Home Again, Jiggity Jig…Well, Maybe Not a Jig.

Hi, everyone!

Sorry for some slow posting; I’ve just arrived home from the hospital. I had surgery on Friday and before I tell you why, here’s a silly picture of me right before they came and put the epidural in and fitted me with that sexy hairnet thing:

Funny I don’t have a quilt on me in this picture. The blanket was a gift.

Some folks may know from watching LOQ on PBS that I was ill a few years ago; we mentioned it on the show a couple times. I had super super short hair on one season, but that’s just a nice way of saying I was almost bald. I lost almost all my hair when I was sick and going through a rocky couple years of setbacks, complications, and slow recovery.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2008 and since then, it’s been a circus of physical suffering and trial. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s also been an intense period so far of gratitude and growth — but I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’ve gone through two ileostomies, a whole bunch of surgeries (five and hopefully NOT counting) and a lot of nasty, nasty days of slow recovery to the “new normal.” UC is like Crohn’s disease, by the way; you can read all about the fun and games here, if you dare — warning: gross pictures.

Anyway, I had a surgery on Friday and I’m happy to report that I’m home, home, home from the hospital! This is a big deal. Considering the nature of the surgery, it’s amazing I only had to spend a couple days there. Oh, I’m not feeling very well. But I’m home, which means that I’m doing okay. (They don’t let you go home unless they’re at least 99% sure you won’t sue them for doing so.)

I make quilts for a lot of reasons and I’ve gotten more involved in the family business for a lot of reasons, too. But one of the reasons I make quilts is because I believe that when life as you know it is smashed into a zillion pieces, it makes perfect sense to take fabric as you know it, cut THAT into a zillion pieces, and sew it back together again, preferably in a nice pattern with a French fold binding. 🙂

If you have your health, be glad. If you have patchwork, be glad-er. Because it helps so much. Why do we make quilts? Because they make it all better.

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Mary Fons

About Mary Fons

Mary Fons hails from a prominent quilt mafia family. A professional writer and performer, Mary co-hosted the nationally-airing PBS program "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting" along with her mom, famed quilter and educator Marianne Fons. In 2010, Mary began hosting Quilty, an online show offered weekly on QNNtv.com. In 2012, Mary became editor of Quilty magazine. She holds a Theater Arts BA from the University of Iowa.

52 thoughts on “Home Again, Jiggity Jig…Well, Maybe Not a Jig.

  1. Sending good thoughts and well wishes your way. Just got a copy of Quilty and love it! Love the Quilty show and seeing you and your mom cohost LOQ as well. Congrats! You take great care of all of us thru all that you do and share. Take good care of you! 🙂

  2. I am so glad you are home and on the mend. I remember you mentioning a few years ago about being ill and I always wondered and you seemed to be doing great after that. My family will keep you in our prayers and we are sending big hugs your way.

    By the way, my daughter loves your slippers 🙂

  3. yep, I’d noticed you were ill, emphasis on the past tense, because you looked GREAT! and I’ve really enjoyed watching you with your mother. I hope that this is the last surgery for you – you definitely have a great attitude about life – and quilting.

  4. Hey Mary,
    I pray that you get to feeling better very soon. Having to go through this time and time again is very taxing, but you are a survivor!! Get some rest and try to relax. Hugs and Love
    January

  5. My prayers are with you Mary. Please take it easy and don’t rush things. Having had numerous surgies myself over the years I feel for you. Your attitude is great and we are all grateful to you for all the help and laughs you give to each of us. The Quilty magazine is wonderful. Had to search 3 Barnes & Nobles to find it but I was on a mission, as my husband Joey says. But find it we did. Please take care of yourself.

  6. Girl, get busy getting healthy!!! Love you and your mom on Create!! Create keeps changing the line up for LOQ. I get up, get dressed by 5:55 so I can watch youboth and BOOM they switch the line up, works on my last nerve!!! Take care, Speedy recovery!

  7. I have a friend with Crohn’s, so I know how challenging this is. Congratulations to you on how well you manage to hide it on your shows! Keep the faith, Mary!

