Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SBOW Update

I am a couple of days after getting home from the latest retreat I attended at Royal Ridges in Yacolt, WA, and I think I have my stuff finally organized and put away.  I mainly worked on getting all my four patches and alternate blocks made for my Sunflower Gatherings quilt.  I was able to finish those and the pieced border, though I was two four patches short so I had to wait until I got home to be totally done with the alternate blocks and border.

Yesterday I received the applique border pattern and pieces, but I'm still not sure if I will complete that or not.

Block 9 finished at the retreat:

Block 10 started, and almost finished.  I want to do a little detail stitching on the large leaves and I still need to stitch down the small leaves:

And what I have finished so far.  The outside pieced border is not arranged on the wall yet, but it is finished:

I am so close to being finished.  After getting the last three blocks done I will put the top together and then sew down the applique pieces that extend.

I had a great time at the retreat, but I didn't take any pictures.  Still waiting to see if any show up :)  I think I am fully rested from lack of sleep, but I may need to try an afternoon nap today just to make sure!

Monday, September 15, 2014

SBOW: block 8 finished

Just a quick upload, not a great picture, but it will do.  Beyond the bird tail and branch, there is one more flower that extends to the alternate block.  Not feeling very inspired to prepare block 9 yet, maybe this weekend.

SBOW: block 8

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Gracie 2 months old

She came into our home on December 26, 2003.  She departed our earthly home on September 13, 2014.  Gracie would have been 11yrs old on October 23rd but her poor body started growing intestinal cancer.  She had been throwing up hairballs and some food, but honestly with cats that is to be expected (though the frequency had grown over the spring/summer).  When she stopped eating and drinking, we knew it was time.  Her last few days were painful to watch, but she never stopped purring for family that loved on her.

She seemed to perk up a bit last week, but she needed to be checked out, Gracie just did not look like she felt well.  Then the vet found a lumpy mass in a place that I wouldn't have found.

Gracie as a kitten and again in 2007 when we brought Darrin home.
Gracie, hard to believe she was tiny!Darrin and his babysitter

New Puppy!
And checking out the new puppy in November 2011 (likely telling Dad that dogs belong on the floor!)

I brought Gracie home just two months after my mom died, and two months after having to put down one of my other cats due to her body shutting down.  We never were able to get answers as to what happened to that kitty, but that was a rough year (especially since the year prior to that, my dad passed away).   I lost my Bonnie dog three years ago to Hemangiosarcoma (we had the lumps removed twice until it affected her too much).  Before Bonnie was Bose our black lab who died from just old age about a year before Bonnie passed.  I feel like we've had to say so many goodbyes to family members over the past 12yrs, that my heart just hurts.  It is all a part of life, but it is never easy.  Three parents, a last living grandparent, two uncles, and five loved pets.  Enough already.

Gracie 1.5yrs old

So I am saying goodbye to my lap warmer, my quilting friend, my fly and spider chaser, my companion.  She rarely hissed--maybe once (hard to believe! but typical with Ragdolls), she always greeted people and wanted to know what was going on.  Gracie always had a purr for you, and endured a puppy and kids with a lot of joy.  She was very loving and lived to be with everyone in the middle of whatever was going on.

Christmas Gracie

Good bye sweet girl.

SBOW Block 7

SBOW Block 7

I am now beyond the halfway point, just six blocks left and then the borders.  This one has embroidery beyond the block, and I will also applique down the spout after the alternate blocks are sewn together.  I realized after I did the stem stitch that I forgot to add in little thorns on the vines.  Oh well... it would have definitely added more interest, but I am not going back over it again.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SBOW: Block six


SBOW: Block six
This one has leaves extending to the left, and a couple of berries (and maybe leaves, I can't remember) that extend as well.

Six finished, seven to go
Six together

Yesterday I started prepping four patches for the border... there are A LOT of four patches involved in this quilt.  I have had a difficult time focusing this week, and when that happens, the simple stuff feels like too much.  I need to get over that and just enjoy it, otherwise: why bother?  I tend to make things because something about it makes my heart sing.  This will likely be the reason I would never create things to sell.  If I don't like it very much (pattern, fabric, process), then I don't want to spend the time.  However, it changes if I have a person in mind, that changes my focus.  I suppose it's all in the perception.

So people who are very practical would probably ask why do I spend so much time and money on a hobby that I won't sell or make it profitable?  It's more expensive to pay a therapist I'm sure.  I find joy in creating, I find that these talents have helped me in giving to others as well.  Creating took a major backseat with the addition of my youngest son, but little by little I am able to carve in a little more time to create.

Yesterday I was in a bad mood and feeling basically sorry for myself.  Things weren't going my way (yes, I know... it is very pitiful, but it is something we all feel from time to time), the time out I gave myself to organize for the outside border of my Sunflower Gatherings (the quilt above) helped give me that space to snap out of that mood.  Cheap 45mins of therapy right there.

Anyway, whatever it is, find something that will make your heart sing and try to give yourself 30 minutes or more a day doing it.  It makes for a great attitude adjustment time, and those around you may thank you :)