Friday, February 28, 2020

Riding on a Wave

Happy Happy Birthday Dylan
Sweetheart boy is now 10!!!
Double digits...old enough to cut himself the first piece of cake.

The 27th of February is a momentous day for the O'Quilts family.
Darling Dylan was born 10 years ago.
Emily was married to Brian 5 years ago.
Mr. O'Quilts went to his last ALS clinic visit, 5 years ago.
He was dead 6 weeks later on Easter.
It is all seared into my mind forever more.

The World has changed and keeps on keeping on.
Amazon Prime...  24 soft measuring tapes for $8...WOW!!!
Starting to use them for fun ideas...Most of my friends sew...

So love our Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild
Check out our awesome outreach.

 Ellen's stunning place mats for meals on wheels.
And her husband takes brilliant pictures.

Diane Dos, below, has styled backpacks for homeless pre-schoolers
We will be putting a small quilt inside each of them....for the December holidays.
 Dos adapted the pattern from Caroline at Sew Can She
See how she has serged strong and solid parts of old jeans from the Goodwill..and embellished pockets.
There are about 40 of us..Making about 180...Guess it will be about 5 quilts and 5 backpacks each.

Guild Show and Tell...Linda's Improv. 
A real and true friend helps poor old grandma with organization.
It took us hours to just do the pinks..
I catch my breath with joy just looking at this neatness.
Thank you Linda.

Before Dylan's birthday party , my sister fixed one of
my hundred's of fat quarter drawers....I love it.
Getting along with a little help from my friends.!!!
`I am desperate for more room in this house for the important things.
You know...collections...etc..

Maybe I will ship Mr O'Quilt's 120 year old antique piano to my daughter's house, in Portland.
She is the only one who plays, now that my man is gone.

Then, Oh, then...I can buy some inexpensive IKEA furniture for the living room
It can hold the African Fabric, the batiks, the Christmas and Halloween..
It thrills my heart just to think of the possibility

Now...on to Friday...It is evidently "normal", whatever that feel in grief, that you  have no friends.  Your loss is just too much.  Now, I can celebrate the gifts of friendship as they come.
Found this on my front porch after my afternoon nap....Love..

What cheers me more...this tiny 3 month white sweater with an Irish lamb..
Like new at a consignment store today.

Losing a Spouse is Tough on the Brain
Which is partly why, my focus is so off....
Actually...way way off....

Monday, February 24, 2020

Lost and Found and Fun

Yesterday was a fun time at the Woodcarvers' convention in Charlotte.
This piece stole my heart!! Wonder why??  I have probably thrown away my old wooden spools..
But, then, maybe they are lost!!!!
A friend carved this flower and gifted it to me...lucky me!
Speaking of lost...I just found these under my mess...
Grandma's embroidered kitty and my strip tree. :)
Prevalent now, is "slow stitching" .  Hand work to relax.
It is a reminder to "chill".
The last time I did hand work...was the ALS clinic "hexies"
Well, this is my idea of "slow stitching" now... UFOs that are forever old
One border added to this tonight.
I love the corner blocks!!

My yummy chicken sandwich...a la Marie..putting a bit of mango chutney
with raisins...So yum.
Starting new pink quilt for the CMQG outreach.
Using orphan blocks and scraps...Now this is relaxing.
Hoping to make my number 3 promised quilt soon.
Lastly, this Gazette came in the mail today.
Right to ME! is all about ME!!

PS. I hope to remember to make encourage the boys to learn
to fold laundry.  When Lynsey gets are left undone.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Love..It Just Comes Out of the Blue...

Queen Bee friends going thru my 3 large scrap baskets...TBTG
So happy to be able to share.
Also, makin" a bit of room for more scraps....Lordy!!
Above, look what Susie brought for Lynsey..
Daughter and dollie  matching apron patterns.
And, fabric for them.!!  Thank you Susie!!
Above, one of Heather's brilliant quilts  Lucky Heather is in Austin now, at Quilt Con
Next year it is in praying I can ride with someone...
These are Kathylynn's creations...both for her friend at the pharmacy.
New baby quilt..and apron...

