Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post-Surgery Update on Sharon

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! I'll make sure to tell her to check her comments so she can receive them in person - well, as in person as one can, over the internet. Unfortunately I'm still in Nevada, so I won't be able to pass on your hugs (I wish I could), but her DH is taking good care of her and she told me not to come.

I did speak with her on the phone today, though. She's home from the hospital and already sounds a hundred times better than she did on Monday, before the surgery. Now that the bone is supported by the plate and pins she has much more mobility with the arm and isn't even in a cast - just bandages and a sling. She sees the surgeon again on this coming Monday. So things seem to be going well, and I have my fingers crossed that trend will continue.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009



This is a special guest appearance by Helga, Sharon's daughter. She's asked me to update for her and let you all know what's going on.

Last Friday, while walking through her back yard in the dark, Sharon fell (she's still not sure what happened) and unfortunately broke her left arm near the shoulder. She went to the emergency room and received x-rays, painkillers and a brace to immobilise the area. She was told that once the swelling went down a little she could see an orthopedist to determine whether the break was a simple fracture or a compound fracture, and whether she would need surgery.

She went to see the orthopedist yesterday and was told she would need surgery. They performed the operation today and discovered that the break had two points of movement, which explained why she'd been in so much pain. They put in a plate with pins to hold the break, and the plate may or may not need to come out again once the bone has started to knit. She's spending tonight in the hospital.

She came through surgery just fine and is resting comfortably. (I'm sure she got the good drugs!) She should be going home tomorrow. She's been given an estimate of 3 - 4 months for recovery, but now that the surgery's been performed she should be through the worst of pain.

Any healing thoughts or well wishes are welcome with gratitude - no one will understand the pain of not being able to quilt much for 3 months like you will. (I imagine by the end it'll hurt much worse than the arm will.) I'll probably be making more guest appearances here to keep you updated, as typing with one hand isn't exactly easy, either. :)


Sunday, September 20, 2009


We are home from a wonderful vacation at Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge. It was a working vacation for DH (meetings), and I don't think he got to enjoy a lot of the vacation part. But it was a beautiful place to work! The kitties are very happy to be home, since their "vacation" was at the kennel. They're very much Klingons (cling-ons) since they got home, and are very lovey.

Of course, I'm behind on answering my emails and blog reading. There was internet access at the lodge, but DH always had the laptop. So, bear with me while I try to catch up with everyone.

This was the sunrise we saw on our first morning there. It gives you an idea of how scenic this beautiful place is. I took a ton of pictures, but I won't bore you with most of them.

My friend K was there, as her DH was working there too. So, we got to spend some time together - the most time we've had together in years. It was so much fun. The first day we went to a fish hatchery on the river. We saw the Chinook salmon swimming up the fish ladder, which was really hard to photograph. We also saw the salmon spawning, but it was more like artifical insemination. I had never seen anything like this before, and it was neat to see.

We also went over the river to Hood River, Oregon and visited a good quilt shop called ETC (Every Thread Counts). I got some cute Halloween fabric and the new book by Jean Wells. Pictures later, because I forgot to take any yet!

The second day, a group of 6 of the wives of the men attending all the meetings took a field trip east along the river to the Maryhill Art Museum. We missed the Ansel Adams exhibit by two days, drat it. But we had a nice lunch there, with a peacock for company. Saw some good exhibits and learned some about Sam Hill, who built the building that eventually became the museum. He also built this replica of Stonehenge as a World War I monument.

On Thursday, there was a quilt show just up the road from the lodge. So, of course, I HAD to go. It was a nice quilt show, with some great quilts. I'll show just a few.

"Ben" by Kathie R. Kerler

This quilt was my favorite. It won 2nd place in the Innovative Quilt catagory. I love that blue!

"Discharge Dye or Discard" by Jeanine Moser

This quilt won 3rd place in the Innovative Quilt catagory. I was fascinated to see this, having read about this technique in Quilting Arts magazine in an article by Malka Dubrawsky a few months ago.

I have no information of this quilt. I didn't get a picture of the entire quilt, nor the title of the quilt nor the name of the maker. But I was fascinated by the fact that she put a photo transfer of a building in her landscape quilt. She did this in two of her landscape quilts. I think that's pretty clever!

(If anyone reading this has any information on this quilt, please email me. I'd like to give credit where credit is due.)

One of the vendors at the quilt show had this awesome laptop. She said she had a friend that painted it for her, and it's been at least 3 years since this was done. What a great idea. . . . . I hope someday not all computer stuff will be tan/grey/boring! I want a purple laptop!

I took my sewing machine and a couple of projects with me to Skamania, just in case. I never touched any of it. I guess that was good, because it meant I was busy and having fun, but I did miss sewing. I hope to get in the quilt studio very soon.

We stopped to see my sister on the way home and had a nice visit with her. We always like to talk "art" when we get together.

On the final leg of the trip home, my car decided that it was time to liven things up. The tightener on the serpentine belt decided to give up the ghost when we were in a traffic jam. DH got us off the interstate and onto a local highway, which put us close to the car dealership and their service department. So we got a tow and DS came to give us (and all our stuff) a ride home. It was all resolved rather quickly and relatively painlessly on Saturday, but it sure made Friday a long day. Thank goodness for AAA - they were really responsive and helpful. And the tow truck company was too. It made it so much easier. The poor kitties had to wait until Saturday to come home, but they survived. We're all back to what passes for normal around here now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


31 x 38 inches

Here's my project that was inspired by the quilts of Yoshiko Jinzenji and Ingrid Press. I've titled this one "Minimalism". I've also been influenced by Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio blog. . . . I love the clean, spare look of her quilts. This is only to the flimsy stage - I have no time for quilting it yet.

This was fun and it came out very close to how I had visualized it even though I had no real plan when I started. This style of work still intrigues me and I'd like to do at least one more quilt in this style. I even already have another idea.

I know that Yoshiko Jinzenji has a line of fabric out, but 1. I don't know where to buy it and 2. No way am I paying something like $20/yard for fabric! After looking at the quilts on Monica's blog post about the Birmingham Festival of Quilts, I thought I could make it without the fancy fabric.

So, I hauled out my graphic white-with-black fabrics and starting cutting. I cut a strip @ 2 inches by width of fabric of each fabric. I used a maximum of 4 or 5 inches of each strip of the graphic prints. I used lots of the white fabric! I lost count of how many strips I cut of the white. Now I have enough of the graphics left over to do another black & white quilt!

You can see in these closeups how I inserted those graphic prints. Some of those little pieces are only 1/4 inch in width.

My seam allowance really show up here and I think that's because I have the quilt top on a piece of grey felt. I think they'll show less when it's layered with batting and a backing. I kind of like how they show anyway. I think it adds another design element to the top.

The hardest part for me, which kind of surprised me, was being minimal! It was so difficult to stay simple. I kept wanting to add more of the little strips of graphic fabric. I think I may still have too much in there - I could go even more minimal.

Oh, and the other hard part? Remembering from block to block how to construct the log cabin! Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but my log cabins are a little confused. Some spin one way and others spin the other way. We'll call it an on-purpose design feature, OK?

I found the funniest cat video today on Yahoo. Click here to see the cat who takes drinking from the kitchen faucet to a whole new level. I've never seen a cat do something like this before . . . it's just amazing!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Happy #9 Day! I love these "fun" dates. Now the next one will be next year, October 10th.

String Thing 2 is now at the flimsy stage. Yay!

I think I jumped the gun a little when I took the picture. I forgot that all the row labels were still pinned to the quilt. So, please excuse. I still need to straighten the right-hand edge - I only lined up the left-hand edge when sewing the rows together. I offset each row of the black&white fabric a bit. It seemed to look better without everything all lined up. It's hard to tell in the photo, because the wind was blowing, but it really is straight! I don't know if you can see them, but I put in 3 free-pieced stars amongst the strings. I thought it needed a little relief from all the strings. This one was all done with fabrics from my stash. . . . now I need to go find a backing fabric from the stash too. That may be harder. *grin*

Here is my in-process binding. I'm going slow on this, because my thumb is still twinging a bit. I only sew one 18 inch length of thread at a time. So, very slow progress. But better than none, I figure.

The deadline to send boxes to the Iraqi Bundles of Love project has now passed. Yesterday was the last day. The latest IBOL count is at 500 boxes of fabrics and sewing supplies. That's pretty awesome for a project that IBOL Guy, Major Art LaFlamme, thought it would be great to get 30 or so boxes. In about a week to 10 days, I think he'll see an absolute avalanche of boxes - awesome! I'm having fun watching all those boxes pile up over there in Iraq. I can't wait to see the distribution of said boxes.

I found this great street sign link over at Jean's blog. So, of course, I had to go make one too!

What d'ya think? Looks good to me! If you want to make your own street sign, go here. You can even have your choice of 4 different backgrounds. Fun!

I haven't gotten back in the quilt studio yet to finish the project that I hinted at in my last post. I'm hoping to get to it tomorrow . . . I'd love to take it to my quilt guild meeting on Friday. My fingers are crossed that life doesn't get in my way!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Teasing. . . .

I've actually been getting some sewing done the last few days.

First off, I've been assembling Thing 2. I have all but 5 rows put together. I've also been tearing off the foundation papers the last two nights as we watch TV. Both nights I got about 1 1/2 rows off and by last night, my hand was sore! I had to "mouse" left-handed afterwards. So, I've decided I need to slow down on that. I don't need to mess up my hand again, because I've got two quilts to get bindings on in the next few weeks. And that's gonna take priority, because my quilt guild is having a quilt show in early October!

Here's a sneak peek of the first quilt I'm working on. This is the back, where you can really see the wonderful quilting the long-armer did (Hi, Shari!). Isn't it beautiful? Wait till you see the front! Shari is still working on the other quilt, which gives me some time to get this one done. The binding is sewn on and now I just have to do the handwork.

Amy over at The Calico Cat had a giveaway of some of her cat fabrics on her blog recently, and she was kind enough to send me a "kitten". This is quite a stack of fabric....I think I can get at least two quilts out of these! The possibilities are already swirling around in my head. Wow, Amy, thanks! I'm so excited about this.

I was looking at blogs a few days ago, as I often do, and somehow found Monica's blog "Quilt While You're Ahead". Monica was lucky enough to go to the Birmingham Festival of Quilts in England and had some wonderful, very inspirational pictures of quilts. Click here to see Part 1 (some of the winners). Click here for Part 2 (the art quilts). Click here to see Part 3, the ones that were my favorites. I especially like the quilts by Ingrid Press and Yoshiko Jenzenji. They have really piqued my interest. So, I have been working on something. I sewed like a madwoman yesterday, and will have some photos for you in a few days. Take a look at the quilt show photos while you wait!