Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well, it's been an interesting and somewhat less than fun week! Sunday at the ER, all day, with a diagnosis of diverticulitis. I thought I was being silly agreeing to go to the ER with my friend, Lynn. Thought I was just constipated and having gas pains. Uhhh.... I forgot to factor in the fever. I doubt anybody reads this blog, but if you do, and you have constipation or diahhrea, with fever, plus pain, get to the ER!! Yeah, diverticulitis is nothing to mess with -- people die from that crap, or have to have their colons resected, or or or or . . . . none of which is fun. I've had to be off work until tomorrow -- and you know I don't feel well when I've not sewn a STITCH since last week. Thankfully most of Christmas is already done (most, not all), so I'm not that far behind. Maybe part of the problem is I just can't get motivated to sew -- I don't seem to have anything planned that I really, really want to make.

I feel OK now, I still have some discomfort, but mostly it's gas moving through my system. I gotta tell ya, this hasn't been fun. I'm not used to taking a lot of drugs, and just trying to remember if I've taken my antibiotics or not isn't easy -- so I've made a chart. I think I'm going to try to stay up more today -- I've been sleeping a lot -- since I'm going to be expected (and need) to do a full day at work tomorrow. Doctors say I'll feel rather funky for about a week. Oh joy!

I will say that this episode has shown me how truly alone I am. Sandi is in Atlanta, Mom isn't capable of helping me any longer (it's the other way around now, as is the circle of life and Lord knows not her fault), Meghan is in California -- and Greg -- well he's not exactly Mr. Let Me See What I Can Do to Help guy. Thank God for Lynn -- she pushed me to go to the ER, came and got me, stayed with me the whole time (and it was ALL day while I drank the barium, they did the CT scan, got the results, then the real delay was while they tried to decide whether to admit me to the hospital or not) . I doubt they would have let me leave without being admitted except that Trixye and I went to stay with Lynn until mid-afternoon yesterday. I'm extremely grateful to her -- without her pushing me, and insisting that Trixye and I stay with her, well, I frankly don't know what would've happened.

Anyway, I thought I should probably chronicle one of these major events in my life -- plus I'm BORED! So there you have it. Listen to your body -- as Lynn told me, I am NOT invincible -- I worry about everybody else's health and ignore my own. I am going to be on the search for a new doctor -- as much as I like Dr. DiSanto, I didn't realize she doesn't have hospital privileges and as she says, doesn't "do" hospitals. I don't like that in a doctor -- it's never been an issue before, but I want my doctor to be able to go to the hospital if I need him/her. So the next thing, probably after the first of the year, is to find a new doctor.

Hope everyone (all 1 or 2 of you) that reads this blog is OK. Have a great day!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday, September 18

Hello everyone! All is well here in Billye-land -- work is slow (yay, today, since I'm really not into it!) and I've not posted photos of some work I've done lately, so let me see if I can throw some up here.

Let's see, I was working on Twisted Sister and the log cabin quilt last I posted. Here's a photo of Twisted Sister (I've since changed the bottom two cornerstones since although I did them that way on purpose, they ended up looking stupid).
This is a Christmas/birthday/whatever gift for friend Lynn. She's seen the photo and loves it. Time now to get it sandwiched, basted and quilted.

So the other quilt was a log cabin -- as I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd never done an Eleanor Burns pattern, so I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was so easy! Only thing is, it makes a big quilt, so I'm going to have to do the QAYG method on this one -- I've assembled the blocks and made the back . . just need to quilt it.

I don't think I ever posted my completed bargello. Well, it didn't turn out quite like I planned, and the photo is lousy -- but it was too skinny and I wasn't in the mood to add to it, so, I cut it in half and bound it and hung it up on the wall. Artist's license, right? LOL

And my latest craze is crazy quilting. I've done 3 blocks. Ok, that's not true. I started the first two blocks, and they didn't even sort of lay flat, so I went back to the drawing board and figured out if I did the blocks like a paper pieced block, then I'd have a better shot at getting it flat. So I did that, and sure enough, it worked better. I've been doing some collecting of threads, lace, beads, etc. and have been given yarns and various other trinkets to add to my CQ by several friends (thanks to all of you!). The block is a bit further along now than this photo, but here's where it was a few days ago:

I've outlined the rose (bottom left) in pink and begun satin stitching it. The heart in the middle is done (thanks Barb for teaching me those French knots!!!). Some of the yarn that Diane gave me is on the line between the heart and the block print, and the block print now has "X's" across all the blocks. I'll satin stitch the hummingbird eventually. I did something in the top right corner, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is right now!

Retreat is coming very quickly, and I've tried to pull fabrics and kits for it so that I don't take everything I own! I plan to get quite a few Christmas gifts finished at Retreat, and am taking smaller projects than quilts, except for one, my City Lights. Also, at some point my X-Block needs it's borders finished and to be quilted . . . the borders just don't make me happy right now, so I'm thinking on them. I hate for things to end up as UFOs, but you know how that goes!

I'll be taking a class on art quilts at Retreat and am looking forward to utilizing the technique in my own art quilts. And sometime in mid-October or early November my Shakespeare in the Park should be coming home!!! YAY!!! I'm sure Barb will have it quilted beautifully and I can't wait to finish it up and put it on my bed. The pillow shams have been done for some time now.

I am also on the lookout for an old Singer 301. I can't afford the Janome 6600 that I want, but I've been doing some research and that old Singer 301 has the largest harp and is probably the most dependable machine that's ever been made. I'm going to be checking thrift stores/garage sales, etc. Hopefully I'll find one for next to nothing, because people think they're old so they're junk. NOT!!

All else is good. Everyone have a great day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday retreat progress

Sorry! No photos to post -- way too tired! Yesterday morning I finished putting the borders on the Eleanor Burns log cabin quilt and making the backing. Then I went to run errands with a friend and came home 6 hours later exhausted! I put stuff away and then did some work on my CQ block, but really, not much. Spent most of the evening vegetating and packing for today -- and a super hot bath, which is next on the agenda for tonight as well -- I'm tired.!

So today was sewing with Diane and Barb at Barb's house. What a great day! I learned how to make Twisted Sister blocks and Barb showed us how she makes baskets and rugs with the toothbrush technique -- -I need to get me one of those! We let Barb get by with not making a Twisted Sister because she has to have the basket made for a class she's teaching. . . Diane's fabric choices, as always, were gorgeous, and my blocks ain't too shabby either.

