Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Happens In Florida Doesn't Stay In Florida: Fabric Shopping, Slow Stitching, and a Splash in the Pool... Oh, and Open Heart Surgery.

Well, hello there, blogosphere!  I've been in Naples, Florida all last week visiting my in-laws and just got home in time for Maundy Thursday church services.  While in Florida, my darling husband offered to take me to the local quilt shop, Flash Sew and Quilt.  And once we got there, and I started picking out fabric, he was SURPRISED.  Isn't that funny?  What did he THINK I was going to do at the quilt shop -- just pet the fabrics and then leave empty-handed?!  Silly man.

Fat Quarters, Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, and Kona Solids Skinny Strips
The assorted green and blue fat quarters are for my remaining six pineapple log cabin blocks, because I'm bored with the fabrics I've used on the other blocks.  Plus I want as much variety as possible so no two blocks in that quilt are identical, and it would be great if I could lay out my blocks so no patches of the same fabric end up adjacent to one another.

Work In Progress: Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks on My Design Wall
The purple and hot pink Kaffe Fassett fat quarters will be for clam shells and for my 6" sampler blocks.  The Moda dotted layer cake is going to mix in with some of those other big, bright prints in my Farmer's Wife blocks

Another WIP: 6" Sampler Blocks, Farmer's Wife and Others
The white charm squares and the charm pack with the cat food novelty print are for my clam shell quilt, too -- either that or for a tumbler quilt yet to be started -- because 5" charm squares are the perfect size to cut with my clam shell and tumbler Accuquilt GO! dies.

Cutting Out Clam Shells With My GO! Baby Die Cutter
I know I will have lots of leftover blue and green 1 1/2" strips left over once all of those pineapple blocks are complete.  The roll of brightly colored Kona Solids 1 1/2" strips will be mixed in with these leftover blue and green strips for some other project yet to be devised.

Current 1 1/2" Pineapple Strips, Leftovers Will Mix with Kona Solid Strips
After cramming all of these textile goodies into my suitcase, I was able to spend some time relaxing with some slow stitching -- my Frankenwhiggish Rose needle turned applique project:

Slow Stitching in Florida: Needle Turned Applique

I'm working on appliqueing the stacked petals that I assembled off-block to the remaining 8 applique blocks for this project.  I'm having some difficulty lining the pieces up properly when I pin them in place, however, as you can see in the above photo where the bottom petal doesn't touch the adjacent stems like the other petals do.  It's hard for me to tell where the stitching line is in relation to the stems when the seam allowance is still sticking out, covering up the stems!  Ah, well -- antique applique quilts aren't perfect, and this one won't be, either.  Going forward, I'm trying to feel for the bump of the stem and line up the petals that way.  We'll see if that works better.  After all, the whole purpose of this project is LEARNING new applique techniques.  

Here's my husband and son, splashing around in my father-in-law's pool a few days ago:

Bernie and Anders in the Pool
Hard to believe that Bernie is having open heart surgery this coming Wednesday.  Just within the past few weeks he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation caused by a congenital heart defect that has degenerated over time, going unnoticed all these years (during which Mister Tough Guy rarely set foot in a doctor's office -- he has maybe been to the doctor twice in the last 20 years).  Until it got so bad that his heart was enlarged and only pumping blood with 40% efficiency, was short of breath, having chest pains... And finally this 6'8," presumably healthy and very active 48-year-old man was told that he was at risk for congestive heart failure or stroke and needed open heart surgery ASAP.  Very bizarre and surreal; we keep thinking this is a weird dream and we'll wake up tomorrow and laugh about it. 

Bernie's Case Is Severe, Like the One on the Right
Again, Bernie's In the Severe Category
This is the best article I've found that explains about the prolapsed valve regurgitation thing, a condition which my family has (not so)fondly nicknamed "Vomit Heart": Mitral Valve Prolapse Regurgitation

Bernie's surgeon is 90% confident that he can repair this defective valve (rather than replacing it outright) and he is also going to do a surgical maze procedure where he will create scar tissue to disrupt the wacky off-beat electrical pulses that have been making his heartbeat go haywire (Atrial Fibrillation, see cool animation here).  That's why he's going in through the breastbone rather than one of the less-invasive side-access surgeries they can do for valve replacement or for bypass surgery.  He wants to be sure he has access to completely fix the whole heart so Bernie won't need to go back for a surgical encore.  So we're hoping for a full and complete recovery after surgery.  Wish us luck, please!  Warm and fuzzy thoughts and PRAYERS are greatly appreciated.

On My Mind
So this Easter, while I'm singing "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today," I'll also have little earworms in my brain looping "Change of Heart" by Cyndi Lauper...

...and "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" by Danny Gokey:

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Weekend to All!

I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, and Moving It Forward


Ariane said...

