I Have This Idea (MOB II)

Image: Mary Englelbreit
Text: Dick Sattler
May 29, 2015 -- yesterday -- marked 18 months on this project.

Sometimes, working away each day, it feels like 'same old, same old'.

I find myself wondering if my DH -- or anyone who's lived with T1D for several years -- ever felt this way.

Daily blood testing.
Daily urine testing.
Daily dietary monitoring.
Daily insulin injections.
Daily adjustments to activity.
Daily living. Period.

For me?  Just daily stitching -- and if I miss a day, I can make up for it the next.  Not so with T1D. No second chances there.  It's just so daily.

Mix it up a bit?  Not so much.

But with stitching, yes... maybe a bit...

I've decided to add a couple of 'sub-projects' to this piece I'm creating, which will turn it into...more of an "installation".

And one of these 'subs' will actually (I hope!) make it a participatory project.

Here's the idea:

To anyone who is interested, I'll send a small quilt sandwich (a pair of 2 1/2" squares of fabric, with batting sandwiched between them) and some coloured embroidery floss -- red, blue or flesh-coloured, as in the "main" piece.  The sandwich will be stitched together about 1/4" from each edge.  All the recipient has to do is fill the centre of the square -- inside the "borders" -- with stitching using the floss (one or two strands at a time will be enough, but I'll send you a length of 6 strands).  The stitching can be any size, and can be random or orderly, straight little lines or an "X" or a French knot.  (No stripes, please!)

Once stitched, the square should be returned to me (I'll provide an addressed envelope but the postage is up to you).   The squares will then be assembled into a second "MOB" figure...one that you've created, one that reflects the road on which you or someone you know and love, living with T1D, is travelling.  Oh, and it would be really great if you could sign it (initials are fine) and date it somewhere on the piece.

Yes, there needs to be a deadline.  August 9, 2016, marks the end of the stitching portion of this project -- all parts of it.  After that will come assembly and finishing and trying to put it out into the wider world.

So...August 9, 2016, will be the deadline for me to receive all the wee squares for inclusion in this second part of the MOB project.

Interested?  Leave a comment on this blog (with a link so I can contact you) or send me a private e-mail: margblank AT xplornet DOT ca.



  1. Hi Margaret,

    I'm intrigued. My mother was a brittle diabetic. Her routines were extremely rigid and as you say a daily scheduled routine. As she aged I had her move in with me for the last four years of her life. Her routines became mine as I struggled to care for her well.

    What exactly are you looking to achieve within the blocks?

    How will the stitching tie into the theme? Are you looking for people who are actively dealing with TID right now or people like me who's life it has touched and altered. I would be interested in providing you with a block. (My Mom has been gone 13 years now)

    Nancy Turbitt

    1. Replying here for general edification. :-) My hope is to fill a duplicate body image (the one on which I'm stitching was a tracing of my son who is about the same size as his dad) with small patches, mounted on a dark background, but removable. I want a label on the back relating to the stitcher. This will be the second piece (the original is MOB I) and the third section...a collection of stump socks, hand-knit. Three or four pair, stuffed and designed to be suspended either on a line or on a wall; I will likely do these myself but will ask for help if needed. I am looking especially for BOTH people who may be living with T1D personally or are/were caregivers for family and/or close friends with T1D. However, those who are interested and feel motivated to contribute are also free to get in touch with me. And thanks again!

  2. Yes, Margaret, I would like to help you with this aspect of your project. When we met in Santa Fe, I introduced you to my husband Ron, who has lived with T1D for 47 years. So please sign me up!

  3. I think your idea is amazing.

  4. My father and his father both died from complications of this disease. I will volunteer to do two. Will send you an email privately.

  5. Margaret, I would like to do a patch for my son who was diagnosed ten years ago when he was 14. That was one of the scariest, most distressing days of my life. He has handled things with strength and grace . . . but I wish he didn't have to.