Stopped at my Mom's on the way home, took her to the bank and then to the store. Made dinner, eating it now and am beat, beat, beat. I was planning on painting my bedroom tomorrow, but unless I make a miraculous recovery, I'm thinking tomorrow is going to be a sewing/relaxing day. Sewing relaxes me -- does it relax you? Painting -- uhhhh. . . not so much!

Hope everyone is enjoying this virtual retreat - I know I am!! Thanks for hosting, Susan!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Virtual Retreat

Mine started last night. Well, the quilt started last week, but my retreat started last night. Here's a (bad) photo of the quilt I'm working on. Since this photo I've assembled the blocks 3 rows and then 3 rows. My plan is to put a burgundy 3" border (unless when I audition it that seems to dark, then one of the lighter darks as border), and do QAYG with the burgundy as backing (if I have enough). As much as I love FMQ, I'm thinking straight lines. Any ideas anyone? And can you believe I'd never done an Eleanor Burns pattern? Duh. SO EASY!! I wish . . . well I wish I'd gotten one of her books a lot earlier, but then perhaps I wouldn't have tried the more difficult things I've done, like my Shakespeare in the Park or Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight (which I absolutely adore!).

Today will be spent doing some housework and putting the borders on this log cabin - if the weather stays nice taking my dog to the park this evening. . . and hanging with a friend for a few hours this morning. Tomorrow I go to my friend Barb's with another friend Diane for a long-planned Twisted Sister sew day. That quilt will be for my friend, Lynn, for her birthday (passed already) and Christmas present. I chose colors I thought she'd like -- then have spoken to her and, uh, maybe not so much. Still, I'll make it and if she doesn't like it, I'll make her something else.

I also had an epipheny last night. Repurpose, reuse, right? Well, I've been wanting a quilt rack. I don't have much space, but I never use my front door so I thought one somewhat like a ladder to lean up against the door. Then I realized that I HAVE a ladder that I really don't have a place to store . . it's metal, not exactly what I had in mind, but . . . . here's a photo of what I did. I'm not sure why my photos last night are so fuzzy -- it must be me!

On Monday I plan to paint at least one wall of my bedroom -- it will be a pale yellow, which hopefully will look really nice with the pale yellow stars on my Shakespeare in the Park. Barb, who has it to long arm, says it's slated to hit the frame in mid-October. The shams are ready and waiting!! I have time to paint the room, but Monday seemed like a good day, and hey, it's still quilt related, right?

So I'm off to decide on borders for the log cabin. I really would appreciate any thoughts on quilting it! I've even thought of doing a pantograph of some sort on the back and trying my hand at that. This quilt will probably end up going to my estranged husband . . . . all the fabric is stuff from my stash that I probably would never have used . . . and I enjoyed making it. It's a bit masculine for most anyone else, you know?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Well, imagine that, it's Tuesday again!

Here I am back blogging on a Tuesday. Here's a photo of my great-niece Becky's quilt -- I've named it "Rising Star" and put on the label "Made Especially for Becky -- who is the rising star". I thought that was pretty cool -- I'm not usually very creative with stuff like that. Maybe that's not very creative either, now that I think of it! LOL. I'm still in the process of finishing up the binding, but should finish in the next day or so. These blocks are left over from my Shakespeare in the Park, when they were just too much color and the greens didn't flow with the greens in the snail trail blocks. Pretty decent for leftovers, I think!

This is a Joann's block of the month -- I fell in love with it, although it is a technique I had never tried-- machine applique. This is the center block -- I've since purchased (with coupons of course!) 2 more blocks but have not begun them. I don't think it's too bad for my very first machine applique. And no, I have no idea where I'll put this quilt -- it will be huge when done and here we go again, another one on point! However, I am rewarding myself every pay period with another block kit. The kits are pretty cool. They come with the backing fabric and all the fabrics and the patterns. You trace the patterns onto the fusible web, iron it on, cut them out, place them on the base fabric, iron it on and then do the machine applique. You can also do needle turn applique, but I'm really not into doing that, so I chose machine applique, but it still takes a lot of time (AND THREAD). Right now this is just one block stuck up on my wall (with pins yet!), but eventually, I think it'll be a gorgeous quilt! And no, I have no idea how I'll quilt it. Maybe I'll do it QAYG and try some stippling in the free spaces. Heck, I don't know! This one is on the back burner for now, but I want to get all the blocks while Joann's still has them.

Shakespeare in the Park is still with my friend Barb, the long armer. I am anxious to get it back, but I know she's got many quilts in front of mine, and that's a huge quilt. It'll cost an arm and a leg to get it out of hock when she finishes with it! But it'll be worth it. Barb, Diane and I are quilting over Labor Day. Their significant others are out of town and we're contemplating a mini-retreat. That would be fun, but if not, my plan is to get at least one wall of my bedroom painted that pale yellow to go with my Shakespeare in the Park quilt. If we do a mini retreat, well . . . the walls will just have to wait!

All else is good for the moment, and now it's time for me to get back to work. Have a great day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And here are the pillow shams I made for my Shakespeare in the Park. Looking forward to it coming back from Barb, my long arm quilter!
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Ricky & Natalya

I just had to post this adorable photo of my grandchildren!
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Tuesday

Tuesday seems to be my day for blogging. As mentioned earlier, my friends and I had a sew day where we made X-block patterns. Here's a photo of my flimsy -- without borders (which are sewn but not squared up or added as yet).

The top is actually square -- it's just where I hung it up to snap a quick photo and the edges are falling off. Diane's and Barb's look completely different -- but just gorgeous! They used different X-Block patterns. Here's photos:
This is Diane's X-block -- cool, huh?
And this is Barb's -- her's has what are called "belly buttons" and is a lot more difficult. Gorgeous, huh?
So yesterday was my Mom's 87th birthday. We had a whole weekend of birthday stuff, and it was great. My sister and brother-in-law (although he wasn't here) took us all out to Red Lobster on Sunday and we had a wonderful dinner and a great time. Before that we went to "The Ugly Truth." Warning about that movie -- my 87 year old mother, sister, niece, and 18 year old great-niece (as well as my aunt) went. It's a bit raunchy and I couldn't stop laughing at all of us sitting there watching this rather racey movie. But it turned out OK. My niece and great-niece and I went to see Harry Potter Saturday night. Trixye and I spent the night at Mom's (Trixye did super well, I was so proud of her) and Mom got some rest on Sunday morning. I had to work yesterday, but Mom and Sandi went out to dinner at Olive Garden, and my niece and great-niece stopped in for breakfast. I think she had a good birthday. I laid out the star quilt I'd planned for my great-niece and she loved it -- she said. I hope it's true -- lots of work to be done on it yet. I also got to see the quilt my great grandmother made (or is that great great -- I'm not sure, I think it is), that my great-niece has. Lovely scrappy split rail, all done by hand, with the most beautiful even stitches, just gorgeous.

