Monday, February 26, 2018

One in a million

     Every once in a while, something happens that makes the hair stand up on your neck, give you goosebumps, and make you cry. It happened like this. 
     My grandkids made this wonderful card for me when I was in the hospital. The outside is lovely. I brought it home, put it on my counter and enjoyed it. I got a package in the mail from Vicki, hand dyer extraordinaire, and when I opened it, I gasped- I set the fabric next to the inside of the card from the kids. My grandson, Ethan,  had drawn a quilt of his own design above a sewing machine. The quilt IS the fabric Vicki sent. Of course, now I have to make the quilt. Is that ever cool or what?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

To Quilt another day

     I realize a long absence after such a serious post maybe troublesome, but I could not get it together before this. This view was from the 10th floor of Buffalo General Hosptial, Tuesday, February 13th and it woke me up with the redness in my room. I knew it would be alright and I would go home that day. I took this on my phone. I have been home for a week and 2 days (but who's counting?) and trying to piece together (pun intended) things and disruptions.
     Although I have searched far and wide, I have still not found a site that that details heart attack pain for women to include what I went through. So, I reiterate, if you have a serious stabbing pain unlike what you experience that just appears, call for help. I got help fast and have very little heart muscle damage, although I sport two shiny stainless steel stents.
   I did receive a second stent via catheter on Monday, February 12th. It went well and they showed me how the artery inflated on the screen when it was over. The side effects were not great. I got a nitro headache immediately when they loaded nitro to inflate the artery- like the old time cartoon when the character gets whacked on the head with a mallet and you see zig zag lines and stars. The other effect was upon arriving at my room and looking at my right arm (catheter went in right wrist), it looked like Popeye's. It was bleeding profusely under the skin and took a blood pressure cuff pumped up to stop it in a while followed by compression bandages, holding it up for 24 hours, and throbbing. The swelling went down, a whopper bruise, but worse, my arm aches and aches and it is difficult to type, sew, anything right hand related. When I was an art teacher, I learned how to cut and paint with the left so I could teach it, but I am limited to those skills.
   This was the prayer shawl someone gave me when I was still flat out after surgery and I don't know who to say thank you for this keeping me warm. Thank you, you wonderfully generous crocheter!
   I am awed by the response of the quilting and my church community. I have received a bushel of cards that I will photograph when they stop coming in to show. I do not like to be the center of attention- so for me to receive containers of homemade soup, sunflowers, bouquet of flowers, fabric (!!), a journal, fruit baskets, a box of plants, phone calls, a quilt when I got home, made me cry on a daily basis. I found the best cards were from people who had gone through some of health setback- they knew what it felt like.
   Despite craving to sew, I can't use a rotary cutter with my arm, can't hand sew, and could barely make these two Scrappy Trips blocks. Thank you to everyone who responded with a kind word or two, prayers, and being a friend. I thank you from the heart- newly mended.

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