  8. Hoping you feel better soon. I had a friend with Crohn’s – it’s not fun. Take care, take your time at this wellness bit and we’ll see you on the air (‘net) soon. 🙂 huggles, Hope

  9. So Glad you are home and feeling better. Hospital and surgeries are such a challenge. Thanks for al l the Quilty episodes and Magazine, I bought the last copy at my BN. Sorry Patti. Thanks to your inspiration I completed my first quilt top last night and now need to create a border. Thanks to you and your info sources and the quilting chat boards for inspiration and support. Gotta say being reminded there is not quilting gods coming after me for my wonky matching seams is good to know. Hopefully there is such a small error only I will notice. Get better.

  10. May you feel God’s healing power, His love and comfort surround you.
    Know that many people are holding you in their thoughts and prayers.

  11. Mary, Hope you have a quick recovery and a permanent remission. My husband had to have an emergency colostomy last October and it was reversed in April. He is doing great now. It was weird because his colonoscopy he had done was fine a couple of years ago. Hoping and praying for you, sweetie. While you are recovering, have someone pick up the new quilting magazine…”Quilty”. I think you would love it!!! LOL Hey, this will give you a chance to browse through a ton of websites and flip through quilting magazines. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Bless your little “big” heart. You take care and let the stress go for awhile. You have been on “super speed” and need to get in the right hand lane now. While your slowing down a little, remember to keep yourself in stitches!!! Love you bunches.

  12. Hi Mary,
    My mother had the same disease with lots of transfusions and one surgery to remove the diseased portion of colon. Take it easy and for once let others take care of you and the hard part – Don’t Worry about your wonderful show. I’m sure you will be back better than ever. Praying for you.

  13. Mary, I think you’re a terrific person and love to see you with your Mom on Create TV and you on Quilty. I’m glad you’re home and I will keep you in my prayers for a fast recovery and a healthy future. Love you!

  14. Hi Mary, Sorry to hear you have had such a hard time. You sure hide it well, you look great and have such a good since of humor. I love your show and your Mom’s too. I hope you get well soon and can have this all behind you.

  15. Mary, you are so special. I love your goofie-ness. I’m so sorry you have UC. Sounds awful. Please read William Davis, MD’s book called Wheat Belly…I truly believe you’d be helped by his advice. Just call me a Jewish grandma (I’m not, but I could be). Love you, Pat

  16. Hi Mary – I am glad to hear that you are doing well. You are absolutely right about the recuperative powers of quilting. I had a nasty concussion last winter and started to learn how to quilt to stay busy (feel productive) while my poor brain tried to heal. I have to say – quilting has made all the difference even on the most challenging days. Your show has also been a great help, making learning fun with fabulous understandable instructions and awesome quick tips. Thank you and get better soon!

  17. Hi Mary,
    I found your blog today to tell you how much I LOVE your new QUILTY magazine, which I have been reading while I recuperate from surgery, only to read that you are recuperating as well. Please take care and don’t rush it-your recovery will only take longer if you don’t get the rest you need. I’m speaking as an RN, and also as a patient!
    I have to concur that quilting has really taken my mind off my worries about what I am not yet able to do, and I have been pretty productive while I have been home.
    Please take care. We need more QUILTY when you are perfectly well!

  18. Get well soon, Mary. I started quilting 3 years ago, I’m only on my 3rd quilt but I started watching your mom’s show when I started quilting because there aren’t that many quilt shows on tv and I knew even if the quilts were too advanced for me that I’d learn something. I remember watching the shows when you first appeared on LOQ with your mom and thinking: I LIKE THIS MARY FONS CHICK SHE NEEDS TO DO A SHOW FOR BEGINNERS LIKE ME. (I was thinking maybe “FONS & FONS”) You were super cute and funny and awesome and now Quilty is taking off! I love the first magazine issue ESPECIALLY THE MACHINE QUILTING DIAGRAMS. Deciding how to do the final quilting is the hardest part to wrap my head around, and not many tutorials or patterns have any suggestions on how to quilt. It’s always “quilt as desired.” That’s fine if you know what you want, but it’s cool to have a jumping-off point! 🙂 XO

  19. Just read of your illness. I love you and your Mom. You are so refreshing to watch. I am recovering from a broken ankle, and just started to work the foot pedal again. I spend a lot of time on my new iPad watching all your videos. Rest and recover in your own time. Look forward to seeing you again. Found your Quilty in my third search.

