Thursday, June 27, 2019

What Do These 3 Things Have in Common?

I had an amazing week.  What do these 3 things have in common?
KINDNESS!!

It is easy to be on the giving side of kindness, if we think about it.  Sometimes we don't even think about it.  But to receive kindness is sometimes hard.  I know it has been hard for me, but it makes my heart burst.  

Judy Veltidi, who has become a dear friend of mine, from the Warwick Quilt Guild gave me her extra umbrella, because I am never prepared when it's time to unload/load my car during my guild visits.  And there I have driven through a lot of rain this Spring.  Thank you Judy.  

The scraps of batiks arrived in the mail and what a lovely surprise.  Thank you to Kathy Nester, who was one of my first students in my "Design Your Own Mosaic".

And a heartfelt hug to Rita McLaughlin who sent me a wonderful book, but more importantly a note in which she shared her experience in losing her husband.  I gain so much strength from other women who have gone down this path before me.


So don't underestimate how uplifting one of your kind deeds can be.
Share some kindness.

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

I love my Virginia quilters!

This past weekend was the Quilters Unlimited show in Chantilly, VA.  I have done this show for 3 years.  It's really a wonderful show at a huge venue with lots of great quilts and many vendors. It's organized by a consortium of VA guilds and each guild has a different responsibility.  It's one of my best shows.  And thanls to this show, I have been invited to many of the guilds as a presenter.  

The invitation to be a vendor arrived while Don was pretty sick.  I didn't sign up.  I wasn't sure about the future.  After he passed away, I received an email from the Vendor Coordinators, Carla and Ellen, with their sympathies and gently asking if I was planning on returning.  I told them I just wasn't sure.  In their final email, they told me that if I didn't decide by a certain date, that I couldn't have "my spot", but they would always find a place for me no matter when I decided.  Their kindness and consideration helped me to decide to take the plunge and return for 2019, and I am so glad that I did.  As I wrote in my first sentence "I love my VA quilters".

They came and they came and they came.  Some came to give me a big hug.  Some approached and quietly told me how sorry they were.  Some brought actual finished projects from my workshops.  Some came to show me photos of their finished projects.  And some came to tell me to make sure I saw the Mini Mosaic quilts from my workshops in their show.  I was overwhelmed with kindness.  My heart was bursting. Some of them had meant Don at a quilt show, but they all knew how important he was to me and my success. To say that I was overjoyed that I had decided to come was an overstatement. 







Don used to come with me to all my shows.  I would demonstrate either Curvalicious or the Mini Mosaics and he was the cash register.  We made a great team, because I was interested in sharing my quilting and  he  was happy that I was making money doing it.  He even attended the shows when he was on the portable oxygen.  He was reticent and embarrassed but I told him that anyone who walked away or judged him because of that, I wouldn't want as my customer. It worked and he came.  But after a while he just didn't have the strength. I was sad not to have him with me, but I had some wonderful friends that came and helped me. Here's something that not many people know.  He was able to monitor my sales as I swiped credit cards.  He knew when my first sale was, when it was slow, what was selling and how I was doing by logging onto my Paypal account.  It made him feel connected and part of the action.  We would debrief every night and he would always say that he wished he could be with me.  

So instead of having my honey with me, I did the next best thing.
 She kept me company underneath my table resting on one of my quilts.



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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

I feel loved.  It's a feeling I don't take for granted anymore.
I'm writing this on Mother's Day.  I am so lucky to have 2 sons that get it.  They have wrapped me up in their arms and shown me an amazing love.  They have grown into such wonderful men.
Their father would be so pleased.
My DIL shared this post on her IG feed.
Love that girl!


This morning was breakfast out at one of my favorite restaurants - White Dog Cafe, in Wayne.  You gotta love a restaurant that has a dog theme.


And there was this needlepoint pillow on the booth seat next to me that look exactly like my girlfriend!
And yes, it's still there, as tempting as it was to hide it under my shirt.

And tonight, I'm being fed by the Philadelphia Lynches!

It's been a whirlwind.  I just returned from the Arapahoe County Quilt Guild outside of Denver. 
On my way there, this airport art, spoke to me.

