Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Serendipitous Finds

Serendipitous Finds are exactly that...the little surprises that are perfect for the moment.  I have two that landed in my space over the last few days.  As we were driving down to the memorial, this comment was on a card at a restaurant:  It is not the years in a life, it is the life in the years.....

 The second was in a silly book of games:  Life is a continuous process of getting used to the thing we did not  expect.

Kind of takes your breath, doesn't it?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quilter Returns Home

Such as it is.  My sweet hubbie and I just arrived home a few minutes ago.  We left our daughter, Brandy,  with my niece, Sigrid, back in Ocean Springs.  There is such a short time before she has to return home to Sweden and so much to be accomplished.  In a few days, I, too, will return to help go through a life-- my sister's beloved collection of fun and funk.  We have always been drawn to similar things, having made a pact years ago that the first one who spied a treasure had "first dibs."  Of course, all she had to do for me to give up my first dib rights was to say, "Oh Dianne, please, please, please," and I was a goner, she was the receiver.  So, needless to say, she has a lot of treasures.  What she did not know was that she was the best treasure of all.

Here is a poem that I thought you might enjoy.  I read this at the memorial, yesterday.  While the weather was wet and cold, the memorial was beautiful and many wonderful friends paying their respects and giving with their hearts.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Guilt, and Acceptance

During our walk you broke from our path and went your own way.
You didn't have time to look back.
I didn't think to call out to you and I hardly remembered to watch
your silhouette as it faded from sight.
Had I known, my angel, I would have touched your face
and looked into your eyes to recall everything I could fit
into my mind about you.
How I wish I could turn them into tangible things to hold onto now,
but they can't replace you and the hope that there will be more.
If only's and regrets, promises of a better place and your legacies await me.
I envy your freedom.
It is a sad twist to mourn the dead and rejoice for the living.
Reason will come, bringing the revolutions of the cycle, 
of which together we are still a part.

by Kathy Milazzo

Just one more HUGE thank you to all who took part in any aspect of this process.  It does help....

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Perfect Container

Ever try choosing the "perfect container" for your sister's remains?  That has to be the weirdest shopping experience I, or anyone else, could ever have

We received a call from the funeral home, today.  They wanted to let us know that the deed was done.  Our sister is cremated.  I know I am being ridiculous, but I had the strangest feeling that she was not dead...that they did this without checking to see if she was really gone.  Such a nightmare this has been and continues to be.

I am doing my best to move on, to get through this......let's do this together, my friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Quilter's Suggestion

At the risk of repeating myself, a lot, I will say, again--Hug each other until it makes your arms hurt. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Before I Leave

Before I leave, I will try to add a bit to the pattern:

With a removable pen, mark a line 7" down from the top edge of the muslin piece.  The line should go from side to side, the entire width of the muslin.
I need a little help, here.  A reader who goes by the "name," Shellerina, contacted me asking questions about the wedding quilt that I posted several months back.  I just found her comment, today, gulp. (long story)  Anyway, I do not want to ignore her question, so, hopefully, she is not so angry with me for not responding that she has given up on me, altogether.  Hi, Shellerina, please let me know how to contact you about the quilt.

Now, if I do not add to this blog for the next several days, it is because we have left for New Orleans and the dreaded week ahead of us.  My sister arrives in New Orleans, today.  The rest of our family arrives on Wednesday...The weird thoughts that are traveling around my head--I mean, I was so looking forward to seeing my dear brothers.  Then, it occurred to me, this morning, it just makes it so much more real that they will be there and my sister will not.  Now, dread is my dominant emotion....

Please, all of you have a great Thanksgiving.  Hug everyone you know.  I will be giving thanks for all of the amazing love and support that has poured out of you guys.  So, again, I thank you.

Quilting Fun

Definitely room for lots of fun with so much sadness in our hearts so let's add to the directions:( I decided to start doing this in red and green due to the impending season, and, it is a gift)

If using the optional rickrack, sew a row of rickrack to front side of the hemmed edge of each ruffle.  (I used a different color rickrack for each of the three ruffles.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Almost forgot...

more directions:

Press one of the longer ruffle edges under 1/4" and then press under, again, 1/4"  Sew in place.  Repeat for the other two ruffles.

Did I mention that the first person to send me a picture of the completed item will get a free yard of fabric? Did I also mention that I will be selling this pattern after this, not, giving it away???

This Quilter's Life...

My husband.  Have I ever mentioned that he is the light of my life?  Well, that has nothing to do with anything right now, not really.  I just wanted to mention that.

He came home from Arkansas so quickly that he did not bring his shaving kit, his clothes, anything but his wonderful self.  That was  on stupid, sucky Thursday.  On Friday he said he felt he should go see his mother and his brother in Alabama. I think that he, too, had to see, feel, touch, more....  The more family, the better.  Reassure himself that all was the "same," somewhere.  So, Saturday morning he headed out with the plan to drive up to his apartment, first, then on to Birmingham.  A few hours later he called to say that he had forgotten to go to his apartment...he was already in Mississippi.  I told him, "So what?  buy some socks and underwear and keep on going."  By Sunday morning he was at his brother's house, reassuring himself that all was as well as it could be there (his brother has Parkinson's, his sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and his mother is 93, deaf, blind, and her mind is unstable.  What is "normal?"  Oh yeah, I said, "all was the same, somewhere."...) had lunch and headed back home.  His plan was to be home by Sunday night.  The best laid plans...  He had a flat on the interstate.  He called to say that the emergency tire was horrible and he was spending the night in Tuscaloosa so he could get new tires, Monday.  Just as long as that guy makes it back into my arms by tonight, I am as good as I can be at this time in my life.  I know that was probably boring to the rest of the world, but, you know what?  I crave boring right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Little More...

If piecing middle and bottom ruffles, sew 2 of the same color ruffle strips along the 9" sides, right sides together.  Repeat for the second ruffle.  (8" sides)

Quilter Has a Bit of Good News

In this chaos, I forgot to mention that I found out that my manuscript is scheduled to go to the printer's on Monday.  I believe that is about 6 weeks earlier than expected.  Dare I hope to get the book before the year is out?  I look forward to anything that will take my mind off of "reality overload."  I am such a firm believer in keeping busy, maniacally busy when the need arises.  Well, Need has risen her ugly head. Right now, I am trying to reclaim the house from the water damage, clean everything, cut fabric, make patterns, assemble kits, sew some of my list of projects, whatever.  To be honest, it is not really working.  I am getting a lot done.... 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quilty Pattern

So Far, So Good...let's collect the data to date:

Body:  Muslin  13" x WOF
Top Ruffle:     1 piece cut   9" x WOF   ( 1/4 yard, or one piece 9" x 40")
Middle Ruffle:  2 pieces cut 9" x WOF ( 1/2 yard, or, one piece 9" x 80")
Bottom Ruffle:  2 pieces cut 8" x WOF  ( 1/2 yard, or, one piece 8"x 80")
Waist Band:      7" x 68 1/2"  (or 1/2 yard cut into four 7" x 17 1/2")
Wide Rick Rack, 3 packages (optional)

Directions:  Trim all selvedge edges.

All the Days

 All of the days are blurring into one another. My head hurts, my heart hurts....

When I was 13, we had two dogs, a Chihuahua, Timmy, and a Beagle, Snuffie.  They loved each other.  They slept, spooned together, all the time. Snuffie was much larger but was the baby of the family.  Each morning both dogs would go out together.  Always, Timmie would return first.  After some not-so-patient waiting and tapping of his impatient little doggie paws, he would go back out and retrieve the errant "baby."  Same routine, every day.  Then, one day, Snuffie was killed by a hit-and-run driver.  Each day, after that, Timmie would go out, then return.  He would wait, as usual, then go out to get Snuffie.  He would come home, wait some more, and go looking and returning, obviously, alone.  He never ate, again; he rarely slept.  Within less than a month, he, too, died.  He had truly died of a broken heart. 

I know how he felt.

It's Crazy Here

It seems crazy for me to continue adding parts of my new pattern, like nothing has changed in my life.  To the contrary, everything is changed.  Nothing will ever have quite the level of joy, the same meaning to me.  Sorry if that sounds too dramatic, but, it is a dramatic situation.  If this is a movie, it is a horror show and I want to find the exit door.

I was able to talk to my sister's roommate/friend this morning.  She said Deb's last words were "We-e-e-e-e" as she took her feet off the cycle, sticking them out in the air, flying ahead of the others, trying to get them to go faster.....flying into the hands of the angels.

So, please forgive me if it seems like I am not respectful enough or thoughtful enough.  I just have to find some sense of "normal"  so, I will continue to add to the pattern--clinging to what life was like on November 16th..... 

Waist band:  7" X 68 1/2" (or, if piecing, 1/2 yard cut into four pieces, each 7" x 17 1/2")

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quilter's New Pattern

Next addition:

Bottom Ruffle:  2 pieces  cut  8  " x WOF  (1/2 yard)  (or one piece 8" x 80")


I would like to say something positive about the ordeal that our family is going through.  We have been contacted by several representatives from Carnival Cruise Line, a Mexican funeral home, an American Funeral home, as well as members of the American Consulate in Cozumel.  Everyone has been beyond kind, beyond thoughtful, beyond helpful. Their compassion has been amazing.  A person from Carnival was left in Cozumel just to wait for us to get there so we would have a liason to help with getting our sister back to America.  They have made a potentially complicated, stressful process, much less so by their assistance.  While I realize they will never read this, it makes me feel better to have something good to say. Again, to all of you who are thinking of us, praying for us, supporting us in any way, Thank you from me and my family. 

