Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Flat and Square

Remember that quilting class at church that I mentioned signing up for last week? It was Saturday - and it was really, really fun. They have a ministry called "Piecemakers" that makes quilts for The Call (foster program), a crisis pregnancy center, chemotherapy patients, and victims of sex trafficking, and it's comprised of a bunch of lovely ladies - and they were the ones who taught the class.

They were incredibly kind, patient, and helpful teachers, with lots of tips and tricks (like using masking tape to mark your seam line) and tools (we got to use rotary cutters!) and it was really an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday.

I had fun piecing my quilt top - I'm a little apprehensive about getting it all put together, though. Unless it turns out to be a whole lot less terrifying than I imagine it to be, I'll probably just stick with piecing squares for them to quilt (sewing small bits of fabric together into geometric shapes sounds like my cup of tea!)

Over Valentine's Day, I sent several notes, and I got a few more ready to go this morning (including one very late Monthly Update Letter about Brooklyn for my Dad's parents in Memphis). I love handwriting letters... the actual writing-it part, and getting to choose the perfect stationery and pen beforehand. And the stamp. I take forever at the post office, deciding which stamps are both the prettiest and most versatile (last time I ended up with Harry Potter. While they are neither pretty nor versatile, I couldn't resist).

One of the letters that I needed to write took more than one page, and all of my stationery sets have a 1:1 paper to envelope ratio. But The Social Type (local paper shop here in Little Rock) carries by-the-sheet flat notes in a veritable rainbow of colors, so I decided to make my own. If you don't have access to flat notes, just cut colored cardstock a little smaller than your envelope. (Yes, that is a roll of Washi tape. I'm telling you, I can't stop!)

I started by lightly making a guide line 1/2 inch down from the top of each sheet (you may be able to write straight without one - if so, I commend you. Feel free to skip this step.)

Your normal handwriting, done with a chisel-tipped pen, looks pretty awesome - or you could get fancy with it. Have fun deciding what to write - your name, their name, a greeting or wish, a quote or song lyric... there are a lot of possibilities. I chose a reference to the movie "You've Got Mail" because I know the recipient will appreciate it. After you've written what you'd like to write, wait a few minutes to allow the ink to dry and then erase your guide line (if you do not wait a few minutes, then when you erase your guide line you will also smear your pretty writing. Ask me how I know.)

Tear off a strip of Washi tape that's a little wider than your paper and center it over your writing - then press it down firmly (otherwise, the writing won't show through) and fold your ends to the back. Any solid or thinly patterned Washi tape should work - I went with gold, since I liked how it looked with the greyish-blue paper.

I went ahead and made the envelope match, just because I could - I'm very pleased with how it turned out. This has so much potential - stationery tailored to the occasion, a set made as a gift... I forsee me writing more letters in the future. :)

There for awhile I kind of fell off the quiet time wagon - the single-page "devos" that are geared toward moms, with a few validating paragraphs and maybe a verse or two weren't cutting it, but when I just read through the Bible, without some sort of plan or direction (even if I'm going in sequence), then I tend to read with glazed eyes and not retain any of it. But out of the IF : Gathering conference a few weeks ago came IF : Equip --- a study through the book of John. There's a passage to read, a journaling prompt, and a 2-3 minute video of a couple of the speakers discussing it. Even with reading aloud to Brooklyn and watching the video together (and then distracting her with a toy long enough for me to jot down a few thoughts), it takes about 15 minutes, and I actually think back on it throughout the day. Perfect!

How do you make time for what's important to you?
Also, if you haven't seen yesterday's post, you might want to check it out :)

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