I had to ruin it a bit due to more trouble in Meghan's world. It is so hard to be so far away and not be able to help. Now she's got cancer, and has been denied MediCal (California's version of Medicaid) so no insurance and they've referred her to a place that only charges 10%. But 10% of thousands and thousands of dollars of treatment is out of reach. I'm sure she'll figure it out -- I only wish there was some way I could help her.

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out a quilt for my sister. She likes things very luxurious, and she wants a queen size. Having just finished a queen size (which is with Barb, my long arm quilter now -- I'm sure it won't be done for months), I'm not quite sure how to attack this one. She doesn't really want geometric, which as you know is about all we do! Then she looked at the comforter on her beds and realized they are geometric in design. Part of me wants to attempt a double wedding ring -- but I think that may be past my skill level. I know I need lots of extra templates, etc., to even attempt one. I'd like to make her one for Christmas, but I'm just not sure what she'll like. She wants jewel tones -- maybe I could find a nice quilt as you go pattern and come up with a queen size. Any ideas anyone? Any patterns you'd suggest? What are jewel tones anyway? Golds, purples, sapphire blues, ruby reds? Would they clash? Maybe with the right pattern . . . . scrappy or not? I don't think she'd like scrappy. It's scary to try to make something and just hope she'll like it. I want to do it . . . . just not sure what to do! I'm open to suggestions!!
Oh, Talya is healthier than she's ever been, she's talking, beginning to walk, etc. Had a minor ear infection yesterday (to top everything off). But she has insurance and the doctor treated her. Kids and grandkids -- God the worry! I try not to worry, but I don't succeed.

Did I tell you I gave Mom my One Block Wonder for her birthday? She was at my house a few weeks ago and claimed it was her favorite. As many of you know, it's my favorite too (well, one of them -- Double Delight and SITP are too) -- but isn't that why we quilt? To give the ones away that people actually love? So I did. I hope she didn't feel it was a "left over" or anything, and I know it doesn't match a thing in her house, but she did claim to love it back then -- I hope she still does! It was hard to give that one up. So much of "me" went into it.

Started to design my shams for my Shakespeare in the Park last night, but with the phone calls from Meghan, etc., I lost interest. But I do have a layout. Can't work on it tonight-- going to the American Idol concert. A birthday gift from my friend Lynn. I think she's the only friend I have that is addicted to AI as I am. So this will be the third or maybe fourth time we've gone to the concert. Third, I think. I'm trying to pull my mood out of the basement so that I can go and enjoy it.
Anyway, any thoughts, ideas or suggestions on a queen size quilt (not past my ability level) for my sister would be appreciated. I know she wants one, and I want to make it. I'm just somewhat intimidated by the size and scope of the project, and what pattern to use. . . . and whether she'll like it once I've finished. But I know she really wants a quilt. Help!!


Monday, July 20, 2009

It's been forever (again)

Since I posted. Lots going on quilty and otherwise! First, here's a photo of my (nearly) completed Shakespeare in the Park:

I say nearly completed, because I've added a small yellow border and a 6" green border -- just to make this already gigantic thing bigger (and at the suggestion of my long armer, Barb, who didn't want my star points cut off when it was quilted.) Just need a bit more of the green -- 3 of the borders are on. It'll be about king size, but will fit nicely on my queen size bed (I like them bigger).

This is a photo of a gift my friend (long armer Barb again) and I made for our friend Diane. We gave it to her for her birthday when we went to her house for a sew day on Saturday.

That Saturday Diane, Barb and I worked on X-Block quilts -- using the same tool, different fabrics and different patterns. Diane, who had not even chosen fabric yet, is almost done with hers. Mine is in process -- I cut a couple blocks backwards and have remade those, and am at assembly stage. Photos to be posted on completion. Barb is so busy -- we'll see hers (which is GORGEOUS) when she gets it done.

I have completed my Double Delight -- I think I posted photos. Have completed my 5 yard quilt, no photo since it's no big deal. I'm also working on a hand quilted wall hanging project that should be completed this week. I have a stars quilt in the works for my great-niece -- left over stars from the SITP -- I hated them when they went with the snail trails, but they're kind of cute in a quilt by themselves--and plenty of them too!

As is true in most lives, not all is good, but not all is bad either. My granddaughter, Talya, is doing so so so much better. She's actually the poster child for the procedure that they did. It was 100% successful. She's still on the kidney transplant list -- but nearly 19 lbs. now. It is my understanding that when she reaches 22 lbs, they can do another procedure to help her get even better. Still, her kidneys are not right, and that procedure won't fix them either. Eventually she will likely need a transplant.

My daughter, her mother, on the other hand, has had a rough time the last couple of weeks. After a gynecological scare of being told she had very aggressive cancer, a biopsy was performed on Friday, without anesthesia and they were able to see the tumor on her uterus. They asked her and she opted to have it removed (still without anesthesia -- OUCH!!). They believe they got it all. They did 7 biopsies of the tumor -- 6 were negative, one showed Stage 1 cancer. Not sure what kind of cancer. She's on her way now to have a PET scan done (pray that's negative), and she'll probably need some radiation therapy. And no, I have no idea how they'll handle all that because even though the baby is so much better, she still isn't well enough . . . . no insurance for Meghan, although Talya has MediCal (Medicaid in Florida). Fun fun fun! I don't plan to go out to San Diego unless there really seems to be some way I can help out. I can only afford one trip -- well I can't really afford even one trip -- but if I go, that trip needs to COUNT!

I will update as more info comes in. Back to work for me! Hugs to all.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday am - it's been a while!

I haven't posted in forever, I know. Some good news -- here's a photo of Talya sleeping on the pillow and pillow case I made her -- she's doing so much better they were actually able to decline a kidney that was offered for transplant. Despite kidney failure a couple of months ago, when she missed a couple of doses of antibiotics (for the UTIs) due to spitting them up, whatever, her kidney functions were up. The doctors took a risk and took her off antibiotics and, amazingly, she's doing great!

Hmmm....I can't seem to load up a photo -- any photo right now! Darn. I was going to post one of my Double Delight from my long arm quilter -- Barb -- who did a fantastic job! I can't wait to pick it up from her.

I've been working on my Shakespeare in the Park for months. I got almost all the blocks done and laid out (about half) of it on my bed to see what I thought. I hated it. I didn't use the same fabrics for the background in the stars as in the snail trails, and I used too many colors in the stars. I just didn't like it. So . . . I've almost finished recutting for some light yellow stars using the same fabric for background as in the snail trail blocks. I'm pretty sure I'll like it much better. The snail trails were "lost" in my opinion. Again, I'd post a photo if it would let me. Probably some sort of blocker here at work.

My great-niece has requested a quilt after the one I made for her Mom, my niece Mischa. I made a pineapple quilt for her, and she loves it. It's flattering for people to ask for one for themselves, and I'll be happy to make one for Becky -- she just graduated high school with super high honors. One of the girls here at work asked me if I sold them. Diane and Barb and I are making an X-Block quilt (Night Weave I think it's called) mid-July at a sew date at my house. Each of us will be making our own. I'm looking forward to that!

Work has been OK -- busier and a little less worrisome about being laid off. Sometimes I'm really busy (last week) but then this week, not so much. Of course, it's only Tuesday! It's a good job, I don't work particularly hard (certainly in comparison to my last couple of jobs!), I make good money, have great benefits, and work with a group of good people around me, some of whom are beginning to become friends.

One of those friends has gotten me hooked on "The Bachelorette". Yeah, I know. Not my kind of television either usually. And yet . . .I'm hooked!

That's enough for now, since I can't post photos. All is OK. I'm a bit down today, but I'll bounce back up. I always do!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Afternoon

So here's a photo of the 7 shirts quilt I'm making for my DGS, Ricky -- it's made from 7 men's shirts. I don't care for plaids, so this is what I ended up with. The back is made from the backs of shirts (and a couple of sleeves) and they are sandwiched. I plan to just do some easy quilting with "X"s across the blocks (thanks Diane for the idea) and slap that binding on and be DONE! LOL. I've enjoyed making something new and different for me, and repurposing. Plus I think it looks like a VERY manly quilt! I hope to get it off in the mail in the next week, together with Talya's quilt and some changing pads and diaper/wipes cases (and for Talya, a medicine case). My sister bought some bonnets as well, and I have a rather large box of soda tabs to send -- people at work have been collecting for us.

As most of you know, Talya is going to need a kidney transplant, and the measurements and a lot of the tests have already been taken to put her on the transplant list. She'll need 3 in all as she grows up . . . but today was a good day -- her functions were up, and the doctors are confused -- it's not medically possible. Except . . . it's happened. Our family knows it's from the prayers of all of us, all of you, and from people we haven't even heard of that have heard about her. Thank you everyone. This is a very trying time and will continue to be, but we keep trying to be positive and think positively. I've not been posting partly because I've been, shall we say, less than cheerful, but I do believe God has His hand on that baby. Please say a prayer for my daughter as well -- she's being pushed beyond her limits and pulled in so many different directions -- finances, stress, sickness, Ricky's school, in-laws, lack of friends or emotional support -- just pray for her too, OK? She's been amazing through all this -- and I'm incredibly proud of her.

I want to make a couple more changing pads, etc. before I ship the box off, and I want to publicly thank Diane for teaching me how to make those too! What a great friend she is, and an incredible teacher and generous person!

Everyone take care -- I'll post more when I have more to post!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday morning

Another slow, slow day here at work. I didn't get a lot of quilting done over the weekend, but I did get the 24 9 patch blocks done on Ricky's 7 shirt quilt and I've cut the squares for the snowball blocks. I just didn't feel like sewing yesterday -- and I know that when I don't feel like it, I screw it up.

Tonight is my first quilt guild meeting as a member. I'll pick up Barb and off we'll go.

Marc did very well meeting my co-workers on Thursday and we had a nice date Saturday night. We'll see where it goes from here. I'll file for divorce in the morning -- Greg is being very cool about it and I'm sure he suspects I've decided it's time to date. And so it is. . . I've given him about 10 years and gotten very very little in return . . . time to MOVE ON!

Hopefully I'll get inspired to sew again after Guild tonight. Everyone have a great day -- sorry no photos to post!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Most recent finishes

I took some photos last night of the things I've finished recently and -- voila! Here they are!

This is Mischa's Pineapple Quilt -- done done. The binding is made with some lion/tiger fabric, and so every once in a while a pair of eyes stares out at you. I think it makes it kind of fun.

