Peeps Quilt… 2 blocks done

Working on the Peeps Quilt… 2 down, 20 to go! Since each one takes about a week…this will be quite the long term project.

700 peep block Nat 8-23-14

Finished the Natalia Angel block on August 23rd. I layered her dress using a textured damask and a cotton with a finished edge. The pattern didn’t have any hair so I added a few extra lines to it then embroidered a few curls. Her mouth is a French knot. Her wings are left over scraps from making angel buntings, think it’s quite fitting. Added a border so her block will be the same size as the other peeps blocks… of course I totally forgot to measure the block. Her pattern can be found for free at:

700 peep block Elaine 8-24-14

As usual I piece the me block before starting anyone else’s… this way if I screw up it’s just little old me and I could make another. I can’t say as my legs have ever looked thinner! OK I did mess up the mouth… I should stick to one French knot for everyone else’s mouths… 3 knots make me look like I’ve have some sort of enlargement gone wrong. Wee little Barbie buttons make for the perfect eye color. I used this cool corn fabric for my hair and left over tie dyed heavy cotton for the background… painfully bright! According to the pattern this block is 8X10 finished…didn’t measure it however. This pattern had to be purchased but I think it was well worth the $9!


24 years ago today

24 years ago today my angel Natalia made her appearance in this world…

Natalia heart

she only lived here for 29 days but what I would give to just have one of those days back…like when Tabitha her big sister all of 18 months old held her for the longest time on the ratty red velvet chair and they both smiled…sigh…Happy birthday Natalia Tatianna…you are dearly missed!


My cluttered mind

So much to do. So much left to contemplate.  Most of which is on the QT…so I can’t really splash it all over the headlines at the moment. Let’s just say my address will be changing…for the better.

Natalia heart

I’d really like to sit at the sewing machine and finish the pile of diapers sitting there, or better yet do the top stitching on the stack of receiving blankets.  But I don’t.  I look at the sewing table a mere 6 feet or so from my chair with the piles of flannel and cotton beseeching me to sew and I can’t make myself cross those 6 feet to just do it.  I know once I sit over there I can accomplish the lot of it in a few hours, then I can throw the blankets in the wash and then pin and package the diapers, have those piles completed and out of my mind…it’s those 6 feet of space and the overwhelming jumble of thoughts crowding my mind that keep firmly in my seat watching the TV blindly.


monkey madness

monkey madness

What do I keep, what do I donate, what do I give to someone I know, what do I unceremoniously throw away?!?  Have been living in this little death trap for 20 years.  Wow. I type that 20 years and I realize I have aged as healthily as the craptacular abode I’ll soon be escaping with its 70’s linoleum and so many horrible memories.  Do I pack the memories too? Will they slither along with the boxes of books and breakables to take up new residence? Of course they will.  Natalia’s memory came with to this trailer from those apartments.  Oh to just erase all the bad and just keep the good…deal with it, cope with it, accept it…sigh.  I’ve been living with so much tripe taking up space in my mind and heart for so long I’m tired of it.  Oh I’ll hang on to the memory of Nat even if I have to have the memory of her death.  I’d like to totally loose all memory of the first marriage mistake but keep all the memories of the lovely children that occurred because of that union.  I’ll give up the memory of the ridiculous rebound marriage too, but keep the memories of my girls and the birth of the sweet grandson. It’s a shame you can’t have selective memory loss…of course no offence meant to anyone’s anyone suffering from memory loss.

Natalia N Tabitha

See it’s all these stinking memories clogging my mind when I’m busily cramming more stuff in there: appointments to get to, things to remember to ask at said appointments, things to revise, things to do.  Pay the property taxes ASAP, pay the rent, pay the medical bills, oh go to work and be productive so you get paid.  Clean the fish tanks, yeah plural.  Feed Akmed. Feed Helga. Make Shamus’ vet appointment…find out how much that will cost.  Hey that big bag of chopped up monkey bodies…sew those together you freak! Ship out boxes to the 4 corners of the planet…gotta keep acquiring that good Karma, I’ll need it this coming year for sure.


