Monday, January 27, 2014

Dedicated to You, Louie!

Louie,

It has taken me over 2 years to get your quilt made from your jeans. It has taken me some time just to get to it, but also it was just hard to do. Your Grandma, my Mom, said that she said a prayer for every stitch she made in a quilt for the person for whom she was making the quilt. Well, I have to be honest! I don't know if I said a prayer for every stitch, but I sure thought of you a whole lot and did pray for you and your family.

When I make these jean quilts with the pockets for squares, I usually close all the pockets by sewing them. This time I left 6 of the 35 pockets open. Maybe your kids will find little things to put in those pockets, especially for you!

Here it is, Louie!



Ruth went up home this weekend, Lou, and she delivered the quilt to your family. Your boys are already having fun with it. They love animals, like you did, and here they are using the quilt for a blanket on their horses.They look like you!



And just one more photo, for you Lou-- I will always remember the day of Chet John's baptism. Remember, we baptized the Nore twins at the same time. I look at the photo below often times and try to recall that day. Thanks for asking me to be the godfather of your last boy. I have some obligations to fulfill.

You are always with us. Padre J


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Megan Hagemann -- Wayne State College -- Wildcats -- Quilt

I have been working off and on for several years to finished a quilt for another niece, Megan Hagemann. Megan is already a junior at Wayne State College and I still have not gotten her quilt finished.

I can't let your sister, Ashley, get too far ahead of you, Megan. I think Ashley got her Nebraska quilt before she was a junior. I don't even have a photo of  her quilt! So I even did some hand quilting on yours, Megan. I don't think Ashley has that feature on hers. The hand quilting is around the "W"!

Here is a photo of the quilt top before it was quilted.



Below is the finished quilt with the binding and all. You may notice a pair of pliers in the background. I had to use pliers to pull the yarn through the 3 layers to tie it. It was so hard to pull through because of the layers and I used 2 strands of yarn -- black and yellow.



Below is a photo of Megan's softball team for this coming season. Megan is in the back row, almost center, but a bit to the right near the pitcher's mound. Megan is the catcher for her team. Her sister, Ashley, was the pitcher for UNL. They actually played against each other for one game a few years ago.

Oh, one more point of interest and qulit technique: note the setting blocks and the 4 corners. That was not exactly easy to do. And the border material and the whole back are paws on black material. I think they are cat paws, but I am sure not wildcat paws. Megan, you will have to provide the wildcat paws on the field!!
Have a great softball season this year!
Yours truly,
Padre Juan


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hobbies -- Turning 65 of Age -- Sense of Worth

This month I will turn 65 years of age! The first Social Security payment will come, although I will not see it! It is part of living the life of a monk. However, I must admit it would be nice to at least know how much it will be. Since I am a lifer and have been in the seminary or monastic life as soon as it was possible, I am told that the check will not amount to much. And although I worked all my life here at the abbey, the institution did not turn much in for my labors. Oh well... as they say: "It is what it is"!

As one grows older though, I have noticed that it is a good thing to have a hobby. Both of my parents and of course their parents did things in old age that keep them thinking and doing things. My mother was a famous quilter.I watched her make many quilts during my life. It was fascinating to me to see the different patterns that took shape from little pieces of scrap material.

So after Mom passed into eternal life, I took up quilting. Ronald Rolhieser says if you want to connect with one in eternal life the even better thing to do than to go visit the grave site in the cemetery, is to do what your beloved did in life. I feel I connect with my Mom when I quilt.

Below are some of the quilts I have made.

This one is not finished yet, but here are the top and the bottom for it. This one is for Mary Ann Maier's next grandchild. Mary Ann does lots of things here at Mount Michael. But running the bookstore is one of the main responsibilities she has.  In case it is a girl, she will be ready. At this point in my career as a quilter, I still tie quilts, rather than do the quilt stitching. I have not mastered that part of it yet. So I wll tie this one with pink yarn. When it is finished I will post a photo of the finished quilt


Below are two photos of a quilt for a baby boy. This one is finished! This one is for Mary Ann Maier as well. Mary Ann wants to be prepared for a boy grandchild as well. Although the photo is not close enough to notice this, there is a little boy in diapers, holding a baseball bat and a baseball glove in the red border all around the quilt.




The 2 photos below are of a quilt that was for Mary Ann's first grandchild who was born last year. I had done the inside piece work of the quilt and then she and her daughter, the mother of the baby, chose the outside colors for the borders and the back of the quilt. I really like their choice of colors in the material.






The one below I just  finished the other day. It is for the child of one of my nephews. He and his wife are having a girl. She will be their first child. I have 28 nephews and nieces and now they are all having children. It is very hard to keep up with all of the growth. My Mom tried to make quilts for all of them if she was feeling ok.

There are 3 photos of this quilt. The first one is before it was tied-- the front piece and the back piece in one photo. Then the next 2 photos of the same quilt is the finished product--front and back.







A few years ago when Br. Mel's brother, Francis passed into eternal life, Br. Mel inherited his brother's belongings and he did not know what to do with all of his western, cowboy shirts. So I told him that I would be happy to take them and make a quilt for his family. So that I did. Below are 2 photos of that quilt.






The quilt below was my mother's.  It is now in my oldest brother's home, which is the original farm home of my family. The bed you see in this photo belong to my grandparents on my Dad's side of the family. This quilt has a little story behind it. As is true of most quilters, they have no quilts of their own. They simple make quilts for others and do not have any of their own. This was true for my Mom. So Marilyn Theis,  (another great quilter and our organist here at the abbey) and I put this quilt together and then I told Mom that I wanted it hand quilted. So she and her group went ahead and quilted it. Then I gave it to her. She was alittle surprised. It is really a very beautiful quilt with a star as the setting block in a log cabin pattern.




Below are 3 photos of a quilt that I put together for the Dohmens-- Paul and Joyce. Paul does lots of work for me in lots of areas-- the garden -- the abbey casket ministry -- the barn for the Famers Market, etc...etc. So some time ago, Joyce asked if I would make her a quilt. She just said make something in black and white. And that I did. She had it machine quilted by a woman in Columbus, Nebraska. It is below.


Over the years I have made a quilt for the monk I am to give a gift for Christmas. I have not kept a record of these quilts, nor have I taken photos of all of them. But I am sure that it is near 15. Below are 2 photos of the one I made for Abbot Theodore last year. The photos are of the front and the back of Abbot Theodore's quilt. This is my version of trip around the world




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Change Possible With Anyone Who is Pregnant With Promise--Participation of MM Students in Liturgies

Happy New Year!

Yesterday morning, January 1, 2014, I particularly found relevant meaning in Rolheiser's meditation for this day. On January 1st,  in our church, we celebrate the Motherhood of God. We give Mary center stage in our liturgy.

Below is part of Rolheiser's meditation:

"Never underrate, in terms of world importance, anyone who is pregnant with promise, Never underestimate the impact in history of silent,  hidden gestation... what changes the world is what we give birth to in obscurity and dust, within the frustration of lives that will always seem too small for us. If we allow ourselves to become pregnant with hope and carry that hope through a long, humble gestation process, we will impact the world."

This meditation was so appropriate for me because of all the students, especially the seven day boarders and international students, who have enhanced our liturgies by their musical talents and participation. I had none of them to help me with liturgy  for this feast. They are all on vacation.

The photos below tell part of the story that these young men play.





Could it possibly be that it time some of these present students will love singing, reading, distributing Holy Communion, and participating in the liturgy so much that they might think of doing it the rest of their lives as priests or monks? We can only hope and be pregnant with promise that one day this may happen.

Again Happy New Year and lets be pregnant with promise!