The End is in Sight!

This Christmas is my first time to really work my business closer to full-time.  Back in May, I went part-time at the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC).  I knew I needed to go part-time because my business was increasing.  I got a job offer from another non-profit for a part-time marketing/design job, but when I went back to my current employer they said they could work something out and keep me on board.  I LOVE the NCAC.  It is the best place to work and everyone is so awesome there!

So back to quilting.  This year I took on 30 projects just for the holiday season…8 of those were memory pillows, but still I had to complete 22 quilts from beginning to end.  I am down to my last 3 and there’s still a good week left for me to finish.  I probably shouldn’t have taken on that many, because my neck, shoulders, and back are feeling it.  Yesterday I treated myself to a deep tissue massage and that helped.  So here’s the ones I finished since my last post.

I even had some time to enjoy with my grandkids over the last 2 weeks! I kept Eden last Friday all day and then they kids spent the night and hung out with us all day Saturday!  We made a gingerbread house and watched movies since it was so cold and rainy out.

Well I hope you have a great weekend!  I’ve got to get back to the last few quilts!  The end is definitely in sight!

Staying busy as a bee!

Sue Bartlow

Cancer Really Sucks!

I really don’t like using the word “sucks” but cancer really does suck. Why does it have to exist? It seems like everytime we turn around someone is diagnosed with cancer!

2013 was a year that would change my life forever.  It started off great with both of my daughters graduating from school.  One from high school and one from college.  The one from college had been married for a couple of years and was 7 months pregnant.  My first grandchild, Ezra, arrived in July, and brought so much joy in our lives.  But then September comes and we get the worse news we could ever imagine….CANCER. My younger sister was diagnosed with brain cancer….a glioblastoma….a very aggressive tumor.  She lived with that tumor with the help of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for a little more than 3 years but lost the battle in April 2017.  I miss her so much!  She left behind her son who is 9 years old being raised by my parents. It’s really hard losing someone you love so much which leads me to a quilt that I just finished.


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A mom asked me to create this quilt which represented her daughter’s life. Kelsey’s short life was represented with her newborn hospital shirt and baby booties to a denim skirt and shirts she wore as a young women. Kelsey was diagnosed with lymphoma twice and lost her battle the second time around at age 24.  She loved Idaho State, the color purple and horses as you can see in this quilt! There’s also her tattered quilt she had as a little girl and a cute blue dress she wore.  I ALWAYS encourage people to save items…not to the point of being a pack rat, but you never know when the items may be used!

Now it’s time for me to get back to the long arm and sewing machine to finish 10 more quilts for clients.  20 memory quilts and 7 memory pillows for Christmas this year and this week I’ve shipped 6 to their homes. These are the ones I’ve done for this holiday season so far.

Staying busy as a bee! Have a great week!

Sue Bartlow



A Week in Houston at the International Quilt Festival

What an amazing week I had last week!  I arrived on Sunday, November 4 and arrived home in the wee hours of the morning November 12 due to flight delays.

This is my second year to work on the Education Team with Quilts, Inc. as a volunteer.  It’s hard work and sometimes very long days, but all in all, it’s so worth it.  We meet well known and award-winning quilters, fabric designers, and great new friends that have the same love of quilting I do!

The quilts were AMAZING!!!!

The $12,500 Best of Show Winner – Eternal Beauty
Sherry Reynolds of Laramie, Wyoming, United States

What you can’t see is all of the beaufiful crystals added!IMG_7813

Here are some more that I really liked….see the complete list of winners.

My main job was checking in bus tours. We had to get up pretty early and be in the garage when partcipants arrived. I also did a lot of other things like working at the Meet the Teachers, Open Studios, Teacher’s Pet, tallying evaluations, checking in people to lectures, and any other things that was needed.

On Tuesday, I took a Confetti in Naturescapes with Noriko Endo from Japan. My almost finished product is to the right.  Apparently her classes are very hard to get into in Japan as well as here in the U.S. Working on the Education Team, we get to register first which is a super awesome perk!

On Wednesday, I took an Animal Portrait class with Esterita Austin.  It needs lots of work still…you can see some other progress the students were making.

Walking around the vendor area, I met Tula Pink, fabric designer.  She has some of the coolest fabrics!  I bought some of her new line!  Yes it’s a raccoon or if you live in the Rocket City, it’s a Trash Panda!

