Friday, February 27, 2015

Sewing Room Ban

I am plagued with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.  I have done all the non-surgical procedures for the last 10 years.  You know, the wrist splints, ice when they flared up, and cortisone shots.  Unfortunately one can only get the shots twice a year and when they quit working for 6 months at a time, the doctor says no more, time for surgery.  At this point, I am having flare ups every night, and I am losing muscle mass in my thumb pads and wrists.

I don't know about you, but when they say surgery, I get all nervous.  Especially since there are such horror stories about this surgery on the wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome.

I am really fortunate that we have a doctor in town that is performing this procedure by endoscopic method.  He happens to be a plastic surgeon that has perfected this way of doing the surgery.  Doing it this way, the incision is less than 1/2" and healing time is just under a week.  The added benefit of doing it this way is I can have both wrists done at the same time.  Most complications from surgery comes from the incision, and by reducing the exposure of cut skin from 8 inches to a half inch is an almost guarantee to be free from complications.

So for now, all this means is that I am banned from most activities.  Yard work, computer work, house work, and sewing room time.  I have so much to get done this time of year out in the yard and garden, and I always have housework, and, and, and I am unable to be in my sewing room, or do any activities with my hands.  I am fit to be tied, seeing all that needs to be done and all that I want to work on is almost as painful as the actual pain from the carpal tunnel inflammation in my wrists.

This ban is twofold.  One, most of each hand is numb, and I have little or no grip strength.  I wouldn't want to have an accident or mess up a project.  Then two, the less inflamed I keep the wrists at, the better the recovery will be after surgery.

So, I am all set for the surgery next Wednesday.  I will keep you posted, but you probably won't be hearing from me until after next week.

I would be grateful for any prayers for a success in this surgery!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not Forgotten

I am not one to purchase quilts from the past, made by quilters from earlier times.  Mostly because they are out of my price range, especially here on the west coast.  There's just not that many floating around to be found, and if they are, they usually very expensive.

Well, on the Quilt Run 101 last weekend, hubby and I stopped in one junk antique shop, only because it had some pink "Fenton" glass in the window.  We purchases a matching pair of pink hand painted vases, and while the clerk was packing up the vases, I came across a quilt, stuck under some other pieces of linen.  We dickered some, and I was able to pick it up for $35.  I am happy with the amount I paid, but it is almost shameful to get it at this low price considering all the labor, talent, and time that went in to making it.  At least I know that it will be cherished in its new home!

The quilt has nine embroidered butterflies with a type of log cabin framing around each block.

This is a close up of one of the blocks.

The backing is a yummy butter yellow.  The yellow shows off the quilting, which was done by hand on this quilt.

This shows off the butterfly.  The body of each butterfly was done in a satin stitch.  I had to look real close to see it was done by hand, because the embroider who did this, did it so well that it looked like it was done on a machine.

I love how the quilter added a small patch piece to finish out a row, not even bothering to try to match the colors.  

We all in blog land are always trying to achieve perfectiveness, and making things look like it was made in a factory.  But I just love the how this quilter made a wonderful work of art and didn't match the seams, didn't keep her blocks all one size, and filled in spaces with just slivers of fabric.  What character this quilt has, and will have in it's new home.

It does have a few worn places that I will have to do some work on, only because the fabric was loosely woven, and has shredded from age.  

I am by no means and expert in aging quilts, but if I were to guess, I would say the fabrics come from the 40's.  If anyone else who might know fabrics and the times they represent, please let me know if I am off my a century or two.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cottage Romance Table Runner

I am back today with a finish!  I posted last about a table runner that I found digging deep in my sewing room boxes from all the moves we have done over the years.

It is a simple pattern, that makes up quick, so I did some simple straight line quilting.  Here is a  picture to see exactly how I did the quilting,  I think it turned out quite nice

It's always nice to, when folded up, it comes out square.  Sometimes after quilting the quilt the edges can get a bit skewed.

I have several more projects / quilts to do out of this fabric, so I will put this away until I have some of those other items done, so I can use them all in one room.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just A Small Share

Every year, my husband and I travel the entire length of the Oregon Coast to do what is called, "Quilt Run 101".  Thats because you travel the highway 101 all up and down the coast.  I have posted about this trip each year since I have started this blog.  You can read more about it here.  Every year I try to have a theme or specific project that I will be buying for on this run.  This year, I wanted to get backings for future quilts.  During these type of quilt runs, many if not all the shops put several bolts of fabric at 50% off, and more if you take the whole bolt.  I really scored, I managed to get 12 backings (anywhere from 5 to 12 yards) for as low as $3.00 a yard to $5.00 a yard.   That piece on the front left is Fig Tree by Moda, and I got it for $3.00 a yard.  And the far end piece on the right is French General by Moda and I got it for $3.98 a yard.

