Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Good Folks

My Improv from the Sherry Lynn Wood workshop
I included fabrics from Lucy's stash...RIP Lucy

Ava, the children's new sister, turned one.
She was surrounded by folks who love her.

Good stuff
The other day,  as I finished with my grief therapist, I bumped into the building maintenance man.
He had re-done the wheelchair ramp to my specifications...How nice was that?

I left for my Brugger's bagel lunch...My routine is a Leonardo da Veggie sandwich.
A brilliant and kind Christina is always behind the counter.
I waved at her...went to the bathroom.
When I came out, she said..just pay darlin" I have already made
your sandwich and put it with your diet Coke at the window table you like.
How kind was that?

The quilting birthday party for Marie  cheered us all in spite of our worries..
Quilting friends are the best.

My XDIL,  her husband and his nice family are planning a beach trip
for the summer with the children...
How loving is that?

I feel surrounded by kindness...
And from my fellow traveler...Meg...
Our grief survival song.
Better Man

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Happy Birthday Marie

Happy Birthday Marie..Kaffe lover!!!!
I made this bag for you..
This is the inside...See how the instructions have all the seams bound.
All ends, even the zipper top, is boxed.
I had never done it like this before. I am impressed.
Designer bag by Sew Can She
A free video well done.
Charmaine did homemade cupcakes and nice
Here is the birthday lady with a new scarf...made by Sherry.
Our group waving "Hi" to those who could not make it.
Jean made jewelry
 Margaret did an adorable English thing
A great night with friends.
We love nothing like a party!

Our group is facing a lot now.
One member in the hospital
One member has an infected diabetic toe.
One member needs a knee replacement.
One member having a blood clot removed tomorrow.
Thank goodness for the shelter of each other..
And, for me, TBTG for my son.

Holding my mother's hand as she died..

Grief Over Time; The Ball in the Box

Saturday, March 23, 2019

New Life

The grands' new sister turns one on Wednesday.
 Lynsey asked me to make her sister an Ava bag...Tonight it was finished.
All the children have name bags handy for outings and camp
and libraries...etc.

A brilliant Carolina blue day today.
I was so eager to sit outside and read, that I got a sunburn.
I just could not leave the sun.

The following poem reminds me of the works of ee cummings.
A friend on my ALS Caregiver support group shared it with us.

on being the holy broken
© Liezel Graham 2018

you wonder
if it is worth
living your life
open, whether
wearing your heart
on your sleeve
all your
carried in
is ever safe, where
all the world can
see, and
all the world can
what they feel
about the tender courage
that has
within you.
it will not be easy.
definitely not.
there will be pain.
it is a new birth,
after all.
but, you must not
lift your head.
unfurl your spirit.
reach upward.
live outward.
you are the holy broken.
the one holding the light.
and if you show your scars, people will come
and sit with you,
and they will listen.
and this
is how we heal each other.
by living gently,
and walking vulnerably.
unafraid of opinion.
ready to wipe away
other darkness,
with the light
the cracks
in our bones.
moved only by the spirit.
so, yes—do it.
live your life
a white dove
on the battlefield.
it will all be ok.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

My Day of Exploration

My dearest 9 year old Dylan...I noticed that the bookshelf in your room would make a lovely addition to my second sewing room...I hope you are enjoying your time this weekend with your mother. LOL
I will make this up to you  💕💕💕💕 I promise more Nerf gun bullets and a chalk bulls-eye on the fence for your pleasure.
The brown one was the one moved downstairs...It used to showcase antiques
in a gift store...The store closed so I bought the two of them for my mother.
When she moved into assisted living,  I took them home.

It did not take long for me to fill it with baskets....
In the process, I have found one million charm packs, projects galore...
I even found this:   OMG  a flimsy/top from a "Block in the Box" exchange from
about 6 years ago. It has been pin basted for 3 years. Shot cotton...
What is going to become of me????

What I know from years of living:
Secrets make you sick.

And, as Rachel Houser so beautifully wrote in her recent blog post:
"Silence creates distance.
It is honesty that builds a relationship.
It's a transparency that allows one to be known.
When we hold back to protect those we love, we only succeed in hiding ourselves away.
What we protect with such silence is a glass facade.
It may look lovely, but it is empty inside"

,Rachel, I hope you enjoy your time in Europe.

