It’s been a week of holding our breath – or at least it seems that way. Last Wednesday Gary went to the skin clinic for a check up for a mole that had grown a bit. We weren’t really prepared for the news that it was a Melanoma. You don’t really want to hear the word cancer associated with anyone you know, so it was quite a shock. He’s fit and healthy. He runs for enjoyment. He loves being outdoors. And it seems that has been a bit of a problem!

When we went for the check up, his doctor fitted him in right away to do the surgery to remove the mole . . . and then the waiting game began.  We got the pathology results on Tuesday confirming that it was indeed a melanoma and a second round of surgery was required. Thankfully, it seems to be an “in-situ melanoma”, which is early stage, so hopefully yesterday’s surgery is all that is required to be clear of the cancer. Another few days of waiting to be sure, but the doctor is pretty confident.

So today as I tend to my very sore and sorry husband, I am so far beyond grateful that he’s going to be here with me for a long time to come . . . and we can both breath again.

Now, onto matters crafty . . .

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to go to a Christmas Craft Market with my mum and her friend. It was a very small local affair, for a day care centre. There were ready-made crafts to purchase, but also some stalls selling craft supplies. Well, I don’t really need too many supplies (but that’s a story for another day), but I did manage to pick up some fat quarters for one of my long-term projects.

A year or so ago I came across this book by Blackbird Designs

and instantly fell in love with the “Field of Blooms” quilt, inspired by an antique quilt they had used – originally for props and then they decided to include the pattern in the book. And that is how my “circles” began!

I use a 4-inch circle template, which gives me about a 1 3/4-inch finished yo-yo. I have cut circles from fabrics I had sitting around for a while, as well as some new fabrics that I just loved. I have decided to stick with a bright-pastel-ish palette, although since beginning I have thought of other colour ways that would be lovely, too. Projects for another day, I guess. I looked upon this as a project that would be completed in its own good time. A project to enjoy the process. No pressure. No deadlines. Just fun. So I started stitching circles. And in a Forrest Gump kind of way – I just kept stitching. I have stitched on road trips, hospital visits, social visits with friends and family, on the lounge in front of the TV. The list goes on.

My husband likes to break the numbers down in things, so he figured out that to make the size quilt I’d like to go on our bed I’d need . . . 2688 circles! Now, sometimes you don’t really need to know the numbers up front. It can be a bit overwhelming. But no matter, I started tracing, cutting and stitching circles. Early on I decided that I wouldn’t start stitching the circles together until I had enough, because I wanted to make sure that all the different fabrics were randomly spread, not clumped together. So I have bagged them by colour. When it comes time to join them I can just grab from the different bags.

I’ve got 641 circles stitched (I jot the number down on a piece of paper so I don’t have to re-count to know how I’m going). I had kind of stalled on this project a bit in the last few months, but I saw the fat quarters at the craft market and thought they would make a nice addition to the quilt. So these lovely bits of fabric will soon be traced and cut – and hopefully stitched in the not too distant future.

What are you stitching in your world?

PS Christmas Decoration Swap completed and posted. Pictures to follow once Natima has received it. Don’t want to give away the surprise.

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