Not having the backing fabric for a lot of my finished quilt tops, has kept me from completing the quilting.  With this very reasonable buys, I can now concentrate on getting some more tops quilted and meet my New Year's Resolution of quilting one top a month!

I have worked very hard the entire year of 2014, to lose some weight.  Here I am at my heaviest, on the Quilt Run 101 about three years ago.  The clothes I am wearing are size 3X and 22-24.  Not my proudest moment.

 I remember having my picture taken about two years ago when I visited my favorite quilt shop on the coast, Jane's Quilt Patch.  

The picture on the left was from two years ago, and I had lost about 20 pounds from the picture above, and the picture on the right is from this weekend.  I am now wearing a size large, and 12-14.  I am still not where I want to be, but at least I got my doctor to remove "obese" from my chart!  What is frustrating to me is when looking at the pictures, it doesn't look like I have lost 70 pounds!!!  I have really worked hard and struggled to get thinner, and it really doesn't show.  ARGH!!!  But I will tell you that I feel 100% better, I have so much more energy, my self confidence is stronger than ever, and I have been able to stop taking several medications (like cholesterol, inhalers, and lowered NASIDs).

If you are curious to what I did to lose this weight, I totally cut out white processed flour and sugar.  Serving sizes are no bigger than my fist, and I kept my calories to less then 1000.  Really simple, easy peasy!

I have lost the weight slow enough, that the excess skin has had a chance to stretch back so I don't have the sagginess that often comes with massive weight loss.  I kept my loss to 2 3 pounds  a week.  By losing it this slowly, it also helps in keeping it off, and not yo-yo ing up and down.  I kept a journal, recording my weight weekly, and planned out meals a month in advance, and stuck to that menu, which also helped me stay on track with losing the weight.  I don't consider this a diet, but a life style change, and will continue to work on losing some more weight, and staying healthy too!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

More Sorting in the Sewing Room

Today I spent some more time going though projects that have been packed away for many years.  I think I mentioned before that from 2004 - 2008 I had a large buying spree, I bought hundreds of projects and fabric.  But I didn't get much of a chance to work on them, as we moved three times.  Sometimes over several states!

Getting to the point of the above explanation, I found a box of projects using the fabric line "Cottage Romance" by Maywood Studios from 2008.  This is another line of fabric that I just love, love, love.  Loved it so much that I have enough fabric for three queen size quilts, and about 15 yards more!  Also, I participated in the Patchwork Party 2008 Winter Edition, and it uses this line of fabric.  More about that in a future post.  Needless to say, one of the minor projects, using this fabric line. that I bought was a table runner kit.

This is a picture for the fabrics used in the table runner.

The pattern was a leaflet provided by Willowberry Lane, the company that did this line of fabric for Maywood Studios.  They called it "Garden Party".  Here is the top completed.  Isn't is just too cute!  

I will be able to finish it early next week.  And I will be posting into the future of the other projects that uses this line of fabric.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

January Resolution Completed

Yep, I got it done!  I can officially state that I at least meet 1/2 of my New Year's Resolution.  If you remember, I wanted to quilt two finished tops per month.  I think I am going to have to re-address this resolution.  More on that at the end of this post.

First let me talk about the thread I chose to quilt this top.  Remember that UFO Project, Patchwork Party 2007 Spring, that I posted about here?  Well, somewhere (please don't ask, because for the life of me I cannot remember!), this set of thread spools was offered as a special to go along with the program, as it matched all the colors in the fabric used in the Patchwork Party 2007 Spring Edition.  So, Miss Gullible here bought the whole set, I mean how convenient is it to have thread to match the colors in the project you're working on, right? Well, what I didn't realize, until I began to quilt this throw, was the thread is for embroidery machines to do embroidery designs.  Ugh! Sigh!

I went ahead and used this thread to do a simple "X" design through each block on the throw, and actually, I really, really like how it turned out!  It has just enough shimmer to allow the thread to show up, but not take over the quilt top.  Below is the color I chose to do this throw, isn't is just the right green for this top?

The thread is called Isacord, and fairly reasonable because it comes in 1000 meter cones for about $3.50.  I was concerned that it wouldn't work too well, as it is so much thinner than regular cotton or polyester thread, and feared that it would break or tangle bad,  and I would have to adjust my tension.  I never want to adjust my tension.  But, I want you to know, it sews like a dream.  It never broke once the whole time I was quilting with it, and wove its way nicely through the sewing machine.  With regular thread, I always have breakage, so I was really pleased with how easy it was to sew with doing this throw.

Hear the drumroll?  Tah Dah....

Not bad for the first rollout of a completed quilt top for the year.  I went ahead and listed it on my ETSY store, and within 5 minutes, I already had several views and someone favorited it.  WhooHoo!!

Now, about that resolution of quilting 2 tops per month?  Nope, not going to happen.  I mean, it is already half way through the month of February, and I haven't even been in my sewing room 4 days yet.  So, I think I am going to modify down to 1 quilt top per month.  Sounds like a plan to me....