Monday, September 26, 2011

The First Blocks have Arrived!!

Oh sweet Dawn...
Thank You for the beautiful blocks...
 I can't wait to start putting these quilts together.

The Guitar Man
is finishing up kits for the show...
Whimsy Lane Kits
Meet Me In Paris Kits

And I worked on a couple of sample Dresden blocks
for the shoppe below that is interested in our patterns.
I'm crossing my fingers that we will get this fabric in for Meet Me In Paris kits ourselves.

We stopped in at this shoppe
in Watkins Glen, NY
and what an amazing place.

Time to load up and get on the road....

Stitchin' Love to All!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Update on Tory

I talked to Tory today
and for the first time since
this tragedy...
she sounded more like her old self.
She read all of your comments...
and even posted the link to the page
on her Facebook page
I was doing good on crying till I read all of the comments. I'm touched. Ily&&imy babe rip
I noticed several people from New York
went into the comment page
and read all of your heart felt comments too.

So you wonderful ladies
not only helped to bring some peace and healing
to my little girl...
but to a whole community.

So thank you again ...
from the bottom of my heart!
(Words can't express what your comments meant to me!)

I have to show you this picture Tory
also posted on her Facebook page.

It is of Chris' grave.
His best friend...the soldier who was with him when he died...
was with her 
and they poured a drink over his grave...
and it formed a perfect heart.
Is that not so very touching...
and quite the miracle?

God is good!

Tory has spent the last week with Dan (Chris soldier friend)
and his young wife...
He took Chris' leave...
to come home.

I think it was healing for the two of them to be together 
and to talk things through.

we are off in the morning
for our
AQS Des Moine show.

Please stop by the booth
if any of you are coming.

I'd love to see you!

Warm Hugs...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Finished Block for Tory

I managed to get a center block done
for the quilt I will make Tory,
when all the blocks come in.

I also had to share with you these fabrics
I picked up at the quilt shoppe 
in Watkins Glen...
Aren't they yummy?
I'm trying to see if we can get the whole line into the shoppe.
They come in a lavender color too.

If we do...
we will definitely be making
Meet Me In Paris kits out of them...
as well as Whimsy Lane kits!

Back to my stitchin'....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Country Living Fair

It's time for a happy post! 
I just have to set aside some of this grief!
On the way home from the funeral in New York,
Ken was pretty tired...
so we pulled into a hotel in Columbus Ohio.

I had him drop me off at Barnes and Noble...
while he checked in.

I was tickled pink when flipping through a magazine...
I saw that the Country Living Fair was that very same weekend...
just a few miles down the road from us!

I've been wanting to attend this fair for years.

And what a treat it was!

The best Fair I've ever attended by far...

I just had to take a picture of this old Instruction Booklet
for the game of Rook...
Because that was the last picture
I ever took of Chris....
When we were all playing this game on the terrace.
We taught him how to play it ...
and he loved it!

Never before have I seen someone catch on to this game so quickly...
and not only that...
he went on to beat us all every time we played!

To see some even more fabulous pictures of this
Go October Farm
Scroll down through her last several posts!
Amazing photos..and you will get 
more of a feel what this Fair is like.

Another thing we did on the way home...
was to stop in Niagara Falls...

And there was one other neat thing we did on our trip.

The day after the viewing...
we were waiting to hear from Tory about when to meet up for the funeral...
when we decided to go and check out the Farm Sanctuary
right down the road...
 The beauty of this place was breath taking...
This is the country Chris grew up in...
by far the most beautiful part of the US I have 
ever visited...

Any of you who know me...


that I LOVE goats...

This one had an injured foot and was walking around
outside of it's barn...

The Farm Sanctuary
rescues abused animals...
and gives them a place
to live out there days in 
in peace...
I never thought I'd see...


beautiful turkey....

but I did!

Saw some more neat goats and sheep too...

We then stopped in at Watkins Glen
to have lunch....
overlooking the lake...
before heading back for the funeral.

I always try to make the best
even out of a bad situation.

And this was my way of doing it on this trip.

A life changing trip for sure!

I want to say to all those
who took the time to leave Tory a message....
that I cried as I read each one.

You were able to say things that I couldn't...
and gave her some words of wisdom....
that I didn't have to give.

I thank you from the deepest part of my heart...
for taking precious time out of your life...
to console my little girl.

