The struggle is real

I managed to finish something. It is just a baby quilt. My friend Lynn gave me this fabric. It was simple and easy to put together. I quilted this on my domestic, since I am not really able to use my longarm at the moment. I am out of practice, but it is a simple meandering so no big deal. I used a holiday blanket I got for the back. It is super soft, which I love. I did not have a need for this quilt when I made it, so I will just set it aside for the right moment.

The Struggle – So, my most recent visit to the doctor was not a pleasant one. I was told not to expect much more that what I already have. Be grateful I am walking. Most people with your spinal injury never walk again. Ugh. Took that to heart. I am no where near where I was less than a year ago. I can walk about 500 ft. before my legs want to give out. I can stand a few minutes before I need to sit down. I am still attending physical therapy and they claim that my strength has gotten better. I have zero stamina.

This affects my life in every way imaginable. I cant do things with the family that I would like to do. I can’t do the things I would like to do. I do manage to sew, but stick to small pieces because they are easier to manage. Not as heavy to try to push through a domestic machine and well, the long arm…that involves standing and some strength. I waited years to have one. Have not had it long, but cannot currently use it. It is heart breaking to me.

Let’s not mention that I have had continual ear infections, all kinds of stomach problems, and a racing heart since I have had this surgery. Of course, nothing is related to the surgery itself, so they say. Test after test after test, which tells us nothing.

So, my mental happy place is my sewing room. I do force myself to go in there. I do try and work on things. It is not the way it used to be. I am hoping this is not my new normal, but I just don’t know.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Wow, I did something else

Sarcasm is abundant in my life.

I read about everyone working on UPO’s, so I got crazy and finished one that has been sitting around for quite a while. My daughter used to be a bookwork. Now that she is older there are things that are far more important. It will be a reminder though. I put the titles of many of the books that I found in her room on the “spines” of the books. If nothing else, it will be memories for her. It only took me about 5 years to finish. It will now go on list of things that need long armed. Hopefully I can get to that soon.

Pillowcases – This is something I can do, that does not make much time, but does get me in the sewing room. I just had 42 picked up from my house that will go to the shelter. It helps me get rid of some of my rather large stash of fabrics. Sometimes when I get some of them out, I really wonder what I was thinking about when I bought them. They do make fabulous pillow cases though.

So, I am slowly working on getting better. To add to all my other issues, I have a heart rate issue. It suddenly goes up for no good reason and it is constantly draining all my energy. Doc gave me something to slow it down which seems to be helping, and I will see a cardiologist in a couple of weeks. It seems that when one thing goes wrong a bunch of other things follow.

Since I have a three day weekend, I am hoping to get some sewing done. I would really like to get the quilt finished that has been on my long arm since my health went AWOL. It has been on there about 6 months, at least. Fingers crossed that it will happen this weekend.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

God Bless the USA

I am still MIA

I don’t want to be missing, I just can’t find my way back. Recovering from this surgery and spinal cord injury is much harder than I anticipated.

There is name to my pain and it is hardware. This visual of my neck and all it’s lovely hardware puts that into perspective. On a positive note, I am back to my original heights of 5’9″ post surgery.

I think the part that is making this so difficult is the spinal cord injury. While I had some of the same issues before the surgery, my expectation was that these things would get better after surgery. While some things have, many have not. I did get most of the feeling back in my arms and legs, but am having a difficult time gaining any strength. I have very little stamina. So, I don’t sew much or in very small increments. This is very frustrating. It is my therapy and without it, I am not a very nice person.

I did make the gnomes. They did not take much effort. My daughter has claimed the pink one and named her JaGnome. JaGnome oversees her homework.

A Useful Tool

I have several binding tool makers that I never use. They are the metal ones that make binding like the premade binding you can buy at the store.

The one in the picture helps make binding like I make for my quilts. It is helpful because I don’t burn my fingers. It makes the binding that is folded in half. I bought an entire set of these on Amazon for like 6$. My local quilt store sold one (not an entire set) for 10$. They were all manufactured in the same place.

I would love to post more often, but I don’t have much to post, since I don’t sew that much at the moment. I know many of you understand that quilting is therapy (no one at my home gets it). Without it I feel a little lost.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

The “Unpaper” Towels

So, I completed my “unpaper” towels. I believe the actual pattern called them reusable paper towels, but I found hat an odd name since they were not paper.

