Is there anybody out there?

Singing in my best Roger Waters voice ;)

I’m back.  I’ve made some changes.  I’ll be sharing.

You’ve been warned :D

Sunday Stash Report

Before I get to the down and dirty, and yeah, it’s sort of bad, this was a great week for me.  Still not up to 100% but I had to really think about it to see how I’m doing.  Almost there.

The only bad part of my week is the flat tire I ended up with Thursday after work.  Mister thinks I got the screw in the parking lot at work since it wasn’t all the way in my tire, nor was it dented up very much.  Of course this created the need to search for a new tire on Friday and the closest one we could find is in Louisiana.  I ended up getting the tire patched and we’re waiting to see what’s happening with a new tire.  This led me to cancel my trip to California in a couple of weeks.  The deadline to get my deposit back – and to mail the balance due – was Friday and I just couldn’t take the chance that the new tire would make it here, or to chance driving there and back on my patch.  I’d already dodged one bullet on my last trip (as a friend so eloquently reminded me) and didn’t feel comfortable taking that chance right now.

On the stitching front, I did work on Elizabeth Sheffield 2-3 times this week.  I’ve been lazy though and haven’t taken a new progress photo.  Need to remedy that before next weekend.

On the quilting front:

*  Son’s Tumbling charms – still waiting on black batting. I need to pick out what quilting design I want to do and see if my friend already has a similar pattern.

*  Tumbler quilt – didn’t touch it this week.

* Civil War Club – tablerunner – didn’t touch it.  That will be remedied after this posts.

*  Celtic Solstice – As mentioned in my last post, I’m participating in Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice mystery quilt (starts Friday after Thanksgiving).  I pulled my stash out and hauled my choices into work since I had 3 oranges and 3 yellows I thought would work.  I bought 1 blue, and several yellow and orange FQs and am happy with what I have to work with.  I’m excited to see how I’m going to be cutting it up.  Many of the blues I’ve had in my stash forever and what I don’t use in this quilt will be cut up for a future nephew quilt, from one of Bonnie’s books.

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* Future DIL’s quilt – bought an 8-yard bolt of fabric this week for background (and possibly backing).

* Scrappy Irish Chain – for me.  Bought 5 yards of the background fabric.

* Camille Bag – this is one of the classes that I’ve signed up for.  I found the perfect focus fabric but am waiting a bit for the lining and straps.

In addition to the project purchases I also added a couple of cuts of neutrals, one cut of red, and – woooo boy! – 1/2-yard cuts of all of Pam Buda’s American Gothic fabrics (link is to her blog post).

Fabric added this week :   29  1/8
Fabric out this week :  0
Fabric added this year (April – present):  178  7/8
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

Move along, nothing to see here

My life has been blessedly boring of late!

My first half-day back to work about killed me, but not near as much as my first full-day back.  I was so tired that night I almost cried.  But the next morning when I got up I was fine, so I knew I was going to eventually get over it.  The second full-day back I realized about 2 hours from closing that I was just then getting tired.  Next day, no problems at all.  Yay for recovery!  I still have a couple of sore “spots” but they’re slowly going away.

The only purchase I’ve made the past couple of weeks was a new-to-me book.  Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.  I was at the shop yesterday looking over the upcoming classes list and meeting a friend for lunch.  A new quilt had been put up since I worked on Thursday and it was from this book.  There are 18 quilts in it and they’re all from 2 1/2″ strips.

So the numbers from my last Sunday Stash Report remain the same.

Fabric added this week :  0
Fabric out this week :  0
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

I’m waiting on backordered black batting for Son’s Quilt.  I added one more row to Niece’s tumbler quilt.  I got the hourglass blocks sewn together last Saturday, but discovered, while looking at a photo I took, that one row is wrong so I’ll be unsewing and fixing that.  I still haven’t cut the fabric for future-DIL’s quilt, or my own!  I do have fabric on hold for the background of my quilt, so next week I’ll be adding fabric to my stash report.

