*tap, tap* Is this thing on?

No excuses, I've been absent too long, ignoring my little home on the interwebs. I have plenty I could have talked about, but always composed blog posts in my head, rather than actually typing them.

I've caught up on all the blogs I try to regularly visit, and I organized my Google Reader so I don't get overwhelmed with unread posts (maybe I should blog about that!).

So a quick catch up from November...

...health...I had a skin biopsy come back positive with melanoma cells. More skin was removed from the area, and an additional three biopsies all came back negative. I have some pretty heinous scars, but not cancer, so I'll take them!

...family...Jaxon has only two months left of kindergarten! He has started taekwondo lessons and loves it! Swim lessons are a distant second in his mind. Wait until he starts piano lessons!

Jaxon ready to perform at his first school music program

Since the last time I blogged, we lost a member of the family. Charlie's stepmother, Cathy, died unexpectedly just before Thanksgiving. Charlie's dad, Chuck, and Cathy married in 1981, so she had been a part of the family for many, many years.

Cathy and I at my MFA conferment, 2003

Chuck sent me a box of Cathy's clothes to make into a quilt, and they sat in the laundry room for a couple of months before I could bring myself to cut into them. This past weekend I attended a local quilt retreat, and Cathy's quilt was my number one priority. I finished the top and it will go to Susan for long arm quilting this spring.

Please disregard the elderly golden retriever!

...and sewing! The retreat was great for getting me back into the sewing swing of things! Work has been so busy -- spring quarter begins Monday, and then it will be time to convert to semesters! I think the mix of the retreat falling just before my spring break and attending with my BFF Lisa did wonders for inspiration and sewing excitement!

Besides Cathy's quilt, I finished quilting another quilt that I will have bound and photographed over the weekend, designed a new quilt around some fabric I've been hoarding, and made some progress on another quilt that I've been pebble quilting for far too long.

Before the retreat, I hadn't done much sewing, but I did make this quilted duffle bag for a friend's daughter.

She bought a twin quilt on clearance, and I used Simplicity 2600 for the pattern. It went together really easily, and I had enough of the quilt left that I bound the cut edge and included it as a lap quilt.

And this week I was inspired to make these guys, from a mixture of tutorials (here, here, and here). Can I bring myself to stab them with pins?

I still need to tell you about the sewing room switch -- Jaxon graduated to the larger sewing room and I got demoted to his smaller bedroom, my next tutorial, and a couple of WIPs that are almost done! I promise to be back very soon if you promise to stop by again!


Jackie's Stitches said...

Good to see you back in your spot on the web again! Jaxon looks like he's grown a foot since the last photo you shared here of him. So sorry to hear about the loss of your stepmother.

~Michelle~ said...

Hi stranger, welcome back to blogland (well, in my world, I still blog about the things I haven't accomplished, haha)! Glad there's no cancer... just one more reminder to me that I need to have some moles removed!

The memory quilt is a fantastic idea, i'm sure your FIL will be happy to have it.

And that bag from a clearance quilt?? Genius! At some point, I'm going to get brave enough to tackle the AB Weekender.

And good grief, that kiddo is a tree! And you know I love your goldie, she's so sweet!

Cristin said...

Glad you're back and in good health :-) Very important!

Love the quilt top and bag - very smart idea to make a bag with a clearance quilt!

marcy harriell | oonaballoona said...

i do promise to stop by again, i was so happy to see you here & over at my online joint-- and thrilled you're healthy. the quilt is going to be such a wonderful reminder of your stepmom.

Thimbleanna said...

Yipee!!! You're BACK! Sounds like you've had a very busy winter. Sorry to hear about Cathy -- but what a nice way to honor her. LOVE LOVE that bag -- it's adorable!

Greta said...

So glad to have you back!!!! Wow it sounds like you got a ton done at the sewing retreat. Maybe that's what I need to do. Maybe I would be able to get caught up then. Can't wait to see your finished quilts.

Wendy said...

I'm glad your back, You've inspired me to do the same! Its been a very long time for me -

MJ said...

Glad to read that you are well! And you are taking your demotion to a smaller craftroom very well, I must say!

Sorry to read of the loss of your MIL. I admire that you've already made a quilt of some of her precious items which will be very comforting, I'm sure. What a fabulous idea.

I'm also impressed with the number of crafts you've created despite thinking you've not done much! You have! Well done!

See you in blogland soon!

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