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Pamela Posted: Sat, Feb 6 2010 5:31 PM

Hi Everyone!

I'm new to QCA and the forums and new to quilting.  I worked for 30 years as a letter carrier here in San Diego and retired 3 years ago.  I enjoyed my retirement very much and then 8 months ago my in-laws came to visit and when my father-in-law went home he left my mother-in-law here.  She's a 94 year old invalid who has dementia so I have a really hard time finding time to quilt.  While I love her, of course, she's a lot of work.  It's rather like having a 2 year old again as she is incontinent too, but her bottom is not as cute as my daughters' were.  LOL!

I have always enjoyed sewing and really enjoy quilting but am intimidated by parts of the projects, namely the actual quilting and finishing.  Any tips are appreciated.  So far I have only completed doll quilts, baby quilts and table runners.  I'm really looking forward to all the valuable feedback.

Pamela

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Kris replied on Sat, Feb 6 2010 6:16 PM

Hello Pamela,

welcome to the group. I think you're doing a wonderful thing, taking care of your MIL. God bless you.

You'll find lots of tips and tricks here on the site and if you have specific questions there is always someone with an answer.

Enjoy the site.

I really like your avatar photo.

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Nana replied on Sat, Feb 6 2010 7:58 PM

Pamela

It is great to have another new member.  I think it is very comendable that you are caring for your elderly MIL.  I know how much work that involves.  As for the finishing a quilt my suggestion is first you just relax and enjoy yourself.  It is lots of fun but first you have to get over the intimadation.  Love to see pics of things that you have done.  And as Kris said if you have any questions just ask.

Vinton, Virginia

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Thea replied on Sat, Feb 6 2010 8:44 PM

Pamela, Welcome to QCA. 

I think I know exactly what you mean about being intimidated about the finishing and quilting... I had a hard time with that when I started too. 

I am much better now and it could be because I have been doing it for a while now and have learned a lot.  I found for me looking at what others did in their quilting helped me out a lot.  I, also, let the quilt talk to me... i don't like a lot of close quilting.  I have a couple qullts that were LA quilted for me that are like that and they are very very heavy.  I like my quilts looking like the ones my DH's Grandmother made as she gave me the bug.  so I don't do a ton of quilting on my quilts.

I do do some free motion pictures - have been know to do flowers and hearts - fireworks - things like that - i like to write names of the person that I am giving it to also and see if they find it.  I do different things for each quilt.  I use the fancy stitches my sewing machine has to do the 1/4" away from the seam quilting... I do some echo quitling aroudn applique.  I love doodling - and i don't worry about crossing over my lines...lol

As you get further in your quilting life it will all come to you!  Just have patience.. that is one of the things quilting has taught me is patience.

I am sorry that your MIL is having difficulties at the end of her life but am very happy that she is with you - just being a quitler tells me you are a sweet person... try to think of the good times and the good that you are doing for her at this time.  I would give anything to have my MIL with us for a little longer. 

Again, Welcome to QCA.

Any questions - feel free to ask - most things you will find in the search engine area and the getting started in QCA on the left - but we are still here to help.  Moderators are myself, Sandy H., Andrea, Kelly and Liz.  So any ideas or things you might see that we could do better - let us know.

 

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MNnancy replied on Sat, Feb 6 2010 8:57 PM

Hi Pamela.  Welcome to the family. I see you are already getting some great advice.  I'm writing to say that I LOVE your kitty!  What's its name?


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Welcome to the QCA forums, Pamela! Like Thea said, you'll get the finishing part of quilting. I think it's like everything else, you just have to go for it and don't expect perfection the first few times. Heck, I don't expect perfection after 15 years!

San Diego is my favorite city in the entire world! Of course, I've not been to all the cities in the world, but I'm sure it would be in my top 5. ;-) I lived there for 3 years in the late 60's.

I'm sorry to hear about your MIL. If you like to read, you might see if your neighborhood library has Making Rounds with Oscar. It's by a Dr Dosa who is a doctor of geriatrics at a nursing home in RI. It is well written and, while tell a story, also gives lots of information about dementia/Alzheimer's. I wish it had been available before we knew my dad had dementia. While I believe I made the right decisions, it would have been so much better if I'd been better informed, and if the doctors had talked to me in plain English. Oscar, BTW, is one of the resident cats. It really is a great book!

