Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Boy Sewer

I know I am not sewing...but look who is!

he said it would work better without his sock!

Teddy diaper!

Talented boy!

Keep on sewing all!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Youngest and the Adventures of the Baby Quilt

IT'S A ME MARIO ... Just Joking it's the Youngest
Alight - I have taken a small hiatus from blogging .... however I have not from sewing.
Now that my beautiful sewing room is done, the sewing fairy has sprinkled her sewing dust on me!
(probably fabric dust from a day of cutting)
With a little nudge from my Mum I have been using up what scraps I can find and putting together baby blankets. Why so many baby blankets you many ask HA well my oh so lovely Mother kindly reminded me that all my friends are at the baby age and wouldn't you know ... that's all I see ALL over my social media these days.
SO I might as well stock up on the quilts and hunker in for the baby storm that is blowing my way ☺
I have just recently completed a quilt for our neighbours. They are having their second child and the sex of the baby will be a surprise. Usually when you don't know if someone is having a beautiful baby boy or gracious baby girl the colour I find most are drawn to is that gender neutral yellow.
Well surprise surprise, I am not the biggest fan of yellow or overly bright colours ... but I stepped outside of the box on this baby quilt. I'm starting to learn that every time I venture out of my colour comfort zone I am astonished at how much I love the final product.
Lately I am all about being thrifty and using my left overs so I decided to use this jelly roll. I had it already half cut up and pieced together for another project that didn't quite see the end so I picked up right where I left off. My mom showed me a quick and easy way to turn those jelly rolls from just strips to really neat squares. I believe there is a quilt tutorial on this from Missouri Star Quilt Company - with 3 Dudes Quilting.

Below are some of the blocks sewn together.
Oh and as a side note - If you have not got the APP (application) for Missouri Star Quilt Company on your Phone or Tablet, it is a must. There are excellent tutorials on there. Also a good place to start if your looking for some inspiration.

Below is a picture of what the APP Icon looks like.
If you don't already know I am not a consistent quilter. I quilt in big spurts. I get a project and I have to work work work work until it is done and then I may not quilt for months after. My Mum laughs at me for this. Before I had a sewing room I would show up at my Mums door with fabric in tow and a BIG idea for a new quilt. Then I would basically squat at my Mums house until I got enough of the quilt done that I was satisfied. Sewing 12+ hours straight is a common occurrence when I get the quilting bug. Good thing my Mum is patient.
Well that sewing fairy sprinkled her sewing dust on me and I was bit by the quilting bug so I knew I had a long day ahead of me. I managed to get all the 3 Dudes Quilt blocks together in no time. However the quilt was a bit to small, even for a baby.
It definitely needed a boarder!
 I wasn't so keen on driving 45 minutes into the city just to get some extra fabric. So ... I drove 45 minutes and saw my Mum instead ☺ She had seen the project I was working on and had some spare stash that she said would work perfect.
Can't argue with the sensei.
My Mum gifted me the orange bumble bee boarder and the polka-dot binding.
(What a lucky girl I am)

Once I had the bumble bee border on it still looked a bit unfinished to me so I added a piano boarder with whatever remaining scraps I could find. The quilt really was about being resourceful.
I usually try my hardest to convince my Mum to sew the binding on for me.  The reality is that she is way better at it than me and you can NEVER see her stitches. But unfortunately for me she is out of commission since her hand surgery and I had no other choice but to go solo on hand stitching the binding.
Don't nit pick to much, but I am slowly getting better with each quilt binding I stitch on. My corners are turning into less of a monstrosity and the stitches are getting less and less noticeable. I do however have a new item on my wish list seeing that I will have to stitch the binding myself now.
BINDING CLIPS - Where have you been all my life !!! These are like gold.
With all the bright colours in the quilt just about any backing would have looked great. I chose to go with a baby soft fuzzy teal. What a good choice, I absolutely love how the bright orange pops against the teal. This is a winning colour combination, and I will definitely use it again! 
This quilt is just so fun looking, I can't wait to see what my neighbour thinks of it!

As always thanks to my Mum for all the help !!!

Until we meet again - The Youngest

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Basal thumb arthroplasty with tendon interposition

49 days post surgery

Looking much better than last time! Massaging with oil 4 -5 times a day. Exercises are painful, but giving me more movement slowly. I cannot bend backwards/upwards at the wrist. the thumb is moving a bit. The photo below shows how flat I can have my hand thus far. I cannot lay my hand flat on a surface.

