“I SING BECAUSE I’m Happy …

I sing because I’m free, For his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches over me”;  this is one of my all time favorite hymns.  As a child I grew up listening to the golden voice of George Beverly Shea.  His voice would resonate through the air as he sang this song.  Today my heart sang this song as finally, we received some good news.

Guess by now many of you may think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth.  Truth of the matter is we had a major “life issue” occur; one that scared both hubby and I to the core.  Hubby developed some health symptoms right after Thanksgiving that required immediate attention.  Luckily we got right in to see our family doctor and then the tests began.  Almost immediately, he was diagnosed with colon “cancer”….yes, that six letter word that sends shivers down your spine all the while knocking you off your feet.  You find yourself saying, “no, this is not happening to us, it’s not supposed to happen to us, we eat right, try to take care of ourselves…this is just not supposed to be happening”.  Before I had much time to react, I realized I had to get a grip and keep it together, I had to support my hubby.  Immediately I started praying, asking God to guide us as we went down this path and somehow give us a miracle.  I didn’t know how, but I knew God would  honor my prayer…I just felt it deep down inside.                                                                     

As we progressed through the myriad of tests, (CT scans, lung biopsy, etc) we found ourselves wondering if this nightmare would ever end.  The days and weeks before Christmas just passed as a blur.  Finally, after conferring with the surgeon, a surgery date was set for early January.  Once the surgery was done, the surgeon came out to tell me the results.   During our conversation I questioned what she thought the “stage” of the tumor might be… she indicated from her initial sight and feel of the tumor she felt it was a “stage III”.  Immediately my heart sank as I’d been praying for a Stage II.  If you know anything about cancer, there’s a lot of difference between stages and whether additional treatment is needed…it’s all determined by the stages and “T” count, which relates to whether there’s lymph nodes involved.  Stage III was definitely a big letdown…still I clung to my faith and put my trust in the Lord. 

On Friday of last week, 1/15/16, during a quick doctor visit, we were informed of the pathology results…the tumor was completely removed, all margins were clear, and….the official stage was STAGE II, with 11 negative lymph nodes.  Immediately I told hubby we got our miracle!  The nurse concurred and indicated hubby was a very lucky man.  So… today I sing because I’m happy … God definitely answered our prayer.  I encourage anyone who reads this today to put their faith and trust in our God as he’s there’s to save and help all of us.

My sewing and quilting machines have been quiet for many, many weeks, but I’m edging back into my studio…stay tuned…I’ll be back soon!

Two Down, One More To GO…

Whew…it’s been a bit busy here, working on three quilts at one time…that’s enough to drive anyone a little bonkers.  In a past post here, I showed a picture of the deer top that was ready to quilt.  Here’s a few pictures of that quilt after it was washed and dried, making it soft and fluffy.  This quilt is now keeping it’s new owner warm and cozy in the COLD Colorado weather.

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Here’s a few pictures of the back..

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I apologize for picture quality/color as it was a soft brown checked flannel…but at least you can see the stitching.  Sure hoping Santa brings me a new camera!

This next picture is of a baby quilt that I did for my niece who is waiting patiently for her baby boy to be born! ‘

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Well, that’s about it from this end.  So hoping to have the second deer quilt finished later this week.  You can read about it in my post here…till next time, happy Christmas shopping!!

Jalapeños. …

Today we made a trip to south Austin to have the hitch for the motorhome fixed, which for us is about 150 miles round trip.  This is a shop that we’ve done business with for years and they do impeccable work.  Anyways,  the shop manager said “go have lunch, come back and it’ll be ready.  So off we went to our favorite pizza place for lunch…”The Brick Oven”. 

When the waiter placed our pizza on the table, immediately I saw the jalapeños and couldn’t help but remember my recent conversation with Audrey Kletscher Helbling of Minnesota Prairie Roots.  Why just last week she and I  were discussing jalapeños and how it’s a southern thing!  So Audrey, this one is for you… a pizza with jalapeños. ..yes, it was delicious!

