Friday, May 12, 2017

Journeys

Isn't it amazing how quickly life changes.  You are on a path, and suddenly something happens and that path is blocked or ends, and there is a fork in that road, and you have to choose the next path.   I am beginning to look at life as a series of journeys.  Once again my path has changed and a new journey begins. 

It is with a heavy heart that I must say that the aunt passed away peacefully in her sleep Wednesday morning.  I had brought her home the Friday before with the help of Hospice.  She was on a 2 hour medication schedule, so I would set my phone timer, and every 2 hours I would get up ( I slept in a recliner next to her hospital bed), give her a dose of medication, many times I would wake up every hour and I would swab her mouth to keep it moist, even though she had quit drinking.  I am grateful for the opportunity to grant her final wish, which was to die in the home she was born in.  The aunt passed just before her 4 am medication dose, with me by her side.  I know she passed knowing she was very loved, and cared for.  

Gifts:

Jeff was not much of a gift giver, he actually became anxious trying come up with a gift, even though I truly appreciated anything he ever gave me whether it was something from the garbage pit at work, a dozen roses, or a gift he came up with on his own and made me. He used to joke about the beginning of the year being a triple threat to his manhood.  Our anniversary, followed by Valentine's Day, then my Birthday.   On our anniversary this year he was very upset.  He had an idea of what he wanted to purchase, but when he started looking he could not locate the item.  

A couple of days after our anniversary he told me, that he wanted to buy a lawn spinner for me, since he knew I loved some artsy ones that I had seen at the local feed store.   The feed store had told him they would be in soon, so when they came in I needed to go purchase the one I wanted he told me.  

A couple of days after Jeff died, I had to go into the local feed store to get some chicken feed, and all of the lawn ornaments, and spinners were up.  I grabbed my phone. and was ready to text Jeff when I realized he was gone and would never receive my text.  I left the feed store, holding it together until my chicken feed was loaded and sobbed on my drive home.  My most recent trip to the feed store I decided that I would go ahead and purchase the spinner I wanted.

I have a Singer 301A long bed that I love to sew on almost as much as I love sewing on my featherweight.  The problem is that it did not have a base and made me kind of crazy.  I had seen a custom base on Facebook, and the man had an Etsy shop.  I had looked at them many times, but didn't see one that really struck my fancy until just a couple of days before my birthday.  I showed Jeff and he told me buy it, and Happy Birthday my love.  

I had been so busy the past few weeks that I didn't realize that it had arrived.  I looked at the shipping receipt today, and saw that it had been delivered on April 20.  I started looking and realized that I had a box that I thought was a new locking mechanism that I had to order for Jeff's work tool box because I could not locate the keys.  It was not the mechanism, it was my sewing machine base. 

To say that tears flowed upon opening it, would be an understatement.  I will say that this photo does not do it justice, but I just wanted to share it. 

I had lots of errands today.  One of them was to order a funeral spray, and a couple of small arrangements for the cemetery, since  I am having an small internment ceremony Friday, May 19, 2017.  The Ancient Uncle, Ancient Aunt and their son will be finally laid to rest in their cemetery plots that they have owned for years.  At the little local florist, I saw a wonderful garden marker and had to purchase it.  I think it is a great expression of Jeff's life.  I have this in my side garden where I will finish up a fountain, place a bench for a place to sit to meditate and pray.

After running to the local greenhouse, I had a package waiting for me.  Thank you so much for the lovely book Nancy of Pug Mom Quilts.  

I am finishing up a couple of books currently, but I am thinking that this will bring a smile to my heart. 

 I have been doing a little sewing. 
A pile of 1 1/2 inch HST to be trimmed up.
The few I have trimmed, and a few of my tumblers which I have been doing as leader and enders. 

Finally the great unveil.  I showed a pile of boxes a few days ago on my blog.  Well this is what I bought.

This is a sit down machine.  I have it put together, but I haven't played much with it.  Maybe in the next couple of days between doing some gardening, and other little home improvements.  It came with a stitch regulator, a bobbin winder, and another sewing machine, a small HQ 210.  It is a nice little machine, with some nice little bells and whistles that I don't have on my antique machines.  It may be my "travel" machine since I have gotten brave and signed up to take a class at a local quilt shop. 

My new journey is a bit daunting.  I have almost always had a spouse, or kids to care for, a job, or the ancient ones.  Now the only one I truly have to care for is Lucy, the Ancient Ones cat, and myself.   

Here you can see her helping me with my computer and blog reading.  It is strange knowing I have no real responsibilities anymore, no days filled with laundry, cooking, dishes.  No days trying to figure out when I can chisel out some time for sewing, or even to get a shower.  No trying to figure out what to have for dinner, that everyone will eat. 

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.










Sunday, May 7, 2017

50 Shades of Gray

First of all get your mind out of the gutter.  I am not referencing the book.  I have been trying to find a gray to go with my fabrics for my ocean waves quilt.  I have bought so many different colors of gray.  

Nothing is quite right.
OK maybe it isn't 50 but there are 6.

The other day I was working on Jeff's t-shirt quilt and this happened when I was putting fusible web on the back.

I put another layer on the block, but look what it did to my iron.
I cleaned it off, but the temperature just didn't seem right.  I didn't want to keep fighting it so I decided maybe it was time to get a new one.  My old Roweta is over 10 years old, and it doesn't leak, but the cord won't reel in anymore.  I cleaned it the best I could but I was struggling to get it to work right. Maybe it was time to get a new one.

Yep I splurged and bought an Oliso.  I finally tried it today.  It is going to get some getting used to though.

I found some more fabric for Jeff's quilt.
I love text fabrics and I bought the two light ones from a line called Literary.  But the greens!  Oh my!

Tractors, and rows of crops.

Eggs.  To honor Jeff's love of his chickens.

The aunt is home in the care of hospice.  It is only a matter of days, lots of work, but I have some free time but can't really concentrate much so I am working on mindless sewing.  So I drug out my tumblers and started sewing them together. 

Also gave me a chance to try out my new iron.

I had been saving some money to buy myself a gift.  I found a great sale. 

I will show more later.  Any ideas about gray?  I have a couple Bella solids, Essex Linen, Kona, Centennial, and AMB. 










Saturday, April 29, 2017

And This One Was Just Right

Remember when I mentioned in my previous post that I had started working on Jeff's quilt, and found some fabric, but didn't have quite enough? Well I knew it was a Hoffman 1895 but I wasn't too sure what color green it was.  I found some and ordered, but because I am never too sure about colors when ordering off the computer I ordered 3 different greens from Fabric Fanatics.

The color I needed was called Frog, at least I thought. 
Perfect match! This one was just right. Which meant I could work on the 2nd block.  I decided I wanted to have flying geese surrounding the motif on the shirt this time.

I think it is good for me to figure out these different borders for the shirt motifs because I have to use my brain, and do math. 

I was very pleased with how it turned out.  The 2nd block turned out nice and flat, it wasn't as frustrating as dealing with the cross stitch block.  So now I have 2 blocks finished. 
 Since I decided I wanted it to be scrappy greens and yellows I have been looking for those colors. I decided to look at Missouri Star because I had a sale notice with free shpping....big mistake. I went to their sale page and found a bunch of reproduction fabrics which were on sale.  These will be nice in my saw toothed square quilt. 

Browns.

A mustard yellow.   I have been having a problem finding a buttery yellow yet.

Then of course if you can find black on white, or white on black it is a staple of your stash.

Oh yeah I did find a yellow for the t-shirt quilt too. Yes I know it is a bit feminine, but it will blend in.
Of course since I was shopping, after fighting with the cat about pins I decided I needed a magnetic pin bowl. Lucy and I have a slight truce right now as long as my stuff doesn't mess up her feng shui. 

And I take a few minutes to pet her, and brush her.  She decided tonight I would be a nice lap for her to sit on.  I have never heard her purr, but tonight she sounded like a small weed whip, she was so loud.

I did my bag lady block for the month for guild.
I am not too sure about the use of the center fabric.  It is lovely, but it doesn't really pop like I wanted it to. 

I read another e-mail advertisement and got these from Donna's Lavender Nest.  I love the yellow flowers with the green plaid leaves.  There was only a fat quarter, I wish there was more.  I want to use it in the quilt too.


The rest I bought for the Swoon quilt I have been working on, more off than on, and of course loved the red daisies, and the blue plaid with fruit.  I was also gifted 3 charm squares which I will trim up for my tumbler leader and enders. 

Finally my mom, and her cousins have been working on a book for several years, tracing our family from California,back to New York and Nova Scotia.  One of the  cousins passed away about 2 years ago from cancer, so my mom and and the other cousins finished the book and had it published. 

This is the 2nd book on our family and its genealogy that my mom has had published.  I am so proud of her and all the work that she has put into this book.  

Its nice when you find fabric which is just right. 








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wrapped in Love

Life is simply amazing at times.  For every thing which has happened there are moments which are truly a blessing. 

The aunt is in the hospital, she is declining rapidly.  I spend a lot of time there with her, so not a whole lot of time to sew.  When I do get a chance though I can snatch a few minutes I can get so much done.

 I got my block for the friendship block of the month at quilt guild.  This is so much easier than it looks.  The guild fabric was the pansy, and you added a purple.  I had a fat quarter of Wilmington Essentials.  After I cut my parts I thought I would cut out parts for the Dandy Drive QAL quilt I would like to make.  Hey if it is there cut it right?  Um yeah I didn't have quite enough so I had to try to figure out which color it was and order more. 