But I’ll also be pulling fabric since I’ve decided to participate in Bonnie Hunter’s upcoming mystery.  I went to Lowe’s Friday and pulled her paint chips but I also pulled some in the same colorway but darker in tone since that’s more me.  I’m keeping her orange, though.  Nothing dreary.  I figure this will probably be a perfect quilt for one of the nephews.

I need to get busy!  I’m headed back to Cali in a couple of weeks for a needlework retreat and trying to decide whether or not I want to bring my machine, the tumbler quilt, and maybe a JMLW project or 3.  Decisions, decisions.  I’ll be visiting with Son for 3 days prior to that so everything would be in the trunk of my car during then and I don’t know if I feel safe leaving it there.  LOL

 

Sunday Sewing and Stash Report

I had my post-op appointment with the surgeon this week.  I’ve pretty much been released to do whatever I want as long as I listen to my body and rest during the day.  Woohoo!  There won’t be any problem with the listening portion since I can tell when it’s time to rest and have had no problem taking a nap.  I sort of immediately nod off when it’s time ;)  Tomorrow is another doctor appointment and hopefully I’ll be on the track to normal again after that one.  I do get to start back to work, part-time, on Tuesday.

I also sewed this past week.  I had a Tumbler Quilt class on Thursday evening and went in early to buy the fleece for my design wall and get it cut and sewn together.  I used it that evening too, and it’s currently rolled up with the beginnings of the Tumbler Quilt.  I was exhausted when I got home since it’s the first time I’ve bent over that much (it was all spread out on the floor and the shop owner did the majority of the moving around for me since I still can’t get down that far.  LOL).  Mister is out of school Monday and Tuesday and I’m hoping he can help me get it hung up.  Here’s what the quilt looks like so far (it will be going to my niece):

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I also attended my first Civil War Club meeting on Friday morning.  We are working on the majority of the items in The Blue and The Grey and our first project is a tablerunner.  Most of the other ladies left after noon, but since I had my machine set up (still there from Thursday evening) I finished sewing all my hourglass blocks together.  I was worn out when I got home.

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This weekend is my Virtual Quilting Retreat (email me if you’re interested) and I have so far spent the time squaring up the hourglass blocks and have started sewing them into rows, and then those rows being pieced together.

Here are a few of the blocks on one of the border fabrics.

2013-10-12 11.56.34

If this gets finished I’ll be working more on the tumblers.

I did purchase fabric this week, but only the border fabric for the tablerunner :D

Fabric added this week :  1/3
Fabric out this week :  7  3/8
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

Last, but not least, here’s a progress photo of my Elizabeth Sheffield reproduction sampler.  Still loving her, and working on her most evenings.

2013-10-09 21.55.36

Sunday Stash Report

Fabric added numbers for this report are kinda scary.  ;)  It should back off some again though.  Hopefully I’m able to start sewing again tomorrow, and since I’m probably going to have another week (or maybe two) before my surgeon releases me, I’ll get Son’s flimsy done and can start cutting on my niece’s (and FDIL’s?) quilt).

Fabric added 9/2 – 9/27 :  45  1/8
Fabric out 9/2 – 9/27 :  2  1/4
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/8
Fabric out this year (April – present):  44  1/8

A full month – a long post

and I’m not just talking about it being almost a full month since I’ve blogged.  This month has been full from a great many areas!

I bought the border, binding, and backing fabric for Son’s Falling Charms quilt.  We were busy in the shop that day so I didn’t get a chance to take a picture.  Since Son’s quilt is predominantly black, including the black batik I bought for the backing, I’m going to use black batting, and that needs to be ordered (waiting for Shop Hop to be over). I’m going to use a separate post to add in/subtract out the fabric I’ve added (ahem) since my last Sunday Stash Report.

I also bought the batting I needed for Caramel Corn.  I think I’m going to love using it.  It’s specially made for tablemats, and runners, meaning it’s narrow, and is very thin.

