October 9, 2019

One Year Ago Today...


… my life changed.

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. Maybe it's wishful thinking to hope that I'm being dramatic. But, here we are.

This is not a post like you expect from A Quilting Chick. But I've been MIA here and you deserve to know why and I need a place to put my story.

But remember one thing as you read. God prepared me for this. In so many wonderful and amazing ways. Keep that in mind.

Last year, I decided to start doing some part-time work recharging and cleaning those scooters you see on the sidewalks of many cities. On October 9, 2018, at about 6 am, I pulled up to a location where there was supposed to be a scooter ready for pickup. I was slowly working my way to the office for work and had time, so I figured a quick pickup was okay. I grabbed my keys and phone and stepped out of the car to look for the scooter, going back behind a row of bushes to check as well as across a small courtyard. No scooter, no biggie.

Head back to the car. As I approached my car, I saw a truck parked nose-to-nose with my car and some kid was getting out of the driver's side. Figuring he was there for the same thing I was, I smiled and turned toward my car only to see someone getting out of my driver's side door. He had my tote bag and was running to the truck.

Not being a completely sane and rational person, I ran after the guy. He jumped into the back of the truck and threw my tote into the passenger window. I reached through the window, grabbed my tote, said, "Thank you very much!" and turned to go back to my car.

I heard the truck start and figured they were running.

Then I felt it.

I couldn't believe they hit me.  As I felt myself being slammed into the side of my car, I kept telling myself to just hold on a few seconds more. It would all be over in just a few seconds.

I landed behind my car and I heard them speed off. I still had my phone so I called 911. Started telling the operator what happened, started hearing sirens, then heard a vehicle pull up.  I was so thankful. EMS was there.

But it wasn’t EMS.

I heard a door open, running feet, then someone grabbed the phone out of my hand.

But the penny hadn't dropped yet.

Not until he grabbed my tote bag.

"Are you kidding me?!?!" (Yes, the security footage clearly hears me yelling that.)

Then running steps back to a vehicle that sped away. People started pouring out of apartments, EMS finally showed up, homicide detectives showed up. And I was whisked away, off to the hospital.

Now that I was safe, all I wanted was my loved ones. I don't know how long they poked, prodded, and x-rayed before I was allowed the phone. Luckily, I make it a habit to memorize a handful of phone numbers (who does that any more? I guarantee, I do and my kids have been trained to).

But no one would answer.

I called my sister, as she lives here in town. Then my mom. Then my daughter. Then my best friend. Over and over. Until my best friend answered and promised to handle the calls and I could let go.

The rest of the day went by in a blur. Maybe the next few days. But everyone was there. My sister there first. Then my kids started arriving - seemed like they got here pretty quick. And my niece, who's been as close as a daughter. My boss showed up. Mom got there the next day. This outpouring of love.

Remember, I told you, God prepared me for this.

I was hit by a truck, rolled between it and my car, and left for dead. (Okay, maybe that IS being a little dramatic, but frickin' homicide was sent to my location!!)

But, the only damage was a broken knee, tibia, pelvic bone, and sacrum (part of the tailbone).

They took me to surgery. I think that was day one, but not completely sure.

All the employees at the hospital were wonderful. Except for the anesthesiologist who was rude, hurtful, and had me in tears - and left the other doctors apologizing for her behavior.

The hospital moved me into a rehab program to teach me how to maneuver myself in and out of my wheelchair and how to use crutches to get in and out of my house.

This is where the wonder of God's plan starts to show itself.

The hospital wouldn't release me until I could get up the three stairs into my house. A year before, I moved out of a townhouse with a full flight of stairs into a first-floor apartment. I was out of the hospital in two weeks.

Mom stayed with me for about a month and my sister was there every single day. I would have been lost without that help. Thank you.

But I'm also very independent and like to do things for myself. So I learned how to maneuver the wheelchair. How to make things easier. What tricks to use to do things for myself.

And God prepared me for this.

It was a good six months before I could sleep in my bed all night. My recliner became my home. A recliner I bought when I moved into my first-floor apartment.

My sons became another lifeline here in town. The son's that lost their way and were lost to me, living in a halfway house but, over the last year, found a church home and made the changes in their lives that got them good jobs and a stable home and made them capable of being the help I've needed. Thank you.  I’m very proud of who they’ve become.

I've had friends stopping by to check in, clean the house, or just to visit. Friends I reconnected with over this last year after years of being out of touch except for Facebook. Thank you.

