Friday, February 12, 2010
I was making the Red Roses quilt for my friend, Margaret. Let me tell you about her.
Margaret is a vivacious, 40-50ish lovely woman who is director and founder of "Sherry's House" in Massachusetts. she heads up the "Why Me?" program.
Sherry's House is a wonderful, God inspired place where families with children who have cancer stay and get loved on when the kids have medical appointments back to back days, but don't have to be in hospital.
Margaret loves "her" kids. She plays with them, holds them, sings to them, rocks them and feeds them. She has been completely devoted to these kids and the cause.
Margaret has been a huge venue for Ally Cat Quilts by Krackers. She has faithfully given out the quilts to the kids, and has always let me know when she is running short of them.
I love Margaret.
Margaret is one of the friends you get whom you just know will live forever, because she is always "there" for all of us. With her bright attitude, sunny disposition, laughter and humor, Margaret will always be there. Right? I mean, she has touched so very many lives, and made scary things disappear for a whole lot of people.
Margaret is very much loved and respected. Margaret is always right THERE for all of us in more ways than can be counted. We know we will always have Margaret to lean on.
It doesn't look like that is going to happen.
Margaret has cancer. She has stage 4 cancer in her liver, and has cancer in her pancreas. Margaret is going Home.
I wanted to make her a big bed quilt of roses, but I just learned that her liver has gone into stage 4. No time to make such a quilt and get it to her before she goes.
Plans change, and so do the quilts I work on. I wish you could see "Rainbows for Queen Margaret" in person. It is really much more beautiful that the photos show.
I will be mailing it out this evening. I am sure I will cry when I drop it in the box, and my heart will be very heavy and sad.
Yes, Margaret will leave a huge gap when she leaves. None whom she has touched will ever forget her. Margaret will live in our hearts, in that special place we keep just for people like her.
We are all richer for having had Margaret in this world. I think of Margaret suffering with cancer, and I ask "Why Margaret?" I am sure Margaret has asked "Why Me?" as well.
But knowing this wonderful woman, I am sure her answer is "Why NOT me?"
If you want more information about Sherry's house, you can find it on the internet. Also you can find information about Why Me.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Yesterday I went to my scrap fabric basket. I rarely go there to take stuff OUT; usually it is to stuff more scraps and then quickly jam the top on and shove it back under the shelf so it will stay (somewhat) closed.
Not today. Today is a day I decided to do a withdrawal and see what I can come up with.
My idea of original design can be rather far fetched. Most people I know, when they decide to make an original quilt, get out the drafting paper, pencils, rulers and colored pencils. Not me.
I get out the scraps. No pencils, paper or colored pencils for me! That isn't because I dont think all that work is a waste of time; it is because I have never learned HOW to draft on paper.
So I use my floor. And Winsten helps, too, as you will see further on down.
I don't put up my big design wall because the cats always pull fabrics off it and then try to climb it. The floor is much easier!
I begin with a general idea in my head as to what colors I feel like using. Then I grab all those colors out of the scrap basket and put them aside.
If I find blocks or stips that were sewn but never used, I put them off to the side too. It doesn't really matter what colors these are, because I have no idea where I am going at this point.
Then I start pulling the OPPOSITE of my "feature" color out and make a pile of those. Example, starting with red, I now haul out greens.
Now it is time to get SERIOUS! I grab a piece of my feature fabric, head for the cutting table, and cut one square. This is the beginning of a new quilt.
I frame that square, then the fun begins. I start placing other fabrics around the square, making little piles all around it.
This is where my "what if" brain starts checking in.
"What if I put this one THERE, then put these OVER HERE?"
Slice, stitch, place, rearrange, and grab the next one.
I piece together small sections, then decide where they should go, or where they will fit, and stitch them together.
I like what I am seeing, and continue to add "rows" to each other, enjoying the process very much.
And so it goes.
With this last photo, I will leave you curious as to the outcome of the quilt. this is because this is how far I have gotten so far.
This is to be a very special quilt for a very special lady. When I finish the quilt, I will tell you all about this lady, and how she has impacted so very many lives. It will be a story you will never forget, I guarantee it!
So that's what is going on in my world these days.
I sneak in my walks when my back and knees begin to protest about too much time crouching and crawling all over the floor. My DH reminds me to eat. Winsten lets me know when we have been working long enough, and now it is time to play a little.
The catty girls? They fall asleep among the scraps.
Time to get off the computer and back on the floor.