This life has been so crazy for 7 years...Finally I am able to cook again.  Dylan was complaining tonight that he had had to load and unload the dishwasher twice today.  And then there was the laundry. He had to bring down the laundry and sort it.  Lynsey started it and folded it..I told them that Granddaddy and his younger brother had to cook all the evening meals for 11 people every night.  Granddaddy was 12 and his brother was 11 when their mother died of stomach cancer at 47. She left 10 children behind....   And Ms Stephanie, by the age of 8, was cooking and cleaning and caring for her baby sister.  I told them that cooking saves us money and cooking makes lots of dishes.  Everyone has to do their part and sometimes more. 
Best to know how to do things, life as we know it, can change in a second.

They said that I make the best steak ever.  It is Chuck Eye instead of Rib Eye...marinated for an hour in a garlic salad dressing.
They are learning how to save money cooking.
I told them that no one knows the future..and that great-great Grandma and Grandpa lived through hard times..They had their own chickens and eggs.. We talked about Lynsey put $30 of her birthday money in her credit union account...I matched it...Now she has $60 to leave and grow.
Money growing money

I am however exhausted.
Evan has a stomach virus and missed all week at school..He is still at his mother's house.
  Lynsey is sniffling in her nightie..hmm,
Dylan has a cold.
 My son fixed my sister's car, now is trying to fix the garbage disposal...Life...

It is easy to get bogged down in despair....but,
 when we are able, gratitude and the morning light, lift us up.
Tonight's meeting was about gratitude....I am grateful that my son is healthy and helpful
A miracle.
 I am grateful for how well my grands are doing.
And, with grief being so much about anger and despair, I am so grateful for the friends who have stood beside me in spite of my irascible moods as I keep on doing the best I can.
Grateful for 50 years of fabric collecting and our 5 sewing machines.
My five quilting groups and all our combined creativity and outreach.
If we are lucky, tomorrow is another chance at a lovely day.

Meantime, folks are giving me things.  I do not like to accept...Finally, I have decided to look at those things as gifts from God...I am humbled.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Snow, Cold, Windy, Sunny..No School and on it Goes...

Snow on Thursday
Schools closed today...for freezing puddles.
Not to be deterred at 10 and 11....a picnic in the wind.
Carolina blue skies, 40 degrees, iced tea, a quilt and the dog.
Off they go on a winter adventure
Last night I am soooo very pleased to report 3 February finishes.
Two are for the Charlotte MQG outreach.  My part is 5 quilts, plus a bag for each.
So two down 10 months early is not bad, not bad at all.
With a little help...I got these done.
Five dollars each to Lynsey and Dylan for snipping the three quilts so I could wash them.
Sooo worth the money.They did a great job.
Pleased as punch with the finish,
 I treated myself to playing with batik scraps. much fun.

Still thinking about my rotten vintage bracelet.
I just had to look on Ebay and Etsy for information..
The same era...above, $12 on Etsy.
Mine had a silver bracelet part.
 I must tell you that this one, now lives in Charlotte with me.
This one has matching earrings...other than difference  $229.

Mine that rotted was $8 at an antique store, seen on This Post.

This is an amazing sight at my house.
So have to show it off....
It is so wonderful to have a friend...or two...or...
Mucho thanks for help.
Novelty shelving here and my grands have outgrown a lot of  the children's fabrics.
Off to Outreach...and out of my house..
I never, ever, dreamed a dream that would let any fabric leave my house...
What did I know????

Thursday school was released 3 hours early...
Big fat snow flakes were so beautiful, although nothing stuck to the ground.
Today's blue, blue skies belie it all.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

That Girl has Done Grown Up...

February's block is teal. I am working on it.
And more treats found while cleaning my fabric mess...A friend's blood tester...
missing for over a year...sigh...

Lynsey turned eleven today.
Tin foil shoes, and Dylan in his  tinfoil pants and crown.
Lynsey on the catwalk with her tinfoil necklace and dress.
The five other girls are waiting in the hallway for their turn to come out.

A big Happy 11th Birthday Lynsey and her first friend birthday party ever
Five dear friends...both parents, all carrying on...noise, stress, joy, laughter..
Her mommy had some great games...the last one was hilarious.  They all made themselves
outfits and jewelry from tin foil...and then had a cat walk to show themselves off.
Hilarious and, Lynsey let her brother Dylan,  soon 10, play too.
All this fun with tinfoil rolls.

Lynsey and her mommy putting on the candles.
Lynsey , little sister Ava--almost 2..and their mother.
Everyone had a great time..

I am, however a bit nerve wracked with all the noise and commotion.
Evan made the chocolate cake.
Lynsey made the cup cakes.
I made the frostings.

