Posts Tagged ‘Family’


September 11, 2019

On 9/11/2001 I was a federal employee at Social Security Headquarters (a large complex of 8 buildings) in Baltimore County, Maryland. Shortly before 9:30 a.m., as I was pulling into a parking space, I heard that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought they were talking about small planes, not commercial passenger jets. I remember thinking that two planes was weird. I hurried into the building to sign in and get to my 9:30 meeting.

The woman who sat next to me called in to say she couldn’t get to work from Virginia because something was happening in the Pentagon area. Rumors about planes hitting various government buildings in and around DC ran rampant. Frankly, if they’d hit the right buildings in the SSA complex, it could have dealt a substantial financial blow to the U.S. Hopefully, the current disaster recovery plans will reduce the time required to recover from any kind of disaster.

My branch chief who was also acting Division Director that day stuck her head in and said she was getting the hell out of the office and that we could do whatever we wanted about staying or going. Sometime later an announcement was made that the building was closing and everyone was dismissed. I had to hang around because the tech support people were working on my computer and I had to keep signing in for them. Despite the rumors I never believed I was in danger. Another reason I stayed was so I could stop and pick up some lunch on my way home.

Who stayed to make sure our quadriplegic employee was able to contact his transport people? Remember, the boss hightailed it out early on. Phone circuits were tied up with all the phone calls being made and attempted. Bruce hadn’t been able to contact his transportation to get a ride. Who stayed? Our newest employee who had been there for two weeks and I. I asked Darnell why he hadn’t left. He said he wanted to make sure Bruce was able to get home. If I had any respect left for my boss by that time I lost it that day. In a different division, the acting director insisted on staying until every single employee he was responsible for left despite his employees trying to get him to leave because he had a family. He deserves respect.

I had no idea what was really going on until I got home and turned on the TV. When we returned to work I learned that one of my former co-workers was one of the masses of people walking across the bridge to get home from Manhattan. I wondered where my parents were. Once all the planes were grounded I knew they were safe, I just didn’t know where they were. They were supposed to fly out of St. Louis that day but I didn’t know when. Were they at home? Had they reached their destination? Were they grounded somewhere? I didn’t know and it didn’t occur to them to call me to let me know. I called them that evening and learned that their flight was after the planes were grounded so they went home to Illinois. My aunt was the only person in the family who called me to make sure I was ok. I said I was fine but I didn’t know where mom and dad were yet.

Watching the TV coverage was like watching a disaster movie. I had no connections to New York at that time so it wasn’t real to me. The next week my friend who sat next to me at work told me about her weekend in New York helping to search for her three cousins who were in the towers. One was a John Doe in a hospital, unable to talk; another found under her maiden name in a different hospital; no trace of the third one who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. Finally, they went to his apartment and got the superintendent to let them in. Rather than call a family member, he left his final message on his answering machine. No trace of him has ever been found. My friend’s tragedy made it real.

My house was near the flight path for BWI airport. The next three days were so quiet with no aircraft in the air except for the military planes making their circuits around the Baltimore-Washington corridor. I was at one end of the loop, my friend in Virginia was at the other end of the loop.

One of my former guild members, Veronica Christensen, was an instrumental part of the 9/11 ground zero flag restoration. Read Veronica Christensen’s story of the flag’s rescue.

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
. . .  any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

True Confessions

July 22, 2019

My name is Barbara and it has been 8 days since I bought fabric. Hopefully, that won’t change tonight when my guild meets at the local quilt shop instead of the church.

Each summer the Row by Row experience does me in as far as no buy goes. This year I am trying to be much more selective in my choices. But, who can resist this collaborative quilt from 8 shops in the Chicago suburbs?

chicago row

Back in the dark ages of the mid-1970s I lived in Chicago so, of course, I had to have this. All the Chicago things, although some of them arrived after I left. The cheese popcorn should also have caramel popcorn in it – that’s the Chicago mix. I may have to make some adjustments to the design to accomodate that. I meant to ask the store about it but forgot. We’ve got the skyline, the Chicago bean, the Buckingham fountain, the Picasso sculpture, the Chicago dog, the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, deep dish pizza, the beginning of Route 66, a twinkie that I was told represents the Hostess company (because they’re moving headquarters to Chi-town?), and, last, but not least, the 2016 World Series winning Cubs. I used to live a couple of miles from Wrigley Field but never went to a Cubs game. They only played during daylight because the field had no lights. Of course, that’s when I was at work. That changed a while back and lights were finally added. Chicago is also home to the White Sox. I asked if there were hard feelings from White Sox fans. One woman who made the quilt and turned it in as the winner at one shop changed the Cubs player to a White Sox player.

