Thursday, September 29, 2022

Working on the Recovery Phase and Last Wednesday Post For A While

Once again, I've missed a Wednesday post. Thursday, however, is close to Wednesday. Also, I wrote two posts this week which is my normal rate. Tomorrow, it will be three weeks since I was rear ended. I've had four chiropractic and three massage appointments. I am thankful that I can receive the treatments. I'm thankful that I can drive myself to the the appointments.

Basically, I still feel pain from the mid point of my head down to my tailbone. I am thankful that I can take regular breaths without feeling rib restriction. Coughing and sneezing still cause pain in my neck and back areas. Before the treatments breathing was even painful! It's taken me more than a week to write this post as typing on the lap top more than about ten minutes makes my thumb, index and middle fingers numb. 

I've had X-rays of my spine. The results showed that the top curve of my spine is a little flat and the second curve of my spine is rotated a bit to the right. The chiropractor said that the results are indicative of a rear end accident. With treatments, I might regain the curve and alignment; but, I might have a new normal for me. In other words, I may be living with the way my spine is now. The chiropractor said that there was no reason to not think I'd be back to "normal" activities.

The chiropractor has given me a few neck exercises. Rolling a tennis ball in specific areas of the back of my head has helped decrease the severity of the headache. Unfortunately, one of the exercises sent my neck muscles into an angry flare. The shoulder exercise triggered more numbness in my fingers. For those exercises, I backed off on the number of repetitions and the range of motion. 

Sometimes, the chiropractor is too aggressive with the treatments. It is going to take some time for us to determine what works best for me as she gets to know me and my body. So far, I may feel better at the end of the session; but, in a couple hours, I may also feel like those areas have been lit on fire. The massage therapist is gifted at calming those areas while working on other areas that cause me pain. I miss my previous chiropractor! She is moving to New Zealand because her husband has a job opportunity there. I am thankful that I have a referral for my massage therapist. 

Bending to groom the dog is uncomfortable. I've taken to brushing her on our bed as there is less bending for me. The brushing movement with my arm is tough too. It doesn't take many strokes until the numbness begins. I've found cooking--especially stirring and chopping to be difficult. I'm fortunate that my husband is fine with stirring and chopping as well as lifting full pots from stove/oven to table! 

Work is tough. I'm thankful that I only work about five days a month and most of the time, there is a day in between that I can use as a recovery day. Demonstrating compressions is painful and several hours later, my back is even more painful! I am thankful that there is a lot of walking in my job and that sitting and standing is about the same. Right now, there is no way that I can sit or stand for prolonged periods. Sitting at the table for a meal is sometimes too much!

I miss reading a book. I did manage to finish reading a book I started a couple months ago and I had progressed through about two thirds of a second book before the accident. Holding the book is uncomfortable and looking down is uncomfortable. I may go back to listening to audible books soon if I can manage the time spent on the computer to check them out from the library.

I miss machine piecing and quilting. I miss participating in the quilting related zoom sessions. Some days, I can English Paper Piece and some days I can't. I miss using our season tickets for the college football games. Sitting more than 20 minutes in a car irritates my back. The field is more than an hour and a half drive from where I live. I hope that in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to handle the drive.

In addition to the chiropractic and massage treatments, exercise, ice, Alleve and a positive attitude continue to be part of my recovery.

As for Wednesday posts, these are going on hiatus until I can handle time on the laptop better.  

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Costa Rica Star

Current book club book
Our Thread Tales book club is reading "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay. It is a deep read; but interesting. I've spent some time googling a number of references the author made in the text. 

The cover of the book inspired me with the color palette. In Martha's projects was this Costa Rica star from Judy Mathieson's "Mariner's Compass Quilts--New Directions" book. The colors in the project were what I envisioned. The project had issues.

Why Martha didn't get past the two circle stage was because neither circle was round. That large circle, while beautiful, was full of waves.

The inner and outer circles
She didn't know how to fix it without losing the crispness of the design. She would lament that she had no idea how that happened since she paper pieced the sections. She also would say that she wished that she had left the paper on the sections. She looked at it often; but, didn't work on it. I'm going to finish it using the mantra finished is better than perfect!

