Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I can't believe Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone and we are ready to welcome a New Year! We had a wonderful time with family at Thanksgiving. Both of our daughters and sons-in law were here with us as well as my Sweetheart's brother and his wife. We enjoyed our time together so very much.

Sadly, at Thanksgiving my Sweetheart's sister's husband went into the hospital after battling cancer for seven months. We spent two weeks visiting the hospital and spending precious time with the family. He went to be with the Lord on December 8. The family gathered for a funeral just before Christmas for the third time in the last 10 years. It certainly changes the focus of the holiday season and emphasizes our appreciation of family time and the fragility of life. The birth of Jesus, the Messiah and our Savior, had an even more special meaning for us this year.

We had a quiet but wonderful Christmas. I did get a little sewing done for Christmas. I loved seeing the mug rugs being made by so many quilting bloggers so I had to give them a try! Here's the result.

This year I hope to make a few Christmas projects each month so next Christmas will be a "handmade" and "homemade" celebration :)

Thankfully my doctors decided that I have completed chemotherapy and am ready for the stem cell transplant. I'll spend next week doing some pre-transplant tests and then be ready for the harvesting of my stem cells, the heavy chemotherapy and the transplant. That will include about 3 weeks in the hospital after mid-January.

Before then, I'm going to get my year of sewing and quilting planned so I can look forward to doing what I love while I am home and recovering. I won't be going out much until spring so I should be able to accomplish a lot on the days I feel good.

Wishing everyone a blessed new year filled with happy stitching,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Scrapping Fun

This week has been filled with medical appointments. For a person who seldom went to the doctor, this is definitely a new way of life. But things are going well and I'm so grateful for wonderful medical professionals who treat me with such kindness and skill. Family and friends who continue to keep me in their prayers are such blessings!

With all this coming and going, I needed to work on something that would allow a lot of stopping and starting. What better than scrap quilting. As the grandchild of pioneers (my quilting grandma came to Indian Territory in a covered wagon), I grew up thinking all quilts were made of scrap fabrics saved from family sewing and feedsacks. This is one of my favorite scrap quilts made by my grandma.
My scrap project right now is a string quilt. I found the instructions here. Sewing these squares is addictive and I keep thinking "I'll do just one more." I stopped to realize I learned to sew in early junior high so that means I've been sewing for half a century (oh, my!!!) and I have saved fabric scraps for much of that time. I don't have scraps from newer fabric lines...mine are REALLY SCRAPS...which makes the blocks very ecletic :) I'm using some of the "less pretty" scraps I have too. Here's some of what I have accomplished.

I think I'll also start some Spiderweb blocks with scraps as well like the ones shown here. One added benefit is that I'm getting all my scraps organized :)

Hope your day is filled with happy stitching.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October was gone before I knew it. I love autumn and we are having a glorious one this year. Most of October was filled with warm days and cool nights and the air seemed to have a golden haze. Now the trees are beginning to lose their leaves and the nights are getting colder.

Going to chemo treatments keeps me busy but I have few side effects so it's not really difficult. Those days I usually come home and sit and sew. I did finish several projects in October. Here is the table topper I made for my older daughter who absolutely loves the Halloween season. I fell in love with this fabric panel!! I also made this quilt for my younger daughter but the quilting took longer than I expected so it wasn't ready for Halloween. I machine quilted the spiderweb pattern on the plain blocks and the other blocks are disappearing nine-patch made from charm squares. She will enjoy it for next Halloween especially since it has her favorite bright colors!!!

I made a couple of fall table toppers as well. When I got out the big plastic bin with all my Halloween and fall fabrics, I found these little hour glass and half-square triangles blocks I had left over from a table runner I had made a couple of years before. I got carried away with the fun of sewing these little fall blocks and made more than I needed for the project. So I tucked them in the bin and forgot about them until this fall. It was neat to pull them out and make these table toppers. This is the one I made for my sister-in-law.

And the one I made for our dining room table...it still needs to be quilted. I'll get that done before Thanksgiving.

So October was a productive sewing and quilting month. I have plans for a few gift projects in November as well as some much-loved scrap quilting.

I'll close with pictures of our granddogs celebrating Halloween.

This is Virginia who lives in North Carolina.

And this is Violet (on the left) and Honey May (on the right) who live in Oklahoma not far from us.

They are all three adorable and very dear to us.

I'm off to fix spaghetti and salad for supper. That sounds so good for a chilly fall night.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven."

Looking back at the post I made when 2010 began, I am amazed at how much life has changed. The first few months of the year were much as I planned...working in the church office, taking care of our home and working on quilts.

During the spring and summer, I didn't feel quite like myself. In August, I went for my yearly physical and the next day I was in the hospital. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. I am presently in chemotherapy and will undergo stem cell transplant later in the fall. There is no cure for myeloma but stem cell transplant has a good success rate for remission of years and even decades.

The past two months have been difficult as my sweetheart and I face months of medical treatment and the uncertainty of the disease. But we are also sustained by the love of our precious family and the friends who are so caring. I am learning so much through dealing with this challenge, especially the peace of leaning on God's love. Even though I don't understand the whys or what will happen, I do have complete faith in the One who controls everything and I know He has a purpose for my life. What a blessing that assurance is!! I am so blessed by the concern and prayers of so many.

One thing I can do during this time of treatment is to quilt. I've been working on baby quilts...they are not needed yet...but I want to be sure and have some made for the future. Here are some works in progress with others still on the cutting table.

I'm also working on a "Halloween surprise" but I can't show it yet. Quilting is a such a comfort. And I love to watch dvds of the Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Christy and other old well-loved series.

It's a joy to catch up with some of my favorite blogs and to follow the progress others are making on their quilting and crafting projects.

Hope your day is blessed with "peace and plenty!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy and Blessed New Year!!!

Another year is beginning and time seems to be on "fast forward!" My prayer for my blogging friends on this New Years Day is for health, joy, peace and happy stitching in the year to come. There is something very exciting about a blank calendar and a new year before us...but also very challenging. I don't make resolutions but I have done a lot of thinking about 2010.

We survived the Christmas Eve "blizzard of 2009!" We expect a little snow in Oklahoma each winter but a blizzard with winds 60 mph and almost a foot of snow was quite a surprise. I had mentioned to my sweetheart that I hoped for a white Christmas (which we rarely have)so after the blizzard, he reminded me to be careful what I wish for. Here's the view out my kitchen window and the snow on our back deck!

We did enjoy the white Christmas and the white week after Christmas. Today was the first day of real thawing and another cold front is due in tonight with the forecast calling for more snow and temperatures below freezing for at least the next week!!!

Cold weather and travel advisories mean staying home and working in the sewing room. I've spent the last couple of days housecleaning. I enjoy starting the new year with a clean house. Tomorrow I clean and rearrange a little in the sewing room and then I'll be ready to work on some new projects and finish some UFOs. Two of my Christmas gifts from two very special ladies are calling me to quilting and reading...a Moda Bakeshop Sampler and the new Jennifer Chiaverini novel.

The New Year finds us with two "granddogs." Our younger daughter and her husband adopted a very sweet little Beagle/Dashschund girl...she joins our Boston Terrier granddog who owns our older daughter and her husband. Here's Violet (on the left) and Virginia (on the right.)

Happy New Year!!!!