To LIghten the Mood...

Part III -- What could this bee?

Middle Ruffle:  2 pieces cut 9" x WOF  ( 1/2 yard or one piece 9" x 80" )

Thank You, My Friends

Thank you to each and every one of you who have me in your thoughts at this time in my life.  None of this seems real.  My sister was on a dancing cruise that traveled to ports in Mexico.  At Cozumel, she went on shore and rented a motorcycle.  Apparently she lost control of the vehicle and was killed, never making it to a hospital.  I am glad to say she died doing what she loved.  I am angry that I cannot tell her, yet again, how dangerous motorcycles are and why would she get on one????   I know this happens to families every day.  What I don't know is how they get through it.

Again, I thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Dinner? part II

Top Ruffle:  1 piece cut 9" x WOF    ( 1/4 yard or one piece 9" x 40")

Hmmm. what  could we be cooking up?

My Heart Breaks

In memory of my wonderful sister, and best friend, Debbie, who loved life and lived it to the fullest, all the while supporting every crazy idea I have ever had.  My memories of our trip to Rome makes me laugh to this day.  I will miss you every day for the rest of my life.
Deborah Lee Emery
January 24, 1951-November 17, 2011

One Quilter's Gift

Here's a taste of my newest pattern, a.k.a.,  What Dinner?

Body:  Muslin 13" X WOF
More to come......

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Come On Quilters

Check out this terrific photo of our booth in Houston.  (I finally found the cord for downloading the images, heh heh)  Makes ya wanna hop in the car and drive straight down to Houston and run, not walk, right up to our booth, doesn't it?   Oops, too late.  However, we were delighted with the response to my newest rug design.  We have started giving away free patterns all the time if folks buy at least three yards of fabric.  Seems like most people are affected, as am I, by the magic of "FREE."  Fabric jumped off the shelves and into folks bags.  The most popular pattern? You guessed it -- the Rug Pattern.  In fact, many of the other vendors have been purchasing the pattern. Looks like we might just see a plethora of these guys on floors, everywhere !  Waaaay fun.

Every bit as fun is the next item--a pair of jumpers made with our fabrics.  Lois Hoger of Iowa made these sweet babies for her sweet grandchildren.  How proud am I to be part of that ?  HUGELY,  thanks so much Lois, for choosing our fabrics.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This Quilter is HOME

I do not think that I even moved last night.  Someone could have been standing in the doorway of my house, charging for entry, and I would have paid the fee, no questions asked.  Lordy, what is it about one's own bed???? 

We had a great time in Houston.  It did not hurt that we were staying at our son, Chris's, and daughter-in-law, Kat's, house and that it was one of our best shows, ever.  It also did not hurt that we spent most of the time talking about "the" book and getting such great feedback.  Did I mention that I am now doing the final editing?  Wow, it does not seem real.  At least it does not seem like it is "all about Me."  Of course, it is not.  This truly is taking a Village. 

We took pictures, too.  I just have to find the camera in the item we call a car.  It looks more like a homeless person's grocery cart with everything they own in a large messy pile.  Luckily we drive it as opposed to pushing it.  Jeez.  I just remembered.  We have to empty it, today, so I can drive to Monticello.  Sigh.  No rest for this very very weary quilter--the good news, there is definitely some s..., um, fun, in my husband lives in Monticello. heh heh.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Quilter Heaven

Well, I am not realllly in Heaven, it just seems like it.  I mean, here I am in Houston, at Market, no booth to set up, and my only job?  Walking up and down the isles meeting and greeting all the terrific folks.  I just love Bernie, Gloria, Aaron and Debbie, Barbara and Michael, Kathy Alice, Barbara (another one -- there are a lot of Barbara's), Caryl Fallert, Darlene, Mary, ...well you get the gist.  It feels like my very own party.  The best part?  I did not have to clean my house or cook the food, heh heh. 

My hair definitely got reactions.  Some great, some not so great.  The scariest part?  I am not only starting to get used to that reflection, I am starting to like it.  Gulp. 

One of the most interesting serendipitous meetings was when I noticed a large line of women at one booth.  I stopped to talk to one of the ladies to find out what the attraction was that was causing the line.  It was a book signing and she just happened to be a book critique and was very interested when she found out about my book (hey, I have very little control over my mouth...sometimes words fall out that I have no control over.  This time it just had something to do with my book, and, well, I just might have mentioned my desire to be a "Hooker.") 

By the way, I need some action on the comment section, guys.  I miss it when you do not bolster my ego.  I am not too proud to beg......thanks, again, for being there, for the great support.