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Yummy, yummy!  Off to finish a quilt…till next time….

Childhood memories…

We all have them, they are forever embedded in our memory…our childhood memories.   As a pre-teen back in the early ’60’s, I can remember Mom buying me a potholder kit at the big Sears & Roebuck store in downtown Cleveland,  Ohio.  At the time I was so excited about learning something new and soon decided to sell my potholders to the neighbors. 

All summer long I’d take my samples, along with my patterns, and go door to door, taking orders for potholders.  Now mind you I would make and sell my potholders for $0.25 each.  What a bargain!  Believe me, I was in hog heaven, making and selling potholders. 

Fast forward to 2015…while on a recent RV trip to Kerrville, Texas, we took a drive and passed through the small town of Comfort, Tx,.  Tucked away in this small town is the neatest knitting and needlepoint shop called  the “Tinsmith’s Wife Shop”.  This shop has every type of knitting yarn, needlepoint canvas’ and yarn, and cross stitch materials that one could want.  Each room, yes there were many, we’re packed with all sorts of goodies.

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As I browsed the shop, something caught my eye..oh my, there it was, bags and bags of 100% cotton potholder loops!  My mind immediately raced back to those childhood memories, so I bought a couple of bags…

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Once home, I found my old loom from Sears, (yes I still had it) and thought..hmm… I’ll put this out in the RV for use on a rainy day….  Now it’s raining and I’m stuck inside the RV…..

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Childhood memories…..aren’t they grand!  Till next happy quilting, crafting, etc.

A New Set of Eyes…

If you’re a quilter, sewer or crafter, you’ll understand how important it is to have sufficient lighting in the work area.
For months, no lets say years, I’ve tried adding all sorts of lighting to my sewing area.  I have 2 ott lamps, one by my sewing machine and one by my quilting machine,  plus 2 different LED clamp on lights for the quilt machine, and a “bright light” for the needle area.   Gee am I light crazy ??? 

The lighting around my sewing machine was ok, but not for my quilter,  Betsy, my HQ Sweet 16.  Being an older model, she didn’t have all the lighting that the new models have these days.  While I tried various options, the lighting was still inadequate….that is until now.
Here’s what I had before the latest addition…

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See all the darkness.. only bright light around needle and where the overhead
ott light shines.

Now here’s the new eyes…

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What a difference…

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The new LED “eyes” provides lighting all around and under arm.  I’m amazed at how well I can see to stitch!  What a difference a new set of “eyes” makes.

Till next time…keep your eye on the needle and your foot on the pedal.

A 2nd top done…

After working for past 3 days on and off, the 2nd deer quilt is finally pieced together.  Now both tops are ready
To be quilted

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Wanting this top to be different than the first one, I believe it was a success.  Surprisingly the quilt tops are about same size…55×60.  I say that because I used scraps and just designed it as I went.  Now in case you missed the first one….here it is again…do you have a favorite????

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Both tops will be quilted and sent off to new homes….more to come soon.

Ready to quilt

The final borders are on and it’s ready to quilt.  I must say, I am very happy with the outcome.  Love the half-square triangles, as they frame the center well. The only really size is approx 60″ square. The flannel backing is washed and in the dryer,  so later today it’s “sandwiching” time.  Then the quilting process will begin…once finished, I’ll bind the quilt with the dark chocolate brown fabric.

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Meanwhile, I’ve started on quilt #2…or should I say #5. This one will also be for a dear friend who is facing surgery later this month after several rounds of both chemo and radiation.  Guess that’s why the good Lord gave me an extra panel!  When i ordered the first one last year, (above) the lady accidentally sent me two.  After contacting her, she simply said “keep it and use it for someone”.  Little did she, or I for that matter, know what lie ahead.

Since this is my 5th quilt using this panel, it’s my hope it will be my last.  Don’t get me wrong, panels can make beautiful quilts…but I’m ready for a change.  My hubby has the original, then our oldest grandson, a cousin, and now these last two.  Have a great weekend as I’m off to quilt.