What the Heck am I doing?

Good question. I sometimes wonder what I am doing. I quilted, on my domestic, my scrabble dog wall hanging. I needed something to do that would take me a bit of uninterupted time. Sometimes when I have a lot on my mind (or just anxiety in general), I want to work on something that requires my undivided attention. This has been basted and staring at me for quite a few weeks. I figured it would take me 1-1.5 hours after I got set up to complete the quilting. I was not far off the mark.

I did find, that since I don’t really quilt much on my domestic machine, except straight line, that I now suck at free motion quilting on it. It is possible that it is because iut requires strenght (shoulders, I think) that I don’t have and may never have. I used my dog boine ruler. Not sure why they are called rulers, they don’t actually measure anything. I did take a photo of one of the better-looking areas (LOL).

Anxiety, who me?

Haha. Crazy anxiety. That’s me. I am a worrier by nature., I think I got that from my mother. She was a worrier. So anxiety is just an added bonus.

What causes me to be insane? Well, last week on Wednesday, I woke up unable to walk. Awesome. The absolute most severe pain I have ever felt, everytime I put my right leg down. Words can not describe this pain. Thinking my post (artificail knee) had finally come loose after 25 years, I had my daughter drive me to the ER. Nope, knee not loose. Not much we can help you with, go to your ortho. Six weeks wait. Try someone local. Eww, not what I usually want to do, living outside the city. The local doctors in the rural world have always scared me. But, they agreed to see me that day. I was pleasantly surprised. Young Doc, who told me that my pain was likely coming from my hip (even though it did not hurt). Told me the answer was to shoot up the aggravated knee with medication and then come back on Friday and have the same thing done to my hip. It worked! However, now, I can add hip arthritits and all the goodies that come with that to my crappy resume. I also now keep crutches by the door of the bedroom in case it happens again. This is one of the many reasons I am half crazy. What lovely thing will I wake up with tomorrow? If this is getting old, I have a strong understanding of why people fight it.

Fun Coming!

Fun is needed. Going on a mini-retreat in Amish country in Ohio, with my quilting partner in crime Lynn and maybe one other person (hopefully Sharon comes because she seems like she would be fun). We are staying at a historic hotel. Not only is it a retreat center, but they have ghost hunts. LOL. It is has Victorian Era Decor and past presidents have stayed there (Grover Cleveland). Hotel Millersburg is in the heart of Ohio Amish Country (AKA lots of quilt shops). Photos to come….

So, I am collecting up my projects that I will work on and looking forward to the great escape.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

A little bit of work….

So, I managed to get the quilt for my Aunt on the long arm. I am about 2/3rds finished. I have to do a bit and walk away and come back to it. Too much standing kills me. I am getting there. Before, I just could not do it. Now I can do some. I’ll take it. I am using my heart ruler and curly q’s. Initially when I started, It would not sew. Screwed around for an hour did some research and figured out I put my new needle in backwards. Duh.

Quilt Police – So, I saw this photo on Facebook and had a good laugh. I am super critical of myself, always. The quilt police would have a hay day with binding like that. Given the true purpose of this quilt, that should never matter. It was made to keep someone warm and I am sure it did a fabulous job at it.

I follow a lot of groups on Facebook and Instagram, mostly for the pictures of quilts. I am sometimes shocked and appalled at things people say to fellow quilters. “Never ever by fabric at JoAnne’s or Wal-Mart. It is horrible quality”. There are quilters out there that can not afford to buy $12-$15 per yard fabric. Our ancestors, including my grandmother, used old coats, clothes, and feed sacks. Quilts were very often made out of repurposed items.

I was once told that the Kona that JoAnn’s was not the same Kona sold at quilt shops. Honestly, not true. I have bought some at both. Each raveled equally as bad. They felt the same. I do not believe the thread count was different. So, yep I used my 60% off Coupon to buy a large piece of Kona at JoAnn’s over the weekend.

I have also purchased Michael Miller fabrics at Wal-Mart. You just have to look.

Someone is wearing a quilt – I did not watch the met gala, but did see photos of this person wearing a quilt. Thought it was amusing. Turns out that this quilt was actually made by someone’s mother. The photo on the right is of it on a bed at their home. It wound up at a thrift shop and was purchased by a designer to make this…..whatever it is called.

The designer did end up contacting the lady who’s mother made the quilt once it came to light. She just wanted everyone to know that her mother made the quilt that this gentleman wore (rapper I think…can’t remember his name).

So, you never know where a quilt that you make might end up! Who would have thought the red carpet……

Senior Moment – Literally. No, not me (although I have plenty). My daughter is a senior this year., Hard to believe. We had Senior Photo’s taken recently. I cried the night before so I would not do it during the photo shoot. Our Photographer took 350 Photos. Crazy. Pretty sure I had one pose when I was a Senior and that was it. I do like the one with the waterfall, but I have not seen them all yet. That looks like my girl the most.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Seriously…September is over?

You have got to be kidding. September is over this week? Where is time going? I think there is a black hole and all my time is being sucked into it.

I did get some stuff done. The pictured quilt top I have made for my Aunt. I plan to go and visit her this year. She is 94 (I think). She was always one of my favorite people. She is the only living relative (among the aunts and uncles) that I have left. I remember all the trophies for golf she had in her living room as a kid. They also had a pool table and a bar downstairs where we would often play. She was the oldest of my grandparents children. My Dad was the “middle child” Maybe that is why he understood me so well. While this is a scrappy quilt, as I made it I remembered all the other quilts and projects these fabrics were a part of. I think I will put minky on the back so it is nice and soft for her.

I did get other things done. I bound a couple of of table toppers. I also finished up that binding last night on my “Plaid Challenge quilt” for a competition for my guild. I wont show it yet. The contest is the first week of December. Everyone that wanted to participate had to provide a yard of plaid fabric and $$$. I don’t remember how much money. The money will be divided between the top three quilts, I believe. Figuring out what to do with a bunch of weird plaid fabrics was challenging.

On the Neck Surgery recovery…. Still have issues. I may always have issues. Have managed to lose about 30 pounds. I’ll take it. I can walk over 1/2 mile, but some days I can’t do that at all. Need to figure out how to live with changes. Ugh.

Need to get my Aunt’s quilt pin basted.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

and then there is more…..

This is the cutest darn thing…… but I think anything with dogs is cute. I am sure you know, I am a crazy dog lady. I love my puppies. My daughter and I were at the quilt store and I saw the “scrabble” panel. I bought it. These are all my dogs including the ones that are waiting for me over the rainbow bridge. The ones not here with me have a little gold halo over the first letter of their name. I frequently dream about my dogs not here. In my dreams we are sitting around the table talking. My Koko is apologizing to Clover for making fun of her for only having three legs. Darby is apologizing for knocking bread off the counter and eating it. They always tell me I am the best Mom.

Now I need to quilt and find a place to hang it.

I enjoyed the three day weekend. It was not long enough. I finished piecing another table runner. I made about a dozen pillow cases for the Guild’s charity.

I finally got my sourdough starter ready to make bread.

It tastes delicious. Came out as planned.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

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

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

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