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.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cathartic Sewing

adjective: cathartic
  1. 1.
    providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.

    "crying is a cathartic release"

Sewing has been a challenge as of late, the aunt, my wounded heart, all make doing things so difficult.  I had some blocks to make for quilt guild (3) and I will admit that it took me about 2 weeks to make those blocks.  But I needed to get them done. 

 This is the March block.  The guild fabric was the shamrock print, I had to add a medium or dark green.  

This is the April block.  The guild fabric was the light and you were to use two complementary blue fabrics.  At least this one will be turned in on time.  I hope.

I also had my bag lady quilt block to get done.  Yes I finally had time to sew it Thursday morning so it will be ready to be turned in to quilt guild tonight. 
Sewing is very cathartic.  While I worry about my cutting because my mind wanders,  once I get the cutting done, I can throw together a block pretty quickly.  The hum of my machine soothes me, and sewing on the little featherweight machine that Jeff bought me as an "anniversary" gift--to celebrate our 1st year we knew each other and being together,  brings smiles.

I was reading some blogs when I had a free moment and  I saw this really cute quilt made by Designs By Sarah J.  She had a line of fabric out called Dandy Days by Marcus Fabrics.  When I saw it I knew I had to have some.

I love the colors, and the text fabric with its buttery yellow background was a balm to my soul.  While I may not be doing the QAL, I will make sure I save the instructions so that when I am ready I will be able to make the quilt. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Picking Up the Pieces

Today would be one month since Jeff was killed.  Every day seems to be a challenge, while I try to pick up the pieces of life.  The AA has been ill, I had to put her in the hospital with pneumonia again, and so life has taken another turn.  She was released on Wednesday, and my days have been filled with medications, oxygen tanks, and trying to keep her calm.

I still haven't written all of my thank you notes, it is hard.  I only get one or two written a day, there are many tears, and memories of Jeff sharing about each and every one of his friends and co-workers. 

I have tried to sew, but I was afraid of trying to cut anything because I am so distracted.  I did fix my curtain for the family room, but I can't put it up.  The hardware is missing.  I did buy a new rod, now just to have a few moments, to retrieve the ladder, install new hardware, and do it.

I have received some lovely care packages.  I am hoping to get my quilting mojo back.  Having the time to just sit and sew even for only a few minutes helps immensely. 

Nancy from Pug Mom Quilts sent me lovely flowers.  On gorgeous blue fabrics.

Dawn at Sew You Quilt 2 sent a care package.

A lovely table runner of Kaffe Fassett prints.  Of course Lucy claimed it as her own.
Gorgeous fabric.  Love the chicken, barn, and windmill.  Jeff's favorite things.
A get well pillowcase for the Ancient Aunt.
A mug rug of selvages. 
And a To Do list which I keep plenty of these to keep track of what I need to get accomplished every day.  It helps me focus right now.

Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots 2 Quilting sent me some books.  I am looking forward to some time to sit down and read.
Recently I bought this book by Jen Kingwell  called Long Time Gone after seeing Kris's blocks for a QAL from Kris Love's Fabric I knew I had to make a quilt using the pattern leaflet.

I know I have shared that Jeff loved antique John Deere tractors, he had rebuilt and sold or donated a couple previously.  He had two that he was currently working on.  He at one time had handed me a bunch of shirts and asked me to make a quilt for him. 
I kept putting it off.   Just a short time before he died, he asked me why I hadn't made him a t-shirt quilt out of his shirts.  I told him I am afraid of messing them up.  He chuckled and said they are just a bunch of old t-shirts, heck honey you think nothing of cutting up fabric that cost $18 a yard, but you won't cut up a bunch of old raggedy shirts?  I guess it is time.  I started by cutting off of the collars, sleeves, and all the different motifs.  I think my next step is to measure all of the different motifs then design a quilt.  

I thank everyone for your continued prayers and for checking on me.  Those prayers and well wishes have helped me through more times than I can count. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Life Well Lived

First of all I want to thank all of you for your prayers and loving thoughts.  I will say that I can really feel the power of the positive thoughts and prayers because otherwise I don't think I would have been able to cope as well as I have been.  There were many times where I felt like my heart was going to explode from the pain and anguish.  At that moment it truly felt like someone enclosed me in their arms and held me until the sorrow passed. 

Saturday March 18, 2017 I had a Celebration of Life open house here at the farm.  Many friends stopped by to say goodbye, and share some lovely funny stories.  My brother flew in on the red eye that morning from Oregon.

My parents had arrived the day after the accident, I wish they all could have been her under better circumstances.

I will admit I was afraid that no one would show up since Jeff's family is having a large memorial in town.  I was thankful when Kris from Kris Loves Fabric arrived, and  I was pleasantly surprised at all of the people who came.  I know we had well over 50 people come.

Jeff wasn't one to take pictures often.  I managed to scrounge up enough pictures to make a memory board.  I titled it A Life Well Lived.  On the board were pictures which I got from the AA when he was little, a few pictures of the daughters, and a picture of him with  the grand kids.

You can see I had the table set with some of his small John Deere tractors.

My ex husband and his wife sent me this gorgeous basket. 
My parents bought this lovely arrangement it is full of yellow flowers.  Jeff being a John Deere kind of guy always wanted green and yellow.

This is the basket of flowers that I ordered.  I thought it was perfect with the yellow roses and greenery, and green gingham bow. 

I also received an arrangement from Kate and Dustin my oldest daughter, and Kate's mother in law sent a lovely plant also.

I had the flowers on a table with a basket for cards, a guest book, memorial folders, and more tractors, and the wedding cake topper Jeff had chosen when we got married. 

