Saturday, August 16, 2008

My new table

Here's my new table in place in the sewing studio (aka clutter room). I love it for a number of reasons -- one it is handmade, two it is wood (in case you've never noticed -- I love wood -- I live in a log home and all of the interior walls are knotty pine, all of the ceilings are pine, the log walls are Eastern White Pine, the ceiling beams are spruce and even the floor on the main floor of the house is mostly oak, except for the clutter room and bathroom which are quarry tile).

Also, the table came with two benches -- I put one under the table next to the wall as I don't need it and the second one is here under my built-in shelves which are behind me as I sit at my machine.
Both benches open like piano benches and have storage space! I only put a few things in this one and nothing in the other one as I can't really get to it too easily.
Anyway -- I took the extra sewing table I had in this room and put it upstairs where I plan on setting up my Brother machine in the spare bedroom (I also have all kinds of quilting stuff in that room!). And I was so thrilled with the new table, that I actually got a couple of things accomplished today. I finished the binding on this quilt:
This was one of Judy's Hour a Day quilts from last year -- I finally quilted it on Thursday afternoon and put the binding on yesterday. I quilted it with a panto called Feather Me by Meredith England. I like the looks of this panto too, so will for sure be using it more often. I also put the label on and washed and dried it. I'll be giving this one away this week.
I also labeled and washed and dried the quilt I showed the other day here. I'm giving it to my sister-in-law when we visit her in the hospital tomorrow. And then I planned on pressing scraps for an hour and hand quilting for an hour, but when I pulled the basket of scraps out, there was a stack of fabric on top leftover from the last Kansas Troubles quilt I put together, so I ended up piecing a back for that quilt instead. Took me most of the afternoon, but I think the back will be as interesting as the front when I finally get it finished. It was really handy to lay a cutting board on the new table and piece and cut and press right in the same place. Maybe tomorrow I'll find some time to press scraps!


AJ and Will are fine. Anne is recovering. Prayers have been answered.
My new wood table -- handmade makes it extra special.
Making a little headway in finishing quilts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Further Update on AJ & Quilt Blocks

AJ's pediatrician said "it could have been West Nile Virus, or it could have been viral meningitis". Either way, he's well now, so it's too late to have a blood test to make a definitive diagnosis, as in all probability, there are no anti-bodies left. If he has any more headache episodes, they will deal with them as migraines.

And here is one of the things I bought at the garage sale yesterday: 20 blocks, all using the same background fabric and all hand pieced. I love them. I want to put them together into a quilt soon. Aren't they great?!

Today I bought a table for the sewing room -- should be about sewing table height and will give me lots more flat surface room in there. It'll be delivered this weekend (how's that for great -- buy a table at a garage sale by phone, no less, and have it delivered to boot!).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

AJ's MRI and Quilting

Got the results of AJ's MRI today -- normal. I am now convinced both he and Will had a case of West Nile Virus. According to the website -- his symptoms match those of the West Nile Virus in children (it is much tougher on those over 50). They both had mosquito bites and both exhibited a rash on their chests and backs that Steph thought was due to some new soap she had tried -- never connecting it to the headache and vomiting of AJ, or Will's fussiness (because he is also teething). Anyway -- both boys are doing fine now and Steph has a call in to her pediatrician to discuss this possibility.

I managed to pin this quilt on the machine and quilt it last weekend and today I sat down and stitched the binding on. This was from the first Nickel Quilts book by Pat Speth -- we made this quilt in a workshop conducted by Pat a few years ago (I can not remember exactly when!). Anyway -- it is finished. I used the Al Fresco pantograph on it from Willow Leaf Studios.

And this afternoon I went to a "Quilter's Garage Sale"! And yes, of course I bought some books I don't need and some blocks I can add to my pile of blocks (I really liked them and I hope to make them into a quilt, someday!). I'll take some pictures for future posts!

AJ has been feeling fine since last Tuesday (except for being drunk on anesthesia yesterday!)
I haven't heard from Anne's kids today, so no news is good news on her.
Making quilting plans for next week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family Health Update

Bill's sister, Anne's surgery was rescheduled for today. They replaced her aortic valve, did one bypass and fixed her irregular heartbeat -- 5 hours of surgery and so far she's doing fine. Next 48 hours of course are still critical, of course.

AJ had his MRI this morning. He's still dealing with the effects of the anesthesia -- very rubbery neck and limbs -- but doing okay. We haven't gotten the results yet -- maybe tomorrow.

I have the feeling that lots of prayers were answered today! Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Coming back from the dark ages

We had a tornado warning Monday evening. Don't know that one touched down, but we had a lot of swirling winds, lightening and thunder and rain. From the walkout basement window I could see the tops of 70 ft oak trees swaying and twisting just north of the house, but none of them fell. We lost power about 7 pm and it was just restored yesterday (Thursday) at noon. I took a few pictures right after it blew through and the next morning. We lost a couple of trees - one dead one and a large limb fell across the lane to the back cornfield: (JR had to go along to investigate of course!)
The cornfields all around us have been hit hard -- from the top of a hill looking down you can see what look like crop circles in the center parts of the fields -- corn flattened in a swirling pattern. The next two pictures are of our field north of the house -- both knocked over from the force of the wind and the swirled pattern:

This shot is looking from the cornfield back towards the house -- not a big distance!

This is our neighbor and friend's house -- about 2 miles down the road. This tree miraculously missed the house and fell on another tree. It did pull their electric connection to the road away from the house, but did not sever the lines. (This was not the cause of our disruption in service -- that was a simple fuse that was broken on a pole south of our neighbor to the south -- which we informed ComEd about on Tuesday after they had restored power to everyone around us -- but that's a rant better left alone!)

Needless to say, this has not been a real fun or productive week! Yesterday Bill had an angiogram -- results were excellent. He has no new blockages and his 3 grafts from his bypass surgery 10 years ago look great. Stress test results were in that 20% of results that are a false positive. So, he's doing fine, resting until he can get back to normal on Sunday. His sister, Anne's angiogram on Tuesday did not go as well. She will be having surgery Monday to replace her aortic valve, and a double bypass and they will be cauterizing whatever nerve or whatever it is that causes her arrythmia -- all at the same time. She is 84 and is not in great health to begin with, so we'd appreciate any prayers for her. She sounded good on the phone when I talked to her last night (she's about an hour away from us). All of her kids (4) will be with her by Sunday -- so that's a good thing!
AJ had another migraine this week and will be seeing his pediatrician this afternoon. When they came down for Bill's surgery yesterday, he crawled into my lap and said, "Grandma, I don't have a headache today!" And Will was his usual charming self -- delighting all the other people in the cardiac/surgery waiting room with his antics and smile.

We did not have any trees fall on the house!
We managed to get one of the last generators available at Farm & Fleet, so we at least could power up the refrigerators.
Anne's kids will all be with her on Monday - one or two have been with her all week.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I've spent a good part of the day on the computer working on my guild's newsletter. I'm just waiting now for some input from other people and it'll be ready to go. While I was fixing dinner tonight, I decided to change out the flag/patriotic quilts and hang the end of summer stuff (mostly sunflower quilts and generic/no occasion stuff). This one I have probably shown before -- it was a Country Threads 12 month BOM a few years ago. I love it because there is so much to it -- everywhere you look is a different element. It is hanging in the clutter room.
We have had a couple of major health crises in the past couple of days. Bill's sister had a heart attack Friday morning. I talked to her this morning and they were waiting for the cardiologist to decide if he was going to do angioplasty. We're going down to North Aurora to see her after church tomorrow. She just turned 84 and none of her 4 kids lives near her, but I think her oldest son will be there soon.

The second crisis was AJ, our four year old grandson. He'd had a headache a few days ago, accompanied by a temp of 101 degrees and a slight cold. Steph called her doctor's office and was told by the nurse that "101 degrees in children is just an elevated temperature, not a fever; she could make an appt. with the nurse practitioner for the next day, but 'she wouldn't do anything for him anyway', so what's the point"! (The doctor is out of town). Steph managed to give him some Motrin and he felt better the next day. Yesterday afternoon, he got up from his nap, crying because he has a headache. I was talking to her on the phone and we agreed 4 year old boys shouldn't even know what a headache was and I could hear him cry because "it hurt". We decided he should go to the emergency room. While she was outside asking her neighbor to watch the other kids, he vomited in the kitchen. She called me back and said they were on their way to the ER. In the ER, they did a strep test, a chest xray, and a cat scan. He was a trooper throughout it all. All the tests came back negative and they decided he'd had a migraine headache. Poor kid not only inherited migraines from his mother's side of the family (which is my mother's side!), but his dad's as well. They have to keep an eye out for whatever triggers them in him, including watching tv, swimming, whatever activity he is doing and whatever food he is eating. Steph texted me while she was waiting for the test results and I told her to make sure she told them what the nurse had told her two days ago. She did and when her doctor gets back, she has to take AJ in to see her, so she will definitely explain the nurse problem to her doctor, also.

The cat scan was clear for AJ -- what a horrendous time waiting for cat scan results on a four year old boy.
Talking to Anne today and going to see her tomorrow. Praying everything will be okay for her.

Friday, August 01, 2008

August 1

August 1 is here and the dog days of summer have also arrived -- right on time! Hot, hot temps and high humidity. I'm sure the kids are spending lots of time in their backyard pool.

I finished the second Halloween quilt this morning and now am shifting gears to edit my guild's newsletter -- hopefully I'll have it ready to send out by Monday. Lots of things scheduled for August, so need to be mindful of keeping on task!
Enjoy your weekend!