Tag Archives: family

Long weekend with the family

I hope all of you that celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday. We had a small group for dinner and it was a very nice day. The Wednesday prior was a snow day for the local schools so Julia’s weekend was even longer than expected. We didn’t get as much snow as was forecast but what a treat it was.

Ray, Julia, and I went up to Downieville for the rest of the long weekend. Julia brought a friend up too.  On that Saturday we got a text from my middle son, Kyle. Big news! He proposed to his girfriend of five years and she accepted. They are perfect for each other and we couldn’t be happier to have Marisa join our family. The gorgeous picture at the top of the page was taken by Ian (my youngest son) on a recent vacation he had with Kyle and Marisa. In this picture they were at Niagra Falls.

With all that was going on, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to sew. Also, it was a physical impossibility. When Ian is home, he uses the sewing room as his bedroom and this happens:


To his credit, he did ask me on multiple occasions if I wanted him to clear a path to the sewing machine. There wasn’t time for it anyway so it was not a big deal.

Last night when we got home from Downieville I decided to cut into a piece of fabric I bought last week. I was at Jo-Ann Fabric and had one of their always-welcome “20% off entire purchase” coupons. Those make me a little crazy. I bought some practical items that I needed for my Etsy shop and then decided I wanted to make a new bathrobe. Prior to my current quilting obssession, I used to sew clothing fairly often. A long while back, I wrote a post about this. Like quilting, garment sewing is a fairly expensive hobby. More often than not, I can buy the ready-made garment for less than I can sew it. But again like quilting, it is more fun to make it. I found this wonderful, soft buttery yellow fabric. With my coveted coupon and the fact that it was already on sale, the expense for the fabric went from $55 to $33. Not too shabby.


It is a very pale yellow and so snuggly. The texture is perfect and there isn’t a nap to worry about when cutting the piecesimage

I knew I would be able to find a pattern to use in my pile of old patterns. This one was missing the pieces to the PJ pants but still had all of the pieces to the robe. It is date stamped 1989 so yep, I have had it around for a while!

imageIsn’t that couple just dreamy in their matching robes?  Too bad I didn’t think to buy enough of the yellow fabric to make Ray a matching robe……  😉 I got the pieces laid out and cut last night so I am ready to go.  (Well, maybe I should vacuum first. I cut the pieces in my dining room because I was working with a four yard length of fabric. There is yellow fuzz floating around throughout the house now.) This bathrobe consists of a few long seams and putting two pockets on the front so it will come together quickly.  I’m looking forward to working on it. Sewing from a pattern is something that I have done for so long that I don’t really have to think about it. It is mindless sewing – as compared to quilting where I have to watch myself all along the way. In fact, this will come together fast enough that I will call it my December goal for ALYOF. I didn’t set a goal at all in November and didn’t meet my goal for October so it is time to get back on track!


Happy Monday everyone!

Linking to Molli Sparkle’s Sunday Stash, ALYOF at Sew Bittersweet Designs as well as Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Wednesday WIP

You know that feeling when you have been down with a bug for a while and you finally feel better? That happy feeling of being able to have normal days, doing normal things? And it feels so good to just be back to normal?  Well that is kind of how this week feels.

It has been three weeks since Mom’s heart surgery. This week she has made some really big improvements and is feeling so much better. She looks wonderful and is up and doing little things here and there. Consequently, we all feel better! I don’t know if this is how all families are, but when one of us is down, we each have this sympathetic /empathetic thing that causes the rest of us to be down. And we know this about each other. When Mom was in the hospital, moving from bed to chair to walker was intense. It was so hard and it really hurt. The first couple of times the nurse came in to tell her it was time to get up and move from chair to bed, Mom would tell us to leave the room for a minute.  She would say, “If you watch, you’ll hurt too.  No need for that.” She knew how hard it was for us to be watching her.  But now, three weeks later, she is on the road to recovery and looking great.  Such a relief! We are endlessly, completely grateful for her good health.

Today I did normal stuff. Enjoyed cleaning my house and catching up on laundry! (Pretty exciting, right? Honestly, it was.) I also decided I had better do something with the apples that have been sitting in my basement for more than a month now.


