Thursday, March 24, 2011

One arm activities

It has been a productive week even though I just have one real arm that works.  Rotator cuff tear and repair is no fun especially since it is my right shoulder.  I had the same surgery three years ago on my left and as my hubby says, "honey, aren't you glad you only have two shoulders?"  This one seems to have more issues with pain in the bicep.  Starting PT earlier is also giving me something to ice about.
Last Friday some friends and I met for coffee and then went over to the Pin Cushion for Fat Quarter Frenzy.  I really practiced self control and only picked out two alikes to make some cute dresses for little M.  After we shopped my friends came over to trim up some squares so I could make more spinwheels for the Spoof quilt.  I just love the batik squares.  Pam also cut some sashing strips for the Woodland Holidays quilt top.  I did some stitching of 9 blocks today.
I don't think I have pictured the lastest hat I designed for M.  Can hardly wait to see it on her.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time out for organization

It is quite frustrating to have time to quilt but not having the physical ability to quilt for very long at a time.  I am able to stitch things as long as it doesn't weigh too much and I can keep my right hand in front of me by my chest.  I am unable to cut and I am learning to press with my left hand and arm.  I never realized how much our shoulder is involved in everyday arm and hand movements.  Oh well, I will survive.
In the meantime, I asked my man to place all of my Christmas/holiday/winter fabric into the master bedroom so I could sit on the floor and sort pieces into plastic tubs for more organized storage in the hall closet.  I bought the plastic tubs that stand about 8 inches deep and are about 16 by 24 inches rectagularly from WalMart.  I am using old conference plastic name badge holders to label the tubs.  I used to use permanent marker and write on the tub but this way I can designate the storage without permanence.  I sit with the ice on my shoulder and am inspired with projects that will lend to my organizational realm.  Consequently, two drawers, one box and a small three drawer chest were consolidated into four tubs.  One tub has all of my Christmas fat quarters, one has primarily red and green large pieces, one tub has coordinated fabrics for projects, and the final tub has smaller cuts in all colors.  I still have one small drawer in the chest that has bits and pieces (scraps).
Also today I took better stock of my UFOs.  I realized I have projects that I have not even started and was listing them as unfinished.  That is really disgusting!  I have enough UFOs that I don't need to add the purchased but not started projects also. 
The show and tell at Saturday Sampler was amazing.  I admire the colors and work of talented people.  The "ooo and ahhhh" meter is fun.  I decided I would finish one queen size quilt before next Saturday Sampler (April 9) and one table runner for my dining room.  I spent some time today laying out the grid for the Wildflowers blocks that we made for the scholarship quilt and what I wanted to add to make the top big enough for our bed.  I am making thirteen pinwheel blocks to add.  I don't know what I will make for the runner but I have significant stash to use.  I also have to finish one diaper bag, 10 squares for benefit quilt, and one star block for a project I read about on one of my favorite blogs  There I have set my goal and will probably be able to spend about an hour each day (since I am on leave from work) quilting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

No names to protect the . . .

So, I suggest to a friend, we get together and try to complete the first block of our new Saturday Sampler since we both quit last year's cause it "was way too difficult" for us beginners.  This new pattern is very straight forward and could not look simpler on paper.  Now remember, I am on "drugs" for the pain after shoulder surgery so all I am good for is reading and pinning.  My visiting nurse, dear little sister-in-law, is not a quilter but we arm her with the iron (what can she mess us with that) and eventually to assist with project, the rotary cutter (I know that is not safe practice for beginner).  Quilting friend is at the machine.  Well I can't remember how the bobbin goes without sitting down in front of maching and I am hooked up to the Polar Ice Machine so we maneuver until we get the machine threaded with white thread instead of red.  Then I begin to read and sort out the batiks squares and discern what is considered light and what is considered dark and then get our two sets of batik squares fully integrated (that could be disaster but didn't seem so at the time).  We commence work and get a real system going.  Do step number 1 for both blocks and begin step two.  Seems like step 2 is a repeat of step one, just using different color blocks.  Well, that is when the "drug stupor" kicked in because if I had been in a better mental state, I would have notices I had underlined "DO NOT TRIM" in the directions and thus things went down hill from there.  We laughed and played frogy "rippit-rippit" but as we all know, once we have trimmed, we have trimmed.  Cindy's voice came back to me, "if you mess up don't come into the shop and ask for more fabric cause . . ."  Let us just say "Block #1 is finished.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Makin' for Magdalyn