After she died, this project was in the pile destined for the landfill. I picked up the bag because there was some black fabric and a couple batik fabric chunks. Was I surprised when I opened the package at home and discovered this project.  

I thought that I would take the circle apart at the quarter marks and restitch it. I was fortunate to have the Mariner's Compass book.

Inner and outer circles together
In the pattern, addressed the waves and said to block the project. I did block it and blocking helped reduce the amount of waves. I was able to get to a more circular shape. I'm glad that I didn't try to rip the sections apart. This star is contracted with the pieces being added to the same side until the circle is complete. Ripping wouldn't have solved my issue.

The next issue was that the hole was too large for the inner star. I considered floating a piece of black background between the two circles. That was a fleeting thought! 

Close up of the seam between two circles 
Instead, I opted to hand baste close to the inside edge of the outer circle. I was able to adjust the fullness enough to set in the inner circle. I basted the edges together because if there were going to be puckers, removing basting stitches was easier than removing regular stitches. 

For the most part, it worked. There is fullness and the edges of the outer circle still "wave"; but, the overall fullness appears to be less. I'm hopeful that the mantra, "it will quilt out" works!

One of the backgrounds that I'm using for my 2022 temperature quilt has the same colors as this star. I thought perhaps that fabric would work in this project too. I also auditioned the plain black fabric that Martha had chosen for the project. 

The pattern has the circle centered in the background, sashed with a selection of fabrics used in the star and then bordered with the background. Gertie, my inner squirrel, liked the plain background the best.

Auditioning the backgrounds 
She also thinks the plain black background fabric is too small because she wants to change the orientation of the star which I think is a good plan. She is drawing thumbnails with layout ideas. 

I've peaked at her thumbnail sketches. I like the one of the star off of the background. Gertie thinks we could pull off an organic edge. Let's see! Gertie also wants to add some bling/beads to the project. I'm not so sure about the beads. Gertie wants to machine piece the piece to the background. I'm leaning towards applique. We continue to contemplate our options!

Martha would be tickled that the two parts of her star are together. I know she would add sparkle or bling to the piece.

I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework because Martha made this project with scraps!

I wrote all but the last two paragraphs of this post before the car accident. I still am not able to machine piece or machine quilt because of pain in my upper back and holding the fabric makes my fingers numb.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Ottolenghi Recipes--post 3

Learning about mushrooms
I've continued to cook recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi's SIMPLE cookbook. Goal number one one my September list was to write a post about the dishes I've made since sharing our potluck in London.

I did make a repeat of the muhummara, pickled egg plant, cucumber salad and pea salad dishes for Dick and Gail, a couple of my Washington State friends. I continue to make the hummus on a regular basis. 

Not all of the recipes that I have prepared have been wows. A few recipes were the kind that making them once was enough.  Over time, I'll share my thoughts and a photo of all the recipes that I've tried.

One recipe that I was interested to try was the Burger with Mushrooms and Feta recipe on pages 164-165. Making this recipe in London involved a trip to the mushroom vendor which was an experience in itself. I have eaten a few types of mushrooms; but at the mushroom vendor's stall, there were mushrooms I hadn't seen! 

We told him what we were planning to make with the mushrooms. We asked if he could recommend ones that would hold up with the cooking and pair well with the other ingredients in the dish.

Hen of the Woods
He was happy to select a few varieties for us. We learned where they originated and how to use them. Some wild varieties, you tear apart and some varieties you leave as they are. You slice the cultivated varieties.

We visited this vendor several times during my London stay. He was always passionate about his product which made it extra fun to purchase from him. We did purchase some brown and white mushrooms from the local market to round out our dish.

We tore the Hen of the Woods and the Oyster mushrooms. We left the Cordyceps whole and we sliced the rest. Those orange Cordyceps  remained orange in the dish which provided a lot of interest! The Girolle turned a darker shade of orange in cooking. I didn't use all of these mushrooms in one recipe. Over several repeats of the recipe I've used all the varieties pictured here.

I've made the dish once since I've been home. I used the mushrooms that my husband could purchase in the supermarket. While the dish was still tasty, it was better using a wider variety of mushrooms.

