Well, I'm all bummed out. I'm missing Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. Many of my friends are there and they are being so great and texting updates and photos so that I can join in on the fun from a distance! LOL
Above is a photo from my very first quilt market back in 2000 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. That was a fun booth. I won the best New Exhibitor Booth award that year. My husband did so much work constructing all those wood panels for that booth and my kids were wee little toddlers then. We traveled as a family to market and really enjoyed that time together. During the day I would work the show and hubby would take the kids to local events and things, the zoo, shopping, etc. We really had fun there.
I'm watching blogs and FaceBook to check for all the updates coming in - it's only making it worse on me - but I can't help it!!!!!
That's ok, I'll get over it. In fact, I think I'll start planning my Spring Quilt Market booth right now! That will perk my spirits up! Spring Market will be in Kansas City, Missouri this coming May 2012! We are super excited to be going back there for our 3rd market visit to this great location!
Yesterday after I finished with physical therapy for the day, I decided to make a quick stop at Barnes & Noble to see if any new quilting magazines were available.
I found this....
Anything that says "scrap quilts" attracts my attention! So I bought it because there are several quilts that have possibilities of making their way into my home.
During "break time" yesterday (this is my "several times a day" break where I sit and read and while I'm reading I exercise my hands, wrists and arms hoping that I'm pushing my carpal tunnel recovery into major hurry up and get better mode!)
I came upon this....
This quilt is called Saltbox Houses and was designed by Kathie Holland of the Inspired By Antique Quilts blog! It was originally printed in the 2005 issue of The Quilter magazine! (which by the way this Scrap Quilts magazine is also put out by The Quilter!) Imagine my surprise! Love the quilt Kathie - I have a few of those fabrics in my stash!
I also love this one...
This is Hidden Spools by Rhonda Dohna of Acorn Hill Quilts. Originally published in the 2004 issue of The Quilter Magazine. Rhonda used to have a great website and some really fun quilting patterns. I'm not sure whatever happened to her, but sadly her website is no longer there!
There are a few other quilts in this magazine I'd like to make too!
Carpal Tunnel Update....
Still treading the recovery climb. I am hand piecing just a few stitches a day to exercise my fingers - honestly just a few and then I stop. The grasping of the fabric while trying to sew puts tension on both my hands so as soon as I start to feel that pulling and twinging - I stop. Same thing with hand writing - I can manage writing one sentence if I'm looking and then have to stop. Thank God for keyboards. Typing is not to much of an issue - but I do no more than 15 minutes of continual typing at a time and then take a break.
Rotary cutting at this point - nothing major and no more than 1 layer at a time. I have to hold the rotary cutter a little different for now because my scar is still tender and very sensitive.
Cutting with scissors - not bad - just cannot do the cutting motion for an extremely long time. I practice cutting each day also with an old pair of scissors and scrap paper that I've drawn lines and shapes on to follow.
Holding an actual coffee cup in my hand - not bad but not good - I don't trust myself quite yet so I'm back to using one of those plastic coffee travel mugs that is lighter than my stoneware (heavy) coffee mugs. My hands just do not like that fine grasping of the small and narrow handle on my mugs!
Yesterday's quilting jag will be repeated today. I'm going to attempt to re-make this quilt block I worked so hard on yesterday. I'm not typically a really picky, perfectionist type person - but this quilt block is for a top secret project that will soon start making an appearance in the quilting world.
After checking my machine this morning I realized my needle is not centered where it should be for my 1/4" seam allowance. I guess that's why my block center that was supposed to measure 6 1/2" measured just a tad over 6". Well darn. Now - someone explain to me how that could happen when this machine has sat untouched for a month and a half with no use at all. The gremlins attacked my machine just to mess with me.
Finally today I was able to sew on my sewing machine. I managed about an hour of sewing with breaks every 15 minutes or so. It wasn't easy and the project I'm working on turned out a little less than desirable. But guess what ---- I don't care!
The pure bliss of sitting and sewing is just what I needed.
I'm behind on my updates here on my blog of my carpal tunnel journey but that's for another day. I've declared today as a no complaining, no drama, no worries kind of day. And that's good enough for me!
Today, here are some of the pictures I took last week while on my quilting get a way weekend. This will just be a short post today, my hands are really achy and sore today, so I'm going to take it easy. Also - these photos are not the best quality in the world. I didn't bring my good camera because it was just to heavy and hard to hold. So - cell phone to the rescue - even though I was a bit shaky - I'm sure you'll get the idea of the beauty that surrounded us while we sewed and played! Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Last Thursday I headed north to Wisconsin for a quilting weekend with friends. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was able to sew almost everyday on my machine - thanks to having cut out a gazillion tumbler shapes prior to my first surgery!
This pile of tumblers slowly but surely turned into this by Saturday evening!
That's me on the right with all my pieced rows of tumblers behind me. Im proud to say i was able to piece all the rows that i think I'm going to need for this quilt - but i did pay for it on Sunday because I sewed so much on Saturday! I should have taken many more breaks for my hands!
On the left is Pam Buda - of Heartspun Quilts fame - AKA-the brilliant mind behind The Prairie Women's Sewing Circle! That's her tumbler quilt behind her on the left - isn't it cute! You can visit her blog here (link below and look for three posts made on Sept. 26, Sept. 29 and Oct 3) if you've not already been over to visit her there - please do - she's been posting an excellent tutorial on English Paper piecing and I blame her for my current infatuation with hexagons. Those cute little things keep spinning around in my mind - I may just have to go into my sewing studio today and pull out my own current hexi or other paper piecing project (there's about 9 of them in the works, so I could literally take my pick) and start my own form of physical therapy for my hands - I'll call it "fondling my fabric" and work those hand muscles back into shape in no time!
Anyhow - here's the link to Pam's blog - go on over and visit and tell her I said hello!
Here's a picture of our sewing area while in Wisconsin
Here's a picture of my wonderful sleeping area! I felt like a little kid with my own private fortress each night! Loved it!
This is a Blackbird Designs quilt that we all fell in love with and of course had to go searching like mad women on the Internet for the pattern! It was such a treat to view all the gorgeous quilts on display in my friend Lisa's home (The one and only Lisa - you know the one - Queen Mum at Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop!) I'll show you more pictures from her home and all the lovely quilts in another post!
And here is my very own quilt on display at The Primitive Gatherings Quilt shop! That was super exciting seeing it there, right as I walked in the door! They have the patterns for sale and might have a kit too - you'll have to call them and ask! The pattern is called Two Piece Puzzle. 1-920-722-7233
I'm off to see what fun I can get myself into today. I have fabric fondling/physical therapy if I chose and a walk to the library and through the forest preserve on my list today! Such an exciting life I lead!!!!
Last Tuesday the husband and I decided to take advantage of his vacation time and we headed out to Shipshewana, Indiana. It was his first time visiting there - but I am a veteran Shipshewana addict! I love that area and all the rich Amish history that can be found there!
Here's a few photos from our "date day"!
Isn't this quilt gorgeous? Here's another picture:
The pattern for this great quilt is in this book shown above. Stellar Quilts by Judy Martin - excellent book - and I will make this quilt one day!
Ohhhhh and look what I spotted on the shelves at Lolly's Quilt Shop - my book!!! How fun is that! ( very, very exciting and yes I started to cry I was so happy! Happens every time!)
The "great wall'o fabric" at Lolly's.
The fat quarter boat at Lolly's!
Fun candy cane display! So stinking cute I could not resist!
I love old fashioned candy store displays!
Had to make a trip inside Yoder's!
I think I need to go back to Shipshewana and get some of these for my garden next year!
Fell in love with these rockers!
Are these super huge baskets not the cutest thing!
I want one of these for my new quilting studio!
Love the outhouse!
And one tired husband. I love the chair - well and the accessory in it too!