Prior to my trip Whittle’s Fabrics put their Mourning Grays on sale for $5.00 a yard so I bought several 1/2-yard cuts.  They arrived the day before I left and with everything that’s been going on with me this month, I just opened the package this morning.

1/2yd Mourning Grays & Purples

1/2yd Mourning Grays & Purples

Then it was off to California to stay with my friend Darla, and get to visit with my friend Melissa.  I left early Thursday morning (9/5) and got there around 3 p.m.  Melissa was able to meet us for dinner that night and it was so good to get some quality hugs from those two!

I had scheduled my trip to fall during the first weekend of the month so I could attend Stitchy Saturday at the needlework shop.  For reasons I can’t remember it was canceled for September and October, so I mentioned to Darla, prior to my arrival, that I wanted to find a quilt shop to visit instead to purchase some fabric for my upcoming Civil War Club quilt.  I brought my The Blue and The Gray book (which I proceeded to leave behind on my bed!  LOL)

I had no idea that Darla and her mom  were quilters.  I had the cutest quilt on my bed.  Darla mapped out a 7-shop Shop Hop for us so Friday morning we got up, went out for a great breakfast and headed out to burn the town down.  A few shops into our Hop I found one that had a copy of my left-behind book and was pleased to see that for once my memory had hung in there long enough for me to get what I needed ;)

One of the shops had closed down (so sad), and one of the shops was a dye-your-own-fabric business (they let us come in and walk around and it was fascinating in a warehouse sort of way), but the other 5 didn’t let me down.  One in particular has several older Jo Morton fabrics and I half-filled a new frequent shopper punch card for Darla with my purchase.  LOL

Here are some snaps:

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Most of the shirtings, the browns, and the reds, will be going into my Civil War Club quilt.  The rest is going into my stash ;)

I was so worried prior to my trip that I wouldn’t get to visit with Melissa since she’s on the backside of finishing up her college courses for graduation, and her job has been a little crazy.  She had some down-time Saturday morning so met us for breakfast at IHOP.  I had never been there, and I love breakfast food for any meal of the day.  I ended up ordering a chicken fried steak breakfast since it was getting close to lunch time and figured I would just not be eating again until dinner.  There was so much food and no way was I able to eat it all.  It was very good, though, and I know I ate more than I should have, as witnessed by my WW point tracking!  LOL

Darla had a storage facility that we planned a trip to so she could pick up her Hannah Beeby sampler.  One of our stops the day before was to a fairly new needlework shop and they were having a framing sale so we were hoping to get Hannah over there.  Not long after we left IHOP (I was driving) I began to have a really sharp pain under my left breast.  I can be a drama queen, but I have to tell you I had never hurt this bad, this fast, in my life.  Bam, it was there.  It was hard to breathe, and sweat was running down my face, from the pain.  I ended up sitting in the car while she went into her storage and looked for the sampler (which she couldn’t find!).  I felt if I could just sit and relax for a bit it would go away so asked Melissa if we could follow her to her house  and hang out for a little while and visit before she had to hit the books again.  During the drive to her house, just like that, the pain disappeared!  I even called her and asked where the nearest Starbucks was and she said she knew I must be feeling better if I wanted Starbucks.  :lol:

At the end of our visit, Melissa brought out fabric, that she had purchased to take her first quilt class, and gave it to me.  Such a beautiful surprise!  I remember when she signed up for it several years ago, but either illness or something from work, kept her from taking it.

Backing, border, and binding

Backing, border, and binding

FQs for blocks (pattern is Yellow Brick Road)

FQs for blocks (pattern is Yellow Brick Road)

Sunday it bothered me again off and on, but nothing major, more just a reminder that it had happened.  Monday morning, we got up and headed to Downtown Disney for chicory (for me) and beignets for breakfast and I left from there to head to Son’s house.

The first time I saw the ocean as I was driving down the coast I started crying and immediately thought to myself that I had made a huge mistake in moving to Arizona.  I love the ocean.  If we ever win the lottery we’ll be buying a cottage there.

It was so good to see Son and get a squeeze hug from him.  He looks so good and I can tell he’s been doing very well.  We headed downtown to eat on the beach (fish and chips) and it was nice to sit and talk with him and walk along the pier and watch the surfers and sea gulls, and of course the people!  We decided to just head back to his house and visit (we had originally planned to go to the movies) and I encouraged him to do his laundry since I knew Monday was his only day off.  It was fun just sitting there and listening to everything that’s been going on with him and his future plans.

After his roommate got home from work Son decided he was taking us out to dinner at a place his friends had been raving about one of the appetizers.  We headed over to my hotel to get me checked in, the boys brought my suitcase up, and we hung out there for a few minutes to make sure the A/C was going to work properly.   I have eaten at the steak house a few times and knew the rest of the food was good, too, so I had only a couple of bites of the appetizer (which really was delicious) and had a petite prime rib, baked potato and salad for dinner.  Not a ton of food plus I didn’t eat everything on my plate, but about 1/2 an hour after we were back at his house I started to feel ill again.  This time it was a gradual build up.  I was leaving really early the next morning so left Son’s around 8:30 and immediately went to bed.  My pain work me up a couple of times, but again never as severe as it was the first time, and it was gone the next morning.

Tuesday morning I got up at 5:30, showered, checked out of my room, hit the local Starbucks I used to go to all the time, topped off my car with gas, sent Son a text, called Mister and hit the road.  It was way too early for breakfast and I didn’t feel hungry at all.  I’ve traveled this route enough times to know where the rest stops and safe to stop places are, plus it gives me a good routine to stretch my legs.  I was home before 2 p.m and even beat Mister home from his classes.

I was tired when I got up Wednesday morning so skipped Bag Ladies, but had to go to a pre-Shop Hop meeting at work that evening to learn how to do our demonstration.  Thursday I worked, Saturday we had dinner out with Annette and family.  Prior to that I had been texting her about my stomach issues and she suggested I try something like Pepcid AC.  I thought it was working but after a couple of days it stopped and I continued to have flair ups, but only after evening meal. Sunday I went to Sampler Sunday at Attic.

Tuesday the 17th I worked and managed to get the borders cut for Son’s quilt (I need to buy a wider ruler!) and fabric bought for future-DILs quilt

24FQ of various Bonnie & Camille fabrics

24FQ of various Bonnie & Camille fabrics

Thursday (19th) as I was leaving for work I noticed water on the garage floor and the driveway.  I called Mister, who had left an hour prior to that and he hadn’t noticed anything.  Some time during that hour the hot water heater had decided to commit suicide.  Mister ended up coming home and calling a repair person who was able to meet him after his other class so he only had to miss one.  I stressed off and on all afternoon about what was going on but because he was in class (and I didn’t know this) I couldn’t reach him.  We were busy getting the shop ready for Friday’s Shop Hop opening.  I had a regular lunch and had a few slices of apple and almost immediately the pain started building. I thought maybe it was heartburn because of the stress of home and work, but I decided I might want to go to the doctor.  It proceeded to get worse as the day went on, but I stayed an hour after closing to help out, then headed home.  The Minick & Simpson MidWinter Reds pre-cuts came in the day before so I got to bring home a FQ Bundle that I had requested.  It’s going to be turned into a scrappy Irish Chain for me using a pattern in Bonnie Hunter’s Adventures With Leaders and Enders book.

Minick & Simpson Midwinter Reds FQ Bundle

Minick & Simpson Midwinter Reds FQ Bundle

That night we had dinner around 6:30 and I went to bed at 8:30 and as the night progressed it got so bad that I was panting trying to breathe and pacing every 30 minutes to an hour trying to get it to stop plus had thrown up.  When Mister got up to feed the dogs Friday morning at 6 I asked him to come back upstairs while I showered and then asked him to take me to the ER.