The above is shown as a couch caddy (which is nice and easy to make -- Lazy Girl pattern), but I've done the adjustments and added the ties to make it a walker caddy for my Mom for Mother's Day. However, not having a walker handy . . . . she's asked for this and she wanted black. You can't see it in this photo, but the speckles are gold. Mom always likes to sparkle so I hope she likes it.
As for me, anybody who reads this blog (like all 2 of you) may be happy to know that I have completed the dissolution of marriage paperwork and have made arrangements with Greg to go to the Courthouse on Tuesday morning to file it. Needless to say, I have to pay for it, but they take plastic, so I'll pay for it over time at least! I figure if I'm going to start dating anyone, ever, I need to be free to do so at least in my own head. Nobody but me (well, and my Mom and sister) seems to think it's any big deal, but it's a big deal to me. The paperwork was easier than I thought and I've checked with the Court that I have everything. I'll be glad to have it over and done with. Main reason? My girlfriend tells me they're getting ready to raise the fees again. It's already $400!!!
The baby is doing well, as of last night. And finally Steve O is off DWTS! And they saved Matt last night on AI -- not quite sure why . . . but that was kind of nice. Too bad Lil wasn't voted off. I love The Rose -- and I thought she really butchered it.
I have a date tonight -- just to a free concert here in downtown and probably not for very long. But still I'm looking forward to it. Marc is coming to the office to get me to go. So the girls will get an opportunity to check him out!
Everybody have a great day. I'm busily working on Ricky's 7 shirts quilt -- I've only got a couple more strips to cut on one last shirt, then I'm ready to begin assembly. I hope it looks at least SOMETHING like I've envisioned! LOL.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Enough grief already, Diane!! LOL -- I posted the finished one already. The pineapple quilt is quilted, bound, labeled and washed too and I'll add it tonight (probably). I just don't have the photos or camera (or quilts for that matter!) here with me at work.
Besides, Diane has seen them in person . . . so I don't know WHAT her deal is. LOL. She's suddenly Little Miss Super Blogger -- for somebody that didn't even have one a month ago!
OK, so most of you probably know I decided to test the dating waters a little bit. So I signed up for several on line dating sites (I blame Arline for this -- I am not responsible). And no, I haven't told Greg yet, but I will. I'm just going to tell him the truth -- 8 years of my life is long enough and I'll be filing for divorce soon, which he has known for some time. Still, he'll probably manage to be hurt, but I'll try not to.
Anyway, after wading through a bunch of profiles, and shockingly enough to me, a bunch of emails and "flirts" and "winks" and "I'm interested in you"s, and discarding all of them but one, that fellow (who was seeing someone else) invited me to a movie on Saturday. And so I went. Yeah. How about that? And he's nice (so far -- let's not get ahead of ourselves here!). We had dinner last night at Applebee's (not to worry all, as you probably suspected, I'm paying my own way). He's invited me to a jazz concert on the 28th. I know he'd invited another girl and bought tickets for her, but ha ha ha, she didn't like him and I do, so I get to go! Ha ha ha. Not that I know anything about jazz except I like it, but I can learn.
We were going to go to a dance with Arline and the band where I usually go dancing (the Moose) on Saturday night, but it ends up that's a big Moose convention and it will be really crowded. I'm way not into crowds, and it so happens that Marc isn't either. Oh yeah, his name is Marc. Anyway, since I've seen him twice and he hasn't murdered me yet (in fact he's been a perfect gentleman) I invited him to dinner Saturday night and I'll twirl a chicken and stuff. He offered to bring whatever -- I suggested he bring a movie. It'll be interesting to see what he chooses!
The baby is doing better than she's done in like forever, although she's got a little cold, but it's normal baby stuff. We are so grateful that so far the deflux procedure seems to have done quite a bit of good. Make no mistake, things aren't "fixed," just less bad. And for now, we'll take less bad! Meghan has been sick, but slowly getting better. Ricky is great and I am super Nana because I sent the right toy for Easter. Yay Nana!
Bored yet? Probably, so I'll sign off. Everybody have a great day and I'll try to get some photos up of completed projects. Oh yeah, a couple I can't post, but I can post Mom's walker caddy. Need a photo of it too!

Monday, April 6, 2009

D9P Done Done

Well, imagine my surprise that Diane is DEMANDING a photo of the completed D9P. This is for my DGD Natalya -- who has had yet another rough rough day. She was diagnosed with epilepsy today, and her hips have a problem, she has to see an immunologist, and the deflux procedure may not have been as effective as we'd hoped. But, none of those things are life threatening -- it does however mean that Meghan can't work any time soon, and she's going nuts. Unfortunately for her, she has no hobbies, and no close friends out there -- little relief from a constantly sick baby. And yet, with the price of day care in California, she really can't afford to work with 2 kids, even if Talya could go to day care, which she most definitely can't. It's hard to stay here and not help, but they'll manage. Somehow. They did get a car at least!

Anyway, here's the D9P done done, quilted, bound, labeled and even washed. I'm working on Ricky's 7 shirt quilt and will send both when I finish that one. Need to get back to the pineapple quilt too -- that's still on the design wall and not been pieced! It's Ok, though, one thing at a time. Tonight I'll finish the binding on the OBW. I tell ya, that one turned out to be a beauty! In fact, I'm going to post a photo of it too!

I don't know how well you can see the beautiful quilting that Barb did on it, but she used yellow thread (which I chose) and it's gorgeous. she used black on the back (black backing with the fabric as a trim) and well, I just think it's beautiful. Not very practical of course -- I don't know anybody that has a house where this would match, but I love, love, love it. Thank you, Nancy for teaching me! Thank you Barb, for quilting it! Thank you, Diane, for making me believe I could do it.
Hugs to all. Please keep praying for the baby.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2

Oh, another day in paradise. Well, almost, at least it's Florida! Not that I'd know -- since I'm stuck inside.

Talya had her procedure on Monday and it went super well, which was a huge relief, until at least yesterday, when she was back at the hospital because she was peeing blood. Doctors believe it was a blood clot that she passed, so she didn't have to stay overnight. Meghan just called and said she had a rough night and didn't feel very good, but she's OK. We may have just gotten the miracle so many people have been praying for. And thank you for those prayers. Something's working and I'm inclined to think it's the prayers!

