Friday, August 6, 2021

Baby quilts and knitting preemie hats

It’s been a while since I wrote. I’m still having serious anxiety issues. They termed it  ‘hyper vigilance’ and it feels as if I’m edge all the time. The doctor doubled my dose which as yet has not helped much and has also caused me to have absolutely no motivation. Until today, I haven’t sewn in weeks, nor sketched or painted or had any desire for fiber art. It’s discouraging right now but I can’t stop the medication  until  there is improvement in the anxiety. 
I was extra shaky this morning when our carpenter came to install our new countertop. He’s a friend so I managed to calm down enough to distract myself with sewing the last few blocks on the Split Charms baby quilt by Sugar Pine Quilt Design’s that’s been on the design wall for while.

They were able to save the mosaic underneath the window that I’d done years ago.

I was a bit limited in my blacks and whites and used what I had.

Meanwhile, a friend very kindly basted the 9 patch baby quilt together for me which I hand quilted using the utility stitch.  I’ve found that hand stitching or simple knitting is all I’ve felt up to doing. She also did a second one for me for more utility stitching.

I’m sewing the binding down, another thing I find relaxing.

Simple knits we’re needed so I’m doing preemie hats.

This morning we had our new countertop installed which may have been what pushed me to sew a bit in my studio. I need to get out to my garden to pick beans and carrots, however; today it is too hot and muggy for me. My motivation is so low that I have to push myself to get anything done. The medication, citalopram, which is supposed to help anxiety, and hasn’t done much yet, also makes me sluggish. I’ve ignored a lot of the garden but I’m really going to try to get some yellow beans frozen as I’ve tons of them.
I’ve got rhubarb that need picking too but we’ll see.

I’d like to know if anyone out there is suffering from this kind of anxiety. It’s been going on for months and I’m quite discouraged. 
My hip has healed well and if I could walk more it could help. I’m up to about 18 minutes. The other issue is my back which keeps me from walking too far. I’m due for another injection.

Sorry to be such a bummer but that’s my life right now and maybe it helps to write.  Please tell me how you’re coping. 

Our province has decided to go wide open despite many people’s misgivings and I’m sure that doesn’t help. It was too sudden and seemingly so unlike the procedures up to now.  I was pleased to find out this morning that our local Walmart is still following the COVID protocols and that about 90% of the customers were masked. Going anywhere is a challenge for, partly out of nervousness and partly because I just don’t feel like it. I was determined to get a little more yarn so I pushed myself to go. And I drove myself for a change. 

Take care of yourselves.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

My first project since my hip replacement

I knew that I might like s fun and easy project to get back into my sewing after my hip replacement surgery. It’s been 3bweeks and I’m now graduating from walker to the cane. I did the artwork and got all the pieces ready before the surgery.

Today,  I felt like sewing and I put it together. All that’s left is to finish the inside and add pull tabs.

It will make a great knitting project bag.

I finished another easy sweater for little Gussie made with Lion brand, Ice Cream Cotton Blend and I love the feel of it. It’s machine washable and dryable.

They had a nice beach day on Friday.

We are hoping to see them in a couple of weeks when they come here to stay at a cottage next to my in laws.

I’m still having anxiety problems but it is improving. My doctor upped the dose of the medication this week and it makes me so drowsy until,I get used to it. I decided to take the increase dose at supper time today instead of the morning when I take the rest. 
I like to have some no brainer knitting on hand for resting times and I’ve found out that the volunteer services at our hospital will provide yarn and patterns for volunteer knitters.

This is what I’m doing.

When I haven’t been to shaky, I’ve been doing a little loose sketching of some of my garden flowers as I find it helps me to relax.

How are you doing in these times? Are things easing where you are? Do you find yourself nervous about getting out there as I do? If all goes well after my follow up in Moncton later in July, we may go for a few days to the Island. I’m sure I’ll be anxious before we go but will relax once there. We will have a private house to stay in.

Take care, 💜

Sunday, June 20, 2021

After my hip replacement

It’s been 2 weeks since the replacement was done and I’m getting around well with little pain. I’m only taking Tylenol twice a day. I travelled the 2 plus hours to Moncton to have this method done (anterior) as it’s less invasive and they don’t cut muscle. I also opted for an epidural so recovery time is faster. We made the trip home fine, the only hitch trying to find a decent washroom that I could get into with my husband’s help.
This is my current means of transportation but only for one more week and I can graduate to cane for 3 weeks.
Tomorrow, I go to have the Staples removed and we’ll see if a shower will be soon.

What I have found very relaxing is utility’s stitching a baby quilt that a friend very kindly sandwiched for me.

I’m using masking tape as guiding lines along the diagonals using perle  cottons size 5 in a variety of colors. Today I set up at the dining room table as it’s easier on the back and arms.

I took a break to try a small sketch of some cornflowers.

In my last post I talked about the anxiety I’ve been suffering and my shakiness. I had to concentrate and relax to calm the hands.

So far, the anxiety meds have not helped, at least discernibly so. I will see the dr later this week and see if a bigger dose or perhaps further investigations may be needed. 
In the meantime I’m doing my best to follow my exercises, and do what I can to relax. Guided meditations are also helpful and there are lots to be found on you tube.
We’ll I’m heading to wash my hair in the sink as showering may not come right away.I’m lucky to have a high gooseneck and a shower head.
Happy Father’s Day to all the hubbies out there. I know I’ve been really appreciating mine for how wonderful he’s been in helping me out. I think the basic cook is learning to make meals!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 4, 2021

My absence

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been away from my usual social media lately. I’m going to try to explain.
Several weeks ago I started having what I thought was restless legs and I found it difficult to sit still or relax. We tried treating that but things worsened. The restlessness grew. I started shaking. I had a hot ball of heat in my stomach that would radiate outward and then I’d get shivers. It was all very I comfortable and scary.
I ended up going to emergency where I was very well treated. They put me in the family room and I didn’t t wait very long to see a dr. He told me it was extreme anxiety hyper vigilance and I would need medication which was immediately prescribed. I would also hear from a mental health person in 48 hrs which I did and they’ve been in contact every couple of days. 
The medication takes time to work as it gets slowly increased and I have to take something else in the meantime. 
This snuck up on me as I felt I was quite content in my studio and my artwork, and I really have little control over it. 

I’m groggy and fatigued while I get used to the meds so it’s hard to do much. I’ve been knitting a little and trying to sew the odd bit as the days can be long.

Some days I put on e block together.

My 1 yr old grandson Gussie, is wearing a sweater I sent over.

The second sweater that I did and finished before this all started.

Then, I got called for my hip replacement which took only 6 months and was a complete surprise. I’m pretty anxious about that too as I’m traveling a few hours to and from the hospital.

So, it may be some time before you see me back here but I will be eventually.

I hope you all can truly take time to relax and look after yourselves.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Binding the cow and starting a rock cliff

After lunch, my husband and I went for a little drive a d a shirt amble at the beach about 10 minutes from here. He’s now gone to the golf course and I’m sitting on the deck with some hand stitching.
The binding on my cow is almost done.

These are my hand stitching tools - a finger cott and thimble for pulling and pushing  the needle. The finger cott grips the needle nad makes it slide like butter.
Scissors made for arthritic fingers and a thread holder.

All the while I’ve e been thinking and working on a new piece.

It’s basically a huge rock wall with foliage and flowers growing out of the cracks. I thought at first that I’d use fabric and paint but it wasn’t inspiring me until I thought of cutting up the pieces and laying them on top of the base piece with the darker fabric of the cracks underneath.
And it’s working!
Notice the gridded masking tape? It’s working to discourage the robin from attacking its image.

I’m happy with this now I just need to keep building.

And making more thread lace foliage.

Leaves hooped with solvable sulky and free motion stitched.

The soluble sulky is rinsed out.

Supper will be easy with homemade chicken noodle soup and  some leftover pizza, so I can enjoy my deck with my stitching. 

Happy Sunday! 💜

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Robins, Mariner’s Compass quilt, the cow, and some knitting

The foliage here is just beginning to show green. There is still lots of grey bur it’s slowly changing. 

Turkey’s Foot lichens.

I’m not sure what this is though it is a tree,

Fiddleheads. Do you love them?

We’ve had a bit of a standoff with a male robin who sees himself in my studio and window and thinks he’s defending his territory but smacking his breast against the reflection. 

Nothing worked to dissuade him until my husband put up a masking tape grid on the window where he was hitting and so far it’s working.

Shaking his tale in warning.

This afternoon, I’ve been sitting in my studio watching podcasts and stitching the binding on the Mariners Compass quilt that I started many years ago. It feels so good to get it done. I think I’d like to give it to my son and wife who live in Lunenburg, NS.

Some of it is quilted with the utility stitch and also a Greta deal with a regular finer stitch in the center.

I’m resting after having driven the hour to Campbellton this morning to have another spinal injection done. There’s no driving for 24 hours and resting. For 24 hrs which is pretty easy!

We’re having a few things in our kitchen changed. A couple of cupboards, a new counter top and painting. The painter was in this morning to do the trim and the back stairs. He left when we got home. I can’t wait to see the new peachy color that will go in the kitchen.

We had the over the fridge cabinet changed to come out further and it will have metal dividers for trays and pans.

This is a new little cupboard added in the dining area which will be white and left open for a few collectibles that I still use.

Yesterday I did most of the background quilting on the cow so it’s almost done.

I’m knitting on this cotton blend sweater for the 1 yr old grand son, Gussie. Top down and pretty simple.

I hope wherever you are that things are looking up or will be soon. How is your week going? 💜

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Some knitting and more baby quilts

My fiber art pieces lay waiting for me. Sometimes for a week or two I feel a slight apathy with no creative energy. I’m up and down. Do you feel it too? I suspect part of it has to do with my physical health and another part to do with the times as I do feel some stress with everything occasionally. It all just gets to you I think. When  I’m having lows I do more traditional no brainer quilting like the 9 patch baby quilt that I just finished.

Then, I had a bag of these semi circle off cuts left over from the drunkard’s path that I made. I chose a two color border for each piece which will be sewn into circles. Nothing too taxing.

When finished, I’ll have 1 girl quilt and 2 boys quilt tops. Next then, I’ll be thinking of a girl’s quilt top. I have lots of nieces and nephews in my family and there’ll still be more babies to come I’m sure.

It’s actually snowing at the moment; it has been all day and we’ve got a couple of inches which I know will melt but still!

My current knitting projects are still a pair of socks for my husband and a pretty summery lap robe which I’ll send to my mum who spends her days in a wheelchair.

It’s made with a cotton blend, Caron’s cotton cakes and I love the feel of it. 

Tomorrow, a salesman is bringing me 2 mobility scooters to try out and I’m rather excited to see how they feel with my hip.