Help Mike beat blood cancer

26 July 2013

Sew-sick

Ever since my dog, Dory, chewed the cord on my iron, I've had to put all of my projects on hold, and I am really missing my machine. So, to keep myself busy, and to not go insane, I've been cutting up old shirts, jeans, fabric scraps, etc. and sewing them together.

12 June 2013

Leukemia sucks. I'll see you on the other side.

I haven't been posting because my husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (with complex cytogenetics) on May 3. He was at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple for his first round of chemo. It was unsuccessful. He has been moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is currently in his second round of chemo, which is part of a clinical trial.

I won't be posting much about sewing for a while. I have taken family medical leave from work and am doing my best to work part-time remotely from his hospital room in Houston. No time for sewing. No heart for creativity. 

I am adding my lovely and crafty 13-year old granddaughter, Caille, as an author on this blog. You've already seen her work in many of my past posts. She will keep y'all company while I am tending to my sick hubby.

Prayers and/or positive thoughts appreciated. See you all on the other side.

-CJ 

13 April 2013

Pieces coming together

A quick progress snapshot of the paper foundation pieced quilt I'm making for Mike.

Anyone out there share my challenge? Working 60-65 hours per week leaves little time for sewing, which makes really big, long projects seem even bigger and longer.

Ah, well. At least it's fun, no matter how long it takes to finish!


09 April 2013

Official teenager: halter tops from old t-shirts

It's official! Caille turned 13 today!

While I've been busy making Mike's quilt here in Waco, she's been in San Antonio, transforming old tees into halter tops for the summer.
















30 March 2013

One way to learn paper foundation piecing?

What's one way to learn paper foundation piecing? Watch a video on the Fons & Porter website and then try it.

95 blocks later, you'll be a master.

It's always a satisfying feeling to get to some major milestone in a project that spans several weeks. Today, I finished the final blocks for Mike's new quilt.






29 March 2013

Linking In, Tweeting Up, Creating Interactivity

After updating the research data and some of the examples, I gave my social media presentation three times in two days this week.

On Wednesday, I spoke to two sections of Advanced PR classes at Baylor. In general, young adults know all about how to use social media... for personal reasons. Most don't quite grasp how to use it for business purposes. I appreciate my professor friends who invite me to their classrooms and I enjoy doing it.

On Thursday, I spoke to the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Almost all of these folks were strangers to me, but they were a warm bunch and eager to listen. Several followed up with me later in the day to ask for more advice about their organization needs.

Most rewarding: one person sent me a message detailing a Facebook crisis that happened as soon as she returned to the office -- that she handled it just as I had advised such a situation should be handled -- and that the result was she turned a negative "troll" into a positive "trumpeter" and received accolades for it from higher-ups. Nicely done! Made my day.

17 March 2013

She's gone wild in the sewing studio

Apparently, Caille's art teacher loves giraffes. Caille found this fabric in the clearance section at the Joann's store, added a punch of lime green from my stash, an adorable appliqué embellishment and personalized it with her teacher's name in embroidery.

The perfect apron for her art teacher!

It is amazing what Caille has accomplished in the last week!



Mustaches and color blocking during spring break

Color blocking can add dramatic impact to a garment. Caille loved Alaexander Henry's Where's My Stash fabric, so I ordered some for us to make something over spring break. She cut some of the pieces from black to break up the mustaches.






Pillowcase dresses

Caille has been busy this week working on her first commissioned sewing project... Pillowcase dresses for my friend, Brodie.











03 March 2013

Episodes of "lost time"

My sewing room might be an "overlapping time cave" (as described in my favorite podcast, Mysterious Universe).

Once I enter the room, I suffer severe episodes of "lost time." Friday and Saturday nights I usually emerge from the sewing room shocked to realize it is long after 2am.

Mike has been accusing me of "staying up all through the night sewing." I guess it might seem that way to him. But to me, it doesn't seem like I was in there for very long at all!

So, I have now added the retro wall clock, but it hasn't really made any difference.

24 February 2013

Inspiration

Do you seek inspiration? This is my 12-year old granddaughter's room. I don't know which I love more... The quote, or the fact that it's above her sewing (creative cat) space. What's NOT to love?

When was the last time YOU went out and TACKLED (or clubbed down) inspiration?

We should all remember the possibilities we had ahead of us when we were 12 years old, don't you think?

...and what inspires me? One thing that certainly inspires me is my granddaughter, Caille, my little creative cat.

22 February 2013

Quiltz r us

Forgot to post these at Christmas.

I made Ceres the yellow and lime kalaidascope pattern. It took me almost 3 years to finish hand-quilting this.

I made Shawna the batik blues and purples. This was my first attempt at free-motion machine quilting, which was a little bit scary. But fun!




















18 February 2013

Dallas fabric: At Harry HInes and Perth

Took Mike to his follow-up doctor visit in Dallas after his surgery last week. As usual, we got out of the doctor's office right at about the start of rush-hour. So he sat in the car for a bit while I ran in to visit some of my favorite places.

I have been searching for drapery fabric for the living room for the last six months. Also, seat fabric for the dining room. I need Devon to help me choose. (What will I do when she moves to Chicago in a few weeks!?)

By the way, The Golden D'or wouldn't give me a fabric sample. Wha? How can they expect someone to buy 26 yards of fabric @$19/yard without bringing home a little swatch to make sure it works with the carpet, furniture, etc? Nuts! It used to be my favorite fabric store. Not anymore! I didn't even take a photo of that warehouse. I guess that's how angry I was when I left.

13 February 2013

My "million dollar man"

We had to drive the 2+ hours to Dallas and 3 hours back today so Mike could (finally) get surgery to repair damage from the fall he took from the Schwan's truck (the step broke -- AGAIN) in DECEMBER 2010.

So much medical in so little time.
25 months =


  • 2 major back surgeries (including lots of cages, screws, rods and bone grafts)
  • 1 strange "brain reboot" (don't ask, 'cause I don't get it)
  • 1 hand surgery (1 more to go)
  • 1 hideous headache lasting 25 months
  • At least 10 hospital visits
  • About 50 visits/1+ hour waits at the pharmacy
  • About 100 doctor visits
  • About 1000 miles
  • About 65 certified letters from the evil worker's comp insurance
  • 2 video recordings from the worker's comp insurance private detective (which, of course, didn't help their case)
  • About 59,000 "DENIALS" from worker's comp. Just because.
  • 13 to 18 doctors?!
  • Maxing out our out-of-pocket costs on my Blue Cross in 2012 (do you know how hard that is to do?!)
  • 11 months having to use a walker ( we were so happy when he graduated to a cane last month!)
  • I can't even remember how many phone calls, emails, meetings and benefit reviews with lawyers... About 75?
  • Immeasurable tears anxiety and anger
  • Just enough patience from God
  • And we are not done yet




11 February 2013

I am *so* over it

Do you ever just get so bored with all the cutting and just wanna SEW already?! That's how this project feels right now.