Tuesday, April 20, 2021

 Hi All - 

thank you to all the friends my mom has made while she has been writing her blog & her years quilting.  

Thank for the support & prayers.

This morning at 10.43am my mom passed away from the cancer that took over quickly.  She was surrounded by me (Daughter), Sir Old man & her brother.  

She will be missed & I know she influenced many of you to experiment & take chances with your quilting.  Keep doing that in her honor.  

Thank you again.


Friday, March 26, 2021

Updating my saga

 Before forget....I wanted to share the photo from Irina of her finished watercolor quilt.  It was a Whims kit that she modified to fit the arrangement layout that she wanted.   She did an amazing job with the applique and then added beading accents.  I think it is stunning.

Now to the update.  I have shared with a few followers who have emailed me.   I am very weak and wanted to give a link to all friends and family too to the Caring Bridge site we set up..

  This link will take you there to follow my saga.  To leave comments there you must be a registered user, which is a simple process at no cost.  Even without registering you can read about the health saga.  
Thank you all for your support and encouragement.  Make a quilt and pass it on.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Took a long break

   I missed a whole month, an entire 31 days.  January was a blur for me of doctors--another one retired and a new one began, medications, appointments, and changes.  The drug changes did not have the desired improving effect....lol, no surprise there really.  So I am on a new regime and we will re do the testing in another 6 weeks.  

  Then came the day of the vaccine.....I really wish I had not done this.  For me, it was a bad idea.  I handle other stuff but not this one.  Within 12 hours I was flat out on my back, with chills, aches, headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, plus wheezing.  I know, I know.  I read that most people recover from side effects in 48 hours.  Well, 4 days later and I can barely stand up and I am on a tele visit with the doctor.  It is now 10 days later and I am still enduring the stomach distress, but all else is better.  Except the fatigue.  I am up 2 hours at a time and then need a rest.     I will survive but I won't be getting a second vaccine shot.  I will take whatever 50% or so effectiveness and run!    Please, do your own research and make your own decision about the vaccine.  I am just writing this for my record more than anything.  I do know many who had no problem at all....including Sir Old Man.  

  On to much better things.  I did manage to get some sewing done and got the leader and ender project joined into a top.  This is the Easy Breezy project from Bonnie Hunter.  It's a year's worth of leader and ender units.   I have the strips cut for the first narrow border.  Hoping to get them sewn on soon.  

  I was at a very low point in the middle of the month, when an email came from a reader, who asked for some advice on free motion quilting and watercolor quilts.  Since I am a sucker with lots of opinions, I had to jump in and respond.  

  What has followed has been a wonderful  opportunity to share, teach, and inspire.  For me, that is the fun of having a blog.  Irina is from an area with no quilt shops or nearby quilters to turn to.  She said she tried FB but got only "likes" and little input.  So, we began talking and working with her thru a project she wanted to make.  

  Irina wanted shadow boxes around the fairy blocks, with sashing and border.  I suggested the multiple rows of straight line quilting for the shadow box areas, and some wavy lines in the border.  It turned out great!



  And that was my month!  

Here's for improving days and warmer temperatures for us all.  I hope to seek down the hall and sew for a while.

Happy stitching.  

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Bring on the New Year!

   Year 2020...... not the most productive in my life.  Major efforts were made into a collage.  

   In the center is the wonky Court House steps quilt.  About half of these blocks were made prior to this year, and being in lockdown was a good reason to assemble them.

   Upper left,  just strings, and more string blocks!  This turned in to my Chaos Quilt, or what I thought would be the pandemic quilt.  I figured by the end of this one the pandemic would be history.  And the joke was on me.....so Chaos it became.

   Lower left is the spool block quilt.  Lots of spool blocks were made during the Spring and Summer months for this one.  It is as yet unquilted.

 Top right, by late summer I was in dire need of some light in my world.  Not just sunlight, but illuminating light of hope.  So I naturally turned to create a watercolor project.  It too is unfinished and waits to be quilted.

  Lower right, is mine, but created by Sir Old Man.  He fulfilled my request for a bright spot to hang on the garden shed.  The cardinal has long been my symbol of Hope.  And now it is always in view.  The wooden  barn quilt block is 16'' square.  

   As the year ends I am working on assembling about 100 Easy Breezy blocks.  These have been my leader and ender project for the year.  And rather than begin something new, I plan on getting at least one top quilted.  If I need to just stitch I can always make a few string blocks.....it is a good never ending project for me.  
  What did I learn in 2020?  
   It was brought home to me to listen to my body.  Diagnosed with Erosive Osteoarthritis put a halt to machine quilting this year.  I found it painful, so I decided to not do any quilting for 6 months at least.  I believe it has helped the severe inflammation in the wrists.  I picked up crochet again to try to keep my fingers moving and nimble.  That too has seemed to help.  Overall, things in moderation are possible, so I think one quilt top quilted is doable:)  Big smile.

  Although I am home most of the time anyway, I need to get out.  I need to  see people.  Even a ride to the drugstore, or the open produce market is a treat.  My body may be breaking down, but my heart still wants relationship with others.  

  Small joys are all around us.  You must look for them and take time to enjoy them.  Fifteen minutes in the sun or just sitting on the porch to watch the blue birds.
The glorious colors of the sunset behind the trees ends the day well.  The sweet small of apples in the fall, and the earthy scent of burning leaves remind me of the season's change.  Full moons, and meteor showers, and wonders in the sky were seen and marveled at this year.   

  And Sir Old Man has one more 
barn quilt to finish  this year.

