple meals these days, and not because we have head colds but because it's a reminder of what life with Nana was like. Her basic rotating menu nourished our bodies and drew her, Pop and I together across the table to laugh and love and share our days.
Scones and jam were a big part of Sunday afternoons and I always loved scones with sultanas so they are what I most often make. And jam. She always made jam from whatever fresh fruity produce was in season.
As we are staying home until symptom free of our colds I decided to use a bag of frozen cranberries to make a couple of jars of jam over the weekend, one for us and one for our neighbour. Yum! 

I also used the last of Rosie's duck eggs in a hearty zucchini slice which we have been eating with salad and fresh bread...

Today I'm going to put a pot of slow simmered lamb and barley soup in the crockpot which will carry us through the next few nights. Another loaf of bread to be baked as well, and maybe a simple trifle because my man loves trifle and I haven't made one in years.

Hubby's body has not handled these past six months of being vegan and my own health has had some challenges so we have decided to include a very small serve of meat three days a week and see if things improve. In this broken world there's no one-size-fits-all for dietary needs so we must adjust what we do to suit the results our bodies and health need.

Oh dear, what a long post...and what lovely friends you are to have read this far!
Shall you be making a split-nine-patch table runner with me??

I'll show you how my new one turned out in the next post, but in the meantime, draw near to God sweet ones for when you do that He promises to draw near to YOU.

Loving hugs


Caroline said...

Thank you for the beautiful blocks. Good to hear that Blossom is on the mend, and those girls, so very cute! I hope that you see some positive results for adding some meat back into your diets.

Águeda said...

I'm so glad Blossom is recovering. And I'm so glad you don't have any Covid19 case in your place. I wish for you a fast recovering too of the head cold symptons. Take care of yourselves, please. Thank you very much for the post. It is not long, is perfect. God bless you.

Erica said...

Get well soon you two!! God bless and thanks for this lovely post. The longer the better I say!

diana said...


Tammy said...

Glad to hear Blossom is doing better. Those dresses are adorable. I made those for my Savannah when she was little ... I hope your new diet suits you both and your health issues are much improved. ....Thank you for today's pattern and also for the tutorial. Loved your long post....

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
July ! That's half 2020 behind us, half in front of us!
Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas! A great way to begin the coming months :)

Farm Quilter said...

I'm glad Blossom is on the mend! Darling dresses for the sweet to love it so much she must wear it to bed!! I' sorry you and Mr. E have come down with colds...miserable! I've been paying close attention to your area and COVID...Victoria is not doing well right now, but I'm happy your area hasn't been affected/infected!! Praying for you and Mr. E to be on the mend are always generous with sharing viruses and bacteria, which is the one thing we wish they wouldn't share!

Elizabeth said...

Cute little summery dresses you made for the girls! And your knitting is extraordinary!! Your stitchery as well...

Dots said...

A very nice read this was! Normal. Boy! Do I miss normal. Sigh! Six months into 2020 and nothing much is as it was. Been a little crazy here in the States. Some of that is good! And some of that is sad. But, I am not worried. God is still on the throne. Great comfort in that.
Those dresses are special because you made them. Little girls love things like that from someone they love so much! That sweater is going to be very pretty. I wish I could knit like that! Great talents you have.
I like the cup embroidery. Cups always attract my attention.I just like them.
We have a holiday here in a few days. All our usual celebrations for the Fourth Of July are canceled. But my daughter and her kids are coming here for the day. So I am looking forward to that.
Glad Blossom is better.
Be well, Jenny. Hope your husband is better, too. Take care.

pat chester said...

Always enjoy reading your blog especially when you talk about the Lord and your Bible study. I love the pattern you used for a table runner. I want to make one for my kitchen dresser. I found some fabric with willow pattern on it (I have loads of willow pattern crockery) and teamed it with a dark blue (one of husband's shirts he can no longer wear) and will use your pattern but will need to measure to see how to do it to fit the dresser.

Hope you recover from your cold soon and then stay well.

Blessings to you from me

terricheney said...

I read the first part of this post on Instagram this morning and am so glad that you shared it! It really touched a sensitive spot in me and I'm going to print that segment off to re-read and ponder over the week ahead. Thank you so much for taking time to share!

Susan said...

Yes, a LOVELY long post! I liked the way you divided it and labeled the sections, too. This was a wonderful read, and I feel like we sat outside and caught up. =) I hope you and your dear husband are both feeling better. I like the way you talked about adjusting your diet to what serves each of you best. The Lord also gave us meat for the body. I'm glad that Blossom and her family are doing much better. The little dresses you made for the girls are just wonderful, and obviously they think so, too! Thank you so much for the next installment in the 23rd Psalm, and the reminder of that wonderful table runner tutorial.

whistlebet57 said...

Jenny, Thank you so much for doing this Psalms 23. It does restore my soul and my heart is hurting as I am sure many these days are. I am so blessed to have God in my life. Thanks, again.
God bless you and yours.
Elizabeth, Silverdale, WA