Friday, March 20, 2015

Lynch Syndrome Awaeness Day is March 22nd

It is time for me to talk about Lynch Syndrome again.

Those who know me, know I do tend to get on this soap box often. I strongly believe that anyone with a strong family history of any kind of cancer or multiple kinds of cancer as the case with my family, need to be aware of hereditary issues that can cause a predisposition to cancer. 

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. Lynch Syndrome Awareness day is March 22nd every year.  Here is a link to a video that will educate you about Lynch Syndrome. Many states have proclaimed March 22nd as Lynch Cancer awareness day.

Be your own health-care advocate and research whatever medical conditions you have or suspect you could have.

Find a family physician who is interested in taking care of you and will coordinate all of your care. In the case of Lynch Syndrome, not only are you at risk for colon cancer and uterine cancer but also for ovarian cancer, skin cancer, urinary tract cancer, and essentially any gastrointestinal tract cancer when you have a defective gene associated with Lynch Syndrome.

Sometimes health insurance does not pay for the testing that is recommended by the medical specialty. When an adverse determination is made regarding a health benefit, appeal the determination. In most states there is more than one level of appeal level for benefit determination.  The second level of appeal is often reviewed by a case matched specialist. That means a specialist for the condition in question. Remember not all specialist know everything about conditions in their field. For example, endometrial, also known as uterine cancer, is one of the sentinel cancers for Lynch Syndrome. Many OB/Gyn. physicians do not know about Lynch Syndrome and don't know that any endometrial cancer for a woman under 50 years old would be suspect for Lynch Syndrome.

For those of you reading this post that have a personal or family history of colon cancer be sure and get your colonoscopy as recommended by national guidlines.  The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends colon cancer screening beginning at age 50 for those in the general population but for a person who has a first degree relative with a color cancer diagnosed at a younger age it indicates it is reasonable to start colon cancer screening earlier. Here is the Link for colon cancer screening recommendation published by the US Preventive Services Task Force. The CDC addresses getting tested for Lynch Syndrome for every person who is diagnosed with colon cancer. Here is the Link for the CDC article on Lynch Syndrome testing for persons diagnosed with colon cancer. 

Studies have shown that early detection of colon cancer has a better outcome. For people with Lynch Syndrome is important to know that a colon polyp can turn into a cancer much earlier than for a person without a gene defect. For this reason it is important to get frequent screening to remove any polyp that can potentially cause a cancer.  

You can learn more about Lynch Syndrome on the Lynch Syndrome International Facebook page as well.

Thank you for letting me share with you the importance of early detection of colon cancer.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time to get busy!

Where has the year gone?

A friend posted on Facebook the number of Fridays left until Christmas. I was like "no way."  Yes "way". 

There are only 9 Fridays left until Christmas now. That means it is time to get busy and get those Christmas gifts completed. I spend my fall weekend time sewing when the "boys" are out hunting. That means I have my own personal retreat when they go hunting. Bow season opens in October here in Texas so I completed my last project while they were on the hunt. 

Villa Rosa Design patterns are great little card patterns that I love to use to make a quick project. Many of the quilts use fat quarters, 5 inch squares, 10 inch squares, 2 1/2 inch strips or yardage. The nice thing about the patterns are that they are adaptable to whatever fabric you want to use.  I created a lap quilt for a silent auction for my high school homecoming using the Crimson Glory pattern.  The quilt is pictured below.

Give me a call if you need help choosing fabric from my website for a Villa Rosa Design pattern that is in stock.  Here is the link to the Villa Rosa Design Patterns.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Projects

So this Christmas I found myself wanting to make quick lap quilts because to me the lap quilt size is the most useful. Don't get me wrong, I do love the large bed quilts but have found that the lap quilt size is perfect for just covering up with on the couch or in the Lazy Boy recliner.

What I did for the pictured Christmas quilts is use a Moda Advent box that I had left over from last year for each quilt. The box contains a dozen strips that are 4 1/2 inches wide by width of fabric. Using a Moda Dessert roll would yield a similar result. Sew 11 of the strips together. Square up the resulting large block and then chop off about six to seven inches from the top. Note, this is just a fun project with no math but do consider that the strip across the top that comes next will sew to 4 inches wide. You now have two rectangles from the original large block.  Take one more width of fabric strip and sew to the bottom of the smallest rectangle and then sew the strip to the top of the large rectangle for the resulting pieced block.  The quilt will now measure approximately 44 by 48.  I like lap quilts to be a little longer than they are wide so I added a 4 1/2 inch wide strip of coordinating fabric to the top and to the bottom of the quilt to give it some length. Since this is a Christmas themed quilt, I appliqued a few AccuQuilt cut trees along the bottom. For the quilt backing, I pieced a couple of coordinating fabric strips together for the long narrow piece of fabric. I then split the width of one long piece of backing fabric about 10 inches from the selvage edge and sewed the narrow strip to the two backing fabric pieces. I added another AccuQuilt applique tree to the narrow strip near the bottom. Just adding that extra strip of fabric to the fabric backing makes the quilt backing the perfect size for quilting and adds a bit of character to the quilt back.

