Monday, February 23, 2015

Technology is great .....AND Quilts LOTS of Quilts!

Yes, my laptop is still in the hospital .... HRUMPH .... Apparently they are waiting on a part for the touchscreen (probably the case to the touchscreen).  As the battery had died (and was an internal one at that) it had to be sent into the service center for replacement AND since I paid for the full shebang extended everything warranty and one of my four legged children had pulled it off the table and cracked the case, I decided to go ahead and have that repaired while it was hospitalized.  WELL....apparently they are still waiting on the transplant team to acquire the necessary parts to preform the surgery so I am STILL stuck with this slow IBM model that was I believe built in the early 1700's and the operating system is run by snails.  Therefore, I have been remiss in posting. 

THAT BEING SAID.... It might take me a week to update what I've been up to lately..

A lot has happened in my world in the last 10 days so I won't go into details of everything, but when I left you all on the 9th, I was reflecting .....

One day in early December I joined Cheryl for her quilt class that is being offered at a little church in Hernando.  WELL, let me tell ya, I got inspired.  I came home and started pulling out tubs and totes and this is what I came out with.

WAY BACK in February, 2002 I took a quilting class that was offered at Hobby Lobby.  We had such fun once a week playing with fabric!  The very first quilt we made was called "Hearts & Stars" which is a funky little lap quilt with machine appliqued hearts.  I got the entire quilt top pieced, sandwiched with the batting and backing, machine quilting done and the bias binding sewn on. BUT never got it hand stitched down.

Another lap quilt which I don't know the name for was completed also to the point of hand stitching the binding down. 

And Jere has claimed that one as his own morning warmth!

I got both of these quilts finished this week !!!

The 3rd quilt that ended up being packed away with only the blocks constructed is a BEAUTIFUL "Stained Glass Window" quilt.  I did it in funky bright colors with lots of movement and the backing and border fabric is bright primary color large polka dots with a bright color "wavy" print that will be made into bias binding.

One more a "Maple Leaf" quilt has only the top pieced and the bias binding made.  It will be added into the quilt rotation soon!

The only quilt I did complete at that time is this one.

  I don't remember the name of the pattern, but it is a queen size quilt that I completed and gave to my mother for Christmas in 2003.  When she opened the package you would have thought I had given her a million dollars.  I don't think my mother has loved anything like she did that quilt.  She slept under it every night, took naps snuggled up with her great granddaughter in the afternoons and when she entered the hospital for the final time in in July, 2006 I had to drag her quilt up there.  She passed away wrapped in that quilt on October 28th.  I now have it hanging in my bedroom on a quilt stand and think of her often and how much she love that quilt.

I also found some really cute fabric with cows, chickens, pigs & sheep printed on it as well as 2 packs of plaid flannel fat quarters.  I had such fun putting together this "Log Cabin" quilt which will be gifted to a very special someone soon...I believe this quilt has been featured in a couple of previous posts, but I finally got it completed!

The last quilt I'll bore you with is going to be a baby quilt for my new grandson Wesley (due in May)  I have it pieced and will probably take my "Window" quilt off the hoop today and get it finished up.  

That cute little elephant print will be the backing and I will bind it in a solid blue.

Another thing of interest I found (actually yesterday) in my mother in law's sewing cabinet was a little plastic case with several packages of "between" needles for hand quilting.  

If you look closely you can see this is a pack of 20 needles that sold for 10¢.  That is 1/2¢ each!  Doing a Google search, I found the cheapest a package sells for today is $1.99.  CAN WE SAY INFLATION ??

On the cross stitching front, I have set aside my GP Sleepy Hollow in favor of quilting for a bit, but here is where I stopped.

That Pumpkin head is a bitch to stitch !! 

Tucked into the last 2 weeks was Valentine Day.  While Jere isn't one much for flowers and candy (my blood sugar couldn't handle that) we do usually go to dinner (the NIGHT BEFORE! to avoid the crowds) and this year as it was on Saturday, went to breakfast.  I had the MOST YUMMY big plate of eggs, bacon, sausage & hash browns with Lemon Curd filled Blackberry Crepes.  

As you can see, I didn't like them at all !!!

After breakfast we went to:

Jere was hoping to learn a new trick or two ... LOL ! 

Saturday I got the most pleasant surprise.  I was at the kitchen sink washing my hands after finishing up some appetizers for the watch party at Casa Jackson when there was a knock on the carport door.  There stood a delivery man holding a beautiful vase of spring flowers.  It wasn't my Birthday, or Mother's Day (which my sons usually remember with flowers) so I couldn't imagine! 

They were from Julie, Peter's real mom and look at the sweet note attached!!

Hockey !

Our boys are on a ROLL!!! They have won 8 straight games and 12 of their last 13 !!!  Saturday night 2/21  Peter got his FIRST professional SHUT OUT  with a 3 - 0 win against Huntsville!!! He was, as usual AWESOME !!!! 

Last week we had ice & snow.  Schools were closed, Jere was home from work for 2 days (and quite under foot) and it was COLD.  Again last night we had about an inch of sleet.  

I don't think we will be grilling out tonight ! 

I know around August I will be missing all this "cool" weather when temps are in the upper 90's, I am a puddle of sweat and am longing for my hockey boys return to the ice, but I really long for the boys of summer and ......

Till next time,


Monday, February 9, 2015

Reflecting .....

On February 9, 2010 I got out of the hospital.  Not because of an illness or having ANOTHER surgery, but because I was a prescription drug addict.  NO I did not buy them from the corner drug dealer, but was being prescribed them by the bottles full by a doctor.

After 5 surgeries from 1996 through 2003 to try and stabilize my deteriorating spine, I was left with chronic pain which was supposedly being "controlled" by a pain management doctor,  What was really happening is he was giving me any and every kind of narcotic/antidepressant/muscle relaxer, which was doing nothing to really control the pain.... It was controlling my mind.  From 2003 until THAT DAY in 2010 when Jere walked in from work and I didn't know who he was is nothing but a 7 year blur.  

I do a lot of thinking while driving and this morning on my way to my monthly stitching group meeting I realized just how much has changed in the last five years.

One of the things I am most grateful for (besides my sweetie, Jere of course) is the wonderful group of friends that have come into my life.  I fondly refer to them as my "Hockey Family" ....  Reba, John and their 5 kids Nathan, Elizabeth Ann, Gracie, Owen and Lily ... Anisha, RJ and their daughter Angela ... Jordan ... Kent & Frankie ... Then there is my Hockey son, Peter.

My life would be so empty without these great friends.

A lot has happened in the last 5 years..... I lost my older brother in 2012.  My oldest aunt (and the last relative from my parents generation) passed away in February 2013.  My youngest niece, Robin was killed in a car accident, at the age of 15 on Halloween 2013.  My sweet Bruno went through cancer surgery in January 2013 followed by 3 months of chemo which gave us 22 extra months of his sweet yodeling and tail wagging.  And in August 2014 Jere and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. 

There have been many other things that have happened during the last 5 years, some really happy times and some very sad times,  but you, my friends ... you keep my life full !

Thank you each and everyone of you for sharing your lives and families !

Till next time,


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Harikuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles

Today, February 8th, all across Japan, Harikuyo will take place in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.  Hari means needle, and Kuyou is a Buddhist memorial service.  Memorial services are usually held for spirits of the dead but it is also common to hold them for inanimate objects that have served well in life, or indeed that life depends on.

Known as the Festival of Broken Needles, it is a ritual of thanks and respect for tools of the sewing, tailoring and embroidery trades.  It dates back 1500 years;  women (and men) dress in fine kimono and gather together all of the needles they've used, broken and/or worn out during the previous year.  They proceed to the local temple or shrine, where a three-tiered alter is prepared.  The lower level displays sewing accessories, such as scissors, thimbles, thread and so forth.  The top tier offers seasonal fruit, and white mochi (ceremonial race cake offerings).  In the center section is a large slab of tofu, into which everyone plunges the pieces of their broken needles.

Later they will be take to a sacred final resting place.  The tofu keeps them safe and not forgotten, yet because of being protected in the tofu they cam do no harm with their points.  In a second sense they are still present in life.  The priest will incant a sutra, that reflects the passage of the needles from use and invokes a Buddhist blessing that is passed on to the users of the needles.  By showing respect to the needles they have used through the past year, they are offering thanks and requesting that the power and energy of the needles be present in the stitchers for the coming year so that their skills may be improved.  Priest will also sing sutras to comfort the needles, heal their broken spirits and thank them for work well done. 

No sewing takes place on this day.

**Fron Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Till next time