Spring Fever

In central Texas, it looks as if, hopefully, “Spring has Sprung”! My proof is that noses have started to run. Ah, yes – those seasonal allergies are also in bloom along with the trees and flowers. I absolutely love this time of the year but I am not free from the hay fever drear. In celebration of the new season, I have been making these fabric tissue holders. They have made perfect gifts for my friends who suffer from seasonal allergies. And, although it may be difficult to see through itchy, watery allergy eyes, they are actually much more fashionable than the little plastic-wrapped packages of tissues!

 

Remember When?

Once upon a time, people used to write their thoughts down in a journal or on notebook paper. I am a just a bit embarrassed to say that I have not been writing for quite a while. Life happens – right!?! Well, it has been a goal of mine this year to get back to blogging and really staying focused on my interests (without getting overwhelmed with my responsibilities). Sounds easy enough —– and then I went to pull up my blog. It is like losing the key to your diary! The thoughts are all there and ready to flow from the brain to the fingertips to the keyboard, and ——-what is my password and username again?

After frantically thumbing through my Senior Citizen Password/Username Notebook to no avail, I decided to search the internet for the answers. I had to watch multiple videos and relished the idea of the old pen and paper once again.

I wanted to share pictures of the things I have been working on, but I guess I need to watch another video for that as well. Ahhh – the beauty of technology and change!

 

New Beginning – Why Quilt?

What do you visualize when you hear the words ‘quilt’ or ‘quilting’? My thoughts always go to ‘old’ – my grandmothers or great-grandmothers, patience, and time. My goodness, it can take years to finish one quilt and then, does the recipient of that treasure even appreciate the talent or the time that has been poured into the finished product. After starting my own very basic quilt pattern for the first-time, I understood why the words ‘quilt’ and quit’ are so visually and auditorally similar! Quilting is not for the faint of heart – even if you are attempting a beginner’s patterns.

 

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There is something addicting about selecting fabrics to piece together. As it is stitched together, it really does begin to share a story about its creator. This year, my second grade students studied The Underground Railroad. They were fascinated by the fact that quilters played a huge role in leading people to safety during that time. Different patterns, various stitches, and even specific knots sent a message to those that were travelling north in search of freedom.

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The completed work with its message woven within was hung in a place where the weary travellers could see it and know whether it was safe to proceed forward or if hiding would be necessary. If that story isn’t amazing in itself, these quilts were created by hand – not machine stitched. And, the artists were uneducated for the most part, because education was prohibited for slaves – the ultimate oppression.

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I have now started my third quilt with this particular pattern – third time’s a charm! I am really trying to correct some of the errors I made when piecing together my first two ‘masterpieces’. Mobile Image (2)

I think this one tells a rather happy story, don’t you!

Happy Quilting!

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Taking Care of P’s and Q’s

It has been forever (okay 2 years) since I have added a post. It seems like forever because so much has happened in my life in just two short years and as I am attempting to add this post, I am contemplating whether or not I can learn the new features on this site . When I received notification from my blogging account about updating my payment information, I debated about whether or not to follow through on a new contract. After all, I have not been adding posts – it is like those unread newspapers that pile up by the front door – you pay for the subscription with the best of intentions and then the obstacles of life gets in the way. However, I love writing and after going back and revisiting my previous posts, I feel like I need this for myself. I read through documented memories that I had forgotten – so here I go again.

By the way – the ‘P’ in my title stands for my first name and the ‘Q’ stands for quilts. Lately, I have taken up quilting –  the very, basic beginning stages of quilting. There is something about selecting and piecing together fabrics to tell a story that I am infatuated with.

So – here I go – taking the plunge and blogging again!

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Gone Mad … Mad for Plaid

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December 13, 2016 – Is it really possible that we are already half way through the month of December and just twelve days shy of Christmas day? The year 2017 is peeking around the corner!

Confession time: I have not been as devoted to writing on my blog as I would have liked this past year. A series of other priorities managed to finagle a way into my life and consume my thoughts. Funny thing about writing, when you’re consumed by thoughts one of two things can happen; it can all come flowing out of you  without any hesitation or it can stay bottled up inside you like a surge of water searching for an escape route around a dam. Unfortunately, the latter has become my struggle.

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Recently, following a great deal of reflection, I have come to the realization that writing has always been a really significant part of my life. It is a validation of my own thoughts and beliefs, no matter how crazy they may be. So, as the year 2017 sneaks in at an alarmingly rapid pace, I am making my first resolution. I will to be more dedicated to posting on my blog consistently. Here’s to resolutions and making them last!

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I have not let everything that I enjoy doing in my free time slip by the wayside. I still enjoy ‘crafting’. And, as the month of November rolled into December, I discovered that I have a growing obsession with PLAID….. not just any plaid, but flannel plaid. Oh my goodness, I have made plaid curtains, plaid table runners, plaid pillows, and plaid tote bags. I have appliqued plaid deer and vintage trucks on drop cloth and denim. I ordered most of my precious, flannel prints from fabric.com but when I couldn’t find the necessary  buffalo check, I began purchasing twin flannel sheet sets to satisfy my addiction. Living in Texas, where you can pretty much wear flip-flops twelve months out of the year, it is refreshing to surround myself with a fabric that is representative of an actual season – winter!

So, today as I make my way through this frigid 66 degree weather in Texas, I will proudly strut around in my plaid scarf, carrying my plaid tote bag, while sporting a new pair of flip-flops.

 

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With Love,

sunflower

 

A, B, and C is for Cancer……

Cancer…..probably one of the most frightening words in the English language. By definition it is a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites. The written definition in itself is bone chilling, but this modern example – In the old days, a few generations back, cancer was the Voldemort of illnesses, as in, “he whose name shall not be spoken.”  – makes it sound like a lightning bolt coming down from the very hand of God.

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Exactly one month ago today, we found out that my younger brother has Metastatic Melanoma. This shocking diagnosis followed a chest x-ray to check on a lingering cough that was assumed to be allergy-related. And, as if that news wasn’t devastating enough, upon further scans we were informed that it had the nerve to meander its way up to his brain without being invited to the party!

Fast forward a month, many new doctors/specialists later, and here we are at  KU Medical Center one day after brain surgery. Round One of fighting off “he who’s name shall not be spoken” has been successfully put behind us and we are nervously awaiting the challenges of Round Two.

 Unsurprisingly, in spite of having a portion of his brain extracted, Jeff has managed to keep us on our toes. He has managed to maintain his sense of humor as he wittingly talks to us about his plan of operation for each day (he has even strategically attempted to train the nurses to follow his agenda ). I must add that, being a mere bystander in this whole process, I am amazed at the level of skill, patience, and service that the doctors and nurses have provided! Since this location has become our temporary ‘home away from home’ it has been a blessing to have such an incredible group of medical professionals on our side in this battle.

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What are the next steps? Although, the future is still a bit fuzzy in regards to the plan,  Jeff has made huge strides in just two short days.

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 On this Thursday, July 28th, he will turn forty-five years young. And this year, we know as in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, we have gained strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which we really stopped to look fear in the face. Each day we are able to say to ourselves, “We lived through this horror (aka: “he whose name shall not be spoken”). We can take the next thing that comes along”. Jeff, my hero, now has the battle scars and the titanium plate to prove it!

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With Love,

sunflower