The quilts are delivered!

new grandson's crib quilt

new grandson’s crib quilt

Blake's Dino quilt 11/12My 4th grandchild arrived October 30.  Welcome to life, Logan, my daughter’s second son. He was a full term little guy, nearly 8 pounds and a real snuggler. Logan’s crib quilt is the top photo

He was welcomed by his 4 yr old brother Blake and his dad Todd as well as momma. My son’s family arrived from San Diego – we all shared Thanksgiving.  The young cousins seemed to enjoy each other immensely.  I had SUCH a great time with my children, their spouses, my grandchildren, friends that whole week we were ALL together.  And a brief trip to see extended family in Idaho was cut short by the baby’s arrival back in Oregon. – a short but sweet visit with some of my family of origin.

My husband and I arrived in Oregon just hours after Logan’s birth.  Logan is a handsome little fellow with lots of black hair like his mom had as an infant.

2 grandsons

2 grandsons

I gave Blake the Dino quilt I had made for picture above

Logan got his zoo animal  crib quilt.

Blake immediately clutched the dino quilt to his chest and roared like T-Rex.  It was a very satisfying response for me as a quilter  and a grandmother!

It brings up something I often find myself reflecting on: when you make something, it is part of you and yet to give it away causes  it to feel more expansive.  Like your heart is enlarged -in a  good way – by giving/selling/donating this object you spent many hours creating. And knowing that someone will really enjoy the warmth and pattern of your creation.

There are some quilts I  want to keep in my home.  I do not want to “let it go” to someone else. And that is ok, I enjoy those in a different way. But other quilts I make become larger in life by the fact that the quilt goes on to a new home.  It is a cool paradox/outcome. – letting something go expands the heart of the maker.  There is the early stage: the challenge of designing and creating a quilt , usually this includes for me a stage, however short, of frustration that something is not turning out as I had hoped . It often needs to be redesigned. Another stage entails completing all parts and then deciding it is “good enough”, the stage of letting the product go on to have a life of its own.

These thoughts have been gathered over the past 2 months.  Logan is 2 mo old,  with a 4 yr old brother, BLake.  My San Diego grancdhilren are having birthdays: my granddaughterEmma is now 10 years old!  Her brother Andrew will be 7 in a few weeks.  What a blessing these young ones are in my life!  I am very fortunate.

Just a word about the Nov Presidential election in the US.  We elected to vote while we were there but will vote online next time.  Need to get that all set up. As someone who lives overseas, a US citizen still has a right and responsibility to vote.  It is a privilege to do so.

It is an ongoing adjustment to visit the US and then return to lovely Cuenca where my husband Lenny and I now make my own home, away from family.  As I have said elsewhere, my heart is divided in loyalty – my life in Cuenca, EC is calm, interesting, affordable and simply a big adventure nearly every day.  My life when I visit the US is made up of visits with friends and family, old haunts, the beauty of Portland, OR and surrounding areas, and many, many tearful goodbyes.

My heart resides in two places, expanded in love and adventure yet always longing for more time with those I love.

It took a bit of time for these thoughts to gel into cohesion enough to post this blog.  Thanks for reading.  Have a fantastic day, wherever you are.


9 responses »

  1. Yay! So happy to read your update, I’ve been thinking about you and Lenny a lot lately. Congrats on your new Grandson. It looks like you have a very nice family. I continue to plug away at my quilting. Also, I am now VP of my guild and am responsible for setting up the visiting quilter trunk shows and training classes. A rather scary job as I still consider myself a beginning quilter. I know what you mean about giving away some quilts and keeping others. I, like you, give away most of my quilts – but there are some I just want to keep. I wonder what makes those different. Happy New Year Sharon and keep on quilting and blogging. xoxo, Schatzi (Hi from Wayne too!)