  A Double Star pattern caught his eye earlier this fall and He decided to make one  to hang on the front of the house.  For this one, he wanted a more rustic appearance.  The wood was destressed a bit, and routed to create the look of barn wood. It is well sealed and will be under the eaves for some protection.  

And tomorrow we do it all agin....so , come on 2021, give us the best!

Happy stitching.  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Other endeavors

   Wednesday was a cooking day.   Sir Old Man served as assistant chef.  He wanted to act like the "behind the scenes help"  that are not seen on TV cooking shows!  He is an excellent stirred, grater, mixer and cleaner-upper.  None of this would be possible without him.  

  I wanted to make chutney like we had from Honey Baked Ham....the cherry-cranberry chutney is wonderful mixed with the Unexpected cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's on crackers.  It is good with ham and figured it would be good with pork too.  So he went shopping for the cherries and  both sweet and tart!  He usually does go overboard when I make a special request.  

  I found a simple recipe on line, and tips to pit the cherries using a chopstick.  Don't do the chopstick one, it did not work for us.  Instead we resorted to milkshake straws!  They poked out those pits nicely.....and of course, I was wearing a bit of juice when we finished.

  We ended up with 3 of the small half pint jars--I think--and half of of the larger.  Anyway, it turned out good, a little thinner than I wanted, but very good.  Into the refrigerator it went.

  And on the remainder of the cherries.   Easiest thing to do was refrigerator cherry jam.  Since they were pitted I just halved some of them and chopped up the rest.  

 Just a little over 3 jars.....the little leftover was gone this morning on biscuits.  A little bit tart but good.

  Since cherries are good for inflammation and auto-immune issues, I hope to enjoy these.  I get the cherry juice when we find it, but this past year there has been not to be seen.

  One more thing to put together....soup for dinner.  Chicken spinach with tortellini.   The spinach kick I am on is in an effort to raise my iron levels.  Lab test came back and looks like another deficiency has developed.  I fear it is really an absorption issue rather than diet.  I will see what the doctor says tomorrow.


  One more thing....I pulled out crochet hooks, ordered a couple of cakes of cotton yarn and started crocheting this past week.  My hands and fingers are stiff and hurt, but keeping them working is  better  than losing all use of them.   I pulled out the knitting bag stand that my girlfriend, Doreen, bought me years ago.  I got everything in it to begin. 

   Then I looked at that cake of yarn.....no way I wanted to rewind it.  I found a long enough dowel to slip thru the center of it.  The dowel ends rest on the side of the bag.  I could pull yarn off and begin....but the dowel kept slipping off and making a mess.

  Enter the light bulb moment here!   I hunted up 2 medium bulldog clips.  One on each side of the bag.  The dowel can just fit thru the eye part of the clip.  I was able to happily begin crocheting and focus on the stitching rather than the dowel and yarn.

   Crocheting for short spells is ok, and the pain is not bad.  The good thing is the fingers are less stiff.  So hoping I can get better tension on the stitches now.  I am making a masterpiece but trying to keep moving.  

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Shed decor!



   Yep, Sir Old Man came thru in time, actually ahead of time for the birthday gift.   Mr. Red Cardinal was painted and sealed from the weather for his permanent location.  

  I tried not to nag or pester him to get it installed.  I was really patient, or at least I pretended to be.  

  The barn sign was added to the newly painted garden shed.  The perfect finishing touch to add a bit of a bright spot to the shed.  I love glancing thru the window of the sun room or the sewing room and seeing the bright red.  Makes me smile.

   No current finish to share, but these are a few of the wall hangings I shared with my Bible study group today.  And spent time telling the stories that went with them.  


    I also shared this one...Higher Hope. 
I love the jewel tones and how rich the colors become like stained glass in a cathedral.   And it is time to rehang it in the sunroom, as I love the full colors in it during the winter months.  

  I put aside the collage piece as I was frustrated with it.  Maybe in a month or two I will try again.  I have the continuing leader and ender blocks to sew and the latest watercolor is pressed.  Enough for now.  Happy stitching.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Seasons changing


  The last of the autumn leaves and the first Christmas wreath to go up on the day after Thanksgiving.  That's a good mix.

  The shed turned out very nice after Sir Old Man finished up the painting and trim repair.  I have a request in for a barn quilt sign to hang on the left hand side of the window.  With a birthday and Christmas coming up fast, I hope he can get it made for me. :)

Our weather for the last month has been full of wet and rainy days, and multiple low pressure systems, so my time in the sewing room has been short. 


  Instead of cutting or piecing, I used up some squares already cut for a new watercolor design.  A transitional design maybe that is in direct opposite values. 

   I normally could pull this project together in a few days.....ha!  Over the course of a month, I have it to the just sewn and pressed stage.   Such is life now....slower, much slower.      I am hoping to get this and the spool top prepared for quilting soon....very soon.   

  The Easy Breezy blocks are languishing in a project box.  So I may need to work a bit on them as well as the hourglass blocks.   


I attempted a collage project after an on line class.  It looks good here.....but those tiny pieces are just fused and there is probably no way to really secure them by machine.   Finishing this one as a fused project, not sewn, just for a test is probably the path I will take.  If I have a wall hanging, I want to be able to wash it at some point.  But I picked up some tips and pointers, so I count it as good.  Collage is fun, but probably too tiny and fussy for me to do much with it.  

  And that has pretty much been my month!  Facing December which starts the round of labs and doctors visits.....fun.  Until later, happy stitching.

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