Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spread the love

I know, I know, two posts in one week.  This might be a record for me, but don't worry, I'm sure I won't be able to pull it off for two weeks in a row.  But for now, I'm patting myself on the back.

This week I am celebrating a lot of things.  I'm out of the hospital and that was the last HUGE step that I had to take on my cancer journey.  I'll still probably have to have "revision" as it is called, where my plastic surgeon goes in and fixes things that didn't come out quite the way I would want (such as edge of scars and so on).  It also means nipples, which my plastic surgeon has really been promoting.  I care nothing about a "revision" such as that, but he says they're important because they will break up the scar line that is front and center on each of my new girls. ;)  

TMI?  If so, I apologize.  But I find the whole process to be one of TMI from the get-go.  Maybe it's just the way my generation was trained to think.

Now, on to other good news.  

I have had quite a bit of downtime over the past couple of years due to circumstances beyond my control.  Since I know that being at home full-time isn't really something that I am very good at, I knew I had to develop a strategy or two to keep myself sane.

To give my hands and my brain something to do, I've really focused on quilting as a hobby.  Before moving to Nashville, I'd already started to dabble a bit (a very TINY bit, I might add) in quilting, sort of as a relief valve for graduate school.  There was a local group that met at the local extension office once a week and it happened to be when I was free, no classes no GA duties.

That group opened my eyes to so many possibilities!  I know most of them probably don't even have computers, or if they do, they don't use them the way most folks I know do.  They were from another generation, and I had a blast hanging out with them, listening to their stories, learning their histories.  To me, that sort of sums up what quilting is all about.

Sharing.  History.  A personal, handmade gift.

This year, I participated in the Hands2Help charity project hosted by Sarah Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I did this last year and when I saw her post this year, I knew I was going to jump right in again.

If there is one thing that I've learned over the past two years, it's the power of internet love.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I have to say it again:  I have been lifted up as much by my online friends as those here in my real life.  And I don't think that's something that I'll ever forget.

To me, the best way to thank and honor all those folks who have supported me is through doing the same for others.

This year, I made a quilt using some of my bee blocks.  I have friends who don't understand why I'm drawn to online swaps, but looking at the final product here, I think it's self evident.  I had many blocks from people all over the world (okay, I don't really have any from Asia or South America) and in patterns that I don't know if I would have tried.  So I also want to give a shout out to my Star Bee Block peeps.  You girls rock, and I couldn't have done this without you.

This quilt went to a charity that is near and dear to my heart, a charity called Happy Chemo.  That is a nice warm hug you see hanging there, and it will go to someone else who is now sitting in the chemo chair.  :)


gailcanoe said...

What a beautiful quilt and a fantastic gift for someone to receive. It would be neat if you could include the story behind your quilt for the person receiving it. Did you get a quilt when you were going through chemo?

Kathleen said...

I am new to your blog - visiting from Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I am your newest follower! Your post made me cry in a good way. I am sorry you are walking down this particular road and will be adding you to my prayer list. Your quilt is beautiful. I love the colors - I just love turquoise and orange together.

Sarah Craig said...

What a wonderful post, Maria! FYI, I feel the same way you do about that second revision, TMI or not!

I love your quilt, and the story behind it. You did an awesome job with your bee buddies and I'm sure it's going to brighten someone's day! Thank you so much for participating in the Challenge this year!!!

Alyx Patterson said...

Beautiful, moving post. I am so happy for you to be out of the hospital! I have a cousin who has battled cancer her whole life and we know that leaving the hospital is a grand achievement! Horray!

Your quilt is absolutely beautiful and I adore the fact that you used blocks sent from all over the world.
I also donated a quilt to happy chemo. You have a new follower in me! I can't wait to read on with the rest of your journey!
Love and good vibes from Pennsylvania - Alyx

the running hare said...

You've done a beautiful job with the blocks Maria and I'm so glad it's gone to such a worthy cause. It's not TMI I'll be interested to hear what you eventually decide

zoe said...

what an immense art, to have so much story and community inside of it--and be very functional, as well. what could be better for the next person in the chemo chair than comfort and warmth provided by *all of that*?

this quilt is absolutely beautiful; i love the colors and the shapes, and i love that it's from everywhere.

jual obat bius said...

You've done a beautiful job with the blocks Maria and I'm so glad it's gone to such a worthy cause. It's not TMI I'll be interested to hear what you eventually decide