Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jelly Roll Race Top...

This is so funky..I .used up strips just sitting around....instructions for the Jelly Roll/ Lasagne type quilt is  here

Although my version of this quilt is not exactly adorable actually it is odd but, it was a perfect "no-think" quilt when stressed as I have been for the past two weeks.  I liked trying something new and, it went together so quickly.  After the first two rows sewn, I think it was done in like 20 mind is already thinking on what I could do with it cut up and restructured...I will get my friends to help me baste it and then wiggle stitch it for a hosptial donation.  By the way, my mother goes home tomorrow..a huge miracle.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Update on good ol' Ma......

At the end of the day, life is good. My mother has risen from the dead and is now sitting up in bed, signing copies of her books for her attending medical staff. She is eating and joking. It is unbelivable. The pneumonia in one lung is completely gone and going in the other one. And the IV antibiotics are curing the inflammation of her gall bladder. She is now, once again, charming the nurses, joking and living. TBTG!! Hopefully she is going back to Sunrise on Monday. Thank you all for your support, prayers and love. It is so wonderful to be able to give good news for today.  Queen Alice, age 90 lives and loves on.....just for today:)  Thank you for all your support and prayers and hugs...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A mother update

The x rays of mother's lungs today show a worsening of the pneumonia.  The doctor said that this is not a result of a cold or not taking antibiotics.  This is aspiration pneumonia which is disease progression from Parkinsons.  I hate Parkinsons.

Things to comfort me..

My bracelet that my daughter Emily made me with lavender scent.
My new Crocs.  Teresa from told me that she fell down and hurt herself wearing her Crocs.  She said to look on the bottom to see if the treads had worn thin...Sure enough, the treads on  mine were gone. Believe me, the last thing I need is a I got online and ordered these!!!!  So happy am I with my feet so cozy:)  Thank you Teresa. 

Biggest Stress buster of them all

My wonderful Irish husband of 31 years.
I could not get through the stress of my mother's decline without him.  I love you honey. xxoo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stress Busters!

What to do about the stress of sitting in the hospital while my mother's body works on pneumonia, gall bladder, confusion from the Morphine and MERSA issues???  Well first of all, once home I need a no-brainer to sew on.  Thanks to Wanda,, I have strips for the Jelly Roll Race.  I had never heard of it before. I had strips impulsively bought from Michaels with a 50% off coupon.  I cut a few more to go and they were ready to sew after the hospital without thinking.  Thank you Wanda.
In the hospital, I had my hand sewing...big stitching work on a UFO.  TBTG for hand work.
And always, my Milito...helping out with the stress where ever he can:)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My mother....again, my mother....always my mother

She sits now in the hospital room eating ice cream, making jokes, charming the nurses and reading her own poetry from her Kindle.  But, inside she is fading away.  She has pneumonia, an infected gallbladder, old age and Parkinsons.  To look at her fake it all....I get hope.  Then the doctor tells me that it is touch and go with her.  The doctor says that all pneumonia cases have only about 30% chance of success and age and disease make that even less.  She is on three kinds of IV antibiotics, oxygen, catheter, Morphine and Oxyc..for pain.

I am on disbelief.  The doctor tells me that we are not meant to live forever.  I hate the doctor.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scary...My mother will live forever....right????

Yesterday my mother called me to say that the folks at assisted living said that she should go to the hospital but she didnt want to.  She asked me to turn around from my route to the pool...bathing suit or not...and take her to urgent care.  Now, I have arthritis and she is 90 years old with Parkinson's..albeit a very clear mind.   No way I told her she had to behave and do what she was told to do and go to the hospital.  I was there in 10 minutes and while I was changing from my suit in her bathroom, the ambulance folks had already arrived, putting her on the stretcher...She was screaming in pain and I was telling myself to be brave, very brave...Come on are 63...Grow up.  She was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia...I never knew that could be painful.  So scared was I...but friends abound and one who works in that hospital came down and was angel of the day...Thank you Drenna!!!  Today, my mother is sitting up, eating ice cream and writing a poem...but not out of the woods...on 3 IV antibiotics...I spend the days and my sister is spending the nights....It is soooo scary. I know that I have had more than most with my grandmother living till 99 and my mother now at 90.......but...I so want forever....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Postcards and Booklet covers

Today's lazy day and the need for a thank you note, led me to work on these this morning.  I have three postcards and two booklet folders finished. For the booklet covers, I removed the staples to have the cover.  I took "made fabric" from scrap strips and glued them to fit the cover with a plain fabric glued on the inside.  I free motioned quilted it and did a double blanket stitch on the edge.  Then I re-stapled the insides of the booklet.

 For the postcards, I cut an iron on stiffener to size and ironed on scraps.  I then free motion quilted it or used my walking foot with decorative stitches to secure the edges of the patches.  I then glued the postcard backing and did the double blanket stitch to hold it all together.  I so love the variegated threads for this.  And see the little red and blue corners cut from triangles glued on the card stock. Glossy polyester thread is fun in free motion to make it shine.

This postcard stamp from Hobby Lobby with my coupon is used here on card stock and glued to the back before the edge quilting.  I have another post on this but of course I cannot find it because I just now learned about the label thing on the bottom...totally slow learner.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mystery quilt top finished

I do not like mystery workshops...oh, I take it back.  I do!  Just did it to be with my friends and guess who had a good  I bought no fabric for this.  My husband says that it is way too yellow...but, the yellow flowered fabric was the only one on hand that had enough yardage and I got it on last year for $3 something a yard.  I still didn't finish it up.  And once I see it online, it does not look too yellow at all.  I do not want to quilt this as it is too big and I want to spend my time making other projects, so I think, just think, I may, just may.. check out a longarmer, Ruth's lady in Asheville.  I will think about it.  Cause I would have to drive to Asheville from Charlotte.  The longarmers here are too pricey for me.  Anyway, I do not know what this pattern is.  I never would have guessed how it would look in the end.  As much as I like to control my quilts..I did like this.

Billie's Quilt

Billie has been an inspiration for me for several years now.  She has come to my water aerobic's class regularly with her oxygen bottle in tow. In the dressing room after the pool, she would often gasp for breath.  While I whine about my arthritis pain and how it affects my walking, Billie never whined, she just carried on.  We laughed and gossiped and enjoyed.  She told me about her life working in a factory in NC and I chatted about my life. About 6 months ago her COPD got worse and she couldn't come to the pool any more, but I saw her at lunches, chatting with friends and enjoying her life.  Last week she told me that she had lung cancer.  Now, I tell you that Billie does not deserve all that.  She has already had enough.  But, I am not in charge in the world.  So yesterday I gave Billie this quilt with the inscription....Billie's "No whining " quilt...Billie, my inspiration.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Guild donations...blocks

Since I have organizational challenges to say the least, I am routinely sewing blocks together upside down, etc..and although I am thus best friends with my seam ripper, I prefer to leave it alone!  So, I have small spare pieces from my design wall, covered with flannel, to make piecing life at the sewing machine easier.
Our guild is asking for star blocks for Quilts of Valor..They are fun and pretty and relaxing to make.  This year, block of the month is an applique flower in pink for breast cancer donation quilts.  Mine are done now for the month and I thought I would share.
Oh, and my first IKEA bird...shhh


Well, on the Fourth of July, Oilcloth Addict had a lovely shipping.  I am a sucker for free shipping and since I cannot find much oil cloth in Charlotte, I went for it.  A few half yard pieces and some scrap pieces for small gift items.  It came today causing the great excitement that a package of fabric can cause.....!!  They do not send it on rolls as I would have loved, but in a package so some of it had bends.  Tonight I rolled the bigger piecest on spare rollers to be sure it was ready when I am!  A new challenge....sigh!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My new motto!!!!!

