Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rooibos Schnibbles--Spring Sewing Party

Here's what I started at the Spring Sewing Party yesterday. By the end of the evening, I still had the blocks to put together and the borders to sew together and sew onto the center. Today I finished the top between watching the events of the last day of the Olympics. (Wasn't the hockey game exciting? And I don't even know anything about hockey!)

I changed up the quilt a little bit to make it a square instead of a rectangle, and I used fat quarters instead of charm packs. Once I get it quilted, I'm going to loan it to Lindy at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks to use as a shop sample for a little bit since she carries both the fabric and the pattern.

I have just about enough fabric left to make a second quilt top, so I thought I'd have a little giveaway--the pattern and my leftover fabric. The winner may need to add in a few scraps or use a different border fabric instead of the piano keys--I just want to make sure whoever wins doesn't misunderstand. Or there may be enough fabric to make the quilt exactly like the pattern, without the extra blocks I made to make mine square--I'm not sure. Anyway, if you're interested, leave a comment on this post and TELL ME YOU WANT TO BE IN THE DRAWING--if you comment about how much you like the quilt but don't tell me you'd like an opportunity to win the pattern and fabric, I won't put you in the drawing, okay?

I'll draw a winner and announce the winner on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning post, so come back on Thursday, March 4th, to see if you won. Thanks for stopping in to visit me!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring Sewing Party Updates--On the Party Bus!

To check on my progress, scroll down below the next entry--we've been asked to post our updates directly on our original "party post."

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Happy Day

Since I've been off work with the wrist/hand problems, I tend to fall into a mindset where it's not okay to do much of anything but sit around the house all day as though I was "sick." Every now and then, I have to remind myself that it's okay to get out and see people--and that was exactly what I did today. Last month, Gran started a monthly "tea and stitchery" get together at Bear Paws and Hollyhocks, so I joined them this afternoon.

Sadly, I didn't think to take photos until we had devoured just about all the tea sandwiches and treats Gran brought for us, but I think you can see she did a great job, bringing a gazillion different types of tea, vintage pressed glass luncheon plates and cups, and even a few daffodils from her garden. Lovely!

A couple years ago, I posted a photo of Lindy's weird/creepy rabbits--I just love this couple! Every year she puts them out before Easter, and the oddness of them never fails to bring a smile to my face, so I thought I'd share another photo with you.

The other day, I asked my physical therapist whether I could stitch with a needle, and he told me to give it a try and see how it goes, so I've been working on the binding of this Winter White Schnibbles quilt for the last couple days--I finished it during the tea party.

And here's a photo of the second one I made from the leftover Old Primrose Inn fabric I had amassed for the Winter White Schnibbles. This quilt looks much darker than the other--it almost doesn't look like the same line of fabric, does it?

Best of all, after the tea party, Gran and I went to a Chinese restaurant for a little dinner and girl talk. I've settled, somewhat, into my new routine of not working, doctor visits, and physical therapy visits, but I miss spending time with people--my friends at work, my quilting friends, and those of you I interact with in Blogland. Today was a nice change, and I'm grateful to Gran for getting me out of the house--and thanks to YOU for stopping in to visit!



I've finished piecing the blocks and cutting the setting triangles. I've gotten those parts--the blocks and the setting triangles--up on the design wall. What's still left to do? Piecing the blocks together. Piecing the borders. But not tonight--I'm pooped!

The clock on the microwave tells me that it's nearly 11 p.m., and even with the breaks I've taken, this is probably more sewing than I've done in the last month. Time to call it a day. I'm just not the sewing party animal I once was!

But no party is complete without a little dessert--blueberry buckle topped with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

* * * * *


Hubby came to the door of the Sweat Shop and cautiously inquired about dinner, and although I hated to do it, I was forced to take a break and grill up some pesto chicken breasts with a little melted smoked fontina on top. I slapped these babies down on some whole wheat buns, added a little tomato, red onion, avocado, mayo, and butter lettuce, and plunked down some sliced melon on the side. Several minutes and a couple of napkins later, and I was back in the Sweat Shop.

All the cutting is now done and I'm ready to fire up the old Bernina! Party on, dude!

