I swear, I really do make stuff….

I do not know why I am finding it so hard to write a blog post. I really do have the best intentions, but somehow it never gets done. I have made things….I did, I really did.

This quilt is the TRIAD Puzzle Quilt. What does that mean? Triad is my daughters school and their colors are red and black (she claimed this one early). “Puzzle”? When Nanette send me tis bunch of blocks. I had no instructions and just figured out how to put them together. Certainly not what it was intended to look like, but it works.

This was also the quilt that sat on my long arm for nearly a year as I recovered (sort of) from my neck surgery. It is an accomplishment that I finished it and got it off the long arm.

As you can see my daughter immediately put it to use. It has a lot of crazy quilting on it. Messages to her…..practice stuff etc… All that matters is that she loves it.

The Recovery

So, I am still recovering and feel like I may be doing it the rest of my life. I have taken my walks from the neighborhood to the walking path. The town that I live in has a very nice/beautiful walking/riding path. I ran out of mailboxes (and sidewalk) on my side of the street and did not like crossing the street. I am just too slow and it is a main road. So, I am not counting mailboxes any longer, but distance. Some days I can get to .64 miles. SO, just over 1/2 mile. Other days, I am lucky to walk 100 yards. I do not understand the rhyme or reason why some days I can do it and other days I feel so weak that I am holding on walking around my own house. To me this is the really frustrating part. I have gone for well over a week without being able to walk very far. When this happens I do try an increase my steps within the house, but sometimes even that is a stretch.

I have been spending time with my daughter. Last week she had her wisdom teeth out. If she knew I even had this photo she would be annoyed. It was last Wednesday. She is better but still can’t open up her mouth well. You would think I have silence, but I do not.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Not sure what to think

It seems that I can manage small pieces fairly well. Of course, still not good enough for me. I just want things to go back the way there were about a year ago.

So, this is the second able runner that I made from a scrap pack from my local quilt shop. I bought it for $12.99 and I think I have 2 more table runners from the same pack. I think it was actually a manufacturers sample. Some of them had pinked edges and they were all a pretty standard odd size. Regardless, I like it. It is a little busy looking, but tolerable, I think.

I do like this pattern it is called Jumping Jack. Very simple and easy. I will have to wait to quilt this until I open my black batting. Hopefully soon. I have a quilt I need to get ready for the long arm that requires black batting. Currently, I find using my long arm, very stressful. Since I can’t quite do things the way I want to I become frustrated and don’t want to do it at all. I know, wrong attitude.

I also made this one. I have hung on to a yard of this blue fabric for forever. For some reason I found it beautiful and did not want to use it. Finally did. It was super easy to do and great for using only two colors.

Gluten Sensitivity?

I am learning things every day. At some point I became sensitive to gluten (or so I thought). If I ate it, My heart rate increased to about 130+ for an hour or longer. This made me totally feel like crap. I was not overly thrilled with gluten free bread. It had a weird feel (gritty or something) in my mouth. So, I was unhappy. I constantly wondered why food would be taken from a fat girl. First you take my ability to do a whole lot of anything and then take food away form a fat girl? Come on. If things were not crappy enough. At first we thought it was sugar that was causing the problem. It would be much easier for me to avoid sugar. But no, it was everything I loved.

What I found out after some research was that it may not be gluten, but modern day wheat. So, I researched and found that many people with gluten sensitivity can eat heritage wheat. Heritage wheat? Wheat that was grown a long time ago. Not hybrid to yield more or sprayed with chemicals. I found a company that grows and mills this type of wheat. Sunrise Flour Mill makes just this wheat. I bought a bag. Super expensive $20 plus shipping for 5lbs. I made a loaf of bread and just like magic, I could eat it without the increased heart rate. It was like magic to me. I sat at the table eating bread, dipping it in olive oil in true fat girl style (I can laugh at myself). I have since ordered more and it gets less expensive if you buy bigger bags. his past Friday, we made pizza crust and our own homemade pizzas. It was delicious.

My mother was from Germany. These are one of our favorite things. We called them pretzel blobs, mostly because I think it annoyed my mother. They were (past tense) delicious.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Another one on point

Now I have something else to complain about. I don’t like to bind pieces that are not square or rectangular. I just don’t know how to do it right. Yep, always something to complain about.

I think I got the on point part straight and did not put exact pieces next to each other. But, I realized that I did not really know how to bind things that were not square or rectangular. I was not sure how to deal with the angled corners. I did it, and it lays flat, but I don’t really like how they look. Always something to complain about.

I did straight line quilting. At this point I have learned that you pick an angle that does not correspond with any seams. That way if you are a little off, no one will see it.

Personal Progress

So, I am really not getting very far. I had an entire week where I felt to weak to walk. Ugh. I finally figured out that I need to walk in the morning. That is the only real shot I have at doing it. I feel like when I wake up in the morning, I have gas i n the tank, however that gas runs out quickly. When it is out I am done for the day. I have zero strength and can not walk far. I even struggle inside my own house.

I have managed to get to the 7th house though. I am not happy about it. It is oddly painful to walk. My neck, shoulders and arms hurt a lot. I have been going on my walks by myself. That way no one but me hears the lovely words that come out of my mouth as I walk. Once I get to that 8th mailbox I will then need to cross the street because the sidewalk ends.

What Else?

We have been going on college visits with my daughter. Two down and one to go. I go to the information session and then Kevin goes on the walking tour with her. Makes me sad that I can not, but glad that he does it. I have a hard time imagining her going off to school and leaving me. But as a “Smother Mother” I am sure she will be glad to get away. Well, I hope not. I have very fond memories of college, and I want that for her also.

My Moka

AKA Moka Monster

AKA Dork

AKA Dorkasaurus

AKA Mokachino

She is a very spoiled girl. She also has epilepsy. She looks forward to her medication every morning and night, since they are stuffed in treats. We refer to her as the “Master Puppy” because she sleeps with Mom and Dad in the master bedroom.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Stupid is as stupid does…..(me)

Please laugh along with me.

So, I have never done anything on point.

I chose this pattern and used a charm pack that I had.

I dont know where I got this charm pack, but there were many of the same within. So, I thought to myself, I will just make sure that I don’t put them right next to each other.

I carefully assembled the rows. Never once did I think about looking at it as it would lay on the table. NOOOO, I looked at it on point.

Needless to say, you get this dumb looking table runner with lots of the same next to each other. OMG, Duh. Seriously, look at it on the diagonal. Perfect. Bahahahahaha.

Live and learn as the saying goes.

I did not mind doing something on point. just was in the wrong frame of mind when I did it.

I got it now.

And for your viewing pleasure. Our 8.9lb. security guard. Well, actually my daughter’s security guard, Ruger. He truly is larger than life.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Well, How about that….

So, I finished something else. Can’t remember the name of this table runner. I swear it is something with the word “Windows”. As you can see, I am still sticking with small things. So far so good. I am practicing some different quilting techniques.

Interestingly, I have several Bernina sewing machines. I have many attachments that were purchased for me that I have never used. Well, I learned to use two more things. Hurray for me. Only had them about 20 years… I had all kind of ruler attachments for my walking foot. They were very helpful in sewing even lines. I thought the quilting came out very well in this one. Then, I found a box of magnifying glasses that just hook on to the front of my machine. Holy cow. I wonder why I had not investigated this before. It let me see things sooo much better, I kind of feel stupid for not investigating these toys til about 20 years after I got them. Pretty sure my 1st late husband had bought them and he has been gone for 13 years and I know I had all these things before my daughter was born and she is 17. Funny but not funny,

What else have I done?

Shockingly, a project that was many years in the making. Well, not in the making, just thinking about it. My dining room table and chairs is well over 20 years old. The upholstered bottoms have seen better days and have needed to be recovered for years. They truly look like someone has peed on every chair. Well, I have been recovering the seats. I have completed 5 of 6 and my hands are killing me, so the sixth one is going to have to wait a bit. Maybe sometime next week. The hardest part is that each chair had at least 100 staples that has to be removed. My fabric choice is a bit wild, but they look much better, so that will do for now. Ruger is my little photo bomber.

and then there is my situation…

Not much change there. I am still only at 6 mailboxes and have been unable to go on my walks most of the week. I just seem to have an over whelming sense of weakness. Hoping it will get better. Trying to take the long way on anything that I do though. Fingers crossed.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Monumental….and another

So, I guess I am going to to have to be happy right now with making smaller pieces. It is not the worst thing in the world. I do have another larger quilt that is for a Guild competition that I am going to have to figure out how to get quilted. We will have to see. May wait a while longer. Hoping things improve for me.

So, I am keeping this table runner for myself. I have had these fabrics for while and thought they were cute and summery. So, while this piece might look simple, I was trying to learn new things. These are not all straight seams. There is a “Y” type seam in here. Have never done them on quilts (plenty on cloths) but the instructions made it super simple to do.

Also did some straight line quilting. Funny, did it and then watched a video on how to do it. Not necessarily in the right order. I still like the look, even though it is not perfect. I now know a couple of tricks when I attempt this again.

It did take a considerable amount of time for all those lines though.

Still, I think it was worth it.

My Personal Struggle – Not much has changed since my last post (it was really only a few days ago). However, I am trying to work hard at returning to my former self, fully aware that it may never happen. So, I thought maybe I would keep track of my progress here. It is going to sound a bit funny. Prior to my surgery, I was walking 2 miles a day. I was trying to work on weight loss but mostly preparing for a trip I promised my daughter (Europe). She graduates in 2022, and has always told me how she wants to go. I always talk about my mother and her family (Mom was from Germany), so, it seemed like the opportune time to take her. Then I had my surgery and it looks like this trip could be very difficult. So, I will continue to push myself, not only for me, but her.

