Saturday 19 August 2023


 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9

As usual, my fair entries bought some surprises - both good and not so good. This tree skirt, for example, which for me was pretty simple and straightforward, and not a whole lot of work, comparatively speaking, won first place. And I'm not even sure I like it.

And it was displayed at the fair with the backing side up, so you couldn't even see the quilting, which to me was the "main attraction". Yes, it has pretty backing fabric, but it's a whole cloth quilt, so it's about the quilting... And because I quilted it using a simple broadcloth on the back and then stitched on the actual backing fabric using the envelope method (stitch the edges of the quilt top and backing right sides together, leaving an opening to turn it right side out), you can't even see the quilting on the back! 😁
Then there was the Christmas Spice Blend table runner (I'll blog more about this with pattern info later). 
Rather tricky piecing, and I was sure it would win a first place, but it only won a second. The first place ribbon went to something in black, made with a panel. 
Because you're not supposed to touch the exhibits, and it was folded, I couldn't look at all of the details of the first place winner, but the only thing I noticed which might have surpassed mine was snowflakes quilted in the corners, which were too precise to be anything but computerized. If computerized quilting trumps complicated piecing, I might as well throw in the towel now... Admittedly, there might have been other details, like the fact that I machine stitched the opening closed, rather than hand stitch, so the stitches were visible - this was another envelope method project. But, personally, I hardly think that justified a panel project winning a first over mine. Nevertheless, it did win a first in the other fair in which I entered it. 
And then there was The Study of Geometry. 
I entered it in one fair last year, where it placed 2nd and a different fair this year, where it placed 3rd. And I thought it should be a first place winner. But this humble dishcloth (the pink and green one in the centre) won first place in both fairs in which it was entered. 
We all have surprises in our lives, both good and bad, many of which are far more significant than winning a ribbon in a local fair. The most important are what happens when life on this planet as we know it is over. As the Bible verse at the beginning of this post says, we can't even begin to imagine the things that God has prepared for us. It will be so amazing.
There are many misconceptions about eternity. Floating around on a cloud, playing a harp... No, that's not how God wants us to spend forever. Others think that it will just be an eternal continuation of life on this earth. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to spend eternity in the same kind of life we have here. Bars serving alcohol will not be there. Movies portraying crime and immorality will not be there. Revelation 21:27 says, "But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life." NKJV. Life will be perfect: no crime, no death, no sorrow. Only perfect peace and happiness forever. But note what that verse says: only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter there. How do we get our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Only those who have surrendered their hearts to Jesus and live their lives for Him will have their names written in the Book of Life. Jesus said, " I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9 KJV). 'Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." ' (John 14:6 NKJV). Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Only through Jesus can we have eternal life!
To find out more about having a relationship with Jesus and receiving eternal life, follow these links: 
The Experience of Salvation
Saved From Certain Death
To find out more about heaven, the new earth and eternity, follow these links:
The New Earth
I put in a lot of work to produce my entries for the fairs and mostly was quite pleased with the results. But my quality of life would not be altered significantly if I had missed out on receiving those ribbons. But missing out on eternity is not a concept I even want to contemplate. 

Saturday 12 August 2023

Unfinished Projects

 "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." 
Philippians 1:6 NKJV

Unfinished Place Mat
It's fair season and I've been working like a machine, trying to get projects completed in time to enter in the fairs. There's the local fair in the town I live in, plus a couple of other fairs in nearby smaller communities. Three fairs, and because the one in town, which is a 5-day fair, overlaps the other two., which are one day fairs, anything I entered in the one in town could not be entered in either of the other two. And while I had quite a few projects finished, and while many of the entries in the smaller two fairs could be duplicates, there were still classes for which I wanted to make projects. And so I was making, and making. And I got down to the wire for making projects for the final fair and I just couldn't do it. Insomnia is a serious problem for me and while I sometimes do end up working on projects in the middle of the night because I'm wide awake anyway, I don't want to plan to do it deliberately. So I gave myself permission to not enter every class that I wanted to. As it was, I had 19 entries in the fair in town, and 18 each in the other two. 
And I have some unfinished projects left over. In addition to the above place mats (a set of four), I began an applique pillow cover and a wall hanging, with plans to also make a tree skirt. But I have a lot more unfinished projects than that. We call them UFOs in the crafting world, which stands for unfinished objects. Also WIPs for works in progress (I loosely define the difference by whether or not I've worked on the project in the last year. If I have, then it's a WIP. If I haven't it's a UFO). I do plan to finish them all eventually, if the Lord tarries, and I live long enough. I don't like unfinished projects. But I also get bored/distracted easily and move onto something new. It's a fault, I know (though recently my daughter and I were discussing our and my grandson's symptoms of ADHD/ADD, so that could be the issue). So, it takes self-discipline to see a project through to the end. And though I'm generally quite pleased with the final results and happy to have a project finished, it's getting there that is the challenge.
We are all works in progress. In the pressure cooker of life, God is working on developing our character, if we allow Him to, and making us better people, more like Him. But, unlike me, God doesn't get bored or distracted. As long as we cooperate by surrendering to Him, we will never become unfinished objects, neglected in a dusty corner somewhere. And like some of my projects that involve meticulous, painstaking work, there may sometimes appear to be little progress in our lives. But some tasks require more time and patience. And, as the opening Bible verse states,  "
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." That's a promise! He will continue to work in our lives, as long as we allow Him to, so that we will be ready to meet Him when Jesus comes again!