* * * * *


Yes, I'm arriving fashionably LATE to the Spring Sewing Party, but it couldn't be avoided. Yesterday I decided to work on an older Schnibbles pattern, and instead of charm packs, I selected several fat quarters at the quilt shop, only to realize last night that I had no lighter fabrics and only one medium fabric in my grouping. So back to the quilt shop I went today for more. (And I also needed to do some grocery shopping--it seems my work is never done!)

So, here's what I'm working on and my final fabric selections. Most of this fabric is from a line called Turn of the Century manufactured by Exclusively Quilters with just a couple other pieces thrown in to round out the group.

I'll see you later with an update!

* * * * *

Have you seen there's a Spring Sewing Party taking place in cyberspace on Saturday? Check out Charming Chatter's blog. I'm in--I could use a good party--AND some motivation for sewing! I've really gotten very lazy in my time off work--I'm finding that WORK is the great motivator for getting things done at home, because if you have tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after THAT, it's awfully easy to procrastinate, whereas if you have to get something done TODAY--well, there are no alternatives!

I started physical therapy this week and it's been quite interesting. I can feel a little bit of a DIFFERENCE in my right hand (parts of which have remained numb all this time), but I'm not sure whether it's a GOOD difference or a BAD difference--I THINK it means it's waking up a little, though, so that's good.

Anyway, I have some things to show you and tell you, so I'll post a couple photos in the next few days and maybe get Hubby to help with some typing. In the meantime, join Saturday's party and I'll see you back here soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Quilt

Looking for a quilt for your St. Patrick's Day decorations?

Don't forget I have a St. Patrick's Day quilt tutorial in my sidebar with directions to make both sizes of quilts.

Or just make some shamrock blocks with your friends and swap!

(Hummmm. I don't remember ever quilting that second one. I wonder if it's "lost" somewhere in my "TO BE QUILTED" basket?! This might be a good time to hunt it down!)

Yes, I Did!

Friday Night Sew-In. Did you play? I checked Heidi's blog tonight and there were 193 people signed up! Yay for us!

In her instructions, Heidi tells us to "put on your comfy jammies.. maybe make a cup of tea.. and sit down to work on some of those projects (or anything else that you want to work on)." Well, honestly, I've been schlepping around the house in my comfy jammies much too much these last couple weeks, and it's just not a treat anymore. Even Hubby agrees. So actually PUTTING ON CLOTHES was my strategy for this event. (No, I don't mean that I would otherwise quilt nude--at my age, there are too many saggy, floppy things that might get in the way of the needle, which makes quilting more dangerous than dropping into the half pipe to execute a corkscrew. I just mean that I actually wore "normal" clothing. For a change.)

I DID make tea though. And I served it in style in the red and white polka dot mug (eat your heart out Heckety and Gran!). With M&Ms (get well "medicine" sent to me by Crafty Carol). Yum. (Sadly, though, before the evening's festivities were over, I got excited--or maybe it was due to a sugar/chocolate high--and knocked half a cup of tea over. I hate it when I do that, and it actually seems to happen more often than it should.)

The first thing I worked on was quilting the Winter White Schnibbles quilt. I started it Thursday and I thought I'd finish it during the sew in. But guess what? I ran out of thread. ARGH! I ordered another spool, but I had to order online, so I won't get it until sometime next week. Don't you hate it when that happens?!

I thought about giving up, but I decided to keep going since it was only about an hour into the evening's sewing. Next I pinned and started quilting THIS one:

This is as far as I got. I still need to quilt the border, but that shouldn't take very long.

Then I need to teach Hubby how to sew bindings. Holding a needle isn't great with my hands, so doing hand work--well, I can do a little bit at a time, but it would take awhile to finish the binding, and I'm just not very patient. Now that I think about it, maybe teaching Hubby to sew bindings isn't a great idea--that whole "not very patient" thing, you know? Well, we'll see. Three weeks at home together and we're both still living, so I count that as an achievement in patience.

Before I shut down and go to bed, I wanted to mention this book:

If you are the kind of person who laughs out loud and if you live with anyone else, this might not be the book for you--because I think you'll laugh your way through the whole book and annoy the heck out of everyone around you. This book was originally published in the UK, I believe, under the title Divas Don't Knit. I really enjoyed reading it, mostly because I loved the author's sense of humor. I've checked Amazon and readers there gave it anywhere from one to five stars with an average of about three and a half. I would have given it five, but then again, I've read books that have been given five stars, like While my Pretty One Knits, and although I enjoyed the book well enough, I thought The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club was much more entertaining. Funny how we all have different takes on things, isn't it? But if you enjoy funny books, try this one.

Happy sewing--and reading!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little Gems

I'm still here! I finally have physical therapy scheduled--I start next Monday. Once that begins, I don't think I'll be able to post unless I can get someone else to type for me, so I thought I'd write while I can.

Since the last post, I've been working on these little blocks--

They measure just 6-1/2" unfinished, and they remind me of faceted jewels somehow. I'm trying to decide how I want to set them, and I have a few ideas, but I'm not certain yet. In the meantime, while I'm thinking about it, I'll change my Bernina for my Juki and quilt another Schnibbles quilt.

It seems I have some kind of stomach bug and haven't felt very well this week, so in addition to the restrictions imposed by my hand/wrist/arm problems, I haven't felt like doing anything or going anywhere except to Gran's embroidery class on Monday night--where I couldn't do any hand work anyway, but it was still nice to get out and see my friends.

Of course, I've been watching the Olympics. Have you? I love this guy--

I have for years. Doesn't hurt that he reminds me a bit of Johnny Depp, I suspect. This other guy is fun to watch too--it's just amazing what they can do. And both of them do what they do with such confidence and ease--at least they make it LOOK easy!

And, of course, there are many, many other athletes I've enjoyed watching. The commercials though--there are some pretty bad ones! The series for Target that features the Freud-looking guy and mentions the bullseye at the end--none of them have made me want to visit the $100 Store. Then there's another series for Metro PCS cell phones--Tech & Talk. Painful. I've actually gone into the kitchen to get things I don't even NEED just to get away.

Between one thing and another, I'm getting awfully bored these days, but I've been doing a lot of reading. Remember a month or two ago, many of you gave me book recommendations? That has really come in handy because I had ordered several of those books, which means I've had plenty to read. Right now, I'm reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo--really good so far! Do you have anything else to recommend that you've read in the last month--something new out maybe? Goodness knows I still have enough books to keep me busy for a couple months, at least, but I was thinking about going to the bookstore or library--just for something to do. Right now my car's in the shop for some maintenance work, but once I get it back and once this stomach bug passes--which it should do shortly--I really want to get out and GO somewhere. So far, I've let Hubby live, but if we're both stuck in the house together much longer, he might end up on the endangered species list.

Thanks for stopping in to visit! I'll post again when I can--before my first physical therapy appointment if I have anything to show or talk about, and if not, then I'll get Hubby to help post at some point. Happy quilting!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Miss Me?

I miss all of you! I visited a couple blogs the other day and it sure feels like I've been away FOREVER!

I haven't started physical therapy yet, and my hands/wrists/arms are feeling better--only my thumb and index finger on my right hand are numb and I don't have any pain--so I thought I'd take a few minutes to write while I can.

The first time I saw the workers' compensation doctor, he took x-rays and saw what he thought was a cyst on one of the bones in my wrist. He told me he'd have the radiologist look at it, but he didn't think it was anything to worry about. He didn't know who he was talking to, did he? No! Of course I worried! I was pretty sure it was cancerous and I'd probably have to have my hand amputated. Luckily, though, it wasn't--it's just a cyst they think I've probably had forever. And, of course, it has nothing to do with what's wrong with my hands.

NOW I'm waiting for the physical therapist--it's been two weeks off work and it seems much of it is just waiting for something to happen. The insurance company approval for physical therapy finally came through and was mailed on Wednesday; I called the PT office yesterday and left a message but nothing so far. ARGH! So more waiting. With the holiday on Monday, now I don't think I'll hear from them until Tuesday at the earliest.

Other good news though--I asked the doctor about sewing and he thought I could sew as long as I don't overdo it and pay attention to my hands and whether the sewing is affecting them. So, for the last week I've been sewing a little each day, between reading and sleeping. Last night, I finished this month's Schnibbles quilt, Sunday Best, using charm packs from the Attitude Girls line by Mary Engelbreit.

