Students Work, Beach and Book Review

May 21st, 2015

Barbara Marcone took a class from me a few years ago on Long Island, NY. She said she learned so many techniques for hand-pieced and hand appliqued quilts and was able to use most of them in the making of this quilt. Looks like it did pretty well, huh? The judges’ comments were that the “piecing and applique were well executed and the circles were excellent (all 180 of them). Barbara said she would have been happier if the judges said the circles were “Perfect”.

Great job, Barbara!


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More photos from beach week.  Did I mention I love the Outer Banks??  Love it.

We have been vacationing at the Outer Banks for many years.  Some years we see a lot of sand dollars.  This year we only saw the one pictured below.  Wonder why some years there are lots….like the year we found 27 perfect sand dollars in one walk. And then this year there was only one during a dozen walks.

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The cormorants sit as sentinels at the  border.

The North Carolina side…..


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and the Virginia side.


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You horse’s______  Oh, I did not just think that!!

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I loved this bug on the beach.  What fantastic colors.  He would look good on a quilt.  Not the real bug.  I mean he could be made out of fabric, or paint or thread, or a combination of all three.

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A couple of weeks before surgery, I asked Joe if he would order the Outlander series on audio for me.  I had started to read this series many, many years ago and then got side tracked.  For those of you who don’t know…..Diana Gabaldon does not know how to write a short book.  I’m not saying they are bad…..I’m saying they are long.  I thought….I’ll have time during my recovery from surgery to listen to the series.  What was I thinking?  I had forgotten just how long each book is.  The good news… recovery will be over long before I finish the series!!!

The book starts in 1945 with Claire Randall, a former combat nurse.  She is just back from the war and on a second honeymoon of sorts with her husband.  Clarie walks through a standing stone.  It takes her back in time.  It is now 1743 and Claire has to adapt.  Just so you know and are prepared…there are many sex scenes…get ready.

R & R at the Beach and Book Review

May 18th, 2015

With my doctors blessings, I was able to take a week of R&R in the Outer Banks.  I tried to convince them to write a prescription for a week at the beach so I that could submit it to my insurance, but……no go.  As my sister taught me when I was young….it never hurts to ask.

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the week.  There were a lot so I’ll share more with you next week.

The first two are views from the house we rented.  It was right on the beach.  Ahhhhhh…..

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There was a pool at this house.  It was a little too chilly for me to swim.  However, as we were getting ready for our daily walk, I looked out from the upper level of the house. I saw a toad in the pool and he was desperately trying to find a place to get out.

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Not to worry Mr. Toadie, I will save you.  Gladly.  Here he is safely on the concrete around the pool.  He was exhausted.  After he thanked me, he jumped under the fence to freedom.  You are welcome Mr. Toadie.

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This part of the Outer Banks is known for it’s wild horses.  This year, we saw more horses than normal.

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What was not normal….. after I saved Mr. Toadie, was a noise I heard behind me. I turn to find a horse on the porch trying to enter our rented house.  Within a short time, he wandered back into the grasses for grazing.  So, maybe the grass is not always greener on the other side…..just saying…..

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Well, of course I would read a book that mentions thread.  However, the thread in the book was not really about sewing.  This book takes you through 3 generations of the Whitshank family.  Abby loves to tell her children about the day she feel in love with their father, Red.  Red’s father built the house where Red and Abby now live.  The story takes you back through the time the house was built and brings you to the present.  As Abby and Red are aging, their children have to deal with how to best care for their parents.  Good read.

Until next week……


Photos From My Morning Walks

May 8th, 2015

Recovery from surgery is going so much better than I ever would have expected.  I’ve been walking each morning for about 45 minutes.  I may be walking at a little slower pace than before surgery….but not much slower.  I’m sure I’ll be back to my normal pace soon.  As I’ve been on my walks, I have not had any shortness of breath or pain of any kind.  It’s been amazing.  I’m not yet ready to go back to weight training, which is part of my normal routine.  I’m going to need many more weeks before that happens.

Something I feel I must mention as the question has been asked of me so many times.  People who know me well were aware that prior to surgery I would do 30 to 60 minutes of cardio at least 6 times a week and weight training 4 times a week.  (Sneakers don’t take up much weight in my luggage so there is never an excuse not to have them with me when I am on the road!)  Anyway, the questions relate to my heart problem and exercise.  I need you to know that the first time I saw the cardiologist he said, “You need to know you did nothing wrong.  Not too much or too little exercise, nothing about what you did or did not eat, nothing to do with weight caused this.”  The problem is congenital. Apparently, it was there for a long time. I had decided to have a family doctor check-up and they found the murmur which lead to surgery.  I think I am very lucky that I went to see the family doctor when I did.  Intuition???

Here are some photos I took this week during my walks.  I’m not sure if we’re having an exceptional spring or if coming out of heart surgery and having some down time is making me see things I might have otherwise overlooked.

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Until next week……

Recovery Continues to Go Well and A Student’s Work

April 30th, 2015

News from the surgeon’s office was awesome.  As a matter of fact, they said I was doing better than normal.  The PA said my blood is “beautiful”.  I always was an over achiever!  Here’s to hoping the good news continues and I can keep walking further.  I’m up to about 30 minutes.  Yippee.   I am blessed.  If you had told me I would be able to walk this far so soon after surgery, I would not have believed you.

Here are some photos from my recent walk.

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Lavina Smith took a class with me last summer in Jonesborough, TN. It was on one of my Majestic Mosaic quilt blocks.  Here is her finished block.  Good job Lavina.  You should be very proud.

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Until next week…….

Recovery Going Well

April 25th, 2015

My recovery is going well.  At least according to me.  I’m sure the surgeon, who I see Monday, will give me the full lowdown.  I just got back from a 15 minute walk and I feel good.  I do have the best nurse in the world, that would be Joe of course.  My arm is locked in his during each walk.

Yesterday was the first day I was up and moving for most of the day.  It was the first day I felt good enough to stay up and moving.  Monday through Thursday I would get up and shower and then have to go back to bed and rest for 20 minutes or more before I had the energy to dry my hair.  On Monday Joe, being ever to helpful, thought he would dry my hair.  You’ve seen pictures of Joe so you know he does not need to use a hairdryer.  I could not stop laughing.  And it hurts when I laugh.  I had to make him stop because my right boob was hurting from so much laughing.  He’s going to need some hairdresser training!

Today I sewed on 16 very small circles and about 32 beads to finish one of the blocks going into my next big quilt.  Yippee!!  Sewing makes me feel even better.

And Cheryl, just so you know, Joe is making sure I do my breathing tests.  Seriously, he would have made a great nurse.  Maybe he missed his calling……

Having my assistant, Lynn, is a true blessing.  It was so wonderful to not have to worry about orders, emails, posts, etc.  Lynn just takes care of it and does a great job.  It allowed me to focus on recovery.  And it allowed Joe to focus on me without having to worry about the business stuff.  Thanks Lynn.  So glad you work here.  You have made my life much, much easier.

I cannot thank you all enough for the outpouring of emails, notes left on my blog (which I finally read today), snail mail, flowers… get the idea.  I love being a quilter and part of a giving, kind and thoughtful family.  I have to stop now before I start to cry.  I know I have found my calling…..

More on Recovery – April 22, 2015

April 22nd, 2015

What can be more of an encouragement while recovering from open heart surgery??? What can help distract from the healing incisions which can be irritating????

Some great news!

While Karen and Joe went for a walk, her little assistant is sneaking a picture of some happenings last night in Paducah!

2015 AQS QuiltWeek® – Paducah

And the Winners Are…
Wait no longer for the complete list of contest winners at AQS QuiltWeek® – Paducah, KY 2015! After the show, photos of the winning quilts and videos of winning quiltmakers will be available.

Winning quilts will be featured in the next issue of American Quilter magazine.

Janome America, Inc. Best of Show #202 MAJESTIC MOSAIC, Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Woot! Woot!

Our little local paper picked up the story, as well! She was unable to do a happy dance but her assistant did one!

Karen is in shock but so delighted that she and Renae won this honor!

Recovery Time! April 21, 2015

April 21st, 2015

Karen is recovering comfortably at home. She is doing so well! She is up and about and enjoys being able to take a walk outside. Karen plans to be in her sewing room later today! I wonder if she is doing so well due to the best nurse ever?!?!? Joe Blog

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Or, could it be the fabulous outpouring of prayer, well wishes and good juju from all of you?!?!?


Thank you so much!

Heart Surgery Recovery – April 17, 2015

April 17th, 2015

Good Morning!

Just wanted to pass along the update that Karen is doing well and resting. I have included some pictures to help you all see that!

Karen has a commanding view of the river from her corner suite in the CICU. The staff is amazing and the facility, grand. The midnight shift made up a bed so that Joe could stay with her. Must have been comfortable because he said he even took a nap!

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Karen’s room with a view of the river.



Sitting up

Karen has been out of bed and is sitting up in her snazzy pj’s.


Karen’s vitals look good and she is looking forward to a little walk today.

Karen is still, obviously, in some pain but the medications do help.

Many thanks for the love and support at this time……keep those “good vibrations” coming!

Heart Update: She’s Out!

April 16th, 2015

So glad to tell you all that Karen is out of surgery! She will be in ICU for the next 24 hours or so for observation then on to her deluxe accommodations of a regular hospital room.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bessie, the cow, for her valve! They did try to repair the flappers, but it was better to go ahead with the replacement. All went as well as can be expected and now……the recovery! Hopefully, we can get this busy gal to rest and recuperate!

Until the next update…….



Heart Surgery Update

April 16th, 2015

Not much to tell you all yet. Waiting is the name of the game! Karen is prepped and ready to go. Surgery will start at about 1:00. Thank you for your well wishes, prayers and good juju. Keep sending them!