Carpal Tunnel Update
It's been 2 weeks and 2 days since the surgery on my left hand and 2 days since the surgery on my right hand. Everyday is an experience, let me tell ya! I have very little strength right now. Even to brush my teeth is a chore and needs to be thought through beforehand. I have so little strength in my left hand and just cannot use my right hand as of today - I thought this morning I would be better off just squirting toothpaste in my mouth and swishing it around. I'm not kidding.
I drove for the first time since my first surgery last Wednesday. So a week after the left hand and I drove to the store. I did it but I did not enjoy it. I drove about 2 miles to get to the store and personally - I think I needed more strength in my left hand in case of an emergency while driving. Shopping for the few things on the list went fine - got what I was searching for and came back home and happy to be here.
My left hand stitches have now been removed. The area on my hand is very itchy and super sensitive. It's incredible just how sensitive that scar tissue is. My left hands skin is extremely dry also. So Vitamin E oil from the health food store to the rescue! Still a lot of bruising and tenderness on that hand, but I see the bruises disappearing everyday. My thumb area is the most sore and the lower palm area of that hand. Here is a picture of just how dry the skin is on my left hand - yuck warning!
As I said - I'm using Vitamin E oil - if you know of anything better - suggestions are being accepted!
The right hand - just the same as it went for the left hand. The right hand is still extremely swollen today - but oddly enough I have full movement of that thumb with little and very manageable pain.
Bath time with two injured hands - ok that was another memorable experience and I'll spare you the details, but I did survive but it wasn't easy. I think I need to by a bottle of Johnson and Johnson tears free baby shampoo for next time because trying to wash your hair left handed when that hand is still healing and you are a righty - is not fun, let me tell ya!
Getting dressed - forget anything cutesy or foo-foo for this chick for awhile. It's hello baggy jammies for awhile - consider yourself warned if you decide to drop by and surprise visit me or want to "FaceTime" chat! LOL - and forget styling the hair or doing makeup!!!
I attempted to sweep my floors today - forget that! So my dear children as you are reading Mommy's blog today (they do read it you know - when they are extremely bored that is) consider yourselves warned. The dust bunnies are at a high level today and I just cannot take looking at them another day. Today is not a "quick sweep" day - we have to show the dust bunnies who's boss. Your previously, cute finger prints on the bathroom mirror must go today so you have a clean slate to begin with tomorrow. And the dust in the living room - well I left you a little message in the dust on the top of the pie safe it says "Clean Me" - you see that is text messaging..... Mom style.........This sign is for you today my two darling children:
( in my children's defense - they are good kids, they do their assigned chores and earn their allowance weekly - I'm just adding a bit of humor to our daily life!! But our home is in need of a little TLC as I just can't do what I did prior to these surgeries quite yet!)
But on a brighter note - life's still good, I know I will recover and I'm looking forward to doing everything I'm told to do during physical therapy that begins on Oct 18. Everyday I do see improvements and I'm continually amazed at how the human body can heal and how well I can adapt and get things accomplishment with my temporary disabilities. I really do believe that everything in life happens for a reason and for me - I've learned to really appreciate some of the little things in life that I used to take for granted. I also have a better understanding of what people with permanent disabilities go through.
Now I just need to find someone to run to the quilt shop for me to get the latest issue of Sew Scrappy quilts magazine by American Patchwork and Quilting and I'll be perfectly content for an hour or two!
The above saying is what I keep reminding myself of today.
Yesterday I had my carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand and also - the bandages and stitches removed from my left hand. So here are a couple photos of my world.
Right hand all swollen and bandaged.
Left hand all bruised and waiting to have stitches removed yesterday.
Left hand today with the stitches gone and a bit cleaner. My scar looks great and is about a half inch long and extremely itchy and sensitive. Such a small incision for a whole lot of pain! The bruising that remains is a bit painful yet also.
Chat more later - I have so much to share but need to let my "tender" fingers rest a bit!