Friday, May 26, 2017

Back in the Groove, Sort of...

Jet lag is real.Even though there's only a 7 hour time difference between Chicago and Paris, we felt it.  The first day home I tried to pay for a Starbucks with my driver's license, which I grabbed before walking to town.  Luckily, the people in that shop know me and let me have my drink on credit.  Knowing I wouldn't be at my sharpest, I purposely left two projects which require lots of repetitive sewing.  This is a jelly roll set of fabric from Janet Clare's Aubade line my Moda.  These fabrics have a softness that remind me of Cristina, the young lady who has been quiting with me for 14 years.  While she has made several quilts - including quilts for others - in my studio.
 In all these years I have never made Cristina a quilt.  She has earned for BFA from Iowa and her Graphic Design certificate from COD and is living in her first apartment, a terrific loft in Pilson.  So this quilt is for her.  These are just the building blocks so far.  It's a special pressure doing something for someone with such a strong sense of design.  But I am going to pull out all the tricks I've taught her over the years and combine them with what she has taught me.

Julie's quilt is still on the floor.  It needs some borders so that it can be used as a bed quilt.  And I think I am going to make her some matching pillow cases.  I am intending this quilt to be light and airy and a nice contrast from the last quilt I made her.  With both of these quilts, I have loved touching all these fabrics but don't necessarily want them in my house.  So it's good to make these for people I love.
The only significance of this picture is the upper narrow shelf.  It has five sets of fabric that I am eager to turn into purses or totes.  But not right now...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Leaving the Country and Coming Home to Medical Procedure

It's always a stress - albeit a good one - in getting ready to leave the country.  The "what if..." is always present.  So I'm trying to wrap things up before we head to Paris, Normandy, and the Loire Valley this Saturday.  What I worked hard to complete are two t-shirt quilts:

These quilts are for siblings.  Both went to St. Xavier for elementary school and Lyons Township for high school.  The red and yellow one is for the one who is graduating from Iowa State.  Now, all three of Janice's children have t-shirt quilts that will last their lifetimes.

This quilt is in 8 columns on the design wall.  I am hoping to get this into one piece before we leave.  John's middle child Julie is moving to Atlanta in August.  We are going to miss her dreadfully.  Somehow making this quilt is assuaging these feelings a bit, and we will just have to visit her often - and sleep under this quilt.  Her son Ryan, our oldest grandchild, just graduated from Ball State last weekend.  Ryan's brother Brandon is graduating from Lyons Township this month - he's heading to Colorado State.  And grandson Jack Mo is graduating this month, too - he's college-bound but I haven't heard his decision yet.  Big changes for our family!

At the recent Chicago MQG retreat in Racine, after making the blocks for Julie's quilt, I played - in 3-D.  I love quilts because they are flat.  So doing something dimensional is challenging for me.  Luckily, guildsters Melissa, Eileen, and Holly were there for some hand-holding. Sarah E just didn't seem to have the same issues I did.  I think I will try these patterns again.  Both require separating zippers, but these patterns are great fun.

And I tried - or am still trying - to redeem this retreat project from years ago.  I made additional blocks and now am pondering whether I want to sew them together and sub cut them or - ....

As often as I try to put these fabrics and these straps and this zipper and this pattern away, they all keep making their way back into a pile.  So this means a new duffel or tote pretty soon. 

The medical procedure is a GI one - my lower esophageal sphincter isn't working correctly.  My local GI referred me to Northwestern, and the Northwestern docs say this issue needs treatment.  I think it will be a minor one, but it's still surgery and I am figuring out - thanks to the Interventional Radiologists who worked wonders on me two years ago - the whole blood thinning issue and what to take to "bridge" the blood thinning while I stop my regular medication.  I am thrilled to have good insurance and some many terrific doctors.  And best of all?  One of my quilties, Holly, works at Northwestern and is terrific at hand-holding!

Recuperation will involved a one-night hospital stay and then a week of liquids and a week of stuff through straws.  Since I won't be able to focus on food, I can see a lot of sewing in my future the first 2 weeks of June.  A good thing...