Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Cross Stitch Ups and Downs

I took my cross stitch with me last week to work on in the hospital. I am one of those people who always has to be doing something, so I try to take some handwork along if I know I will be sitting for long periods. My last post on this one:

This was a good choice to take with me as there are no color changes, but a bad choice in a way because of all the counting. I did make some progress.

I got all the flowers and the vase completed and started on the side borders.

Unfortunately, I found a couple of mistakes. I have an extra stitch in a couple of places.

I am thinking about what to do. I can rip out and redo the backstitching, or I can leave it and purposely make the same mistakes on the other side border. Of course, that adds two extra rows that won’t have stitching so I don’t know. I’ll have to make a decision before I can continue. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Prairie Flowers

First of all, thank you so much for your kind comments….I am not able to respond to each one at this time, but I so appreciate it. I also appreciate any and all prayers.  That is what is getting me through the last few days.

I am still not doing any sewing but thought maybe I could take some pictures of a finished quilt and make a blog post about it. I had gotten this one quilted around the 15th, I think and gotten the binding strips cut and sewn together. Of course, Bill went into the hospital on Wednesday afternoon (the 16th), and I got it into my head that I wanted to get the binding finished so he could have it on his hospital bed. I knew they wouldn’t let him have it in ICU, but maybe when he got into a regular room……anyway, I went to my shop Thursday night and got the binding put on and stitched down.

When I quilt a quilt, whether my own or someone else’s, I pray. There are lots of prayers quilted into the quilts I make, and I was determined he would have it on his bed. Well, he never got out of intensive care, and when I got back to town Thursday evening (the 24th), it was still in the back of the car. My daughter was helping me unload the car and brought it in and, and I put it on my bed.

I make a lot of double bed size quilts, even though I have a queen bed. The reason——I like the weight of a quilt, and Bill didn’t, so I made them wide enough to only cover me. This one is currently turned sideways since I am the only one sleeping under it. I really do like it. Here’s a better shot of the border and binding:

I actually chose the binding to not only coordinate with the cornerstones on the front, but also the backing.

You never really know what will be too painful, or what will bring you comfort. So far, I am happy having it on my bed. This was one of the free tutorials from Missouri Star and used a layer cake plus yardage. I quilted it with a pattern called three leaf clover in Glide white.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Pick Up Sticks

Sometimes you just can’t quilt, but you can always look at patterns and dream about what you want to make. I tend to dream of stash busting, and of course there is a good reason for that. I found this one from Windham Fabrics.

This one is made from a single fabric line, but it might work well for scraps also. The pattern is here.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

This Is Hard

So, everything has taken a turn for the worse. We lost Bill at 2:20 pm on Thanksgiving day. I am so devastated I am just raw. I know I will get through this, but I’m not sure how. I am home now, and I have a great support group, but it is incredibly hard to get through each day. I assume it will get better at some point. Please pray for me.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving


This was not the Thanksgiving I had pictured; a little over a week ago my daughter and I were planning the menu, and I had gone to the grocery store to get the things I needed for dressing and sweet potatoes. As everyone knows, circumstances can change overnight, and those circumstances can change your whole life.

It took several days to get a diagnosis for my husband. I was told lymphoma and then I was told leukemia, and finally yesterday, I was told ALL: acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is very sick. His liver and kidneys have shut down. He is on 24-hour dialysis, and the chemo treatment starts today. He had been transferred to St. Luke’s in San Antonio, and that’s where we were through yesterday. The goal was to get him to MD Anderson or Methodist before they had to start chemo as those are bigger, more cancer-focused facilities, but there were no beds available at either one. I have been praying for a miracle (and I’m not the only one), and I was told last night there was a bed at Methodist, and he would be moved sometime during the night. I believe we are at least headed in the right direction, and I thank God for that. 

I am sitting here writing this blog post waiting for the ICU to open for visitors and thinking of all the things I am grateful for. There are so many things—both big and small. The fact that treatment is available for Bill, the fact that I am now retired and can be in San Antonio for as long as I need to, the fact that I have a support system at home, the fact that I have praying friends and church family, the fact that I have the financial resources to be here for a while, the fact that my step-daughter can be here on weekends to give a day or two of relief. Those are the big things, but there are hundreds of little things that make everything a little more tolerable. Things like a hot shower at night, phone calls and texts, the taste of the tamales I bought last night at HEB, nurses and doctors who are patient with my dumb questions, and so much more.

I know this is just a stage of life we need to get through and wait for things to get better. I have faith that they will.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Some New News

My life has changed pretty much overnight.

My last post was when Bill was in one of the local hospitals getting all kinds of tests and basically not getting any better. Unfortunately, we got the news that it is cancer, probably lymphoma, although the needle biopsy was “sub-optimal” so they couldn’t make a definite confirmation. It is definitely very fast moving as his routine labs from August don’t show any abnormalities. He was moved to San Antonio late Friday night by ambulance so that aggressive chemo could be started. It is now Sunday night and he is currently getting dialysis as he is in renal failure. 

I don’t like to post negative anything, but I wanted to let everyone know my posts may be infrequent at best. There is no sewing or quilting happening, although I have my cross stitch and some crochet yarn with me, so maybe I will post some of that progress. If not, well, Bill is the most important thing right now, and he is so sick. I am hating every minute of this. He doesn’t deserve this, but I guess no one deserves cancer. If you are a praying person, we can use all your prayers. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Some Art Work

Well, the bad news is that Bill tested positive for both strains of the flu and his blood work showed some worrisome abnormalities. His platelet count was so low, the nurse practitioner called and asked that we take him to the ER and get him admitted as soon as possible in case there was any internal bleeding. He is still in the hospital and really not doing better. They are continuing to do tests and MRI’s but haven’t found any bleeding, so we are still waiting to see what the outcome is.

In the meantime, I had signed up for an art class for Saturday night for Serenity and me. The other granddaughter was busy, so…..

Anyway, it was fun, and it was a nice break from the hospital. We had a small class so we each got to do two canvases. Here are Serenity’s:

And here are mine:

There was an unfortunate glare from the overhead lighting, and I couldn’t figure out how to edit it out. It has been a few years since I did an acrylic pour, and Serenity had never done one. It was a nice night out for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

What I've Been Working On

I showed a picture a few days ago of all the binding I had made.....

I have really been working to get it all put on the quilts and get them totally done.

It's not too bad if I can get in a rhythm and get some uninterrupted time at the sewing machine. I got the binding on all three of the ones I quilted last week.

These two are the same fabrics and the same binding. I think this makes four or possibly five I have done for this lady using this same fabric. 

She loves a striped binding cut on the bias. I can't say I blame her; I like it too. She also likes the quilts pretty densely quilted. 

I also got my Prairie Flowers quilt off the frame and got the binding cut for it. I still need to trim it which may happen tomorrow. I am playing things by ear for now. I took Bill to Urgent Care in the morning morning and he got some shots (steroids, antibiotics) and got some lab work done. Depending on what we hear about the lab results we may have to go back or possibly I will need to pick up more medications for him. I am relieved to finally get him into a clinic and get some  antibiotics into him. I think it is going to help immensely. I am hoping so--I hate to see him so sick. It's really cold and dreary here. I plan to spend the evening on the couch working on my cross stitch. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

This is so cute

Well, I am always attracted to the gray backgrounds. The pattern is called Barbados. You can find it here. It uses 16 fat eighths plus yardage, but it could be easily modified for fat quarters (which, of course, I have lots of). The dimensions are 50” by 74”. 

I do love a scrappy quilt, especially when I can use my stash. I have several baskets of fat quarters that are just gathering dust at this point. I think I just need some inspiration….and maybe some free time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

To Do List Tuesday 11-15-22

I've gotten quite a bit done in the past week, but some of the time was spent on things that weren't on my list. It's okay, though. Sometimes I need to go where the mood takes me. Here's a recap from last week:

1) Bind the three customer quilts I did last week. I did two of them. I am still trying to find thread to match the binding on the third one.....hopefully soon. 
2) Keep cutting scraps. I did so-so on this one. I got some done, but it wasn't every day like I would like to do.
3) Sashing for Kaffe design roll. I won’t finish this one, but I would like to keep making forward progress. I got a few rows together so it's coming together.

4) Finish the sewing machine cover I started last week. Oh my. This got finished, but I don't like it. It's a tragedy.
I didn't have any thick stabilizer, so I used a midweight fusible interfacing. Total fail. I ordered some fusible bosal foam and will see if I can take it apart and make it work. If not, I'll have to start over. Luckily, I didn't spend much for the fabric.
5) Crochet some more dish cloths. Yes, I did. I think I got five or six done. I will add pictures in a later blog post.

So, I guess you could say I had mixed success with my list. Time to start a new list and see what happens this week.

1) Quilt and bind three more customer quilts.
2) Finish the quilting on my Prairie Flowers quilt and then get it off the frame so I can proceed with number one.
3) More crocheted dish cloths. Hobby Lobby has the cotton yarn on sale this week, so I will try to make a trip over there and see what I can find.
4) Keep cutting up scraps.
5) Keep adding rows to the Kaffe quilt. 