We are currently using the mailbox method for walking. How many mailboxes can Lori get to? Today it was 6. Yesterday it was 5. So, I guess that is progress. Seems sad that we went from walking 2 miles per day to counting how many mailboxes I can get to. The walk back from Mailbox #6 was hard and painful, but I did it. To put distance in perspective (I do not live in a subdivision), My house sits on about an acre. Most others sit on about 1/2 acre. So, it is a bit further than 6 mailboxes in a subdivision, but not that far.

As for weight loss. I am down about 20 lbs since surgery. A lot of that comes from having to give up gluten and sugar due to the increased heart rate. When there is nothing good to eat, well then you lose weight. I noticed yesterday when I put on my jeans to go out in public that there was plenty of room in them. That is not a bad feeling. I stopped buying a lot of stuff, because no one in the house needs the junk.

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!

Moving right along…

The Easter Table topper.

What do I like about this table topper – I like the shape. I always like interesting/different shapes. I love my decorated eggs and my colorful peeps.

What do I not like about this table topper – The thread I chose. I love variegated thread, not on this. When I look at the light teal and dark teal (flower looking pieces), they do not line up correctly. The pattern I used looked perfect, but I futzed with it for quite some time to get it to lay right and I still don’t like it. Since this piece is for my table I will have to tolerate the things I don’t like. I would have to make another and see if it came out better before I would give this to someone. Still sort of cute.

I don’t follow directions well – I am sure I am ot the only one. I was looking for something Easter and did not find a lot of patterns. I found this on the Bernina website. It had a lot of embroidery on it which I clearly had no intention of doing. I have two machines that do it and I never do. My 1st late husband and I had a commercial embroidery business, therefore I no longer want to do it and after having commercial machines, find doing it on a one needle sewing machine annoying. So, I basically used the pattern for the shape and the eggs and then went off and did my own thing.

Bambi – Christmas quilt – Off the design wall and being pin basted. I am using a blanket I got for Christmas on the back. It is super soft and very pretty. I think it will be best used on the back of this quilt. I may quilt this on my domestic since I currently have something on my longarm, that is begging to be done. I am finally doing things quilty.

News from the world of Lori – So Doctors have finally figured out what is wrong with me, hopefully. Apparently, my neck has severe arthritis to the point that I do not have spinal fluid surrounding my spinal cord in a decent sized area. So, on February 5th, I will get it fixed. There really is no option, I could wind up paralyzed if I choose not to do it. So, do it we will. Such is life. Yes, I am totally freaked out by it.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Happy New Year – What’s going on?

I decorated Easter Eggs!

/Sounds a little weird for the beginning of January, but all the same that is what I did last night. Of course, not the traditional ones, but more of the fabric ones that I will put on my Easter table topper(Nanette should recognize some of these fabrics)

I found a shape/style that I liked and of course I am going to put my own spin on it. I could never follow the directions. It was actually a topper of the Bernina site that had a bunch of machine embroidery on it. Not my thing, so, I am going to do my own thing. Along with al my decorated eggs will be some brightly colored peeps (fabric of course).

I had a nice long break from work, where I did very little of anything, other than some cleaning and organizing, which was needed. I did sew one top, which I will get to on a later post.

Christmas was nice. My daughter got me a Baby Yoda. Yes, I am a grown woman who still loves some toys. He sits right next to my build a bear Wookie (yes, I am a sci-fi nerd). I do love The Mandalorian. Baby Yoda coos when you squeeze his hand. I am easily entertained.

What’s Coming?

So many people are working on their plans for next year. I am not good with year long plans, so I will be planning sorter spurts. I also got this cool new tool, called a Rocketbook. I plan to show you all it does, as I am finding it quite a useful tool for planning.

UFO’s – Good God – There are so many, that I don’t know where to begin. There are the tops that are completed and need quilted. Will have to count those. Then, there are the projects that are in the piecing stages. They are all in various stages. I would guess there are at least 15 of these. Can you tell I have Quilting ADD? I get bored and have to move to something else for a while. Likely why I am decorating fabric eggs instead of working on a UFO. We are not even going to discuss the quilt on the long arm that has been on the long arm for months. It glares at me when I walk by.

Then there are the things I want to do. I have finally figured out a plan for memory quilts that will include my sister clothes as well as my parents. I will need to make 5 of these ( or 6 f I do one for myself). These take a lot of prep work. Many of the clothes are not woven so they need some interfacing. I spend an evening here or there cutting the clothes into usable pieces. It is really hard to cut into the clothes knowing who they belonged to. But, I keep thinking about my niece and nephew and carry on.

I even tried to figure out what I will be making for gifts for Christmas next year. I only make a few, so not super critical, but it would be nice to get them done in advance.

In between, I work on my charity items, pillow cases and dog beds. I have about 5 dog beds filled with scraps ready, but I wanted to make Dog food Bags to put each one in (pictures later). They don’t take a lot of time, it is just a matter of doing it.

Need to update my blog in general. Have not done that in quite a while. Slacker, I am.

Hoping that I get better at blogging and reading everyone’s blogs. You would think with covid I would have all the time in the world to do it, but nope. Seem to spend a lot of time aimlessly staring into the abyss. Need to stop that.

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