Quilting, stitching, crocheting


Monday, December 6, 2010

An opportunity to bless another ....

A friend of my DD's here in San Diego was diagnosed recently with breast cancer.  Thank God it was early in the process that the cancer was found.  She did not have a lump, it was just a spot on the mammogram.   After a few tests and a couple surgical procedures ...  they found she had 'triple negative cancer" .... one of the worst kinds of breast cancer one can get .... very hard to treat. So now she is going thru chemo treatments.

I asked my DD about making her a quilt (sofa-throw size).  Found out her fav colors were purple and pink.  I could not find any 'breast cancer awareness' fabric any where ... NONE!  But then late one night on Etsy by way of Beijing, China I found some and the only color she had was purple and pink.  Yeah!!!  I was so happy!!!!  But then the fabric arrived ... it was REALLY pink and purple ...

It was very bright !  So my DD had to find out if her friend liked pastels or brights .... I was in good shape, her preference was brights.  I also discovered the fabric was not 44" wide ... it was 60" ... YIPPEE !!  I had more than enough fabric.   So I made my best quick, standby: D9P ....

If you look close there is another breast cancer awareness fabric in there .... light pink.  I found less than a yard of it toward the end of this project and worked in in.

Folded in half it was perfect size for sitting for hours in those infusion chairs at the chemo room.  Then unfold it and it was perfect to curl up in.  I was so happy to be able to bless this gal so much.

This is the semi-finished quilt top.  I added dark purple for binding and the original fabric was the main fabric for the backing... stitching in the ditch to finish it off.   Discovered this dream product that is a spray-basting product - spray fabric adhesive.  I am sure many of you know about it, but it was my first experience.  What an absolutely incredible product ... it made stitching the quilt together a dream.  It was so easy and wonderful !!!

DD, her 2 DDs and myself presented the quilt to my daughter's lovely friend.  It was a very special moment for all of us.

At some point in time in the midst of the sewing rush-job, I had a birthday and this wonderful gift arrived for me from my cousin.  She is a friend, a fellow quilter, a Christian, a blogger and an inspiration.  She made this for me!!  How fortunate I am ....

Would love to hear from you all....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More projects with another helper

I love the reds and browns in this quilt!  The fabric is Maison de Garance from Moda. The center is another D9P.  Then bordered with pinwheels around.  It took 1 layer cake, 2 charm packs and fat quarter each of dark brown, med brown and red.  Voila !!  Here it is .... just for fun ....

I have been doing other things besides D9P .... honest, I have ....  here is the proof:

This is for DGD-M.  Her tastes lean toward a more modern, chic look.  We had gathered some of the fabrics before she moved this summer, but as I began to play with it this fall, I realized that some of the fabrics were not going to work in the total scheme of things.  

These each had glitter on them, so that was my BIG clue.  She wants glitter & glitz !  I found some black and charcoal sparkly fabrics that went well.  Then added some cool Tina Givens.  Looking good ....

About the picture above:  It represents 4 blocks.  There is an area about halfway toward the left that looks very white and bright ... frankly, it looks awful in the picture.  In reality, it is a very pretty lavender and looks good .... especially now that I have added more in other areas of the quilt top (I can't get used to calling it a flimsy)

Now if you look again about center towards the top of the quilt is a dark gray area that looks smudgy.  This fabric is causing an design conflict in our family ... My DD thinks this looks like duct tape and should be banned from the quilt.  Her daughters agree ... of course.  My husband, however, thinks it looks very classy and chic ... this from the guy who lives in t-shirts (1 for day time and 1 to sleep in) and uses duct tape regularly .... OK!  I have already changed that area 2 or 3 times already, but I have agreed to let them audition 3 or 4 other fabrics this weekend.  We shall see .....

I put together another block this morning before crashing for the day ......

I only turned around for less the 30 seconds .... really, I did not even leave the room.  Here she is ..... Miss Kitty offering her opinion as well on the new block.   Jeez !! Everyone has to get in on the act !!

Since I started quilting again it is becoming more and more of a family activity.  There is even a rumor that one the DGDs wants to try sewing.  Wouldn't that be fun !!

That is it for now .... would love to hear from all of you.  I really appreciate all your comments and do respond whenever possible (unless you are a no-reply blogger) ..... til next time ....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New projects

I have been having trouble with the blogger and so I have been unable to post for a while.  Today when I tried again, there was an added tool that had been missing before .... so maybe now it will work.

First on a personal note:  I applied for disability this week.... yea team !!!  After a couple of appointments my doctor put me on 3 months medical leave.  At the end of that, doc will re-evaluate my status.  Progress at last !  Again I want to thank everyone for your support, encouragement and very positive input/advice.  Now on to the quilts ......

