Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn Crazy Quilt

This autumn-themed CQ wallhanging was made by a group of ladies in Minnesota headed up by Mona Berning. It was donated to the CQ Society's 10th annual retreat last year (2007) and was auctioned off. I was the lucky buyer! Autumn is my favorite season, so I couldn't resist this. The pictures are a little "rough" as I took these pictures while hanging it temporarily on my design board. It will have its very own place on a living room wall (after I press it!).

I don't have all the names of the contributors, so I'm going to have to get that from Mona and make a little pocket to put on the back with the information in it. Meantime, enjoy the detail pictures.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Healthy Hubby Home from Hospital

... and who says alliteration is dead?!? LOL

My dear hubby Bruce was finally released from the hospital this morning!! His first stay at the hospital lasted 2 1/2 days. Upon returning home, he relapsed and became very nauseated and dizzy (double vision) to the point where once again he couldn't keep even water down. So they re-admitted him for another 3 1/2 days. The double vision is caused by palsy - a paralyzed 6th cranial nerve on the right side that controls his eye. BUT, it's been improving the last several days, and other than that he's recovered and off IV's and all meds. So, he's home and healthy and happy, even if he looks like a pirate with his (temporary) eye patch!! Final diagnosis: some type of viral bug that they can't nail down. We'll never know what, exactly, because they don't waste time testing for the hundreds (if not thousands) of possibilities unless it becomes a public health issue.

So...... I have finally redecorated my home for Autumn, and will snap some pictures to share with you. I'm busy stitching on a block that I hope to make into a pillow and share with you this week, too.

Thanks, everyone for your kind words and wishes. I apologize for not responding personally over the last couple weeks, but between Bruce/hospital and two part-time jobs (one that just started and has an erratic training schedule), I've been run ragged. I'm hoping to settle back into our regular routine. Hope you all have a glorious autumn! (or spring if you're Down Under, LOL).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

DH's Hospital Stay and Our Roses

DH and I had planned to spend several days in Colorado after the Crazy Quilting International retreat last week. He flew in to Denver on Sunday the 14th, but had some slight symptoms of a bug - headache, rash. It had been going on for a few days, but he thought it was just about ready to go away...... However, by Monday morning he was sick enough that we just drove straight home (7 hrs) and headed to a doctor.

This week has been a roller coaster of doctor visits, ER visits, blood tests (27 vials in the last week), cat scans, ultrasounds, spinal taps, etc. First they thought it was the West Nile Virus, but
later ruled that out. After all tests have come back normal, they've finally decided it must just be a nasty virus. Poor Bruce has been so sick that he was admitted to the hospital yesterday, where they're keeping him on pain and nausea meds so that he can keep his water and pills down and hopefully eat something. They're keeping him monitored, hydrated and fed, treating the symptoms until it passes. Needless to say, I've spent a lot of time with him, keeping him company and stitching in his hospital room as he dozes. It sure is depressing when a Loved One is sick and there's nothing you can do to make them feel better. I miss him so much; not only his presence, but his healthy self - silly, witty, happy.

But I will say that he's in the best place he could be. The care at Intermountain Medical Center, which opened not quite a year ago, has been excellent. It's a state-of-the-art facility, the largest in the Intermountain West, if not west of the Rockies. The patient charts are all on computer (paperless), so every time anyone (nurse, technician, physician) visits, they type their notes i
nto the terminal located in his room. A dietary technician came to visit him, looked up the menus online for the next couple days, and together they worked out what they would order him that sounded good and fit the doctor's dietary orders. She just keyed it all in. The hospital doctors are all linked on the same computer system, so they were able to access all DH's patient records and test results from his regular doctor at the clinic. AND - there are as many male nurses as there are women nurses. In fact, MOST of the ER nurses were male! With more women becoming doctors, it got me to wondering if in a couple decades it might become the norm to have female doctors and male nurses! Wouldn't our great grandmothers be surprised at THAT!

Enough gabbing........... how about some pictures? I snapped this amazing rose bush in our yard. This is its second bloom of the year. The first time it bloomed deep orangey-peach, fading to a light peach. This second bloom is pink and peach, fading to lighter peach. Take a look.

Must go stitch!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Colorado CQ Retreat

WOW! What a fun time we had in Colorado for the first (of hopefully many more annual) Crazy Quilting International Retreat. Leslie Ehrlich planned the 4-day event and was our hostess extraordinaire! We had classes and/or tutorials in beadwork and beaded seam treatments, Brazilian Embroidery, button painting, ribbon flowers and leaves, and much more! The food was great and the friendship was even greater!

Probably the highlight of the trip for most of us was the trip to the Denver Art Museum, where
Leslie and Mary-Frances Main planned a behind-the-scenes trip where we were given a special showing of 5 crazy quilts (and a special treat of a tea cozy from Scotland). The curators and docents shared their preservation and storage methods with us and were able to give us information about the provenance of each item we viewed. We were allowed to take pictures (without flash), but we not allowed to touch. As quilters and tactile persons, that was difficult!

This is the group that attended the Museum, from L-R: Connie Kalina, Leslie Ehrlich, Mary-Frances Main, Debbie Quirion, Gerry Krueger, Gerry Hookstra, Cathy Kizerian, Lauri Burgesser, and Janet Popish.

Quilts in storage at the Denver Art Museum.

Gerry K and Janet cleaning up after the button-painting lesson at Jill's house.

One of the tantalizing quilts at the Denver Art Museum. Look at the stitching! The fabrics! This picture is just a teaser. I'll either post all my quilt pictures in the next few days, or provide links to a site where we attendees are attempting to pool all our pictures. To study the pictures is an incredible lesson in the stitching done by our early CQ sisters!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Repurposing Old Linens & Miscellaneous

I've begun packing for our Crazy Quilting International retreat in Colorado which starts later this week. In the process - and maybe you're like me - I get sidetracked as I go through things. In looking for a tatting shuttle, I found all sorts of mohair and other fibers to use for my Embellisher (and I eventually found the shuttle); in hunting for books to take along (have to bring Cindy Brick's Crazy Quilting, because she'll be talking to us), I found information on Angelina Fibers that I didn't know I had. And finally, in checking out the camera (and batteries, yadda yadda), I found some pictures I'd taken and not published yet.

So, since I'll be gone for a week between the retreat and DH joining me for a scenic drive home from Denver to Salt Lake next week, I thought I'd share with you some of these pictures. Might as well, LOL, because all the time that I'd normally spend stitching for the last week has been spent in preparation and packing.

I love vintage linens. My great-grandmother, grandma and mom all crocheted and made or collected linens, so I have a fine collection of nice tablecloths, runners, doilies, hankies, and you-name-it. But my heart melts when I see an old, worn and possibly stained piece that was lovely in its day. There is still beauty left, but often it is no longer whole. An embroidered doily may only be partially intact, or a crocheted border from a pillowcase needs a new home, or a tablecloth is badly stained but still has a couple great floral corners. Often these things can be picked up for a song. I've bought them at yard sales, antique stores (including one whose owner retired and I bought almost half her stuff at a great price), online, and had them given to me.

With an eye toward having a stall at next year's Farmer's Market (the sidewalk artists portion) and/or selling things on Etsy, I've whipped up a few things over the summer.

This 14" square pillow features a lovely embroidered lady with a bouquet of flowers. The doily itself was in perfect condition, but the lace was bad. I added fresh (vintage) lace and rick rack, then mounted it on a ticking-like blue and white cotton fabric. It's bordered in another vintage (sixties) lace. Cute, eh? I have one more identical doily and more fabric and plan to make its twin.
I love this vintage image and I've reproduced it on silk several times for different projects. It reminds me of my mom - she looked very similar in her baby pictures! This 6" pillow was given a very simple treatment, but the pink silk and pink rick rack are vintage. The rest of everything is new.

The next three pictures show new (thick cotton) handtowels embellished with vintage doily parts, rick rack and lace.In the red one above, the motif (and one other I have) was all that survived of a tablecloth. On the purple towel, the flowers were the end of a runner, and already satin-stitched around the edges - except part of the purple one where it was covered with another flower. I finished the satin stitching.

The below blue and red hand towels combine both new and old laces and trims on the new hand towels. The crocheted and Battenberg hearts are new, but the laces, yo-yos, rick rack and embroidery are all vintage.

These will be priced at $8 each. Does that seem about right??

Finally, I had some pictures of the horrendous hail storm we got here in Murray (a Salt Lake suburb) on the day before Labor Day.

This is looking out over our front walk and lawn area. DH didn't get to mow that day!!

I took this picture through our back door screen because it was too nasty to even open it! That's HAIL, not snow. It totally thrashed our veggie garden (beyond the grape arbor there). The day before I had been painting assorted little wicker and other pieces white for future use as display pieces for selling my Stuff. Luckily I had pulled them under the cover of the patio. They were not harmed.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kreative Blogger Award

Oh my! My friend Kerry (http://kerrykatiecakes2.blogspot.com/) has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award! In the past I have not really understood these awards and have tended to ignore them when someone has "awarded" me (if that's a no-no, please forgive my newbie faux pax) But this one really tickles my fancy and I really want to play!. Thanks, Kerry!! It's nice to know that someone is reading, LOL !!

Here are the rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2. Put a link to the person you received the award from.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Here are my nominees:

1. Susan Elliott - Plays With Needles (http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/)
2. Barbara Blankenship - Roses on the Water (http://rosesonthewater.blogspot.com/)
3. Cat (another Utah Cat!) - Baumcat (http://baumcat.blogspot.com/)
4. Cobi Wittekoek - Paddestoelengek (http://paddestoelengek.blogspot.com/)
5. Allie Aller (Allie's in Stitches) (http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/) (I can't believe you haven't been nominated this month already, lol!!)

You five ladies are all amazing, and I enjoy reading your blogs and sharing your lives! Hugs, Cat