Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I've written dozens of posts in the last several months.  Generally at night.  And in my head.  Not one of them was actually written down.  It's too bad, because I'm sure they were among my wittiest and most interesting posts.  Oh well.

I know I've thought a lot about the end of 2016.  I really couldn't wait for last year to be over.  Without going into a lot of detail, last year was a very difficult year - physically, mentally and in so many other ways.  And even though it's just an arbitrary date, I'm hopeful that 2017 will bring brighter days.

Unfortunately, it hasn't started out that way.  In November, our dear sweet Sam was diagnosed with cancer.  It was supposed to be slow growing and not metastasize, but she was gone in about 6 weeks.

Sept. 5, 2000 - Dec. 21, 2016
She was such a wickedly smart cat.  We have 4 other pets, but I think their collective IQ has dropped in half now that she's gone.  You could actively see her figuring things out.  (I have so many Sam stories.)  She also had a thing for potato chips.  If I opened a bag anywhere in the house, she'd immediately show up.  I'm having a hard time eating them now because they remind me of her so much.  We're grieving her loss right now and trying to adjust to not having her around.  She was a big part of our lives for 16 years, so it will take some time.

I have gotten back to quilting and there are even some quilts I worked on in 2016 that I never got around to blogging about.  Hopefully I can play catch up in the future.  Happy New Year everyone!

[W]hat we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” 
Romans 8:17 (TEV) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Setting Sail Again...

I know that a lot of my sewing and quilting projects have fallen by the wayside over the last year or so.  I mentioned in my last post how the move sort of took over things for a while.  But I'm starting to get back into old (and new) projects again and I'm really enjoying myself!  Recently I finished one of the Ladies of the Sea blocks I've been hand appliqueing for so long.  This is the 15th ship I've completed.

I knew I'd started this ship over a year ago, but I was shocked when I looked back on my blog and learned it was actually just over 2 years ago!  I started this quilt in 2009 and although I've taken numerous breaks to work on other hand applique projects (mainly my Baltimore Halloween quilt), it is definitely my longest project to date.  Here are all of the blocks I've completed so far...

I've already started on the 16th and last ship.  I can only hope it doesn't take me nearly as long to finish.  If I work on it regularly, I can usually knock it out in a month or two, but honestly, this summer is already looking to be a very busy one so time will tell.

With my lack of posting over the last year, I've also neglected to share pictures of my furbabies.  In August it will be 3 years since Sam was diagnosed with kidney disease.  She's already beat the odds and lived longer than the vet said she should.  In fact, she has more energy and is more playful than she was before she got sick.  She's almost 16, but most days she's carrying around her baby in her mouth from place to place before kicking it's butt.  Go Sam!

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Never Ever Will I...

On a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, several of the show's characters (Leonard, Penny, Amy and Sheldon) were in a cabin in the woods playing a drinking game called 'Never Ever Have I'.  The premise of the game was that one person would start a sentence with 'Never Ever Have I...' and name something they had never done before.  If anyone else had actually done it, they would take a drink.  For example, if someone said 'Never Ever Have I jaywalked' and anyone else had ever jaywalked, they would take a drink.  I don't think it's a game I'd actually play (especially considering I don't drink), but I've been thinking about it off and on since the show aired.  I modified it a little for the title of this blog post.  'Never Ever Will I...'  The finish to that statement is 'Move Again!'

It's been about 9 months since I last blogged and even then it was very hit or miss.  Our recent move has pretty much consumed our lives for the last year plus.  We made the decision to move back in January of 2015, found house plans and a Lot in the Spring and started building at the start of Summer.  We moved into our new home just before Thanksgiving of last year, but the transition was anything but smooth.  We've been in the house for 6 months now and it's finally starting to feel like home.  So (God willing) NEVER EVER Will I Move Again!

We designed and built this house planning for it to be our retirement home.  With that in mind, we thought carefully about everything we put into it.  We downsized both the house and the lot and also made it a ranch.  A sewing space was very important so we combined a couple of rooms and a hallway to create a big enough space.  It's about 15' wide x 25' long.  Although the flooring and lighting were completed in the quilt room before we moved in, my husband installed the cabinets and countertops himself.  We looked at having our builder do it, but it cost 3x more than doing it ourselves.  With holidays and other setbacks, it took a little longer than I expected, but my sewing room is now completely finished and I LOVE IT!  Even more than the fabulous quilting space I had in our last house.  Here are a bunch of pictures walking clockwise around the room.  This first picture is taken from the entry way door...