My in-laws have a small apple orchard and we went and picked apples a long while back. I made a large pot of applesauce with the last of the apples. Yum. Our family loves homemade applesauce, chunky with lots of cinnamon.


Even our hens were happy about this. They get all the scraps. Lucky girls.


I have also been back in the sewing room. Finally! This week I have been workng on my blocks for the brown row of my Classic Stitches BOM quilt. The blocks are so cute.  I started out making 3″ blocks. This was two weeks ago. My brain couldn’t deal with the small, fiddly (as Mari says) pieces. I just couldn’t come up with consistent blocks. It took me forever to get two finished. So, I gave up and went back to 6″ blocks and they are great.


I will get these finished up in the next day or so and stitch them together. The last color of the year is bright green. This is an easy one for me – I love green and have a big tub of scraps to go through. I need to go check in with Mari and see what sort of block she has planned for us this month. It is really crazy that we are coming to the end of this project already!

Lastly, while making applesauce today I was watching the finches. We have lots of them. This little guy settled in way up at the tiptop of our spruce tree.


Hope you are having a wonderfully healthy week filled with the ordinary pleasures of life.

Linking to Let’s Bee Social – the link is at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Gratitude – Part 7

It has been a long while since I have written a gratitude post but, this week life is all about gratitude, so it feels like the thing to do!

A little more than one week ago I posted that I would be away from my sewing room for a while. My mom was in cardiac ICU. She had experienced some odd symptoms and after navigating the maze that is our country’s current insurance system, was finally scheduled for a stress test. They told her that she had a blockage in one artery and would need to have a stent placed. This didn’t sound great but it was ok, she could deal with this. Two days later, she checked into the cardiac outpatient center at a hospital about an hour away. Once they got started, they said a stent wasn’t enough, she would need a triple bypass. This was crazy because mom has been lucky to enjoy very good health. At 80 years old, she volunteers in so many capacities in our town, plays bridge, goes to the gym twice weekly, is in a book club, and the list goes on. We all had a hard time adjusting to the idea that her heart was in such bad shape. Once they got started on the bypass, they found they also had to replace her mitral valve. The day following surgery, Mom suffered a gastro-intestinal bleed and had to have a procedure to correct that. Two days later, the cardiac surgeon found she would need a pacemaker to regulate the heart beat. So, another procedure to place the pacemaker. It was horrible for mom.  She has always been a trouper though and she came through each of these events quite well.

Yesterday my sisters and father brought mom home after 13 days in the hospital. We are all filled with gratitude that she came through this series of events and is home again. We are also thankful for the amazing technology that made all of this possible. It is so amazing what  they can do! A balloon was inserted and ran up into Mom’s heart assisting it until she could be scheduled for surgery.  When the valve was found to be non-functional, it was replaced with a bovine valve (I didn’t know this was even a “thing” that was done. A valve from a cow?)  Next on the list of things we are grateful for are her ICU nurses. Wow! These people are so highly skilled and they took such good care of mom. She had so many IV’s, tube, monitors, and different drugs to keep in balance; it was a huge process. But for the first couple of days she had one-to-one nursing and throughout, she received excellent care. They took care of our family as well. Answering our endless questions (some of them more than once, I am sure.) Reassuring us that whatever was happening was normal or would pass soon. Truly amazing. While we were at the hospital our family was in constant communication. My sisters and I would text updates and questions. I was texting with my own children, giving them Grammy updates. I had a list of a few of mom’s friends who wanted daily updates as well.  So I suppose I am grateful for the technology that allowed all of us to be in constant communication during a very stressful time. It was such a weird time. If I was at the hospital, I felt better about being able to see mom and observe all that was going on.  The days that I wasn’t there I felt restless and sort of agitated. It was hard to get anything done. The communication with whichever sister was at the hospital at the time was really helpful. I know my sisters felt the same. So, yes, we are grateful to Apple and Verizon both!  😉

So……surprises are the best, aren’t they?  Well, in the midst of all of this misery that our family was dealing with, I received the sweetest, most unexpected, surprise in the mail. It came on a day when I was really tired and just so unhappy. I stopped by to pick up the mail (we have rural mailboxes and they are about 1/2 mile from the house) on my way home from the hospital. Inside was a package from Janine. Janine is an amazing quilter who writes a sweet quilty blog over at Quilts From the Little House.


I knew what it was when I saw the package. She had recently posted about making some mug rugs for gifts. I certainly didn’t think one was going to be sent to me though.  I sat in the car and opened it up and cried some more (lots of crying over the past couple of weeks!) Her note was so sweet and the stitching on the tiny quilt so perfect. It really touched me.


I have been using it over the past couple of days and I tear up each time. It reminds me how lucky I am to have found this community of kindness. I have enjoyed exchanging emails with Janine ever since we found each other’s blogs over a year ago.

Maybe I will put it up on my wall with my other mini’s. Then I will see it whenever I am sitting at my machine.


Thank you Janine! I so appreciate your kindness.

Linking to Let’s Bee Social.


Going to be out for a bit

Hi everyone,

Our family has some stuff going on so I am going to be otherwise occupied for a while. That means no sewing and no time at the computer, which means Needle and Foot will be on the quiet side for a bit. Just wanted to let you know. I am reading blogs when I can and enjoying keeping up with your projects until I get back at it! Hope all is well with everyone and I look forward to joining in again soon.


Take care all,


Family Weekend

Last weekend was fantastic. My sisters and I try to get together annually to spend a few days catching up. Usually we rent a place or go to my sister’s in Saratoga. However this weekend we mixed it up and they came up to my house. I live about 15 miles from my parents. With everyone here, we could have a weekend that included the whole family, or as we called it the Great Eight weekend.

If you consider it, I would bet it isn’t often that a person gets to spend time with their nuclear family. Getting back to the original family, without spouses and grandkids and great-grandkids was really fun. Not that we don’t all love our current families and kids, but it was so nice to have a time to reminisce and celebrate our “first” family. (This picture was taken in 1964 so it was before the youngest was born.  Sorry Alicia.)

family pic

We had a lot to celebrate. Both of my parents had their 80th birthdays in the last nine months. We toasted to their health and happiness. (Check out their t-shirts. My maiden name is Delgado. There is a college in Louisiana called Delgado College. We all have their shirts!)

mom and dad

Next we celebrated my sister Patti. She spent the last ten months being treated for breast cancer. She endured surgeries, a horrid four months of chemo and then several months of daily radiation. It was awful and she was amazing throughout. There are no words that describe our relief that treatments are finished and she doesn’t have to see her oncologist except for routine check-ups now. She is working hard on getting her strength back, building some muscle mass, and above all trying to be patient as her hair grows back (soooo slowly!)

We had time on Saturday with just the sisters. We took a walk but mostly that looked like this:


We had breakfast out and then came home and tried to focus on some yoga. No pictures there but it wasn’t terribly different from the walk.

Finally we got a group shot with Patti’s new license plate. She grabbed it for California and Juanita grabbed it for Colorado (hers hasn’t come in yet.) I love it!!

6 sistas

My best friends!

For a token report on action in the sewing room – I am putting sleeves on two of my three quilts that will hang next weekend in the quilt show up in Downieville.This show isn’t judged. I am easing into this whole show process. Maybe a juried show is in the future but certainly not yet!

Also working on so many items for my Etsy shop. Here is a small sampling:

etsy collage

Lots of Chemex covers, a few mats for pet water bowls, lots of clothespin bags.  Business is really picking up. I also shipped a custom order yesterday and have two more in line. This shop definitely takes a large portion of my sewing time, but in return, it pays for (most of) my fabric addiction. I think that between now and December, I will not accomplish a lot of personal quilting. I hope to get the Kaffe Fassett quilt backing today. That project will be worked in between the others. Beyond that, things will have to wait.

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Love and Good Luck Rolled Up in a Quilt

This is the greatest story and it led to the sweetest quilt I have made yet. Get your tissues ready!

