Monday, June 20, 2011

Surprise!

Sometimes life can be so full of surprises that it just shakes you to your core.  I had a day like that last week that completely blew me away.  Let me give you a little history.  During the last doll swap, there was a quilt that was being made by an awesome quilter who I have always admired.  Her things are colorful and so precise that I know I'll never live long enough to get to her level.  So, as the weeks went along, and the doll swap continued, she would show her progress and I would be more and more marveled at her skills and the beauty of the quilt.  (And wondering why I never got a partner who was that good.  LOL)  And that is no lie!!!  I was so envious of her partner until we started corresponding and she mentioned to me that her partner hadn't commented once on any of her pictures.  I was shocked, to say the least!  I knew how she felt after spending so much time and love on that project.  Shame on me, but I talked her into making a different quilt and keeping that beauty for herself, or gifting it to someone who would appreciate it.

So guess what?  I bet you guessed, huh?  Yup!  I got a surprise last week and it was MY quilt!  The one I coveted all along!  Helen wrote me a wonderfully sweet note and told me that halfway through the sewing process, she knew the quilt should be mine.  Look at how gorgeous it is:

Do you remember this?

Amazing! 

Isn't it amazing?  I can hardly wait to hang it.  I've gotten so many beautiful quilts lately, I think it's time to "make a wall" and I'm thinking my guest room would be the perfect place.  It would be great to have them all in one spot.  I'm still smiling over that package though!  I love it, Helen...thank you soo much!

I have been sewing, but again, there is not much I can show you yet.  I sort of cheated and made an angel quilt for the next doll swap already.  I know that they are going back to their "roots" with pieced, smaller quilts for DQS11, so I had to practice.  Call me crazy!  I have a ton of ideas and I'm anxious to start.  Besides, it might be time to take a break from applique for a change.

DQS11 #1 Angel Quilt

I actually cheated and matched the solids to the binding fabric I had.  Looks like I was brilliant and did it the opposite way, huh?  Whatever!  After it's done, what's the difference?

So, that's about the news....except this:

It's ME!!!

Yup, that's me!  DH took that picture.  I needed a shot of myself for something else, so I thought I should show everyone what I really look like.  My daughter told me to re-take it and put my head higher to get rid of the double chin and open my eyes.  Kids!  It is what it is!  If I hadn't gained 60 lbs when I quilt smoking 6 years ago, I'd look much better too, but that's life!  I'm trying, but when you sit and sew all the time, how do you lose weight?  Got any ideas?

48 comments:

Nancy said...

OMG...is there a pattern for that quilt somewhere...cause I need to paper piece me some of that... Lucky you to get such a gorgeous quilt in a swap...

regan said...

OMG Carol....I gained the same dang 60 when I quit, too! Lost them with WW, but that was when I was much younger, wasn't a quilter, and didn't sit much! Those dang pounds came back on over the years, of course! And now I'm afraid they are stuck on me for good! Sheesh! What's a girl to do???.....make more quilts! Who cares about the saggy chins, when our quilts make us so darned happy! LOL

Love your pic! And that mini is too darned sweet! Lucky you!

karenfae said...

congratulations on the quitting smoking!! My husband did years ago and gained weight too -- I'd rather him have the extra weight then smoke.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Carol said...

So that's you!! Hi!!

I am so glad you quit smoking (from one former smoker to another). Oh, and a fellow "I gained weight when I quit". But I lost yearly bronchitis. Great trade!

Congrats on the quilt gift.

I love your applique, and I really love the wonkey block quilt too.
xx, Carol

Quilty Conscience said...

Oh Carol! You made me laugh out loud! I had lunch with a friend today and we were talking about weight changes. I told her "It's still me in a different package. It keeps things interesting." I am always telling myself I need to get one active hobby...quilting and reading just don't burn up the calories. Oh well! Toni

Wendy said...

Could be totally envious of your beautiful doll quilt if I wasn't so totally happy that you received it!! Gorgeous! Your cheater's quilt is quite the number too and as for the picture .... your beautiful and I thank you for sharing!!

MB in MI said...

covetted that quilt of yours as Helen made it too! :-) Happy that it's yours. I quit in 2001 & think that's a great picture of a healthy, happy woman! Congrats!

Linda said...

Well aren't you the lucky one, what a stunning quilt.

Cossett said...

Love your gift doll quilt...as I was looking at it I kept moving the mouse up and down and it makes the quilt look like a optical illusion! Really neat.
Great job on quitting smoking!
Your cheater quilt is so happy looking, the binding makes it pop more!

Yumm yumz by patticakes said...

Carol:
You are MORE beautiful than I had imagined! The eyes are definitely the doorway to your delightful soul. I, too, gained the end-of-smoking weight that I am still struggling with 18 years later. BUT those are 18 years of no new tar and nicotine in my lungs.
I hope you are only moving away from applique for a break. I couldn't stand the idea of not seeing anymore of your whimsy!
P.S. - Kevin says hi! I SWEAR he actually winked at me the other day when I went into my sewing room!!!

Sara said...

You are just too cute in every way!! You are a TERRIFIC quilter to me.

Staci said...

Wow! What a lucky ducky you are, that quilt is just amazing! I quite like the one you did too, so cheerful. I enjoyed seeing the photo of you! There is so much kindness and good humor in your face!

Vicki ♥ said...

Fabulous quilt and foundation piecing is fun :) Fabulous piccie of you too and I too have put on several kilos since I stopped smoking about 6yrs ago too. I would rather have the excess than be smoking tho :) Just think thin :) I love all that you do and love reading your blog :) hugs Vicki

Vanilla said...

Honey, you're beautiful !
You look happy and you can sew so fabulously that who cares about those extra pounds.
Looks and good shape are overrated.
I only understood that when I turned 60. And I feel soooo comfortable in my body and so dang glad that I don't have to watch my figure, etc.. etc...
That's the freedom and the wisdom that age brings you. After all, there's got to bem some good in getting older, right?

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Congratulations on the wonderful quilt from Helen - it is fabulous!

Christine M said...

What a beautiful quilt. I just love the colours. And I think that is a lovely photo of you. It's nice to see who is behind the blog posts!

Annie of Blue Gables said...

I'm so in love. I love that picture of you. I sort of feel like we're sisters. And I am SO happy you got such a beautiful quilt from Helen. You deserve it. You make such darling quilts and you deserve to get one so nice back. Congratulations and thanks for sharing the picture of yourself.
btw I'm still cherishing the little pin cushion you sent me from a giveaway drawing.
hugs
~a

MariQuilts said...

Lucky you, the quilt you got is amazing and I like the one you made too.

felicity said...

I'm absolutely thrilled that Helen sent you that beauty, Carol! And I'm also thrilled to have a picture in my head of you as well! :)

Sonia said...

Beautiful Quilt, Beautiful Smile!

Have a great week. :)

God bless and keep you,
Sonia

Poppyprint said...

Well, hello there, Carol. I've got to tell you a funny story. My daughter was sitting beside me as I was going through my contacts photos in Flickr. Your photo was right beside the picture of Katy (Gingermonkey's) new massive Tula Pink Prince Charming tattoo she got her her thigh today. My daughter exclaimed "that's the lady who got that tattoo????!" Ha! Not today it wasn't, but it could be, honey!

That amazing quilt Helen made just belongs with you. I'm interested in hearing more about the DQS 'return to roots'......

Irene Onderweegs said...

Of course you look terrific now! To quit smoking is sew good for the skin, and reverses the aging process of it! And... an advice to loose weight when sewing: I do by putting the ironing board on another floor, the washing machine too, and anyhow, my coffee is made in the far corner of the house LOL!
From a rainy Amsterdam, Irene

Anja said...

The little sun (or star) ist just perfect, you really deserve this!
I was really shocked, that this lady didn´t get any reaction to her beautiful work, what an ignorance!
Your quilt is marvellous, before I´ve read the text I was just wondering where you found just the perfect binding for your quilt ;o)

You look very sympathic and don´t worry about the weight - some more is smoothing the wrinkles ;O) - it´s not that you would need to!
I know this problem myself, so I force myself to go to Zumba twice a week and if the rain will ever stop, I really look forward to do some shopping (or appointments etc.) with my new bike instead of using the car.
Maybe a new puppy is the way to lose some weight - you know lots of walks are required!!
Have a nice day!

Anja

Madame Samm said...

Ahhhh you are as lovely as your artwork, your quilting, your friends who send you lovely quilts..that one is super exciting..and sew you..a burst of sunshine in all of our lives..

Ursula said...

You look so warm and nice - and maybe a tiny bit mischievous. Double chin, extra weight ... who cares? Be yourself and enjoy life. That's what really counts, and it shows, I'm sure, all the more the older we get. I quit the weight race long ago, and I'm happy with it, although actually I'm a bigsize gal. It's the over-idealistic body images that make us feel bad, but that can be overcome when we try hard enough and focus on something of real value. Art, for example.

I love your stuff, the modernity of your quilts as well as your beautiful and unique application work!
Ursula

Mommarock said...

I decided to give up on weight loss. I thought that eating healthier was a better goal. I gave up all of the sugary choices that had been finding their way into my shopping cart. My last vice I have to get rid of is the diet soda. I don't drink alcohol, don't smoke, but I don't drink enough water.. (sad face). It is a bit of work.. a little at a time.

pinsandneedles said...

It made me laugh when you say 'you'd never live long enough to get to her level'...I for one know I'll never live long enough to get to YOUR level. I love your whimsical applique, your creative mind and your talent as an artist...not to mention your quilting. Love seeing the face behind one of my favorite blogs!

Helen said...

Oh Carol! Thank you for the warm and fuzzy post. I'm stoked you like your quilt, I KNEW you would! Great to see your happy face! Well done on quitting smoking too, we had a man in orange tights and a cape come to our school yesterday with the anti smoking message, "you smoke, you choke!" LOL x

Cindy said...

Beautiful quilts, beautiful quilter, it all makes sense.

If you are serious about the loosing weight while sitting still...I recenty joined Slim 4 Life. I've lost 17 pounds in four weeks and haven't exercised at all. I feel better than I ever have and highly recommend their program as long as you can keep from getting legalistic with it.

Bonnie said...

Love your blog. So happy that Helen sent the quilt to you. It is so beautiful. I like the one you did as an angel quilt, but I really like you applique ones. Your designs are so great. Loved your pic. Would like to be able to fo out to lunch and get to know you, bet you are lots of fun to be around. Oh, and you have great taste in clothes - I am wearing a white shirt and turquoise tee today.

Quilts Sew Shabby said...

Hi Carol, I just love Helen's quilt! So bright and cheerful and she did a wonderful job on the paper-piecing! I also love your Wonky quilt ... again, the bright cheerfulness is so right!! Your photo is great and as for weight problems ... believe me when I say you look great. I was always overweight until I retired ... got very sick with a flu and lost 45 pounds in 3 months. I went from size 14 to size 8, which I still am some 3 yrs later. It's not a good thing to lose so much weight when you are older ... now all I have is lots of loose skin hanging down and it hurts to sit very long because of my bony butt! It taught me to be careful what you wish for ... you might get it ... and be sorry. Oh, darn, too late for that lesson! Loved this post!

2ne said...

Lucky you :-) What a great quilt you have got - it it great.

PEGGY said...

OMG that is absolultely gorgeous!!!
You are a very lucky girl!!!!!

AJ said...

Helen is truely a wonderful person and friend. I have a few of her treausred creations on my wall. Yours is beautiful! I also love the your wonky patch and think the binding is perfect!
Great pitcure too by the way!

Rettabug said...

What a fabulous gift, Carol! I took a class in paper piecing & that is the ONLY way to get those beautifully perfect points. Please tell Helen I said "BRAVO!"

Love your "mug shot", Honey & the mischievous twinkle in your eye!

Hugs,
Rett

Rettabug said...

Ooops...forgot to say how much I love that striped binding wonky-square little quilt, too! Brilliant idea to pick your binding FIRST & then go find the fabrics to match. Why don't I think of things like that??? :/

Sue said...

