Friday, February 9, 2018

The post that almost never was

     This is not the typical quilt post. There was almost no way a word would have been written. I am writing this as a warning for women, gratitude for certain people, and profound thankfulness.
     On Wednesday, I mailed my Valentine cards, took the grandkids to school and went to a meeting. After the meeting, I was going for coffee with my friends from the art show meeting and had a generally unwell feeling wash over me. I excused myself and drove home thinking I had caught my grandkids respiratory issues I had nursed them through. At the top of my street, I got sharp, sharp pain at the top of my chest and under my chin.
     I got home, googled chest pains, and they did not resemble what I saw for heart attacks. I called my primary, waited on hold for 20 min for a nurse to have her tell me to call 911. Our town has paramedics on staff and I called them. In less than 10 minutes they arrived, did an EKG at my dining room table, got me on an ambulance (sirens and all), called ahead to the hospital where 8 people were set to go. I waited 5 minutes for the Cath Lab, got in and got a stent to a 100% blocked main artery, dealt with some complications to the heart stopping and overbeating, and have been in the ICU until today, now in a regular room until Monday for another stent.
     When I entered the ICU I was handed a prayer shawl that has been with me ever since. I can't get the picture in with blogger on my iPad. Kind of ironic, all the comfort quilts I make. Also ironic there is a shortage of blankets in this cold place.
      My heart attack was due to the wall of the artery bulging and letting in fatty tissue, it was a fast process, not cholesterol related. I had no other symptoms, just the unwell wash, pain at the top of my chest and jaw. When I looked at websites to recommend, they did not match my symptoms. If I had known, I would have immediately contacted 911. I was blessed to have super paramedics, an excellent trauma staff (Gates Vascular in Buffalo, NY,), the doctor and lab were available, a short ride, and excellent nurses.
     On Monday, round 2. The other artery is just bulging.
     Thank you to my family, my devoted husband. My daughter is expecting in June, and I want to hold the baby. I have a ton more quilts to make.
      I was close to death, and I was blessed with another day. I am going to try to find out better warning sites and post them. Wish I had a quilt now!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Prepping the valentine chunks

     My favorite thing- just randomly sewing bits and scraps! I was making fabric for this year's valentine cards- I think I made 48. Not going to show them yet- because I don't want to spoil anyone's opening the envelope. Lots and lots of scrappy hunks and chunks, so much fun, so much mess.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

ADK chairs in the snow

     We love Adirondack chairs in the summer when we are sitting out on vacation in the Adirondacks. I bought this panel at the Crazy Moose Quilt Shop this past August. I could not help myself even though I don't like panels. I knew my daughter would love a throw quilt from it. It took me months to find a suitable background fabric. I used a Kona some kind of gray as a border and binding. 
     I quilted swirls at the top, leaves at the side, water ripples below with pebbles and swirling water at the very bottom. I used Glide on top and Magnasoft bobbins (oh, they were a dream to work with- no tension issues at all). 
    Last week, we had a very cold day with light very cold dry snow. I threw the quilt around in it and hung it from a couple of trees. My hands were so cold, I could barely press the shutter or open the clips to hang. When it is so cold, dry and sunny with snow- it is so refreshing and bracing. I think the colors showed up real well. The back of the quilt are fall leaves- too funny in the snow.


Quilting detail

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Landscape Collage class accomplished

     With over 23 people in attendance on a dark, damp January evening, we did our landscape collage workshop. It took about an hour to set up- the projector and supplies and all. I had to stop them at 9- we started at 7- and they were shocked at how fast it went. Some people were not happy because it did not look like the photograph. It is not supposed to- you already have a photo. The camera and projector worked well and everyone could see us work in detail from their seats. My finished one is here- but I am going to add more details and thread work to it yet.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Guild Mystery Reveal

     Over a year ago, my program co-chair and I came up with a mystery quilt for our guild. Elizabeth drafted it out herself and we fine tuned it and wrote the clues. We could not find a mystery quilt that appealed to us and would make use of the whole lesson we did for the guild on half square triangles (HSTs). So, with a lot of effort, the clues were made and passed out. I made all the blocks first ironed to freezer paper and put them up on the design wall so we knew we did not have any mistakes.
     The big reveal is the first Monday in February. I finished quilting and binding it today. Since maybe one person in the guild reads my blog, I am showing it today here. All our snow melted, so it was kind of muddy and not as picturesque, but it was sunny. It is an original pattern and I chose to do it all scrappy. Again, I have to say, I don't like it. The effect I was after in the lights and darks did not show up. The contrast between the inside triangles of the stars and the points was not enough for me. I don't know what else I could have used- I could not go any darker or lighter without issues. I better make something I love pretty soon. 
     I do like the quilting. I used MagnaSoft bobbins from Fil-tec. This solved all my tension woes in the bobbin area. I have to solve the irregular tension issue with regular bobbins. The top was Glide. The backing was a big hunk given to me for comfort quilts, which this will be. It is 68" x 78".

Inside photo
On the fence

Outside light, a little bright out 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Coming up- landscape collage

     My friend Elizabeth and I are program co-chairs for our guild for 2 more years (year one down). We have ended up doing most of the monthly presentations. We meet once a week to plan. This coming Monday will be Landscape Collage using Fabric Modge Podge, a photo, tracing paper, and lots of cutting. I have made many of my cards this way. I got the idea from the book "Crafted Applique" by Lara Buccella. The Modge Podge is squeeged across the back of fabric- we used old credit cards instead of a foam brush because the brush leaves little too thick deposit. We did mounds of fabric for the class.
     We have a Sony Handicam and projector for the presentation. I think we have everything ready for the hands on workshop. Here is progress of my sample. I did mine on heavy interfacing, but the class will do it on matboard for ease of transporting home. 
Tracing paper taped to side of work to check fabric placement

I forgot to take a completed photo, will get it later.

Friday, January 19, 2018

All those Little Boxes- in the Snow

     I had finished quilting Little Boxes, but it wasn't until today that I sewed the binding on. The free pattern was from jelly roll fabrics. I have to say, I do not like the quilt. I think the white is overbearing the boxes and it is boring because the fabrics repeat since they are subcut from wof strip sets. I made this because it was easy and I gave my mother long strips to sew in pairs. She likes to be busy and she sews straight seams with no matching. It is the second one I have made. My husband thinks it is the best thing I ever made and he wished it were bigger. Hard to believe. It will be a comfort quilt. 
     I am consciously trying to give the reader more interesting photos and am following the photo hints I found from The sun and snow made the quilt look more pizazzy than it is because the snow neutralized the white. I did not shoot a picture of the whole back as it is all one seamed fabric. Enjoy!
Inside, some backing