I have been quilting, but haven't taken any recent photos. These two are from Diane, from the class we took on Saturday from our friend Barb (who, incidentally, did a magnificent job on quilting my OBW -- I've cut the binding and plan to get that done this weekend). We finished piecing the D9Ps in class, and I've added the borders. I'm doing this one QAYG (my first with this method that Diane taught me) and I quilted half last night. A couple of wonky places I'm going to frog and redo (not quite sure how it got all bunched up in a couple places, but that's OK -- it's all a learning curve!), but overall, not too bad. Barb also quilted my 5 yard quilt (and that's gorgeous too), although it has to go back to her to finish since I hadn't made the back long enough. I stuck some fabric on it and have it in the trunk to give to her. She now has my Double Delight to quilt. I am still the most proud of that quilt. I surely posted a photo of it completed on here, now didn't I? If not, I will. She's out of town for the month of April, so I'm sure it will be May or June before I get that quilt back, but that's OK. Frankly I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these quilts, but I love making them and having them. Well, the D9P is for Talya. And I've collected all the shirts for the 7 shirt quilt for Ricky, and I've removed (and kept) all the buttons, so that's my next project.
Although maybe not. I need to get my sister's cell phone pouch done (still trying to figure out how to adjust the patterns I have to accommodate what she wants -- she's VERY picky), and make Mom either a black BFF bag or a walker bag -- I'm thinking a walker bag -- for Mother's Day. And I need to get some stained glass done for my bosses birthdays this summer, and something special for another friend of mine who might read this so I can't say what. Oh oh oh, and my Shakespeare in the Park. Yeah, that one is toward the top of the list too. Long list. And those are just the ones in some stage of actually being done!
OK, so I didn't go on the date. I canceled it. And yes, I'm on 3 different dating sites and no, I've not met anybody I'm even remotely interested in -- plus they'd cut into my quilty time!! I did get propositioned twice yesterday -- even old guys are like that. Ick. Don't worry about me -- I seem to be happy enough on my own and was even thinking this morning did I really even want a guy around -- God I'd have to shave all the time, and cook and clean and stuff. ICK!!!
I have a friend that I can almost guaranty is being scammed by one of those "romance scammers." He's followed every classic move, but another friend of hers and I cannot get her to even question it. He's promised her a beautiful home and to take care of her financially so she can retire. And she wants it so badly, that she believes everything. Even when he asked her for $3,000 because he got mugged (which I'm not supposed to know -- another friend of hers let that slip). It makes no sense that a wealthy man would need her to send him $3,000 whether he got mugged (or anything else) or not, but she just won't see it. She's in love. With a man she's never met. She's run all sorts of background checks and says he's clean, even though another friend found his exact name as a scammer and showed her. We try to tell her that just because he SAYS it's his name, it doesn't mean it IS his name. But I'm done -- I've offered to have her talk to my friend at the FBI, I've tried all I know to discourage her, but she just won't listen. I pray she doesn't get more than her heart hurt.
This has prattled on long enough. Trixye is at the vet having her teeth cleaned and I'll leave work about 4:30 to pick her up, then she'll be sleepy so it'll be a nice quiet night of quilting. I have lots of TV to catch up on. Saturday will be spent with Mom in the afternoon, after I stop off at Country Quilts & Bears to pay for the FMQ class I'm taking in June. Then that evening I'll be picking Judi up from the airport -- bless her heart, her mother passed away last week and they didn't find her for a couple of days. Judi found out on Sunday, on her birthday. So sad. We'd just been talking about our mothers the day before when I took her to a movie and dinner for her birthday. I know I'm dreading the day I have to deal with my own mother's demise.
OK, enough gloom and doom. All else is good, and I pray it is for everyone else too. God bless, and thank you God for the miracle of Talya's better health. Thank you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday morning

Ahh, it's that time again. Time to be bored out of my mind at work. Oh yay. So here I am writing again.

This is a photo of my friend Arline and I -- I'm on the right for those of you who don't know me. Arline is 72 -- I should look so good! She's got all kinds of men chasing her. We went to see Frankie Avalon at this cool place where she hopes to live with this guy she met on a dating website -- it is positively gorgeous. Hopefully she'll get to retire and have a really wonderful life. She's a lovely lady and deserves it.

I did some FMQ on my Burger King Mystery Quilt yesterday -- I had been hand quilting it and I knew I'd never finish it. I did a horrible job -- nobody gets to see the back side of that quilt any time soon! But I'm going ahead with binding it (almost done, just one more side) so it'll be done done. Perhaps when I get in the mood again I'll take out the FMQ that's bad and either redo it or finish it by hand.

Tonight I want to start on my Pineapple quilt. I've cut a lot of strips, and a bunch of squares, but I need to assemble a block or two to see how it looks in reality, and then go from there. I had planned to work on it more yesterday, but got sidetracked with the BKMQ.

Talya has had a rough night -- back to the doctor for her again today -- she choked on vomit 3 times during the night and couldn't breathe. Luckily, Meghan heard her and jumped and got her all 3 times -- says she's never been more scared. Had to scoop it out of her throat to get her breathing. The pediatrician is going to be really angry with the hospital for not running the tests that she ordered on Friday anyway, and now this. Poor baby. And poor Meghan trying to keep up with everything. Luckily they did get the car fixed yesterday, and they are still trying to decide whether to buy a used car (which hasn't been going very well on finding one) or fixing up her car -- which is just a Daewoo and may not be worth putting the money into. Their decision, but yet more crap, ya know? It's exhausting to me -- and I'm not living it! I do remember those days, though, when it seemed it was one thing right after another. I'm grateful it's not like that for me any more, except through her.

Ricky's been in trouble at school but the meeting with the principal went well (she just sent me an email). On the way to school, a little boy fell off his bike with a grand mal seizure. People were trying to hold him down. Meghan has to deal with seizures all the time and, apparently, that's not the right thing to do, so she stopped, jumped out of the car (bad knee and all), left Ricky with Talya and got the kid comfortable until the EMTs got there. By that time the seizure was over. That's some kid I raised -- I wouldn't have known what to do! But living with it, she does. As she wrote in her e-mail, what ELSE can happen today?

Oh, and I have a date Wednesday night.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frankie Avalon, etc.

Arline and I went to see Frankie Avalon tonight. Arline has met a guy on line, who appears to be quite wealthy, and she has fallen for him. There is a new development out in Wimauma called Lake Valencia, and they put on a huge cocktail party tonight, with wonderful food, and a show by Franie Valley. Arline is interested in perhaps buying a home there with this fellow. Frankie Avalon had his son with him playing drums, and the son of one of the Everly Brothers on guitar. Oh, it was corny and Frankie Avalon never really could sing, but it was fun, and he wasn't bad. I've certainly seen old acts that are still performing that didn't do nearly as good a show. Anyway, I had a great time. It prompted me to do some "housekeeping" on myself -- nails, toes, eyebrows waxed. I feel better about me today1

So Arline convinced me to join (OK, she didn't twist my arm or anything) this dating website. Not that anything's happening -- oh, I've gotten some interest, but nothing past that. I suspect that I won't -- seems you have to kind of put out the right "I'm available and interested and you are fascinating to me" vibe even on the Internet, and since I don't feel that way . . . it's sort of fun though. I suppose my "I never want to have to deal with a man again" stance has been softened a little bit. Don't get worried though, only just a little bit! And also don't worry -- I have even created a separate email account -- I'll be super extremely careful!

