Friday, March 28, 2014

Today is a do-ver

Yes, a do-over.  Just like groundhog day.....I dressed in the same clothes I wore yesterday (laundered last night), because I was so looking forward to wearing my Liverpool Tunic yesterday, but it didn't count.  Most of the day was spent in the ER at Kaseman hospital, after feeling funny yesterday morning, then feeling tingling/weakness in my left arm.  Thank goodness for my friend Sherry, (once a nurse, always a nurse), who took me into her office next door and strapped on the blood pressure cuff, and darn it if it wasn't elevated.  That was it....she kindly but firmly told me to go to the ER, giving me baby aspirin to take along the way.

Five hours later, EKG done, chest XRay done and a visit from the dr. on call, everything looked normal.  He's sending me for a follow-up stress test, but my heart is ok.  And as much as I'd rather spend my afternoon watching paint dry on a wall rather than be in ER, I was glad I went.  Worries are put to rest.

And in the middle of the night, getting a good nights' sleep, I rolled over and felt something uncomfortable on me....and realized I hadn't peeled off ALL of these little do-hickeys:

ER is no walk in the park - I sat praying that the drunk sleeping homeless woman next to me wouldn't wake up and puke into the bowl they left for her when they wheeled her up by me....she only woke up now & then to yell "where's my bed?!"  Thank goodness for nurses - they were sweet and funny and I don't how they do what they do for a living, but my thanks goes out to them.

So gals - when in doubt, go in and get your symptoms checked out.  You just never know.  And 5 hrs. in your lifetime isn't THAT much of an inconvenience.  And you, too, can have a do-over day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jelly Roll Racing continues!

Thank you, Bralia, for leading another fun Jelly Roll race night Saturday!  Four hip stitchers completed tops using just a jelly roll: 
(you have turn your head to the right to see 2, which my computer wouldn't flip properly!)

Thinking about Ellen today.....I was looking back on her blog, and in 2009 she did a series of creative exercises.  I felt inspired to do the same.

5 things I love in my home right now:

My seeds sprouting indoors, beckoning me to warmer days to come:

My red basket, given to me by my dear friend Heather while we on the PTA board together.  It brings all my work to and from Hip Stitch:

My "new" Kindle, given to me by my niece Leah.  I thought I'd never ever want an electronic reading device....but I stand corrected.

This picture of the girls from yester years:

Pandora radio, which at the click of a button, I can listen to whatever I'm in 
the mood for at any given time:

and you?  How about sharing?  5 things YOU love in your home right now??

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Today begins Lent, which is a time period of 40 days before Easter.  It's a designated time of reflection, soberness, "giving up", or even "adding in" something to your life in order to become closer to God.

No worries - I'm not going to preach or convert you. :)

Perhaps, though, we could all think about how to make this world better.  Here at 
Hip Stitch, we're quietly setting out this: 

We'd like to collect $77.91 in 40 days.  This amount will purchase one wheelchair to go to an individual in a developing country, who would otherwise not having any mobility.
I've always liked the expression: "Think Globally, Act Locally."  I like the part that is "ACT."

If you'd like to know more about Free Wheelchair Mission, look HERE
(I've met Don Schoendorfer, the founder of this misson.  He's pretty great.)

That's it.  No preaching.
(except to request that you not give up fabric for Lent)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Customer show 'n tell

Here's a recap of the last month (or so) of some of the fabulous Hip Stitch customer creations - look and be inspired!

Bonnie's dress made from Bluebird Park fabrics - she's got style with her boots and cardigan that goes perfectly!

Christa finished her Multi-Tasker tote - Bralia is scheduling another one of these classes in March!

Eliana's pirate embroidery - love this choice of pattern on the formal napkin and dinner setting!  She started this in Diana's embroidery class.

Gayle's cute clutch.  We have 2 kits left to make this.  Gayle enlarged the pattern a smidge to see how a larger one would look.  They're awesome!

Young quilter Campbell made this potholder.  She's on a binge making these as gifts!

Young quilter Haley with her finished quilt.  She picked this pattern, called "Dwell", from our book "Simply Retro" by Camille Roskelley.

Here's the label for the quilt - Haley's mom embroidered it.  :)

Laurie made this dress for a special little girl using a recycled t-shirt and some knit fabric remnants.  Awesome!

Tina made this dress for her daughter to wear to her piano recital, using our Sweet Serenade fabrics.  Perfect for a budding musician!

MY placemat (3 more to come), made during Jacquie Gering's class last week.  NMQA brought Jacquie back, and I'm so happy I was finally able to take a class with her!

And finally, my favorite salad these days:

Go to Trader Joe's, and get:

*1 package each spinach and mixed greens
*This chicken:
*This cheese:
*Hard boiled eggs
*Chopped Fuji apple
*A handful of these:
Add dressing of your choice.  Mine is this:
Oh geez, now I'm really hungry.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Rosanne, Ellen & Claudia in the RAIN

Many of you have seen the Facebook update I did Saturday, in which Ellen Benson, a Hip Stitch customer & dear friend, passed away.  She battled cancer on and off since February 2011, and dammit, it overtook her body.  I last saw Ellen 2 weeks ago, when I had the privilege and blessing to be able to help finish her sewing projects and visit with her.  When I left her, I hugged her and told her I loved her.  I had hoped at that time I could visit her, maybe once a week, and laugh with her, which is what we did much of together.  No one knew 2 weeks ago how fast the cancer was spreading.  I can only imagine the grief her husband is going through, and her 3 precious children.....what they understand and don't understand.  My heart aches.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share my memories of Ellen, and what she brought to Hip Stitch.....

I met her soon after our little store opened.  She came for sewing lessons, and brought her old, heavy Singer sewing machine, which if memory serves, was her grandmother's?  I taught her how to use her machine, and we struck up an instant friendship (which I'm confident everyone can say about Ellen).   She enjoyed sewing so much, she told her husband what she'd like for Christmas, and lo and behold, Walt came into the store before the holidays to ask me just which machine to buy for her.  Our friendship grew....she came in to sew when she could, being a busy mother to 2 and 1 on the way.  I learned she did photography, and approached her about taking some store pictures.  A memory I'll always cherish is of Ellen, about 8 months pregnant, climbing onto the cutting table/counter of the store to get just the right shot.  I stood below her, nervously saying "are you sure you should be doing this?"  She just casually said "psh" and kept shooting.  As her due date approached, I asked her to let me know about the arrival of the baby, not thinking I'd really be in the loop to get information of the baby's birth.  Another cherished memory:  coming in to the store and listening to messages:  her husband Walt's voice, leaving a message to let me know that baby Marek had been born, giving me the date, time, weight.

THAT was the moment:  when I realized Hip Stitch is so much more than a store.  When I realized that we'd been creating relationships, friendships, bonds, gathering the community in so many more ways than sewing.  Ellen was the force behind that moment.

So thank you for allowing me to share my memories, and shed some tears with you.   Because I know you all are ok with that.  Because you all, like Ellen, are Hip Stitch family.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

NOW she can have the baby!

Liz worked tirelessly this week in the lounge, quilting her Ombre Quilt....she pinned, quilted, serged, sewed the binding, and has only to hand sew the 2nd step of binding. (I told her she can do that in the hospital)  She's now ready for baby, due any day!

She opted to have only her belly in the picture....I, only the other hand, have no qualms about sticking my butt out and snuggling up to her belly; hence, looking like a fool!  :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

An Albuquerque outing

As many of you know, I'm married to a math teacher.  While there are some similarities between what I do and what he does (see the end of this post for more on that), we usually don't talk details of projects we're doing, classes we're teaching, etc.  To be honest, so much of what he teaches is waaaaay over my head!

Today, though, instead of staying home and sewing (or laundry, or grocery shopping, or cleaning...),  I agreed to go along with him on a expedition to find frieze patterns, of which he's currently teaching in his middle school classroom.  We took off with our cameras (me channeling my friend Ellen), and had a fun afternoon together:

First, Central Ave. by UNM:

Then, over to UNM:

Wow - Zimmerman Library is beautiful!  We explored the older wing:

(not frieze patterns, but I LOVED this old card catalog)

(and check out these study tables w/lights above them)

From there, we headed downtown:

And lastly, a swing by Old Town:

And as he taught me about frieze patterns, and translation symmetry, glide reflection, and much more that I didn't understand completely, 
my mind went to frieze patterns in fabric:

And lastly, as to how our work is similar:

Here is Ali Winston's new book!  Ali, who was a Hip Stitcher here before she moved to Atlanta, teaches math as well as is a fabulously creative quilter!  I just got my copy of her new book - can't wait to try out a pattern!