Close to Home in 2014

It’s amazing to me how life works. A choice I made last year, affects things in a much bigger way than I could have imagined. All of a sudden I stand back and say “now I see, I was supposed to be here”.   I decided in September that I would stay closer to home in 2014.  The next quilt market is in Pittsburgh in May, and for the first time in my career I’ve decided to sit one out.   This was not an easy decision for me, but at the time my reasoning was it was too far to travel, I needed a break, and I didn’t want the stress that market can bring.

I’ll have new patterns coming out around market time, but my next block of them month won’t be released until October.  It’s a block of the month quilt that’s going to more time to design than the others, and I want to make sure I have enough time to work on it so that you’ll fall in love with it.  It’s been in my head for 6 months now, with only a few sketches and drawings taking shape.  I’m excited to start working on this quilt.

Now, because I decided to stay close to home,  I will be here to take care of my family who desperately needs me, and still have time to work on my block of the month quilt.  I had no idea at the time, that I would need to be here, but someone up there was trying to tell me something.


2014 May also be the year that I search for another friend for Chelsea.  She and I are missing Bitsy more than ever, and I think it may be time to start looking for another perfect companion.

IMG_5815-2I want a dog just like the one Charlotte Lyons found.    She’s been going through the grieving process of loosing a dog and look at the one she finally found!

House Wren studio

Chelsea and I need a small gentle soul, who also loves cats.  Something tells me we’ll know her when we see her.  I’ll take Chelsea along to any rescue I visit because she has great taste.

Several months back my husband called me outside to look at what the jet stream over our house.  It was amazing to look up and see such a beautiful thing.  2014 should be a year we all try to see the beauty around us.  2014 will be the year I take more photos.  I want to capture those moments of awe, when the simple things touch me.

in the sky

2014 will bring us a new, updated website.  I’ve been talking about it for months, but now I’m actually in the process of loading product to it and making the final changes.  It will look very much the same, but it’s definitely more sophisticated.  I’m going to try a few PDF patterns for some of our smaller patterns.  We’ll see how it works!  Coming soon, I hope!

2014 will be the year when I go out of my way to buy things that have the breast cancer logo on them.  A small portion of the proceeds goes to breast cancer research and you just never know when the next dollar might be the one that funds the cure.

pink_office_(1_of_1)To all of you who wrote to me with such compassion, thank you.  Your comments meant so much to me.  Our family has a battle ahead, and the next surgery scheduled, is to remove the lymph nodes under the arm to stage the cancer.  That will be sometime in the next few weeks.   Buy pink whenever you can!  If each of us do it, 2014 will bring new drugs, new treatments and maybe even a cure.

Be sure and look for our newsletter tomorrow in your email.  It has the code for our January 25% off sale!  Take today to look at the site and decide what you’d like.  The sale is for 3 days only, and happens every January!

Hugs to each and every one you!


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  • mimi'sdarlins - Dear Anne, this post gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. I believe too, that we are guided when we make decisions, and despite not knowing why you made the choices you did at the time, you are right where you need to be, right now, and will be in May as well. I love your friend’s new pup and hope you will find one just like her. I’m continuing my prayers for your daughter-in-law and your entire family.

  • PAtricia G Hayes - Dear Anne, I have missed something along the way and this note from you has me so sad for you all. I do believe I have figured it out from the comment above me. However my thoughts and prayers are there with you, and yes, you made a good choice to stay near home this year. Now is the time when a little gental one will find you and fill that niche in your heart.
    Ypou will keep smiling, this I know just from our little purchasing relationship and emails.
    Patricia in Florida.ReplyCancel

  • DeAnna Dodson - Praying for you and yours, dear Anne.

    And praying you and Chelsea in finding a new forever friend. I never met Bitsy of course, but I loved reading about her in your blog and seeing her precious pictures. I really miss her, too. But I’m eager to meet your new one when you find her.

    How very exciting.

    When I had to let my precious Elliot cat go, the vet brought me a feisty little orange kitten and told me he needed a home. Petie certainly will never replace Elliot, but he’s incredibly precious all on his own. He makes me laugh every day, and I can’t imagine being without him. You and Chelsea will know the right one when you see her. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jean - You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers throughout the day! Since losing a friend to breast cancer, my friends and I back home have made lots of quilts to raise money for cancer patients. We also make quilts to give a warm hug to people who are going through chemo. I was happy to find someone here after we moved with the same passion that does work for the Avon Walk. Unfortunately, it is something that is going to affect all of us in one way or another.

    If you like, when you are ready to get a new little friend for Chelsea I can get you in touch with my sister, Janice. She lives in Tracy and works with a rescue agency there and is very good at finding the perfect dog for just the right person. They are a great agency! She has 8 dogs of her own!

    I can’t wait to see your new patterns.

  • Kay - Wishing you happiness and peace in 2014. Following your heart is often the way to go and your post certainly tells us that. xxReplyCancel

  • Julie Z - What a good idea to take Chelsea along when you look for your new family member. You will all know when you’ve found each other. I look forward to following your journey, and know all will be well.ReplyCancel

  • Carole Crane - You have been a wonderful inspiration to me, you have a beautiful talent and a giving heart. God doesn’t close a door without opening a window, sometimes it is hard for us to crawl through. Keep you and yours in my prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle B - Just before my husband made the big move down here to TX he had to have our beloved Border Collie put to sleep. She was best friends and protector of my little Mini Doxie, Daisy. I didn’t even think about Daisy missing her until we were out walking and she saw a BC. I picked her up so there wouldn’t be any problems and could barely contain her she was SO excited! I think that from a distance she thought it was her buddy. That thought made me so sad.

    PS–I had breast cancer 21 years ago this spring. It was very advanced but I chose what I felt was the best treatment for me, the surgery plus alternative treatments. Each person needs to do what they feel is BEST for their body. No one else knows your body like you do!!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - Anne, my thoughts are with you for the challenges ahead for your family.

    If you want to see an amazing show of support and fundraising with the theme of pink, all the way here in Australia, have a look at today’s Test Cricket Match (Sunday January 5) at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the third day between Australia and England. It’s Pink Day, and the crowd, the stands, the players and even the wickets will be an amazing sea of pink. It’s Jane McGrath Day, in memory of the wife of well known Australian cricketer Glen McGrath. She lost her battle with breast cancer a few years ago! and this pink cricket day is now done each year to raise money to employ specialist breast cancer care nurses! they have funds now for 100 of these special people. It was her wish, and the support from the cricket community and the spectators is amazing. Just google it for today’s match and you will see an amazing pink display.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - Me again. Just apologising for the exclamation marks in my post, they are not meant to be there. SorryReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - Can’t wait for the PDF patterns–such a convenience!!ReplyCancel

  • Janet - I’m sure you and Chelsea will find the perfect companion … and close to home’s a good thing – you’ve got a lot going on in your world right now. Thoughts and prayers …ReplyCancel

  • Karen Miller - Anne… I remember two years ago when I lost my lifelong friend/horse Chief and posted about it just days after starting my blog. You were the first and only person whose response touched my heart, made me cry, but also helped me start healing. I want to thank you for that. Reading your post today bring tears to my eyes – I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m so thankful that you are home to be with those that need you. God bless you and your loved ones. Thanks for being compassionate to those you hardly know – and for loving and helping those that need you. Take good care. Hugs, KarenReplyCancel

  • Tina - Sending many, many positive thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Can’t wait to see pictures of Chelsea’s new buddy when you find him/her.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Armitage - Oh Anne, I m so sorry. Although I am I not Catholic, I do believe this new Pope is changing our world, showing the demonstrations of love to strangers, sometimes those who need it the most. So, from a from a stranger, to you and your family, I send my love and will say a prayer.

  • rc - Anne, I’m sorry for the diagnosis of your loved one. I know how difficult it is. :( As for a companion, when you are ready the East Bay SPCA in Oakland is a wonderful place to find a dog. I regularly volunteer there and they have a great selection of dogs. Hugs to you and your family. :)ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - We lost our 17 yr.+ 1 week old Shih Tzu about a yr. ago. My husband told me NO more puppies. ( I think now he did this too speed me along) Well I found a breeder and we visted. She had 4 males– all adorable— I played with all.. but one kept sitting at my feet looking up at me. He was saying ” Come on lets get moving.” He choose us. He is now a yr. old Plays with the two cats and takes “care of” the 12 yr old Yorkie. So watch out I am sure you will be Choosen” soon.ReplyCancel

  • liz - Continuing to pray for you and your family. The lymph node surgery leaves you sore for quite awhile after, so make sure your loved one doesn’t overdo anything, or she’ll risk straining or tearing muscle. Not that y’all need anymore advice, I’m sure you’re getting several ears full…ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Dear Anne,

    Oh how you made me smile when I read – someone up there was trying to tell me something. I know FOR SURE I am guided, protected and will ALWAYS be deeply loved from many above, one being my father. He died when I was 9. We were SO close and it seemed as if he knew our time would be limited. Being so young, it confused me why he was trying so hard to teach, show me everything he could, to prepare me for the best life possible. In retrospect, I understand now what he was doing! I believe we are all guided from above but for any number of reasons, we don’t recognize it until after the fact, if at all. We are so busy with what is going on in our lives, we rebuff our STRONG gut feeling of what/which decision we should make. “Gut” feelings usually being the strongest “signs” we receive.