So next week is quilt class with Barb teaching. Somehow, the owner of the quilt retreat where we're going in July ran across my blog -- I asked her how and she said she was cleaning up old emails, etc, from when I inquired about their retreat and telling her about the one Diane and I went to (which was basically trying to sell us machines, and was expensive and we came home with nothing -- well, not quite true, I won a Baby Lock machine -- but otherwise, not). Their retreats are so much better, everyone says. I am so thrilled that Barb invited me to be her roommate, because I'd really wanted to go, but didn't want to go alone and not know anyone. Anyway, the owner got my application yesterday, saw that I am rooming with Barb, and then cleaning up her email box ran across that old email of mine and clicked on the link I used to have to this blog. In case you want to go to her retreat, which goes on all the time, here's the link to the website: and you know I'll report on how good it was when I get back!

Anyway, a good day all in all. Baby was back at the hospital last night, but back home today. Her body just doesn't seem to be fighting any more, but Meghan assures me it's not life threatening -- scary though. Here's a new photo of her, and one of the sunbonnet I made for her (OK, I had to put it on SOMETHING!). I'll get that off in the mail this week, along with the soda tabs. Oh, you know to save soda tabs for her, don't you? Yeah, Ronald McDonald House collects them and gets $$ for them from the State of California. I know it's not much, but it makes me feel like I'm helping, even a little bit.

Have a great day and yes, it's the middle of the night. I just woke up on the couch and my sleep meds will take a few minutes to kick in, so . . . have a good one!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18 am

Here's a photo (al beit a lousy one!) of my Double Delight with borders. Now off to the long armer to be completed. This quilt pushed me past my ability level -- by a long shot! I'm starting to think I might actually be able to do this quilting thing -- fairly well. No major mistakes in this one -- that I can see yet anyway. I think I would've toned down some of the pinks a bit but then again, I kind of like them. This quilt is for my granddaughter, Natalya (who is OK right now by the way, thanks everyone -- her kidneys are working again -- hopefully they'll come up with a more long term answer here soon). I'll keep it though, until she's old enough to appreciate it. That could be a REALLY long time, since unless she's very different from her mother, she probably won't like anything home made. Although I did get a photo of Natalya from Meghan the other day -- and it happened to have a pillow I made for Meghan in it. So maybe she does use some of the stuff -- I hope so.

I had planned to work on the sunbonnet for Natalya last night (which I have basted), but I was really tired for some reason and did nearly nothing. So I want to do that, and then get started cutting for the Pineapple quilt I want to make for my niece, Mischa. That'll be a combination Christmas/Birthday present (probably for several years!). I'll try the quilt as you go method on it -- with the Double Delight I decided that I'd put so much of myself into it, I really want it professionally quilted.

I do have some great news. A fairly new friend of mine, Barb, who is also doing the long arm work on the OBW, the 5 yard quilt and soon on the DD, has asked me to be her roommate at a quilt retreat in July. I'm very excited to go -- we will be there 5 days, 2 days of classes -- and all the quilting we can possibly bear! What fun!! I'm also honored that she invited me to be her roommate. I had wanted to go, but didn't have anyone to go with, so had basically crossed it off my things of wanting to do. Now I get to go! Yay! But that means I have to stay out of the fabric stores and work on what I have planned. As a matter of fact, Barb is giving a class that Diane and I are taking on March 28th for a Disappearing 9 Patch (D9P) -- the fabric has been purchased and is in the car waiting for class -- I'll do QAYG on it as well. That quilt will be one for Natalya for now.

I promised myself I'd get my scraps under control before I started a new project, but . . . well, it'll have to be done in CONJUNCTION with a new project. I did pull a lot of scraps for the new Pineapple quilt, and will likely be pulling more. I have to decide on a color palette yet, but I know I'm going with greens -- maybe a little brown and some gold -- and of course the lights. The lights will probably be tone on tone white -- left overs from the backing on the Double Delight. TMI, huh? Yeah, I'm boring myself. So I'll sign off now. I hope every one is well and having a good day, despite the disturbing news going on in the world.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Double Delight

Still in construction phase -- I will do this one Quilt as You Go -- I think I'll just do stitch in the ditch since it's already so busy (and I don't want to ruin it with my not so great free motion quilting!). I'd use the regular quilt abbreviations, but on the off chance somebody in my family or someone not a quilter reads this, I thought I'd spell them out (not that they'll know what they mean anyway!). This quilt has been a true challenge -- even in construction. Seems like no matter how hard I've tried, I get something wrong with each seam -- last night was a disaster and I ended up frogging (ripping out - rip it, rip it) a lot. Some more minor frogging tonight, but the first two sections are stitched together. I think it's rather pretty, and since it's way beyond my skill level, I'm rather proud of it.

So, another friend of mine lost her job at our firm last Friday. That's so sad, and this time she was fired. I don't know what for -- she's been there almost two years, and the official word is that it "just wasn't a good fit." I hope she can either get unemployment or find another job quickly. She's a lovely girl, and I made her a purse for Christmas (albeit a bit late). It's just so sad.

The baby (Natalya) is still sick -- in and out of the hospital, back and forth to the doctors. Ricky had a scare with MRSA a few weeks ago too, and he was in the hospital for 3 days. My daughter is somehow holding up keeping the family together, the finances together, the baby as well as possible, getting her husband to work (since he can't drive due to epilepsy), Ricky to school, herself with a biopsy (no cancer or tumor thank God), and going days without sleep. I don't know how she's doing it, but I'm incredibly proud of her. If anyone had asked me a few years ago, I would've assured them it wasn't possible -- not my daughter. But boy has she grown into a young woman to be proud of (and reckoned with)!

Not much else to add -- will go to my first Guild meeting next Monday night with a new friend, Barb, who does most of her quilting by hand. Amazing quilts. She taught me how to do cathedral windows, so I've been doing those by hand while watching TV -- when I'm not working on the DD!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's been forever again since I posted!

So here we are, February 12. The baby is still sick -- no surgery as yet -- more issues -- blood, seizures (maybe epilepsy), and still they keep waiting to figure out what to do. It's really hard. No way my daughter can go back to work with a sick baby -- so finances become an issue and, of course, her car died, and the company she bought it from is claiming she owes way more on it than she does. Luckily they'll be getting a nice tax refund and will go buy a car outright -- and the ripoff artists that sold her the one that was LITERALLY put together in spots with chewing gum (that's right, a business -- and she has it in writing from a reputable mechanic that he found CHEWING GUM holding parts of her new car (used but new to her) together). The company wouldn't make good on that either. I say, let them come repossess it. With the evidence she has, it shouldn't hurt her credit too badly.

