Charity - Community Service Sewing Project

A Group of fellow quilters decided to get together on Martin Luther King's Birthday and do our part by sewing needed items.

1. Portacath Pillows - two friends have conquered colon cancer and thought these pillows for the car seatbelt are a great idea.

Here are links with detailed instructions:

The pillows are easy to make and use up those pesky scraps of fabric!

2. Surgical hats for children:

The Portacath Pillows were definitely easier than the Surgical caps. One recommendation for the caps is to make a basting stitch when sewing the 1/4 edge under. Pull slighlty to gather before ironing the 1/2 inch casing for the elastic. We cut our circles 18inches to cut some from a fat quarter or half yard of material. Since the material needed to be prewashed, some pieces of material were not big enough. The first hat we made, I cut the elastic 17inches....that made a really small hat. The second one I cut the elastic 18 inches and the whole process was easier.


#portacathpillow #portpillow #surgicalcapsforkids #communityserviceprojects


Monthly Color Challenge Quilt

I love starting new BOM (Block of the Month) Quilts, finishing them, not so much. However, it is a new year and let's see what happens!

I saw a post on FB about a Monthly Color Challenge Quilt and that concept intrigued me. So, of course, I roped a few friends in and posted it on my Guild's FB page to see if anyone is interested in doing it with me.

The Challenge is being hosted by blogger, "Patterns by Jen, " and the blocks are available in two sizes, 6 inches and 12 inches. What makes this BOM interesting is that Jen is creating a block each month and she has invited other quilters/designers to create one too. There are two blocks to chose from each month. Jen has some sponsors and prizes as an incentive to complete each month's blocks. 

The color for January is RED and I chose to make Jen's block. I am going to use a black and white batik fabric as a background in each block.

I had a difficult time joining the sections together, some were noticeably smaller than others and my points are not as accurate as I would like. I may rework this block and be more careful in my sewing of the HST and the cutting process. Jen suggests a "scant" quarter inch seam and I moved my needle one space. I may wash my batik before continuing, it is puckering from being ironed and sprayed with Best Press. 

If I redo it, I will post an updated picture. 

#2018monthlycolorchallenge #BOMcolorchallenge

Quilting 2018

I always start off the new year with the best of intentions. Many BOM (Block of the Month) Quilts start at this time and my attitude is...it's only one block each month and it is a group activity...I can choose my own fabrics and use my stash rather than buy new fabric...I will be motivated to keep sewing and stay committed to completing it because there are incentives or prizes. Wrong! I lose momentum sometime during the year if the instructions are poorly written if there are mistakes and people in the Group start griping about the issues and I get disheartened if I begin to dislike the quilt or the method of creating the blocks seems convoluted. My other problem for me is that it is just one block, so I let other projects come before it each month. I now have a stack of clear boxes with previous BOM projects in them.

My past progress and completing rate doesn't stop me from starting new ones if it sounds like fun and my friends are doing it.

This year I am working on two:

The Speedy Turtle Fund Raising Quilt

2018 Monthly Color Challenge Quilt

and hope to finish the Pat Sloan Summer Solstice Quilt. I especially like Pat Sloan's Sewalongs, her instructions are clear, well-written and her enthusiasm is great! Blocks are completed and it needs to be sewn together. Here is my progress...https://pennyformythoughts-nona.blogspot.com/2017/02/solstice-challenge.html

In my defense, I did make two very special quilts this year...

#monthlychallengecolorquilt #speedyturtlequilt

One Word 2018

For the last few years, I have chosen One Word to represent the new year. Some years I felt that the "word" was easy and it seemed to choose me and other year's, I chose it by default. 

2017 - Balance
2016 - Promise
2015 Abundance
2014 Believe
2013 Simplify

2017 brought with it some challenges and my life wasn't often in balance and many times I couldn't recall what word I chose. The older I get, the more I feel as if I am missing something...a thought, an idea, a memory. It's there one second and then "poof" it's gone. And for the life of me, I can't remember it. Yet somehow, it seems important. Just like a dream that haunts me all day long and I can't recall it, but it seems like a warning or a foreshadowing. I hate that feeling.

I decided to actually use a process to choose my word, to listen to my intuition. Listening is also not my strong suit, I like to talk and use words to communicate. So, briefly, I did consider "listen." 

I made a list of words between Christmas and New Year. Some of the words I considered for 2018:

    • Inspire                              Wellness  
    • Thankful                           Strong
    • Present                             Calm
    • Joy                                   Trust
    • Create                              Peace
    • Connect                            Spirit
    • Imagine                            Design
    • Dream                              Pause
    • Release                            Clarity
I want my word to be positive and not invoke difficult situations in my life for the coming year. I circled the four words that I considered: Present, Trust, Pause, and Clarity.

I then wrote down what each of those words meant to me as well as my goals for 2018. I'm not really big on resolutions, giving up something only makes me want it more. Aspiring to be someone different or better just leaves me frustrated. I want to be present and trust; pause and listen too. Somehow, Clarity encompassed the other actions.

I want to be clearer about my intentions; what do I want and does the activity serve me? I often volunteer to do things that take a lot of time. I have had a few health challenges in 2017 and I am trying to learn the lesson from them. One concerns my vision and I know there is a message in there somewhere. It is frustrating to have limitations and not be able to read the way I once did and to limit my book reviewing. Perhaps, I am being offered an opportunity for quality over quantity.

I have always been a "goal" oriented, type A personality and have struggled with a sense of purpose since retiring 4 years ago. I am hoping that "clarity" will bring joy and peace to my activities throughout the year. 

Quilting and creating are important to me, so I want more time to finish my projects started and to explore new ideas, and techniques. 

My Granddaughter has chosen "Service" as her word and maybe we can work together on some projects this year. 

I have created a Pinterest Board on Clarity (I did mention type "A" personality, right?) https://www.pinterest.com/kmnester/clarity/

#clarity #myoneword2018 #oneword2018


One Book Philadelphia 2018

Celebrating its 16th year in 2018, One Book, One Philadelphia is an event of the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes literacy, library usage, and citywide conversation by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. From January 17 to March 14, nearly 100 events and programs will center around a featured book, the 2016 National Book Award finalist Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.

For the first time, they have chosen two youth companion books. I purchased Brown Girl Dreaming for my 11-year-old Granddaughter to read. 

My friends and I will be reading and discussing this book, join us and add your comments here!


Lost in the Reflecting Pool

Lost in the Reflecting Pool: a memoir by Diane Pomerantz. Berkeley: She Writes Press, 2017. 320 pages. *****

Dr. Pomerantz proves that it doesn't matter how educated a person is, it is easy to get drawn in by a manipulative person. Even though she is a psychologist and her intuition tells her that Charles has issues with his parents he should have worked out by now, she marries him anyway. The book begins by describing how Charles deals with an annoying cat from the previous owner and right away, I wanted to tell her to take the kids and run. Dr. Pomerantz is very adept at denying to herself and others how she and the children are treated especially when she is diagnosed with cancer and her husband becomes annoyed with rather than supportive of her experience. He is jealous that her family and friends rally around her and makes himself unavailable by having an affair with one of his patients, risking his medical license and financial security.

In this psychological memoir/thriller, it is easy to see that while dealing with day-to-day challenges, Dr. Pomerantz feels helpless in her situation. This book will serve as a wake-up call to many who are abused to seek assistance, set boundaries, and to protect themselves by having complete access to joint assets. Her husband is always stressing about finances, however, Dr. Pomerantz seems to have no idea how much money they have and how their income is spent. While some of her recollections seem unbelievable in her retelling, they ring true in the horrifying details and her feelings of rejection and isolation. This is a book that will not easily be forgotten and will hopefully raise awareness of narcissistic, abusive behavior. With the help of her father Dr. Pomerantz is able to escape, but for many others, that is not an option. Book Clubs should consider this as a group read based on the many topics (adoption, spousal abuse, cancer, fertility issues, etc.)  for discussion.

I received a copy for a review. I am reading and reviewing Memoirs for the Magic of Memoir blog tour through BookSparks. The four books (including this one) have been some of the best memoirs I have read in awhile. I recommend all of them even if memoirs are not your usual genre.

Two more to finish, check back for those reviews.

For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Diane Pomerantz has been a practicing psychologist, teacher, supervisor, and speaker in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Dr. Pomerantz has published articles on topics of childhood trauma and personality development. This is her first book. She has two grown children and lives in Maryland with Rug, her shaggy dog.

@BookSparks #MagicofMemoir @dianepomernatz #bookmail


You Can't Buy Love Like That

You can't buy love like that: growing up gay in the sixties by Carol E. Anderson. Berkeley: She Writes Press, 215 pages. ****
Coming of age in the '60s was difficult enough without realizing that you are a lesbian in a fundamental Christian home. Fearing the rejection of her parents and societal reproach, Carol hides her feelings for another woman and becomes engaged to a man. Carol is close to her father and regrets not telling him her truth before he dies. Not only is this a story of love and denial, it is a history lesson and reflective look back. The stress and deceit of denying her relationships to those close to her carried a high price. Carol falls in love with a married woman in an open marriage and is honest about the emotional toll when that relationship ends. 
I was fascinated by Carol's story. I was a teen during the '60s and her story brought back many memories for me. It must have been so difficult for a gay person in the Age of Aquarius, which "denoted boundary violation, carefree abandonment, humor, and a venue for imbibing in booze, dope, nudity, sex, and upbeat music, mostly but not exclusively rock." All true except for anyone gay. Calling someone a lesbian on the playground was the worst insult in the 50s and 60s and yet it seemed that anything was acceptable sexually as long as it was between a man and a woman.  Her story made me wonder if friends, colleagues, and how many others suffer needlessly because of who they are. Carol and her mother show us that we are better than that and love is the only answer. This memoir is a compelling read and provides many points of discussion for people of all ages. 
I received a copy for a review. 
For 30 years, Carol has served as an independent consultant and coach, bringing greater meaning and consciousness to individuals, teams, and organizations. In addition to working with a range of individual coaching clients and consulting with large and small organizations, she served as the coach for each cohort of the Executive MBA program at the Ross School of Business – The University of Michigan.
Carol holds a doctorate in Spiritual Studies from Wisdom University (CA) and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University (CA). She has earned additional Master’s degrees in Film and Video from the University of Michigan and in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. In addition, Carol is a certified Integral Coach (New Ventures West, 2009), as well as a trained Quantum Coach (Gay Hendricks’ program, 1999). She has also completed a four-year program in the healing arts at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, equipping her to bring healing concepts into organizational settings.
Carol served as a school psychologist and teacher in public schools for 8 years before she began consulting.
@BookSparks #MagicofMemoir @caroleanderson #bookmail