My heart...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If You Would Like to Send Tory A Message....

Tory with her and Chris' puppy Chloe
My bloggie friends...
I found out yesterday that
Tory is reading
the comments 
here on my blog.

So I'm dedicating this post
to comments 
just for her!

If you would like to give her some words of encouragement
or share something of your own...
please do so!

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Star Block Fabric Example

I was asked to post pictures 
of the red, white and blue colors
for these quilts.

I pulled some fabrics
and whipped up a few blocks tonight
to show you all.
To see how this block is made.
It gives the cutting instructions...
I figured out the rest from there.
Not the best directions...
but it's a start!
I am humbled by all of your response.
Thank you ever so much!

Tory's Latest Post on Facebook

Tory posted this on her Facebook page... I guess this song pretty much says it all for her.

JUST A DREAM LYRICS and video - CARRIE UNDERWOOD - AZsongs: music videos & ringtones
When one watches these videos...
never does one dream...
that this will become real life!

I thought I was done crying....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blocks Needed for Grieving Family

I've never been good at asking for help....
but I'm going to on this one.
I know the heart of quilters....
I am going to put together quilts for Tory, Chris' Mom
his two brothers and one for the
soldier who was his best friend
and who fought right alongside Chris...
and was 
when he took his last breath.
I'm going to do the quilts in a muted red, white and blue
And I thought 'Star' blocks would be so appropriate
in this situation.
I would so appreciate any of you who
would like to help me in this endeavor.
I need 8" blocks
(Finished Size of Block to be 8 1/2" X 8 1/2") 
(12 1/2" X 12 1/2" Blocks)

and when I say muted...
the best way to describe it...
is kind of like the Minnick and Simpson fabrics
that are always designed for Moda.
(They don't have to be Minnick and Simpson though!!) 

There is a fantastic tutorial that just posted over
here at 
Madam Samm's Blog

on how to make a fabulous Star Block.
(Since this tutorial is for 12 1/2" blocks, we will make one or two of the quilts (or more) with this size of block too!)

We would be so grateful for any!

I would so appreciate it too,
if any of you would like to copy this post on your blog.
I'm hoping Tory will help me sew them all together
to help her in her grieving.
I'm also going to try to get a local group
together to help out as well,
when all of the blocks are received.
If at all possible we need the blocks by end of October.
You may send them to:
The Scrappy Appleyard
3218 Knobview Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You all will never know how much your comments, prayers
and thoughts have helped us to get through this tragedy.
May God bless you all...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Please Say a Prayer for Tory Today...

was supposed to be her
wedding day.
I know it's going to be a tough one
for her.
We are back from the funeral.
These last 2 weeks have been
the saddest weeks of all my 49 years.
Chris' remains being pulled by horse and cart
through town from the funeral home
to the high school 
where the funeral was going to be.

Tory is the one all in black on the right hand side of the picture.

I cannot begin to tell you how touching and humbling this whole experience was for us.

Chris' family enveloped Tory as their own...
and the whole town embraced her too.

So many people came up to me and said how impressed they were with her
and how that she was part of their town now. She was family.
Chris' father introduced her to everyone as their daughter-in-law...
not Chris' fiance.

Throughout the whole viewing and funeral,
his parents were by her side,
hugging her, holding her up,
and truly showing her what family is all about.

Chris' mom told me that on Monday
when Tory first walked into the viewing room 
and saw Chris,
that she literally fell to the ground weeping and sobbing

The next day was the viewing for everyone else.

When we came in,
it was all I could do myself to hold it together
to see that dear boy
lying there,
gone from us.

Chris' parents
made us come over and sit with them throughout 
the whole viewing and throughout the funeral.
His dad said to us,
"Your family too."

I was amazed at the funeral, when the minister said about
half way through...
 "Now Tory is going to have a few words to say."

I sat there weeping 
as my little girl got up
in front of thousands of people...
walked to the podium
in her grief...
and spoke to the crowd of her love for Chris,
and her devastation of him being taken from her.

From there,
the body was loaded back onto the cart,
and literally thousands of people
walked behind the horse and cart
from the school to the graveyard.

The Patriot Guard were one of the most touching things to witness.
Not only were they there standing all through the funeral,
but also the day of the viewing,
they all stood out there in front of the funeral home
with their flags for hours...
as everyone came in 
to pay their last respects.

