Monday, August 3, 2015

Jeff's Quilt

This was made a long time ago...Jeff joined the Army in 1998 I think it was.  He became an Army Ranger and while the experience was valuable to him, it scared the heck out of me.  Anyway, I wanted to make him a quilt so I started with the idea of green and black, army colors.  This was an Eleanor Burns pattern, courthouse steps.  I think it was a Quilt In A Day....unh huh....sure.....
In those days I purchased a lot of my fabrics at NON quilt stores.  It cost less, looked pretty so what's the big deal.  Once I finished the blocks, I waited to finish because I hadn't found a border print I really liked.  I didn't want anything too flowery or girly.  In a quilt store I found that print.  Yes, it has flowers, but it was more masculine and so I bought it.  I gave the quilt to Jeff Christmas of 2000 I think.  Our first Christmas in Lynden.  Since then he has had two children, married Krista, had numerous dogs, cats, iguana's.  Moved several times.  The quilt has been loved, washed and worn about.  When I was up visiting last year I took a photo of this quilt.  I had been pretty astonished at the wear, of the BLOCKS!  All that inexpensive fabric.  And yet the colors and clarity of the border print still remained lovely.  Here is a close up.
As I lecture around Nor Cal, I talk about the 'difference' between Walmart fabric and quilt store fabric.  But now I carry this quilt with me to SHOW the difference.  No, I'm not saying you have to buy quilt store fabric.  I want you to know though, that the inexpensive fabric is not going to wear as well, over time.  
I'll return Jeff's quilt to him when I move back home, not to worry.  I did leave him with a wonderful red, white and blue quilt to use in the meantime....

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1, 2015

This plant has gone crazy in my kitchen!  Everyday I plan to do some trimming, and some directing, but then I don't.  I need to find some of those command strips to hook it up.  I'm thinking of going to the left over the door...And maybe rooting a few pieces, now that I'm going to be home for several weeks and can tend to it.

Also planning to do some deer fencing and plant some flowers.  I know it's late, but summer lasts a long time in this environment. There is lots of pruning and weeding and feeding I can do in the front yard especially.  And maybe I'll pick some rhubarb and freeze it. or start a batch of rhubarb liquor!!  OH YES!  I still have two bottles of everclear that I bought for such a project.  

Including this one, I only have 3 more August's to enjoy here in California.  I really hope it's in this house and I won't have to move again.  It was so great to have Jillian, Ethan and Krista here for a visit!!!  And now that Krista has seen how the airlines handles kids travelling alone, it looks like we will get Jillian and Ethan visits at least a few times before we return 'home'.  

Looking forward to Mary Chapin Carpenter tonight!  This might put my concerts with her into double digits.  No where the 54 times LJ has been with the Beach Boys, but she is probably the artist I have seen in concert most often.  

Stay cool today, and Stay Cool Always!

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 29, 2015

This is the quilt that I made for my Mom, years ago.  It is folded over a chair in her living room.  I know that she used it from time to time, to cover up.  One of those patterns I have always loved and planned to make another.  Still might.

End of January.  L J and I went out to dinner at a local mexican restaurant, not the one that tossed salsa at me a few weeks ago.  It was pretty busy, so we took a seat outside and then shook our heads in wonder that here we were having dinner outside in late January.  Ah the joys of living in this environment.  

A week ago I attended our guilds annual retreat at Walker Creek Ranch and got a few things done.  

This is a piece that I had started in a class last year.  It is all inset or Y seams, for those of you who know of such things.  So it was a PITA to finish, but finished it is!!  I might still put a small border of the blue with a larger border of the floral to finish it off.  It will be a nice spring wall hanging.  

While there I thought why not? and came back and scheduled my first 
California retreat to host!  Hopefully it will all come together and work out!  In February, after our guild meeting and workday on the 14th and 15th, I'm going to hit the road north and spend some family time.  Going to actually take my machine and some projects to work on while there.  I'm hoping the weather will be okay through the passes.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy 2015!!