I am still on edge and all the others are in bed!!
Once again age is upon me.
I tried deep breathing...but I find red wine, chocolate birthday cake and the great sale at;
Hawthorne Threads relax me much more.
There is a coupon code on the site for 40% off everything, even sale items.

I told her parents that they were in charge...
They sent me to my sewing room to chill so I would not interfere....
The mother had said, no goody bags...
We so did not listen... Lynsey and I put together
packets of two rice hand warmers/ freezer bags..tied with a lollipop.
 The children had made them with me for the teachers at the holidays.
We had some leftover.

My son is now on the way home from a meeting.
 He is going to clean up a bit for my quilting group tomorrow...The Queen Bee
I bee so very lucky!!!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day

Last night I asked myself, What would Mr. O'Quilts have done??
He would have said, "Sweetheart, Be good to yourself."
And so...from him, I bought myself a heart mug and filled it with joy..
...OK, I filled it with hot chocolate and marshmallows...,
Same thing!!

From me, the children got their Merry Valentine cookies.
The elementary schools had fun times.
The 14 year old got ungrounded.
My son got IKEA candy bars.
We all got love from each other.

I still struggle to give back to the ALS groups.
I feel obliged...but...for me...
It is just too much to even think of ALS
So I will sew, and sleep, and organize my sewing room.
Ha ha ha ha ha

More on the treasure front:
Great Aunt Billie's friend...was it Gladys?   Gave me this top if I would finish it..
Well that was 48 years ago...Jeeze Louize...I have already made a quilt from most of it.
This is a left over piece.  I paid someone in Miami, to help piece it for me, but I see that the color is off. How many treasures unfold when a person "organizes" ??.
 I am doing a linky quilt sew along  with 30's fabric...
This just may save this for a scrappy border...
Stay tuned..

Watching the news now...I was in Walmart asking for masks for colds, but was told they had been sold out for weeks???  Hmm. So I am going to make some of my own...One for each of us...
There are a number of tutorials online.  I wonder which ones are considered the best/safest???
Stay tuned.

And, now, who enjoys the clean ironing table???
My big boy, Stitch.
He warms my heart.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

That Random Thing

Four ugly squares, cut in half...Random borders, selected at will
A nice wheelchair quilt..?  Or child's quilt...?
Cutting backing and batting now...
Halfway through February without one finish...

Above is an vintage bracelet I bought at an antique mall about 20 years ago.
There was a lovely needlepoint cover on it..which as you can see has now rotted.
It fell right off in my hand; this is the result.
If anyone has ever seen this before...or knows what I should do with it.
Please let me know...I found it to be so  unusual.
I loved it.
Jean E..Thank you !  Pls send me your email address so I can thank you for your comment..
Lucky you to have met that wonderful author.

Today was the second day of early voting...So I voted...whew...
Unfortunately, there were 10 workers....and only me to vote..hope that improves..

Oh, no....I just looked for the valentine treats I got for my family.
You guessed....I cannot find them.
So...look what I did find:
Merry Valentine's Day, my dear ones...

Monday, February 10, 2020

Grandma's on a Roll...Gifting..

Lynsey's English teacher asked for pencils..
Lynsey said that the boys like to break them when no one is looking.
From the online sales in the beginning of the school year, I always get pencils just
for this reason...I could not just give pencils to a hard working favorite teacher.
Tonight I made a laminate pencil pouch.  I am so proud of myself.
Second thought, maybe I should have used oil cloth, but laminate is so pretty and soft
Last year when Paula sent us pencils, Lynsey cried when I tried to share them with the teachers.
I just could not believe it.  She still remembers when there was never enough of anything
before she came to live with me.

Just in case I am losing my mind...hmmm .. knock on wood..
In my basket of laminates, I found my original apparatus that helps me put my socks on.
I had to buy another one...8$, but still...
I am more worried about my forgetfulness.
What was I thinking to put it in with my laminate collection????
And probably this was done last  year

Is that where you put your socks and things to help you?????? OMG
In your sewing room and in your laminate basket???

Lynsey is 10.  She had a friend over tonight from her 5th grade class.
When I mentioned that "Ann"  was dressed like a tomboy....Lynsey looked a me with her big brown eyes.  Do not worry Grandma, I like all and tomboys...
I was flabbergasted at her language and knowledge.

I told her that she had a loving heart.
Now, I am afraid that Grandma is outdated....WOW