Saturday, March 31, 2007


Catherine...please encourage your DH to get his granfather a Rescue Alert system. I really believe if my Mom had had a button to push she would still be living in her trailer. I'm thankful she wasn't hurt, but also glad that it made her decide she could't live alone anymore.

Paula...I like the sounds of the slider. I polish my machine bed to help with the sliding or is that not sliding problems when trying to manhadle all that fabric through the throat of the machine.

Sharon....give it a's fun once you get over the scare factor.

JT...maybe when I feel more comfortable with my own machine I'll go rent the LA at my LQS. I too am waaaaay behind on reading blogs. Not enough time in the day this past week.

Yankee Quilter....each day is better for Mom. She's getting used to the move and really settling in at the AL.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Table Topper

I just finished this table topper for my Mom as a housewarming gift for her new apt in the assisted living facility. It will cheer her up with the bright colors and brighten up her new digs. I didn't do any fancy quilting, a SITD and 1/4" outline inside the seams.

Tomorrow we start cleaning out her trailer getting it ready to rent. I get to do the sewing room which is packed full of fabric that would take 10 lifetimes to stitch up. There's quilt tops, blocks, strips and squares all cut and ready to assemble. She's has decided she doesn't want her sewing machine at her new place. She says she can't see to sew anymore. She's sewed all her life, made herself and all 6 of us girls our clothes and wedding gowns. It's sad to see her admit that a big part of her life is gone. Today I asked if her she could still see well enough to knit or crochet a baby afaghan for her new GGbaby to be and she asked me if I was left handed so I would be able to finish if she was unable to.

The past 15 years has seen lots of changes for Mom. She's had to give up driving, her art work, sewing, and now her home. She used to be so full of life, never at home, always on the go. She was one that was ready to hit the road at a moments notice off on some trip with friends, a day of shopping, a quilt show, her quilt group, a day spent at my house, daily lunches at the senior center, card games with friends and always Sunday Mass.

I'm ashamed to say in the last 5 years I haven't spent the time I should have with her. I had my own agenda as did my siblings. They had their family, their grandkids, their life. We never once gave thought to the many long nights or weekends she spent alone feeling unloved and unwanted. This was brought home to me today when my GF and I went to visit her. She made the comment "they love me and want me, her kids". I'm going to be a better daughter in her last years than I have been.

Monday, March 26, 2007

My weekend disappeared on me. I had Leaf Seasons all sandwiched and was ready to have another go at machine quilting. Late Friday afternoon as I was standing by the cutting table chopping up little squares out of big scraps when the phone rang and my sister let me know my mother had fallen . She had been taken to the hospital and thought to have had a stroke and in the fall fractured her hip. My BIL had found her mid morning laying in the bathroom after being called when she didn't answer the door for her daily ride on the handicap bus to the Seniour Center. 911 called, a ride to the hospital, MRI and CAT scan done. No stroke, no fracture. My Mom is 92 and lives alone when she shouldn't have been but too independant and stubborn to move into Assisted Living. We don't know for sure how long she had been there but she said all night long. We do know she was in different clothes than she had worn the day before. It's a terrible way to finally realize she no longer is able to live alone. We are all relieved she didn't injure herself more than a nasty bruise and a couple days of observation in the hospital.

She's been afraid for months that she would fall and nobody would find her for days. This was a real wake up call for her. She knows she can't live alone anymore.

We called the Assisted Living she had mentioned she would like to go to when the time came. Fortunately one of my sisters and I had toured the place a couple months ago and were very impressed with the owners and staff. We called them on Saturday. The director came in special to give 5 of my siblings and I a tour. On Sunday the director came in again when we found out she had to be discharged but needed 24 hour supervision. Arrangements were made, we rented a U-Haul and set up her new digs with enough of her personal belongings and furniture before checking her out of the hospital.

Mom has a lovely apartment. The living room is bigger than mine with a large bedroom, bath and small kitchen (micro, fridge, coffee pot and toaster). When we brought her in, she looked around and said "this is so big". Today I went to check and see how she had managed through the night. When I took her down to the dining room, 3 of her friends who she's played pinochle with for years and have moved there came in and were so happy to see her. While I was out arranging for the beautician to come do her hair she let my GF know "she thinks she's going to like it there". She saw a poster on the wall saying there was to be a poetry reading later in the afternoon and decided she might like that. I think this will add to her life, being around others and not sitting home night after night and on weekends alone.

I think she will have more company now that she's moved. Her home as with a lot of our elderly was so cluttered up you couldn't find a place to sit down without shoveling stuff to the floor. She wouldn't let her friends visit only family because she was embarassed at not being able to keep it clean, yet wouldn't throw or give away anything. Now we all will go visit her more often.

Lady, approving Leaf Seasons for comfort factor.
My mom not seriously hurting herself when she fell
No rain yesterday during the move
Daffodils starting to bloom
Spring on the way
My siblings, BIL's and nephews responding when needed

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Tricks for Old Dogs

This last weekend I lived dangerously and went outside my comfort zone. I'm a hand quilter. I love the satisfaction of seeing all those tiny little stitches lined up so nice and neatly giving character to my quilt. Puffy where needed and comphy to wrap up in.
Machine quilting has never been at the top of my priority list as a new trick to learn. I've tried it a couple times and always went back to doing it the old fashioned hand.
With tops piling up faster than you can say UFO something had to be done. I couldn't just run out to the money tree in the backyard and pick a few greenbacks to have them done, so it's a DIY or have them continue to pile up.
Saturday morning I oiled up my machine, dug out a quilting needle, grabbed up the quilt and off I went. What a ride I had. My feet and hands couldn't get together. When my hands stopped the machine kept going. The stitches weren't uniform, the backside had pokies (JT, I love this saying). My sewing machine didn't like the thread I was using. The tension wouldn't co-operate and an hours worth of stitching took 3 hours to pick out. By Sunday afternoon I was ready to holler "never again" but kept on going. When the last stitch was in, sat back with a feeling of accomplishment and a "well, ya did it".
Will I do it again. Why of course, I already have my Leaf Seasons samiched, pinned and in the wings waiting for the end of the week when I have time to sit down and try it again. My comfort zone has expanded. I only wish Singer would develop a stitch control like Berninia.
Don't take me wrong, I'm not knocking machine quilting. I've have my favorite LAer I take my quilts to. She does such a fantastic job that I give her free reign to do what she wants. I pick out what I want for a backing, the thread and tell her to surprize me, just don't break the bank. If she's backlogged I'll waite until she can do mine. I wouldn't go anywhere else. She does with a machine what I will never be able to....give my quilts that something extra special that makes them shine. I do what she isn't interested in...hand quilt. We all have our special talents, her's is with a machine, mine is with a thread and needle.
What I've learned ......
Wind a batch of bobbins before you start
Wear those garden gloves with the rubber dots for less slippage
Warm up doing a bit on a practice square
Start in the middle
Do a quarter of the quilt at a time as it's easier to shove through the throat
Relax your shoulders or they tense up
Sit up straight not humped over the machine with your nose almost touching the quilt or your back starts screaming
Put the puter chair up as high as it will go so you are a bit above the level of the machine deck
When you start sweating it's time for a break
Do some stretch exercises while on break
Last but not least .....put some beer one ice, you'll need it

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring is finally arriving here on the far left coast. My daffodils all have big fat buds, ready to burst into bloom. The sun has been out the past two days and the robins have arrived. It's time to take down all the bird feeders, wash them out and get them full of seed. During the winter with all the rain my poor birds only get suet cakes. Some veggie seeds have been bought, ready to plant as soon as the ground dries out.

I finished my letters and have mailed them off.

Put together a backing for a top and have it all pin basted ready to try my hand once again at machine quilting.

Another leg on the broken star is redone, two more all ripped, basted to templates and ready to hand stitch together. My schedule of one a week is going well. 4 done and 28 to go.

The handquilting on the Windmill raffle quilt is progressing along nicely with just borders on two sides to be completed. This year we're inviting another branch of my Dad's family to our annual family picnic.

As the weeks are flying into months I've come to the realization that I am never going to find the time to quilt all the tops I have accumulated over the years. Tomorrow I have an appt with Nikki (my LAer) to do the first of them. I'm going to tell Nikki to surprize me while not breaking the bank. I chose this as the first of them because I like the richness of the colors. The pattern is by our very own JT enlarged from a wallhanging to fit my bed. While I would love to hand quilt each and every one of them, done is better than having them hanging folded up over a quilt rack. I want to use them not look at unfinished tops.

I have a new GGbaby due come the end of September and I want to start a quilt for him/her and not feel guilty. I'm hoping for pink again, they want blue. We should know on Friday when she has her ultrasound. Lets hope baby co-operates.
I'll leave you with Roscoe taking his morning bath.

Monday, March 05, 2007

More Letters

A change here, a change there and my letters are coming along. Some I didn't like and started over again. Ran out of the bkgd I was using and of course couldn't find anything anywhere near the same. I'm pleased with what I have finished and tomorrow I'm spending the better part of the day in the sewing room finishing these up so I can get them in the mail. It's been fun, it's been a challenge and aggravating at the same time.
It's been awhile since I've updated my blog, just haven't had the computer time I normally have. Life has been a roller coaster these last two months. First my youngest son's father passed away just before Xmas, the end of February, my sister came home from work and found her DH of 50 years dead on the floor, and last week a cousins DH passed away. It's made me stop to think, we're not getting any younger and it's time John and I did something about a will.
Life is now back to normal or what I consider normal here. John has gone back to the ship for his 4 month tour and it's been awhile since I've been up and dressed before noon. Making breakfast at 1 in the afternoon sure can take a bite out of the day and leaves me with no desire to sew or clean or anything else for that matter. I'm working on two schedules here, the vacation and the back to work. Vacation time is just that, I don't do any more than once over quick to get the top layer. Back to work, its like the old spring and fall cleaning. Drag out everything and deep clean.
Today I was up, dressed, war paint on and ready to hit the road for town at 8:30 am. What a change that was. Did some morning chores then reved up the ride and off to town my GF and I went. While I didn't over indulge at Joann's, just a wee small bit of bkgd to finish off my letters I sure went overboard at Walmart in the little girls department picking up a few outfits for Reese, my GGD. This has got to stop as GD is now pregnant with #2 ggrandbaby and it could get really spendy. I love shopping for my GGD.
Many thanks to all who commented on my letters.
Tonya...I like the D as well.
Forestjane....Thumbs...yep, Roscoe does have thumbs. His front paws look just like mittens. He's a comedian and it's such fun to watch him open doors, pick up cat toys off the floor with those hands. He has joints just like regular fingers and, has that extra claw and hops like a rabbit.
A safe trip back to Portland for John
A day spent with my friend Rexene
Time spent sewing today
A nice day with open doors to air the house out