After my visit to Mom and Dad, I drove up to my brother’s in Chicago to collect these 8 kits. One shop was sold out so will send it when their reorder arrives. Surprisingly, my mother likes this design. She thinks quilting is boring and always asks when I’m going to get into something more interesting. After I got home, she asked if I’d gotten everything I needed for this and asked when it would be done. Silly question. Said she’d like to see it. Shocked me to hear that. Guess I need to get on the stick and get started.

Along the way some other things jumped into my bags.


I saw this collection of bolts on the shelf but didn’t want to buy yardage. When I saw they had strips and layer cakes, I looked at the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial app to select a pattern to make so I’d know which pre-cut to buy. I decided on May Day Baskets. The yardage on the left is for the outer border. I found 3 potential fabrics for the basket part of the blocks at another store.


I couldn’t decide which one I wanted so I got all three and will decide later. Right now I’m leaning toward the blue in the center. That could change after I open the strip set and see them laid out.

Found these at another store. The left one will be a border for the drive-in movie row I picked up from a swap group or for the Scaredy cats fabric hiding somewhere in my stash. This is the movie row:


Here’s the scaredy cats at the movies fabric.


Maybe I should just cut a good sized piece of the scaredy cats and border it with the Dracula fabric and find something else for the drive-in block.


This is another fabric I picked up on my trip. It was just too pretty to leave on the shelf. It will be a border for the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Crazy 8s. I’ll make the necessary 10″ squares (non-background) from my stash. Background will be a purchase because I don’t have that much yardage of dark purple I want to use.


Picked up this pattern book at one of the shops. Discovered there’s a quilt-a-long that just started for this one.


And this pattern by Valori Wells. The shop did it in Kaffe Fassett collective fabrics. I liked that a lot better than the cover quilt. I’ve got a ton of KFC fabric, so it was a no-brainer.

Here are most of the Row by Row kits I’ve acquired this summer.

Some of these were in person and some through the swap group. As you can see I also picked up the 2018 kits for a couple of the stores.

At the store with the diner row, I was met by this cute little guy.


His name is Milo and he is 9 months old. He was standing at the door looking out when I arrived. I had to slip into the shop without letting him out. He got a little excited when I came in (I seem to have that effect on dogs) so got put into the sling his daddy uses to carry him around. Very cute.

I had to have the popcorn block because popcorn was always a thing with me and my dad. Mom and my brother could take it or leave it. The kernals are yo-yos. Too cute.

Another set of collaborative rows comes from the 10 Maryland-VA Quilter’s Quest shops.


So far I have four of these. Linda and I will be making a couple of trips to get the rest.


At Capital Quilts, in addition to this year’s row kit, I picked up last year’s as well as the Maryland state pride row. It’s not part of the Row by Row Experience but sized the same as the original rows. I went on the website to look at the rows for other states I’ve lived in but Maryland was the only one that was really interesting. I think this company does a lot of the laser cut kits for the row by row shops,

Jinny Beyer designed a paper-pieced fork block as an alternate row by row for those who don’t want applique but then learned she could only have one official row block. Since they were part of the collaboration quilt, the hot pepper jam block is her official row. Anyone who wants the fork kit can order it from her website. She also designed a larger sized fork in a pieced version for a larger quilt. Of course, while I was there, a few fat quarters of tone-on-tones came home with me. The fat eighth stripe at the bottom is a freebie when you bring in one of the shop’s cloth bags.

While I was away, these arrived.

I’m not much of a solids gal but I like some of these quilts that mix solids and prints. Lord knows I’ve got plenty of scraps to work with. I decided the best way to do this was to buy solids in layer cakes rather than build a yardage stash. So, I ordered several. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that one of my selections wasn’t solids. Darn it.

