Bed Rest, Weeks 1-3

Sooooo…

…had some surgery in November, which wasn’t supposed to take that long to recover from, but then, at the one-week follow-up appointment, my doctor broke the news that I needed to stay in bed for another five weeks.  So I went from expecting one week of lying around to SIX WEEKS.  DURING THE HOLIDAYS.

The six-week follow-up appointment happens during the week before Christmas, so I’m pretty much stuck in bed, drooling over all the gorgeous Instagram posts of beautiful Christmas quilts and lamenting that I can’t finish all the stuff that I promised myself that I was going to finally finish up this year.  2016 has not been a banner year for me, people.

BUT…I do not want to be one of those people who mopes about and whines about their difficulties, so that has meant trying to stay “busy” despite the bed rest.

Week #1:

I spent the days leading up to my surgery frantically finishing up a quilt to the point where I’d only have the hand stitching of the binding left to do.  During my first week post-op, I finished hand stitching the binding.  Then I designed some alterations for a dress I own that’s too short on me, and, inspired by the idea of sewing clothing, I read Couture Sewing Techniques, which then had me researching Christian Dior-everything for a few days.

Week #2:

After receiving the very unexpected news of another five weeks of bed rest, I panicked and decided to start a Christmas EPP quilt, but after finishing two of the blocks I realized that I didn’t actually want to make it and abandoned it.  I’ll keep the blocks for something else in the future.

Then I decided that the quilt label for the quilt I’d just finished binding could use a little extra pizazz, so I opted to embroider parts of it, which took the rest of the week and little of the next.  (There is a lot of napping happening during my day.)

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I also read The Art of Manipulating Fabric, and Draping: The Complete Course.  I’m seeing some garment construction in my future, and I’m excited.  I have three daughters who are about to embark upon their teenage years, and I’ve always thought that one of the funnest parts of having girls would be making their party and dance dresses, and it’s always good to practice a skill before you actually *need* it, so maybe next year will see me venture into that arena a bit.

Week #3:

Thanksgiving, which had to be delegated to my kids and they did a pretty great job of it.  A friend from my quilt guild saw my SOS Instagram post and brought me over a ton of books to read, so I spent most of my third week reading:

  1. A Curse Dark as Gold (very good retelling of “Rumpelstiltskin!”)
  2. Dragonfly (enjoyed very much!)
  3. Once Upon a Marigold (not sure I’ll finish it), and
  4. The Blue Sword (enjoying)

So here we are, amidst Week #4, and I was really hoping that my doctor’s “six weeks” prescription was just overly cautious, but I tried to sew up the swap block for November this week and it about killed me with pain and exhaustion to just do a fabric pull, so I had to send out an email apologizing for the block’s tardiness because it will not be getting finished anytime soon.  And, as a precaution, I wrote to December’s swap recipient as well and gave her a heads-up that her block could end up being late as well.  Sigh.

BUT…I woke up from this surgery with NO BACK PAIN for the first time in three years, so the future is looking mighty bright!  I can rest three more weeks if it means no back pain.

And, for Week #4, I’m feeling the knitting a-calling to me…especially:

  • Color-Tipped Italian Cashmere Beanie by Churchmouse Yarns (because it’s beautiful in that wonderfully elegant way that “simple” is beautiful)
  • Honeymoon Cowl by FitzBirch Crafts (learning double knit could be fun)
  • Botanical Yoke Pullover by Purl Soho (oh, that cabled yoke…will have to wait, but it’s sure fun to stare at it when I can)
  • St. Brendan by Kelbourne Woolens (I’m making this some day, but not now because it takes some planning), or
  • Socks! (Because I can do that…)

My son does need a new winter hat…I think my second daughter might need one, too…OH! And I was supposed to mend my youngest daughter’s Hello Kitty hat…bed rest or not, a mama’s work is never done.  I cannot wait to get back to making pancakes, and vacuuming, and cooking dinners that don’t come from a box.  Resting is a nice change, but it’s sucky to be forced to rest from taking care of the people you love.

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Penguin’s a Paper Piecer!

