Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back at it... slowly.

Have you ever gone to the doctor or emergency room for something you thought was going to be an annoyance, but turned into something far more serious? I had that happen on March 20th. I went to the ED for one of my fingers being swollen and not bending properly thinking they'd set up me with antibiotics and a little finger splint. Instead, I was in the OR about 3 hours after being seen by a provider (we'll ignore that 4 hour waiting room time since the triage staff didn't recognize what was actually going on). I had flexor tenosynovitis which is an infection of the flexor tendon which runs up from the wrist to control the first and middle fingers. I was in the hospital for 6 days with another surgery that happened about 36 hours after the first one. From there it was another 4 days of IV antibiotics.
Photos are pre-surgery while I was waiting in the ED.
I've been going to OT 3x/week to ensure that I keep full mobility in my hand/finger. I still have 6 more days off for convalescent leave (con leave is one of the greatest things, your doc says you need a couple week off, and boom you get a couple weeks off).

Over the last few days I've finally been able to get back to sewing and I've been working on my dots top. It's almost fully pieced.

 This is the dots quilt up on the design wall with all the blocks made - each block consists of three narrow strips and three squares width wise. There are three columns of 12 rows.
 There was one little bit of rearranging as I put all the blocks together (excepting the bottom left section). I swapped the top two blocks on the left so that there wouldn't be two pink squares side by side, which I only noticed after taking the last picture. The blocks are being turned into big blocks which are each 4 segments turning it into a giant 9 patch for final assembly. As well the left blocks get an extra narrow strip to complete the top. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Polka Dots - Lots and Lots of Dots!

I like polka dots, always have. And the Ta Dot line decided it wanted to be one of my quilts. On Sunday, I went down to Becky's house (@SarcasticQuilter on Instagram) to finally meet her and quilt together. We've been Instagram friends since I lived in Boston, but in the year since I've lived here we've managed to miss each other at DC Modern events going to opposite meetings and other little timing snafus. She also had Karie in town (@Karietkq on Instagram). I cut all my fabric and started sewing down there, and now am about 1/2 of the way through piecing.

The fabrics which just called to be put together. That bigger gray dot in the background is a 108" wide backing fabric. But I think I'll actually use it for a different project. 

Here it is so far on my design wall. The only placement considerations are that the same color blocks don't end up directly next to or on top of one and other. I'm constructing them in groups of 3 squares with three rectangles. Just makes them easier to work with. Looking forward to piecing the remaining blocks over the rest of this week. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Irish Chain

The Irish Chain quilt is now quilted and just waiting for its binding. It is backed with minky - surprise, surprise - and quilted with serpentine lines. It's the first time I've done line quilting on anything bigger than a placemat, and it's definitely a little boring, but I do like how it looks. I chose that because it seemed like a nice echo of the streamer pattern. In each 3" square I did two lines of quilting which means the lines are all approximately 1.5" apart, but nothing was measured exactly. I'm planning to bind this with the black streamers which are the corner blocks, and which I chose not to use in the body of the quilt.

The other new thing with this quilt is that I'm now a Pinmoor convert. They are little silicon nubs that slide over the end of regular pins. Regular pins slide through fabric better than safety pins and these are about 1000x nicer to your fingers while placing them and for removal. I was able to pin the entire top in just over half an hour. For reference it's 55" square, and I used 100 pinmoors approximately every 6". I didn't have any spray baste and I could do this on my dining room table, which I would never do with spray baste anyway. 
 Detail shot of the quilting:
 The fully quilted top over the the back of my couch. I didn't have to remove all the pins during the quilting process if they weren't in the path of the lines, so those are the ones you see there.
 My favorite backing of minky, and this one has batting, so it's warm.
 Another detail shot of the quilting in natural sunlight.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pillow and Gallery Opening

Would you believe this is the first time I've made a pillow since I was about 6? That one has been sitting on my grandparents couch for the last 20 years, not that it matched any of their styles, but it was made by me, and that's what grandparents do.

I've had the scraps from my wonky asterisk quilt sitting separated from my other scraps knowing that I wanted to make pillows to coordinate, but until last week, I just didn't have the spark of inspiration/motivation. On instagram, I saw a simple lattice pattern that just called to be turned into a pillow because making a full quilt of that would be, "Holy thousands of tiny pieces, Batman!"

This pillow has an all over stipple which you can see (somewhat) in the close up from while I was quilting. And there there it is on the couch with the quilt to which is coordinates. 

The other big news of the week was the gallery opening of Stitched DC. The Anacostia Art Center worked with the DC Modern Quilt Guild to host a juried show. 36 quilters submitted work (I submitted 3), 24 quilts were chosen with one work selected from each artist. It was entirely the AAC staff who chose quilts, so no influence from any of the DCMQG members. The quilt they selected of mine was Simply Colored Style. It's one of the front quilts in the gallery when you walk in, so that made me do a little happy dance in my head when I got there. This is the first quilt I've ever put up for sale, and there is interest in it already.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow Day WIP

Unless you're under a rock, or perhaps not in the United States, then you'll probably know that the East Coast got hammered with winter weather last night into today. My apartment was no different and when I ventured out at around 9:30 this morning because I realized I didn't have the required cheese for making quesadillas, there was about 12-14" on the ground. And right now at 10pm, there's another band that came in this afternoon that's finally making its way out.

I worked on several things, but only took a picture of one. I sewed the Irish Chain together and cut the strips that will form the border - it's the only thing I took pictures of. I also cleaned up my sewing room and pieced what will be the front of a 16" pillow. It's from the scraps of the wonky asterisk which has been on my couch since I lived in Boston. Tomorrow I will quilt it to batting and add the envelope back, then it will get pictures.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beyond Neutral COVER!

For those of you who were readers last spring, you'll know that right after I moved to Maryland, I was piecing a mystery quilt for John Adams, aka Quilt Dad. Well, today he tweeted that the book was now available for pre-order on Amazon. With that tweet, I learned that the quilt I pieced is ON THE COVER!!!!

Here is a screen shot of the cover and the quilt on my floor before I stitched it together (yes the one block that was facing the wrong way on the floor was corrected before the rows were connected).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ratoon Hiding...

So the title of this blog post is a family thing, but it's all I could keep thinking to myself as I was pattern testing this Raccoon for Kristy @ QuietPlay's woodland critter. When my aunt was very little, there was a raccoon that lived behind my grandparents' house (there were small woods that separated their backyard from neighbors). When it wasn't there, my aunt would say, "Ratoon hiding," or so I've been told.

This was super fun to make and took me the length of Primary Colors, the movie, from start to finish (about an hour and a half). The blue on the left where it's just the head is a more accurate showing than the finished block - it's brighter than it shows. I think I'm going to get the rest of the set and make myself a little woodland critter collage, or perhaps make mini quilts out of all of them and make a wall hanging gallery. I have one wall in my living room which is BIG and BLANK, and I still haven't figured out exactly what I want to hang, but I've been thinking that a mini-quilt gallery would be fun.

And just for fun, here are puppy pictures because I was in Atlanta this past weekend and got to hang with my aunt's new dog. All of us kept referring to him by the previous dog's name, and since he's from the same breeder and bloodline as his predecessor, he's likely to grow up looking just like him, too.