Remember the Oh-Cherry-Oh D9P from August?  My DGD-J fell in love with it and eventually very tactfully requested it for her new bed as a bedspread.  I had to search high and low for some additional Oh Cherry prints as I needed to enlarge it a little so it would fit.  But no luck.  But then Elaine at Soggy Bottom Flats found some for me.  Yeah and Thank you, girl !!  I was then able to enlarge the quilt top enough to fit her bed and it is off to the quilter. This is an old pix of it:

I had a very insistent helper as I was finishing the top ...  Mama kitty, Lucky.  When I would spread the project out on the floor and turn my back,  she would come and pull the edges up in a swirl pattern to make herself a bed.  I would come back to find her parked in the middle of her newly made bed.  I would shoo her away, straighten it out and make whatever design adjustments I needed.  When I would trot off to the sewing machine out of her sight (yes, she always waited until I was out of the room),  she would come back and build her bed again.  We went thru this for almost an hour. Knowing how stubbornly persistent she is, I let her go until her nap was done.  I had other things I could work on .....

The Puzzle Quilt is at the quilter as well.  I made a pillow for DGD-E to toss on the bed with her quilt.  I need to get the sham done as well .... maybe another pillow too.  This one is an 18" square Twisted 9 Patch made with leftovers from her quilt:

Have already started DGD-M's quilt.  It is very different than all the others I have been worked on thus far.  Will post it later this week, now that I have figured out how to use the new system.  It is a simpler quilt pattern, but still choosing the fabrics to add is the most difficult part of it.  Not all of the fabrics we had originally picked worked well together.... especially one little area.  I am on the fourth fabric audition ... hope this one is IT !!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Puzzle Finish

First I want to thank all of you who emailed me and left comments regarding my last post.  I tried to respond to all of you but in case I missed someone then .... THANK YOU !!!  Your words of enouragement and advice were very helpful and appreciated.  As corny as it sounds ... it did make a difference in my life.

My time at home has been extended another 2 weeks for now.  My physical problems remain the same but my perspective and attitude have changed tremendously in the past week.  Amazing !!

Now on to my finished quilt top:

That last stretch to the finish was an effort .... this is the first bed-size quilt I have done since returning to quilting and I love the end result !  The top was too big for me to handle for a full picture but when it comes back from the longarm lady I will get a full picture of it.

There was a huge mess all over the house when I was done!  OMG!  I was further blessed that my DH did not offer one complaint about.  He even helped me clean it all up by vacuuming.  What a sweetheart!

 I was curious as to how many different fabrics I used.  A scrap here, a fat quarter there and ended up with over 100.  Here are the leftovers:

I still need to make a matching pillow sham, but am taking a break from these little 6 inch squares for now.  I have an "Origins" layer cake to make into a D9P.  I told you I was addicted to the pattern!!  It is simple, easy and quick.  Yeah !!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hello !

When I first started blogging several months ago, I met a few people who were making efforts to be real and be honest in their blogging.  They really touched my heart and their words were inspiring to me.  That is part of why I started blogging.  But here I am facing the choice .... shall I be honest about who I am right now or not. Then I came I came across a blogger (new to me) who was being frankly honest and it truly affected me.  So here it goes .....

I have struggled at my job as an RN for a very long time because the demands of the job were becoming greater and greater ....  because of health issues I am limited in what I can and cannot do, but as business was growing my ability to keep pace has not.  I like what I do and I am good at my job (I should be good at it as I have been doing it for over 30 yrs !!!)  I have worked most of my life ....

Here I am having to decide if I can keep working or not.  Do I retire or should I go on disability? Maybe I just need to take a medical leave of absence. When do I do this?  I really wanted to make it at least thru to the end of the year ... that is what I was developing as my plan.  But maybe I am just giving up too soon, maybe I am not not trying hard enough, maybe if I get more organized or cut my hours and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  After all I should count myself fortunate just to have a job in this economy ..... yadda yadda yadda yadda ....

And then the bursitis in my hip flared up again ... worse than ever.  I couldn't take off right away because the other full time RN was on vacation.  By the time I stopped working the pain was excruciating and I was more exhausted than I usually am.  So now I am home for 2 weeks, going to Physical Therapy, on pain meds 3x stronger than what I was on and barely able to even sew on the quilts.  It is the end of my first week home and the progress I have made is that I realize that I need more than 2 weeks ..... now what?

I think it helps just to write this. I need to keep praying and stick a rod up my butt and be strong enough to face reality !!!  That's what .... :-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pinwheel Party

My DGD finally got her cuddle-quilt and she loves it !  Perfect timing because she just got her new bed this weekend.  It doesn't fit on her bed, but she didn't care ...

I had to make it bigger than the original pattern so she could wrap up in it.  I added 11 or 12 blocks ... some were repeats with the colors rearranged and 2 of them I just 'made up' on my own.

