Sunday, July 27, 2014

Girl's Camp Highlights

In the strength of the Lord I can do all things.
He know hows to change the weakness in me,
So I will let His love lift me up.
He believes I can do hard things if I will trust Him,
And walk forward in the strength of the Lord.
–Jenny Phillips

Monday, June 2
Waaaayyyyy back at the beginning of June, LadyBug and I went to Girl's Camp.
{Can you believe that 23 teenagers turned up at 7:00 am to go camping?
LadyBug is on the front row, second from the right.
I am on the front row, third from the left.}

I use the term "camping" here very loosely. It was a lot different than when I went to camp as a young woman. We had to sleep in tents, dig latrines, and cook on a number 10 can stove. There were a few similarities. We were definitely up in the mountains, surrounded by trees and deer and nature. But that is where the similarities ended. We slept cabins with bunk beds {there were no mattresses; you had to bring a foam pad, but is definitely better than sleeping on the ground}. We had electricity and running water and flushing toilets and showers {never mind that finding time to take one was a completely different matter}. We still had to cook on propane camp stoves and pot guts ventured into our pavilion area to pick up any food we dropped. But there was a fridge in a pantry area with a door that closed to keep the pot guts from getting into the food storage. On a scale from one to roughing it, I'd say we were only one step down from the Ramada Inn.

The camp is situated on 8,000 acres and about 2,500 girls stay there each week. Over the course of the summer 70,000 young women each spend five days enjoying the best Utah has to offer. We left bright and early Monday morning. We had 23 young women from our ward attend. After we unpacked our gear and settled in, we had several fun activities with the other young women in our stake {around 100 more girls}, including a rousing version of Bazooka Bubble Gum, complete with gum for chewing.

Tuesday, June 3
Tuesday was hike day. There were several different hikes as part of the camp certification, and which hike you went on depended on how many years you'd attended camp. I went with the first-year girls. It was a little short of a 3-mile hike and all of the first-years in the stake went together. It wasn't LadyBug's favorite activity. We went at our own pace, walking at almost the back of the procession, but we made it in the end. The trails were amazing, criss-crossing all over the camp and marked with signs so that you could find your way to and from almost anywhere. We didn't have a particular destination, but just made a loop back around to our campsite. The paths were wide enough for only one person and we were asked to stay on the paths, preserving the foliage. It was incredibly beautiful and very peaceful. Even though there were 2,400 other girls there somewhere on the mountain, aside from the girls in our stake, I felt like we had the place to ourselves.
{Top left: Legacy Lake
Top Right: LadyBug and me at the summit of our hike
I know that hat is dorky, but I wear it anyway
Center: Entire group of first-year campers
Bottom Left: My first year campers - Kenna, LadyBug, Abbey, Me and Jada
Jada just turned 13 and the other girls are 12
Bottom Right: Moving upwards along the trail}

Wednesday, June 4
Wednesday we got to go canoeing on Legacy Lake. It was my favorite day. LadyBug, one of our other girls, and I shared a canoe and had so much fun paddling around.
{The bottom picture is a panorama of about ¼ of the shoreline.
Right click on the photo to open in a new tab so you can zoom in for more details.}

Wednesday, we also provided the camp an hour of service. I was so amazing at how self-sustaining the camp is. It is staffed mostly by volunteers; retired couples serving together. They have their own water treatment plant and everyone who comes and stays at the camp gets an opportunity to give back just a little bit. During our service, we pulled some logs along the trail back to our campsite to be cut into firewood. Prior to that, someone had been into the woods to cut down trees that had died. The trees were cut into manageable size logs and dragged to the trail for us to take back to camp. From there someone else cut it into firewood so that we could use it in the evenings for campfires and s'mores. Anything that wasn't large enough for firewood was run through the wood chipper by someone in our group and then later, another group could take it in wheelbarrows along the trails to keep them from getting too dusty and dry. In one our, we provided the camp 125 man-hours so that the next group could enjoy this beautiful camp.

Thursday, June 5
Thursday was the challenge course. There were five or six {I forget} low challenges and each ward was asked to send one or two leaders to be trained on those so they could help the girls when it was their challenge course day. It had a really fun time helping the girls and the challenge course is one of their favorite activities for the week. The high challenge, of course, is the highlight of the day. LadyBug and I were in separate groups; my group did the high challenge first and then moved on to the low challenge where I was trained. From there they moved on to the other courses and I stayed put. I got to see and help LadyBug and my other girls when they came through my challenge, but didn't get to see any of them on the high course. I was told that LadyBug met the challenge with determination.

You start by climbing a rope ladder. Then you have to move from the rope ladder to a suspension "bridge." At the end of the bridge, you get to go on a zip line. My goal for the week was to enjoy the experience as much as possible, so I didn't think about it, but just put the harness on and climbed the ladder one step at a time. I'm so glad I did.

Friday, June 6
When I was asked to work with the Young Women in my ward January, I knew that I would get to do a lot of fun things. And there would be some hard things, too. Girl's Camp was hard and wonderful. When you throw 23 girls together into two cabins and they spend all week hiking and canoeing and staying up late giggling, there is bound to be some drama. But I have to say, the drama among these girls was minimal.

Aside from all the fun things we did at camp, there were opportunities to feel God's love and guidance and to learn together. We met together as a stake for Family Home Evening on Monday. We had wonderful speakers on Tuesday and Wednesday night. We sang together and prayed together. Thursday night we spent together as a ward talking about our experiences and the things we had learned. And each of us was able to spend some quiet time reflecting, praying and studying. Those private moments I spent seeking guidance from the Lord were well spent and have helped me to make some important decisions.

