Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

Mini projects have worked out the best for be.  Small, quick to finish and without much planning.
My DIL's mother is undergoing chemo for breast cancer.  I wanted to make her something to let her know I was thinking of her and rooting for her wellness. A wonderful friend of mine (Thank you Jeanette) suggested I make these small pillows to protect the sensitive area by the port when wearing a seat belt.  

I found a few places with sketchy directions.  There were even some for sale on Etsy.  I thought I would share my easy peasy way of Chemo Port Pillows.   

I liked using fun and cheerful fabrics.  Who wouldn't smile every time they buckled up seeing some colorful flamingos.  You don't need much.
2 rectangles:  3   1/2" x  6   1/2"  
3" of  1/2" sew-in Velcro

Pin the Velcro in place, overlapping the edges, making sure only one side is in the seam allowance.
Place the fabric right sides together.  Stitch around with a 1/4" seam allowance leaving a 2" opening at one of the short ends.
Trim the corners and turn right side out.
Turn under the 1/4" seam allowance by the opening and press.
Stuff and stitch the opening closed.  
The velcro belts wrap around to keep them in place on the seat belt.
I made a bunch.  I thought she could use them for different cars or different outfits or share with other chemo patients.

I am also working on a quilt using someone else's pattern.  It's also easy peasy, but it's secret sewing.  I'm hoping to finish it soon.

I try to keep busy when I'm not in my studio.  Packaging orders from my Etsy shop really keeps my mind occupied.  I've learned so much about the best way to ship and how to label. I so appreciate my loyal and new customers.  You just don't know how much it means. Thank you.

I've heard from many friends from the past expressing their condolences.  I hooked up with my bicycling friends from years ago.  Did I want to go on a hike at Linvilla Orchards for Pie Day? Last day of the sale! I brought my little friend and had a wonderful time just not talking and just thinking about walking up and down the hills without tripping over roots and rocks.  Bailey was the star!
I was planning on buying the Dutch apple pie, but was lured away by the pineapple upside down pie that was one of the most delicious pies I have ever eaten.

I just never know when sadness will overtake me.  Sometimes the memories are hard.  The other day I was sitting in the parking lot outside of our Supermarket, crying my heart out,  remembering the last time Don went supermarket shopping. I can't even remember how long ago it was.  I received a phone call after he was gone about an hour. It was him. “ Could you please come get me?” He was sitting by one of the front doors. He didn’t have the energy to walk any more. It was the last time doing something he loved to do. He so enjoyed shopping and cooking.  I then became his shopper with his detailed lists.  I didn’t mind at all. I knew how hard it was for him to ask for my help and lose his independence. He’d give me coupons and codes. Sometimes I spent a good amount of time walking up and down the aisles looking for that special new product that neither of us would eat!  

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

As I've been decluttering my studio, I've been coming across some UFOs (unfinished objects for you non-quilters).  In the past I would have just let them languish - too guilty to throw out, but not interesting enough to finish.  But now I view them as mindless sewing. I started opening the drawers in my plastic storage towers.  One was filled with red, white and blue fabric.  This was perfect to make a veteran's quilt for our quilt guild's charitable projects.
Some of the pieces were pieced.  Some of the fabric was cut.  
There were lots of setting triangles - large ones.
I had no recollection of my initial plan.  I can't even remember when I started this.  I don't own any of this type of fabric any more. So, I knew I had to use what was in that drawer.  The paper pieced flying geese strips were the start of my playing and I added the setting triangles.

It really became one big puzzle.  I really enjoyed the process.  The large setting triangles were used to lengthen the quilt to make it more of a lap size quilt. But if you notice, there is a hole in the center of the quilt.  I am probably the only person that decided to create a quilt from the outside in.
A pinwheel block filled the space pretty well.  
Finished the top measures  42"x63" and now I will pass it off to another quilt guild member to quilt. (Thank you Cindy.)  It might be another bunch of years if I was to quilt it.

My first outing without Bailey and without Henry was to check out a new quilt shop with my dear friend, Joyce Hughes.  Joyce lives quite far away.  She wanted to visit me and I didn't have the heart to make her drive all the way to my house.  A meet up at  Stitch Central was a great compromise.

 I did have to put on my big girl panties to walk out the door and leave Bailey behind. 
It's a very quaint shop in an historic building.  The woodwork and beams are so beautiful.  The fabric is located upstairs in the loft.
On the main floor is yarn and embroidery supplies and the two nicest owners ever.

I did buy some very cute fabric that I'm planning on using for a book blog tour.  Look for it in March.

Speaking of friends, I have been over whelmed with cards and emails and phone calls.  They all mean so much to me with their love and support.  In the beginning, I just couldn't leave the house.  Staying at home, or cocooning was my security zone.  I was so grateful for visits from friends.  Being home alone all day makes for a very long day.

The vacation hold has been lifted from my Etsy shop.  Every day I accomplish more and more.  I am now ready to start packaging and shipping.  I will be offering a special discount in my next newsletter, so sit tight for a day or two. If you're not a subscriber, make sure you sign up now, by clicking HERE

Friday, January 18, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

I have changed the focus of my blog to encompass my journey of learning how to be a widow.  Honestly I will be treating this like the journal of my life moving forward.  It may be hard for you to read.  I know it will be hard for me to write, but I am doing this to help myself and anyone else who finds themselves in the position of loss.  You know that quilting will be instrumental to this journey.

It has been 1 month since I lost my partner.  It's still hard to be creative.  The ideas get jumbled up in my head.  I spent a good deal of time decluttering my house, including my studio.  So many things were put off, thinking one of us would get to it.  The explosion of Mini Mosaics consumed the productive part of our day.  We spent so much time in and out of doctor's offices, in and out of hospitals, in and out of Philadelphia.  I am so grateful that we explored every avenue and never gave up trying to extend his life.  There are no regrets, no what ifs.

I have been working on mindless sewing projects.  I made drawstring bags for a Jewish charity in Rochester.  As I cleaned my studio, I came across some partly finished projects that were perfect to work on.  The first was this wedge quilt wallhanging made with fabric that I hand dyed. I think I made it about 3 years ago.  I had 3 other blocks.  If memory serves me correctly, I was going to make a 4 block quilt, but decided it would be too large.  I did a circular quilting pattern with my walking foot.  It was perfect for my lack of creativity.  The walking foot kind of became a metaphor for moving ahead, putting one foot in front of the other.

Through all of this, so far, my sparks of joy have been Bailey and Henry. Henry got me to leave the house to go to Disney on Ice or the movies or to see the lighted trees in Rose Tree Park or  just to pick him up.
Bailey became my security blanket.  I took her with me wherever I could.  I thought she would be just as lonely as I was if I left her home alone. What a wonderful companion.

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