Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Based on yesterday, another post is appropriate

Yesterday, my FIL had ear surgery.  He has had hearing issues since I met him, but in the past few years they have gotten much worse.  The first surgery was out in Rapid City SD, and I was there to help him for a few weeks.  Then a year ago in spring, he had more issues and the doctor there referred him here, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, to see Dr. Levine.  He had surgery for a form of ear cancer (which seems to be gone). After this extended stay of several months, he was able to go home, but was back again for a check up and two cataract surgeries in December (All were very successful).  In March, he went to the hearing aid people in Rapid only to find out that there were more issues with his other  ear.  He arrived here at the beginning of July and Dr. Levine managed to see him and actually do the surgery in fast order.  This time there was no real sign of ear cancer, but we did not know for certain until the surgery took place.  It took about 3 1/2 hours to do the tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy. 
We were at the hospital for 12 hours so after arriving home, he had a pain pill he was off to sleep for the night.  We on the other hand sleep fitfully because we had seen all the blood, etc. that came out of his ear canal when the nurse re bandaged him.  This morning we re bandaged one more time and ate breakfast,after my husband left for work, Dad went downstairs and was soon back to sleep on the coach.  Sleep and rest are best for him, but he is the living example of the energizer bunny so he really fought the idea of kicking back until he had actually walked down the stairs and changed his clothes -  then he was beyond exhaustion, so................

Why is this posted on a quilting blog?  Well first because I am so impress with Dr. Levine and all he has done to help Dad.

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Mystic Blues BOM from Joann Fabrics
 Secondly, sitting for all those hours gave me a chance to work on my hand-piecing.  I added sashing to a number of 15" blocks and felt like I was doing something comforting while we waited.  This quilt is my project for all of our road time over the next month.  I believe the top will be ready for quilting by the time we reach Vermont. Are these blocks as well made as my machine-pieced ones, NO, but they represent over 7 years of off and on work and will be something I will treasure for all the travels and experiences it will represent. The sashing seems a little wavy, but when smoothed out it is not too noticeable.  The photo shows that the blocks are a little lumpy, but I think at least 85% of that is because the blocks were wadded up in my bag after we were called back to see Dad after the surgery.  15% is simply my inexperience or lack of focus on the fittings but this is a quilt of love and comfort so I am not too concerned.  The blocks match up and seem to be the same size, so I can try to make my quilting help to ease the fullness.    It will be hand-quilted for many reasons: Sentimental as well as structural.  (Laughing and smiling about how many times I have had to readjust things. = A true labor of love and tactical comfort.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Last Post from Minnesota

I have been very busy the past few weeks getting ready for my husband's retirement from the Navy after 30 years of service.  We are planning a big send off to simply celebrate his accomplishments and also to celebrate the changes that are just around the corner. There is also all the packing, sorting and reorganizing our stuff.   We are heading for Vermont for a year while he attends the Vermont School of Woodworking.  However, our life is also going to be focused on the simple things in life.  Love, laughter, faith, compassion, peace, joy and happiness. 

While Kevin is in school, I will be using my time on various things, but when we have time we are going to ride bikes, hike, see the sites.and, spend lots of time with our passions (quilting and woodworking).  Kevin will be crafting furniture, etc, and I will be quilting.  I want to build my quilting techniques and skills, learn more about my machines, develop my skills on EQ, and do some hand quilting.

I plan to share what I am doing with my quilting and will also include some of my experiences with the rest of you on a new blog:  Quilting from Robin's Nest.  --- http://quiltingfromrobinsnest.blogspot.com/  Don't look for any posts until early August.  Until then, enjoy your summer and find time for your own passions.

Monday, July 4, 2011


This is the last of the Quilts of Valor that I have gathered.  As my July 4th tribute to our freedom, I finished attaching all the labels and bagged all of the quilts that had not left the house, yet.  He took them in before lunch so that we could have one more of our things checked off the "moving" list.

After much discussion and planning, I am taking my HQ16 with me to Vermont.  I am going to use the shorten version of the table and will be able to do up to twin size quilts.  I did not like the idea of putting it in storage for 14 months.   I had hoped that my daughter, who is a quilter, would manage to get her house sold and move into a bigger place so that she could play with the machine, but at this point they seem to be in a holding pattern (Market is not strong anywhere, is it?

This afternoon I am working on reconfiguring my batting storage.  With the help of my husband and FIL we have gotten it reorganized and labeled.  Some has been cut into lap size pieces, but I had purchased several rolls of bamboo batting just before we decided to do the Vermont experience for a year.  I love the batting especially for larger quilts, so I decided that I would put it into my climate controlled storage for when we actually move to South Dakota after Kevin finishes his school.