Lists. Post-its. Scribblings on napkins, envelopes, sketchings of furniture placement, contemplations of decorating in a cool yet not really ‘me’ way.  Can’t be wicked cool…will have to be subdued…ugh…dare I say adult.  Unhappy face.  What of my posters? Yeah, SO juvenile but they are so cool.  My muses to keep me going, the rainbow happiness surrounding me goading me to sew, create, envelope me with busyness…a frappe of color and texture…now white…a blank canvas I can’t paint. So very empty of expression.  What of dangling deals in the windows from the ceiling moving slowly in the air currents that surround the life living there?  Dare I hang the witch’s ball in the window? That I do. Shhhh. Perhaps no one will notice.  But the rest, the wind chimes, the mobiles, the oddness hanging from string will all have to go else where with someone else…or in the trash. Another unhappy face.


Garage sale of things I really don’t want to see go? How does one price items they still like? I’m probably a hoarder of some sort, without the dead flattened animals under piles of refuse.  I just like weird stuff.  Odd ash trays (I don’t smoke), weird mugs I’ll never drink out of, postcards from places I’ll never go, statues, glass things, stuffed beasties, spooky dolls.  Things I don’t need but I like to have.  I like to look at.  How do I choose?  Do I keep the weird doll mom made in the 70’s, named Ruthie with the blue face Stevie ‘adopted’, or do I keep the black Kewpie doll? If I keep both do I then get rid of the Shamus dog collection? I can easily say good bye to the crockery and silverware, glasses cups rugs, towels nondescript furnishing and appliances we won’t need.  I can even be OK with giving/selling the Halloween collection I won’t have room for, perhaps even the Giraffe family with their friends the rhinos…but my zombie dolls, Oonies and sock monkeys…I just don’t know if I can part with them…they aren’t essential like oxygen, but they make me happy…too damn many thoughts…too damn many things to decide about.  Which books can leave? OMG…don’t get me started on books! They’re as prolific as DVDs, CDs, records, yeah vinyl, even cassettes…OY, guitars…playable ones, ones left to be built, bodies painted fabulous but that no real hope of completion any time soon…do people buy guitar parts at garage sales?  Unhappy face once again…

pained grin xmas 2009

I’m happy to move, happy to live in a solid actual house.  HAPPY damnit.  This is a good thing for all of us.  A really healthy change for all of us, have to get happy about it.  Fresh start, out with old in with the new.  New is so scary though.  Oh no…here come the what-ifs…they suck as much as the thoughts of getting rid of things.  What if this doesn’t go smoothly?  What if we end up hating each other?  What if this causes more stress and friction in this tinderbox of a family?  What if we all don’t bend and cope and accept life together? This can’t possibly go in a perfectly ordered tidy calm way.  Look at us, a family of freaks with our menagerie of freaky pets, all of us on different schedules for every thing, we’re all odd and don’t even blend with each other much less mashing us with another human being who’s a bit less malleable than any of us could hope for.  Well, guess we’ll aim for a forced frappe, blend this family like no other before it.  Now to just teach Shamus to be incredibly happy in a quiet way and set all the TVs to be read rather than heard…this new chapter will prove interesting if nothing else…and I will be happy about it…damnit…slightly less unhappy face


in memory of Natalia

In memory of Natalia Tatianna Grace Edna (those were all her names) we just call her Natalia or Nat

Natalia N Tabitha

I sew these wee teeny diapers thinking of my 2nd beautiful daughter.

In 1988 (had her in 1989) the pregnancy was a surprise which all of my babies were but this one…wow…my 1st daughter Tabitha was all of 9 months old of course in diapers, with bottle in hand not walking yet and wham the stick turned blue…but…hey I had one baby how difficult can another be?