Goodness, only one post last year?  Actually it's probably a good indicator of what kind of year it was.  Let's take a quick look back...
The year started out with all kinds of promise.  Started having some great time as The Chaotic Quilter.  Speaking to several guilds around the Nor Cal area.  Had a lot of fun, made some new friends.  Went on the Napa Valley Quilt retreat in January, then a new retreat at a charming place called Bishops Ranch in March.  Followed by a great time up in Auburn with a group of quilters from Vallejo.  It was in late June as I was driving home from a presentation near Fresno that I ruptured my achilles tendon and cracked the heel bone.  My previous post pretty much covered that. We did make the drive to Seattle the day after the cast came off, but it was in AGONY!  Turned out I had a raging case of bursitis in that right knee.  Thankfully the very good folks at a Kaiser clinic in Salem Oregon took good care of me, loaded me up with some good drugs and we continued on north.  It was a brief, but good visit with several family members.  I'm so thankful we went to my Uncle Robin's annual family gathering.
Had a successful cataract surgery in August.  Both done on the same day and almost immediate results.  Just as I was enjoying being out of the leg cast, pain free in the knee, able to SEE, I was at Costco and after returning my cart to the cart return, turned and stumbled out of my shoes and crashed to the ground.  Bad news, it was behind a car that was running and waiting to back up, thankfully we got her attention.  Good news, a couple of very compassionate people saw me fall and came to my rescue.  Biggest concern to all was the bleeding from the wound above my right eye.  You know how those head wounds bleed!  Yes, I could get up, so I slowly did.  My van was only a few spots away, with the tail gate still up, so I sat in the back there, as people provided me napkins.  Costco personnel were very kind, brought some bandaids and offered to call me an ambulance.  Oh no, I assured them.  It was just a little cut.  The hospital (where I had just been to pick up my trial CPAP machine) was only a mile or so away.  I would sit for a while and then drive over there, and if I didn't feel like I could, then I would call someone for help.  I got into the drivers seat, closed the door and proceeded to have a good cry.  When I tried to reach for the kleenex in the back seat, I realized my right arm was having NONE OF THAT!  Oh no....I was sure then my right arm was broken!  Calm down, take some deep breaths....realizing I wasn't going to be able to drive I called dear friend Jamie, who immediately got in her car and headed to help!  While still crying I realized that my right breast was swelling really fast!!  My poor little breast cancer treated boobie.....Jamie soon arrived and took me to the ER.  Tears, tears and more tears.  After an IV and some serious pain medicine, I was off for x-rays and CT scans.  Diagnosis, fractured elbow, minor concussion, head laceration and hematoma in the right breast.  Put me in a temporary cast, glued my wound shut and directions to see specialists in the next couple of days.....My biggest concern, was that I was scheduled to get on a cruise ship in Boston in two weeks!!  And I WAS GOING!!!  Good news again, I only had to be in a cast for the two weeks, then could go with just a sling, if I was careful.  Which I was.
Then on Sunday evening 10-12-14, I received a call from my youngest brother that my Mom had died suddenly.  She would have been 88 next week.  I'll post more on this then, as it is still kind of hard to talk about.  She had adamantly said she wanted no services and we did honor that.

Off to Boston I went, met up with sister Carol and had a really great two weeks with some cruising friends.  Except for the part of getting a sinus, respiratory issue.  Spent every morning coughing and hacking.  Carried tissue with me everywhere for the perpetual runny nose.  But I was going to make the best of it!!  Once I returned home, I realized that my poor right breast was still very unhappy.  Went to my doc, who sent me to a GYN doc who sent me to a surgeon.  Really nice man.  Thankfully I had had a mammogram just a few months before.  We did an ultrasound and it did confirm a large hematoma.  Now, all these months later, it is indeed shrinking, but very slowly.  As long as it doesn't get infected, we can wait it out.  No one really knows how a breast that has been through surgery and radiation is going to react, and no one really wants to go in there and take the hematoma out.  Including me!  So watch and wait.  
I drove north again and spent two weeks including Thanksgiving.  Got to spend some good time with Dad while up there.  He seems to be doing okay, very lonely.  Which would be expected when your partner of 60 years is gone.
Back to Napa for Christmas, which was thankfully pleasant and uneventful.  Just to finish off a lousy 6 months, we went to dinner the last weekend of the year to a mexican restaurant we had visited a few times.  This was the last time.  As the chips and salsa were being delivered, the bowl was dropped and and salsa went everywhere, mostly all over me........
Happy New Year!  Let's Move Forward....