We have a small 35-private room hospital by us and because it’s so small it didn’t take very long to have a nurse check me in and a doctor see me.  She immediately put me on oxygen and started a drip of morphine for the pain.  After asking a few questions about prior surgeries, how long I’d been in pain, etc., she said “If we send you home today…” and I immediately accepted that it was something serious.  Over the course of the morning and into early afternoon she was in and out of my room encouraging me to have as much pain relief as I needed and talking to me about her various suspicions.  I had originally gone back by myself but sometime during all that she brought Mister back so I sort of turned off my brain at that point and she began to talk mostly to Mister about what was going on.  Even with the morphine they were pumping into me I still had pain, but I had stopped panting to breathe.  She sent me down for a CT Scan, that confirmed I had a very infected gallbladder (which got me a huge dose of penicillin in my drip) that was 3x the size it should have been and inside was a golf-ball sized stone.  She consulted with the surgeon who had an ultrasound made (which I got to see) and the next thing I knew I was being wheeled down the hall to be prepped for surgery.

With the exception of the surgeon – who needs to practice on his bedside manners – every single person in that hospital treated me like a princess from the time I got there to the time I left.  I spent a good long time talking to Jeremy the anesthesiologist guy about my allergies and how I can go about being tested for confirmation.  At one point I had 3 people pulling and tugging on me and said “Stop!” and they did.  I explained to them that they were all coming at me at once and sort of freaking me out.  They apologized and took turns explaining what they were doing/needed to do to get me into surgery and it helped tremendously.  I was so thankful that they listened to me since I felt like I was going into a panic attack.  After surgery not a single person came in to see me that didn’t stay for a bit and chat, including the sweet lady who delivered my breakfast the next morning because she wanted to be sure that I liked what I ordered, and Hugo who cleaned my room from top to bottom.  The two nurses I had (one male, one female) were extremely good and their support staff great as well.

So it’s been a week.  Yesterday I ventured out to sit in the car while Mister dropped off something at the PO, sat in Staples and waited to turn 3 quilt books in to have them spiral bound, went to the shop to get my Shop Hop Passport stamped ;) and visit with my coworkers (it was so nice to see their faces), and then out to lunch.  I needed a 2-hour nap when I got home but it was fantastic to be out of the house and get to talk to people again.  After a couple of really rough days I’m feeling so much better and started cutting my pain meds back to 1/2 dose yesterday.  Other than a quick sit yesterday this is the first day I’ve been back in my craft room and it feels nice to play with the fabric.

My nails look like crap from all the tape that’s been on them. I discovered shaving my legs is a contortion sport – yeah, I should have waited, since I ended up sitting on the side of the tub for 15 minutes afterward trying to get my legs to stop shaking so I could stand. I’m covered in bruises from the 4 different IVs and a blood draw, I have 2 2-3″ incisions, and 2 punctures from the laparoscopic part of the surgery and 1 puncture from the drain I had to have because of all the infection (which fortunately they removed before I left the hospital).  I am a hot mess, but I can finally hold a thought longer than a second and I’m not shaking all the time.  I’m just about over the what-ifs, since the surgeon told Mister after surgery that it was very infected and I’m lucky it didn’t burst during my trip, or worse, on the 6-hr drive back by myself through the desert.

The upside.  It’s gone and I don’t have to worry about it bothering me again.  I left the hospital on a low-fat diet,  and am down 8+ pounds from Monday (I was up 4#s from all the IV drips, etc. on Monday).  LOL  Mister has been the best male nurse, woke me up when I needed to take my meds, cooked, went to the grocery store, kept up with the laundry for the most part and fussed at me for trying to do too much too soon.  Jasper has been my other good male nurse plastering himself to my side in bed at night and not moving once. Harley has thought I smelt funny though and not had much to do with me.  The hard part of that is I can’t pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds which means I haven’t been able to pick them up and hold them and of course it hurts for them to sit in my lap anyway.  Plus it was near impossible to get up and down from the couch until a couple of days ago.  I’ve watched more TV that I can’t remember over the past week, but hopefully that’s over.  I’m supposed to be able to start driving again on Monday and then the next Tuesday is my follow-up surgeon appointment and hopefully he’ll be telling me I can go back to work.