And this is the view for the large window to the right of the TV.  The sun rises on the other side of the small lake in the morning and I get the best view from my red chair.

It feels great to finally get back to sewing.  I felt like I did far too little of it over the last year.  So far I've managed to get my Gravity quilt top sewn together in here.

In fact, I have so much inspiration now, I've pulled out half a dozen projects and I'm switching back and forth between them all!  It's really good to back...

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” 
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Other than...

Although most of my time is being taken up by sick kitties and packing, I have managed a few moments here and there to do some sewing.  I've been working on quilting my Cheerio quilt for the last several months and I'm now at the half way point.  I borrowed the quilting design from Judi Madsen's book Quilting Wide Open Spaces.

I also finished some more Gravity blocks.  Although they look complicated (to me), they're actually pretty quick to cut out and piece.  I'm always surprised at how quickly I can make one.

I'm really looking forward to finishing this quilt.  Only 3 months left to go!

Most of my spare sewing time however, has been spent working on more Swoon blocks.  I decided to make my Swoon quilt large enough to fit a full bed.  I already had 9 blocks and needed 3 more.  I went ahead and made 4 because I wasn't sure which arrangement I would like best.  The blocks are so large (24" square), I figured I could use the extra one as a wall hanging or table topper.

It was hard finding a place large enough to arrange/rearrange them.  I also had help from a cat that tried to lay on them every time I turned my back.

I added an extra border made from the scraps to either side to get the length I needed.  I used every 6.5" scrap piece of Miss Kate fabric I had and was only 1" short!  I was shocked to be so close.  I ended up using a leftover piece of my Scrumptious fabric and it blends right in.

Since I am going to be custom quilting the Swoon raffle quilt my mom and I made recently, I'm not going to do anything fancy on this one.  I would really just love to get it finished in time to use it in the new house.

Looking at this post, I realize I've mentioned 4 quilts I'm working on right now.  I feel like I've got quilter's ADD!  I'd like to start one and keep working on it until it's finished, but it usually feels like I have to set it aside to work on something else.  Right now, I've really got to get started quilting the raffle quilt.  My niece actually started school yesterday and I haven't put the first stitch in it yet.  On one hand, I know how I'm going to quilt it.  On the other hand, it's a lot of quilting and will take a while.  However, the packing is almost done and I believe I'll have a lot more free time after that.

I've mentioned before that my parents care for a bunch of feral cats on their property.  I think the count is somewhere around 30 right now.  Fortunately most of them are fixed, but about 6 weeks ago one of them had a litter of 3 black kittens - all adorable.  She kept them pretty well hidden for the first month and no one realized that one of them is a special needs kitty.  Although he acts almost perfectly normal, he was born without back feet.  My parents have since taken him to the vet to make sure he's otherwise OK and have weaned him from his mom.  His name is Moses and he will be a very spoiled house cat for the rest of his life.  He is battling an infection right now in his paws from being outside, so prayers for quick healing would be appreciated. Otherwise, he is an extremely affectionate, happy kitty.

LORD my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
Psalm 30:2 NIV

Monday, August 3, 2015

KittyFest 2015...

I thought about titling this post something more descriptive but held back because 1) I didn't want to gross you out, and 2) I didn't think anyone would read it.

Why is it that every time a cat gets sick, they always pick carpet instead of something easy to clean up?  The past few days have seemed like one never ending festival of kitty vomit.  The entire apartment I'm living in right now has laminate floors with the occasional scattered rug and yet I've done no less than 10 loads of laundry washing those rugs.  Our cat Jack was in last week getting radiation treatment for her hyperthyroidism.  Moses, our Siamese, went through the exact same treatment 2 months ago and had absolutely no side effects.  Jack came home on Thursday and by Friday was extremely sick.  The poor thing wouldn't eat or drink, all she did was sleep and throw up.  I had to give her fluids under her skin just to keep her hydrated.  And of course, she's radioactive for the next two weeks so I had to be extra careful cleaning up after her as well.

And just to join in on the fun, two of our other cats got sick as well.  I think David may have eaten a bug or something that didn't agree with him.  I can count on one hand the number of times in 6 years that he's gotten sick, but he had to choose this weekend to add to that number.

Sam has been grooming herself incessantly lately, so I wasn't overly surprised when she presented me with a hairball.

