Saturday, August 30, 2014

Working Towards Normal


 (why this pix?  no reason other than I love it and it conveys "dropping in" in my book.)

So much has happened in my life in the past few years that I have forgotten what "Normal" is for myself and my family.  My mother was diagnosed with end stage Pancreatic Cancer back in Jan. 2013 and she passed away in May that year.  In October I had an accident and broke my left ankle (one of those bad breaks that required surgery and metal plates/screws....nasty and life changing) and then my very dear friend Mary Jane started becoming more and more aware that the blood disorder she had was becoming more serious (Myeloid  Leukemia) and she has recently passed.  If all of that wasn't enough, just before she passed I had to have surgery to remove the metal from my left ankle.  Clearly..."normal" has long since been lost and today was the first day that I got out of bed and thought to myself....what would be fun and enjoyable to do this morning. 

It didn't take long to find some fun...

These placements arrived in the mail yesterday from Joanne at Splitting Stitches Blog.   If you have not had a chance to see the very cool placemats you can click HERE.  Joanne had made a huge stack of placemats and took them to the Dartmouth Hospital Children's Rheumatoid Arthritis Camp for the children to color/paint.  When you read her post (HERE) you'll easily see how much children enjoy painting their own placemats. 

My co-workers jumped right into the Fabric Markers and began to color in their placemats.
Oldest Co-Worker with a bit-o-tude :)
Talk about an uplifting morning....we all had a ball.  The best part of Joanne's Placemats is that anyone can color/paint them and enjoy them not matter how young or old they may be.

While we were painting I started thinking about the class I took from Patt Blair at the Empty Spools Seminar last March.  Had I had one of these to practice on before I started my Elephant....I may have been a wee bit more relaxed.  Live and learn :)

Now that I've shared what getting back to "Normal" is for us....what is "Normal" for you and your clan?

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Returning from PA


Mary Jane Wheatley Ehlich in 1955

Mary Jane's memorial service was perfect!  Her oldest son, Mark gave the eulogy.....his mother would have been beaming with pride.  Mark read from 1st Corinthians. 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Mark was brave....I could not have done what he did and his words seemed divinely chosen.  

Mary Jane was indeed patient, kind, humble AND generous in sharing her own gifts with others.  This world is a different place because she was here....the  gifts she shared with all of us will ripple throughout time.  I thank God for Mary Jane and will be forever changed because she was my dear sweet friend.

I have no idea how on earth I'll ever manage without her, but somehow I will have to.  I can hear her words in my mind and I know what she'd say to me so I'll have to rely on those thoughts until I have the great fortune of making my own transition. (Right now she'd say, "Dry your eyes Gal, you have things to do.")

Mary Jane the reason I started I Have A Notion, Inc. (IHAN) and I used to refer to her as the East Coast Head of Operations.  She always got a kick out of that title.   I guess it would be fitting to now call her IHAN's Chief Guardian Angel In Charge :)

Driving back to OH I saw a sunflower field and my van stopped almost on a dime.  It was a huge field and those beautiful flowers filled my heart with such joy and comfort.  I stood on the side of the freeway crying for what seemed like an hour knowing I'll now have to refer to my memories and there won't be any more phone calls or visits with her on this earth.  The flowers I sent for MJ's memorial service specifically included sunflowers...because Mary Jane was tall and bright just like these beautiful sunflowers.  I have been so immensely blessed it is beyond description.

The photo at the top of this post was one that MJ's boys had pulled from a family photo album.  I had not seen this this photo nor any photos of Mary Jane as a young woman.  Talk about a real beauty....just like those sunflowers :)

If you would like to read her obituary you can find it HERE.

Thank you for the cards and e-mails as I have found great comfort in them.  I'll be getting back to the focus of my blog very soon.....until then.....

Mary Jane Wheatley Ehlich, 77, of Covington, died Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at her home.
She was the devoted wife of William (Bill) J. Ehlich for 59 wonderful years. She was born Jan. 10, 1937, in Blossburg, the daughter of the late Edward and Ruth Brent Wheatley.
Mary Jane lived in Covington till she met her husband who was in town on leave from the Navy.
They moved to Detroit, Mich., Louisville, Ky., and Charlotte, N.C., where she had a highly successful career with Squires Construction Company. After retirement they moved back to her family homestead where they took pleasure rekindling old friendships and making many new. Restoring and adding to the family home was also such a joy. Mary Jane's love, second only to her family was quilting. She was an award winning hand-quilter who mastered the art of needle turn appliqué. She was a member of the Charlotte Quilters Guild before returning to Covington and co-founding the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild in Wellsboro. Mary Jane shared her talents and gifts willingly and mentored the Tuesday Quilters who have developed formidable appliqué skills under her tutelage. Her legacy includes a prodigious collection of heirloom quilts that will be treasured for generations to come. She and Bill also enjoyed traveling with the Lions Club which took them to many faraway places.
In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, Mark Ehlich and his wife, Susan of Locust, N.C., Scott Ehlich and his wife, Diana of Forest, Va.; grandchildren include William Ehlich and Matthew Gladdan, Ashly Eudy and her husband, Josh, and two great-grandchildren, August and Zain. Also surviving is one brother, George Wheatley of Covington; niece Patsy Evans and husband, Brad.
The family will receive friends on Sunday Aug. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Wilston Funeral Home 130 S. Main St., Mansfield. A memorial service will follow there at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, a memorial in Mary Jane's memory may be made to Blossburg Ambulance, 524 Main St., Blossburg, Pa. 16912 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tiogapublishing/obituary.aspx?pid=172202698#sthash.kif8FB8N.dpuf
Great Smiles of Joy and Gratitude!
Kelly


Thursday, August 21, 2014

My New Guardian Angel

My very dear, sweet, strong, kind, generous, loving and truly mind blowing quilter and treasured friend/mentor Mary Jane Ehlich has left her human experience as of 8/20/14.   I am so very joyful to say I believe she is my guardian angel (not to say I'm the only one :) and that the bond that connects us can never be broken.

I will post more about Mary Jane and her Award Winning Quilts, but for now, I grieve and I will be going to PA for her Memorial Service. 

Kelly


Monday, August 18, 2014

A New Quilter Is Born

You are looking at a photo of the very first quilt my youngest daughter, Madeline,  made this past month.  I'm so very happy for her and proud that she, all by herself, pieced and quilted this quilt.  As many of you may recall your very first quilt, it can be daunting to just figure out how to thread the machine much less how to piece fabrics so they actually will fit together when you are finished piecing.   She is so excited and pleased with herself and you know I'm tickled pink. 

I had given Madeline what I thought was a very good used sewing machine.  She didn't begin using it until June and July of this year and she became frustrated with the machine.  Instead of having it looked at, she went and bought a new machine (Exactly what I would have done and what I did when I was in her shoes 20 years ago.  Madeline lives in FL I couldn't just drive over and bring her my machine).  She had a mission and there was no stopping her.

The funniest part is that she told me when she was finished quilting it she noticed she had sewn one of the blocks on upside down.  To avoid photographing the "mistake" she just flipped the edge of the quilt up so as to show off the backing.  With great confidence I told her that it is not at all uncommon to sew blocks on upside down, forget blocks, mess things up and put them away for years etc.   She finished it...that is the best and greatest part of quilting.

Ok, so there was more humor involved....but I think it was just because of the way I think.  I had given Madeline all the notions and some pre-cut fabric for Christmas.  She had never had to purchase anything for sewing or quilting.....so she inquires as to the cost of paying someone to do the long arm quilting for future projects.  When I told her the price she was surprised.  I was thinking....oh but wait....you will have to purchase the fabric and batting in the future....the quilting may be a drop in the bucket!

I hope you have found something to giggle about today....I know I sure have.

Smiles,
Kelly


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Flamingos Playing Again and A Giveaway Announcement

Yep, I caught them in the act....
They have been playing volleyball and apparently enjoying themselves too!
The Flamingos in the neighbors yard came first....then the Toledo Zoo must have been jealous because they have added flamingos to the Zoo...giggles.

I had the metal taken out of my ankle on Monday so I've been recuperating here on the sofa.  Not much fun really but I'm thrilled to have the metal out and hopefully the pain in my ankle will stop for good.

A fun giveaway is going on over at Splitting Stitches blog.  Joanne has made some very fun placemats.  Hope over and leave a comment for your chance to win some of these fun placemats:

That's all from here for now....hope all is going exceptionally well for you and yours!

Smiles,
Kelly



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Some Fun Thank You Gifts for Nurses

Some how on my last post people got the impression my dear friend had passed away.  She is alive and kicking...for the record.  She was sent home with hospice care and I had the great fortune and honor of spending 2 weeks with her.  You can't begin to imagine what your kind thoughts and prayers have meant to me...THANK YOU!

Mary Jane wants to thank the nurses at the cancer center and asked me to make some Humbug Bags for her.  Between the few I was able to finish and the one's my other dear friends helped me with....we have them finished.
Notice the handle on this bag?  The zipper was extra long so I used it as the handle....better than cutting it off and throwing it away.
 Keep in mind I did not stuff any of these with tissue paper...which would have made for better photos. 
 I had so much fun doing some outline stitching on this fabric....I hope the nurse who receives it enjoys it as much as I did making it.
Choosing a variety of fabrics was fun...each is lined with a coordinating fabric too.

Deciding what type of handle, if any, you would like for your Humbug Bag.  You can use almost anything that coordinates with the fabric.  I put some cotton cording on this one and I think it turned out very cute.

When making the handles with fabric I have added some RocLon Multi-Purpose Cloth to make the handle a little more sturdy.  See pix below:
I cut the fabric border to make the handle and used 1" of Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth.  I enclosed the Multi-Purpose Cloth inside the fabric border. 
Nice little gifts I think and I'll be putting some  home made Buckeyes in each one (wrapped well of course) .  Buckeyes are Mary Jane's favorite sweet so what would be more appropriate?

In case you LOVE chocolate and peanut butter....you Love the following recipe for Buckeyes (click on word Buckeyes for recipe).

I hope this post leaves you a little inspired and know I soooo appreciate your visiting and comments.  They warm my heart!

Smiles,
Kelly

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