What I’m Reading: The Lost Orphan

I found a book that looked interesting…The Lost Orphan by Stacey Halls.

I love historical fiction and honestly have a little trouble finding books that are good that all aren’t WWII related.  I think that the WWII era is the “in vogue” time period to write about now.  I know 25 years ago it was more of the pioneering and Civil War times that many historical fiction books were written about…now, it seems WWII.

This one wasn’t about WWII and was a treat to get to read about a different time.  This was London 1754.

The Lost Orphan: A Novel by [Stacey Halls]
I have to say I was a little disappointed not really believing the date of 1754 that the book was supposedly set in.  Really it read more like a  late 1800’s of early 1900 piece.  The book is really strong in the beginning and finished okay.  I was so excited to be reading it but then for some reason, I didn’t know it at the time, my enthusiasm for it waned.  All in all a good story and so wish more custody cases came to a happier ending as this did.

Here’s what Amazon had to say: Continue reading

Community Quilts from Ray and Friends

Finished quilt tops just keep pouring in.  A year or more ago I remember anxiously hoping someone would send me pictures of a finished top to so I’d have a charity quilt to feature on Thursday mornings.  Now I am getting so many in I never have to worry.  In fact, I’ve even added more slots in the blog to feature them.

Today’s quilts were finished by Ray.  He writes:
Attached is a pic of a quilt that I just finished. Actually all I had to do was add the binding. It is a really nice quilt, well made and measures 44 x 55.”

A couple of weeks ago you posted that I needed help with stash to complete quilts. Beth in Destin, FL reached out to me and then sent me a BIG box of stuff including fabrics, a flimsy, a partially assembled top and this quilt that needed binding.”

“Doreen in Fredericksburg, IA also sent me a box of fabric. In it was the binding fabric I used, yellow with pink polka dots. Truly a community quilt.”

Thanks to Jo, Beth and Doreen for the contributions to completing this quilt.

On to quilt #2….
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My Doctor Appointment

Yesterday I went to my doctor appointment in Rochester to the Mayo Clinic.  If you’ve been following my saga, you know I have returned thyroid cancer and have been referred onto the Mayo Clinic.  I had a miserable time with the endocrinologist I was seeing and asked to be seen by someone else.  They referred me on to Doctor Ryder and I’m so very happy as she is everything my previous doctor wasn’t.  Best of all she is an oncologist AND and endocrinologist…which in reality is really who I need to be seeing.

Parking was a little more than it typically is but not terrible.  I’ve learned that now when I go to appointments on my own, I always take a picture of my level with my camera so I don’t forget where I parked….silly I know but it’s one of the quirky things about me.

So for my appointment, I got in fine by my wait time in the doctor’s office was long.  It was okay and totally worth it though.  I felt like all the questions I’ve had over the last 4 years of dealing with this were finally answered.  I left feeling so much better.

So here are some of the things I’m learning.  Although some people can be cured if they get to the point I am, it’s also very normal for people to deal with this chronically…meaning, I never get cured and this going back and forth to appointments never really ends.  The good news though, this is typically slow growing…like years to grow, so she really only wants to see me every six months and even then, I won’t have to go through as many tests as I’ve had to do lately.  That was good news for me to hear.  The testing and diet gets to be a lot.

The other news is even if they find the specific source of where the cancer is at, it doesn’t mean I’ll get treated right away.  With my kind of cancer they watch and wait as the treatment can often be harder on the patient than having the slow growing cancer.

One of the problems that arises for people with return thyroid cancer is that often the new cancer becomes resistant to radioactive iodine and radioactive iodine is the treatment for thyroid cancer.  So, for me, …once the cancer is found for sure, there is a drug I can take that might make my body do a better job with accepting the radioactive iodine…at least that is the hope.

She said that at the point my tumor marker (it’s 117 now) is when the cancer typically shows itself so she is hopeful that when I return in December, we’ll know where it is.  No guarantee, as I was told again and again, that each patient is different.

I felt confident in what I was told.  I felt listened to.  I felt she cared about me.  I didn’t feel dismissed.  I felt she was very competent and at the top of her field.  All of that, is what is most important to me.   I left the doctor’s office feeling good.  I felt like I understood what was happening to my body…and I felt like I was seeing a doctor who actually knew what they were doing.  That is so much better than I felt two weeks ago when I went.

So on my way home, all masked up, I did something I haven’t done before…can you guess what it is? Continue reading

Moda Bake Shop: Peaks and Valleys

As many of you know, Kelli and I did a lot of quilts for Moda Bake Shop several years ago.  Some of the things you likely don’t know is that Moda Bake Shop isn’t ran quite the way it used to run.  The site has been reworked and can now be found through www.modafabrics.com.  Well through all of this, Kelli and I have been overwhelmed by questions from interested parties wanting the patterns for specific quilts as some of the patterns have been “lost in the archives”.  Well, to be honest, we are wanting to avoid all those emails and requests so we are going to be featuring one of our old Moda Bake Shop quilt or projects each week until all of them are posted here on our blog so we can readily find them and have access to them whenever we want.  These quilts will be archived here on the blog in the free patterns section on the right column.

To cut out this quilt you will need a Tri Recs Ruler. I have this one…You can find one HERE on Amazon.

Fat Quarter Bundle- Ours was the fabric line Salt Air
5 yards Moda Marble
3/4 yard stripe for binding
6.5 yards for backing

Before cutting I want to show you what the block looks like that we will be making.

We will be constructing “triangle in a square units” and coupling them with squares to create the block.  Each block consists of:
4~ cream squares
4~colored squares

4~triangle in a square blocks with a colored center


4~triangle in a square blocks with a cream center

56 of these blocks are joined together to create the zig zag Peaks and Valleys design.

Working with this specialty ruler can be a bit tricky but very do-able.
Please note
:  There is a left and a right side to the small right angled triangles that are sewn to the center triangle.

To cut these right and left hand side pieces it is important to keep the fabrics laying right sides together as you cut the triangles.  This will insure that you will get a right and a left side piece each time you cut.  If you are hesitant to use the ruler, there are good videos out that show you how. Here’s one.

Let’s start cutting:
From the cream background fabric:
Cut 48~ 3.5″ strips.
Subcut:  232~ 3 1/2″ squares
232 center triangles
232 right handed triangles
232 left handed triangles

Open the fat quarter pack and press the fat quarters.
Cut four 3 1/2″ strips that are 18″ long from 29 of the fat quarters.

From each set of strips:
Cut 8~ 3 1/2″ squares.
Cut 8~ center triangles
Cut 8~ right handed triangles
Cut 8~left handed triangles

Now that everything is cut, let’s start sewing.  I sorted my left and right handed colored triangles into piles.

All seams are sewn at 1/4″.

Take the cream triangles and add the left hand side piece like this.

Press the seam to the printed fabric to create this.

Add the right hand triangle next.

Press to the printed piece to create this….

Repeat to create 232 units.  Repeat the process making units with a printed center and cream outer triangles creating 232 units.

Next add a square to each triangle unit as shown.  Note that the center of the triangle is the color of square that is added.  Make 232 units of each type.  Press all seams to the point of the triangle.

Sew the units together in a line as shown.  Press all seams to the point of the triangle.

Make 232 units.

The units now need to be sewn together to make blocks.  To do that, arrange four of the strips together as shown.

Match the seams and sew.  Press.  Repeat to make 56 blocks.  You will have some units left over.  Save these to piece the backing.

Sew 8 blocks together in rows.  Make 7 rows.  Sew the strips together to create the quilt top.

To piece the backing sew the remaining units together into one long strip.  Cut the backing in half.  Sew a strip of backing to each side of the pieced unit.  Press.

Sandwich top, batting and back.

Quilt as desired.  This is what I did…

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