I don't know what photos I've posted since last time, so I'll add some photos of some purses I've made here. I've also made wallets to match most, but haven't taken photos of those (not quite sure why). I like them very much, and it's nice to have matching wallets to my purses. The one I finished last night -- I'll never make another one of these -- too hard, bad pattern, hard to figure out. Oh, I suppose the next one would be easier, but . . . . well, we'll see. My friend doesn't want the pattern back, she hated it, so . . . . maybe someday.

This is a purse I made for a friend. I made another friend one that just about glows in the dark -- I think I took a photo of it and if I can find it at home I'll post it.
It would appear that although I'm not very busy today, I've been a lot busier at work and since my attorneys are the only two associates left in the real estate department, my job is probably safe. Notice I say probably!
Last weekend Diane and I went to the Sew Worth It retreat in Sarasota. When we signed up for it, we thought it was a quilting retreat. In fact, it was more an embroidery, embellishment, surging retreat. Very expensive (for me), but I did win a little Babylock Natalie sewing machine. They say it retails for $399.99, but I tried to buy a 1/4 inch foot for it, and that's $50!!! Outrageous. I'll use my moleskin guide and be just fine.
I continue to work on my Shakespeare in the Park. I've always known that will be a long term project. I need to do my taxes, and then I can start on Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight -- it was a mystery that I'd not planned to do, but I love the finished quilts so much that I just have to. It will be for my niece, Mischa. She loves the things I make, unlike some other members of my family who shall go unnamed. Those members won't be getting much made by me any more either! Just gift certificates. Too much time, trouble, expense and work for things to be tossed into closets and not used.
I met a new friend on line that lives near me. I'm hoping we become fast friends and can quilt together. That would be lovely!
All else is OK. I feel fine and that's good news -- I'd been battling depression for a while -- the baby, layoffs at work, the economy, my impending divorce (yes, I'm going to do it, even though I dread the paperwork -- sad that the paperwork is the part I dread, isn't it?). I have new photos of the baby, so if anyone wants to see them, let me know -- my email is and I'll send you a slide show. Can't attach it here (or I don't know how to).
Hope everyone has a good day. I'm going to try to be better about blogging. I know I'm not getting photos of all the things I'm making, and that's not good for my record keeping! I want to know 10 years from now what I made this year, and hopefully will have improved my skills by then.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's been awhile

I've just not felt like blogging for quite a while, and I can't really tell you why. To the left is a photo of the first two Shakespeare in the Park blocks that I did. Since then, I've done several more. I love, love, love this pattern, but I have to admit, the cutting gets a little tedious. Well, really quite tedious. And I find that I've cut fabrics into pieces for blocks they don't go into. Oh well, perhaps I'll incorporate them into borders or something. I'm planning on a queen size, but I like a VERY generous queen, so an extra border with some extra blocks in colors (well, the same colors, but for instance, stars with the snail trail fabrics and creams/whites, which I hadn't planned to use in the quilt) might look nice, or they can go on the back or something. The actual sewing on these blocks is pretty easy, and I must say the cutting directions and trimming the points before you sew makes things line up much better than mine have ever lined up before. For these first two blocks shown above, I had not read all those instructions and did not have my points snipped before sewing, and it shows. I'll take more photos of more blocks soon -- and I hope to have enough sewn to begin to show the layout of the pattern soon. What I'm doing right now is actually cutting and laying out the blocks on my cutting table, then picking them back up and pinning them together in a pile for the pieces of the block -- then I can sit down and just sew. It really does take longer to cut than it does to sew!
Some of you may know that my granddaughter has been very sick since her birth -- she has some congenital defects which will eventually require surgery. We had been on pins and needles -- her pediatricians had really put scares into us. But she saw a quadruple board certified pediatric doctor on 12/31, who says that yes, she will need surgery, but not right this minute, and although the mortality rate is high on that particular surgery, he's not even sure that's the one she's going to need or if it's really as bad as the other doctors seem to think. He'll run his own tests the end of January, and we'll go from there. Meghan hopes to be able to go back to work about then -- she had her disability extended because we were told that surgery was going to be necessary probably on January 1 -- when in fact none has happened and may not for a year. So she's staying home with the baby -- otherwise she might be accused of fraud if she went back to work, and that would not be good. She's looking forward to returning to work though.
I've made several purses and a couple of wallets to match my purses (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the wallets -- tons of pockets and places for all my credit cards, a zippered part for $$, clear pockets for my ATM card and driver's license, a space for my checkbook -- and it matches my purses!), but I've been lazy about taking photos. I made several gifts for Christmas -- purses, Mirandas, makeup bags, shaving kits, but didn't get photos of those either before I gave them away. I've been quilting away, but for whatever reason, just not blogging or photographing, which is pretty unusual for me -- I really do try to keep a log of everything I've made (quilt or stained glass) or painted. I need to get back to it. Another thing on my agenda is to get my scraps under control. I have sorted into color groups -- basically -- now I need to get out my cutter and make some usuable strips and bricks out of them. That's once I get a bunch of other purses and quilts done. Or while I'm doing it. I spent a half hour this morning before work cutting for a purse -- I set a timer -- I think if I did some cutting every morning rather than sit on the computer, I could get a lot done.
Speaking of work, I'm calling yesterday "Black Tuesday." The law firm that I work for is pretty large (85 attorneys, 220 (approx.) employees. Yesterday, the girl next to me and 11 other people were laid off. Unprecedented. I know these are unprecedented times, but OMG. I was lucky, I was spared. Working in real estate, even in the legal field, is slow -- super slow. So for now, I will quilt with the fabrics I have, maybe buy a tiny bit here and there, start looking for "shirting" (as Bonnie Hunter says) in the thrift stores and garage sales -- reuse and repurpose. Frankly I have enough fabric to last me all year or more, even if I sew every single day. God knows I pray that this situation turns around -- and soon. I know I am lucky -- those people worked just as hard, if not harder, than me and were just as talented I'm sure. Why I was spared? I just don't know. But I do feel bad. Really bad. Really sad. Me and thousands of other people these days. I am counting my blessings, hoping for the best and trying to prepare myself for the worst.