Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I have a lot to say but can't seem to find the right place to start.

Instead I'll just share this picture. 

I love it!

It was taken the day before we went to the hospital - at 20-1/2 weeks.

It was freezing cold and windy but the sun was shining!

20-1/2 weeks with Saskia & Arne

And we were so happy - look at those smiles!

We had an appointment with our doctor last night. We had a lot of questions. He was able to answer many of our questions, but many of them will go forever unanswered - oh, the complexities of the human body.

There are so many more questions ... most of which only we can answer.

But we're doing ok. 

We are with each other.

We are leaning on each other.

Crying together.

Even laughing and making jokes.

Sometimes it is freezing cold and windy but the sun is shining!

Saskia & Arne will always be with us.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

When there are no words ...

Janine said to me she "had no words, so she made me a quilt" but with it came a beautiful letter. I knew it was coming because she had mentioned it on her blog. But still, when the quilt arrived tears fell. My husband got choked up reading the letter. You can see close-up pictures of the quilt here.

Beautiful ... the quilt, her friendship, her words.

Thank you Janine! Thank you!

The next day I was surprised again when the doorbell rang and a delivery man was standing behind these. 

They are from dear friends of ours. Being tulips, they have exploded. It's been amazing to watch. They were so tight, short and small when they arrived. I waited a day to take the pics because I knew they would open up more. They've since grown a few more inches and have really relaxed - I love it!
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Process, Progress and Projects
plus a request for HELP!

It's been a few quiet days here while I process more of what has happened. I know there's still a long way to go, but it saddens and maddens me that part of the processing includes "family" grief (um, no pun intended but rather fitting really).

When I can ... I sew ...

Last night it was the border for GOT DOTS. I pulled it out of the corner on a whim because I needed to grab something quick. Our new routine is for Axel to read aloud for a while instead of just turning the TV on. It's a nice quiet time for us together. I always have tons of dots prepped and background pieces marked so it's quite useful for this. The lower three blocks were all appliqued last night and into this morning .. I may or may not have spent most of this morning on the sofa with my thoughts and my dots but I think know it did me good. 

GOT DOTS border 

curtain #2

That embroidery project continues but is nearly finished.

And then there are my curtains which I'm madly in love with but still have to bind / hem. Why am I so scared of this part of the project? - I sure hope it doesn't ripple, stretch or hang funny.

There are more pics here.

You can read more about this project here ... but once they're hung I'll share all the details.

en ik heb je HELP nodig!  Ken jij dit?

Het postkantoor stuurde me een lege envelop. Ik weet niet van wie het is, maar wat in de envelop was is verdwenen. Ik ben zo verdrietig en bezorgd dat misschien het bevatte een quilt blok of een kaart voor saskia en arne. De "fout" gebeurde bij het sorteren van kantoor Gent. Als u dit handschrift kent of kan helpen gelieve me te laten weten of bel de Post op 022/76 35 18.   
For my english speaking friends this just says that our lovely post office sent me an empty envelope ... I am really hoping someone recognizes the handwriting ... I'd be so sad if one of your lovely blocks was lost.
 More blocks have arrived in the last few days, just look at these lovelies ...
And I forgot to take a pic of this sweet one before I started playing 
with it and added the elephant border.

So a few thoughts on projects that are pending ... 
  • Back in January, Heidi suggested I do a tutorial for how I do all my prepping for GOT DOTS and I will .. soon .. it's on my list. 
  • As is the next block for Morning Star, Morning Bright. Thank you Marion for your lovely email! The next block will be dedicated to you. 
  • And Oma Lena's Flower Garden, oh boy, I have a feeling I have never blogged about this one. Long overdue! It's a quilt I designed and began years ago (ha, even before the latest English Paper Piecing craze) and it's a goody that I'm hoping to have available for purchase outside of the shop soon!  
  • Plus Nesting ... yes I am still feeling it.
Spring is coming, my dog has the worst case of spring fever and it cracks me up. 

Plus I think it's rubbing off on me. 

Day by day ... ok, hour by hour. 

Back soon, xox Jovita

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I know it's normal but I've been having a hard time sleeping lately. I fall into bed exhausted in the evenings and manage to sleep soundly ... for about three or four hours. Then something wakes me and I spend the rest of the night sleeping in about 5 minute intervals. MOST nights my mind is at ease but sleep just won't come. Some nights my heart aches and / or my brain won't stop turning. 
Those nights make for very very long nights.

