Monday, April 15, 2019

Papa -- a hard loss

Back in the beginning of April, I wrote this article about Richard's dad, who had become bedridden and losing his battle with COPD and dementia. We lost him last week. He struggled for weeks unable to breathe, though his memory had a few days of clarity. He was able to recognize those who visited and say goodbye. It was heart-wrenching, but having the closure and knowing he was ready must make his loss easier for Mrs. Carolyn, his wife, and Richard and Steve, their two sons. 

Mama and Papa
We spent as much time as possible with him because we wanted someone to be with Mrs. Carolyn when the time came. Waiting while a loved one slowly passes away is difficult enough without having to face it all alone. So Rich and I made sure one of us was sitting in their house or within just a couple of minutes drive. Mostly we tried to help her in dealing with hospice, company, family, and her own grief.

He'd been in a semi-coma for a week when, finally, on Wednesday morning he took his last breath. I must say that first time that he stopped breathing for several moments was frightening. Not that I'm afraid of death, but because I had promised to call the family. But that was just a warning of what would come in less than an hour, and we were able to gather everyone to their house. 
Richard's parents, Richard Sr. and Carolyn; my parents, Riley
and Ellen (their 50th anniversary); and Richard and me.
People in our area have held wake services for the dead for centuries. Although it's rarely followed now, the Cajun French people of Louisiana held "the wake" throughout the night and into the morning when the funeral is held. Papa had made several things clear and "an all-night wake" (meaning a traditional service) was an absolute if we were going to follow his wishes. Of course, we would comply: a rosary, a mass, a burial in the plot he had prepared 20+ years ago. He had always made things simple. 

Friday we said our last goodbyes and prayed the funeral rites. Papa had been raised and remained Catholic for his entire life. It's quite calming to know exactly what to expect during a Catholic mass. Somehow it's easier to mourn. Father Sklar, who has been assigned to us for only a few weeks, had visited the family several times in the last month and celebrated with a beautiful eulogy. 

And so the last of the five Marcotte brothers is gone.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pin It Weekly #275

Time to check in with new followers and say hello, don't you think? You know how I love old buildings. Well, Melissa Walraven has a board titled Churches, Barns and Old Homes. You can make a safe bet that I'll be pinning a few of the 270+ pins that she has.


Keldur, IcelandTumblr

old barn

.Turquoise barn  from Genevieve Haudricourt photography

Purple Barn

Neide Cristina Paisan has a board called bonecas. I thought bonecas translated into bunny of some kind based on the many that are on the site. I google translated it anyway, because... 
Well, just because it's what I have to do. Anyway, I was wrong. It means simply doll or puppet. Hmm... Can you see my thinking?

Handmade linen rabbit, handmade bunny doll, handmade rag doll.Ткани и шерсть для игрушек,кукол Тильд и др.

Handmade dolls and animals by Taffettà.

index.php (768×1024)

Rabbit car hangings plush toy doll rabbit belt sucker wedding gift-in Stuffed & Plush Animals from Toys & Hobbies on

Can you choose a favorite? I really like this group all lined up in sweet spring colors! I had to get off that board. I'd end up going into the studio and playing around, when I really need to get in there and catch up with my BOM blocks before the next guild meeting. What kind of president does not have her blocks?!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: 70s and over

Generals of south centrals ( by Maximo Gaia on 500px ) I'm gunna draw this!As we care for Richard's father, I've been thinking about the lines on his and Mrs. Carolyn's faces. Lines that were earned raising children and grandchildren, running a farm, supervising at a job in the garment industry, supporting their own parents. Living life.

That's really it. They have lived. Full lives. Full to the top with joy and celebration. But also full to the top with heartache and loss. To honor those lives, I thought I'd post photos of some beautiful people who, based on their own line, have also lived full lives. I hope they inspire you to make quilts that leave a legacy.

Beautifull portrait of a Balinese old lady by Rarindra Prakarsa

Portrait of an elderly Lebanese man

Very Expressive Face

"He's a funny man that Donald. He thinks the Chinese are stupid, but he's in for a surprise. And no fortune cookie either for that Donald...."

Amazing Face...

Elderly Portraits | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I can only imagine the things these eyes have seen and ears have heard; even the stories these lips could tell.

For his project titled Jahrhundertmensch, German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen shot portraits of people who have reached the ripe old age of 100.

Portrait of an elderly woman wearing a traditional conical hat

Ellis Moss. The Haunted Artist. He makes the broken doll of Rose before he disappears.

Such a beautiful mature lady.  Love her cheekbones.