  20. That was such a lovely way to express coping. When we loose control of things in our lives, we control the things that we can control. Quilting is a positive way. We have something to show for it. Mant people become demanding and push people away. Quilting is better.

  21. speedy recovery praying for you. my girl has crohn’s meds are helping.love to watch you and your mom.I just started sewing again, but now it’s quilting.I’m a beginner. GET WELL SOON!

  22. I am a senior citizen, retired and you could be a granddaughter. You are so charming and gracious I love your vim and vigor. May the rest of your life be happiness and many beautiful quilts. I watch you on-line, PBS keep on doing what you are doing and don’t change the charm.

  23. Like others have said I absolutely love watching you and your mom on Create. I recently purchased your magazine and absolutely loved it. As a beginner I felt that it was written for someone like me. (Not that I don’t love your mom’s magazine too, because I do!)
    I must be the only person here who did not realize you had been ill. You are always so happy and upbeat on the shows I just never realized. I am so sorry and am sending lots of love your way and wishes for a speedy return to good health.
    Happy quilting and thanks for the inspiration you give us.

  24. Afer reading my issue of Quilty magazine (from cover to cover in one sitting!), I thought to myself, what an amazing person Mary Fons is! I love your writing style – your humor and personality that come through on each page of the magazine. All the best to you in your recovery – you inspire all of us quilters on so many levels.

  25. Mary,

    My prayers for a complete recovery are with you. I am a struggling quilter and I can’t tell you how helpful Fons and Porter along with Quilty has been. Its nice to tune in and see how enthusiastic you are and what a beautiful smile you have. Keep smiling. We are all praying for you.

    Gail 424

  26. Thank you for your support and prayers. We are glad to help you through your struggles. Mary’s surgery went well, we appreciate that you and so many of our Quilty fans reached out to wish her well. Keep up the good work!
    -Mary and the Quilty team

  27. Mary, I, too, have UC and/or Crohn’s. Just is divided. We both know, this is not a portable disease, very inconvenient. It can derail an active, enthusiastic lifestyle really fast! 🙁 Mine was not diagnosed until I was late 50s, progressed through a series of need for mild meds, frequent courses of steroids, and finally, regular Remicade infusions. The latter gave me my life back. I hope your surgery does that for you! Enjoy your shows & the concept of welcoming new sewers. I’m an ‘old’ sewer, fairly new (8 yrs) to quilting, though I grew up in S-Eastern, PA, playing under quilt frames! Live now in beautiful Traverse City. Best to you and to the senior Fons and to Porter, whom I’ve enjoyed for years. Be well! Carpe Diem!

  28. I’ve only been watching a couple of years…and haven’t even begun quilting…But you inspire me with your young & fresh approach, I am itching to start a long lifetime dream to do so. Speedy recovery. I sympathize with those who suffer from this terrible disease..

  29. Editing my comment above, I notice (too late) that spell check did a number on whatever I said! I have no idea how it got ‘Just divided’ out of what I MEANT to write, which was the two diagnoses have been used back and forth for some time. Matters not. Be well.

  30. Wow, Mary! You are truly inspirational in your positive outlook. I had no idea that you have been dealing with this since you are so energetic and upbeat. I really enjoy Quilty– both the show and the magazine. Keep up the great work! Hope you are feeling better after your surgery!

  31. I just found your blog today. I too, have UC; and know the trial and tributulations with the disease. I send my get well wishes and prayers to you. I love, love, love your magazine and show, as well as LOQ show. I am a beginner quilter and learn so much from your shows. Thank you!

  32. I also am glad that you are on the road of recovery. I also have been there. Ten surgeries on my back and one on my neck, it has put a crimp in my lifesytyle, but quilting has helped me get through a lot of the time. I really enjoy the show. Stay healthy and take care. Thank you.

  33. Exactly why I started taking sewing lessons. One day, Out of the blue, Walking and even standing became agonizingly painful for me. The Drs had no idea, and after about 6 mos in bed, when the pain became manageable, I began taking a lesson once a month.
    20 months later, as mysteriously as it came, I was able to walk normally again (although I did switch to a gluten free diet)..
    No rhyme, no reason…I’m beyond grateful for my health and for finding quilts and fabric..a creative outlet that kept me sane!