Although hard...
this experience has touched me in a way
that nothing else ever has.

Amongst great sorrow,
we witnessed what Small Town America
is really about.

And it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Yellow ribbons lined the trees and poles....
hundreds of flags were lining streets, homes, places of business...
banners, posters, handmade signs,
were made
welcoming home their home town hero.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts
put all of us up free of charge for however long
we needed to be there...
served us breakfasts,
and grieved right along with us...

We are now safely home but...
today we are especially feeling our loss...
simply because we were supposed to be having a celebration
of the joining of these two lives.

But we know time will heal...
God will heal...
and life will go on.

I can't thank you enough for all the prayers uttered on our behalf these last two weeks.
I know it was 'prayer' that was holding us all up,
when the sorrow was just to great to bear.

Humbly my friends,
from my heart...
may our great God bless you all for coming through in our time of need.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Her Soldier Boy's Last Kisses...

 I cried my eyes out when she posted this picture on her Facebook page.

We pulled in around 1 a.m. from our Cincinnati show...
We will be headed out early in the morning to leave for New York.

The viewing is Tuesday afternoon...
and the full military funeral is Wednesday at 4 pm.

Humbly I thank you all for investing your precious
hours in praying for all involved in this tragedy.
I thought I'd share a prayer with you 
that my little Tory prayed audibly in church
every time she prayed....
since she was about 8
"Lord we pray for everyone who needs a prayer today."
And I think of all around the world who are now praying for her,
who don't even know her
but who have entered right along next to her with this great sorrow.

I know so many other families have walked this road
before us,
and I will be eternally grateful to each and every
young life that was given for my freedom.

 You Tube Video honoring our fallen hero...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fallen Soldier

Subject: Fwd: FW: Respect and Appreciation (UNCLASSIFIED)

This Airline Pilot writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and
said, "We have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.)

"Are they military?" I asked.

'Yes', she said.

'Is there an escort?' I asked.

'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.

'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck? You can board him
early," I said

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He
was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself
and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers
talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us

'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,' he said. He proceeded to
answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I
told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I
appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen
soldiers.  The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his
hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an
uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call
from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. 'I just found out the
family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board', she said She then
proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old
daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family
was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier
was in before we left.  We were on our way to a major hub at which the
family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to
Virginia ..

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son
was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was
too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight
attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see
him upon our arrival.
The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier
being taken off the airplane.. I could hear the desperation in the
flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could
do. 'I'm on it, I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of
e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my
flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio There is a radio
operator in the operations control center who connects you to the
telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the
dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and
what it was the family wanted.
He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going
to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a
text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the
dispatcher and the following is the text:

'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy
on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a
dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the
family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the
remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to
their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains
can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When
the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the
ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our
condolences on to the family. Thanks.'

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I
printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass
on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told
me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After
landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is
huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy
area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When
we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were
told that all traffic was being held for us.

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft, we were told. It looked
like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the
seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family
from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the
copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the
gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp
controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public
address button and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain
speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special
We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His
Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private
XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army
Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and
daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain
in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our
shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit
door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you
just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every
passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family
to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly
started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and
soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of 'God Bless You', 'I'm
sorry', 'thank you', 'be proud', and other kind words were uttered to
the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the
airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their
loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I
had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and
over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the
sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our
freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA ...

Foot note:

I know everyone who has served his/her country and/or loves this country
will have tears in his/her eyes; I do.

Consider this a prayer chain for our Military.... please don't break it!

Don't break it! They die for me and mine, you and yours, and deserve our
honor and respect.

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they
protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they
perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Prayer Request:

There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address
book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a
Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer
is the very best one.


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Block Finished

True Friendship Never Ends

I have managed to get a few things done in between tears....

Tomorrow we head out early in the morning for our Cincinnati show.
From there it will be on to New York for the funeral...
so I will probably be away from here for a tad bit.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful support!

Big Hugs to All...

An Interview with Tory and Chris' Brother

I thought it might make it more real
to you all who have so graciously
given your time, energy and prayers 
into our weekend tragedy,
to watch 
interview below
of Tory and Chris' brother
being interviewed on TV
 TV Interview

It's so hard to see my little girl hurting
so badly.

I am so overwhelmed with my own sorrow,
I cannot imagine what she is truly feeling.

This morning
I had to drop off a Meet Me In Paris kit
for my dear friend Judy
at the quilt guild meeting
down the street.
Right as we were pulling into the 
parking lot...
the announcement
of Chris' death
was announced on the radio.
I started crying all over again...
and felt kind of foolish walking into the meeting...

But anyway... thank you again so very much
for all you have done each and every one of you
in taking time to remember us in your thoughts 
and prayers over this last difficult weekend.
You will never know how much it has affected us 
and helped us to cope....
 Last night for the first time since
that devastating call from my daughter Saturday morning,
I physically felt like a cloud was being lifted
from my heart.
I know it was everyone's prayers uplifting me.
Oh the amazing power of prayer.
How can we ever doubt it my friends?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Soldier Boy's Last Words to me...

"hey mamaa you will be proud of me bc i havent smoked in almost a month and miss you guys and will see you in a few weeks!!"
 Chris posted this on my Facebook page
one week before he was killed.
Before giving you all an update, 
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,
for all the outpouring of love and support
from all of you.
It has touched my heart
and has uplifted me in a way
I can't explain.
Please forgive me for  not
replying to each of you individually...
I try hard to always do that,
but just haven't been able to this time.
So, to tell you a little about  what has happened.
We only know that Chris was shot,
that he fought hard to stay here with us
and to come home to Tory...
the words from his best friend who is
fighting along side him over there.
His friend and the other boys,
went and shot the man who killed Chris.
(Oh what this war is doing to our young boys and girls..)
We needed to get Tory immediately on a plane
to New York
where a Sargent there had a seat for her on the military plane
that was flying Chris' family
into Delaware.
The place he was arriving home to.
We went to the airport...
where not one flight was going out.
Because of it being a holiday weekend,
they were running at half mass.
Ken and I then decided to just drive her ourselves.
(A 14 hour drive)
But on the way down to her house
she decided she wanted to go alone.
We tried to talk her out of it
because she was in no condition
to be driving,
but she was adamant.
She was going to take her and Chris' dog Chloe
with her. 
She said she needed to be alone.
This is when it is hard to be a parent
knowing your child is an adult
and that sometimes you just 
have to take a back seat
and support their decisions,
even though you don't agree with them.
I believe the prayers of all of you,
carried her through the night as she drove.
She made it there safe and sound.
Now, to tell you a little about Chris....
One day last January,
I was sitting in my sewing room
working on Buttercream Summer
when the kids showed up.
Tory was moving out 
to move in with Chris.
Chris walked into my sewing studio,
with his head hanging down,
and told me he knew how I felt about it...
and that he was going to find a church 
for him and Tory to join.
I had a wonderful visit with him,
telling him that all I cared about was their souls.
I appreciated his humbleness and respect.
 Not long after this on  Valentine's Day in February.
he had Tory call us up and meet us at Corky's BBQ...
he wanted to take us out to dinner.
This is his best friend Dan (and wife Bryanna)
who was there with him when he died.
These kids always came over to the house
when Chris and Tory came a visitin'.
They were with us that Valentine's Day...
On Mother's Day,
Chris showed up with roses,
on my birthday,
Tory brought me gifts from her,
but Chris had one for me that he himself picked out.
A scrapbook kit
that I will cherish til I die.
I was touched by his thoughtfulness!
At the Paducah Quilt Show...
all of the kids surprised us and showed up
one day at our booth!

They came down just to have dinner with us
and hang out for the evening.

On the way home from our Oklahoma show,
we stopped in Clarksville
and loaded up Chris' bed.
He asked us to store it for him until he came home.
The boys wheeled out my big office chair
from the trailer to make room for the bed,
that I always have at the show.
And I sat in it rolling around the parking lot,
directing them
as they loaded the bed.
Chris laughed and I know he was silently
wondering what kind of mother-in-law
he was really going to have to put up with.

This was the last time I saw Chris.
As I hugged him tight,
I told him to please, please come home safe to us,
knowing in my heart that it might be the last time I would see him.
I berated myself for such a thought at the time. 
A few days later he was on the plane to Afghanistan.
So again thank you all 
for lifting us up in prayer
to our Father on High.
Your love has been like balm on  broken hearts.
A link below to view: