Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On To A Happier Post

I want to let you all know how much I appreciated all your kind words about Aiden. 
 She went peacefully and is not on the Rainbow Bridge with her brother, Mosen who left last October.  You all see Autumn, my little calico, in my sewing room. 
 She is the final sibling.  
She is doing well and we are now down from 5 to a 2 cat house. 
 Ironically, both are calico cats.

I have been sewing and managed to get quite far along on the August wedding quilt.

I didn't take a photo of all of the blocks on the design wall but this is part way through. 
 I am doing random HST blocks in gray, green and white.  I have always loved this look and I am pretty happy with how this is turning out. 
 I sewed the HST blocks into 9 patches.  
Then I pinned the 9 patch blocks to the design wall. 
 I have not figured out the final placement yet though.  
All of the 9 patches are sewn and waiting for me to sew the top together.  

I have the label all embroidered and the back is planned out.
  I think I will need to make a few more HST blocks to execute the idea I have for the back, 
but that should be pretty easy to do.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016


I woke up not feeling very well this morning and then I went downstairs to feed the cats. 
 I got out the can of wet food (they get a little each morning) but Aiden was no where to be found.  
I went looking.  
Turns out she was on the couch in my living room.  
When I touched her she growled and her back end was contracting,
 like she had to go to the bathroom.  
I picked her up and she was NOT happy about that. 
 I took her into the family room where she usually liked to lay.  
She threw up.  

I think it's her time. 
 Time to join her brother, Mosen on the Rainbow Bridge. 
 I hate that time. 
 It means one more time I have to be strong.  
One more time I have to lose a dear friend. 
 One more time.  
It's never easy, but it is the one last thing I can do for her.

My silly Fatty McFatty, who loved to drink out of the faucet.

The sweetness that always cuddled up by my left side every time I sat on the couch.

The one I could count on for some kitty lovin every day

Guarder of my precious quilts while I sewed on binding.

The one that loved to sleep,

My sweet, sweet Aiden

I hope you have a safe trip to the Rainbow Bridge today.  

Mosen and Jack will be there waiting for you.

Please let them know how much I miss them both.  

One more time.  
I will give you the last gift I can give as it breaks my heart .  
One more time.

I love you Aiden.

~XO Your Mama~

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekend

I hope that if you celebrate Easter you had a great day!  
We were having a small celebration with 2 of my three children. 

 Every year I make a dessert and every year my husband doesn't like what I make.  
So this year I decided to make a pineapple upside down cake.  
I was nervous about making one as I had never done it but the directions seemed easy.
  I wish all those folks on IG that said their mom or grandma used to make them would have shared their recipe, but I found mine on the internet.  
This is what it looked like in the cast iron pan before I turned it out onto a plate.

This is what it looked like after I turned it onto the plate.  
It was really pretty. 
 I know now why my husband likes it so much. 
 This cake was more the consistency of angel food cake.  
Are they all like that?  
I prefer a more dense cake, he likes light and fluffy. 
 If anyone has a favorite recipe for this I would love to try yours!  

Here was our spread minus the cheesy potatoes, which were in the crock pot on the counter.  
Main meal was ham, cheezy potatoes, Caeser salad and rolls, supplemented by spinach artichoke dip, cheese and salami, deviled eggs, assorted relishes, veggies and dip and some chips.

I managed some sewing time and got another Splendid sampler block completed.

I also got my March bee blocks completed.  
These might be fun to make in Tula fabrics.  
We were to use navy and low volume.  I chose some navy Tula and of course my Pearl Bracelets.  
I have to pop these in the mail tomorrow.

My cat, Hallie, who never gets on my sewing table thought it would be fun to join me.
She is kind of like a ball with legs.
I'm glad she is liking to spend more time near me lately.
They are not getting any younger!

I hope everyone out there enjoyed their weekend!


Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Finish

I now bring you back to quilty content!  

I did manage to get some things finished at the quilt retreat last weekend.  
I showed you the HSTs and the Splendid Sampler block.  Now I will show you my 2 actual finishes.

I wanted to make this cat pin cushion ever since I won one in a swap. 
 I was very nervous about doing it though.  
I don't seem to do a well working in 3D, LOL.
 The person I won the original one from was at the retreat so 
I got brave and brought my stuff to make one.  
It was very time consuming and hurt my hands as the pieces to turn were tiny and small pieces of sewn felt are difficult to turn right side to. was totally worth the effort!  
Please let me present to you my friend Jack!

I am totally smitten!!!  He will sit next to my other one.  
The pattern was a free one I found on the internet.  If you want to try one here is a link to the pattern.

I am in a swap and we are supposed to make an extra.  
I found this pouch pattern by Lori Holt of Bee in My bonnet and 
decided to add a cat head and make it for my extra.

The orange line near the top is a zipper.
This pouch was super easy to make and I love how it turned out.
You can find the pattern on her blog right here.

 I know you sense a theme here with the orange cats.  

My best friend cat, Jack, was an orange tabby.  

I lost him in 2013 and I still miss him every day.  

A classic, Jack-in-a-box

Autumn is trying her best ti fill his shoes.  She sleeps with me in the exact same spot he used to.

I am linking up my finish with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter.


Let's Take A Peek, Shall We?

***First off I want to say this is NOT quilt related at all.  I have been dealing with a lot of things in my personal life right now and that has pretty much kept me away from much on the quilting front.  I think I need to share, maybe it will help someone else to know they are not alone.***

This may get a bit long but here goes.

I am the middle child in my family.  My older sister (three years older) was born developmentally delayed and with cataracts on both eyes.  My parents tried for many years to have a baby that lived and I am sure they were happy to have her, even with her issues.  My mom contracted the measles during her pregnancy.  Then three years later I was born.  I think they were thrilled to have a healthy baby girl!  There were several pregnancies between myself and my younger sister.  She was born 9 years later.  Both of my sisters were very small at birth, 2 lbs 11 oz and 3 lbs 11 oz.  The younger sister developed a very high fever in the incubator and it caused some brain damage.  She is slightly developmentally delayed (not diagnosed) and has Cerebral Palsy.  There were 9 other pregnancies, some were miscarried, some were born dead and some were born live, lived a few days and died.  So now you have the background.

When my older sister was 13 she developed Schizophrenia.  There were many therapies and treatments tried but it was not easy to get her stable.  Nothing seemed to work for very long. After an exhaustive amount of time and trials, she ended up in the state hospital for the mentally ill.  Let me tell you where you NEVER want to be.  It was there!  Eventually in and out of several adult foster care (AFC) homes in 1987 she ended up in the home she is still living in.  The people that care for her are amazing folks.  My sister developed additional issues, she became Bipolar.  The depression was unable to be controlled with anything except for electro convulsive therapy, or ect.  She has a treatment every 14 days and has had for more years than I can remember.  It is the only thing that can keep her depression under control.  This is very difficult to come to terms with for me.  It began way before I became her guardian, but it breaks my heart that she has to go through this.  She is a very sweet soul and I love her dearly.

Fast forward to 2011.  I realized that my dad was needing more help so I began to go to Grand Rapids (a 3 hour trip one way for me) to help him and my younger sister, who still lived in his home.  My folks were hoarders.  We (hubby and I) went every week and began cleaning out the "stuff".  My sister could not walk, with her crutches, around the house let alone use a wheelchair.  It took us years to get the stuff cleared out, well, as much as I was allowed to do anyway.  We cleaned and cleaned and my dad kept saying he liked it the way it was.  After we had it pretty cleared out he seemed much happier though.  His health declined to the point that we needed to put him into assisted living.

That meant we had full reign to clean out the house and get it ready to sell.  I think we filled an entire dumpster when my mom died.  Then filled the garbage cans weekly so at this point I was not sure about how much more we would have.  Ohhh, wait, yes, we filled 2 more dumpsters and had an estate sale!  AND I can't even tell you how many car loads we brought home to sort through and some of the hoard is still in my daughter's basement waiting for me to sort through it.  Finally, when the house was cleared out, we could get it ready to sell.  No easy job that.  They had lived in that house since I was 5!  They built the house.