For the second quilt, I sorted through the strips and grouped strips together in sets of three to make four strip sets for my rail fence blocks.  After sewing the set of three strips together, I cut off one selvage end then sub-cut the strips into three 12 1/2 inch strips. I retained the leftover 6 or so inches for the quilt back.  Play with the 12 blocks that you created from your four strip sets to make a pleasing layout. Sew the blocks three wide by four long. Add a border to all four sides. I think my border strips were 4 1/2 inches wide but you can make them as wide as you like.  For the quilt back, I created one long narrow strip by sewing together the four pieces I cut off the strip sets to make one long narrow piece for the quilt back inset.  I did have to add a few coordinating fabric pieces so the inset would be long enough.  I then split the quilt back as in the first quilt and added the long strip to the quilt back. 

The last quilt I made was for my dad. I love the double sliced layer cake pattern so I used a civil war reproduction layer cake and added a paisley print for the quilt outside border and a little red stripe print for a faux piping inner border. I love just that little bit of color break a faux piping border provides for a busy quilt center. Since I think paisley prints are manly, I used a paisley print for the borders and the backing. I like to use mitered corners for my outside border which worked perfect for this quilt since I also used the paisley print for the quilt backing. Since I used the length of fabric for the border, I had plenty of fabric to piece the backing with one width of fabric and the remaining border fabric. Binding for the quilt was with the red stripe print used in the faux piping.  I thought the finished quilt looked nice with my dad's paisley couch. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Having Fun with Fabric Panels

Fabric panels are fun to work with. I love the art work on the panels but as we all know not all panels are ready to quilt just as they are. At quilt market, I took a school house class that gave suggestions on what to do with fabric panels.  There were lots of great ideas that would transform fabric panels into just about any size project.  The art work of the  Joy fabric panel by Kate Spain is so fun and bright. The panel is a Christmas panel that can be quilted as is or cut apart for multiple projects. Using the idea of cut up the panel and add sashing fabric to the panel pieces; I played around with the panel cut outs until a quilt was born. I chose to use piecing and applique for the quilt that measures 40 by 50 inches which is a perfect size for a lap quilt great for snuggling up under on a cold December day.    Pictured is the fabric panel and the completed Joy quilt.

Joy fabric is available at Suzzett's Fabric

The white fabric used for the block sashing and background on the applique blocks is the Moda Muslin Makes Falling Snow on White which worked out great. I love writing phrases into my quilting designs and found this fabric perfect for the Christmas phrases.  Border and binding fabric is from the Joy fabric collectionThere were two large fabric blocks left from the fabric panel that are the perfect size for quilted placemats. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Paper Piecing

Paper Piecing is one of my new favorite quilting techniques. Judy Niemeyer patterns inspired me to take a paper piecing class recently at the Our House in Milford retreat center. I loved the perfection that paper piecing affords. I started with a pattern called Desert Sky and created my first Judy quilt.  Choosing the fabric is maybe the hardest part of the project.

Picture of my Desert Sky quilt....someday I will quilt it.
My daughter found a pattern for me to use to make my niece’s wedding quilt. I didn’t quite like the entire pattern so I opened up Electric Quilt version 7 (EQ7) and went to work designing my own pattern.  After a bit of trial and error, I completed the design phase. Of course after sewing the first two blocks together I found out I had to go back to the design board and tweak the angles a bit to make the secondary blocks work better.   I used Carol Doak paper for printing my blocks and used the templates form EQ7 with an enlarged block to cut the individual fabric pieces using the stack and whack method as much as possible. Posted below is a picture of the flow for designing the quilt with a picture of the final quilt as well. 

Be sure and check out all the batik fabric on my website or directly at

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Strip Quilts from Stash

Scrappy Quilts just say "Nostalgia". How many of our grandmother's quilts were made from just left over fabric? Often the leftovers were from used clothing or even old flour and feed sacks. The folks at The Fabric Shop Network encouraged quilters worldwide to sew strip quilts for charity on World Wide Quilt Day held in March. Suzzett's Fabric, Quilts and More joined the campaign to get quilters sewing strip quilts for charity for the event. Quilters from the Italy, Texas area joined together to make 12 strip quilts for the event. Strip sewing seemed the way to go to put my large amount of stash to work for this endeavor so a couple of us broke out the Accuquilt Go cutter and cut 2 1/2 inch strips from my stash and some of my shop fabric. In total, we had six people sewing in the shop with two helpers assisting with pressing and keeping the strips from tangling. We completed 13 strip quilts for the event. As they say in the old community newspaper columns found in rural America, "A good time was had by all." I will use up more of my stash to make backings for the quilts and then perhaps have another workday to quilt the quilts. Most of the quilts will be donated to the VA Hospital in Dallas.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lord's Acre Quilt

Well plans change. I finished the Lord's Acre quilt that I had planed but hubby just didn't really LIKE it so we went to plan B. Hubby found a quilt called "Walk Around the Block" by Connie kauffman in a Quilters World magazine from 2009 that uses a Jelly Roll and border fabric. He knows how much I love Kansas Troubles fabric so he said just use one of your KT jelly rolls. Well I only had one left that was not a Christmas jelly roll so I just went and cut strips for the quilt from about 30 fabrics from various KT fabric lines so I could control the medium hues a bit more. I have been collecting KT fabric for several years so I had a good stash to use besides pulling fabric from my shop. I really like how the auction quilt turned out. We don't see much of fall here in Texas but I love it and was determined to make a fall quilt.