Carol,

The gradient colors, precision piecing, how fabulous! What a gift you got and an inspiration to feast your eyes upon. You are a beautiful woman! Beauty is as beauty does and you does beautiful works of art. Your modern quilts look so good on an exhibition wall!

Margie said...

Love the beautiful bright quilt.
I had near perfect metabolism until I quit working and had a couple surgeries. It's only 15 pounds but my "new" metabolism keeps it firmly in place and since I am short... I am trying to lose it but may just have to accept it.

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful and your kindness and generosity transmits in your photo. You asked for ideas on how to lose weight, well I think you can direct your mind to lose weight. Consider reading, "The Secret The Power"by Rhonda Byrne. The book(s) will transform your life!! It's an easy read and I'm positively certain that you will be so glad I told you about the book(s) that you will want to just hug me and squeeze me. And no I have no vested interest in the books- I just like them and you'll feel so positive and energized after reading them--you'll see--if you have faith! I checked them out at the library. I read The Power first and then went back and read The Secret. You can go to www.thesecret.tv. and find some free readings, the "I promise myself" is worth printing out (free) and keeping it on the fridge. It starts out "I promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind...
Brenda C.
Texas

Shannon said...

What a beautiful gift. She did pick the person that would love it as much as she did. How exciting. I just started following her blog today. I love it. You are a very beautiful woman!! Thank you for giving beginning quilters like me such inspiration!

Quiet Quilter said...

Yep, a great surprise and a great quilt...lucky you.

Love your picture! Your eyes say so much,,,no wonder you make such lovely quilts...

schmidt1016 said...

Carol, I think you look adorable! I just know that you are a fun, bright, creative person by looking at your picture. And you're a lucky one, too, getting that beautiful quilt. Thanks for letting us know about Helen. I went to her blog and was totally smitten.

Leslie in MN
esclante at comcast dot net

Gmama Jane said...

Oh Carol, sweetie, I'm right there with you in the weight dept. but doesn't it feel good to Like who we are on the inside and not worry so much about the outside??? Your creativity inspires me and when I think of applique, I think of you! Your color choices, whimsical drawings, themes, everything are so adoreable and make you one of my favorite quilters out there. I LOVE your work, your blog, and your sweet smile. Quilters are just good people! Hope you will come over and visit my little blog and become a follower if you're not already. I read your blog most every day.
http://grandmamasstories.blogspot.com
Blessings
Gmama Jane

Teje said...

Hello Carol! What a beautiful and happy quilts and your present is wonderful! A quilt wall would be so great!!!
You look so good and happy! We try to look 'better' on the photo but all the others see us still just as we are, so why try to be different.
I enjoy always so much seeing your happy and colourful works!
Thank you for ideas and ispiration!
xxx Teje

Jen said...

Wow, what a gorgeous mini quilt! I would be so excited to recieve that too! You lucky girl!

I love the binding. It looks like a lot more thought went into it. I really need to start doing that. I always try to match the borders to the blocks and it never works like I want it to!

Great pic! You are beautiful and so kind looking!

Shayla Sharp said...

Oh, I know what you mean about that quilt--I sooo wanted it! I'm glad its with you though, it fits your style of quilt colors so well, its like it just belongs with you!

Sheila said...

Don't underestimate the exercise of walking to and from the ironing board..lol

Terri said...

I've been thinking anybody with as much energy (sewing quilt after quilt) and a happy color pallet like you use must be in their twenties... I'm not so brave as you. My icon is from college - many decades ago.
I gained nearly 50 when I started Insulin. I'm now (after 8 years of gaining) eating more salad and less meat and doing 2 stints of 10 minutes each on the walking machine each day. (I'm just starting back to exercise after a lengthy "rest".) I've timed it to cooincide with my favorite game show, so I watch that, and it makes it easier to stay on the machine. (Not so boring.) It's only been a week, and I am able to move around easier, and feel thinner even if the scales haven't gotten that idea yet. It's only 20 minutes out of your day... You can do that. We'll increase the dosage over time until we walk 30 minutes each day. You with me?

PS I like you better now that I know you are closer to my age.