That's enough to keep me busy and out of trouble for a week, I think. I know it's doable, but it's a lot of stuff, so I won't be upset with myself if it doesn't all get done. I am linking this post to TexasQuiltGal.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Some Cross Stitch

Is cross stitch one word or two words? I’m not sure….. Anyway, I haven’t done any in a while. I don’t do as much hand work in the summer as we are outside more. Wintertime is when I do more crochet, cross stitch, and embroidery. Do you remember this one I started earlier in the year? 

The last update I posted was in June, and I had gotten this far:

Not bad, but that was probably the last time I worked on it. Jo Kramer is hosting a stitch along at the first of the year, and she announced it Friday. I thought about it, and decided maybe not, but……I’m such a sucker for stitch alongs, quilt alongs, all those sort of things. Then I saw the name of the chart is “Black Dog Sampler”. I have three black dogs. Is that a sign I should do it? I know, another rabbit hole.
You guessed it—I ordered the chart, and the fabric, and the thread. Jo said she was using 40 count fabric. Not me—I ordered the 16 count. In the meantime, I decided I needed to work on the one I have started and maybe get it finished by the end of the year. I worked Saturday evening and Sunday evening and got this far:

It’s not a lot, but it’s something. I really only have the vase and alphabet to do once I get the flower on the right completed. Oh, and a bunch of backstitching in the border. I’m not sure I can finish this year, but I am going to try. I am trying so hard to not do what I did with quilting and start a bunch of things that don’t get finished. It takes a lot of discipline, which does not come natural to me.

Sunday, November 13, 2022


It doesn't look like progress when few things were actually finished, but they are moving along pretty well. I was able to spend some time on my Kaffe top and got this far:

It's taking a little longer than I would like, but I am trying to keep the momentum going on it. The sashing with no cornerstones is never a favorite of mine as I spend lots of extra time getting it lined up perfectly--or as perfect as I can get it. I'm pretty sure we've all seen quilts where the vertical sashing doesn't line up from row to row. That is something that would make me crazy. 😒 I'm also putting black thread on the machine when I work on it, so that means I have to change thread and bobbin if I've been working on something else. 

I also finished the quilt that was on the frame 

and got a lot of binding made.

I know what I will be working on Monday......putting the binding on the quilts! I got another quilt loaded, but didn't take any pictures of it. It is one of mine; I think it was my October goal quilt, so I will get it knocked out, hopefully, while I am binding.

We finally got some cold weather. It was in the forties all day yesterday, and it is forecasted to stay cool all week. I made a big pot of chili--that is always what I get hungry for when the first good cold front comes through. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Sew Much Fun

Yesterday was full of fun and productivity. Serenity (granddaughter) has been wanting to learn to crochet, and she didn't have school yesterday, so......

I know it feels really awkward when you first learn, but she stuck with it for a few hours and can now do a row of chain stitches, then turn and do single crochet across the chain. She is going to practice this week, and then next week I'll show her how to do a double crochet.

While she was crocheting, I got a customer quilt done.

It may look familiar--I did two for her from the same fabrics, and I have another yet to do. I also got the binding on another one.

It's charm squares with a border. Sometimes the simple ones are very effective. I got some more binding cut for the ones I am finishing. I will try and get it all sewn together today. It doesn't look like I will get to have my road trip today. It's taking Bill longer than expected to recover from whatever he had a few weeks ago. He said it was a head cold, but more likely bronchitis. Of course, he refused to go to the doctor so who knows. He is not feeling bad and not coughing any more, but his energy level is still really low, and he tires out pretty quickly. I think the trip to Houston last weekend may have been too much, but I didn't realize it at the time. We will most likely hang out at home all weekend so he can get some rest.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Happy Friday!


I am seriously thinking of talking Bill into a taking a road trip tomorrow. I haven’t mentioned it yet because I am not sure I want to go. He’s still getting over whatever crud he had a few weeks ago, and he’s been more tired than usual, and I think we are both still tired from Quilt Festival. We’ll see how it goes. 

I have been moving my projects along in small spurts. I have almost all of the Kaffe blocks sewn and pressed and started putting them together.

I don’t think it is 100% what I was visualizing, but it’s not bad. I’m going to keep on working on it and see how far I get.

I got the binding on a couple of customer quilts. This is the only one I have a picture of (so far).

It's a sweet baby quilt made from a Penny Rose fabric line. Unfortunately, my photography is never really good--this is so much prettier in person. I also took a close up of the quilting design because I thought it was pretty on this one. I used a design called Climbing Rose.

I have another one loaded on the frame to quilt, and one I just took off the frame which I will need to trim and get the binding made. There is always plenty to do, and I think that is a good thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Quilt Festival Part 4

I really wanted to make sure I posted pictures so some of the winning entries…I’m not sure I saw all of them, but here is what I have.

So it turns out beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because none of these were my favorites. These are the ones I liked the best:

Aren’t they just amazing? I can’t even imagine being able to make something so beautiful.