I have spent the past 40 years of my life helping people help themselves.
Teaching communication skills.
 Showing folks the benefits of making the covert overt.
Now retired, it is about my self-care and my dear grands.
Selfishness and self-care are different.

Things are going well.  Evan is having a friend over.  He just made quesadillas for them for lunch.
Yesterday I went to a Guild Sit and Sew....I asked Lynsey to make me a PBJ sandwich to take with me......She did.  Dylan routinely picks up things I drop and brings the extra chairs out for our quilting group.  He helps his daddy work on the cars.etc..
When I need a cake made for a quilting, either Evan or Lynsey will make it without help..
.And my son is a God- send.
.I am so lucky

On I plod, doing the best I can.
Enjoying my family, my friends and my fabric.
The three F's of my life 💚💚

Friday, March 15, 2019

Paying it Forward

The next generation of babies have come..
Baby quilts in process.
St. Bridget Cross is first..
Will try to make the top tomorrow.
Cheer up dear CALS well dog lover xo
I love my mail deliverer..He is so kind and helpful
A potholder for him...a little late for Christmas.
A thank you to our neighbor..
A lavender sachet by Muggs.
Another thank you to our neighbor xoxo
The plastic bag hanger.of Kaffe fabric...from me.

My mother called it Emotional Incontinence
That is when you cry because you are  overwhelmed or exhausted or both.
Folks say...why are you crying...and you say...I do not know.

Upcoming is the St Paddy's Day I always loved.
I do not love it any more.
Now, I hate it.
All I can think of is my wonderful Irish man, Mr. O'Quilts, I can almost not bear it.

Easter....I do not like that any more either.
My man died on Easter...upcoming 4 years ago.
I am stymied...Sorrow keeps  me from sewing.
I am stuck
Just for today, I am stuck
Always grateful for the morning light.

To help me out in this constant struggle for re-framing my
Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher.
She is one of my favorite authors.. of self help books...
Helping with the identity and changes of women growing older..
I have read one chapter and I feel better already.
So working on self care.

ps  I have decided that self-care means spending a million dollars
for the Kaffe Fassett quilting workshops in the in Charlotte...Wahoo.
Pull that tooth girl!!!1

Monday, March 11, 2019

She Stands Tall...Fighting her Fight..Go Grandma...Go

I am making a baby quilt..with a pattern that resembles:
St Brigid's Cross
Jelly rolls are good for this, with a cross cut 4.5 inches.
I do not usually work in low volume but, for this quilt, I thought I would.
Tutorial from Diary of a Quilter
I just changed the size of the block so I could use the jelly roll.

I have put Meadowland aside as it is a mother-daughter project and my
girl  has yet to start.

Kaffe Fassett  is coming to Charlotte in the fall.
There will be a lecture and trunk show...then..classes
 Rumor has it that it will be several hundred dollars.

I am so over the fact that ALS, like any catastrophic illness, stole my money.
I am so over worrying that raising 3 children at my age with no financial help is

I am so over being disgusted that American healthcare has almost no dental
coverage in Medicare, in spite of the fact that it is the senior who breaks and loses old teeth.
I am now looking at a crown for a broken old tooth..for $1000 or so.

Still alive, and fighting, I am going to at least part of Kaffe's visit.
This is how...I will celebrate my craft.

I will have the offending old tooth pulled for $200, forgoing the crown!!
Last year, I had two teeth pulled...OMG
Desperate times require desperate acts.
Really, I do not movie star days are over!!
My priorities are does that to a person.
Grandchildren do too.

I may feel down, but I am not out.
I am a fighter...I fight for the children in the schools. The boys both have AD/HD
I go into those schools with my cane to be sure that the children get a fair shake.
I fought for my husband.
I fought for my mother..
Now...I insist that I fight for myself.
I insist.I do what I want to do..
Pulling my tooth will empower me...I am in control of so little.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Best Medication is Friendship

Happy Birthday Margaret....How Irish is this?
Tea bags for the bottom and tea cups for the top xoxo
Shamrock cookie cutters inside.
Lined Drawstring Bag

Four Meadowland blocks done!!
I am not a big fan of white background...
I much prefer color, like
But, I thought this quilt called for white.
I am going to be making 12 blocks so it will not get so big.
Four at a time should be fun.

