And…. She’s Back!

It is now officially five and seven weeks out from my bi-lateral knee replacement surgeries and officially I am feeling like I am on the mend!

It has been a tricky and painful journey. Especially the right leg. It was tough. I talk a lot more about the whole thing on my other blog, if you’re interested. MacCupcake.wordpress.com.

Be forewarned, I am pretty outspoken about the whole thing and really adamant that had I ever had any regrets about anything I have done in my life, this is the number one. Could ever undo something I had done? Having these surgeries would be the first on that list. I still may find that I will feel differently as the knees continue to heal and I am able to get around better and better, but right now… well, there it is. It has been seven weeks of non-stop pain of one kind or another and I am so tired of it. The worst is when it seems to seep into the bone and just throb… there is no getting away from that kind of pain.

Anyway, the point of today’s post wasn’t more lamenting… but to announce that I feel like I am ready to get back into creating. I have been prevented from doing much… I’ve been doing a lot of coloring. I love that this came right when there is an explosion in the popularity of coloring pages for adults, it saved my sanity during this time of immobility. I “invested” in this great set of gel pens – about 70 pens of multiple colors and different styles such as glitter, flat, metallic – and they blend wonderfully. I bought them when I started messing around with recreating paper dolls and it came in handy with plain ol’ coloring. I would print out interesting designs on card stock and I was good to go for hours.

I’ve collected many of these on my pinterest.com page and please head over there and check them out if you’re interested in coloring. Here is a quick shot of the collection and you can find it here:

Big People Coloring Pages

The other thing that I have been able to finally do is start working on the hand quilting of my found quilt. You can see the back story of the quilt here:

I had spent the time to carefully clean and repair it. Added an appropriate border – same fabric used for the backing as well – and then found a great hand quilting frame on CraigsList. I am really good at planning and preparing, sometimes my follow through leaves a little to be desired. 🙂

I finally got to the point of being able to bend both knees so that I could get under the frame. It took a couple of hours to get into a rhythm and looks like each section would take about an hour to quilt. I’m still working on getting my stitches evenly spaced and the same sized, but you know, it really is only my second quilt that I’ve hand stitched. (I don’t mind saying that if I actually get this quilt completed, I’ll probably not attempt another.)

Hand Quilting 1

The frame is a little awkward, specifically with the back cross support pieces, so there has to be a lot of planning when I am stretching the quilt. I think what I have decided to do is quilt the four piece square all the way across and then adjust the quilt and continue.

Hand Quilting 2 with Annotation.JPG

Just for fun, I am planning to keep track of just how much time I spend quilting. So far, after four sessions of work, the total is just under ten hours. As you can see, it is going to take a long time. It will just be my “go to” project when I am tired or stressed or just want to work on something that doesn’t need a lot of thought invested. I might look into a different quilting frame if I don’t find it becoming easier to work on.)

What’s next? I don’t know… I’ve been watching styles and trends during these past couple of months and I have some ideas but nothing big has captured my attention. Probably more importantly is continue with my physical therapy and get my doctor’s stamp of approval to drive again and more importantly, going back to work.

I appreciate everyone’s kind words and continued support these past weeks. Thank you!

Creative Update, Medical Update

Well, no, not really a creative update… but rather just let everyone know how things have been going. Two weeks ago, I had the first of bilateral total knee joint replacement surgeries. The plan then was to wait for a week and then have the second surgery. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a little too aggressive for me so we bumped it back one week. Which is tomorrow! Yikes!

But I really feel in a good place, pain levels haven’t topped four for the past week and usually it is just a little stiff from lack of use. The thing that bothers me most, though, is that I feel so prohibited from doing the things I want and love to do. I’ve been joking with The Kid by saying “… I feel like someone just chopped off me off at the knee…” ha, ha, ha… but it really does feel like that kind of limitation. I’m making light of the restrictions, but for me, it is like typing an arm behind my back. And now I am looking at starting it all over again, this time with the right knee! I only hope that having learned from the left, I can make it go a little more in stride for the right.

I had been working on getting the hand quilting rack set up so that I can enjoy some of my downtime on putting some real time and effort into hand quilting that old quilt top that I rescued during one of me and The Kid’s “adventures”, but am finding out the hard way that it isn’t really as easy as you might think.

I thought I’d start with just pin basting the quilt and then working on the hand quilting from the center of the quilt top out. But laying the backing, the batting and the quilt top out on the kitchen island and then starting to pin, it isn’t as simple as one might think.

2016-02-06 20.21.58First, it takes a small pyramid of safety pins to do this. I had maybe a hundred – who wouldn’t think that would be enough for a small quilt top, right? Well, wne through them very quickly. I purchased another 6 hundred and really pushed to get the half triangles all basted and a row around the border.

2016-02-06 20.48.23But when I went to transfer the quilt onto the basting frame, I realized that I no longer had the quilt top centered on the backing. I thought about it and tried to find solutions without having to unpin every single one of those safety pins and had almost convinced myself to just modify the border when it got to that point… unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I had managed to pin baste a couple of very large wrinkles into the backing material.

2016-02-08 22.04.09There is just no way around it, I am going to have to start all over with this effort.

But of course, since in the morning I will be once again looking at another few weeks before I can put any real effort into undoing and then starting again. If I had really been thinking, I would have had this ready prior to the first surgery. And all in all tonight, I am getting really tired and need to get things lined up for tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

%d bloggers like this: