Sunday, August 9, 2015

More "Repro Madness" blocks and a CAT-tastrophe...

My friends, it has been a hard month, but first things first...two more blocks finished for my "Repro Madness" swap with Ola and Mary.  They were actually finished weeks ago, but I forgot to take pictures.  We will get together soon so I can distribute in person.

They will finish 6 inches square.  This one I borrowed from a Lori Smith pattern, and the following one is adapted from something I saw on the Internet.  "Everybody likes cake," (said the Donkey in "Shrek"). 

These will join the few others I have barely managed to get finished in the last few months...

"Motor Mary" and Ola have made many more swap blocks than I have, mostly pieced, so I am eager to get my rear in gear and continue with more applique blocks...some day... 

Now the rest of the story...lots of you have been emailing me to get updates on Mr. Weasley's fate...our fates are now painfully connected.

We are moving to Alabama and cannot take our handsome little 9-year-old gentleman with us.

Well, one of my friends from church and her family wanted to adopt him.  This required getting him into a kitty-carrier.  Well, Mr. puss does not like kitty-carriers.  We finally caught him (he knew what we were up to...).  As I was holding him firmly, he bit into the knuckle on my right-hand index finger right as I was putting his little rump into the carrier.  Ouch!

Two punctures on top and one underneath.  It started swelling immediately.  But off we went in the car to transport him as quickly as possible, to try and keep HIS torture and discomfort to a minimum.  I was mad at him, but still sad at having to give up my little buddy...I cried the whole way home.  (If you are squeamish, look no further...)

That was a Sunday evening, and it got more swollen overnight.  I was at Urgent Care at 8 AM Monday morning where I got an antibiotic shot and a script for oral antibiotics.  By the time Steve got home from work that evening, my whole hand was badly swollen, and the redness was growing (the ER doctor kindly drew around it with a sharpie...).  We went to the ER, immediately started I.V. antibiotics, and I was admitted late that night and rushed into emergency surgery the next morning.

The surgeon had to open up my finger, top and bottom, to clean out the infection and repair my tendon...all the way back into my palm! The infection had already started to damage my tendon.  He had punctured my knuckle joint synovial sac.

I stayed in the hospital another couple of days then came home, wrapped up to my elbow, with a power port in my other arm to receive 3 weeks of I.V. antibiotics.  I had no idea that cat bites were so dangerous, but they are serious, serious, SERIOUS!  MUCH worse than dog bites...

Fortunately, by the luck of the draw, I had the best hand surgeon in Ann Arbor.  I came home for a week of being COMPLETELY useless where moving was concerned.  I was doped up on pain killers until I weaned off due to stomach upset.  Riley was still in Europe, so she missed all the excitement, than goodness.  Steve worked from home and was amazing.

Piano movers came to remove my piano...

...this was the extent of my usefulness...just posing for a selfie.

They disassembled, wrapped, padded, and lugged that thing out, right past the partially filled second POD in the driveway...

Now you see it, now you don't...we'll meet up again in Alabama in a month or so.

One week and 2 days post-op, I was back to have the first peek. The surgeon was thrilled, but I was completely shocked and wondering if I would ever play piano or sew again!  I have never had surgery and had only previously been in the hospital for childbirth (both mine and Riley's), so I was not prepared for what I saw.  I was still terribly looked like someone else's hand.

Another week to go before stitch removal and he put me in a cast...I picked lime green to cheer me up (no "repro-looking" option).

But even though my out-of-state move and world had come to a screaming halt, life everywhere else was going on and on. 

Thinking I had entered the Houston International Quilt SHOW a few months ago, I had accidentally entered a SPECIAL QUILT EXHIBIT that was to be hung there during the Festival and show (it was a very confusing web site...). My "Baltimore Rhapsody - Symphony" album quilt was enthusiastically accepted and needed to be shipped off.  

It will still be hung during the show, and that is better than a sharp stick in the eye, LOL!

They were very particular about a sewn-on label even though I had inked directly on the quilt backing previously.  Despite gaining two fingers, hand sewing was difficult, but Steve helped me.  I started out doing it right-handed, then gave up and sewed left-handed (how do you lefties do it?!).

Even after all the effort, we still got the date wrong and we had to write on the label to correct it...crazy!  

Then, "Miss Emilie's Garden" was accepted into AQS Chattanooga and AQS Des Moines, so that meant a sleeve was needed...

...and, of course, that needed a label...but after getting the cast off and stitches out, I could do a little more with my new splint (that I don't have to wear all the time!) and I could do it right-handed!

My finger is sore when I push its limits and very stiff.  Rehab to bend (or straighten!) will be long, but I hope to get everything back to normal size and function with time.

The move is delayed but I still have much to be grateful for...Riley got home safe from Europe, and the I.V. antibiotics end tomorrow so I can actually still go to move her into college in Alabama this week.  I was afraid I would have to miss that.  I won't be very useful, but I can now do a few things and can drive one of the cars (the push button one!).

Then, Steve and I will come home to Michigan to finish packing the second POD before it has to be picked up on Aug 21.  Still much to do here, but I now realize that I have no power over the schedule.  It will happen when it happens.  I packed the last few sewing things yesterday (things that I had held back to make labels and sleeves), so I now feel like a junkie without a fix!

Sorry this post was so gruesome, but I wanted everyone to know how bad cat bites are for us two-legged owners and lovers of the little fur balls!  Be careful, keep up with their vaccinations, and if you do get bitten, seek help immediately!  I miss Weasley terribly, but he is getting used to a new family...and two others cats!  I guess he got the last laugh by biting me! I wish us both the best!  