Penguin adores paper-pieced hexagons, so much that she’s taken on the goal of making her own needle case out of the shapes.  She came across a little packet of pre-cut hexagons and hexagon templates at the local quilt shop a few weeks back, and set off determined:
I think she’s doing some pretty good work, especially when you consider her age.  When she assembled this full hexie “flower,” she was over-the-moon proud of herself.  (Her “pleased” smile is so adorable!)  She could barely contain her excitement as I carefully tied off her thread, and then she asked if I’d take her picture and post it on the blog so family could see her work.
So there you go, family and friends, Penguin is officially an EPP-er!

Mom’s Dance Party of Horror

I was doing so well yesterday.  I was teaching, I was answering questions, and I was engaging in witty banter with my beloved offspring all while trimming down some hexies to baste.  Voila!  Lots of  hexies, and school going along on schedule to boot.

My inner celebratory dance spasmed into consciousness, knocking over the can of Diet Coke I had been enjoying but a moment beforehand.  Knocking over the can directly onto my fresh-faced hexies.  Knocking over the can so violently that the carbonation went out of control and spewed Diet Coke all over everything in its vicinity.

Hexies, chairs, worksheets, notions case, everything in the notions case.  Tidal waves of Diet Coke surging outward and destroying everything in its path.

Good feeling gone.

I didn’t freak out; I calmly dealt with the offensive can of explosive horror, wiped everything up, and then commenced with watching my once-starched hexagons curl up and peel away from their freezer paper templates throughout the remainder of the day.

This is what happens when moms dance, even just “pretending” in their heads.  Heed the warning.  Lock it up.

Hopefully Diet Coke washes out, and hopefully freezer paper re-adheres…everything was going so well yesterday.  Until it wasn’t.

Linking up with:

Green & Pink Hexie Applique

The long sides of my little bag are pieced, and now I’m working on appliqueing the teeny hexie strips to their proper places.  I decided to go with the hopscotch print for the main fabric of the bag because I just love it so much, it should be the main fabric, right?  Let’s just hope my girls don’t think that the bright pink earmarks it as only appropriate for the under-thirty crowd.

I do my handwork while listening to my kids recite their various school facts, or else I go insane sitting and listening to the things I recited as a young school child.  (The brain can only take so much–when you start in on the third kid’s schooling, you’re just kind of done.)  BUT, during my second grader’s math lesson, these little hexagons came in handy:

It was a lesson on angles, and she’d forgotten how many angles a hexagon had.  Hee hee.  Crafty teacher mama for the win!

Linking up with the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts, and Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Pink and Green Baby Hexie Strips

I’ve stumbled across the Monday Morning Star Count over at Jessica Alexandrakis’ blog, Life under Quilts, and I couldn’t resist sharing my little hexie project-in-progress:

They’re little, teeny half-inch hexagons that will embellish the side of a project bag found in Hexa Go-Go by Tacha Bruecher.  (Sorry, Jessica, for name-dropping on someone else’s hexie book–but rest assured, your hexie book is on my shopping list!)  The fabric is just completely random scraps I found in the bottom of a stash box.

It was the Life Under Quilts and A Few Scraps blogs that first introduced me to the idea of English Paper Piecing/hexagon quilting last year.  (Ironic that my first hexie book wasn’t Quilting on the Go…)  The idea’s been sitting in the back of my mind since, and then I saw Hexa Go-Go at the fabric shop I visited with my bestie over Christmas break, saw the author’s little blurb about how hexagons were “quilting’s answer to knitting,” and I decided that it was time to learn.  Lack of portability has been my main reason to avoid sewing and quilting all these years, and portability is one of the reasons why I love knitting so much.  I’m no stranger to crafting in public, and I’d love to include sewing and quilting in my arsenal of portable crafting!

Making hexies is fun.  It’s super simple and they come together really quick, and they’re way, way cute.  I’m planning to make my son’s upcoming “big boy bed” quilt with some sort of hexagon design element because I love the technique so much.

I’m trying to decide on the fabrics for the rest of the bag, so my sewing desk looks like this:

Too much cute!  (And can you tell that I mostly make things for little girls?)