Extreme wrist pain during the night -- I am back to wearing my full length splint for sleeping and the smaller splint during the day. Still pain in the wrist during the day as well. Physio is having me work on not wearing a splint at all during the day - one hour of no splinting added each day.

Since the pin has come out, I am not having those "zapping" pains. The surgeon said it was from the nerve hitting the pin when I moved my thumb a certain way.

Typing is painful with the left hand. I hunt and peck with my dominant hand, which is exhausting. Reading is fine as long as I don't have to hold the book with my left hand. Thus internet with right hand clicking is easy.

Physio has said I need to start using the left hand. It's limited though to very light things [like a sheet of paper, or my eyeglasses]. I cannot hold utensils or grip a glass. There is no way I can pull the bed sheet over me without squealing! Chef is still helping me pull my pants up. I cannot pinch my thumb to all of my fingers. I can only reach [with much shaking] to the middle finger. I am VERY excited about that as I couldn't even do that last week!

I can almost make a fist! Mind you, I don't think I would ever be able to follow through with a punch! My fingers are extremely stiff.

I took a shower BY MYSELF today! Very exciting! Though I still have trouble with shaving my right armpit with my left hand. I'll pretend I did a great job! Who says you have to be totally dry before you get dressed? Chef has not said anything about me being wet when he helps pull my pants up! LOL I think he doesn't want to crush my enthusiasm about any of my independent efforts! Chef still needs to help me with my antiperspirant on the right side and taking off the cap first as I can't grip it. It's these simple things that are so frustrating. I still rely on him to brush my hair into a pony tail. I can't grip anything in my left hand, and that includes my hair! He's become an expert now! I am so grateful to him. He has been a trooper through all of this Like I said...simple...I can cut the nails on my left hand, but Chef has to do my right. Forget tying shoes! Every top I own is slipped over my head, so that's pretty easy.

Going out... anywhere, is limited to an hour and half. After that I have to come home and elevate my hand and ice. Hopefully that will get better in time!

I am back to physio tomorrow. Hopefully Vanessa will be pleased with my progress.

That's it for the update! It has taken me well over an hour to do this, so I am off once again to do my exercises and then ice!

Happy Quilting Everyone! Thanks for all your email well wishes! The Youngest should be posting shortly!


update Sept 3/15
Had physio today. extreme swelling and lots of pain.
Switched into short compression type splint with solid molded area to keep thumb in position.
Still to wear long night splint.
Concerns over the persistent wrist pain I have. I cannot rotate my wrist or bend at the wrist upwards. Back to see surgeon next week. Possibly to have an injection to the wrist. I came home and had a cry.
update Sept 1/15
only using a compression glove - Tommie Copper - comfortable
still have swelling and pain - now upped the T3's to 3 times a day as per surgeon's recommendations
Surgeon is concerned I may have developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome - 5 more weeks of physio and then he will be sending me for an MRI if there is no improvement
Working hard on physio - my therapist Vanessa is pleased with my progress
Not one hour without pain, so it's very discouraging!
update Sept 27/15
worst night since surgery. Was up in excruciating pain until 4 a.m. Two T3's didn't touch the pain. Sat sitting up with hand elevated and ice on my thumb - helped a bit.
Swelling to the thumb area only - don't know what is going on.
Still doing my physio, but cut down to 3x a day. Have been working with therapy putty. Did I overdo it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 37 post Thumb surgery recovery

Hi All! I just got home from the hospital! PIN IS OUT! Thank you God!  -- fingers are not moving the way I want. Surgeon was surprised with bruising, but not surprised about the swelling. He said everything else is great. I did hold my breathe when the surgical pliers came out trust me..they look the same as any other pliers! Chef watched as I did my Lamaze breathing that was used 26 years ago! Chef said it was like watching someone pull out nails from a baseboard haha! My physiotherapist kept me focused on breathing! Thank you Vanessa!


The titanium  pin is as long as those flowered quilting pins! LOL I told him I wanted to keep it!

My splint has been cut to expose my wrist for more movement but to immobilize the base of the thumb.

I have exercises now 4 times a day and massaging the tissues. I am sure it will help with my skin! Amazing how limited my motion is just 5 weeks out. I'm on the upswing now, or so physio says!

