Wednesday, March 26, 2008

University Moda Prairie Paisley Quilt

I really enjoyed making this University Moda Prairie Paisley quilt top. The fabrics were just so yummy to work with, I especially like the border fabric. Sometimes when I am making a quilt I am "done" with the fabric before I finish the quilt, but these fabrics spoke to me the whole way through. And, I've even managed to do lots of canning in between! Bring on the tomatoes! I'd like to be able to have enough for the entire year. Does anyone know how to make tomato paste? Is it just more reduction? I use it a lot when I make pizza's, so I'm thinking I need to can for spaghetti sauce, lasagna and pizza which is what I use tomatoes for mainly. I am tempted to can for tomato soup, but I can never seem to make tomato soup from scratch without it tasting too acidic. Does anyone know a good recipe?

Tomorrow is the drive up to Canberra for the MRI on Friday. I hope my stay in the tube is short and sweet--no time to find any reason to stay in longer...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On My Cutting Board

When The Fat Quarter Shop sent out a 20% customer appreciation discount a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist ordering this Modu U kit made with Prairie Paisley fabrics. Those Michigan gals made a very beautiful fabric line and I just felt I needed to support the Michiganders!! This project is so much fun that I can't stop working on it! Aaahhh, and I have so many cucumbers to pickle! And I need to start doing something with the tomatoes that are starting to ripen fast now...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dandelion Girl Quilt Top

Oh, did I ever have fun playing with these fabrics! This is a photo of the finished quilt top minus the final border. I think I will use one of the soft yellow fabrics once the yardage finally comes out! I feel special to have actually made a quilt out of fabrics that haven't even made it to the quilt stores! I got this fat quarter bundle on ebay a while ago and decided to make this quilt similar to one I had seen in a Kaffe Fassett book. Funny that this is the second quilt using Joanna Figuora fabrics that was inspired by a simple Kaffe Fassett quilt. This one was called "Salad Days", I think. Anyway, I used every scrap of the entire bundle minus two blocks, which always makes me feel good. One of these days soon, I would like to do a scrap clean up quilt or two!!!

So, it's been a little over a week now that I have been feeling much better. I'm still a bit cautious, but here's to hoping that it won't return again! Some people can have it disappear for 20 years or longer, I'm hoping I'm one of those people...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Glimpse of Dandelion Girl

I have been feeling better the last few days, I don't know if this is due to all the acupuncture or if it was always going to settle a bit. Anyway, I am enjoying it! The MRI is scheduled for the 28th, so I'll find out more then.

In the meantime I have been playing and playing with my Dandelion Girl fat quarter bundle! What wonderful fabric! I think it is my favorite Moda fabric yet. At the moment I am sewing it into a very simple construction. It makes for a very blendy quilt and I suspect that once it is quilted it will one of the cosiest of quilts! I will update again very soon, I hope.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Indigo and Gold

I really have to say THANK YOU so much for all the wonderful, kind and inspiring comments I have received from all of you since I posted about my illness. You have really given me some encouragement during this time that I feel like I am drowning. Emotionally I have been ok, I have been learning the stoic Australian farmer life somewhat at least. On the other hand, when I am going through my "sessions" and my head is being crunched in a vice and I am screaming and crying from the pain, I guess I am a bit emotional. Oh well, we get what we get in life and there is no point trying to second guess why things happen to us. So, I have an appointment with the neurologist this next Thursday, but the only thing I will gain by going is confirming that I have trigeminal neuralgia and not Multiple Sclerosis or a tumor. I will not take the meds for this as I would have to sacrifice being able to get pregnant while taking them. Also, I have read that they can have harmful side effects-- that it is guess work sometimes how long they will work for and for whom they will work. My approach thus far has been that I have been to the acupuncturist twice, who seems to think she will have about a 70% chance of helping me. I am taking high doses of vitamin B12 and am going to consider going to a chiropractor... All these things I have been researching on the internet. If anyone else out there has any knowledge or advice--Please comment!

I thought since I have not been getting too much quilting done, I would post what I was working on before. Now, this was a funny way to approach a project. Being that I am out in the middle of almost no where I rely A LOT on the internet for my inspiration for projects. I like to look in online quilt stores at samples and kits as one of my ways to get ideas. One place I like to look at is Fat Quarter Quilter's and another place is Homestead Hearth. When I was looking at Homestead Hearth a while back I saw a quilt that was kitted from a pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. They had the picture on there and I absolutely LOVED the quilt except that I thought it had too few blocks in it. I bought a bundle of the Indigo & Gold fabric from Z&S fabrics and was determined to try making it, even though I didn't have access to the magazine. By the time the fabric arrived, Homestead Hearth had sold out of the kit and took down the picture, so I had to try and remember how it looked. These are what I came up with! Funny thing is that the original quilt block was supposed to be 16 inches I found out now, but mine are 8 inches! These blocks have the tiniest pieces in them that I have worked with thus far, but hopefully I can keep at it. Maybe not all at once though...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

I went to the doctor today and he is quite sure that I have trigeminal neuralgia. I go to Canberra this week to do a MRI to see if it might be a tumor or MS, so I'll just have to wait and see. It's a bit hard to get my head around this and how I am to deal with the pain longterm. We've been trying to get pregnant, so I had to reject going on a course of meds that will deal with the pain. Normal pain killers don't work for this so I'll just have to keep on living with the pain. They call it the suicide disease as many people do give up when they don't get diagnosed or find a way to deal with the ongoing pain. Funny that I did feel like throwing myself off the balcony last week. But, no, really, I wouldn't. In times like this I always remember when I used to live in Innsbruck, there was a wall next to the river Inn that someone had spray painted, "I'll Never Give Up" on. I used to walk by it nearly every day and when the river got high in the spring it nearly always covered most of the writing so that you could just barely figure out the words. It reminded me of someone drowning, hanging on and determined to survive. I am convinced that is the only way to live life.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Chestnut Hill Trees

I have been doing little sewing and lots of surfing since I've had this neuralgia pain this last month, but the pain is starting to dull out some and I have been able to sleep a bit more. I was working on a complicated quilt which I will post photos of in future, but I realized last night that it was requiring way too much concentration for the moment. I need something easy to occupy me and drown out the pain.

Yesterday, I suddenly got inspiration of what to do with the rest of my Chestnut Hill fabrics by Joel Dewberry. It came to me while I was surfing around and was watching the free episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. Ricky was showing how to make flying geese units with just one seam and there you go, I was inspired! The technique uses up more fabric than needs be, but it does create a three dimensional effect and I do have enough fabric of this line to make my usual queen size quilt. I will sash each unit and lay them out to look like trees. Cool, eh? I do recommend watching free quilting tv to anyone who hasn't tried it out yet on Quilter's TV! They have some good shows on there.

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