Some time I will have to change my header, but I am not quite ready...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Three more sets of reproduction 6 inch blocks finished...

In the midst of the moving chaos, I managed to finish three new blocks for the little 6 inch block swap I am doing.

I borrowed this design from one of Lori Smith's patterns.

I drafted this block to show off all the lovely purple reproduction fabrics.

And this one is another one of Lori Smith's designs.  I just love orange and blue together, colors of my college alma mater, Auburn University (War Eagle!).

To date, I have finished three sets of ten different blocks (30 blocks) .  I am behind my two friends in getting blocks done for our swap.  I have 2-3 more sets prepped, ready to stitch as this pain-in-the-arse move continues...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dreaming of the Gorsuch family quilt...

Don't get too excited...this is a picture of a picture.  This is the Gorsuch family quilt.  What do you do when you are disconnected from your quilt cave and your stash?  You dream, scheme, and plan about projects to start when you are reconnected...this usually involves spending a little money...

I ordered this pattern from Margo E. Hardie from the land down under.  Here is her home page.  Her email is  She does mail to the United States.  I am so grateful for her time-consuming reproduction of this amazing quilt!

I have always loved this quilt...the Gorsuch family owned the quilt, but it is not certain who made it.  Many of the blocks are similar to blocks made or designed by Mary Simon at that time in history. Many people may have contributed blocks, or maybe they were all stitched by one person.

I want to make this quilt...or one similar to it, but one thing has always bugged me about it...the blocks are all on point, but really only one of the blocks NEEDS to be on point.  See the urn block just above?  All the other blocks have the appearance of leaning slightly.  Oh, and I guess the squirrel in one of the other blocks pictured above will have to be readjusted for a straight set.

To my eye, most of the blocks would work set in a straight setting. I have not completely studied the directions yet, but I think the blocks are supposed to finish at 13.5 or 14 inches square.  I am thinking of either resizing the one obvious on-point block or resizing all the others and choosing a block size that would work for all.  You may all think I am nuts, but that's the way I see it.

If I change the setting, the cornucopia wouldn't look so strange to me...right now it looks like it is dumping out its contents.  In a straight set, it would make more sense to my eye, and the container would be on a diagonal line.

This is the on-point pattern.

But the down side to the changes would be not needing the charming setting and corner triangles.  They are not consistent as far as difficulty and fullness.  The pattern on the left below would whip up very quick, but the one with all the berries would be time-consuming.  Maybe I could use the designs to make additional square blocks...

And here is one of the sweet little corner triangles...

Those who know me know I have trouble leaving other people's patterns alone.  I change blocks, borders, etc. until the final project pleases me.  That is what led me to drawing the Baltimore Rhapsody music project. Half of the blocks in my Civil War Bride quilt were redrawn to my liking and to fit our family story.

I guess I am saying I don't feel bad about changing things and will most likely do this to the Gorsuch quilt pattern.  Margo did a beautiful job interpreting this historic quilt, but I must make changes if I am going to spend all this time making it. 

Anyway, as I continue to pack boxes and tie up loose Michigan ends, I am dreaming of applique...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o) 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life after garage sales...

Life after two weekends of garage sales included a week in the sunny south, off-loading the first POD in NW Alabama.  It was nearly 100 degrees the 2 days it took me to unload the contents into the RV garage my Dad built.  Stuff will stay there until we can move it into the house.

The truck could not come in the main gate to take the half mile driveway through the woods, around the corners, and across the little bridge to the house due to size and weight, so he came and went on the unpaved service road.  All is well with that as long as the weather stays dry!

It arrived on Wednesday and was to leave on Friday, so I could not wait for the weather to get cooler.  Time to dig in and get started!

This is how it looked after the first layer was peeled away and hauled into the garage.  Nothing got broken, so I am very pleased with my PODS experience.

I was even able to bring the design wall pieces I had made recently...they floated along on top of everything just fine.

Each layer peeled away got me closer to emptying the thing...there were lots of breaks for ice and water!  In this layer, I tied two of my shelves together on their sides and nestled boxes of china, pictures, and small, fragile furniture between the sturdy shelves...and of course, fabric.

This next layer had three shelves tied together.  The shelf stack was hiding and protecting a sousaphone, more china, and other fragile things. 

These five shelves were some of the twenty plastic shelving units I had lining the walls of the quilt cave, holding my containers of fabric and other treasure.  I sold the rest in the garage sales.  I'm not sure how I will store everything in the new space.

Another layer gone...those tall boxes are heavy with my Art Bin containers holding works in progress.  Thank goodness I invested in a really good dolly with inflatable tires. It made doing all the loading and unloading possible. 

Finally down to the last layer...fabric on top, heavy books and quilting files on the bottom (ugh).

Finally empty...and the rain held off until the POD guy returned to take it away.  There was a torrential downpour 10 minutes after he left the property.

Everything fit in the RV garage and it will wait among the trees until I can move things into the house.  I must love this stuff to put up with moving it twice!

So it was not "two men and a truck" but "one woman and a POD." We will pack another POD with the remaining house contents and furniture around the middle of July.  Until then I will be packing boxes, visiting my FIL in Pennsylvania, and trying to paint and get the house ready for the market.  Riley is hosting friends tomorrow for her 18th birthday...then no more entertaining...ALL PACKING AND PREPARING!

Thank you for all your well wishes!  I hope to actually have a post about quilting soon, even though I am far from moving out or in!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)