I have cold sensation waves that come and go through the whole hand. Like a flush...for a few seconds. No response to my mentioning it.

Still left-handed typing -- but I am hoping physio will help me get back to my normal! This one handed stuff is for the birds! I feel like I have to hunt and peck! I have been watching my videos on Craftsy and browsing anything quilty! most times it's Pinterest because I can just click on the photo's and get to the websites! My favorites have grown exponentially.

Tigger of course is keeping close tabs on me! He literally follows me everywhere. Chef wakes up in the morning and comes downstairs - Tigger still waits for me to get up before he moves!

Chef is feeding me nutritious meals and helping with literally everything! I'm still having trouble pulling up my pants on my own. He says he doesn't mind! Oh Boy! I'd better get a handle on that before I head back to work!
The Youngest  has some quilting news to share this weekend, so stay tuned!

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging emails! I couldn't have done this without my family and of course my quilting friends! I hope that my journey about my surgery gives you good information in the event you have to go through this. No regrets!

Happy Quilting everyone!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Surgery Update

Date of photo's for reference: Aug 10 - Four weeks ago was surgery .... this is 28 days later. Lots of swelling despite RICE. Nine more days before the pin comes out. Right hand sore from one finger typing on right hand :-( The scarring is not too bad! Much better than what I anticipated

Lois Creative Gypsy gave me some sound advice: "...mix you up a little Jojoba oil (1oz) with a few drops of lavender and gardenia essential oil multiple times a day and the scars are virtually invisible! " It's great to be able to compare notes as she is through this!

We'll give this a try! I have only been able to tolerate once a day , as I still have the pin in. Pin comes out next week, so I would imagine this will be much easier after that!

Keep quilting on! I'll be visiting your blogs to pass my recovery time!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Surgery update and project to come!

Next project....last time I sewed the pieces still in the machine from before surgery!..and design wall ready for The Youngest to come help put the blocks together!

Little Man came to help this past weekend and helped Grandpa make pizza for supper. He also went to fetch ice packs for me and said, "Don't worry Nana! You now have three hands! One you have and two of mine! See! Three!" How can anyone not adore this Little Man? Adorable!

Today, Aug 5 - back to hospital to remove the last of the stitches. Now instructions to massage the "S" incision and don't touch the pin. I am 22 days post surgery. Waiting to get the feeling back in my thumb and be able to move the fingers more. Lots more to go, but feeling quite positive it will come along in time. This one or two right finger typing sucks!

My change in splints was night and day!. The LPN that removed my half cast, dug her thumb into my fresh incision resulting in excruciating pain. The old splint was resting on the incision site. X-rays were taken and I was re-examined by another surgeon on duty -- everything still in place. A new splint was made and I am going to have the pin in now for an additional day. Still no using left hand, REST - ICE - COMPRESSION (the splint) - ELEVATION.

 I'll update again when I have more energy! I miss touch typing and I remind myself daily that I will recover and be good as new!  Happy Quilting All! I'll be clicking and reading your blogs!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

11 days post surgery - Basal thumb arthroplasty with tendon interposition

Post with the assistance of The Youngest!

High five just before bandage removal!


Pin is at the top and sutures covered by steri-strips. The pin on top is holding the base of my thumb across to the base of my middle finger. The pin will be removed in another three weeks.

(Really its looking pretty good - not too much blood and gore - The Youngest)

 Hand Comparison
(Left hand with sutures)


Left thumb with pin - no expansion of hand until pin removal -- right hand is expanded. The yellow is bruising.


   Chef took a photo of my new snazzy removable splint!

I've been given strict instructions to keep this on for six weeks until my next re-check. I can only remove for showering; patting dry the incision area. They want me to move the tip of my fingers and move my thumb tip. My thumb is numb to the touch. 

Surgeon said not to panic.

Pain: No more than before surgery, and better most days. Major pain today - more about that later!

Meds: Last T3 with codeine was the day after surgery. Most days nothing. Once every couple of days I may have taken 2 extra strength Tylenol. I have been able to kept it under control with ice.

Sleep: I only wake up to re-position my hand when it's sore. 

Quilting/typing/using left hand: absolutely NO - The surgeon will review after I attend physio after six more weeks. No using my left hand other than moving fingers. Continue immobilization for 6 more weeks.

But all is not lost, the Youngest is going to come over and we are going to sew ... well the Youngest is going to sew I am going to be the one handed presser

(Almost sounds like a carnival act - step right up ladies and gents ... your eyes will be amazed when you see the one and only ONE HANDED PRESSER!! - The Youngest)

Until Next Time !

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 4 - recovery time!

one finger typing

drugs are good

refused nerve block

apparently have high pain tolerance

constipation not good

chef amazing and taking good care -- he did my hair!

surgeon said lots of bone chips

thumb wired to base of pointer finger for 4 weeks

peekaboo next week with surgeon

incisions starting to itch

ice is my friend

sleep better sleeping sitting up

right hand hurting from using it too much

i can pull up my pants by myself!

happy quilting everyone!

always, Margo

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Youngest - Edition #5

After another week up NORTH my BF and I were ready to complete the Hungarian sewing desk. It took a "little bit" of wine and another coat of paint but it is finally done. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

At first I thought this would be a quick weekend project, Sand, Prime, Paint Bing Bang Boom were done. Well it turns out that it takes a lot of time and patience but it is 100% worth it!
Here is the Before and After, hope you like it as much as we do


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Youngest - Edition #4

Okay Okay I know I have put it off long enough it is time to paint the Hungarian sewing desk. First to run through my check list: Sanded Check, Primed Checked, Sanity … well that ones in question.
It was recommend by several Do it Yourselfers to use Benjamin Moore – Advance [Satin Finish]. We have a Benjamin Moore paint store in the town so I figured why not go over and chat up the sales staff to see what their take on the proper paint would be.
Turns out the Benjamin Moore – Advance [Satin Finish] is the paint for the job. This specific paint has a lengthy drying time [approximately 16hrs. to full dry & 72 hrs. for a full cure]. The reason this is the best paint for furniture is because of the lengthily drying time which allows for brush strokes to smooth out.
My number one apprehention with this entire project was that the desk would look streaky and like a toddlers finger paint project.
I found out the most common reasons brush strokes are commonly seen on painted furniture: 
1) too much paint was applied at one time
2) The wrong bush is being used
3) The paint is drying to quickly not allowing for the brush strokes to level out prior to drying
Armed with the information to prevent those pesky brush stokes I had a newly instilled confidence that the desk would be a success.
I confidently left the Benjamin more store with a handful of white paint chips. Going off of the newly built shelving in the sewing room "as suggested by the oh so wise BF" the two paint chips that matched the closest were Snowfall White and Chantilly Lace. I decided to go with the regal Chantilly Lace. (Top colour in the picture below)

Armed with my DIY research my BF and I painted the first coat of Chantilly Lace. After we "patiently" waited 16ish hours for the paint to dry I just had to see the desk in its new home. So I made my loving BF help me carry it into the sewing room. I have to say I am pleased as punch with how it looks after just one coat of paint.
Best advice thus far from the DIY bloggers – Use good paint!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Youngests - Edition # 3


Well I’m back and all tanned and rested up from our vacation in Palm Springs, California. Two girlfriends and my patient BF went to a 3 day Country music festival “Stagecoach”, it was a blast.

I’m now re-energized and ready to tackle this Hungarian sewing desk. ….. Where did I leave off? Oh right we were all primed and ready!

Now comes the finicky part, the Painting. I have been dreading this part and that may be why we did a whole vacation before we attempted to tackle the painting of the desk. I have been doing everything I could think of besides doing the painting. I even opted one day to clean the washrooms over painting the desk =S
Now it’s down to the final hour and I have to get this desk done. We were living in a bit of chaos with the garage and front room in shambles. I have a somewhat fuzzy idea in my head of what I want this room to look like. The BF and I decided the best plan of attack is to get the cabinetry and then match the paint colour for the desk off of that.
 HI HO HI HO it’s off to IKEA we go – we head into the big city to pick up the cabinetry from IKEA

We all know that putting together IKEA furniture can be like pulling teeth and have caused many divorces hahaha. With that said I am rather impressed with the BF and I. I only had to leave once because I was getting Hangry. Hangry - it means to be angry as a result of being hungry. SO I promptly left the front room whipped up a quick dinner of lemon butter shrimp and rice for the BF and I, problem solved.

After a couple hours, dinner and a visit from our neighbor and their beautiful little girl we finished!Next stop is the paint store but we will leave that for another day. Oh and how could I forget that I need to start filling those shelves with stash =D