I like the recipes that you serve from the cooking pan. It sure helps with cleanup! This dish also tasted terrific cold as a leftover.

I'm a week late in writing this post. I haven't missed writing a Wednesday post in a long time. I had this post started before being rear ended. Unfortunately, I physically haven't been able to type more than a line or two at a time. It takes me a long time to write a post with all those interruptions! My fingers tingle and my arms go to sleep. I still have a headache, neck and back pain. I am so ready to get rid of the headache!

The dish ready to serve
Sigh. . .I've been to two chiropractic and one massage appointment. I felt a little better after the second chiropractic appointment and I gained a little range of motion with the massage appointment in my neck. 

I've scheduled more of each. I still can't machine quilt because my arms tire and my fingers tingle just getting into position to quilt. I have been doing a little hand piecing; but, I'm behind on the blocks for my temperature quilt. 

Every day I hope that it will be the day that I can try sitting at the machine to piece. Sitting at the table for a meal isn't that comfortable either so I haven't tried sitting at the machine. I've missed Zoom sewing with my groups because I sitting in the chair makes my back hurt. 

I find chopping, stirring, carrying the dish to the oven and table tough to do. I baked some bread, but, my husband needed to finish because my arm strength gave out. He's been a great sous chef. I'm telling myself to be patient.

I will heal. 

As far as the car repair goes, we were able to get it to a shop for an estimate. We chose two car repair shops. The second shop on our list didn't have an estimation appointment open until the beginning of October. We decided that we would go with the shop that we were able to get the estimation of damage appointment. 

We have a repair appointment scheduled November eighth. That appointment is about two months after the accident. Materials like parts are all still a challenge to source and ship. We are fortunate we can still drive the car. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

2022 Temperature Quilt-post 4

Reusing the basting papers
When I last posted about this project I had decided to add another background fabric to the project. I was stitching the blocks into rows; but, planned to wait until the year was half over before I began stitching the rows to each other. I have since learned that it is easier to add a block into the the project than it is to add a whole row. I thought it would be easier to add a row! Live and learn!

I've enough of the rows together to begin removing the papers. I do plan to leave the papers on for the outer three rows. I've been reusing the papers. The seam allowances at the block corners is a bit "fluffy." I'm considering adding a dab of glue and giving the area a press so the seams are as flat as possible.

I'm working away on the month of September, adding a block every day once I have the high and low of the day. I've also been stitching at least one block of the February row. My goal is to finish adding February by the end of September. I'll need to add January while I work on October which is doable.

Width and bottom edge
I realized that I will need to add another diamond to the bottom edge so that the bottom edge mirrors the top edge.

Adding a few more diamonds of the dark background fabric isn't a big deal. 

Long and skinny
The bigger deal is this top with six rows completed measurers 14 inches wide by 70 inches long. I thought that it would be wider. At this rate, it would finish at around 35 x 74. I thought a long and skinny project would be okay. I had envisioned this project as a lap quilt. It isn't going to be big enough if I stick with my current plan. 

This project is an example of the importance of having a solid plan. Had I been more aware of what size I'd be making, I could have changed the layout to make a wall hanging. 

I've been pondering what to do for the last couple weeks. I could leave it long and skinny. It takes a lot of time every day to make a block and attach it to the project. I do like the boxes. 

I could repeat the pattern for next year. I wouldn't have to determine what the pattern would be or figure out the supporting fabrics. I have plenty of those supporting fabrics. I'd be committing to a lot more handwork!

Gertie, my inner squirrel, is opting for adding another year to the project. She said if I do it a second year, I should title the piece "A Tale of Two Years." My London daughter suggested finishing it this year. She would add big borders with some words and a legend. 

I'd appreciate your thoughts. Please leave me a comment about what you would do if this was your project. Thanks!

For the first time in years, I missed writing a Wednesday post. I'm still not able to sew at the machine and I still am sore from the car accident. I'm still using the ice packs liberally. I still have a nasty headache. Alleve doesn't do much for the pain. I miss sewing so much. I hope that I will be able to quilt sooner rather than later! I can't type more than about ten minutes before my hands go to sleep. It's taken me days to write this post. Sigh. . .I'm trying to be patient. . .

