Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow! Third Day In a Row!

So yesterday I posted about the layer cake quilt I was putting together for my Mom-in-law, but I had no pictures...

Well, I finished piecing it yesterday (except for the borders), and I actually took pictures too!! =-)

So here you have it - Lottie's quilt (in progress)

The whole thing (taken from the upstairs balcony):

A close-up:

Another close-up:

The colors aren't coming out very well. I used Kitty's camera instead of Bunny's expensive one, so... It is what it is. You get the idea, anyway.
They really are rich colors. My sister asked me what colors are in this one and I couldn't answer her, other than, "Lots of colors!" (Yep, I have blonde moments frequently.)
Anyway, for those of you who follow me...
"Really?! Three days of posts in a row?!"
Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Lied...

I didn't intend to, though!
(That makes it okay, right..? Right?!)

Yesterday I said I was going to leave you to go work on Bunny's quilt...
But I didn't.
I am trying to keep Bunny from seeing her quilt until I get it done, and her boyfriend is out of town... so she's been home most of the time...
Kinda' makes it difficult to quilt without her seeing, when my machine is in the dining room and I have to keep laying it out on the living room floor! =-P

Anyway... Long way around to let you know that instead of working on Bunny's, I actually started one for my Mom-in-law, "L"! I wish I had a picture of the fabric. I even went here

to try to find one...
But apparently it's an "old" one.
I'm making L's quilt out of "Symphony" by Sentimental Studios from a layer cake by Moda. Boyfriend picked it out. I'm really liking it!
Kitty, however, doesn't think it's really her Granny's type of fabrics...

Oh well! It's already started, so... Too bad!

Besides, if her one & only son picked it out, and her only daughter-in-law is making if specially for her, then I'm fairly sure she'll love it.

I'm going the easy route and just using the layer cake "as is" - I'm using the 10 inch squares and joining them with strips of black, so it'll kinda be reminiscent (sp?) of a window... If you use your imagination, I guess.

But it's gonna be nice! And it's gonna be easy! That's important since Bunny's has been soooo involved, and something that's really making me think!


as soon as I get pictures,

I'll post 'em so you can see 'em! =-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Does He...?

Does he remember the Korean War, from which he received a Purple Heart? Does he remember their wedding day, which was over 50 years ago? Does he remember the day any of his three children were born? Does he remember... anything at all... ?

We went to Virginia this past weekend to visit my in-laws. My Father-in-law has dementia and brain atrophy (his brain is shrinking). I talked a bit about it in a previous post.

I really don't know if he remembers anything at all because he really doesn't talk now. If we ask him a question, he pauses, thinks, sometimes moves his lips just the slllightest bit, and then either nods or shakes his head. If he replies at all. I don't think he even spoke ten words the entire weekend! I think a small part of it may be because when my Mom-in-law asks him something, she doesn't wait for him to work things out in his head first. She asks, he starts to ponder, and then she asks again...
I don't know...

But do not interpret that as me being accusing or anything! 'Cause I am not accusing anyone of anything!

All I know for certain is:

this sucks!!!

And if you already read my very first post, you also know that my Mom has Alzheimer's... so I have a bunch more of similar/different crap to look forward to!

I apologize!!! I did not start this out to be some depressing diatribe or something!

I started it just to let you know that Boyfriend and I went to Virginia on Saturday morning and got back yesterday evening. We had a good visit. Boyfriend's Mom is doing well. His sister lives next door to them, and she's having a good summer (she's a teacher). She helps her parents out on a daily/mostly daily basis.

But now they at least have someone from the V.A. (Veteran's Administration) coming out for a few hours most-every-weekday to help out. Someone comes and Mom-in-law can get out of the house to get her hair fixed (a weekly ritual with her sister), or to go grocery shopping, or for whatever reason. It gives the two of them a much-needed break. And we are all thankful for it!

If it weren't for the V.A. I'm not sure what we'd do.

I'm not sure what the Medicaid rules are in your state, but in NC and VA, it's really bleak for anyone who's in the middle bracket of financial stability (or whatever you call it ... middle-class?).
Someone like my Mom's husband, who's a millionaire, will never have to worry about Medicaid, and someone who is poor and depends on the State already, has nothing to lose either.
It's all the people in the middle of those two extremes who have the most to lose.

For instance: If my Father-in-law falls or has a stroke or whatever and needs to go to a Nursing Home (or round-the-clock in-home care), Medicaid will kick in (if she chooses). Then my Mom-in-law will have to give half of everything (except the house) to Medicaid before they'll pay anything to the Nursing Home. 401K? Has to be cashed and half goes to the state. Bonds, stocks, savings? Half of it has to go to the State.
And if her husband dies the next day or the next week or the next month? Medicaid does not pro-rate anything, and they don't give her back any of her money! It's just gone!

I understand that Medicaid has to get its money from somewhere, but, DAMN!!!
This man has worked hard all his life to make sure that his wife is well taken care of in her old age, whether he's there or not! He didn't do it just to give half of everything to the State!

So maybe you think you'll just give half of your money to your children first, before Medicaid kicks in? Think again! You have to give your children whatever-it-is (the house, money, whatever) at least SIX YEARS before you start using Medicaid - or else the kids'll have to give it back! (Time varies by State. For NC & VA it used to be three, then five, and now it's six years. Who knows when they'll change it again?!)

And if it's just you? Guess what the State gets? Yep. EVERYTHING.
For instance, Kitty's boyfriend's Dad died two years ago (cancer), so now it's just B and his Mom. If she has a stroke today and needs to go into a home (or round-the-clock care), she can't afford to pay for all of that by herself, so Medicaid would need to kick in... Well, guess where that would leave B?
Medicaid (i.e. the State) would take everything, cash in everything, so his Mom could be taken care of by the State/Medicaid.

I know. Sad.
He's 19 and nowhere near ready to take care of himself. He doesn't have a job, savings or anything. He still lives at home. I could go on, but I think you have the picture.

Check out the Medicaid laws in your state. It's really heartbreaking! And we have more information than the "average joe" because we've hired an attorney who specializes in Medicaid!

Okay, okay...
I'll stop ranting and raving now.

I'm going to go work on Bunny's quilt!
It's coming along nicely, thank you! =-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Still Kickin'...

Yes, I'm still here.

Yes, I'm still working on Bunny's quilt.
It keeps changing and growing, though, so it's still "in progress". I think I finished the front last night. Not positive, though. I'm still thinking about putting either a frog or lizard or something on it...

But day before yesterday I bought some material for the backing. I asked my carpenter husband what size the quilt is, and he estimated, "Oh, 6 by 7." Well, I went and bought four yards for the back, because that would be 12 feet, right? Cut that in half, sew the two halves together, and that makes it 6 feet by 88 inches (approx. 7 feet), right?...
Well, guess what?!
Of course!

(And no, those are not happy-caps!)

So now I'm trying to decide what to do. Do I make up some traditional blocks for the back that I can put on one end? Or perhaps make some black-and-white checkerboard for one end?

I had intended to put a branch with lots of leaves, and a Luna Moth flying around on the backing, so basically it would be double-sided...

But now I don't know!!!

Four yards is too much fabric to just put aside into my "stash"!

Boyfriend did suggest that I use it as the backing for a future quilt that's already sort-of planned. He's so smart. I have a "sort-of" plan for a quilt for Carlos (whom I blogged about previously - he's from Guatemala), and it's gonna be different blues on the front. The fabric in question is a pretty marbled deep blue... Hmmm... Something to ponder...

Anyway, as usual for me, I'm momentarily stuck with this quilt. Trying to think.

"Think, think, think" as Pooh says.

I'll post pictures of the front soon. I'm trying to mess with it when Bunny's not here 'cause I don't want her to see it 'til it's done!

I'm basically happy with it.
It's nothing like it was supposed to be. You know, the original picture that was in my head...

Oh well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Give-away

Katie Cupcake of

is having a give-away of a kit for this cute quilt:

Go check it out! And tell her I sent you and we'll both get "extra credit". =-) I love it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My First Quilt

Camille at "Simplify" has an idea for everyone to post about their first quilt and their latest quilt... To help you see how far you've come and to think about what kind of progress you've made. I like that idea! So here's her link so you too can join in the fun: (the 'rules' are there)

And here's my first quilt... Well, technically my first quilt was a 12" x 12" block that I made into a pillow. It was a red & white 9-patch with a bird stitched into the center patch (sort of like redwork), and I thought I made it up! I'd never read anything about quilts, had no teacher, and knew nothing about what I was doing! (a little like now, except I've read a lot since then!) =-)

Anyway, my first real quilt was made from one I saw in a magazine so long ago that I don't even remember what the magazine was, but the title of the article was something like, "Quilt in a Weekend!"... and I believed it! HAhaha! Can't remember just how long it took me to make it, but it was definitely NOT a weekend. Probably wasn't even a month of weekends! =-)

Yes, that's an Amish-style quilt. I still have it, though it's just thrown in a drawer somewhere... Sad, huh.

Anyway, I'm posting pictures of my latest finished quilt even though you've already seen it earlier:

the front

and the back:

I love this quilt, my daughters love this quilt, and my little sister Lindsey LOVES this quilt, which is a really good thing because she's the one I made it for. =-)

Yes, I've learned quite a few things since that first quilt.

  • Reading about quilting and getting hints and tips from others is a good thing.
  • Dare to try something new!
  • If it doesn't come out like you thought it would, either try again or try to look at it in a new way.
  • There's honestly no shame in ripping out stitches that aren't quite what they should be. (There is, however, frustration. Much frustration!)
  • Inspiration can come from anywhere! Just go with it when you find it. =-)

I've learned other stuff, but it's too early (and with NO caffeine!) for me to be putting so many words together at once. =-)

Okay Camille and Carrie, I hope this is good enough! =-P

A Few Give-Aways

In my perusing of quilters' blogs, I've stumbled across a few give-aways that I thought you'd like to know about.
Christine over at "Front Porch Indiana" is giving away a pattern called "Heritage Sampler" by Lori Smith. Go check it out! (Sorry, but you'll have to copy & paste since I'm not into linking right now... )

Judi at "Green Fairy Quilts" is coming up on her 100th post and having a give-away for it! She's giving away lots of stuff: a pattern with a jelly roll, a quilted tote, a quilt and a honey bun! Go check her stuff out too!

Over on "A Quilting Life" Sherri is having an anniversary give-away:

And Camille over at "Simplify" might be having a give-away if enough people get involved. Copy & paste one more time and see what I'm talking about! =-)

That's it for now! Do you know of any give-aways? Let others know about 'em! =-)

'Til next time...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friends of Old

We went to my Mom's in Beaufort, SC this past Saturday (the 27th). Family friends from Guatemala were in town for the week. We just returned yesterday (the 30th).
Really, it's not like we did anything special.
It's just that we hadn't seen these friends in 10 years!
Yep, you read that right.
Ten Years!!!
I know. That's waaaay too long to go without seeing dear friends! Trust me, I know.
Wait a minute. Let me back up.
In 1974 or '75, my oldest brother Tom went to Guatemala on a student exchange program (AFS - short for American Field Service). He lived there with a family for an entire year!
Watching him depart in the airport was the only time I ever saw my Daddy cry.
Then in '76, Carlos - a friend of the family who later married the only daughter (Maria) of five children in this family - came to stay with us for a few months.
Then Maria came to stay with us for 9 months.
Then my older sister & I sent my parents on a surprise trip to Guatemala for their anniversary - we paid for the flights, got permission from their bosses for them to have the time off and everything! (Trust me, it was my sister who made ALL of the plans!)
Then in '79, I went there for 3 months in the summer and stayed with this same family. I came home with a nice tan and ONE dollar in my pocket! I had my 16th birthday there!
Some time in the '80s, my Mom went there with an old family friend of hers.
Carlos and Maria got married and had three daughters.
In '94, they came here with their daughters and some family & friends, and we all got together.
In '96 my sister went there for a very nice vacation.
Two of their daughters have stayed with us at different times for varying amounts of time.
So you see, we have maintained a special relationship with this family for over 30 years now. We love them dearly.
I don't communicate with them like I should, but they love me still. =-)
And now...
We are tentatively making plans to send our "Baby" to Guatemala next summer...
For six months!
Did I mention that she's my "Baby"?!?
...more to come...