Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds

Tag: World War II Veterans

The Tie that Binds

Blest be the tie that binds.Image of Orville

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds.

Is like to that above.

 

Before our Father’s throne,

We pour our ardent prayers;

Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,

Our comforts, and our cares.

 

We share our mutual woes,

Our mutual burdens bear;

And often for each other flows

The sympathizing tear.

 

When we asunder part,

It gives us inward pain;

But we shall still be joined heart,

And hope to meet again.

I think some of you will know exactly what I mean when I say that my heart is sorrowfully heavy and full of joy–all at the same time.

I lost my 91 year-old father this week.  I’m sad that our family doesn’t have pictures of the times I remember most from my childhood…my dad in our garage, fixing the brakes of my bike so I could ride to the pool – or dad pulling our boat around for the hundredth time to try to get me up on skis, or of him hitting the throttle and telling me when to pull the plug as we drained our boat, or of him directing me and my sisters to help put up our tent on a hot afternoon when we were NOT happy campers AT ALL.  Memories are precious.

In these last 13 months, while he struggled with his health, my sisters and I got to see Dad again–the witty, silly, playful side of him. He was an endearing man who softened the hearts of his caregivers and doctors when they figured out he was messing with them.

I am full of joy and forever grateful that not only did my dad have faith, he asked, “Where am I?” and answered peacefully, “Heaven” as he passed. Few of us get such confirmation at the end of our loved one’s life. When I start to focus on the doubts and questions of what could have been, I remember that incredible “God Wink” given to us at Dad’s death.

 

This is supposed to be a blog about quilting and there are so many analogies I could make that use quilt themes to describe family and loved ones and friendships. Instead, I’ll leave a few pictures of the man I called dad. And thank you, friends, for allowing me to share with you.Image of Willie with QOV
Image of Willie

Dad acting silly with his cap.

Image of Dad and MomImage of Willie and WWII capImage of Willie and Karla

Image of Orville Wichern

Orville J. (Willie) Wichern
1926 – 2018

One Stitch at a Time

Learn about the quilt shop and yummy threads I found on my travels.

Some days it’s just a few stitches that give you pause from the tasks ahead.

I’ve logged over 3,850 miles since March 2nd. It started with a trip to see my Dash One (Paige Kiefner) as Sister Mary Robert in A Sister Act in Rochester, NY. For this sixteen hour drive, I travel during the daytime only, taking two full days to get there and, of course, I check out quilt shops along the way.

Paige Kiefner

Paige Kiefner as Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act

Quilt shops break up the trip into smaller segments and they always have a bathroom and opportunities to wander, stretch the legs, and refresh the mind. If they could just gas up my car…

It was a fun and tiring trip (not much sleep when you drive four days to spend two and the kiddo is working ’til about midnight each night). The show was great (I saw it twice) and it’s always fun to spend time with” ma Paigee”, the opera singer/Tae Kwon Do/barista.

I found some great shops along the way, but my shout-out for this trip goes to Red Rooster Quilts in Dublin, OH. I arrived to spend the night in Dublin, so I was delighted when I saw this shop was open late on Thursdays. It was a no-brainer when I had to choose between a free meal at the hotel or hit the quilt shop less than a mile from my hotel. The store was well-lit and the staff was friendly but, most importantly, the place was packed with fabric, notions, trims, threads, wool and books– it was eye/hand candy everywhere you looked!

When a certain wool project caught my eye, a gentleman quilter/worker took me aside to show me his work and introduce me to Ohio’s own, Sue Spargo, her wool and dyed to match wool thread (when he let me feel the thread between my fingers, I was sold.)

Sue Spargo

I was in wool heaven and immediately had some project ideas starting to form.  When I learned the shop was going to be open on my way back through (so many shops are closed on Mondays, but not Red Rooster Quilts), I purchased Sue’s Creative Stitching book so I could learn about her technique, check out her website for more information, and make a more informed purchase when I hit the shop on my way south. (Very responsible of me, right?)

It didn’t take much browsing through her book and website before I was committed to learning all 50 stitches and adapting Sue’s creative stitching into my own styles and designs. I purchased a small wool pack and a matching wool thread pack with a couple of necessary needles (and a couple of unrelated fabric selections) on my second visit.

While I was in New York, I learned that my dad was going to have to have surgery in Texarkana, Texas. So I made my way back to Missouri, stopped for one night to see my husband and daughter Jacquelyn, pay bills, do some laundry, and get one good night of sleep before I headed down south. While I was home, I drew out a quick sketch on freezer paper and gathered up my handwork supplies.

I stopped on my way to the hospital to pick up my dad’s Quilt of Valor.  Quilts of Valor Foundation is an organization I proudly support and I am happy to say that my local quilt guild presents registered quilts each year to veteran’s in accordance with this program.  My 90 year-old dad is a World War II veteran. I think he has enjoyed having his quilt with him.

My dad and his Quilt of Valor

I was able to spend several days at the hospital with him and every now and then, when things were quieted down, I would pull out my wool and take a few stitches while my oldest sister, Sharon, crocheted. When all my prayers were said and I just needed to trust, stitching was a peaceful calm for the many unanswered questions and unkown future for my dad and our family. I had to leave after three days, but I am here again (two weeks later) with my dad who is still in the hospital, but getting stronger each day. We have a few more answers now and one thing I am sure of is that God’s hand is everywhere.

Before this trip, the members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church gave me a knitted shawl to present to him. It’s soft and warm and he loves it.  My oldest sister, Sharon, is in this picture with me and dad (my middle sister is out of town right now).

Dad with his Prayer Shawl

So every now and then, when all is quiet and dad is sleeping, I pull out my wool and make a few stitches.  There’s no real plan here, just trying different stitches, making this my  “Under the Sea Sampler” and learning as I go. If you get a chance, check out Sue’s stitching art and pull her fabulous wool and wool thread through your fingers.

This is my Under the Sea Sampler–in progress.

Considering my previous post , I brought this on myself…on my way to Rochester, I hit blizzard conditions from lake effect snow from Lake Erie. I guess I deserved that!

Blizzard conditions off of Lake Erie.

 

 

 

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