 


Gillette, WY

 

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gini replied on Sat, Feb 6 2010 10:34 PM

hi pamela, welcome.   you will find lots of help here, and encouragement when you get stuck.      gini

gini in north idaho

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Patti replied on Sun, Feb 7 2010 10:55 PM

Hi Pamela,

welcome.  I had to turn around and look at your avatar upside down and I think that is a cat?  What relaxation!

My father had alzheimers and that can be very difficult to see and difficult to care for someone with dementia.  I would recommend a show that came out on Public Broadcasting a few years ago called "the forgetting" and it has a companion book. 

be it quilting, or a difficult day, this group is here for you.  You will find laughter, encouragement, cheerleaders, prayer partners, and lots of support in everything.

Welcome

Patti

Chiliwist Valley

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Pamela replied on Mon, Feb 8 2010 1:51 PM

Thank you for your response.  I received many responses that warmed my heart.  They made me feel like my caretaking lifestyle is a pretty common one for quilters.  Hmmmm............there may be a parallel there............quilters and caretaking.  I received many questions about my avatar.  The photo is of my cat, Scotty, when he was a kitten.  He's now 3 years old and 16 lbs. but he still likes to sleep upside down.  He has a "brother", Frank, who is at this moment lying on my arms as I attempt to type.  Scotty is a laid back, rather shy, lovey and Frank is a very dominant and always busy cat.  When the doorbell rings Scotty runs to the bedroom and Frank runs to the door ready to greet any and all visitors.  Scotty still sleeps on his back and loves to have his belly rubbed, just like in the photo.

Now, on to quilting:  I have pin-basted a throw I started for my sister 2 years ago.  I began to quilt it once but did not like how it was turning out.  Since I am a caretaker I cannot get out to quilting classes so I have acquired a ton of quilting books and have been studying the different techniques on quilting.  So, I "unsewed" my previous quilting beginning (only about 4 lines across).   I bought a different batting.  This one is much thinner and is of bamboo and cotton and is needle punched.  I've dunked it in warm water and let it dry and have pin-basted.  Since this batting doesn't need quilting any closer than 8 inches I'm planning on gently wavy lines across the interior bargello center and some kind of uncomplicated quilting pattern for the solid border.  Wish me luck and thanks for your warm welcome.

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Pamela replied on Mon, Feb 8 2010 2:02 PM

Thanks for your reply.  I'm always ready to "talk" about my kitties, quilting, gardening and grandchildren!  The cat in the photo is Scotty when he has younger.  He is now 3 years old and about 16 lbs. but he still likes to sleep upside down.  He's a real cuddler. 

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Pamela--

Welcome to QCA.  As you've probably already discovered, there are so many wonderful folks here.  Everyone is super helpful and caring.  Having recently lost my mother to dementia, I can so relate to what you're going through.  I moved back home in 2005 to be her caregiver and can truly say that in the last two years of her life I finally felt as though I was giving back a bit of the unconditional love she had always shown me.  You are performing a loving service for your MIL.

 

Kissimmee, FL

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MNnancy replied on Mon, Feb 8 2010 9:29 PM

Pamela:
I'm always ready to "talk" about my kitties

I miss having a boy cat in the house.  They are such characters!  Now we only have a single female kitty since we adopted our first dog and two pets seemed like enough.  Do your boys help you quilt?  If you look back at some older posts, you'll see there are a quite a few cat lovers here.


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Tink922 replied on Tue, Feb 9 2010 8:30 AM
Welcome, Pamela! I miss my kitties so much (long story, but they're in Chicago with my daughter) because they were always on the table helping me sew. Now I have to settle for my dog sitting on my feet, but that's nice, too. Anyway, I'm happy to have another fellow novice-quilter on board and want you to know there's no need for worry as all of the ladies here are very kind and helpful. :-)

North Central Ohio

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Joni replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 10:10 AM

Welcome Pamela!

2 former Chicago ladies!  Welcome to the sunny south!

Joni

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Joni replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 10:11 AM

Opps my bad, you're from San Diego...one of my very favorite cities!

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