  2. Hi Sharon,
    It would be only natural for your heart to be in at least two places–maybe more! I appreciate your thoughts because I feel conflicted about our impending move to Ecuador. I have another year and a half to work in California before we head over. I’ve had people say that if a grandchild arrives on the scene before then, we will not be able to leave the state, let alone the country. John & I thought, though, that we could bring the grandkids to Ecuador for summer vacations. We have also talked about being involved with Ecuadorian children.
    Thanks for sharing your quilting experiences. I quilted once upon a time. You might want to “Friend” my sister, Penny Hilton, for ideas and encouragement, as she is quite the quilter, too.

    • Nice thoughts, Holly. It is really important to think about these issues (such as missing friends and grandchildren) before you go. It is true, one could invite the grandchildren for vacation time, if the parents allow that. Many in the US think of South America as a blob of danger and do not know where Ecuador is on a map so visiting is not going to happen.

      Cuenca is a fascinating, historic city with many interesting things to explore and observe. Yes, time with Ecuadorian children is wonderful! But not quite the same as having your own grandchild recognize you and curl up on your lap. Skype/Facetime calls really help. You can talk as often as your kids are available, because you are retired.

      Lots of opportunities to volunteer to help various causes here.

      There is lots of irony in the fact that I live in one country, loving it and observing how close families are here, how family is EVERYTHING to Ecuadorians, and yet my own family is in the US. We try to visit twice a year and hope, as the grandchidren get older, they will come for vacations.
      Living in another country is a terrific retirement adventure, a marvelous chance to learn Espanol from native speakers, an incredible slew of experiences. Sometimes I am walking on a street and I look up…it suddenly hits me “Oh my gosh, I’m living in South America and loving it!”

  3. Hello from Salem Oregon, Sharon. I’m in the midst of purging all my material goods en route to Cuenca (as soon as the house sells), and I’m wondering if it is worth bringing my sewing machine (nothing fancy, but has been my constant best friend for 10 years) and a serger or buying a new set there. The shipping costs seem horrible and I may just check them in at the airport as additional luggage. I’m planning on stuffing any available space in my luggage with fabric pieces. What are your thoughts, please? Hope to see your wonderful quilts in person soon. Thanks so much.

  4. Hello from Salem Oregon, Sharon. I’m in the middle of purging all my wordly goods for my upcoming move to Cuenca and I have a question. Should I bring my sewiing machine and serger with me or is it cheaper to buy new ones in Cuenca? I would actually need to buy a new serger here. Shipping costs seem outrageous. Thanks for any input you have. I truly enjoy your blogs.

    • Hi Lorraine – As long as it is not the busy times for flights, such as June 1 to Sept 1 or thereabouts, or around the Dec 1 to Jan 5 or so, the airline allows extra bags. It is expensive if you are flying coach: most airlines charge $175/bag (over the 2 allowed for international flights). You can get your sewing machine shipped as a bag with you, ask your local dealer to pack your sewing machines for international travel. They have cool heat and pack things that keep your machine completely safe. Flying business class allows more bags without extra charge so check that out. It may pay to do that.

      Buying here is problematic. There are machines like basic Brother at Coral, a store similar to Walmart, for around $200 but the quality is not great. There are pro embroderiery machines as locals use them to make many things to sell. However, if you are used to a very good quality machine with lots of options, you will want to bring your own machine. I do not know about sergers as I have never owned one. Write Deb Castle, She is a serious seamstress and has things all set up very nicely for sewing.

      There is no 100% cotton here. Bring it with you if that is what you are used to. There are some very nice Ecuadorian made fabrics to explore, just not all cotton as we are used to in the US.
      Hope this helps.

      • Thanks so much, Sharon. My sewing machine is a Babylock and very trusty, but basic, so it may be better for me to buy one there, but I will also check out the difference in ticket prices between coach and business – hadn’t thought of that. My husband is a muscian and so will be bringing a couple of guitars with him. Of course, in his mind counting the guitars as luggage and arriving with just the shirt on his back would very easily justified to him! Yes, I am going to stuff as much fabric as I can into my luggage, and a couple of quilting books and patterns.

        I will contact Deb (thanks for the link) and I hope I can hook up with all of you quilters and sewers when I get there. The estate sale lady just now left my house and her sewing machine just broke and so she really had an eye on my machine – I think it may have already sold. Thanks again. Lorraine

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