I just love your pineapple blocks! They look amazing!!! Your other blocks look amazing too. You are doing well. I wish your husband a speedy recovery from his surgery.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

sure hope all goes well with Bernie's surgery this week - keep the faith all well be well.
love all your blocks and yes what does a husband think - if you take a quilter to a quilt shop do you really expect looking and touching but no buying. So often when we travel we will stop - usually at his suggestion to look at a quilt shop I am not familiar with - sometimes I do not buy as I see nothing worth buying but other times you see so many nice pieces.
Looks like you had a relaxing vacation

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Oh my, how is it possible that that healthy looking Bernie needs open heart, crack the chest surgery? My prayers will follow all of you as you walk through this. Hugs and hugs too!

SJSM said...

Fascinating information regarding heart procedure. It is amazing to me what can be done to correct conditions such as your husband has. Good for your hubby going in to see his doctor before his condition wasn't correctable. We just lost a dear friend because he waited to the point of no return (and didn't tell the doctor all his symptoms when he did go). Bernie will see his doctor from now on when his health changes and likely to go in for regular checkups. This will cause him to have a long and active life.

Fabric store + quilter = surprised husband? Yeah, he didn't think that one through. :). Your choices show how organized your mind is. I would have made the choices for the active quilts in your list. The additional purchases for just glimmer of an idea using left over scrap would have not occurred to me. I would have gone for "oh, pretty, I must have you."

Prayers are with, your husband and the entire clan for a successful outcome on hubby's surgery.

Tammy Hutchinson said...

Great recap of your time away, and best wishes for a speedy recovery for your husband. Science is amazing! I don't know how you feel about it, but I have used my pigma pens to disguise slight mishaps such as the petal and stem mismatch. Not for show quilts, so probably not for you!

Pam said...

MEN! If they ever listened to us and did what we say these things would never happen! Well it sounds like he is in good hands with a good prognosis. He will have some down time-you will have to plan some ways and means to keep him amused!! Especially if he is feeling good, which is what we all hope for, he will be hard to keep down and resting. You did not say when he was having his surgery so we will all keep posted to your blog so we can all pray or commune with our higher power to ensure that he does well. PS I use Elmer's glue in the tube to paste down my applique pieces to the right place. The stuff is cheap, perfectly okay with fabric, and washes out easily. It has made my life easier! Best Wishes Cheeky!

QuiltShopGal said...

Glad to hear you had a wonderful Easter with your family and also a fun visit to a quilt shop. I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers to your husband for a smooth surgery and fast recovery, as well as to you for strength to get thru this. Something tells me you will all soon be looking back on this as a distant memory and very happy and healthy for the rest of your lives. Big hug.


Ramona said...

You have some great projects being made in your quilting room! Your pineapple blocks are gorgeous. Best wishes and prayers for a successful procedure have been sent your way.

Bonnie said...

What a great post today. First off, best wishes to Bernie and the family for a dedicated doctor, a great medical team, great results. May every thing go smoothly this week. I hope you have a bunch of blocks basted to keep you focused during wait times. I love the comment about going to the quilt store! Of course we want to buy fabric. Gee willikers! Your pineapple quilt is amazing. It's coming along well.

Maker Joy said...

I hope everything goes well for your husband's surgery and he recovers quickly.

All of the project you have lined up are wonderful, I especially like your pineapple blocks.

em's scrapbag said...

Looks like you found some goodies for your wonderful projects.
Hope everything goes well with the surgery and your hubby has a quick recovery.

Debbie said...

my 21 year old granddaughter was just diagnosed with a mild case. She was having some post baby depression and while talking to doctor mentioned heart racing at times.. they did tests and she has a mild case they will be monitoring her yearly. crazy my granddaughter has a cardiologist and her 65 year old grandmother (me) doesn't

We will keep your all in our prayers... give those boys special attention. said...

I love your blog post and the pineapple quilt is stunning so far. My hubby has prostate surgery slated for this this Thursday and it's been a stressful journey getting to this surgery date. Not to compare cancer to a congenital heart problem, which is so scary no doubt, but I feel your anxiety. Everything is fine and then suddenly we feel fragile and scared overnight. I wish you well as the caretaker and hope your hubby has a full recovery. I plan to do what I always do when I need a diversion from stress... I will play with fabric and quilt like crazy!! Wishing you the same.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

What a wonderful post though sorry to hear of the surgery emergency. This is where modern medicine can work wonders so good luck.
All your fabrics were a treat for my eyes. Your pineapple log cabin blocks are a true wonder!
Your applique is wonderful. What a quilter you are!

Jill said...

Oh my, you have been busy with fabric and projects and some vacation time. Wise choice on moving forward an the applique block. Bernie looks the picture of health while having fun in that beautiful pool.Thoughts and prayers on the surgery.

Chris said...

Been thinking of you and praying. Glad I caught this post before his surgery tomorrow. After reading your blog for years now, I've gotten kind of attached to you and your family! :-) Praying for a totally successful surgery and for peace and comfort for you and the boys as it takes place.

AnnieO said...

Beautiful fabric and quilts! I work in a primary care medical office and it's quite common for valve surgery patients to see us before and after their procedures, with such a difference in their health!