My boss let me work from home, even making a few trips to me to drop things off or pick things up. Work I wouldn't have been able to do except last May, I broke down and bought a decent printer for the house with Bluetooth so I could work from my recliner or from my desk (in the sewing room that had to become my short-term home office).

And my kids. My kids got a scare, didn't they? My daughter can't go a day without making sure I'm okay. They all stay in touch so much more now. For being there when I needed you, for understanding when I couldn't bring myself to dealing with people by answering the phone. For the love, comfort, and help you all gave. Thank you.

In January, the doctors let me start putting weight on my leg again. I quickly pushed and pushed and by February, I was walking with only a cane. Now, I'm moving pretty well, using a cane mainly for additional support with just a neoprene knee brace to help keep the knee stable.

I'm still dealing with pain every day. The doctors say I probably always will. But I'm here and I'm doing and I'm getting my life back.

Much more than I can say for my attackers.

Attacker #1. He was a 16 years old problem child. The police told me that he had taken daddy's new truck out after he pulled a gun on his mother's boyfriend that same day. Later that day, he managed to total his dad's truck. His girlfriend and newborn baby were in the courtroom with us. As soon as he was brought into court our eyes met and it was a flashback right to the moment this started. He's been sentenced to 10 years. But he's in juvenile so, right before he turns 18, we go back to court. If the judge feels he's been rehabilitated, he'll be released on probation for the duration of his sentence. Otherwise, he'll be remanded to the adult system.

Attacker #2. He was 20, so tried as an adult. But as he wasn't the driver, he was sentenced to 7 years. 

God helped me. He prepared me for every single step. Little things that I haven't even listed, I would stop and think, "If I hadn't of done this, I wouldn't have been prepared for what is happening." Maybe Attacker #1 needed a swift kick to get his life together and make a better life for his newborn daughter. Maybe he'll take advantage of being in juvenile, learn a trade, and this will have been his turning point.

Maybe.

But we are done with that. All of that is over. I've had good help and good listeners around me and we are done with all of it.

They took much more than my phone and bag.  They took my independence, my hobby/fledgling business, and my mobility. Every day that I sat in that chair, not doing what I wanted to be doing, was another day they stole from me.

So now, a year later, we are officially starting over.

I'm back. You're going to see me start taking A Quilting Chick in a slightly new direction. I'm going to be working on whatever makes me happy. No-fuss. No stress. The sewing room is my happy place and I'm not letting stress in there.

I'm going to start selling my quilts! You'll start seeing them show up in my Etsy store. It will be a slow process because, at last count, I have 44 quilt tops ready to be quilted. Money will dictate how quickly they get done. I'll start with the crib and lap quilts that I can easily do on my home machine. 

You'll start seeing some block tutorials here. I've been quilting for about 20 years now and I have learned a few things along the way. I feel it's time to start passing that on. Maybe I'll start teaching classes again.

And I'm considering doing a few challenges. Just an idea banging around up there. We'll talk about it.

But for now, I'm closing. I'm going radio silent today. Tomorrow, we play!

September 12, 2018

My Happy Place Row Along!

I'm so excited to be participating in the "My Happy Place Row Along" hosted and organized by the fabulous Marian of Seams to be Sew!  She has been amazing in putting this together and keeping everyone organized.  I cannot even begin to imagine how much work she has put into this event.  Thanks Marian for everything you do!

Today I'm sharing my row.  When I first thought about my happy place, I immediately thought about my sewing room.  Even started to design the row.  But it just wasn't quite right and I started thinking in broader terms.  When I started looking through the fabrics offered to us to complete the rows by Northcott (another huge thank you!!) and stumbled across their line called Cowboy Mantras, I knew I had it!



Texas is my happy place!  So without further ado, here's my row...


Here's a link to the pattern!  Let's start with the simple block...


Isn't that the cutest???  We all know that panel blocks come in all different sizes.  When I cut out the panel to make this block, it measured at 6-1/2".  All of my blocks for this row needed to be at 10-1/2".  You can make yours with any panel block that you want to; just be sure to increase the size of your cut panel to 10-1/2" with fabric strips on the sides.

The easy math for this is this.  Add an inch to the desired finished size to account for seam allowances.  So...

10-1/2 + 1" = 11-1/2"

Then subtract the size of your cut panel block...

11-1/2" - 6-1/2" = 5"

Since we are adding strips to both sides, divide that number in half...

5" divided by 2 = 2-1/2"

So my strips needed to be 2-1/2" wide.   Easy peasy!

