Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Butterfly Embroidery Mystery Quilt Flimsy is Done!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to write this post's title! I feel like I'm getting back to myself. 
After I got the center of the quilt top assembled-which was handling a bit more weight than just blocks and I had no trouble-I had to think about what I wanted for the border and I knew I would have to rotary cut fabric. LOL! doesn't sound like it should stop me but I was a bit apprehensive-would my left arm be strong enough to hold that ruler straight! I decided I would cut 4 layers of fabric and not 8 as I formerly would have and it worked! So I cut the borders from the white fabric and then squares from the strips that were left over from the center.

I pieced the top/bottom and sides because I had the idea of a 9-patch for the corners...

But once I laid it out on the bed, I didn't like it-I thought there was no point to that being the corner. So I just reworked it-as a sort of 9-patch variant...

But I didn't use 3 little squares for the outside-I cut 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles...so with a  few extra seams the border looks like I added each border separately (and I must say this way was much faster and much easier to fit that pieced border in.)

I wish I could now just layer this up and see how I do with machine quilting but...we're off to the US on Thursday! Yippee, we'll see our older kids and our sweet little granddaughters! We'll be gone a month so I'll be back in 2013!  (I must say this has been a year with little blogging by me-hope next year goes smoother.) I'm not taking my netbook-I have to worry about how much I'm carrying as it all has to be done with my right arm-so I'll only be able to post from my iPod. 

Happy Hanuka (I've been eating too many jelly doughnuts this week).

A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Progress on the embroidered mystery quilt

I've made some progress on the embroidered mystery quilt. I finished sewing all the setting squares and put them up with the embroidered squares on my - rather clever I think - make shift design wall...I don't know what happened to the flannel I used to use (I think I cut it up for something) so I took a twin sized flannel flat sheet, folded it in half wrong side out and taped it to the wall. 

When I designed the mystery quilt, it was with this layout.

If you squint, can you see the stars? It was a great layout for a mystery quilt with the surprise secondary pattern and the Redwork club participants really liked how their quilts came out. I didn't finish mine because that was just when I got sick with the CMV virus...in fact, I missed the last session and had to e-mail Barbie the layout.

Well, I just couldn't resist moving squares around...

and I've decided that I'm actually going to use this layout instead. (Don't tell on me! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

More exercising going on than sewing

I've been trying to get some sewing done but it hasn't been going that well. My biggest problem is pinning...I'm alright sewing on the sewing machine but pinning is tough. Crazy, huh?

I spend a lot of time exercising. I go to Physical Therapy at least once, sometimes twice a week plus I now go to Hydrotherapy as well. Do you know what that is? I didn't...essentially I just do exercises with a physical therapist in a warm swimming pool. I told Dan I'll feel I've passed if I can actually swim the crawl again-breast stroke wouldn't count. So far, there's been no swimming at all-my feet are always firmly on the bottom.

I also exercise three times a day at home-every day though the exercises change. Thought you might like to see my exercise aids-no Nautilus here.

This is my pulley system...now don't laugh-it actually works. When I first sat in this chair I could barely pull my left arm up to the bottom of the picture frame on the wall. When I reached the top of the picture frame I was ecstatic. Now my arm goes straight up all the way and I do this just as a stretch warm up.

Here's the rest of my high tech equipment. The towel and little swooshy ball are for my elbow and hand really...when I started I told Dan-gee, in the states these balls are soft and swooshy but this is hard. Then I squeezed it with my right hand-ah, swooshy ball-weak hand. My shoulder rests on the towel so my elbow is off the bed as I bend my elbow and squeeze the ball...simple but effective but the pinning problem tells me I'm not stopping this one soon. 
The big green ball also is for my hand (wrist) and elbow-I just roll it on the kitchen table back and forth to straighten the elbow and flex the wrist and then I roll it side to side to turn the wrist in the both directions. I also use it now with my only real exercise equipment -the little 2 kilo (2.2 lb.) weights. I stand against the wall with the ball in the small of my back and raise the weights above my head -the ball keeps me just enough away from the wall to move and still be supported. Other weight exercises-I lift the weight from the kitchen counter and put it on the bottom cabinet shelf...I'm telling you, it is not easy but its working! 

Aren't these physical therapists clever? Here's a shout out to all PTs. Thank you!