Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A warm winter row

To be quite honest, I really don't mind taking down the Christmas decorations in early January. To clarify, the work of taking them down and getting them put away isn't that appealing; however, getting the house cleaned back up and back to normal is somewhat refreshing. As eager as I am to start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, I am ready to begin the cleaning up process on New Year's Day.
Once the Christmas decorations are down, I do have a need for something to fill the empty feeling in the house. As I shared two years ago, I reserve my snowman decorations for January and February. Here is a picture of the snowman quilt that I featured in my January 2015 post.
This year, I have added a winter-themed quilt row. This one was designed by My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Logan, Utah, for the 2014 Row-By-Row event. It just took me a while to get it finished and then to decide whether to incorporate in a larger quilt or have it as a seasonal wall quilt. As you can see, I opted for the latter.
This row featured some fun textures and techniques. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but the snowman is made from a scrap of batting for a more snow-like appearance. The mini quilts measure about 3 inches finished. I used my machine's walking foot do do the quilting on them. For more about using a walking foot, refer to my December 2015 post. These two mini quilts were made using two 4.5 inch squares of fabric. The instructions for making these little jiffy quilts can be found here.
I'm not sure about the weather where you are, but we've had more than our share of snow this season. The Salt Lake City airport has had just over 23 inches of snow for the month of January. Our little hollow has definitely had more than that. Here are a few glimpses of the snow accumulation around our neighborhood.
Here you can see some of the banks resulting from the aftermath of the snowplow.
I like this perspective from standing in the driveway and looking down the sidewalk. These are the banks of snow from the aftermath of the snowblower.
 A glimpse of my backyard. Here you are seeing the snow reaching the top of the fire pit with an additional foot or so of snow on the top of the fire pit.
 Another glimpse from the backyard looking toward the snowy mountains.
One of my resolutions for 2017 is to work on Scripture memorization. I'm so very grateful for my childhood Sunday School days and my weekly memory verses that have stuck with me through the years. At the present, I'm working on Paul's description of the armor of God in Ephesians 6. As this passage reminds us, our battle is not against flesh and blood. As a result, spiritual foes require spiritual tactics. We are also reminded that we need the full armor, not just selected pieces. My current memorization strategy is to add a new verse on the 1st and 15th of each month. Here are the verses for the month of January:
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 
Ephesians 6:10-11.