My friend, Polly, has converted me to the dark side so I couldn’t resist the cemetery print. It will probably be a backing for something appropriately creepy.

So, the situation with Mom and Dad is somewhat unsettled. Dad (96 with a collection of conditions, now including dementia) has improved physically with the therapy but can’t go back to independent living with Mom. The assisted living people evaluated him and said he needed more assistance than they offer. Doesn’t sound like they offer too much assistance. So, he’s staying at the nursing home, waiting for a non-therapy room to open up. He’s not happy about his situation. When we visit, we wake him up and next thing you know he’s asleep again. If he keeps doing that, then we leave because why spend time sitting there while he sleeps? He was doing that at home, too, but at least he’d be awake and interacting with us sometimes.

Mom will be moving next month to a smaller two-bedroom apartment across the hall from their current one. She’ll be losing an entry-way, dining room, a bathroom and her close access to parking. Right now, she parks right outside the outside entrance to the apartment. The new apartment outside access is to the interior courtyard. She’s not happy about that. The bathroom in the smaller apartment is a little larger than the ones in the larger apartment. It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us.

Mom’s driving my brother crazy. He gives her assignments that need to be done to make the moves happen and she doesn’t get around to doing them. I’m kind of the same way. I hate it when he gives me assignments. He’ll be going down again soon and I’m sure he’ll get things on track. I’ll just show up next month and do what he tells me. She was saying she’d move in September. He pointed out that we will be there in August for her birthday so can help then but we won’t be there in September to help. Sigh. I’m still not sure she realizes how much stuff has to go away. We want to put it in a storage locker for a couple of months to make sure none of it is needed. She doesn’t think that’s necessary. She’s still whining about missing things from the move to the apartment 6 years ago. We don’t want to go through that again.

Sewing Calms

June 29, 2019

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from my 91 year old mother before I had gotten out of bed. Well, that can’t be good. Dad’s 96 so the entire time she was talking I was wondering “is Dad dead or alive?” It took her 10 minutes to get to the punchline: Dad was in the hospital, no longer able to stand up. My advice if you’re in a similar situation – start with the punchline, then tell the story of how things evolved. When she hung up I quickly texted my brother to let him know mom was calling him and dad wasn’t dead yet.

Later that day we got word that the doctor wouldn’t discharge dad back to the independent living facility. He had to go to a nursing home. I called my friend in that town to pick her brain about the local nursing homes. She said the one in a nearby town was good if the patient was easy. Her mother wasn’t and their experience was bad. She pointed out that my dad also wouldn’t be easy to deal with. She said they had a good experience with the Odd Fellows home in town. I reported what she said to mom and my brother. Mom stunned me by saying, “I don’t think your father would be any more difficult than anyone else.” I asked her, in disbelief, “How long have you lived with him?” My dad can be extremely difficult to deal with especially since he can’t see and he can’t hear. He was so combative with the hospital staff they hired 24 hour sitters for him. Of course, it being Friday meant nothing would happen until Monday because the hospital social worker and nursing home administrative staff that make things happen don’t work on the weekend.

As you can imagine, I was agitated by all the uncertainty. Was he going to die in the next few days? Would I need to cancel all the appointments I had over the next few weeks? Linda was over that afternoon to sew. I was sick and tired of doing borders and backings so I pulled out the bin of  Dutch 9-patch block kits and started sewing. When I got them out I said, “Self, you better get out a finished block as an example so you get the pieces in the right spot ’cause you know you get it wrong sometimes. Nah, I got this.” You know where this is going, right?


This is the way the books show the Dutch 9-patch. The blocks are perfectly fine, except this isn’t the way I was doing them. In these I reversed the placement of the outer patches. The floral pieces should have been in the center spots and the go-with color on the outer corners. As you sew, so shall you rip. Even though they were fine, they weren’t the way I wanted them so I ripped them apart and did them my way.

