Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saying Goodbye

My sweet niece is a wonderful person, the kind of person everyone wants for a friend and she has a bazillion friends. She keeps her friends, too, and tends them like a beautiful garden. When she moves on -- from a school or a job or a whatever -- unlike most of us, the friendships she has made there continue. Her Facebook page is plastered with a bazillion names, some of which I remember from her grade-school days. When I'm with her, which isn't often enough, her conversation is full of references to this person or that person, and while often I'm not sure exactly who she is referring to, I nod, and smile, and go along with her because I know the person she is telling me about is one lucky person: he or she has Susan for a friend.

About four or so years ago I started hearing one name often enough that I could remember and keep track. The name was that of a long-time friend, perhaps going back to high school. And this woman had the misfortune of having been stricken with an unusual and difficult-to-treat cancer. A cancer of the appendix. She went in and out of several hospitals, even traveling out of state to a place where her disease was better known and understood. Susan was right there, providing love, support and prayer, going to Maryland to visit. There were times when the belief was that the disease may be conquered, and times when the prognosis was less optimistic.

And now, seemingly all at once, it is nearly over. Her friend is on hospice care, with a matter of a few days remanning. Last night Susan went to visit for one last time.

How does one do it? Visit someone, knowing you are saying goodbye for ever, knowing that she will die very, very soon?

I remember so clearly saying "goodbye" to my uncle, a kind and generous man with a ready laugh, the last time he came to my house for dinner before moving across the country. We stood in the hall, both of us having trouble letting the evening end, both of us knowing we would never see each other again. It was so hard. And Elmer wasn't dying; he was moving to be close to his daughter and her family, who could spend more time and care for him better than I could.

My niece is very much on my mind, in my heart today. And my eyes fill up with tears when I try to imagine what she is feeling, when I try to think about how she was able to make that visit.

Soon Susan will have a bazillion-minus-one friends. And I hope they will be there for her. The way she has always been for them.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Out of nowhere, it seems, the idea came to me.

The idea about how to get the dreaded FQ Shop UFO finished.

I'm going to turn it into a Leader-Ender project!!!!

The next step is to begin to make the lattices.

So I'm going to start new project! I had been thinking that those wonderful Tula Pink blocks would be fun in Kaffe Collective fabrics.  Don't you agree? Of course you do.

Sure, it will drag out the process. But look at the fun I'll have on the Tula-Kaffes!

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I had mentioned earlier that I had uncovered a UFO, a BOM from 2009 and had resumed work. It is hard to be motivated by a project that I don't particularly like. There are a lot of really nifty blocks, and one of the things I like about the FQ Shop BOMs is that their directions for these complicated blocks are simple and clear. What looks as though it is going to be a huge challenge is broken down into easy steps, and the blocks get made with no heartbreak or confusion.

The other thing I like so much about FQ Shop BOMs is the generosity of fabric. There is usually enough left over from a block to make another block of some sort (though I have not done this). I have let these left-overs accumulate and if I ever finish when the project is finished, we'll see what becomes of them.

That center medallion was fun to make. It is 24 inches, and will be surrounded by the 12 inch blocks along with some interesting lattice.

I know full well that just because a project is not to my taste, that doesn't mean that it isn't a pretty quilt. Surely someone will be delighted by it someday. If I had a destination in mind, I might be motivated to finish it more quickly (because last night I worked on something entirely different!), but that is not the case. And even more inhibiting, in another box, is yet another FQ Shop BOM that isn't anywhere near as far along!