My daughter-in-law, Naomi, has a wonderful family. (Side note, isn’t it cool that when my son married, I gained not just my DIL but also some really nice friends from her family??)  Included in her family are her mom, two brothers and her sister-in-law. Just today I finished an adorable quilt for her sister-in-law, brother and the baby they are expecting in September. The story of this baby is pretty darned amazing.

Margot and TJ (these are their real names – Margot blogs at Find Your Spark and uses their names publically so I have done the same) have been trying to have a baby for years. This has been a really rough time for them. Margot has been pregnant numerous times and has miscarried at various stages of pregnancy. (This post tells part of her story.) It has been really painful for both of them. I can relate somewhat to this sort of pain. I miscarried a child a long while back. It was my third child and I lost the baby at 14 weeks. It was a painful experience that took some time to grieve. But this happened to me only once. And it was after having two healthy babies and before having two more healthy babies. Margot has gone through this repeatedly and has not (yet) had the joy of holding her baby or bringing the baby home. That sort of pain and frustration is truly torturous.

After years of this, they decided last December to take an alternative route to their goal of having a family. Margot and TJ are working with a surrogate. You can read all about their decision and experience on her blog – the story of the surrogacy begins with this post.  The surrogacy agency they are using is located in Mumbai, India. To say that 2015 has been an exciting year for them is a huge understatement. They went to India at Christmas last year and were able to achieve a successful surrogate pregnancy. They have been in constant communication with the agency and the surrogate mother and everything is going along perfectly. Their sweet baby is due to arrive in September. Margot and TJ will be going back to India in several weeks to wait for the birth of their baby. I am so dang happy for them.

When a quilter knows a new baby is coming there is only one way to respond, right? Today I mailed off this quilt to New York and I am hoping that it brings great joy to Margot and TJ.


I know that they are incorporating elephants into the baby’s nursery. Elephants are a symbol of good fortune in India and I am pretty sure that Margot and TJ will be forever grateful for this woman who has given of herself to birth their child for them. Good fortune? Oh yeah. In India, elephants  represent Ganesha, one of the most important gods in Hinduism. Ganesha is the god of success and the destroyer of evil and obstacles – perfect! For more details on this, here is a site to read. With elephants being symbolic for their family, I used that as the theme for the quilt.

The pattern is a simple stripe with the two focus fabrics cut in widths ranging from two to six inches. Just like the green and white quilt that I made a few weeks ago, I have the stripes arranged from narrow to wide widths, in alternating order. The pattern is Firefly, by Canoe Ridge Creations. I went with a color scheme of gray and yellow. They don’t know the sex of the baby so these colors are gender-neutral.  Finding this elephant print, “Oh Boy” by Riley Blake was a perfect choice for the backing and binding.

IMG_20150722_3578 Those tiny elephants are sweet in every way. The yellow dot on the front is from the “Mixology” line by Studio for Moda. I can’t honestly remember which gray I used. My favorite part of the quilt is the elephant that I thread sketched at the bottom, on the widest gray stripe.

IMG_20150722_3577To create this little guy I took the backing fabric and made of copy of it on my printer/copier. I kept enlarging it until the size felt right. Then I cut him out and traced a rough shape right on to the quilt. (Actually I made several of them on practice fabric first.) It is hard to tell from the picture but I used three different shades of gray thread so that the elephant would have some definition. I love him. (Why do I keep calling the elephant ‘him’? Is that an omen for Baby Guy? We will know in just two short months!)


To quilt this piece, I used organic wavy lines that were sewn with my walking foot. I didn’t space them too close as I wanted it to be really soft when washed. The binding is double fold as usual, and I machine stitched it to the front and back. Going for baby-proof durability here. After I washed it, the quilt measured 36″ x 36″. Hopefully this quilt will be used and washed and then used some more. It will hold up well for outings to the park, rolling around on the floor, tummy time, and then eventually fort making, pretend play, and so many naps.


A quilt filled with good fortune and love all rolled up in one for a very special baby.

Linking to Lorna at Let’s Bee Social and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Charitable Donation Winner

Hi Everyone!  Happy Tuesday. Wow, as always, summer came quick.  Never fails that the temp jumps from mild to crazy hot in a matter of days around here.  We were floating along with lovely 78 degree temps and it is in the high 90’s this week. I am not a fan of hot weather. Makes me ever so grateful for the A/C unit.  The older I get, the more I dislike hot weather (thank you menopause.)

One positive side to the heat is that my husband’s berry patch is going crazy. We have blueberries and boysenberries that are ripening and they are so yummy. Right now we are picking about 5 pints daily of the two combined (more boysen’s than blue’s). Ray is all about making jam so I suspect that he will take over the kitchen on Sunday and put up jam.  When he does this, I happily become chief bottle washer and he does the rest.


Thanks to everyone who entered my blogiversary celebration giveaway by leaving me a comment about their favorite non-profit. I truly enjoyed reading through each comment and found it interesting to see what everyone holds near and dear to their heart. If you haven’t read the post, I offered to donate $25 to the winner’s favorite charity. My sister, Patti, then piped up with an offer to match my donation, bringing it up to $50.  Because, you know, she’s awesome like that. 🙂

And the winner is………..  Number 9, Sarah Goer!! Sarah was one of the first virtual quilty friends I made when I began this blog last summer. A talented quilter and writer, Sarah is also a stay at home mom to two little ones. I enjoy her blog and especially love reading about the projects she does with (and for) her kiddos.  Her son (about 5-ish years old) is on his second quilting project already!  Do yourself a favor and take a peek at her blog, Things I Make.  Sarah left a wonderful comment as an entry to my giveaway.  See what you think:

“Happy blogiversary! What a special and unique giveaway. And thank you Patti for contributing as well! The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has a special place in my heart as my friend’s 18-year-old daughter (who I’ve known since she was 2 or 3) is living with CF. She just graduated from high school and is on her way to college. I admire how hard she has worked while also having daily treatments and regular hospital stays to deal with her CF.”

In honor of Sarah’s friend, $50 has been donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

Finally, here is a peak at the quilting I am doing on the batik Honeymoon quilt.  It is a traditional nine patch pattern with each block being made up of nine 5″ charm squares.  The center of each nine patch is a blue square which I quilted with a large flower of one sort or another.


I have all twelve of the flowers done and just started the filler pattern to go around the flowers. I am doing a leafy vine.

fmq2It is kind of difficult to see the pattern against this particular batik because is it so busy and leafy. This is the only square I have done so far though.  I think I should be able to get this finished up fairly soon. Seems like it is going quickly.

That’s it for now. Wishing each of you a wonderful summery week!  The season for iced coffee, iced tea, iced water… get the idea? Stay cool and enjoy.

Linking to Freemotion Mavericks, Sew Cute Tuesday and Freemotion by the River. Links to all of these sites are available at the top of this page, under Link Ups.


Gratitude Week Two

This post is the second in a series on gratitude, or counting one’s blessings. The idea to write about appreciation was inspired by Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl (Yvonne happens to be an amazing quilter by the way. If you haven’t already, please take a look at her work.)

When I was working full-time I went out to lunch one day with friends for Chinese food. I received the following message in my fortune cookie. It said “Enough is as good as a feast”. I love this saying, which is a Buddhist proverb. I had it taped to my computer monitor in my office for years and would look at it often. For me it was, and still is, a powerful reminder that one doesn’t have to have stuff; the newest cars, the trendiest clothes or the biggest stash of fabric, to be content. If you have enough (I interpret that as the basics) then you have a veritable feast.

I have enough, for which I am so grateful and because of which, I am content. There is food in our cupboard and a roof over our heads. I am fortunate. When we lose sight of all that we have, if we are always desiring more, we miss the opportunity to experience the joy of appreciating life at that moment.

So, this week, I am focused on feeling grateful for the pantry that feeds us (messy though it is) and the home we live in (again, messy though it is!) It is enough.

Note: The picture of our home is from last spring. It ihas been ridiculously warm here but I certainly don’t have peonies and iris in bloom yet!!

Linking to Thankful Thursday at Quilting Jet Girl today.