Thursday, December 1, 2022

Calico Cottages

 Hello Everyone,

I've been working on Calico Cottages, my newest design.  Many thanks to 'anonymous' who came up with the perfect name for this quilt.

I got as far as putting one of the inner borders on the other night and this is as far as I got.  It is just a figment of my imagination until I nail this idea down.  I try to be different when I design a quilt, and this one floats my boat.  I only used fabrics from my Marcus Fabrics stash.  I had hundreds of 1" strips already cut and were begging to be sewn into a quilt.  Now I still have hundreds of 1" strips left because I kept cutting more and more!

On the home front, we are in Livermore staying with our eldest son and his family.  Mr. Joe has been having some health issues and we've been here a lot lately while he undergoes many tests.  He started having breathing issues with sever shortness of breath and chest pain.  He would walk up to the garage and have to sit down once he got there.

After two chest x-rays, and an MRI, his doctor put him on a round of antibiotics. The antibiotics treatment consisted of only 3 pills......they are very powerful, but the side effects were 5 pages in length.  By the 2nd pill he felt better until the side effects of tendon pain kicked in, and this could last for months.  I call it 'pain of the day' as the pain rotates from one tendon to another.  You know the old game of head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.  Well Mr. Joe hurts in all of those areas except for his head.

Let's fast forward two months.  Shortness of breath is back with a vengeance. Tendon pain is escalating.  A bronchoscopy of his lungs suggests sarcoidosis which is an abnormal collection of inflammatory cells in his lungs.  But the verdict is still out on this diagnosis.  The good news is that there is NO cancer!

Yesterday he had an ultrasound of his heart, and all is well with that organ.  I was teasing him that he has a heart after all, and he's not the Grinch.  His heart isn't 2 sizes too small, in fact I think he is the most compassionate and kindhearted person I know, except when he's constantly teasing his sister-in-law, Gail.

Today he is having a pulmonary function test.  This should be interesting and will hopefully lead the doctors in the right direction of a diagnosis and then a specific treatment.

This is probably more information than you want to know, but it feels good to talk about what is going on and why I've been pretty quiet lately on my blog.  We didn't tell our kids for months what was going on with their dad, and now I don't think that was the right decision as they want to be involved in every step of his journey.

So, after the test today, we will head back up to the cabin and into a fierce snowstorm.  Hopefully we can get buttoned up inside the cabin before the worst of the storm hits.  We have snow shovels and boots in the car just in case we need to dig our way in.  We will put Mazey to work with the digging part.

Keep Mr. Joe in your prayers for a sound diagnosis and treatment.


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Everyone,

This beauty is what has been occupying my days over the past couple of weeks.  My sewing room looks like a scrap bomb exploded in my area! I have to tidy it up soon.

I absolutely LOVE working with all of my Marcus Fabrics scraps as they all play so nicely together. I'm not really paying attention to which scrap goes's truly a scrappy quilt.  I'm just trying not to put the same 1" strip in the same block.  My seam ripper has made an appearance a couple of times while I've been working.

The quarter-square triangles have taken me longer to make than I anticipated.  To make them truly scrappy, I'm making them two at a time and chain-piecing a ton of them at the same time.

We are spending a very quiet Thanksgiving at the cabin.  Mr. Joe has come down with a horrible cold which is aggravating a pre-existing breathing issue.  Gee, I hope he will be able to smell the turkey roasting???  We will be feasting on Remington, the turkey our granddaughter raised for FFA.  It's nice to get him out of the freezer and onto the table. He was taking up a lot of room.

It's easy to lose sight of gratitude as many of us are facing challenges in our lives and in our world.  I'm choosing to focus on gratitude for all of the richness of friends and family in my life.  You, my dear readers, are a major part of friends and family. 

Gratitude will bring peace to our souls.



Thursday, November 17, 2022

Cottages in the Pines

 Hello Everyone,

I've been busy working on these blocks for the class I'm teaching at Pieceful Gathering quilt shop retreat in Illinois in March.

I had a huge box 1" strips all cut from another project, so I decided to frame the cute little cottages with them.  Mr. Joe came up with the idea for this setting.  Maybe I should listen to him more often.

I'm only using Marcus Fabrics in this quilt which work up so beautifully together.  Once I put the 1" strips around the house block, the block measures 10-1/2".  That's a big block for me to make!  I think the quarter-square triangles frame the blocks so well.

