Category Archives: Samplers – Repro

Hello to the middle of December

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and right now, except for one tiny glitch, I can say that’s true.

I have been very productive with needle and thread, both at the sewing machine and in hand.

Yesterday was one of my twice-monthly sew-togethers with my local group and I worked mainly on my Bonnie Hunter Step 3 4-patches.

Here’s my progress photos to date.
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Part 1: 221/221
Part 2: 100/100
Part 3: 10/168

Today should see the finish of my purple 4-patches.

When I’m caught up on my Parts, I am cutting/preparing for the Midnight Flight class I’m taking next month. There is a class info sheet that tells us how much to bring to class (instead of enough for a whole quilt) so I’ve been pulling fabrics and cutting. I am taking more than I need so I can hopefully swap some with other attendees. I have my constant red cut, and changed the orange to a yellow. I’m also not including any purple and using blues only. I think I may be buying a couple of 1/4 cuts before then as I’d like a little more royal to go with my navy.
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As to my stitching, I know I said in my last post that I was going to do a separate post about my Year of WIPs Challenge status, but I think instead of spending more time on this computer writing a post, I’ll just do a photo update in my dedicated tab up top. I am still loving the 10 hour rotation with the focus being on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I am now spending less time stitching than before, but I knew that was going to happen so chose the number of WIPs accordingly. So far I think I made great choices. The bit success right now is that I finished And They Sinned. Woohoo!

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She’s a big girl! That countertop is 5 feet long 😀 If you click on the picture, it’ll turn right side up, but it was hard to get it to focus because of the size.

The glitch I first mentioned is my HarleyQuinn had to have surgery this past Monday to remove a large hematoma from a back leg. She has 3 layers of stitches (because her skin is so thin) and the layer I can see I counted 7. While she was under the doctor went ahead and removed 7 other places and all but one of those just required 1 stitch (the other one required 2). So now we’re nursing her. Pain pills, anti inflamatory/pain pill, liquid antibiotics every 12 hours. No overactiveness, which means carrying her up and down the stairs. In other words spoiling her more than usual, which is a lot already.

This picture is of her staring at me the night before because she’s starving (she’s always starving, just ask her).
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and here she is all snuggled up between dad’s legs after we brought her home. She was drunker than Cooter Brown, and we worry she’ll flop herself off the sofa.
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Today she’s back to her sassy self, and is more work to keep her from dancing and prancing. She’ll have to have 24/7 babysitting until the stitches are removed. We do have a care-collar for her, but if we keep her with us she shouldn’t have to wear it. Fortunately Mister is out of school, and neither of us have any plans to be anywhere together that can’t be cancelled or rescheduled for a later date.

Year of WIPs Challenge

And we’re off!  I did get brave and created a YouTube photo video.

Here’s what I settled on for stitching, along with the progress photo as of Sep 30.  Click to see full photo.

Scarlet Letter – Gratitude

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Mirabilia – Fairy Moon

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Examplar Dames – And They Sinned

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Carriage House Samplings – Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

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Mirabilia – Garden Verses

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Goode Huswife – Book of Spells

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Blue Ribbon Designs – An Expression of Gratitude

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Plum Street – Hurt Not the Earth

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Scarlett House – Coverlet Candle Mat

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Little House Needleworks – Needleworker

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This was actually my plane project for last week’s trip since it’s on 30 ct.

Mill Hill – Log Cabin Quilt

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This was my first project to work on. I finished 10 hours last night.  Love how it’s turning out but ended up having to unstitch  about 2 hours worth because of mixing up the blues.  Blah!

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For now I’ll focus on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow and stitch it every 4th project.  I’ll be creating a tab at the top to track progress.

Now I need to figure out what I want to stitch on next!

My quilting buddies are returning starting this week and I’m looking forward to returning to sewing with them.  I’ll decide on my quilt/sewing WIPs once I figure out how often I’ll be sewing.

WIP Challenge 2016-2017

I did something that has caused me to dig through this:

I know if I start digging through here I will soon have 50 WIPs.