I also met Reva Hill.  Her quilt was chosen to be on all of the show materials!

While on the show floor I got to see some of the Prince challenge quilts.  So so cool to see them up close and personal.  Mine was not on this tour, but I hope to see it in April in Paducah!  Next Cherrywood Challenge is Bob Ross….I’m not really feeling that one so I’ll work on a different art quilt next year to be able to put into shows someday!

Some other absolutely gorgeous quilts by Lorraine Turner, Tamar Ophir, Carson, Converse, Hsi-Chen Hsu, Roxanne Nelson, Kathy McNeil, Carl Hentsch, Karlyn Bue Lohrenz, and Michelle Bardwell.

See my finger pointing to the tiny octagons on that quilt!  I can’t imagine hand sewing all of those…this was an antique quilt too!

Here are the fun freebies I got while there! Big thanks to the vendors that provided these wonderful goodies, Fons and Porter items, Quilter’s Select items, etc. Decorating Diva gave us each a beautiful wool ironing mat!

Here’s what I purchased below!  Can’t wait to start playing after the mad holiday rush to finish 20 quilts and 7 pillows!  The Tula Pink fabric will turn into a duffle bag and the beautiful autumn fabric will become an autumn quilt. Autumn Love design by Lori Holt.



IMG_7757After spending a week with my roommate, Lori, she has encouraged me to be more consistent with my blog!  I had a lot of fun meeting some of her followers to her blog Humble Quilts!  My goal is to write weekly and talk about some of the quilts I am working on…I always get a memory quilt from a client that has a beautiful story to go along with it. Sometimes they are super sad!  I’ve got one I am working on now about a young lady who passed away in her twenties!  It’ll be filled with great memories of her short life.  Hope you all have a great week!

Stay busy as a bee with your quilting!

Sue Bee!

A Quilt Full of Shirts and Memories

1488791_profile_picOne of my Facebook friends asked me to create a special quilt of all of her grandfather’s shirts and his blue work jumpsuit that he was known for (see photo to the right).  Pavia brought me three boxes filled with cut squares, and lots of shirt scraps.  Normally I don’t take on projects this complex, but I just had to do it!

Charlie Gooch was 82 years old when he passed away on December 27, 2014 after a long battle of cancer.  You can read more about him on his obitiuary.

Here’s the quilt that I created.  I totally forgot to take a pic of the back where I used squares of his blue jump suit.


I Have Clear Skin, Hair, and Can Sweat Again-DUPIXENT IS AWESOME!

For my quilting followers, sorry this isn’t quilting, but I had to share this information somehow!  Hopefully you can pass it along to a friend who deals with this!

Imagine waking up every hour itching and feeling like your are on fire. That used to be my nights pretty regularly.

My mom said I suffered from eczema as a baby and child.   As I got older, I had lots of allergies especially hay fever.  I don’t remember having a lot of trouble with my eczema as a teenager but after I was married in my mid 20s, I started having flare-ups.  I used topical medications to help but if it got bad, I’d do a round of steroids and I’d be like new.  I ended up just learning to live with it and didn’t think anything of it.  I never could figure out what my triggers were.

I really didn’t have too many problems in my child-bearing years but in my mid 40s it started back up and was getting worse so I was allergy tested.  I’m allergic to dust and dogs.  I had an older Labrador Retriever but I couldn’t give her away and how do you avoid dust?  Well after our dog died, my allergies didn’t get better.  In my late 40s, I was miserable…I’d get out of the shower BEET RED and had lost my hair!  It was awful.  I finally got patch tested and it turns out I am allergic to methylchloroisothiazolinone, quaterium-15, formaldehyde, and mercapto mix.

So eliminating all the products that contained methylchoroisothiazolinone and all of those bad chemicals/preservatives helped my redness go away!  I now pay attention to ingredients in all beauty products and go natural. By going natural that helped but the red, splotchy, itchy skin still plagued me especially when I’d get warm.  I’d itch at night if I got the slightest bit warm and would wake up feeling like I’ve been sunburnt.  There were days I couldn’t go to work because of the severity of pain and redness.  It hurt to wear clothing especially undergarments.  I bought a ChiliPad to keep the bed cool at night and that helped but not completely.  That was $400 and worth it….helped with menopausal night sweats too!

