Thursday, June 9, 2016

Churn Dash Four Patch

I'm having a baby!  And what goes really well with babies?  Quilts, of course. When looking for a fun baby quilt pattern, one of my quilting friends asked me if I would like to be a tester for her new Churn Dash Four Patch pattern. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

As life would have it, pregnancy got the better of me and it took a few months longer to get this going than expected. But, I did finally get it done, and I have to say that I love it!

The directions were easy to follow and the quilt squares came together quickly.  I had a little snafu while cutting and ended up with smaller squares than the pattern calls for, but it all turned out in the end and I'm happy with the finished size!  The pattern suggests starting with 10" squares to make cutting easier, and I definitely concur.  I used fat quarters and there was lot more measuring and cutting that needed to take place.

And what review would be complete without a photo shoot. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Moms in Training Raffle

I am very excited to announce a raffle with some pretty fantastic prizes!  I have a goal to raise $500 by the end of May for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of my uncle Gordon.  Leukemia took his life, but we have the opportunity to help find a cure so that others may survive. 

$1 gets you 1 raffle entry up to as many dollars and entries as you want. 

The following is the prize package:

1 - Custom quilt  you help me design, up to lap size (or choose 1 of 2 that I have already finished)

2 - Cute beach bag

3 - 2 full sheets of Jamberry Nails

To enter the raffle, just go to the this link and make a donation.  You will automatically receive as many entries as donation dollars!  Easy!  The contest closes after the my race on May 30th. 

Quilt #1
Quilt #2
Beach Bag

Jamberry Nail options - Choose 2  


Thank you so much for all of your support!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015: Word of the Year

After much reading of blogs and becoming obsessed with all things quilting, I realized that I needed to actually participate in the tradition of New Year's Resolutions.  Sort of.  There's this wonderful thing called the Word of the Year.  It's a word you choose that kind of sets the stage for everything you do throughout the year.  I threw around so many options.  "Finish" was at the top of the list.  But in the end the word that won out was "CELEBRATE"! 

This year, I want to celebrate my achievements, my finishes, even my baby steps.  Celebrating brings with it a spirit of happiness and positivity.  It cultivates an attitude of gratitude.  And there really is so much to celebrate! 

I've also joined the incredible Pat Sloan in her quilting forum.  The ladies there (who call themselves Sloanies, which is seriously awesome) are all about support and finishes and working on those UFOs.  Because of them, I have a plan of attack and a list of all of my unfinished quilts and projects.  And I'm no longer afraid of UFOs!  Pat Sloan also has a gorgeous fabric line called One For You One For Me which has had me drooling since it came out.  For my birthday last year, I convinced my awesome husband to buy me a fat quarter bundle.  Oh the yumminess!  I am using it to participate in Pat's block of the month party.  So much fun!  She has also convinced me to make time to sew at least 10 minutes a day and the progress is so inspiring. 

One of my favorite moments this week was getting an email from Carolyn Friedlander telling me that I had won a copy of her new book!  I was definitely excited.  Then when my package came and she had included two mini charms of her latest fabric line Doe, I was over the moon.  (Yes, I'm drooling over this fabric line too.)

These quilters are so generous with their time and talents!  I couldn't be more thrilled to be part of such an incredible community. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Baby Quilt

2014 was full of a lot of time behind the sewing machine.  Too many projects went unfinished so my goal this year is to remedy that!  I am going to start documenting my projects on here, and my goal is to do at least one per week. 
This is the quilt I made for Gabby last spring before she was born.  I bought it as a half yard bundle of fabric and made up the design from there.  It is sewn and quilted on my home machine.  I also added some strips of ribbon to the front to give it a little texture.  This is one of my favorite finishes!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year's Summary

It's been a year and a half since my last post. And sadly, that post was not on the happy side. We lost our little Daphne at 14 weeks. It was such a sad and very traumatic weekend.

Thankfully, I was able to conceive again rather quickly. Our sweet little Gabriella joined the family on July 3rd, just seconds away from being a holiday baby. She will be 6 months old in 3 days! My goodness, it's going fast!

I have done a lot of quilting this year. I realized how much I love it! My dear sweet husband has definitely done his part to feed the beast though. Between birthdays and Christmas I have gotten a new sewing machine, a new embroidery machine, and a ton of gorgeous fabric!

This year, I want to attempt to document my projects more. I'm hoping that will help me to get some of my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) finished in 2015. I have so many goals for the new year and I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Story About a Baby (Part 3)

The words “What’s your husband doing today?” are ominous. My heart jumps out of my chest.  I already know that means bad news but I put on my brave face and prepare myself to listen.  In the end, the news isn’t something I could ever have prepared for.  It’s much worse.  Brave face or no, the tears come uninvited.
My doc begins to point out areas on the baby’s body with words like “thick skin” and “fluid filled cavities”.  Then he drops the word “hydrops”.  I don’t really understand what any of this means.  He says something isn’t working right, baby has a layer of fluid around head, neck and body.  Caught this early, it usually reduces the chances of survival.  From a rank of 1 – 10, with 1 being the best diagnosis, he says baby’s severity is 8 or 9.  My hopes and dreams are dashed.  I just lie there in shock trying to retain as much information as possible while not quite believing that any of this is happening.  In the end, I take away from this that I need to get ready to say goodbye.
Next I have a visit with the genetic counselor.  I feel completely numb by this point, unable to process as I answer question after question about my family’s genetic history and then again about Alex’s family’s genetic history. 
Two vials of blood are drawn for genetic testing and I watch the whole thing, speaking volumes to the numbness I feel.  I set up my next appointment and leave. By this time, dread has set in.  I don’t know how to tell Alex the news and I don’t want to share it. I know his brother will be visiting and that makes my approach even more difficult.
Once Alex notices me walking in the door, he asks me about the ultrasound, at which point I immediately start crying.  After I give him the rundown, Alex is crying with me. There are tearful exchanges as we say goodbye to his brother, followed by more crying.
By this time, the numbness starts to dissipate as other emotions crowd in.  Anger is the first of these.  How could this happen?  This is my first pregnancy.  It’s supposed to be fun and relaxed so that I can treasure this time with my baby.  Now all future pregnancies will be scarred by this one.  The doctor mentioned that because of the severity of the hydrops, termination is an option.  I just want to get this “thing” out of my body so I can have a healthy baby.  The longer it sticks around, the longer I have to wait to get my real baby. 
Alex and I deal with this by crying, watching funny movies, crying, playing games, and crying some more.  I do not want someone to try and give me hope or tell me that things could be okay, because right now, they are certainly not going to be okay.  I have no doubt that by my follow up appointment in one week that there will be no heart beat.  I do not want to be attached.
I finally realize that I need some help, so I look for some support outside of my grieving husband.  I find this in the form of online support boards: “Terminating for Medical Reasons”, “Carrying to Term Despite Fatal Fetal Diagnosis” and one specifically for Hydrops Fetalis.  No decisions have been made, but I want to keep my options open, so I post on all of these boards.  I receive overwhelming support and love from each group. 
My hydrops group tells story after story of their experiences carrying a baby with this dreaded diagnosis.  Some learned it was caused by a chromosomal defect, others a virus, still others are left wondering having found no answers from an autopsy.  Reason after reason is thrown out, and I begin to realize that the causes are as individual as the babies.  Mothers grieve over the loss of their babies, many who passed on shortly after birth, and others whose hearts gave out and stopped beating before they met their mothers. 
And yet, there is story after story of mothers taking home their beautiful babies after weeks or months in the NICU.  Babies who were somehow able to overcome the hydrops and are healthy and strong.  These are the stories that keep me coming back - that keep me posting. 
My heart slowly starts to change.  The hurt and anger melt away, to be replaced by a bit of peace and hope.  As time passes, the hope comes a little more strongly.  I start thinking again of my baby as “my baby” and not as “the thing in my belly”.  I slowly allow myself to be okay being totally and utterly attached.
The ultrasound tech at work agrees to check in on my baby as often as possible.  I want to know that heart is still beating and that this baby is still fighting.  I receive an incredible picture of my baby waving to me as if saying “I love you, Mommy. Don’t you give up!”  My heart softens even more.  I am so in love with this baby and will do anything to see it thrive and overcome hydrops.  I don’t know what is causing it, but I do know that I will fight for my baby, and if that means staying positive, then so be it! 
A week after finding out about the hydrops, I have a second ultrasound by MFM. My baby’s heartbeat is steady.  Its growth is ahead of schedule.  Everything looks great…except that nothing about the fluid has changed.  No fluid in the chest cavity which is good.  However, the fluid on the outside hasn’t changed either, and that’s not so good.  All we can do is wait and see what the future unravels, and continue to hope and pray that this baby is a fighter.
Looking for that silver lining every day isn’t easy, but I do it anyway.  Some days the depression sets in.  Others, I feel a calm peace that tells me everything is going to be okay.  I like the peaceful days better. The saying, “Today I am pregnant” holds new meaning to me.  I celebrate every day that I am still pregnant because I don’t know how many of those days I have left.  I should have 27 weeks, but for all I know, I could only have today.  So, today it shall be.  And I will celebrate today.

