Friday, August 28, 2015

A New Block


Turbo found this block on Pinterest and we kind of thought it would be a good one for our next projects.

I have three main categories of fabric that I'm using these days: Kaffe Collective, Brights (including Pat's and Marilyn's scraps), and a group I think of as "Edgy." Sometimes the Brights play well with the Kaffes; that's what I've been doing lately.

So it seemed like it was time for a change and I did some math and picked out some fabrics from the Edgy group and made the first block, forgetting that math isn't my strong suit. I should have made a test block out of scrappy fabric.

As Turbo says, I'm close. I'll cut those white squares a quarter-inch larger for the next attempt.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking it won't be impossible to take this apart and salvage at least five of the units. I might even be able to remake the offending corner blocks, but I'm not sure. As I said, math isn't my strength.




Monday, August 24, 2015

The Miracle Baby


A year ago, a young woman, the daughter of a near-life-long friend, asked a favor. She had registered with an adoption agency and was building her portfolio. She needed a certain number of letters of reference; they needed to come from different aspects of her life. I was delighted to oblige because I knew (a) she would be a terrific mother and (b) it would be an easy letter to write.

This gal, I'm going to call her Chloe, is the oldest of the offspring of the group of women called The Good Guys. It was fun to watch her grow up, because she was somewhat of a foretaste of what our own kids would be doing in a couple of years. When she graduated from high school, I told her, "Chloe, you can't keep calling me Mrs. So-and-So. I'm Nancy." She couldn't do it. She was too well brought up. We struggled. I insisted. She failed. I pushed. She failed again. Finally, for reasons I can't remember, it was decided she would call me Schnookums.  (For the record, she can't call my dear husband by his first name either -- he's Mister Schnookums.)

So I wrote the letter, emphasizing her many wonderful qualities. Deep down, I was doubtful. You see, six or seven years ago, my friend took sick, and had to have a liver transplant. With all of the need for adoptive babies, I wondered if a single woman with a donor organ would be selected above a married couple. But I hoped. And I prayed.

Chloe was clear that race didn't matter and certainly neither did gender. She was even willing to receive a baby with medical issues. But a year passed, and though she applied for about ten babies that I know of (and there were likely more), each time another adoptive placement was selected. I admired her courage as she continued to put her name in the hat.

A couple of weeks ago my phone rang. The voice on the other end said, "You're going to be Great Schnookums!" The tears filled my eyes and the lump filled my throat; I could hardly ask the details. A baby boy, it turns out, was to be born in a few days all the way down in Texas. He was of German-Irish descent. And he had a hole in his heart that would necessitate surgery within the first few days of life. Chloe had to be willing to stay in Texas for up to two months until he was able to be discharged and come home.

So off to Texas Chloe and her own mom went; there were some travel snags and unexpected early labor, but it all worked out: Chloe arrived moments before the birth and was allowed to cut the cord and hold her son's hand as he was taken to the adjacent children's hospital.

I thought it was a miracle that Chloe had received a baby. But the real miracle was this: Tests at the children's hospital showed that the hole in TJ's heart had healed in utero! No surgery would be needed. The birth mom signed the papers, the judge signed the papers, the ecstatic grandmother bought Chloe a first class plane ticket, and all are home and settling in, Near Philadelphia. I met him this morning, held him for half an hour. He slept sweetly, occasionally opening an eye or two, but found me uninteresting.

I gave him Rummage Sale; may he enjoy it in continued good health!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Almost Anvil




I finished this flimsy last month. I don't know what the block is called, or even if it is an "official" block. I had seen a photo on Pinterest and just wanted to make it. I'd been saving black-on-white FQs for a while, and used them for backgrounds. A huge piece of chicken wire made the lattice. The fabrics for the blocks are Kaffe Collective, hand-dyes, and batiks. When I was putting it together, I made a mistake in calculation for the horizontal strips and discovered this after I cut them. I was chagrinned because I didn't have enough chicken wire to recut the strips. Fortunately, Joe was on hand and suggested the ascending lattice squares and that was enough to make up the difference and add an unexpected bit of interest to the quilt.