Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two More Blocks Done

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, and I'm excited to get back to work on some of my sewing projects. I decided first to tackle months 2 & 3 of the Designer Mystery Block of the Month because ... well, because I really hate feeling like I'm behind on something and I'm in OK shape with all of my other swap commitments right now.

Here's block 2:

...and block 3:

Here are the first three months' blocks all together:

I'm really excited to see how this all comes together! I think it's going to be really nice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DQS4 Quilt DONE!

I finished my little quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap IV and got it off to my partner this morning! (Notice how I didn't say "send it off"? Hint, hint!). I know I've shown sneak peeks of this quilt on my blog before, but I was glad to get the binding done while recovering from my knee surgery. I love these fabrics and I'm happy with how it came out, though I must admit there are a few goofs in the binding, and I am not proficient enough in hand sewing to figure out how to make them better. I hope my partner doesn't mind!

Of course, I can't show the back & label yet, but I'll post them as soon as I hear that my partner received her package. There were some other goodies in there, too ... I hope she likes them!

Mine should be arriving any day now ... ... ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recovery (probably TMI)

(Before you start reading, if images of stitches make you queasy, you may not want to scroll down to the bottom of this post!)

So I made it through surgery intact! Thanks SO MUCH for all of your comments and well wishes. It was great having so many messages to read while I was confined to a horizontal position. Things have gone surprisingly well. Monday (the day of my surgery) is, of course, a bit fuzzy. I had never been put under before and found it to be a strange experience. I was wrapped up like a mummy from mid-thighs on down but was surprisingly comfortable. In fact, I didn't feel the need to take a single pain pill after Monday. It made me really nausous, anyway.

Not much pain to speak of -- more soreness and stiffness, actually. And a lot of swelling, of course. I had my bandages removed on Wednesday and, from Wednesday until today, I've had to deal not only with looking at my shaved legs everyday, but also with having to wear full-leg stockings (to reduce swelling). How humiliating!

My mom and aunt drove down from NYC to spend the week with us and help take care of me and the kids. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but my wife also decided to go back to work for the first time since the twins were born 4 years ago and, as luck would have it, her first day was Monday. YES, the day of my surgery. So to say that it's been a bit hectic around here might just be the understatement of the year.

I've been to 2 physical therapy sessions so far, and have noticed huge improvements in my movement and flexibility. As of today's appointment, I don't have to wear the stockings anymore (YEAH!) and I can leave the band-aids off. I'm still not close to 100% -- in fact, I just drove for the first time this evening, and I'm still working primarily from home -- but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My stitches come out next Tuesday and I'm looking towards that as a major milestone.

And, I'm back in the saddle with sewing! Some finishes to report, including my DQS4 and MBS2 quilts. More on those later!

Without further adieu, here's what bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery looks like, one week later. Self-portrait:

Oh, and here are some quick stats:
# of movies I watched while laid up: 0
# of books I read while laid up: 0
# of blog posts written and comments left on other people's blogs: 0

I had big plans, but I think I just needed to seriously veg out for the past week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Laid Up

I'm writing this on Sunday but setting it to post on Monday morning at 9:30 AM ... about the time that my double knee surgery (!!!) will be starting!

I've got torn meniscus tissue in both knees and have opted to have them both scoped at the same time. Shouldn't be a big deal, but I expect to be laid up (and full of Vicodin) for a few days. I wish I could say I'm not nervous ... but I kinda am. I've never been 'put under' before.

So I may be quiet for a while with posts (since I won't be making much of anything to share for a week or two), but I will probably be on the internet 24/7 since there won't be much else to do ... so I'll still be visiting all of your blogs and probably commenting more than usual! Please pass along any movie, TV show, web site, blog, etc. recommendations that you might have for someone who will be horizontal for the next week or so.

A few updates ('cuz I know the swap mamas are checking!):

  • My Doll Quilt Swap quilt is quilted and the binding is sewn on ... I just have to hand sew it to the back. I hope that I can at least accomplish that this week and get it in the mail once I am mobile again!

  • My Miniature Booty Swap quilt has its top completely pieced. I probably won't get to quilting and binding it until next weekend (at the earliest). I might be coming in just under the wire on this one, but I don't think I'll be late.

Finally, as a spur-of-the-moment thing, we took the kids on an overnight trip to our favorite beach, Wrightsville Beach NC, last weekend. The summer just wouldn't be complete if we never made it to the beach! Here are a few pictures:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Craftster Blocks

I've kept busy making blocks for my new Craftster swap pals! Here are the latest:

For Jenicat:

The pattern is the one for the second month of the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Block of the month. It's called "Star Struck".

For klum78:

I picked this pattern, called "Indian's Mats", off of because I thought it looked like Christmas ornaments.

Another block for Jenicat:

You might recognize this pattern as the first pattern from the aforementioned Designer Mystery Block of the Month. It's called "Cross Stitch".

For whoopdedoo_5:

Another "Cross Stitch" block. The muted colors didn't photograph too well, but it looks much better in person!

For audrey1999:

I used Jacquie's tutorial for this one. My first ever wonky log cabin! I really like how it came out, and I think I'll be making more.

For fishie:

This one's called "Box Quilt" and it's also from Quilter's Cache.

For CaroDIYnamite:

Another Quilter's Cache block. This one's called "Mother's Dream".

For glittergirl94:

Another "Mother's Dream".

For 1b1g1k2:

There's that "Cross Stitch" block again! Can you tell that I like it? : )

Another block for whoopdedoo_5:

For ritapizza:

This one's the "Flying Dutchman Variation" from Quilter's Cache.

A third block for Jenicat:

And here is a sampling of the blocks that have been made for me so far:

(Fabrics are Midwest Modern from Amy Butler, but they don't seem to photograph too well. The blocks are GORGEOUS in person! Everyone is doing such great work in this swap!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

KidsQuilts | Quilts for Comfort

A recent post by Jacquie led me to the KidsQuilts site. Alison organized quilt block collections which she then makes into quilts for the brothers and sisters of children with serious or critical illnesses. What a great cause! Alison gives a short description of the child who will be receiving the quilt and the block pattern to use. It is only a 1-2 block commitment per quilter. I figured I could handle that, knowing it will be such a special gift for a child.

Here are the blocks I made for Aryn's quilt. Such a cute idea for a little boy that loves science and bugs.

Please take a look at the site if this is something you'd be interested in getting involved with.

Monday, August 11, 2008

FSQS Summer Quilt Sent

Here is the quilt that I sent for the latest (and last?) round of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap.

I've been waiting to post pictures until I heard that the recipient received it, but USPS tells me it was delivered on Saturday, August 2nd, and still no word. So here it is!

I used Moda's Fresh Squeezed line in an effort to make it as summery as possible and tried a piping for the first time. I'm really happy with how it turned out, though the pictures came out terribly. They don't do the colors any justice at all. I'm also happy with the progress I've made with hand stitching the binding -- much better this time than last!

Here's the label I made. It's similar to the label I made for my ALQS quilt, but with different colors. Having never made quilt labels before, I hope they're OK! I like how they look.

Another swap comes to a successful close! I was disappointed to hear that the Four Seasons swap won't be continuing since this was my first round, but big thanks to Margarat for being such a great hostess.