My BFF mentioned a few days ago that she was going to participate in a WIP Challenge, where you finished 12 or so WIPs.  I didn’t fully understand how it would work since it was starting October 1, plus I have some huge WIPs and know I can’t stitch 12 of them in a year (on top of the sewing I want to get done) so I sort of filed it away in the back of my mind.

I was watching her latest flosstube and she brought it up again so I went hunting for more information and became intrigued.  I think it’s completely doable!  The gist is you stitch 10-15 WIPs by the end of December 2017.  The boss lady of the challenge states that as long as they have 1 stitch in them come October 1, 2016, they’re WIPs.

I wanted to divide my 10 items by older WIPs and newer WIPs, so my list looks like this right now:

  1. Scarlet Letter – Gratitude
  2. Mirabilia – Fairy Moon
  3. Examplar Dames – And They Sinned
  4. Carriage House Samplings – Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
  5. Goode Huswife – Book of Spells
  6. Blue Ribbon Designs – Expressions of Gratitude
  7. Plum Street – Hurt Not the Earth
  8. Scarlett House – Coverlet Candle Mat
  9. LHN – Needleworker
  10. Mill Hill – Log Cabin

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow and And They Sinned are my two largest WIPs.  I had already decided to go back to rotating through 4-5 projects at a time, and now I’m trying to decide if I want to go back to stitching in 10 hour increments on a design and then switching out or stitch for a week on something and switch out on Monday.  Either way I intend to focus on Houses or ATS.  So my weekly rotation may look like this:

  • Oct 1-2 Book of Spells
  • Oct 3-9 HOHRH
  • Oct 10-16 Needleworker
  • Oct 17-23 Expressions of Gratitude
  • Oct 24-30 Book of Spells
  • Oct 31-Nov 6 HOHRH
  • Nov 7-13 Coverlet Candle Mat
  • Nov 14-20 Gratitude
  • Nov 21-27 Fair Moon
  • Nov 28-Dec 4 And They Sinned
  • Dec 5-11 HOHRH
  • and so on until HOHRH is finished, then move ATS into that spot

Now that I have it written out this may be the better way to go.  If I decide to do the time version it’ll be something like

10 hours HOHRH
10 hours Book of Spells
10 hours Needleworker
10 hours Expressions of Gratitude
10 hours HOHRH
10 hours Coverlet Mandle Mat
etc…..

We’ve been paired off with another member of the group and required to send monthly post cards as a way to encourage and get to know each other.  I’m also excited about this as I’ve been sort of considering writing to someone once a month as a way to communicate.

Now I just need to figure in some quilting/sewing time and pull a couple of large WIPs and small WIPs and do my own quilting/sewing challenge during that time too.

And, I need to get this all down in my journal by September 30.

 

Dear Diary

I’m sorry to have been neglecting you.  It’s all this boy’s fault.  I have had an amazing summer hanging out by the pool with a cold beer, going to the movies, out to swanky restaurants, socializing with all the new friends I’ve made, but now he’s gone back to school and I have time to catch up with you and get all my summer secrets down.

Back to my regularly scheduled schedule!  Yay!

Over the past several weeks I have been spending a shit-ton of time in my Lady Lounge, Woman Cave, Sewing Room, whatever the heck everyone’s calling it these days.  Lately I have felt like calling it Dungeon.

Since I moved here almost five years ago, during the summer I normally sew until the air conditioner kicks on then I head downstairs to spend the rest of my day sitting on my rear end stitching and reading.  This summer, nope!  We really have had time out of the house, but the time in has been spent on daily chores, stitching, and reading.  I can’t remember the last time I unpacked my sewing machine.

Because….

I have not been able to settle in since I painted and reorganized!!!  I feel like I have stuff spread out all over the place.  I have tons of shelves and boxes and buckets, so I have plenty of storage space, but I evidently haven’t been using it wisely because I feel like things are lost, forgotten, and hard to put my hands on.

I had all these plans to start selling excess cross stitch over the summer – that I sorted out when I pulled everything for painting – that I know I’ll never get around to stitching because I’ve either lost interest in the item, it’s no longer something I like, the designer pissed me off, etc.  I am my own LNS.  Here’s proof positive of how much I don’t need.  Boxes, boxes, and piles of stuff to be sold.  Trust me when I tell you that is just a drop in the bucket.  😀

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This past weekend I had dinner out with my partner in crime, Annette, and we talked about stash diving because there was something we knew we had but couldn’t find it.  I have started bullet journaling and wanted to add in my WIPs and get back to some type of rotation, and I was sharing with her that I was procrastinating listing them because I couldn’t decide whether to just start writing them down, or to go through each one and sort them by either how old they are, or how close they were to being finished.

When we started talking about retiring I knew I would have no where near the funds I would want to kit up certain things with all the lovely silks there are out there so I gradually began doing that.  I have 2 large fold-back-top Rubbermaid containers that contained some of my WIPs and some of my kitted items (either by myself, or purchased that way).

I finally bit the bullet and started digging through them today.  Here’s what I found in the WIP department

  1. Peacock Tapestry – Teresa Wentzler
  2. Letting Go (Lusk) – HAED
  3. Ann Holewll Sampler – The Examplarery
  4. Quaker RR
  5. Dimples Bugs RR
  6. French Alphabet Sampler (I forgot I put it in there!)
  7. Castle Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  8. The Fortunate Traveler – Teresa Wentzler
  9. Earthdancer – Butternut Road
  10. Tapestry Cat – Teresa Wentzler
  11. Sleeping Beauty – Mirabilia
  12. Patchwork Pieces – Nutmeg Needle
  13. Asian Garden – Odds n Ins
  14. Lady of the Flag – Mirabilia
  15. Tsunami Sampler – Stickideen von der Wiehenburg
  16. Christmas Elegance – Mirabilia
  17. Peace – The Silver Lining
  18. Christmas Wreath – Teresa Wentzler
  19. Topiary – Teresa Wentzler
  20. Garden Trellis Box – Linda Driskell from Just Cross Stitch magazine.

In one box!  I know there are more because I have a beautiful chest downstairs that my friend Kathy gave me and I’ve started storing some WIPs in there.  In fact, now that I think about it, all of the above 20 may also fit in there!  Oh, and then there’s the ottoman I prop my feet on while stitching…you can store stuff in there and I know I have at least one WIP in there, ’cause I was just looking at it the other day.  Geesh.  Oh wait!  Don’t forget my stitching bag that probably has 2-3 in there, too.

And here’s what was in the kitted box:

  1. Autumn Queen – Mirabilia
  2. Random Thoughts – Drawn Thread
  3. An Expression of Gratitude – Blue Ribbon Designs (which I pulled out)*
  4. Victorian Pearls – Sew to be Seen
  5. Victorian Pearls 2 – Sew to be Seen
  6. A Christmas Sampler – Midsummer Nights
  7. The Book of Spells – The Goode Huswife (which I pulled out)*
  8. The Spot Sampler – Margaret Bendig
  9. Shakespeare’s Garden – LaBroderie
  10. Queens Rule – Enchanting Lair
  11. Castle Ridge – Teresa Wentzler (bought overdyed fabric to exchange)
  12. Damask Rose Scissor Keep – Textile Heritage (gift)
  13. Above the Clouds – Teresa Wentzler (bought overdyed fabric to exchange)
  14. Mermaid of the Pearls – Mirabilia (special overdyed fabric)
  15. Toccata Three – Drawn Thread
  16. Cattleya Orchids – Terrance Nolan
  17. A Token of Friendship – Merry Cox (an OOP which I could probably sell to pay off my house)
  18. This is the Day – La-D-Da
  19. My Son – Indigo Rose (should have pulled this one and may go back and do it)*
  20. The Dreamer – Mirabilia
  21. Quaker Diamonds – Rosewood Manor
  22. Toccata Two – Drawn Thread
  23. Toccata One – Drawn Thread
  24. Quaker Samplings  – With My Needle
  25. My First Sewing Box and Scissor Fob – Stitching Parlor (which uses a Whitman’s Chocolate Tin I’ve tried to throw away a hundred times)
  26. Souvenir Sampler – Drawn Thread
  27. Village of Hawk Run Hollow – Carriage House Samplings
  28. The Song They Sang – Carriage House Samplings (I even bought the frame for this one!!!)
  29. A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion – Scarlet Letter
  30. Norwich Marianne Wren
  31. James Wilson
  32. Voice of the  Shepherd – Told in a Garden
  33. Teeny Hardanger – Sweetheart Tree
  34. Brilliant Plumage – Teresa Wentzler

So, I evidently have a thing for Teresa Wentzler.

*I will be very unhappy in Heaven if I die and don’t at least start The Book of Spells and An Expression of Gratitude.  Guess they’re getting added to my WIPs list next month.

Now, lest LNSs around the world freak out, all of the above does not mean I won’t be buying more as evidenced by the deliveries my mailman has made since my last post.  I give you Exhibit C:

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A new small portable stitching lamp, and needle organizer (can you say Teresa Wentzler?).

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28ct Brash Jubilee for Ann Pegg 1877.  Yep, I found some.  I emailed the dyer asking advice for a replacement and she told me she had 2 FQs left.  Miss Annette snapped up the other one.  Partner. In. Crime.  I tell ya.

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Pattern, fibers, stretcher bars, and canvas for this lovely.  I have had my eye on it for a bit and found out it was discontinued so I snapped it up.

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I also purchased these cones of DMC from Joanns.com for Death by Cross Stitch by Long Dog Samplers.  I’m leaning toward the copper on the right.  I need to check my fabric stash and do a floss toss.  I’m very tempted by the beautiful turquoise in the back but I’m afraid it’ll burn my eyeballs out stitching on a sampler this large.  I do have a backup plan for it though 😀  If I don’t have a good piece of fabric in my stash for the copper I may use the red and order some 40ct white.  Not to be worried about now though as I cannot start it until next month at the earliest because I am going out of town next week.

I am stalking my postman for Brooke’s Books Wizard of Oz.

So see, shopping when I shouldn’t be, or don’t need to be.

And I have quilt stuff coming in too.

But! This post has gotten so long and my phone is currently charging so I can’t show you what the top of my guest bed looks like.  It’s covered with fabric, patterns, etc., from the quilt side of my room AND fabric, fibers, and fabric from the cross-stitch side of my room while I go through the buckets and baskets mentioned above trying to reorganize and sort into a better working order for me.  I’m slowing myself down because I have to look at it, and touch it, and remember when I bought it, before sorting it into a pile to place it better in my room.  I’m dreading getting to two particular stitching containers because I have lots of already kitted small things that need to be added to that list up there and put into that Rubbermaid container (which is full!).  I know I won’t get it put away any time soon as I still have some excavating to do, so I’ll share a photo next time I post.

I forgot to show you some stitching!

Since my last post I have finished my Sugar Skull by Mill Hill

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And my version of Be Thankful by Country Cottage Needleworks

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and block 7 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings (currently working on block 8)

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Now I’m off to write my WIPs in my Journal and do some stitching.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll dig the rest out of their hidey holes.

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

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.

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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 😀

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.

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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.  😆

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

Not much happening in my sewing room this week.  Last Sunday, while sewing on my signature blocks, I began to feel unwell, and decided to call it a day.  Not too long after that I figured out I had managed to allow myself to become quite dehydrated.

With Mister away I only have the puppies to remind me to feed them so I have had a bad habit of just sewing/stitching without taking a break.  I also haven’t been eating much, which I tend to do when it’s hot, and since I’m not overly fond of salty tasting foods (with just a couple of exceptions) I never salt what I eat.

I probably should have called a friend and gone to the hospital since I was dizzy, had a hard time holding on to a thought, etc.  Since I have lived in the desert off and on for almost 15 years now I figured out what was going on so immediately started drinking something with some electrolytes and made myself something to eat.  I will confess that I scared myself enough that I slept with my phone that night.  I also went 5 days with no coffee.  Yeah, I was that scared.  😉

Tuesday when I went into work I told the shop owner what had happened and she helped me stay on track to guzzling Gatorade all day.  It doesn’t help that we’ve been under Extreme Heat conditions around here, even breaking a high temperature record yesterday.

I did buy fabric this week, for a shower curtain for my main upstairs bath.  It’s already visited the cutting table and is ready to be stitched up.  Yay, me!

Here’s a snap as soon as I got it home. The white is for the main curtain and the black is for the accent.

DSC01615

This week is my Jo Morton Little Women club meeting so I’m sure I’ll be bringing home some fabric, but I’m determined to again only buy the focus fabric for border/sashing and use stash for the rest.  I believe this will be the last meeting that I’ll need to purchase fabric for since our last quilt (due in October) is the one I hand appliqued.  I just need to figure out what backing and binding to use and I’ve already been auditioning from my stash.

Fabric added this week:  6
Fabric out this week:  7  1/2
Fabric added this year (April – present):  96  7/8
Fabric out this year (April – present):  33  3/8

I’ve also been spending a lot of time stitching on my Elizabeth Sheffield sampler.  I’m  loving her.  The first section was supposed to be finished by today but we’re supposed to have a month to work on each section and this time we only had 17 days.  Right now I’m working strictly on continental stitching over 1 and should have it finished tomorrow at the latest if I continue my routine.

Sunday Stitching Report

Why not?  LOL

I finally took a very (horrible) photo of And They Sinned Thursday evening.  I pulled it out to show at the LNS before I started my new Elizabeth Sheffield sampler.

This is approximately 180 hours over about 65 days. 2013-08-01 17.02.31

Poor thing is so wrinkled, but that’s only because it has been so loved!  I still love every stitch and will be right back to it when I finish up the first section of Elizabeth Sheffield for Sampler Sunday.

Thank you for your comments on my FAB4FOCUS post.  I will be mentioning it quite frequently in hopes that it gets shared elsewhere and generates more interest.

Back in the saddle

If anyone is still reading, I apologize for not posting anything of substance lately. I have been a bit busy.

I traveled to Nashville to enjoy the company of some wonderful needlework friends, many of whom I’ve only known from “online” for 12+ years. Finally getting to hug them in real life was such a wonderful thing and from all of the conversations we had you would never have known that we had never met face-to-face before then. I had a blast and was worn out when I got home from all the talking, shopping, eating, humidity, and lack of sleep from some very late-night conversations with my roommate. It’s an annual event, next year will be hosted in Arizona, and I’m already counting down the days.

I had been in a stitching slump prior to my trip, and being with those women took care of it. I have been making great progress on And They Sinned. I managed to put in about 12 hours in 3 days, which is more than I stitched in 3 months prior to that. Last night was open stitch night at my LNS and there was a wonderful group there. I started a new reproduction sampler, Elizabeth Sheffield, and will be stitching it in 6 parts with 3-4 other ladies. Stitching slump over! Hoorah!

I also managed to stitch all of my squares from JMLW Caramel Corn that I had glue-basted prior to my trip. I am putting off piecing them together for a bit since it’s not due until October, and I have a couple of other things I need to get finished before then. One of them being my signature blocks for the Small Quilts yahoo group I belong to.

I’ve also been spending a little more time on home “renovations.” Plus I’ve gotten to go to work a couple of times and play with the fabric at the store.

And last but not least, since I’ve been spending so much time in my stitching room, I have been thinking about how to wrangle my crafting life back into a somewhat less-scarey monster — but that’s for a separate post 😉

Mister has been working furiously rebuilding the underside of his Jeep Wrangler. It looks so good! I doubt there’s very little there that hasn’t been pulled apart and either replaced, or refurbbed by him. I can attest that, due to the amount of laundry I’ve been doing, it is a very messy job. Living oceanside for 10 years, plus having his surfboards dripping salt water, did a bit of a number on it. He’s moving on to the interior today. My living room has become the storage spot for huge boxes, one of which is a new back seat that he’s starting to install today. He has yet to start working on switching his office with the guestroom, and the cabinet boxes are in the living room too. He is headed back surfing next week, and classes start back the day after he gets back, so those boxes will stay there for a bit. I’m finding that they aren’t upsetting me, like they would have in the past. I just vacuum around them. LOL

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