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I’ve decided that if what my girls are doing is “adulting” then what I’m doing is “widowing.” Widowing is a bit different than adulting….

1. You didn’t choose it (well, if you did then I refer you to Orange is the New Black for advice because that’s not in my wheelhouse…)

2. It’s lonelier than adulting because it can feel like all the good parts of adulting are behind you.

3. It’s an opportunity to be profoundly grateful for all you still have or bitter for all you’ve lost. Or both, at once, or in turns…. whatever.

4. It’s a journey… maybe not the one you thought you were taking… but you still have a choice to enjoy the view.

5. Quilting helps. Quilting with friends helps. Quilting alone helps. Not that it changes anything but the act of creating is life affirming. (Also, having a good stash of fabric when your finances are suddenly very different is a blessing. )

So what have I been working on? My class is back to full swing and we’re charging ahead with wonky stars. Wonky stars are a great beginner tool for teaching angles and joining blocks.

Look at these beauties! (And the stars are pretty, too!)

Me, I haven’t made much headway on anything in particular but did start some vortex scrapping.

I’m also starting think of what try to sew for Christmas.

I’ll be honest, widowing is tough. I’m exhausted at the end of each day. The other morning, I rolled over half asleep and threw my arm over where Phil should have been. I woke with a start when my arm dropped to the mattress. I want to call my mom and tell her things and then remember I can’t. But friends help, the kind you see in person and the kind you have online.

Thank you, my friends.

Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop

Hello,You know, I have a confession to make…I don’t really decorate for Halloween but with the projects I’ve been making for this hop (and the Halloween stash I’ve accumulated) I’m going to have to start!This year, I made quick work of a panel I bought while traveling to Phil’s high school reunion. He was always so great about hitting some quilt shops when we traveled. I decided, with lots of input from my youngest, to add a border treatment and some wonky stars.

I’ll be showing more wonky stars soon as my sew talented class is working on them.I need to thank Carol at Just Let Me Quilt for both hosting this hop and for changing the schedule so I’d have a little more time. Be sure to visit the other hoppers!

October 11 – TODAY

Dear Mom

I’ve not been able to share this yet and I’ve been struggling with what to say. So I thought I’d do what I always do and tell my mom about it. Feel free to listen in.

Dear Mom,

We made it to Oakland and I have some time between flights so I thought I’d write to you. I still can’t believe you’re gone. I keep telling people that if I was reading a novel and a character came out of her room to find her mom collapsed and passed away in the stairway…. well, I’d say the author was laying it on pretty thick. But there you were.

I’m grateful it was quick for you. And I’m grateful that you got to have your last evening with all four of your kids together. I imagine you stepped into Heaven and had a few words with God about timing… and it makes me smile to think of you in your five-foot nothing self giving the Almighty an earful. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that losing you so soon after losing Phil was a crushing blow.

You were widowed so young, Mom, just 38 when dad died. I realized later that you died in the same month 50 years later. I was planning on learning how to do this widow life from an expert. I guess you’ll just have to guide from above.

You were my only parent for 50 of my 56 years and you taught me so much. You taught me to look for joy and find it in little things. You taught me, in the words of Aunt June, “You just do what you have to do. ” And I’ll keep doing it, Mom. You loved us, worried about us, encouraged us, and listened to us. (Especially me since I probably talk more than the other three combined. )

People tell me I’m holding up amazingly well. That’s only because I’m a good actress… and because you taught me to be strong. And to appreciate what you still have. And one of the things I have is precious memories of you… the long talks, the travel, the shared love of books and art and the example always in front of me of how to keep going.

I love you, Mom. I’m sure I’ll write more soon.



Show and Tell Day


So today is show and tell day and there’s been a lot going on that I’m not going to talk about in this post so I’m going to do more showing than telling.

I decided to figure out what to do with the sample red, white and blue version I made of my block.  I didn’t really want to finish it as a small quilt but I didn’t want a fussy set of borders, either.  My solution…more star points!  Really big ones!  My little 30″ block has ballooned to a 60″ top with the addition of one more set of star points.