I’m ready to sew again!  Especially after fondling my fabrics this morning for their photo shoots.  Oh and I may have bought 3 new quilt books but I’ll save them to share another day.

My nurse is calling and it’s time for lunch and my medicine ;)

Sunday Stash Report & a Flimsy or Two

Last Sunday, during my Virtual Quilt Retreat, I finished up the 6-1/2″ signature squares for my block.  Woohoo!

Yesterday, with the exception of the borders, I finished piecing Son’s Falling Charms quilt.  I have an additional 2 rows pieced that will go into the backing, plus another 4 blocks that will go into the border.  I have it folded up and stashed away to take to work with me on Tuesday so I can put it up for a photo-op, and pick out border and backing fabrics, and grab some batting.  I have a feeling I’ll continue with the plain black, though.  I’ll share the photo Tuesday or Wednesday.

Then this morning, I pieced together my JMLW Caramel Corn.   I have the backing and binding picked out from my stash, I just need to grab some batting on Tuesday for it as well, so the binding and backing fabric will come out of next week’s stash report.   I’m not completely happy with the placement of the blocks, but this was the first time I have appliqued anything, and the blocks are on point.  Two lessons in a tiny quilt.  I can see myself making this one again, in a table topper size.

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So between the signature squares and Son’s quilt I did rather well in the “fabric out” department this week :)

Fabric added this week: 0
Fabric out this week:  7  1/4
Fabric added this year (April – present):  104  1/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  41  7/8

Remember that black fabric?

After hanging out with Stephanie Plum, Katniss Everdeen, and Buffy, it looks like this!

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This is a very poor photo and after I walked around all over it making sure my blocks  weren’t duplicated.  Let me tell you, before I even start cutting the next quilt, I will be putting a design wall together.  It about killed my back laying that out on my bedroom floor!

Here’s a better shot on the diagonal

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There are a few blocks over on the left that I’ll be piecing into the backing.

Without borders it’s at 72″ square.

Now I have to go pick it all back up and start piecing it together!

I completed a project

The Virtual Quilting Retreat this past weekend proved very successful for me.  I managed to complete all of the 56 signature swap blocks!  I have now proclaimed myself an expert at flying geese and will just put it out there that I would not have been able to make them so excellent without my Wing Clipper I ruler by Deb Tucker.

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In October, I will be joining the Civil War Club at A Quilter’s Oasis.  We will be making all but one of the quilts from The Blue and the Gray book by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene.  The first item we’re making is full of hourglass blocks and we’ll be using the Tucker Trimmer I, and I can’t wait!  I plan on adding the Wing Clipper II to my tool stash a little down the road.

I’ve spent this morning tidying my sewing room, and cleaning off my cutting table, and now there is a 4-yards piece of black Kona cotton waiting to be cut into 2 1/2″ strips for Son’s quilt.  You can see the plaids I’m using in the background.  I thought about cutting it on my AccuQuilt but since it’s Son’s quilt I’ve decided to cut it all by hand.

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Sunday Stash Report

I ended up not buying any fabric at my JMLW Club meeting since I already own 1/2-yard cuts of the line the instructor used in her sample quilt; however, my quilt store marked several bolts of repro fabric down 40% and I bought 2 EOBs and 2 2-yard cuts from some of them.  They’ll make excellent backings for some of my smaller quilts in my WIP pile.  That purchase pushed me over the 100 yards in point.

Yesterday’s Virtual Quilt Retreat got off to a slow start for me since I had an almost forgotten pedicure appointment.  I managed to finish 7 blocks though and am back at it this morning.

Fabric added this week:  7  3/8
Fabric out this week: 1  1/4
Fabric added this year (April – present):  104  1/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  34  5/8

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