Sunday, February 24, 2008

Getting my mojo back..........

I went on a fabulous quilting retreat last weekend with 11 other friends. We couldn't have had a better time although we had to drive through a snowstorm to get there. Actually I quite enjoyed the snow as I was driving up in northern Arizona and the snow was beautiful in the tall pine forests. I stayed up past 2:00 am three nights in a row, and sewed and talked and sewed and laughed and ate well all weekend. It was so invigorating for me - I've been in a bit of a slump lately and it was just what I needed to get my sewing and stitching energy back. I worked on making scrap quilt squares (68 of them!) which I am going to sew together into some quilts to keep on my couch where my dogs like to lie all the time. That is just mindless fun sewing where you don't have to pay a lot of attention or read any directions. :) Here's all my finished blocks waiting to be sewed up.

While I was there I worked on an old quilting UFO. I hand-appliqued this entire top and finished it about 5 years ago but never got the quilting done. I finally sat down and basted it all together so I can start hand-quilting it. I would love to have it finished by Christmas this year - I put so much work into it that it's a shame I haven't finished it. It's titled "Welcome to the North Pole". Excuse the wonky picture, I just had it hanging on some drawers in my sewing room.

I also started another quilt from a beautiful pictoral fabric I got on sale years ago,and began another quilted bag. Neither of those got done though. It was depressing going back to work last Monday and I had a very busy week. I finally sat down today and did a bit of stitching -first time since January. I finished up another on of my little Shepherd's Bush monthly pieces. I'm getting them done slowly but surely but it seems like it's taking forever.

I want to get started soon on my PIF's but I need to sit down and decide what I'm going to make. I made a trip to my LNS yesterday for the first time in a long time. I looked at all the goodies from Nashville market but I wasn't all that tempted by too much. I am still debating on the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow - I like some of it but not all of it so I didn't purchase it. I did buy a few patterns that weren't new that I had been wanting by LHN, and I got a half yard of a gorgeous Colorscapes linen - it's the most wonderful mottled sky blue and it was my favorite count - 36. This picture doesn't do it justice at all!

I didn't know that LHN had published a pattern honoring my LNS - Attic Needlework. Of course I had to buy that one! I also picked up Cherry Hill from Country Cottage, Country French Rooster from JBW, and a couple of Loose Feathers that had been waiting for me at the LNS for awhile. I was so inspired by the Rooster pillow that
Mary Kathryn made - it's awesome! I love French toile fabrics so would like to make somthing similar.

I was strolling through Fry's Electronics while my DH was buying some computer hardware, and I came across some little lighted magnifiers. I've been wanting something small I could take to a class with me - this is a 30 diopter magnifier with a little flap on top so you can use it just as a light or as a lighted magnifier. It was only $30 - called a Mini Mag-Lite. I love it. The field of vision is smaller of course than my big Daylite lamp but it will be great to take places or when I want to sit out by the TV and don't want to take my big lamp with me. Unfortunately, I can rarely stitch anymore without some sort of magnfication - age has gotten to me.

My orthopedic surgeon has decided it's time to get my shoulder fixed so I'm having arthroscopic surgery on March 7th. Not sure how long it'll be after that before I can stitch again, hopefully not long. I'm looking forward to eventually being pain-free!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wahoo! First 2008 UFO done!

Well you know what they say about the ‘best of intentions’ – that goes for blogging too! I’m being pulled into all sorts of crises at work lately and haven’t had hardly any time to think much about stitching. In fact, I haven’t stitched a minute since about January 3rd when I finished my Frosty Friends exchange. I did however get a UFO off my list which is a quilt I started back in 2001. I don’t know why it took me so long to get it done. At the time I made the blocks for it, I was working on it with some friends sharing all our red, white & blue fabrics. We got so carried away making blocks that I had enough for 3 identical quilts. I donated one to my quilting group so they could raffle it off for some money, and gave one other one to a friend at work. Of course the one for myself never got to the finish line! So here it is finally, only 7 years later. I had no one to hold it up for me today so just draped it over the couch. These kind of quilts are fun and easy to do with a collection of themed fabrics or colors. So finally it will join the other stack of quilts in the closet that I don’t have room to display. I really need to get a quilt ladder so I can put out more of my quilts – there’s only so much wall space you know.

I also haven’t been stitching too much because of shoulder pain. I have a bonespur in my left shoulder and it flares up about every 6 months or so. In fact today I am going back to the orthopedist. I’ve already had 2 rounds of shots and don’t know if they will continue to give me those or whether it’s time to have it removed. I am really tired of the constant pain and thinking maybe having the arthroscopic surgery to get the bonespur off would be welcome at this point. Bonespurs in the shoulder rub on the rotator cuff muscle and affect just about anything you do with your arm.

So far this year I’ve stayed away from stash buying and that’s good. In just 9 days I’ll be going on a quilting retreat weekend with some friends. We can’t wait! We’re making scrappy strip quilts and we’ve been cutting up fabric that we don’t want anymore. I’m sure we’ll have more than enough as we’ve done this before and that’s what usually happens. It seems that those fabric strips start multiplying once you put them in a box! If you’ve been a quilter for many years you know that you accumulate a lot of fabric and looking back you wonder why you even bought some of it. That and your tastes change over the years and you don’t love what you once did. So this is a great opportunity to use up that unwanted stash. I keep a quilt on top of our family room sectional as it’s a microfiber fabric that collects dog hair like crazy. So I’ll be making a scrap quilt to fit the other side that isn’t covered right now. It comes in handy with 2 dogs laying up there all the time and the quilts can be whisked off hurriedly when somebody stops over!

Hope to get back to stitching soon. There’s no way I can get through my whole UFO list this year but my goal is to at least finish off one UFO a month.