 It was an amazing visit with a group of very talented quilters. I love the pre-meeting social time.  
The workshop was the next day.  These ladies were so creative and entertaining!  Here's some of their mosaics



A few week ago, my wonderful SIL passed away. Her name was Barbara Lynch Rodgers.  
Her laugh lit up a room.
My son and I drove out to Pittsburgh for the funeral. There's still family there.
Seeing the raw, deep sadness of her husband was so heartbreaking ,
 but it showed me that I am slowly healing.  It is possible.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Grieving With Gratitude


I am so excited that I can share my secret sewing project.  I started working on this quilt just a few weeks after Don passed.  It was a simple, easy peasy quilt.  Most of the fabrics were in my stash.  It really was therapeutic sewing.  Not too much thinking and lots of blocks.  My mind was focused on just sewing.

I was inspired by a photo that was posted on on the website www.quiltylove.com .It was a remake of a traditional block done in a modern style.  Emily was kind enough to share the link to the original designers blog that had a free tutorial.  Thank you Sew Inspired.  You can find the directions HERE.

This quilt is a housewarming gift for my son and his wife.  They have had chickens for a while, generously sharing the eggs.  They moved to a larger house with enough land to increase their livestock community.  The chickens and ducks adapted well to their new home. I'm looking forward to the new residents.
 I gave it to them this weekend, so I can finally share it. My DIL loves orange and their new grey couch is the perfect setting. I made too many blocks and thought a pillow would be perfect.
I searched high and low for that orange jumbo rick rack, and was so delighted when I finally found it.

Of course, Bailey had to get in on the action.
And then we had to see if the chickens liked it.

Thanks to a visit from Helen Ernst, a genius with a longarm, I was able to quilt it with my lonely and seldom used Gammill.

Quilting IS the best therapy.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Grieving With Gratitude

On March 21st, I was reminded of my love of quilters, quilt guilds and why I love what I do.  I drove to Fairfax, VA early in the morning, in the dark and pouring rain to the Fairfax chapter of Quilters Unlimited.  It took me a little more than 3 hours, but that;s how I deal with Washington DC traffic and not having to be apart from Bailey any longer than I have to.  How can I leave this adorable face?

My talk was titled "Turn Travel Into Treasures" and the focus of it is how travel has inspired lots of my quilts.  Some of them are representational and others use a design element.  Some of them are full size quilts and others are small framed ones.  Some are made from cotton and others from silk and many combinations inbetween.  It brought me such joy to share my warm memories of travels with Don.  And I was proud of myself because I didn't cry once and didn't even tear up!  I loved how they displayed my quilts in the choir section of the church after I talked about them.  The members were
able to take a closer look at the  end of the meeting.  I was really happy to be on the road again and for those that are interested I have started to book new guild visit.  So, if you think your guild would be interested, contact me.

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I have been working on a couple of secret sewing projects that I will be able to share soon.  Mindless sewing is still a very  happy place for me.

I think I have talked about fear before, but it is still present.  I find it amazing that even though on the surface I appeared fiercely independent, it's because my husband was at home empowering me, smoothing out my travel plans, packaging my patterns and kits, running my shipping department, always knowing the best way to ship anything anywhere in the world.  So I have been taking little steps to gain an independent sensibility, just like when i painted the fireplace. After owning a longarm for 2 years and only quilting 2 quilts, I signed up for a longarm class at the AQS Lancaster quilt show by myself.  It felt good to learn a new skill in Rulers for Rookies with Lisa Calle.

The room was filled with Longarms and each one was shared by 2 people.  We each worked on a printed panel.

I definitely enjoyed using the rulers and Lisa was a great teacher. 

Thank you for travelling on this journey with me.  I hope I have helped some of you, because writing about and identifying my feelings have certainly helped me.

Look for my April newsletter soon.  I am so thrilled that someone new will be taking over the recipe column and I'm still working on naming my newest Mini Mosaic pattern.   There will be a naming poll/contest with the winner receiving a free kit.


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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Grieving With Gratitude

This is the end of the road for the "TEXT IT!" blog hop.