This also meant I had to find a place for my sister, as she could not maintain that house alone since I was not living close enough to be able to help her like she would need.  I found her an apartment where her boyfriend lived.  He was nearby, and she had made friends there.  So in August of 2013 we moved her into an apartment.  We also moved my son into his apartment that same time.  As my dad's health continued to decline and he found every possible way to thwart any of my attempts to help him stay safe, he had a fall and broke his hip.  It became abundantly clear that he needed to be closer to me.  We moved him to a group home in my city in February of 2014.

I was estatic!  I could visit him every day now.  We could take him out, we took him to the farm.  I was so looking forward to the summer.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.  He passed away in June.
If you have been following me at all you probably know most of this anyway.

So this means I am now the sole person responsible for my sisters.  I am the guardian of my older sister.  She is fairly stable and requires only a minimal amount of my time.  I check on her and visit when I can.  She doesn't know who I am though, which makes me sad.

My younger sister is a completely different story!  After living at home for 46 years she is emotionally about as mature as a middle schooler and has exactly zero ability to trouble shoot anything.  She is also afraid to try.  It is very exhausting sometimes.  I feel God has told me that I need to learn how to be patient.  I'm trying.

This week we had to move her from her current apartment into a handicapped accessible place.  That was great!  I also found out that her Medicare situation has changed and that is not so great.  After my dad passed, her Social Security payment increased.  That tipped her into a "spend down" account.  (New from Obamacare, thanks for that). The letter said she had to spend $887 before Medicare would pay any of her medical bills.  She has a caregiver that comes every day to help her bathe, does the shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry that she is not able to do for herself.  That costs about $700/month.  I thought the $887 was like a yearly deductible, but noooooooooo.  The way it works is that once you pay that amount out of pocket, Medicare will pay your medical bills for the rest of the month.  So if you are paid out by the 15th they pay through the 30/31.  Then on the first of the next month you start over and have to satisfy the $887 all over again, and so on and so on.  Say WHAT???  How can someone living under the poverty level be expected to do that???  So needless to say I am in the process of fighting this.

The care of my sisters weighs heavily on my mind all of the time.  I am beyond frustrated right now and no one, friends or family, can really help me.  It is something I have to figure out for myself.  The system is not an easy one to navigate.  Getting help for a physical disability is not easy either.  I finally found an advocacy group that I think can help me if I get stuck again.  I am trying to get my sister re-classified as a Disabled Adult Child or DAC.  I will keep you posted if anyone is interested. Anytime you deal with the government things move forward at a crawl.  I am working on it.

I am not writing for sympathy.  This is part of my life and I know God has placed me here to care for them.  I have a wonderfully supportive husband, family and friends.  Still the navigation is mine alone.

I take hope from my God.  I look forward to this Easter season to renew my faith and remember that this is nothing compared to what Jesus did for me.

Have a blessed Easter.

Take care of and love one another.

Back to quilting stuff in my next post = )


Monday, March 21, 2016

Quilt Retreat Weekend

This past weekend was AWESOME!  
I got to spend an entire weekend with my DAM girls and my SIL at a quilt retreat. 
 We went to Creative Passions 3 in Chesaning MI.  The venue was so nice!  
There was a quilt shop about a block away too.  
We drove to another one in Carson City and they called me a little while ago and 
I won a $20 gift certificate from them!!!

My SIL and I have been trying to find some time to hang out together and quilt. 
 This was absolutely perfect!

The first night we went out for dinner we found ourselves at the corner of Lincoln and Broad.
Clearly we found this hilarious (My last name and her maiden name are Lincoln)

I see I look gigantic in this photo but I had a fleece sweater on under my coat.

We worked hard and we played hard.  There was a really nice quilt shop about a block away. 
 Of course we had to visit that shop too. 
 It was called the Silver Thimble.  
The owner's mom was running things as the owner was out recovering from surgery. 
 She was a riot!

They had the cutest quilt kits with Gabby and Friends.  
One was a quilt kit and one was a jammies kit.  I
f you have not seen these books you should look for them.  
There is a doll and bear too.

Seven Sisters quilt in Carson City was nice also.  
Since it was national Quilt Day, there were discounts!  
YAY for sales!!!  

There was also a tea being held in the classroom building out back.  
This wonderful man, Paul, had his barn art on display and for sale.  
Pretty reasonable prices too.

I loved this one the most.  It was about 18" x 18".  I would do different colors though.