Having no medical insurance at the time I went to one prenatal appointment where I was told well you had one healthy baby, this one should be just fine as well, no need for an ultrasound, just take your vitamins yadda yadda yadda…((sigh))


Almost right on time perhaps a week early I went into labor. My first baby was about 3 ½ days worth so I really wasn’t looking too forward to this aspect of the adventure; my labor didn’t progress so I was given pitocin to get the show on the road, no one bothered to tell me this might hurt a bit.  Finally the moment came after 11 hours of back labor another sweet baby girl was in the world, but she was purple and had a very quiet breathy cry. To make matters worse I was bleeding quite a bit so was left on the pitocin for another 11 hours. Needlessly to say the breast feeding didn’t happen since I couldn’t sit up for the pain. When I finally held my tiny daughter she was less purple but not by much, we were told she had a heart murmur and a little jaundice and we were sent home. Still without insurance and concerns I had about my baby’s weak cry, not wanting to eat, and not sleeping well was just put to me being an over anxious mommy…


After 28 days of seeing my baby loose weight, and basically being told to calm down and change formulas I brought my baby to the ER, mind you still no insurance, we were left in the waiting room for almost an hour until a man with a huge cut to his hand was called and he told the nurse my baby could take his turn. Natalia was turning blue, the jaundice wore off and my baby was blue. While we sat and waited for the doctor to see her she finally drank a full 4 ounces of formula…I was elated…little did I know…


They did a chest X-ray thinking perhaps my asthma was passed on to Nat, it wasn’t. My tiny daughter who lived this long had only half of a heart, half of her heart never developed. This deadly defect sounds like a slight murmur looks much worse; Natalia had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  As we live in a farming community with just a regulation hospital at the time, my baby was bundled up and sent to Children’s Hospital & Clinics in Minneapolis where we learned even more devastating news.  Her defect was fatal if left untreated and we were actually told we could just let our baby die if we wanted to…um…let that sink in…let my baby die?!? Is that really an option?!?  Then we were told had we insurance Natalia could be put on a waiting list for a new heart but since she was so small and had struggled for 28 days out of the womb there was no real hope a heart would arrive in time.  Then onto option # 3: surgery with a 30% chance of survival. Well we chose door # 3. After a very long but basically successful surgery we got to see our super tiny baby again. She was no longer blue, in fact she had pink little cheeks, and she was beautiful. Even with the machines, tubes, and the owie running down her chest, she was perfect in my eyes.  We were pulled to one side and told they couldn’t stabilize her after the surgery, she had tried to survive untreated too long. After 2 hours of them all trying to stabilize Natalia, she slipped away on her 29th day of life having never opened her eyes again.


We waited patiently in a little room to say good bye to Natalia, so tiny, she finally arrived, no more tubes no screaming machines, just her with her Kewpie doll curl of black hair, her tiny nose, perfect chin, rose bud lips in a massive t-shirt, probably newborn but by now she had shrunk to less than 4 pounds, almost swallowed up in a big warm blanket. It was hard to find her tiny hands and feet so I could count her tiny perfect fingers and toes one last time.


She was quite teeny, thankfully my older daughter had a baby doll almost the same size as Natalia, so I took off the tiny flannel nightgown and sent it to the funeral home with a diaper for her to wear for the viewing.  The diaper was massive even being a newborn size, had I thought of it I would have sewn up a tiny diaper, I had all the ingredients but go figure I didn’t think of it till much later.


Now so many years later, I’m a mom to 2 beautiful adult daughters and 2 gorgeous grandchildren.  All healthy! I witnessed my grandbabies born, pudgy pink and screaming…such a sound of rejoice! With every new pregnancy I have the same worries about their hearts, thankfully with my youngest daughter I got an ultrasound to look right at her heart so I knew it was all there and in working order.  We did the same with the grand kids…better safe than sorry!


I’ve been sewing for a group called God’s Tiny Angels based in West Virginia for oh 3 or so now.  We sew for at risk preemies and newborns across the country, also making burial outfits and blankets for the teeny babies that don’t survive.  I’ve also made Angel Pockets, a tiny square blanket of flannel with a built in pocket to hold tiny stillborns that I send to HCMC here in Minnesota as well as God’s Tiny Angels.  I found Teeny Tears almost by accident when I say it noted on a friends blog.  All I can say is THANK YOU too all the angel families who make these teeny diapers for all of the teeny and micro teeny babies to wear so their mommies can count those perfect fingers and toes before saying good bye.