Need to know how to inspire yourself to turn these photos into quilts? Just consider what kind of quilt each one sleeps under. Or what quilt would one of them make. Pull colors from the clothing in one or two pictures. Or best of all, make a portrait quilt of someone you know and love.

I've been inspired! I had to begin a new board. This one is titled "people, folks, tribe, humanity, society, mankind." (Did I get enough nouns in there?)

Saturday, April 6, 2019


Richard's dad is in the last throws of dementia. It's terribly sad to watch this man, who was so vital and full of life when Rich and I first married, slowly lose every bit of life. Now bedridden, he's become a shell of a person, barely recognizing even his sons and grandsons. 

When I first met him, Rich's parents were in their late 30s, working and farming, raising a family and caring for elderly parents of their own. The Marcotte men would throw 50 lb. crates of sweet potatoes onto stacks that reached well above my head. 

 My father-in-law is the last of his generation of our family, having buried his four brothers. 

Today I asked our sons to pitch in and help us care for their grandparents. The task is too much and though we are three--Rich, his mom, and I--we need all hands on deck. 

So our boys will get a lesson in caring for the sick.  Who better to care for than their grandfather? The man who taught them the value of hard work and fair wages... and foul French words, yes, literally! 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pin It Weekly #274

Want a storm or two? We have lots of rain, thunder and lightning to give away. And we don't mind sharing.
~~No Way Out | storms over Wisconsin | by Phil Koch~~Amazing

These aren't my photos, by the way. Our storm came through in the middle of the night. Besides, I don't go out in storms or darkness, unless there's a most urgent reason. 
Stormy Weather

One of my new followers is Denise Elder. She has lots of interesting boards, but when I ran across this "Home DIY Decor," I had to share. How cute are these ideas?
Gratefully Vintage- Antique Ladder Decor50 Top Tea Sets Decoration Ideas For Your Awesome Living Room - Page 32 of 50

BOHO Vintage Crochet Doilies Shabby French Chic Window Cafe Curtain Lace Cream

A few things from Linda Randles' (also a new follower) boards:
This amazing thing is seriously a magnificent design technique. #quiltproject

Cox High Speed Internet WebMailAlycia Quilts: 7/3 Independence Day Quilt of Valor Show

February Pattern Roll-Call — KH Quilts

And here are a few of my most recent pins to "heart, quilts."

Read Message - twc.comBaby Quilt Pattern using jelly roll layer cake or FQs

by Lori Q Alison Made with shot cottons.Fab Five Quilt - made by Andy of A Bright Corner.  She used the Fab Five Ruler to make this fun and easy quilt.

What have you been pinning lately?

Monday, April 1, 2019

Cotton Quilters' Sewing Room Tour

A quick collage of some quilts, tops and blocks, plus
one pic from the visit to my studio.
It would be difficult to have a better sewing day! That's because today we (the Cotton Quilters) toured five sewing spaces. The tour was a huge success! We all had fun. Twenty-two of us showed up and took off for Evergreen, on time. First, my studio which impressed. Rich told me to hand everyone a dust cloth as they walked in, but I served coffee instead.

One piece of furniture at Cleo's that
might go on Rich's project list.

Then it was off to Cleo's house where she had laid out her gorgeous quilts. (No, I didn't have the sense to do that.) We walked around the entire house and enjoyed her quilts and her late mother's costume jewelry. 
At Cleo's house
From there we were off to Pam's, whose husband had enclosed their large back porch. He had added a high shelf with a closet rod completely around the room. She sews beautiful little dresses for her grandchildren. 
At Pam's house
 Then it was lunch at Mrs. Mary's, who had enlisted a few ladies to help out. Pimento cheese sandwiches, shrimp and corn soup, and chips filled us up. She also had enclosed the back porch to make a long room where Gammill could live. Huge windows give lots of natural light.
At Mary C's 

One more home to go--Josie's with the beautiful hand-quilting space. Large windows for natural light, sofas around the perimeter of the room, and a hand-made quilt frame all make the space just about perfect. As if that were not enough, she served coffee and homemade sweets for our lunch dessert.
At Josie's house

 From there I returned home, but almost everyone else was going back to the museum to drop off riders. We started out there so 4-5 people could pile into a vehicle--the idea being that we'd have fewer vehicles to park.

Some of the highlights of our day:

  • Getting to know the members of the guild on a more personal level
  • Seeing how others set up and organize their sewing spaces
  • Discovering ideas that I may incorporate into my own space
  • Appreciating members' beautiful quilts
  • Seeing their sewing machines and antique pieces
  • Traveling around the parish with friends on a beautiful, sunny day with flowers in bloom and newly-plowed fields
  • and so much more!