Archives for the month of: September, 2008

I have always enjoyed being a grandmother since the day I found out I was going to be a grandmother for the first time.  Autumn and Micah (my oldest son) had been trying for 4 years of their marriage to get pregnant and finally the day had arrived.  Autumn had a flawless pregnancy, a touch and go delivery, and delivered with my assist along with hubby, Dr., and her twin sister, a beautiful baby boy, whom they named Kaleb Lee.  I cried tears of joy to see my first grandchild enter the world so noisy and healthy, yet so peaceful looking.  One of the days of one’s life that we never forget.  And two years later, our middle son Adam and his wife Danielle told me they were pregnant.  Oh, boundless joy from Rick and myself.  And then we found out the new baby would be a girl!  Our first girl grandchild on both sides of the family.  Danielle had to deliver cesarian because Lydia never turned.  She went into labor Thanksgiving Day and was born the Friday after Thanksgiving at 5:01 in the morning.  I stood at the nursery window and cried with joy as my son held his daughter and let his tears of happiness flow freely down his face.  I have never been prouder of either of my sons.  To me, I truly saw them as men for the first time instead of the little boys I worked so hard to raise.

Why am I relating this today on my journal?  Today was a day of remembering all that was good and right with the world.  Today was a day to take stock of all the blessings that God has given me.  He has given me a loving family, a stable relationship with my husband of 16 years, a second profession for the later years of my life, loving and giving friends, and most of all–confidence in myself as a person who is worthy of His love.  In my humble opinion we must do this from time to time amidst the backdrop of desparity, unstable politics, out of control economy.  We can get so wrapped in all the ills of the world and forget to stop and thank God for what we do have.

 My good friend Bobbie just went through hurricane Ike.  I cannot begin to imagine the horror of that experience, but I see the changes in my friend.  I see that her walk with the Lord has become even closer.  I see that amidst it all, her love for her husband, mother and father permeated her every thought.  I know that she sent me word about their travails knowing I would relate to others and thus the prayer chain of warriors would be on their knees.  This was indeed a good day!  A day for remembering those important people in my life and praying for them and thanking God for blessing me with them.

My DFIL passed away a year ago next week.  Rick, by husband had never lost a family member before that he could remember (his father was orphaned at two, and his maternal grandparents died before he was 3).  He took his father’s passing in silent anguish.  It changed him forever, as most of us are forever changed by the passing of our parents.  But I gotta say, with Rick, it went real bad.  Men are not as sharing with their emotions as womenfolk, and Rick was worse than not sharing, he was emotionless and sank into a deep depression of which he has only recently started coming out of.  Our little granddaughter Lydia Rose is responsible the change.  I know that something within him saw the hope she represented and slowly she won her grandfather’s heart.  He is able to laugh freely again, share his thoughts and doubts, but most of all, he has been freed by her unconditional love for him, to love us all again, unconditionally.  So, yes, today was indeed a good day!  “Rejoice and be glad in it, for the Lord your God has made it.”


Why is it the harder I try, the behinder I get?  I will conquer this border I swear, for the MIL quilt.  I have played with it all day long trying to get it to look like ric-a-rac!  And finally about 9 pm this evening, it was accomplished.  I cannot tell you why it went all wonky today, but wonky it did go!  Thank goodness it is only on the top and bottom of the quilt!!

Bobbie had asked me if Aurora’s Star was the same pattern from the Christmas mystery I ran last year.  It is not the same.  That pattern I named Aurora’s Quest for Lydia’s Star.  Here is the picture **Lydia loves snuggling with this quilt, btw!

Lydia's snuggle blankie


Aurora’s Star was born from a yard of rainbow batik that my dear friend and co-owner of OST had sent me.  The batik begged for its very own pattern and thus become a ‘test’ of sorts for Rick’s office version with green/yellow batik that kind of shimmers like our Aurora lights do here in Alaska.  The one that will be hanging in the lobby of the main office is Aurora’s Star-Dawn, and the one in his office is Aurora’s Star-Midnight.  Twin quilts and aptly named.  I will be posting a picture of the twins as soon as they are finished.

These quilts are a result of designing for the fabric not finding a fabric to fit the design.  I am doing this more and more and loving every minute of it, as you can probably tell.

The following quilt was a design I had in mind for fabrics I had on hand.  The design idea was bourne from my spiritual belief and wanting to put into my art the feelings Christ’s sacrifice brings out in me.  Thanks to Grace, I figured out how to complete the outer border, and it is in the cutting stages, so what you see is almost finished, awaiting the final border which will be very dramatic and BRIGHT!

A quilt with personal meaning

A quilt with personal meaning

Can you tell I love bright colors?  LOL  And it still has more to come! 

I am certainly hoping to be able to post a picture of my “Forever Stars” quilt that I designed for my MIL.  Lydia Thomas is an admirable woman who escaped the ravages of Stalin with her sister just as WWII was beginning.  After several heroic events in her life, Lydia became a translator for the Americans where she met her husband Peter, Rick’s father.  Sadly, Peter passed away last year in October.  He is missed by his family, but most of all his dear wife, Lydia.  My little beloved granddaughter, Lydia Rose is named after Lydia the elder.  They are going to meet face to face in October this year as DH Rick, my son Adam and wife Danielle, and of course our darling little Missy, make the journey to Wisconsin to visit with her and other family members. 