Sherri Noel has included such fun projects. The other bloggers made such  wonderful interpretations.  I chose to make the sewing machine pad. Below is the photo from the book.

It was perfect for this adorable new fabric that I had just bought at Stitch Central..

I had to widen the sewing pad a little to fit the panel, but it came out so cute.  

It's the most adorable fabric.   It's also available with cats. I just love the flower bouquets in their hair.


Do you want some of this fabric and live too far away from Stitch Central in PA, you can call them or  here's the selvage if you want to search on line.



So what would a blog hop be without a giveaway? Leave a comment sharing whether you prefer adding words to your quilts using applique or piecing it?  If you haven't done it yet, this book will be a real inspiration for you, so tell me which one you'll use first.  The winner will receive the book, TEXT IT! from Martingale and 2 spools of thread from Aurifil.  The final day to enter is Sunday 3/17.  I'll pick a winner at midnight.

For the wrap up of the hop, head to Sherri Noel's blog tomorrow for the final giveaway.

I'll spare you from talking about my grief journey in this post.  Let's just work on winning this giveaway!




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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

I'm participating in a blog hop for a book called TEXT IT! by Sherri Noel.
I really love words and fonts and letters and have over the years come up with many ways to include them on my quilts, so I was excited when someone wrote a book sharing lots of quilts with words.
My project is the sewing machine mat.  As a sneak peek, Sherri made this pin for me to share.

I'll share my project on the blog hop on Friday March 15th, along with 2 other bloggers. Until then there are bloggers sharing their projects.  The hop has already started and every day each blogger will be giving away a copy of the book and 2 spools of Aurifil thread.  So make sure that you visit the other bloggers to win a copy of the book.  I'll share my project on Friday. Here's the remainder of the hop.

MONDAY MARCH 11 - COUNTING SHEEP
DEANNE EISENMAN - WWW.SNUGGLESQUILTS.COM
SUSAN PELLAND - WWW.SUEPELLANDDESIGNS.COM

TUESDAY MARCH 12 - HOME PILLOW
PATTY DUDEK - WWW.ELMSTREETQUILTS.COM
ANDY KNOWLTON - WWW.ABRIGHTCORNER.COM
CINDY PIETERS - WWW.STITCHINATHOME.COM

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 - LIFE IS SHORT
BECCA FENSTERMAKER - WWW.PRETTYPINEY.COM

THURSDAY MARCH 14 - HUSTLE PILLOW

FRIDAY MARCH 15 - SEWING MAT
LAUREN WRIGHT - WWW.MOLLYANDMAMA.COM.AU
SANDRA HEALY     - WWW.SANDRAHEALYDESIGNS.COM

SATURDAY MARCH 16 – WRAP UP 
SHERRI NOEL - WWW.REBECCAMAEDESIGNS.COM 

If you are new to my blog and wonder what my quilting specialty is, I love to invent tools and techniques and share them with other quilters.
Curvalicious was the first tool and using fusible applique, you can make curved looking quilts easily.
Check it out at www.Curvalicious.net.

Recently, I designed these adorable Mini Mosaic quilts that are so much fun to make whether you're 8 or 80.  You can see lots of them in my ETSY shop.

And you can see lots of my quilts and my travel schedule on my website

Last week, I was able to put a name to some feelings I was having. 
FEAR
I haven't heard anyone talk about this in the grieving process. 

As a recent widow, I realized I didn't have a safety net.  I'm impetuous and I leap into new situations.  But, I always had someone to catch me, to fix it and to get me out of jams.  I don't like being afraid and find it leads to tears - lots of tears.  I decided to try and empower myself and decided to paint my fireplace brick.  I have wanted to do it for 3 years, to brighten my family room.  Don was the painter.  He agreed to do it, but never had enough energy.   About a year ago, my DIL volunteered to do it, but I was worried the smell would bother his sensitive respiratory system. 

So I watched some YouTube videos, screwed up my courage and then headed to the local paint store. 
It took me 3 days to do what might take someone else a day, but I was so happy with the results.

I'm not ready to paint a room, but maybe one day!