 Flying geese 4 at a time is a new way for me.
That process is waste.. It was hard to stop.
When I was 19, at Arizona State, I remember sitting in the sun making
flying geese by hand.
My mother was aghast...she did not send me to college to quilt...ha ha
That was about 50 years ago..

Feeling better here.  I have been to  the pool three times this week.
Good Mrs. O'Quilts.

As for family, my grands are so loved.
 Each family member contributes something different
Here is our Dylan fishing with his step-father, Brandon

My son's best friend/mentor is moving away.
My son feels sad.
My survival over the years has depended on my setting strict boundaries
between my son and his friends and me.
Still when a child of mine is sad, I am too.
I am also grateful for what his friends do for him.

My friend Vicki is in the hospital
I always liked her.
She is 99.  I made this postcard to cheer her.

The pendulum swings...Tonight, I desperately miss dear Mr. O'Quilts.
Using this energy to make a few potholders/mug rugs for friends in need.

Happy Birthday today to my favorite son-in-law.
And, so it goes...xo

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Peaceful, Lovely, No-Pain Dreary Day

Meadowland block 2

Here in Charlotte, North Carolina, we are sick and tired of the cold, dreary rain.
Playing a poor hand well, today was just lovely.
A little sleep in for Mrs. O'Quilts.
Everyone doing their own quiet thing.
Patting and loving my new gifted
and reading...what else on a rainy day?

Today, I read Mr. Churchill's Secretary.
It was awesome.  I could not put it down.

This past week, I read, News of the World....also excellent.!!
My son and grands are now trained to go into the library and pick up my hold books.

My heart beats like a kid at Christmas when I am gifted with new fabric.
It takes away the sting of non-stop cold rain

Saturday, March 2, 2019

March Birthdays and Family Ramblings....

March birthdays:
Friday, my girl turned 36...(left)...amazing...middle, my XDIL is soon 34 and my SIL is...grown up!
The above picture was taken 10 years ago before the Ava (3-27)
Two days ago., February 27.....
Happy 9th birthday Dylan
Aunt Emily sent him Nerf gun bullets...Dear me...
His daddy got  him Lazer tag...Dear me again.
All grown up...He ordered white cake with 7 minute frosting and berries

Here we go...the old lady has just gotta accept it.
Mrs. O'Quilts was just pushing the cart around Costco when
her knee and hip locked....ugh...
I had to call out for two employees to help me..
They got me a scooter cart and transferred my groceries and found my son.
OMG...the minute I sat down, I was pain free.  TBTG

"Humility like the darkness, reveals the heavenly lights" (Thoreau)

The guys were so nice...I blew them kisses as I rode by...then I realized that
I had become my mother.......Lordy....

My son went to a doctor for the first time in 8 years..whew..
Now he is in the garage playing rubber darts with two of his children.

Friday night....our Evan ready for the 8 th grade school dance

fun sewing hacks

Michele comes thru again...patterns for St Paddy's day

Art Gallery is my this instagram roll

The Meadowland Sewalong...

Lucky me was gifted with samples from a collection of Denise Schmidt
I am delighted to use them in my next first block:

Meghan at Then Came June writes patterns that appeal to my daughter..
.My girl asked me to quilt along with her...JOY.. 
 This is  how my mustard "Inside Out Star" came about.
Emily has chosen "Meadowland" for our next project together.
These patterns are very well executed and.the blocks are large.

When my daughter went off to Carnegie Melon for college....years ago....she insisted that she never wanted to see a sewing machine ever again..
 I had to buy her a comforter from Bed Bath and Beyond.
Within three months, she called asking for a sewing machine from Target so she could make pillows for her dorm room  Whew...

Now..I have given her my beloved Janome 6600.
My girl, living in Portland is sewing away, making quilts and clothes and pillows.
She even started a monthly sit and sew. with her Irish music group..
My heart is sooo happy.

I am not joining up with the quilt along as my knee pain keeps me down.
I have started sewing along, however...
Thank you Emily...This is too much fun.

My son has asked me to sit in the yard and read while he takes care of his children
How lucky can one grandma be??