Here is what I learned about making these:

Use a walking foot. I fought with it until I got the bright isdea to use my walking foot. After that everything went much better.

Put your opening to turn right side out on the side not where you want the snaps to go. It can make getting those plastic snaps more difficult if it is bunched and when you are closing up it is more likely that will happen (I sewed mine shut with the machine when I went around the whole towel.

I used three snaps on each end. The pattern called for 2. Initially I had such issues, that Iput three on each end. I will try 2 if/when I make these again.

The plastic snap tool – Watch a video on how to do it. I failed to do this and once I did, I had way more success. Use it on a hard surface (once I watched a video, I put a wooden cutting board under mine). Be prepared to waste some snaps until you get the hang of it. I did not buy my snap tool just for this, but also for baby bibs. They are not expensive maybe 20 dollars for tools and a whole box of colored snaps. I bought it on Amazon. It came with the the big box (top left). I bought some additional snaps because they were inexpensive.

The Practicality of “Unpaper” towels – Not sure on this one yet. I will have to review the actual use by everyone at our house. I am hoping to hear less harsh words over lack of dish towels and having them all over the counter. I made a roll of ten and then some spares (I think I had 8 more). Once it has been in use a while at my house I will let you know if it is a truly useful item. So far, it makes me happy to use up the stack of older towels we had.

I am feeling better every day. Looking forward to losing this neck brace. I am back to work, which is great. I am not good at sitting around doing nothing. Prior to my surgery, I got a new super expensive office chair (X-Chair). It has a neck rest and heat/massage. It has been a life saver and allowed me to return to work quickly. I did not want to sped the money, but Kevin made me……good call on his part.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

And… I am back

Successful Neck Fusion.  I am already getting the feeling back in my arms and legs.  I was told it might take a while for my spinal cord to recover, but I already see an improvement.  I did spend one night in the hospital, which was the right thing, despite the fat that I did not want to.  But the first night was a bit rough.  Glad it is over. and I can get back to my life.

So, yes, I have already been sewing.  Not the easiest thing to do with my star wars brace, but it is my happy place.  Not a lot, but every little bit counts. Reusable Paper Towels –   Sounds weird, but at my house, dish towels are used every day multiple per day.  It is hard to have enough and have a place to store them.  Then there is the fact that I am a freak also.  We have 3 dogs so if the towel gets dropped on the floor I am done with it , and in the laundry it goes.  Also, if I don’t know where the towel has been and it is out on the counter, in the laundry it goes.  The five second rule does not apply to dish towels at my house. I am using the JoAnn Fabrics dimensions. I had the flannel and am using some old towels that were in really good shape. I looked at buying yardage of terry cloth, but it was expensive and I did not like the feel of most. Easier to buy Bath towels, or use what I had.

So, I am done with the quilting on the Easter Topper. I tried to get fancy, but am still somewhat limited. I need more practice. So, before my surgery I attempted to make bias binding for this piece. Epic fail. I don’t make bias binding often and had to look up how to do it. Still did it wrong and wasted some fabric. I was not clear of mind right before the surgery, so I should not have attempted. Lesson learned. Hoping I have enough of something that matches to give it another go.

This is my contraption that I must wear. Super Attractive. Basically keeps me from moving my neck. I get to take it off for sleep, which I am quite happy about. It does look like something from Star Wars and I am still trying to come up with a witty name for it. The worst part about this surgery was the wait time before. You are left with your own thoughts, which are far worse than ay surgery could be. I have so many sewing things planned, I am hoping I can get to work on all of them soon.

Happy Sewing!

Happy Quilting!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Holiday season!

So, I have been very on and off with everything. It could be the “covid” brain. Unlikely.

ALERT Boring information below.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I rarely talk about it. I like to pretend it is not part of my life because some how in my head I feel it lets me cope better. It has worked for a few ears with little things on and off as issues. I take super expensive medication that I am thankful I can afford.

About two months ago I started having what they call a “flare”. I had read about it, but dismissed it as people being whiners. You have something live with it move along. Well, it totally knocked me on my ass. My knees (which have both been replaced) felt like someone was pounding on them with hammers. My hands began to get numb starting at my finger tips. I have this stupid stress fracture in my foot. I had an elbow that would not straighten and the ruptured disks in my back were singing ( a totally rude song). I was so tired battling pain (pretending it did not exist) that I was exhausted 10 minutes after I got out of bed. My daughter informed me that I was mean and grouchy.

I had an MRI of my head to make sure my feeling tired and stupid was not actually related to a problems in my head. I was given some drugs for my back that made me feel like I was melting from the inside out. Three different ones before I said “no more” on that one. So, the rheumatologist added another RA drug to my cocktail and I had a little improvement. Not a lot, but the exhaustion now gave me 20 minutes before I needed a nap after doing anything. Went to a different doctor about my back who did not throw pills at me, which I was grateful for. She suggested a change in diet, avoiding all things white (white sugar, white flour, processed anything). There are many people with RA that suggest that some foods trigger RA or make symptoms worse. OK, worth a shot. So I cut out all sugar only whole wheat and no processed foods (this was the easy one since we had done a way with most of them a long time ago). The rheumatologist also upped the dosage on my new RA drug.

So where are we today… Better, not great. I still have a boot on my foot. I need an MRI and Christmas is right around the corner. I am no longer exhausted to the point I can barely function. I am still not myself and am concerned that I may never make it back to where I was. I now have a stool in the kitchen to sit on while I cook if I need to rest and while working (thank God form home), I don’t often leave my desk. I stayed up til midnight last weekend and we almost had a party. It was monumental. I am trying to break up larger tasks into smaller pieces (gift wrapping ugh). Before the holidays, Kevin and I always go shopping for last minute stuff for the kids. Last weekend we managed to do that. I did pay for it the next day, but it was worth it to feel normal.

Sewing/quilting is a challenge. Had several conversations at home and with dear Nanette, Lynn and Kevin. The consensus was just go do something. It doesn’t matter what it is, go do it. Ten minutes my make you feel better mentally and you would be surprised how 10 minutes here and there can help you accomplish things.

I did start doing that. It made a difference. I am less grouchy (only a little according to my daughter). It helped me finish the Christmas gift for my neighbor. It is surprising what you can accomplish with ten minutes here and there.

I am on vacation over the holidays. Honda shuts down. I am hoping to do some sewing and organizing. I have plans to do some memory quilts in 2021. It is jut very hard to cut into my parents and sisters cloths. Every time I look at the couple of Dad’s shirts, I start to cry. I know in the end the quilts will be appreciated. I even have plans to make one for myself. I have a long list of many things to accomplish this year, so I have to get much better.

The chickens – My neighbor loves chickens. I am hoping that she loves this for her table. It is cute and whimsical. I will say. that at the points were a giant pain in the butt. Not the 90 degree ones, but the other ones at the intersection of the red fabric. Such a struggle. They are not perfect. It’s still cute though.

I wish everyone the best Holiday season possible!

I will try to do better in 2021.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I am my own enemy

I am my own enemy in every respect. Let’s start with My Holiday table piece. I had this beautiful pumpkin fabric that I loved. So I found my pattern and cut it out. After I sewed a couple of sections together, I realized that this was a directional patterned fabric. and was going to look totally stupid. Pumpkins going every different direction. My words at the time are not fit to repeat. So, I finished it and then practiced some quilting, which pretty much winded up looking like a two year old scribbling on paper. I used it on Thanksgiving anyway. No one but me noticed the disaster.

So, issue number 2. I fractured my foot. Dont know when or how. Mentioned to the Doc when my toes started burning and I wanted them removed (just kidding) and soon I was sporting this fabulous attire (left). Oh joy, just in time for Holiday shopping.

So, now we can move onto dumb ass move #3. So last night, while wrapping Christmas presents, I single handedly managed to shove a pair of scissors into my thigh and then promptly shove them through the top of my hand. Went in around the thump, pointy end came out the top of my hand somewhere. While this occurred, I truly have no idea of the sequence of events. Did it need stitched? Probably. Did I get them? Noooooo. It was 9pm at night and I was so annoyed with myself. Needless to say my daughter and Significant other have taken away all sharp objects. I am now destined to use blunt nose scissors under supervision.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Progress, I’ll take it

I am actually doing things, just not that much. Have not been feeling myself lately, but who has.

