Monday, March 28, 2011


Here's the second round robin quilt I worked on. It belongs to my buddy in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryellen. We call her ME for short. The first picture is how it was when I first received it. I just love the bright pinks, blues and golds in the original block. The second round picked up the blues and added shades of brown that really set off the original block. I love the pinwheel blocks at the corners. Since the blues were picked up in the second round I decided to pick up the pink in my round. I added strips of blue and gold in addition to the pink and I think it makes a nice impact. Below is the finished quilt. It is so beautiful and colorful, just like the originator. *smile* It's so much fun to see how each person's addition feeds off the earlier ones and adds another dimension to the quilt. Now this picture was taken before the seams were clipped so just imagine all the soft and fluffy seams adding even more to this unique quilt.

Everyone who quilts and has quilting buddies should try a round robin project. It's fun and a great challenge to your imagination. And you get a beautiful keepsake quilt at the end. Thanks to the ladies of the Quilters Corner Group on eBay for this great experience. Stay tuned for the rest of the quilts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Since I posted about my round robin quilt, I thought I would show the progression of the other round robins that passed thru my sewing machine. It's an interesting process to be sure.

The first block I received was from our group leader, an experienced quilter. I mean she has a quilt shop and teaches classes!! Talk about pressure! After thinking long and hard I came up with a simple block pattern in two tones of blue, to pick up the blue in the starter block. I didn't think of taking the "before and after" shots til round robin quilt 2, but below is a picture of the finished quilt.

The light block in the middle was the orignal lock and I added the blue squares. The other participants finished it off with mostly 30's reproduction fabrics. It turned out really cute, don't you think?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Last summer, seven of my online quilting buddies and I decided we would do our version of a round robin quilt project. Round robin quilts are quilts that start with a center block and are sent around to the other participants for their additions and then returned to the originator.

Normally the finished project would be a completed quilt top, ready to layer and quilt. Since not all of us are experienced traditional quilters, we decided that each addition would be joined rag quilt style. That way, when the quilt returned to the originator, it would be finished except for clipping.

This project was the most fun I've had since I participated in an art doll project a few years ago. It is indeed a challenge to come up with something interesting and new to add to the quilt that's come to you. Each person sent preferences as to colors and other things, but it was totally up to each person to add whatever she wanted.

This is a picture of my completed quilt, still unclipped at the time. The block in the center was my starting place. All I requested was that the additions be in earth tones. When I made my block I used some fat quarters I had that appealed to me in color and print. I had forgotten that I got those fat quarters in a swap some time back. How wonderful that some of the round robin participants also participated in that fat quarter swap. As a result my quilt has some of the fabrics in the center block continued throughout the quilt.

This quilt is HUGE!!! I know from the postage on the box that it weighed 7 lbs! The bed that it's shown on is a queen and it extends down all four sides. I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I opened that box and saw my quilt. I actually shed a few tears.

As soon as I get the quilt ready, it will go on my bed permanently. I am actually changing my decor to match. As you can see from the above picture, I even have someone just waiting to nap on it.
If I can get permission, I would like to post pictures of the other round robins as they came thru my sewing room. I took "before and after" pics of each one. All the participants posted pictures of their finished quilts in our group. It was really neat to see how each one turned out, especially the ones received early in the process.
Although our quilts went all over the country, this would be a nice project for a local quilting group. Even though it was hard sometimes to come up with something, the challenge was good for the brain. And the sense of accomplishment was wonderful.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I thought I would post another update on Max. He's doing well overall. His blood glucose levels are getting close to regulation, but we're not there yet. He's maintaining his weight well, too. He is suffering from one side effect of high blood glucose levels - diabetic neuropathy.

This is a common side effect for any creature that has poorly controlled diabetes. The high level of glucose does something to damage nerves. In cats it manifests itself in a weakness in the back legs. Untreated it can lead to all sorts of dreadful things.