We were all also given a challenge to complete during the week. There were scriptures to memorize, songs to learn, talks to read, questions to answer. You could complete the challenge at your own pace and every one of the 23 girls in our ward, plus all of the leaders who attended {believe me, there was no way I could have pulled it off by myself. The camp director was spectacular, as were the other two leaders who came up} finished the challenge. As recognition for this, we were given a beautiful silver pendant with a young woman and the Provo City Center Temple {currently under construction, and which is very special to me} etched in gold. These were created just for our stake and I was so thrilled to earn mine!

All too soon, our week at camp was over. We were packed and ready to go by 9:00 am. I was home, unpacked, the braids out of my hair, showered and smelling sweet as ever by about 2:00 Friday afternoon. In the weeks since then, even though I got rid of the camping smell, I haven't forgotten the things that I felt and learned there; most importantly that in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Signature Block Quilt Update

Some quit due to slow progress never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress. –Unknown

For me, life is particularly busy lately and quilting and blogging have had to kind of take a back seat. Work is busy. My kids are high on the priority list. I spend a lot of time cooking, because I have to. Gluten free and dairy free is hard to find in fast food restaurants or even in prepared or partially prepared foods at the grocery store. I'm not complaining. We're eating a lot more fresh foods without preservatives. And I've enjoyed exploring new tastes and finding ways to eat delicious food that doesn't disagree with my body. I've become a curry addict. It is awesome.

Right now, the sewing project that occupies my limited time is a signature quilt for a very special lady in my neighborhood who is turning 100 in September. I've been thinking of this quilt since she turned 99 last September. I bought fabric clear back in March. And I've been working on blocks since mid-May. Each set of four blocks takes about an hour, give-or-take, depending on how interesting/how much attention the TV show I'm watching/listening to requires. About an hour a day is all I have for sewing and what seemed like slow progress has turned into this beautiful stack of 52 blocks.

Since I didn't post as I went you get all the blocks in one giant, picture heavy post. A lot of the prints came from the 30's Playtime line by Chloe's Closet for Moda. This is one of them.

Loved this print! It came in several colors and it was hard not to get them all.

This is how I left things when I finished working that particular evening. The next morning, it looked like a perfectly staged photo op, so I took it.

Moving on to the reds.

See comment on pink block in same print above.

This is another print that I had a hard time not buying in every color. I love those pretty roses!

Orange is such an underrated color.

This one is a Lori Holt print.

Each set of four blocks takes a little less than half of a fat quarter. I'm definitely going to use this print in a fall quilt.

I love yellow. It is so sunny and bright. This is another print that came in several different colors, but I only got it in yellow.

This sweet print might just be my favorite, but I can't say for sure.

The rose print also came in yellow. I didn't get more than two colors of any print, but it was tempting.

This, I think, was my least favorite print. But once I cut it and put it together, I like it. A lot.

All put together, those 52 blocks make 13 of the 25 flowers for the quilt {layout}. I'm more than half-way to 100 signature blocks! That is pretty exciting! The half-way point is sort of the barrier to me; it is where the mundane becomes exciting again because what I have left is less than what I've already accomplished.

After I put together the collage, I started in on the green fabrics. If you ask me my favorite color, I would probably say blue. Or maybe red. But secretly, I think that green is my real favorite color. And now I have 56 of 100 blocks done.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Stitch In Time: May Finishes Giveaway Winner

A stitch in time saves nine. –English Proverb

So, I looked up the phrase "a stitch in time saves nine." I wanted to know its origins. Also, finding the perfect quote for my posts is a part of my process. Sometimes a quote is exactly what I need to tie everything into a nice, tidy prose package. Sometimes it takes me in a different direction. And sometimes, it just distracts me. There's a lot of information out there, if you know what I mean.

I always thought that "a stitch in time saves nine" meant that if you hurry and do a sloppy job, you'll have to redo. Or in the in the case of sewing unpick and redo. I don't know about you, but I hate unpicking. But from what I read, the saying is meant as a warning against procrastination. A small tear mended now will require only one stitch, but if you leave it and it gets bigger, you'll need 10 stitches to fix it. And if you rearrange the letters of this little advisory, they spell out, "this is meant as incentive." I'm a world class procrastinator. Perhaps I should take the incentive.

Words of caution with subliminal messages aside, I thought it was a clever play on the words to name a linky party for finished stitched projects each month "A Stitch In Time."

The irony of all of this is that I am just now posting the winner of the May Finishes Linky Party. I've been putting it off until I have a chance to click and comment on all of the links. I like to do a thing properly. After all, a linky party is all about showing off your stuff in a socially acceptable forum. And seeing all of your beautiful finishes is something that I really enjoy. But too much time has passed and I need to announce the winner.

Before I do that, I have an item of housekeeping. I cancelled the June Linky and mentioned that I may take the whole summer off. Obviously, the linky is on hold as I haven't opened a July post. At the moment, I haven't decided whether I'll be starting up again after the summer or not. But I absolutely reserve the rights to the name "A Stitch In Time" when I do start back up.

Thank you to everyone who has participated over the last 2½ years and thank you to the many who linked up in May. Without further ado, the winning number, drawn by LadyBug, is 10.

30's Playtime Charm Pack

Congratulations to
:partytime: Beth :partytime:

Beth will receive a 30' Playtime Charm Pack by Chloe's Closet for Moda from The Fat Quarter Shop, provided I haven't procrastinated too long and they are still in stock. Make sure you check out the adorable place mats she made for her mom. There were lots of other great finishes in May, too. Since I haven't been able to check them all out, how about if you tell me which, of those you visited, were your favorites?

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