I finished this little beret for her out of some very fine soft wool yarn last week.  I think the red really sets off those dark blue eyes.  I am planning to stitch up a little dress out of some fabric Allison found on clearance in the quilt shop that is moving.  I think we used to call them pillowcase dresses, actually my mom made some summer tops for me from bandana handkerchiefs.  I can just see an Amy Butler print with grossgrain ribbon on this little chic!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunshine and Snow Plops

I am working in the great room a few feet from the skylight.  Every now and again, the snow drops from the upper roof to the lower roof of our great room and a loud plop alarms the dog and cat.  It is enough to awaken the dead.  I am sitting in the sun doing the work I can do while waiting for tomorrow.  Doctor asked that I not visit any schools today as we have a tremendous amount of influenza cases and she doesn't want me to be exposed before surgery.  I am really able to catch up on some necessary details and reading which is good.
I knitted a bonnet for Magdalyn while I was watching the Oscars last night.  I am just so in love with PINK.  I found the sparkly rose in DC and just knew I could make a darling hat for our little angel to wear.  I wish I knew where I bought the ribbon like yarn.  The ruffly brim will frame her face.  I will ask Allison to take a picture so you can see it too.
I tried to make some blocks for a Benevolent Project on Saturday but the iron is too heavy to lift.  I will have to take advantage of the help offered by friends to finish the blocks.  The quilt will be all batiks and the pattern is called Roll On.  From the looks of just one block, I think it will be delightful.  The cream batik will be used by all 8 of us making blocks and the other batiks come from stash.  A high school group of students who work on creating skits regarding issues will sell tickets to raise money so they can get additional training for their work.  The group is called "Spoof".
I seem to be able to knit with my lame shoulder.  We'll see if I can after surgery.  If not, I will just read and try to relax.  Vince is working on our new table for the great room.  We designed an intimate size for us to enjoy time together while we share a bowl of oatmeal or soup.  He loves using hand tools for his wood working.  We are a "crafty" pair.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

D@&$ Rotator Cuff

I went upstairs to my clean quilting room to try to do some work and I can't even lift the iron due to the tear in the rotatro cuff.  I will persist tomorrow as if I can atleast sew the binding on some boutique burpees, I could do the hand work after the surgery on Tuesday.  I though of yet another UFO, I have started a "present" pattern lap quilt I need to add to the list. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Far Too Long

I have been knitting and doing a little quilting but it seems the shoulder will not allow me to lift the iron to press so I don't get too much done without pain.  I have set a goal to complete many unfinished objects folded neatly in the quilting room.  Last month Vince and I moved shelving around and added some shelves to the closet off my quilting room and I did a major cleaning job.  I decided I would not buy any fabric unless I needed it to finish a UFO.  I must stick with this.  Sew. . . this is a start to the list:  a diaper bag for Cathy's daughter-in-law (the baby was born last week, oops), a beautiful Woodland greetings quilt for our bed (the charm packs were a gift from a friend who knows I love cardinals), the Christmas star blocks from a share-a-block project need to be put together into a quilt, the Wildflowers blocks from a share-a-block project need to be put together into a quilt, and now I have started the Saturday Sampler at the Pin Cushion and must complete my block each month (I selected the batik colorway).  That is a start.  I am going to add a picture of Magdalyn in the dress I knit for her first Valentine's Day.  She is eight months old.