Quilter’s Patch – Block of the Month – January

The minute I laid my eyeballs on Edyta Sitar’s Quilter’s Patch quilt featured on the Fat Quarter Shop’s website, I was in serious love. Sitar, of Laundry Basket Quilts, is one of my favorite quilt designers. Her butterfly and elephant quilts are currently in my quilting queue to be pieced.

I could tell from the Quilter’s Patch photograph, the quilt would be a challenge using a variety of piecing techniques. And since I don’t really have a beautiful quilt that screams “SPRING” in my little quilt collection, this one was going to be IT! I reserved a spot on their website for the block-of-the-month quilt late last year.

So January’s installment arrived a couple of weeks back, along with Edyta Sitar’s book, and I just this moment finished my first two blocks. The year-long project features first the Cosmos and Delphiniums flower blocks. Lot of fabric pieces to piece … great directions … no shortage of fabric. This is my second block-of-the-month through Fat Quarter Shop’s website. They are pros and do a great job! Hopefully, I can keep up the piecing pace to have all the blocks finished during the proper month.

I understand this block-of-the-month is full, but Edyta Sitar’s awesome book is available. I feel certain for the adventurous soul, it would be fun to come up with alternate color choices. Happy piecing!

A cancer journey – coming off the clinical trial

Yesterday, Rick did his usual early morning bloodletting in anticipation of perhaps another immunotherapy infusion of nivolumnab. It was not to be. Rick’s lipase was 3,082 (normal is between 23 and 300) and during the past two weeks he has felt it. So … Rick is officially off the clinical trial. The nivolumnab is not being kind to his pancreas and essentially the important organ has made it perfectly clear Rick’s body has had enough … for now.

From a cancer perspective, the drug has done amazing things and we are over the moon about his progress. In February of 2016, thoughts were creeping into our minds a funeral was on the horizon. We were so close to the edge of the cliff. Today, Rick and I are making travel plans for adventures, grandson Baby Ben’s baptism, grandson Jacob’s third birthday, our son Ricky’s graduation with a Master’s (party time!) and so much more. Did I mention Rick and I will celebrate 45 years of marriage in May? I know … 2017 is going to be a great year.

Another round of steroids was prescribed … and amazingly … today Rick is feeling better.

So what happened in 2016? We did some really hard work at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in 2016. Along with tons of prayers, love and support, some incredible healing happened. Some time this year I want to write about all the people that helped us with our special needs daughter, Mimi. An important part of the story I have left out.

I calculate Rick had at least 40 tests (most of them bloodwork, scans, etc.), 34 physician visits, one huge surgery with a 5-day stay to remove his left kidney, three initial immunotherapy drug infusions of nivolumnab and bevacizumab, 11 immunotherapy infusions of nivolumnab after surgery, and three missed infusions due to high lipase levels. What can I say … Rick is a “rock star.” Took him ten months to kick nearly all those tumors down the road and into a ditch.

2017 is going to be a little different. We go back to see Dr. Campbell, Rick’s oncologist, next week to discuss the plan and make sure his pancreas has recovered. It appears Rick will be put on an oral medication that cuts off the blood supply to the remaining tumors. Scans will still occur every three months … and not so many visits to MDA. Can I hear an “amen?”

Quilting projects finished in 2016!

pop-pop-and-dr-jacob
So taking a look back on 2016, when the year began I would have never guessed the subject of cancer would have overtaken this blog, and our life. But it did. Hubby is doing great. But he is just halfway through treatment.

So despite how the year unfolded, I still found time to finish five quilting projects. A few of the quilt projects had been started in 2015. For me … the creative outlet of cutting big colorful pieces of fabric into little pieces, and then sewing them back together, is a huge stress reliever. Sounds crazy … I know. But quilters totally get it!

The projects finished include an I Spy quilt for St. Martha’s Catholic School fundraiser. I used a jar quilt pattern purchased from Missouri Star Quilt Company, along with a layer cake of novelty fabric also purchased from MSQC. Kim Norton used the digital pantograph called “Graffiti.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label!


I also made my grandson, Jacob, an I Spy quilt using the same pattern and novelty fabric. I altered some of the “jars” to include a few special pieces of fabric. I named it “I Spy Jacob.” Jake picked out the binding fabric. Kim Norton machine-quilted using a multi-colored thread called Cleopatra. The digital pantograph is called “Circle Swirls.” Again, Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label.

The Christmas table runner was made out of extra squares placed on point from my “Santa Baby” quilt for my little sister, Gretchen. My adorable sister picked up two 2016 Row-By-Row patterns/fabric for me in her part of Texas. Making her a Christmas table runner was the least I could do! I gave it to her at Christmas. Unfortunately, the photograph of her with the table runner turned out too dark. The lighting in my family room sucks! The table runner was machine-quilted by the amazing Kim Norton of A Busy Bobbin with Raspberry Ripple colored-thread using a digital pantograph called “Star Dance.”

I also finished a 2015 Mystery Quilt for my lovely sister-in-law Bonnie. The block-of-the-month was purchased through The Fat Quarter Shop, one of my go-to online shops for quilting fabric and projects. Bonnie, who lives in faraway Oklahoma, received the quilt in time for Christmas. This quilt was so fun to make and was my very first mystery quilt. Each block was designed by a different quilt designer. I named it “Town Square.” The quilt was machine-quilted by Kim Norton, of A Busy Bobbin, with Canaan-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Creeping Fig.” The quilt label was embroidered by Personalize It in Kingwood.

My last finished project was for my brand new grandson, Baby Ben. He is a doll! Ben turned two-months-old this week and now he has his monkey quilt just in time for “tummy time.” The quilt pattern is by The Teacher’s Pet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After piecing the wide fabrics, the monkey and Ben’s name were fused, zig-zagging around the fused edges. A couple of years ago I made Jacob a baby quilt using their giraffe pattern. So cute. They also have a flamingo and alligator version. Kim machine-quilted Ben’s baby quilt with Limestone-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Whole Lotta Bubbles.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the quilt label.