  34. My prayers for your recovery are being sent. I love to “piece” and scrap quilts are my quilts of choice. Many health problems over my 65+ years have limited me but I’ve chosen to turn my disabilities/”lemons” into quilts/”lemonade”. On my bad days I sit and cut fabric scraps into various sizes for future projects on my bucket list and it takes my mind off the pains & aches. Quilts #17 & 18 are at the longarmer now. My quilts are my legacy. Please continue your Quilty segments – treasure your work with your Mom and God Bless you & keep you. Thank you <3

  35. Having just found this site and getting to become reaquainted with quilting – my heart goes out to you. My brother has this. It is awful. he opted not to get surgery and has for the past 23 or so years lived a very strict lifestyle (to include diet, stress levels, sleep, keeping in shape). He looks great, and is doing well, but gets occasional flare-ups.

    I am happy to hear that you are doing well and keeping up/sharing your busy life!!

  36. Hi Mary;
    You are so delightful to watch on TV with your Mom and on Quilty, and I’ve learned so much from you. I wish you the very best of Health and Happiness in the future. When my husband passes by the TV and sees you, he stops and says,”She is so lively and smart, honey, enjoy the show”. Stay Well!

  37. I hope you are continuing to mend. I have a quilting buddy who’s been dealing with Crohn’s for years & she has shared quite a few of her ups & downs with us. I also have a friend with an ileostomy (don’t eat too much popcorn!) so I sympathize with everything you have been going through. I rarely watch TV, but I catch your videos on the net & I LOVE your shows. You’re a scream! I watching them 2 or 3 times, because the 1st time I’m just watching YOU for your humor. Quilty is the highlight of my busy day. You’ve been through enough trials in your life, so enjoy a little rest. Like so many others, I’m wishing you a complete recovery & keeping you in my prayers. Now I better see if I can find that Quilty mag before everyone’s sold out!
    ps I DO actually learn things from your show & I have a gazillion issues of LOQ in my sewing room that I love to go through over & over. You guys are so inspiring!

  38. Hi Mary,
    I have followed from the beginning of quilty. You are bubbly and a sweet knowledgeable person.
    Remember to take the time and listen to your body. Relaxation exercises and a healthy diets and teaching yourself not to stress get stressed out seem to help when one has battles to fight with our mind and body. I know myself having chronic health issues a is no picnic.
    I love your show and also your new magazine you always inspire me. When does the next issue of Quilty come out.
    Take care.

  39. Mar, I have to say that its great to learn of others out there fighting this amazing battle. I have had Crohn’s for 15 years now and have to say some says I are crazy. I have been watching LOQ on sat mornings here at home and love to see the new inspriration I can get. My grandma taught me to quilt when I was a little kid. It has always brought comfort and even on the worst days I can still manage to work on a block. So I feel that the day was not a complete waste. I am working on a grandmothers flower garden paper piece quilt and it has gotten me through 2 flares. I have a whole new level of respect and gratitude for you and the show. Thanks

  40. Hey, all.

    Thank you so much to everyone who has posted on this entry. Ulcerative Colitis really, really sucks to have. My story is a scary one — lots of complications, re-do surgeries, infections, the works. It’s not a good story to hear if you’ve just been diagnosed, I’ll be honest.

    But I’m okay. My surgery went well. I may actually be able to stop holding my breath, which is nice, since I’ve held it for about 4 years, now. I’m feeling good and that is the best news in the world. I feel like everyday is my birthday because today, I’m not sick.

    The biggest thing that happened in terms of my recovery is that I bought a couple tickets to a Crohn’s and Colitis fundraising event. Up until now, I just couldn’t bring myself to attend any of the organization’s events. It was too hard; the disease was too close to the bone for me. But I’m ready to get involved and I want to help out anyone who has gone through or will go through what I went through. It sucked. It also gave me some pretty wicked awesome perspective, but I could’ve done without the ostomy bags and the accidents and stuff. That’s just not cool.

    Much love to all.

    – Mar

  41. Did you have an illeal anal anastomosis? I was case 100 and something. I have had my pouch for almost 30 years. Works great and you will feel wonderful with time. Get well soon.

  42. Well shoot and a half young lady. I had no idea you were going through all this. missed anything about it. I have similar problems but not as bad as you. I hope you are doing well now or at least much better girl. Keep on quilting. Hugs (()) CC

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