Oh, guess I better tell you about the oven–it is definitely “fried”!!  So we went shopping for a new stove and found one that we can live with for under 400 but have to wait a week for it to come in on order.  I ended up making Pepper Steak with Rice for dinner as I forgot to start the crock this morning.  Well, not forgot, just didn’t want to make stew!  Stew calls for homemade yeast rolls and of course, can’t make them without the oven!! Whew!!  And now of course, I am thinking of everything to make in an oven because I do not have one at the moment.  So Bobbie, Gracie, and Birdie–NO RHUBARB COBBLER!!  LOL  Have to settle for stewed rhubarb, or rhubarb compote on pancakes for breakfast in the morning!

Good Night Everyone!

Please be patient with me as I am still learning the ropes on this blogging thing *sigh*  Why can’t they can instant knowledge like a can of soda?  But oh, no, gotta string it out with things like time, mistakes, experience, ecrued over hours, weeks, months!  It just ain’t fair!!  Like, who the heck has the time to play with ‘puters when we should be doing things like cutting out fabric for the All in the Color Family Mystery, or finish sewing Gracie’s Fallabration Mystery Block test or Val’s RAM center block, or finish quilting DH’s Aurora’s Star Quilt or making Lydia’s nightie/sock monkey set?  Hmmm….????  Really, like who has the time?   Well, I guess I better find the time!!!!  At almost 1 am here in Soldotna I am finding the time to write this post up, heh heh heh, so who needs sleep?

The days events were not as expected.  Went garage saling with Danielle and Lydia and enjoyed our time out together.  We ended up stopping at the grocery store for sundries, lunch, and something to throw in the oven for dinner (news flash–the oven has to work before that can happen!), then drop them off and home to sew–or so I thought–NOT  I did finish cutting out the border for my “Forever Star” pattern (72 HST), cut out the center block for Val’s Round-a-Month BOM, and re-cut Gracie’s Fallabration test pattern.  Rick went in to teach his class and my energy meter went into the red zone and kept saying sleep, Carmen, sleep……and I guess I did for 5 hours.  I woke up 10 minutes before Rick got home.  This was not a good thing.  Threw the pizza in the oven–oven did not work–damn!  Grilled cheese does not replace pizza…huh uh, no way, no how, not going to happen, won’t do, and it didn’t!  So the crockpot is out for tomorrow dinner!

My day did have a bright side, Bobbie is okay, her power is on, water working, septic working, and she was off to sleep peacefully with Ginger to stand guard and watch over her–or slobber all over LOL  Bet she missed you Bobbie!  I can only imagine what working on ambulance would be like on a 24 hour straight shift after Hurricane Ike decimated the Houston area, wiped out Galveston and put millions out of power, food, gas, light, etc.  What a nightmare.  So I was glad to know she was home safe and sound and in the caring hands of her DH Walt and Ginger!  And the really good news for her was that she didn’t have to do the ambulance thing again–she can go back to her ‘normal’ job position!

So with all this free time I have not found yet, I still have to finish my Anniversary Gala Quilt for Adam for Christmas this year, the Fall Maple Harvest Quilt, and Bobbies Maples Leafs of Friendship.  And……hand quilt the MIL quilt before October 26th–That is when Rick, Adam, Danielle, and Lydia are going to Wisconsin!  Well, folks, I am going to be burning the midnight oil for weeks on end until then!

Oh, my last little goodie for this morning!  I am almost finished with Rick’s Aurora’s Star!  It is a wall hanging for his office that is made with green/yellow batik (shimmers like an aurora) on a black background.  It is in my estimation (of course I designed it) a fabulous work!  I am hand quilting in stints during my free tv time or when the neck and back are aching too bad to use the machine.  I should have it completed this week and ready to bind!  It’s twin “Aurora’s Dawn” is waiting to be layered and finished so it can hang in the lobby where he works.  The twins each measure 52″ inches square when completed.  I will be posting photos of them, especially “Aurora’s Star” real soon!

Till, tomorrow folks!  Time for Carmen to go nite, nite!!

King size and ready to quilt!

King size and ready to quilt!

Welcome to my blog!  The picture above is representative of my passion in life next to my family and grandbabies!  I caught the quilting bug years ago, but never really did much with it until I found myself a victim of Kmart’s Bankruptcy cut outs.  I turned to quilting and made it my passion, my art, my income, and my community of friendship across the world.  I have never once regretted my choice! 

I have many friends who have helped me along the way, and have learned some hard lessons also.  I am forever grateful to the many who saw me through my growing pains, taught me the art when they were not even aware they were teaching by example, and to the many who rightly criticized my work.  To all of them I say “Thank You” with utmost sincerity.

I am the co-owner of One Stitch at a Time, a yahoo quilting group.  We have many activities on OST, like our upcoming Octoberfest Sew-in/Retreat, swaps, free patterns, and mysteries!  We are an invite only group, meaning that I or one of the moderators will have to send you an invitation to join.  It is well worth the effort!

If you would like an invitation, contact me at:  We welcome new quilters and are in the process of setting up a Beginner’s Quilt Group that will have beginning basics, beginning patterns, tutorials, on-line assistance from our volunteer teachers, and lots of fun!!  If this is something you would be interested in, please drop me a line at the above email address and I will put you on our waiting list!

Thanks for visiting today!  Feel free to drop a comment!


Carmen Thomas