At first I thought Max was just having problems walking on the hard floors, but when he started walking on his hocks (heels in cats) I knew what was up. After some research I learned that, besides getting his glucose levels regulated, a form of Vitamin B12 called methylcobalamin has been purported to help repair the damaged nerves. This form of B12 is supposed to be better absorbed and, therefore, works better than the usual forms of B12.

Because Max has been extremely difficult to pill in the past I tried a spray form of methylcobalamin, dispensed in a syringe. Although I didn't mind the taste (yes, I try it first), Max wasn't too fond of it. When I found a great pill popper on Amazon, I also got a pill form and it's been going well. I tried one especially for cats, but am switching to a similar one that I can get cheaper. Since Max is also taking a gel potassium supplement, I just put some of the gel on the pill popper and he opens his mouth enough that I can get the pill in. Most of the time the first time works. BTW, I also found this same gel on Amazon at about a fourth of the price I've been paying at the vet's office. Wow, I didn't realize the mark-up on meds at vets' offices was so high!!!

Anyway, I haven't seen all that much improvement yet, but he doesn't appear to be getting any worse. I know that he won't get a lot better in this department until his diabetes is totally regulated. Right now he's on 5.5 units of insulin twice a day and he's beginning to stay below 300. Ideally I'd like to see him below 200,but the vet seems to be happy with below 300. Considering that Max's glucose levels were well over 500 when this all started, below 300 is indeed progress.

After going thru all of this, Max is still a very loving boy. He does startle easily, but he lets me check his blood glucose levels and give him his insulin without a problem. He's not too happy with the other meds, but it's not the big battle it used to be.

Max does have a heart murmur that the vet wants to check out further with an echocardiogram soon. The big problem is the cost - over $200. I think we will just have to postpone this until I get some of his bills paid down.

I hope you enjoy seeing Max's new picture. His shaved areas are just about all grown back and he looks more handsome than ever. Max and I appreciate all the prayers and good wishes we've received over the past months. I know that they have contributed to his remarkable recovery.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today would have been my mother's 103rd birthday. I fully believe she would have been here to celebrate it if cervical cancer hadn't cruelly ended her life in May of 1984. Nellie Lois Mobley Galentin was a fighter, a survivor, an animal lover and a great mother.

Momma was born the youngest of nine children in 1908 rural Nebraska. As she was growing up her mom spent a lot of time away from home, nursing those sickened in the widespread Spanish influenze epidemic around the time of WWI. Luckily her dad was there to look after her. She grew up a very independant woman. Unusual in those days.

Nellie married my dad around 1928 or so (can't find a marriage certificate so far). It seemed she loved him. In the 1930's they moved to San Antonio, Texas. You can imagine the culture shock for someone raised "up north" to be in a city so vibrant that there were flowers blooming in the middle of winter. At that moment, my momma became a "Texan by choice". And she was so thrilled to have Texans celebrate every year on her birthday. (Of course Mar. 2 is also Texas Independence Day and Sam Houston's birthday for those of you deficient in Texas history.)

I didn't come along til my mom and dad had been married for 19 years and she was 39 years old. Talk about a surprise!!! I have been assured that it was a welcome surprise.

Me and momma in Hot Springs, Arkansas 1954

Because I was an only child I was wonderfully spoiled. As my mom had to grow up with a partially absent mother, she made sure she was always there for me. She wanted me to be an independent sort, but her closeness didn't always encourage that. However, I think I've become that woman over the years. I think she would be proud of me and what I've accomplished.

Even though she died a long time ago, I still miss her every day! She only went to school thru the 9th grade, but she had a hunger for learning. She just about wore out our Encyclopedia Brittanica looking up stuff. Oh, if only she had been alive in the age of the internet! My mom gave me an appreciation for learning and for life in general. I wish she had survived long enough to meet her grandson and great grandchildren. I know she's with me every day, supporting my every decision.

Happy Birthday, momma!!