~Elaine, Mommy of an Angel

ready to package teeny diapers

Received my cards via email for the wee diapers today

…they are lovely…already printed a few of each on card stock so I can start assembling sets over the long weekend.

So neat that each set of diapers will be in memory of Natalia…I think of all the wonderful ladies in my life that have miscarried, had stillborns or wee infants that have passed away soon after being born…all of those babies live on in their mom’s hearts forever…Oh if I could give each one a tiny diaper to remember their sweet angels…well actually I have noticed that in my cutting and sewing I will have a tiny pile of singles…perhaps I’ll start handing them out to mommies I know! I’ve already adopted a hospital, Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon Nevada. I’ll be sending out 10 sets (20 diapers) five 28 week gestation and five 18 week gestation sizes…think I’ll aim for 6 of each so there are even numbers of girlie ones and boy ones.  Hoping to get in contact with the hospital I had my babies at to see if I can adopt it to bring teeny diapers to.  Can you believe there are no hospitals in Minnesota that receive these wonderful donations? Color me shocked…no idea what shade that is…I want to donate to my home state as well as any other I possibly can J Welcome to Thanksgiving eve…will be sewing on Black Friday…HA!

Tattoos I’m contemplating

in memory of my dear ol’ Dad…back of one of my calves…they’re both quite beefy do I think this would fit nicely…I’m sure he would TOTALLY disapprove but then again I’ve been a bit of a wild child forever…I can’t remember what dad’s test set looked like, I’ve a feeling it was blue…I found this cool orange one and since I oh so love orange…well there ya go! wicked! Haven’t gotten it priced or anything so I don’t know when exactly I can save up to get it… July 27th 2012


Natalia’s heart tattoo…aiming for left forearm as that’s where all the babies have rested their wee heads…note: band aid on left (broken) side of the heart. HLHS… miss her horrible to this very day…Haven’t gotten it priced or anything so I don’t know when exactly I can save up to get it… July 27th 2012

those who dwell in my heart WIP

‘Those who dwell in my heart quilt’

…thus far…whew…each heart takes about 2 days on and off hand paper piecing, some machine piecing, machine attaching the ribbons the hand embroidering the names (if you look close you’ll see my cursive abilities are a bit lacking) rest assured at least I can read the names lol…so far I’ve completed: Mom (Lavender/Green), Dad (plaids), Jim (Red/Black), Me (Orange/Green), Tabitha (Black/Pink), Jazmin (Purple/Black), Natalia (shades of teal w/ black & red heart),  Heidi (Retro Hippy w/ Beatles), Oliver (fun boy fabrics), Olivia (Pink/Grey), Stephermini (Shades of green), Companion Animals (Beastie Fabrics) and Samhain (Wild Halloween-ie)…I’ve 7 more to make…each heart will eventually be cut down to the size of the smallest one about 7”X8”…I think I’ll frame each with black to make each block pop more…think I’ll skip prairie points as this quilt will be busy enough…unless I go with a black border all around and black prairie points…definitely nothing definite just yet…The pattern was free from:

September 16th 2011


Peace Flowers Freedom Happiness

…a moment of hippy-ness in Sakura Pigma Micron pens on 8.5 X 11 Strathmore paper

Finished after 3 days April 18th 2010

 N is for Natalia

Her birthday was on Monday the 18th she would be 22 this year

Lovely Natalia
Walking in circles
I lay my head upon the urn
of cold uncaring stone
mumbling innocence
into the smooth reflectiveness
that glimpses at my tears
that threaten to slip by
in intervals.

Violent yet secretive
shudders corrode me
smiling like a star
in the bright morning.

Holding on to my fingers
in fear of collapse
I sing a song
that no one hears
not because I sing it low
it is an internal melody
that rings
like a bizarre expression
that help my spirit
as you fell
out of my arms, out of my control
out of my life..

I shed a tear
running down my cheek
in vain
wiping my illusion
to a nakedness.

You fell in an abyss
where I cannot reach.

All I can do
pinch myself bloody
wake from this intolerable
hoping you would regain life
from my internal melody.

-Sakura Pigma Micron pens on a Zentangle Tile, 3.5X3.5 watercolor paper

Full sized art can be viewed on my deviant art page: