Table Toppers Finally Finished

When every new year comes around I like to try to complete old projects before starting anything new. So far I finished a large applique quilt and some charity quilts that were started last year. 

Now I have some table toppers on my radar to complete. I made them back in spring and quilted them over the summer. And then they sat.

I dug out the binding fabrics and got them done today. It felt good to get them finished.

I will post them to my Etsy page by the end of the week and get them packed away. There's no better feeling than when an old project gets finished.  With these completed, I broke down and started some new things.

This will be a travel tote bag when it's done:

This is Lori Holt's Zippy Bag panel. I can't wait to make these:

And this is a new quilt project:

I do have a few more old projects to complete yet but I felt like I could reward myself by starting some new ones. Haha!


Quilts for Kids Truck Panel Quilts

I was part of a Wednesday afternoon quilt group at the local senior center prior to the pandemic. Once the center closed down, I wasn't sure I would go back. Even though I loved the company of quilting friends, I did not enjoy hauling my heavy machine, quilting tools and projects each week. Our group met from noon until 3 each week and sometimes it felt like I had just got my machine set up when I had to turn around and put everything away. When the center opened back up, I did not return.

My friend Sue always asked if I was coming back as she has been going for the last year. I finally decided to return. In order to make things easier on myself, the first week back I brought my flea market flower quilt and hand stitched the binding on. No machine necessary! It was a nice relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

This week I really wanted to finish some Quilt for Kids projects. I just took them off the longarmer and all that needed to be done was the binding. I ended up hauling my machine. It was a lot to lug but I was happy to get the projects finished. 

I had a bunch of truck themed fabrics that had a panel print. I used my go-to pattern to make quilt tops that incorporated the panels. It was fun to work in such bright cheery colors. 

Even though it wasn't a big deal to pack up my sewing machine and take it to the senior center, I'm still going to try to leave the machine at home.


Flea Market Flowers Sew Along

I started the Flea Market Flowers quilt along back in spring but I didn't get very far. I was interrupted by the need to make a wedding quilt. Once I completed that I was spent on quilting for a while. I hate to make excuses so I knew I had to finish this one and my goal was to get it done before the end of the year.

This quilt pattern is free on Lori Holt's blog. Each week we were to make a Dresden block. It's nice that I can go back to each week's instructions and work the project all the way through even though the quilt along is done.


There were so many flower petals to make. In fact, I counted them. There were 480 Dresden flower petals in all and there were also 68 leaves. 

Even though I did not make the end of year deadline, I did have the quilt top completed by New Year's Eve. That in itself was quite an accomplishment considering my recent appendectomy. But again, no excuses!  These poor lonely quilt blocks have been hanging on my design board all summer long. Not to mention all of fall too.

I finally loaded the quilt on my longarmer on January 3rd. 

I used a pantograph called Citrine for the quilting design.

I sewed the rick rack and the binding on during the week. And I finished the quilt label yesterday. 

Yay! All done...


Salsa and Basketball

Yesterday I finally felt like myself again. So I got up with the attitude that it's a new year so let's start it out right. I am going to get all the summer tomatoes that I blanched and froze out of the freezer and make some salsa. 

That meant washing and sterilizing lots of jars followed by chopping lots of vegetables. 

It was a good day to get this done. I started around 8:30 and I was done by 10:30. That sure felt good. It's been on my to-do list for a while so I was very happy to get it accomplished. My husband was thrilled - it's one of his favorite things. 

We're trying not to push my post-surgical recovery too hard so we went downtown where we enjoyed a nice dinner followed by attending the Milwaukee Bucks game. It's too bad they lost but we had a good time getting out of the house.


Pet Beds and an Etsy Sale

One of the things I like to do every year is make pet beds for charity. My church takes donated items to the local no-kill dog and cat shelter at Christmastime. 

I make pet beds using old repurposed denim jeans on one side and soft fleece on the other side. In inside is stuffed with batting scraps that I save up throughout the year. It's a great way to keep the scraps out of the landfill.

They aren't the prettiest pet beds around but they are very practical.  And I am happy to be able to complete them in time to turn them in at church considering I just had surgery.

And just when I thought I could relax, I sold a quilt on Etsy. Here we are three days before Christmas and I'm packaging up a quilt to ship. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining but it was a little stressful getting it out the door quickly. I am always grateful for my Etsy customers and I hope the recipient likes it.


A Little Christmas

Since I have to lay low this holiday season, there's not much going on. I did manage to get a Christmas tree up and I love how nice it looks. It's much smaller than we're used to and I think this will be come a tradition. It takes up so little space and I like it. 

Since the tree is much smaller, I set up a table next to it with a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. What fun it will be to complete it with the help of family members! 

I am really enjoying this holiday season. Here's the view out of my bedroom window.  

I had no idea slowing down could be so wonderful.

December Client Quilts

I agreed to longarm one quilt this month. With the upcoming holidays I didn't want the added pressure of having to work on longarming for others so I can post a client quilt summary way before the end of the month. Ha! 

This quilt is an anniversary gift for Jill, the quilt top maker's husband. 

Jill confided in me that she did not like how the quilt turned out. She said she had issues with the borders where she did not have enough fabric. 

She ended up adding cornerstones to the quilt border in order to have enough.

I find that the quilt is a little busy. The fabrics coordinate well, but my eye doesn't find a resting place. I wonder if some solids would have been a better choice in some of the blocks?

It really is a nice man's quilt though. I longarmed it with a pantograph called Ripples and the stitching does look just like ripples in a pond. A perfect compliment to Jill's hard work!

I hope her husband likes the quilt. There's nothing better than a homemade gift of love.


An Emergency Appendectomy

The holiday season has taken a strange turn for me. I have so many plans. But the universe apparently has something else in mind for me. 

I came home from working at the quilt shop yesterday with a belly ache. I couldn't eat my dinner and proceeded to throw up throughout the night. I was hoping that would make me feel better but by morning it was evident it was not to be. It felt so weirdly different that most belly pain I've had. I chose to go to my online medical portal to make an appointment with urgent care. I picked the first available appointment and worked my way through the list of questions regarding my reason for the visit. Once I completed the last answer, the program told me I cannot make an appointment, I must go to the emergency room immediately. Wow.

I alerted my husband to please get dressed because we have to go. At 8:55 am I walked into a very quiet emergency room, or so I thought. There was one person waiting when I got there and one who came in right behind me. I was immediately taken in for vitals and I was surprised as they hooked me up to an IV right away. They took blood from the IV and sent it to the lab. After asking me a few questions about my pain they administered morphine through the IV and apologized as they had me wait in a conference room. The reason for that was they were so full of covid patients there were no beds available in the ER. So I sat in a meeting room chair with my feet up on another chair. 

The physicians' assistant who was taking care of me came to tell me that my white blood count was high which was a sign that I'm fighting off something so they were going to do an abdominal CT scan. I can't believe how fast they were on it. It wasn't even 10 am yet and already I was headed to the CT unit. 

They did the scan and by 11 am the PA came to tell me I had appendicitis and they would need to remove my appendix. I was a little out of it from the morphine so I asked if they were going to do it this week? He says today! Oh yeah...pain... I wasn't shocked or surprised or scared, all I could feel was grateful. Grateful that this most likely wasn't going to kill me and even better, it was going to be fixed for good, unlike a chronic illness. They also told me they hoped to send me home the same day because there are no beds available to stay overnight. I would end up sleeping in a hallway and they wanted me to be prepared for that. So now comes the wait to get it over with. 

The surgeon turned out to be the partner of the surgeon who assisted with my spine surgery a few years back. That made me feel more comfortable. I was wheeled to a surgical unit on the 5th floor of the hospital around 1 pm. There I met the surgeon's assistant to asked me lots of questions about my health and prepped me for what to expect. And since I had a negative covid test, they let my husband in to sit with me. Surgery was scheduled for 2:30 but I ended up not going in until closer to 3:30. 

Once I came out of surgery, the nurse told me I was lucky to be in such good health. That meant I could go home as soon as my vital signs stabilized and I was fully awake. 

I was home in my recliner with an ice pack by 6 pm, just in time to watch Jeopardy. It also seems someone was worried about me. I don't think he's going to move from that spot this evening. I feel so lucky to have had such a good experience. The surgeon told my husband that my appendix was 'red-hot' so I was fortunate that it didn't burst. It was a good reminder to pay attention to your body and to appreciate my husband for taking such good care of me. It's good to be home.