On top of all of of my skin problems, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata seven years ago and have lost my hair three times.  I wore hats at first but as the hair really started falling out I’d resort to wigs.  The most frustrating thing about alopecia is that it is a health condition and wigs were not covered under insurance for alopecia….you have to have cancer in order to get a wig reimbursed.  Seems crazy, huh?  I believe that NAAF and our government is working on that now!

Normally my hair starts to grow back within 9 months but this past bout seemed to take twice as long.

In October 2017, I heard about a new drug for eczema called Dupixent/Dupilumab, so I did my reserach and then talked to my dermatologist and decided it to give it a try.  I am her first patient to be on this drug.  The drug came out March 2017.

I’ve been through every other treatment known to mankind…from steroids to topicals and the ONLY thing that worked were the steroids.  I’ve eliminated gluten from my diet and cut way back on dairy products and even started eating a paleo meal plan. My eczema was still head to toe…body completely red and painful and so very itchy.


When the eczema affected my face it was awful!  It seemed to be pretty chronic and rarely went away.


The photos below with my hair were taken in January before my injections began.

On January 17, 2018, I gave my first two injections of Dupixent.  A nurse came to my house to educate me on how to do it and it was so easy.  Needles don’t bother me anymore after having so much bloodwork done and allergy shots.


On January 31, 2018 I gave my next injection.  I was told I wouldn’t feel much but honestly, my skin feels softer and itching had been reduced.  I was super excited at the progress already!  These injections happen every two weeks.

February came and went and no side effects and still improving and so is my sleep!

March 11-I had a slight flareup (nothing like I’ve had before though) and ended up with pink eye.  I treated the pink eye with Pink Eye Relief drops which worked very well!  Itchy eyes which could lead to pink eye and cold sores were some “side effects from this drug.  But so far, I’ve only had pink eye once and a cold sore once.  I take L-Lysine to help with the cold sores.

April 14 – had a big bowl of dairy ice cream and noticed a little breakout on my face and neck.  (testing dairy)

May 2 – Used Cetaphil the night before and woke up with hives on my torso and my inner elbows.  I usually use Cerave but was almost out so I tried Cetaphil.  I’ve been able to use it in the past but because of my sensitivity I decided to stick with what works…Cerave!

Despite these small flare-ups, my skin has been soft as can be, not red, splotchy, and itchy and the best thing is that I am sleeping at night without medication!  AMEN!  God is good! Thank you for this miracle drug!

May 3-I get a call from my dermatologist telling me that I’ve been denied and wants to rescore my progress.  I’ll have had two more injections and she expects to see complete improvement.  Talk about a blow!

Now it’s May 5 and I just got a letter from BCBS that my next pre-authorization of this miracle drug has been denied in writing.   Living with this type of atopic dermatitis has been so miserable! I don’t want to be without this medication.  I’m thankful I’ve been documenting this process to publish on my blog!

Dupixent has been a miracle for me!  I wake up refreshed in the morning, Wearing any type of clothing is easy for me now.  I’ve had SO many people compliment my clear skin.  I always had a chronic red, splotchy face except for when I was on prednisone.  It is now so nice to get out of the shower and my skin to not hurt.  I’d have to go days without showering sometimes because it hurt so badly.

So here’s this week’s pics of my clear skin! I can wear shorts again and not be embarrasssed by the red splotchiness.

AND BEST OF ALL….my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are back and fully this time!  Not sure if this medication has helped it but I did hear there is a clinical trial of this drug on alopecia patients so it wouldn’t surprise me!

It’s May 22 and GUESS WHAT!  Insurance has approved me for another year!  AMEN!  It’s a NEW ME and I feel great!  Oh and by the way, going off dairy has eliminated any minor flare-ups.  Since my daughter is vegan, I tried her cheese and it’s delicious!  Also there are some great yogurts and ice cream made from coconut milk and almond milk too so I don’t feel like I’ll miss dairy!  I am also back at the gym and can sweat like crazy without any burning or stinging!

If you are reading this and have excema, talk to your dermatologist!   The Dupixent My Way Program is awesome too!  I have a registered nurse assigned to me that calls me to remind me of my injections, answers any questions, etc. too!  They have a co-pay assistance program and I pay $0.  Normally it would be about $80 per month which is SO worth it with my insurance.  This drug is crazy expensive too! BUT there’s hope and healing!


62 Miles, 125,154 Steps at the Largest Quilt Show!

Months ago, I was invited to work on the Education Team at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX.  I was told it would be hard work, long days, lots of walking, and may not get time to eat.  What I didn’t know is how inspiring it would be to meet some of the internationally known teachers, take art quilt classes that were amazing, being able to see all of the exhibits and magnificent quilts I’ve ever seen, and work with a great team of ladies (see top photo).

So what kind of work did I do?  

I put up flip charts and markers in every classroom, added large foamcore boards to rooms for teachers to pin up their art, filled buckets of water, set up several special events, checked in keys from teachers, checked in students at lectures and luncheons, clean up after events, pack up supplies, put plastic on lots of tables, picked up, delivered irons and whatever else they needed me to do.

Here are the few amazingly fun things I did:

  • I attended 3 hour long arm class from an awesome teacher, Jodi Robinson
  • I attended an all day class with Melinda Bula called Fabulous Fusible Flowers and I was her Teacher’s Pet and checked in her class and handled evaluations. She even gave me a beautiful pattern for being her “pet”
  • Observed the Iron Quilt Challenge which was super fun!  Think Iron Chef but with quilts and not food!
  • Heard some of the most amazing talks from the most amazing quilters: Cheryl Sebolda, Cindy England, Karen Kay Buckley, Maria Shell, etc.
  • Attended the Winner’s Circle and saw the quilts being revealed.  Top prize Best of Show won $12,500.  NICE! Maybe that’ll be me someday! IMG_3833.JPG
  • Shopping….over 1000 vendors but I defintely didn’t get around to all of them.IMG_3722
  • Viewed hundreds and hundreds of gorgeous quilts and exhibitions.

We got some cool perks too:

  • Up to 10 yards of free fabric from two designers, Alexander Henry and Cotton and Steel to make garments for us to wear and Indygo Junction gave us a choice of a free pattern so I chose a kimono.
  • Free hotel and transportation to and from the airport
  • Faculty goody bagsIMG_3703
  • Gifts from various artists
  • IQF Show Bag and goodies
  • IQF T-shirt

The whole trip was very hard on my feet and legs….I ended up seeing the first aid and they told me to keep my right foot elevated and iced.  It was a little difficult to do that when I was about to catch a plane.  I did go to the doctor on Monday and it turned out not to be from standing on them all day…it was cellulitus.  So I got some drugs and was told to rest, ice and elevate for several days.  Just hoping that I feel better by Thursday for my weekend retreat.

I’ve been so blessed to spend a week with some fabulous artists and a super fabulous team that put on an awesome Quilt Show! I’m definitely interested in volunteering again next year, but maybe I need to buy a hovercraft or wear roller skates.

Now I’m ready to create….many light bulbs went off with various techniques that I need to practice on.  Now I just need the time to quilt!

Happy Quilting!

Sue Bee

See the gallery of beautiful quilts that were at the International Festival. This was just a few of my favorites out of 100s of others.


Turtle, Garments, and Quilts OH MY!

Hello blogging world!  I’ve missed you!  I have been so swamped lately with life in general, client quilts, personal projects, full-time job, kitchen remodel and the shingles!  It’s been a crazy few months!



I did this turtle awhile ago since my other pin cushion was falling apart. It is even pink and green/Delta Zeta!  Here’s the pattern.


These are a few client quilts I recently completed.  The Miami Dolphins one was an old bedspread brought back to life with some new fabric!

In just a few short weeks, I’m headed to Houston for the International Quilt Festival to work on the Education team. One little perk was receiving up to 5 yards of fabric for free from two different lines: Alexander Henry’s Ghastlies, and Rifle Paper Company’s Menagerie.  I also got a free pattern from Indigo Junction.  I chose a cat fabric for my kimono especially since we are wearing it for Halloween! Now I just need to get me some cat ears!  I am really looking forward to the Quilt Festival!  It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but also a great learning experience!

And FINALLY I finished these king-sized quilts…the one on the left is for my bed and the other one is MY personal memory quilt.  Both of these have been entered in my local guild show, HQH Fanfare this coming weekend!  While in Utah this summer, I fell in love with Riley Blake’s Juxtaposey fabric line.  The quilt in the left photo below was taken in a quilt shop.  I just loved the bright colors!

Happy Quilting!  Have a great week!

Sue Bee

Staying busy as a bee transforming t-shirts and clothing into memory quilts.