I made my first block for Jeff's t-shirt quilt.  I lost a point or two, gosh don't know how that happened, but it went together fairly easy.  I will say because the cross stitch was not stabilized while it was being done, even after I added the interfacing it wrinkled.  I was so pleased with the block, I grabbed the next shirt and worked out a design.  I found the perfect fabric too.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough so I had to order some more of that too.  But I figure I will be using it throughout the quilt.  Yes I am mixing batiks, and everything into the quilt.  Hey if the quilt police don't like it, arrest me already.

The last few days have been very stressful.  The aunt being in the hospital, her having anxiety attacks.  I have to remember that I am acting based on her wishes.  But at times it doesn't make it any easier, and when I get home I feel very down.  This big house is so empty without Jeff, and now her, sometimes it is difficult to walk into the door. Imagine my surprise when I had a box sitting on my porch, and inside was this beautiful quilt from all of my friends in blog land.

Unfortunately my quilt holder is no longer with us here on earth.  I am sure he is smiling down on me though.  Receiving this quilt was like being wrapped in love.  Thank you so much all of my friends for this wonderful, loving gift.  I put it on my bed, and I will say that last night was the first night I slept through the night, without waking up multiple times or in tears.  Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude for all of you that contributed a block/blocks.  I will say that receiving this lovely quilt was a blessing that I truly needed that day.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Finally my mom had pictures of Jeff, and Jeff and I when we visited Oregon for my daughters wedding in 2012, as she was going through her computer she realized that there were a bunch that she had not given to me.  So she put them on a thumb drive and mailed it the other day.    I look at those pictures and I see the way he looked at me and  I know that I was truly loved, and adored by him. 

Jeff was not one to have pictures taken of himself, but he was always willing to have them done with me.  Or without me.  Maybe it was his "rugged good looks" he was willing to show off.  I miss being wrapped in his arms, but if I can't be in his arms the beautiful quilt that you ladies made me is a loving substituted. 







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why the Cat Sabotages Me and Other Quilty Conundrums

When the Ancient Ones moved in so did their cat Lucy.  To say that Lucy works against me much of the time is an understatement.  If I upset Lucy she throws up on demand.  I thought I would try to sew today.  Imagine my frustration when I realized that my HST that I make were on the floor.  Obviously it didn't suit Lucy's aesthetic. 

I sat my bin of tumblers on the couch where I could grab them while I sew. 

Yeah look who thought I could take my tumbler bin and shove it.

Speaking of tumbler bins.  Dawn at SewYouQuilt2 was showing off her tumblers.  They all look so nice and neat.
Yep mine are a hot mess. 

I started working on the t-shirt quilt.  I measured all the motifs and started drawing on graph paper trying to work out a layout. I was not being very successful.  So I decided to take a different tact. I designed a border around one block, and cut the block out, after putting fusible on it. 

I then started playing with the fabrics I had.  And hate them.  So this will be set aside until what I ordered arrives, then we will see. Ever have that problem?  Have fabrics in mind but they are just not what you wanted after all?  Once I get my first block done I will build around it. 

I love sales, and of course over the Easter week there were plenty online.  I need to quit looking at the e-mails.  Just delete!

 I got these from Hancock's of Paduchah.  Seriously who can resist 12 fat quarters for less than $20? 
On another site I saw this super cute table runner pattern.  See the top one with the sewing machine?  Of course the store had a kit, (well actually they had all 3 kits), and I loved the fabric so I bought the kit. 
And of course then I needed backing from the same line. 
I also got a yummy squishy package from Kris from Kris Loves Fabric.  Be still my beating heart!
Gorgeous fabrics, texty fabrics, blues I can't wait to play in them.  Thank you so much Kris.  It cheered my soul on a stressful day. 





Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of my friends. 

I keep thinking of sunrise service when I was young. The pastor would say He is Risen, and we would reply He is Risen Indeed!




Of course I had to throw in a vintage post card!

Enjoy the day with your family and loved ones.

Friday, April 14, 2017

RSC Catch Up

Wow how much life can change in the blink of an eye.  I fully expected to be able to keep up with the RSC challenge this year, and finish up last years blocks.  There is an old Yiddish proverb which states.

Man plans, and God laughs

The color for February was aqua.

You can see the original block I made here. I was not thrilled with it so I found another kind of aqua but it reads more of a mint green to me. 

Then March rolled along.   March was red.  I love red!  I made my red block!

 Then a poison green block.
 Bubblegum pink.
 Burnt Orange.

And another red block.
Now I have 16 blocks. 
I am not really feeling the scrappy block this month.  I think if I have the time I may work on a yellow, gray, and whatever else I can rustle up if I have time.  I would love to find a rich chocolate brown, a nice tan, buttery yellow I think it would add a lot to the blocks.  Maybe the April all mixed up the center block would be a string block with different triangles around the outside?  Something to contemplate.