Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quilt Happiness

My quilt is working perfectly and is much needed in this chilly room.  One of the best feelings in the world is to see a loved one snuggled under a quilt made with one's own hands.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Chemo Birthday

Tomorrow is Andy's birthday and his first day of chemo.  I could consider this to be his worst or his best birthday ever.  I'm choosing to think of it as his best.  This is the card I just made for him.  The papers I used are actually soft sage greens but they're showing up as lavender in the pic.  The butterfly is purple and the ribbon is a dusty lavender, so maybe they confused my camera.  Happy birthday, darling.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chemo Quilt

This is my first, and last, attempt at machine quilting.  It was, I thought, an unmitigated disaster.  Laura knows the whole sad story.  It was always intended for Andy and he was heartbroken.  You can bring your own blankie to chemo and he wanted his sad, unbound, in pieces quilt, no matter what.  He just sewed some black bias tape around the edges of the largest piece and turned it into a lap quilt, the perfect size for the chemo lounge chair.  Being married to a theater costumer who can sew has many advantages.  This quilt is a survivor.  My beloved husband is too.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Paging Citizen Kane:  I found Rosebud.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Latest Finish

I had to do something quickly because I was bogged in the Slough of Despond; all my projects are so lengthy.  I stitched this up quickly for the thrill of accomplishment.  Pemberley is the name of Mr. Darcy's estate in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and yes, I'd rather be there, thank you very much.  The borders are Regency reproduction fabrics and  perhaps would have been at home as waistcoats for Mr. Darcy.

32 count linen, Silk Mori floss, 2 over 2
Pattern by Sampler Girl

My Quilting Fabric Closet Stash

Under no circumstances allow my husband to see this pic.  Do you think I should get busy?

Rose Quaker Progress Pic!

Here's the first pic I took with my new camera.  It works!

Rose Quaker by Stickideen von der Wiehenburg
32 count linen, DMC floss, 2 over 2


Thursday, February 10, 2011


by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for.
Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.
"Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!"
"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?
I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.
Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.
The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.
"Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another."
He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.
Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.
"This IS a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.
"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!"
In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.
Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.
"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine."
The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood - his own!
"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.
The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.
"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.
The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"
"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket - flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.
"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine."
Such quiet authority in his voice!
The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman - and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.
"Go to work," he said.
After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, an old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.
I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.
The little old Ragman - he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.
Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope - because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.
I did not know - how could I know? - that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.
But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.
Light - pure, hard, demanding light - slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.
Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."
He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Date Night!

We're going to see "Black Swan" and have dinner.  I need to get in touch with my inner ballerina.  Not bad for just having had major surgery, eh?  (Have I been hanging out with a Canadian?)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Not doing well today in my head.  I don't know why today.  We took a trip to the doc to get the stitches out and discuss the oncologist and chemo.  The hospital called to do a follow-up survey on Andy's experience, and he was overwhelmed with emotion and could not speak.  It's hard to listen to my husband cry.  He said he was overwhelmed with gratitude, but it's still hard.  I'm thinking of looking for an American Cancer Society support group for families.  I saw a poster on the wall about their services at the hospital.  I'm not in a good place in my head.  I'm on the elevator going down.