Lest you think all I did was shop, I did manage to get this Splendid Sampler block finished.

I also got all of the HST blocks for the wedding quilt made, and trimmed!  
There was no design wall 
(actually there was but we didn't find out until we were getting ready to leave on Sunday), 
so I figured I could play with the blocks at home.

 I finished 2 more things but will show you those on Friday 
so I can sign up with all the finish it up websites.

How was your weekend?  
It was really difficult to be back to work today!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

McCall's Guest Blogger, A Giveaway and My Winners

Today, I am a guest blogger over at the McCalls blog. 
 You can find my post right here.  

There is a giveaway over there too.  
You need to leave a comment on their blog (hopefully easier than the other website was).
  They will choose three winners on March 31 to win a copy of the Cozy Calendar by Lori Holt. 

I am talking about the making of my Polka Dot Playground quilt. 
 I hope you will pop over to their blog and leave a comment!

The winners of the McCall's Quick Quilts magazine are:

KaHolly and Ioleen!!  Congratulations ladies.  
Please email me your mailing address so I can put this is the mail to you!

The winners of the Cozy Calendar are Judy in Michigan and Sophie.  
Congratulations ladies! 
 Please send me your mailing address so I may forward it to the FQS.
They will be sending it directly to you.

I am off to a quilt retreat with those DAM girls (Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild).
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Remember to stay off Instagram on Friday in protest.
They are trying to show you posts to your feed based on a algorithms 
rather than in chronological order.  
This is what Face book does and it drives me crazy.  
They show what your friends post based on what they think you want to see.

So avoid Instagram on Friday
See the #silentsewin
Sew on Friday and use the above hashtag to post all about what you did, 
but on Saturday rather than on Friday.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Splendid Sampler

Are you playing along with the Splendid Sampler?  
It is 100 FREE blocks designed by various quilt designers.  
It is put together by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  
You can find all the information on the website here.

I have decided to join in on the fun. 
 I have 6 of the 9 posted blocks completed.  Thought I would share with you!  

Stop back tomorrow for the winners of my giveaway.  Also for a chance to win again!
Linking up to Let's Bee Social


Friday, March 11, 2016

The Constant Cat

If you have followed me for very long you realize that I have 3 cats. 
 Two are sisters, Autumn and Aiden, the third, Hallie, was a rescue. 
Autumn is my constant sewing companion.  

When I get home from work she will pester the heck out of me until I go upstairs.  
Once I'm upstairs, she runs to the sewing room door and meows.  
Usually I need to change my clothes so once she realizes we are not sewing just yet she happily jumps on the bed for some much needed kitty lovin'.  

She seems to be in cat heaven when we actually go into the sewing room.  
Last night I wanted to make some sewing progress on my chenille blanket.  
I opened the door, she dashed in and found just the right place to sleep.    
Yep, you guessed it, right on my blanket, sigh.  

I had to move a few stacks that need to be refiled and some vintage sheets that I need to make into charm and strip sets in order to sew the lines on the chenille blanket so I moved those to the other end of my table and move Autumn off the blanket.  
She immediately gravitated to said stack of fabric, draping herself over it as if to say "This is mine".  

The good news is that I was able to get half the lines sewn on my chenille blanket before bed time.
Aren't those flying Zebras just about the cutest thing you have ever seen?
I needed a blanket that could be gender neutral so chose this one.
As usual, I am most anxious to see how the chenille turns out.

I just love making these for new babies! 
If you want to learn how to make one check out my tutorial here.

 I found some that I had paired the flannel with the backing fabrics so
 I had quite a few to choose from. 
 I have been trying to use things from my stash for the backings and get through some of the novelty fabrics that I have in my stash too. 
 I seem to gravitate toward the girlie fabrics though.
  I did a Detroit Tigers one recently and that one was fantastic.  
I would love to make a few more sports themed ones.  

I hope to work on cutting out the wedding quilt this weekend so I can begin to sew that one. 
 The wedding is in August.  
This chenille baby blanket is for a baby due in May. 
 I have the April baby chenille and quilt all finished.  
Fox Face is for the May baby too so I need to get that one done also.
Oh so much to do and so little time!!  

Enjoy your weekend!