May 27, 2011


I added this just for visual interest--it's a wallhanging from years ago!

Whoop whoop.....Whooping Cough...Pertussis....when was the last time you had a shot?  I know this sounds like a public service announcement, but if you are like me, it was back in grade school.  And if you are like me, you believe it is only important for little kids to have the shots as they are the most at risk.  And that is partially true--it IS a deadly serious disease for babies.

But, what no one tells you is what it is like to have whooping cough as an adult.  

My sister (significantly over 40, if not a higher number) now has lab confirmed Whooping Cough.  She went to her doctor for what she thought was bronchitis, but the antibiotic he prescribed was not effective for Whooping Cough, so she got sicker and sicker, developed pleurisy and then pneumonia.  She had asked him for a whooping cough test, but he scoffed and said she didn't have it--that they rarely see it--that she likely had a virus.  After three weeks off work, in awful pain like that of a broken rib from the pleurisy, she finally demanded that labs be run. 

My sister in happier days (and old unsafe crib)

And it is now confirmed to be Whooping Cough.  It is too late for the antibiotics to help her, although they will help minimize further spread (beyond the drug store, grocery store, hospital, work office and doctor's office that she has already coughed her way about).  She (and now her husband who also caught it) have made several trips to the emergency room for trouble breathing and the bills will be BIG.  Plus lost work hours.....and they are still both very sick.

So what no one tells you is that Whooping Cough for an adult means you can't sleep much because of constant coughing, you can't breathe easily,  you feel terrible, you have expensive medical costs, and you shouldn't/can't go to work (or anywhere).  AND it lasts for FOUR TO SIX WEEKS!!!   FOUR TO SIX WEEKS of being really sick is a long, long time!

According to the local health dept. epidemiologist (who I just spent 30 minutes talking with), a Pertussis shot for adults became available about five years ago.  If you last had shots as a child and are now an adult, you need this shot--any resistance from your childhood shots is likely gone.  Also be aware that the shots (even the full set of children's shots) do not work in about 15% of the population. 

You could help avoid passing it to someone for whom the shot didn't work by getting a shot of your own.  Your lovely babies or grand babies, despite being fully immunized, may still be at risk, and you could expose them unnecessarily.  Even if you've already had Whooping Cough, you need the shot because you can get it again--and again.  Also, people over 64 are not given the shot, so they depend upon you not to spread it to them.

So, if you have people you care about, or if you just want to be responsible, or even if you just have better things to do with 4-6 weeks of your time, I strongly recommend you get the shot.   Whooping Cough doesn't look at all fun to have, and just think of all the quilting time you would miss!

(I got my shot this morning.  In case mine doesn't work, please get yours soon too! )   ;)

May 24, 2011

Snowballs...and other May flowers

Our weather has been pretty yucky, but thankfully no snow and no tornadoes, so I'm not complaining (too much) about the rain and wind. Despite cold rainy days, we have some lovely snowballs of the floral variety along the side of our house this year:

I've finished a couple more Flower Garden blocks that I started over the Mother's Day weekend.

And I've been working away on Capriccio, too, and have a bigger stack of blocks now, but I don't think it will be completed by the end of May.

In fact, I'm thinking it needs to be a much bigger quilt than originally planned. If my memory is correct, the pattern calls for 30 blocks (5 x 6), but I am aiming at double that or larger (8 x 9), so this may remain a UFO for awhile....anyway, back to stitching!

May 10, 2011

Moving in the right direction........

After a rainy weekend at home to visit my mom for Mother's Day, I'm back stitching away.  And, the Roseville Album block I mentioned in my last post is finished!

That makes seven of the center blocks done, with another in process.  Here are six of the finished ones along with the single panel I finished first.  (the seventh block didn't make it into the photo)  Still a long way to go, but at least it is still an active project and not a UFO (yet).

I actually have one more block started, but with the work needed for May's UFO, not much will happen on the Roseville until June or later. (How can it be that June is the next month--we haven't had spring yet?  Today is the first sunny day in so long--rain, wind and cold has been our spring so far.)

May's UFO is Capriccio, a colorful pattern by Pie in the Sky Quilts, that I am making in "happy" colors pretty similar to the pattern model.  It involves sewing pieces together, then cutting them up, and sewing them back together.  At the beginning of May, it wasn't very far along.  In fact, it looked mostly like these strips, with a stack of these triangles:

But now there are a few of these squares,  

and a (very) few of these blocks

And, I am finding out that I wasn't very accurate in cutting/stitching, so the quilt police are going to have lots of violations if they choose to look. I am just matching seams where I can, and letting those problem pieces do what they must. Since some of the strips are scraps, cut over many years and left over from odd projects, it doesn't surprise me that they vary a bit in size.  Maybe that's why this was a UFO for awhile...Guess I better get busy or it will stay a UFO!
Happy Stitching!

May 01, 2011

April's UFO

April's UFO, #4, was another Roseville Album block.  And work on  it went well--until I got to the flowerpot/basket.   First I struggled to choose the right fabrics, finally deciding these were the fabrics I would use. 

The next obstacle was the reverse applique.  I am not the most experienced appliquer.  Before attempting the Roseville, I had only made two small wallhangings and a few VERY simple blocks in applique.   I just didn't enjoy it.  Then I saw the Roseville, and, well, sometimes I bite off more than I can do.  The Roseville has definitely been a challenge.   And the reverse applique here totally frustrated me.   The itty bitty tight points just would not cooperate. 

There were several issues.  The first being that my thread did not match perfectly.  Though I've shopped repeatedly for the right color, what I can find is either too light or too blue.  Next problem is my personality.  I cannot believe that a few stitches will ever hold just a few threads securely.  I just fundamentally believe that unless I nip a bit more fabric here and there, the points will wash out after one or two washes.  (I always envision a future woman washing this quilt, having it fall apart, and then using it as a dog blanket.)  I am sure the more experienced among you handle this just fine, but I don't handle it well.  

So after finishing about 1/3 of the basket, I wasn't happy.  I decided to cut new replacement pieces of the same fabrics, to buy some darker (though blue) thread, and try it again.  Practice makes perfect doesn't it?

After cutting the fabrics out a second time, though, I began thinking they were too dark.  Which led to more digging in my sewing room. 

Where I found an old favorite of mine. This is a piece of fabric I bought while vacationing in California, in May 1988 to be exact. (I can remember the date because of the ages my children were when we visited Disneyland, and that we scheduled the trip so that my daughter was able to fly free since she wasn't yet three.)

I loved the fabric from the moment I saw it and it was quite expensive (like $8 or 10 a yard! Imagine that!).  It was at some exclusive Malibu quilt shop I had demanded to stop at after seeing the word quilt as we were whizzing by.  (A risky prospect with tired two and five year olds, and my husband and our friend who was crazy enough to travel with us.)

I've saved this fabric for all these years wanting to use it for something "special" and had been hoping I could integrate a bit of it into my Roseville.  While it isn't the perfect fabric for the basket, because the stripes aren't straight and have a slight wave to them, I think I'd rather live with a waver to my basket instead of mangled reverse applique!  So here's my finished block:

I may decide to add a larger circle in the middle of the basket to distract a bit from the fact that the design waves up a bit in the center, but I'm going to wait to see how it looks when I finish the block next to this one so I can have a better idea of what color to make the circle. 

For now it's finished, and I'm looking forward to May's UFO Challenge, which is number 9--Capriccio.  Hope I can find all the half done pieces I've cut for it and remember what I've done so far! 

I've also been trying to work ahead on my Roseville blocks, so will have another one to show you soon--I hope....

Scorecard for 2011:
4 UFO's Completed, 3 Flower Garden blocks completed, and NO new projects (that's got to be a first!)

Happy Stitching!