Just remember, Dear Friends, that all quilts are made one block or strip at a time, and if we take it slow and steady, a true work of love will emerge!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Isn't she SOMETHING! This is my beautiful granddaughter, Chrisine. As you can see from the photo, she is jumping into a pool of water. Not just ANY pool of water; this one is cold, Cold, COLD!
Christine is doing the Polar Plunge to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a camp for children who are fighting for their lives by battling life threatening diseases.
Chrisine lives in Massachusetts, and the Polar Plunge was held on Mt. Wachusetts. You can see from the on-lookers that it is VERY cold outside.
But my brave little darling Christini (called that by ONLY family members), has about the biggest, bravest heart you'd ever want to get to know.
Camp Sunshine is very important to our family. While Ally fought for her life against Leukemia, that Camp kept the family together many times.
It is a wonderful place where kids, no matter how ill, can be kids. No one stares at them, or points fingers at them, or laughs at them. No one avoids the kids because they are sick and look "different".
These children are loved and encouraged to challenge themselves far beyond what the parents think their kid can do. The kids come there sick. They leave there with much more confidence, wonderful memories and new friends.
It is a place where God has laid His hands, and it is blessed.
Over $10K was raised for this wonderful place.
How blessed we are that our family knows that to be "complete", we must all serve a Higher Cause than ourselves.
Christine did just that, and I am so very proud of her!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Today I was looking forward to meeting my local Spark Team members for a walk. Then I got the email that our fearless leader, Darcey, spent some time in hospital last night due to pain, and the walk was called off.
I was disappointed that we would not get together and give hugs, but then I got to thinking "Well, if the walk is called off because Darcey is in pain, I can walk for HER!"
Grab Winsten and out the door we go. A brisk 3.125 miles in 36 minutes, then I hit my "energy wall". I still have my cold, and I am sure that is what is zapping my energy.
But you know what? That's okay. I feel good about walking what I could, and the weather is so beautiful outside that I had fun. Now it is time to do a bit of low key stuff for the day, drink lots of water, eat right, take a nap, and all that has to fit in with MAKE A QUILT FOR ANOTHER KID!
I need to get busy!
Wishing you all a great Saturday, which will include some exercise, too.
Thanks for the inspiration, Darcey.....THIS walk was for YOU!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
yesterday Darcey blogged about her muscles talking to her, and how they wanted to move. Well, I totally understand that one!
It used to be my muscles would cry out to go downstairs and find something to eat. Usually something that I have no business even having in the house.
My muscles remained quiet and dormant while I sat around, took unnecessary naps, spent all day on the computer (I don't have a job, so no excuse there!), and generally avoided any and all physical activity.
Then Bossy Daughter made me join Spark. That was kind of fun, but the real work began when Darcey decided to make a September Challenge in 2009 of walking one mile a day for the month.
I joined that challenge, never believing for a moment I would continue after September, or for that matter, even walk the month.
I have had wonderful supporting friends here on Spark, including my Bossy Daughter, and I just didn't want to let them down or get told that I wasn't doing the program, and I better get in gear. Can you hear Bossy Daughter??
So okay. I began doing Spark exercises and workouts, using the tools available, even those hideous, body breaking videos of Heather.
I danced to Rock and Roll, Reggae and Boogey Woogey Piano music. I did push-ups, ball exercises and calf raises. I walked miles. I bought a resistance band, which honestly, I haven't used very much. I did some weight workouts. I drank water. I did gardening.
I blogged every day. I lost weight and inches.
Then along comes Old Man Winter, and I notice I am using the weather as excuses for not working out. I mean, how sane is it to say I can't work out when I have a rowing machine, weights, resistance bands, and a stationery bike in my ROOM??? Like I can't workout because it is raining OUTSIDE??
Amazing what I can rationalize with very little effort!
Yesterday I was down with a nasty cold. I still have it, but my muscles and organs began to speak to me.
Back said "I'm too stiff from all that laying around yesterday".
Lungs chimed in with "I need some deep breaths of fresh air".
Heart piped up with "I want to get into a groovy beat".
Hips (always a bit testy in attitude) grumbled "i am going to freeze up if I don't get lubricated and moved".
Legs reported feeling cramped up, and needing to stretch.
Arms said "Let's SWING again, like we did last summer".
Butt asked "Can we SPREAD again?"
THAT's when I got up, put on the shoes and headed outside. No spreading allowed!!
Winsten and I put in 3.66 miles today, and it felt great until the last half mile.
Then I could tell that I was really stretching the energy line, and gave myself permission to stop.
I am drinking my water and juice, and taking care of my cold again. But you know what?
I am taking care of my cold with a body that feels MUCH BETTER!!
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