Next up is the fence block:


I do so love this block!  The cutting instructions are on the pattern and it is very simple to put together.  I chose to make a small star block to hang as a quilt on my fence.  You can make any small quilt that you like for yours, just make sure it measures 4" square so it doesn't overwhelm your fence.  Mine is pinned into place until the quilting is done, then I'll attach it.

And finally, our star block...


Now, don't let yourself freak out!  This is a very simple paper pieced block.  There are some great paper piecing tutorials on the web so I won't overdo here, but I will give you my tips on assembly.

First, after you cutout the pattern, layout the block and mark each piece with the color of fabric that you are going to use...


I used "B" for blue, "R" for red, and left the background pieces blank.


Knowing what size to cut fabric always seems to be a stumbling block for people.  Here's what I do.  Layout the paper piece and put your ruler over it.  The first piece is easy.  Just make sure the fabric will cover the entire section 1 and will give a seam allowance on all sides...


Then using fabric glue applied to the back of the paper piece, adhere piece 1 to the wrong side of your piece 1 fabric...


The second piece of fabric is where the trouble comes in.  Place the quarter inch line of your ruler on the seam line...


By doing this, you can clearly see how big the fabric needs to be cut in order to cover the entire piece, including your seam allowances.  I cut this piece at 2" x 5".

Here's another example...


We are dealing with a lot of angled pieces.  By putting the quarter inch line on our sewing line, it's easy to see that this next piece should be cut at 2-1/4" x 6".

Once your pieces are assembled, layout your quilt block to make sure the colors are all in the right places and so you can easily see which pieces go together.


In the case of our star, the top two pieces go together, then on each half, we join the two bottom pieces.  This is another tripping point so I'm going to show you how I assemble my paper pieced sections.  PINS ARE YOUR FRIENDS HERE!!!

I pin at every single intersection as well as both ends.  Put a pin directly into the seam where two lines join together...


Make sure it goes through the exact same spot on the back, again, where the seam lines intersect...


DON'T PIN THEM IN PLACE YET!  Just put the pins through each intersection.


Now, pull the pin tight and pinch the pieces together, right next to the pin, so that the pieces don't shift, then pin in place...


Repeat with all pins.  Then sew together.  Repeat for all sections...


And combine each section, again, pinning at every single seam intersection.


And there you have it!  I hope you love this row as much as I do!!  And that I was able to help you along the way.

Now for the giveaway!  Are you ready for that!  Today's wonderful sponsor is Kimberbell Designs.



She has graciously agreed to giveaway TWO patterns!


Isn't that cute?!?  I can't wait to see who gets it!  Here's the Rafflecopter.  You know what to do!  Rules for the giveaway are at the end of the post.  Winner is responsible for the shipping charges.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here is the rest of the row along schedule.  Please visit my new friends and enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Show and Tell Day



Thanks so much for joining me today!!!  I'd love to hear from you and seeing your finished rows!  I actually plan on taking mine and the leftover panel blocks and making another Fancy That Quilt! :)



Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.

Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.

There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.

You'll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways.

Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.

I will start announcing winners on September 11, 2018, and finish announcing winners on October 10, 2018.

In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their 
winners.

You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.

With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.

You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don't do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.

In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway... do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and...

Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don't win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.

No purchase whatsoever is necessary.

You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.

You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.

All winners are chosen at random.

All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.

Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.

This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.

Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.

The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.

Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.

I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.

If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.

An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.

Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.

July 20, 2018

American Flag Quilt - Set 1 Complete!

Hi y'all!  I wanted to pop in and show you the first blocks that I completed for the American Flag quilt.  Just so you know, I'm basing these on the state block patterns that are floating around the internet.  I am drafting them in EQ so I can paper piece them to the size I want.  These are my Indiana blocks (pattern available in this blog post).

First up, my blue block.  I'm making one of each for a total of 50 and it will finish at 3".


Next are my white Indiana blocks.  I made two of these:


And finally, my red blocks.  Since this was a pretty easy block, I decided to make three of this one. 


The red and white blocks will finish at 4".  Here they are together.


Next up are my Louisiana blocks.  You can find the blue and white pattern here and the red and white pattern here.  Again, a pretty easy block so I'll be making 2 of them in white and 3 in red.  We'll need 50 blue and white blocks (of course!), 93 white on white blocks and 104 red on red blocks, so pick the easier ones or your favorite ones to make an extra red and the harder ones to make less white. :)

Again, here's what we are going for:


Really enjoying this one and working at a non-rushed pace!