I think you can see the quilting pretty good here.  I just love the long arm quilter I found .... she is soo nice and did a superb job!

The back is a pretty flower sculptured Minkee pattern.  Just right for curling up with to read a book or watch TV ..... altho it was over 100 here today!! That is uncommonly hot for this area.

DGD has laid claim to the most recent D9P I did last month.  It is all cherry print fabrics and she asked if she could have it for her bed.  I was just playing with the fabric & 2 layer cakes when I made it just for fun.  I already have a taker!

No progress on the Puzzle Quilt .... been working too much again.  It is on the sewing table for my day off tomorrow.  Gonna be a fun day!!!

Would love to hear from you all ... Hugs and love, Joanne

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Minkee #1 is finished !!

I got DD1's minkee quilt back from the long-arm lady.  She did such a fantastic job !!  It is a very hard fabric to work with (as I have said before) .... but she did not realize I had a pieced minkee top plus a minkee backing.  She said it was quite a challenge!  She did just enough quilting for it to be very pretty without distracting from all the different textures of the fabrics ... just wish the quilting showed up better in the picture.

Most important (to me at least) is that my DD1 absolutely loves it !!!!  She wrapped up in it to watch the football game and kept telling everyone "don't touch, this is MY blanket."  As a Mom, it was fun to see the little girl in her today.  It matches her living room beautifully.

Now I have to finish Minkee #2 .....

I also picked up DGD's Pinwheel Quilt with minkee backing.  No picture yet as I have to add the binding, but she enjoyed using it today ... the perfect cuddle quilt.

Progress report on the Puzzle Quilt:  Now at 107 - 6 inch blocks fully attached to one another.  Almost half way there.  Slow but sure, it is getting done ....

It is now too big to hang on my closet door.  I will have to find someplace else to hang it while I am deciding what goes next.  The entertainment center is perfect, but football season has begun.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by ...

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Puzzle Quilt

No pictures today ... I had a busy working weekend.  But I have figured out that I need a little over 200 blocks to make this quilt the right size.  I am now 'sort of' at 96.  I say 'sort of' because the 40 new blocks are made but not completely sewn to the main quilt. This is a fun quilt to work on, but, still, the hardest part is deciding which fabric to put where ..... it takes me days.

I pick up my Minkee quilts from the quilter tomorrow. Yippee !!!!

More to come ..... Lots of love to all

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quilter's Puzzle

My DD2, her new DH and 2 girls moved to D.C. this summer.  Before they left I told the girls I would make them quilts for their new beds in their new house and I took them shopping.  DGD1 already had most of her favorite fabrics collected, but DGD2 was a challenge.  She has very unique tastes.  After selecting the puzzle pattern, she selected the following for her "base" fabric .... Kaffe Fasset Targets

I instructed her to pull colors out of the fabric to add to the overall quilt design.  I was concerned she might be overwhelmed at 10 in such a large quilt store.  But silly me ... she took off running, picking out bolts of fabric and carrying them to the cutting table.  She knew exactly what she wanted .... bright, bold and crazy !!!

There is even a fabric of just oranges, whole and sliced!!  DD2 has very, very different tastes and was stunned to see what her DD picked out.  DD2 expressed great doubt that I could even put in all together in an attractive way.  But DGD2 was able to show us how each one of her selections matched a color in her original fabric ..... way to go girl !!!!

 I got started sewing about 6 weeks later .... that is when I realized that each square was only 6.5 inches (for some reason I thought they were 10 inch squares) ... I was going to need more fabrics to avoid a LOT of close repetition.  Last week I had 16 little blocks done:

Then while exploring in a new-to -me quilt shop I found this: Kaffe Fasset Targets in RED !!!!  Perfect !!!

So I have been picking up fat quarters here and there, pulling wild and crazy fabrics out of my stash and slowly building her jigsaw puzzle quilt.  The sewing and pattern are a piece of cake ... it is deciding what fabric goes next that takes the most time.

I tape the quilt to the mirrored closet door on my side of the bed so I can look at it as I do stuff or rest.  I "audition" fabrics by pinning them to the blocks all around.  After a couple of days of looking and making numerous changes, I am ready to sew.  It is slowly coming along ... I now have 56 blocks done:

If you look close you can see the little swatches of fabric that are currently being auditioned.  My husband absolutely loves this quilt and that is saying a lot from him.

Onward and upward ... 56 sounds like a lot but I have a long ways to go yet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I love Disappearing 9-Patch !!

When I first returned to quilting I had no clue as to what the Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls and Honey Buns were.   Once I figured them out I still did not have a clue as to why they were so popular .... and what on earth you would do with the pieces.  This was not the scrap quilting I was familiar with.