Thank you for your saying of the day...suits me perfectly:)
Saying for today:

How beautiful it is to do nothing,
and then to rest afterward.

Spanish proverb

New Modern Quilting Guild in Charlotte!!!

Grab Our Button

Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild
I just found out about this yesterday....gotta check out all the quilting things available....yeah!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cucumber appetizer

We are going out tonight after a fun day at a mystery quilt workshop.  I always bring brie, but today, I decided that I would use some of what I had in the garden which is cucumbers and more cucumbers.  And of course chives.  So I googled cucumber appetizers and came up with this...yummy....

Crab and Cucumber Canapes with Lemon and Chives (I was too cheap for shrimp).
1 hothouse English cucumber cut into 1/2 thick rounds...I used cucumbers from my garden
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 TB chopped fresh chives...from the garden
1 TB coarse grain mustard
1 tsp grated lemon peel
8 oz or one cup crab...or shrimp
Curly endive leaves

Using melon baller (or grapefruit spoon) scoop out center of each cucumber forming hollow cup and leaving bottom intact.  Mix mayo, 2 TBS chives, mustard and lemon peel in bowl to blend..  Add shrimp and toss to combine.  Place small leaf of curly endive in cucumber cup.  Spoon small amt salad into each cup.  Garnish with additional chives and serve.

Cucumber cups can be made 8 hours ahead lining dish with paper towels, covering tightly and refrigerate.  Shrimp/crab salad can be made one day ahead.  Canapes can be made 2 hours ahead.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hard work in cleaning the bleed

The good news is that my quilt has been saved.  TBTG!  AFter 4 or 5 machine runs with Color Catcher, 5 TBS of Retayne in another run, two cycles of non chlorine bleach in still another washing machine cycle...nothing happened.  The realization that my new fangled washing machine was an energy saver, thus would not allow a decent soak, lead me finally to fill up my utility sink with hot water and half a bottle of Retayne.  The quilt soaked there for 3 hours.  There was still a slight pink in the backing so I put it through the washing machine cycle with a little chlorine bleach (against my better judgment) and voila...a saved quilt.  Even though this picture looks a bit pinkish, the quilt is completely white and I am delighted!
Sigh....I love a success story:)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sick to my stomach, my quilt bled......

I remember once when my kids were in middle school, we were picking someone up from the airport...I kept missing the exit....then turning around and missing it again.  They were many ways to say throw upchuck, vomit, puke...etc...they were distracting me and driving me nuts cause we were late.  This is the way I feel now.  My stomach is churning.  My lovely, newly finished Pink 4 patch experiment number 1...has bled.  This has not happened to me in a long long time, maybe 10 years as I always, repeat ALWAYS pre-wash my fabric.  I am dumbfounded. I washed it with my newly finished disappearing nine which is not ruined.  But, I fear that the pink and white one is...OMG...what to do.  I rinsed it in color good.  It is now soaking a bit with the color removal sheets.  I just do not believe this...Help..A glass of wine or two is in order for me...but that will not fix the quilt...cry..whine...jeeze louize..OMG..

So here is the result of the first 41 minute round of two color catcher sheets.  I have it back again on soak cycle with two more...But...I do not know and bed time calls soon..I know I will have nightmares.

What has done about fugitive...I just checked again, the third round and it is still pouring red.  Jeeze...and with a scrap to know the culprit.
Now the cat just spilled my red wine on the bills my husband was going to pay. ( Do NOT read this honey!)  I am very crabby!

Good morning...oh...same old problem...but, I think it is the binding that bled.
It is in the wash for the 4th time with two more Color Catchers...When it dries, I guess I will take off the binding, but the white back is still all pink and not nice....

Next update is that the 4th time did nothing but the front is ok.  It is very strange that the back is the only thing affected now.  And, it is no longer splotchy, but all over pink.  Still not acceptable, but front is ok....Will get some Retayne as soon as I can.  Will not take off the binding yet...OMG  This is so annoying.