A Story About a Baby (Part 2)

After a short while, pregnancy nausea starts to get me down.  I do not feel that pregnancy glow that so many talk about.  I start doubting the sanity of my decision to be pregnant. Why do people choose to do this multiple times? Everyone tells me it gets better and it’s worth it, but I begin to wonder after all the horror stories people tell about life with newborns.
            Pregnancy week 6. I notice I am bleeding.  I feel a moment of panic mixed with a feeling of relief.  Maybe I’m losing the baby and I won’t have to be sick anymore. 
            The next day, I go to see my ob and get an ultrasound to check on the baby.  The moment I hear the pulse of that little heart beating, I am sunk.  Suddenly the nausea isn’t such a big deal.  I want to meet this little bean and am anxious for the next 8 months to pass more quickly.
            Weeks pass.  The bleeding and spotting come and go intermittently. Our bean grows into a kumquat and then a lime.  My nausea starts to ease up.  I have more good days than bad, and I’m finally starting to enjoy pregnancy.
           Baby is almost 10 weeks along and we are ready for our big vacation.  The plan is to meet our new niece, visit as many theme parks and beaches as my body will allow, celebrate Alex’s graduation into adulthood as he passes from the 20’s into the “oldie” 30’s, and cheer for my team at the race in San Diego. I have my good days and my bad days.  We kind of roll with the punches and let my pregnancy dictate our activities.  Some plans are thrown by the wayside, and unfortunately these include the beach and the marathon.  But Disneyland kind of gets thrown under the bus too, so it seems we can’t be too choosy. 
Sea World ends up being the highlight of the trip.  We buy the baby a plush Shamu as a reminder of all the awesome things we get to see and our baby is missing out on.  We smile and acknowledge how awesome we are going to be as parents.
Sunday, the last night of our trip, panic strikes when I start bleeding again.  This time it doesn’t ever really stop.  By Friday, I am on the phone with my ob’s office, frustrated and scared.  Another ultrasound, more “I don’t know”s, and a referral to Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), the high risk maternity office.
Monday morning, the 10th of June, I wake, tired and sick with a migraine.  I make it to work but haven’t been able to hold any food down all night, so they send me home.  MFM calls while I am napping and I’m not waking up for anything at this point, so I call them back later when I am more coherent.
Because I am already playing sicky hooky from work, MFM is able to squeeze me in for an appointment in the afternoon.  I quickly get ready and head over.
The ultrasound shows my beautiful baby, alive and kicking, but nothing else.  No evidence as to why I am bleeding so much.  I’ve had a couple subchorionic hemorrhages show up in past ultrasounds, but they are gone by this time.  My tech leaves to grab the doctor after printing off some beautiful pictures of my baby.
When the doctor arrives, the first thing he asks is “What’s your husband doing today?”