Saturday, March 24, 2007

Haven't had time for much......

Life caught up with me and took over. I haven't picked up my quilt or my knitting in probably 3 weeks, at least. I don't know about you, but I feel so---bored, lifeless, tired---when I can't work on my creative outlets. My carpal tunnel flared up and I just can't hand sew or even hold onto the hoop for longer than 5 minutes without some major pain and knitting is just out. Needless to say, I had to cut down on my computer time as well, since typing and mousing makes it hurt as well. I've gained a few pounds over the last few months which is why it is flaring up---due to a lot of water weight gain, so I have to cut out salts and sugars to get back down and the doc said my carpal tunnel should go away after that. For some reason, with each of my children I gained weight after childbirth instead of losing, even though I haven't changed my eating habits or my exercise habits. My thyroid levels are messed up so we are adjusting my meds as well---once all this is taken care of, the carpal tunnel should go away again and I'll be hunky dory again. I tried cutting out some squares of denim for my denim rag quilts and even that messed me up---so I'm taking a break for a bit.

While I was sitting in my living room looking at my snowman wallhanging on the wall, I realized that it is time to put it away, so I need something to take its place. My quest while I am getting back to normal, is to find a cute, easy pattern for a spring wall hanging. Back in November, I saw a lady on my local Freecycle list advertise that she had tons and tons of old quilting magazines to give away---I went to her house and she had probably around 150, I took 80 (there was another lady who had replied to her, but since I replied first I got first dibs and she said I could take them all if I wanted to since she hadn't contacted the other lady yet--but I made sure to leave her a bunch, too---I tried not to be TOO greedy, LOL!) These magazines are all from the early 80's--some late 70's and a few from the early to mid 90's---but they are fabulous! The one thing about them is that nearly all pics are in black and white---and they don't always have pics--BUT I don't see that as a negative, it forces me to use my OWN ideas of colors and fabric patterns instead of trying to easily duplicate what the pattern maker used---which I prefer, over all. So, for the next 5-7 days I will be perusing these old mags to see if I can find a cool spring pattern or at least get some ideas for something I can design on my own. If you have any suggestions or ideas, feel free to let me know them!!!

As you may or may not know, I am asking for donations of scraps---useless scraps to you that could help me for my scrappy strip quilt I am planning. I will gladly pay the postage, I can send it via paypal or in the snail mail! I will gladly accept any fabrics--my only request that it be natural fibers---any colors or patterns and no preference on size or shape. The reason I am asking is because my scraps were all thrown out, either unknowingly or stupidly, over the years and the only ones I have now are from the last 4 quilts I made---not much there. As I build up my stash again and make more quilts, I plan on doing the same for someone else someday!

I am afraid of free motion quilting. I haven't really tried it in years, but I have a hard enough time machine quilting a straight line without my tension going kaplooey or my stitches being too close together or too big because I am not getting it over the feeddogs in a consistent manner. I have a really good machine, it was just serviced and when I was piecing I had no problems with tension or stitch size---it's just when I try and put a quilt on it that it all gets messed up. I was going to take a machine quilting class at my LQS but I wasn't able to sign up this time around. I saw a Linda Schmidt, Alex's guest on Simply Quilts make a quilt from a photograph (Art Quilts: Parisian Nine-Patch Miniature), using fabric painting techniques, some applique, and she was creating trees using thread and water soluable stabilizer. She drew the tree out on the stabilizer, put it into a hoop and then free motion sewed the stabilizer, making sure to cross all lines to ensure that the tree would stay together once the stabilizer was dissolved. I really want to try that, but once again, I am afraid of free motion quilting/sewing. She did keep her feed dogs up, which I kinda don't understand how unless she just kept going forward and using the back button, I don't know but my goal for this year is to learn how to do this---and to learn to free motion and machine quilt. While I am a traditional quilter in my heart, my head is telling me to make an art quilt, so I need to learn a whole slew of new techniques so I can at least make a small wallhanging by the end of the year.

That's it for me today, hopefully if I am a good girl and follow my doctor's instructions faithfully, my swelling should go down soon enough so I can get back to work! I should get a wrist brace, but to me, that is like admitting that I have a problem, LOL! He said if I lost 10 pounds, I should be good to go since I didn't have a problem 10 pounds ago, LOL! Of course, I'd rather lose 40---time to up my metabolism and hit the sidewalk with my walking shoes!!

Have a good week, hopefully I'll talk to you all soon!


swooze said...

My doc has me sleep in the wrist braces. They really do help allowing the pressure to be relieved overnight. I would try them out.

On the free motion. I am fiddling/struggling/trying those techinques as well. Hang in there! We will get it!

Quilt Mommy said...

I have a touch of carpal tunnel also - it doesn't help that my hobbies are horrible for it! Typing on the computer - sewing - hand quilting - knitting - cross stitch! Lol* I was in accounting before I decided to stay home with my girls, so all that time in front of the computer really did it to me! Lol* Hope yours is feeling better soon! :)

Also - are you near Ashtabula? I also live in Northeast, Ohio. I sure wish I'd seen that quilt magazine posting on Freecycle! :)

Vicki W said...

I got a little back logged but I will have a box of scraps in the mail to you tomorrow - I promise! I hope you are feeling better soon.

Marsaili said...

thanks Swooze, I'll have to give the braces a try, maybe I won't wake up with dead, painful hands if I use them, LOL!

Hey Quilt mommy! EVERYTHING I do, from quilting, sewing, knitting, cooking, gardening, lifting babies---it all messes with my hands! I was a cook and then an IT person, so both jobs ruined my hands. We're getting closer to Ashtabula, we've found houses with land in Saybrook and Plymouth that we love, so hopefully the financing will come through and we'll have one or the other SOON!!!

Thanks SO much, Vicki! I'm really excited!