This project has been and excellent use of scraps.  I have strips and scraps scattered around my sewing room in an explosion of color.  I'm not really paying attention to what fabrics are touching each other.  My only criteria I'm sticking to is that I don't to use the same 1" strip twice in the frame.  That's it. 

I'm excited about this project.  I need a name for it.  Cottage Charm......Cottage in the Pines......Scrappy Cottages?  Put your thinking caps on my dear readers and give me some help.


Friday, November 11, 2022

A Neighborhood of Cottages

Hello Everyone,

During our early-in-the-season snowstorm, I've been building a neighborhood of cottages in my cozy sewing room while listening to an audio book.  The weather outside was frightful, but the fire is so delightful.

I sort my fabrics by manufacturer and I'm working exclusively with Marcus Fabrics.  They are my go-to reproduction fabrics.

I love creating interesting roofs in these little 3" cutie pies.

I've been having just so much fun while paper-piecing, and I love the accuracy.

Over the past several days, we received over a foot of snow.  It took the two of us an hour and a half of snow blowing and shoveling to dig out the driveway.  Just after we finished, the snowplow came barreling down our street and created a berm in front of the driveway.  If we had been outside, we could have waived him off.  Out we went with the shovels again.

Mazey loves playing in the snow.  Unfortunately, last night when she went outside for her last powder room visit for the evening, she got 'skunked'.  We keep a supply of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn dish soap on hand for such events.  You would think that she would have learned after the last 'skunking' not to chase the black and white kitties.  She got a face full!  We are heading to Tractor Supply today to give her a bath in their wonderful dog bathing stations.  We renamed her Pepe le Pew, and I'm sure she is going to be exuding fumes as she walks through the store to get her bath.

I'm burning Yankee candles this morning to cover up the odor.



Sunday, November 6, 2022

Sew'n Wild Oaks October Retreat

 Hello Everyone,

Many of you have been sending me emails wondering where I've been.  Well....I've been sick.  So sick I missed the last day of my retreat and my sister, Gail had to step in and finish the last day for me.  I have a backlog of pictures to show you from the retreat.  Again, this group of women were an absolute delight!  We were all so lucky to be able to spend so much quality, quilting time together.

Let's start off with a mini quilt show today.  First up are mother/daughter quilts made by Kate and Sharon. They made beautiful Heritage quilts.

I love seeing made patterns made in other colorways.

Lynette has been busy making these beauties.

Laurie showed us her Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins table runner just perfect for this time of year.

Zinnie would be proud of Laurie's Zinnie's Choice quilt.

Paula finished her beautiful Country Sampler quilt.  I taught this class at the retreat.

Last year, Paula was working on her Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt.  Paula will be spending some cozy winter evenings finishing up the binding.

I love Paula's October Magic.

Sylvia and Gail showed off their quilts which they made from Sue Abrey's Pick Four book

I was so glad that Melody brought her Christmas Ribbons quilt.  She will be enjoying this one just in time for Christmas.

Cindy brought her beautiful Grammy Squares quilt.  This pattern is a great use of scraps.

Chef Zach prepared wonderful meals for us for brunch and dinner.

Lodge Manager Rob sang us a song before every meal.  So much fun!

I taught classes throughout the day, and we had a show and tell every night.

We went to Livermore on Friday to watch our grandson's last JV football game of the season.  He injured his tail bone at practice during the week, so he had to sit this one out.  We lost bigtime!  Our other grandson injured his Achilles' tendon, and he was out of his freshmen game the night before.  These Wilder boys give it their all and the injuries were stacking up throughout the season.

I felt well enough during the week to get caught up filling pattern orders and that's about it.  Chicken soup and smoothies have been my best friends during the week.  I'm happy to say that I graduated to regular food in small amounts by the weekend.

We are expecting to have a nice snowstorm over the next few days.  We are desperate for any kind of precipitation falling from the sky.  If you don't hear from me, just know that we might be snowed in without any power which translates to no Internet.  I'll be by the fire reading and snoozing.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October Sew'n Wild Oaks Retreat

 Hello Everyone,

Girls just want to have fun at the Sew'n Wild Oaks retreat kick-off dinner at my cabin.

The girls started trickling into town and found their way to Snowflake Lodge to get set up for the retreat.

Some started in sewing right away before heading off to dinner.

I have several new attendees as indicated by the raised hands.  The new recruits blended in perfectly with the previous retreaters.

We had a wonderful day on Monday with class in the morning and one in the afternoon. Quite a few of us walked around Snowflake Lake during a fabulous Autumn day in the mountains.

New friendships are blossoming.

I'm off this morning for another fun day at the retreat.