I haven’t explained my spotty quilting and posting lately. I was diagnosed in July, 2013 with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood. The initial treatments (biologic – pills and injections) caused several side effects including fatigue. I wanted to work as long as I was able to, but that meant I mostly dozed in the evenings and rested on the weekends. I didn’t do much sewing or quilting. In January, 2014 I had a stem cell transplant. My own stem cells were harvested from my blood and returned after high-dose chemotherapy. I’ve recovered stamina and energy since then, so I am back to sewing. As I said, it’s incurable for now, but I am in complete remission for a while.
My niece lived near the major hospital where I had the transplant, 4 hours’ drive from my home. There were a few times I needed to stay in the area for appointments and she graciously allowed my husband and me to stay several nights. She stocked up on foods and drinks we preferred and I enjoyed the energy of her household of 6. As a thank you gift, my first quilting project post-transplant was to make her a wall hanging she would enjoy.
I’ve made a couple of bookshelf quilts and it’s still a favorite of mine. I am able to use scraps from my bins and personalize it for the recipient. For hers, I included a birdhouse as a bookend, a shelf lamp, a framed photo in which I embroidered an image of her cat, and a coffee mug with Detroit Tigers’ logo.
When I make this quilt, I always try to make the leaning or stacked or upright books look as natural as possible. I’ve seen some finished quilts with nothing keeping the upright books in place and that always bothers me! The edges on this one seem wavy because I had just finished the binding and hadn’t pressed it.
(Close-up photos of the wall hanging)
My niece loved it and quickly posted a picture of it hanging near her reading chair. I hope each time she looks at it she sees how much I love and appreciate her and her family.
My husband’s oldest daughter and daughter-in-law both announced they were expecting their next babies, so I have new projects to begin!