This exhaustion magnifies the overwhelming feelings 
... especially today ... 
by your show of kindness and love.

Your comments, email and snail mail continue to pour in. I know I haven't answered yet. But I will. 
I promise. Every single one. 

Your generosity just keeps pouring in and I don't know how we will ever be able to thank you all. (My husband made me change this to WE ...)

The message that came with this block today began "We have never met ..." ~ tears flowed

The letter from my aunt said so much so succinctly ~ I sobbed

A friend presented me with this lovely momento ~ more tears

the flowers above are from her too 


My neighbour came over and vacuumed, then mopped my kitchen ~ and I got to play with her baby

Some nights I turn to the iPad and check emails (which honestly isn't a good idea because they are often so stirring). Safer is to catch up on blog reading. Yep, until the other night when I was browsing along, reading a fellow shop owner's blog. I told you a little about Janine's shop when I visited in January to demo my GOT DOTS quilt.

Read this post ... all the way down to the bottom. The last part is in English and left me speechless.

I still haven't found the words to thank her enough.

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Behind the Curtain

through the curtain
A few of you have asked how I can write. 

 Now, at a time like this? 

Sometimes I ask myself how all my bumbling thoughts make it past my cloudy mind and shaking hands to hit the keys in just the right order. Ha, as I accidentally type "write order" instead of "right order." Yes, cloudy head full of mush.

I used to write more. A few short stories, lists, comments, thoughts and lots of letters. Random bits of my life now scattered through various hard drives and boxes of memories. Writing helps. I haven't done it in a long time but I am finding it's my way of coping ... of venting ... of sharing.

However, in the midst of all this, I have asked myself ... do I share to much? Do I rely on you to much? To read what I write, to burden you with my heart.

Not coincidentally (I don't believe in coincidence anymore - let's call it serendipity instead), I recently read this post by Corinne of So September. How small the world has become through this thing called blogging. She writes about how we can know so much about each other, and then not know how much to say in our comments or email. Can blogging and commenting (or not) make for mostly one-sided relationships? I think not ... not by your responses to my recent posts. I know you can't comment every time. But trust me, every time you do it helps me to know you each a little better.

Is it too much?
to ask ... to share ... to want ... to give

But this is, after all, my blog ... my patchwork blog ... maybe it's a patchwork of my life.

Ok, so you ask

"Where IS the PATCHWORK?"

It's here! I promise. 

Honestly, I haven't felt like much but a few projects have surfaced on their own and so I haven't been able to ignore them. As usual I have more than one project in the works.

... One is by hand, well actually it's several. Embroidered memories of Saskia and Arne for their godparents and grandparents (although I'm still struggling with the last ones).  Somehow as they acknowledge (or not) that our hopes and dreams have been dashed I don't think it has hit them that two (more) grandchildren were born. Born and snatched from us before they even got a chance to
say hello.

Saskia and Arne weren't just brother and sister. 

They were more than just our daughter and son! (sorry, feel the need to shout here). 

They were also grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins!

I can't explain why it's so hard to accept that no one has asked ...
... under "normal" circumstances they would have.

... so just for the record ...

... for here and now ... 

Saskia looked just like her daddy. She had his sweet round childish face and definitely his nose. Axel dreamed a few weeks ago that she had my eyes and hair. But sadly her eyes were closed so I will just trust him that she did.

Arne had a tear in his eye when the nurse gave him to me. His nose was mine ... and my dad's ... running the straight and narrow in his beautiful long face. They were beautiful. They were

Just as we dreamed. 

I won't get started on their hands and feet. Oh, their feet - those poor kids. Saskia's were HUGE! Bigger than Arne's. Their footprints resemble ours. One had my toes, the other Axel's.

How is this possible? 

They were so perfect ...

So, funnily enough, my second project has to do with privacy. Curtains. For my office / atelier. I have huge north-facing windows that are directly on the street. Every passing soul walks past my front window. It's a huge window - I'd show you a pic but remember that computer problem? Well it hasn't gone away. Thank goodness I can use my laptop as a backup for blogging and emails.  But those icky ucky landlord-grade grey sheers needed to go. They provided no privacy. If I worked in my office in the evenings you could see right through. I felt like I was in a fishbowl. They also provide no warmth. Not a good thing for north facing windows in wintry Belgium. So the window treatment will eventually involve "layers." I'm patching up the first layer now. Inspired by this and this, by the lovely Victoria of The Silly BooDilly. My interpretation is turning out beautiful (if I say so myself) and I promise to share soon.