I’d like to say that I used the different backgrounds for balance but it turns out I just didn’t have a lot of tan prints in big pieces!  I started with 16″ squares cut on the diagonal for the star points.  Then I trimmed them to 15.5.  Now, I’m thinking of adding a narrow blue border, or maybe more tan to float it?  And perhaps a piano key (oops, I did say not fussy, didn’t I?)

There are more prizes up for grabs today and you can enter here.  (Be sure to follow the sideways arrow to enter all the giveaways!)  I’d like to thank Marian at Seams to be Sew and all our lovely sponsors for this hop.

Northcott  EQ8  C & T Publishing

Anita-Goodesign NCF-08  NCF-07

I’d also like to thank each of you who commented on the loss of my husband.  It was three weeks ago yesterday and we’ve been hit with another loss which will wait for its own post. (I’ve been trying for a week to write a post that won’t be written…denial, perhaps?)  But I will tell you that every kind word was a help to my spirit.

In the meantime, please visit all the other talented people in today’s line up.  You’ll be glad you did!


Show and Tell’s Featured Projects

Just Let Me Quilt
Words & Stitches
Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Ursula Prandtstetter at Tuning My Heart Quilts
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Linda B Creative
Charlie???s Daughter at Bobbin In Quilts
Seams To Be Sew – Layout Tutorial




Once Upon a Story Row Along


I love participating in the Row Along every year and I’m especially excited to play around with the fun, whimiscal fabric from Northcott!  Unfortunately, my Northcott version is incomplete.  As you will know if you read my last post, my husband, Phil,  passed away on September 15th.  It was sudden and unexpected and devastating.  Needless to say, my life is more than a little disorienting right now.

For my block, I choose Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I love, love, love Sawtooth stars and use them frequently.  Here’s my block in it’s entirety in my practice colors 20190622_140518

And here’s the beginning of my block featuring this pretty pink with grey accents fabric!


My instructions for the block are right here Twinkle, Twinkle by Beth Strand


The wonderful folks at Northcott are supporting our row along with prizes including this lovely bundle


I love a good ocean theme, don’t you?

All you need to do is enter here.

Many, many thanks to all the wonderful sponsors and to Marian at Seams to Be Sew for coordinating all of this.  I think she’s earned the title of Chief Cat Herder!

Be sure to check out all of today’s designs and there are lots of prizes, too!

Thursday, 9/26/2019
From My Carolina Home | Words & Stitches | Tuning My Heart Quilts

May your quilting be a balm to your soul as it is to mine.


Twinkle, Twinkle by Beth Strand

My Guy


I’ve said the words but they still don’t feel real.  My darling husband, Phil, passed away on Sunday, September 15th from complications of sepsis.  It’s still too painful to talk about what the two weeks before that looked like.  Suffice it to say that this was sudden and unexpected and I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.  Instead of trying to tell you all about Phil (because that would be a novel, not a post), I thought I’d share the letter I wrote him on our 20th anniversary and something that came later.

Dear Phil,

Today as I was driving I saw a pair of butterflies tossed together on a summer breeze. They danced together in the air for a brief time and flew off and it made me think of us. Together and apart we have been tossed on a myriad of life’s breezes. We have raised children, lost a child and quite possibly saved a child or maybe she saved us. 

There have been good times and bad times, heartbreaking times and times that have lifted us up. I don’t believe there is only one person in the world for anyone. But I do believe that you choose the person that you love and you do your best to love them for life. Because loving is an act of courage,  a tossing of your heart onto the perilous winds. 

No matter where life’s breezes toss us, I will always and forever love you. Happy 20th anniversary and may we have many, many more.

 I love you, 


I only left the hospital three times when he was there.  All three were to come home and shower.  The last time I came home, I paused to watch a white butterfly dancing solo over our front lawn.  As I watched, another butterfly joined it and they briefly danced together and then flew away.  I felt as though Phil had sent me a little reminder that he knew how much I love him.