I sewed and sewed and sewed over the next week or so. Eventually I began to calm down. Then I had my gastroenterologist appointment and got riled up again. I knew he would want to do a colonoscopy now (my next one wasn’t due until next year). When we talked about the prep, he omitted some pertinent details. Had he included them our discussion of which prep to use would have been longer. After I got home, I looked it up and discovered it’s basically the same stuff I used 25 years ago, except you mix this stuff with gatorade instead of water. It was vile then and I expect it to be just as vile now. Can I drink a gallon of gatorade? I’ve never had gatorade so I bought a bottle to taste. We’ll see. I hope it’s tolerable enough. The only prep I wouldn’t mind too much doing again is the pills but they don’t want to use those anymore because of the risk of blowing out the kidneys from not drinking enough water with them. Yes, I realize my reaction was excessive.

By that time I was determined to finish all the blocks I had cut pieces for. By the time I finished I had calmed down again. Here’s what came out of my bin:


This is the stack before I put them on the design wall. The ones on the bottom have been flattened by the weight of the ones on the top so the pile would be higher if they had just been stacked like they were when I took them off the wall. I should have measured the pile then.

That is 110 blocks. They finish at 9″. I couldn’t fit them all on the wall for one picture. The right side is the 20 blocks that didn’t fit on the wall with those on the left. Up close I didn’t like them side by side but it doesn’t look too bad from distance. I got out the bin of finished blocks from the UFO closet and counted them. 135. So I have a total of 245 blocks to play with. They’re back in the closet to rest while I ponder settings.

So, Dad’s in the nursing home, doing better physically, maybe. Mom says some days she can’t wake him up when she’s there. My brother said he’s noticeably declined since we saw him in May and that I’d better come for a visit sooner than the planned one in August. So a trip to Illinois is in my immediate future. Oh, and they said he’s stage 4 Alzheimer’s. Great. Another condition to add to his collection. And, Mom’s planning to move to a one bedroom apartment if he’s not coming home which means my brother and I have a lot of work to do. The bulk of the burden is falling on him because he’s only 180 miles away. I think both mom and dad are in denial now thinking maybe he will be able to come home. I don’t think that’s going to work out.

I went through my inventory of UFOs and tagged them with the stage they’ve reached. There are at least 8 that need borders and backing. Sigh. I’ve just done half a dozen or so. Some of these need pieced or appliqued borders. I’m tired of borders and backings. But, I’m also feeling the burden of all the UFOs. The sooner I get the borders and backings done, the sooner they can go to the quilter and get finished! Of course, there are about 57 new things I want to start. Right. This. Minute. I just finished making the back for the Kaffe leaf quilt. That’s the second one I have ready to take to the quilter and I took two to her a few weeks ago. So, maybe, I could start one new project as a reward? Please? Pretty please with sugar on it?

When you fall off the horse …

May 29, 2019

Get back on. No, I haven’t been horse riding. The horse I fell off of was keeping notes about what I’ve done in the studio and writing about them. Even though I wasn’t keeping notes all the time, I’ve got a lot to share.

4/23 – I sorted the scrap bin from the garage. Yay! All the scraps have now been sorted and I have an empty bin to put to use doing other things.

I also completed the assembly of the fussy cut animal quilt body (i.e., no borders yet). I have since ordered and received fabric for the outer border and backing. Inner border comeing from stash. Hopefully, the piece I have is large enough. More about that soon, with pictures. Here’s a picture of the body sewn together.

4/24 – Linda, Patty and I went to the Blue House fabric sale in Westminster, MD. I didn’t find much, even at 40% off. They used to have a lot of grunge colors so I was expecting to find some of those. There was very little, nothing that interested me. The sale made me suspicious. Sure enough, a few weeks later Linda got the email that they are going out of business. Linda is sad because their fabrics were in her wheelhouse. Me, not so much.

4/25 – I had sweatshop with Polly at Spring Water Designs. I did the inking on most of my ship blocks.

When I got home that afternoon, I worked on the step-outs for my guild demo scheduled for May. The demo has since been rescheduled for August.

4/26 – Linda came over. I worked on prepping one of the Baltimore Garden bird blocks.

4/27 – Baltimore Garden class.

One of my ship blocks had bleeding from the ultra-suede. I took a deep breath and followed Vicki Welsh’s instructions and started the block soaking in hot water and Dawn (some clear version with no dyes or perfumes). The bleed did come out. Whew! Polly did like the idea of making the ship look like it was burning because the bleed looked like smoke around the masts. I’ll post pictures of all the ship blocks one of these days.

I worked on the hand stitching of the binding on the T for Two quilt.

4/28 – More work on the T for Two binding.

And, here’s where I fell off the horse. No notes for the next month. I was in Illinois for Dad’s 96th birthday so no sewing happened while I was gone. His birthday is Star Wars day (May 4th). I asked him if he knew that. He just keep saying, “Huh?” He’s extremely hearing impaired so it’s very exhausting to talk to him. Mom said she didn’t think he knew what Star Wars was. I said I’d wondered about that. He looks pretty good in this picture but he’s gotten quite frail.

Red Lobster is Dad’s favorite restaurant. He had been talking about the Red Lobster lobster fest promotion for a couple of months. He fretted because it was over. My brother and I kept telling him “if you want lobster, order lobster.” Usually he orders coconut shrimp, probably because that’s what mom orders, and then complains about the breading, insisting that it didn’t used to be so thick. Mom and I and the waitress always tell him it’s always been that way and to order something else but he never did. This time they had a new lobster and shrimp dinner so he ordered that and, as you can see, was quite happy afterwards. My brother and I also ordered it. It was pretty good. Came with corn on the cob and roasted potato wedges and some sausage. Too much for one meal but made for nice leftover meals.

My brother and the dog sacked out. Smokey is his last dog. Smokey has really declined in health since the previous dog died. Sounds like he may not last much longer. He’s the last dog because my brother wants to travel and he can’t do that with animals to care for.

I was only there a few days so Becky and I didn’t get to do our usual get together stuff. We met for dinner one night and I gave her the T for Two quilt. I wish I’d gotten better pictures of it but I didn’t.


A couple weeks later I was off to my guild’s spring retreat. Four days at the Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville,  PA. Actually, the retreat center is out in the country in the middle of nowhere. I took eight or nine projects just to be sure I didn’t run out of things to do. I didn’t touch two of them, which is fine. I try to take things that don’t require much thought because with 28 people in a big room, there is lots of distraction.

I assembled two smaller quilts the first day.


Ignore the extra bits on the left. I didn’t hang this straight enough to crop out the other project on the design wall. This 16-patch from strips from Genie’s scraps. It will be donated to charity as that is what her family wanted done with her fabric. Charity was a big part of Genie’s being. I’m calling it In the Pink.

I also assembled the Jacob’s Ladder blocks.


I’m working on the borders now. You can see a little of the inner borders on the sides.

The second day of retreat I assembled Sweet Poison. I don’t seem to have a photo of that. More on it when it comes back from the quilter.

I spent the third day making blocks for 9-patch Madness. I’d been using the broken dishes blocks as leader/enders the entire time. This happened.


It’s hard to see because of the dark fabric. This is a connecting corner square. I cut off the outer bit and then the following piece appeared out of nowhere.


Something definitely wrong here. This was my leader/ender. Where did it come from and why isn’t it square? Here’s why.


The bottom triangle is the piece I cut off the 9-Patch Madness block shown earlier. My leader/ender got caught up and sewn into the 9-Patch Madness block. Sigh. I’ve probably made every mistake in the book over time but this is a new one.

The last day of retreat is really only a half-day and not much work happens. Around 10 or 10:30 we have show and tell where we go around the room and everyone shows what they worked on. Then, it’s mostly pack up and leave because we have to be out of the room by 1 p.m.

Nothing to do with quilting but this happened. My handyman finally came over to install the ceiling fan in the living room. It’s the weird looking round thing – a bladeless fan. I also had him help finish assembling the dining room chairs.


He also attached my design wall to the wall. It’s no longer just leaning against the wall. I’m beyond thrilled. I did have to move a heavy piece of furniture though so the design wall didn’t block the outlet. Bless whoever invented hand trucks and those furniture slider things. I was able to move the cabinet all by myself.


I must have done other things but no idea what they were. Actually, one is the project on the left of the design wall. More about it at another time. The one on the right is the May snowman.

Last Friday Linda came over. I realized at one point that she had stopped working and packed up her stuff. I was wandering around trying to find something to focus on. I had a brainstorm and said, “I’ve got something we can do!” Here’s the result.


We placed all the embroidery hoops I’ve been collecting for the last several years. Some I had, some came from guild freebie table, some from silent auction. Now, I have to choose fabric to fill them.

5/25 – Baltimore Garden class.

5/26 – Sew and Tell meets at my house. I cut and fused pieces for the June snowman. After S & T, I assembled the April and May snowman tops. So, during my not taking notes, I must have cut and fused the April and May snowmen pieces.

5/27 – I finished assembly of the April Snowman. No picture of the April snowman right now.

I made the back for the Genie 16-patch quilt. Was going to use a bunch of different blue fabrics but found this backing yardage, so used it. It’s an old Jinny Beyer print.


I also cut up the leftovers from that yardage. Some squares for the guild’s love quilts. Some for my pre-cut stash.

I started the back for Sweet Poison.

5/28 – Finished the back for Sweet Poison. Stay-stitched the edges of the top. Will have piectures when it comes back from quilter.

I nailed the hangers in the wall for the embroidery hoops. The picture I showed earlier was after this happened. When we were arranging them they were held on by blue painter’s tape. That made it easy to rearrange them until we were satisfied.

I filled two of the smaller hoops with scraps from the Sweet Poison backing.

I traced the four carrot embroidery sections for the June snowman. Selected the thread and embroidered one of them in the evening.

I cut the inner border for the Jacob’s Ladder and attached the two long sides. It occurred to me after I cut the two side borders that maybe I should miter them so the corners look better. The perfectionist in me wishes I’d done that but I’m going to live with butted corners.

The house cleaners just left so I’m going to get a late lunch and, maybe, head to the studio. I really need a cook. I’d be in hog heaven then.


Good Fortune: Clue 1

November 26, 2018

I couldn’t start Clue 1 until Saturday because my brother was visiting for Thanksgiving until late Friday afternoon. On Friday we finished this:


This is the first time I’ve put up a tree in years. I bought a new one (7.5′ slim) from Hobby Lobby for 50% off. The treetop angel that I needlepointed many years ago has gone walkabout. She must have taken the tree skirt with her because there is none to be found at present. My brother suggested using some of my fabric. What an idea!

I wrote about the colors I chose for Good Fortune here.  This week’s clue was a boatload of 4-patches. I did all the cutting with my Stripology ruler. I love it and it is worth every penny in my opinion. I cut a strip from the 39 red fabrics I pulled for the mystery and cut them into 6″+ strips to get good variety. Normally I would have just cut squares and tried to mix them so that no two 4-patches were the same. Too much trouble this time. I decided to do it Bonnie’s way. I sewed the short red strips onto 46 longer neutral strips and just kept moving them through in a big loop until all red strips were sewn to a neutral strip.


Third time around.


Ready for pairing.


Attempting to track the number of red segments from my strips as I cut them into short strips.


Bowl of 4-patches ready to spin. Are there enough? Who knows? It’s a mystery!

The required number of 4-patches are in the container on the left so why is my bowl not empty? I only expected to have a couple of extra, not 8. It would have been 9 if I hadn’t messed up cutting on one. I was hoping not to have a bunch of extra bits for this mystery. You know what they say about the best laid plans.


In the first clue of mystery Bonnie Hunter gave to me: an overflowing bowl of 4-patches. You need to hear the tune to 12 Days of Christmas in your head. The words don’t quite scan right but it’s the best I can do.

Wednesday night we went to The Mall in Columbia to see the famous poinsettia tree.


Some years ago the mall did away with the poinsettia tree. What a hullabaloo that caused! After a tremendous fuss by county residents, the mall management caved and brought back the tree.

We meant to go through the Symphony of Lights that started Thursday but forgot. However, these deer were frolicking in the courtyard at the mall.


For months I’ve been looking for my pieces from Grandpa Bennett’s salt and pepper shaker collection. I looked everywhere but couldn’t find them after my move last year. A couple weeks ago I was at the sewing machine and noticed a small box in the gap between the bookcases and the side wall. There was stuff on top of it so it was hard to see. Yes! I found them. Finally!


The shelf is no longer empty! Some of the things are my additions. I found the barn shelf at a craft fair years ago. Perfect for Grandpa’s salt and peppers because he was a farmer.

Thanks for visiting. See what others are making at Bonnie’s mystery linkup.

Mimi’s Grad School: November

November 3, 2016

Yay, Cubs! They finally did it.

Growing up in central Illinois, we were Cardinal fans because we were closer to St. Louis than Chicago and could run down to St. Louis for a game. I lived in Chicago for five years, part of it just a mile or so from Wrigley Field, before I moved out to Maryland and my brother lives there so I had a vested interest in last night’s World Series final. I wasn’t watching the game but was texting with my brother. The score then was 4-1 in the 5th inning. When the 11:00 news said the score was tied in the 9th inning, I quickly switched over to the game to watch the last 2 innings. At one point it looked like the Cubbies were going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Our November Grad School meeting was held on October 31. The store moved it up a week because of Quilters’ Quest. Mimi was wearing her Halloween pointing finger.


Our bird this month in the pattern was a purple martin. Kay designed a woodpecker block for us instead. Some folks worked ahead making the blocks except for the bird so they went ahead and did the bird in the original pattern. Kay made a block with quilts hanging on the line and a rooster that reminds her of childhood visits to her grandparent’s farm. I remembered to bring my project box this time so displayed my painted bunting and woodpecker (the third picture from the left in the top row). They aren’t sewn down yet.

Next month’s bird is called Mama Bird in the pattern. Genie and Ruth decided that the yellow bird was either a goldfinch or a chickadee.

Genie worked ahead and got her top with blocks assembled. She chose not to follow the pattern for all the block foliage.


She also made a tree with all the birds. She saved room for the rest of the birds. Since the last time I showed her tree she added a bird feeder to the empty space.


Every bird feeder needs a squirrel.


All but one of my grad school projects have ended up as a box of blocks because we do a block each month then move on to the next project without allowing time for assembly and borders. Now that I don’t have a job taking up all my time, I’m determined not to let this project languish. I added the frames to the blocks that are sewn. After I took the picture below, I cut and sewed the border backgrounds and chose and cut the strips for the inner border. I need to get as much done as I can before the Bonnie Hunter mystery starts. We have one more bird that will be presented in December and made for January display. I have a lot of beaks, feet and eyes to do yet.


Easy Street Detour

December 31, 2012

I was able to keep up with Easy Street until Clue 5. The day it was published I was getting ready to go away for the holidays. I did get some pieces cut but nothing sewed. While I was away, clue 6 was published. Of course, I’ve done nothing on that because I was away. I got home last night and this morning clue 7 was released. Tomorrow, the last clue will be released – at least, I think she said it’s the last clue. I’ll be sewing tomorrow with my friend Linda and I’m still on vacation the rest of the week so I hope to get caught up soon.

I went to Illinois to spend Christmas with my elderly parents and my brother. I drove Mom and Dad up to Chicago to spend a few days with my brother. Unfortunately, on Christmas day Dad (89 years old) had an altercation with the small, evil one. He lost.

The small, evil one.

Missy, the small, evil one.

The small, evil one (as my mother and I think of her) or Missy (as my brother prefers) is a 12 year old miniature Schnauzer. She is the smallest of his current pack of 3 minis. I think he said she weighs about 6 pounds. She is an aggressive dog. As my brother described her, she bites first and asks questions later.

Dad was sitting in the small, evil one’s place on the couch so she curled up next to him. I guess he forgot she was there and when he pushed himself up off the couch he must have dug his elbow into her side. She flew into a rage and bit him on the hand. Of course,  it was his dominant hand.

My brother was upstairs in the shower so while I was looking for bandages, Dad went to  rinse off his hand. I told him to wash it with soap. He didn’t because he said he didn’t know where the soap was but he didn’t tell me that until the next day. He’s legally blind so he didn’t realize the soap was right on the sink.

The next day we noticed that his hand was swollen, red and hot. He’s on blood thinner and kept flexing his hand which kept opening the wound and making it bleed. We kept telling him not to do that. So we had a fun-filled afternoon at the walk-in clinic. I learned that they don’t stitch animal bites because of the likelihood of infection. Stitches make the infection worse. His hand looked a lot better after a couple of days on the antibiotic.

Mom called the doctor’s office for an appointment after we got home from Chicago. When the nurse asked where he was bitten, she said “at my son’s house in Chicago”.  Then the nurse rephrased the question. I bet you thought that was just an old joke.