The perfect diaper cover by MADE

Thank you Dana!!!  This is a great diaper cover tutorial.  And thank you Emily for telling me about the pattern!  Emily, I can see why you had trouble with the casings for the legs.  I did too.  One leg I did by pressing/folding under and the other leg I did by doing a zigzag.  There was no difference in the difficulty.  Dana is right when she says that a half an inch casing works best and she is right when she says to ignore the imperfect casing because once the elastic is inserted, it will not make a difference.  I think they are darling.  I did not finish closing the leg casings.  That way I can try it on Lynsey the next time she visits, in order to make adjustments.  See the cute little "Grandma Made It" tag I found at Hancocks.

I told myself I would finish these before anything else...or you know me...I would just start something new with this sitting on the table since Easter:)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disappearing nine patch reproduction fabric

All I can say is thank goodness I had all these quilts ready to go for the vacation that is not to be.  For, my husband's back kept us here and I was able to sew it all away..mostly.....for me anyway....

Pink four patch experiment, finished #1

Amongst the weeds by the garden is all about value and color...

Holiday drink

A sprig of spearmint from my garden, an orange, half a lemon, a quarter of a sliced cucumber from the garden and water....even better the day after the party.
Eggplant just for looks...ha ...not in drink:)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pink four patch scrap quilt experiment, finished #2

Our annual vacation to the mountains for sewing and tennis has been cancelled.  We both decided that a short term sacrifice for a long term goal was more important this year.  After a week of grandchildren, my husband and I have hunkered down for a peaceful 4th, until of course he woke up with a pulled back and is now on muscle relaxers.  That is the life.  Sew what do I do??  Right into sewing mode.  I have so many tops ready for vacation quilting, that I was ready to roll.  Last night, I started this one, this afternoon I finished it.  It is not a prize winner, but as I quilted it, it started feeling so comfy.  I know it will make someone happy. Sewing fixes most things, but just in case, I turned on a TV movie....guess which one made me laugh right out loud??  "Don't Fence Me In"...Ha ha....Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and Trigger and Gabby Hayes...ha ha...all those songs reminded me of my childhood and my grandma playing records.  IT was the 100th anniversary of Roy Roger's birth.  They had nonstop RR movies, but one was enough.  It was so much fun.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sharing philosophy

My mother's friend Bella died today.  I was sad and asked my mother what she died of.  My mother said, " Diane, why are you asking ridiculous questions...Bella was 102.  But, said I...she was clear minded and sat on the porch and smiled and had quality of life...  I do not like this.  My 90 year old mother is busy now making a funeral poem for Bella and her family.  She is hunched over her computer with her Parkinson's pecking out a joyful poem that will make people happy.

My quote of the day is from G.K.Chesterton.  "I have seen the truth, and it makes no sense."

Antique generational top

Once upon a time 30 years ago in the earlier years of our marriage before the expense of children, etc., my husband got me a Christmas/birthday present combined.  Always a challenge since my birthday is December 17th.  There was a big heavy box for me to open with all family eyes eagerly waiting.  Inside I found bricks.  I also found this quilt.  I had admired it earlier at the Antique show at Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, Florida where we lived for 20 years.  I was delighted..and even more delighted when, as I started to mend some spots, I discovered that under this part was hiding a flying geese quilt that was much older.  A great double bargain, double joy for a double holiday!  In retrospect, one of my regrets, is that in tough financial times, we sold the inside quilt.  So I only have left this top that covered it.  The green backing is also shown.  Dating this is harder since it is clearly to me, a generational quilt.  It is very delicate and has many holes.  Mending it seems such a task.  Actually as I was taking it apart back then, it I saw that it had already been mended, as I have one or two blocks that came loose over some of those shown here.  I am showing many of the blocks for those of you, like me, who love antique fabric and quilt history.