Friends, family, neighbors, quilting buddies, and co-workers have and continue to cover us with love and kindness in this dark time.  I have a lot of worries but facing everything alone isn’t one of them.  Our three girls have teamed up together to support one another and me as well.  I could not have been prouder of them…how they supported each other, advocated for their dad and how much love was expressed between them.  My brother and niece were with us for the whole journey and so many precious friends stayed by our side. All of those things mean so much.

Phil was a beloved guy.  We used to joke that he was grumpy cat on the outside and marshmallow on the inside.  He adored his girls, our cats, our friends and loved hanging out with the neighbors.  He had a great laugh and a way of always making me feel like somehow everything would be ok.  He is missed beyond words.

The great limitation of the English language is that it has no truly adequate words to express grief.

Thank you to everyone who expressed concern and good wishes on my last post.  It’s not the ending we hoped for but I’m  grateful for every prayer, good wish, hope or healing energy that was sent our way.

Bless you all.






My Favourite Quilt Block Blog Hop

Welcome to the “My Favorite Quilt Block” blog hop hosted by Carla at Creatin’ in the Sticks!

I, as you may know, have a very favourite block that I never get tired of….Sawtooth Stars.

I’ve made tons of these. Usually with a novelty print in the center. But this time I decided to try all one color star.

This is a throw for a recently wedded couple I know. I love how strong the graphic is with these solid stars. In fact, I’m planning my next one already! I found that I could get the star pieces for three blocks out of one fat quarter. I had every hope of having this quilted and bound but life has imposed in a rather big and scary way (more on that later but prayers, good thoughts, healing thoughts, etc. to my husband would be appreciated.)

So, off to the rest of the hop… please visit all the talented quilters!

Monday, September 9th
Tuesday, September 10th
Wednesday, September 11th
Thursday, September 12th
Friday, September 13th

Row Along

It’s time! The Once Upon a Story Row Along has begun (school began this week, too, which has kept me hopping!) Be sure to visit all the wonderful designers… there’s sew much fun to be had! There are great sponsors including Nnorthcott Fabrics and prizes…. lots of prizes! Marian at Seams to be Sew has done a great job organizing this! I can wait to show you my row on the 26th!

Hippo Bird Dogs Two….Me!

One of my all- time favorite birthday cards was one from Sandra Boynton that uses hippo bird dogs two ewe as the refrain for happy birthday. (You can see it here.

Anyway, yesterday was the most lovely birthday! It was our big welcome back event for our ESD so I was able to see many of the coworkers I only talk to by phone most of the school year.

My “partner in crime” and long-time friend brought me fabric for my birthday (in a crazy cat lady bag… she knows me well) and my sweet daughter surprised me with flowers and balloons in a Google training class.

We couldn’t all go to dinner last night so we’re going tonight instead so my darling husband made us chicken wings and we started catching up on our Marvel movies. We’ve watched a few here and there but missed many of them. Last night, we watched Thor which was good fun!

Today, my oldest is coming over to quilt so this is all adding up to a lovely birthday week!

On the quilting front, we’ve had another quilt finish the quilting stage and it’s ready to bind.

Isn’t it wonderful? I really need to make one of these myself!

We’ve also started on the wonky stats.

Look at these beautiful things…

Sew much fun! In addition, Sarah started machine quilting her sample from when she was 11. There’s hope for every UFO!

Happy quilting!


More finishes!

We had two finishes at class tonight! Michelle finished her quilt…. isn’t it great?

And Jennifer finished hers! I just love these!

Turns out, wavy lines weren’t as easy as squiggles (lesson learned… thanks for testing my theory and being a good sport, Jennifer!)

The news from the unquilty part of my life is that my mom is in town and we met up with Sarah for a Paris exhibit this morning.

I’m pretty sure we found a missing ancestor (or relative) in a painting…

Just a tad similar… don’t you think?

I also took this cute picture of my mom

I’m having such a nice time with mom. She’s having a bit more headache trouble again but we’re heading out to see Oregon’s only Frank Loyd Wright house tomorrow. One of the great benefits of having company is making time to see the sights in your own back yard.

I’m planning to write up a class outline and share it if anyone is interested in doing their own class. I’m loving this #makeaquilter class. It’s sew much fun!

Happy quilting!