The prayer inside his memorial folder:

Native American Prayer

I give you this one thought to keep-
I am with you still- I do not sleep, 
I am a thousand winds that blow, 
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle Autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight, 
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

I will say that I think that Jeff was a great example of a Life Well Lived and all of his friends and the family that showed to share, were proof. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Saying Goodbye

Wednesday the love of my life, my best friend, my better half was tragically taken from me in a car accident, right down the street at the corner.  As I wheeled my garbage can out to the street today, I could see the light, and as the sun rises it reminds me of him and the moment that he was lost to me. 

The morning he died, he kissed me passionately but tenderly.  I told him goodbye, have a good day at work and I love you.  He told me he loved me, and he couldn't wait to get back home.  He went out fed the chickens and jumped into our junker Chevrolet Cavalier, and left.  Just a few minutes later all the sirens, started going off, I looked up and thought I hope Jeff made it past the accident.  My daughter called about 15 minutes later, where is Dad?  I told her he left for work.  Her boyfriend thought that the accident at the corner was Jeff.  I said no he should have been well past that before it happened.  She kept calling him and calling, no answer. I told her he won't pick up while he is driving, he was careful like that.  I texted him.  I knew he would answer me by 7:30am.  At 7:35 no answer, I jumped into the car and drove down the light.  What I saw took my breath away.  I collapsed on the ground crying, asking where they had taken him.  When the State Patrolman told me he had died instantly, a part of me died. 


Slow down, you are never in that much of a hurry.  The man that hit my husband blew through the stoplight at the intersection, they think he may have been going well over the speed limit when it happened.  Many cars were stopped at that time, there is video of it happening at the local business, so many people called the state police to report the accident and act as witnesses the officer told me he was having trouble handling all of the calls.  Put the cell phone down, pay attention to what is going on around you.  I have to go through that intersection almost every time I leave the house.  To drive through it and not see any skid marks makes my heart lurch. 

While the true meaning of this song is totally different I am holding it in my heart.

I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there

We may be a thousand miles apart
But I'll be with you wherever you are

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
Oh I'm already

Right now it gives me comfort during this time.  It reminds me he is all around me, even though he is not physically with me anymore.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Playing on the Farm

Back at the end of January Amy of A Quilting Sheep posted the cutest block.  It was a friendship block with a heart.  Now I love the friendship block and I love hearts so of course I had to save the tutorial that she provided.  I thought it would be so cute in my Farm Girl Vintage quilt, but I didn't want the large block.  Amy kindly gave me permission to try to downsize it to 6 1/2 inches.

Yep it has a wrinkle and it has some teeny tiny squares to make HST but not too bad for a first try.  Thanks again Amy for a super cute block. 

Then Barbara of wont-to-be quilter, shared a block on Facebook and I knew I wanted to try to make the block. I made a cute apple block.  I think my stem is too large and I have some 3/4 inch strips and  1inch squares to make HST,  but I got it to 6 1/2 inches square.

I also think my leaf is kind of cute.  I did somehow end up with a strip which was a scotch too small.

The blocks for the Farm Girl Vintage SALin March are the barn, and the pear.  I think before I go any further I may need to work out how many blocks am I making, and create kind of a layout since I have 6 1/2 inch blocks as well as 12 1/2 inch blocks.

Last month was my birthday.  If you shop online some shops send you specials for your birthday.  I had a 20% off discount.  So I just had to use it, not using a 20% off coupon is like flushing money down the drain right?

I bought some Kimberbell basics by Maywood and some more aqua/teal fabrics.  Can you tell I am still obsessing about my fabric for the February RSC, even though it is a new month and the color is red!  I should be able to do that one.  I have lots of red. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ocean Wave QAL 3

Not a whole lot new going on with this one.  I am still sewing, cutting, trimming.  I haven't even made a whole block yet!  Just parts.

I did have to break down and get a larger bin to lay out my parts so the cat would quilt knocking the pile off onto the floor.

I had this bright idea I would get 5 blocks ready.  I sewed all the rows together.  Then went to press them and got distracted and ended up getting them out of order.  Lets just say I could not get them back together the right way, without having duplicates.

After a couple of hours of trying I gave it up and decided I would just make more rows.  I ended up making 9 of the units total, so I had enough pieces to make 3 whole blocks all together.
No  I haven't sewn my blocks together.  I think this will be a WIP and I will make all of the sub units so I can move them around before I decide on the final layout.  Just a few more blocks and I will be ready to put it together (132). 

Linking up to Mama Spark's World.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bag Lady 2017

I missed my guild meeting in February because I had pneumonia.  I was kind of bummed because the meeting was the one where you had to sign up for the bag lady group.  (Bag lady is you choose a block and at least 4 yards of fabric.  Each month you get a new bag with someone else's fabric and you make your block which you chose from their fabrics.)  I wanted to make a red, white and blue quilt this time, and had been looking for a pattern and fabric.

Imagine my excitement when the lady running the group called me a few days ago and asked if I still wanted to participate?  Well heck yeah I did.  But I didn't have a pattern or fabric, she said that was alright we weren't going to start until March anyway.  I jumped online and finally decided on this group of fabrics and ordered them.

Today I decided I better choose a pattern and get my beginning block made.

It is just a simple Ohio Star block made with 4 fabrics and I will say that I think this block went together so easy it was amazing.  This is only a 9 1/2 inch block 9 inch finished.

You can read more about my bag lady quilts here these are the blocks for 2016.  No I haven't finished my quilt yet.  Then there is the completed one from my blocks in 2015 which you can see here.  I enjoy the bag lady quilts and it is so fun to have something that may be outside of my normal comfort zone.