I'm very pleased to report though that they've all gone 24 hours without an incident.  Jack has finally turned the corner and is on the mend.  She's regained her appetite and is drinking water on her own.  Now that she can handle it, I've been offering her food and treats at every opportunity.  She needs to put on a good bit of weight to get back to normal.  She's nothing but skin and bones right now.

All my cats are indoor only, but my parents take care of about 30 feral cats.  Due to a generous grant, they've been able to get most of them fixed and hopefully will be able to catch and fix the youngest ones in the near future.  It's quite a sight though to see so many cats come running for breakfast in the morning - all sizes and colors.  About 8 of them have taken to sleeping under my dad's truck during the heat of the day.  They're everywhere you look.

I think this one looks like a rag doll...

They clip their left ear when they fix them so you can tell right away who's been fixed and who hasn't.  This little fellow has obviously already been snipped.

My parents have been feeding these cats for years, but their numbers were growing and it was just getting to be too much.  They've paid to have some of them fixed themselves, but it quickly gets way too expensive.  This local grant has been such a blessing to them and to the cats.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. 
Revelation 21:4 (NLT)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Before and After...

There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (NIV)

This year has definitely been a season of change for me.  A time of uprooting, tearing down and building up and of healing as well.  So many things are happening one right after another (or on top of one another) that it's been difficult at times to keep up with them.  I've been praying.  A lot.

Last week, I spent a few days packing up my sewing room.  Now that we've sold our house, we have the fun task of clearing it out.  Fortunately, neither my husband or I are pack rats.  We don't have a lot of knick knacks or extra furniture.  However, you'd never guess that was the case while boxing up my quilting stuff!  I took pictures before I started taking everything apart.  I've loved my sewing space and hope to create something similar in the new house.

It is shocking how much those cabinets and bookshelves can hold.  It took 33 boxes to pack everything up!  My sister joked that it wouldn't take 33 boxes to pack her entire house.  I gave away so much fabric and other stuff when I renovated this room, I can't imagine how many boxes it would have taken if I hadn't!  My happy cheerful room doesn't look so happy or cheerful with all those boxes stacked up...

I truly hope the new owners get as much enjoyment out of this space as I have.  I've especially loved sitting in the window seat and looking out the window.

This should be the view out of my new sewing room.  The sun rises on the other side of the lake so I'll get to see the sunrise since I'm usually up before then.

However, they've just poured the foundation on our new home, so it will be quite a while before I see a sunrise over that lake.

My husband found this hummingbird in our garage today.  He exhausted himself trying to find his way out and my husband had to carry him outside. He rested in his hand for a couple of minutes - long enough for him to take pictures - then he flew away.

When you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:12 (NLT)

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'm Swooning...

After 14 years in the same house, my husband and I recently decided to start over and build a new house.  So the last couple of months have been non-stop busy with packing, trying to get the house ready to show and a temporary move.  We officially listed the house last week and are so grateful that it's already sold.  We had 3 showings and 3 offers over this past weekend.

All of this has left me with little time to sew recently.  My mom and I had been working on a Swoon quilt to use as a raffle for my niece's school.  I'll confess I only sewed one block and helped with a few others.  My mom did the bulk of the work.  Now that the top is done, I'll be quilting it.  FYI - The fabric in this quilt is Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille.

Our 4 cats are not handling the move very well.  Of course, they've lived in the same house since they were all kittens so this is a huge transition for them.  I think the vet down here (whom I'm becoming very familiar with) is going to hate to see us go.  I'm sure I've already paid for his summer vacation and am working on his winter one!  In fact, yet another of our cats has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and has to have radiation treatment.  That's 2 cats within 2 months.  You'd think the condition is contagious, but it's not.  Jack goes in for treatment on Monday and she'll continue to be radioactive for another couple of weeks after that.

Sam has developed acne yet again and her kidney values have gone up.  However, I think she's adjusting the best of all them.  While the others hide when people come over, she's always out and ready to interact with them.


Moses is and always has been completely neurotic.  She hides under the covers all day and only comes out at night.  However, she loves to explore my dad's garage and is slowly cleaning out the cobwebs from every nook and cranny.

David was a terrified wreck for the first couple of weeks and hid under the bed most of the time.  He's now growing more comfortable with everyone and his surroundings.

Our new house won't be finished until November, so they've got enough time to really settle in before I move them again.  Hopefully they'll handle this 2nd (and last) move better than the first!

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)