Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mug Rugs today

  Baby, it's cold outside today.  It was 25 degrees when I got up.  Extra coffee will be needed.  So I am working on a few mug rugs.  I took photos this time of how I now do my backing for ease of turning and finishing.

   My hand stitching is even more limited now due to the neuropathy in my fingers.    So instead of leaving a side open for turning, I realized a back opening would be much less noticeable for my poor stitches.  I use an over-sized piece of backing that I split in to 2 pieces and then rejoin----leaving an opening for turning.

   I layer the back right side up, the front is placed right side down, and then the batting is on top.  Note the batting is cut about 1/4'' smaller than the top.  No trimming will be needed for the batting this way.  Plus, the batting edge becomes a stitching guide.....I sew right next to the edge and catch batting in the stitching in spots to hold everything in place.  Sew around all 4 sides.

    Prepare to turn by clipping the corners and trimming off any extra backing fabric.

  Turn mug rug inside out and poke out the corners with a chopstick, or purple thing, etc.  I haven't pressed these yet, but the one on the right is the backside.  Note the pin is on the seam line that needs a few stitches to close it.

   Turned and ready to press and then get quilted.  This focus of Take Chances was too good to toss even it part of it was cut off.  I think straight match stick quilting will be good here.

  I am now counting the days until the purple stitches are removed from my palms...3 days to go.  The soreness is gone, and  I tried using the rotary cutter a little bit for squaring these up.  Yea!!!!  I am not ready to cut strips or anything, but no pain and no pressure applied.    And....this is big, I can raise my right arm over my head with no pain traveling up the nerve to my shoulder.  No pain, no burning,,,,wow!    So soon I will be able to begin light exercises to build lost strength.  And by the new year I will get to turn on Hot Legs and quilt!  Now that's motivation.
  Happy stitching.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Focus ideas for 2017

  I shared a quick photo of fabric that Sir Old Man found on the flat fold table....and  of which I quickly bought a yard.  I did not read each square with the sentiments at that time, just enough to let me know I should get some.
  My thought was to make some mug rugs, maybe a few snack mats or such.  Little did I know what I would find when I did.

  I don't believe in coincidences.  I use to, but age has given me a different view.   I believe things happen for a reason.  People enter your life when you need them, and each act sends ripples though the universe that return to you in some way.    This fabric entered my life at this time because I needed to read all the wonderful words written on it.   Now,  I need to share them and pass them on.

  Be Yourself.  Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.

Take Chances.  Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Be Spontaneous.  All growth is a leap in the dark, an unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.

Let Go.  We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Be Unstoppable.  Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice in the corner saying I'll try again tomorrow.

Be Legendary.  Life is a song, sing it.  Life is a game, play it.  Life is a challenge, meet it.   Life is a dream--realize it.  Life is love, enjoy it.

   These are my favorites, and I have claimed one for my 2017  focus.  I want a larger banner than last year.
Pick a focus word for the next week. Share your word below!
  Now it is two days later......I began writing this post and life reared its head to stall the form of my brother who needed some TLC attention after some out patient surgery.  (Why do they call it is surgery.  You cut anything in my body, you invade my space and send my life into a tail spin.)  He is better now and I am thankful for that.  I am doing better too and looking forward to stitch removal on Monday.  But I digress and on to my point.

  Remember I said those ripples come back to you in some way.
Insight:    I believe things happen for a reason.  People enter your life when you need them, and each act sends ripples though the universe that return to you in some way.   
   One of my ripples returned yesterday morning in an email.  I am getting a wonderful get well/birthday gift next week, and just in time to use the technique on my focus banner.  I do hope you are intrigued, and will return to see what focus I chose and what I want to do with it.
   I want to use several but one must do......hummmmm, that leaves a lot of bits of fabric to share.  I know a couple of people I intend to palm off  a sentiment to, but that leaves enough to offer up  a gift to a few followers.  So seven followers---lucky 7---- will get picked from the comments and I will send a bit of fabric with sentiment to you.  Comment on this post between now and Monday the 12th.  I will pick 7 on Tuesday.   Tell me your focus sentiment for 2017, if you have one.  Be  sure your email is included in comment if you are a "no reply blogger".   Now....go sew.  Happy stitching.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

In the nick of time

  Early Sunday morning, enjoying the first cup of coffee, and my phone did a jingle to alert me to an imessage.   From Sir Old Man's cousin, Diane came photos of her project finish.    She is having eye surgery this week and wanted it done before that happened.

  Santa turned out cute and just in the nick of time :)

   And on the backside.....a label and sleeve for hanging!   I told her I was proud as she had learned well how to finish off a project.  This was Diane's first time to print off a label on the computer too.    A beginning/learning quilter deserves praise and stardom.  Well done, I say.

Update:   Di says the pattern is from McCall's Quilting magazine from December 2000.  She got the issue at her guild and this issue has several things she wants to try.
And prayers for good surgery, Di.
Happy stitching.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December plans

  For December the word is Recovery!  My time to heal, reflect, and renew.
I don't plan to start anything new, and probably won't complete things waiting in the wings. 
  •  I have 3 projects pinned and waiting their time under the needle---soon I hope as Hot Legs has been idle too long.  
  •  I have 2 things that need to be basted and prepped for FMQ---pineapple blossoms and a watercolor banner.
  • Wild Geese (or maybe Night Flight) are joined into strips and need sashing up, and a small border added.
  • Floral 9 patch blocks are in the sewing stage.  I need more strips cut, but must wait for some healing to the hands.   Applique for the alternating squares can be planned but not able to cut things out yet.

Two small projects completed for November.   Both are table toppers of string piecing with appliques added.  

   We finished the re-do on the pantry closet, and then went thru carpel tunnel surgery on both wrists.  So December will be a quiet time of healing and recovery.

  • I did not make labels for the projects awaiting quilting, so that is something I will do this month.  If the labels are done already, it will give me a push in January to finish things.  
  • Plan appliques for the 9 patch floral----I haven't shown this one yet:)
  • Make plans for January finishes.
  • Recover and enjoy the season.
  Report on the bandage removal:  The hands are now clean and those stinky bandages and wraps removed.  Incisions are covered with Tegaderm and they look good.  I won't show photos as my hands are purple, quite bruised.  
I am to use fingers as much as possible, just no pulling, lifting, or tugging on anything.  So I can type, and rotary cutting though.  Cooking is still off limits too.  Two weeks of being cautious/careful.  The good news....the very good news is that there is a very slight improvement in the sensation or feeling in the right hand!  Not so much on the left but I can be happy and rejoice in any improvement!    
  And that's a wrap for  December should be a breeze.
Happy stitching.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Still fighting

   Do these hands belong to Rocky?    Ready to fight, maybe.  
    I am wrapped up-- almost 3" thick-- and able to move fingers at least.  I have to keep them elevated as much as possible.  The pain is minor so far, and for that I am very grateful.   No lifting, tugging or pulling for 3 days.
    Can't say it was easy as I had a panic attack when they strapped both arms down, inserted  3 IVs, and put the blood pressure cuff on my leg.   I had a nightmare with my eyes wide open of the horrors from this past summer in the hospital.  The nurse anesthetist  said "Time to sleep" .....and that's all I knew until I woke up in recovery.  

  The doctor said all went well, and that when he snipped the ligament, it snapped back.  Pressure is relieved, and maybe, just maybe......I think there is a bit more sensation in the right hand.
  I thank you all, faithful readers, for the notes of encouragement and prayers and hovering thoughts around me.  Just know how much I appreciate them and how much strength I gain from them.
  I can't do much, barely can I hold a cup of coffee.  But I have permission to try and stitch strips together today.  Still fighting, happy stitching.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Deciding on Geese

   These wild geese were flying every where as I pulled out several fabrics to try as sashing.  There a dark blue, a grayed-black, and a dark tonal green.  I tried a red, but quickly knew I would not be happy with it and put it away.  Of these 3, I liked the dark green best.  The black needs to be darker and truer with out the grayed splotches.  So since we were planning a quick trip to Fletcher, NC, a short stop at Foam and Fabric would solve the black dilemma.

   I did find a beautiful black tonal fabric I will use for the geese.  But I will save  photos of it until I get some geese strips sewn.  Nicki suggested the name of Flight in the Night if I used black.   We will see......
    I also picked up a couple of books at 50% off....I am such a sucker for quilt books.    The Color book is by Becky Goldsmith  of Piece O Cake fame.  Lots of great projects in it to entice me.   I am reading thru it right now and will share a review maybe of wisdom I gleam from it.

   Sir Old Man spotted this one on the flat fold table.  I did not need this, but loved all the sentiments/sayings expressed on it.   So one yard will make a ton of mug rugs and snack size mats for using, giving, or donating.  I love making the small size projects in between the big stuff.

   I will probably be silent for a day or two.....carpel tunnel surgery is tomorrow.  Thank you all for the support.  I will be back.  Happy stitching.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pantry re-do is done

  My pantry closet was never large, but I was always glad for what space I had to work with after 26 years of no pantry in the old house.  The challenge here was wasted space.  The original 18'' deep shelves needed to be reduced in depth.  Items were easily lost in the back of that cave. 
  First everything was removed.  Wire shelves were cut down to 13''.  Once the closet was painted, the wire shelves and supports were replaced.  


   Cutting back the wire shelves, left a good bit of usable space on the side wall.  Narrow shelves there could hold a lot of small items.

  Sir Old Man designed side shelves and supports that he could fashion from wood .  He used cleats as support for the shelves.

   Just so you know how much work Sir Old Man put into this.....each side shelf had to be measured, cut and fitted for each individual space.   It seems walls are not square anywhere😒.

  A perfectionist he is, and was in agony over the gap in the miter for the un-square corner.  I finally convinced him that pantry police, like quilt police, will not be allowed in for inspection.

     The side shelves are in and working great!  Sir Old Man also added a metal clip to the end of each shelf that  locks into the wire grid shelving.  Believe me....those small shelves are not going anywhere.

    Then my work began, as I was filling the shelves.  I have a feeling that we will be moving and shifting things around for a few days before being finished.

   A quick idea to share.  Sir Old Man brought up an extra unpainted shelf.  Since I wanted nothing sitting or stacked on the floor, he simply placed the shelf on top of the floor molding.

  Now to get it all organized and enjoy the improvement.

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