Monday, February 19, 2018

Sleep Like a Ferret


Boyfriend and I have decided to do away with the term "sleep like a baby".  "Sleep like a ferret" is much more appropriate.  They can snooze 20+ hours a days anywhere, in any position.  Oh, to be a ferret!


Back in the real world I've been busy. I'm cramming in a lot of clinical hours on top of regular school assignments and it's keeping me running.  I have fit in some therapeutic sewing. I quilted two donated tops last week (Thanks Jannette!)


I met one of the chaplains bright and early the other day to drop off this car load of goodies for Covered in Love.  With this delivery we surpassed 285 quilts donated! 

Just plugging along, day to day, being jealous of the ferrets :)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Scrappy Susannah Wrap-up

I love these "family photo" shoots at the end of a block drive.  The "Scrappy Susannah" quilts from the Fall block drive are all done.


Thirteen beautiful, cozy scrap quilts all ready to go up to the hospital for Covered in Love.   In fact, most of these went with the latest drop off on Wednesday.  We're now up to 285 quilts given!


Glamour shots of the last 5 quilts are here.  The other 8 quilts can be seen in previous posts here and here.

Pieced and quilted by Kathy C.

About half the blocks from this drive got an on-point setting, which I talked about here.  I know I've said it before, but I love how these on-point quilts came out!  The quilts measure 68"sq and use 32 blocks, compared to the regular setting which measures 60"x72" and uses 30 blocks.

Pieced and quilted by Kathy C.

Volunteer quilters were a huge help with these.  Kathy did 4 of them and Meloney did 2.  Many of the backings were provided by Sandra.



We're especially always in need of "manly" quilts at the hospital so these will be perfect to fill that need.


Covered in Love continues to grow and I am so appreciative of all the donations and help I receive. The patients and families of East Texas have been blessed by your efforts.


With every drive the map is getting more colored in!  56 quilters from 28 states (and Canada) made 391 blocks for 13 quilts.  THANK YOU!


If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a fun string block and there's a GIVEAWAY going on, too!  More info here!



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Back to your regularly scheduled quilting blog

Thank you to everybody who left nice comments on my last post, I really appreciated it. I've enjoyed this weekend being back home and getting back to my sewing machine. 


Being gone for a little over two weeks, there was a mountain of mail waiting for me at home. (My mail gets taken in while I'm gone so no CiL stuff is sitting outside, don't worry!)  You guys are obviously enjoying making these string blocks (either that or you're just really motivated by the chance at a jelly roll).  Once I inventoried all my mail I got another 350 or so blocks toward the Jan/Feb block drive


I had to do some maintenance sewing first, assembling batting scraps and backings, then rewarded myself by sewing up February's RSC blocks in purple.  In a move that surprises no one, after completing the planned 6 blocks I decided to just keep going through the rest of my purple scraps ;)  Expect to see MANY more of these soon!


Linking to Oh Scrap! and Scrap Happy Saturday.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Obit and Tribute for one of the most remarkable men I've ever known.  I was privileged to call him family.

No Friday Finish this week... I have some quilts done but I got called out of town suddenly and ran out of content that I had photographed already.  I'm back in Texas now but haven't made it home so this post is going to be a mix of some old favorite quilts that are hopefully new to most of you and some thoughts I had over the past couple weeks. Click on the quilts to see more photos.

Mariner's Compass
Death in the modern hospital is a bizarre event.  We've become totally disconnected from the natural way of living, growing old or ill, and dying at home.  Although most people have never experienced that, they at least have some frame of reference for how it might looks.  On the other hand, hospital death with all the machines and the waiting and the false impression that we can control when and how we go, is completely foreign. For families to navigate this system and learn enough to make choices they are comfortable within the short period of time right before death is like trying to master quantum mechanics in just a couple days.

Bargello
I was fortunate enough to be able to be with my family 24 hours a day as they processed understanding what was going on and what decisions needed to be made.  But it's hard work! Processing that the end of life has come, and this is what it looks like, doesn't happen in one conversation.  By its nature shocking information needs to be heard again and again, it needs time to sink in. It's big conversations and little conversations. It's answering random questions as they come up. It's talking sometimes in a big group and sometimes one on one and sometimes two or three.

Memory Quilt
I was able to talk to them at any time, day or night, for two days, and I wasn't the only one with a medical background who could help explain things, and I still felt like we barely had enough time to get everyone kind of understanding and accepting before we ran out of time.

Nursery Mobile

Nursery wall hanging

This is the field I'm going in to, and the last couple weeks have done nothing but reaffirm that this is what I want to do.  But no matter how good of a clinician I am I can never be available 24 hours a day. With my patients I won't have the advantage of years of relationship and trust already built. Really good, holistic, palliative care for the last two days or week of life is too little, too late for families.

Quilt-As-You-Go Sampler Tutorial
The new normal in American medicine is to fling families off the deep end into a strange world of breathing machines and artificial nutrition and, "The most compassionate thing to do would be to turn off life-support."  Since when has that been a normal decision to expect someone to make?  Families don't understand anything and doctors don't understand why the family doesn't "get it". The quick fly-by conversations at the patient's bedside serve to further confuse, as much as anything. They may as well be speaking different languages.

Drunken Circles, do. Good Stitches
I've known of course that the whole chronic-disease, end-of-life system needs serious a overhaul. I see it every time I work.  But living through it with one family, following them from beginning to end and being there in all the in-between moments, in the hospital and out, has given me a new perspective on just how grand this problem is in scope.

Scrappy Country Home
This is just another reason I'm so grateful that Covered in Love has been able to reach so many people.  A quilt really is a small thing when you're in these situations, but at least it's something. At least it's some small comfort for the people who are in those hospital rooms right now, something to say, "I'm sorry! I know it sucks; I'm trying to fix it but it's taking a while. You are loved; you are cared for; someone recognizes your suffering."

Fibonacci, do. Good Stitches
Do me a favor if you're reading this and start to educate yourself about end-of-life and death issues. We all think it's too soon and it won't happen to us, but we all get there eventually. Remember, it's always too soon until it's too late. The most important thing you can do it talk to you family and make sure they know your wishes.  I'll link some of my favorite resources below.


If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a fun string block and there's a GIVEAWAY going on, too!  More info here!



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, February 1, 2018

NURTURE circle Square Stars



The Square Stars quilt that the NURTURE circle ladies made is finally done!  The ladies made these blocks back in October and I assembled and quilted them.


It's taken this long because I decided first to make the quilt larger with some blank blocks, and then to do a more complicated quilting design.


I did some stitch in the ditch first (actually it's more like stitch around the ditch, but who's looking that close).  Then I filled in the white crosses with a tight stipple and continued that into negative space.


With the tight stipple I could only do about one and a half crosses per bobbin, so needless to say it took a while and I stretched it out over several days to keep from getting worn out. 


I was happy to find the perfect backing in my donated fabrics. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to make this quilt!

If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a fun string block and there's a GIVEAWAY going on, too!  More info here!



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Other People's UFOs



I have a file on my computer called "Other People's UFOs" where I save the photos of quilts that started off as someone else's projects.  Many of them come to me at the top stage, some as blocks.  I love the variety that these projects bring to Covered in Love and I love that they get finished and go to forever homes!


This pretty and very large top was pieced by Priscilla and quilted by Kathy.  It's got a great scrappy, vintage look and the 8-patch rectangles are so different and neat.


This bright flannel top was pieced by Suzanne and quilted by Kathy as well. Kathy and I agreed that quilting a flannel quilt feels like wresting a dragon.  This one had a flannel backing as well, pieced from donated fabrics, so it's extra snuggly. 


This quilt is obviously for a child with all the bright, fun fabrics. CiL doesn't give out too many quilts to children but rarely it does happen.  This cozy, cuddly quilt will be perfect for a child who needs it.

If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive is a fun string block and there's a GIVEAWAY going on, too!  More info here!



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Perfect Bee Block

Not that my block is perfect, it definitely isn't, but I think this block design is an ideal bee block!


Jenny chose this for our January block for my do. Good Stitches group; you can find the tutorial here.  We made the 16" blocks, which use a 2" square as their base.  With 104 pieces per block making one of these by myself would take a few years and cost sanity and possibly lives. Making just one block is fun, making a dozen poses a danger to myself and others. You get the point :)


And check out the beautiful trimmings I made from the HSTs!  Speaking of do. Good Stitches, I am still working on quilting the top from the square stars blocks we made in October.  For some reason I am a glutton for punishment with these Good Stitches tops and always try to do something complicated.


The snow took out our power for a few hours last week; one of my electricity-free sewing tasks was to arrange blocks from the Nov/Dec drive on the wall.  Now to start sewing these together.  I always need something to do with my hands while I'm listening to class lectures. Mechanically sewing together blocks is the perfect task!

Linking to Oh Scrap.