These are gifts. I figured that I needed to get them done. I have a Thanksgiving piece I am working on. Who knows if that will happen. It is just for me, so no big deal if it does not get finished.

I liked the dog and cat prints with Holiday hats. I rarely pass up dog prints. Cats are OK and I did one for my cat loving sister, but I am truly a dog person. Well, actually I am an animal person. I love them all. I am just partial to dogs. Funny, I used to be scared of them. Now I can’t imagine life without them. They are truly my fur babies

I did get the next clue for the mystery quilt, but there will be no more clues until January, so I don’t need to be in a hurry for that one. Phew.

Thanksgiving is next week. I know there is much to be thankful for, but I am just so over things. Here in the great state oh Ohio, we are being told that holiday gatherings are not allowed.

Is covid really spiking? I think we are just testing more so it looks like it is so much worse. Please don’t think that I don’t take it seriously. I just want the actual truth. The media truth which is clearly jaded. What and how thy report seems to depend on what else is going on. Do we need distracted from Politics? Yes, then you are going to die from covid. Is there nothing to report in the world of politics or nothing you want mainstream population to hear, then you will die from Covid.

This is not a political post. I want news that is actually factual news without political bias. Rant over.

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

My Quilting Godmother

I hope everyone has a Quilting Godmother. Let me tell you about mine. She is the most wonderful thoughtful person. She sends me so many things. The picture above is only a small portion of what she recently sent me. There were two large boxes stuffed to the gills. I separated the fat quarters into groups and made my own fat quarter packs. There is also a bunch of solids which I already have a project for. There was also a Thanksgiving panel, that I will make for my front door,

What do I love best about my Quilting Godmother?

She is truly a great friend. All the wonderful things aside, I am so happy and grateful to have a friend that passes no judgement on anything. We have great conversations about politics, life. She has been an awesome shoulder to lean on when I needed one. Then there is the fact that she is an awesome quilter. Please visit this wonderful lady’s blog. I have met some awesome people that are quilters!

An Interesting Photo

My cousin sent me this photo few weeks ago. The woman in the front is my grandmother. She has been gone for about 40 years. The man in the back left was my grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him. After my mother came to the US with my Dad, her and my grandmother took turns visiting each other. The first time that my grandfather visited my mother in the US, he died, at our house. I think he came and saw that his daughter was living a good life and that meant he could go. At least that is what I would like to think. The lady in the middle at the back is actually my mother. To her right is her cousin and then my Uncle. Sad, but all of these people are gone. I would guess my mother was 19 or 20, but just a guess. I love these old photo’s.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I love my Quilting God Mother

Some Important Lessons learned

Hello Fellow Quilters!

Lesson #1 – I hated these fabrics when thy were given to me to make a donation quilt.  I hate them a little lesson now that it is together.  It looked better on the design wall than it did in the picture.  I think this would look better with some different fabric.  I may try it with some of my own at some point. Lesson is,don’t always judge fabrics so harshly, sometimes they will surprise you.

Lesson #2 – If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.  We all could have lost 20200531_200223our lives.  Our ancient (20+ years) carbon monoxide detector, went off and would not stop.  Initilly we thought it was nothing, but something said call the fire department and have it checked.  It goes off when the kids unplug it or bump it and it beeps to let you know that it is on battery power.   Well, when the firre department came, they opened the door and shut it immediatly.  They said that they could not go in without oxygen.  They suited up and returned to tell us that they had never seen carbon monoxide this high in any house.  They set up some fans and got us some things we needed out of the houser and we were off to spend the night at the neighbors.  The next day it turned out that the exhaust pipe from our water heater became disconnected and all the Carbon monoxide was going directly into the house.  We had it repaired and the fire department came back did a recheck and we could return home.  Please, if you have propane or natural gas anywhere in yur home, pleaase get one.  If yours is old, please replace it.  It saved us.  We would have all been dead in less than 30 minutes.  Lucky for us it was a nice day and we had been outside, so we had only been in the house for about 10 minutes.  Phew.  I was bit freaked out about the whole thing.  Yikes.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

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