Then one day I discovered Disappearing 9 Patch with Layer Cakes.  It was a blast to make !!  I loved watching the way all the pieces came together and how the different colors would combine in ways I would never think of.  It was challenging my sense of color.  It was exciting not knowing what I would end with for a quilt top.  It gives the illusion of a very complicated quilt ... but it is not !!  I felt like a little kid with a new toy!!  It was addicting!!

Another thing  love about this process is that when I am having a bad day and need to spend most of my day in bed resting, I can still work on this.  I use a bed-tray as a work surface.  I cut up the layer-cake and then proceed to sort and select the colors/prints to put in each 9-patch block.  Then the long process of pinning all the squares together with little itty-bitty pins.  When I am well enough to be back on my feet, I can sew everything up ... assembly line style.  On my next bad day, I again cut, sort and pin all the 9-patch blocks.

Part of what makes this possible is that there is NO pattern.  It is great !!   There is no real mental strain to do it ... not much concentration required.  That too is great !!  This process gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment instead of feeling I wasted my day being flat in bed.  What a blessing !!

My latest Disappearing 9-Patch was made with 2 Layer Cakes .... Oh Cherry Oh and Berrylicious by Moda.  Two Layer Cakes was huge .... but it was fun !!

I think using one Layer Cake with a few coordinating solids was easier ... but I really like this result.  I found some black fabric with red cherries all over for the backing, border and binding.  It is going to look great !!

Waiting on the shelf is a Bliss Layer Cake (yummy) and on the wish list are Lily&Will (blue) by Moda and Origins by Basic Grey.

I know there are other patterns I can adapt to my "bad-day" needs but for now this is wonderful !!

Would love to hear from you guys ... love, Joanne

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time off !!

I have this entire week off ..... yippee !!!  There is so much I want to do and so much I need to do.  The most important thing is for me to rest and relax.

So today I got my quilts ready to take to the quilter.  I finally had to be honest with myself that as long as I am working and dealing with chronic illness, I am not able to quilt my own quilts .... that is, if I ever want them to actually be finished.  So I found someone in another area of San Diego county to do them for me.  Yeah !!!

These are the Minkee quilts I started a couple of months ago.  The fabric is luscious but very hard to work with ... even with a walking foot.  I kept thinking "man, I do not want to do this again !"  "Absolutely do not ..... "

My DD1 wanted something simple with lots of texture .... and here it is.  Some of the fabrics have a deep pile, some are nubby, some are a lower pile and they are all luxuriously soft.   I was fortunate to find a variety of Minkee prints and colors online at reasonable rate.  My DD1 had no idea what Minkee fabric was so when the shipment arrived, I took the box to her house and let her dive in !!!  She was soooo excited and she  rarely gets excited about fabric!

When the quilt was finished, I had a lot of left over strips.  So I thought 'what the heck, I will make another one.' After all I am a quilter, I have to use up the scraps ..... right!?

Number 2:

So my DD1  gets 2 quilts to match the new colors in her family room!!  And despite the hard work .... it was fun because it was a labor of love!!

But now EVERYONE wants a Minkee quilt.  No, no, no ..... please "no".  After some negotiation I reached a compromise with my DGDs ..... Minkee fabric will go on the back of their quilts.

The Pinwheel Party quilt for my DGD3 is finished.  To make it the right size for her to have a cuddle- quilt I had to add an additional row of blocks across and down.  I even made a few original pinwheel blocks so there would not be so much repetition.  I found a yellow Minkee on sale for the backing  and it is perfect ...

I have taken a lot of pictures of this quilt and cannot seen to get a decent shot.  I think it is the colors.  I am hoping when I get it back from the quilter, I will be able to get a good picture.

Actually, none of the pictures here came out very good.  I am not a good photographer and I was tired today.  Besides if I wait til I take the perfect picture, it will be another month before I post again.  So this is what I got, folks !

What is next .... well my other 3 DGD  already have their orders in.  One challenge is DGD1 here in San Diego ... she loves the Cherish Nature line by Moda, but has a more modern style.   Hmmmmm .... still looking for the right design.  I found perfect pattern for DGD4 ... Jigsaw Puzzle ..... BUT her color selections and ideas are way out there !!!  I will save that story for another blog.

Will post again soon ..... Cheers and God Bless.  Would love to hear from you !

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Forever-friend's quilt top

  1. Hello again,  It has taken me a while but I finally got this image uploaded to the blog.  I am trying to use a real camera instead of my phone camera ..... so far, not so good.

This is the quilt my forever-friend (Marcie) and I made while she was visiting here last month.  The fabrics she chose were all jewel toned batiks from Indonesia.  Gorgeous !!!  Working together, we got this queen sized bedspread (110" x 104") done in about 10 days or less.  It is an Eleanor Burns (Quilt In a Day) rendition  of Lover's Knot.

Because Marcie knew she would never get it hand quilted or machine quilted, I finished it for her into a duvet cover using another batik for the back and binding.  That way when she got home she could just slip her current bedding into the duvet cover and immediately have a brand new look for her room.
Presto!! Change-O !!  And there you go !!

I am working on the pillow shams to match now .... but have been a bit side tracked ....

My DD2 that got married in June, has been here for several days with her 2 daughters.  They came to say goodbye as they are moving to the Washington, DC area ....  3000+ miles away.  :-(  Her new hubby is in the Coast Guard and was transferred shortly after their wedding.  She, her 2 DDs and kitties will be driving across country the end of this week.

By the way, the Quilt In a Day shop is about a 1/4 mile from my house.  It has been fun to watch Eleanor's business grow over the years.  Luckily for Marcie, the shop was having a big sale when we went looking for fabric for this ambitious project !!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My apologies

I know I promised to post pictures. I took them but they came out yukky and now I can't find them !!  Will try again this weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It has been so long...

I have had nonstop company since May.  People coming and going from all over the place.  All people I love seeing and whose company I enjoy, but it is time for a break ..... please!

One visitor was a friend I call my "forever friend" because we have been friends for over 30 years which I find amazing considering how much I moved around over these 30 years.  She has ended up iliving in a place that I grew up in ... Syracuse, NY.   And I have ended up living in her hometown ... San Diego, CA.  I KNOW I got the better deal !

While she was here, I helped her make a quilt top for her bed at home.  She kept saying she was going to take it home to quilt.  I knew I could not do it for her.  After some honest soul searching, she admitted she would never quilt it.  So I finished it into a duvet cover for her with matching shams.  It is lovely!

Despite all my visitors and working at my day-job I stayed true to my comittment to sew.  I did a little here and a little there.  I got the top to my DGD's Pinwheel Party cuddle-quilt finished .... even adding about 10 or 12 extra blocks so it would be the right size for her AND I started my DD1's minkee quilt.  I must have been insane the day I committed myself to that project .... that fabric is hard to work with !!

I promise to post pictures this weekend, but I wanted to pop in and say hello so I can comfortably visit all your blogs and leave a greeting.  Later .......

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It is over !!!

The wedding festivities are over !!  And I survived !!  The last of the guests are leaving tomorrow, but I already went back to work at my day job.  So my DH gets to play host. Ta ta!!

The wedding was lovely!!  People came from as far away as Idaho, Florida  and New York and even Italy!!  Some old family friends of ours that are now scattered all over CA were here too.  We have not seen them in over 20 yrs.  One of their dgtrs used to babysit my kids and now she is a lovely young lady with kids of her own.  It was fun introducing her as my dgtrs'  babysitter.  I just cannot help myself ... I still enjoy embarrassing my girls !!

DD2's new husband is of Scandinavian background and his family was wonderfully warm, friendly and fun.  It was a pleasure to meet them all.  It was impressive to see how much they all think of him.  A whole new life ahead of them. A brand new start!

They knew each other many years ago in Tyler, TX. They even dated for a while when DD2 was  just out of high school.  All their friends at that time thought they would be a couple, but life intervened and they ended up going their separate ways.   20 years later they connected again and really fell in love !! Now they truly are "a couple". Some of their friends from 'way back then' were able to come to the wedding and rejoice with them.  What a story !!

But ENOUGH !!!  I am ready to get sewing again.... besides altering wedding clothes.  Can't wait to finish the Pinwheel quilt and my DD1's Minky quilt.   Yeah !!  (Oh, I will post pictures later.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Busy, busy, busy !!!

I haven't forgotten my new friends in blogland but my DD2's wedding is now just a week away!!  Altho it is to be a "simple" affair ... simple involves more than the word implies. So between wedding drama, family drama, health issues and work drama ..... I have been away from everyone.  I visit my neighbors here but do not leave notes and obviously have not posted in a while.

BUT ... I have found a little time to sew.  My Pinwheel Party is just 1 block away from finishing ... I even made extra squares as the original quilt was too small for my purposes. And working a little on a quilt of strips with Minkee fabrics.  Boy, that fabric is a bear to work with even with a walking foot and a simple design !!!  Sewing is therapy to keep me sane and therefore a necessity!!  It works too !!

Wedding is this coming Saturday, June 5. Family and friends we have not seen in forever will be there.  Will tell you all about it next week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pinwheel Party

I wanted to take a quilting class when this journey first began. But I realized that with my work schedule and health issues .... it just was not possible.  So I have joined a couple of online "sew-alongs".  Today I am totally caught up with the Pinwheel Party at Twiddletails.blogspot.com.  The origional quilt has a black background which I love, but I let my 11 year old DGD pick out her own colors

These are pictures of what I have done.  Oh I do not have a design wall, but I do have a "design floor".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Remembering Aunt Helen

Last weekend when I was cleaning out my big linen closet, one of the treasures I found was a quilt top given to me by my Aunt Helen. She had made the gorgeous Log Cabin all in blues and pinks.  Log Cabin is one of my favorite patterns.  We traded quilts the day she gave it to me ... I gave her one of my scrappy quilts that I called Heart Scraps.

Two days later I learned my aunt had passed on ... just a few days shy of her 83rd birthday.  It was a shock because she had not been sick very long and Aunt Helen had lots of health issues all her life.  She had been at death's door so often that no one thought much of the fact she was in the hospital again.  She had always rallied before ... much to the amazement of her family and doctors!!  But this time was different and I honestly think SHE decided it was time to go to her heavenly Home.  She has many family members there to greet her and one of her precious great-grandchildren to hold.

She was a strong and vibrant person.  She could take charge of any chaotic situation and have everyone organized and functioning in no time.  She raised her daughter alone in a day and age when divorced single-moms were somewhat rare .... so was divorce, for that matter.  She was an RN and worked very hard her whole life.  She was still working up until her brief illness ... she babysat elderly folks for their families ... arriving in her own car and walking to their door with her walker !  Also not long before this illness she was babysitting her great-grandchildren ..... what a joyous blessing for her!

She was an avid quilter.  We often traded books, patterns and fabrics over the years.  There was a period of time that I would send all my fabric pieces and scraps to her and her daughter, Cathy.  They were making quilts out of any fabric handy for the homeless people in the area (Dayton,OH).  They did this for quite a while ... all by themselves.  My cousin told me today that her casket was draped with her last totally handmade quilt (finished in Oct).  And the church pews were all draped with her quilts too.  Oh my, what a tribute to her !!  They also found my Heart Scrap quilt on her bed !!

But what I remember most about Aunt Helen is her unconditional love !!  She was there for me during some very dark times in my life!!  She was always a large woman and she loved to hug .... getting one of her hugs was so very healing & wonderful ... totally enveloped in her love.  Oh, how she laughed .... a lot.  Her laugh was infectious.  She suffered in her life and life was hard for her but she always had a smile and a big laugh and freely loved us all !!!

Her daughter, her grandchildren and her 6 great-grandchildren all loved her greatly !  They learned how to love and quilt !!!

This is the quilt top she gave me.  Please excuse Miss Kitty, she thinks I laid this out just for her !

Her seams were PERFECT .... and Prairie Points all around,  Am going to miss her !!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Treasure hunting !!

Decided to clean out my huge double hall closet.  Sorted thru lots of toys and old craft projects of the kids and then I began to discover treasure!!  Two packages of batting came rolling out and a medium box of fabric I had forgotten about.  Pretty fabric .....

Next I found 3 scrappy Log Cabin quilts ... quilted and ready for binding!!  And buried beneath old sheets was the quilt top my Aunt Helen gave me AND 2 scrappy quilt tops (flimsies) !! 

I then recalled a time when I had decided to go on a "fabric diet".  No new fabric !!   My goal was to make as many quilts as I could from all my scraps. It took me a year but I made over a dozen ..... 2 tops were donated for  fund raisers, several were quilted and shipped off to friends and family.  Here at last were the remaining ones ....

A little further into the closet I found 2 quilts I had made out of my Granny's scrap bag.  After my Granny died ever so many years ago (my kids were young) my Dad gave me a bag of her scrap fabrics.  For many years, there was a shirt factory in the area she lived and she would collect scraps from them to make her quilts with. 

Also inside that bag of scraps were quite a few hand sewn hexagons. I made them into a quilt.   At one time I had been hand quilting it . Can you see the cross-hatch quilting?

Here it was that precious quilt again!  Those of you who have been following my blog since I started on January 31, 2010 will remember that I stopped sewing and quilting many years ago.  I gave away most of my fabric and I guess I stashed away the things I still wanted.  But I had forgotten where it all was and even what I had kept.

There were many coordinating fabrics in the bag of scraps from the shirt factory. I started a Desden Plate quilt with some of them.  My DD in AZ has ALWAYS wanted that quilt and when she saw it being pulled out of the closet she became extremely excited ..... "Mom, please can I have it now? Please".  It was sad to see my DD, now a grown woman, begging for this quilt ... so I said "yes". .... which means now I have to finish it!    (The pix makes it look like the is a pink stain on the quilt, but there is not .... must be my camera)

I was so thrilled to find these treasures!!  Such a very special encouragement to me on my journey back! 

While DD was here from AZ with her girls I finished their quilts that I posted a few weeks ago.

Everyone went home very happy !!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hunky Dory, I am done !

I am done, I am done, I am done !!!

The Disappearing 9-patch is done !  Oh, I know it is just the top and I need to do the backing, add batting and the binding.  But this is so exciting.  I had trouble understanding how to put the patches back together to make the pattern.  Spent the first day taking apart as much as I put together.  By the second day, I was on a roll.

It is much bigger than I anticipated .... I just kept adding rows to sides and bottom until I had only 4 blocks left.  It is 77 inches by 59.

I love it !

Monday, April 12, 2010

Disappearing 9 Patch with Hunky Dory

I can hardly believe it has been just a week since the earthquake.  It seems like forever ago.

Once the DGDs got back from their harrowing adventure, we decided to spend an afternoon together.  They each brought their best friend and we went to the movies.  A chick flick ... what else?  The Last Song (Nicholas Sparks story)  with Miley Cyrus.  My oldest (14 yrs) DGD thinks Nicholas Sparks should find someone else to write the endings to his stories because he doesn't know how to do it right !!

From there it was off to get ice cream and after buttering them up real good .... I asked for a favor.  Would you guys please go with me to the quilt store that is on our way home?  My girls knew what that meant and were eager to go, but their friends did not know what to expect.  So we descended upon Quilt-In-A-Day, a shop near my house and had a blast!  The ladies in the shop were quite entertained as well !!

The girls helped me pick out fabrics to go with the Hunky-Dory Layer Cake (my first purchase from Soggy Bottom Flats on Etsy).  When they realized Grandma was sewing again, they began to collect and coordinate fabric for themselves.  Their friends got right into the spirit of things with us.  It was such fun!

But my weekend was not a good one.  I was hoping to finish the last of the quilting on the quilt for my DGD in AZ but found I was in too much pain to sit at the machine and move the quilt around.  I was starting to go down the road toward depression, but then I remembered all the work I have been putting into rejoining the quilting world.  After some thought, I figured out a system to employ so I could cut up the Layer-Cake, pin together the squares, sew them and still be semi-reclined in bed.  By Sunday evening I had 24, nine patch, 12 inch squares  made.  The last 6 are pinned and ready to sew.  I was pretty proud of myself ....

Here is a photo of some of them strewn across my counter top:

I guess it doesn't look like much, but I am pleased.  Now the scary part ..... to cut them up and put them back together.  For someone who has never done this design .... it is very much like a mystery quilt.

Tonight I plan to review the instructions and demo online ..... stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Earthquake

Living in San Diego, CA we are very accustom to the rumblings and shakings of the earth's tremors.  But Sunday we experienced a whole lot more than tremors.  I am used to hearing the rattle of our armoire doors when we have tremors, but then my bed began to shake... A LOT .... I knew I didn't have a vibrating bed! I jumped up to find the floor shaking and the rumbling sound of a train passing by .... only there are no train tracks near our house! I called for my husband and ran into the living room to find our large entertainment center swaying .... very much more than slightly.  It went on for what seemed a very long time .... for sure longer than a tremor.

All very scary. My husband had been outside where the ground was rolling & moving so hard he needed to grab something to keep from falling. He looked up and saw the telephone poles & trees swaying. Very freaky !!

Quickly we knew it was a significant quake and I became immediately concerned as to where the epicenter was. Usually it is in the desert or south into Mexico. My daughter and her family were vacationing in Baja with 2 other families.  After frantic search on TV and the Internet I found that the epicenter was in Baja and immediately began to worry about them .... as only a mother can do.  With my heart pounding, I notified all that I could, that they needed urgent prayer.

There was no way to contact them.  Even on a good day phone and internet reception is spotty in Mexico.  I tried to keep myself busy sewing but after sewing the wrong pieces of the quilt together, I decided I needed to do something else to occupy myself. After about 2 or 3 hours, I got a call .....

Everyone was safe!!!  They were on the water of the lake when the earthquake hit.  The water was roiling and hissing and she told me she looked up and saw the mountains move !!  Amazing !!  The home of their friends was trashed & uninhabitable, the roads impassable, and their car in a small sink hole ... but all of them were safe.  They were putting all the mattresses from the house on the boat dock and sleeping outside over the water. The aftershocks were frequent and very strong.

Getting home looked like it was going to take days but they got home late last night.  Hallelujah!!!  That is enough adventure for a while for everyone !!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter !!

What a full week !  The DGDR2 (Juju) has been on spring break and we spent Thursday with her ... just hanging out with our Nintendo-DSs .... yes, Poppy and Grandma play Nintendo-DS with the kids and each other. Of course, there wasn't enough time in the day to do everything we wanted, but we had fun being together.

I am on-call this weekend, so I am glued to my pager and phone for the next 3 days !!  Work has been very busy .... typical of pre-holiday activities at a hospital. Altho I have done very little sewing, I did get the quilts I made with the DGD (madison and emily) all set for the final sew. The layers sewn together and binding is pinned and ready to go.  Hopefully the weekend will have very few calls and I can do some sewing.

Wishing all a very Happy Easter !!! And very rich Blessings !!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quilts !

We made them, altho the girls did not really wanted to sew ... they decided it was more work than they remembered from before.  That was OK ... we had fun.  I got out my box of fat quarters and they each picked out the fabrics they liked.  Then I cut the squares and the girls arranged the 6 inch squares to their own delight.  Here they are:

 Above is Madison's design of purples, aquas and greens. She laid it out in a graduating pattern.

Below is Emily's quilt top.  It looks like a very haphazard scrappy quilt, but she has a very definite system & pattern to her design.

 I love them both ... the quilts and the girls !!!  I am finally back at it .... quilting.  One of my daughters has asked for a quilt in browns and blues.  I can't wait to start that one .... she has never asked for one of her own, so I feel very honored.  This is all very good !

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I got lost !!!

I joyously bought my fabric and ran into a brick wall!  Truly ... I opened the door to the spare room to the realization I had allowed it to become a catch-all for everything.  In other words ... one big mess!

I knew where my machine was and the thread, but who knows what else.  I also realized that to work comfortably and peacefully I needed to bring order to this horrid room.  Stuff from all previous crafting adventures and memorabilia mixed up with stuff for the Salvation Army,  things from my parents after they passed plus boxes and boxes of photos that I had been trying to sort thru about 5 years ago ... when I gave up. 

Altho, it is embarrassing to show these photos, I thought it was important to actually see the evidence.  Missing from these 2 photos are the other 2 walls and one big closet, stuffed full.  It almost overwhelmed me.   I just wanted to shut the door and walk away.  But I didn't,  I am very proud to say.  So since my last posting, I have been trudging thru the mayhem of this room ... in between working a day job.  No, it is not all cleaned out, but it is sorted and organized so I can function in the space.   I can find what I need to sew.  The rest is in enough order for me to slowly sort thru little by little (photos and memorabilia etc.)

It was a bit of a treasure hunt. I found a few UFOs and my Granny's quilts.  Found most of my cross stitch supplies stuffed in a box.  There was very little left of my previous fabric stash  but it was interesting to see what I kept when I was  purging and getting rid of my "stuff".   To see now the fabrics I thought too pretty  to let go of despite my depression.  I found a kit for a flannel quilt that had been a gift from a patient years ago.   I found a BOM (block of the month) kit with everything complete and untouched.  I also found a pile of old hankies, scarves, gloves, fabrics etc that I had saved from my mother with the idea of making each sister a crazy quilt.

I have not included any "after" photos because my 2 grand-daughters (what is the blog abbreviation for that? ) from AZ are here for the week.  Another good reason I cleaned out the room.  My 12 year old has announced she wants to sew squares together to make a small quilt ... like we did years ago ... :-(
 Lucky for her I did save many of my FQ (fat quarters).
So this week there is no doubt ... I will be sewing.  

There will be another post this week. She has picked out the fabrics she likes.  Tomorrow night we will cut out the squares.  Then the next days she can play with the lay out while I am at work and we can begin sewing that evening.  This is exciting !

Stay tuned ......

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I am in love with fabric again!!  It was like taking my chocoholic granddaughter to  a See Candy Store. I went last week to the local shops but now I have begun to build my stash again.  Yes, I spent money on fabric ..... oooo !!! 
 Fabric shopping on line was even better.  I ordered these fabrics from soggybottomflats.etsy.com.

I know my pictures are lousy, but I will get better at this.  I wasn't real confident about Etsy procedures and Paypal and all that.  But Elaine was very patient and walked me thru each step.  All while her DH was in the hospital (I told her I could wait).  The fabric arrived today !!!!  Wish she was here to see how excited I am and so I could give her a huge hug of thanks!!

I earned extra spending credit with my DH this week (see previous post) so off I went to buy fabric  today!!  For me, it felt like Christmas morning!!  This is a sampling of what I came home with.  I decided I could get more variety buying fat quarters ....  blues, aquas, greens, browns, purples with splashes of red here and there (altho red doesn't show up very well)

I know I must seem very silly and maybe a bit childish about these pieces of fabric.  But I know I am sharing my feelings & thoughts with fellow quilters, sewers and stitchers who embrace the joy that this brings.  I do feel a bit silly and giddy to be heading on this journey again.  It has been so long.  I got rid of most of my fabrics because I thought I would probably never quilt again.  I am still looking in nooks and closets around our house and in our storage shed, but am not coming up with much.  This is good .... a brand new start !!!

And maybe in the next week I will be able to post a block or two or three that I have actually done.  A long drink of fresh water after being in the dry dry desert for these past few years.

Also, a big applause for Elaine at Soggy Bottom Flats & store for her assistance.  If you don't know her, then stop by and say hello.  And a big warm thank you to my cousin, Cathy at Cathy Scrap Creations on Blogspot for encouraging me all along the way.