Spike wanted to help me show the quilt. In fact, as I type, Spike is licking me because she wants me to know it's time for me to feed her. (Sadly, having Stitch to play with hasn't helped Spike slim down any!)

I've found that in particular, QUILTING doesn't seem to bother my hands at all, so I hope to get a few quilt tops quilted in the next month or so, although that will depend, of course, on how painful my arms and hands are once physical therapy starts. Just being able to get into the Sweat Shop for a little sewing, though, has done a lot to elevate my spirits--as have the emails, cards, and gifts from friends both locally and in Blogland.

I'll post again if I'm able and have anything to talk about--mostly life is a bit boring these days though. I'm looking forward to everything getting back to normal one of these days. In the meantime, thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Always Something!

So, let's recap:

Monday, a week and a half ago: Staph infection. Bactrim DS prescribed.

Tuesday, same week: Bactrim causes nausea. Allergies cause sinus/facial/tooth pain.

Wednesday, same week: Nausea continues. Tooth pain sends me--finally--to the dentist.

Thursday, same week: Nausea continues. Root canal at 8:30 a.m. (only thing worse would be root canal at 7:30 a.m.) Tylenol with codeine causes more nausea and stomach pain. Mouth pain not pleasant. Day from Hell at work concludes with run to Federal Express at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, last week: Nausea, check. Day 2 from Hell at work. Work day concludes with tears and panic attack accompanied by difficulty breathing.

Saturday: Woke up with thumbs and first two fingers of both hands numb and pins-and-needles tingling. Continued nausea from Bactrim. General misery.

Sunday: More of the same weekend "fun."

Monday: Called in "sick" with nerve impingement in wrists/hands. Went to doctor. Changed antibiotics for staph infection. Prescribed wrist splits and Motrin. Advised office I would try to be back at work on Thursday.

Tuesday: Call from workers' compensation carrier regarding my claim. (?) Asked to see their doctor. Their doctor orders physical therapy to break down scar tissue in both arms and allow arms to heal. NO KEYBOARDING. Off work for approximately two months. Advised therapy will be very painful.

Wednesday: Wake much too early with excruciating pain in both hands/arms. Meet with office manager to discuss doctor visit, prognosis, and sign paperwork. Arrange to cancel quilting class for Saturday. ARGH!

That's where I am now. I guess you know now why I needed a blogging break, and apparently it's going to be longer than I thought. Looks like TWO FREAKIN MONTHS of no keyboarding! I don't know, yet, whether I'll be able to quilt eventually, but my hands are too painful right now to do much of anything. And I think I need better drugs. On the up side, the staph infection is clearing nicely and I only have a couple more days of the new antibiotic. And next week we'll begin crown prep for my tooth, so maybe that will be done in a couple weeks too.

Yesterday I got a call from a very nice lady who said she enjoys my blog and has bought a couple of my patterns. The connection kept cutting out a bit, and I never DID get her name, but it sure lifted my mood to hear something nice--I just wanted to mention that because the call caught me off guard a little and I don't think I really expressed how thankful I was to get the call at that time because I was a little preoccupied with having to go see yet another doctor!

I don't know if I might pop on and post anything between now and when I'm released from treatment--it may well depend on if I can get someone to type for me. I'm going to take this physical therapy quite seriously and follow all orders, including keyboarding restrictions. So, you might not hear from me for a bit. But I figure TWO MONTHS brings us right up to around April Fools Day, which seems like a good time to make my reappearance in Blogland, don't you think?!

As a last note to my students who were signed up for my Saturday class, it's being postponed to the first Saturday in April, and you'll be getting a call from the shop.

Thank you all for your support, and I hope these two months will past quickly and I'll be healed at the end of it! See you soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Break Time!

I've been thinking about it, and I've decided to take a blogging break until I can resolve some issues, not the least of which involve my health and my computer problems. I may (probably WILL!) still visit my Blogland friends, but for the next several days, I want to try to simplify life--and part of that means not feeling I HAVE to sit down and write a blog post or, for that matter, DO anything interesting to write about. I'll be back before long though, so don't go too far away!