I'm headed over to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. I'm looking forward to reading about other people's scrap projects.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Then This Happened. . .

Driving home from work Friday afternoon, this happened. . . 

Our car

Yep, traffic suddenly slowed to a stop, I slowed, the person behind me didn't slow fast enough and I got crunched. At impact, I felt and heard my lower back, mid back, neck and head make cracking noises and move. That cracking is not a good sound. That moving didn't feel good either.  I felt fortunate that my car was drivable. Her car was not. Two guys who work at a Toyota dealership were behind her car and saw the accident. They tried to move her car out of the line of traffic and couldn't. Clackamas Fire and Water Rescue happened by and were able to move her car to a safer place. 

The other car
We exchanged information. We both were feeling nauseated and shaky. My neck immediately hurt and I had a tremendous headache. I stayed with her until her son arrived. No sewing happened that evening. Not much happened yesterday either. I still have a headache and am liberally using the ice bag. I've numbing on my thumb, index and middle fingers of both hands although the numbing is more pronounced on the left. 

Accident reports have been filed and insurance companies have been notified on our end. I have an insurance number for a personal injury claim so I can seek medical attention. I am so bummed. I'm scheduled to work two days this week. I am hopeful I can complete my tasks. 

Scraps ready for Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks
I have to trust that my ability for sewing will return. I plan to try a little activity every day. Tomorrow, we'll start the repair process on our car. Likely, we will need a rental. I am fortunate that my husband is able to juggle the equipment, the questions and system. My headache makes it hard sometimes to think!

My plan yesterday was to sew my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. In the middle of the week, I finished cutting all the pieces for three blocks. I'm not sure when I'll be able to sew the parts into blocks. I'm linking up with Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Do check out all the projects stitched with blocks. I'm always inspired with the projects.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Inventory of One Tub

Goal number six on my September goal list was to inventory the projects in one project tub. I pulled the "designated" tub. I emptied the contents. I wasn't surprised that there were a lot of projects! After all, I excel at bundling and planning projects; but, I'm less than stellar regarding the follow through!

The top tub was "it"
1. A couple blocks that I liked and made extra when the guild did Block of the Month. I thought it would become a table topper; but, I need to make blocks. Perhaps, a table runner would be a better option.

2. Class project when Sylvia Pippen was the instructor. Haven't touched it since I was in class. It is a handwork project.

3. Leftover knit and cotton fabric from the summer dresses that I made for the oldest two granddaughters. Perhaps, I'll make one for the youngest granddaughter!

4. I cut a bunch of 7 inch squares into hexagon shapes and made a couple blocks. Haven't touched the project in years.

5. A By Annie's pattern for an organizer. I've made several of these and have fabrics for lots more!

6. At least three hanging dish towel projects in this group and as many as six!

7. This is a book club quilt that I thought that I'd stitch years ago.

8. Lots of yardage in this print rayon fabric. Have no idea what sort of clothing pattern to tackle.

9. This is a started book club quilt that stalled. Perhaps, I'll figure out how to move it forward.

10. Button ornament possibly. I saw one on Pinterest and wanted to make some. I even sorted through my buttons to capture a few of the right color to make a tree. It's been years since I did this!

11. Leftover piece of a selvage block. I had an idea about making more "yardage." That thought was in the winter of 2020.

How many projects in one tub . . .at least 22

12. Christmas fabric strip pieced. . .maybe a table runner, a stocking or a placemat? I made a couple stockings and these are the leftovers.

13. Christmas wall hanging project from my friend Martha's stash. Maybe I can add some length and make it into a comfort quilt donation.

14. Three dishtowels for embroidery. This could be a place to stitch what I've made playing with my new software.

15. A thread catcher project. The directions and the hoop are included in the bag. 

16. A wrist pincushion that I made when I was ten. The dog chewed it up; but, I'd like to make a replacement. Maybe, the two older granddaughters would like to make one too.

17. At least three sample blocks with no idea why I bundled these up together. Maybe my plan was to use the blocks in a back or possibly make pot holders out of them.