    I was SO happy to read about your plans – to continue to do what you love, your passion and our gift – EACH and EVERY one of your awe-inspiring designs, but slowing your pace some – to stop, admire and capture the beauty and wonder that surrounds us every day!

    I was saddened though to hear the health issue your family member is going through. I will certainly keep them in my thoughts and prayers and know, surrounded by those they love, through and by faith, prayer, hope and determination, they WILL overcome it, and their health will be fully restored!

    I recently saw 2 items on the web that apply to what we need to be focusing on to improve the quality of our body, mind and soul, instead of the stress, worry, and “what if’s” our minds normally go to! The first, a gentle reminder in this “hurry up” world, stressing that we need to take time to cherish and embrace all experiences in our lives, it reads – “Sometimes you never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” This is so true! There are no “do overs” in life so while beautiful and wonderful things are happening, it is so important to recognize them! The second was stapled to few telephone poles around town which read – “For one minute, please stand here in silence, look at the sky and contemplate how awesome life is!” It is so important to remind ourselves, give thanks, take a few moments each and every day in profound gratitude for the abundant blessings we all have in our lives.

    Just a quick thought please, if you can, when you are ready to find a friend for you and Chelsea, would you please consider taking a peek on FB/Twitter? Every night a whole group of us tweet and also share on FB, cats/kittens/puppies/dogs that are to be put down the next day. You can find any “type” of dog you may be looking for, from pure breeds to mutts! They give a lot of information/history about the animal from age, health, prior exposure to cats/dogs. The rescue/shelters are more than happy to answer any questions you may have not listed under the animal’s picture and history.

    In closing, may each dawn bring miracles of boundless joy, with an abundance of health, happiness, prosperity, peace & love!

    Huggggs! :)


  • Judi - Since you are searching for a new friend for your pup, please consider adoption. In one of the NYC newspapers last week the story was about how many chihuahuas are abandoned in a year. There were over 1000! One was found in Battery park in her pink tutu dress. No one claimed her. It seems that these puppies are given as gift accessories and then either abandoned or left at shelters. I am sure that any shelter near you or a chihuahua rescue group can find the perfect baby for you and a forever home for some lucky pooch.

    BTW, for anyone else, there are breed specific rescue groups for almost every breed. They have everything form puppies to adult dogs and all have been checked by vets and tested for temperament.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie O. - Much love to your family as your loved one goes through treatments. I was 26 and 29 when I was diagnosed with my breast cancers. It’s been 7 years and things are great. It is a trying time, but just taking it a step at a time makes it bearable. Hugs to all. :)ReplyCancel

  • Donya - I just had to comment, that has got to be the cutest picture of a dog, Chelsea is precious and your right she looks like she needs a buddy. Hope you find one soon.ReplyCancel

  • Pam in Indiana - I don’t believe God makes mistakes. Trusting that He is holding you in the palm of His gentle hand — and leading you and your lived ones where they need to be. You and your relative with breast cancer are in my prayers. xoReplyCancel

  • CarolMacLeod - Well Anne…..your wish from above has come true. I am holding your new baby that was dropped from heaven. Milk Shake is on my lap while I read your blog about finding a new addition to your pet family. Tears for Bitsy and tears of joy for joining you with another sweet Toy Fox Terrier! Only 5 more days until she will join you!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Oh Anne I am sorry to hear about the recent news concerning your loved one. Life definitely does have a way of stopping us in our tracks at times doesn’t it? It is good that you will be having more time to care for and support someone that needs it. Just when you think some decision was made for one reason it becomes clear that there may be a bigger plan at work. Maybe that is comforting at the moment to feel that things happen for a reason or that we have some inner sixth sense. It seems to have given you time to reflect and realize what you want of need more of for yourself in the coming year. Good luck in your search for a new four legged friend. And prayers to you and your family for a good outcome regarding the health issues you face together. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel