Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tidbits and Update on Mom

Hi Everyone--

It's been a long week. We thought we were going to lose Mom on Saturday, but by Monday she had stabilized slightly. I guess she's just not ready to go yet. I nearly did myself in spending so much time at the Nursing Home. I don't ever remember being as tired as I was on Monday night. On Tuesday, I asked her if she knew who I was and she shook her head no. I'm OK with that. If she doesn't know it's me that's there, I don't feel so inclined to stay and wear myself out. It's a gift. As of yesterday, not much change except that the Hospice Nurse said she's beginning to hear a bit of fluid in the lungs and her bowels sounded "airy". So who knows how long. I'm just patiently waiting, knowing that God's timing is perfect......

You don't know (you probably do) how much it means to me that you have left such wonderful notes of caring and encouragement. Thank you so much. I am constantly amazed at how a group of people, most of whom you've never met face-to-face can be so much support! I know I haven't responded to everyone yet, but I will. Thanks again.

On to happier and more interesting things! I got an email from Jody at American Patchwork and Quilting to say that an article in the Summer issue of Quilts and More had a project using Rise N Shine! Here's a pic:

Isn't it cute? What a great idea! For more info, visit Jody's blog. She also told me that the Oct. 09 issue of APQ has a review online of my book. I haven't read it since the link isn't active yet, so I hope it's good!

I have to tell you what happened yesterday. They say jokingly in this business that you know you have it made when one of your quilts get reproduced by the Chinese! Well, believe me I haven't "made it" by any stretch, but here's what I saw in an "Antique Mall" yesterday.

And here's one of the quilts in my book called "Strippin' in the Garden". Sorry it's not a better picture. After being sued too many times, I guess they've learned to change it just enough to say it's not a repro. What do you think?

They've changed the background from red to yellow and they changed the flower. Instead of outlining the curve on the stripped piece with rickrack, they just put a circle around the flower. They put blue in the 4 corners. Also, they added that little outside white border and did an envelope turn to finish the edge. Pretty funny, huh? It's actually pretty cute! And a LOT cheaper than I'd sell one for!!

That's it for me right now. My eBay and Etsy stores pretty well sold out while I was gone so I'm trying to get some new things listed. I'll keep you posted on how things go.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Back Home & Sad News

Well, here we are in Tulsa again! Kim, Jack and Cameron came to Santa Fe at the end of our vacation to spend a long weekend. They enjoyed lots of New Mexican cuisine and spending time at the shops and restaurants around the Plaza. A real Santa Fe experience!

We finally got a chance to walk Canyon Road. As you probably know, Santa Fe has always been a magnet for artists. Canyon Road has long been where they hang, and is lined with one gallery after another. Saw some great stuff and didn't spend a dime! The thing I enjoyed most was the flowers planted along the way. Here are a couple of pics:

But my most favorite is the hollyhocks! That's the flower I remember growing in abundance during my childhood. Hence the name, Hollyhock Quilts! Here's a sample:

Now for the sad news. We were scheduled to leave for home on Monday. I received a call on Friday eve that Mom had taken a little fall and bloodied her nose. She seemed fine, knew where she was and what was going on. By Sunday morning she was mostly unresponsive and we headed home, arriving Monday afternoon. She is still pretty much the same, responding only occassionally. The hospice nurse says that if things don't change dramatically, she will probably last 1-2 weeks. I think that little trauma was all she needed to say "I'm done!"

So I'm spending quite a bit of time with her. She sometimes knows I'm there. She is in no pain and resting comfortably. That's all I care about. My prayer is that she remains pain free and doesn't linger. I know she is so anxious to see my Dad and her family members already there. Not to mention getting to see her Savior face-to-face! What a JOY for her! I'm so grateful to have had these three weeks to relax and enjoy. I'm much more able to handle this now than I would have before we left. It was a real gift.

I'll keep you posted as things progress. Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers. Hope you're having a great summer!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Santa Fe and My Favorite Thing!

It doesn't seem possible, but we've been in Santa Fe for a week! I have done NOTHING but veg! It's been hotter here than normal, but still better than the 100+ that it's been in Tulsa. I have a couple of pics for you. We're in our Motor Home at a nice park pretty close in. It's Old Santa Fe. Here's where I sit every morning to read the paper and drink my coffee. You see the laundry building in back of the pic and the clothes lines to hang out your sheets to dry. Nothing like fresh sheets dried on the line in Santa Fe air! More about the quilt you see later. We've seen some old friends and found new ones here in the RV park. That's always the best part!

We seldom do the tourista thing in Santa Fe, but decided to take a trip to the Plaza. It looks just like it did 40 years ago.

For those of you who have never been here, the Indians sit on the portal at the old Palace of the Governors and sell their wares. I tried to take some closer pics for you, but they wanted me to buy something for the privilege!

Enough about Santa Fe. Let me tell you about this old quilt I'm working on.......

When I decided to make a business out of old quilty things, I was drawn to rescuing old tops, blocks, etc. that were not usable in their present condition and remaking them into something that could be used and enjoyed. Now I know that many of you are choking on your tongues right now, but I have to tell you I'm a bit of a rebel in the "old quilt" mindset. After buying 100s of tops and other items, I have learned that there is usually a reason that these things were not finished. They are either in horrible condition with stains or holes, terribly put together and unquiltable or just plain ugly. You know, if it was too ugly to quilt 100 years ago, it's probably still too ugly today!

I also see absolutely no reason to fold an ugly old thing up and stick it in an acid-free box and put it under the bed! So my answer is do something with it! In fact, I built a whole lecture around this called "What in the Heck Do I Do With This?" Can you actually tell me you've never bought an old thing and then got it home and said that to yourself?

I only have one rule, and that it is that the integrity of the piece must be maintained. That means no Bunnies or Bears or Jackets! I limit my artistic license to Wall or Small Quilts as well as Tablerunners or Table Toppers.

So.... I usually start by taking the thing apart. For many years my friends did not think I knew how to quilt because all I did was take things apart! And you should see the junk that people threw my way to make themselves feel better for not tossing their old ugly purchases! They soothed their consciences by giving it to me. Little did they know!!!

Here's a pic of a fabulous old top that I picked up recently. I guess I thought any of the 100s I already had just weren't as interesting! I believe that whoever made this top used up all her previously started projects and put them together. It's been very interesting to study how she segued from one piece to another. There are even single blocks unlike any others in there. I am in the process of taking them down to the largest possible pieces, mostly blocks. I will have to repiece some blocks to replace fabric that has disappeared as you'll see in the pictures.

Here are a few of the problems. In the pic below, the fabric between the stripes in one block has just evaporated!

That just scratches the surface! The other thing I find so interesting is how she used coping tools to go from one size to another. Obviously they did not have the accurate tools available that we have now, so alot of what I will do is resizing. Notice how she cut the row of squares in the middle to join them to the pinwheels. She must have thought that 1/2" would have made a lot of difference!

Then in the case below, she just used strips and wedges to get the size she needed. Very creative!

Well, I could go on and on. In any case, it's a wonderful piece that deserves to be saved. The fabrics range from the 1850s-1870s and up until about the turn of the century in the double pinks that are in the pic below. I'll keep you posted on it's progress.

I have to say that although I love designing fabric and publishing patterns for my wonderful customers, this is the type of thing that feeds my soul. I seem to really connect with the woman who made these unfinished projects and picture her smiling in approval when I am finally able to make something that others can appreciate. I'll post pics of some of the other things I've done sometime.

Have a wonderful week and stay cool!


Thursday, July 2, 2009


Hi Everyone!

Well, I certainly didn't expect to be so long in posting this, but my intentions never seem to work out with my actuality! We are finally on a road trip! Mom seemed to be stable enough so that we felt OK about leaving knowing that if we need to, we'll just go home. I call to check on her every few days and let her know where we are and what we're doing. Seems to keep her satisfied.

Right now, we're at Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico. It's a Presbyterian Camp/Conference Center and several folks from our church come out here once a year. We're doing a Bible Study on Genesis and the First Family and it's very interesting and thought provoking! Here is our Pastor, Rick who is getting ready to slap a big bug on his leg! Who does he look like?
This is the area that Georgia O'Keefe lived and worked in for about 50 years. It is in a very remote area, so no cell coverage unless you go to the top of the mountain, but they do have irregular wireless in the Library on Campus. So that's where I am writing you from!

We're in the High Desert, about 6500 feet above sea level. I'm just about to get acclimated to the altitude! Had a wonderful massage today and I am so relaxed. Bear with me if I fall asleep on you.............

OK, I'm awake now! Thought you'd like to see some pics. Since we're in the motorhome, we opted to fix our own food instead of eating in the Dining Hall, which I understand can be real iffy. Here's Bill at our first evening meal eating left overs! Don't know what he thought was so funny!

The desert is in bloom this time of year. Here are the flowers outside our RV:

Did you always think cactus was ugly? Think again-----

How about some wild asters?

We are surrounded by red rock formations. Here is Chimney Rock:

So that gives you an idea of what we're experiencing right now. I desperately need some Spiritual Rejuvination after the last few months with Mom. After we leave here on Sunday we'll go to Santa Fe for a couple of weeks (I hope). That's my home. Born and raised there and it's always a treat to visit with friends and family. I'm hoping to actually work on a couple of quilt related things while I'm away. I'll show some pics next time of my project.

So, that's it for me! Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and that you get that needed rest and rejuvination, too!