18. Pot holder project .   .  .there must be at least four in this group and I've one complete!

19. Three small bags of bonus triangles. I want to make a Wild and Goosey quilt pattern by Bonnie Hunter. Quilters gifted these to me.

20. String basket/bowl project. Started in a workshop. I would have to revisit the tutorial to remember how to twist the strings!

21. Credit or gift card holder project.

22. I was the winner of these nine blocks from contributing to the block of the month. Maybe, these could be put together to make a baby quilt. 

Now to choose one project and make progress which is goal number seven on that list. 

Should I put the numbers in a hat and draw? Should I pick one that I can finish in an afternoon? Should I pick one that I could gift during the holidays? Should I pick one that takes up the most space? Should I pick one that my granddaughters could do too? Should I spend one week a month working only on projects in this tub? Should I spend one day a week only working on projects in this box?

Hm m m. . . .I'll noodle on the options. Perhaps by next week I'll know what I'm going to do. Gertie, my inner squirrel, has had lots of suggestions!

Sunday, September 4, 2022

August Recap and September Goals

The sky the first day of September
My August goals were:
✔1. Write one post about past book club book/quilt. I've two posts left to document the finished quilts I've made that were inspired by books I read through the Thread Tales book club. The book will likely be: The Soldier's Wife by Margaret LeRoy. 

First day of third grade
✔2. Finish the 2022 Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt. The pattern this year was Rhododendron Trail. I have the sleeve and label to attach.
✔3. Gertie, my inner squirrel, took me on a detour.  She had a good idea. I added some red squares that were in my precuts too! This project is the guild challenge so I'll be doing some secret sewing. 
✔4. Fully finish the cross stitch projects I began in London.
✔5. Make at least one swimsuit. I made two! The granddaughters packed their new suits for camp!
Deep in conversation with Papa
✔6. Make a plan of tackling the started projects and gifts that I stored into a couple tubs. It would be great to reduce the number of "opportunities" in those tubs! This is going to be my "cleaning/organizing" goal for this month.
✔7. Begin quilting the Lone Star Quilt. It was my one monthly goal.
✔8. Stay current with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and the Temperature quilt blocks. The RSC color for August is orange. I plan to piece August into the temperature quilt along with March. This means that I'll be stitching two blocks a day. . .doable if I keep at it!
Beginning quilting on the Lone Star
✔9. Determine a plan for the next book club quilt. We are reading: "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay.
✔10. Add the binding to a quilt that I'm planning to gift to a graduate.

In terms of meeting the goals that I set, it was a terrific month! Additionally, I helped 63 people earn their American Heart CPR certification. 

Get this project to the embellishment stage
I watched my granddaughter crawl for the first time. I even watched her eat her first solid foods. . .sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli and mangos have all been winners! I've seen her first tooth. I've watched her splash about in the tub and the outdoor wading pool. It's been a great visit and I will miss her and my daughter when they return
to the UK at the end of this month. She and her papa have spent some quality bonding time together.

Width of the Temperature Quilt
Our middle granddaughter had her first day of school. She
is a third grader. Our oldest granddaughter had to delay school because she has COVID. She was bummed as she had her outfits planned for 5th grade for the entire week. After a week, she continues to recover. After six days, she moved into the bored stage which was a good sign. All but our daughter in that family have had COVID now. So far, my husband and I continue to be COVID free.

I can't believe it is September! The photo was of a sunrise on the first day of the month. Mornings continue to be my favorite time of the day.

My September goals are:
1. Write one post about the the Ottolenghi recipes that I've been making.
2. Finish the quilting on my Lone Star Quilt which may not happen; but if I can get the bones of the quilting completed, I'll be happy.
3. Get the book club quilt for our current book to the embellishment stage. Making this goal will be a stretch; but, I'm also making it my One Monthly Goal. Check out Patty's link for a view of others' plans for the month. Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal September Link-up
4. Keep up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The color this month is light blue. 
5. Write a post about the 2022 Temperature quilt blocks. Keep up with the blocks for this project.
6. Inventory the contents of one of the tubs that I've stuffed with projects. This is my organizing project for the month.
7. Choose one of those projects to move forward.

I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. The back of the lone star is pieced with leftovers from the front.