And then there's the third project. Honestly I had NO intention of starting another quilt. Sewing isn't easy right now. But I do find it helping too. My thoughts tumble through my head while I sew. Sometimes taking shape sometimes dissipating before I know what they are. But most of my writing is drafted in front of the sewing machine.

So I've made a bunch of these blocks. More than a dozen already - they're quite quick. 

Can you guess what they're for?

Mystery Project

And in the meantime more blocks have arrived from friends here in Belgium ... as well as two lovely scented sachets from Aisling (darn no pic) must take one tomorrow!

Thank you again.

For letting me vent and share.

xox Jovita

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Thursday, March 8, 2012


Yesterday was FULL of a lot of anger ... 

Which in turn fuelled an exercise in futility ...  

And questions. 

Lots of questions 

How can it be possible to laugh and cry at the same time?
     ~ never mind that this phenomenon almost always occurs just when one's mouth is full of food

How can it be possible for one email to say so much?

How can it be possible that when everything else is going wrong ... my computer goes on the blink too?

How can it be possible that it took me 40 years to realise that, yes indeed, water is thicker than blood?
     ~ honest, it's true ... No matter how many times they tell you just the opposite.

How can it be possible for one email to say so little?

How is it possible to feel ... one day so full of hope and joy and the next so full of emptiness and despair?
     ~ is it possible to feel full of emptiness?

How can it be possible, when I have reached my darkest hour, that someone I hold dear can remind me to keep doing what I do best?
     ~ and then everything feels alright for awhile, but only just a while

... And then it all comes flooding back ...

And how, just how, can it be possible to be so completely surrounded by love and yet feel so very terribly alone.

Thankfully I know better than to go down the path of why ... there's no point.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 
But there is another long, very long, list of whens?, wheres? and hows?.

And I know there are no answers.  

Not yet.  

And I begin again with when ...

But not until I've checked the mailbox ... these came today ... and give me new hope for tomorrow.

Every day is a new day. 

The sun will continue to rise and set. 

Eventually my fear of going to sleep will fade and I'll be able to embrace the mornings again. 

But for now I'll just curl up in my husband's arms and cry.

How can it be possible to cry so many tears ... surely they are not an endless supply.

They must dry up ... eventually ...
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Feeling Your Love

My goodness, it has been a week. Full of every emotion. We have laughed and cried, sobbed and grinned ... but more than anything we have been filled with love ... and astonishment as emails, cards and comments have poured in from around the world. 

From friends and loved ones, from acquaintances, correspondents and from many many people we have never met.

We have never met ... and yet you send your love and thoughts, prayers and hugs ... and we have felt and continue to feel everyone one of them and your arms around us.

We've been knocking around our house ... getting up in the mornings (the hardest part of the day for me), stumbling through the day, staring into nothingness, packing up and sorting - maternity clothes and baby things that need to be stored, returned or passed on, cleaning house and eventually falling into bed (the hardest part of the day for my husband). 

We've had each other to lean on and the days are punctuated with many many breaks to hold one another.

Today I woke up with a mission ... to turn this beautiful quilt block into a sachet filled with lavender to store with the knitting I had begun and the yarns I had bought to knit even more for Arne and Saskia.

You see, it was in a card from a friend here. And I thought a sachet would be a useful way to preserve the thought, the quilt block and my knitting. 

I was all set ... and then I checked the mailbox. 

Full again of more cards, letters ... and quilt blocks. These three came today.

Oh my ... words fail me ...

I can only say Thank You and know that it will never be enough.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers. 
Who have taken the time to comment on Facebook or my blog. 
Who have shared a special piece of music or a poem. 
Who have sent a card. 
Who have sat down at your machines or on your sofa to piece a little bit of love into a block for us.

Thank you.

We are feeling your love,

and our words fail ...

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

They're Waiting for Us

Someday I will share the story of finding the treasure chest ... nearly 15 years ago. 

The Passing Throng

One item from that chest fell into my hands yesterday and opened itself to reveal a poem. 


A sweet poem ... full of hope ... that gives us some comfort.

They're Waiting
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