Mar 10 18

Two + Months of Craziness

Hello, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  My silence wasn’t planned, just one of the side effects of a very chaotic and exhausting 2 + months.  My elderly but active mom became very ill  and ended up in the ICU a week before Christmas. It’s a long and complicated story, but she opted to decline treatment after a few days and went home with hospice services.  There are 5 children and 5 sons/daughters in law, and everyone pitched in to help take care of her.  She has miraculously turned around, (perhaps a testimony to the power of being home and helped by family instead of being in a hospital), and now is doing very well.  About 3 weeks after mom became ill, my mother-in-law, (who lives on the opposite side of the country from us), began falling repeatedly.  She was doing better last week but now is teetering again, so who knows what lies around the corner.  Both Ern and I lucked out in the “mom department,” so these two women are very precious to us and are great cause for worry.  Many of you have experience with caring for ill and elderly family members, so you understand the drill of constant phone calls, texts, travel, and lack of sleep.  I just counted up, and over the course of 9 weeks, I literally traveled 17 times.  That is an awful lot of packing up, moving, unpacking, and doing it again and again.  Remember the January 2018 Ruler Work Winter Course?  It seems like it happened 6 months ago but all that went on while I was in the throes of all this craziness!  I’m really proud of myself that I was able to meet that commitment, but that was literally the only sewing/quilting I’ve done outside of teaching classes in the last 2 months.  Talk about creativity withdrawl!!!  I’ve been able to snag a little time here and there in my sewing room over the last 2 weeks, though.  I finally finished piecing the quilt top below, having begun working on it 1 1/2 years ago:


I love how it came out and can’t wait to start quilting it!  Because of all the dense thread work and stabilizer, it’s very heavy so it has to be basted on a long arm.  (Spray basting cannot hold that kind of weight.)  I know that  have 15-20 hours of laborious outlining every single tiny applique shape with invisible thread before any of the “fun quilting” can begin, but I am ready to go!  Hopefully, I will be able to start working on it in a few weeks.  This quilt is a “consolidation” of a few different machine embroidery applique files that I have “re-purposed” to create this quilt.  The center blocks are created from the block used in the “Swirly Floral Quartet Table Runner:”


The first border (the narrower one) is made from the same file used for the Serpentine Floral Table Runner:”

Isn’t it weird how different that design looks when you have two mirror image “sets” of them so close together?  This is one of the things I love about MEA, you can spend endless hours messing around with placement and come out with a wide variety of designs. The outermost border was from another table runner design I made a number of months ago but haven’t had a chance to finish writing the pattern for it yet:


(Again, this is another example of how the design really changes when you mess around with placement.)  Anyway, it has been fun to finally get something actually COMPLETED, even though it took me waaaayyyy tooo long!!




  1. QuiltShopGal Says:

    I enjoyed your ruler work lessons very much. I didn’t realize you were doing them all while juggling family emergencies. Never fun dealing with such issues, but I’m glad to know you were able to be there to help. Big hug.

  2. Geri Says:

    Hope your life settles soon. Totally enjoyed the work you put into the Jan. Class.

    Quilting is probably your sanity.

    Best of luck

  3. Sue Says:

    So sorry for your family health issues. I can empathize…going through a similar situation with my husband. Very stressful and exhausting.

  4. Linda E in AZ Says:

    We are all sorry to hear of your family/elder problems but are so happy to hear your “voice” on this forum again.
    Take care of yourself in the midst of all this
    Cheers, Linda

  5. Diane Evans Says:

    It is incredibly exhausting to take care of aging parents, especially when so much travel is involved. I do hope you can continue to carve out some You-Time, because it’s so important for the caretaker to take care of one’s self. This latest piece is, as always, simply beautiful. You continue to inspire, Patsy.

    By the way, do you commission someone else to do the basting? ( I can’t remember if you own a long-arm.) If so, that opens up some possibilities for me, because I have a devil of a time with the basting.