Saturday, August 17, 2019


Bruce had his second arm surgery this past week, on Tuesday. It was performed by the plastic surgeon (unlike last week's surgery, which was the oncology surgeon). We got to see the wound from the first surgery while in the surgeon's office the day before the second surgery. It was interesting to see the actual bone, tissue and ligaments moving inside his arm through the gaping wound. Neither one of us are squeamish about this. I don't know why I'm not, but maybe it's because two years ago we went through this same thing. Bruce, a former medical engineer who worked for Symbion and Robert Jarvik on the artificial heart, has watched many open heart and other surgical procedures. 

The plastic surgeon wasn't able to proceed with Plan A, which was to take tissue and skin from his arm and move it around to cover the surgical wound.  So it was Plan B; sew Bruce's hand once again to his abdomen to let the flap of tissue acclimate to its new site and establish a viable blood supply. It will be another couple weeks, sometime before Labor Day, before they release the arm. They'll cut the tissue flap from the abdomen, then sew up the abdomen and the arm. It's the easiest of the three surgeries. Will this happen again? It's possible, even probable, given past history. But we'll take it one year at a time. 

So here are my boys, Bruce and Alfie, enjoying each other's company. We have a pretty good set-up for Bruce in his recliner in the living room. Alfie loves to nap on a pillow with "Dad".

So, in between doctor visits, surgery, nursing (and pharmacy, grocery shopping, garden, laundry, etc), I actually managed to get a lot of sewing done this week. I'm actually surprised at how much I got done. But then, putting up some tomato sauce here or making a tomato pie there is hands-down easier than dealing with bushels of apricots for weeks on end! Speaking of tomato pie, I used Carole's recipe (from her blog, From My Carolina Home), and it was deeee-lish!! It's the first time we've ever had tomato pie. But not the last!

So, let's get to some of the blue sewing. I'm linking up to our regular Scrappy Saturday scrapfest over at Angela's blog, So Scrappy. Here are the blocks, in no particular order.

Two International Sisters blocks. These are from Preeti's pattern, which you can find HERE.  Meet Elizabeth (Cady Stanton? Warren?) and Toni.  These sisters are known for being persistent and good writers!  That solid blue fabric is actually from Africa - in this picture it still has the wax finish on it.

Some light to medium blue bitcoins. Although I originally planned to use these as a border, I've changed my mind. They'll go into the Parts Department along with all the other bitcoins and become a part of some future quilt.

Then we had some string blocks. First there were the three 9.5" string blocks. I only need 3 more (purple) string blocks, and the large strings will be ready to assemble into a flimsy. So, I started making some 6.5" string blocks - six of them. I'm going to make lots of basic 6.5" blocks this year and next in various colors. Strings, crumbs, HSTs, etc. Then I can use them as blocks in Quilts for Kids quilts.

Next we have 8 Garlic Knot blocks, which measure 8.5" (unfinished).

Two Beachcomber blocks made from crumbs. They measure 11.5" each (unfinished). This is my current crumb project.

And finally, 8 blocks of this 9-patch variation pattern. This one is getting close, too. I'll have enough once I do the purples, depending on what setting I choose.  We'll see about this when the time comes.

And I have been making progress on my One Monthly Goal (OMG). I'm kinda winging this as I go along, because the original panel blocks were an odd size. But it seems to be shaping up. The little bits of bright yellow you see on some block borders will disappear - they're unsewn seam allowances. I do plan to add a white-black-white border around the quilt with 9-patch cornerstones and a red binding. But that may change, depending on how it looks. I think my pace is good for a finish before month-end.

You might remember that this challenge came about from our Salt Lake Quilts for Kids group, because we had these mis-printed panels donated to us. The block below had the word "Firefighters" spelled with an L: "Fireflighters". So, I made a little tuck in the block, and it is pretty much invisible now. Sorry for the bad picture.

Thank you all for your kind emails, thoughts and prayers for Bruce. We really do appreciate it. I'll be answering all your emails, even if I'm a bit slow. I figure that if I have time to sew, I should have time to write, right? It's just that sometimes I need to bury myself in fabric....


  1. I hope Bruce is recovering well. Alfie can provide healing purrs. And fabric is so important for stress relief at times like this. Sending out a prayer to both you and Bruce.

  2. Prayer-ful thoughts while quilting from here for you both....
    you did get a whole lot of sewing done--so theraputic--
    I find if I have to concentrate my mind on something it helps a whole lot when under stress..i still favor those little bit coins;))) hugs and best wishes Julierose

  3. Such a great selection of Light BLUE blocks (considering everything else that is going on!!) Wishing you all the best for Bruce's recovery.

  4. I think burying ourselves in fabric is a form of therapy and good for our mental health - so you go sew, girl! Lots of pretty blues in all your blocks - I think it is such a soothing color. Many positive thoughts being sent your way, Cathy!

  5. Well done in the sewing department! Also, best wishes for a good recovery for Bruce.

  6. I'm sure all that kitty purring is good for Bruce and his healing. Thoughts are most definitely with him (and with you!). You, my friend, are a constant source of in the world do you manage to get so much done!! All that stitching and acting as nursemaid too - you deserve a medal my friend!

  7. What a productive amount of sewing!
    Blessings on you and Bruce!

  8. You and Bruce are amazing!
    You are certainly flying through all of your projects!
    I am sending continued good thoughts to you and Bruce for continued progress on his surgery site.

  9. I had the toenail on my big toe removed last Monday and that was enough surgical trauma for me, so you and Bruce have my admiration for your handling of the arm surgery and it's aftermath. Hoping for continued progress for him. I'm amazed at how much you accomplished sewing-wise. I barely set foot in my sewing room, although I did get the rows of my Scrap Minuet top sewn.

  10. A little fabric therapy helps to smooth the worried brow! It sounds like Bruce is in very good hands (and paws :)

  11. Sending continued healing vibes! It looks like you had lots of Fabric Therapy to help keep you going!

  12. Hi Cathy! I'm so glad to see an update from you about Bruce. That sound like it might be a bit uncomfortable but knowing that it is only for a few weeks must make it more bearable. Not to mention the alternatives. I've been holding you both in my prayers and will continue to do so. No worries about replying - I know you have your plate full. I love your International sisters, and all of your sewing shares. {{Hugs}} for both of you, and that shot with Bruce and Alfie is so sweet. ~smile~ Roseanne

  13. Just reading your blog made me squeamish! And the picture of Alfie is adorable...

  14. Thank God for these surgeries and the doctors who do such a wonderful job for Bruce. That is encouraging news and I pray it will be all successful. Your blues are really lovely.

  15. Go ahead and bury yourself in fabric. You deserve & need it and I'm sure we can all agree on that! Your blocks are wonderful!!

  16. Oh my goodness, that's a lot of surgeries! I do hope you both cope well with all of those procedures and it goes according to plan. You most definitely deserve to bury yourself in some fabric from time to time. Hugs to you my friend!

  17. Just a quick note to say I hope all is going well on the medical front...sending prayers along..hugs, Julierose

  18. I don't know how I missed this post in my reading list. Luckily I saw it in someone's sidebar.

    Best wishes to you and Bruce as he goes through yet another medical procedure.
    xx, Carol


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